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Fate Has Different Plans

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Harry ran towards the old oak doors of the ancient castle, that were thankfully still open.

He was late because he’d been arguing with Hermione and lost track of time. In the end, Hermione had just huffed, “Harry, you’re in this now, so like it or not, you should go. GO!”

Harry grabbed his mask, put it on and Disapparated with a loud shrieking noise.

Here he was, the doors snapping closed a moment after he stepped in, causing Harry to jump and turn his head back towards them so fast his neck cracked. His hand ran towards the holster on his thigh, unconsciously ready to face the mortal danger.

He scoffed at the door and turned again, taking a deep breath and straightening his shoulders. Now that he was in, he couldn’t run away anymore.

Especially when he saw two masqueraded figures waiting for him from the corner of his eye.

He approached them and took out an engraved letter with a red glittering outline and elegant handwriting that read “Official invitation to the 25th edition of the annual Magical Creatures Secret Ball.”

The tallest figure, masked as a colorful dragon, took it and regarded it carefully, waving their wand over it. They gave it back to Harry and said with a sharp voice, “Mister…?”

Harry cleared his throat, praying he’d be able to tell them his nickname without laughing like an idiot. “Mr. Prongs.”

Harry internally rolled his eyes at the silly nickname his father had come up with, but both Ron and Hermione had agreed that no one would know James’ nickname, and that Harry could use it safely. It was an unusual word indeed.

However, the two figures seemed impassive. The way they just stood there, asking and inspecting, faceless and emotionless — it was unnerving Harry.

The smallest one was dressed as a kangaroo; their costume had a big pouch on the front, from where they picked out a scroll with a list and crossed a line on it with an enchanted quill.

The kangaroo regarded him with a toneless voice. “You’re the last one, Mr. Prongs. Please remember the rules for tonight: we’ll place a spell on your mask, assuring that it won’t wear off and accidentally reveal your identity to the others. You are welcomed to socialize and find someone who sparks your interest; if you’re comfortable with voyeurism there’s plenty of sofas and pouffes in the common rooms. Otherwise, you can choose to stay in a private room. You’ll have to give spoken consent to go further in the knowledge of your partner and you’ll set your own pace. There are disguised bodyguards on every floor to ensure your safety. If you decide to practice something extreme, remember to agree on a safe word with your partner and the room itself will provide what you need. However, we welcome even only curious guests: if you want to watch, ask for permission — if you want to only talk make sure that that’s clear, and if you want to provide joy to yourself alone, that’s fine too. Is everything clear?”

Harry loosened the tie of his costume a bit, already feeling breathless, sweat forming on the small of his back. He was feeling less and less convinced about this evening. He let out a soft “yes” and the dragon figure took out their wand, waving it in front of Harry’s face. They pronounced, “Persona Clausus” and a soft blue light encircled Harry’s stag mask, securing it to his face.

It felt claustrophobic.

Harry sucked in a breath as the kangaroo figure continued, “That’s all set. One last thing to remember: your mask won’t wear off unless both you and your partner agree about that. Just say out loud that you wish to see your partner’s face and your secret will be revealed. Enjoy your night, Mr. Prongs.”

Harry thanked them and approached the only other door in the atrium, probably leading to the ballroom. He took a step towards it, panicking and feeling more than ever out of place. But if he’d made it to this point, he could go all the way through. He gripped the handle of the door and opened it.

As soon as he stepped foot in the room, the high pounding of the music hit his ears; he didn’t even catch the door closing behind him. After a moment, Harry was able to adjust to the loud music and the dancing lights and take a proper look at the situation. Before him, an indefinite mass of animal-masqueraded people were throwing their hands incoherently up in the air and moving their bodies with the music, some more obscenely than others. There was a bar counter at the right side of the room where a lot of couples were touching, flirting, kissing. At a second glance, Harry saw that not only were there couples making out — all around the place, groups of three or more people were “getting to know each other”.

