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Kintsugi

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The gorgeous image of Will above was graciously provided by the kind and talented madsmeetsmisha - THANK YOU!!! <3

 

Sunday

 

             Will looks down at the Prefect badge pinned to his collar as it catches the light from the thousands of candles floating above him. He still can’t believe he agreed to be a Prefect when Headmaster Crawford asked him last year. Word of Will’s prowess at reading people had been circulating for years, and Crawford never missed an opportunity to utilize (exploit) someone’s talent, especially when it makes him look good. Thankfully due to his “gift,” Will has been able to avoid the duller tasks Prefects are usually assigned such as orienting new students, since Crawford mainly wants him patrolling. Sadly, Will can’t make the argument that he’s not suited for it – he does have a lot of free time. His intelligence allows him to excel in his classes without a large amount of studying. And his socially awkward nature translates to him having very few friends. His looks don’t help his social awkwardness, if anything they seem to reflect it. He’s tall but on the lean side, and often with gaunt complexion from not sleeping well, prone to nightmares as he is. He has untamable curly brown hair, and light facial hair; he finds the facial hair makes him look older which seems to discourage some of the bullying he gets (not much, but every little bit helps). He wears glasses too, not that he needs them, but they provide another layer of protection against the excessive empathy he gets from eye contact. Ironically, they hide what he would consider to be his best feature, his eyes, which are a bright blue.

              The new students, fresh from the boat ride across the lake, begin to file in the Great Hall with looks of awe on their faces and Will hears names being read off, only halfway paying attention. He does look up out of reflex whenever he hears “Ravenclaw!” since they will be members of his house. His mind recalls his own sorting... “William Graham!” He had walked up to the stool, allowed the Sorting Hat to be placed on his head, and even though he knew what was coming, was shocked to hear the voice of the hat in his head - magic never failed to astonish him. Well well, what do we have here, you are certainly unique Mr. Graham…I could place you in any house couldn’t I?? How unusual! Do you have a preference? Let’s go down the list eh? Hufflepuff? At that a wave of distaste flowed through Will’s brain, picturing all the happy people chatting and eating…in one way he envied their easy closeness, like family he never had, but he found them to be bland and dull. Hmm well apparently not Hufflepuff. Gryffindor? For a moment Will pictured himself in red and gold and immediately felt like a fake. He knew deep down he was more cowardly than courageous and certainly his “gift” afforded him enough moral ambiguity to not feel like he was a steward of good faith. Not Gryffindor either. I can see you would fit nicely into Slytherin, you could really make a name for yourself... Will thought this over, and truth be told he was afraid. On the surface he was afraid of the people in Slytherin, his lean and awkward nature made him prone to bullying, and it seemed like Slytherin always had more bullies than the other houses. On a deeper level he was afraid of what that hat said, that there was a part of him deep inside filled with darkness that, if let loose, he wouldn't be able to control. Okay then Mr. Graham, all we have left is Ravenclaw, is that your choice? You must be sorted…Will thought it over. It seemed like the safest option, in Ravenclaw people tended to keep to themselves, and intelligence was respected - and he certainly had that. It didn’t feel 100% true to his nature but it was what he decided. “Ravenclaw!” the hat shouted, and nearby the table filled with students dressed in blue and silver stood, cheered, and beckoned him over. All the eye contact he was getting felt overwhelming and he instinctively pushed his glasses more securely on his face and kept his eyes down as he joined his house.

              The sound of Headmaster Crawford’s voice brings him back to the present, all the first years are apparently sorted and with their new houses. “Students we have one more wizard to be sorted, a transfer from Durmstrang, Hannibal Lecter.” A small murmur makes its way through the crowd and Will finds his attention snapped to the front like a rubber band. Transfers into Hogwarts are extremely rare, in fact, this is the first one he has ever seen. Approaching the stool and Sorting Hat is a tall teen who looks about his age (seventeen) with dark blond hair sweeping over his face, strong cheekbones, and warm brown eyes. He moves with such grace that Will can’t take his eyes off of him and his finely tailored robes. There’s something magnetic about him, and Will can’t put his finger on what it is. He’s usually able to get a good read off of peoples’ body language and appearance, but he’s surprisingly coming up blank. It simultaneously scares him and feels refreshing.

              Hannibal sits down on the stool and the Sorting Hat is placed on his head. Will thinks he looks a little irritated about having the shabby hat placed on him but tolerates it with grace. Almost immediately, as the hat touches his head, it yells out, “Slytherin!” Cheers and clapping erupt from the Slytherin table, and Hannibal makes his way over, shaking hands with a few members and getting some claps on his back as he sits down. Crawford makes the rest of his beginning of term announcements, but Will barely hears them, his attention keeps being drawn back to the new student, Hannibal Lecter. Before he knows it a feast has materialized on the table, and Jimmy Price nudges him with his elbow around a mouth full of food and waggles his eyebrows, “See something you like Will?”

              Will’s cheeks color slightly at being caught out but moves his focus to the feast and grabs the closest item to him and takes a bite (lamb chop he realizes belatedly) to buy him time to reply. “Ha ha, very funny Jimmy,” he says sarcastically as he set his lamb chop down and adds more food to his plate, mashed potatoes with gravy, peas, and carrots. Next to Jimmy, Brian Zeller pauses eating and looks at Jimmy, then Will, then goes back to eating, apparently uninterested in getting further details. No doubt Jimmy will tell him later whether he asks or not. Jimmy and Brian’s bunks are near Will’s in Ravenclaw tower, and while Will would not call them friends, they don’t object to his presence and Jimmy has no qualms roping him into conversation (whether it is welcome or not, often not).

              “No really, I see the appeal! He’s so foreign and mysterious looking, regal even…like a blonde Victor Krum!” Will clutches his utensils tighter and continues to eat, keeping his eyes on his food. He has a brief thought of stabbing his fork into Jimmy’s hand next to him on the table but lets it go just as quickly.

             “Mm hmm, sure.” Will continues with the sarcastic route. Usually a lack of reaction gets Jimmy to move on to other topics.

             Across the table Bedelia Du Maurier looks up and her sharp Ravenclaw mind seems to put two and two together looking from Jimmy, to Hannibal, and then to Will, with a slight smirk on her lips. She invites herself into the conversation, “He is quite dashing isn’t he,” she comments as she brings a dainty forkful of food to her mouth.

              Will shuts his eyes and rolls them simultaneously. Fucking Bedelia. Just when he was certain Jimmy was going to move on to something else, she stirs the pot back up, and he’s pretty sure did it just to rile him. She’s smart as a whip but seems to have a mean streak in her where Will is concerned. From the very beginning they never seemed to get along and now in year six nothing has changed. He opens his eyes and levels his gaze at her, letting all his anger into it. So much for Ravenclaw not having bullies.

              “I know right!” Jimmy chimes in. Will refuses to rise to Bedelia’s barb and instead focuses on eating as the conversation continues around him. As soon as he’s done eating, he pockets a lamb chop and a treacle tart, stands, and leaves the dining hall to do his nightly Prefect patrol, away from Bedelia’s irritating existence.

              As he walks around the empty halls, he lets the anger dissipate. He walks out onto the grounds and eventually finds himself near the Forbidden Forest, keeping an eye out for the thestral herd he knows reside nearby. After a few minutes he hears one approaching and tosses the lamb chop that direction as he eats his treacle tart. A small female one he calls Patch comes out and starts to nibble at it. When Will is finished with the tart he brushes the crumbs off of his fingers on his pants and walks closer, watching her eat, her bony horse-shaped body coated in dark black skin with bat-like wings. When the lamb chop is gone, the creature nudges his hand, then his face gently. Will lays a hand on the bridge of her face and pets her a few times. “Sorry girl, that’s all.” He pets her for a few more minutes, relaxing. Being in nature with animals (or conversely – away from people) always calms him. With one last stroke to her dark skin, he turns to go back towards the castle.

 

*

 

Monday

 

              The next morning, Will has taken only three bites of breakfast before he receives his class schedule.

 

             Monday and Thursday morning – Charms with Professor Flitwick.

             Monday and Thursday afternoon – Defense Against the Dark Arts with Professor Quirrell.

             Tuesday morning – Transfiguration with Professor McGonagall.

             Tuesday afternoon – Herbology with Professor Sprout.

             Wednesday and Friday morning – Potions with Professor Snape.

             Wednesday and Friday afternoon – Alchemy with Professor Dumbledore.

 

             About what he expected. He sets it aside and notices an unclaimed Daily Prophet across the table. He both appreciates and envies the ungrateful students whose parents pay for them to get it. Having pretty much no money to his name to buy his own, he takes every opportunity he can to snag one when the owner is done. Will scoots down and reaches over the sticky buns and pumpkin juice, holding his tie with one hand to make sure it doesn’t get dirty, grabs the paper, and settles back into his seat. He’s just finished the last article when he realizes it’s too quiet, the bustle of students is gone and sure enough morning classes are starting soon. He grabs his bag and runs full speed out of the Great Hall, already preparing to use his status as a Prefect as an excuse if needed. In his haste, he doesn’t see a group of Slytherins look his way until it’s too late, as one of them “accidentally” drops their bag right in front of him. Will’s foot catches in the strap and he’s weightless for a moment before he goes down hard, his own bag and its contents flying everywhere. Well I guess I don’t have to lie now Will thinks bitterly. He pushes himself up and the Slytherin closest to him (Francis Dolarhyde if Will remembers right) is trying not to laugh, “I’m so sorry, do you need help?” he asks mockingly. Will puts his glasses back on and glares at him as he shoves his stuff back in his bag. He has to give them credit, the bullies have become slightly more clever – how can he prove they did it on purpose? He can’t of course and they know that. He doesn’t even deign that with a response, instead turning and stalking away, hearing muffled laughs behind him.

              He makes it to Charms just as Professor Flitwick is climbing up on his stool to begin class. Will notices the class is quite large, it’s a double class with Ravenclaw and Gryffindor. He spots an empty chair near Alana Bloom and Beverly Katz and sits down. They both offer him a quick smile and then return their attention to class as Professor Flitwick begins lecturing. Will cringes a little when he thinks of his last conversation with Alana at the end of last year. Towards the end of term, Will had realized he had a crush on her and had mustered up the courage to ask her out. He had been expecting flat out rejection and was shocked when she agreed. They had gone to Hogsmeade together, and since the moment they sat down with their Butterbeers, Alana had question after question for him. At first, he was grateful that he didn’t have to come up with polite conversation, since he wasn’t the most experienced dater. However, he quickly realized he was a curiosity to her, a puzzle to be solved. She asked him how his empathy worked, what exactly he feels, what non-verbal cues does he read, does he think it is a form of magic, when did he first notice, on and on. A few times he attempted to steer the conversation over to her, thinking maybe this was her way of getting to know him and he ought to try to get to know her as well, but her answers were always brief, and her persistent questions quickly returned, even advancing to details about his experience helping the Ministry, a topic most people never breached with him. When their Butterbeer was finished, she offered to buy the next round and he declined, saying he wasn’t really in the mood for talking anymore. She had looked more confused than hurt which cemented Will’s intuition that her interest in him was not romantic, merely curious, although not malicious either which made him feel a little bad. He had told Beverly about it on the train ride back to King’s Cross. Beverly was the one constant thing he had had at Hogwarts. On his very first train ride to the school, tiny Beverly had appeared in the doorway and asked if she could sit with him. He had nodded and in a way the rest was history. Beverly was smart, had lots of friends, and to be honest they had very little in common, but every train ride she would find him and chat with him, even for a short while. Will always found her refreshing, she has a no-bullshit quality about her, there isn’t much to intuit since she is pretty genuine to her words and actions. Will supposes she is the closest thing to a friend he has at Hogwarts.

              The rest of Charms is uneventful, as is lunch. He makes a concerted effort to not be late to Defense Against the Dark Arts and is successful, choosing a seat in the back with plenty of time to spare. He opens his bag to get out his textbook and realizes it’s not in his bag. Fuck, Will thinks, it must have fallen out when those bastards tripped me. He plans to go after class to look for it, hopefully someone turned it in. He got that used copy from Crawford when he started at Hogwarts, having not been able to afford one of his own, and he’s pretty sure it was the library’s copy prior to that. He’s not sure what he’ll do if he can’t find it…

 

*

 

              Hannibal Lecter is about to step into Transfiguration class when he notices a textbook on the ground. All the other Slytherins have already taken their seats. He makes a quick decision and picks it up, drops it in his bag, and continues into class.

              So far Hannibal is not impressed with the students of Hogwarts, but he concedes he wasn’t impressed with the students at Durmstrang either. He admits the majority of the professors seem competent and has developed a quick respect for Madame Pomfry who takes no bullshit in her hospital wing. She gave him a long lecture about how she usually does not accept sixth years to shadow her but Hannibal’s resumé made him an exception - but he better not forget it! Hannibal is on the healer track, so having experience in a hospital wing will no doubt improve his already robust skillset. If not, he’s not above causing some injuries just to get some practice. He smiles darkly at that thought, a few candidates already popping into his mind. There is certainly no shortage of rude people here. His fellow Slytherins, while he can respect their ruthless and self-serving actions, could at least learn how to pleasantly interact with others. Most of them resemble toddlers demanding a coveted toy rather than young adult wizards getting ready to shape the future. He is torn out of his internal musings by Professor McGonagall asking everyone to direct their attention to the mirrors in front of them and attempt the Crinus Muto spell to change the color of their eyebrows. Hannibal pulls out his wand, follows the instructions, and on the second attempt, has both eyebrows changed to blue as requested. A quick glance around shows no one else has succeeded yet. He changes his eyebrows back and practices all the colors he can think of. For some reason orange takes him a few tries but he gets it just as Professor McGonagall is making her rounds. “Very nice Mr. Lecter.”

              “Thank you, Professor,” he replies, and she moves on. Figuring he has some time before they move on to the next topic, he pulls the book he found out of his bag. It’s the same Defense Against the Dark Arts textbook he has in his bag, but the copies are easily distinguishable from each other. Hannibal had purchased his at Flourish and Blott’s just last week in preparation for his transfer, its cover shiny and pages crisp. The other copy is an older edition, either a different color or colored with age, corners softened and rounded, and pages well worn. He opens the front cover and the name “Will Graham” is written in the upper corner. Current owner Hannibal surmises. He flips a few pages in and is nearly overwhelmed with the amount of writing all over the margins. Curiosity piqued, he flips from page to page reading here and there. A clear trend emerges by the time he is mid-book, about a quarter of the scribbles are questions such as Why are there no ‘offensive tactical magic’ textbooks? and Ðoes Ministry of Magic have a military? Training manual? About half of them appear to be spells and hexes in various states of completion, not always clear what they are intending to do, although one appears to cause your opponent’s eyes to catch on fire. Interesting Hannibal thinks, an amused smile on his lips. It reminds him of a spell he developed last year that attempted to have one’s eyes roll backwards inside the head, preventing your opponent from seeing you (yet easily healable, in theory), he regrets he has yet to test if it works. The other quarter of the scribbles Hannibal cannot make heads or tails of. He hears Professor McGonagall beginning to lecture again and tucks the book back in his bag.

              Later that night in his bunk, Hannibal pulls the book back out and peruses it some more. Another spell appears to choke your opponent, although the drawings next to it seem to indicate the author was trying to figure out how to selectively apply pressure just to the carotid area and not the windpipe, although a solution is not evident. Hannibal, having been in a fair share of skirmishes throughout his life, has always preferred the intimacy of using his hands to choke or submit his opponents, but he appreciates the convenience and elegance this spell attempts. He wonders what this Will Graham person is like. Slytherin? The violent nature of the spells does suggest it, although Hannibal’s eidetic memory has no recollection of meeting a Will Graham so far. Future dark wizard in another house? Or is it possible that the owner of this book is long gone, and the book is all that remains?

              “Francis,” Hannibal calls out to the student in the closest bunk to him. Francis Dolarhyde turns to him, slight snarl to his lip, but he has enough common sense to respect Hannibal. He may not be very bright, but he recognizes power when he sees it.

              “Yeah?”

              “Do you know who Will Graham is?” Hannibal sees recognition and a flash of fear in his eyes before he can reply. Hannibal files that away for later. Hmm interesting.

              “Uh yeah, he’s a Prefect for Ravenclaw.”

              “A Prefect?” Hannibal is so rarely surprised it takes him a moment to identify the feeling. A law enforcing Prefect is far from the image he had been building in his head of this Will Graham. Although he supposes those prone to violence often are attracted to power in whatever form it comes in, including law enforcement…

              “Yeah, but he’s a weird creepy fucker. They say he can read minds or some shit. That’s why Crawford made him a Prefect.”

              “Read minds?” Hannibal clarifies, eyebrow raised. That can’t be right. Maybe a Legilimens?

              “I don’t know, rumor is a few years back he helped the Ministry catch that murderer Travers. Next thing you know he’s a Prefect, although it hasn’t helped him much. Still a loner and a loser.”

              Hannibal takes in this information, feeling like he’s probably gotten all there is to get from Dolarhyde. “I see. Thank you, Francis.” The dismissal in his tone is clear. Francis nods and turns back to his bunk, a slight relief in his expression. Hannibal closes his eyes and enters his mind castle, assimilating the information from the day. When he gets to Will Graham, he can’t help but feel intrigued by this person who appears to be full of contradictions, yet also shares some similarities with Hannibal. Hannibal’s intelligence, background, and proclivity for manipulation and violence have resulted in him not having any significant friendships or relationships, and he is honestly fine with that. But the surprising feeling of hope in his chest that this Will Graham could be a friend to him, or at minimum an ally with power which could be helpful down the road, is hard to tamp down. It’s decided. Tomorrow, he will find Will Graham.

 

*

 

Tuesday

 

              Will has looked everywhere and has had no sign of his Defense Against the Dark Arts textbook. He even reluctantly asked Filch if anyone had turned it in. He asked Professor Quirrell as well and his response was that if it doesn’t turn up, he has one Will can borrow. Will even tries summoning his book even though he would be slightly disappointed if it worked – he’s been assaulted enough at Hogwarts that he put a summoning-blocking spell on his school items…an apparently it works. Yay Will thinks sarcastically. He is eating his breakfast alone at the end of the Ravenclaw table, musing on if it is possible to put some sort of magical trace on his items so this won’t happen again, when he detects a presence that has stopped next to him. He turns and looks up and has to keep looking up because wow he is tall, and Will recognizes the new (and good looking) student Hannibal Lecter.

              Hannibal’s eyes briefly flash to his Prefect badge, then back to his face. “Will Graham?” Will doesn’t think he’s ever heard his name sound so nice, that velvety voice and accent makes him sound like someone important. He feels his cheeks warm but answers.

              “Yes.” To Will’s surprise Hannibal smiles and sits down next to him at the Ravenclaw table in his Slytherin robes. It’s not technically against the rules, Will thinks, but even his own house members don’t like sitting near him, so this is new.

              Hannibal sticks out his hand to shake Will’s as he says, “Hannibal Lecter.” Will sets down his fork and shakes Hannibal’s hand, trying and failing to get much of a read on him, just like before. He gets a generic vibe of dangerous, but it’s easily masked by Hannibal’s friendly but reserved demeanor. Will feels his skin tingle pleasantly where their hands touch. Am I really that touch starved that a handshake feels good? Will wonders sardonically.

              “Nice to meet you Hannibal.” Will says for lack of anything better to say. Hannibal pulls his hand back, reaches into his bag, and pulls out Will’s Defense Against the Dark Arts textbook and offers it to Will.

              “Yours?” Hannibal asks with a slight smile.

              “Yes! Oh my gosh, thank you. Where did you find it?” Will accepts it from him, noting it has what he can only describe as a pleasant but expensive smell on it now.

              “In the hallway outside the Transfiguration classroom.” A flash of anger crosses Will’s face briefly but is gone as quick as it came, back to relief. Hannibal takes a moment to observe Will Graham and reconcile the man formed in his mind with the reality. Will has unruly curly brown hair, pale skin, hunched posture, and faded robes. He wears glasses slightly too small for his face and has a smile that doesn’t linger. Hannibal’s attention is most captured by his bright blue eyes framed by long eyelashes. The knowledge of his violent spells makes Hannibal want to see him as an aggressor, his Prefect pin makes him appear to be a protector, yet his posture and circumstance make him appear to be victim-like. More contradictions…

              “I confess when I opened it, I did read some of your notes.” At this Will freezes and looks directly at Hannibal, then down, embarrassment and a hint of fear coloring his face. “There are spells in there I don’t recognize.”

              “Yeah, uh, I’ve written a few.”

              “Can you show me?”

              Will hesitates, he feels unable to say no to that voice. The majority of his spells are not things he could show unless he was trying to hurt someone. “They’re not very…good…uh…nice…spells.”

              Hannibal pauses before he speaks, then says seriously, “I personally don’t believe in good and evil Will. I don’t discriminate in what I learn, but I am always looking to learn more, a trait I believe I share with Ravenclaw. I would be honored if you would show me, and if you are interested, I can show you some spells I have written as well.”

              Without any conscious thought on his part, Wil find himself agreeing. “Yeah, okay, um, not here though.”

              “Certainly. How about after last class today? We can meet by the Entrance Hall.”

              “Yeah, that’s fine.” Apparently, his mouth is content to answer on his behalf, brain still processing.

             With that, Hannibal shakes Will’s hand once more as he leaves. “It was a pleasure to meet you Will. See you later.” Will feels the pleasant tingling in his hand again long after Hannibal leaves. As he walks to Transfiguration, he feels like butterflies have taken residence in his stomach, a nervous anticipation. He’s never shown his spells to anyone, but he supposes he’s never seen anyone else’s personal spells either. Will again is struck by how his empathy and intuition offer him little to nothing about Hannibal. Despite the dangerous aura he has, Will can’t deny he feels more comfortable with Hannibal than he expected to. He briefly wonders if this is how most people feel interacting with others; when not getting bombarded with sensory input, he has to admit it’s not so bad.

      

*

 

             All through Transfiguration and Herbology, Will is hardly paying attention. He’s thumbing through his Defense Against the Dark Arts book reviewing his spells, considering. He knows most of his spells would be considered inappropriate, violent in nature. If Hannibal did read them then he must know what he is asking for. All the same Will wants to pick a mild one to start with, just in case Hannibal’s spell ends up being something benign like turning a rock into a pie or some other nonsense. Somehow he doubts that will be the case, but he doesn’t trust easily, and on balance usually when someone is interested in him they don’t have his best interests at heart. He can imagine the rumors now if he picked a violent spell – “Ravenclaw Prefect attacks and maims transfer student.” No, better to err on the side of caution.

              Before he knows it, class is dismissed and he makes his way down to the Entrance Hall. He doesn’t see Hannibal yet so he stands off to the side, leaning against the wall, eyes downcast, secretly hoping he doesn’t get stood up.

              As Hannibal makes his way toward the Entrance Hall, he spots Will right away. He also observes the other students’ reactions to him. Most give him a wide berth, some clearly afraid, some curious. Others look at him with hostility, but no one approaches him. Will doesn’t look up at all until he is standing right in front of him. “Will.”

             “Oh hi Hannibal.” Will feels more eyes on him than usual, he supposes the combination of him and the new student is a curiosity too powerful for most to resist. The feeling is putting him on edge and he’s not sure he doesn’t look like a spaz but can’t help it. “Ready? I thought we could go over by the lake.”

             Hannibal nods and Will turns and heads towards the lake without looking back, a little faster than he means to. With every step he takes, Will feels calmer and calmer, away from all the eyes. He takes a deep breath of the cold air, continuing past Hagrid’s hut, stopping by the edge of the lake just before the Forbidden Forest. He turns and sees Hannibal has stopped as well, taking in the surroundings. Will continues to be surprised by how comfortable he feels, despite the silence. Especially since he’s not really comfortable around most people, let alone a stranger with an aura of danger, however Will feels no threats.

             “So, you still want to see one of my spells?” Will asks as he sets down his bag.

             Hannibal smiles. “I would like to see as many as you are willing to show me Will.”

             Will feels his cheeks heat slightly, Who talks like that? Especially in that voice… Will takes a step back, pulls out his wand, and aims it at Hannibal. “Ready?” Hannibal nods and Will says “Iaccam arcto positos!” With a swish of his wand, the sleeves of Hannibal’s robe start to grow, move, and then fuse tightly in the style of a straight-jacket. Hannibal looks down, his expression more open than Will has seen yet. Hannibal looks almost childlike in his amusement as he pulls his arms and inspects it. Will is reminded of the moments where he too is dazzled and awed by magic, no matter how old he gets. Hannibal mentally notes the spell also makes the material stronger because he honestly isn’t sure if he could easily get out of it, an effective restraint he thinks.

             Hannibal looks up at him, amusement and something else in his eyes Will can’t quite place. “What a cunning boy you are,” Hannibal says, smiling.

             Will feels his cheeks color again. “Yeah, uh…I call it ‘straight-jacket hex’ for obvious reasons. Just say when and I’ll undo it.” Hannibal takes another moment assessing it before nodding and Will reverses the spell, then pockets his wand. Hannibal’s eyes almost twinkle with glee and satisfaction.

             “Very nice Will, I would like to learn that from you if you would be so kind to teach me. But first, as promised, would you like to see one of my spells?”

             Will nods and begins to sit down on a nearby rock. Hannibal reaches into his robe and pulls out his wand. “Now Will, like many of your spells, this spell is meant for offense and can be used to harm. That being said, if you will permit me to do it on you, I will do my best to not cause you any significant harm or pain.”

             Will is intrigued, Hogwarts has never taught them what he would consider truly offensive magic, only defense. He supposes he should feel afraid but all he feels is excitement. He smiles, returning to standing, and gives his consent. Standing with his arms at his sides, not sure what to expect, Hannibal points his wand at him and says “Ducartur hiburnis!” quickly followed by “Arresto trahere!” Instantly Will is jolted into the air, supine, and feels his arms and legs being pulled in opposite directions almost painfully. However right before it gets too painful, the pulling stops and he is frozen mid-air. His glasses are gone and he stares up at the darkening sky before looking down the length of his body to see Hannibal walking towards him. Both his view of the sky and of Hannibal are perfectly clear despite the loss of his glasses.

             “Let me guess, drawn and quartered hex?” Will says smiling. Hannibal is circling him, appearing to inspect his work.

             “You know your Latin, yes. How does it feel? I admit I’ve never tried to put a slowing charm on top of it, although you don’t look in excruciating pain so I’m guessing it worked.”

              “Yeah, I would say so. I feel pressure, pulled taught, but no pain.” Will tries to pull against the invisible restraints and can’t get more than a centimeter of give. Hannibal is now standing near his feet but from Will’s point of view he appears between his legs. Will feels a brief heat to his cheeks at the suggestive position, realizing the vulnerability he is presenting right now.

             “Say when and I will release you Will.” It shouldn’t sound as dirty as it does but Will’s mind has apparently gone there and there’s no going back.

             “Yeah, I’m good.” No sooner spoken than he is falling to the ground unceremoniously, the wind briefly knocked out of him, and he hears a crunch on his left side. Hannibal extends a hand looking slightly more amused than is polite but Will can’t bring himself to care. He takes the hand, feels that same tingle where their hands meet, and stands up, brushing the grass from his robe, breathing fast and feeling pleasantly alive. He finds himself smiling, using muscles long unused.

             When he has removed most of the grass, Will sees Hannibal picking up his glasses which appear to be broken. Before Will can say anything, Hannibal waves his wand and says “Oculus reparo argenti.” Hannibal takes a close look at the glasses, then hands them back to Will with a knowing look on his face, although not judgmental. Will flushes slightly again being caught out at his fake prescription, it feels odd to be the one being seen instead of vice versa. As Will takes them he notices a glint of silver. Hannibal has not only repaired them but has added a touch of silver running around the edges, making them look ten times more expensive, which isn’t to say much but it’s still a huge improvement.

             “Thank you.” Will smiles. He can’t help but think how it is another link between himself and Hannibal, silver being a shared color between their houses.

             “It’s the least I can do, being the cause of their injury. I do like leaving things better than I found them, although I’ve found my definition of better is not always congruous with others’.”

             “No, it’s great.” Will pockets the glasses feeling like there’s no point in wearing them now. He may not know Hannibal well but he recognizes the man is highly intelligent, probably equal to Will so there’s no sense in pretending. Hannibal graciously doesn’t call attention to it and Will appreciates it.

             After a beat goes by, Hannibal speaks again, “So I have been told you have a gift for reading people.” It’s not explicitly a question but Will hears the question and laughs darkly.

             “Yeah I’d bet money you’ve heard more than that, especially if you heard it in Slytherin house.”

             “The source of the information is not a person I hold in high regard, but yes, you do appear to have a reputation in there.”

             “It’s not isolated to Slytherin house but I get the most flak from them so I’m not surprised.”

             “Are you a Legilimens?”

             Will looks up at that, having been pacing around looking at the scenery as they spoke, the topic of his reputation not one he particularly enjoys discussing but aware of the necessity.

             “No…not a Legilimens, although I suspect I would have a natural aptitude for it. It’s funny you mention it, Crawford tried to get me to take a Ministry course in it.”

             “Did you?”

             “No, I refused. I have a hard enough time keeping others’ thoughts at bay now. To actively go into someone’s mind…I worry I wouldn’t be able to find my way back.” Will isn’t sure why he keeps talking, but he feels like for the first time he’s telling someone who is actually cares, not just for curiosity or gossips sake. “You probably heard I helped out on a Ministry case, helped profile a murderer. It’s why Crawford made me a Prefect, my profile helped catch the guy. But…by the end I felt like I knew the murderer so well I almost was him. I could feel the joy he felt killing. It became hard to tell what my own feelings were…” Will shakes his head as if to shake off the memories. “Shortly after, rumors started that I’d lost my mind, that I would become a murderer, that I’m a freak…” Will takes a breath, “…and the rest is history.” He holds his hands out as if to say this is what you get.

             Hannibal has stayed still the whole time, eyes never leaving Will’s pacing form, posture relaxed but all of his attention on Will. The sun has begun to set, the pinkish orange sky reflecting off the lake. “Will…what do you see when you look at me?”

             Will stops his pacing and stares straight at Hannibal. Many people have asked him do this, as if he’s a party trick and he almost always either refuses or regrets it, but right now he really looks, his empathy reaching out towards Hannibal. Just like before, he doesn’t get much, not nearly as much as the average witch or wizard. “To be honest Hannibal, you are difficult for me to read. You are intelligent, that much is evident, but you have an aura of danger about you. It’s as if you’re wearing a mask, keeping yourself hidden. I know there’s more to you, but I can’t see it.” As Will finishes Hannibal smiles, apparently pleased with the answer, which Will takes as affirmation it’s correct.

            “Do you know what I see when I look at you Will?” Hannibal asks, staring straight at Will. Will feels his heart skip a beat, feels the intensity of Hannibal’s eyes on him, feels seen all the way to his core.

             He shakes his head, “No, what?”

             “Potential.” Hannibal takes a step closer to him, and Will remains rooted to the spot.

             Will blinks. “Potential? For what?” He swallows as Hannibal takes another step. He can’t help but feel he’s being stalked by a predator but doesn’t feel threatened, it’s a confusing but not unwelcome feeling.

             “Anything Will. Anything you want.” He says it with such certainty, Will can’t help but believe it for just a moment. He knows he’s intelligent and capable, but since his experience with the Ministry he’s really just been living moment to moment, trying to survive the onslaught of sensory input and not lose himself in the process. Will briefly lets the question of what he wants run freely through his mind. He can’t say with any certainty what he really wants, other than keeping this interesting man in his life.

              The sun is now setting in earnest and Will feels a chill in the air, he has to get back for his Prefect patrol. They walk back to the castle, shoulders brushing occasionally, and Will feels more at peace than he has in a long time. They part ways at the staircase and Will turns down the corridor to do his nightly rounds.

 

*

 

              Will is in the last leg of his patrol and turns around the corner when he hears an odd sound. Right as he clears the corner, he sees a flash and his attention goes there, trying to reconcile what he is seeing. In that moment of confusion, he is knocked to the floor from behind. He turns his head to see his attackers and catches a glimpse, but they all have hoods over their heads and Slytherin scarves (of course) tied over their faces. Great just what I needed Will thinks. He has to give it to them, he’s caught so many students in their attempts that they have adapted to his blind spots. His empathy is good and his wand draw time above average but if he doesn’t see them coming, he’s just as vulnerable as any other student. Will tries to scramble up but is pushed back down and feels a harsh kick to his ribs when he hits the floor that knocks the wind from him. All he can do is try to curl in to protect himself as the kicks keep coming. He thinks he counts three attackers but isn’t 100% sure. In a bid of desperation, he tries to grab his wand from his robe but the pain from his ribs makes the move unsuccessful. Once it’s clear Will isn’t going to be able to retaliate if they let up, the attackers run around the corner, escaping, leaving Will gasping on the cold stone floor.

              Will shifts, pushing himself towards the wall and gets a sharp pain for his effort but endures it with gritted teeth. Once in a seated position, he takes in the situation, recreating the chain of events. He sees the remnants of what he suspects is a Whiz-bang from Zonko’s Joke Shop, that’s what the flash was. Now that his adrenaline is fading, he feels the pain more, a sharp pain on every inhale. He tries to stand but on his first attempt the pain is so strong he grunts and slumps back down, breathing heavily. He’s mentally preparing to try again when he hears footsteps approaching, and is surprised when Hannibal is the one to turn the corner.

              Hannibal spots him immediately, drops whatever he was holding and kneels beside him. “Will? Are you okay? What happened?” He feels Hannibal’s hands moving over him, first tilting his face up to the light, turning his head from side to side, pushing his hair out of the way. It feels better than it should, his fingers leaving a tingling trail behind them and Will can’t help but close his eyes at the tenderness he feels.

              “Some guys jumped me as I came around the corner. Chest hurts when I breathe.” At that Hannibal’s hands move to his abdomen, gently prodding and feeling, leaving a tingling in their wake despite being over his clothes. He gasps as Hannibal apparently finds what he’s looking for, and Will recoils which only makes the pain worse.

              “I think you have a broken rib. I can take you to Madame Pomfry...or if you want…I can heal it for you myself.” Will looks at Hannibal’s face and disbelief must show on it because Hannibal elaborates. “I’m in training to become a healer with Madame Pomfry.” Will takes that in and thinks. He’s heard horror stories of untrained wizards trying to mend bones with disastrous outcomes, but if he goes to Madame Pomfry, he will have to report the incident and he really doesn’t feel like doing that right now.

              Will nods. “Okay, yes, you do it.”

              Hannibal looks him directly in the eye, as if he wasn’t expecting that response. “Do you trust me Will?”

              Will meets his gaze and holds it as he says, “Yes, I trust you.” Despite knowing him for less than 24 hours, Will realizes it is true. He distrusts nearly everyone but for some reason he trusts this man he knows next to nothing about.

              With that, Hannibal pulls out his wand, aims it at Will’s abdomen, and with a swish and flick utters “Bracchium immendo” with a look of severe concentration on his face. Will feels a pull in his chest, then hears a pop followed by a jolt of discomfort, but realizes instantly it doesn’t hurt to breathe anymore. Will senses he may be able to move now and shifts to sit up straighter, picking up his glasses and pocketing them.

              “Okay?”

              “Yes, I think so. Thank you.” Hannibal offers Will his hand and Will takes it, feeling that tingle again, allowing Hannibal to help him up. He grunts in pain a little as he gets himself upright, noting that Hannibal has put his arm around him, supporting some of his weight. It feels intimate somehow.

              “Can you walk?”

              Will takes a step and winces without Hannibal’s support but it’s bearable. Hannibal notices and puts his arm back around him.

              “Allow me to help you back to your dorm. Later I can send you something to help with the bruising and pain.”

              Will nods. Without letting go of Will, Hannibal pulls out his wand, points it at the supplies he was carrying and says “Locomotor sequitur.” The boxes and vials lift and begin to follow them as they start to walk towards Ravenclaw tower, Will directing Hannibal when he is unfamiliar with the way.

              “What were you doing? Before you found me?” Will tries not to make it sound accusatory, but he is curious.

              “I volunteer with Madame Pomfry twice per week, usually Tuesdays and Thursdays. She asked me to go get some snake fangs, billywig stings, and wolfsbane. I have a note from her if you need it, Prefect Will.” Hannibal says this with a smile, teasing, knowing Will won’t ask for it.

              “That’s not necessary, healer Hannibal.” Will teases back, the banter coming naturally. Will smiles, an occurrence happening more often lately. He wonders if this is what making friends feels like. He finds he rather likes Hannibal’s company. “She must be preparing for the Quidditch tryouts next week.” Hannibal looks at Will and raises an eyebrow, apparently not following Will’s train of thought, so Will continues. “Every year during Quidditch tryouts a ton of kids get sent to hospital wing after being knocked out, either by a bludger or falling off their broom. I imagine Madame Pomfry will need a lot of Wideye potion, hence those ingredients.”

              Hannibal smiles wider, impressed, not used to having things explained to him but not averse to it either. Will’s logic is sound and Hannibal thinks he can see how Will’s empathy combined with his sharp mind can allow for leaps and connections to be made that could certainly help an unsolved murder case. Maybe others find it disconcerting but Hannibal is intrigued by how Will’s mind works. “Well if that is the case, thank you for the notice, I shall review the concussion protocols thoroughly before next week.”

              They reach the door to Ravenclaw tower and Will knocks on the eagle door knocker. “What has an eye, but cannot see?” it asks. Before Will can answer, Hannibal has spoken.

              “A needle.” The door swings open and Hannibal walks them inside as if it’s perfectly normal to enter another houses’ common room and steers Will towards a blue tufted chair by the fire. Will has to hand it to Hannibal, despite his Slytherin robes, he moves with confidence and authority as if he has every right to be there. Only a few other students are in the common room and a quick glance shows they all have stopped whatever they were doing and are staring at Hannibal with shocked expressions. Will is not surprised, Ravenclaws are sticklers for rules and it is technically against the rules for Hannibal to be in here. Will suspects it is only his status as a Prefect that keeps them from saying anything unless a logical reason forces them to.

              Hannibal places his hand on Will’s shoulder and Will looks up at him as if they are the only two in the room. The firelight flickers across Hannibal’s face causing him to look, Will thinks, simultaneously beautiful and ominous. Hannibal’s voice is lower than before, “I’ll send my owl soon.” Will nods, feeling that intimacy again, his skin alive where Hannibal’s hand is on his shoulder.

              “Thanks…for everything.” Hannibal removes his hand and turns to pick up the supplies that have been hovering behind them the whole way. Will imagines he could see the outline of where Hannibal’s hand was, he feels marked, branded.

              “You’re very welcome Will. Good night.” And with that Hannibal leaves and all eyes in the room turn to Will but no one says anything. After a few minutes of warming up by the fire, his hand over the spot Hannibal’s hand was on his shoulder, Will goes up to his dorm room and changes for bed, moving gingerly. He lifts his shirt and looks at his abdomen. It doesn’t look as bad as he thought it would, some pink and light purple marks, but he suspects it will look worse tomorrow.

              Once in bed, Will hears a tapping on the window. He opens it and in flies a beautiful owl that drops a small tin along with a jar and an folded piece of parchment with his name written in elegant script. Will grabs opens it. It reads:

 

Dear Will,

In the jar is star grass salve you can spread on any particularly painful areas. The tin contains bruise removal paste, although it may be too soon to use it tonight. Both have an exceptionally long shelf life so feel free to keep them for future use (although I sincerely hope you won’t need them). Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to aid in your recovery. I look forward to our next meeting. Sleep well.

Sincerely,

Hannibal Lecter

 

             Will smiles as he reads the letter. He looks forward to their next meeting too. Will sees the owl is still perched in the window frame, as if waiting to be dismissed. He grabs a bit of parchment and a quill, quickly penning back a response.

 

Hannibal,

I look forward to our next meeting as well. Thank you for today, despite the injuries, I can’t recall a day I have enjoyed more recently.

Will

 

             Will feels bold as he writes it, something he probably wouldn’t say out loud but can’t help writing the words before he loses his nerve. He secretly hopes his words warm Hannibal the same way Hannibal’s did for him. He folds the parchment, writes Hannibal’s name on the outside and then realizes he doesn’t know how to get the owl to take it. Will has never had an owl of his own and has not had many occasions to correspond with people. Is the message tied to the owl’s leg? Or is that muggle carrier pigeons? He can’t remember. Will didn’t pay attention how the owl deposited the items when it arrived. Deciding he has to try something, he unfolds the note, rolls it up, and ties it with a spare bit of twine.  Will then approaches the owl, attempting to tie the note to it’s leg. Before he can get even remotely close enough, the owl nips at his hand painfully, nearly drawing blood. Will retracts his hand and narrows his eyes at the owl. The owl narrows its eyes back at him, then flies into the room and swoops down. He nearly hits the floor, because that owl is big and those talons look sharp, but as it descends, it snatches the note from his hand, and flies out the window. Will rushes to close the window and rubs his finger the owl bit, shaking his head with good humor he usually can’t muster. What a day.

             With that done, Will sits back down on his bed, draws the curtains, and opens the star grass salve. It’s texture and color remind him of a cross between aloe vera gel and Vaseline, and the smell reminds him of lemon grass but slightly more…pungent. Not unpleasant though. He scoops some out and rubs it over the most tender area, the right side of his chest over his ribs. Within moments he already feels the pain receding, then pulls his shirt back down and wipes his hand on his pajama bottoms. At that moment he hears other students coming in to get ready for bed. Will puts the tin and jar in his drawer and then picks up the letter intending to do the same but stops. He feels silly but can’t help himself, as he opens the letter again and smells it. It’s barely detectable but it has a faint scent of that indescribable expensive smell he now associates with Hannibal. Will smiles, puts the letter away, and falls asleep easier than he has in a long time, no nightmares to be found.

 

*

 

              When Achilles returns, Hannibal is surprised to see him clutching some crumpled, tied parchment. Hannibal unties it, reads it, and smiles, surprised at the affection he is developing for Will, inconvenient but not unwelcome. Hannibal looks over to the bunk nearest to him where Francis Dolarhyde is sleeping. Hannibal has always had a strong sense of smell, and tonight he smelled Francis’, Crabbe’s, and Goyle’s scents on Will, no doubt they were the attackers. Holding the parchment in his hand, a plan starts forming in his mind.

 

*

Wednesday

 

              The next morning, Will checks his abdomen and it is quite mottled in bruises, but the pain is near non-existent. He grabs the bruise removal paste and rubs the yellow cream over the whole area. It smells slightly of almonds he discovers, and his stomach growls anticipating breakfast. As he gets ready, Will wonders if his life is at a turning point, if one person can really change one’s life so much. He isn’t prone to hoping, for hope is a dangerous thing that often leads to disappointment, but he can’t completely push the anticipation of seeing Hannibal again out of his mind. Will catches his reflection in a mirror and sees the silver glint off his repaired glasses. He can’t help but see the symbolism in it, the color that Ravenclaw and Slytherin houses share, a visual representation of how his life has been noticeably altered the way his glasses are, just by having met Hannibal.

             Will walks down to breakfast and can’t help as his eyes scan the Slytherin table for the fine dark blond hair, and tells himself he’s not disappointed when he doesn’t see Hannibal. As he sits down at the Ravenclaw table and eats his breakfast, Will feels a few pairs of eyes on him from down the table. Evidently even Ravenclaw’s intelligence doesn’t prevent them from gossip, and word of Hannibal bringing an injured Will into the Ravenclaw common room has become cause for speculation. Will feels tendrils of curiously from every direction and eventually has enough of it and gets up to leave. As he is leaving, he passes Price and Zeller coming in to sit down. Price stops him mid-step, and says, “Will! What happened? Tell me everything!” Will shrugs him off and keeps walking, earning a curious eyebrow from Bedelia as he passes the end of the Ravenclaw table. As he leaves, he scans the Slytherin table once more and again doesn’t see Hannibal, so he heads back to the dormitory to grab his cauldron for Potions class.

 

*

 

             As Will arrives at the Potion’s classroom, he has a small moment of dread as he remembers that Potions is always sat two to a table. Whoever you sit with the first day you’re likely stuck with the rest of the year. At least everyone has their own cauldron, but he’s never had a desk partner he enjoys. He’s noticed they tend to fall in one of three categories: inane chatter, cheating off of him/letting him do all the work, or pestering him about his empathy/gift. He scans the room as he walks in and instantly realizes it’s a double class, Slytherin and Ravenclaw, as he sees the green ties around the room. At the back of the room he sees Hannibal seated at a desk and his breathing falters as he sees Bedelia standing nearby talking to him. Will starts walking their direction without really having decided to do so, figuring even if Hannibal has Bedelia for a partner at least he can sit somewhere in his vicinity. He is surprised to realize that spending a year near Bedelia is not deterrent enough to keep him away from Hannibal. For a moment Will wonders what would be a deterrent and no answer readily presents itself.  

             Hannibal’s eyes meet his as he approaches. A second later so do Bedelia’s and Will has to fight the urge to roll his eyes, readying himself for whatever crap Bedelia wants to give him, especially considering their last conversation regarding Hannibal. Surprisingly, Bedelia stays silent, although her body language is saying loads. She is leaning into Hannibal’s personal space on the desk and licking her lips occasionally. It’s obvious she’s in flirtation mode which apparently takes priority over needling Will, although Will has to admit seeing her throwing herself at Hannibal does needle him, although he doesn’t want to look too deeply into what that means at the moment.

             As soon as Will is in earshot, Hannibal turns his full attention to him, slight smile on his lips, “Good morning Will, I saved you a seat...” Hannibal pushes out the chair next to him with his leg, “…if you are amenable.” Anyone else doing that would look ridiculous, Will thinks, but Hannibal isn’t anyone and Will is in, hook line and sinker. Bedelia’s face behind Hannibal contorts to something akin to disgust as she ceases leaning on the desk, and Will has to suppress a laugh. Hannibal eyes him waiting for a response, eyes questioning Will’s expression, both hopeful and wary, and Will is overcome with gratitude and pride.

             “Yes, of course, thanks.” He rounds the desk behind Hannibal, giving a pointed look to Bedelia as she has to step away to accommodate him sitting down. Bedelia’s face shows multiple emotions, mainly shock, contempt, and irritation as he passes her. “Good morning Bedelia,” Will says, unable to keep the gloating tone entirely out of his voice.

             “Good morning Will,” Bedelia replies evenly with no real feeling behind it, and having lost interest, turns to find a seat without so much as a goodbye. Hannibal looks from Bedelia’s retreating form to Will, eyebrow raised in silent question. Will watches Bedelia as well, anyone else would have their tail between their legs but Bedelia walks tall and proud, not showing her hurt for anyone. She ends up sitting with a stoic Asian Slytherin Will recalls is named Chiyoh. Nearby he sees Price and Zeller setting up and on the other side recognizes the flash of red hair as Freddie Lounds with a pretty Slytherin he thinks is named Abigail.

              “I take it you two know each other,” Hannibal says.

             Will looks back to Hannibal who is looking at him like he is a particularly interesting puzzle. “Yeah Bedelia and I are well acquainted,” he says darkly.

             “Ex-girlfriend?” Hannibal guesses and Will laughs a little louder than he meant to, drawing the looks of some students nearby.

             “No, no, definitely not. It would be giving her too much credit to call her my mortal enemy. We just rub each other the wrong way, have since day one, even before my reputation. I guess you could say she was ahead of the trend.”

             Will begins unpacking his cauldron and supplies. Hannibal’s stuff is already set up, so he watches Will and raises an eyebrow at Will’s shoddy cauldron and bottom-shelf supplies. Feeling Hannibal’s stare, Will looks from his supplies to Hannibal’s, which are top of the line and look brand new. The contrast between the cauldrons is particularly striking, Hannibal’s is immaculate and shiny and Will’s has veins of cracks held together with welding, is rusted in places, and the lightness charm wears off daily. Will is used to being poor so this discrepancy doesn’t bother him as much as it once would have.

             “Will, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but what happened to your cauldron?” Hannibal goes to lift it to inspect it further and comes up short as the lightness charm Will placed on it this morning has already worn off, it’s getting shorter Will mentally notes. Will pulls out his wand and casts it again, all while Hannibal is looking at him aghast. Hannibal picks it up and inspects it with a frown.

            “It’s the same cauldron from when I started at Hogwarts, and even then it was second hand. My family didn’t have any spare money, so when I started here the staff scraped together supplies for me. My parents are muggles, my mother died when I was young. And my father… let’s just say he’s not the most stable person. Alternates between working on boat motors and drowning in whisky. Had some good memories hunting and fishing with him when he was sober, but the past few years he moves around so much I don’t even know where he is half the time. Every summer I have to borrow an owl to find him before end of term so I know where to ask for a train ticket to.”

             Hannibal looks more and more gobsmacked as he digests this wave of information, he opens his mouth several times to say something and then apparently changes his mind, as if not knowing where to start. “Borrow an owl?” is what eventually comes out.

             “Yeah,” Will unconsciously brings a hand to the back of his neck. “Usually the school lets me borrow one.”

             Hannibal’s thoughts seem to gel into a response, but at that moment Professor Snape walks in and no further conversation is had during class, although Will feels Hannibal’s gaze on him periodically. Once class is over, and Will has proven to Hannibal that yes his cauldron does actually work, they walk out of class together. It’s a novel sensation for Will, walking with someone, and he can’t deny it’s nice. Somehow having Hannibal nearby helps him drown out the sensory input coming at him from all sides, it’s like having a rudder or a focal point to keep him steady.

             Without realizing it they end up walking into the Great Hall together for lunch and Will realizes glumly that they must part ways here. Hannibal seems to have another idea though and when Will stops midway between their tables, Hannibal gently nudges him to continue walking towards the Ravenclaw table. Will isn’t sure what is going on but trusts Hannibal to see where this is going. He sits down and then Hannibal sits down next to him, between Will and the end of the table, mostly out of view of the other Ravenclaws. Hannibal reaches out to fill his plate and looks to Will expectantly to do the same. Automatically Will grabs whatever is in front of him (bread roll he mentally notes) and continues to look at Hannibal sitting next to him. Hannibal meets his gaze and asks, “Problem?” His body language indicates he could leave to the Slytherin table and automatically Will’s hand reaches out to grab his forearm, holding him in place.

             “No, no problem at all,” Will says and feels himself smiling. Hannibal smiles back as Will removes his hand, and they eat in companionable silence. A few seats down they hear Price loudly relaying the recent gossip: evidently three Slytherins were found this morning suspended over the fountain in the courtyard naked with the word “rude” written on their chests, the cold water lapping at their feet and bottoms. Apparently, the heads of house are trying to figure out who did it but so far they don’t have any leads, and the three boys claim they don’t remember anything, although are unharmed. He says rumor is Freddie Lounds got a picture before they were taken down.

             As Will hears this he takes a breath and looks at Hannibal who has an overly innocent look on his face. The wheels are turning in Will’s head and his intuition tells him that not only is Hannibal somehow responsible, but that those three are the ones who attacked him last night. It also clicks into place that Hannibal was not present for breakfast. Hannibal looks back at him inquisitively, waiting for Will to speak, continuing to eat his lunch, seemingly unconcerned. Will debates what to say as he looks, and finally lands on, “Really?”

             Hannibal continues to eat, not looking ashamed in the slightest, if anything he looks slightly smug. “I don’t know what you are talking about Will,” but Will thinks he catches a wink, “although I can’t say I have any sympathy for them. Rude people are no better than pigs and would have more value as meat than what their actions bring to society.”

             Will laughs and says quietly, “I don’t need anyone to fight my battles for me Hannibal,” as he picks back up his fork. Will can’t deny the flutter he feels in his chest at the thought of Hannibal…what, avenging him? But he’s not a damsel in distress that needs saving.

             Hannibal sets his fork down, looks Will straight in the eyes, and says seriously in the same quiet tone, “Of course you don’t. But certainly even a Prefect such as yourself can’t control if you inspire others into action on your behalf.” Hannibal picks back up his fork and smiles. Will smiles back and feels his world tilting but doesn’t mind one bit. Throughout his life Will hasn’t had many people looking out for him, so the fact that Hannibal, a man he just met, has decided that he cares about Will enough to, for lack of a better word avenge Will, touches him deeply. He wonders what it says about him that his favorite gift now is three naked men humiliated in his honor. He’s always known he’s somewhat fucked up, but maybe he’s found someone just as fucked up as he is. The thought brings a smile to his face and he turns back to his lunch, which for some reason has never tasted better.

 

*

 

              Will is delighted to realize that both himself and Hannibal have Alchemy together after lunch. His delight is short lived however when the second he sets foot in the classroom, Professor Dumbledore sends him to see Headmaster Crawford. Will sends Hannibal an exasperated look as he leaves. Nothing good ever comes from meeting with Crawford.

             Crawford’s office door is already open when Will arrives and Crawford is at his massive desk. “Good afternoon Will, sit down.” Will does as requested, waiting to find out what fresh hell this is, although if he’s honest with himself he has an idea. “Will have you heard about the three boys?” And there it is. Will nods. “Do you have any idea who did it?”

             Will takes a breath and the lie flows smoothly out of his mouth “No sir.” He is surprised to find he doesn’t feel any shame or guilt; he keeps waiting for it but it doesn’t come.

             “Alright well I need you to look into this, and let me know of anything suspicious. Anything Will. We can’t be having things like this happen on campus…” Will mentally wonders if Crawford would care if this happened elsewhere, only caring that it can make him look bad. “I’ve already gotten owls from the students’ parents and they are not pleasant Will. I need to get a lid on this and I’m counting on you. Report back when you have something.” This last part is said as a dismissal and Will stands up to leave, the light catching on his Prefect’s badge, and he wonders not for the first time if they made a mistake giving him this.

Chapter Text

             

             Will and Hannibal are sat on the grass near the lake in what has quickly become their spot. Over the past month, Will is fairly certain he and Hannibal have become friends. They do all the things friends typically do together: study, eat, hang out, talk, etc. Will has also stopped wearing his fake glasses, as Hannibal’s semi-constant presence works better at modulating his empathy than they do anyway. His glasses are safely tucked away in his nightstand; if anyone has noticed the difference, they haven’t commented on it. He’s not sure if he should be grateful or insulted.

              Will’s gotten to know more about Hannibal over the past month as well. There are still some gaps, and he still is difficult for Will to read, but he has learned that Hannibal was born in Lithuania into a wealthy pureblood wizarding family. His father was a count and he had a younger sister named Mischa. According to Hannibal, both of his parents were killed during the Voldemort conflict and during that time both himself and his sister were taken hostage by Death Eaters, who ended up killing Mischa. After his escape, Hannibal was placed in a muggle orphanage, but was so traumatized that he was mute for a little over a year. Hannibal says he thinks that helping shield the younger kids from the older bullies at the orphanage helped him find purpose again, having failed to protect Mischa. After that, Hannibal says he was taken in by his uncle Robert and aunt by marriage Lady Murasaki, who placed in him at Durmstrang. Despite being behind his peers, he was able to make up the time he missed by end of that school year. When asked why he transferred from Durmstrang, Hannibal says his uncle and aunt moved. Will has a suspicion there is more to the story, but doesn’t press it.

              Will has also come to learn that Hannibal has a bit of an ego, but that often his hubris is warranted because the man is quite talented. It’s no wonder he has a fan club, or at least that’s what Will mentally calls them, girls from pretty much every house that look at him with hearts in their eyes. Additionally, Hannibal’s talents have commanded him a healthy respect (and maybe fear, Will reckons) from most of the boys.

              “Show me the movement for the DQ hex again,” Will asks Hannibal, who is sat on the grass, back against a tree sketching something, obviously no longer concerned that he will be flung into the air at any moment despite Will’s attempts. Will coined the nickname for Hannibal’s ‘drawn and quartered hex’ last week, and while Hannibal never uses the term, he also doesn’t seem to discourage Will from using it. Will has been attempting the hex on Hannibal for the past half hour with no success. Normally Will is great at learning spells taught in school, but for some reason Hannibal’s spells are harder for him to pick up. He’s not sure if it has to do with the teacher/author of the spells or himself as the student. Hannibal claims he’s never tried to teach his spells to anyone so he has no frame of reference, but of course his theory is that Will is the problem, not him. There’s that ego, Will thinks.

              Hannibal sets down his sketch pad and Will catches a glimpse of Hogwarts castle that’s stunningly accurate. The man has too many talents, Will thinks, he’s like a modern-day renaissance man. Hannibal pulls out his wand and demonstrates again the wand motion for Will. Will starts off watching the motion but is distracted by the wand and looks closer.

              “What kind of wand is that?” He walks closer to Hannibal.

              “It’s not the wand Will, don’t try to blame it on that.”

              Will shakes his head, not what he was intending but it sparks a thought. “No, I’ve never seen one like that before. What is it, Rowan?”

              Hannibal holds it up for Will to inspect. “It’s Acacia, with a Dragon Heartstring core.”

              “That’s a more rare type of wood right?” Will tries to remember the specifics from Intro to Magic. Of course, everyone in that class was just waiting to learn about their own wand and didn’t pay much attention to the others. He doesn’t recall ever meeting anyone with an Acacia wand.

              “I believe so. It is said to be a very particular wood that can be tricky, that often it will only produce magic for its owner, and may withhold all magic unless the user is particularly gifted, hence why it is not common. It also requires subtly in use, but is quite powerful.” Will thinks Hannibal looks too pleased having an excuse to make himself look good. The image of a peacock preening briefly pops into Will’s mind.

              “Only works for gifted wizards, and that’s you of course,” Will gently ribs, sarcastically. Over the past month he’s noticed no one challenges Hannibal or gives him a hard time. He is very popular, especially with the girls, but all the interactions Will has witnessed have the men being polite and respectful, but not overly friendly. He’s not sure what to make of it but continues to prod Hannibal, he doesn’t seem to mind. Isn’t that what friends do?

              “I don’t make the rules Will, the wand chooses the wizard and all that.” But Will thinks he looks pleased at the acknowledgement all the same.

              “Can I see it?”

              Hannibal hesitates for a millisecond, then asks, “May I see yours as well?”

              Will nods and feels that intimacy again as they trade wands. It feels odd holding a different wand. Hannibal’s is a similar color to his and appears to be the same length, but feels totally different. He can’t quite name what feels different, a sense of expectation is the closest he can come up with, which makes sense if what Hannibal says is true.

              He looks over and sees Hannibal inspecting his wand. “Mine is Walnut with a Phoenix feather core,” Will offers. Hannibal looks up at Will curiously.

              “Phoenix feather? My understanding is that is quite rare as well.”

              “Yeah, supposedly they can produce the broadest range of magic, although I’m having a hard time believing that at the moment.” He shoots a pointed glare at Hannibal as if it’s his fault Will can’t successfully reproduce his hex. “Supposedly they also are prone to taking initiative on their own, when I got it Ollivander said it would be hard to tame, but to be honest I’ve never had a problem.”

              Hannibal raises Will’s wand towards a rock on the ground and asks, “May I?”

              “Sure.” Will turns to watch, curious what will happen. He’s seen his classmates swap wands occasionally and usually the results are explosive. He takes a step back just in case.

              “Wingardium leviosa,” he hears Hannibal say and they both watch the rock on the ground. Nothing happens and Hannibal looks perplexed. Will smiles leaning against a tree, somehow it’s cute to see Hannibal so intensely concentrated on something so small.

             “Wingardium leviosa,” he tries again and this time the rock vacillates about inch off the ground, and after a moment it hovers like it is supposed to. Hannibal looks pleased, and Will turns his attention back to Hannibal’s wand in his hand. As soon as he does, he hears a splash and turns to see the rock gone and Hannibal looking between the lake and Will’s wand, confused. He eyes the wand as if it has betrayed him.

             “I take it you didn’t do that?”

             “No…I suppose that was your wand taking initiative, although to what end is not clear.” Hannibal sounds mildly irritated.

             “Maybe it’s getting to know you,” Will offers, smiling. Will turns back to Hannibal’s wand and points it at Hannibal, taking the stance he’s been using to practice the DQ hex. “May I?” He has a fiery glint in his eye, it feels dangerous and risky, he knows he should start with a simpler spell like Hannibal did, but he feels a rush as he waits for Hannibal’s response.

             Hannibal looks at Will with a smirk, apparently entertained by Will’s request, a challenge in his eyes. He raises Will’s wand and takes the same stance. In this moment Will can read him loud and clear. He doesn’t think it will work and when it doesn’t, he’s going to use Will’s wand against him. Will wants to wipe that smirk off of his face.

             “Of course…if you can.” His smile is shark-like and Will feels an answering one on his face.

             “Ducartur hiburnis!” Will recites the incantation, waves the wand, and immediately feels power coursing through him. A moment later he sees Hannibal’s body being flung up into the air. Will has the wherewithal to add “Arresto trahere,” shortly after but he sees the moment or two before it kicks in, Hannibal’s face contorted in a grimace of pain, before it eases to surprise. Hannibal remains suspended mid-air on his back, arms and legs splayed, as Will walks over to him.

            “So what was that you were saying about Acacia wands only working for a gifted wizard?” Will teases. Hannibal watches him as he approaches, wide-eyed.

             “It would appear my wand has deemed you adequately gifted,” Hannibal offers, staring at Will in surprise, his hair slightly scattered in his eyes. Once Will is closer he sees Hannibal look to each of his appendages, apparently testing out the imaginary restraints with interest.

             “Your wand feels more powerful than mine does.” And dark Will thinks, he worries he likes this feeling too much.

             “That is likely the dragon heartstrings. It is the most powerful of all the wand cores. Let me down please, Will.” Will releases him, offering him a hand up. He still feels that tingle every time they touch.

             “Did it hurt?” Will asks.

             “Yes, it was satisfactorily painful.”

             “Sorry about that… wait, ‘satisfactorily’?”

             “No apology necessary Will. All knowledge is valuable and now I know to what degree it will incapacitate someone. Thank you.”


              Will laughs, “Anytime” he says sarcastically but with a smile. Suddenly Will has a thought and turns to Hannibal. “Try my wand again.”

             “Why?”

             “Just do it, any spell, I have a theory.”

             Hannibal takes the DQ stance and points Will’s wand at him, a dark smile on his face. “You’re sure?”

             To be honest Will was expecting a trivial piece of magic to test his theory, but this is Hannibal who he just hexed with his own spell so of course he wants some retaliation. Will smiles, go big or go home he supposes. “Hold on.” Will closes his eyes and tries to will his wand to work for Hannibal, for it to do whatever he asks it to do, for it to welcome Hannibal. If it’s true his wand can take initiative, maybe it can also take direction from its owner? Only one way to find out. He opens his eyes, meeting Hannibal’s curious gaze. “Alright, go.”

             Hannibal casts the spell, and Will is again whisked up into the air, Hannibal’s wand falling from his hand and he feels pain as his arms and legs are pulled in opposite directions. Just as he grits his teeth the pain abates and again, he is suspended mid-air. Hannibal looks at him, then to Will’s wand, then back at Will almost suspiciously.

             “Try something else,” Will says.

             Hannibal eyes him and says “Accio wand.” Hannibal’s own wand flies back to him and he catches it easily. He walks over to him, and Will feels the full weight of his attention, trying to figure out what is going on.

             “What are you doing?” Hannibal asks, scrutinizing, tone suspicious.

             “Let me down.”

             For a moment Hannibal looks like he forgot Will’s state and he releases Will, helping him up. As Will brushes the grass off he explains, “I noticed my wand only worked for you until my attention went elsewhere. I tried concentrating on willing my wand to work for you. Seems like it worked.”

              “Your wand needs your conscious permission to perform for others?” Hannibal sounds skeptical.

              “I don’t know, I’ve never let anyone use it before. I don’t make the rules.” Will parodies Hannibal’s words back at him from earlier.

              With a smile, Hannibal hands Will’s wand back to him. “It would seem that your wand does not innately trust me…but you choose to.”

              “Yes, I do.” There’s that intimacy again, Will thinks. “And it seems your wand likes me.”

              Hannibal smiles. “As do I.”

 

 

*

 

             The weeks leading up to Halloween have more mischief than usual, and Will catches at least one student every patrol doing something stupid. He gets ambushed again one evening after dinner by a group dressed as trolls complete with clubs, faces hidden by ugly masks. Will takes a blow to the face before he is able to flee far enough to get his wand out but by then the attackers have already run around the corner. Will turns the corner, feeling blood pouring from his nose and split lip, and sees the masks and clubs lying on the ground as well as at least thirty students milling about. With a sigh, Will heads for the library, hoping Hannibal is still there.

             Thankfully, Will finds Hannibal where he left him, and Hannibal’s eyes go wide seeing Will’s condition, instantly packing up his stuff. Will leads them to the Prefect’s bathroom, not wanting an audience for his injury. On their walk over, Hannibal, having realized that Will had no way to contact him, gave Will specific instructions on how to summon his owl Achilles should he ever need to reach him. Will looks skeptical, remembering his last interaction with Achilles, but files the information away. Hannibal must see the hesitation on Will’s face and assures him, “I want you to always know where you can find me.” Will’s cheeks color slightly but he nods his understanding.

             Now he and Hannibal are sat facing each other in front of the mirror in the Prefect’s bathroom. Will washed most of the blood off, now touching a towel gingerly to his face to dry it, trying to get a good look in the mirror to assess how much damage was done. It looks like what it felt like, he has a split lip and the beginnings of that awful bruising one gets under their eyes when they get hit in the nose. Will is wondering why the nose doesn’t bruise when Hannibal grabs his face gently, turning it from side to side. Will secretly loves how Hannibal touches him, never asking permission, just does it as if he is entitled to, like Will is his property. Will knows it can’t be healthy to like that, but it doesn’t change the fact. Over the past month, Will has come to terms with the fact that he is attracted to Hannibal. The first time he realized it, it took him a few hours to reconcile the fact that he was attracted to a man, something that he couldn’t recall ever happening before, but he found it didn’t bother him, more of a surprise than anything. Truthfully, he is more than happy to just have Hannibal as a friend, in fact he’s the best friend Will has ever had. But it’s moments like this when he feels Hannibal so close, skin tingling where he touches him, that makes him wish he were braver to…well…he doesn’t know what he would do and that’s part of the problem. Occasionally Hannibal seems to flirt with him but Will can’t be sure, Hannibal is charming with most people he talks to, hence the fan club. That thought brings Bedelia to his mind and Will pushes her from his thoughts. Disgust must show on his face because Hannibal looks at him with concern, and Will melts a little inside. It’s addictive having someone care about you.

              “Sorry, did that hurt?” Hannibal’s tone is soft and Will melts a little more.

              “No, sorry I was distracted.” Hannibal looks at him curiously but doesn’t comment.

              “You know Will, I feel like I may not need to volunteer for Madame Pomfry anymore if you keep this up. I’m getting a lot of practice just managing your injuries.” His tone is light and teasing.

              Will laughs. “Glad I can be of service. What are friends for after all?”

              Laughing as well, Hannibal then focuses his eyes on Will’s face. “Okay ready?” Will nods.

             Hannibal continues to cradle his face with one hand and raises his wand with the other. “Episkey” Will feels his lip get hot and tingly where it was split, followed by a cooling sensation. Hannibal then sets down his wand, still holding Will’s face and turns him slightly. Will feels him brush his thumb over his lip, checking it gently, as if Will is something precious. Will can barely breathe, the intimacy nearly overwhelming.

             The moment passes as Hannibal smiles and releases Will, apparently satisfied. “It looks healed. How does it feel?” Bringing his fingers up to touch his lip, Will finds it still tingles from where Hannibal was touching it.

             “Fine. Good. Thank you.” They are still close, knees touching slightly from where they sit opposite each other. The moment feels pregnant with potential, potential that is lost with a loud shriek and a giggle.

             “Oh hello Will!” The voice echoes through the chamber and Will cringes.

             “Hi Myrtle” Will replies, an unamused tone to his voice. She swoops over, her ghostly body hovering near them.

           “Who’s your friend?” Myrtle asks Will as she swirls around Hannibal once, taking him in. Hannibal watches her, occasionally glancing at Will.

            Before Will can reply, Hannibal, ever the polite conversationalist, introduces himself. “I’m Hannibal Lecter. And who might you be?”

            As Myrtle opens her mouth, Will supplies “This is Moaning Myrtle, ghost of the Prefect’s bathroom.”

           At that Myrtle rounds on Will, floating right in front of him, screaming right in his face, “DON’T CALL ME THAT! My name is Myrtle Elizabeth Warren!!” Will is used to Myrtle’s hysterics and doesn’t react other than a blink. Hannibal watches the exchange amused. As quick as she angered, Myrtle switches back to a sweet friendly tone as she tell Hannibal, “But you may call me Myrtle.”

             Hannibal smiles at her politely. “It’s a pleasure meet you Myrtle.” Myrtle looks positively delighted by Hannibal. Will supposes he’s not the only one susceptible to his charm.

             Before Myrtle can continue, Will stands up, grabbing his bag. “We should get going, it’s almost curfew.”

             Hannibal’s eyes look at Will with amusement because never once has Will enforced curfew with him. Myrtle instantly looks sad, her posture slumped over dramatically. “Yes, you’re right. Apologies Myrtle, until next time.” As he stands, Hannibal offers Myrtle a slight bow and Myrtle visibly brightens. Will rolls his eyes and heads for the door.

 

*

 

              As they are eating breakfast one morning, Hannibal says, “You know Will, I don’t mind patching you up, but if you’re interested, I could teach you some techniques that might help you defend yourself, should you find yourself in a future altercation.” He speaks slightly under his breath, so the others nearby can’t hear.

              Will sets down his glass of pumpkin juice and looks at Hannibal, they both know it’s likely to happen again. “Techniques? What do you have in mind?” He copies Hannibal’s inconspicuous tone.

              “I was forced to learn methods to defend myself without magic during my time at the muggle orphanage. So far, the attacks you have endured are with brute force, not magic.”

              Will takes a bite of his bacon and thinks about it. It certainly couldn’t hurt. He swallows. “Yeah, I’m interested.”

              “How about after class today? By the lake?” Unbidden, Will has a sudden vision of getting flung repeatedly onto the cold hard ground outside and cringes.

              “After class sounds good, but I think I have a better idea for the location…” Hannibal hands Will the section of the Daily Prophet that they are sharing, like they have come to do every morning, and Will smiles, plan forming in his mind.

 

*

 

              After class they meet like usual, and Will leads Hannibal to the seventh floor. Once they arrive, Will realizes he’s not quite sure where to go. He was told the Room of Requirement was on the seventh floor across from a tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy, but hell if he knows who that is or where that tapestry is. He enlists Hannibal’s help in looking for said tapestry, Hannibal going left and him going right. After a few minutes Will thinks he found it, about three quarters of the way down the hall. He runs down the hall to fetch Hannibal and they stand in front of it.

              Hannibal turns to Will, “Now what?” Hannibal, being a transfer to Hogwarts, was wholly unfamiliar with the Room of Requirement when Will explained it to him. Will feels a little naïve, having been at Hogwarts going on six years and being a Prefect, he supposes he should know how to find this room. Oh well, better late than never he thinks…

              Will turns around and faces the blank wall behind them, seeing Hannibal copy him. “Supposedly we just need to walk past this area three times while thinking of what kind of room we want, then a door should appear.”

              “Really?” Hannibal looks like that sounds highly unlikely.

              Will shrugs. “Only one way to find out.” He starts walking away from the area, but stops when he sees Hannibal isn’t following. “You coming?”

              “I’d like to observe, if that’s alright.” Will sighs, turns, and continues walking. He suspects Hannibal either doesn’t want to look like an idiot walking back and forth, or wants to watch Will look like an idiot walking back and forth. Or both.

              When Will is about twenty feet away, he starts thinking about a room to train in, something with soft mats on the floor, maybe a mirror, like a gym. He mainly focuses on the soft mats. Once he has a mental image, he begins walking, ignoring Hannibal as best he can as he walks past the area, then turns and repeats the process twice more. On the third pass he hears a rumbling and stops, watching the wall as suddenly a large wooden door appears. With a grin he turns to Hannibal as if to say look what I did. Hannibal walks forward, looking interested. Once he’s beside him, Will opens the door and sure enough, it’s a large well-lit room, with a mirrored wall off to one side and the entire floor of the room is soft durable mats.

              “How’s this?” Will can’t keep the pride out of his voice, he thinks he did a good job. They walk in and Hannibal takes a lap of the room, occasionally touching things. As Will shuts the door behind them he’s suddenly very aware of the privacy this room offers. In truth, nowhere at Hogwarts are you guaranteed total privacy; this room is likely the closest.

              “Excellent,” Hannibal finally replies, apparently satisfied with his assessment of the room. Will sets down his stuff in the corner and takes off his robe and shoes, seeing Hannibal do the same. As he watches, Will can’t help but notice how nice Hannibal’s socks are. It’s an odd thought to have but everything the man own’s appears to be the best quality, in stark contrast to Will’s ancient ones.

              “Okay sensei, let’s see these techniques of yours.” Will teases him. Hannibal smiles good naturedly, and walks over to him on the mats.

              “Your attackers often try to get you from behind, for obvious reasons, so let’s start with an escape that allows you to draw your wand quickly, should you desire to.” Will nods and Hannibal directs him to stand behind him. “Try to hold onto me and I will escape,” Hannibal instructs. Reaching out, Will tentatively places his arms around Hannibal’s shoulders and chest. For as much as Hannibal touches him, Will suddenly realizes the reverse is less common. “Tighter Will.” Will tightens his grip which presses his body flush against Hannibal’s, he can smell that expensive smell Hannibal always has and can feel his body heat and firm muscle, it’s lovely. Will catches a glimpse of them in the mirror, pressed closely together and blushes slightly.

             “Okay, watch,” Hannibal’s instruction pulls Will’s attention back. Will observes as Hannibal twists and drops down in his grip and suddenly, he’s out, Will left holding air, and Hannibal standing about three feet from him. “You need to twist to create space, then drop down under the hold, once more.” They go through it again and Will holds as tight as he can just to see if it makes a difference. It doesn’t.

             “Now you try.” Hannibal stands behind him, placeing his arms around him. Will can feel that they’re both warmer now. “Just do the motion first,” Hannibal instructs. Will twists and drops out of the hold and takes a step. “Good, now let’s try for real.” As Will steps back into position, this time Hannibal has him in a near crushing hold. He spares a moment to remember how strong Hannibal is. Will tries to twist but can’t get enough motion to be able to drop out. “Use your whole body Will, leverage.” Will tries again, doing as Hannibal says, and sure enough, he creates just enough give to escape. Realizing his success, he’s smiles and sees Hannibal is too.

             “Very good Will, now come back. There may be times where your attacker is stronger than you where that method won’t work. Stand behind me.” Will does and grabs Hannibal again. “In the case where you can’t twist, depending on where they are holding you, you can try to elbow them, just thrust your elbow back as hard as you can.” Will feels Hannibal mimic the motion. “If you can, use your other hand to push the elbow back to add more force.” Will leans over and around Hannibal to see and nods his understanding. “If that is not possible, you can head butt them, although I don’t recommend that except as a last resort.” He shows Will the motion, Hannibal’s silky hair tickling his nose. “Okay, you try.” They switch places and Will practices the moves. When they get to the head butt move, as Will brings his head back, he swears he feels and hears Hannibal inhale.

              “Did you just smell me?” Will asks because that was really obvious.

              “Difficult to avoid. I really must introduce you to a finer aftershave. That smells like something with a ship on the bottle.” Will laughs at his ridiculous friend who appears to have no boundaries, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.  In fact, Will uses the generic stuff provided by Hogwarts, of course Hannibal would use fancy aftershave.

              “It actually has the Hogwarts crest on the bottle, and once I have a job then yes, feel free to class me up. Okay, what’s next?” Hannibal looks distant for a moment and Will imagines Hannibal is envisioning all the things he would do to make Will look less like riff raff, but comes back quickly.

              “How are you at punching?” Hannibal is now unbuttoning his cuffs and rolling up his sleeves. Will is probably staring longer than he should because how is it possible to have sexy forearms? Will shrugs, realizing he needs to answer the question.

              “I don’t know…average?” Will undoes his cuffs and rolls up his sleeves as well, as Hannibal stands in front of him.

              “In theory you shouldn’t need to use this as long as you have your wand. Punching someone requires you to be close to them which puts you at risk of them attacking you. See right now I can’t reach you.” Hannibal mimes at punching Will from a distance to illustrate his point, then steps closer into Will’s personal space. “Now I can try to punch you, but you have equal opportunity to punch me.” Will nods. “First, always keep a hand near your face and keep your body hunched forward slightly, you need to protect your head and your stomach, the two places punches can do the most harm.” Hannibal models the body position and Will mimics him. “Okay now when I punch, deflect it, push your forearm into my forearm. If I go for your stomach, step back or use your elbow.” Hannibal mock punches at him and he practices deflecting until he thinks he has it down.

             “Okay now I’m going to punch for real Will, get ready.” Will hears the warning in his voice, and heeds it, getting into position, eyes trained on Hannibal. He successfully blocks the first two but the third catches him in the stomach and he lets out an “oof” as the air is forced from him and he doubles over for a second. “Don’t forget to step back Will, your feet are not stuck to that spot.” Hannibal is watching him almost warily, as if unsure if he went too far. Will supposes most friends don’t punch each other but they aren’t most people, are they? Will catches his breath and offers a small smile, then nods and they practice a few more times, until Will is successfully blocking them all.

              “Alright, now you’re going to punch me. Make sure your thumb is on the outside of your fist like this,” Hannibal closes his fingers around Will’s fist which Will finds quite lovely, “and use your entire body to generate force, keep a wide base in your feet and turn at your hips and shoulders, like this.” He demonstrates. Will copies what he does, and Hannibal steps behind him, placing his hands lightly on Will’s shoulders. As he does this, Hannibal nudges his feet further apart with his foot, forcing Will to jump to compensate.

              “Jesus Hannibal you could just tell me to move.” Wills only half irritated, he likes any time Hannibal is this close to him. Hannibal leans in slightly, speaking right next to Will’s ear in a hushed tone, it feels intimate.

              “I could, but where is the fun in that.” He pulls back and Will can’t help the slight blush that creeps onto his cheeks at those words whispered in his ear. It’s times like this he thinks Hannibal might be flirting with him, but he can’t tell for sure. “Again,” Hannibal says. Will does the punching motion again and this time he feels Hannibal’s hands go to his hips, guiding them to turn with the punch. He feels Hannibal’s large warm hands on his hips and tries very hard not to think about it, the last thing he needs is an erection right now. When he has the body mechanic down, Hannibal returns to standing in front of him.

              “Okay, I think you’re ready. Get in your stance,” Hannibal instructs. Will does, and then Hannibal says, “Try to punch me. Aim for the face or the stomach.” Will practices the motions and Hannibal steps back slightly. “No Will, for real, try to punch me as if you’re fighting for your life.” Will steps back and out of form.

              “What? No, I’m not going to punch you, you’re about the only person in this school I don’t want to punch on any given day.”

              Hannibal laughs at that. “You won’t hurt me Will, listen to your sensei,” Hannibal jokes back with him. Despite this, Will still looks hesitant. “Do you need some motivation?” At that Will narrows his eyes.

              “What? No-” Before he can answer, Hannibal has swung at his head, full force and Will instinctively blocks it, but as soon as he does Hannibal is coming at him from the other side and he steps back. “Stop it!”

              “Or what Will?” Hannibal’s posture has changed and Will thinks he looks like he’s enjoying this too much, he almost looks feral, his shoulders hunched, hair falling over his eyes, mouth slightly open, breathing hard. He steps closer and Will instinctively steps back. “What will you do if I don’t stop?” Hannibal advances again, aiming for Will’s stomach, and Will blocks it and sends a punch to Hannibal’s face. Hannibal blocks it easily, but in that moment he looks positively giddy. “Yes! Again,” Hannibal’s voice is slightly rougher than before, and something in Will clicks, answering Hannibal’s call. Will feels his own posture change, more loose and hunched over and begins to advance on Hannibal and circle him slightly, dark smile on his face, matching the one on Hannibal.

             Will swings and swings and blocks. He doesn’t quite block one in time and it catches his lip. He thinks he might taste blood but somehow he feels no pain, it only heightens whatever this is he is feeling. He doubles down on his attempts and a punch grazes off Hannibal’s side as he moves out of the way. In that moment Will’s fist meets Hannibal’s face nearly full force and Will stops cold, watching. Hannibal’s face is turned away and Will sees him bring a hand up to his face as he turns towards Will. Will is nervous, how could he do this? He knows deep down Hannibal provoked this out of him, but he still feels terrible, feels worried to lose his best friend. His worries die the moment he sees Hannibal’s face though. Hannibal has some blood smeared from his lip to his chin, but his grin is contagious and Will finds he can’t resist it and grins back, a quick glance in the mirror showing he has some blood on his lip as well. What a pair they are Will thinks, looking down and smiling.

             Unspokenly, they take a break as Hannibal walks towards their stuff and drinks some water they brought. Will does the same, catching his breath and making a token attempt at wiping some of the blood away. In a morbid way he kind of likes it. What is wrong with me? Will thinks as he watches Hannibal, if this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

             After a moment, Hannibal turns to him, “I have one more technique to show you.” Will hears the unspoken question. He’s not sure how long they’ve been in here but it’s been awhile. Will nods, not wanting this to end. Returning the nod, Hannibal starts unbuttoning the collar of his shirt and removing his tie. Will’s earlier concern about arousal comes back full force and he looks away but copies Hannibal, figuring there is a reason. As he follows Hannibal back out to the center of the room, Will has the thought that he likes the look of their ties haphazardly tossed together on the floor. Down boy.

            Hannibal stands in front of him again, teacher mode back on.  “This is another option for if you get attacked from behind, it’s more aggressive than the previous one but also helpful if you have more than one attacker. Stand behind me Will.” Will does. “Now try to grab me, like before.” There’s a glint in Hannibal’s eyes and Will senses a trap but what choice does he have? He makes an earnest attempt to grab Hannibal but just has he’s gotten his arms around him, he feels a sharp tug and pressure on his arm, and the next thing he feels is weightlessness as he is flung in the air and lands hard on his back. He’s thankful he made the soft mats a priority when he created this room.

             Hannibal offers him a hand to help him up and they get into position again, this time Hannibal explaining. “When you realize someone is trying to grab you, try to grab one of their arms, as high up as you can, ideally with both hands, then tuck your shoulder into their armpit. Then as you lean forward, kneel and use gravity to help you pull them over you. Once they are over, you can let go, as I did for you, or you can try to hold on. If you hold on it can be quite painful for the person and may even dislocate their shoulder.” Will can easily imagine it.

              Hannibal stands behind him. “Okay your turn, practice the motions but don’t throw me yet.” Yet Will thinks smiling. Hannibal puts his arms around Will and instructs Will to grab his arm. “Put your hips back Will, that is the leverage point, further, yes like that. Then lean forward and pull, yes like that. Okay let’s try for real.” Again, Hannibal grabs Will from behind and Will follows the instructions, grabbing Hannibal’s upper arm, forcing his hips back into his, ducking and rolling Hannibal’s weight over him, remembering to let go. Will feels the momentum come easier than expected and sees what Hannibal means about leverage and gravity. He sees Hannibal on his back in front of him, hair mussed, cheeks pink, and Will feels powerful that he did this, and that Hannibal is beautiful like this. Will offers him a hand up and feels that tingle again.

             “Very good Will, once more?” Will nods and they get into position again. This time when Will pushes his hips back into Hannibal’s he isn’t sure if he feels the beginnings of an erection. His heart skips a beat and a blush rises to his cheeks, his own cock getting inspired by the thought that Hannibal might be enjoying this too. Will tries to clear his mind, and offers Hannibal a hand up, posture slightly more hunched than necessary. Hannibal takes his hand but just comes up to sitting. Eye level, great.

             “Let’s say they get you down on the floor like they did last time, come stand here and pretend to kick me.” Following his direction, Will lifts his leg but as he does, Hannibal grabs it and pulls hard. Suddenly Will is down on the mat with him, legs splayed out in front of him, arms behind him, again thankful for the cushion. “Again.” Will stands again and makes a motion to kick, but this time Hannibal twists his body and kicks out his supporting leg in kind of a sweeping motion, and with no leg to stand on Will falls on his side. No sooner has he hit the mat than Hannibal is over him, his shins holding his hips down and both of his wrists caught in Hannibal’s iron grip. Hannibal’s other arm is braced across his chest, any higher and it would be choking him. How did this happen? The position is rather reminiscent of sex and Will tries to will his erection away. Instinct has him writhing, trying to find a weak point of escape but he finds none. They are both breathing heavily, sharing the humid air between them. Will looks up at Hannibal looming over him, his hair falling straight down, skin flush, warm, alive. Unbidden an image forms in his head of him leaning up and kissing him and he pushes it away, not helping the arousal situation.

             “Okay, your turn.” Hannibal’s voice sounds a little gruffer than before and Will wonders if maybe this is affecting Hannibal too. It’s so hard to tell, he doesn’t want to risk crossing that line. He’s never had a friend like this and would rather have Hannibal as a friend than not at all. He’s relatively sure Hannibal’s rejection would be polite, but it would be so awkward Will would be mortified.

             Will lays down as Hannibal did and finds it harder than it looks to pull Hannibal’s weight down to him. He’s more successful with kicking out his supporting leg, although instead of falling backwards like he did, Hannibal is knocked forward on top of him, their bodies pressed flush together. On an impulse Will bucks up, wraps a leg around Hannibal’s, and throws all his weight one direction to flip them over, trying to mimic the position Hannibal had him in before. To his surprise it almost works. He does get Hannibal on his back, but his hands are clutched around Hannibal’s biceps and his pelvis directly over Hannibal’s. Will realizes in the moment oh fuck he is still hard but a millisecond later he thinks Hannibal might be as well. However, Will rationalizes that heat and friction can cause that state independent of desire.

             Hannibal’s looking up at him amused, cheeks flushed and fine hair messed up, he looks beautiful, Will thinks. “Not bad Will, good improvisation.” Hannibal’s voice is still rough around the edges and Will loves it. They wrestle a bit more with Hannibal giving tips here and there and Will finds it entirely pleasing having his body so close to Hannibal’s. If Hannibal notices Will’s state, he doesn’t comment on it, and Will certainly isn’t going to bring it up, but he’s fairly certain he’s not the only one affected. Eventually Will can’t escape and has to tap out. They both lay together on the mat looking up at the celling as they catch their breath, both panting, smiling and sweaty, eyes meeting occasionally.

             As they are packing up, Hannibal heals their lip wounds. Will sees no point in fixing his shirt or his tie so he is finished well before Hannibal. As Hannibal looks up from tying his shoes, he notices Will’s shirt is still open at the top, cuffs still rolled up, tie nowhere visible as Will leans against the mirrored wall waiting, and raises an eyebrow.

             “Where’s your tie Will?”

              “In my bag.” Hannibal gives Will a look, then turns to rummage through Will’s bag.


              “Hey!” Before Will can stop him, Hannibal has fished out Will’s crumbled blue tie, smoothing the fabric between his fingers, giving Will another pointed look.

              “What kind of Prefect doesn’t wear a tie?” Hannibal teases him.

              “The bad kind, like me. Come on, I’m hungry.” Will is 99% of sure it’s dinner time in the Great Hall, and sees no reason to dress up just for dinner. At this, Hannibal stands gracefully and holds Will’s tie out to him, intention clear. In response to this, Will crosses his arms defiantly

             “Will, you may not be as financially secure as some, but it costs nothing to look your best.”

             “Thanks mom, but I don’t need to look my best to eat dinner.” Will recalls the word “hangry” and feels it probably applies to him right now.


              “You realize we would already be walking down to dinner if you had just put on your tie when I asked you.” Hannibal’s eyes shine with unspoken laughter.

             “I don’t recall being asked.” Will sassily replies.

              “Will you please put your tie on?” Hannibal asks almost sincerely.

             “No. Why should I?”

             “Because I want you to.” Hannibal is smiling like he knows he’s won and Will supposes he has. Resigned, Will snatches the tie out of his hand and turns to the mirror, putting it on as Hannibal unrolls his shirt sleeves. Will ties his tie in record time, it’s not pretty but it’s on and he turns, ready to go. Hannibal stops trying to button his cuff when he sees Will in the mirror, his hands falling away. With a sigh, he steps towards Will, reaching out to fix the crooked tie.

             “What the hell Hannibal, seriously?” but Will makes no move to stop him, more surprised than anything, watching Hannibal’s long dexterous fingers.


              “It looked like a four-year-old tied it,” Hannibal replies, and Will can feel his breath on his face, he is so close.

             “It’s taking us four years to leave this room,” Will complains as Hannibal smiles, apparently enjoying needling Will as he fixes his tie. Will looks down, watching Hannibal’s hands adjust the fabric, and then looks up, realizing how close his face is. Will briefly imagines tilting Hannibal’s chin up and bringing their lips together, tasting the residual blood from their injuries, then shakes his head to dismiss it. Hannibal pats his tie, apparently satisfied, and steps back, continuing to try to do the buttons at his cuffs, which Will finds totally ridiculous. Stepping forward, Will grabs Hannibal’s arm, more roughly than is probably necessary, and buttons the button, easier with two hands. Hannibal watches him but doesn’t resist as he grabs his other hand and does the same, looking amused. Will then turns, grabs Hannibal’s bag and throws it at him roughly, forcing Hannibal to catch it or be hit with it. Will then picks up his own bag, slings it over his shoulder and walks to the door without looking back.

             “Come on, let’s go,” Will calls over his shoulder, not intending to wait any longer, and Hannibal follows him out into the hall, the door disappearing behind them.

             They arrive in the Great Hall and after a few bites of food Will feels his mood improving, feeling a little ashamed at his petulant behavior. Hannibal did him a favor and he doesn’t recall even saying thank you.

             “Thanks for teaching me,” Will says out of nowhere, pausing his eating and looking at Hannibal. Hannibal turns to him, apparently not having expected that if his expression is anything to go by.

             “You’re welcome,” he says, the most tentative Will has heard him, and he’s not sure what to make of it.

             “So, you learned all of that from your time at the orphanage?” Taking another bite of food, Will watches as Hannibal takes a sip of his pumpkin juice before he replies, seeming far away for a moment.

             “Yes…and more, unfortunately. It was not a pleasant time in my life…but experiences shape us Will, and those experiences got me to where I am today, so I have no complaints. I’m right where I want to be.” Will feels that intimacy feeling again, like they are the only two in the room and Will responds before he can think too much about it.

              “I’m happy you’re here too.” They share a small smile and finish eating in a comfortable silence.

 

*

 

             That night, Will’s nightmares have again taken a vacation. In their place, Will’s mind is filled with images of Hannibal on top of him, like they were when they were sparring, except this time Hannibal is kissing him and their shirts are gone, sweaty chests sliding together. In the dream, Will flips them over, as he did earlier that day, forcing Hannibal down on his back, pinning him with his arms and hips. Will takes a moment to look at his beautiful face and kiss swollen lips before he becomes aware that their pelvises are aligned and there is no mistaking that they are both aroused. He grinds his hips down onto Hannibal’s, erections sliding against each other through the layers of fabric. It’s like nothing Will has ever felt before and every time he moves he feels Hannibal move with him in tandem, building the pleasure higher and higher, it’s too good and—

             Will wakes with a start, covered in sweat, panting, and achingly hard. He takes a few breaths and swallows, taking in his state. He feels on edge, at the precipice, he knows there will be no ignoring it and going back to sleep. Part of his mind is uneasy at this realization, for one cannot control what one’s dreams are about, but one can control their actions following such dreams. And what does it mean to masturbate to the thought of your best friend? Will Hannibal be able to know somehow? Will’s logical brain is too tired to give this much thought, sleepy and focused on addressing the straining erection he has. He leans up to reach the curtains around his bed, pulling them so they are fully shut, then reaches for his wand, casting a silence spell, twice just for good measure.

             Will reaches under the blanket and pulls down his underwear and pajamas, just enough to free his cock and gives it one long stroke, shuddering as images from his dream flood back into his mind behind his eyelids. A curse and a blessing, his vivid imagination. In an aim to recreate the position from his dream, he turns over onto his stomach, wraps a hand around his length, and thrusts into it a few times, in his mind thrusting against Hannibal’s hard body below him. As he thrusts, Will feels the channel created by his hand get wet and slick with pre-come as his fantasy has now gone beyond the dream. Hannibal naked and sweaty below him, their cocks sliding together and against each other’s bodies. Will brings a fist up to his mouth and bites on it, sucking in a breath, still trying to be quiet, despite the silencing charm. Everything about this feels wrong and forbidden but also so so right. He pictures Hannibal’s face below him, his warm brown eyes intently focused on Will, his cheeks flushed and a sheen of sweat over his skin, his fine hair spread out around his head, some stuck to his forehead. He imagines Hannibal’s large hands on his hips, crushing their bodies together and he comes harder than he can ever remember coming before, palm pressed now wholly over his mouth as he can’t stop the moans and whimpers coming out of him. He rides out the final waves, twitching occasionally and finally removes his hand from his mouth; in the small amount of light he can see the indents on his knuckles where he bit earlier. Still catching his breath, he pulls his other hand out from under him and rolls over, what a mess. There’s a reason most guys do this in the shower. With his clean hand he grabs his wand and quietly says “Scourgify,” cleaning up his hand, the sheets, and a bit on his underwear and pajamas. Suddenly physically and emotionally exhausted, he sets his wand back down on the nightstand and falls into a deep dreamless sleep.

 

*

 

             A few days before Halloween, Will is ambushed by two students as he on patrol, both wearing masks, this time of goblins. One grabs him from behind, while other gets ready to punch him. In that brief moment, Will elbows back hard and feels the grip loosen enough for him to turn and escape using twist method Hannibal taught him. He has a moment where he should grab his wand but doesn’t, feeling heady with power that for the first time he has some influence in how this will play out. As punch guy rounds on him, Will grabs him by the arm, turns his body, and throws him to the floor, not letting his arm go and hears a pop. Adrenaline flowing, Will lets go and turns to other guy whose body language looks like he can’t decide what to do, run away or stand his ground - this obviously isn’t going how he thought it would. He must decide to stay because next thing Will sees is him rushing straight at him. They both grab each other’s forearms before the other can do any harm, and in the process, both are knocked to the ground, Will on his back. On instinct Will headbutts the guy and jerks his knee up into his abdomen. Will hears a crunch as he feels the man recoil and slump over off of him. All of a sudden, Will realizes he is no longer under attack. He stands up looking over the scene, feeling euphoric, powerful, no longer a victim; he almost wishes it wasn’t over.

             Will pulls the mask of the guy closest to him who is holding his abdomen, curled up, and it’s Slytherin Eldon Stammets. A sound catches his attention and Will turns to see punch guy pushing himself up to a seated position, favoring one arm. Will grabs his mask and as soon as it’s free, the guy, Tobias Budge (also Slytherin, of course), spits at him with a sneer on his face. Reacting on impulse, Will roughly grabs his shirt front and punches him in the face, Tobias unable to stop him with just one hand. Will lets go immediately after and notes his knuckles are bloody and he’s not sure if it’s his blood or not.

             In that moment Will hears voices nearby and knows he needs to act as a Prefect. He puts his bloodied hand in pocket and wipes at his face, noting his other hand is now smeared with blood. Oh well. After the right people are summoned, and the incident reported, Eldon and Tobias are sent to the hospital wing and Will is dismissed, although he is told he will need to meet with Headmaster Crawford in the morning.

             Will walks back to his dorm, still buzzing with energy. He feels keyed up, alive, high on the rush, validated with righteous vengeance. He wants to share this moment with Hannibal, feels absurdly like he would be proud of him. As he reaches his dorm, Will remembers what Hannibal told him about his owl and pulls out a piece of parchment and a quill. Staring it the parchment, he’s all of a sudden unsure what he would say. The adrenaline fading, leaving him drained, he settles for:

 

             Hannibal,

             Thought you’d want to know I used the techniques you taught me tonight and they worked well. Thank you. See you tomorrow.

              --Will

 

              By the time Will has finished writing it he’s not even sure it’s worth sending, having overthought the whole thing (and sees some of the blood from his knuckles smeared on the bottom), but seeing as how it’s already written he might as well. He summons Achilles and when he hears the tap on the window, Will gets nervous for another reason, his finger stings at the memory of this owl. Opening the window, Achilles is perched in the sill looking at him. Will holds out the parchment from where he stands, seeing the owl's beak snapping viciously at the motion, apparently remembering Will as well. Forcing himself to stand still, Will watches as Achilles looks from him to the parchment, apparently realizing Will does not intend to come closer, and lifts off, flying into the room. Will’s instinct is to duck but he tries to remain still as Achilles snatches the parchment out of his hand and is out the window. That done, he shuts it and finishes getting ready for bed.

              After the lights are out and he is climbing into bed he hears a tap on the window. Brian Zeller shoots him a look then turns over trying to go back to sleep. Will opens the window and Achilles flies in, drops a piece of parchment on Will’s bed, then returns to the windowsill. Will opens it and it reads:

 

              Will,

              Meet me outside Ravenclaw common room in 10 minutes.

              --Hannibal

 

              Will sighs, it’s not a question. He looks at Achilles trying to figure out how to dismiss him. He waves his arms in a shooing motion and Achilles snaps once at him before turning and flying away. Sighing, he closes the window and walks out into the common room, which is now empty as it’s close to midnight. When it’s been about eight minutes, Will tries to quietly open the door and peek out into the hall. He doesn’t see or hear anything, and just as he’s closing it, a hand catches the door and Hannibal sneaks in, closing it behind him. Hannibal is dressed more casually than Will has ever seen him, in pajamas with a green robe over them, hair soft, his feet in socks.

              “What are you doing-” Will hasn’t even finished his question before Hannibal is pushing him towards the light of the fire, a finger on his lips indicating Will to be quiet. Will allows Hannibal to sit him down and then asks quietly “What are you doing here?”

              Hannibal kneels in front of him, looking Will over for any injuries, instantly finding his knuckles and holding Will’s hand towards the firelight.

              “What happened?” Hannibal asks, apparently ignoring Will’s question. Will sighs.

              “Two guys jumped me wearing goblin masks, Tobias Budge and Eldon Stammets. I uh…I used what you taught me,” Will says with a smile, not sure how much detail to give.

              Hannibal looks at Will’s face and smiles back, then frowns slightly, letting go of Will’s hand and grabbing Will’s chin, turning him towards the fire, thumb touching his brow, and Will winces slightly.

                 Hannibal lets go and pulls out his wand, first pointing it at Will’s brow “Episky” he says quietly and Will feels his brow tingle and the pain recede. He then points his wand at Will’s knuckles and says “Cutis sanitatem,” and Will watches in amazement as his skin begins to regrow over the bloodied scabs of his knuckles. Hannibal brushes his thumb gently over his knuckles, apparently checking that they are healed. Will feels like he can’t breathe, his heart is beating fast.                

             “And how did you attackers fare?” Hannibal asks quietly, he seems more at ease now, Will notes, maybe he was worried about him, and Will can’t help the smile on his face.                

             “They got taken to the hospital wing…I have to go see Crawford in the morning.” Hannibal smiles a devilish smile, looking proud.                 

             “You know Will, I think Headmaster Crawford sees you as a fragile little teacup. The finest china, used only for special guests.”                

             Will laughs, tired, not sure what he means by that. “And how do you see me?”                 

             After a pause Hannibal replies. “The mongoose I want under the house when the snakes slither by.” Their eyes meet and Will feels caught in Hannibal’s spell. Will is not sure how much time has gone by before he hears Hannibal saying, “You should get some rest. I’ll see you tomorrow.” With that he stands, letting go of Will’s hand, and sneaks out the door, closing it quietly behind him, Will left with a goofy grin on his face. 

*

             Will is summoned straight to Crawford’s office the following morning. “What the hell Will?  I have two seriously injured students and they say you did it to them!” Will bristles.

             “They ambushed me, with masks on by the way. I just defended myself.”

             “Yes, you defended yourself alright - with your fists! Why didn’t you use your wand Will! There are better ways to handle things like this!”

             “It’s hard to get to your wand when you have two guys trying to beat you up.” Will is getting irritated. It’s true he doesn’t want to feel like a victim but it’s not his fault these guys chose to attack him.

             Crawford holds up his hands in a placating gesture. “Look, I get it. Don’t think I don’t know this wasn’t the first time, but as a Prefect you have to uphold order - not create more disorder. They’re seriously injured Will. I’ve already gotten owls from both of their parents.” Will suspects this is more about Crawford looking bad than the actual actions themselves. “They have both been suspended for their actions. But this can’t happen again Will, do you understand? Normally you would be suspended too but I’m making an exception for self-defense, just this time. If being a Prefect is putting too much pressure on you, I need to know. Is it?”

             Will thinks about it for a moment, it’s an out from this responsibility he didn’t ask for, but his internal fear of losing the fight between light and dark inside of him answers on his behalf and he finds himself saying “No,” before making a conscious decision to do so.

             “Okay. Now have you heard anything about the other incident?”

             “No, nothing.”

             “Well it hasn’t happened again so hopefully it was an isolated occurrence. That will be all Will.”

 

*

 

             Will arrives late to Charms and the class has already begun. Flitwick takes the pass Will got from Crawford and orients Will to the task of the day - Fio vinum – turning vinegar to wine. Will takes his seat near Alana and Beverly and they update him on their progress so far. The whole room reeks of vinegar and a quick glance around shows no one has succeeded yet, although a few have pinkish tinge to their vinegar. Once he’s settled in, Beverly turns to him.

             “So Will, you seem to have a new friend lately.” Will can’t stop the smile that blooms on his face.

             “Uh yeah, it seems so.”

             “That’s good, I’m happy for you. You look happier too.” Will senses she genuinely means this. At that moment Alana chimes in, ever good-natured but nosy.

             “You’re talking about Hannibal Lecter, right? Oh yeah he’s amazing, I have him in Defense Against the Dark Arts, he was the only one in our class who was able to resist the Imperius curse. And he’s so charming to talk to. A bunch of us asked him to hang out after class but he wouldn’t go, said he had a plans already...” She eyes Will, clearly looking for more information.

              For lack of anything better, he offers, “He volunteers with Madame Pomfry twice a week so that might be it.”.

              “Oh yeah, that makes sense.” She looks satisfied by that and turns back to her vinegar, apparently Will’s usefulness having been exhausted. Will’s mood is a little soured for the rest of the class, thinking about Hannibal hanging out with the normal students, being charming, making friends. He knows it’s ridiculous to feel this way since Hannibal didn’t even hang out with them, but he has a secret worry that Hannibal will eventually realize he’s not like the masses, not good at being charming and polite, and certainly not fun to hang out with in a group. Alana is oblivious to his plight but Beverly catches on and rolls her eyes Alana’s direction. Will gets the message, don’t let her bother you. Will offers her a weak smile in return.

             At the end of class Will walks down to the Great Hall and sees Hannibal waiting for him, eyes fixed on him. Anyone else and Will would recoil from that level of eye contact but right now it feels nice to have Hannibal’s undivided attention, it’s a balm on his sour mood from Charms.

             Will doesn’t slow down as he approaches and gestures for Hannibal to follow him, which he does.

             “What’s the hurry?” Hannibal asks seriously.

             “The hurry is that I missed breakfast because I was stuck in Crawford’s office and I’m hungry. Come on.” They sit at their normal spot at the end of the Ravenclaw table. No one stares like they used to but Will is sure that if Hannibal ever caused a scene he would be booted out, although he finds that hard to imagine.

             After Will has eaten some food he feels better, and updates Hannibal on his meeting with Crawford.

             “Yes I heard they were suspended, justice has been served,” Hannibal acknowledges with a small smile. Hannibal asks him for more specifics on the fight and Will recounts the highlights in a low voice, not wanting others to hear, Hannibal leaning into his space to make sure he gets all the details. As Will talks, Hannibal looks rapt, and Will feels his ego boosted up a bit, but still hesitates, afraid to tell Hannibal how much he enjoyed hurting them, instead keeping it relatively factual in nature.

             They continue eating and then Will remembers, “By the way, you should know your owl doesn’t like me.” At this Hannibal looks up, curious.

             “Why do you say that?”

              “Every time it sees me it tries to bite me.”

              “Really?” Hannibal looks confused. “He’s usually very good with people.”

              “Yeah, the first time it bit me when I tried to attach the note to-”

             “Attach?”

             “Yeah I reached for its leg and-”

             “Ah that makes sense.” Hannibal is smiling, no doubt envisioning the scene in his mind. “Achilles hates for his legs to be touched, hence the name. My apologies on his behalf. So long as you let him pick up the items, I assure you he will be well behaved.” He still looks more amused than is polite but Will doesn’t mind, smiling back.

 

*

 

             After lunch Will heads to Defense Against the Dark Arts, where today's topic is the Patronus charm. Professor Quirrell stutters, instructing everyone to spread out throughout the room for practice. They are instructed to think of their happiest, most powerful memory, to let it fill them up, and then say the incantation, Expecto Patronum. The happiness from the memory feeds the dementor instead of the dementor feeding on you.

             It’s a mixed bag of success, a few students manage to produce a small bluish white light in the shape of a shield and Quirrell praises them. To his surprise, and the surprise of others, Price is the one tthat gets closest to a full bodied Patronus, for just a moment it taking the shape of a monkey. How appropriate Will thinks. A few people eye Will, not used to seeing him struggle with spells. By the end of class Will has a pretty good idea of what his problem is, only having managed a weak blob of whitish blue light that disintegrated soon after creation. He doesn’t have a whole lot of happy memories, and the ones he does have from recent experiences have a decidedly dark flair to them, making him hesitant to “let it fill you up.” The closest he gets is thinking of Hannibal, of his intense gaze on him this morning, of them sparring. He’s not quite sure how to progress - normally with magic, practice makes perfect, but Will suspects no amount of practice will replace a lack of source material. He supposes he has until end of term to figure it out.

             After class, he meets up with Hannibal and they head to their hang out spot by the lake. As they walk, Will tells Hannibal about Defense Against the Dark Arts and about his theory.

             “It’s a good, albeit sad, theory Will.” Hannibal turns to look at him directly. “Do you really not have many happy memories?”

             “Evidently not, or not happy enough,” Will says with a grimace. Will can see the wheels turning in Hannibal’s brilliant mind.

             “Well then I think the solution is obvious, we need to get you some exceedingly happy memories. And as your friend, I will be the champion for your cause.” Will laughs, heart warmed at hearing Hannibal call him his friend.

             “Okay friend, what do you recommend?” Hannibal sets down his stuff and Will does the same. Then Hannibal waves his wand towards Hogwarts and says something Will doesn’t hear.

             “What are you doing?”

             “Wait, you shall see.” Hannibal’s eyes are shining with mirth and Will’s curiosity is piqued as he waits to see what Hannibal has in mind. A few minutes later, Will sees something zooming across the lake towards them. He makes out what it is just as Hannibal catches it: it’s a broom, a nice broom. Hannibal’s eyes meet Wills.

              “Care to go for a ride Will?” Will smiles like a little boy, purely excited, and nods. Hannibal climbs on the broom and motions for Will to get on behind him.

             “You have flown before?” Hannibal asks.

             “Yes, but only the school brooms during class first year. Will this hold both of us?”

             “We’ll find out, hold on tight.” Will wraps his arms around Hannibal’s torso tightly, body pressed flush to his, head tilted over Hannibal’s shoulder. He can smell his aftershave and to be honest, already feels happier just being this close to Hannibal.

             “Ready?” Hannibal asks, turned back to see him, smile on his face.

             “Ready,” Will says with a smile of his own. With that Hannibal kicks off and they are shot into the air, wind whipping at their faces. Hannibal levels them off and slows to a near hover about twenty feet off the ground, assessing.

             “It seems to hold us just fine,” Hannibal comments with a grin, and just like that they’re off again. Hannibal takes them along the tree line of the Forbidden Forest, then high up over the lake towards Hogwarts, weaving between towers. Will is feeling so much its almost too much, but it’s too good. The magic, the novelty, the beauty, the intimacy, knowing that Hannibal is doing this just for him to be happy. He feels his eyes are wet he and can’t tell if it’s from the wind or tears of happiness, he supposes it doesn’t matter. Hannibal pauses above the Astronomy Tower, and as they take in the view, Hannibal turns his head back slightly and looks at Will with one eye.

             “Are you okay Will?”

             Will smiles, he feels giddy, bordering on overwhelmed. He takes a breath and manages to say “I’m more than okay.” This seems to satisfy Hannibal who smiles back and then takes the broom higher. The sun is starting to set and the sky is all pinks and purples and oranges, sparkles in the sky the beginnings of stars. Just as Will wonders how high they will go, Hannibal dives the broom down towards the lake, and Will is reminded of muggle roller coasters. He has a split second of concern that they will splash into the lake but it can’t take hold, he trusts Hannibal but holds on a little tighter all the same. At the last moment, Hannibal pulls up and they are flying right above the surface of the lake. Will looks down and sees their reflection - he almost doesn’t recognize himself, he looks so happy. He likes how they look together and transiently thinks he would like a picture of them together someday.

             “Hold on Will,” Hannibal says, childlike joy in his voice. Will grips Hannibal tighter and follows Hannibal’s lead by crossing his legs under the broom. Hannibal leans to the side and reaches down to skim the water with his fingers. Will smiles and does it too, the water is ice cold and it makes his fingertips tingle when he pulls them back. With some effort they right themselves on the broom and Hannibal slows it. Will takes in the sounds now that the wind isn’t rushing past his ears, it’s quiet, peaceful. Far on the other side of the lake they hear a splash and see the giant squid. Will feels happy and alive and content, bursting with joy, as Hannibal turns back to look at him.

             “Would you like a turn?”

             “A turn?” Will doesn’t understand.

             “Flying it?” Will’s face must give him away because Hannibal doesn’t wait for an answer, he steers them over to the shore of the lake where they started, their bags still on the ground. Will’s legs feel like jelly when they touch down. Hannibal gets off the broom leaving Will on. At this Will turns to Hannibal, realizing he is offering Will to fly alone if he wishes. That is not what Will wishes.

             “Come with me?” It comes out a little more breathless than he intended but it can’t be helped.

             Hannibal nods and climbs on behind him, holding Will around the waist. Hannibal is slightly taller than Will and Will feels Hannibal’s chin on his shoulder. He closes his eyes for a moment, taking in the feeling of Hannibal holding on to him, so close, he loves it, his whole body tingling and alive. When he feels Hannibal is secure he kicks off. It’s not nearly as smooth as when Hannibal did it, but it’s been years since he last flew and never with another person. But, like riding a muggle bicycle, it comes back to him relatively quickly. The sun has almost fully set now and Will knows they should get back soon for dinner. He flies a lap around the lake and over the forest, hovering above the lake, admiring the sunset, feeling perfect - Hannibal’s warm chest against his back, arms around his waist, beautiful scenery laid out before him, high on endorphins and adrenaline. His mind pictures himself turning his head back and kissing Hannibal and he quickly dismisses that. Alright that would be the one thing to make it more perfect, he concedes. He loops around and takes them back to the shore where they dismount and Will hands the broom back to Hannibal, his legs still wobbly.

             “Thank you, that was amazing.” His voice still sounds breathy but he can’t help it. Hannibal accepts the broom and sets it down, eyes caught on Will’s face. Will feels Hannibal’s hands come up and cup his face gently, feels Hannibal’s thumbs wiping away the tear tracks on his cheeks. It feels so intimate, Will has a shaky inhale and has to close his eyes briefly against the onslaught of feeling.

             “You feel so much don’t you? Even happy things can be overwhelming,” Hannibal says gently and Will smiles and nods his head, he can’t seem to find the words. Hannibal removes his hands and says, “One of my happiest memories is riding a broom with my father when I was a young boy.” Will hears the sadness in Hannibal’s voice and reflects that they both have been dealt crummy hands by life. On the surface Hannibal appears much more well-adjusted than he is, but maybe deep down he’s just as damaged as Will is. Will reaches out and touches Hannibal’s shoulder in acknowledgement, his words still failing him. Hannibal touches the hand on his shoulder briefly, then steps forward, sliding his hand under, forcing Will’s arm over his shoulder, Hannibal’s palm at Will’s back, urging Will to start walking. They walk back to the castle, arms around each other and Will finds his composure mid-way back.

 

*

 

             At the Halloween feast, they are seated at Ravenclaw table, enjoying the special food and décor. Laid out before them are candy filled pumpkins, apples, cauldrons of lollipops, carrot cake, and pumpkin juice, as well as the normal dinner fare.  

             “Do you miss sitting at the Slytherin table?” Will asks out of the blue. If he’s learned anything about Hannibal it’s that he does what he wants, he doesn’t compromise for others, but he can’t recall ever asking and feels like a clod for it taking this long.

             Hannibal smiles, “No I don’t. Not by my own choice I spend a lot of time with that group of students, so sitting here with you is much preferable. Unless you would like to come to the Slytherin table? Although I’m not sure they would be as tolerant as the Ravenclaws are of an outsider in their midst.” Will can imagine and shakes his head.

             “No, no I’m good here.”

              After they have finished eating, most students are moving on to their evening activities, some going to the Death Day party, others crowding to see the ghosts and dancing skeletons show. Will hadn’t really thought what he would do other than his Prefect patrol, but then Hannibal gets his attention with a hand on his shoulder - he has a mischievous glint in his eyes.