Harry had nothing against any kind of sexual orientation or kink, but he was new to this world and he still needed time to accept his renewed sexuality.

This evening seemed a bit too far from his possibilities. So, he decided alcohol was much needed if he wanted to get through this alive. He approached the counter, asking for a glass of Firewhiskey. A couple next to him was fervently kissing and the one that seemed like a girl accidentally elbowed Harry in the ribs, causing the kiss to break.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She was giggling, and with a wave of her head she pointed to her partner, “We were searching for someone to…join us.”

Harry looked at them and guessed the other figure was a girl too. He drowned a big gulp of his Firewhiskey and tried to gently decline. He’d just divorced Ginny because he’d discovered he was gay, on top of other things, so he wasn’t sure joining two women in whatever they wanted to do was a good idea.

He turned, leaning his back against the counter, his eyes glued to the people on the dance floor.

That was one of the reasons he’d been so reluctant about the idea of attending this masquerade ball. It was impossible to tell who the person in front of you was. Clearly it had a great perk: it was freeing to let go and not pay attention to the others’ appearances for once, and he was thrilled that people had no idea he was Harry Potter. But on the other hand, not being sure of who he was speaking with was starting to make Harry feel edgy about how to address others or how to start conversations. He had never been good with that, always clumsy, saying the wrong things in the wrong way; not to mention that he hadn’t flirted or made advances on anyone in the last 20 years.

Harry finished his drink and ordered another glass of Firewhiskey. Throwing himself in the middle of the dance floor wasn’t a good idea; the memories of his ungraceful dancing skills from the Yule Ball were still intact in his mind.

He decided to take a tour around the place and see what the common rooms and private ones looked like. He crossed the floor trying to avoid bumping into the people who were clinging to each other, rubbing their groins together and running hands all over each other.

When he got to the other side of the room he was slightly panting, and his cock was achingly hard in his trousers. Looking closely at other people almost fucking in the middle of the dance floor and getting touched and squeezed between bodies was having some effects on Harry, and the vague scent of men that hit him wasn’t helping his level of arousal. With the glass of Firewhiskey tightly clutched in his hand, Harry gave one last look at the people leisurely dancing.

Two guys were fucking with their mouths next to him when they broke the kiss and one of them stared into Harry’s eyes and slowly licked his lips. Harry’s cock gave a jolt at the sight and he quickly averted his gaze, palming himself through his costume and forcing himself to continue his wandering. He still wasn’t ready to have physical contact with someone else, even if his dick seemed to think differently.

He pushed the door in front of him open and found himself at the beginning of a long corridor, lit up by various lanterns that gave the atmosphere these “see-not see” vibes. All through the corridor, Harry could see many variously coloured sofas with different masked people on them, fucking, kissing, or doing any other kind of sexual activity together.

In particular, two men in a recess of the corridor made Harry’s blood rush to his cock, stiffening it even more. One of them was wearing a big mask that made his face look like an Occamy, and he was standing against the wall; the other one was kneeled in front of him, sucking his balls, his squid mask brushing slightly on the other guy’s groin. They seemed deeply involved in the act, continually moaning and swearing under their breaths and Harry found himself watching in rapt attention. After a minute, during which the squid guy took the cock in his mouth bobbing his head along the shaft, Harry noticed that some of the tentacles of the mask were stroking all along the Occamy guy’s body, sliding under his shirt, brushing his nipples, his sides, his hair. Some lower were grazing his hole and thighs. Harry was trying to imagine how it must feel to be touched in so many parts of the body at the same time when he remembered he had to ask for permission to stay and stare, but he couldn’t find it in himself to speak. He was having a hard time admitting he was enjoying looking at other men sucking each other off.

His mouth worked and then closed again. He was about to turn to leave when the man standing opened his eyes and told Harry, “You can stay and watch…if you want to.”

That caused the kneeled guy to stop sucking and turn to look at Harry; he smirked and licked his glistening lips for the drops collected on them. Harry unconsciously gave his dick a squeeze and licked his own lips. He found himself incapable of walking away, so he just nodded and stayed there until the first guy spilled his hot semen on the other guy’s lips, smearing them of cum and crying out loud. Harry opened his mouth, gasping silently at the sight before him and laying a hand on the wall to keep his balance as a wave of pleasure hit him in the groin. He flushed hot and as soon as he understood that he was still standing there, staring at those guys, he babbled some nonsense and ran away from the scene, shame hot on his cheeks. He found a door and opened it without thinking, sighing in relief when he saw that it was a bathroom. He could hear moans and growls coming from the cubicles, but there was no one at the sinks, so he reached them and splashed some cold water on his wrists and hands.

Harry knew that everything was consensual, and that if those guys hadn’t wanted to be seen they’d have searched for a private room, but he couldn’t help feeling abashed, as if he’d violated their privacy.  

Coming to this whole ball had probably been a bad idea — it was too soon for him to live such a strong experience. He dried his face with the idea of just leaving and going back home. He was a 37-year-old man with three children and a divorce on his shoulders, he shouldn’t have come here in the first place.

He exited the bathroom with an aching cock and a shattered emotionality. He retraced the corridor to go out, but when he opened the door to go back to the dance floor, he found himself in a dark room. At first he couldn’t see anything, but squinting, Harry saw there was scarce light coming from a window with a figure standing next to it, showered in moonlight. His heart skipped a beat.

The figure was dressed all in white, with tight trousers that hugged a perfect round arse. A plumage-y kind of appendix was attached above it, all white too; it looked like a peacock’s tail. It was widely spread, and it came up to his hair that was short and perfectly straight; it looked almost as white as his costume. Harry drew in a breath. The man must have felt him, because he spun his head towards him, leaving Harry completely speechless. He was wearing a white mask, covered in plumages and diamonds around the eye holes. The diamonds were almost too shiny in the darkness of the room and made the man’s eyes pop out more evidently: they looked like liquid silver.

Harry knew it probably should have triggered something funny, such a particular costume and animal, but all in all the man looked elegant and regal and Harry found himself transfixed by it.

They stared at each other for a moment, scanning their figures reciprocally until Harry felt a strong desire to know everything about that man; what he looked like in plain light, what his name was, what he did for a living, what his favourite ice cream flavour was, why he was there… Harry approached him, finally giving in to his instincts and abandoning the voice in his head that was telling him he had decided only a moment before to go back home.

Like almost everyone else’s masks, this peacock’s one was cut under the nose, leaving the mouth and jaw visible to allow easier access for kissing and partaking in sexual activities. When Harry came closer to him, the man smirked. Something about that mouth and that way of smirking looked familiar to Harry, who struggled for a moment to remember where he’d seen it before.

His thoughts were stopped when the man sneered, “Do you think you’ll speak at some point, or do you just want to stay here and stare at me? I mean, I do like people worshipping me, it’s just to know.”

A familiar sense of irritation waved through Harry, who tried to control it. He felt immediately bonded to this man and he didn’t mind a bit of a challenge; he could deal with it. “That’s how you flirt with people? I get why you’re here alone, after all.” Harry crossed his arms and grinned, waiting for the man’s next move.

His smirk widened, “I’ll have you know that I am here alone by choice. I don’t enjoy the chaos out there and it wasn’t entirely my idea to attend this party.”

Harry sighed and uncrossed his arms, stretching a hand towards the man. He could relate to him. “I understand that. I didn’t want to come either. I was actually trying to go back home when I opened this door. Can we start again? Hi, I’m Mr. Prongs.”

The peacock man considered his hand for a moment, then shook it. “I’m Mr. Plume.”

Harry smiled at the funny nickname, thinking it was actually very appropriate for him.

They stayed there holding hands a moment too long, until Harry realized and withdrew quickly, scratching the back of his neck in a nervous gesture.

“Erm —” “Do you want —” They started together and laughed at that.