             “Come with me?” he asks. Will nods, curious, and follows Hannibal out of the hallway. Hannibal leads him down a flight of stairs and then down a corridor he’s not very familiar with; if he’s not mistaken, he thinks it leads to the kitchens. Hannibal stops in front of a painting with a bowl of fruit, reaches up, and tickles the pear. Will watches and smiles, eyes alight, as the pear laughs and becomes a door knob. Will follows Hannibal inside and his first impression is that the room is chaotic, an assault on the senses. Smells of various types of foods, dirty dishes stacked high, water running, sounds of food preparation, and house elves everywhere. Will has never been around house elves, he notes they move with purpose, not even acknowledging him, too focused on their task. As Hannibal leads them towards the pantry in the back, they are stopped mid-way by a house elf that looks more seasoned than the rest.

             “Ah Mr. Lecter, good evening.”

             “Good evening Pogo.”

             “And who is this?” the elf gestures at Will.

             “This is Will Graham, a Prefect of Ravenclaw.” Will nods, not sure what is expected of him.

             “Smart, can’t be too careful on a night like tonight. Troublemakers everywhere I tell you, making a ruckus, messes…” He turns and wanders off, his rant continuing despite leaving his audience. Will looks to Hannibal who smiles that same conspiratorial smile, grabs his forearm, and leads him to the pantry. Once there, Hannibal grabs something Will can’t see, tucks it into his robe, then directs Will back out the way they came. After that, Hannibal heads for the staircase and Will follows. Will almost asks where they are going but decides he would rather be surprised. In the end, Hannibal leads him to the Astronomy Tower. Will knows it is technically off limits but finds he isn’t bothered in the slightest. It is a bit colder as they rise in elevation, which makes sense as it is the highest tower in Hogwarts. When they arrive, Hannibal sits down against the wall and Will does the same, taking in the space. The view out of the large openings is gorgeous, Will can see the moon, the stars, the Milky Way – it’s enchanting.

             Will shifts, feeling the cool stone against his back and legs, watching as Hannibal gets out the items stashed in his robes and Will laughs when he sees what they are. “You know, I don’t think Pogo realized we are the troublemakers he was talking about.”

             “It’s best to hide in plain sight Will, no one ever looks there.” Will suspects that statement has more to it but decides not to comment on it.

             Hannibal hands Will a bottle of vinegar, a challenge in his eye. Will smiles in response, challenge accepted. This he has gotten better at. Will pulls out his wand and points it at the bottle, “Fio Vinum,” and instantly Will’s bottle turns a deep dark red, seeing as Hannibal does the same to his. Will watches as Hannibal opens the bottle, smells it, and is apparently satisfied. Will does the same but doesn’t know what he’s smelling for. He doesn’t detect any vinegar so he considers that a win. Hannibal lifts the bottle and motions to clink their bottles together.

             “Happy Halloween Will.” Will smiles and clinks his bottle to Hannibal’s.

             “Happy Halloween Hannibal.” Will takes a sip his and while wine isn’t really his thing, the alcohol begins to warm his cheeks and dulls the cold, watching as Hannibal drinks as well.

             “What do you suppose they do with the wine that students produce from this charm?” Will asks.

             “I have wondered that as well, probably drink it if it’s palatable. Somehow I doubt there is much of it.” Hannibal’s lack of faith in the competency of the student body is evident.

             Will takes another drink, “It doesn’t seem very smart to teach teenagers how to make alcohol,” Will muses. “I mean, what do they expect will happen?”

             Hannibal takes another drink, “Evidently not this, otherwise there would be more security measures in place.”

             Will smiles, feeling his body relaxing with the alcohol. “I think I am supposed to be one of the security measures.” He totally ditched his patrol tonight.

             Hannibal reaches his hand out to Will’s bottle, “May I?” Will hands it over and accepts the Hannibal’s bottle in return. Hannibal takes a sip form Will’s bottle and Will does the same from Hannibal’s. Will blushes slightly, realizing his lips are touching where Hannibal’s lips have touched. Hannibal’s wine tastes different than his - good, smooth, complex, but lacks the punch that his does. Hannibal’s slightly choked sound nearby makes him turn and laugh, Hannibal apparently having come to the same conclusion.

             “What did you do?!? That’s closer to firewhisky than wine Will!” Hannibal is eyeing the bottle skeptically and Will finds it entirely amusing. Will shrugs as they swap the bottles back. Will does choke a little as he drinks his own wine again, the contrast with Hannibal’s wine now quite striking. They both laugh but continue drinking together in comfortable silence. Out of nowhere Alana’s comment from earlier pops into his head and Will’s buzzed state makes him blurt it out without much thought.

             “Alana said she asked you to hang out with them after class.” Hannibal looks over at him, eyes slightly glassy and cheeks rosy. It looks like it takes him a moment to pinpoint who Alana is.

             “Oh yes, Gryffindor, talks a lot…I must admit Will, I don’t care much for her company, nor of her friends. Although that can be said for most of the school.” Will looks at Hannibal, digesting this.

             “Really? It doesn’t seem that way, you talk to so many people, get along so well. They all love you.”

             “Do they?” Will watches as Hannibal drinks more of his wine, watches his throat move as he swallows, then realizing he is staring, focuses back on their conversation.

             “Alana wanted to know what you do after class, why you wouldn’t hang out with them.” Hannibal then turns to look at Will, appearing more interested in the conversation now.

             “And what did you say?”

             “That you volunteer for Madame Pomfry.”

             “Such a clever boy.” Will raises an eyebrow, not understanding. “It’s true and yet not the entire truth. Thank you.”

             “You’re welcome?” Will’s finding it hard to follow this conversation and takes another sip.

             “That particular day you are referring to I did not have any obligation to Madame Pomfry.”

             “You didn’t?”

             “No.”

             “What did you do?” At that Hannibal turns to him more fully.

             “What do you think Will? Where do I spend most of my time? You know me better than anyone.” Will thinks for a second. He knows Hannibal’s schedule relatively well and then it clicks.

             “With me?” In a move uncharacteristic of Hannibal, he puts his finger on his nose as an indicator of yes, similar to muggle charades. Will laughs and they both drink some more. Will is starting to feel drunk, he realizes he should probably stop soon but he’s in the pleasantly drunk state where everything is nice. He looks over at Hannibal, notices his hands, he loves his hands. Hannibal’s pointer finger is lightly caressing his vinegar bottle and Will is reminded of him tickling the pear in the painting. On an impulse he leans his body towards Hannibal. Hannibal eyes him but doesn’t move, just watching. Will reaches his fingers out and tries to tickle Hannibal’s ribs, then up towards his armpit. That’s apparently not what Hannibal was expecting because he jumps away, laughing, almost spilling his wine.

             “Will! What are you doing?”

             “Making sure you don’t turn into a door knob,” Will is laughing too.

             “Well then I suppose I’d better do the same for you.” Hannibal sets down his wine, leans over, and the next thing Will knows he is being tickled. He can’t remember the last time he was tickled, he forgot how ticklish he is and he bats Hannibal’s hands away.

             “St-st-stop Hannibal! I’m not a door knob!” They both burst out laughing at how ridiculous it sounds and end up slumped together, leaning on each other against the wall. Hannibal’s body is a warm line at his side, his head is on Hannibal’s shoulder and Hannibal’s is resting against his head. It’s comfortable he finds, a nice contrast to the cool stone. Will is still giggling occasionally despite the tickling having stopped.

             “You’re drunk,” Hannibal observes, “Not surprising considering the alcohol percentage in that concoction you call wine.” Hannibal grabs Will’s wine from him and drinks from it, grimacing a little as he does, causing Will to laugh.

             “You must be really drunk to drink that.” He grabs Hannibal’s bottle and takes a swig.

             “Mm- why is yours so good? Why are you so good at everything? No wait - don’t answer that!” Will can feel Hannibal smile and he smiles too. He feels his inhibitions lowered and can’t stop the words from flowing out of his mouth.

             “Hannibal?”

             “Hmm?”

             “I didn’t tell you everything about the fight.” Hannibal had been drifting, half between sleep and awake, and Will can feel his body perk back up, alert and listening intently. Will speaks quietly.

             “I felt… amazing, I felt powerful, the thrill… I loved it. I could have used my wand, I had the opportunity to…but I didn’t. I wanted to hurt them with my bare hands…I wanted to hurt them more…does that make me bad person?” Will nearly regrets the words as they leave his mouth, realizing Hannibal’s opinion means a great deal to him, fear of losing him as a friend suddenly too real. Will feels Hannibal shift, turning towards him to better look at him. Will can’t seem to bring himself to meet his eyes. This is a deep-seated fear he has had about himself for a long time, especially since helping the Ministry. Hannibal takes a moment before he responds, apparently choosing his words carefully.

             “Do you really feel so bad because hurting them felt so good?” Will’s silence is answer enough. Hannibal reaches out, fingers gently tilting Will’s chin up until their eyes meet, both loose limbed from the alcohol. “No Will, you are not a bad person. Hurting people must feel good to God too, He does it all the time. And are we not created in His image?”

             “Depends on who you ask,” Will replies, not convinced.

             “Let me put it this way Will, when I hurt those three students that attacked you, I enjoyed it immensely. Does that make me a bad person?” Hannibal’s never openly confessed to doing that and Will’s stomach does a little flip as he feels himself smiling.

             “No, you’re not a bad person, you’re my favorite person (hiccup).” Will covers his mouth and Hannibal smiles too.

             “You’re my favorite person as well Will.” Will instantly feels better, his secret is out and Hannibal is still here. In fact, Hannibal’s head is now resting on his shoulder, his face pressed into Will’s neck, and Will can feel Hannibal’s breath on his collar bone. Will rests his head atop Hannibal’s, relishing the closeness. Is this what being friends is?  Will feels himself falling in love with Hannibal. He has never considered himself gay or bisexual, but the thought doesn’t bother him at all. He wonders if it’s possible that Hannibal would like him that way too. With that thought he falls asleep, the view of the stars above them.

             When they wake a few hours later, Hannibal’s head is in Will’s lap and Will’s hand is petting his hair like a cat, Hannibal making a purring sound occasionally but appears to be asleep. Will stops his hand and nudges Hannibal awake. Will sees Hannibal wince as he sits up, realizing they both have pounding headaches. Will gets up gingerly, dumps the remaining wine in his bottle out the window, and Aguamentis some water into it. He gulps down half of it and hands it to Hannibal who drinks the rest. Without asking Hannibal waves his wand at Will’s head “Ferula” and Will feels the level of his headache go from throbbing to manageable. He then sees Hannibal do that to himself and they both look at each other and smile. They each pocket their bottle and plan to throw it away on the way back. It’s now a little after midnight and they should both be back in their dorms. Will offers Hannibal a Prefect pass but Hannibal declines, says he will be fine, and Will is sure he is right, then frowns as he has a thought.

             “I’m glad were on the same side,” Will says, reflecting his thought that Hannibal as an adversary would be awful. Hannibal smiles.

             “Agreed.” They sneak back down and part ways at the staircase.

             “Good night Will.”

             “Good night Hannibal.”

             “Be quiet!” one of the paintings yells and they laugh.

Chapter Text

 

             The following week, Herbology is tackling Venomous Tentacula – Will learns they are a spiky dark red and green plant with teeth, a bite from which can stun or kill a human. Will also learns they have mobile vines which can shoot venom that they use to grab their prey. The class is told that if someone is attacked, to use a severing charm immediately, and to use all the foul language they want.

           Will’s classmates are a mixture of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, and Professor Sprout, being head of Hufflepuff house, tends to give more guidance and attention to the Hufflepuffs, and Will can’t deny they need it. Towards the end of class, there’s a shout and a portly Hufflepuff Will thinks is named Franklyn has a tentacle wrapped around him. Will turns and sends a severing charm that way, but as soon as he does, he feels his wand pulled out of his hand as tentacle wraps around him. Crap, so much for being good to your fellow wizard. He yells out but feels the teeth sink in to his neck and promptly blacks out.

           Will wakes an undetermined amount of time later in the hospital wing, realizing his whole body hurts, his mouth tastes awful, and he’s wearing…his pajamas? He can’t tell what time of day it is, either early morning or dusk he guesses, as there appears to be a small amount of sunlight coming in the windows. He tries to move and his body is not only in pain but also very stiff so he settles for just his arm, taking nearly all his energy just to move it. He feels a bandage at his neck, events starting to come back to him. With some effort, he turns his head to the side and sees a collection of bottles and containers on the bedside table. He slowly turns to the other side and feels his heart swell at the sight that greets him. Hannibal is sitting in a chair by his bed, asleep, feet propped up on another chair, head hung forward at an awkward angle, hair falling over his eyes. His tie is missing, collar undone, shirtsleeves rolled up, and Will is reminded of when they were sparring. Will tries to speak and gets as far as “Ha-” before stopping because oh fuck his throat hurts. He tries to clear his throat which makes it hurt worse, wincing, so he just stops, waiting for the pain to abate. Once he can think again, he decides to try another method. He moves his arm and knocks on the nightstand, watching as Hannibal wakes with a start, eyes moving to Will and focusing.

            “Will! You’re awake! How do you feel?”

             Will raises his hand to his throat, “Wa-” his face grimaces. What the fuck happened to his throat?  Hannibal seems to get the gist and hands him a glass of water, helping him sit up enough to drink it.

             “Small sip Will.” Will takes a sip and it’s simultaneously soothing and like shards of glass are moving down his throat. He hands the water back and lies back down, feeling awful. Hannibal eyes him for a moment, then Will feels a hand on his cheek, followed by direct eye contact and Will notices dark circles under Hannibal’s eyes.

             “I’ll be right back,” Hannibal promises and Will nods, uncomfortable but trusting. Shortly after, Hannibal returns with a tired looking Madame Pomfry who fusses at him, asking him a million questions to which he nods or shakes his head. Hannibal puts another pillow under him so he’s propped up and he nods his thanks. By the time he’s done answering and having her look in his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and a change of bandages, he’s tired. Will is told he’s lucky to be alive and should make a full recovery in about a week and drink this potion, all of it. The potion is god awful and hurts his throat only slightly less than the water, it’s thicker and tastes bitter and plant-like. In that moment he can’t think of anything that has tasted worse in his entire life. Will swallows down the first sip and feels tears spring to his eyes from the pain and disgust. He has two pairs of eyes watching him and knows the sooner he gets it down the sooner the scrutiny will relent so he chugs the rest, wincing every time he swallows, dropping the container as soon as he is done and shutting his eyes - needing some privacy. He assumes someone takes the container and he breathes steadily, feeling the pain recede to bearable levels, but not before a tear threatens to spill out of his eye. He brings his hand up and opens his eye to wipe it away before it can fall out. seeing that Madame Pomfry is gone, and Hannibal is sat in the same chair as before. He turns when he sees Will move and Will is thankful Hannibal somehow understood he needed space; even now he doesn’t do anything, just a steady presence nearby. Will takes a few more breaths, feeling more composed, and finally turns to Hannibal who is watching him patiently.

             “What can I do for you Will?” Will mimes writing and Hannibal pulls out some parchment and a quill and hands them over, scooting his chair closer to Will’s bed. Will debates what to write first, there’s a lot in his mind. The potion still in the back of his throat narrows his focus.

             How often do I have to drink that?

             “Every six hours, for the next three days at least. After that we will assess if you still need it.” Will closes his eyes in horror and shudders.

             “Is it really that bad?” Hannibal sounds sympathetic but also skeptical.

             Will isn’t sure how to answer that succinctly so he settles on Everything hurts my throat.

             “Ah, yes I would imagine so, is that why you can’t talk?” Will nods. “I apologize Will, that is partially my fault.” Will looks at Hannibal, gesturing for him to continue. “I think I should start at the beginning. What is the last thing you remember?”

             Getting bit by plant in greenhouse, I was trying to save that idiot but then the plant took my wand and I blacked out

             Hannibal nods, an almost angry expression crossing his face briefly before he continues. “Yes, well your efforts did save Franklyn, he was also here in the hospital wing, but much less injured than you are. Unfortunately, none of your classmates were as quick to save you, from what I am told. Apparently, Brian Zeller was the one who rescued you. He and Jimmy Price carried you up to the hospital wing at the direction of Professor Sprout. I was on my way to volunteer with Madame Pomfry when they ran past me with you and I followed them.” Here Hannibal pauses, looking away from Will for a moment, biting his bottom lip, then he turns back to Will, his gaze very serious. “Will, you…you had blood all over your neck, your pulse was nearly non-existent, and you were barely breathing. You looked dead, or moments from…” He looks away again. “I must admit I acted quickly and without gentleness, which is likely why your throat hurts. I grabbed a bezoar from Madame Pomfry’s stash and shoved it down your throat quite roughly, wanting to get it as close to the source of the poison as I could. Shortly after, your condition improved and you were moved here for observation. It’s fortunate you woke when you did, that potion is most effective within 48 hours and had you not woken soon, I have no doubt myself or Madame Pomfry would have tried to get it into you by whatever means necessary.”

            Will nods, taking all of this in, then writes thank you. It feels inadequate but he’s tired and in pain and apparently Hannibal saved his life. Hannibal’s chair is pulled up close to the bed, he’s leaning forward, hands tucked under his chin, elbows on the bed. Will’s not sure if it’s the pain making him so needy and vulnerable, but he can’t bring himself to care. He drops the quill and reaches his hand out near Hannibal, palm up. Hannibal looks confused for a moment, like he thinks Will wants him to give him something but then he meets his eyes and sees the unshed tears and emotion. He puts his hand in Will’s and Will smiles weakly, another tear falling and he uses his other hand to wipe it away. He’s tired and uncomfortable and right now Hannibal is his comfort. Hannibal places Will’s hand within both of his, cradling it gently, warming it, and Will lays back and closes his eyes, feeling sleepy. He feels Hannibal pull out the extra pillow and he dreams he feels Hannibal’s lips kiss his hand before he slips into blackness.

             The next time he wakes it’s dark outside, and Hannibal is the one to have woken him. He’s holding that awful potion but thankfully Will doesn’t see Madame Pomfry. He leans forward as Hannibal puts the pillow behind him and Will eyes the potion with sadness but accepts it. He moves to drink it but Hannibal stops him.

             “Wait Will, hold still,” Hannibal pulls out his wand, “Ferula” and aims it at Will’s throat. Will smiles as he remembers that spell from when they were hungover on wine, and he suspects Hannibal remembers too if his smile is anything to go by. “Okay, now try.” Will takes a sip and oh god he already forgot how awful it tastes. He swallows it mainly to get the taste out of his mouth, wincing as it goes down but it’s not nearly as painful as last time. Whether that’s due to Hannibal’s spell or his body healing he can’t say, either way he wants to get it over with and drinks the rest as fast as he can, tears in his eyes again as Hannibal takes the container. Will wipes at one eye but before he can get to the other, Hannibal’s hand is there wiping the tear away with this thumb, a slight caress to his cheek before he pulls away, moving the items out of sight. Before Will can think to feel embarrassed, he is distracted by a smell…food?

             “Think you can eat something Will? You haven’t had any food in about 48 hours.” Nodding, Will watches as Hannibal sets up a small tray in front of him, then sets a bowl and spoon on it as well as parchment and a quill. Will spares a moment to appreciate Hannibal's foresight, making a mental note to compliment him on his bedside manner once he can speak again. Hannibal lifts the lid and Will smiles, writing You brought me chicken soup?

             “Yes, I made it myself, it’s my mother’s recipe.” Will pictures Hannibal towering over the house elves in the kitchen and it makes him smile.

             Thank you, Will writes.

             Will sits up a little bit more which elicits a wince, but his body seems less stiff and sore than before. He picks up the spoon and takes a bite, realizing quickly it’s delicious, eyes lighting up. He can tell something is different about the soup but he can’t place what – he supposes it’s Lithuanian chicken soup so it’s bound to be a little different from what he is used to. He swallows tentatively and the warm broth doesn’t sting as badly as he thought; it’s still painful but slightly soothing also.

             It’s good, Will writes and Hannibal smiles, looking pleased.

             “I’m glad.” Then Will watches as Hannibal pulls out a bowl of his own and they eat together in comfortable silence. Once Will is done, Hannibal puts the bowls away and Will picks the quill back up, feeling more human with food in him.

             What time is it?

             “It’s one in the morning.” Will tries to reconcile this information, he can tell his internal clock is off.

             What day?

             “Technically Friday.” Will's eyes widen, he thinks Friday?!? Herbology was on Tuesday.

             Have you been here the whole time? he writes.

             “Majority of it yes. I was excused from classes on hospital duties.” Will looks at Hannibal, really looks, and sees he still has the dark circles under his eyes and his hair looks a little more greasy than he would normally allow it to get. He’s still in his uniform sans tie, collar undone and shirtsleeves rolled up.

             Have you slept?

             “I slept some,” Hannibal answers evasively.

             In a bed?  Will has a suspicion.

             “No Will, not in a bed.”

             You should get some real sleep, I’ll be fine. Will doesn’t really want him to leave but he doesn’t want Hannibal to run himself ragged on his account either.

             “Don’t trouble yourself with me Will, just focus on recovering.” Will supposes that’s Hannibal’s way of saying he won’t leave him. It’s sweet but also impractical.

             Thinking for a moment, Will strikes upon an idea. He scoots over to the far side of the bed, leaving a large space next to him and writes nap?  while clearly indicating the space next to him.

             Hannibal smiles at his offer, “That’s not really encouraged Will.”

             Rolling his eyes, Will writes, Since when you do you care about the rules?

             Hannibal takes a moment to think about it…Will's next potion is due in six hours...which will be seven in the morning, and Madame Pomfry comes in around eight…it should be fine. “Touché, but you will wake me if you need anything, I’m serious.” Will nods politely at Hannibal’s attempt at a threatening face and sets his quill and parchment on the nightstand, watching as Hannibal takes off his shoes and winds the clock. Will lays down on his back, the most comfortable position with his neck. Hannibal climbs on the bed, staying on top of the covers, and lays down on his side facing Will. Despite Will feeling better, he can’t stop himself as he places his hand out between them and is instantly comforted by the feel of Hannibal’s hand coming to rest on his. Will closes his fingers around Hannibal’s, relishing the contact and warmth and the ever-present tingle his touch brings. When he opens his eyes, he sees Hannibal is already asleep, hair falling over his eyes, breathing even and deep. Will smiles, falling asleep soon after.

             When the clock alarms at seven, Will feels movement and shortly after the sound stops. Will is warm and cozy and feeling better than he can recently recall. As consciousness seeps into him he realizes there is a warm body pressed to his side and his head is resting on soft golden hair. He turns slightly and sees Hannibal is essentially using his shoulder as a pillow, their hands still intertwined lightly, relishing the feeling of closeness. He could almost fall back asleep except that nature calls, so he gently extracts his hand and tentatively tries to sit up. It hurts but it’s manageable and he slowly shifts, moving his feet to hang off the bed. As he places his feet on the floor, Will feels Hannibal push himself up, “Will?”

             “Ba-” oh yeah, his throat, ouch, fuck. He points to the bathroom and sees when Hannibal understands.

             “Need help?” Will puts weight on one foot, then the other and stands slowly. He takes a step and its slow and achy but not impossible. He gives a thumbs up and a palm, hopefully indicating he’s fine and doesn’t need help. After relieving himself, he washes up, splashing some water on his face, noting his facial hair is slightly longer than he likes it, but not quite at lumberjack level yet, making a mental note to trim it later. He rummages around and finds disposable toothbrushes and toothpaste and brushes his teeth. Feeling more human, he returns to bed, his good feeling short lived when he sees that damn potion waiting for him. Resigned, he sits down on the bed and accepts the potion, drinking it and wincing, his eyes getting watery. Once finished, Hannibal takes the container from him and pulls out more soup, as well as some other items, bread, juice, and tea. “Please start,” Hannibal says and he leaves uses the facilities himself. Will digs in, his hunger now catching up to him. The bread hurts his throat on the first bite but he quickly figures out dipping it in the soup works well. He’s already halfway through by time Hannibal returns, noting Hannibal looks more like himself after some real sleep. Will looks at the clock as Hannibal sits down to eat with him. He grabs his parchment and quill.

             Going to class today? Hannibal’s spoon pauses.

             “That depends Will, how do you feel?”

             Will considers it and writes, overall much better than before, throat still hurts like a motherfucker, body weak, but otherwise okay.

             “Language Will,” Hannibal admonishes but it’s with a smile.

             Will smiles to himself and writes, Professor Sprout said we could swear as much as they want if attacked by a Venomous Tentacula. As Hannibal reads it he laughs.

             “Yes, well I suppose that excuses you. In answer to your question Will, if you need me here I can make arrangements to stay with you.” Will thinks about it, he doesn’t really need Hannibal here, and he’s already done so much for him.

             No, it’s okay, thank you for everything. Could you do something for me though?

             “Of course.”

             Can you bring me whatever were working on in class? He pauses then adds, And my wand? Hannibal is reading as Will writes.

             “Yes, to the first. Regarding your wand…” Hannibal pauses and Will looks up questioningly. Hannibal turns to dig around in his bag, then hands Will his wand, which is broken and splintered into three pieces. No amount of spellotape could fix this, Will thinks. “Professor Sprout brought this up shortly after you arrived, apparently when the plant grabbed it from you it shattered your wand…I’m sorry Will.” Will isn’t sure how to feel as he holds the broken pieces. Hannibal touches his forearm gently, “As soon as you are strong enough, we’ll go to get you a new one. In the meantime, as you so succinctly put it, since my wand likes you, you are welcome to use it.” Will nods, processing this information. He mouths thank you.

             As Hannibal nods and stands to go to class, Will snaps to get his attention and motions Tie?  Hannibal looks down, he must be sleep deprived to not notice that, Will thinks. Hannibal sets his bag on the bed and frowns, digging around looking for his tie. It’s so unlike him, Will thinks. Hannibal ends up dumping out the contents of his bag on the bed to better look for his tie. In the process, Hannibal’s drawing pad and its contents spill out, and the drawing closest to Will catches his attention. Turning it towards him, Will realizes it’s a picture of himself, asleep. If it weren’t for the pencil lines Will could believe it was a photograph, the level of detail is stunning. He runs his fingertips over the drawing, feeling touched for some reason. He supposes he should find it odd or creepy, but all he feels is happiness that he was the center of Hannibal’s attention for a period of time, and that Hannibal created something beautiful from him. At that moment Hannibal finally finds his tie which is heavily wrinkled and is slipping it around his neck when he notices what Will is looking at. Hannibal freezes and Will thinks this is the closest to embarrassed he’s ever seen him. Hannibal opens his mouth to say something but seems to get stuck. Will smiles gesturing towards the drawing, it’s nice, he mouths. Realizing Will isn’t mad, Hannibal seems to relax slightly.

             “Thank you, it was…difficult… waiting for you to wake up. Drawing helped.” Will grabs his quill and parchment. Can I see your other drawings sometime?  Hannibal looks surprised at the request. “Yes, I suppose so.” At that moment they both seem to realize the time, and Hannibal resumes tying his tie. Will is impressed he can do it without a mirror. Hannibal then sits down on the side of the bed to button his cuffs and Will rolls his eyes because literally everyone else in the school doesn’t do their cuff buttons or hides them under a sweater. Hannibal gets his left one easily since he is right handed but the right one Will grabs and does it for him. “Thank you Will.” With a quick pat to his forearm, Hannibal shoves his stuff in his bag and leaves Will alone with his broken wand. Sighing, Will lays back down to sleep some more, still feeling weak.

             He is awoken by Hannibal for lunch, more of his soup. Will writes, I’m not complaining at all because this soup amazing but how much did you make?  Hannibal smiles as he reads it, “There is one more meals worth after this. The recipe is family sized and difficult to scale back.” As they are eating, they hear someone come in and Franklyn comes rushing over.

             “Will! Oh my gosh I’m so glad you’re okay!” He looks like the only thing stopping him from running up and hugging Will is the glare Hannibal is leveling at him. As it is, he stops about three feet from Will, brimming with energy.

             Will nods at him and Hannibal explains, “He cannot speak yet, his throat was damaged.”

             “Oh! Oh no Will! Well look, I just wanted to say I can’t thank you enough, they said if you hadn’t cast that severing charm I’d be dead.” Will nods and under Hannibal’s continued scrutiny Franklyn starts to look uncomfortable.

             Hannibal says, “Franklyn, Will is still recovering,” dismissal clear in his tone, and Franklyn looks scared.

             “Oh yes, of course. Well Will if there is anything I can do for you let me know, I owe you! Thanks!” He looks like he wants to hug Will again but instead scurries out. After he leaves, they continue eating but somehow the silence isn’t comfortable anymore. Will chances a look at Hannibal and he looks angry, it’s not a look Will has seen on him very often.

             Will sets down his spoon, grabs his quill and writes, You okay?  Hannibal glances at the parchment, then sets his bowl down roughly, spoon clinking against the side. He looks more unrestrained than Will has ever seen him, it’s a little scary if he’s honest with himself. When Hannibal speaks his voice is low and even which is somehow worse than if he had yelled. “You almost died Will, and for what? For that bumbling troglodyte?” Will isn’t sure how to respond. He wants to say he wasn’t planning on almost dying, Hannibal makes it sound like he did it on purpose which is preposterous. He starts and stops writing a few times, trying to organize what he wants to say, ending up with: He was being attacked, I was the closest to him and a Prefect, it’s kind of my job to protect students…Hannibal stands up abruptly, and for a moment Will thinks he’s going to leave, his heart sinking. However, Hannibal just walks back and forth near the bed, almost pacing. Energy ripples out of him and Will can read his emotions easily right now, he’s upset, angry, but Will can’t quite place why. As quick as he started, Hannibal stops and leans on the frame at the end of the bed, staring directly at Will.

             “I’m your friend Will. I don’t care about the students you protect or the lives you save. I care about your life.” He looks Will straight in the eye as he says this, and Will is struck by how it is the polar opposite of what most people think, namely Headmaster Crawford and the Ministry, wanting to use him up to get the maximum benefit out of him for others. The realization makes him smile, the novelty of someone valuing his well-being above others' warming him to the core, even better that that someone is Hannibal. Will sees some of the anger recede from Hannibal after the outburst, and sees him come to sit on the side of the bed facing Will.

             “I said it before Will and I’ll say it again, I don’t mind patching you up but please try to stop getting injured.” Will smiles, feeling the tension dissipating. Hannibal pats his arm as he stands to leave, afternoon classes starting soon. Just as he’s out the door he turns, winks, and says, “There are better ways to get my attention.” And then he’s gone, leaving Will blushing, feeling a combination of happy, embarrassed, and indignant.

             At two o’clock Madame Pomfry comes with the potion and he drinks it, wincing. Will manages to get a pair of scissors from her and heads to the bathroom to trim his facial hair. He brushes his teeth first to get the potion taste out, then does a quick trim, making him look less like a hobo. Afterwards, he returns to the bed and looks over the materials Hannibal brought him from Potions, when a stray thought crosses his mind, who made the potions I’ve been drinking?  He’ll have to ask. As he looks over the assignments, he sees next week they’re covering Amortentia in Potions – lovely. Will makes a mental not to be very careful what he eats and drinks next week, he’s heard horror stories. Another thought comes on that one’s heels and he realizes he is not likely to be the target of love potions but Hannibal definitely will be. He’ll have to warn him.

             Around dinner time Hannibal wanders back in to the hospital wing. Will was a little disappointed that he didn’t come right after class but knows he can’t expect that, Hannibal has a life outside of him. As he sits down Will sees it looks like he’s showered and changed; he looks more like his normal self, the dark circles under his eyes almost gone. He gives Will materials from all the other classes and Will realizes he must have gone to meet with every professor to get this. Thank you, he mouths.

             With an amused look on his face, Hannibal tells him, “In an act of cosmic irony, almost all the courses are focusing on nonverbal spells.” Will smiles back, that is funny he thinks. Hannibal sets up their dinner and they eat. Once finished, Will grabs his parchment and writes, Who makes that awful potion?

              Hannibal smiles, “That would be me.” Will nods, he had suspected as much. Soon enough its eight o’clock and Hannibal brings Will the potion. However, instead of accepting the potion, Will instead grabs his parchment and quill again and writes, Have you tasted this?

             “No, I haven’t.”

             Is it safe for you to drink?

             Will watches as Hannibal thinks for a second. “I suppose so.” Will nods at the potion, intention crystal clear and Hannibal sighs. Will then writes Didn’t you once say you don’t discriminate what you learn and always want to learn more? A future healer should know what this potion tastes like.

             Hannibal sighs again, unable to fight his own words thrown back at him, “Alright,” he reluctantly agrees. Will watches as Hannibal takes a sip and is not disappointed, Hannibal looks like he might spit it out for a second but swallows it, clutching his throat, tears in his eyes, and Will is a little relieved it’s not just him. After a moment Hannibal rubs at his eyes, eying the potion dubiously. “That is vile…” Will nods in confirmation. “…but effective for you,” and with that he pushes the potion back at Will. Will sighs and drinks it.

             They study together for the rest of the evening, Will using Hannibal’s wand to practice nonverbal spells. He’s better at it than he expected, and he absently wonders if the loss of his voice was an accelerant to it. Later when Hannibal starts to pack up his stuff, Will tries to give him his wand back.

             “No, keep it Will. I’ll come get it if I need it. This way you can summon Achilles if you need to reach me.” It makes sense, Will thinks, but it still takes a lot of trust to leave your wand with someone else. He mouths thank you. “You’re welcome, good night Will,” and he turns and leaves.

             That night as Will is getting ready for bed, he has to admit he’s feeling better. He’s less stiff moving around. He tries speaking, “Hello.” It hurts and comes out croaky but it’s nice to know he can now speak without dying a little inside. He lays down and can smell Hannibal’s scent all around him, on him, it’s more distracting now that he’s just lying in bed. He sees Hannibal’s wand resting on his nightstand and contemplates sending Hannibal a message, but nothing he has to say seems worth the effort to summon Achilles. In the end, he closes his eyes and is surprised how quickly sleep comes.

 

*

 

             The following morning his first visitor is Beverly. “Oh my gosh Will! I heard what happened! Are you okay?” He grabs parchment and writes.

             Yes, throat still really sore though. Should be back to class within a week.

             “Wow, yeah they said you almost died, and that you saved Franklyn.” Will shrugs and nods, that about sums it up. “Well I’m so glad you’re okay Will, we’ll have to catch up once your recovered. Get some rest.” She turns to go and he waves her off.

             The rest of Saturday passes with him and Hannibal studying, playing games, sleeping (him), and eating. Will continues to feel better and the Sunday one o’clock in the morning potion is deemed his last potion which makes him incredibly happy.

             Sunday morning, he is able to speak without a lot of discomfort and receives a visit from Headmaster Crawford. Both he and Hannibal are eating breakfast and they both set it aside as he walks in.

             “Will! I’m glad to see you’ve recovered! That was admirable what you did, it made the newspaper.” Crawford seems to just notice Hannibal and says, “Mr. Lecter,” in acknowledgement. Any other student would politely excuse themselves but Hannibal remains sat there and Will thinks the eyebrow it earns him from Crawford is just great.

             “Sir.”

             Crawford eyes him. “Would you excuse us?”

             Hannibal rises. “Of course, see you later Will,” he winks at him on the way out and Crawford turns his attention back to Will.

             “So Will, I know you’re still recovering, but I heard about your wand.” At that he seems to notice the wand on Will’s nightstand. “What’s that? I thought your wand was broken?”

             Will's voice comes out croaky. “It was, that’s Hannibal’s.”

             “Why do you have Hannibal’s wand?”

             “He’s letting me borrow it sir.”

             “Well that’s certainly unusual, but kind of him I suppose. Will, as a Prefect, I need you to have a wand for when you come back on duty. When you are feeling up to it let me know and I’ll apparate us over to Ollivander’s, okay? I asked for today but Madame Pomfry told me it was out of the question, she says at earliest Wednesday, so I’ll check back with you then.” Will nods and Crawford turns to leave, but before he does he says, “I’m proud of you Will, you did a good thing,” and with that he’s gone.

             Hannibal must have been hidden somewhere down the hall because he’s back in shortly after Crawford leaves and Will fills him in. They spend the rest of the day studying and playing games, and as Hannibal is packing up to leave Will remembers, “Hannibal, you saw what’s on the syllabus for Potions this week, right?”

             Hannibal turns to him, not understanding the significance, “Yes why?”

             “Just…be careful. Be cautious of everything you eat or drink this week.” Hannibal nods, appearing unconcerned.

             “You too Will.” Will laughs at that.

             “Yeah I doubt I’m going to be targeted, you on the other hand…” Will lets the implication hang in the air and watches as Hannibal forms a response.

             “Well, let’s hope neither of us come under attack. Good night.”

 

*

 

             On Monday Will is stir crazy, he begs Madame Pomfry to discharge him from the hospital wing but she stands firm that he needs rest and to wait one more day. When she’s not around he wanders the ward, looking at stuff, staring out the window. He’s already caught up on all his classes. He dramatically flops back down on his bed, the puff of air from his pillow smells like Hannibal and he breathes it in shamelessly. It’s both a comforting and arousing smell so he turns away, that’s not a state he wants to be in in the hospital wing.

             Monday after class he complains to Hannibal, trying to goad him into busting him out. Hannibal reminds him that if he leaves he will likely be placed back in here longer and Will grumbles but knows he’s right.

             As usual, when Hannibal leaves that evening, he leaves his wand with Will. That night Will is restless, bored, he can’t sleep. In a bid of frustration, he grabs parchment, and writes I’m bored. He summons Achilles and sends it to Hannibal, smiling and waiting for a response; he’s sure he’ll get one despite the late hour. Sure enough Achilles flies back in with the note, You should be asleep. Do you need a sleeping potion?  He smiles, scribbling back, No, what are you doing?  He knows he’s being childish but can’t help it. He can almost hear the sigh when Achilles comes back. What am I doing? I was sleeping until my best friend decided to harass me and my owl. Now I am awake and bored as well. I suppose misery loves company. I suggest you use your vivid imagination to imagine some peaceful scenery to help you sleep and I shall do the same. Will reads it over a few times. Best friend?  He supposes they are best friends, but sometimes he feels like they are more than that. Deciding to try his suggestion for lack of anything better to do, Will imagines a stream, standing in the middle of it, water flowing past his legs, forest scenery surrounding him, gentle breeze on his face. He turns into the pillow breathing Hannibal’s faint scent and falls asleep.

 

*

 

             Tuesday morning Will hands over Hannibal’s wand for class and Tuesday evening Hannibal drops it off to him for the last time. Will is slightly surprised he’s still allowing him to use it after last night’s note session but is pleased all the same.

             Tuesday evening Crawford stops by, finalizing the plan that he will take Will to get a wand tomorrow. Will is antsy to get out of the hospital wing, antsy for a real shower.

             Wednesday morning comes and Hannibal picks up his wand before class as Will is finally being released by Madame Pomfry. Will is told he is excused from classes for the rest of the week. Hannibal brought him a change of clothes (Will wonders briefly how he got them and then smiles, knowing Hannibal he probably just sauntered into the Ravenclaw dorms like he belonged there), and no sooner has she released him does he sling his bag over his shoulder and run out of the room.

             Will checks the time and realizes he has an hour or so before he meets with Crawford. He barrels into his dorm, and right into the shower. The hot water is heavenly and he washes away the traces of the hospital wing, relaxing and reveling in having the whole bathroom to himself, being able to take his time. He relaxes, the stress of the week draining from him and he lets his thoughts wander freely, something he doesn’t do often. Predictably, most of his thoughts these days involve Hannibal, so he is unsurprised when the combination of those thoughts and the warm wetness of the shower, that he is hard. He quickly looks around verifying he is the only one there before wrapping his hand around himself and pumping a few times, oh yes. His thoughts still free flowing, he lets himself imagine what it would feel like if Hannibal’s hand were touching him this way, his long fingers, calluses from drawing. Will reaches out one hand to brace himself on the wall and makes a fist around his erection, thrusting into it a few times, oh that’s nice. His unrestrained imagination generates an image of him fucking Hannibal like this and he groans, feeling his cheeks flush in embarrassment and arousal. He continues thrusting until he’s panting, occasionally squeezing and rubbing over the head. He’s getting close and he shifts to lean against the other wall, water from the shower hitting him directly. He brings one hand to his mouth trying to stifle any sounds, the other furiously stroking himself. He’s so close, and biting his knuckles, he comes with a groan, stroking himself through it.

             As he catches his breath, he wants to feel shame or remorse at thinking of his best friend this way, but finds he feels too good to be bothered. Deep down Will remains afraid, afraid that he is going to lose the battle between being a good person and a bad one, worries that it’s becoming easier and easier to do the “wrong” thing and not feel remorse. He abruptly realizes he doesn’t know how long he has been standing in the shower contemplating his morality and gets out. He quickly dries off, dresses, and goes to meet Crawford.

             When Will enters his office, he notes Crawford appears to be in an unusually good mood. Will supposes his heroic save makes Crawford look good by proxy. Having never apparated before, Will is unprepared when Crawford says, “Take my arm.” As soon as he does, Will is startled by the loud crack and holds on tighter as he feels like he is being pulled away from behind his belly button. Will is briefly reminded of those muggle UFO carnival rides. As quick as it started, it’s over and they are standing in Diagon Alley in front of Ollivander’s Wand Shop. It’s weird to be back here. Crawford was here with him before when he got his wand, deja vous. They walk into the store and the white frizzy hair of Mr. Ollivander is visible just above the counter.

             “Hello,” Crawford says. The head pops up.

             “Ah! Headmaster! And Mr. Graham, welcome back. I heard of the unfortunate news, I must say I’m glad you are okay, too bad your wand didn’t make it…Do you have the pieces?” Will fishes through his pocket, pulls them out, and places them on the counter. Mr. Ollivander looks at the pieces with a deep sadness in his eyes.

             “Oh my, that’s terrible. Yes this wand is definitely dead, terrible shame, terrible.” He puts the pieces behind the counter with a gentleness as if it’s a deceased pet. “Well now, Mr. Graham, let’s see if we can find you a new wand. It may be different than your previous one, you understand, people change and the wand chooses the wizard.” Will nods in acknowledgement, already suspecting as much. “Let’s try this one,” he pulls one out and hands it to Will. “Go on, give it a swish.” Will does and there is a loud crack causing them all to duck and cover their ears. “No, no, not that one. How about this one?” He hands it to Will and Will swishes it and nothing happens. He tries again, and still nothing happens. “Well not that one either, hmm. How about this one?” He goes on and on, giving will a total of twenty wands. “Mr. Graham I must say I will be very curious to know which wand you end up with, it’s been years since I’ve had this hard of a time finding one, but trust, we will!” He sounds excited, like Will is a particularly rare challenge that he can tell all his wand making friends about. By the thirty-fifth wand, Mr. Ollivander is looking less excited and more puzzled. “My goodness, I suppose let’s pull out the less common ones shall we? Let’s try this 11 inches, Cedar, Dragon Heartstrings core.” Will takes it and his fingers tingle the moment he grasps it. He waves it, and just like the first time he was matched with a wand, there is a whoosh of wind around him and a light glowing out of the tip of the wand. “Aha! We got it! Lovely Mr. Graham. Cedar wands are often attracted to those with a strength of character and loyalty, yet also tend to be very perceptive and shrewd. Cedar also tends to make one a frightening adversary, especially if a loved one is harmed. The dragon heartstrings will likely make the wand feel more powerful than your phoenix feather one and make the wand quick to learn but slightly more temperamental.”

             Will looks down at the reddish-brown wand, taking it all in. “Well Mr. Crawford that will be seven galleons.” Crawford pays it and Will, while appreciative, can’t wait until he can work, he hates feeling like a child having everyone pay for him, it’s not his fault his mother is dead and his father is a deadbeat. When they apparate back, this time Will more prepared. When they return, Will angles his body towards the door as if to leave but Crawford clearly indicates for him to take a seat, so he does.

             “So I see you have a new friend?” Will is taken aback, since when does Crawford care…there’s got to be an angle.

             “Yes sir.”

             “He’s the transfer student, he’s being nice to you?”

             “Yes sir.”

             “Good, that’s good, you deserve a good friend Will.” There’s a brief pause here and Will is waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Has he said anything about his reason for transferring?”

             “Um, just that his family moved. Why sir?”

             “Oh no reason, it wasn’t really clear on the paperwork and Durmstrang appears to have had an incident right before he left.”

             “An incident, sir?” Crawford looks like he debates elaborating for a moment and then concedes.

             “Will, this is just between you and me, but a professor there was killed.” Will mentally starts spiraling…

             “And…and you think…?” He can’t even voice it. To his surprise Crawford laughs at his distress.

             “No Will, I don’t suspect your friend of anything illicit, you can calm down. But I imagine that kind of poor security at a school would make any family want to move, no doubt.” Crawford appears to have an epiphany. “Hey do you think he would be interested in being a Prefect? Lord knows we could use some more scrupulous ones in Slytherin.”

             Will stammers, “I…I don’t know, I can mention it to him.” Crawford stands.

             “Yes please do Will. You’re dismissed. Enjoy your time off, recuperate, I need you back to 100% ASAP.”

             “Yes sir, thank you for the wand.”

             “You’re welcome kid, now scram.” Will leaves, noting its lunch time and heads down to the Great Hall. He looks to the Ravenclaw table and doesn’t see Hannibal, then it dawns on him, duh, he can’t really sit there without him. He scans the Slytherin table and sees him sitting with a girl he thinks is named Margot. He isn’t sure if he’s welcome, but then he thinks as Hannibal’s best friend he’s reasonably certain he could at least say hi. Social situations were never his strong suit. As he walks over, he feels many eyes staring at him, morbid curiosity not only from his injury but that he’s walking towards the Slytherin table. He hopes he’s not making a mistake. When he’s a few feet away Hannibal notices him.

             “Will! You’re back,” he smiles, “Come have a seat,” and indicates a spot next to him. As he sits down, Hannibal, always polite, says “Will, this is Margot Verger. Margot, this is Will Graham.”

             “Hi,” Will says. He’s never talked to Margot before but she has a decidedly non-threatening aura about her. He can feel a potential for manipulation (not surprising since she’s in Slytherin) and her curiosity tendriling out like everyone else, but he doesn’t feel uncomfortable.

             “Hi Will, oh my gosh you are the talk of the whole school.”

             “Great,” Will says sarcastically, pouring some juice and drinking a few gulps of it.

             “Sorry, what I mean to say is, I’m glad you are okay, it sounded awful.” She seems to genuinely mean it and doesn’t sound like she’s fishing for gossip.

             “Thanks.” He grabs some food and starts eating, he’s not sure how much longer is left in lunch hour, as Margot and Hannibal seem to be done already.

             “So Will, I was telling Hannibal he needs to come to a Quidditch game, he’s never been to one,” Margot says, her voice pleasant, clear like a bell but with a soft quality to it. Will looks up in surprise, he didn’t know that and turns to Hannibal.

             “Really?” Will himself is not really big on Quidditch like some people are, but he’s been to a few games.

             “Unfortunately not, but I’m told they will be starting soon?” Will feels eyes on him and a quick glance down the Slytherin table shows his presence is noticed and being commented on. Will turns back.

             “Yeah, should be soon, next week maybe?”

             Margot apparently has more information. “Yes first games of the season are next week. Wednesday is Slytherin versus Ravenclaw. Will, make sure he goes.”

             Will is surprised at the request, but nods. “I’ll do my best.” It feels weird to speak as if Hannibal A) doesn’t make his own decisions and B) isn’t sitting right next to him.

             “Atta boy!” she says playfully, patting his hand across the table, then starts gathering up her stuff. “So I gotta go, but I’ll see you guys around, bye!”

             With that she’s off and Will feels like he’s lost part of his shield at the Slytherin table, feeling more eyes on him. He grabs a tomato and cheese sandwich, and looks at Hannibal pleadingly, “Wanna take a walk?” Hannibal nods, understanding, and they walk out. Will eats the sandwich as they walk to nowhere in particular. Eventually, they find themselves in the quad and Will stops near a bench, it’s a little cold but Will sits, noting Hannibal sits down next to him. Will looks up at the clock tower, checking the time. There’s not much time before class but he pulls out his new wand and hands it over to Hannibal, figuring he’d want to see. Hannibal looks at it, then at Will, inquiring. Around a mouthful Will says, “Its Cedar, eleven inches, Dragon Heartstrings core.”

             Hannibal nods, smiling, “So now you have the power you liked out of mine.”

             “Yeah, although Ollivander said it’s the core most prone to accidents, or at least moreso than my previous one.”

             Hannibal nods, “Yes that’s true but somehow I doubt that will be a problem for you. And Cedar…that’s a powerful wood. I daresay your wand may be more powerful than mine.”

             Will snorts, wiping the crumbs from his sandwich on his robes, earning a slightly disgusted look from Hannibal. “You and I both know that wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference. It’s not the wand, it’s the wizard wielding said wand.” Hannibal smiles and Will smiles too. Despite Hannibal still being difficult for Will to read, Will suspects they both seem to have struck upon the same idea in that moment...both fans of a challenge.

             “How long do you think it will take you to acclimate to your new wand?”

             “Dunno, I’ve never had to acclimate to one before.” Will is pretty sure he knows what Hannibal’s going to say.

             “I would like to challenge you to a duel, on the date of your choosing.” Yup, he called it.

             “Challenge accepted,” Will says and has the absurd urge to shake hands on it but dismisses the thought. It’s almost time for class and Will wishes he could go to Alchemy with Hannibal but instead he heads back to his dormitory, planning to practice spells with his new wand. He has a duel to schedule. That evening, he makes sure to thank Price and Zeller for saving him. For once Price doesn’t pester him with questions, he just says he’s glad Will is okay and it looks like he means it.

 

*

 

             That weekend, Will and Hannibal are in the Potion’s classroom. Professor Snape allowed Will to make up what he missed, and in a clear showing of house preferential treatment, allowed Hannibal to be in there as well. Will is sure if he were in any other house he would be kicked out, but since it serves his interest he says nothing.

             Hannibal is watching him brew the Amortentia potion, commenting here and there since he successfully made it already, as Snape is grading papers in the front of the classroom.

             “So no one tried to sneak this to anyone? To you?” Will asks.

             “Not that I am aware of, but to be fair I was a bit preoccupied,” he shoots Will a pointed look, “and I suspect most of the school was busy talking about your incident as well, I got asked about you quite a bit in class.”

             “Hmm,” Will can believe that, he’s been asked a lot himself. Will stirs the potion and adds the pearl dust, he’s almost done.

             “There was quite a bit of talk in class as to what the potion smells like though.” Hannibal continues which causes Will turns to him.

             “What do you mean? What does it smell like?” He eyes his potion dubiously.

             “When brewed correctly, it smells different to every person, smelling like what that person finds attractive, whether they are aware of it or not,” Hannibal explains. Will stiffens at the implications of this.

             “Interesting…” Will both wants to know and doesn’t want to know what it smells like to Hannibal. The question is on the tip of his tongue but he chickens out in the moment, instead adding the last ingredient, moonstone. Now it’s a matter of minutes, and he continues stirring. Soon the top begins sparkling with a mother of pearl sheen and the steam coiling in a spiral pattern like it’s supposed to. He calls Professor Snape over who assess it, evidently it’s correct and now he’s officially caught up. Snape leaves with a dramatic swish of his robes and Will leans forward over the potion, already pretty sure what he will smell. He sniffs and yes, it’s Hannibal’s aftershave…but also crisp outside air…with a metallic hint of…is that blood?, and some other smell he can’t quite name but it smells familiar and comfortable. He leans back, face surprised, and a faint blush on his cheeks.

             Hannibal is watching him rapt, his voice faint in case Will doesn’t want to answer. “What do you smell Will?”

             “Love,” is what Will says. It makes no sense but it’s true. He can’t lie to Hannibal but he’s also not about to tell him all the details. Hannibal doesn’t seem to mind his answer. Will looks at Hannibal, plucking up his courage, “What do you smell?” Hannibal leans forward and smells it, smiling a peaceful happy smile.

             “Yes, love.”

*

 

             The following Wednesday they both go to Ravenclaw versus Slytherin Quidditch match. They wave at Margot as they pass by her and her friends, and Margot winks at Will; Will imagines her saying job well done!  Will has secretly been looking forward to this, it almost feels like a date. Over the past week, Will has fully recovered and he’s been acclimating to his new wand. He likes it so far, however he’s encountered nothing that is that different about it, other than the perceived power. He’s tempted to schedule the duel soon but doesn’t want to rush it either.

             Will shivers a little as they walk up in the stands, the wind stronger up here. It’s cold today, the clouds above an ominous gray color. He’s wearing a beanie and his warmest cloak. On Monday, Alana’s wand backfired in Charms which ended up setting his scarf on fire. Despite the quick extinguishing of the fire, his scarf was ruined. Alana was very embarrassed and apologetic, promising to get him a replacement one this weekend in Hogsmeade. The weather had been fairly moderate for November yesterday, but today it feels like winter is around the corner and he wishes he had it. Only a few more days he supposes. Hannibal, with his more robust wardrobe, has a cloak, scarf, gloves, and most surprisingly a fur lined hat with ear flaps. Will thinks it  makes him look simultaneously ridiculous and foreign, but he concedes that somehow Hannibal does successfully pull it off.

             As they stop at a decent enough spot, Will brings his hands up to his mouth to blow on them, then shoves them back into his pockets. “Where is your scarf?” Hannibal asks. Will tells him the Alana story and Hannibal laughs at Will’s bad luck. Will just grumbles.

             “Yeah, yeah, very funny. She’s gonna get me a replacement this weekend. It’s fine.” Hannibal doesn’t offer any immediate response so Will turns his attention back to the game, the players now coming out onto the field. He’s caught off guard when the next thing he knows, Hannibal is putting his Slytherin colored scarf around his neck. Before Will can react, Hannibal has already looped it around him. It has his scent and is warm from his body heat; Will has to admit it feels nice before he comments.

             “What are you doing? Trying to convert me?” Hannibal leans back, eyes assessing.

             “I must admit it does look good on you.” Will blushes and ends up allowing the scarf to stay, turning back to the field. He wonders what he looks like, sporting Slytherin colors. A slight shiver passes over Hannibal and Will feels bad having been the reason the man doesn’t have his scarf. Will leans closer to Hannibal and, feeling bold, loops his arm around Hannibal’s arm. Hannibal turns at the action but makes no motion to pull away. Will supposes they must look like a couple but it is much warmer this way for both of them and they go back to watching the game.

             Some time later, Will peripherally notices Hannibal is once again being chatted up. It happens a lot when they go to school events. He’s mostly used to it now and turns to continue watching the game. Eventually Hannibal dismisses whoever it was, and Will catches a glimpse of red hair retreating. Freddie Lounds. She’s nosier than Alana from what Will has seen - he offhandedly thinks she’d make a good newspaper reporter.

             “Anything interesting from Freddie?”

             “Nothing worth repeating. Anything interesting happen in the game?”

             “Nothing worth repeating,” Will parrots back and they smile.

             At that moment the clouds decide a downpour is in order and everyone is instantly soaked. They both grab their wands uttering “Pellebrant” umbrella charm but it’s too little too late to do much good. Most of the crowd starts making their way back to the castle and they are shuffled with the flow. Will grabs Hannibal’s cloak as their arms separate so they don’t lose each other in the crowd. When Hannibal notices he grabs Will's hand and pulls him along, causing Will to blush again. Once they are free of the stands, he and Hannibal run back to the castle, Will still holding his gloved hand.

             Once inside the castle walls, they turn off their umbrella charms and Hannibal lets go of his hand. Will’s teeth are chattering and he is soaked from head to toe. A brief glance at Hannibal shows he doesn’t look much better, his fluffy hat now matted down and dripping. Instinctively they walk towards the fireplace in the Great Hall but of course it’s mobbed, everyone else having the same idea. It’s times like this Will wishes they could go to the same common room. As they stand there dripping on the floor, Will thinks a hot bath sounds heavenly right now and has an idea.

             Mimicking Hannibal, he grabs his hand, “Follow me, I’ve got an idea.” Hannibal raises an eyebrow and looks as miserable as Will does, using a hot air charm to try to dry his robes unsuccessfully and nods. Will leads them to the Prefect’s bathroom and the second they walk in they are blasted with warm humid air. Will feels himself warming from the inside out with each breath he takes. Like usual, the bath is steaming and a layer of bubbles float on top. Also like usual, no one else is in there.

             Both still shivering, by unspoken agreement they begin taking off their soaked robes and hanging them up to dry, followed by shirts and pants. Will hesitates at his underwear, not really having thought this through all the way. He glances at Hannibal and, seeing a brief glimpse of his butt, turns back, giving him privacy. He hears Hannibal get into the water, and a peek back shows Hannibal has turned away, giving him privacy. He takes off his underwear, hangs it to dry with the other clothes, and then steps into the water.

             He sighs in happiness as the warmth soaks into his cold body. He sees Hannibal has leaned back against the side, eyes closed, arms spread out, chest glistening, content expression on his face.  He looks as peaceful as Will feels. Any residual anxiety Will had about bringing Hannibal here dissipates. Surely its odd to take a bath with your friend, even if they were both super cold? Whatever, they’re unique.

             Will leans back and closes his eyes too. He hears water movement and looks up, seeing Hannibal has moved slightly, looking less miserable by the moment.