Harry gestured towards the man to let him go first. He cleared his throat and started again, “Okay, so, do you want to sit down?” Harry smiled and nodded, following him to a bed inside the room that he hadn’t noticed before. They sat together and Harry remembered what the two figures had told him when he’d arrived — that the rooms were equipped to give you whatever you asked for. He conjured two flutes and a bottle of champagne and turned to the man, offering a flute. “I hope this is okay.”

The peacock man took it, touching Harry’s fingers and lingering a moment on them. “This is a very gallant gesture. Are you trying to get me drunk?”

Harry chuckled and poured some champagne into their flutes. “Actually, no. I’m a single father almost in my forties, I recently discovered I am gay and I’m here because my friends think it’s about time I find someone to try my new…tastes. But honestly, I think everything has its own time, right? This looks a bit forced to me, to meet new people in an organized event…if it has to be, it happens naturally, doesn’t it?” Harry stopped, tightening his lips and holding his breath. He gasped and resumed, “Oh Merlin, I’m sorry, I babble nonsense and talk way too much when I’m nervous. I’ll scare you off.”

The man snickered and took a sip of his drink. “It takes a lot more to scare me off. Plus, I’m used to dealing with nonsensical flows of words and thoughts. I can safely assume that if you’re talking to me, you don’t want to go back home anymore?

Harry smiled sheepishly and nodded, staring into those silvery eyes and thinking once more that he had already met this man somewhere.

His mystery partner resumed, “Good, because if I’m not crazy, there’s something between us. I can feel it in the air, and I’d like to deepen it.”

Harry blushed and thanked the darkness and the mask that it wasn’t visible. “You’re not crazy. But you said you wanted to be alone…”

The man levitated his flute to the bedside table — how many other things were there in that room Harry hadn’t seen? — and placed a hand on Harry’s thigh. “Don’t be daft. I’ve changed my mind, obviously.”

That irritating manner came back, but Harry tried to avoid thinking about it. Everything was going fine and he couldn’t help the strong attraction he was feeling towards his mystery partner. The hand on his thigh started stroking him and went slowly further up until it was close to Harry’s groin. He gasped and dropped his empty flute that crashed to the floor. The man took out his wand and vanished it, removing his hand from Harry’s thigh. Harry felt cold and hated himself for his little ‘gay panic crisis’, as Hermione would have called it. He was torturing his hands, and the man slowly raised a hand to brush Harry’s lips, whispering into his ear, “I thought you wanted this.”

Harry closed his eyes and shuddered at the sensation of his breath ghosting over his ear. He inhaled deeply and told him the truth, hoping it would be okay. “I-I want it, but… I’ve never…” the fingers on his lips pressed harder, blocking Harry’s mouth. The mystery man leaned over Harry’s lips, taking them in a heated kiss, cupping his face in his hands and moving his tongue sensuously inside Harry’s mouth. His partner launched himself into it, sliding his tongue over Harry’s, skimming his hands under his shirt to touch his chest, brush his nipples, making Harry quiver and moan in his mouth.

He pushed Harry on the mattress, breaking the kiss. He looked inside his eyes and said with a low voice, “You’ve never had a male partner. I heard when you said you just divorced your wife. That’s fine, I’m not exactly a playboy either. We can go slowly, do only what you want to do… do you consent to that?”

That flashed Harry’s memory with the rules for the night. This peacock man seemed honest, and he was taking his arousal to sparks he hadn’t felt in a long time, so he decided to say out loud, “Yeah, I consent. Do you?”

He felt the man skidding closer to him. “Sure, I consent. I guess we’re not engaging in anything too racy, but we can have a safe word if you want to. Something you or I can say if we’re doing something that the other doesn’t like. For example, it could be green.”

Harry stared at him, open-mouthed, thinking he’d been lucky to find someone who seemed to know what he was doing. The man kissed him on the neck, and Harry realised he was gaping at him without saying a word, so he rushed to agree to that. It felt a bit impersonal, but it made sense to have such rules with a complete stranger.