             “This was an excellent idea Will.”

             “Mmm,” Will agrees.

             “Did you know many muggle cultures have communal baths? For example, in Turkey they have bath houses where people come to relax and socialize. There are similar ones in Rome.”

             “I’ve heard of that yes, never been in one.”

             “I imagine this is what it would be like.” Hannibal dunks his head under, his hair slicked back which accentuates the angular features of his face, his cheekbones, and his regal nose, when he surfaces. As he sits back Will notices his muscled chest has some chest hair and his brain automatically wonders what it would feel like. He feels the beginnings of an erection and is thankful for the thick layer of bubbles.

             Will is both thankful and annoyed to hear Myrtle appear a short time later.

             “Well don’t you two look comfortable!” She’s beelining for Hannibal, eyes only for him.

             “Hi Myrtle,” Will says and decides it’s as good a moment as any to dunk under so he does.

             As he resurfaces, he hears a coy, “Hiiii Hannibal.”

             “Hello Myrtle,” Hannibal says, always so polite. Myrtle floats into Hannibal’s personal space and Will has to stifle a laugh as Hannibal attempts to turn away from her.

             “Oh my!” she giggles, “How scandalous, you’re both naked!”

             “Myrtle please, that’s close enough.” Hannibal for once looks unsure and apprehensive, possibly realizing Myrtle’s non-corporeal nature would make her harder to combat.

             Will has to chime in, sarcastically, “Oh yes, because it’s so unusual to bathe naked.”

             Myrtle ignores him and cuddles up to Hannibal at a distance he seems to tolerate, and to his credit Hannibal handles it with grace. That’s one more for Hannibal’s fan club, Will thinks. Will feels a brief flare of jealousy despite the fact that he knows she’s dead. Hannibal talks with her, ever the good conversationalist, and Will wanders around the bath half crouched to remain in the warm water. He ends up sitting more or less where he started but a few feet closer to Hannibal. Occasionally their feet touch and Will feels a pleasant tingle at the contact.

             Eventually they’re pruny and Will somewhat rudely shoos Myrtle out. Will starts to get out and Hannibal politely turns away. Once Will grabs a towel, he hears Hannibal getting out. Will wraps the towel around his waist and checks his clothes. They are mostly dry but he gets out his wand and does the hot air charm to finish them. Hannibal moves into his field of view also wrapped in a towel and does the same. As they stand there, Will comments, “Well you’ve got another one for your fan club.”

             “My what?”

             “You know you’ve got a fan club, you can practically hear their panties drop around you.”

             “Crude Will,” Hannibal admonishes but there’s no bite behind it.

             “But you’re not denying it.” Hannibal looks up.

             “Some people are glaringly obvious in their feelings… others less so.” After a beat Hannibal continues. “Are you jealous Will?” His tone is light, teasing.

             “Jealous of what?”

             “That you don’t have a fan club of your own? Or that you want to be part of mine?” Will lightly bristles, and decides he doesn’t want to answer that so he doesn’t. Their clothes are dry now anyway so he grabs his and turns to change. He hears motion and assumes Hannibal does the same. Will wants to ask Hannibal if he has any interest in dating. He certainly has options, unlike Will. Will selfishly likes having Hannibal all to himself but also knows that he cares enough about Hannibal that he wouldn't stand in the way of Hannibal being happy. He wonders what kind of girl Hannibal would want. Then he stops thinking about it because in his heart he knows he wants to be with Hannibal that way. But of course, even though he can easily read the emotions of everyone else at school, the one person he can’t read well is Hannibal, his blind spot. He can’t tell if they are just friends or starting to become something more. He hopes for something more.

 

*

 

             That night Will has another dream, this time it takes place in the Prefect’s bathroom. In his dream, he and Hannibal are in it like they were earlier that day, but Will has slid over to Hannibal, finding his strong biceps underwater with his hands, gripping there and pulling his body forward, bringing their lips together. Hannibal’s mouth is warm, his lips still slightly cold from the downpour they escaped from. He opens his mouth and feels Hannibal’s tongue slide against his, then feels his teeth scrape along Will’s lip. Will feels buoyant and pulls his body closer to Hannibal’s, his knees straddling Hannibal’s lap and pressing their chests together, bodies slick. Will feels the coarse but soft chest hair brush against his chest and moves his hands to rub through it. As he deposits himself on Hannibal’s lap, Will feels a hardness brush against his own and he grinds down onto it, the friction lovely. He shifts closer and now, his erection is sliding against Hannibal’s abdomen and Hannibal’s length is sliding underneath him, between his cheeks, brushing over his sensitive hole–

             Will wakes, painfully hard and cheeks crimson. He resigns himself, casts a silencing charm, draws the curtains, and wonders if this is becoming a dangerous habit. He kicks off his underwear and takes himself in hand, spreading the pre-come leaking from the tip all around, slicking himself up. He’s already leaked a copious amount, he’s so close already from the dream.

             Remembering his dream, he brings his other hand to his length and gets some of the fluid from the tip, rubbing it between his fingers. His cheeks warm with embarrassment, he simply holds his length while he reaches back with his other hand behind his balls to his hole. He’s never touched there before, but he has an idea of the concept. He runs his finger over it and shivers at the feeling, sensitive. He does it again a little harder, his fingertip sliping slightly in, and he takes a breath because well isn’t that interesting. He begins pumping his erection again and lightly dipping his finger inside, alternating, his body instinctively finding a rhythm. He gets greedy for feeling and pushes his finger in further on the next one and winces slightly, there’s a slight burning but it’s not unpleasant and recedes pretty quickly. He’s now fucking himself on one finger and thrusting into his fist, feeling strung tight.

             He feels like his hand is going to cramp so he turns his hand at a different angle which totally changes his feeling, so much more intense and all of a sudden he is close. Assuming he has found his prostate, he concentrates his effort on that area and a few thrusts later he is coming like he never has before. As he comes, he almost blacks out in bliss as he clenches around his finger in rhythmic contractions, white streams of come jetting out from him onto his hand and stomach. He strokes himself through it, eventually removing his hand due to overstimulation. He pulls his finger out and winces a little at the sensation of loss, still contracting occasionally.

             As he comes back to himself, he allows himself to imagine what it would be like to have Hannibal’s fingers fuck him, callouses from his drawing, and from there it’s not really a leap to imagine Hannibal actually fucking him. Will's cheeks heat and his softening erection twitches at the thought. Will knows this isn’t healthy but he can resist it no more than the tide resists the moon, he feels caught in Hannibal’s orbit, helpless to escape… but then again he doesn’t want to escape. He cleans up quickly and goes to back to sleep.

 

*

 

             Later that week, Will announces to Hannibal that he is ready to duel at Hannibal’s earliest convenience. Will has been practicing and it’s been kind of anticlimactic; yes some spells seem a little stronger but most are no different. They choose their area by the lake, even though it’s getting colder, and have agreed upon terms including no severely harmful spells.

             Will finds himself getting more and more excited as they walk down to the lake. He didn’t realize how much he enjoyed having an intellectual equal until Hannibal came around, and then after playing hours of games with him when he was convalescing, he realized Hannibal has a bit of a competitive streak, not surprising considering his ego. He suspects Hannibal likes challenging him too, maybe Hannibal hasn’t had someone on his level either. Secretly Will is worried he’s not quite as smart as Hannibal and once Hannibal realizes that he will grow bored with him, but he can’t let it deter him, if anything the worry made him work harder.

             They agree on best of three. They both set their stuff down and remove their robes. Will undoes his top button, loosens his tie, and pushes up his shirt sleeves, remembering their sparring match fondly. Hannibal undoes his top button of his shirt but otherwise stays the same. They spread out, about twenty feet between them, wands out.

             “On three?” Will calls.

             Hannibal nods and says “One.”

             They both say “Two, three!”

             They’ve both gotten good at nonverbal spells so the sparks start flying immediately, the only sounds are the grunts of effort as they advance and retreat on each other. Will is taking the first round cautiously, mostly using shield charm, feeling out Hannibal’s method which seems to be the opposite of his, heavy on offensive spells, seemingly trying to detect Will’s weak points. Deciding to capitalize on that, he waits until Hannibal has just fired something at him and sends a disarm spell his way, and it hits! Hannibal’s wand going flying and Will does a quick summoning charm, Hannibal’s wand flying into his hand. Hannibal looks surprised, a mixture of irritation at losing and excitement, a snarl of a smile. Will loves him and smiles back, what he suspects is an equally feral smile. He tosses Hannibal’s wand back at him. Hannibal catches it easily and they move back to a safe distance apart. Will notes their postures have changed slightly, Hannibal’s shoulders are more rounded, he looks intimidating, scary. Will is more crouched.

             “On three,” Hannibal calls, his voice slightly rougher. Will can’t stop smiling.

             Will calls back, “One.”

             They both say, “Two, three!” and then sparks start flying again and Will is being pummeled. He can’t let up his shield charm at all, they just keep coming. He’s legitimately impressed and has to take a step back. He waits and waits, thinking Hannibal will get tired but it never lets up, so he decides he has to try something. He leaps to the right, hoping Hannibal won’t be able to correct in time and sends some spells his way and…his wand goes flying, right into Hannibal’s hand. They’re tied. Hannibal looks smug, happy, smiling, his hair more messy than usual and Will finds him incredibly sexy. He’s given up resisting his feelings, he realized when he smelled the Amortentia potion that Hannibal is likely the love of his life. Whether or not it’s reciprocated, this isn’t a passing fling so he’s not going to resist it, no more guilt about thinking about him that way. He trusts if Hannibal doesn’t like something he will tell him. He tosses Will’s wand back.

             “I have a suggestion,” Hannibal calls out. Will steps closer. “No more disarm, let’s get creative, give it a personal touch.” Will smiles.

             “Alright. On three.” They both step back.

             Hannibal calls, “One.”

             They both say, “Two, three!” and the spells start flying. Will isn’t thinking too much, he’s having fun, and from the looks of it Hannibal is too. Will gets distracted by Hannibal’s smile and that’s when the spell hits him and suddenly his wand is on the ground and damn if he hasn’t been hit with his own spell, straight-jacket hex. He laughs and turns to look at Hannibal and is shocked to see his is bound with rope, almost hog tied, apparently his incarcerous spell landed. He walks over and they both start laughing.

             “I guess it’s a draw,” Will says.

              “I suppose so. How do we undo each other?” Hannibal pulls at the rope but can’t get enough give to grab his wand.

             “I have an idea,” Will says. Hannibal cranes his neck to watch. Will can’t get his arms free so he kneels down on the ground and leans over, picking up his wand with his mouth. It’s not elegant in the slightest and he gets some grass in his mouth in the process, but he manages to pick it up and does a nonverbal unbinding spell for Hannibal. The ropes vanish and Hannibal grabs his wand and releases Will who takes his wand out of his mouth and spits out the grass. Will holds out his hand, Hannibal looks at it and grabs it, curious expression on his face. They are both breathing slightly hard, skin flushed, Will feels alive. Will shakes his hand, “Good match.”

             Hannibal shakes his hand back, “Yes, good match.”

 

*

 

             That weekend, Hannibal suggests they go to Hogsmeade since he’s never been. Will usually doesn’t go since he has no money, but agrees on the condition that Hannibal is under no obligation to pay for him. Hannibal accepts the terms, and Will suspects Hannibal will still try to pay for him but at least he made an effort.

             It’s a cold day with snow on the ground as they walk together towards Hogsmeade, hands in pockets, Will still cold from lack of scarf, cloak pulled tight and beanie on. Occasionally students pass them, many wanting to talk to Hannibal. Alana slows as her and her friends pass to tell Will she hasn’t forgotten and will get Will a replacement scarf, then proceeds to shamelessly chat up Hannibal.

             Once in town, Hannibal asks, “What is that garish pink place?” The sign reads Madame Puddifoot’s Tea Shop and its filled with couples staring into each other’s eyes. “What do they put in their tea? Amortentia?”

             “It’s a date spot,” Will supplies and Hannibal looks skeptical. His look says for idiots and Will laughs. They walk up to Gladrag’s Wizard Wear and Hannibal goes in, Will following close behind. Hannibal browses around and Will takes it all in. Eventually Hannibal pulls him over to the scarves.

             “What do you think of this one?” It’s a blueish green with gray plaid over it, sophisticated but hip looking. Will touches it and its super soft.

             “It’s nice, but don’t you already have a scarf?”

             “Not for me.” His eyes flit to Will’s neck in an obvious gesture.

             Will protests, “No Hannibal, I told you no buying me stuff. Anyway, Alana is getting me one.”

             “So Alana is the only one allowed to buy you things?”

             “Well she burned my scarf…”

             “So you’re saying if I burn an item of yours I can replace it?”

             “Dammit Hannibal that’s not what I mean.”

             Hannibal is amused by Will’s irritation but then turns serious. “Alright, alright, I concede. I’m going to make my purchase, I’ll be right back.” Will’s not sure why he protests so much. He knows he’s stubborn but he’s been alone and self-sufficient so long he doesn’t want to need anybody, or owe anybody. Especially someone like Hannibal for whom he can’t offer anything in return. As they leave the shop, Hannibal hands Will a pair of gloves. Will looks at them, they are nice gloves, similar to what Hannibal is wearing.

             “For me?”

             “Yes of course, put them on.” Will does as he says, simultaneously happy and irritated.

             “I told you not to get me anything.”

             “And I would have listened if you had something to keep your hands warm in this freezing weather. As a concerned friend and future healer, I felt it was a safety concern. I like my friends to have all ten of their fingers.” The gloves fit perfectly and Will doesn’t want to know what they cost. He must admit his hands are warm now. He laughs at Hannibal’s explanation.

             “That’s complete bullshit and you know it but thank you, they’re great.” When he sees Hannibal’s smile he quickly adds, “But nothing else!”

             From there they walk to Dervish and Banges, which is full of all odd manor of things. Will spends a long time looking at a muggle polaroid camera that has been adapted to take wizard photos. Hannibal looks at the sneakoscopes. Then they then walk to Dominic Maesto’s Music Shop. Hannibal tells him he used to play harpsichord as a small child. They don’t have one in the store but he tinkers on the piano a bit and Will is enraptured, watching Hannibal’s long dexterous fingers moving over the keys, the sounds he creates are magical. Hannibal tells him he wants to get one someday and compose. Will thinks that’s a great idea and hopes he’s still in Hannibal’s life to hear it. They then head to Tomes and Scrolls Bookshop where they both browse. Hannibal gets The Updated Counter Curse Handbook.

             By then they both start to get hungry so they head to the Three Broomsticks where Hannibal insists on getting them lunch. They both get Butterbeer, Hannibal gets Cornish pasties, and Will gets fish and chips, but they end up sharing everything. Its cozy inside and they sit in a booth. The inside has large wood ceilings and metal chandeliers with candles above, creating a soft light, and Will is reminded of muggle ski lodges. As they are eating Alana and Beverly come and sit with them; Will introduces Hannibal to Beverly. Alana gives Will the scarf as promised and then proceeds to chat at Hannibal some more. Will puts on the scarf and he and Beverly catch up. Beverly’s eyes keep glancing from Hannibal to Will and Will can tell she’s curious but she’s too nice to ask. She tells him he looks good, he says thanks and that he feels good. He asks about her life and listens as she succinctly gives him the details. Will can hear Alana prattling on about who knows what and feels bad that Hannibal is stuck with her for the moment.  At a break in the conversation he turns to Hannibal.

             “Do you still want to check out Zonko’s?” Hannibal’s eyes look desperate for a polite out and he grasps onto it.

             “Yes I do. Ladies enjoy the rest of your meal,” and Hannibal moves faster than Will has seen him in recent memory. Will laughs as soon as they are out of earshot and Hannibal looks irritated. “That girl, I think I’ve had more than my fill of her today.”

             “Yeah she’s a talker. It was nice to see Beverly though.”

             “Yes I did notice you talking with her. I wish I had had the pleasure as well.”

             “Yeah I think she would have liked that too, maybe next time.” They reach Zonko’s and browse around. It’s quite loud and visually stimulating so Will excuses himself after a few minutes, noticing Hannibal following. They then head to Honeyduke’s and peruse the selection there, Hannibal asking Will about the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

             “You’ve never tried them?” Will asks.

             “No I don’t believe they had these at Durmstrang. What are they?”

             “They’re just like muggle jelly beans but they come in literally every flavor. Good and bad. And it doesn’t say what they are.”

             “Interesting. I think I’ll get some.”

             “Are you sure? Some are really bad. Like vomit, or rotten eggs.”

             “My palate doesn’t discriminate Will, it sounds like a fun challenge.”

             “You have a weird definition of fun.” As they leave the store Hannibal opens it and picks one out, it’s yellow. He chews it and Will watches, curious.

             “Yellow squash flavor. How fascinating.” He offers the box to Will who picks up a red one. He steels himself and pops it in his mouth and…

             “Aahh chili pepper! Fuck that’s hot.” He coughs a little, trying to clear his throat. Hannibal looks amused and picks out another, a gray one. He eats it and almost chokes.

             “Black pepper,” he manages in a strained voice and Will laughs and grabs the box.

             “Okay come on there’s got to be a decent tasting one in here.” He grabs a white one with pink spots and eats it. “Yes! Strawberry short cake.” He hands the box back to Hannibal who picks one more out, a reddish purple one. He bites into it and chews, contemplating…

             “I believe I’m tasting liver.” Will makes a disgusted face and laughs. “Why are you laughing? It’s not bad Will.” Hannibal stops as they pass by Ceridwen’s Cauldron Shop. When Will sees where they are he shoots an exasperated look at Hannibal.

             “Don’t even think about it, mine is fine!” Will pushes Hannibal to start walking again and Hannibal laughs but goes along with it. At that moment Bedelia and Chiyoh appear, having come out of a nearby store. Lovely Will thinks as he sees them coming their way.

             “Good afternoon ladies,” Hannibal says.

             “Hello Hannibal, Will,” Bedelia supplies.

             “Will, this is Chiyoh. Chiyoh, Will,” Hannibal says.

             Will raises his hand. “Hi.” He hopes that’s enough because that’s all he’s giving. Chiyoh nods his direction. Bedelia chats up Hannibal as Will and Chiyoh just stand there. Will gets an odd vibe off of her. He can tell she tries to keep her emotions inside, very independent and he detects a stubbornness. She glances at Hannibal quite often and Will suspects she’s a less overt member of the Hannibal fan club.

             Hannibal offers the girls some of the every flavor beans and Will is mentally rooting for Bedelia to get something disgusting. She pulls out a brown one that turns out to be dog food and she spits it out while Will tries (and fails) to hide his amusement. Chiyoh gets a white one which turns out to be soap and also spits it out. With the mood killed, the girls excuse themselves and Will and Hannibal start to walk back as the sun sets lower in the sky.

             “You derived great enjoyment from Bedelia getting that bean.” It’s not a question so Will doesn’t answer but his smile is answer enough.

             As they walk back, Will is struck with inspiration, seeing the banks of snow off to the side of the path. He points to the left and says, “What’s that over there?”

             “Where?” As Hannibal turns, Will scoops up some snow, forms it into a ball and throws it at Hannibal. It hits him on his shoulder, exploding into small bits of ice. Hannibal turns, surprised, and smiles slightly menacingly. He sets down his bag, and scoops up some snow to retaliate. They play for a bit until they’re tired, huffing and puffing, breath visible on the air, cheeks pink, grins on both of their faces. Will notes the sky is darker now.

             “We’d better head back.” They pick up their stuff and start walking again. After a moment, Hannibal tells Will he used to play with his sister in the snow, his eyes almost look teary, expression far off. Will lays a hand on his shoulder and they walk back like that.

 

Chapter Text

The gorgeous image of Hannibal and Will above was used with permission from xeatxthexrudex

 

             Right when December hits, everyone starts studying for exams. Will and Hannibal don’t have to study quite as much as other students, but they when they do, they meet up at the library. Right now Will’s eyes are crossing, he’s been reading too much. He looks across the table at Hannibal who looks as bored as he feels.

             “Hey I wanna practice something, wanna go outside?” It’s freezing outside but he feels too cooped up in here. Hannibal’s thoughts seem to mimic his and he closes his book.

             “Follow me, I have an idea.” Hannibal leads Will to an empty classroom nearby. “How’s this?” Hannibal’s voice echoes slightly in the empty room with high ceilings. Will thinks this used to be his History of Magic classroom.

             “Fine.” He sets down his bag and gets out his wand. Hannibal sets down his bag and hops up on one of the desks, legs dangling of the edge, watching Will.

             “What are you practicing?”

             “Patronus – it’s going to be on the exams and I really want to get a corporeal one.” Hannibal’s eyes light up, and Will supposes that makes sense; if Will succeeds, Hannibal will take partial credit having been his…what? Happiness advocate? Will closes his eyes, focuses on the memory of him and Hannibal flying, of how happy and free he felt, lets it fill him up and he feels a stupid goofy grin on his face but can’t help it. He holds onto the feeling and says “Expecto patronum!” Bluish-white light shoots out of his wand, larger than it ever has, first a cloud, then a shield shape, then, to his pleasant surprise, takes the form of a stag. But something is different about it…it has feathers? Its antlers are huge and the feathers make it look larger it gallops around the room and comes to a standstill in front of Will. Will is so surprised he stops concentrating on the spell, and as he takes a step towards it, it disintegrates.

             Will meets Hannibal’s gaze, eyes wide and happy, and they share a smile. Hannibal hops off the desk, walking over to him and Will hugs him without thinking, so excited and happy. Hannibal looks surprised but hugs him back. When Will pulls back, Hannibal says, “Again?” Will nods.

             Will closes his eyes again, this time the memories are more potent for having Hannibal standing beside him, like they are in technicolor, vivid and real. He lets that feeling fill him up, holds onto it and “Expecto patronum!” Again, bluish-white lights shoots out of his wand and instantly becomes the feathered stag, rearing up on its hind legs briefly, then galloping a few steps and stopping to face Will and Hannibal, eyes blinking and nostrils flared. Will finds it easier to keep hold of the memories with Hannibal at his side and they both walk closer to it. Up close it’s evident Will sees yes they are feathers. What kind of creature is this?  he wonders. They both reach out to touch it, and of course their hands go right through it. Will finds he feels warm and tingly when his fingers are in it, like a feedback loop on his happiness. Hannibal smiles as his fingers pass through and Will wonders if he feels it too.

             “It’s beautiful Will,” Hannibal says beside him. Will nods.

             “Do you know what it is?” Will asks.

             “No I don’t, but I’m assuming it must be a magical creature. Does it have any meaning to you?” Will looks at it and thinks. The only association he has is that his father used to take him hunting, during which they occasionally saw stags. But they hunted all sorts of things, not just deer and elk. He relays this to Hannibal. Will lets go of the spell and the stag disintegrates like before. Will smiles at Hannibal, gracious in his good mood.

             “Looks like your help paid off Hannibal.”

             Hannibal smiles, not nearly as gracious. “Indeed.”

             “Are you able to produce a Patronus?”

             “In class I successfully made a shield but not a corporeal one.”

             “Do you want to have a go? I’d like to see.”

             Hannibal, not one to be bested when Will just succeeded, pulls out his wand and closes his eyes. Will takes a few steps closer so he’s within arms reach. Hannibal raises his wand, “Expecto patronum!” Will gets goose bumps, something about Hannibal’s magic is so powerful. Whitish-blue light jets out of his wand first in a large shield, and then as he continues, it begins to take shape, something with four legs, but then it’s gone.

             “You almost had it!”

             Hannibal looks at Will very intensely, steps so they are standing side by side, takes a breath, then closes his eyes. “Expecto patronum!” This time the whitish-blue stream out of his wand goes straight to a corporeal shape, the four legs and a head forming into some type of large cat, puma? Jaguar? Hannibal watches at it as it stalks around the room. It looks dangerous, Will thinks, also elegant, beautiful, graceful, but deadly. Will thinks it’s appropriate and smiles at Hannibal. Hannibal is still staring at it. Will walks over to it and tries to touch it, again his fingers go right through but he feels a warm almost vibrating energy off of it. Hannibal has walked beside him and does the same.

             “Curious.” Hannibal says.

             “You think so? I think it’s perfect.” Will is smiling and notes his voice sounds slightly breathy. They practice a few more times, the image of both of their corporeal Patronuses together is quite something. Will thinks if he ever has a camera he’d like a photo.

 

*

 

             Hogwarts begins to be decorated for Christmas and between exams and anticipation for the Yule Ball, the student body is lively to say the least. There is only one person Will would want to go to the Yule Ball with and he has been debating asking him – him being Hannibal of course. Part of Will’s debate stems from if he would really be okay to go as friends with Hannibal or if him asking would be conditional that it would be a date. And then he gets scared and chickens out. The cycle has been repeating over the past week. Will rationalizes to himself that he also doesn’t have dress robes so even if he did go what would he wear?

             In Alchemy, before class Bedelia walks over to their desk. Will pretends not to see her, not in the mood for her (although to be fair when is he?).

             “Good morning Hannibal,” apparently Bedelia is deciding to ignore him as well.

             “Good morning Bedelia.”

             “Can I talk to you for a second, alone?” her eyes skate to Will briefly. Will looks up at that and does a brief read of her, she has a flirtatious energy about her – she’s probably going to ask him to the Yule Ball. Hannibal looks slightly surprised but agrees and they walk to the far side of the room. From the way the conversation looks, it looks like Hannibal told her no. Bedelia doesn’t look at Will as she passes but still holds her head high.

             “Do I want to know?” Will asks as Hannibal sits back down. Hannibal looks at him.

             “I suspect you already do.”

             “Asked you to the Yule Ball? And you turned her down?

             “Succinctly put.”

             “Why?”

             “Why what?”

             “Why did you turn her down?” Will is curious for Hannibal’s reason.

             “The same reason I turned down Alana, there is someone else I want to ask.”

             “Oh,” Will says. There’s a lot for him to process there. When did Alana ask him?? And who is Hannibal interested in?? At that moment Professor Dumbledore walks into the room and the discussion is put on hold. After class, Will isn’t sure how to bring it up. Part of him is dying to know who Hannibal wants to ask, the other part of him really doesn’t want to know.

             After class, Hannibal suggests they go on a walk outside. It’s super cold and snowy but Will could use some fresh air to clear his head and agrees. Outside its chilly but there’s no wind and the snow crunches underfoot. Everything is still, even the lake has frozen over and it’s so quiet and peaceful, like they are the only two people on Earth. Out of habit they walk towards their area by the lake. Hannibal places his cloak down on the ground and sits on it. Will is about to do the same with his own but Hannibal motions for him to join him so Will does. They sit there looking out at the frozen lake, shoulders touching. Then Hannibal turns to Will.

             “Will, the person I want to ask to the Yule Ball is you. Will you do me the honor of being my date for the Yule Ball?” No preamble just straight to the point. Will thinks he might pass out. It’s dangerous to get everything you want.

             “Yes.” The word is out of his mouth before he has time to think. “Yes, I’d love to.” Will is smiling and Hannibal is smiling back. It feels like their relationship is shifting, and Will is excited to see where this goes. His smile falters slightly remembering his robe situation.

             “Excellent.” Hannibal says. Then he notices Will’s expression. “What is it?”

             “The only problem is I don’t have dress robes.”

             Hannibal’s expression relaxes. “Easily remedied, we’ll get you some this weekend.”

             Will can’t find it in him to object to Hannibal buying him some, he wants this too badly. Feeling bold, he says “It’s a date.” His heart is racing a mile a minute and he loves life right now.

 

*

 

             That weekend they go to Hogsmeade, back in Gladrag’s Wizard Wear. They are not the only ones looking at dress robes, as Will sees a few other students. Will feels a little out of his depth but Hannibal picks out a few for him to try on, one navy blue, one forest green, and one black along with a variety of shirts and ties. Will tries them on and comes out so Hannibal can see. After trying them all, Will decides he likes the black one and Hannibal agrees.

             As they stand in front of the mirror outside the dressing rooms, Hannibal stands behind Will, hands on his shoulders, looking over Will’s shoulder at their reflection in the mirror. Hannibal leans in and whispers in Will’s ear, “You do look quite ravishing in this one,” as he slides his hands slowly down Will’s arms, seemingly flattening out the creases. Will has to close his eyes and take a deep breath, cheeks already going pink, trying to will away an erection.

             Since the agreed upon date, Hannibal has turned his intense charm on Will and Will has to admit he’s putty for it. And every reaction he gives seems to fuel Hannibal more. He keeps being sure they’ll reach a tipping point of tension but for now they enjoy the game, the anticipation.

             They get a few looks in the shop from the other students, standing as close as they are, and Will wonders how they will be received. He could care less, but he can’t recall a same sex couple in the years he’s been at Hogwarts. Although he hasn’t gone to many events and doesn’t talk to people so what does he know really?

 

*

 

             The evening of the ball, Hannibal is waiting for Will at the bottom of the staircase wearing a striking dark gray dress robe over a maroon shirt that matches his eyes. Will can’t take his eyes off of him, and he suddenly understands the phrase ‘pinching yourself to make sure it’s real’ because he almost can’t believe this, it’s so surreal. He walks down and Hannibal’s eyes follow his every step, almost like a predator, a hungry look. Will supposes that should scare him but it doesn’t; to be honest, he wouldn’t be surprised if he wears a similar look.

             As Will takes the last step, Hannibal takes his hand and brings it to his lips. It’s a light kiss, but Will feels it acutely, like he is branded, his body buzzing. Hannibal smiles and Will feels himself blushing as he smiles back.

             “Good evening Will, you look dashing.”

             “So do you,” Will says, voice breathy again. Hannibal loops his arm with Will’s and they walk with all the other students towards the ball. Will feels eyes on them, some curious, some in shock, some jealous, and he lets it slide right off him, like water off a duck.

             As they enter, Will takes in the decoration. The Great Hall is decked out in what looks like glittering ice crystals that sparkle like candles, providing soft light. He sees a few Christmas trees in corners but it’s mostly an ethereal winter wonderland. Will thinks it’s perfect, it reminds him of when Hannibal asked him to go to the Yule Ball in the quiet of the snow-covered landscape.

             They walk for a bit, arm in arm, comfortable, taking in the space and Will relishing just being, savoring the moment, realizing he no longer has to suppress or hide his feelings for Hannibal. When they’ve walked the span of the room they turn back, and Hannibal asks if Will wants some punch; under his breath by Will’s ear Hannibal tells him he saw James Gray spike it with red currant rum. Will nods, he could use something to take the edge off. Hannibal leaves him to battle through the mob of people to get drinks, leaving Will with a goofy smile on his face. No sooner is Hannibal detached from his arm than Will feels a hand at his back. He turns and it’s Beverly, all dressed up in red and looking like she’s already had some punch.

             “Will!” She’s still touching him, her hand slides from his back around to his arm, holding onto him. Will’s not sure if it’s for her balance or for emphasis. “So since when are you gay?”

             Will laughs, he appreciates Beverly’s directness. Feeling happier than he can ever recall being, he leans forward into her space and whispers to her, “Since I fell in love with him,” he tells her seriously and then leans back smiling. Beverly visibly melts the way only drunk girls can and grabs his other arm.

             “Aww!! Will I want to hear all about it later, you two look great together by the way. Hey I gotta go, have a magical night!” She winks and slaps his butt as she is pulled away by her date. Will smiles and the smile abruptly falls off his face when he spots Bedelia eyeing him with disdain from across the room. Her ice blue dress matches her personality, Will thinks.  If looks could kill. He’s interrupted in his stare down by a slap on the back. Price and Zeller keep walking but Price gives him two thumbs up, mouths “Go get ‘em,” and winks. He smiles and turns back and is now face to face with Alana who is arm and arm with Margot.

             “Hi Will!” Margot says, she looks happy.

             “Hi Margot, Alana.” Will feels like Hannibal should be here, he’s not good at socializing. Thankfully Margot seems to not mind taking the lead. “So where’s your arm candy?”

             Will smiles, arm candy indeed, “He went to get drinks.” Hannibal returns in that moment and hands a drink to Will, placing his other arm around him, and Will is on cloud nine.

             “Margot, Alana, good evening. You look lovely together.” Alana’s eyes widen slightly seeing Hannibal’s arm go around Will but it passes quickly. Her cheeks color at the together comment and Margot wraps an arm around Alana.

             “Why thank you, we do, don’t we?!” Margot agrees as she smiles at Alana and in that moment Will realizes they aren’t the only same sex couple here. “You two look great as well. Nice job Will, you clean up good.” Will would be offended except that it’s not said with any malice (and she’s not wrong) so he lets it pass with a nod.

             A new song comes on and Alana tugs at Margot’s arm, “Hey let’s go dance!”

             Margot nods. “Have fun you two!” She blows a kiss at both of them as they walk towards the dance floor. Will thinks it’s the least he’s ever seen Alana talk, maybe she found her match. Hannibal drinks his punch and Will does the same, both watching Margot and Alana dance. Will can taste the rum in the drink and it loosens him a little.

             “They look happy,” Will says.

             “Yes they do, I’m glad Margot found the courage to ask her.” Will turns to look at Hannibal, gaze questioning.

             “How do you know that?”

             “She asked me for advice, actually it was that day you sat with us at Slytherin table.”

             “Why would she…”

             “Apparently my intentions regarding you were easily visible to her and she thought she would find a kindred spirit in me.” Will digests this, and takes a large gulp of his drink to bolster his courage.

             “Well I’m glad you asked me. For the record…I was trying to ask you too. I’d like to think I would have, but I’m glad you did.” Will can’t bring himself to meet Hannibal’s eye so he continues to look out at the dance floor.

             “As am I,” Hannibal says quietly, leaning into Will slightly. In a lighter tone, Hannibal asks, “So did I miss anything?”

             “Nothing other than the tally for us is three in favor and one against.” Hannibal smiles and sips his punch.

             “I didn’t realize it was up to a vote.”

             “It’s not, but that isn’t stopping anyone from casting theirs.” At that moment Will’s eyes meet Bedelia’s again and Will’s eyes narrow reflexively. Hannibal follows Will’s line of sight and recognition dawns in his eyes.

             “I take it she was the no vote?” Will nods. Hannibal leans over talking directly into Will's ear, invading his personal space, the position incredibly intimate. He speaks in breathy whispers that have Will weak the knees and breathing faster. “You know Will, she is incredibly jealous of you,” Hannibal nuzzles Will’s neck and cheek lightly, clearly visible to Bedelia, “…but tonight isn’t about her, it’s about us.” With that he lightly bites Will’s ear lobe as he pulls back and Will is so turned on and is sure his face must be bright red. He drinks his punch to buy himself some time, seeing Bedelia storming off in his peripheral vision, likely in reaction to the little show Hannibal just put on.

             Will downs the rest of his punch and sets it on the nearest surface. Hannibal smiles and does the same. “Would you care to dance Will?” He holds out his hand, and with no conscious effort on his part, Will takes his hand and is led to the dance floor. There are more people there now. It’s a faster song than Will is confident he can dance to, but Hannibal leads him and Will feels like he’s floating. He laughs when Hannibal dips him at the end but abruptly stops when he is pulled back up, their entire fronts flush with each other, and it’s clear how much they both are enjoying this. Will absently has a thought that his dreams didn’t even remotely hold a candle to how it feels in real life, feeling Hannibal pressed against him this way.

             The song ends and changes to a slow song. Hannibal keeps his hands on Will’s waist and holds him close. As they sway to the music, Will puts his arms around Hannibal’s neck. Will feels drunk on the feelings, the anticipation. When the eye contact with Hannibal gets too much, he places his head where Hannibal’s chest meets his shoulder, breathing in his scent, feeling his warmth, hearing his heart beat. It calms him, grounds him. He feels as Hannibal rubs his hands up and down his back, neck, and sides and rests his head lightly against his. Hannibal rests his hand on the back of Will’s neck, it feels possessive and Will can’t deny he loves it. When Will looks up, Hannibal cradles his face, thumb brushing his cheek, looking directly at him. “If I saw you every day forever, Will, I would remember this time.”

             Will nods, unable to form words and eventually says, “Me too.”

             After a moment, Hannibal pauses his movements and says, “How about we get some fresh air?” Will nods, yes that’s exactly what he needs - Hannibal is good at reading him. Hannibal takes his hand and leads him out into the courtyard adjacent to the Great Hall, which is also decorated for the Yule Ball, a large Christmas tree lit up in the middle, enchanted sparkling icicles everywhere. They stop near the stone wall off to the side of the Christmas tree and Will takes a breath of the cold night air, his head feels clearer already. There are a few other couples scattered around but none in the immediate vicinity.

             Will turns to Hannibal and puts himself back in his embrace, arms around his waist, under his robe. Hannibal puts one arm around his back, the other cradling his face just like inside, tilting Will’s eyes up to his. Will’s blue eyes stare into Hannibal's warm brown ones. Something catches Will’s eye and he looks up, seeing enchanted mistletoe curling and vining over them, growing from the wall. Will smiles big, not needing any further encouragement, and leans in, closing the distance between their lips. He thinks he hears Hannibal’s surprised inhale, but as soon as their lips touch, Will feels like his whole body is set alight. Hannibal’s lips are slightly thinner than his, soft and smooth. The first kiss is barely a meeting of lips and he leans back slightly, looking at Hannibal’s face too close. He has a rosiness to his cheeks and his eyes are intensely focused on Will. Will licks his lips and brings a hand up out of Hannibal’s robe to the back of his neck, threading his fingers in the silky hair there. Hannibal shivers, licking his lips, and Will feels proud he got a reaction out of him.

             As Will leans in again, Hannibal meets him halfway. This time is less tentative, a more slick sliding of lips. Hannibal catches Will’s lower lip between his own and Will feels his tongue brush across it and shivers, mouth opening. He can’t help the sound he makes when he feels Hannibal’s tongue brush his own, surprised, he jumps a little. Hannibal eases back, kissing his lips wetly, then pulling back and resting their foreheads together, both breathing hard, existing together in the intimacy.

             Will absently realizes he’s clutching tightly at Hannibal’s hair and his shirt, easing up, changing to a caress, loving the feel of Hannibal’s hair between his fingers. It reminds him of when they got drunk on wine in the Astronomy Tower and it dawns on him he likely has license to touch Hannibal this way whenever he wants now. The feeling is heady. Hannibal is still caressing Will’s cheek, his other hand at the nape of Will’s neck, fingers embedding in his curls. Will leans into the caress and Hannibal shifts to rub his face against Will’s, nuzzling near his ear, his temple, his jaw. Will feels his own short facial hair scrape against Hannibal’s clean-shaven face, and he wonders how it feels to him. Will brings his other hand up to Hannibal’s face, touching his cheek, his jaw, boldly running his thumb over Hannibal’s bottom lip. Hannibal makes a sound low in his throat and sucks Will’s thumb into his mouth briefly, licking it seductively and then releasing it with a kiss.

             Will feels overcome with feeling, but in the best way possible. Hannibal nuzzles his nose against Will’s, bringing their lips together again, mouths open and Hannibal licks into Will’s mouth, tongue twining with Will’s. Will tries to stifle a moan, how can this feel this good?  Will has the thought that they should probably stop before things progress too far, while he can still think.

             Pulling back slightly causes Hannibal to shift, kissing the corner of his mouth, then his cheek, his jaw, behind his ear, his neck and Will is melting and clutching at Hannibal (probably too tightly again) when he hears, “I didn’t know the leg fags in Hogwarts.” They both turn to see a group of four nearby, the teen closest to them, Conner Frist, is obviously drunk and the one who yelled. “Yeah you heard me homos.” The guys date, Lydia looks appalled. The friend, Jesse and his date, Beth also look concerned. The girls look at each other and make a quick exit, as Jesse tries to pull Conner away. “What the fuck man, you turning homo on me, don’t touch me man!” Conner shoves at him and Jesse bails, seeing Conner as a lost cause right now.

             Will does a quick survey of the area and doesn’t see anyone else besides this guy, the courtyard is clear. It’s almost too easy, practically gift wrapped for them. He catches Hannibal’s eye, smiling darkly, and sees Hannibal’s answering smile. It’s scary, to be honest, but it also feels like everything he ever wanted that he didn’t know he wanted. Will takes the lead, stepping out of Hannibal’s embrace towards the guy, into his personal space, knowing it will likely set him off. “What’s your problem?” Will’s empathy can feel this guys hatred, it’s deep rooted.

             “Get your pansy ass away from me, in fact away from here, no one wants to see that shit here. I’m just the only one brave enough to say it.” As he says this, Will is circling him, forcing Conner to turn to keep his eye on him. As soon as he’s turned far enough, Will sees Hannibal come up behind Conner. Their eyes meet for a split second and then they move in tandem as if they can read each other’s minds. Hannibal grabs Conner from behind, holding him as Will punches him hard in the stomach. Conner doubles over and Hannibal lets go, kicking his back as he goes down, making him prone on the ground. As he tries to catch his breath and push himself up, Hannibal grabs him by his hair and lifts him up, his arms and legs flailing, trying to alleviate the pressure.

             “You’ve been very rude,” Hannibal says.

             Conner is finally getting his breath back, “Fuck man leggo.”

             “I detest rudeness. Discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me,” at this Hannibal shoves him hard into the ground and comes to stand next to Will. To his credit, the guy gets his legs under him and rather than fleeing, continues to stand his ground.

             “You fairies make me sick,” he spits and lunges at Will, trying to headbutt him. He partially succeeds but Will pulls back, grabs his shirt and punches him in the nose, blood spewing out. Will wipes his own nose, feeling blood trickling out. Turning back, Will sees Hannibal is over Conner on the ground, hands around his throat, but doesn’t see the knee coming up until it’s too late, it catching him in the chin. He must have split his lip because blood now pours down Hannibal’s chin. In that moment, Hannibal must increase the pressure because suddenly Conner goes limp. Will gets closer and sees that he’s still breathing, as Hannibal pulls out his wand and does a Confundus charm.

             A moment later, their eyes meet and they share bloody smiles. Will thinks Hannibal is the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, skin almost glowing, pale in the moonlight, blood smeared over his skin, soft hair falling over his face, and brown eyes piercing into Will’s soul.

             Hannibal rises and takes Will’s hand, pulling him out of the courtyard, out onto the grounds. They’re not supposed to be out here but Will is well past adhering to the rules. The moon is full and lights up the snow, making it almost luminescent. They stop a few steps out, Will holding his hand up, looking at the blood.

             “It looks black in the moonlight,” Will says. Will watches as Hannibal takes his hand gently, tilts his knuckles towards him, and kisses each one, his lips turning darker as he does, stained with blood. Will feels feral, alive, more himself than he ever has been. He pulls his hand back, grabs Hannibal’s face and kisses him hard, brutally, nothing held back, tasting blood, not sure if it’s his or Hannibal’s or both. Hannibal pulls Will close, returning the kiss fiercely. As they kiss under the moonlight Will thinks he’s the luckiest guy on the planet and notes that on each inhale, he is smelling what he smelled from the Amortentia potion – Hannibal’s aftershave, blood, and cold night air. When the wave of passion has passed and they start to get cold, they reluctantly separate and walk back, hand in hand, high on life and love.

             They duck into a nearby bathroom to clean up, aiming to get back to their dorms before Conner is discovered. When they reach the point where they must separate, curfew time close at hand, they hold each other close in the hallway near the staircase. It’s relatively quiet, a few couples walking here and there, many already retired for the night. Their foreheads rest against each other and Will sighs, he’s not ready for the night to end but knows it must. His arms are at Hannibal’s waist and Hannibal’s arms are around his neck, creating a small amount of privacy for them. He feels Hannibal splay his fingers against the back of his neck, tangling in his hair, anchoring him as his lips meet Will’s again, more gentle than earlier and Will feels himself melting into it, aware of nothing else around him but Hannibal. Abruptly Hannibal pulls back and Will instinctively tries to follow but sees why Hannibal stopped. The corridor is now empty and Mrs. Norris is walking towards them, the sound of footsteps, no doubt Filch’s, nearby. Will knows his Prefect status won’t help him tonight.

             Hannibal lets the hand which had been resting on Will’s shoulder slide down Will’s arm, catching his hand, lifting it, and kisses it once, eyes meeting Will’s, as he whispers, “Tonight was magical Will, I’ll see you tomorrow.” And with one more kiss to his hand he lets go, running quietly down the corridor. Will hears the footsteps closer and books it up the stairs, just barely getting out of sight as Filch emerges.

             “What is it Mrs. Norris? Students out of bed?”

              Will makes it to his dorm and sits on his bed. He can’t stop smiling, periodically touching his lips. He changes for bed, for once neatly folding his clothes, clothes that Hannibal bought him, clothes that he kissed Hannibal in, clothes that still smell like Hannibal’s fancy aftershave. As he lays down to sleep he hopes when he wakes up tomorrow that this wasn’t all a dream.

 

*

 

Christmas Eve

 

             The next morning, everyone is packing up and leaving for the Christmas holiday – well, mostly everyone. Will has almost always stayed back at Hogwarts when possible, his father being unreliable. Will was ecstatic to learn that Hannibal was planning to stay back as well.

             Will waits for Hannibal in their usual meeting place, stupidly worried that he dreamt last night. There are so many emotions and commotion around him that he keeps his eyes down and leans back against the column. He feels anxious, nervous, like he needs an anchor, a paddle – when did he become so dependent on Hannibal as his buffer for being around others? In this moment he misses his glasses.

             “Will!” He looks up and sees a flustered (and hung over) looking Beverly dragging her trunk towards him. He can feel her flustered and rushed energy and tries to shield himself from it, that’s the last thing he needs right now. She drops her trunk, grabs a piece of parchment, crouches and pulls out a quill, quickly scribbling something. She stands up and hands it to him. As he goes to take it, she doesn’t let go, forcing him to raise his eyes to hers and she’s looking right at him, it’s intense. “This is my address, I’m expecting a letter from you over break, I. Want. Details.” She lets go of the parchment and winks. “I gotta go, happy Christmas Will!” She claps him on the shoulder and picks up her trunk, half running.

             Will pockets the parchment and smiles, so last night was not a figment of his imagination after all. Not long after, he feels a familiar hand on his shoulder that slides down his arm, pulling his hand out of his pocket and interlacing their fingers. He looks up, meeting Hannibal’s gaze and it’s like a breath of fresh air, the din of the chaos around him dims. Hannibal pulls their hands up and kisses the back of Will’s hand gently. Smiling, Will feels the blood rush to his cheeks, and his hand tingles where Hannibal’s lips touched.

             “Good morning Will.” Hannibal looks smug, like the cat that got the canary. Will feels he should be worried about his role in that association but can’t stop the smile he sends back, feeling pretty smug himself.

             “Good morning Hannibal.” Hannibal looks towards the Great Hall.

             “Shall we?” Will nods and they walk into the Great Hall hand in hand, sitting in their usual spot for breakfast, the table more empty than usual and the hall louder. Will is reminded of muggle airports from when he was a child. Their hands separate as they sit down but they sit slightly closer to each other than before, thighs and shoulders brushing. Will is pleasantly surprised how normal and natural everything feels. As they are finishing up, Hannibal asks, “Any plans today Will?”

             “No, why?” Hannibal sets down his utensils, wiping his hand on a napkin, and Will does the same.

             “Come with me.” Will nods. That’s really all Hannibal needs to say, Will thinks. Will could ask what he has in mind but what would it matter? The answer would be the same. He hopes it’s something away from the crowd of people though. Hannibal has a mischievous look on his face as he pulls Will’s hand back into his own and leads him away from the Great Hall, the noise getting quieter and quieter, less students around but still the occasional student with a trunk rolling past, a few eyeing their hands but no one says anything and Will ignores whatever they are feeling.

             The passageway starts getting cooler as they go down a flight of stairs. Shortly after, Hannibal stops in front of a seemingly random spot of wall, Will almost crashing into him, not expecting the stop. Hannibal says “Merlin,” and Will is about to ask what he is doing when a door appears in the stone wall and Hannibal uses his free hand to open it, pulling Will inside with him. Will instantly realizes he’s in the Slytherin common room and Hannibal’s hand is the only thing keeping him from trusting his instincts and running back out. He feels like he just walked into the lion’s den, most of his attackers over the years have been Slytherins. He pauses mid-step and Hannibal turns, putting his other hand over the hand he’s holding and says, “It’ll only be a moment.” Will nods and they continue. As Will looks around the space, he realized they seem to be under the Great Lake, the sunlight filtering through it coming out a bluish green color, making the room feel eerie. A brief glance around shows no other students are in the common room. He sees a big dark and ornate fireplace and a large Christmas tree before he is pulled down a hallway lit with sconces and into a dorm room. Hannibal leads him to the bed by the far wall and lets go of his hand, going to rummage around in a trunk.

             “Is this your bed?”

             “Yes it is.” Will sits on the side of it, taking in the room, picturing Hannibal sleeping here. It’s colder here than Ravenclaw tower, and more humid, the lake he guesses. With his feet still dangling off the side, he lays back on the bed looking at the ceiling, imagining Hannibal doing the same every night. He turns his head to the side, and catches a whiff of Hannibal’s scent on the bedding. He feels like a lovesick fool but can’t help it.

             Will startles when Hannibal grabs the curtain and pulls it, blocking some of the eerie light and making it feel like they are in their own private room. Hannibal is standing, looking down at him, and all of a sudden Will feels heat creep up his body, suddenly glad for the curtain. He moves to sit up but Hannibal stills him with a hand to his chest, placing a knee on the mattress next to Will’s and leaning forward, the hand on his chest sliding up his neck to his nape. Hannibal is looming over him, other arm braced on the bed by his head. Hannibal leans down by Will’s ear, whispering in his sultry accented tone, “Tempting creature,” he drops a kiss behind Will’s ear, “you’re quite a distraction, spread out on my bed before me,” Will feel a kiss on his jaw, his breath coming faster.

             “Ha- Hannibal…” Will is sure his blood pressure dropped as his blood all floods to his groin and his cheeks flame. Hannibal brings his mouth to Will’s and Will’s body feels like its electrified. He grabs a fistful of Hannibal’s hair in one hand, holding him in place, the other wrapping around his broad shoulders and sliding down towards his lower back. They open their mouths to each other, tongues sliding and Will involuntarily arches up, sucking in a breath as he feels Hannibal’s hardness against him, a moan swallowed in their kiss. Just then they hear footsteps enter the room and they both freeze. Will can hear his heart pumping feverishly. Hannibal stands silently, adjusts himself, and steps out into view.

             “Hannibal! Hey have you seen my cloak?” It’s Dolarhyde. Will tries not to breathe, not sure how his hammering heart isn’t audible to the whole room.

             “No I haven’t.”

             “Damn, okay, thanks anyway.” Will hears rummaging around and the clicking of trunk locks. Hannibal returns to whatever he was doing in his own trunk. A few minutes go by that feel like an eternity for Will.

             “Found it! Happy Christmas Hannibal!”

             Hannibal waves. “Happy Christmas Francis.” Will hears footsteps receding and sits up. His eyes meet Hannibal’s and they both start laughing. Hannibal then grabs a bag, closes his trunk and holds his hand out to Will in silent invitation. Taking it, Will follows Hannibal out the way they came. There are two Slytherin girls, Freddie and Abigail, with their trunks packed talking by the fire as they cross through the common room. Hannibal pays them no mind so Will does the same and they exit back into the corridor, both smiling. Will feels alive, reckless, and so in love.

             Hannibal leads them up to the Astronomy Tower, and Will idly wonders how many school rules he will be breaking before lunch. The air is cold as the reach the summit and Will can see it’s lightly snowing outside. They sit near the opening facing the courtyard and see the students milling about, walking towards the train station, like ants below. Their breath puffs in the cold air and Will rubs his hands together, scooting closer to Hannibal, thrilled that he is allowed this now. He’s almost sure Hannibal would let him do anything he asked.

             He puts his arm around Hannibal and leans into him, watching the scene below. Will feels Hannibal put his arm around his shoulder, holding him. They stay like that for a while, the snow falling around them. It’s peaceful Will thinks, the perfect foil against the clamor down below. He can feel his body getting colder though and shifts so he’s sitting upright, trying to get some feeling back into his butt.

             “So what’s in the sack?”

             “I thought you’d never ask.” Hannibal gets it out and sets two vinegar bottles in front of them, causing Will to smile and rolls his eyes. He also sets out cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, orange peel, what looks like two coffee filters, some twine, and brown sugar. “Have you ever had mulled wine before Will? It’s a holiday muggle drink.”

             “No.”

             “Then you are in for a treat.” Will thinks about pointing out that it’s a bit early in the day to be drinking, but the thought dies as it forms. Why not? He’s on holiday. Hannibal hands him a bottle of vinegar. “Think you can manage something closer to wine this time?” he teases.

             “I don’t remember you complaining by the end,” he retorts but he’s smiling as he says it.

             “I’m sure I would have, had I not been on the brink of alcohol poisoning from the sip I had of yours.”

             “Ha ha. Very funny.” Will gets out his wand, then has an idea. “Hand me your wand.” Hannibal raises an eyebrow but hands it over. In his most Hannibal-like voice Will says, “Fio vinum” and waves the wand at the vinegar. It changes to wine and Hannibal is laughing at Will’s imitation.

             “Is that what I sound like to you?” Will picks up the bottle and sniffs it, it smells okay. He takes a sip. He’s still not a wine guy but he supposes it tastes a little better than last time. He hands the bottle to Hannibal. Hannibal sniffs the wine, evidently getting more from it that than he did, as Will is leveled a glance that could almost be approving. Hannibal takes a sip and looks at Will.

             “It’s better than last time.”

             “Okay, your turn.” Hannibal goes to grab his wand and then remembers Will has it. He holds out his hand and Will hands him Will’s own wand, earning him a raised eyebrow from Hannibal.

             “What is the purpose of this?” Hannibal asks.

             Will shrugs. “I’m curious, indulge me.”

             Hannibal sighs but grabs Will’s wand. “Fio vinum.” The vinegar darkens to blood red; Hannibal looks pleased and picks up the bottle, sniffing it and taking a sip. Apparently satisfied, Hannibal then instructs Will to open the coffee filter, put a mixture of the spices in it, and then tie it off with twine. He pours some of the brown sugar into each container, then drops the filter into it and Will does the same. Hannibal then aims the wand at his bottle, “Calor” and the wine begins to boil, steam coming out the top. He motions for Will to do the same and he does. “Now we wait for the spices to infuse.”

             Will turns Hannibal’s wand over in his hand, for some reason he likes having something so personal of Hannibal’s, something that Hannibal likely wouldn’t let anyone else touch.

             “You like my wand.” Hannibal observes.

             “Yes… but not exactly.”

             “Not exactly?”

             Will blushes slightly. “I like that its yours. It feels like you, elegant and powerful. Like an extension of you.”

             “My wand likes you too,” Hannibal replies. For some reason Will’s mind goes to the gutter and he snorts and looks at Hannibal.

             “That was the worst double entendre I’ve ever heard.” Will sees Hannibal smile.

             “That was not my intention, crude, but not untrue.” Hannibal’s look is playful and suggestive, causing Will to blush. “But we’re deviating from my point. I don’t think you understand how unique you are with regards to my wand… Who is the best wizard you know? Apart from ourselves?” He smiles his smug smile. Will has to think about this for a minute.

             “I’m not sure, maybe Dumbledore? Snape? McGonagall?” Hannibal stands up.

             “Come with me.” Will automatically stands, handing Hannibal’s wand back to him and accepting his own back. Hannibal pockets it, and holds out his hand to Will. Will takes it and Hannibal starts to lead him out of the tower.

             “What about the wine?”

             “It will continue to steep while were gone, no one should bother it.” Hannibal waves his wand, “Celare,” casting a concealment charm just in case. They head down the staircase and Hannibal leads them towards professor Dumbledore’s office. The door is ajar and they can see Dumbledore sitting inside, grading the exams they finished recently. Hannibal knocks on the door.

             “Come in!”

             “Good day professor Dumbledore.”

             “Ah Mr. Lecter, Mr. Graham, what can I do for you?”

             “Were sorry to bother you sir, but were wondering if you could settle something for us. What do you know of Acacia wands sir?” Hannibal asks. Dumbledore sits back in his chair.

             “I’ve never used one, but my understanding is they typically only produce magic for their owner, and only then when the owner is particularly gifted. Why?”

             “Would you humor us sir and try to use my wand? Mr. Graham believes that my wand will work for a particularly talented wizard such as yourself. No offense sir, but my wand has never performed magic for anyone other than myself.” Will looks at Hannibal, eyes wide, what the fuck.

             “Ah the Slytherin gift of compliments and coercion, Mr. Lecter. You are in luck that I am curious to know the outcome as well, otherwise I would tell you to be on your way and enjoy your holiday.” Dumbledore comes out from behind his desk, and despite his age, Will perceives great power from him. Dumbledore places his Elder wand on the desk and accepts Hannibal’s wand. He inspects it, no doubt also checking for a trap or pranks, he wasn’t born yesterday. Satisfied the request is genuine, he turns to a stack of books, closes his eyes, and waves the wand. He offers no verbal incantation, a master of nonverbal magic. Will's eyes skate from Dumbledore to the books and back. Nothing happens. Dumbledore opens his eyes, curious, and tries again, this time “Wingardum leviosa.” Still nothing. He hands Hannibal back his wand, grabs his own, and with a swish and flick the books levitate off the desk. “I’m sorry Mr. Graham, Mr. Lecter wins this round. I hope you didn’t lose anything more valuable than your pride.” He winks.

             “No sir. Thank you.”

             “Yes, thank you professor.”

             “You’re welcome, now if you’ll excuse me I need to get back to these exams, I have an engagement shortly and do not want to be late for it. Happy holidays gentlemen.” They leave the office and wander down the hall, Will walking slowly as he is digesting this information.

             “Is that sufficient or should you like to seek out Snape and McGonagall?” Hannibal asks.

             “No, no, that’s not necessary.” By now it’s lunch time so they head to the Great Hall and sit together, eating lunch. It’s not quite so airporty now and there are dramatically fewer students eating, the sound a murmur rather than the usual din. Hannibal eats like normal but Will is distracted, trying to reconcile what Hannibal is telling him. He eventually comes out with, “What does that mean? That I can use your wand and no one else can?”

             “As I said, I was just as surprised the first time as you are now. I don’t know what it means Will, other than an implied…compatibility…between us.” Will nods, smiles, and eats his lunch, feeling quite light and happy.

             After lunch, Hannibal takes his hand and they walk in silence back to the Astronomy Tower. As they enter the room, it smells amazing, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Hannibal removes the concealment charm and hands a warm bottle to Will. It feels great on Will’s chilled hands, it’s snowing outside again and the room feels colder than before. They sit down together, pressed side by side, looking out at the snow. Will smells the bottle he is holding. It smells heavenly.

             “Is it ready?” Will asks.

             Hannibal takes a sip. “Yes I believe so.” He raises his bottle to Will, and Will raises his back. “To us.” Hannibal says. Will clinks it his glass.

             “To us,” he affirms. He takes a drink and it’s perfect, - sweet, spiced, comforting - and he can see why it’s a holiday drink. Steam emits from the bottle and his breath puffs in the air as they drink and watch the snow fall in peaceful silence. As it gets colder, they move further into the tower, sitting against the wall where they did the last time. Hannibal sits with his back to the wall, legs splayed out in front of him. As Will moves to sit next to him, Hannibal grabs his forearm to stop him, and pulls lightly, patting the space in front of him, eyes a question. The idea is instantly appealing to Will, way better than leaning against that cold wall. He sits down tentatively and scoots back until he feels Hannibal, then Hannibal gently pulls him back against his chest and his long legs bracket Will’s. Will lays his head against Hannibal’s shoulder, he’s still upright enough to drink but very comfortable. He feels as Hannibal’s free arm snakes around his waist and Will rests his free hand on top of his. It’s intimate and cozy. He feels Hannibal periodically sip his drink and he does the same, feeling the warm buzz from the mulled wine. The alcohol, combined with not being able to see Hannibal’s face, makes the next words out of his mouth easier.

             “What is us?” Will asks, referencing the toast. Hannibal stills briefly and Will continues, clarifying. “I mean what do I say if people ask? Are we dating? Are you my…boyfriend?” The word feels foreign on his tongue but not unpleasant in the slightest. He feels Hannibal relax under him, his fingers lazily moving up and down his arm, occasionally twining their fingers together. He seems to take a moment to think, and when he speaks, his voice is right by Will’s ear, slightly above a whisper.

             “I would say yes we are dating…and if you require a label for our relationship, I suppose boyfriends is accurate…Is that what you want?” Will shivers at the words, and it has nothing to do with the cold. Hannibal’s lips are so close to his ear and now he speaks barely audible, Will can feel the warm breath at his ear, tingling. “It’s what I want. I don’t need a label, but I don’t want to share you Will.”

             “Yes,” Will breathes out, opening his eyes he didn’t realize he’d closed. He continues drinking, feeling lighter now that that the heavy question is out of the way, the alcohol making him feel relaxed.

             “Beverly asked me to write her, she wants details.”

             “Details?” He feels Hannibal nuzzle against his temple. “About us?”

             “I think she’s curious about what kind of person would want me.”

             “I disagree, I think she wants you to be happy.” Hannibal is periodically nuzzling and nibbling at his ear, it’s both pleasant and distracting.

             “Oh so now you’re an expert on Beverly?” Will feels sassy, what’s in this wine?  Hannibal chuckles and Will never knew chuckles could be sexy.

             He feels Hannibal drink his wine, then hears, “No I’m not an expert, but she did corner me at the Yule Ball to talk to me about you.”

             Will nearly chokes on his wine in surprise, turning his head back towards Hannibal. “What? When?”

             “When I went to get drinks.”

             Will clears his throat. “What did she say?” His anxiety has spiked up at this unknown bit of information. He feels Hannibal’s large hand gently rubbing his upper arm in a comforting motion slowly.

             “In so many words, she gave me the ‘break his heart and I’ll break your legs’ speech.” Will smiles, exhaling and takes a drink of his wine.

             “What did you say to her?” Will asks, he’s curious. Hannibal has begun tracing each finger on his hand with his own, leaving a tingling trail in their wake. Hannibal then slips his hand under Will’s arm, hand placed over Will’s heart. He’s speaking close to Will’s ear again.

             “I assured her I had no intention breaking your heart.” He kisses behind his ear gently. Will feels like he’s melting inside. “So,” Hannibal says, his voice slurred slightly from the alcohol, “what shall you write to Beverly? I know, I’ll help you start…” Hannibal’s hand leaves Will’s body and reaches into his bag, pulling out a spare bit of parchment and a quill. He sets down his wine and waves his wand “Scribo” and the quill starts to write. It takes a moment for Will to understand what’s happening. By the time he realizes, the quill has written:

 

             Dear Beverly,

                          Hannibal is so dreamy, I can’t believe he’s my boyfriend OMG. He’s so hot and his kisses drive me wild-

 

             Will leans over and once he sees what’s written he grabs the parchment, laughing.

             “What the hell is this? You make me sound like a lovesick schoolgirl!” Hannibal is laughing too.

             “Apologies, let me try again.” Hannibal holds out his hand for the parchment and Will hands it back tentatively, feeling on the way to being drunk. Hannibal flips it over, sets it down, and the quill goes back to work.

 

             Dear Beverly,

                          This is Hannibal Lecter. I am writing to inform you that I have the honor of

             being the exclusive boyfriend of our dear mutual acquaintance Will Graham. I

             promise he will be well cared for and well f-

 

             This time Will is reading as the quill writes and is laughing again until his brain auto-populates the next word and he grabs the parchment, a deep blush coloring his cheeks.

             “What no! You can’t write that!” He’s drunk. He’s pretty sure Hannibal is drunk too. Hannibal leans close to Will’s ear, his lips brushing it as he speaks.

             “What did you think I was going to write Will?” He noses behind Will's ear and Will thinks he’s never heard his name sound better in his whole life. “I was going to write well fed’. Where did your naughty mind go to?” Well fucked, Will thinks and Will has to bite his lip against all the sensory input and suggestion. Then Hannibal continues, still a whisper.

             “But if that’s what you want it can be arranged.” Will is pretty sure he can’t be any pinker in the face than he is right now. He buys himself a moment drinking his wine, feeling hot under the collar despite the chill of the room. It’s still snowing outside which makes it hard to tell how much time has passed, as if they’re in their own little world.

             Will sets down his wine and turns, sitting Indian style between Hannibal’s outstretched legs. His back is instantly cold being away from Hannibal’s heat, but he’s feeling drunk and playful. He meets Hannibal’s gaze and Hannibal’s eyes are glossy and cheeks pink from the alcohol, he looks adorable. Will leans forward and kisses him, his mouth is soft and slack from the alcohol, and he can taste the mulling spices along with Hannibal’s unique taste. When he pulls back, he grabs the quill on the ground, then grabs Hannibal’s hand. Hannibal watches him amused. Will writes ‘MINE’ on his hand.

             “There, now everyone will know you are mine.” Will feels quite proud of himself. Hannibal studies it, then laughs.

             “That doesn’t make sense Will, you’re drunk.” Will blinks and realizes yes it makes no sense. Hannibal takes the quill from him.

             “Let me try.” He grabs Will’s hand and Will watches as he writes ‘Property of Hannibal Lecter’ on Will’s hand. It’s upside down to Will so he has to wait until Hannibal is done to turn it around and read it.

             “Hey! I’m not property!”

             “Oh, my mistake,” Hannibal says, looking playfully at Will. He grabs Will’s hand and tries to rub the ink off. It smears slightly but remains present. Hannibal looks at it for a moment, then lifts Will’s hand to his mouth and Will feels Hannibal’s tongue and lips on the back of his hand. Will is frozen, eyes glued to where his hand meets Hannibal’s mouth. Hannibal’s attention quickly shifts from the back of his hand to his knuckles, laving over each one. Will stares transfixed, becoming more turned on by the moment, the haze of the wine making it hard to think. Hannibal gently frees Will’s pointer finger and licks the pad before pulling it into his mouth, tongue swirling around it. Will just now notices he is tightly clutching the fabric on Hannibal’s thigh and he eases his grip, but then his attention is pulled back as Hannibal sucks on his finger. From there it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump for his brain to replace his finger with another appendage and he’s instantly as hard as he can get when he’s this drunk.

             He slowly pulls his finger out, running his finger over Hannibal’s bottom lip, feeling it slick with saliva. He gets up on his knees and leans forward, crashing his mouth to Hannibal’s, more sloppily and forcefully than he intended but hey, alcohol. Hannibal doesn’t seem to mind, equally uncoordinated but enthusiastic. The angle is awkward and Will tries to solve that problem by lifting one knee over Hannibal’s thigh, pushing Hannibal’s thighs closed. Thankfully Hannibal gets what’s being asked of him and Will gets his other leg over so he’s straddling Hannibal’s lap. Ah yes, much better. Their mouths slide wetly against each other, tongues sliding and twining.

             Will’s hands start on Hannibal’s chest, then travel up to his broad shoulders, one twining in the fine hair at his nape. Hannibal makes a mewling sound when he lightly pulls the hair there and Will files that away for later, mind flashing to Hannibal’s Patronus, he really is like a large cat Will thinks, amused. Right now, he has other plans. He kisses along Hannibal’s jaw, and down to his neck, licking and kissing, tasting Hannibal’s skin. Hannibal leans his head to the side, baring his neck, his hands clawing at Will’s back and sliding lower to his hips, pulling Will firmly against him. Will scrapes his teeth over Hannibal’s pulse point and Hannibal makes a sound between a growl and a moan. Will licks and bites and sucks that area and Hannibal brings one hand to his hair, fingers threading in his curls. As Will pulls back he sees a nice pinkish purple spot on Hannibal’s neck. He feels absurdly proud, he put that there, and thinks that is much more clear than his 'MINE' attempt on Hannibal’s hand. He touches his fingers over it lightly and Hannibal hisses, looking at him with glossy eyes. After a moment Will sees recognition flash in his eyes.

             “Did you mark me dear Will? Staking your claim on my body?” Will nods, admiring his creation. “Well then I suppose it’s fitting for me to return the favor.” With that Hannibal clenches the fingers he has in Will’s hair and pulls, forcing Will’s head to the side. The moan that escapes Will’s throat surprises them both and Hannibal smiles with his teeth, looking delighted. Will’s breathing has sped up and he shivers as he feels Hannibal mouth at his throat, first lightly, then with more pressure as he adds tongue and teeth and suction. Will can’t help the sounds he’s making, he should be embarrassed but he can’t find it in him to care. It feels heavenly, the balance of pleasure with a hint of pain that enhances the pleasure. He runs his hand through Hannibal’s fine silky hair which causes Hannibal to let out a “Hmmmm,” in pleasure.

             Hannibal pulls back, still holding Will’s hair with one hand and brings his other hand up to inspect his work. Will continues to breathe shallowly, and brings a hand up to meet Hannibal’s, touching his neck, feeling the mark, shivering at the sensation. Will smiles, he likes it. Hannibal lets go of his hair and brings a hand to his cheek, smiling as he brings their foreheads together. They stay there cuddling and necking until it gets too cold for them to stay, the wind starting to blow the snow in sideways. The cloud of alcohol is lifting and they reluctantly gather up the stuff into Hannibal’s bag and head back down. Will is surprised to see its almost dinner time. As they pass by a mirror in the hallway, he stops to look at himself. He has a huge purple bruise on his neck and Hannibal has a matching one.  He smiles, it’s not subtle and not elegant but it’s perfect and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

*

 

             Later that night, after they have returned to their dorms, Will pulls out his parchment and quill, now (soberly) planning to write to Beverly. There’s only one other boy in his dorm who stayed back, Donald Sutcliffe. Will doesn’t know much about him other than he is on the healing track and hasn’t ever bothered him.

             He goes to the common room and sits by the fire, debating how to start the letter. It’s odd but nice to have no one else in the common room. He hasn’t seen any Ravenclaw girls that stayed back so far.

 

              Beverly,

                          So I believe you asked for details…

 

             Will's not quite sure where to start, what to say. Start with the facts his brain supplies. Yes, facts are safe.

 

                          It’s official, Hannibal and I are dating. I have a boyfriend.

 

             He smiles as he writes it. Never in a million years would he have thought this is where his life would have ended up.

 

                           I’m not sure what details you want but I’m really happy, happier than I can ever remember

                          being. I meant what I said to you at the Yule ball. And thank you for looking out for me,

                          Hannibal told me you talked to him.

 

             Here he gets stuck. The letter looks short but he’s not sure what else to say.  It’s getting late, he picks up his stuff and returns to his dorm. Looks like Sutcliffe is already asleep. Will puts the letter on his nightstand, he’ll finish it in the morning and summon Hannibal’s owl to send it. With that he gets ready for bed and falls asleep.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Christmas Day

 

             On Christmas day, Will is awoken by Hannibal placing light kisses all over his face and gently nudging him to sit up. Still half asleep, Will bats him away. As his brain comes online it’s flooded with questions, and his eyes open as he asks, “How did you get in here?”

             “The riddles posed by the Ravenclaw door are hardly difficult Will, you of all people should know that.” Will blinks and looks around, suddenly remembering that mostly everyone else is gone for the holiday. Mostly. His eyes quickly fly to the bed he remembers being occupied, however it appears to be empty and made up.

             “What happened to mmm-” Hannibal cuts him off with a kiss, and Will keeps his mouth closed, worried about morning breath.

             “Happy Christmas Will,” Hannibal says gently as he pulls back, looking at Will fondly. Will sees he’s wearing striped pajama pants and a soft red sweater, hicky evident on his neck. Smiling, Will thinks looks adorable and not at all scary.

             “Happy Christmas Hannibal. But seriously, what happened to Sutcliffe?”

             “We had a nice chat this morning. Seems he’s very interested in a Slytherin girl who has stayed back over the holiday and was more than happy to swap beds with me. It was quite fortunate.” Will looks at him skeptically, suspecting there is more to the story but accepting it for the time being. A moment later he is smiling at the realization that they will have this room all to themselves for the holiday. His morning wood twitches at the direction his thoughts are heading. As he tries to calm his body, he is suddenly distracted by the smell food and looks behind Hannibal. Sure enough there are two covered plates of food and what looks like glasses of pumpkin juice on a tray.

             “Did you bring me breakfast in bed?”

             “I brought us breakfast in bed, scoot over.” Will does, sitting up against the headboard, and Hannibal sets the tray over his legs, then climbs in next to him under the covers. Somehow seeing Hannibal barefoot makes this whole thing feel more real than it did a moment ago, their bodies touching from hip to foot. Hannibal removes the covers on the plates and they eat together in comfortable silence. Midway through the meal, Will feels Hannibal’s fingers on his chin, turning his face toward him, and Hannibal licks the corner of his mouth. Jam, Will suspects, smiling. After they finish Will excuses himself to use the restroom, brush his teeth, etc. He follows Hannibal’s lead staying in pajamas. Pausing as he passes the mirror, he can’t help but notice the large purpling mark on his neck. For a moment Will tries to see himself as Hannibal seems to see him, and absently thinks his T-shirt hugs his chest well. When he walks back in, he thinks Hannibal might think that too based on the path of his gaze and Will feels is confidence tick up slightly.

             While he was gone, Will notes Hannibal has cleaned up everything. As he passes the nightstand Will spots his letter to Beverly. “Oh gimme a sec.” He grabs the quill and has to redip it, the ink having dried from last night. He finishes the letter with: Happy Christmas. ---Will. Remembering what he was taught, Will summons Hannibal’s owl as he folds the letter and locates the scrap of paper with Beverly’s address. Will absently has the thought that Beverly didn’t really need to provide her address, since owls can find most witches and wizards, addresses only used for reference in case the letter goes astray – she must really want to make sure the letter gets to her, Will thinks. Another thought comes on that one’s heels, that Hannibal probably read the letter, as it was sitting out in plain sight. Before he can process the implications, there is a tap on the window and Will opens it, shivering slightly at the cold gust that forces its way in as Achilles flies in and lands on the bed frame. There is a moment of tension (probably only perceived by Will) where he feels Hannibal watching him. Will looks at the owl and holds up the letter at a safe distance away. No motions towards its legs, in fact Will tries not make any movement at all. After a moment, the owl spreads its large wings, lifts off, and swoops toward Will, grabbing the letter in its’ sharp talons, then flies out the window. Will instinctively recoils as the owl swoops close to him, and then quickly moves to close the window, shivering again. When Will turns back he sees Hannibal watching him, amused.

             “Very nicely done Will. No injuries this time.”

             “Yeah yeah,” Will rubs his arms to try to warm them back up. In response, Hannibal climbs out of bed and envelops him in a hug, his warmth soothing since he just came from under the covers, and Will soaks it up. Will is thinking about them climbing back in bed when Hannibal pulls back, and takes his hand.

             “Come,” Hannibal says, pulling him towards the common room, mischievous glint in his eyes. Will allows himself to be led, curious. When the enter, there is a fire going and Will gravitates towards the warmth as he takes in the room, devoid of students. The Ravenclaw common room has had a large Christmas tree for weeks, but now Will notes it has presents under it in various shapes and sizes. Looking closer, Will realizes they all have his name written in Hannibal’s elegant handwriting and his eyes shoot to Hannibal accusingly.

             “You didn’t…” Will’s eyebrows couldn’t be much higher.

             “Apparently you’ve been a good boy this year, Santa has brought you quite a few presents.”

             “Stop. This isn’t right,” Will’s tone is caught between touched and irritated and Hannibal just continues smiling at him.

             “Are you saying you’ve been a naughty boy Will?” Will flusters, Hannibal’s voice is like honey, dripping with sex. How does he do that?  Will takes a moment to regroup, having forgot his argument. As he does, Hannibal grabs both Will’s hands in his own, leans forward, and kisses Will lightly on the lips, and whispers, “Happy Christmas Will.” Will opens his eyes, not realizing he had closed them, a resigned smile on his lips.

             “Happy Christmas Hannibal.” Will still feels a little dazed, he absently thinks there are might be more presents for him under the tree than he has received in total his whole life. Hannibal steps back slightly, lightly gripping Will’s upper arms.

             “Now open your gifts, you petulant boy.” Will smiles, coming out of his daze, and sits down near the tree, Hannibal following, eyes alight. Will grabs the one nearest to him and opens it. Inside he finds a new cauldron with potions supplies. Will opens his mouth and before he can say anything Hannibal stops him with a placating hand. “I know, yours is fine. But I have to sit next to you and I will feel safer knowing your cauldron is not about to drop on my foot or fall apart.” Will smiles.

             “Thank you, it’s great,” he replies graciously. The next gift he opens reveals a new robe and the plaid scarf he saw at the store in Hogsmeade. They are both very high quality, and he runs his fingers over them reverently.

             “Thank you. Although it’s beginning to feel like you’re my sugar daddy.” Will can’t resist prodding Hannibal a little and now it’s Hannibal’s turn to raise his eyebrows.

             “Crude, Will. If you would allow me to buy you things when I want to rather than save them all for holidays then there wouldn’t be so many.” Will smiles and shrugs, not having an immediate response to that, and is subsequently distracted by an odd shuffling sound coming from the other side of the Christmas tree. He scoots closer and notices a strange looking present. It’s rounded on top and covered in fabric rather than wrapped in paper. He looks from it to Hannibal and Hannibal gestures for him to proceed. Lifting the cloth carefully, underneath he finds a bird cage containing an owl. Will looks through the bars and sees a brown and black owl that is slightly smaller than Hannibal’s. It looks both friendly and powerful. There is also a name plate on the cage.

             “Patroclus?” Will asks. Hannibal smiles like it’s an inside joke.

             “In the Iliad, Achilles and Patroclus are close comrades fighting against the Trojans. The story says that Achilles is callous to all he meets aside from Patroclus to whom he is quite tender. One day when Achilles is upset, he refuses to fight, and Patroclus convinces him to allow him to wear Achilles’ armor into battle in his place. Patroclus’ actions led to them win the war but at the cost of his life. When Achilles learns of this, he is devastated and avenges Patroclus, going so far as to drag the corpse of Patroclus’ murderer behind his chariot. In classical Greek literature, they were often depicted as lovers. I thought it was appropriate but of course you may change the name if you wish.” Will feels his eyes are moist.

             “No, it’s perfect. Thank you,” Will can’t control the way his voice wavers slightly.

             “You’re welcome. He’s a tawny fish owl, I’ve heard they can catch fish. I remember you taking about fishing with your father. Should we ever go fishing we can bring him with.” Until that moment, Will had never thought about life with Hannibal outside of Hogwarts and now realizes he wants that, and not only that, he wants to do everything with him, share every experience with him. He can’t put it into words but he crawls over, grabs Hannibal’s face, and kisses him, trying to pour his feelings into the kiss. Hannibal returns the kisses then pulls back slightly, his nose brushing Will’s as Will regains his composure. From up close, Will sees Hannibal’s eyes dart to the tree behind him and he says gently, “Please, continue.” Will scoffs slightly.

             “How many gifts did you get me? Jesus Christ.”

             “An insufficient amount.” Hannibal’s eyes are playful and Will sighs, resigned. The next gift he opens is the Polaroid camera he was looking at Dervish and Bang’s. Will’s eyes shoot up to Hannibal’s in surprise.

             “How did you know?”

             “You were looking at it for quite a while. I wanted to ask what you were thinking but didn’t want to ruin the surprise. What is it that appeals to you?” Hannibal sounds honestly curious. Realizing words won’t do it justice, Will moves over to sit next to Hannibal and leans in so his cheek is pressed up against his. Will holds the camera up and takes a picture of them, remembering at the last second that it’s a wizard camera so he smiles, then turns and kisses Hannibal on the cheek. After a moment, the camera spits out the photo and Will looks at it, smiles, then hands it to Hannibal. Will watches as Hannibal looks at the photo, enchanted, his finger lightly skimming the surface, a tender look on his face, watching himself be kissed by Will over and over on a never-ending loop. Will leans into him, eyes on the photo as well.

             “That is the appeal. There’s been a few moments I’ve wanted to take a picture lately, to have a snapshot of the moment because I’ve been so happy I don’t want it to end, I want to freeze the moment and keep it forever. I never understood wanting a camera until I had you in my life. Then all of a sudden, I had something so precious I didn’t want it to end.” Now Hannibal looks a little misty-eyed and Will wraps his arms around him, tucking his head in his neck. They lean against each other for a while, listening to the crackle of the fire in the fireplace nearby and looking at the photo. Will can’t stop looking at it, he looks so happy, so carefree, and they both have the ridiculous bruises on their necks. What happened to the anxious unhappy antisocial man he was? Surely that can’t be him? And Hannibal’s expression of surprise and joy is almost a childlike. They look like they’re in love. They look like they’re made for each other, Will thinks. Of course, he’s biased. Eventually Hannibal clears his throat.

             “You have one more.” Will looks at the tree, he almost missed it since it’s standing vertically off to the side. It’s immediately obvious what it is and he turns to Hannibal.

             “You didn’t.” He already has a grin on his face.

             “Open it.” Hannibal grins back. Will opens it and sure enough it’s a broom. Will runs his hands over it.

             “This is too much. All of this is too much.”

             “I disagree. It’s not nearly enough but will suffice for now. You deserve everything Will.” He says it with such sincerity that Will finds he can’t argue with him. Instead he sets the broom down carefully, and wraps his arms around Hannibal’s neck, his forehead head pressing into Hannibal’s, holding him. It’s a little awkward because he’s kneeling on the ground but he doesn’t care. Hannibal brings his arms up under his and holds him back, hands stroking his back.

             “Thank you,” Will whispers.

             “You’re welcome.”

             Will leans back slightly, bringing his hands up to hold Hannibal’s face, making direct eye contact. “I wish I had something to give you.”

             “You have already given me the greatest gift I could ever ask for Will.” Will feels Hannibal caress his face gently and he leans in, bringing their mouths together in a gentle kiss, and he doesn’t believe it but kisses him back anyway.

 

*

 

             After lunch, they go outside to try out Will’s broom. It’s very cold and snow covers the ground but there is no wind. On the way out, Will pockets a turkey leg; Hannibal raises an eyebrow at him but doesn’t comment. Once outside, they mount the broom and Will flies them all over the ground, feeling light and carefree, the cold wind whipping at his face, Hannibal’s warmth at his back, holding onto him tightly. Will takes them up higher than the Astronomy Tower, then levels off, hovering, and carefully swings his legs over so he’s facing Hannibal.

             “Will, that’s reckless,” Hannibal admonishes, looking slightly worried. Will holds the broom with one hand, and with the other holds Hannibal’s face and kisses him. Their skin and lips are cold, but their mouths are warm. They are for all intents and purposes on top of the world and Will feels powerful, like a king, like he has everything he wants and he kisses Hannibal again because he can. Hannibal allows it, amused at Will’s actions. When Will pulls back, he smiles, nuzzling Hannibal once before turning back around. Immediately Hannibal’s arms come around him again, tighter than before, and Will takes off for the edge of the Forbidden Forest.

             They touch down and the snow crunches underfoot. Will leans the broom up against a nearby tree and walks along the treeline, eyes searching. After a few minutes, he hears the crunch of hoof steps and a small thestral comes out, the shape of bones easily visible under the black skin, resembling a thin horse with bat wings. Will looks back at Hannibal who had been watching from a distance, leaning against a rock, and motions him over. Hannibal’s eyes widen at the sight of the creature but he walks over slowly. Once close enough, Will reaches into his pocket and hands the turkey leg to him. Hannibal looks slightly disgusted but takes it, looking at Will questioningly. The thestral’s eyes follow the movement of the turkey leg, trained on Hannibal and he looks to Will for guidance.

             “Throw it to her,” Will says, amused at the trepidation he sees in Hannibal’s eyes. As instructed, Hannibal tosses it and the thestral immediately comes forward and starts eating it. Hannibal watches enthralled, and Will loves seeing him in awe like this. Once done, the thestral looks to Will expectantly and Will holds out his hands placatingly.

             “Sorry girl, I don’t have any.” She nudges his hands, and he pets the bridge of her face. Once she realizes no food is to be found with Will, she turns to Hannibal, taking a step towards him. At this Hannibal’s hands shoot out in front of him, more defensive than placating. The thestral takes another step and nudges Hannibal’s palm, checking for food, all the while Hannibal’s eyes wide, somewhere between fear and awe. Finding no food, the thestral slowly turns, checking out the area before turning back into the forest.

             “Thestral?” Hannibal asks, once the creature is out of sight.

             “Yes, there’s a whole herd in there. That one seems to trust me.” Something seems to click in Hannibal’s mind.

             “You can see them. That means you have witnessed death?” Will nods.

             “Your mother?” Hannibal guesses. Will turns away from Hannibal as he speaks.

             “My mother died when I was very young, I don’t remember her at all.” Hannibal digests this as Will wanders slowly around the area, and waits to see if he will speak more. After a minute Will says, “I couldn’t see the thestrals when I first came to Hogwarts.” This confirms Hannibal’s suspicions but he still waits for Will to tell him.

             “Whose death did you witness Will?” Hannibal watches as Will stops his wandering but still doesn’t turn to face him.

             “Travers.”

             “The murderer you helped the Ministry catch?”

             “Yes.” Will turns back towards Hannibal but his eyes are far away. Will recalls it with perfect clarity, he often wishes he couldn’t. Crawford had volunteered him to the Ministry to help with a profile. In retrospect Will supposes it was just another way of Crawford making himself look good at his expense, taking credit for finding Will’s natural ability to read people. It’s not normal practice by any means for the Ministry to consult with students, especially on a murder case, but the trail had gone cold and they were desperate for any help they could get, fearful of the victim count continuing to rise. Will had provided the profile as requested based on the evidence they showed him. He assumed that was all he would need to do, but then they got a report that Travers had been spotted one of the places Will had predicted in his profile, and Will had been whisked along in the process. Will was told to stay outside as they all rushed into the building, an old rickety house that belonged to Traver’s deceased grandmother. As luck would have it, since Will was the only one outside, he was the only one who saw Travers escaping out a third story window onto the roof, wand in hand. Will suspected he would apparate away and be lost to the wind - again. Without a second thought he yelled ‘Accio wand’ and Travers’ wand flew to him. Startled, Travers slipped on the roof and slid to the edge, hanging on by his fingers. The roof was three stories up, and Will doubted he would survive the fall. Travers yelled for help and Will felt his blood boil, this pathetic excuse for a human who murdered a whole families just because they were muggles, asking for help, from him of all people, Will who was born from muggles. Will had the passing thought that he could levitate him down, that he could do a lot of things. But instead Will only watched as Travers’ fingers slipped, and he fell, breaking his neck. Will later gave a statement to the Ministry and was deemed a hero; without him they wouldn’t have found Travers at all and more people would have died. They all told Will his actions saved lives, but inside Will knew he was responsible for Travers’ death. His feelings had started to get blurred, the thrill and justification Travers felt killing. The righteousness and power Will felt when he let him die. The guilt Will felt for feeling the way he did, the shame that he can never tell anyone. The fear that he would be found out, or worse lose himself to the darkness and become just like Travers, a monster. Will doesn’t really want to explain it all, and wishes Hannibal could see it so he wouldn’t have to put it all into words, it’s bad enough reliving it in his head. Not really thinking clearly, he says “Do Legilimens spell on me.” He shuts his eyes against the onslaught of feelings and memories. He feels Hannibal nearby him, a touch to his shoulder, feels Hannibal’s confusion.

             “Will? Are you okay?”

             “Do Legilimens spell, please,” Will commands, he’s starting to shake but he barely feels the cold.

              “I-I’ve never done it before.” He can hear fear in Hannibal’s voice, it’s so foreign to him.

             “Please?” It’s barely a whisper but he feels like he’s falling down the rabbit hole, lost in the memory. Hannibal does as Will asks, and instantly Will can feel his presence in his mind as Hannibal relives the memory and the feelings along with him. Will can’t tell how much time has passed but he rides the wave of emotions passively. Eventually he opens his eyes and sees that he and Hannibal are sat on the ground in the snow, Hannibal cradling him to his chest, holding him tight. Hannibal looks visibly shaken and Will transiently feels a little bad. He feels Hannibal shift as he reaches up with one hand and cups his face gently, his voice breathless when he speaks.

             “You beautiful thing, you should not be ashamed of what you are.” Will looks up at him, snow starting to fall around them, the light behind Hannibal making him appear like he is glowing.

             “What am I?” Will asks, feeling lost and desperate for an answer, but equally fearful. Hannibal holds him close, looking at him reverently, thumb wiping at his cheeks, are they wet?

             “A lion,” Hannibal says, “in a world of lambs. A god among men, dispensing justice and punishment. Someone to be respected, feared, loved, and worshiped.” Will looks at him, at war with himself. Part of him wants to believe Hannibal, to embrace everything he is feeling. The other part is scared. He’s been in a silent war with his dual nature for years, suppressing part of himself.  Will scoffs and laughs buts it’s a nervous thing, is he going crazy? Is this what people were scared of when they see him? Why they keep their distance?

             “Will? Will, look at me.” Hannibal’s voice is a comfort, but he feels lost, vision coming in and out of focus, inward and outward at war. Will shakily brings his eyes to Hannibal’s, trying his best to focus. “Will, repeat after me. It’s five o’clock. I’m in Hogwarts and my name is Will Graham.” Will repeats it, shakily.

             “It’s five o’clock. I’m in Hogwarts and my name is Will Graham…Hannibal…I, I feel like I’m fading, like I'm fluid, spilling...like I’m adrift in a river without a paddle…” Will’s vision continues to go in and out of focus, thoughts jumbling.

             “I will be your paddle Will, I will not let you get lost,” Hannibal says, low and even, as he holds Will tighter and brushes the hair back from his face. It snowing more around them now and while Will can’t feel the cold, he sees Hannibal’s lips are slightly blue and he’s lightly shivering. Will tries to plant himself in reality, his concern for Hannibal briefly superseding his own distress.

             “Let’s go back,” Will says, rallying himself. Hannibal looks over Will’s face and nods, standing them up and leading them back to the castle. Hannibal takes Will to the Ravenclaw common room, sits him in front of the fire on the floor, and grabs a blanket from Will’s bed. When he returns, Hannibal sits behind Will like he did in the Astronomy Tower and wraps the blanket around both of them. Will is staring into the fire, still lost in his head. Hannibal rubs his arms, gently warming him, and eventually Will seems to snap out of it, looking around as if finally noticing where he is.

             “What happened?” He turns his head slightly back to better look at Hannibal, as Hannibal continues his comforting motions.

             “I believe you had a panic attack, or something similar.” Will rubs at his eyes, and leans back into Hannibal, accepting the comfort he is offering.

             “Hmmm,” he acknowledges. If he weren’t so tired he’d be worried this would scare Hannibal off but he supposes if it did, he wouldn’t be here now, would he?

             “Have you ever had one before?” Hannibal asks gently and Will thinks back.

             “…not sure. Probably. I was pretty messed up after…” Will trails off, the end of the sentence evident without him saying it. He feels Hannibal nod and all of a sudden Will is hit with a wave of tiredness and a yawn overtakes him, physical exhaustion catching up with his emotional exhaustion. Hannibal leans back, grabs a pillow off the nearby couch, and puts it in on the floor. He then bodily directs Will to lay down facing the fire, and Hannibal spoons behind him, pulling the blanket over them both. Will feels safe and warm and loved and falls asleep.

 

*

 

             Will wakes feeling too warm, and he instinctively pushes back away from the warmth in front of him (ah, fire his brain supplies as his eyes peek open). In doing so, he finds he is pushed back into the solid form of Hannibal’s body, who by the sound of his breathing, is asleep. He also notes he feels a very clear hardness firmly against his behind and blushes at feeling. He knows from experience it just happens when men sleep, but in his twilight state between sleep and wakefulness, he has the urge to rock back against it so he does, feeling the outline and length more clearly. It feels wrong to do this when Hannibal is asleep, feels dangerous, and the thought sends a thrill through him.

             He does it again and hears Hannibal deeply inhale at his nape and a large hand lands on his hip, knocking the blanket halfway off. The hand grips and pulls his hips back as Hannibal’s press forward, a lazy roll of his hips that press his erection very clearly between Will’s cheeks. Will’s eyes fly open and a little “oh” escapes his mouth at the sensation, his semi interested length now fully present and he shivers. He can’t tell if Hannibal is awake or if it was his bodies automatic response, and he pushes back again. This time the hand at his hip clenches the fabric of his pants before releasing them to grip firmly at his hips, feeling Hannibal pushing against his backside in a slow sensual roll. He hears Hannibal inhale and feels a gentle brush of lips on his neck accompanied by Hannibal’s deep, sleep gravelly voice by his ear.

             “Mmm what are you doing my naughty boy? Taking advantage of me while I’m asleep?” The tone is teasing but Will can’t form a response as Hannibal continues holding his hip firmly, lazily rocking against him. Will pushes back in counterpoint, breathing rapidly speeding up, his body moving of its’ own accord. He feels Hannibal’s lips near his ear, his filthy words making Will harder than he has ever been. In response, his hips thrust forward reflexively, seeking friction, and finding only air. As if noticing his dilemma, Hannibal’s hand that was on his hip slides over to his groin, palming him through his pants. Will thrusts against his hand, a moan escaping his lips. “Is this what you want Will? What you think about? Me fucking you?” he punctuates it with a harder thrust and Will moans again. Hannibal’s hand is cupping his length, sliding up and down, occasionally catching on the tip. Will can feel a wet spot forming from pre-come as he continues to thrust forward against Hannibal’s hand and backwards against Hannibal’s length, nearly overwhelmed with stimulation. Hannibal continues the litany of filth by his ear, “Me inside you, (thrust) filling you, (thrust) claiming you, (thrust), making you mine (thrust).” Will is close, at the precipice, and Hannibal’s breathing is becoming ragged and his thrusts are less coordinated.

             “Yes,” Will breathes, yes to all of that, yes to this feeling. He hears Hannibal growl and feels his mouth on his neck, rough and biting and wet and he can’t stop saying “yes Hannibal yes oh god” over and over. He reaches his arm back blindly, finding Hannibal’s hair and he grabs and tugs, turning his head back to kiss him, angle awkward but he doesn’t care. He crashes their mouths together, meeting Hannibal’s eyes briefly and seeing his raw expression. Will’s name slips out from Hannibal’s mouth as their lips part to breathe and Will thinks he’s never heard his name sound better. He so close, he’s losing rhythm and focus. “Hannibal! Ah-” His orgasm washes over him and he takes his hand from Hannibal’s hair, holding Hannibal’s hand firmly in place over his length as he comes, riding the waves, feeling the warmth and wetness soaking into his underwear.

             That seems to be the tipping point for Hannibal because Will feels Hannibal move his hand from his groin, grab his hips and push once, twice, then hard with a groan of, “Will ah-” and he feels a bloom of warmth behind him, followed by a feeling of dampness. They are both breathing hard and fast, Hannibal’s face tucked in the crook of his neck. As Will catches his breath he finds Hannibal’s hand at his hip and lays his hand over it, interlacing their fingers and brings it around to hold him. Hannibal nuzzles into his neck, occasionally dropping a kiss here and there. Will brings Hannibal’s hand up to his face and turns it, kissing the inside of his wrist lightly and he feels Hannibal shiver.

             After a moment, Will shifts a little so he is laying on his back and can get a better look at Hannibal. The firelight casts flickering shadows over his face and body, his hair is mussed (sex hair Will thinks happily), skin golden, expression soft and sated. Hannibal props himself up on his elbow looking down at Will and smiles. Will smiles back, and can feel the blush on his face. Shortly after, Will becomes aware of the uncomfortable cooling stickiness in his groin and looks down seeing a darker wet patch on his pants. He would be embarrassed except that Hannibal appears to be in the same state, his pants with an identical wet spot. Will looks around for his wand and grabs it from his robe pocket, Scourgify, and just like that he is cleaned up. The back of his pants remain a little damp but he doesn’t mind, it’s a thrilling reminder that that just happened. He gestures to Hannibal and he nods, Will performing the same spell to clean him up. Will drops his wand, puts a hand on Hannibal’s chest and gently pushes. Hannibal yields, turning to lay down on his back, and Will inserts himself at his side, head resting on Hannibal’s shoulder, arm draped over his chest, one knee lightly over his thigh. Hannibal grabs the blanket with his free hand and pulls it over them, holding Will to him. Will can hear Hannibal’s heartbeat and he closes his eyes and listens. After a few minutes he hears Hannibal’s stomach growl and they both laugh. Will feels Hannibal turn and places a kiss on his forehead.

             “It’s dinner time. What do you say we go eat, then retire back here?” Hannibal asks, voice still lower than Will is used to hearing it. Will nods, excited. It’s now fully sinking in that they have this space to themselves all week. At dinner, Will can’t stop playing footsie with Hannibal under the table. It’s like his body can’t get enough of Hannibal now that he’s had a taste. If Hannibal minds, he doesn’t show any indication. They get a few looks from students and Will remembers their necks, cheeks coloring. He makes a mental note to carry his scarf with him. He’s proud as hell to have this mark but would like the option for discretion when needed.

             On the way back to Ravenclaw tower, they have unspokenly created a game Will imagines is called ‘kiss your boyfriend roughly against every surface in Hogwarts’. It started with Hannibal pushing him roughly into the stone column outside the Great Hall and kissing him, pressing his body up against him in a sensuous slide before pulling back and continuing their walk as if nothing happened. Will was left flustered and wanton against the column and when he saw Hannibal’s smug smirk looking back at him, he thought two can play at that game.

             After they head up the first staircase and turn the corner, Will shoves Hannibal up against the wall hard, enough to hear the breath forced out of him. Will cages him in with his arms on either side of his head, body pressed close, one leg between Hannibal’s. Instead of kissing him straightaway he noses at his ear, his neck, his jaw. Hannibal’s hands come up to touch him and Will grabs them at the wrist and forces them back down against the wall, finally giving in and kissing Hannibal. He faintly hears a painting somewhere yelling, “Get a room!” He smiles wickedly as he feels Hannibal undulate against his leg, and with that he lets go and continues walking down the hallway, leaving Hannibal against the wall looking better than he has a right too, mouth glistening, cheeks flushed, breathing hard.

             They are almost caught in the act as they pass Gryffindor tower, as Hannibal had not only shoved Will against the stone wall in the hallway but lifted him as well so Hannibal was between Will’s legs, supporting his weight. Will didn’t think he could get hard again so soon after earlier but it appears he was wrong. His vivid imagination is already picturing Hannibal fucking him like this and he’s so lost in the fantasy he doesn’t hear the sounds of voices and footsteps. Thankfully Hannibal does and Will finds himself set back down an appropriate distance away from Hannibal as two Gryffindor girls round the corner and walk past them. As soon as the girls are out of earshot, Will and Hannibal both start laughing.

             Then Will gets a mischievous look in his eyes and tells Hannibal, “Race you back!” and takes off running. It takes Hannibal a moment to comprehend but then he is off running, following Will. Will is feeling playful, joyous. “Catch me if you can!” he calls out as he rounds the last corner before the Ravenclaw room. As he reaches the door, the door knocker is about to ask him a question, but he never hears it as Hannibal all but tackles him. They tumble down onto the floor, Will on his back propped up on his elbows with knees bent, and Hannibal over him on all fours, between his bowed legs. They are both breathing hard, a light sheen of sweat on their skin, and Hannibal’s cheeks are flushed, eyes alive, and hair falling straight down.

             “I caught you,” Hannibal says smugly and playfully.

             "Yes you did.” Will is reminded of when Hannibal was teaching him to fight and he wished he could have leaned up and kissed him. There’s nothing stopping him now so he takes one arm and pulls Hannibal’s face to his, kissing him. He brings his other hand up which forces him to lay back on the floor, pulling Hannibal with him, and Hannibal goes willingly. Will also is reminded of the dream he had after their sparring match and leverages his hips up to grind into Hannibal’s, reliving the dream in his mind. Will knows they should get out of the hallway but can’t bring himself to quite yet. Hannibal looks at Will mischievously and rolls his hips into Will in response.

             “What a naughty boy you are Will, displaying yourself like this so shamelessly in the hallway. What will people think?” Will’s eyes flutter briefly, Hannibal’s voice saying those filthy things never fails to rile him up and he rolls his hips up again.

             “I don’t care what people think,” Will says, mouthing and Hannibal’s neck, trying his hand at whispering in Hannibal’s ear. “I care what you think.” Will thrusts his hips again, and can feel Hannibal’s hardness. “And I think you like it. (thrust) I think you like me spread out for you.” Hannibal’s breathing has sped up and Will is rather proud of his role in that.

             At that moment Hannibal turns his head and then abruptly backs off Will, scrambling up and offering Will a hand as nonchalantly as he can. Will turns and sees a ghost coming down the hall, Rowena Ravenclaw, he thinks. He’s only ever seen her once before, she doesn’t come out much as far as he can tell. He accepts Hannibal’s hand up and they stand in front of the door knocker waiting for the riddle. The riddle is given, they answer, and open the door. Just as they are going in the ghost floats by and Will catches her eye unintentionally. She offers a small smile and continues floating down the hallway. Will smiles back and closes the door behind them.

 

*

 

             That night, they get ready for bed, and get in together, the room dark but moonlight spilling in from the window. They lay facing each other in the darkness, still able to see. Will reaches out and touches Hannibal’s face, and Hannibal closes his eyes as Will runs his fingers over the angles and ridges, his ears, and then cards his fingers through his hair. Hannibal had been rubbing his hand calmingly up and downs Will’s side but the touch to his hair seems to have stalled him, a content sound escaping him. Will continues to card his fingers through the silky strands. “You like this.” It’s not really a question and there’s no judgement in it, just an observation.

             “Mm yes I do,” Hannibal replies as Will continues his ministrations. Eventually Will leans forward to bring their mouths together in a slow languid kiss. As he does, Hannibal’s hand resumes moving and it sneaks its way under Will’s shirt, first over his back, then up his chest, brushing over his nipple. Will feels like Hannibal’s hands are burning him, marking his skin where they touch, leaving a trail of electricity in their wake. Inspired, he removes his hand from Hannibal’s hair and reaches under the covers, finding the hem of Hannibal’s shirt and touches the warm skin below. Hannibal hmms into the kiss happily and Will experiments, touching his back, his sides, his broad chest. He feels some chest hair further up and remembers from the Prefect’s bathroom.

             Will groans and presses his fingers up over Hannibal’s chest and back down, feeling the soft springy hair catch and release. It’s a novel sensation and he does it again, this time brushing over his nipple, and feels Hannibal break the kiss.

             “Find something you like Will?” he taunts but Will answers anyway.

             “Yes, mmm. Let me see you.” He tugs at the hem of Hannibal’s shirt and together they lift it off and toss it who knows where, with Hannibal now lying on his back. Will allows himself to look his fill in the moonlight, running his fingers over the hard planes of Hannibal’s chest. He’s muscular, Will thinks, hidden strength, powerful. He reaches out and touches again, thrilled to see his hands against Hannibal’s skin. He brushes over Hannibal’s nipples, hearing him gasp in response. Will sees how they harden slightly under his touch. He leans over Hannibal and kisses his neck, then down to his collar bone, feeling his chest hair against his chin and cheek, catching in his own facial hair. He rests his head there, continuing to allow his hands to wander.

             Hannibal has other ideas apparently because he grasps down at the hem of Will’s shirt and tugs. Will leans up to help him and now they are both naked from the waist up. He feels as Hannibal’s hands reach out, trailing over the planes of his chest, his stomach, shoulders, sides, nipples. Will shivers a little on the last one, he’s never really paid attention to his nipples in sexual way but apparently that was a misstep. Hannibal’s eyes follow his hands and then he is pulling Will down on top of him, between his legs, kissing him. Will feels their chests pressed together and groans in satisfaction. Even his vivid imagination could not have imagined how good this feels. He feels Hannibal’s chest hair brush occasionally against his nipples and his arousal is hiked up higher, his erection pressing intimately against Hannibal’s, only a few layers of pajamas separating them and Will can’t help but rut a little against him.

             Hannibal breaks their kiss on a moan and reaches down between them. Will straightens an arm to give him room and Hannibal palms his erection through his pajamas, before dipping his fingers below the waistband, briefly meeting Will’s eyes that is this is okay? Will nods and Hannibal’s hand reaches in and wraps around him, giving him a slow pull from root to tip and Will can’t help but thrust into his grip, feeling his pre-come slicking Hannibal’s hand. Hannibal groans and Will shifts all his weight into one arm and brings the other to Hannibal’s groin, palming him, feeling hardness and heat. He feels Hannibal buck up against his hand and he then reaches his hand inside, getting his fingers around his length, noting Hannibal feels thicker than his own. Will grips and slides up and down and Hannibal moans, Will already feeling addicted to coaxing that sound out of him.

             The angle is awkward, too many arms, and Hannibal removes his hand, pulling his own pajamas and underwear down just enough to free himself. Will’s eyes are riveted as he feels Hannibal tug at his pajamas. He helps Hannibal pull them down as he stares at Hannibal’s erection. He’s about the same length as Will, slightly thicker, and uncircumcised. Will thinks he’s gorgeous.

             While Will is distracted, Hannibal brings a palm up to Will’s mouth and says, “Lick.” Will meets his eyes and does, at first not understanding why but innately trusting Hannibal, however soon enough he cottons on. He licks a broad stripe up Hannibal’s palm and as he does can smell his own scent on Hannibal’s hand. It’s a heady feeling and as he continues to lick, he brings his own hand to Hannibal’s mouth, eyes asking. Hannibal’s tongue slips out and licks his palm a few times, wetting it.

             Then Hannibal is pulling his hand back, using his other hand to pull Will’s pelvis down until their erections are touching and Will can’t believe how good it feels. It gets even better when Hannibal wraps his wet hand around them both and Will does the same on the opposite side. Between the two of them they have created a wet channel to thrust into and they both begin thrusting, erections sliding against each other. Will is pretty sure he isn’t going to last long, he’s panting and moaning Hannibal’s name, it feels too good. Hannibal looks as wrecked as he feels, sheen of sweat, eyes glossy, alternately staring at Will and their joined hands, and panting out Will’s name. The speed of their thrusts increases and Will can hear the slick, squishy sounds of their coupling. He’s so close he leans down to Hannibal, barely bringing their lips together before he is coming, his hot seed jetting over Hannibal’s abdomen and their hands. This apparently sends Hannibal over because he moans Will’s name as he thrusts up into their hands, his come spraying Will’s abdomen but mostly ending up on their hands, mixing with his.

             They are both panting heavily. Hannibal opens his eyes, meeting Will’s gaze, leans up and kisses Will slowly, heavily, with lots of tongue, and then releases him, laying back on the bed. Will lies down at Hannibal’s side, looking at the sight before him. Hannibal looks blissed out and has Will’s come all over him, and Will thinks he looks great like that. Will lifts his sticky hand, trying to decide what to do, when Hannibal grabs it, pulls it to his mouth, licking some of the come off of his finger, before sucking the whole finger in to his mouth, releasing it totally clean after, eyes half lidded watching Will. Will’s eyes are wide, his erection giving a brief twitch. “Jesus Christ Hannibal you’re going to kill me.” Hannibal lazily smirks at that and sucks another of Will’s fingers into his mouth, earning a groan from Will.

             “We taste amazing together Will.” Will stares, transfixed. Hannibal raises his own sticky hand to Will’s mouth and lightly touches Will’s bottom lip, smearing a small amount of come there. Will shivers, and closes his eyes briefly against the onslaught of sensory information. His tongue darts out, licking it into his mouth, and he hears a sharp intake of breath from Hannibal which causes him to open his eyes. The taste is not what Will would call delicious, but it’s not as bad as he thought it would be.

             Hannibal’s eyes are staring at his mouth. Feeling bold, Will reaches one of his freshly cleaned fingers down to his abdomen and scoops up some of Hannibal’s come. Hannibal’s eyes follow his every move. Will sucks the finger into his mouth and now its Hannibal’s turn to groan. Will notices it tastes slightly different, again not unpleasant, so this is Hannibal’s taste he thinks. He removes his finger and then reaches for Hannibal’s abdomen, scoops up some of his own seed, and brings it to Hannibal’s mouth. Hannibal is watching him intensely. He brushes some on Hannibal’s bottom lip, just as Hannibal did for him. Never breaking his gaze, Hannibal licks into his mouth, catching Will’s finger and sucking that in as well. Will mewls and Hannibal closes his eyes, appearing to savor the taste. Will is frozen in place with lust, with want. Hannibal opens his eyes.

             “You taste divine Will. I can’t wait to taste it directly from the source.” Will groans again, feeling like he’s in over his head but if this is what drowning is like he’s going under.

 

 

December 26th

 

              Will wakes the following morning and takes inventory of his situation. He slept soundly, no nightmares, and is currently spooned around Hannibal, holding him to his front, his bare chest to Hannibal’s bare back. He feels content and happy and he realizes he could get used to this as he tightens his arm around Hannibal a little bit, holding him snugly, leaning his cheek against Hannibal’s shoulder, feeling his silky hair against his forehead.

              As he’s shifting around, he realizes he has morning wood which is pressed very intimately against Hannibal’s backside and doesn’t that feel lovely. His brain automatically supplies images of him fucking Hannibal and he can’t help how his hips push forward slightly of their own accord, a ghost of the vision in his mind. Hannibal pushes back in response with a hmmm of approval and Will groans, his fantasy becoming more fleshed out by the moment. In his mind as he pictures himself fucking Hannibal, he sees himself reaching around to touch Hannibal’s length, and realizes with startling clarity he really hasn’t had a good look at it yet in the daylight; something he plans to remedy right now. Will shifts his weight to extend his hand around Hannibal’s waist and down further, encountering a hardness under his pajamas which elicits a gasp from the man in front of him. Will feels him press into his hand encouragingly so he slides his palm against it once over the pajamas. Encouraged, he then boldly dips his hand under the waistband and grips Hannibal, pumping him a few times, feeling the foreskin slide over the hardness underneath. Hannibal groans, hips thrusting slightly to match his motions, and Will finds his own body responding to the rhythm before he remembers his original goal. He leans so that his mouth is by Hannibal’s ear.

              “Can I see you?” Hannibal hmms and Will reluctantly removes his hand, scooting back slightly as Hannibal rolls over onto his back, Will laying at his side as their eyes meet for the first time that morning. Will immediately thinks Hannibal looks lovely, his face is still soft from sleep, more open and relaxed, and some color has risen to his cheeks, he looks almost vulnerable Will realizes. Will leans over, sliding his hand to hold Hannibal’s face and kisses him gently, lovingly, the urgency of the moment put on pause. Will has a passing thought wondering if this is as new to Hannibal as it is to him. Will has had some sexual experiences, but nothing as intimate as this. Hannibal is usually so confident that Will realizes he kind of assumed Hannibal knew what he was doing, but the idea of Hannibal being with anyone else sours his mood so he pushes those thoughts away for now.

              Will continues kissing him, his goal giving him the courage of purpose, and slides his hand down his chest to his pajama pants. Will hooks his fingers around the waistband and tugs slightly, telegraphing his intention. Their kiss breaks as Hannibal’s hand comes up to grab the other side of his pajamas and he lifts his hips, as together they pull them down towards his knees. Hannibal shifts to kick them mostly off and Will is presented with an entirely naked Hannibal in his bed in broad daylight. He doesn’t think he’s ever seen anything this lovely and feels his heart clench, realizing how lucky he is. His eyes don’t seem to know where to look first, but when he catches Hannibal’s eyes and reads some vulnerability there, he leans in and kisses him, pouring his emotions into the kiss.

              “You’re beautiful Hannibal, perfect.” Will moves from kissing his mouth to his neck, lightly kissing over the hicky he put there, then down to his chest. Hannibal moves to touch Will and Will gently stays his hand, not ready to be distracted yet. “Let me?” Their eyes meet and Hannibal nods, leaning back, as Will sits up more. Will feels their dynamic shift slightly, Hannibal ceding to what Will wants and Will feels touched to the core. His fingers trail over Hannibal’s chest, raking through his chest hair, ghosting over his nipples which generates a shiver from Hannibal. Will then moves lower, one hand on Hannibal’s hip, the other grasping his erection and pumping slowly. Hannibal’s body tenses and he hisses, eyes on Will, intense. “Okay?” Hannibal nods.

              Will is enraptured as he works Hannibal, gradually increasing his speed. He sees a sheen of sweat form on Hannibal’s body, his breath coming faster, his eyes barely open but still watching Will. Hannibal is thrusting up in time with Will’s hand and Will is hard as a rock but can’t take his eyes away, he wants to see Hannibal come. Hannibal’s movements start to become erratic, “Will, Will, faster-I…” Will increases the speed and moments later Hannibal’ body is a taught line, fingers gripping the sheets, eyes on Will until they are forced shut with the pleasure as he comes. Will almost feeling likes he’s experiencing this along with Hannibal, his empathy making the experience stronger. Will strokes him through it, seeing how jets of come spray out onto his hand and Hannibal’s stomach. He keeps his hand there until Hannibal motions to stop and he runs his fingers lightly over Hannibal’s skin lovingly. For a moment Will feels like Hannibal’s mask has fallen, that he really sees him and he feels immeasurably grateful Hannibal is allowing him to see him like this.

              Hannibal comes back to himself after a moment, relishing the caresses Will is bestowing upon him, then he opens his eyes, eyeing Will with a dark smile, vulnerability gone, replaced with his usual smugness. “Good morning Will.” Will can’t help but smile back.

              “Good morning Hannibal.” His voice comes out breathy and at that moment his body seems to remind him he is still incredibly aroused. Hannibal’s eyes fall to Will’s groin where he has an obscene tent to his pajama pants and he colors slightly.