The man kept kissing and licking Harry’s neck, covering every inch of his skin with gentle brushes of his lips and tongue, supervising Harry’s response to those and insisting on the points that made Harry moan louder and shiver or clench the man’s sides in pleasure. Harry couldn’t quite see his face or his body, but he could feel him with all his other senses and that was even more arousing — the idea of being so enigmatic about it all making him comfortable.

Then the man laid down on the bed and pulled Harry on top of himself, slowly rocking his hips. Their cocks touched through their trousers and Harry saw stars in front of his eyes. The sensation of a cock rubbing against his own was exhilarating and he wanted to grind against it harder. So he did, he started grinding against the mystery man’s cock with wild abandon, hands splayed on his chest, eyes closed. He felt the man grasping his hips and whispering, “Open your eyes.” Harry did, and when he could finally focus on his eyes, he saw the same lust he was savouring reflected in them.

Harry felt close, but he didn’t want to come like this. Now that he was in this situation, he wanted to make the most out of it. Doing so as everything he did — without thinking and throwing himself head first into the situation — he levelled up from the man’s groin and stripped himself from his trousers and pants. The mystery man undressed too and when Harry laid between his legs, with his crotch right in front of his eyes, his mouth watered at the sight of that hard-slicking cock. He didn’t waste any time and he gave a tentative lick at his sack, going up to the tip of his cock, where he felt the salty taste of droplets of pre-come. Hearing the other man moaning while he tasted him made Harry hungry to have more of him. He had no idea how to give a blowjob, the only experience he had was the one he’d witnessed earlier, and so he tried to replicate that. He took the tip of the cock in his mouth, trying to shield his teeth using his lips, and he slowly sank down, taking inch after inch into his mouth until he couldn’t get any further and it brushed his throat. It instinctively made Harry gag, and he pulled out coughing a bit.

The mystery man giggled and looked down at him, saying with an affectionate tone, “It’s normal if it’s your first time. Don’t force yourself, it’s good even if you don’t swallow my entire length.”

Harry blushed and felt abashed by his low performance, but the man stroked his hair gently. “Don’t worry, you’re doing fine. More than fine, I like it.”

Encouraged by his words, Harry tried again, being careful not to gag this time and hollowing his cheeks to suck on his cock. The man cried out and pulled at his hair a bit, yanking Harry’s head up, stirring him into action. Harry started bobbing his head up and down with increasing speed, using his hand for the length he couldn’t fit in his mouth and fondling his balls with the other hand, just as he liked doing with himself.

He was licking the head of his cock when the mystery man sobbed, “Fuck, I — I’m coming, pull out if — ” but Harry had no intention of doing so: he took his cock even further down and swallowed every drop of cum that splashed in his mouth, groaning around his dick and trying to look up at the man. He released his cock and wiped his mouth with his hand, feeling more contented than he could remember in the last years of his life. His mystery partner sighed, shifting to make room for Harry next to him. He breathed, “It was very good for your first time.” The praises the man kept giving him were making gooseflesh raise all over Harry’s body, and he wanted to hear him whisper sweet words to him all night long.

The man placed a hand on Harry’s dick and licked his lips. “But now we have to take care of this.” Harry’s heart hammered in his chest and he laid down next to him, trying to picture how it would be like to see another man sucking his cock.

The man, though, didn’t lower himself between Harry’s legs. He reached for his wand and muttered a lubricating spell, the same one every guy learned at Hogwarts when he started to wank. He slicked his fingers and kissed Harry softly on the lips, then on the jaw, reaching his ear and whispering, “I want to give you something really special. Do you trust me?”

Harry nodded frantically, not trusting his voice to come out evenly. He liked a good wank, but it wasn’t like it was something new to him. However, he tried not to be too disappointed by the turn of events.