             Hannibal shifts to sit up, smiling flirtatiously as he asks, “May I help you with that Will?” Will is continually amazed how Hannibal can sound so polite on the one hand, and on the other make it sound like sin is falling from his lips in the form of words. Will nods, and Hannibal puts a hand to Will’s chest, guiding him to lay back on the bed. Hannibal reaches for Will’s waistband and pulls his pajamas off, Will raising his hips to help, then kicking them off. Hannibal uses them to wipe the come off his chest then tosses them on the floor. Will has a brief moment of really?! before he is distracted by Hannibal over him, eyes raking over his body almost like a physical touch, then he is kissing him, one hand caressing his side and chest, the other down to his erection and he groans at the contact, like a relief after so long.

             Hannibal’s mouth leaves his and trails down his body, kissing his jaw, his neck, his chest, nipples, and abs all as he works him with his hand and Will feels so close already. Will is watching Hannibal’s path and Hannibal pauses, dropping a kiss on Will’s hip, eyes mischievous and Will has a moment of realization before Hannibal’s hand stops pumping him and instead angles his erection towards Hannibal’s mouth.

             Will's eyes are wide and he prays he won’t come instantly as he sees Hannibal lick the tip, then suck the tip into his mouth. Will’s whole body tightens and a rush of air escapes him, it’s too good, he almost closes his eyes against the onslaught of sensory input but he can’t bring himself to, the image of Hannibal’s mouth on him is too good. Hannibal’s eyes periodically meet his and close giving the image of savoring Will. Hannibal now slowly takes his length almost all the way into his mouth and closes around it, giving a slow bob up and down, somehow looking smug despite having a mouthful of cock. Will feels like a deer in the headlights, useless except to experience this, his eyes briefly rolling back of their own accord as Hannibal sucks him, then pulls back to tongue around the head, Hannibal’s hand at the base of him, the other holding his hip. The pleasure is overwhelming and his hands grasp out for something to ground himself, one hand grabbing the bed sheet, the other ending up in Hannibal’s hair, how did that happen?  Will is breathing fast as Hannibal continues to work him. Will feels himself getting close and he pulls Hannibal’s hair trying to warn him, “Ha-ha-Hannibal -I’m-” but that only seems to make Hannibal groan and the vibrations around his cock push him over the edge and he comes, unable to control as his hips thrust up into that warm wetness. He feels Hannibal’s mouth swallow around him and it’s like his orgasm just keeps coming, wave after wave. When he can finally open his eyes he sees Hannibal’s mouth still on him, some of his come dripping out of his mouth and his body gives one final thrust before he collapses back on the bed, spent. Hannibal’s mouth releases him, licking the come on his face with an evil smile and Will whimpers, beyond words, arms out trying to encourage Hannibal to come to him because he can’t move, he feels like he’s just run a marathon.         

             Thankfully Hannibal seems to understand what he wants and crawls up to him, resting his head on Will’s shoulder, wrapping an arm over him, and his knee coming up slightly over Will’s hip. Will turns his head to Hannibal’s, his mouth at his forehead. “That was amazing.” He doesn’t even care if he’s fueling his ego, right now it’s well deserved. He feels a kiss to his collarbone in acknowledgement and Will basks in the intimacy.

             Eventually they get hungry and go down to breakfast. After breakfast they go on a walk outside. It’s cold and Will wears his new scarf, blushing slightly as Hannibal watches him put it on. In the mirror he sees the bruise on his neck is fading and he wonders if Hannibal will reapply it. Outside there is snow on the ground that crunches underfoot in an icy way but the sun is out and they sky mostly clear, the lake is still frozen over. As they walk, Hannibal suggests Will practice summoning his owl. Will does and within a minute or so Patroclus can be seen flying down from the owl tower, then coming to rest on Will’s outstretched arm. As he lands, Will flinches slightly and Hannibal tries not to laugh. Will shoots him a glare, but Patroclus lands gently, no claws digging in to him and has a calm demeanor. Hannibal raises a finger to him and Patroclus leans in, closing his eyes and letting Hannibal scratch his head. Encouraged, when Hannibal steps back, Will tries petting Patroclus too and he all but nuzzles into the contact. Bringing him closer to his face, Will looks at his eyes, his beak and Patroclus just stares back amicably. A moment later Will hears the click of his camera, realizing Hannibal has taken a picture of him staring intently at his owl and he laughs at the photo, looking like he is having an intense staring contest with his owl. Will eventually releases him back to the owl tower and thinks maybe owls aren’t so bad.

             After lunch, Will tells Hannibal about how he wanted a picture of their Patronuses together, so Hannibal leads them to the same classroom they were in the first time. When they conjure their Patronuses Will almost drops the camera the first time, because now Will’s ‘ravenstag’ as he’s taken to calling it, has a feline tail, and Hannibal’s jaguar has antlers. Hannibal looks equally surprised and curious, looking from one to the other.

            “What…?” He can’t seem to finish his question as his brain tries to wrap itself around what he is seeing. He tries again, circling the Patronuses. “What does it mean?”

            Hannibal has a look of severe concentration on his face. “I don’t know Will,” Hannibal walks towards him, coming up beside him, and pressing his face into the side of Will’s, “but I would guess it means you are a part of me. And I, you.” Will turns, thinking that it probably the most beautiful thing he’s ever heard, and kisses Hannibal passionately, his eyes wet, as the Patronuses dissipate. Once Will feels like his emotions are more in check, he pulls back, smiling, and they conjure them again to get Will’s picture.

            That evening, after dinner, they retire back to the Ravenclaw common room, sitting in opposite chairs by the fire, in their pajamas, playing wizard chess. They have played a few times before, mainly when Will was convalescing, and usually are fairly equally matched, but this is the third game in a row Will has lost and he knows exactly why. He’s distracted, ever since re-entering the common room he can’t stop thinking about the blow job from this morning. He wants to give Hannibal the same amazing feeling he gave him, but is also nervous seeing as how he's never done it before. As his king is smashed to pieces (again), he stands up and walks over to Hannibal, kneeling over his lap. Hannibal looks pleased at this, arms coming around him automatically, and Will kisses him. They kiss by the fire for a while, in no rush, relishing the closeness. At some point it tips from slow and close to hot and heavy, breathing speeding up and arousal permeating the air. Will is hard and he can feel Hannibal is too, and feels powerful that he can do that. Sometimes it feels like he is putty to Hannibal and it’s nice to know he can reciprocate. He briefly wonders if they are in the honeymoon phase or if he will always feel this strong pull.

             Will scoots back a bit in his lap, arm snaking between them, trying to reach into Hannibal’s pajamas. Hannibal smiles and reaches for Will’s, but Will scoots back more until he’s barely on the chair and Hannibal looks at him questioningly. Will blushes, gesturing with his eyes downward as he asks, “Can I?”

             Hannibal looks surprised but agrees, “Anything you want Will.”

             Will steps back until his feet are on the floor and kneels, blushing all the while, and pulls at Hannibal’s pajamas. Hannibal lifts enough for them to be pulled down until he is freed, erection standing tall, pink. Will is at eye level with it and can smell a smell he can only describe as male and Hannibal. He rests one hand on Hannibal’s thigh and the other grabs him strokes him a few times, and he can feel Hannibal’s gaze on him. He plucks up his courage and brings Hannibal’s length to his mouth, putting his mouth around the tip. He’s never done this before so he’s trying to mimic what he liked that Hannibal did for him. At his first contact he hears Hannibal have a sharp intake of breath. Will can taste a taste like Hannibal’s come but slightly different, bitter, but not terrible. He experiments, with licking, sucking, seeing how much he can take into his mouth. He can tell he’s sloppy and he can’t get all of it in, but remembers what Hannibal did and keeps his hand closed around the bottom, pumping in time with his mouth. It takes more coordination than he thought it would but he’s motivated to learn.

             The longer he goes on, the more sounds Hannibal is making, his breathing loud, occasional groans and even a moan or two. Each sound Will feels like he experiences vicariously, his empathy is on a feedback loop of pleasure with Hannibal as he tries to fine tune what he is doing based on Hannibal’s reactions. He chances a look up at Hannibal, realizing he had been so focused on his task he hadn’t looked at him in a while, and sees that Hannibal is slouched back in the chair, hair a mess, eyes wild, cheeks flushed, sheen of sweat on him. Will groans at the sight and Hannibal closes his eyes briefly in pleasure, hips bucking slightly as Will holds tighter to his thigh, remembering the vibrations was what did him in too. When their eyes meet again Hannibal brings his hand to Will’s cheek, then threads his fingers into Will’s hair gently, not pushing, just a point of contact. Will continues alternating pumping, sucking, licking, bobbing his head, his jaw getting tired but he’s in it to win it.

             “Will I’m close.” He hears Hannibal’s warning. He hmms in response, giving a particularly hard suck and feels Hannibal peak, come jetting into his mouth faster than he can compensate for. He tries to swallow but can’t get the mechanic right, although it must feel good if Hannibal’s cry of pleasure and buck of his hips is anything to go by, and he feels some of the come drip out at the side of his mouth. He continues to gently move his mouth until Hannibal stays him and he releases him, sitting back on the floor, finally able to swallow; it’s bitter but worth it to see Hannibal like this, he looks wrecked in the best way. Will licks his lips, they feel raw and swollen and wet, and he wipes at the slobber down his chin.

             This seems to draw Hannibal’s eye as Hannibal pulls him up by his shirt roughly and kisses him deeply, tasting himself  Will realizes and he groans at the thought. He should have thought of that this morning, next time he supposes. Will is half crouching at an awkward angle, and he feels Hannibal slide out of chair, pulling up his pants in the process, and sits on floor with back against chair, breaking the kiss. His movements are slow, languid, relaxed. He guides Will to sit between his legs facing away, kissing his neck slowly and Will feels his satiation vicariously. Then Hannibal’s hands slide down to his chest, brushing over his nipples through the fabric of his shirt. The hands continue downward to Will’s pants, down enough to free his aching erection, then returning to touch his body everywhere except where he wants. Hannibal’s mouth is right next to his ear and his voice sounds like pure sex.

             “Did you ever touch yourself thinking of me Will? I know I did.” Will nods, blushing. “What did you do?” Hannibal asks as he roughly runs his hands over the tops of Will’s thighs, then up his sides, under his shirt, over his chest. “Show me, touch yourself.” The command whispered directly into Will’s ear has his hand moving before his brain has caught up with the request, embarrassment apparently taking a back seat to pleasure. Will leans back into Hannibal and strokes himself a few times, this position reminds him of when he touched himself after their shared bath. “Very good…tell me what you thought about…”

              Will feels like he needs to stop being surprised at anything in regards to Hannibal because never in a million years would he imagine he would be doing this, but god help him he wants to. It feels naughty, in the common room no less. It’s more vivid as he can feel Hannibal behind him, can smell him. “I” his voice cracks he clears his throat and tries again, “I, after we took the bath together…” he feels Hannibal take in breath, nod, and smile behind him. “That night, I had a dream about us,” he keeps stroking himself slowly and Hannibal keeps touching him peripherally.

              “And what did we do in your dream Will?”

              “I, I went over to you in the bath, sat on your lap. I kissed you, felt your strong arms, your lips were still cold from the rain but your body was hot. I felt your tongue against mine, your teeth on my lips.” Hannibal mouths at Will’s neck, then scrapes his teeth over the skin there and Will feels as if he’s reliving the dream. “I-I felt my chest against yours, and…” Hannibal’s large hands rub over Will’s chest.

              “And what Will?”

              “We, we were pressed together, our hips, I could feel you, how hard you were for me. I was rocking against you and you…”

              “What did I do Will?”

              “You were pushing between my thighs, sliding between…” Will forces his hand to slow down, just giving words to his dream is bringing him close to the edge, his breathing fast and shallow.

              “And then?”

              “And then I woke up.” Will feels Hannibal nod.

              “What did you do then Will?”

              “I, I closed the curtains on my bed, cast a silencing charm.”

              “How scandalous of you Will, nearby your sleeping roommates.” Will shudders, Hannibal’s voice undoing him.

              “I was already pretty close. But I…I remembered how you felt against me in the dream, under me. I wanted to feel it. So I…I reached back there, I never had before.” Hannibal’s attention on him is palpable.

              “Show me Will,” Hannibal whispers near his ear. Will takes a breath and kicks off his pajama pants, now fully naked from the waist down. He can feel the carpet on his bare butt and somehow feels more naked just wearing a shirt than if he were actually fully naked. He has a passing thought of what he must look like, what if someone came in? the thrill of the risk of getting caught. He knows it’s not likely but it’s no guarantee. Will bends his knees, spreads his legs, and leans back more against Hannibal, he can’t believe he is doing this. As he changes hands, Hannibal pulls his right hand back, Will slowly stroking with his left hand. Hannibal takes Will’s pointer and index finger into his mouth and sucks, licking them, getting them wet, then releasing Will’s hand, Will whimpering.

              “God, Hannibal…” he brings his hand down, and like last time he briefly dips his finger in and gasps, it’s more intense with Hannibal there and he bucks up.

              “Yes Will, you’re gorgeous.” Will continues to dip in and out, deeper each time until his finger is all the way in. He imagines what Hannibal must see, him stroking himself and his other hand disappearing between his legs. His body finds a rhythm and soon he has a sheen of sweat over his body, Hannibal’s hands still running over him, whispering in his ear, kissing his neck.

              “What were you thinking of Will? Were you thinking of me fucking you?” Will arches and groans, he’s close.

             “Mmm…your fingers.” Will remembers the last time he did this and turns his hand, feeling for his prostate. He finds it and a moment later comes violently, bucking up, come spraying over his hand and abdomen, hole clenching rhythmically around his finger.

              “Ha-Hannibal!” Hannibal holds him through it, he’s speaking but Will can’t understand. He finally collapses back against Hannibal, removing his hands. Hannibal grabs Will’s left hand and licks the small amount of come off and Will groans, breathing hard. “I can’t believe that just happened.” Hannibal releases Will’s hand, nuzzles at his neck, kissing him, and holding him tightly.

              “Yes you certainly are full of surprises.”

 

 

December 27th

 

             The next morning, they wake to a blizzard, snow blowing sideways outside. They go down to breakfast, then come right back up to bed, snuggling under the covers. Will would never have pegged either himself or Hannibal as a “cuddler” but he loves this. Hannibal is reading a book and Will is laying against him listening to his heartbeats, his breathing. Will had been reading earlier too but found he wasn’t able concentrate fully so he gave up. He feels warm and happy, the blizzard outside making it feel more intimate somehow, like they are isolated in their own private paradise. Will wonders not for the first time if this is new to Hannibal too and figures now is as good a time as any to ask.

              “Have you been in a relationship like this before?” As he says it, he realizes how blunt and out of the blue it sounds but can’t do much about it now. Hannibal sets down his book and looks at Will, calculating.

              “Like this? Definitely not. Have you?”

              “No.” Will wants to ask more but isn’t sure how, anpart of him still doesn’t want to hear if Hannibal has been with anyone else. His struggle must show on his face because Hannibal pulls him closer, book falling to the side.

              “Will, you have no cause for concern. Every experience I have pales in comparison to what we have. It’s like comparing a stick figure to Michelangelo’s David.” Will smiles and relaxes slightly, imagining himself as David stomping on tiny stick figures running for their lives. Hannibal watches his expression, a question in his eyes, and Will is thankful in this moment that Hannibal can’t see into his mind.

              Around lunch time they reluctantly dress and go down to eat. The castle is colder than usual and groups of students can be seen huddled near the fireplaces throughout the castle. Will is thankful for his new scarf which keeps him warmer than his old one, but he can feel the chill of the air on his face as they walk back to Ravenclaw tower and he shivers. Hannibal notices and something seems to click behind his eyes, as he pulls Will’s hand, changing course.

              Hannibal leads them to the Prefect’s bathroom and Will laughs but follows him in. Like last time, the air is warmer in here and they both feel better instantly. Hannibal starts taking off his clothes and Will smiles and does the same, not turning away like last time. How things have changed. Once Will is out of his clothes, Hannibal takes his hand and leads him to the bath. The hot water feels heavenly and Hannibal moves to sit where he sat last time, puling Will with him. Will smiles a knowing smile,

              “Is this a do over?” Will asks, as Hannibal pulls Will onto his lap and kisses him lightly.

              “It’s whatever we want it to be. Although I admit your dream made me envious of myself. I didn’t realize such a thing was possible, but if anyone could make the impossible possible, it would be you Will.” Will laughs.

              “You’re jealous of your dream self?”

              “Well yes, it sounds like you and he had quite the time here.” Will smiles and leans close to Hannibal’s ear.

              “Don’t tell him, but he’s nothing compared to the real you.” Hannibal shudders and Will can feel them both starting to get hard, their bodies sliding against each other underwater. Hannibal kisses him again, his arms pulling their bodies flush against each other and Will is struck by how much better it feels than his dream, when he hears a sound.

              “Oh my…” a high-pitched voice says. Will flies back off Hannibal so fast he trips and goes under water, flailing around inelegantly. As he resurfaces, he hears, “Hello Myrtle. Happy Christmas.” Hannibal’s normally smooth voice sounds slightly strained.

              “Happy Christmas to you Hannibal, Will.” She floats around above and Will mentally curses her timing, wiping the soap suds out of his eyes, his curls plastered flat against his head.

              “Myrtle, my dear, can you come over here?” Will hears Hannibal say. Myrtle’s eyes light up at the my dear and she flies over. Will is a little irritated as that is the last thing he wants but he assumes Hannibal has a plan. He sees them talking in hushed tones and can’t hear what they are saying. Then he sees the unthinkable, Hannibal leans forward and kisses Myrtle, briefly, on her ghost lips. “Happy Christmas Myrtle.”

             She giggles like a schoolgirl and floats up and away, blowing a kiss back before she disappears, “Happy Christmas boys.” Will is gobsmacked, he’s confused and jealous and angry and must look put out because Hannibal wades over to him, pushing his hair back off of his face, holding his face gently, and kissing him. Will is about to get lost in the kiss until he remembers his anger and pulls back.

             “What the fuck Hannibal? What was that?” Hannibal laughs and for once doesn’t comment on Will’s language.  

             “A simple transaction I assure you. I made a trade, a kiss in exchange for our privacy. My Christmas gift to her and hers to us.” Will lets this sink in. The thought of Myrtle not coming back unannounced is appealing, but he can’t get the image out of his head of Hannibal kissing her. He’s still angry but can feel it ebbing away.

             “Okay but no more using your kisses as currency without running it past me okay? I think as your boyfriend I have that right. Imagine if you saw me kissing someone.” Will chooses not to point out how unlikely that is. Hannibal had looked amused up until the last sentence and then he seems to understand Will’s foul mood better.

             “A fair request. Now come here.” Hannibal pulls them back to their former position, Will on his lap. Their erections have flagged and Hannibal cradles Will’s face in his large hands and kisses him again. Will has his hands on Hannibal’s shoulders and he uses his leverage there to bring their bodies more into contact, counteracting his buoyancy. Hannibal’s hands travel leisurely from his face down to his chest, stopping at his waist, helping hold Will in place, as he kisses down Will’s jaw to his neck. Will feels soft kisses at first, then teeth and suction and realizes Hannibal is marking him again, on the opposite side. He feels the graze of his teeth and shivers at the sensitivity, his erection coming back full force and he feels Hannibal’s as well. Pulling back slightly, Hannibal inspects his creation and Will brings a hand up to touch it, feeling the warmth from the blood brought close to the surface and the sensitivity.

             Will can’t help the small rocking motions his body is making as he brings his own mouth to Hannibal’s throat, creating his own mark, maybe a little rougher than he intended but Hannibal doesn’t seem to mind, as he’s clutching Will’s hair tightly holding him in place. As he releases Hannibal’s neck and sees a pink mark, he feels Hannibal shift below him to place his erection under Will, just as Will had described in his dream and Will colors. He grabs Hannibal’s shoulders again and experiments with shifting around, forward and backward, his own erection getting pressed against Hannibal’s abdomen. Unlike his dream, the angle isn’t quite right to feel anything against his hole but it undoubtedly feels nice and very suggestive.

             Will feels Hannibal lift him and pull him closer, both their erections now pressed together and he feels Hannibal’s hand trail from his waist down his back and then to his behind. He and Hannibal had been kissing but he breaks the kiss, panting, his attention diverted to the trajectory of Hannibal’s hand. When Hannibal’s eyes meet his, they silently ask for permission and Will doesn’t stop him. Hannibal kisses his neck and Will feels his long middle finger dip into the crease of his ass and probe further down, searching. Will has a sharp intake of breath and tenses when Hannibal’s finger finds his opening, just a touch, a gentle caress and it buzzes through his body in pleasure causing him to thrust forward. Hannibal makes a few more passes at just touching and Will starts to relax, falling into a lazy pattern of thrusting against each other. Then he feels Hannibal’s finger press in slightly and he is sure his cheeks must be scarlet and hides his face in Hannibal’s neck. This is so intimate.

             “Okay?” Hannibal asks.

             Will nods as Hannibal continues pushing in slightly more each time and Will feels like he is starting to unravel. Hannibal’s finger is different than his own; he was right about the calluses from drawing, he can feel the rougher part of his finger as he slides in and out. Before long he has sat up, leaning back slightly, arms around Hannibal’s neck, rocking back onto Hannibal’s finger and forward to Hannibal’s abdomen, feeling caught between in pleasure. He meets Hannibal’s gaze and is sure he must look a sight, desperate as he feels. Hannibal looks enthralled and doubles down on his efforts, pushing in his finger deeper and turning his finger slightly. A moment later Will feels the pleasure intensity exponentially as Hannibal’s finger finds his prostate and Will has no time to warn him as he comes, pushed up against Hannibal’s abdomen, muscles clenching around Hannibal’s finger, his own fingers clawing at Hannibal’s shoulders, “Ah-Hannibal!” Hannibal rubs his back gently and eventually removes his finger as Will comes back down. Will collapses against him as Hannibal continues to gently caress him and drop kisses on his neck, his jaw, his face.

             Once Will starts to come back to himself he realizes he can still feel Hannibal’s hardness below him and sits up, reaching down. Hannibal kisses him and grabs his hand, “I have an idea, may I?” Will nods, content to follow instruction for the moment while his brain recovers from his spectacular orgasm.

             Standing, Hannibal leads Will towards the step. Once there, Hannibal turns Will around so he’s kneeling on the step bent over, hands on the edge of the bath, legs apart. Will shivers, feeling exposed but staying where he was placed, curious. Hearing the water move, Will turns slightly sees Hannibal get closer behind him. Hannibal wraps an arm around him and kisses his back, before stepping back, placing a hand on Will’s hip, holding him in place. For a panicked moment, Will wonders if Hannibal intends on fucking him can’t suppress a shiver that runs through him at the thought. Instead, Will senses movement and turns slightly to see Hannibal pumping himself. A moment later Will hears a grunt followed by a feeling of warm wetness and realized Hannibal has come right on his hole. Blushing all over again at the baseness of the act, Will realizes Hannibal must have been close already because that didn’t take long. Will moves to stand but the hand near his hip stops him and Will can see Hannibal looking at him. A moment later Will feels his thumb brushing his come over Will’s hole, eliciting a shiver out of him, Will feels his cock twitch feebly at the feeling. The next thing he knows, Hannibal is leaning in to kiss his back gently, then releasing him. When Will turns around, Hannibal draws their bodies together in the water and kisses him gently, Hannibal’s come washing away in the water. Will has a moment of pure contentment, nothing at all troubling him and he is unable to stop the smile spreading across his face, seeing an answering one on Hannibal’s lips.

             As they get out of the bath, tiredness seems to catch up with them both. They yawn and lean against one another as they redress. They stop by the Great Hall and thankfully they find some sandwiches left over from dinner – they each grab one and take them back to the room, walking hand in hand.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

December 28th

 

             When Will wakes up, he sees Hannibal is already awake, sitting against headboard, drawing. Will sits up, rubbing his eyes.

             “Good morning Will.”

             “Good morning.” Will looks over at Hannibal’s sketchpad and sees his own likeness, asleep. He doesn’t know how Hannibal does it but he’s made something as mundane as him sleeping look beautiful.

             “You’re just too damn talented,” Will tells him with a kiss to the cheek and Hannibal smiles, pleased.

             “In this case I can’t take all the credit, I have excellent source material.” Will scoots back to sit next to him as Hannibal reaches down by the side of the bed and pulls out a folder. “I remember you saying you wanted to see my other drawings…” Hannibal hands the folder to Will, who opens it and pulls a stack out, carefully looking at each one. They’re magnificent, some are landscapes from their area by the lake, some are anatomical, some are architecture – Hogwarts castle, Italy, and some others Will doesn’t recognize, but a more than a handful are of him or about him. Will finds one of his Patronus, the detail on the feathers are exquisite and his fingers trail over them, half expecting to feel their soft texture.

             “They’re beautiful, you’re amazing,” Will tells him, feeling the words inadequate but the best he can do after just waking up. Hannibal smiles, closes his sketchpad, sets his stuff on the floor, then gathers up the drawings and Will hands back the one he’s holding. As Hannibal puts them away, Will watches the shift of his muscles, looking his fill at his arms, chest, and back, bare in the daylight filtering through the window. When Hannibal turns back, he catches Will staring and smiles, pulling his face in for a quick kiss.

             “Shower, then breakfast?” Hannibal asks. Will nods and leans in for one more kiss before hopping out of bed. They gather their stuff and walk to the bathroom, taking care of bodily functions separately. When Will comes out, he starts brushing his teeth and notices one of the shower stalls is on, and the door open. He quickly finishes brushing, then walks towards the open door and is met with a striking vision. Hannibal is under the spray, rinsing shampoo out of his hair, rivulets of water running down his sculpted body. Will takes a moment to reflect his good fortune, actively tuning out the niggling worry in the back of his head that Hannibal is out of his league and will eventually realize it.

             Will is pulled from his musings as Hannibal notices him, holding his hand out in invitation, a smile on his lips. Returning the smile, Will undresses and enters the shower cubicle, closing the door behind him. Will feels Hannibal’s gaze like a caress, feels the appreciation as his eyes rake up and down his body and he blushes slightly under the scrutiny. Hannibal steps aside so Will can get under the spray and then turns Will around, hands massaging his scalp with Hannibal’s shampoo. Will lets out a contented sigh as he relaxes into it, then is guided to rinse. Turning his head back slightly, he sees Hannibal put some of his fancy soap in his hand then proceeds to gently wash Will’s body, almost reverently. Will finds he enjoys the intimacy, being pampered, nothing overly sexual about it, just a pure way of sharing the experience of caring for one another.

             Once done, Will rinses off and reaches for the soap, gesturing for Hannibal to turn around. Hannibal complies, and Will begins to wash his back gently, throwing in a small massage here and there. As he works his way down his toned legs, he continues to enjoy the new facet to their intimacy. He guides Hannibal to rinse off, then starts to work on his arms, then his chest, feeling Hannibal’s gaze on him. Around his midsection, Will realizes they both are half hard but notes there is no urgency, it’s a comforting thing to do this together, building the intimacy of their relationship.

             The tone changes to decidedly sexual as Will reaches midway on his front, noting Hannibal is now fully erect. He feels Hannibal’s hands on his body, one at his waist, one on his arm as he leans into Will’s space. A shiver runs down Will’s body as Hannibal begins to speak directly into his ear, as Will continues to wash Hannibal hips.

              “Did you know I touched myself in the shower Will, thinking of you? After our bath, that night I imagined it was your hand one me, touching me, stroking me. You weren’t the only one affected that day. It was so hard for me to be quiet, I had to bite my knuckles to keep from calling out your name.” Will realizes he is no longer washing Hannibal, one hand gripping his hips, the other on Hannibal’s cock, slowly stroking, apparently following Hannibal’s narrative unconsciously. Will notes he is fully erect as well now and feels Hannibal lightly thrusting into his grip, as he continues to speak, voice dripping with sex. “Do you know what really sent me over the edge Will? I fingered myself imagining it was you fucking me, you wild, unrestrained, your pure self. I climaxed imagining you were in me…”

              Will groans, “Fuck, Hannibal…you could probably talk me to orgasm, you realize that right?”

              Hannibal chuckles deeply, nuzzling at Will’s neck, continuing to smooth his hands over Will’s waist and arm. “I would certainly love to try, a challenge for another day.” Will’s eyes flutter shut at the sound of his voice, the intention behind it. With that, Hannibal gently bites Will’s ear lobe as he retreats and Will moans, continuing to work Hannibal whose breathing has become labored. With that, Hannibal pulls Will with him as he leans against the wall of the shower, pulling Will’s body against his own. As Will allows himself to be pulled he lets go of Hannibal as their bodies slide together, causing them both to moan.

             Without consciously doing so, their bodies rut against one another’s, falling into a rhythm. Will recalls when he recounted his experience after the bath, how Hannibal helped him recreate it, a new shared experience together. Feeling bold, Will decides he wants to give Hannibal what he envisioned, as much as he can. He brings their mouths together in a kiss, licking along the seam of Hannibal’s lips, twining their tongues together. After a delightful moment getting lost in the friction of bodies and the slide of lips, Will pulls back slightly, gripping at Hannibal’s upper arms, motioning for him to turn around and face the shower wall. Will sees as Hannibal’s eyes light up in curiosity and arousal, a smirk on his lips. He watches as Hannibal turns, bracing his hands on the shower wall and Will takes a moment to admire the image of his glistening body spread out before him, before stepping forward, running his hands down Hannibal’s muscled back, his sides, kissing at his neck, his back, feeling Hannibal sigh.

             Knowing he’s not going to attempt actually fucking Hannibal, the logistics of the shower not conducive for a first time, Will brings his body flush with Hannibal’s and reaches around, stroking him, other hand holding his hip. Will feels Hannibal buck into his hand and he thrusts against Hannibal’s body, noting how his cock slides between Hannibal’s cheeks pleasantly and repeats the motion, falling into a rhythm. They are both panting, and both let out a moan as the head of Will’s cock catches just slightly on Hannibal’s entrance. This seems to flick a switch in Will, as suddenly he is frantic, pace increasing.

             As Hannibal continues to thrust into his grip, the position changes and Will’s cock ends up in between Hannibal’s legs. Will feels the moment the head of his dick hits the back of Hannibal’s balls and decides that feels lovely, noting the moan it draws out of Hannibal. As he slides back to push in again, he feels Hannibal shift, closing his legs and oh yes that’s perfect, tight. Will feels wild, beginning to thrust between Hannibal’s thighs, urgency building, his speed increasing on stroking Hannibal. “Oh Will! Yes!” Hearing Hannibal call his name, sounding so desperate, fuels Will more, pounding in, a furious pace.

             “Oh fuck Hannibal, it’s so good yes, oh yeah.” Once Will starts he can’t stop the litany of words coming out of his mouth. Feeling primal, he scrapes his teeth on Hannibal’s back, biting him and Will feels Hannibal’s cock swell in his hand right before he is coming.

             “Will, oh-” Will works him through it before thrusting a few more times, forcing his cock between the tight space of Hannibal’s thighs, feeling his release, coming. They stay in that position a moment, both catching their breath as Will drops some lazy kisses on Hannibal’s back.

             When he finally has his breath back Will asks, “So, did it live up to your fantasy?” Will feels as Hannibal turns around in his grip, sees the shower washing away the evidence of their climaxes. Hannibal’s gaze on him is like the cat got the canary, satisfied and devilish all at once.

             “Infinitely better.” With that Will blushes, accepting the kiss Hannibal gives, then turns off the shower. For the rest of the evening, Will notes he smells like Hannibal’s fancy soap and smiles whenever he catches a whiff of it.

 

*

 

             During breakfast, an owl swoops in and drops a letter on Will. Will drops his fork just in time to catch it before it lands in his eggs. He opens it and can feel Hannibal reading over his shoulder.

 

                          Happy Christmas Will,

 

                          In response to your letter, you’re very welcome! How could I not say something to him

                          after what you told me!?! He may be tall and scary but I’ll whoop his ass if he hurts you.

                          I hope you’re having a fun break ;) See you soon and happy new year!

 

                          ---Beverly

 

             Will smiles as he reads it, then has to hold in his laughter at seeing Hannibal’s face. From the looks of it Hannibal doesn’t like A) being called tall and scary or B) being threatened physically by a tiny female Gryffindor or C) the notion that he would hurt Will in any way, or a combination of all three. Hannibal’s eyes meet his and Will’s laughter dies off, Hannibal’s expression suddenly more serious than before, scrutinizing.

              “I’m curious Will, what did you tell her at the Yule Ball? Whatever it was seemed to make quite an impression…” Will turns red, remembering exactly what he said and not feeling ready to share it, however he can’t really see a way to get out of it. The silence stretches on too long and now Will can tell Hannibal is incredibly curious, his eyes assessing him for any clues. “Will?”

             “She asked me since when was I gay,” Will blurts out. Hannibal looks on bated breath, motioning Will to go on.

             “And?”

             “And I told her… since I fell in love with you.” Will finds he can’t meet his gaze. “It’s true, I do, I do love you…I don’t expect you to say it back. But just know that um… I do.” He can tell he's rambling and sounds idiotic but he can’t help it. When he finally finds the courage to raise his eyes Hannibal is looking at him incredulous, clearly not expecting that. Will turns away, not sure how to feel but Hannibal turns his head back with a finger to his jaw, lifting, forcing their eyes to meet and his face is so close, their foreheads brushing. Will feels like the world narrows to just them, the whole Great Hall and people in it miles away.

             “Will, look at me. I love you dearly. If you know nothing else with absolute certainty, know that.” Will looks in his eyes and sees nothing but sincerity. Hannibal’s emotions are still masked to him a lot of the time but he’s getting better, or Hannibal is letting him see more. Either way, he feels happy, Hannibal loves him. Will nods, feeling his eyes get moist. Hannibal keeps his chin tilted up with his fingers and kisses him tenderly, and Will feels like the apocalypse could be happening around him and he wouldn’t even notice.

 

*

 

              After lunch, Hannibal suggests they take a walk outside now that the snowstorm has subsided; a new layer of snow coats everything, the air is crisp and the world quiet. As they walk, Will notices Hannibal has a tension about him, it’s not a peaceful walk like they normally are. At first, Will figures Hannibal will talk when he’s ready but the more he thinks about it, the more he wonders if Hannibal is second guessing their relationship after his love declaration earlier – they really haven’t talked about his panic attack, maybe Hannibal can’t really love someone as damaged as he is. Then Will remembers how his Amortentia potion smelled and realizes Hannibal is the love of his life, it’s him or no one and he doesn’t want to lose him, but he can’t be something he’s not.

             Will is so wrapped up in his fears spiraling around in his head he doesn’t notice Hannibal has stopped walking until he hears, “Will?” He looks around and realizes Hannibal is about twenty feet behind him, looking concerned. “Will? What’s wrong?” Hannibal is walking over to him and Will starts to panic inside. It’s like that awful trick the mind plays where you try not to think of something and then that’s all you can think about. He’s trying to not have a panic attack, fearing that is part of the problem, but that’s all his mind seems to be doing. He can tell his brain is misfiring, connecting things that aren’t connected but he can’t stop, he’s too overwhelmed and his usual source of comfort is the source of the anxiety.

             His fear of losing Hannibal is so strong though that he manages to get a handle on it for long enough to say “Just say it.” Will is shaking but he has to know, he can't take the uncertainty a second longer. Hannibal looks scared, it’s an unfamiliar expression on his face and that makes Will freak out more. “Say whatever it is that’s got you so tense. I know we haven’t talked about my panic attacks and if that’s it, I’m sorry Hannibal I’m damaged, but I don’t want to lose you. Just say something please.” His eyes are wet and he’s so confused. He sees Hannibal slowly approach him and feels his arms come around him, lightly at first then more firmly and Will melts into the comfort, hates that he needs it but he does. He feels Hannibal rest his head on his and rub his back.

              “Oh Will, your brilliant mind is sometimes not so brilliant mm? Calm down, please mylimasis. Shhh. Yes there is something weighing heavily on my mind but it is not you nor my love for you.” Will takes in the words like oxygen and finds it easier to breathe. “Come, sit with me.” He allows Hannibal to pull him down, sitting on Hannibal’s cloak on the ground. Will can feel himself calming as he listens to Hannibal’s words. “Your empathy has betrayed you today Will. You knew something was wrong, but your mind jumped to your worst fear…” Hannibal pauses here. “The irony, Will, is that what is weighing on my mind may cause you to change your feelings about me.” Will looks at Hannibal incredulously, he can’t think of anything that would change his feelings but now is worried about what Hannibal is thinking about for a different reason. After a pause, Hannibal places his hands on Will’s upper arms, both comforting and focusing. “Will…I want you to do Legilimens spell on me.”

              “What? Why?”

              “It will be easier if I show you what’s on my mind rather than attempting to explain it.” Will is hesitant. On the one hand he’s excited because he would love to see inside Hannibal’s mind, but on the other hand he’s worried that they will blend so much he won’t be able to find his way out. In the end he supposes of all people’s minds to get lost in, Hannibal’s is the least worrisome. Plus, how can he refuse him?

              “Okay. Okay, um I’ve never done it before and uh…you know how I am.” Will feels he needs a disclaimer as he pulls out his wand. Hannibal places his hand over Will’s.

              “I trust you Will.” The words are heavy with meaning yet also cryptic, and Will feels fear and vulnerability behind them.             

              “Ready?” he asks. Hannibal nods solemnly. Not knowing what to expect, Will does the spell, “Legilimens…” and his vision goes dark for a moment.

              When Will opens his eyes, he doesn’t know where he is. It’s dark, it looks like an abandoned farm, weeds overgrown everywhere. Off to the side he sees a massive cauldron over a fire and four Death Eaters. They have removed their hoods and he realizes he recognizes one, Professor Quirrell?? but younger. He hears crying and looks to the side, seeing two small children with their hands bound, tied to a pole. The young girl has pretty golden hair, about five or six, Will guesses, and the boy has the same fine hair and familiar brown eyes, about ten or eleven. Hannibal  Will realizes. Will remembers what Hannibal told him and his stomach lurches as he thinks about what’s coming. One of the Death Eaters is stirring the cauldron and Will sees a dead body nearby. “Okay, it’s time, bring the girl.” Hannibal’s eyes go wide as he struggles against his restraints. He’s shouting in a language Will doesn’t know, Lithuanian?  but since Will is inside Hannibal’s head he somehow understands. Stop, let her go! Take me instead. Mischa!  but the Death Eaters ignore him.

              Professor Quirrell pulls out a scroll and reads, “It says for Regeneration potion, blood of a child.” Another Death Eater nearby pulls out a knife and Hannibal is screaming so hard he’s becoming hoarse, the little girl staring at her brother, crying.

             “Hey shut that kid up.” The Death Eater closest to Hannibal kicks him in the chest and he doubles over, coughing, trying to breathe.

              The man with the knife meets up with the one holding Mischa above the cauldron, and Will has to force himself to look despite his instinct look away. Young Hannibal’s eyes are full of tears as he tries to call to her, voice weak. A moment later Will sees movement, hears a scream, sees blood, and then hears a splash as Mischa is dropped into the cauldron. He then hears Young Quirrell’s voice saying “Wait what are you doing?! It just said just her blood…”

              “The Dark Lord said to use all of her, makes the potion stronger, a life for a life. Okay, I think it’s ready, summon him.” One of the men puts their wand to the dark mark on his forearm, and a moment later - fucking hell - there is Lord Voldemort at his weakest, a shell of a person. Will almost can’t believe what he is seeing, like having ancient history played out in technicolor before his eyes. They all crowd around Voldemort, take him to the potion, and help him drink from it. As he drinks, Will can see Voldemort get stronger and stronger, until he finally looks like what Will remembers pictures of him looking like.

              “Thank you, my servants. In exchange for your usefulness, you may have the rest of this potion. Drink it, it will prolong your life so you may serve me.” His voice is creepy, sibilance giving his voice a snake-like quality. The Death Eaters all grovel at his feet and then Voldemort is gone in a flash of black smoke. All four of the men rise and immediately head for the cauldron, drinking the potion, and Hannibal looks enraged.

              “Hey, what do we do with the boy?” one of the Death Eaters asks.

              “Kill him, he was just insurance in case something happened.” Another Death Eater approaches young Hannibal and pulls out a knife, the same knife that sliced open Mischa. The others start cleaning up, putting out the fire, and dragging the dead body somewhere. Right when the Death Eater is about to plunge the knife into him, young Hannibal dives to the side, causing the knife getting stuck in the wooden post he’s tied to. As the Death Eater is trying to free it, Hannibal kicks him and gouges his small finger in his eye, causing the man to let go of the knife. Hannibal pulls hard on the knife, it’s really stuck, there’s a reason the Death Eater had trouble getting it out, and manages to free it just as the Death Eater tries to grab him. Hannibal swings the knife back desperately, it landing in the Death Eater’s gut and Hannibal pulls with both hands creating a straight line across, entrails spilling out as the guy falls to the ground. Will sees Hannibal use the knife to cut the rope binding him to the post and as soon as he is free he runs. The other Death Eaters hear the cry of their friend and see just as young Hannibal has run behind the barn. Will runs, following Hannibal, and sees he is trying to cut the rope that binds his hands together but it’s difficult for his small shaking hands, so he sits and uses his feet to hold the knife. Without thinking Will tries to help and his hands go right through like a ghost. Memory…it’s a memory.

              Just as Hannibal has freed his hands, the Death Eaters turn the corner and sparks start flying. Hannibal runs around the barn and Will runs to keep up, seeing Hannibal grab the wand of dead Death Eater. As the first Death Eater rounds the corner, Will sees sparks fly out of the wand Hannibal is holding and the man goes down, apparently dead. There is a brief flurry of words followed by a loud crack and suddenly they are all alone. Will realizes Quirrell and the other man apparated. Young Hannibal looks despondent and Will wants to comfort him. Hannibal has both sadness and fire in his eyes, and Will watches disbelieving, as young Hannibal takes the very knife that killed his sister, and cuts into the two slain men, carving a chunk of muscle out of each, one from the calf, one the arm. Now covered in blood, young Hannibal forces the chunks of muscle onto the knife, like a shish kabob Will thinks incredulously, and cooks it over the dwindling fire below the cauldron. The aroma of charred flesh begins to permeate the memory and Will is still in shock at what he is witnessing as young Hannibal pulls the knife back out of the fire, sits down, and eats the flesh, staring into the now empty cauldron. Will is surprised as he feels the strange comfort that action provided Hannibal, the regaining of control, the righteousness and vengeance, the justification it provided, can taste all that along with the charred flesh in the memory, experiencing it as Hannibal remembers it. It’s the ultimate act of domination over someone and Will feels the modicum of closure it provides, the slight balm over the horrible loss of Mischa.

              The world around him blurs, and all of a sudden he is now in what looks like a castle. He looks around and sees Hannibal, about maybe fifteen or sixteen, walking in the hall, wearing a school uniform that is different than Hogwarts. Ah Durmstrang. Will follows Hannibal and sees that students are filing out, seems like end of term. Hannibal walks with a purpose, and then suddenly cuts down a corridor with no people in it, ending up outside an office. Will watches as Hannibal pulls a wand out of his pocket and Will realizes it’s not Hannibal’s wand - it’s the wand of the man he killed, as well as some long gloves. Will has a sinking feeling he knows what’s about to happen. Hannibal peeks in the office and says, “Expelliamus,” instantly holding another wand, followed shortly after by “Pectrufus totalus”. There is a thud and Hannibal enters the office, shutting the door behind him. Once inside he puts a locking spell on the door as well as a silencing charm. Will follows and can see it’s the Death Eater that got away, older than before. Hannibal turns him slightly so he can see him, eyes wide and scared, watching as Hannibal puts on the gloves.

              “You don’t remember me, do you? How rude, well I assure you, you will remember me.” Hannibal’s voice is cold as ice and Will shivers. Deep down he knew Hannibal was dangerous and this is the proof. “You killed my sister, not only killed her, you consumed her…and for what, to extend your pathetic life? You’re not worthy of her.” Recognition dawns in the man’s eyes but of course he can’t move. Hannibal pulls out a knife - it’s the same knife from the memory, Will realizes - and stabs it into the man’s stomach, slicing upwards, blood starting to pool around him on the floor. “Abdominal wounds take the longest to kill you and are the most painful. While we are waiting, I need to take something from you.” Will watches aghast as Hannibal puts both hands on either side of the wound and pulls violently, opening it, more blood dripping out as he does so. Unable to look away, Will watches as Hannibal forces one gloved hand inside, then brings the knife with the other hand which also disappears inside. The man’s eyes appear to be screaming in in pain, and Will feels like they are stuck in a timeless moment, unsure of how long has gone by, until suddenly with a final rush of blood spilling out, the man’s eyes roll back and Hannibal’s hands emerge, holding a bloody heart. Watching in disbelief, Will sees as Hannibal wraps the heart in some sort of paper, and drops it into his school bag. The bloody gloves are removed and with a quick wave of the wand “Incendio” they are reduced to ash and easily blown into the air, as if the never existed. Will can feel the shift in emotion, similar to the other memory. The correction of an imbalance, of order being restored, of vengeance being completed, but still underneath, the deep dark emptiness which is the loss of Mischa. Will takes in the scene, and watches as Hannibal does an amplifying charm to listen outside. Apparently hearing nothing, he opens the door, slips out, and Will follows.

              The scene around Will blurs and ripples again until he is in a house, a nice house he realizes, nicer than he has ever been in. He immediately sees Hannibal in the kitchen, wearing a white apron, shirt sleeves rolled up, preparing something. Will walks closer and sees a recipe card nearby Hannibal. He walks around to read it, seeing ‘Heart Tartare’ written in Hannibal’s elegant script. Will’s stomach drops, realizing what he is seeing. He watches mesmerized as Hannibal moves confidently around the kitchen until he has plated his final dish, and Will has to admit, it’s a work of art. He follows as Hannibal brings the completed dish to the nearby dining table and sits down to eat, alone. Will has the passing thought that he looks lonely. As he takes the first bite, Will tastes that same satisfaction and vengeance, on his tongue. It’s the professor, the Death Eater…he’s the meal. It’s like a craving deep inside is being sated, a wrong is being righted. Mischa didn’t deserve to die. These men did not deserve to consume her, nor to continue living. Mischa cannot be brought back to life, but Hannibal can make these men pay, and take in their power the way they took in Mischa’s. Its darkly beautiful Will thinks, but he can’t be totally confident of his thoughts and feelings in here, he’s in Hannibal’s mind after all.

             The scenery around Will starts to dissolve and he feels himself leaving Hannibal’s mind, returning to reality. It’s disorienting and Will is glad he’s sitting because otherwise he would have fallen over - as it is, he leans heavily against Hannibal beside him needing the support. He’s breathing hard and feels Hannibal is motionless beside him. Will takes a moment to process all he has seen and felt; despite the heavy emotions, he can put the facts together. Hannibal killed three out of the four men that killed his sister. There is one left, Professor Quirrell. It’s therefore logical that that is why he transferred to Hogwarts, to kill him…and likely, to eat him.

              Will now understands Hannibal’s tension earlier. By telling Will this, he is putting his life in Will’s hands. Will could turn him in to Crawford right now, after all he’s a murderer…and a cannibal. Will knows in his heart that he himself was responsible for Traver’s death, but recognizes it was through inaction in the moment, not premeditated, nor by his own hand. Will tries to imagine turning Hannibal in, Hannibal being shipped off to Azkaban, getting the Dementor’s Kiss, his soul being ripped out; for all intents and purposes Will would be killing him if he chose to turn Hannibal in, and his heart aches at the thought. That is not what he wants.

              Will is still feeling the strong emotions washing over him. Throughout all of the memories he feels the depth of love Hannibal has for his sister. Feels Hannibal’s righteous vengeance. Feels power through eating the men who killed her. Can still taste human flesh on his tongue. Will finds he’s not as bothered by that as he feels he should be and wonders if he’s in shock. It is a lot to take in.

             He remembers when he asked Hannibal into his memory, how afterwards Hannibal had told him he was a god among men, dispensing justice and punishment. He supposes that is what Hannibal is asking of him now, to decide for himself if this changes his love for him. Will tries to picture the roles reversed, what if someone did that to his loved one, to Hannibal even. What would he do? His heart goes wild for a moment realizing he would kill anyone and anything that harmed Hannibal.

             Despite all of this being a lot to swallow, no pun intended, Will finds his love for Hannibal has not changed. It’s vengeance at its most pure, and his instincts were right, Hannibal is dangerous, no doubt, but he has a heart and loves as hard as he can hurt. Like playing with fire Will thinks, being Hannibal’s lover. They will burn bright together or he’ll be extinguished. Will has a brief though of Hannibal killing him and strangely finds it doesn’t bother him as much as it should. He then imagines if someone else killed him, the vengeance Hannibal would have on his behalf. 

             The thoughts continue to flow freely through his mind and all of a sudden he has images in his head, images of he and Hannibal killing Professor Quirrell together, covered in blood, smiling at each other. Of Hannibal cooking a fancy meal made from Professor Quirrell and them eating together, Hannibal no longer alone at the table. Of Will helping Hannibal get that final closure of avenging his sister. He’s scared of how much he wants it, for first time feels like he’s really seeing Hannibal behind the mask and is afraid he’s really seeing himself too, what he’s been afraid to look at.

             Will’s not sure how long he’s been quiet, but he finally turns to look at Hannibal and sees Hannibal looks afraid, afraid like that little boy Will just saw. Will couldn’t comfort that little boy then, but he can comfort Hannibal now. He throws his arms around Hannibal’s neck and pulls him close, and Will realizes he himself is shaking. Hannibal puts his arms around him lightly, cautiously.

             “Will? Do you want me to give you some space? ...Will?” Hannibal looks more worried at Will’s lack of response, but Will holds just on tighter, trying to find words.

             “Do it on me, Legilimens,” he manages to get out. Hannibal looks unsure for a moment but does it. Will feels him in his head a moment later, and it’s a comfort. He lets Hannibal see his vision, of them killing together, of them sharing dinner. Of his fear at wanting those things, his ever-conflicted nature, the conflict creating chaos in his mind. As they both come back to the present, Hannibal pulls back slightly, forcing Will to look up. Will has tears in his eyes, still afraid. Hannibal’s eyes look moist as well and he holds Will’s face gently, whispering.

             “You delight in wickedness and then berate yourself for the delight. We are the same Will. You and I, we don’t have to be alone anymore.” Will sniffs and nods, his lingering doubts about Hannibal’s love for him fading. He laughs a little. After a moment he speaks, his voice hoarse despite barely having spoken.

             “Do you know what my Amortentia potion smelled like?” Will asks. Hannibal looks completely lost, as if will is speaking Swahili and shakes his head. Will takes his hand from his face and cradles it gently, dropping small kisses on it.

             “It smelled like your fancy aftershave, (kiss) cold winter air, (kiss), and blood, (kiss).” Hannibal’s eyes are bright, and his smile finally breaks through, “Love. I love you Hannibal.”

             Hannibal closes his hand around Will’s, and kisses his hand, “I love you too Will.” They stand slowly together and Hannibal shakes the snow off his cloak, putting it back on. Will reaches for his hand and they walk hand in hand back to the castle slowly, as if both are still recalibrating.

             “Do you want to know what my Amortentia smelled like?” Hannibal asks as they walk and Will nods, he was hoping he would find out.  “You.” Will stops walking, waiting for Hannibal to elaborate and disappointed when no further description is offered.

             “Can you be more specific?”

             “I have a very sensitive nose Will, each person has a distinct smell to me, it’s how I knew who attacked you. You smell of your awful Hogwarts aftershave, but also anxiety, love, empathy, power, sex, intelligence…I can go on.”

             “Most of those aren’t smells Hannibal. Empathy is not a smell.”

             “They are to me.”

             “Alright, next time I’m in your head, you show me.” Hannibal’s eyes light up.

             “Next time? If we’re going to keep doing this Will, I think we should learn more about it.”

             “You’re right, we should.”

             “You know Will, you already live in my mind, your memory castle is building, it shares some rooms with my own. I’ve discovered you there victorious.”

             “Of course you have, come on.” Will’s sarcasm lightens the mood a bit and Will smiles as he tugs on Hannibal’s hand ,and they continue walking back to the castle.

 

 

*

 

              That night after dinner the atmosphere in the common room is charged, feels heavy with meaning. After the revelations of the day, they are suddenly no longer two teenagers in lust. Will feels like they are for all intents and purposes married, soul bonded, he’s not sure what to call it but all of a sudden everything feels more meaningful now that they know each other’s true nature. He finally feels like he can see behind Hannibal’s mask, loving the man in his entirety. Seeing and being seen, all his faults exposed and Hannibal still here, and vice versa. Will feels peace like he hasn’t felt in a long time and revels in it, wants to share it. After they have gotten ready for bed, Will takes Hannibal’s hand, puts it over his heart, and kisses him tenderly. Letting out a small sigh, Hannibal kisses him back, bringing Will’s hand to his heart as well. It seems to break some of the tension and Will loses himself in kissing Hannibal. It’s more measured, less fevered, less urgent, but no less passionate.

             Will brings his hands up to Hannibal’s face, cupping it and licking into his mouth deeply, then lets his hands slide down to Hannibal’s chest over his shirt. Hannibal has one hand in his curls and the other travels from the back of his neck, down his back, sneaking under his shirt. Will feels his large hand splayed across his lower back possessively and revels in the feeling. He then feels Hannibal’s hands snake back under his shirt, lifting it, and Will helps with taking it off. Once off, Will tugs at Hannibal’s shirt, removing it together.

             The atmosphere feels tentative, like a bubble about to burst, their first time being intimate after finally knowing the truth about one another and accepting it. Will feels Hannibal’s hands trailing over his skin lightly, feels Hannibal’s hand at his lower back pulling their bodies tightly together. He feels the heat and tingling as their chests and abdomens meet, feels Hannibal’s chest hair against his skin, creating a delicious friction against his nipples. In a moment of inspiration, Will ducks his head and scrapes his facial hair across Hannibal’s skin, his neck, then up to his cheek, earning a soft hmmm for his efforts which he files away for future reference, noting the skin there is now pink.

             Will brings his hands up, threading the fingers of one hand in the hair at the back of Hannibal’s neck, the other looped around his lower back and kisses him fiercely, before trailing his mouth down to Hannibal’s neck, grazing over the mark he left and feels Hannibal shiver, Hannibal’s mouth finding his corresponding spot on his neck and now its Will’s turn to shiver. Will thinks the marks are symbolic, a bridge between their lives before and their lives now, a physical manifestation of the way they have marked each, changed each other’s lives.

              Will’s fingers dip below the waistband of Hannibal’s pajama pants at his rear, feeling the skin soften there and Hannibal bites his neck a little harder and groans. Removing his hands, Will tugs at the waistband, and together they pull his pajama pants down and off and all of a sudden Hannibal is naked standing in front of Will. More symbolism, Will’s brain supplies, Hannibal laid himself bare before him today and Will still chooses him. He chooses him again right now, bringing their bodies together again, kissing him, grabbing the globes of his ass and squeezing. In response, Hannibal bucks forward, his erection grinding into Will’s through his pajama pants.

              Hannibal’s hands find the waistband of Will’s pajama pants and together they get them off. Suddenly they are both naked, standing at the foot of Will’s bed, in the lamplight, atmosphere still heavy. Taking Will’s hand in his own, Hannibal pulls him to the bed, laying down, and pulling Will down on top of him. Will notes Hannibal lacks his usual confidence and smugness, he seems more vulnerable which brings out in Will a desire to take charge, do whatever it takes to make him feel loved. Settling down on top of him, Will straddles him, bringing his hand to Hannibal’s face, kissing him tenderly, their bodies settling into a slow roll instinctively. Will’s empathy feels Hannibal’s love for him and he tries to mirror it back through his actions, it’s so pure he finds his eyes are getting moist. Hannibal’s hands wander over him reverently and then push him back slightly, their lips making a sound as they break apart.

              “Will?” Their eyes meet.

              “Mm?” Will feels like Hannibal’s mask is totally down, like he can see all the way into Hannibal’s soul.

              “Will you do something for me?” Hannibal nuzzles his nose against Will’s and Will’s reply is breathy.

              “Anything,” Will replies automatically and means it to the core of his being. Hannibal nuzzles near Will’s ear, then whispers.

              “Make love to me, I want to feel you inside me.” Will gasps in both arousal and surprise, to be honest he thought it was going to be the other way around. He pulls back enough to look at Hannibal clearly and knows he would never deny him anything.

              “Yes, yes, but um, I’ve never done this before…” Their foreheads are touching, breathing the same air.

              “Neither have I but we’ll learn together. Hand me my bag.” Will sits up and grabs it, passing it to Hannibal who opens and outside pocket and pulls out a small jar of Vaseline, at which Will raises an eyebrow. “Muggle remedy for chapped lips, also works as lubrication,” Hannibal explains.

              “How long have you been carrying that around?” Will asks with a smirk, he can’t help but tease Hannibal a little. In response, Hannibal pulls him down a little roughly, dropping his bag on the floor in the process.