His mystery partner started touching his collarbone, reaching his nipple and circling it with his thumb. The sensation of someone taking the time to explore his body, what he liked, made Harry arch his back under the man’s touch, gasping and quivering. He closed his eyes: he couldn’t see anything anyway. He felt the fingers skimming lower, lingering over his belly button until they moved to his cock, smearing the precome Harry had released, then to his balls, and then to the rim of his hole, slowly circling it, lubricating it…

“Fuck!” Harry couldn’t help but shout.

The man froze. “Is this too much? You can use the safe word.”

“No!” was Harry’s immediate response. “No, I mean, I’m sorry, I just…I didn’t, um, I trust you.”

He felt the man’s lips stretching into a smile on his neck as he started to brush his finger on Harry’s hole again, tickling his nerves. Harry knew it was something some people liked, but he’d never tried it. His sexual life had always been very regular and free of experimentations. But now he was cursing himself for not trying that before; it felt electrifying and he was already greedy for more. Harry gasped and moved against his partner’s finger that finally slipped inside while he purred sweet things to Harry’s ear, “Mmmh, your hole is so tight and hot, you’re doing so good, yes,” making Harry feel dizzy. The finger pushed inside, slipping out a bit when it became too tight and then pushing in again until the knuckle brushed Harry’s buttocks.

The man moved it a bit, tentatively, and Harry moaned out loud, clutching his arm, throwing his head back into the pillow. He croaked, “More, please more,” and the man started fucking him with his finger, faster and harder until it curved inside of Harry and brushed a spot that had his stomach clenching and his vision blurring. Harry rocked his hips, fucking himself against the finger to get more of that sensation, and then the man slipped another finger inside of Harry, grazing that same sweet spot and turning Harry into a shivering mass.

The man whispered to Harry, “Do you like it? That’s your prostate…I bet you can come just from me stroking it, look at you, you’re so turned on by it, you’re riding my fingers.” Those words, that voice that sounded so familiar to Harry, were the last straw. He moved his hips in a ragged rhythm, the fingers finally brushing his spot every time they moved inside him. He came all over himself and his chest, cock completely untouched, his toes curling on the sheets and his cries somewhere between moans and sobs.

The mystery man fucked him throughout his orgasm and then took out his fingers, cleaning Harry with his wand, leaning beside him with his head on Harry’s chest. Harry felt a surge of tiredness and yawned, stroking the man’s hair. The muscles of his face were aching from how much he was smiling, and he said, “It was…fuck, it was amazing.” The man chuckled, and a soothing silence wrapped around them.

The more time passed, the more Harry mulled over the same question, and in the end he asked it, anxiety taking the best on him. “Do you, erm, do you want to, you know, take off the masks?”

It was a hard question; Harry himself didn’t know what to think. On the one hand, he’d felt something connecting to this man since the very first time he’d glanced at him near the window. On the other hand, it could break the magic between them. And then there was this feeling that Harry had already met him, and wouldn’t it be a disaster to discover it was someone he knew? Maybe a coworker?

The peacock man twisted his head up towards Harry’s face and answered, “I sincerely don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Harry felt a strong disappointment wash over him. He knew it made sense, not revealing themselves, but as soon as he realized he wouldn’t ever know who he was or meet him again, he stubbornly wanted to take off his mask.

His internal turmoil must have been visible on his face, because his mystery partner looked down at him and added, “I mean, I just don’t want to ruin the perfect memory we have of this evening.”

Harry thought about it and agreed it would be too awkward to take off the masks. He sighed and straightened up on the bed. “You’re right. Well, thanks for this anyway. It was…enlightening.” Harry got up and started to dress, his feelings a mess.

He was ready to go when he heard a strained voice, “Yeah, it was good for me too. I don’t really have many occasions to meet someone else.”

It sounded regretful and again Harry felt that stupid desire to know everything about this man and connect with him. But he couldn’t, so they just shared what must have been the most awkward handshake in the history of handshakes, and exited the room, taking different ways.