             “Laugh now but you’ll thank me,” Hannibal replies with a smile and a kiss, as Will feels the atmosphere lightening, smiling back, their bodies sliding against one another pleasantly in anticipation. “Scoot back Will.” They shift positions so Hannibal’s legs are spread and Will is kneeling between them. Hannibal hands Will the Vaseline. “Put some on your fingers Will.” Will does as Hannibal lays back, lifting his legs, exposing himself and Will’s eyes are transfixed. “Just like you did for yourself, Will, I’ll tell you how it feels. I trust you.”

              Will reaches out with his left hand first, running his hand across Hannibal’s thigh to his erection, stroking a few times, then continues a slow rhythm as he leans in and places the tip of his finger against the puckered skin, no pressure, just a brush and Hannibal whimpers.

              “Yes Will, that’s good.” Will does that a few more times, then pushes the tip of his finger inside, feeling a tight warm passage that clenches around his finger. He pushes in and out a few more times and Hannibal’s breathing is speeding up but he doesn’t look uncomfortable at all. “Mmmm…” Will pushes in further as Hannibal’s body shifts and it forces his finger all the way in, causing both himself and Hannibal groan simultaneously. “Yes Will…” Will moves his finger in and out, feeling the Vaseline ease the transition and soon they have a rhythm going. “Will...add another.” Will looks up at him. He’s never done that to himself.

              “You sure?”

              “Yes, I’ll tell you if it’s uncomfortable. Your goal is three.”

              “Have you done this before?”

              “Only with myself, thinking of you…” Hannibal smiles and Will returns the smile before pulling his finger out and adding a second one, barely dipping inside. It’s tighter with two fingers, and he’s skeptical about three but trusts Hannibal to guide him. “Hmm…deeper Will.” Will groans, his mind already picturing himself fucking Hannibal, Hannibal telling him deeper, harder… Will’s erection twitches at the thought. Will wishes this position would allow Hannibal to touch him too but he’s too far away and no immediate solution is evident. Attempting to get a little closer, Will shifts to the side, but ends up not only pushing his two fingers in as deep as they will go, but rubbing his erection against the back of Hannibal’s thigh and they both groan. “Yes Will, another.” Hannibal is rocking onto his fingers and Will wants to speed this along too. He adds a third finger, it’s a tight fit but he slowly works them in, Hannibal breathing fast, a sheen of sweat over his body, his cock leaking, lubricating Will’s hand as he continues to stroke him. Will thinks he looks beautiful like this. Shifting again, Will tries to get some friction against his neglected cock and the angle must change for Hannibal too because he tenses like a bowstring up off the bed, eyes wide and Will stops moving.

              “Hannibal, you okay?”

              “Yes Will yes, now please. Slick yourself up.” Will makes the connection a moment later, he must have hit his prostate. Grabbing the Vaseline, Will scoops some out, hissing as he rubs it over his erection. It feels surreal, is this really going to happen? Hannibal’s eyes are looking at him imploringly, and Will gets into position, lining himself up, his other hand on Hannibal’s thigh.

              “Ready?” Will asks.

              “Yes.” Their eyes meet, connection strong, and Will exhales as he pushes in slowly, it’s so tight and hot, it feels amazing.

              “Oh god Hannibal, Hannibal…I’m inside you…” Will feels Hannibal’s internal muscles fluttering around him, “Okay?”

              “Yes keep going.” Will keeps pushing until he’s full seated, he feels a drop of sweat fall off of his chin. His body wants to pound in to that sweet tight heat over and over but his heart wants to make sure Hannibal is okay. Hannibal rolls his hips, testing, and Will holds still, letting the pleasure wash over him likes waves upon the beach. An idea occurs to him and he moves his hand to Hannibal’s erection, stroking. This seems to help as Hannibal starts rolling his hips. Will keeps stroking him and does an experimental thrust, pulling out mostly, then pushing back in and they both moan.

              Will tries to do it again but finds the coordination of thrusting and stroking Hannibal difficult so he reluctantly let’s go of his erection and grips his thighs, already feeling better leverage and control, their bodies meeting in a slow rhythm. Their eyes meet and Will finds it so intense but he can’t look away, he feels Hannibal’s openness and vulnerability and is feeling that way himself. He wants to do everything he can to make sure Hannibal’s mind and heart feel as loved as his body. As their pace starts increasing in speed, he leans forward to kiss Hannibal which must cause the angle to change for Hannibal because his pace increases tenfold, Hannibal’s legs locking around his back, pulling him deeper in. They are kissing mouths, neck, chest, whatever is nearby and Will hears moans but can’t tell who is making them. He’s getting close and he thinks Hannibal is too. He tries to reach between them but almost loses his balance and has to backpedal.

              “Hannibal, touch yourself for me, I’m close…come with me, please…” Hannibal reaches between them and begins to stroke himself, quick and sure. He must be close.

              “Harder Will,” Hannibal’s voice is rough near his ear. Will whimpers then delivers, thrusting as hard as he can and wow they are loud  but he doesn’t care. He keeps going, wanting to hold out for them both to come together, slamming into him and on instinct bites Hannibal’s neck. Hannibal roars Will’s name and the next thing he knows he feels Hannibal clamp down on him from the inside and feels warm wetness between them. This pushes Will is over the edge, coming deep into Hannibal’s body, forcing himself as close as two people can be, holding him tightly, until the spasms stop. They are both sweaty and breathing hard, as Hannibal’s legs unlock from behind him and Will slumps over on top of Hannibal, hearing his heart beating, or is it his own? Will can’t tell, feeling his chest rise and fall. He feels Hannibal’s arms come around him, still basking in the afterglow.

             Will turns his head up and looks at Hannibal, immediately kissing him gently. His hair is a mess, sweaty, eyes moist and Will finds his are too. When he pulls back, he says, “I love you.”

              “I love you too Will.” They both smile and bask in the moment for a bit, before Will hisses as he feels himself soften and slip out. Hannibal lets out a sound as well and shifts. “I think we made a mess of your bed Will. I can feel you spilling out of me.” Will can’t resist sitting up and looking down between them, he glances to Hannibal’s face briefly before reaching out, touching his hole gently, seeing the last remnants of his come spilling out and Hannibal has a sharp intake of breath.   

              “Does it hurt? Did I hurt you?”

              “No Will, it’s sensitive, although I suspect I may be sore tomorrow. A reminder of our joining.” Will smiles at the wording, laying back down on Hannibal, enclosed in his strong arms once again.

              “Maybe you can give me a reminder of our joining next time?” Will says looking at Hannibal, to which Hannibal breathes in sharply.

              “Mmm happily, yes my naughty boy, I’ll give you anything you desire.” Will turns his head, seeing the spot he bit Hannibal’s neck, and touches it, feeling Hannibal shudder.

              “Looks like I gave you two reminders,” Will says with a smile.

              “You are most generous Will.” They continue to cuddle until yawns start to emerge, then Hannibal says, “We should clean up.” Will scrabbles for his wand and does a cleaning charm, to which Hannibal replies. “Some things don’t need magic Will.”

              “I don’t want to move, I don’t think you do either.” Hannibal is quiet for a second.

              “No, I suppose I don’t. I am exactly where I want to be.” With that they turn off the light and fall asleep, pressed close to one another.

 

 

 

 

December 29th

 

             The next morning, they sleep through breakfast, laying together and cuddling in bed naked, totally comfortable, soaking in their new reality. Once their hunger is too pressing, they get up, shower, and head down to find food, realizing it’s now the beginning of lunch hour. Will smiles knowingly when Hannibal sits down and winces slightly, his movements more controlled and gentle than they usually are.

             “How’s that reminder I gave you?” Will asks with a knowing smirk.

             “Pleasantly present,” Hannibal replies nonchalantly, as if talking about the weather, and Will laughs, continuing to eat.

              After lunch, they decide to go on a walk outside, for which Will wears his new cloak and scarf, marveling at the softness of the scarf around his neck. As they walk around the lake, Will is the first to bring up the difficult subject. “I was serious you know, my thoughts. I want that with you…if you’re okay with it. I would understand if you want to be the only one to do it…”

              Hannibal squeezes Will’s hand tighter. “Will, I consider you a part of me, if you want to be there, I want you there.” Will can’t believe they are discussing murder.

              “Have you thought of how to do it?”

              “I have some ideas yes, but nothing concrete. I was thinking the end of the year would be the most opportune time. Optimal for a quick escape after.” A thought dawns on Will and his smile turns to a frown.

              “Escape…where will you go?”

              “Likely back to my aunt and uncle’s home in Denmark.” As Hannibal notices Will’s sad face, he stops walking. “Will?” Will wants to ask if he’s coming back for seventh year or not…if he’ll see him at all over the summer. The idea of being apart scares him tremendously and he’s not sure what to voice first.

              “I see…and I…?” he tries to start and his voice cracks under the fear. Thankfully Hannibal seems to intuit some of the issue.

              “You are always welcome wherever I am, Will. Always.” Hannibal brings their joined hands up to his mouth, kissing the back of Will’s gently. “I insist you come with me, unless you have other preferred arrangements.”

              Wills heart swells and he finds it easier to speak now that his worries are assuaged. “No, no, I want to go with you. Are you sure it’s okay? Will your aunt and uncle mind?”

              Hannibal leans in close to Will, whispering directly into his ear. “My uncle is dead Will. My aunt is in Japan. We will have the place all to ourselves. No one can know though, until I turn eighteen.” He pulls back with a wink to which Will smiles and nods, as they continue walking.

              “When is your birthday?” Will asks, realizing he knows this man’s darkest secrets but not his birthday, how did that happen?

              “January twentieth”

              “That’s soon!”

              “Yes, and I think it’s going to be the best year of my life…”

 

*

 

              That night after dinner, Hannibal forces Will out of the common room, claiming a surprise for him. Will is a little put out, having become accustomed to having Hannibal around him 24/7, but uses the time to take a bath, relaxing, processing the events of the past few days. He is surprised to find his thoughts and feelings don’t change much with space and distance, continuing to feel at peace. When he returns at the specified time, Hannibal meets him outside the common room and ties a blindfold over his eyes. He leads Will inside and when the blindfold is removed, Will sees a bunch of enchanted candles floating all over the room as well as some wine.

              In no hurry, they drink wine together, cuddling by the fire. In no time, Will feels buzzed from the wine and high on life. That is when Hannibal takes him to the bedroom for part two of the surprise and Will sees the enchanted candles are in there too, it’s beautiful, making the room feel ethereal and otherworldly. Hannibal instructs Will to remove his clothes and lay down on the bed, face down. Will does as requested, curious, and then feels Hannibal crawl on top of him (wearing some clothes it seems), putting something on him (Lotion? ) and massaging him. It feels amazing, he can’t remember the last time he got a massage and he’s moaning more than he probably should but Hannibal doesn’t seem to mind. Hannibal takes his time, working from Will’s neck all the way down to feet and back up again.

             By the time he’s done, Will is pleasantly relaxed, warm all over, and rock hard, trying not to rut into the blankets. That is when Hannibal leans over Will, asking “Can I do something for you Will?” and Will nods, blissfully trusting, shuddering at Hannibal’s sultry voice. Hannibal pulls at his hips, “Up.” Will moves up on to his hands and knees and allows Hannibal to manhandle him into whatever he has in mind, in the back of his mind he’s hoping it leads to Hannibal fucking him but he is in no rush, the anticipation is just as satisfying for now. Will feels Hannibal’s hands roaming over his back and he feels his lips kissing his shoulders, his back, continually moving lower. It tingles at his lower back and his brain panics the moment Hannibal grabs his cheeks and pulls them apart, feeling Hannibal’s mouth right on his hole, thanking whatever deity is up there he bathed right before this. Will is sure he looks as red as a tomato and he instinctively hides his face.

              “Will,” Oh god he feels the puff of breath on his wet skin back there and groans in arousal and embarrassment. He then feels Hannibal’s tongue licking over his hole broadly, then more pointed, forcing his tongue inside and Will’s brain short circuits, he can’t think, he’s so embarrassed and turned on and his erection is straining for contact but just has air. He instinctively thrusts into nothing and Hannibal follows, holding his hips and spearing him on his tongue, essentially fucking him with his tongue.

              “Ha-Ha-Hannibal…” Will's voice is wrecked, breathy.

              “Yes Will…” Oh that voice, the feeling….

              “I, I need…”

              “What do you need dear boy?” Will moans, uncaring how desperate he sounds, nearly overwhelmed in the best way possible.

              “You, in me, please.” Will feels Hannibal move and then feels a finger at his hole, which seems to just slide right in with no resistance, how did Hannibal do that?  He’ll have to ask him later. Will rocks back and is embarrassed by the sounds his body is making without his conscious consent but it feels too good. “More…” Hannibal presses another finger in and Will feels the stretch but the slight burn gives him something to ground himself with. He chances a glance back and whimpers seeing Hannibal naked, looking at him, his most intimate place.


              “Okay Will?” Hannibal’s smug grin is back, the bastard, he knows what he’s doing to Will, can read him like a book but Will doesn’t care.

              “Yes, more...” Will’s never had three fingers in him and it’s a very full feeling he thinks, until Hannibal pulls out an then he feels quite empty, how odd, then back in and he’s rocking into the feeling, chasing it. Then all of a sudden the fingers are gone and he’s rocking back into nothing, frustrated, and sees some pre-come dripping off his erection onto the bedspread. “Hannibal…” he looks back and sees Hannibal slicking himself up. “Yes, please, Hannibal…” Will is surprised at how needy he sounds. He sees Hannibal get up on his knees and position himself, looking at Will as he pushes the tip in. He’s bigger than the fingers and for a moment Will isn’t sure this is going to work. His concern must show on his face because Hannibal freezes, allowing Will to acclimate, rubbing his back gently. He reaches under and pumps Will a few times. Will yelps and then sighs, some of the edge taken off. “Bear down Will, it helps.” As Hannibal pushes in a little more, Will does and what do you know? He feels Hannibal slide in deeper, a stretch but no pain, and soon enough he feels Hannibal bottom out.

              “Oh my god, you’re inside me.” Hannibal leans forward so his mouth is right by Will’s ear.

              “Yes I am. You feel amazing Will, incredible.” Will can feel his muscles ripple at that voice and Hannibal must feel it too because he shudders. Will experimentally rocks back, prompting Hannibal to thrust in and out of him and they both moan.

              “Oh Will…” They continue like that for a bit at a measured pace until Hannibal grabs him around the waist and lifts him up, holding Will upright against his body. Will feels like he’s been on edge of coming for a while now and if Hannibal’s sounds and movements are anything to go by, he is too; he’s more forceful, less restrained. Hannibal kisses and bites at Will’s neck, thrusting into him harder and faster, hand coming around Will’s neglected erection, pumping him and Will is pushed over the edge, grabbing Hannibal’s arm since that’s all he can really reach.

              “Hannibal!” Will sees his come jet out on Hannibal’s hand, his stomach and the bed, made more intense by Hannibal inside him and then a few more punctuated thrusts and Hannibal is groaning, face buried in his neck and Will feels warmth inside of him. Hannibal came inside of him. He likes the thought. They are both breathing hard, and eventually Hannibal pulls out as he gently lowers Will back to hands and knees, which doesn’t last long as Will collapses forward into the pillow. Will can feel Hannibal continuing to hold onto his hips which remain elevated, and Will feels a light touch around his hole, the same thing he did to Hannibal after their first time. He shivers at the sensation, Hannibal’s right, it is sensitive. Will feels Hannibal’s come starting to drip out of him, it feels dirty and he finds he likes it. He turns to look at Hannibal and smiles a satisfied smile. Hannibal meets his eyes and returns the smile. “That was incredible.”

              “I agree.” He feels Hannibal manhandle him again and he’s being spooned, now feeling the come dripping down his thigh. “I love you Will.” his voice is right behind his ear. Will holds onto Hannibal tighter.            

              “I love you too.”

             

 

December 30th

 

              The following day finds them walking to Hogsmeade after breakfast. It’s cold but Will can’t even feel it, between the new cloak, new scarf, gloves that Hannibal bought him, and most importantly Hannibal’s hand in his. He was a little surprised when Hannibal grabbed his hand as they started walking, memories of the homophobic slurs from the Yule Ball springing to his mind, but it’s not enough to deter him in the slightest. He feels more grounded and at peace than he can ever recall being, and even when they get stopped briefly by a Georgia Madchen who (like usual) is primarily chatting with Hannibal, Will finds he is not bothered in the slightest. Hannibal keeps hold of his hand, thumb lightly caressing the back of his hand. Georgia’s eyes dart to their hands briefly but she doesn’t comment, or if she does Will isn’t paying attention. His attention is tugged back to the present quite literally by Hannibal pulling him forward to start walking again. Will smiles and starts up, thinking he would follow Hannibal anywhere.

              In Hogsmeade they head for Dervish and Banges as Hannibal had suggested coming here mainly to get a photo album and a frame. Will had offered a token protest, still not 100% comfortable with Hannibal buying him things, but Hannibal had said if Will doesn’t want them then Hannibal will buy them for himself, so Will conceded. Truthfully, he thinks it’s a great idea. In the few days since he’s had the camera, they have taken quite a few pictures that are sitting in Will’s nightstand drawer.

              Hannibal’s hand doesn’t leave his in the store, adjusting his trajectory if Will stops to look at something and Will trying to do the same. It’s somewhat impractical but Will can’t stop smiling. It’s these little things that remind him Hannibal is just as invested as he is, all in. Old habits die hard and he still finds the whole situation quite unbelievable, not just the mutual darkness they have found in each other, but that anyone would want Will as he is.    

              Will finds a photo album that is black with silver adornments and likes the feel of it, already envisioning their photos in it. Hannibal approves and then leads Will to the picture frames. Here Hannibal is admittedly a little out of his depth, photo albums and frames being a more muggle thing, but together they find two small matching picture frames. Hannibal pays and they decide to get lunch before walking back.

              The Three Broomsticks is nearly empty, as most of the students and faculty are away for the holiday, so it ends up being only them and one other couple being served. They sit close together in a booth like last time, and Will can’t help but marvel at how things are so much the same and yet so different, how the progression of their relationship feels so natural. Mid-way through the meal, Will happens to look at Hannibal as he is swallowing some of the Butterbeer, seeing him lick his lips to remove the foam, tongue sneaking out to run across his upper lip, which lights a spark in Will. Will keeps waiting for the strong pull he feels to Hannibal to wane, but if anything it’s getting stronger, or he’s getting weaker to resist. As if feeling eyes on him, Hannibal turns towards him with an inquiring stare. Will just smiles and continues eating but shifts closer to Hannibal so their thighs are touching, hungry for contact.

              Hannibal looks amused, sets his utensils down, and reaches up and over Will, his arm coming around his shoulders, then threads his fingers into his hair, lightly petting his scalp. Will’s eyes close briefly at the contact, enjoying it. After a moment, he sets down his own utensils, appetite for food changed to appetite for something else entirely. He turns towards Hannibal, ducking his face into his neck to nuzzle there and boldly drops his palm to Hannibal’s firm thigh, rubbing slightly. He hears Hannibal’s slight intake of breath and feels the hand in his hair tighten. He tries to imagine what they must look like and can’t help taking a brief look around. Madame Rosmerta is presumably in the back as he doesn’t see her, and the other couple is still there but appear to be in their own little world.

              Hannibal leans in, using his other hand to tip Wills chin up and look in his eyes, before bringing their lips together briefly. Will feels his face color at them doing this in public but melts all the same, grip on Hannibal’s thigh tightening. He can feel himself getting turned on and the embarrassment of where they are seems to make an awful feedback loop that makes him more aroused until he’s fully hard. He shifts his hand further up Hannibal’s thigh, briefly passing over his groin, feeling him semi-hard underneath and Will feels him buck up against his hand slightly, hardening, eyes on Will. Will makes one more pass before bringing his hand back to his thigh, the risk that they could get caught is real and giving him a thrill. Hannibal seems to come to some sort of decision as he leans forward, speaking right next to Will’s ear, as he brings the heel of his palm to Will’s erection under the table.

              “My my, my naughty boy. What are you doing?” Will bucks up slightly against Hannibal’s hand, a maddeningly slow pace. “You have no idea how tempting you are.” Hannibal bites his ear briefly, then continues in his low sultry voice. “Right now I want to pull you onto my lap, pull you tight against me…” Will has to stifle a moan, this is getting out of control quickly. Will feels movement and then a coldness. He opens his eyes and Hannibal is climbing out of the booth, hand outstretched to him. “Let’s go home Will.” Will sees Madame Rosmerta has re-emerged and as much as he wants to call Hannibal a tease, he knows he’s right. He tries to keep his cloak in front of him as they walk out just in case.

              The walk back to the castle is uneventful, but Will feels like it takes an eternity. The urgency of his desire has ebbed slightly but is still smoldering in the background. He and Hannibal trade sultry glances as they walk and their fingers caress one another’s sensually as they hold hands. Will feels a tingle of electricity as they touch, no longer wearing their gloves. When they get back to the castle, they wordlessly make their way to the Ravenclaw common room. Will feels a tension building between them and sure enough as soon as the door swings shut, Hannibal is on him, kissing him breathless, and a little rough if he’s honest. And if he’s honest with himself he likes it and gives it as good as he gets it.

             This is not the tender coupling they have experienced so far. They take turns shoving each other against various surfaces before Will finds himself backed into the large studying desk on the other side of the common room. Hannibal pushes him roughly into it, grinding their hips together rhythmically. Will feels Hannibal undo his cloak and tug his scarf off, as Will scrambles to do the same for him. Will pulls back enough to see Hannibal’s face and he looks feral, nearly out of control. It's another of those moments where Will feels he probably should be scared, but somehow it only excites him more. Boldly, Will leans in to kiss Hannibal roughly, biting his bottom lip which earns a groan. This seems to flip some sort of switch because the next thing he knows Hannibal has ripped his shirt open, he hears buttons go flying everywhere, and then feels Hannibal undoing is pants. Before Will can come up with a response (other than a shudder because he has to admit that was damn sexy, if clearly impractical), Hannibal has his pants mostly off of him, hanging by one leg, and is lifting him up onto the desk. Will feels the cold wood against his skin and watches as Hannibal grabs his bag and pulls out the Vaseline, coating his fingers, then forces Will to lay back with a hand to his chest, and the other reaching between his legs.             

              Will is slightly tender from yesterday and hisses when he feels the probing fingers, but Hannibal doesn’t stop and truthfully Will doesn’t want him to. “More,” he hears himself saying. Hannibal looks up at him, surprise and a deviant dark twinkle in his eye, and he roughly adds a second finger. It’s much different than last night, Will feels like he’s balanced on the edge of pleasure and pain and right now, yet somehow it feels right. “Harder,” he says and Hannibal looks nearly possessed, shoving three fingers into him now roughly. Will moans, having difficulty distinguishing the line between pleasure and pain in the moment. Then he feels Hannibal pulling back and sees him undo his pants just enough to free his cock and slick it up with the Vaseline. Their eyes meet, then Hannibal is pushing in and Will feels the burn along with the fullness, locking his ankles behind Hannibal.

              No sooner has he bottomed out than Hannibal starts driving into him roughly, hands holding Will’s hips, slamming them together. Will takes in the sight above him, Hannibal is still fully clothed and he is naked aside from the shreds of his ripped shirt hanging off his shoulders and one trouser leg. The disparity further heightens his vulnerability and he shivers, arching his back. “Hannibal…”

              “Will…in a few days, your fellow housemates will be sitting here studying.” Will moans. “They won’t know what we’ve done…but you will. Every time you walk past here you’ll remember.” Will can’t stop the sounds he is making, Hannibal’s voice undoing him. Hannibal pulls on Will’s hips until Will’s legs are now over Hannibal’s shoulders, Will’s pants now completely gone, and the change in angle has him nearly sobbing.

              “Hannibal, I’m close…” Will reaches down to touch himself and Hannibal grabs his hand, pinning it to the table. Will whines, thrusting up against air.

              “Trust me Will,” Hannibal nearly growls as he increases the pace, and Will feels like it’s nearly too much, overwhelming, like an itch you can’t scratch, teetering on the edge of pleasure and being unpleasant; he can’t seem to stop the noises he’s making, but he trusts Hannibal and right when he thinks he can’t take it anymore, his body releases, he feels hot come shooting out of him into his abdomen, his muscles contracting, his shocked face meeting Hannibal’s as he sees Hannibal lose it, feels Hannibal pump into him and spill his seed. Wills orgasm seems to keep going, finally petering out and he lays back against the desk, Hannibal slumped over him, both panting heavily.

              Will threads his fingers into Hannibal’s hair and Hannibal looks down at him, turning to place a kiss to his wrist, then stands, slipping out and picking Will up bridal style, carrying him to their bed. Will tries to protest but gives up partway through. If he hadn’t just had a spectacular orgasm he’d be turned on again by Hannibal’s strength and feeling his naked body against Hannibal’s clothes. After Will is deposited on the bed, Hannibal undresses fully, Will loses the remains of his shredded shirt, and they lay together cuddling.

              “Was that okay?” Hannibal asks after a moment and Will thinks Hannibal is aiming for neutral tone but can hear his concern, that was new territory for them. Will turns his head back to look at him directly.

              “No it was wonderful. I can’t believe I was able to come like that.” The slight tension in Hannibal dissipates and he smiles.

             “I had hoped you could. What did it feel like?”

             Will ponders this. “Different…intense…and longer…”

             Hannibal nods. “I’d like to find out for myself at some point.”

             Will looks at Hannibal eyebrows raised and smiles.

 

 

 

December 31st

 

              Will wakes the next morning and is briefly confused to not feel Hannibal next to him. He turns his head and finds Hannibal sitting in a chair, in pajamas, with his sketchpad on his lap. Will yawns and starts to push himself up. “Good morning.” He feels a gentle hand staying him and sees Hannibal has stood and is pushing him back down. He goes with it.

              “Good morning Will. Please humor me, I’m almost done.” Will flops back down.

              “Done with what?”

              “All in due time.” Realizing he’s not going to get much more, Will closes his eyes again, resting, trying to ignore his bladder.

              “Alright, you may move.” Will gets up, realizing he’s still naked from last night, and walks to the bathroom to relieve himself. When he’s back, he sees Hannibal has climbed back onto the bed to meet him. Will leans in to him and Hannibal shows him the drawing.

              It’s of Will asleep (and naked). Will’s fingers skim over it because he doesn’t think he’s that much to look at, but somehow Hannibal has made him look almost angelic, with the contrast from the sunlight hitting his hair, his eyelashes in exquisite detail, and the folds in the sheet creating a beautiful image.

              “It’s amazing,” Will says for lack of anything better.

              “It doesn’t nearly do you justice but I was inspired, it was quite a sight to wake up to, ethereal. And a reminder that tonight will be our last night like this, for now.” Will nods, realizing this as well.

              After breakfast, they go out flying together, for the first time on separate brooms. Will misses the contact but has to admit it’s fun to chase and be chased, swirl around one another, make up games. He feels like a child and can admit he sees more of the appeal of Quidditch now.

              After lunch, they spend time putting photos in the album and frames. After dinner, they head back up to the common room. It’s cold so they end up sitting by the fire. Will stretches out on the floor, trying to enjoy the relaxing before it all changes tomorrow. He can feel Hannibal’s eyes rake over his body, then sees Hannibal get up and then return with his sketchpad.

              “May I draw you Will?”

              “Oh now you’re asking permission?” Will teases.

              “I’d like to draw you laid out by the fire like how you are. You look lovely. But if you refuse to stay still then there is no point.”

              “Sure.” He feels comfortable so why not? Hannibal comes over to him and starts undoing the buttons on his shirt. “What are you doing?”

              “As an artist I must stage the scene to my liking...” Hannibal leans down to Will’s ear, “...and I would like you in the nude.” Will blushes.

              “You want do to draw me nude? Like in Titanic?” Hannibal doesn’t seem to get the muggle movie reference so just answers the first question.

              “Yes I do.” Will sighs, he feels like he should object but what can he say? If it will make Hannibal happy, he will do it.

              “Okay.” He takes over removing his shirt, then his shoes, socks, pants, and underwear, Hannibal’s eyes on him the whole time. He semi-self-consciously lays back down how he thinks he was before, the room is cold but the warmth from the fire is comforting. Hannibal looks at him from afar, giving him a few instructions, hand here, try this, no go back, until he has him how he wants him, then sits back where he was and Will hears the pencil sketching.

              At first Will closes his eyes, soaking in this new experience, he’s never had much cause to be naked for a period of time other than for bathing, and more recently for sex, so this is new, lounging naked. He lets the warmth of the fire relax him. Eventually he opens his eyes and watches Hannibal drawing, occasionally looking up at a part of him with loving scrutiny. Will tries to guess what part of him he’s drawing based on where his eyes land. Eventually the eyes seem to be landing near his crotch and Will can’t help that the perceived attention seems to re-route some blood there and feels himself filling out and hardening.

              Hannibal catches Will’s eye and raises an eyebrow smiling. Will smiles back, blushing but gives a small shrug. Hannibal’s comfort with his own body and desires seems to be rubbing off on Will and while he’s not at Hannibal’s level, times like this he thinks he can get there. Eventually Hannibal has to give him some cues, “Eyes up Will, on me, yes like that.” Will thought it would be difficult to keep his gaze in one place, but he simply watches Hannibal at work and that is captivating in itself, his dexterous fingers working over the page.

              Eventually Hannibal sets down his pencil, and crawls over to Will, pushing him onto his back, straddling him, and kissing him. Will kisses him back, noting the sensation of Hannibal fully clothed over his nudity and shivering, arching up into him. Hannibal kisses him a moment more before pulling back. “Would you like to see?” Will nods and Hannibal hands him the sketch. Like this morning, Will is taken aback. Is this how Hannibal sees him? With the fire behind him, shadows are cast over his body, showing off his muscle definition and face in stark relief. He looks seductive and dark, and confident, eyes piercing, daring. Hannibal has drawn him in his erect state and Will isn’t sure what he feels about seeing his own erection captured in pencil. Will doubts he looks like this, but loves it all the same, turning to Hannibal and kissing him.

              “You’re amazing, I don’t know how you made me look like that but it’s amazing.”

              “Silly boy,” Hannibal chides, “I draw what I see. This is how I see you.” Will can’t help that his eyes feel moist. Hannibal kisses him once more, then leans back and starts to take off his clothes. Will watches, taking in the show, both in no hurry. Once Hannibal is as nude as he, they lazily kiss and touch and explore, taking their time, reveling in discoveries of sensitive places. Eventually they reach an urgency and Hannibal pulls out the Vaseline, then reaches behind himself. Will’s eyes widen, watching Hannibal’s body undulating as he works himself open. Will runs his hands over Hannibal’s body, feeling the shifting of muscles.

              “You’re gorgeous like this,” Will says.

              Soon Hannibal swipes some more Vaseline and grips Will’s erection, slicking him. Then Hannibal positions himself over him, straddling him, and slowly lowers himself onto Will. They both sigh as they come together, Hannibal taking a moment to get settled, then starts to slowly ride him. Will brings his hands up to Hannibal’s hips, bending his knees to better support Hannibal and allow leverage to thrust up. They find a rhythm and soon enough both are panting, sheen of sweat over their bodies. Will reaches a hand to Hannibal’s erection, but Hannibal grabs both of Will’s hands in his own, lacing their fingers together and placing them on either side. Will raises an eyebrow, guessing Hannibal’s intention, shifting until he finds the angle that causes Hannibal to moan and breathe harder. Once found, he thrusts up into it with fervor, wanting to give Hannibal what he wants. He can feel the tension in Hannibal, he’s close himself but wants to hold out, although he’s starting to wonder if it’s possible. On an impulse he pulls sharply on Hannibal’s hands (which are already laced in his) and flips them over inelegantly, lifting Hannibal’s legs over his shoulders as he thrusts down aiming for his prostate. Hannibal seems to come alive, moaning louder than Will has ever heard him. They catch each other’s eyes and the intensity of love is so strong, Will starts to feel a tightening and Hannibal looks almost in pain as he comes untouched. Will stares transfixed before his own orgasm is wrenched from his body.

              As they come down, they slowly shift so they are cuddled together, Will cleans them up with a wave of his wand. Will is tracing patterns on Hannibal’s collar bone, and he feels Hannibal moving his lips over his forehead. “Was it everything you hoped it would be?” Will asks.

              “Yes, and more.”

              Will spends the remainder of the evening finishing putting the photos in the photo album and frame, Hannibal picking out a photo for his frame to take back with him to his dorm.

              At midnight they are awake, laying facing each other in Will’s bed, both realizing it’s their last night like this. Will realizes that for the first time ever he has someone to kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve and kisses Hannibal tenderly, already feeling that this year will be better than all others prior to it simply for having Hannibal in his life.

              “What are we going to do once term starts again? I’ll miss this, miss you.” Will feels Hannibal’s arms come around hm.

              “I’ll miss you too, made more acute by the interval of us having this. But we can make the most of our last night together.” The thought of them being apart makes Will feel territorial and despite the fact that they are both sated, he leans over Hannibal kissing and biting and sucking at his neck, marking him. Hannibal sighs and smiles, realizing what Will is doing, and pushes Will back with hand to his chest to do the same. Will touches his neck, relishing the physical proof of Hannibal’s love, and falls asleep.

Chapter Text

 

              Soon enough the magic bubble of winter break is over and Hogwarts is once again bustling with students. Will acutely misses Hannibal, having been spoiled by his constant presence, but consoles himself with utilizing Patroclus to send Hannibal notes when he starts feeling too put out. He has also noticed an unforeseen consequence of him and Hannibal being intimate in so many of places around the Ravenclaw common room, bathroom, and dorms; he finds that when he walks through those areas, his mind instantly recalls those intimate encounters and he gets all flushed and bothered. It wouldn’t be such a problem except that he spends a lot of time there and wonders if it will ever wear of or if he’s going to have to get used to walking around half hard and rosy cheeked. He reluctantly confides this discovery to Hannibal at breakfast the morning of their first day back to class and Hannibal’s looks more amused than is polite at the revelation. They both have their scarves on to cover their marks, although Will occasionally catches a glimpse when Hannibal moves, which brings a smile to his face.

              The one good thing Will finds at having Hannibal no longer in his room, is that he has the privacy to make a birthday present for Hannibal, planning to brew him a potion using his old cauldron, discreetly placed under his nightstand. It’s still a sore point in Will’s mind that he was unable to get something for Hannibal for Christmas, and again curses his lack of funds. However, since Hannibal’s Christmas gift to him now has him with double potions supplies, he sets out to find a potion to brew. In thumbing through his Potions book, he tries to find one that would be inconvenient for Hannibal himself to brew, and settles on Polyjuice potion. He is fairly certain Hannibal will find some use for it, maybe even for the murder. The brewing time is one month which puts its estimated completion right around Hannibal’s birthday. Will is quite proud of his plan and sets about getting it started and concealing it.

              As they get up to go their separate ways to class, Hannibal turns him and kisses him on the mouth. It’s just a brief meeting of lips, but for some reason Will wasn’t expecting that degree of public affection and turns quite a shade of pink, as Hannibal releases him with a wave. Will supposes it’s what couples do, he’s seen students hold hands, kiss, hug, but he never considered it as something that could happen to him. Somehow being in the public forum of the Great Hall makes it feel like a first kiss all over again, and he can’t seem to stop touching his lips, feeling the tingle, as he walks to Charms with a goofy grin on his face.

              In Charms Will takes his seat by Alana and Beverly who both greet him enthusiastically. After the basic greetings and general “How was your break?”s are out of the way, Will asks Alana how Margot is and she blushes, for once speech not gushing out of her, saying she is fine. As they leave class, Beverly walks with Will and presses him for more information, and Will finds himself telling her honestly, “I’ve never known myself as well as I know myself when I’m with him.” To this Beverly smiles, appearing genuinely happy for Will, and expresses a wish to hang out with both him and Hannibal, and Will promises he will arrange something.

              Lunch is uneventful and Will is more prepared for the goodbye kiss this time, he can feel eyes on them but it doesn’t bother him. A part of him is worried that the bullying they experienced at the Yule Ball may continue in some fashion, but he’s not going to let fear rule his life, braver now that he doesn’t feel alone. His mood abruptly shifts as he enters Defense Against the Dark Arts, seeing Professor Quirrell in a new light, Hannibal’s memory is fresh in his mind and he feels a streak of rage and hatred flow through him. He channels that energy into noticing whatever he can about Quirrell and even walks a little slower after class trying to get some intel on where he goes and what his routine is.

              As he is walking down to meet Hannibal, he gets waylaid by Filch telling him Headmaster Crawford is summoning him to his office immediately. Will sighs and changes course. When he arrives, Crawford is sat behind his desk, looking in a better mood than Will was anticipating.

              “Ah Will! Happy new year! Sit down.” Will does and for a moment is worried somehow Crawford is aware of their plan and tries to school his features into nonchalance. “So, how’s the new wand treating you? Working okay?”

              Will lets out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “Yes sir, it’s fine, thank you.” He watches as Crawford steeples his fingers in front of him.

              “Excellent. That’s good.” Here he pauses and Will has deja vous, waiting for whatever the real purpose of this meeting is. “Will, I know you weren’t officially on duty the night of the Yule Ball, but did you happen to see anything suspicious out in the courtyard?” Ahh, that’s what this is about. Will relaxes slightly.

              “No sir, but to be fair I was mostly inside enjoying the festivities.” The lie flows smoothly out of his mouth and Will is less bothered by it every time it happens. He sees Crawford nod as he takes this in, looking resigned.

              “Yes, I suspected as much, but I figured it didn’t hurt to ask. We had an altercation in the courtyard towards the end of the night, kid got beat up pretty bad, doesn’t remember a thing but Madame Pomfry said with the amount of alcohol in him she was surprised he was able to remember his own name.” Will nods, secretly happy the cause of Conner’s confusion was attributed to alcohol versus a Confundus charm. Will sees the moment Crawford’s mind changes directions, as he asks, “I don’t suppose you saw anyone near the punch bowl, did you?” Here Will laughs good naturedly, knowing Crawford is aware he’s grasping at straws.

              “There was always a crowd around the punch bowl, whoever did it had good cover.” Crawford nods at this.

              “Yes, well I’m already developing a plan for next year. I’m going to assign a punch attendant. These times we live in Will, makes you do things you never thought you’d have to do.”

              Will nods, reflecting on the past few months. “Yes, I suppose they do.”

 

 

*

 

              The next day Transfiguration is uneventful, but in Herbology Will gets some nods of respect after his ordeal with that Venomous Tentacula. He realizes he’s a bit gun shy now to get within three feet of any of the plants but no one gives him any grief about it.

 

*

 

              On Wednesday, sitting next to Hannibal in Potions is more difficult than Will imagined, distracted by Hannibal’s proximity. Hannibal notices this right away and proceeds to make Will’s life both pleasurable and frustrating by subtly teasing him. It starts with Hannibal’s gaze raking over him slowly from head to toe; Will didn’t think he could get so flustered just from a look, but he swears Hannibal is undressing him with his eyes. After a full pass Hannibal pointedly looks to his groin and Will hunches forward to hide the beginnings of an erection, as if willed into existence by the power of Hannibal’s suggestion. This only seems to fuel Hannibal to tease him more, occasionally brushing his leg against his or bumping their shoulders. To anyone else in class it wouldn’t look inappropriate, but every touch Will feels a wake of tingles and arousal. He’s loath to admit it but the fact that he’s in class and it’s so inappropriate seems to make it worse.

              As soon as class is out, Will pulls Hannibal into the nearest empty classroom, forces him up against the door and kisses him roughly, grinding against him, so keyed up from Hannibal’s relentless teasing in class. Feeling Hannibal’s hardness against his own through the layers of clothing only fuels the fire within him. Their teeth clash occasionally in the kiss as Will struggles to undo Hannibal’s belt and zipper, followed by his own. Once free, Will takes them both in hand, noting how his hand slides easily from the copious amount of pre-come. He groans into the kiss at the first slide of his hand, hearing Hannibal’s sharp intake of breath and feeling his hand join Will’s, stroking their lengths.

              The only sounds in the dark empty classroom are their heavy breathing and the slick, squishy, rhythmic sounds of their combined stroking, interspersed occasionally with a gasp or moan. Will feels himself getting close, having been pent up for the entire class period, so when Hannibal slides his palm over the head on the next stroke, Will can’t hold back anymore, reaching his peak. “Ah, Hannibal, oh fuck, oh fuck, yes…” Will’s eyes flutter closed briefly but he forces them open, seeing Hannibal’s beautiful face in front of him, then looking down between them seeing their cocks still pressed together in their combined hold, his come obscenely covering both their cocks and hands as Hannibal strokes him through his orgasm.

              Once it’s too much, he pulls back, keeping his hand around Hannibal’s still hard length. Will feels Hannibal’s come covered hand cover his own and guides Will’s hand to stroke him, using Will’s own come as lubricant, the sound somehow more obscene than before, made more inappropriate as Will hears the occasional murmur of students passing by in the hallway outside. Hannibal’s eyes bore into his own and Will finds he can’t look away as he allows Hannibal to lead the pace, speed increasing until finally he comes, eyes shutting briefly in ecstasy, warm come spilling out over their hands. Will finds he never tires of seeing Hannibal like this, and smiles as Hannibal comes back to reality, a smug grin returning to his face, appearing happy with the outcome of his teasing, to which Will rolls his eyes. “You bastard, you knew what you were doing to me.”

              "On the contrary, I knew what I was attempting. With all my knowledge and intuition, I could never entirely predict you. I can feed the caterpillar, I can whisper through the chrysalis, but what hatches follows its own nature and is beyond me. Although I must admit I am exceedingly satisfied with the outcome.” The last part is said with an obvious leer at Will, and he can’t help rolling his eyes again.

              “Come on, let’s get lunch. You’re starting to talk all esoteric again, you need sustenance before I can’t understand you,” Will teases to which Hannibal merely smiles.

              They clean up, making themselves presentable, and discreetly exit the classroom. They barely make it down in time to eat lunch. As they eat, Will wonders if he could have that same effect on Hannibal if he tried teasing him in class and files that away for later.

 

*

              The next time they are in Potions, Will decides he’s going to give teasing Hannibal a try. It’s more difficult than he anticipated as he has to watch out for Professor Snape, who has little patience for trouble from non-Slytherin students, as well as watching out for the other students in the class. Hannibal made it seem so easy, the bastard, why is he good at everything?

              Will decides to start by pretending he has an itch on his neck. He leans his head away from Hannibal, bringing his hand up, lightly scratching at his neck, allowing his fingers to trail down slowly after, pointer finger lingering over his Adam’s apple. He goes back to writing notes immediately after, anxious that his little show either 1) wasn’t noticed by Hannibal or 2) was noticed by anyone else. A quick glance to the side shows he has caught Hannibal’s attention, as he watches Will, eyes narrowed slightly and eyebrow raised. Will smiles what he hopes is a smug seductive smile and returns his attention to class, verifying no one is paying attention to them.

              Pleased with his opening salvo to operation ‘Tease Hannibal Mercilessly’, Will moves to phase two. He pretends to be engrossed in the lecture, as he allows the feathered end of the quill in his hand to brush his chin, over his lips, maddeningly slowly, as if he’s not aware he’s doing it. After a few passes he pretends to need to write again, bringing the pointed tip to his mouth, dabbing it on his tongue slightly slower than is necessary, chancing a glance at Hannibal before he brings the quill down to write. He succeeds in catching Hannibal’s gaze and he can tell he has Hannibal’s undivided attention, he appears amused and captivated, offering Will a lazy smirk. Will wants to wipe that smirk off of his face, make him tremble in uncomfortable arousal like he did for him.

              Pretending to ignore him, Will ponders his next move, when inspiration strikes; as he continues taking notes with his right hand, he leans his head on his left hand, as many students do. After a moment, as if he is concentrating, he shifts his left hand, rotating it clockwise so now his pointer finger is over his lips, middle finger is bent under his bottom lip, and thumb cradles his chin. As if lost in thought, he allows his pointer finger to lightly skate across top lip, then his bottom, and back again, slowly. He takes a discreet look around, making sure no one is watching him, before opening his mouth slightly, running his finger along his bottom lip, skating across his tongue in the process, before returning to “concentrating position.” He chances a glance at Hannibal and sees his gaze is fixed on Will, not even pretending to be paying attention to class. Keeping eye contact, Will boldly pushes his finger into his mouth once, before slowly pulling it back out and sees Hannibal swallow as he does.

              Will notes having Hannibal’s attention like this is affecting him also, he feels turned on as well, providing this little show, but reminds himself of his goal. Steady as she goes, soldier. Empowered by his success so far, Will tries to mimic the slow seductive gaze Hannibal leveled at him before, taking in every detail from head to toe, making a show of liking what he sees, before pointedly staring at his crotch just a moment longer, licking his lips as he does. He is pleasantly surprised as this causes Hannibal to look away from him, straightening his back, and taking a deep breath. Yes, that’s what I’m talking about. See how you like it, Hannibal. The rest of class Will occasionally glances over, occasionally brushes Hannibal’s shoulder or leg. Whenever their eyes meet Will can’t help his smug victorious expression, once even throwing in a wink, which seems to rattle Hannibal more, and Will feels arousal course through him at the power.

              As soon as class is over, Will is curious what Hannibal will do. He takes his time packing up his stuff and follows Hannibal out when most of the students have already left. Once they are alone in the corridor, Will feels himself be yanked rather roughly into the same dark empty classroom as before, smiling at the realization. The second the door is shut, Will finds himself pressed face-first into the door, Hannibal’s solid warm body at his back. He has to turn his head against the cold wood, placing his palms flat against it, and can feel Hannibal already grinding against his ass. He feels Hannibal’s hand come up into his hair, grabbing a handful and pulling his head back, moaning at the feeling. A moment later he hears Hannibal’s arousal-laced voice speaking directly next to his ear.

              “You wicked thing,” Will feels him lick behind his ear salaciously, “Look what you have reduced me to.” With that Will feels Hannibal thrust against him roughly and they both groan. The hand in his hair tightens and he is forced to follow it, being pulled away from the door enough for Hannibal’s hand to undo his belt and pants, shoving them down to his thighs. Will can feel his breathing coming faster, he’s already hard and starting to leak. He can feel Hannibal undoing his own belt and pants, and a moment later feels Hannibal spread his cheeks and thrust between them vertically, his cock sliding over Will’s hole, becoming slicker by the moment from the pre-come. Will groans at the baseness of it, as he is forced back against the door, Hannibal’s hands at his hips. Will feels his cock trapped against the door and the cold wood is a reminder of where they are.

              “Oh fuck, Hannibal….” Will keens which seems to spur Hannibal on, his thrusting becoming stronger, almost savage in nature. Will feels Hannibal hold his ass cheeks firmly together, making a tight channel for him to thrust into. Shortly after, Will hears Hannibal’s grunts get louder and shamelessly grinds against the door, needing friction on his aching length but unable to push back far enough to get a hand in, turned on even more by Hannibal’s strength, keeping him in place.

              “Will, Will, ah..” A moment later Hannibal’s thrusts become erratic and Will feels him come against his lower back, it dripping down on his ass, being spread in between as Hannibal’s thrusts finally slow. Will waits a moment, still painfully hard, and when Hannibal doesn’t move, doesn’t release him, he shifts, trying to get some relief.

              “Hannibal…” At that Will feels one hand release from his hip and come up to his throat, not choking him but holding there as Hannibal once again leans in to talk into his ear, softening slick erection still between his cheeks.

              “I fear I’ve created a monster in you Will. Teasing me, tempting me.” As he says this he trails his fingers over Will’s throat similar to how Will did in class. Will tries to move again, he can feel his cock pulsing, he’s close but Hannibal holds him in place.

              “You know you like it,” Will counters, his voice not quite trembling but close as he tries to move again. “Hannibal, please…”

              “Please what dear boy?” Will shivers, cock twitching at Hannibal’s voice.

              “I’m close, I need you…” At this Will feels Hannibal’s hand at his hip lighten his hold and travel to his front, gripping Will’s cock and Will hisses, his own hands still on the door, still feels Hannibal’s soft cock and warm mess between his cheeks. Hannibal starts to stroke him, his other hand still at Will’s throat and Will can’t help the desperate moans that escape him.

              “Oh yes, you are close aren’t you.” Hannibal’s pace increases and Will is thrusting into his grip, ass sliding lewdly against Hannibal behind him. Feeling Hannibal’s hand at his throat, he takes a breath and the hand at his throat tightens slightly, not enough to choke him but the flare of fight or flight pushes him over as he comes, coating Hannibal’s hand and the door, breathing hard. “Ah, Hannibal, oh god…” As he comes down he feels the hand leave his throat and he turns around into Hannibal’s embrace, they share a kiss, nuzzling against each other.

              “You’ll be the death of me,” Hannibal says as he nuzzles at Will’s temple.

              “Not unless you’re the death of me first.” Will quips, and they both smile, as they begin the process of cleaning up.

               

 

*

 

              As the month progresses, Will finds his life isn’t all that different than it was before winter break. The bullying is still present but less often, although he’s noticed he gets more looks from his female classmates. It takes him longer than it should to realize why, as they are radiating disbelief - they are jealous. Hannibal’s fan club is mourning the loss of Hannibal being single. Will would never admit it, but once he realizes this, every moment it happens he finds himself feeling prideful and walking just a little bit taller.

 

*

 

              The week of Hannibal’s birthday, Will’s mind is occupied with what to do for him, knowing his means are quite limited. The best idea he comes up with is to make Hannibal a meal, maybe something from Lithuania. When Hannibal is next volunteering for Madame Pomfry, Will heads to the library and browses for any Lithuanian cookbooks. It takes him a while to find the cookbook section as he has never needed to look for such a thing. He finds an Eastern European cookbook and scans the index for Lithuanian recipes. He finds only two, a main dish – Cepalinai, which seems to be some sort of dumpling, and a dessert – Tinginys, some sort of cookie. He turns to those pages, looking at the recipes and decides they look do-able. Before he leaves, he also checks out a Lithuanian-English dictionary, and then heads down to the kitchen. As he gets closer, he looks for the painting with the bowl of fruit. When he finds it, he tickles the pear, smiling at the memory of the last time he was down here, and the door to the kitchen magically appears. He goes in and just like last time, is assaulted with the sounds and smells of the kitchen as well as countless house elves running here and there. He takes a tentative step inside, trying to get his bearings, and after a moment he spots Pogo, the head elf. He walks over and taps him to get his attention. Pogo turns quickly and stares at his thighs a moment before craning his head up to see Will.

              “Pogo right?” Will asks.

              “Yeah, you look familiar…what are you doing here?”

              “I’m Will Graham, Prefect of Ravenclaw. I’m friends with Hannibal Lecter, we met on Halloween.” Recognition seems to dawn in Pogo’s eyes.

              “Oh yes, I remember you. You know that night some supplies went missing, students think they can just pilfer whatever they want, ungrateful little…” he starts to trail off and walk away, forcing Will to grab him before he is lost to the chaos of the room.

              “Pogo, I need to ask a favor. I want to cook something for Hannibal for his birthday on Friday. Is that alright?” Will tries arrange his face in what he hopes is polite and enquiring.

              “What do you want to make?” Will shows him the recipes. “And you want to make it yourself? You know how to cook?”

              “Yes I want to make it myself, and yes I can cook.” Will tries to exude a confidence he doesn’t feel, since to be honest he doesn’t have a lot of experience with cooking but he can follow instructions. He stares at Pogo as Pogo stares back at him, waiting for his answer.

              “Alright…we have the ingredients for everything you need already so just come by whenever you want to make it. But I warn you, you’d better clean up after yourself when you’re done! Students always making a mess, like toddlers…” Pogo starts trailing off and turning away and Will lets him go this time, goal achieved. He tucks the cookbook back into his bag and exits the kitchen, smiling.

 

*

 

              The night before Hannibal’s birthday, Will checks on the secret batch of Polyjuice potion he’s brewing and is happy to see it has thickened to a mud-like consistently and bubbles slowly, as it should. Once it’s cooled, he fills up as many vials as he can, and ends up with six. He ties them together with some twine and looks at it. It’s not much to look at as a gift but it’s better than nothing, and he resolves that someday he will get Hannibal a better gift. He stows it away and gets into bed.  

 

*

 

              Friday January 20th arrives and Will gets out of bed early, excited. He gets ready in record time, and waits for Hannibal in their usual spot, staring at the floor in front of him, slight smile on his face, avoiding the inquisitive looks being shot his way as students pass by on their way to breakfast. A familiar pair of expensive shoes come into his space and Will looks up just in time to see Hannibal smiling at him. Will reaches for him and gives him more than their typical good morning kiss, ignoring the looks he’s sure they’re receiving. He lets the kiss linger a moment longer before pulling back slightly, resting his forehead on Hannibal’s.

              “Happy birthday Hannibal.” Hannibal smiles again.

              “Thank you Will. It’s already the best birthday I have ever had, for having you here with me.” Will swoons a little, too early for such romantic declarations, and on an empty stomach no less. Will withdraws from the embrace and takes Hannibal’s hand, pulling him towards the Great Hall.

              “Come on birthday boy, let’s go eat.”

              As they eat breakfast, Will realizes he didn’t even ask if Hannibal has plans. He doubts he does, but his birthday surprise hinges on Hannibal being available this evening.

              “Do you have any plans today?” Will tries to keep his tone light, knowing Hannibal can read him like a book. Hannibal turns to look at him and Will can tell he’s curious now.

              “No I don’t…or do I Will?”

              “I have a surprise for you tonight.” Hannibal’s eyes soften but the mirth is still there.

              “Do you? Mylimasis you spoil me. I can’t wait.” Hannibal says softly next to Will’s ear and Will has to close his eyes as goosebumps form on his skin, Hannibal’s voice near his ear never fails to affect him and he knows it.

 

*

 

              The day passes relatively uneventfully, although Will catches Hannibal watching him closer than usual in Potions and Alchemy, and Will hopes that brilliant brain isn’t spoiling his own surprise, but he supposes he can’t do much about it. Once they are dismissed from Alchemy, Will turns to Hannibal outside the classroom.

              “I have to go do something. I’ll send an owl for you when I’m ready, okay? And don’t eat dinner.” Hannibal smiles. Will realizes belatedly that it gives away part of his surprise but it can’t be helped.

              “As you wish.” Will smiles and rolls his eyes, he loves the man but seriously who talks like that? and turns to go.

              Will heads back to his dorm first to change clothes. He packs his bag and puts in the shirt and slacks he wore to the Yule Ball along with the Polyjuice potion, as well as the cookbook and heads down to the kitchen. As usual it’s chaos and no one pays him any mind. All the cooking stations seem to be taken so he asks the house elf closest to the pantry if he can use that station. The house elf just stares at him as if he doesn’t understand, but when Will mentions Pogo’s name the elf nods and walks away, leaving Will to use it.

              Will rolls up his sleeves, and heads to the pantry to get the ingredients for the dessert – Tinginys – since they have to cool before serving. He gets sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, milk, cinnamon, salt, butter, dried cherries, and a pack of McVittie’s tea cookies. Back at his station he opens the cookbook and gets out a bowl. First, he lines a loaf pan with plastic wrap and sets it aside. Next, he crumbles the cookies into a bowl, eating one in the process. In a separate bowl he whisks the milk with the cinnamon, cocoa powder and salt, then sets it aside and checks the recipe. He then gets out a saucepan and heats the sweetened condensed milk and the butter. Once it’s hot, he mixes in the chocolate milk mixture from the bowl, stirring it, waiting for it to thicken. It reminds him of the Polyjuice potion, kind of mud-like. Once it thickens, he wipes the sweat off his brow with the back of his forearm and checks the cookbook. He takes the saucepan off the stove and then mixes in the crumbled cookies and the cherries into it, then pours the entire mixture into the loaf pan. He spends a few minutes longer than he anticipates trying to find a refrigerator close by but eventually finds one and puts it in to chill. One done one to go Will thinks.

              He flips through the cookbook until he gets to the Cepelinai recipe. This recipe seems more complicated and he mentally braces himself. It has three parts. First, he goes and gets ground pork, onion, salt, pepper, and an egg. He gets out a bowl and beats the egg, then mixes in everything else. Checking the cookbook, he sets that aside and starts on part two, getting potatoes, lemon juice, another onion, salt, and cornstarch. He peels the potatoes and then sets to work grating most of them. His arm is tired after the first one so he pulls out his wand to have the potatoes to continue to be grating as he moves on to the next step. He brings some water to a boil and boils the other two potatoes. When they are done, he checks on the grating and adds the lemon juice to them so they won’t turn brown. The recipe says to wring out the moisture with cheesecloth, and Will honestly isn’t sure what that is. On a whim he grabs his wand and says, “Accio cheesecloth,” and to his surprise a small cloth floats over to him, it’s like a washcloth or a napkin but finer. He piles the grated potato on it, bundles it up, then wrings it out over a bowl as instructed. What an odd thing to do Will thinks, but he supposes he’s already done odder things for Hannibal and will likely do more in the future, happily and willingly.

              Once done, it says to pour off the water in the bowl, leaving the potato starch behind. Will looks at the bowl and the murky looking water. He experimentally tips it towards the sink and sees a slimy thicker layer underneath the water – ah I see. Will thinks he’s getting the hang of this. He then has a moment of panic where the recipe says to rice the potato. What the fuck Will thinks, since when is rice a verb? He decides to just grate it like the others and it’s much easier since it’s a boiled potato. Then he adds all the potato along with the grated onion (hell how much grating does this recipe have?! Is it sponsored by the Grating Council of the World?!) and salt.

              He gets a pot of water boiling and adds salt. Then he starts assembling the Cepelinai. He wets his hands, spreads some of the potato mixture flat over one hand, spoons some of the meat into the middle, then folds it over. That’s not so hard, Will thinks. The recipe said that these dumplings are also called zeppelins and Will can see why now, the shape of the dumplings do resemble them. He continues until he has quite a few made, more than he likely needs. He remembers how much soup Hannibal had left over and smiles, it didn’t even dawn on him to try to scale the recipe back.

              Will adds the cornstarch to the pot of water, wiping the sweat off his forehead again, then adds the dumplings to the water. The recipe says they have to cook for 25 minutes so Will sets a timer and moves on to the last step – gravy. He gets a skillet, cuts up the bacon and onion and cooks it. Once done, he pours off most of the liquid and adds sour cream and pepper. He consults the recipe book and – lo and behold, that’s it! Yes! He checks the timer and still has about 15 minutes so he pokes around the cabinets looking for a way to transport his meal. He’s hoping for a picnic basket or something similar. The closest he finds are some storage containers so he supposes that will have to do. As he’s grabbing the containers, he realizes he didn’t think of a beverage. On an impulse he grabs some vinegar from the storeroom and adds it to his bag, as well as a candle.

              When the timer goes off, Will removes the dumplings from the water and puts them in a container, then does the same for the gravy. He pulls the Tinginys out of the refrigerator and slices them in what he hopes is the right thickness, the cookbook instructions quite vague. He waves his wand and quickly cleans up his area, not wanting the short-term wrath of Pogo before he gets distracted. Will was planning to send an owl and meet up with Hannibal but he feels gross, covered in sweat and cooking smells. He makes a quick decision and heads to the Prefect’s bathroom for a quick dunk and to change his clothes. Myrtle thankfully does not make an appearance. Will looks himself over in the mirror, seeing himself in these clothes again reminds him of the Yule Ball and he can’t help but smile. He summons Patroclus, handing him the note asking Hannibal to meet him in the seventh-floor hallway and Will heads up there.

              As he reaches the tapestry of Barnabus the Barmy, he thinks hard what he wants. A room, candle lit, romantic, a table to eat at, a fireplace, a bed… and at the last minute on a whim his mind adds a large mirror. Will walks past the blank expanse of the wall three times and hears the telltale rumble of the door manifesting. He opens the door and takes a peek, smiling, it’s perfect he thinks. A moment later he hears footsteps and turns to see Hannibal walking towards him, eyes raking up and down his body. He obviously recognizes the clothes and by his expression, approves. Will has an image in his head of Hannibal ripping them off him and looks away to clear his mind.

              “Good evening Will. Is this my surprise?” Hannibal slides his palms over Will’s chest, the fabric of his shirt bunching and flattening under his ministrations. “If so I can’t wait to unwrap it.” Hannibal pulls Will closer, hands at his waist, speaking right next to his ear. Will shivers.

              “No, I mean yes…I mean…let’s get out of the hallway.” Will grabs his bag and enters the room, Hannibal following. Will beelines for the table area and starts unpacking the food, and like before Hannibal takes a lap of the room, taking in the space. Will hears him looking in the drawer by the bed and blushes, remembering his mental request for lube. Will finishes setting the table, then brings out the vinegar as Hannibal approaches the table. Will gestures to him.

              “Would you like to do the honors?” Hannibal smiles, obviously recalling their previous adventures with wine, and pulls out his wand. “Fio vinum.”

              The bottle becomes a deep burgundy color and Will pours them each a glass. He hands Hannibal his and then picks his own up in a toast, “Happy Birthday Hannibal.” Hannibal clinks his glass with Will’s then takes a sip, apparently satisfied with the wine.

              “Thank you Will.”

              “Are you ready for dinner?” Will asks.

              “Yes, it smells lovely, what is it?” Will sees Hannibal eyeing the containers, curiosity radiating off of him. Will gestures for him to sit, and he does, opens the container with the dumplings and the gravy and sets them on the table, realizing he forgot a serving spoon so he puts his own spoon in there for now.

              “I made Cepalinai…am I saying that right?” Hannibal smiles, wide and toothy, his canines showing and Will thinks it’s adorable, after a moment his expression becomes soft.

              “Cepalinai, or zeppelins…yes. You made this Will?”

              “Yes.” The word is barely out of his mouth before Hannibal is leaning over the table to kiss him tenderly before sitting back down.

              “Thank you, it looks lovely.” They both serve themselves and start to eat. Will isn’t sure what it’s supposed to taste like but he likes it, it’s kind of hard to mess up meat and potatoes. He watches as Hannibal takes a bite, curious of his assessment. Hannibal closes his eyes for a moment, and when he opens them his expression is unguarded. “The last time I ate this was with my mother…she used to make this for us…” Will isn’t sure what to say so he reaches out his hand across the table to take Hannibal’s in his, then Hannibal continues. “It brings me joy to taste it again, to think of her…thank you Will.” Will squeezes Hannibal’s hand in acknowledgement, words still escaping him. They continue to eat, still holding hands.

              After Will takes another sip of wine, he says gently, “Tell me about your mother.” Hannibal takes another sip as well, then speaks.

              “Her name was Simonetta, we called her motina – ‘mother’. She was an exceptionally compassionate and caring woman. She loved Mischa and I very much. She loved cooking, which was unusual as her status as the wife of a count didn’t require her to cook, but very often she would cook for us.” Will squeezes Hannibal’s hand again.

              “She sounds wonderful. I wish I could have met her.” Hannibal smiles slightly.

              “Yes, I wish you could have as well.” The atmosphere feels heavy with emotion and when they have finished, Will suggests they go sit by the fire. He sends Hannibal over with the wine bottle as he puts the remaining food away. Will joins Hannibal by the fireplace, accepting more wine poured into his glass. They lean against each other in front of the fire in comfortable silence. Then Will remembers.

              “Oh I got you something. Hold on.” He gets up and grabs his bag, trying to keep the vials behind his back. As he sits back down, he sees the childlike excitement and curiosity back on Hannibal’s face, the heaviness of the moment having passed. Will hands it over, watching as Hannibal looks at the six vials tied together with twine and Will sees the moment it registers.

              “Is this what I think it is? Polyjuice potion?” Will smiles and nods. Hannibal’s eyes narrow. “You made this?” Will nods again. “And what did you have in mind for us to do with it?” Will shivers at the suggestive tone.

              “It’s your gift Hannibal, you can do whatever you like with them.” Will can see the wheels turning in Hannibal’s brilliant mind, all the possibilities and smiles, drinking more of his wine.

              “Thank you Will.” Hannibal sets down the vials and kisses him thoroughly, cradling his face in his warm hands. Will feels the buzz from the wine and sinks into the kiss, losing himself in it. It’s only been about three weeks since winter break and Will has missed having Hannibal like this, he makes a mental note for them to utilize this room more often. But then all thought is pushed from his head as he feels Hannibal move and the next thing he knows he is lifted into Hannibal’s arms bridal style, then carried to the bed. Will wishes he could be mad about being moved this way but can’t help that he likes it. Hannibal’s strength is a turn on for him and he suspects Hannibal knows it. Hannibal pulls back from kissing him, still standing and Will is leaned back on his forearms on the bed. Hannibal runs his palm over Will’s chest again.

              “I think I’d like to unwrap this gift now,” he says as he starts to unbutton Will’s shirt. Will lets him but can’t help the sassy remark that slips out.

              “As you wish,” a slight mockery of Hannibal’s phrase from earlier that day. Will smiles darkly in challenge and Hannibal smirks back, amused, and continues to undress Will until he is naked on the bed, Hannibal still fully clothed and looking down at him hungrily. Will sees Hannibal toe off his shoes, then kneel over him on the bed, kissing him everywhere, as Will claws at his clothes, his hair, whatever he can reach. When Hannibal returns to kissing his lips, Will breaks the kiss.

              “There’s something I’d like to do for you,” Will says softly into the shared air they are breathing, his cheeks color as he says it and Will can see Hannibal’s curiosity is piqued. “Clothes, off.” Will directs and Hannibal looks at him a moment before starting to unbutton his shirt. His belt, pants and underwear follow and Will enjoys the show. Once naked, Will reaches out to Hannibal, “Come here.” Hannibal allows himself to be pulled to the bed, as Will scoots back. Hannibal crawls over Will, their bodies coming into full contact and they both groan, their hard cocks rubbing together. Will is nearly distracted from his goal, but forces himself to push Hannibal back a bit. “As amazing as this feels, I had something else in mind. Turn around for me?” It comes out more breathless than he intended. Hannibal looks at Will a moment longer, no doubt trying to predict what is coming, but complies turning around. “Hands and knees.” Hannibal does so, a knowing smile on his lips.

              Will maneuvers himself behind Hannibal, taking in the lovely view of his muscular back and firm ass. He leans up and over Hannibal, caressing his shoulders and back as he kisses his neck, then moves further down. This position forces his cock to be pressed against Hannibal’s ass and he can’t help to grind a little before he finds himself at the moment of truth. He tries to remember everything Hannibal did to him that he liked. He takes both hands and spreads Hannibal open, then leans in and licks a broad stripe across his hole, finding it incredibly intimate but not as unpleasant as he was worried it would be. Hannibal lets out a yelp, shivering, and Will finds he starts to feel drunk with power, he wants to reduce Hannibal to a begging mess of pleasure. He licks again, firmer this time and Hannibal moans, “Oh Will…”

              Will licks again, quicker this time, trying out different things, sucking, spearing his tongue, learning how each one affects Hannibal. If his vocalizations are anything to go by he seems to like it all. Will pulls back, wiping the saliva off his face onto his forearm and leans up over Hannibal again, this time reaching under to stroke him a few times. Will is surprised how much pre-come has leaked out. He leans up close to Hannibal’s ear, speaking softly. “It’s your birthday my love, what do you want? Do you want to come like this? Do you want to fuck me? Do you want me to fuck you? Anything you want Hannibal.” Will hears Hannibal groan, appearing nearly overwhelmed with pleasure.

              “Oh you lovely wicked thing, I want everything.” Hannibal shifts to sit up slightly, kneeling as Will continues to leisurely stroke him. Hannibal grabs Will’s hair firmly and whispers. “But right now I want to fuck you.” Gooseflesh breaks out on Will’s skin and his cock twitches.

              “Yes…how about like this?” Will stands at the edge of the bed facing the mirror. From there they can see each other in the mirror. Will is surprised how turned on he is by the idea of watching Hannibal fuck him, it was a spur of the moment addition to the Room of Requirement and now he’s glad he did. He’s curious what Hannibal will think of the idea. Hannibal comes up behind him, one arm wrapping around Will’s torso, hand resting just above his aching length, the other up by his neck, not choking him but fingers splayed just below his neck. They watch each other in the mirror and Will suspects Hannibal likes this too if the hardness pressed into his backside is anything to go by. Hannibal’s fingertips lightly trail over his skin and Will shivers.

              “Yes.” Hannibal says into his ear. Will feels bereft for a moment as Hannibal retrieves the lube from the nightstand. Will is curious if it will feel any different than the Vaseline does. He sees Hannibal pour some onto his fingers, then Hannibal’s other hand forces him to bend forward bracing himself on the bed, as a warm finger enters him and Will whimpers, eyes closing. “Look at me Will.” Will snaps his eyes back open, meeting Hannibal’s in the mirror. “I want to see you.” Will feels the finger slide slickly in and out of him, soon after another is added and he’s rocking back in time with Hannibal’s thrusts, moans escaping his lips. Will looks from Hannibal in the mirror to his own face and he looks a mess, cheeks flushed, sheen of sweat, hair in disarray, eyes bright. He looks back at Hannibal.

              “Hannibal…more…” Hannibal leans against him and Will can feel Hannibal’s erection lightly rubbing against his thigh as Hannibal adds another finger. The combined feeling is overwhelming combined with the intimacy from watching them together in the mirror. “Hannibal, please, I’m ready, I need you, please…” Will feels the fingers leave him and sees Hannibal slicking some lube onto himself in the mirror. Their eyes meet as Hannibal lines up and starts to push in. Will’s eyes are wide, watching their reflection, watching Hannibal’s face contort in pleasure as he enters him. Will pushes his hips back, feeling beyond ready, and Hannibal sucks in a breath, then takes the hint and starts up a rhythm. Will watches rapt as he sees Hannibal fucking him the mirror. The sight is so erotic he can’t look away, Hannibal with one hand holding his back down, the other at his hip. As the speed increases, Hannibal pulls Will up to nearly standing, an arm around his torso and the other at his neck, like they were earlier. The angle hits Will’s prostate and he feels close to being overwhelmed with pleasure.

              “Hannibal, I’m close,” Will says around moans. Will grabs the hand Hannibal has near his throat and brings it to his mouth, sucking on the fingers there, never breaking eye contact with Hannibal in the mirror. Hannibal groans and his thrusts increase, his other hand coming down over Will’s erection. Hannibal’s fingers slip from Will’s mouth as Will cries out, moaning loudly. Hannibal bites down where Will’s neck meets his shoulder and Will comes, spraying out over Hannibal’s hand and the bed. A moment later Will sees Hannibal’s face contort in pleasure and feels Hannibal thrust a few more times before stilling as Will feels warmth blossom inside of him. They stand there a moment collecting themselves, and Will notices a dull ache forming in his shoulder. He looks in the mirror and sees a bite mark on his shoulder from which a small drip of blood has escaped. Hannibal’s gaze follows his and Will sees him smile before bending his head to lick it gently, Will hissing at the sensation, his whole body over sensitized.

              Hannibal pulls out and they clean up, laying down on the bed, cuddling. Will sighs, “God I’ve missed this.” He nuzzles into Hannibal’s neck.

              “As have I.” Will feels the vibrations from his voice. He relaxes in the warmth and intimacy of the moment, wishing it would never end, knowing they should get going soon, it’s probably late. Will feels Hannibal reach over and touches the bite mark on his shoulder, causing him to shiver. “Did I hurt you?” He pushes himself up halfway to look in Hannibal’s eyes, smiling.

              “You’re so fucking polite, you know I liked it.” Will teases and Hannibal smiles at him.

              “True, but I’ve never drawn blood from you before.” His fingertips ghost over it again.

              “And I’m sure it won’t be the last time you do.” Will kisses him, then remembers. “Oh, I have one more thing for you.” Hannibal’s eyes light up. “Stay here.” Will gets up, opens the container with the cookies, and pushes the candle he brought into one. He spends a moment fumbling around looking for his wand and ends up using Hannibal’s to cast an Incendio charm to light it, then grabs the wine and walks back to bed. Hannibal looks amused as Will settles back in. Will sets the cookies down and says, “Happy birthday Hannibal.” As Hannibal looks at the cookies, Will thinks he looks emotional and worries he has opened another can of emotional worms with the Lithuanian food. Hannibal kisses him firmly, then smiles, eyes moist.

              “Are you going to sing to me?” Hannibal asks teasingly. Will sighs.

              “If you want me to I will but I assure you, you don’t. Make a wish.” He gestures at the candle. Hannibal seems to think for a second, then blows out the candle. Will takes a sip of the wine directly from the vinegar bottle and offers it to Hannibal who takes a sip as well and passes it back. Hannibal picks up a cookie and takes a bite and Will does the same. It’s good, Will thinks, very homey.

              “They’re supposed to be Tinginys – did I say that right?” Hannibal laughs.

              “Yes, and they are good, thank you. These were one of my sister’s favorites. My mother would spend hours making a fancy dessert and then would be disappointed when Mischa would rather eat these.” Hannibal looks far away as he speaks.

              “Are these not considered fancy?” Will asks and Hannibal laughs again, mood lightening.

              “Do you know what Tinginys means Will?” Will shakes his head. “Lazy. It’s more of an informal dessert, but well-loved across Lithuania.” Will smiles and something seems to occur to Hannibal.

              “Where did you get the recipes you used?”

              “Believe it or not, an Eastern European cookbook from the library. Those were the only two Lithuanian dishes in there.” Hannibal laughs.

              “My resourceful boy, I love you dearly, this has been the best birthday I have ever had, thank you.” He pulls Will close and kisses him lightly. Will wracks his brain for the phrase he memorized last night just for this moment.

              “Aš tave myliu,“ Will says against Hannibal‘s lips and Hannibal stills, eyes flying open in surprise, then softening with his smile and Hannibal is kissing him again, pulling Will down on top of him, Will setting the wine down on the nightstand at the last minute before it spills. Will reaches down to cradle Hannibal‘s face in his hands and kisses him gently, until the wave of emotion has passed. When he pulls back he sees a tear track on Hannibal‘s face and he leans down and kisses each eye gently, thumb wiping it away. “Aš tave myliu, I love you Hannibal.“ Hannibal takes a moment to collect himself.

              “I love you Will, so much.”         

Chapter Text

 

 

             The weeks leading up to Valentine’s day are a worrisome time for all, many simply wanting a sweetheart of their own. Will’s Prefect antenna is up and Hannibal is amused by how vigilant Will is about what he eats, drinks, and touches. Of course, Will can’t be everywhere Hannibal is all the time, and Hannibal is smart but only human. Unfortunately, having been amused at Will’s excessive level of concern, Hannibal’s guard is not up. Therefore, when Hannibal is studying the library while Will is on patrol, and Bedelia, who had been studying with a group of students at a table nearby, offers them all a chocolate, Hannibal thinks nothing of having one, the polite thing to do.

             Will starts getting worried when Hannibal doesn’t meet him like usual for breakfast the next morning. He scans the Slytherin table and doesn’t see him there. Concerned, Will follows the path toward the Slytherin dungeons looking out for him as he goes, hoping to run into either Hannibal or a friendly looking Slytherin to ask (mentally that list includes: Margot). In the end he finds neither, but plucks up his courage to ask Abigail if she has seen Hannibal this morning. She has not and goes on her way. By now it’s nearing time for him to get to class so he summons Patroclus and sends Hannibal a note asking what’s going on, hoping Patroclus will be able to locate him.

             When class is out, Will waits in their normal meetup spot and again Hannibal does not show. Will finds Margot at the Slytherin table and asks if Hannibal was in class. Tentatively, she says yes, worried she is somehow in the middle of another couple’s quarrel. “Is everything okay Will?” Will thinks about confiding in her but can’t bring himself to voice his worries (many as they are). Will returns to the Ravenclaw table, forcing himself to eat something as he feels weak after skipping breakfast, but everything tastes like cardboard. As his energy starts to return, he notices that Bedelia is missing from the Ravenclaw table and his worries double down, nostrils flaring in anger if his suspicion turns out to be correct. He recalls Hannibal’s schedule and knows he has Charms next so he heads over there to lie in wait.

             Once there, Will hides behind a pillar and waits. Eventually he spots Hannibal and realizes Bedelia is walking beside him, smiling and laughing. Something about Hannibal looks off, he’s smiling and talking to her but looks…not himself…pale and sickly. Will feels his anger coiling inside him, feeling it snap tight as he sees them stop outside the classroom as Bedelia pulls him down into a kiss. It takes all of Will’s self-control not to pull them apart but he knows how that would play out. If Hannibal is under the Amortentia potion, he would defend Bedelia, and the last thing Will needs is a public scene like that. A plan forms in Will’s mind as he turns, walking as fast as he can (without looking conspicuous) back to the Ravenclaw dorms, ditching his class, prepared make up some Prefect duties as an excuse if he is caught, but thankfully doesn’t have to.

             Once inside, he gets out his potion book, cauldron, and supplies, setting to work making Love Potion Antidote. He mentally kicks himself, for as worried as he was that Hannibal would be targeted, he should have made some of this in advance and carried it around with him. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20 as they say. He is thankful again for Hannibal’s Christmas gift to him as he looks at the list of ingredients, knowing that if he didn’t have them he would have to steal them from Professor Snape’s storeroom and that is not something he wants to do if it can be avoided. He adds four Wiggentree twigs and stirs, watching as the potion changes to green. So far so good. He then keeps stirring until the potion turns orange, then stops and reads the next instruction. Next he pours in castor oil until the orange turns to blue, then stirs until it becomes purple. It says to leave the potion to simmer until it turns red, and Will hopes that doesn’t take long. Thankfully it becomes definitively red after about five minutes, which feels like a lifetime, and then Will proceeds to add Gurdyroot extract until the potion turns green. He stirs until it turns orange, and then gets out seven more Wiggentree twigs and drops them in. The book says to let it simmer until it turns pink and Will hopes again it doesn’t take long. This time he has to wait about nine minutes and has just started to worry he did something wrong when the potion clearly takes on a pink color and he breathes a sigh of relief, dipping a few flasks in and corking them.

             Checking the time, Will realizes he has about an hour before Hannibal is out of class, when he has a thought that makes him smile darkly. He empties his cauldron, grabs the powdered moonstone and gets to work. By the time Will is done he pockets his creations and makes his way down to the Charms classroom, lying in wait, hoping he can do what he needs to do before Bedelia shows up. Will thinks back to his experiences with classmates under the Amortentia potion and cringes about what he will have to do to make this work, but grits his teeth, determined. As class is dismissed, Will springs out as he sees Hannibal walking out.


              “Hannibal! I have something for you from Bedelia!” Hannibal’s cloudy eyes shoot to Will at mention of Bedelia’s name and he stops in his tracks, then walks towards Will. So far so good, Will thinks.

             “She asked me to give this you.” Will holds up the potion. “It will make her very happy if you drink it. After you do, I’ll take you to her.” Will can barely contain his disgust at saying the words but knows it is what has to be done. Hannibal looks skeptical but is already reaching his hand out for the vial. Will hands it to him, watching as he opens it. However, just as he is about to drink it, he stops, and Will’s heart stops along with it.

             “I drink this, then you’ll take me to Bedelia?” He says her name with such devotion for a moment Will wants to hit him, but knows Hannibal isn’t himself so he plasters a fake smile on his face.

             “Yes, she made that for you. She wants you to drink it. Then I will take you straight to Bedelia,” he says with as much conviction as he can muster. His eyes skate around nervously, knowing Bedelia could show up at any moment. The only consolation is that he knows first-hand how long it takes to get from Herbology where Ravenclaws have class to here in the Charms corridor, which is why he and Hannibal typically meet in the Middle Courtyard.

             At the mention of Bedelia’s name Hannibal snaps into action, drinking the potion quickly. As he finishes, Will sees the moment clarity returns to him, the disorientation in his eyes as they come to focus on his surroundings and then on Will.

             “Will? What’s going on?” Will can’t help but smile, hearing Hannibal back to normal.

             “We don’t have much time. Bedelia slipped you a love potion – we’ll talk more about that later,” he says with a pointed look. “She’s on her way now, I need you do something…” Will quickly runs down his plan and Hannibal’s eyes fill with a dangerous warmth as he listens, positively beaming at Will by the time he is done.

             “My clever devious boy, how I love you.” Will melts a little inside, a balm on the anger he had been carrying around. He wants to reach out to him but knows Bedelia will be showing up any time now and smiles back.

             “I love you too.” At that moment Will sees Bedelia and abruptly turns down the nearest corridor, trusting Hannibal to see out their plan. Will braces himself as he peeks out from the hall. He sees Bedelia and Hannibal holding hands, then sees them turn and walk away, and Will sets out to fulfill his own part of the plan.

             Will lingers near the Great Hall until he sees his target, Franklyn Froideveaux, approaching the Hufflepuff table. Will does nothing yet, just keeps his eye on him, waiting for Bedelia and Hannibal to make their appearance. Eventually he sees them and seethes a little, seeing them not only holding hands, but the audacity Bedelia has to lead Hannibal to the Ravenclaw table and have him sit there with her like Will normally does. He closes his eyes briefly against the flood of anger, willing himself not to do anything rash when they have a good plan in place. He opens his eyes and meets Hannibal’s gaze briefly, noting the small nod. He nods back, feeling them falling into sync with each other, as he approaches Franklyn.

             “Franklyn, can I talk to you a moment?” Franklyn turns around and looks absolutely pleased, although Will can’t help but notice his gaze look around briefly, obviously looking for Hannibal. Finding him nowhere nearby, Franklyn smiles and nods enthusiastically.

             “Of course Will! We really never got to talk much after the herbology incident, clear the air as they say…” Will cuts him off.

             “Can we talk somewhere more private?” Franklyn’s eyes appear surprised but he acquiesces easily, standing and grabbing his bag.

             “Of course Will, sure.” Will leads them to the end of the Great Hall. Once they are out of earshot of the rest of the students, Will takes hold of his wand in his pocket and quietly says, “Imperio.” Will sees the telltale flash of white in Franklyn’s eyes and knows it worked. He knows he could get expelled for this but he figures he’s planning pre-meditated murder with his boyfriend so where is the line really? Leaning in, to anyone else it would look like they are having a private conversation, but in reality Will is telling Franklyn exactly what he wants him to do. Will then hands Franklyn a vial.

             “Do you understand what to do?”

             “Yes.” Will looks over to Hannibal, it takes a moment to catch his gaze but once he has it he nods and he sees Hannibal nod back. Grimacing, Will watches as Hannibal pretends to speak seductively into Bedelia’s ear. He can’t help the flare of anger as he sees it, but the white glossy stare Bedelia has a moment later soothes it. Shortly after, he watches as Hannibal and Bedelia make their way over to them at the back of the Great Hall. Once they have arrived, Will can’t help but reach out to Hannibal, holding his hand and pulling him down for a quick kiss. Hannibal looks surprised but goes along with it, pleased. They then turn their attention back to their company.

             “Shall we?” Hannibal asks with a dark smile.

             “Yes,” Will says, face nearly blank. Turning to Franklyn, Will says. “Give it to her.” Franklyn automatically does.

             “Take the potion from him and drink it,” Hannibal orders to Bedelia and she does.

             “Go back to your table and finish eating dinner,” Will commands and Franklyn walks back. Just as he sits down, Will releases the Imperius curse and Franklyn looks disoriented for a moment, looking around him, before shrugging and starting to eat dinner. Imbecile Will thinks.

             Together they watch Bedelia drink the potion and when she’s done Hannibal takes the flask from her and pockets it. “Now go back to the Ravenclaw table and finish your dinner.” Automatically Bedelia turns, walking back and Will sighs.

             “What?” Hannibal asks, smug look on his face as their plan has been successfully implemented. Will puts his arm around Hannibal’s waist, leaning on him slightly.

             “Just wondering if we let her go too soon.” Hannibal turns to look at him, releasing Bedelia’s Imperius curse as she sits down. Will watches her, the moment of disorientation, followed by the moment the potion kicks in and her eyes seek out Franklyn.

             “And what else would you have her do Will?” Hannibal asks, smile darkly curious. Will lets the thoughts pass through his mind unimpeded. Bedelia telling him he is the smartest student, that he and Hannibal are a great couple. Bedelia being forced to watch as Will kisses Hannibal, marks him, fucks him, makes sure she knows who he belongs to. Will’s gaze must cloud over because Hannibal shakes him. “Will? You’re going to miss the show.” Will shivers a little at Hannibal’s soft murmur in his ear, and his eyes snap into focus, watching as Bedelia makes her way over to the Hufflepuff table.

             Together they watch as Bedelia stops behind Franklyn and gets his attention. They can’t hear what is said from this distance but watch amused as Bedelia extracts Franklyn from the Hufflepuff table, grabs his hand, and pulls him to her. As this is happening, Will removes his arm from Hannibal and begins walking closer to them, Hannibal following him at a distance. When Will is about fifteen feet away, he digs around in his bag and pulls out the camera Hannibal got him. His eyes catch Hannibal’s briefly and Hannibal looks both amused and proud. A moment later Bedelia is pulling Franklyn’s pudgy pink face towards hers, kissing him as Will snaps a photo before quickly retreating, knowing to avoid suspicion he shouldn’t be nearby, but unable to help himself.

             Mission achieved, he grabs Hannibal’s arm and together they walk out of the Great Hall. Still keyed up with anger at the events of the day, Will pulls them into the first empty classroom they encounter. The moment the door closes Will is on Hannibal, kissing him forcefully against the wall, body pressed tightly against his, needing to erase all traces of Bedelia on him. Will knows it’s irrational but he can’t stop himself. In between kisses he mumbles out things he will likely be embarrassed of later but can’t stop them. “She can’t have you.”

             “Mm indeed not.” Hannibal replies, amused.

             “You’re mine.”

             “Yes, I’m yours Will. Only yours.” Will moves his mouth from Hannibal’s to his neck, kissing and biting there, more rough than he usually is, purposefully leaving marks. He feels Hannibal arch his body into his, their erections grinding together and Will feels primal, heady, base, the need to claim Hannibal overwhelming. Will eases back for a moment, grabs his wand and sends a locking charm, then a silencing charm towards the door, before dropping his wand. He then grabs Hannibal roughly, turning him to face away from him. Forcing him over a nearby desk, Will’s hands immediately go to his hips, rubbing his erection against his ass causing them both to moan. Will then pulls him more upright with a fistful of his silky hair, mouthing and biting at the other side of his neck as Hannibal moans and continues to push his hips back into his, creating a lovely friction.

             Will sees Hannibal stretching to reach for his bag and Will lets up slightly. When Hannibal stands back up he passes back the Vaseline and Will’s already lust-addled brain blanks for moment, eyes meeting Hannibal’s over his shoulder, then kicking into action. Will sets the Vaseline down, then reaches around to undo Hannibal’s belt and pants, working together to tug them down as far as they will go. Will takes a moment to appreciate the image in front of him before putting some Vaseline on his fingers and gently pushing one in, feeling the warm tight channel, groaning as his other arm comes around Hannibal to stroke his erection as best he can with the desk in the way, Hannibal gasping, only fueling Will’s desire more.

             “Yes, Will…more.” Will fingers him for a bit, sliding in and out, before adding another, stretching him. Hannibal starts rocking back into him and soon after Will adds a third finger, still stroking Hannibal in time with his movements. “Will…please.” Removing his fingers, Will undoes his own pants just enough to free his aching cock. He coats himself with Vaseline, wiping his fingers absently on his pants before lining himself up and slowly pushing inside. They both hiss slightly, adjusting, tighter than usual as Hannibal’s legs are trapped, pants around his ankles. Will continues a gentle pressure until he is fully inside, then feels Hannibal push back slightly. Will takes that as a cue to move so he starts a gentle rhythm, moans and whimpers filing the dark empty room, the only light coming from a window on the far side of the room, bathing them in shadows.

             They move together, gently at first, then quicker and harder. Hannibal’s hands are still braced on the desk, holding him up. Will leans down over Hannibal, one hand around his chest, the other coming around to Hannibal’s erection and stroking, speaking right into his ear. “No one can have you like this but me. No one.” Hannibal moans.

             “Only you Will.” Will groans in response.

             “I imagined forcing her to watch me fucking you, so she would know who you belong to. Would see the pleasure only I can give you.” Will can’t stop the words, he’s getting close and he hears Hannibal’s breath hitch.

             “You Will, I belong to you.” Will speeds up his thrusts and continues working Hannibal’s cock. He feels Hannibal’s hand come up into his hair and pull tight at his curls. “Ahh, yes, Will!” Will feels Hannibal’s rhythm falter, his cock swelling slightly before Will feels him come on his hand and the desk.

             Hannibal’s body spasms around Will’s cock inside him and Will thrusts a few more times, before coming deeply inside of him, biting down on his neck as he does, groaning. “Hannibal…fuck…ah…” Together slump over the desk and Will slowly comes back to his senses, taking in the scene before him. He feels his chest pressed to Hannibal’s back, both their shirts damp with sweat, Hannibal’s skin hot through the fabric. He feels himself begin to soften and slip from Hannibal and they both wince slightly at the sensation. Reluctantly Will pulls back as he tucks himself back into his pants and watches as Hannibal shifts to stand and does up his pants, turning to face him.

             Will takes in his appearance, his skin is flushed and coated in a slight sheen of sweat. His hair is all mussed, but most noticeably his neck is covered in pink and red marks. As Will looks closer, he sees blood on Hannibal’s collar. Stepping forward, Will tilts Hannibal’s neck so he can take a better look in the small amount of light they have and sees a bite mark, not unlike the one Hannibal gave him last month, skin broken and smeared with small amount of blood. Meeting Hannibal’s eyes briefly, Will gently licks the blood away, leaving a gentle kiss on top before pulling back and wrapping his arms around Hannibal. He tucks his face into Hannibal’s neck, suddenly a little shy at his excessively possessive behavior.

             Will feels Hannibal tip his chin up gently with his fingers, forcing their eyes to meet. Hannibal leans in and kisses him softly, keeping his eyes open. Will feels both of Hannibal’s hands cradle his face and kiss him again and again until Will has lost track of why he was feeling embarrassed in the first place. Pulling back, Will says softly, “I love you,” causing Hannibal to smile.

             “I love you too Will.” Hannibal lets his fingertips skate along Will’s face as he removes his hands. “But we should get going.” Will sighs, knowing Hannibal is right but really wishing they could just fall asleep together, the events of the day leaving him mentally and emotionally exhausted. They make themselves as presentable as possible, Will forcing Hannibal to put his scarf on (why? because you look like you got mauled by a bear for god’s sakes, just do it!), and they discreetly leave the classroom, making their way back to their own respective common rooms for the night.

 

*

             

              As they eat breakfast together the following morning, Will notices Hannibal is wearing his scarf despite the weather not truly warranting it and Will smiles, making a mental note to look under it the next time they are alone. Will fills Hannibal in on his time under the influence of the love potion. Hannibal had appeared mildly interested at first but the longer Will spoke the more concerned he appeared.

              “I kissed her?!?” Hannibal asked, really looking at Will, searching for any sign of deception. Will snorted, anger returning as he remembered the image in his head.

              “You think I would make that up? At least you can’t remember it, I have the image burned into my brain forever.” Hannibal nods slowly, taking in Will’s anger. “Legilimens me if you want to see it for yourself.” Hannibal visibly blanches at that.

              “That will not be necessary. When we do legilimency again I hope it will be for more pleasurable purposes.” Will smiles at that.

              “What happened anyway? Do you remember how she snuck the potion to you?” Will watches as Hannibal thinks, he’s heard potions that affect the mind can make it harder to recall events prior. “Do you remember what you were doing while I was on patrol?” Will asks, hoping that will give Hannibal a concrete place to start.

              “Yes I was in the library, studying…”


              “By yourself?”

              “Yes…although I do remember a group sitting down at the table next to mine…that’s right. Bedelia brought some chocolates…but she gave them to everyone, at least four other students. I thought it must be safe since everyone else ate one also…you don’t suppose all those people were infatuated with her too do you?”

              Will shakes his head. “I didn’t see anyone else fawning over her. I told you don’t underestimate her, she probably had it worked out so you would take the only one that had the potion in it. I told you, you need to be more careful, especially this time of year. That’s twice now I’ve had to watch you kiss someone else and I don’t like it Hannibal. You saw how…I got afterwards…” Will’s cheeks color as he remembers his obscenely possessive behavior. Hannibal smiles.

              “I apologize Will, I will be more vigilant from now on. Although your argument is not as convincing as you may believe it to be. If it gets that sort of reaction out of you, it’s not really a deterrent for me.” He winks and Will colors all over again.

              “Alright well then imagine me kissing someone else, holding their hand, whispering to them…” Will watches Hannibal’s smile die as Hannibal cuts him off, mission achieved.

              “Okay yes, you’ve made your point you terrible boy.” Just then a murmur spreads across the Great Hall and they turn to see Franklyn and Bedelia walk in. Franklyn looks on cloud nine and Bedelia looks infatuated, eyes never leaving Franklyn, arm linked with his, goofy smile on her face. Franklyn leads her to the Hufflepuff table and she sits right down next to him, occasionally nuzzling his face. Will can’t be sure but it looks like she’s calling him ‘Cutie’.

             “I believe we may have done Franklyn a favor. He appears to be enjoying this,” Hannibal observes quietly. Everyone around them is gawking.

              “Give it a few hours, then they are both going to be miserable,” Will says as he resumes eating, smirk on his face.

              Will’s prediction proves to be true. Word gets around the school at lunch that Bedelia has fled crying to her dorm, refusing to come out, and that Franklyn has been stationed outside the Ravenclaw common room, trying in vain to answer the difficult riddles, unable to get in.

              The next morning in class Bedelia appears to be back to her usual self, head held high, meeting everyone’s questioning stares head on, already sharing her story that Franklyn slipped her a love potion and playing the victim, garnering sympathy from most. After class Will follows her out into the hall, waiting until there is some distance between them ant the other students. He then steps into her path, forcing her to stop or run into him. She stops, gaze challenging and eyebrow raised, waiting.

              “Yes?” Will looks her right in the eye, no problem with eye contact in the moment, too fueled with anger. She tried to come between him and Hannibal. Kissed Hannibal without his consent. Will imagines wrapping his hands around her throat and squeezing the life out of her, punishing her. Instead he takes a deep breath and says,

              “This is a warning so listen carefully.” He sees her eyes widen slightly at his tone which brooks no argument. “Don’t you ever, come between Hannibal and me again. Leave him alone. Or else next time it will be much worse.” At this Will pulls out the picture he took of Bedelia kissing Franklyn, it repeating infinitely in the small square. Will watches as Bedelia sees herself kissing this lump of a man, seeing her face pale, and for a moment Will thinks she might faint. She doesn’t, but she frantically tries to snatch the photo from him. Will pulls it back out of reach, tucking it into his robe, safe from her grabbing hands. He levels a glare at her, then takes a step to the side and walks past her without a backwards glance, hearing Bedelia’s angry huff and smiling darkly.

 

*

 

              The following weekend, Will and Hannibal are in the library, researching Legilimency, both having agreed that they should learn more about it before using it again. They end up not learning much more than they already know, other than it can be easier to do when you maintain eye contact with the other person. Conversely, there is a lot of information about Occlumency, the skill of shielding your mind from Legilimency. They spend the morning reading, then agree to go out to their spot by the lake to practice. The crisp February air is cold but the air is still, no breeze to be found and the sun occasionally peeks past the clouds. They both set their stuff down and Hannibal lays down his cloak for them to sit on. The snow is mostly gone but still present around the bases of the trees and rocks.

              “So how do you want to do this?” Will asks.

              “I suppose we take turns,” Hannibal replies. “I suggest we try Occlumency as well. I know I would want our thoughts to be protected should anyone attempt to invade our minds.” Will hadn’t considered that until now but realizes with a shudder that yes, he doesn’t want anyone else besides Hannibal inside his mind, especially with what they are planning. But then again Will is pretty sure there aren’t many people who would voluntarily enter his mind anyway if his social status is anything to go by.

              “Yeah, good idea. Hey, why don’t I do you first. Show me your memories of this great sense of smell you have. Then you can try to block me out,” Will says and Hannibal smiles.

              “Very well. Proceed when ready.” They sit facing each other on the ground. Will looks into Hannibal’s eyes, then does the spell wordlessly. Like last time his vision blacks out for a second before he feels himself slide into Hannibal’s mind. The blackness around him shifts for a moment before he is watching himself and Hannibal in the hallway the night Will was attacked. Will didn’t notice at the time, being dazzled (and in pain) as he was, but Hannibal does smell him as he kneels down to assess him. The moment he does, Will experiences three unique smells, none of which are terribly pleasant, but Hannibal’s mind identifies them instantly as Dolarhyde, Crabbe, and Goyle.

             Before he can fully process that, the atmosphere around him swirls and dissipates. When it reforms he is watching himself and Hannibal spar in the Room of Requirement. It feels like a lifetime ago, so much has happened since then. He watches as Hannibal smells him - he was aware of it that time - and instantly he understands what Hannibal is talking about. He can smell the strong Hogwart’s aftershave, cheap smelling to Hannibal’s nose. But underneath it, also a sharp smell Hannibal’s brain identifies as anxiety, a soft almost damp smell that he identifies as empathy, a strong clean clear scent he identifies as power, a sterile musty smell Hannibal identifies as intelligence, and a hot sensual smell Hannibal identifies as arousal. Will has a moment of embarrassment realizing Hannibal could smell that he was aroused that whole time, oh hell; he’d be mortified except that look how things turned out. Then underneath all that, Hannibal shows Will a smell that Will can’t put words to, something human and familiar and natural, that is uniquely his own scent, as unique as a fingerprint.

             Will is in awe as the environment around him morphs again as Will finds himself in the Potion’s classroom, watching Hannibal alone, working on a potion. Will realizes that during this memory he himself is in the hospital wing and watches as Hannibal finishes the potion, the mother of pearl sheen and spiraling steam confirming the Amortentia potion is done. He watches with interest as Hannibal smells it and Will instantly identifies his own smell in there, unmistakable, feeling his heart swell in his chest.

             “Do you want to see more?” Will mentally jumps, hearing Hannibal talk to him directly in his own mind, reminding him of how God’s voice is depicted sometimes in muggle movies.

             “Yes,” Will mentally replies, amazed. The room around them morphs and shifts again until it becomes the Astronomy Tower. Will watches himself and Hannibal smelling the wine that they created, then swapping the bottles. Will experiences Hannibal smelling Hannibal’s wine first and is astonished how many smells are present: earthy wood undertones, sweetness from the type of grape, a hint of cherry. Then Will experiences smelling the wine he made and he is assaulted by the strong harsh alcohol smell that nearly covers up all the residual grape flavor. “Amazing,” Will thinks.

             “Okay Will, I’m going to try to push you out now,” he hears Hannibal’s voice echo all around him. Will mentally prepares himself, although since he’s never done this before he’s not exactly sure what to expect. The next moment he notices the space around him getting smaller and smaller, even though it’s all black somehow he just knows it’s getting shrinking. He tries to will his way back in but it’s like the walls are closing in and he panics. In that frantic moment he takes a breath, opens his eyes, and sees Hannibal still sat across from him. Will leans forward automatically, needing some contact and comfort. He feels as Hannibal puts his arms around him, gently stroking his back, giving Will a moment, before he asks, “What happened?”

             Somehow hearing Hannibal’s voice outside of his head helps calm Will down and he pulls back, feeling more settled, trying to think of how to explain it. “It was like the walls were closing in on me, the room I was in getting smaller and I couldn’t stop it. I panicked…” Hannibal frowns slightly.

             “Understandable, that sounds unpleasant.”

             “Your sense of smell is amazing by the way, I had no idea. I see what you are talking about now.” They both smile at that, then Will remembers, embarrassed, a blush rising to his cheeks. “Hey, so you can smell whenever I’m aroused?!? You knew back when we were sparring?” To Will’s surprise Hannibal actually laughs.

             “Yes and no. If I’m close enough to you now, yes. Back then, I could smell excitement, but excitement and arousal are almost virtually indistinguishable for most people unless I have...context…” Will digests this…unless Hannibal has smelled someone knowing for sure it was sexual arousal, which he didn’t at the time. Phew. Despite the fact that it doesn’t matter now, Will still finds himself relieved.

             They spend the rest of the afternoon practicing both Legilimency and Occlumency. Will ends up showing Hannibal his memory of his Amortentia potion and taunts him with the memory of Hannibal kissing Bedelia. By the end of the day, they both have mastered the ability to slip into one another’s minds and both have an understanding of how to keep someone out of their minds, should the need ever arise.

             

*

 

             The following week Will returns to his dorm after his evening patrol to find the picture of himself and Hannibal in the frame next to his bed defaced, the word “FAGS” written across it in angry dark letters. Out of reflex he looks around the room, automatically running through the possible suspects. All of his roommates are a possibility but he hasn’t detected any overt hostility from any of them. Hannibal himself is proof that non-Ravenclaws can enter this space, although it’s hard to picture anyone other than Hannibal having the gall to sneak in, especially without prior familiarity. He hears someone coming in and quickly slips the frame into the nightstand drawer. He reaches into his school bag, pulls out some parchment and a quill, and quickly pens a note to Hannibal.

 

              Someone defaced the photo of us by my bed.

 

             Will debates writing more but doesn’t, no doubt Hannibal will want to see it no matter how much description he gives. Will summons Patroclus, opening the window when he hears him tapping. With his note sent, Will sits back down and re-enters his mind. He starts with his roommates. He immediately removes Price and Zeller as suspects, certain that they wouldn’t do such a thing. That leaves Donald Sutcliffe and Neal Frank. Will finds Sutcliffe to be an unlikely suspect, as he directly benefited from the arrangement Hannibal made with him over break, now dating the pretty Slytherin girl he had his eye on. That leaves Neal Frank to consider. Will hasn’t talked with him much since bunk is on the opposite side of the room (and Will doesn’t socialize much at all to begin with). He tries to recall any details he can about Neal; he remembers that he always seems to exude neuroticism and anxious energy which is likely another reason why Will doesn’t interact with him. He certainly has no clear motive, but Will can’t rule him out either.

             Will broadens his mind to consider anyone who might have a motive and immediately Conner Frist comes to mind, the only person who has directly thrown homophobic slurs at them, however he’s in Gryffindor house so it's unlikely he made his way in here without being noticed. Will is interrupted from his musings by a tapping and he springs up quickly to let Patroclus back in, clutching some parchment. Will opens it.

 

              Meet me outside in ten.

 

             Will smiles, exactly as he suspected, and dismisses Patroclus, locking the window. He sees more students retiring for the night and discreetly pockets the frame, walking out to the hallway to meet Hannibal. After a moment Will hears someone approaching and shortly after Hannibal in his robe and pajamas is in front of him, body soft looking, but eyes hard. He pulls out the picture frame and hands it to him, watching as Hannibal looks at it, then clearly smells it and Will has the image of a bloodhound in his head.

              “I can smell the scent of the person who did it, but I don’t recognize it.”

              Will takes that in. “So it’s not Conner?” Hannibal shakes his head, a look of disgust briefly crossing his face.

              “No, he has a very distinct scent. Do you have any people you suspect?” Hannibal looks at the photo again and rubs his fingers over it, simultaneously looking sad and furious.

              “I wouldn’t say suspect, but the only roommate I can’t rule out as a possibility is Neal Frank.” Hannibal nods.

              “Point him out to me tomorrow at breakfast.” Will nods, accepting the frame back from Hannibal. He pockets it, feeling Hannibal pull him into an embrace and he goes willingly, winding his arms around Hannibal’s waist. He feels Hannibal rest his head against his own and he breathes out, some of the tension leaving him. He tucks his face into Hannibal’s neck and just breathes there a moment, feeling Hannibal’s hand come up to cradle his head, fingers in his hair, feeling at peace. He lightly kisses the skin in front of him before pulling back to look at Hannibal who is still cradling his head. Hannibal leans forward and kisses Will, slowly and soundly, before pulling back and letting go, with brief caress of his thumb across Will’s cheek. “Good night Will.” Will smiles, already missing the contact, watching as Hannibal turns to sneak back to the dungeon.

              “Good night.”

 

*

 

              The next morning feels tense for Will. He still meets Hannibal like usual but can tell that they both are on alert. Once they have sat down for breakfast, Will’s eyes skate around periodically on the lookout for Neal, newspaper untouched between them. Will picks at his breakfast but mind is too occupied to be that hungry. Just when he thinks they won’t find him, Neal walks in, walking briskly as if he’s in a hurry. Will elbows Hannibal and nods Neal’s direction, his meaning clear – him. Hannibal turns and Will sees the gears turning in his mind for how best to go about this. Hannibal quickly stands up, clearly pretending to leave the table to head to class, and drops his school bag in the walkway just as Neal is trying to pass, forcing Neal to stop. Will has stood up now too, going along with the charade, and watches and Neal’s face shows impatience and irritation at waiting for Hannibal to get out of the way. The whole exchange barely takes ten seconds, if that, but Will sees how Hannibal leans toward Neal as he picks his bag up, clearly getting his scent, before stepping aside for him to pass.

              “Apologies,” Hannibal says. Neal briefly nods in acknowledgement, then continues walking. When Will’s eyes find Hannibal’s and he sees that dangerous glint to them, Will suspects they found the culprit. Hannibal grabs Will’s arm, pulling him along to walk out of the Great Hall and Will goes despite not having eaten much, he’ll probably regret it later. Once they are out of the vicinity Hannibal confirms his suspicions. “Yes it was him.” There is an unspoken question in his eyes. What should we do about it? The thought floods Will’s mind with ideas for retribution and he can’t settle on one long enough before another comes along.

              “Let’s talk about it after class,” Will says and Hannibal nods.

 

*

 

              After class they are both sat in their spot by the lake on Hannibal’s cloak as the snow is still present on the ground. Will rolls up his cloak like a pillow and lays down, staring up at the sky and feels Hannibal sit down next to him. The next moment a shadow is cast over his face and Hannibal looks down at him, leaning over him smiling, eyes crinkling in what looks like happiness.

              “What?” Will asks, not getting why Hannibal appears so pleased. Hannibal reaches out to touch his face lightly, the barest of caresses, yet still leaving that tingling trail behind. Will feels tenderness, adoration, and love in that touch, closing his eyes briefly and basking in the feeling. Before he can open them he feels a ghost of a kiss on his lips before it’s gone as quick as it came, and he opens his eyes, feeling himself blush at the strong emotions the tender touch left him with.

              “Mm, nothing mylimasis, you just present such a beautiful picture right now I had to take a moment to appreciate it, perhaps I’ll draw you later. The contrast between your pale skin and dark hair with your rosy cheeks and the white snow is quite breathtaking.” Hannibal sounds wistful as he talks and Will can almost envision it for a moment, then he remembers something.

              “What did you call me? You’ve said that before…”

             Hannibal looks taken aback for a second, perhaps he didn’t realize he said it, Will realizes. After a moment Hannibal replies in a more serious tone, but still softly as he strokes Will’s cheek, “Mylimasis…it’s Lithuanian for beloved.” Will smiles, feeling his heart swell, turning his face into Hannibal’s palm and kissing it reverently, lips lingering there a moment longer. Hannibal caresses his face once more before pulling his hand back and laying down next to Will, sharing the pillow Will made of his cloak. After a comfortable moment, Hannibal changes gears and asks, “So tell me, what is going on in that vivid imagination of yours?” Will hears the unspoken question in regards to Neal.

             Will is torn because part of him wants pure violent vengeance, for Neal to be hurt, bloodied, shamed, punished for what he did. They could easily harm him physically, or even frame him to get him expelled. Will has no doubt either of those things could be accomplished successfully. Another part of him wonders if it’s early enough in Neal’s intolerance that he might have potential for rehabilitation. If he can be shown the error of his ways, and apologize, would that satisfy Will? Knowing he left someone better than he found them? From the little he has interacted with Neal, he has never detected any overt hatred or meanness; he’s neurotic, to be sure, but doesn’t seem to be like Conner, seemingly beyond help. The conflicted feeling is all too familiar to him, forever battling his dual natures, light versus dark.

             Will shares his musings with Hannibal, honestly curious of his opinion. He is mildly surprised when Hannibal agrees that, despite the satisfaction it would undoubtedly provide to harm him, it might be wiser to see if Neal can be brought around before resorting to that. They spend the rest of the afternoon developing a plan and putting it into action.

 

*

 

              That night as Will is getting ready for bed, he feels antsy about their plan, it’s risky but he hopes it’s the right decision. He lays down and braces himself when he hears a tap-tap-tap on the window closest to Neal’s bed. Will looks over at the noise, trying to act naturally, and watches as a confused Neal goes to open the window, clearly not expecting an owl at this hour. The generic brown school owl flies in, drops a scrap of parchment on his bed, then flies out. Neal closes the window against the cold and picks up the parchment. Will already knows what it says and watches as Neal reads it, eyes going wide, glancing around anxiously. Will turns over in bed, his back to Neal, smiling, and waits for his turn. The note reads, in Hannibal’s elegant handwriting, I know what you did.

              Once all five students are in bed and the lights off, Will waits another hour or so to make sure everyone is asleep. This is the part of the plan he is most is anxious about, having never attempted such a thing. He rallies his courage, grabs his wand, and turning to face the side of the room Neal is on, Will casts a silent Legilimens spell, attempting to enter Neal’s sleeping mind.

              He can feel the moment he is allowed in, the dark disorientation of a sleeping mind, thoughts free flowing like water around him, an unfamiliar atmosphere. He takes a moment to orient himself, watching as flashes of thoughts and feelings go by. A lot of the thoughts seem to center around a Hufflepuff boy named Devon Silvestri. Will has seen him around but knows nothing about him. He tries to recall if he has ever seen him and Neal together and comes up blank, but concedes that he really doesn’t pay much attention to other people. So far none of the thoughts or memories show them together, more like Neal has been watching him from afar, many of the images from Herbology as Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff have it together.

              As Will is taking in all the information, he feels a strong wave of emotions hit him - unrequited longing, fear, shame, self-doubt, uncertainty - and the images around him of Devon seem to increase. In that moment Will thinks he understands and has a pang of sympathy. If he had to guess right now, it seems that Neal is battling against his attraction to Devon. That he has always thought he was straight, liked girls, and feels betrayed by his thoughts and feelings, angry at the difficulty of repressing them, fearful of judgement from his family and friends, and then lashing out, of course, when presented with a happy picture of Will and Hannibal right in his own dorm room. By no means does it excuse what he did, but Will can tell they made the right decision. Beating up Neal would do no one any good. Armed with his theory, Will rallies his courage again and attempts to speak to Neal.

              “Neal…Neal…” Will instantly feels the environment around him jostle frantically, freaking out. “Hey, hey calm down. I just want to talk, it’s Will Graham…” Will feels the environment all but freeze, trying to recede and hide. “I know it was you who defaced my photo.” Will feels Neal trying to push him out, build a wall, but Will can tell he has no training, he’s relying on instinct. “I’ve seen your thoughts about Devon, your fears, how frustrating it is…” At this Will is jostled again, passionate anger trying to hide crippling fear washes over him and he can’t wait to be out of Neal’s brain, no wonder he’s so neurotic.

              After a beat goes by, Will hears, “Is this a dream? How are you here?”

              “It doesn’t matter if this is a dream or not. I want you to know I understand why you did it, but I want you to apologize and promise to not do it again…don’t harm others just because you’re hurting.” Will can feel the words land, feels their impact washing over Neal, the tipping point of indecision, anxious neuroticism clouding Neal’s judgment even in sleep.

              “And I suppose if I don’t, you’ll tell everyone about me? Is that what this is? Invasion of privacy, raping my dreams, blackmail…” Will can feel his desperation, his fear at being found out, frantic fear at losing control of his most precious secret.

              As calmly as he can, Will says, “No, that’s not my business. All I want is a sincere apology and a promise you won’t lash out that way again. If you refuse, then I can’t say what Hannibal and I will do, but rest assured, we will do something. I would prefer this be the only time I’m in your head Neal, but if I need to I can haunt your dreams every night. I don’t need to make your daylight hours a living hell, as long as we’re in the same dorm you’ll never get a restful nights sleep.” He sincerely hopes it won’t come to that.  

              Will feels the emotions wash over him, a new one reacting for every statement he makes. Relief at Will saying he won’t tell, fear and a desire to report Will to Headmaster Crawford at the threat, then hesitant understanding that Will doesn’t like this either, to finally real fear at the threat to his mind while asleep.

              To hurry this along Will decides to show Neal how things can play out. “You want to tell Crawford? What will you tell him? No one will believe you. They will say you had a bad dream. Can you prove it’s really me here? Of course you can’t.” Will can feel as Neal realizes the predicament he’s in. “Take some deep breaths Neal, calm down and think rationally. Is it really so hard to apologize for hurting my feelings?” At this Will feels a wave of shame and remorse wash over Neal and knows that he’s won.

              After a moment he hears, “I’m sorry Will. I won’t do it again. You’re right, I shouldn’t take my issues out on others. It’s just so hard.” Will can feel the frustration, the repression.

              “Thank you.” Will says. He’s about to leave, ready to be out of this emotional tornado, but the good inside of him says one more thing. “Neal, you don’t have to battle this alone. Find someone to talk to help you, someone you trust. Or talk to Madame Pomfry. You don’t have to tell them everything, but don’t keep it all bottled inside. You won’t like who you become, and no one else will either.” He can feel Neal taking it in. Will suddenly feels his social awkwardness flooding back full force, “Okay, um, good night.” With that he pulls out of his mind, mentally sighing in relief. Will opens his eyes, looking into the dark of the dorm room. He can hear Neal shift in bed, sit up and look over at him. Quickly Will closes his eyes, ready to pretend that never happened.

              The next morning Will can feel Neal glancing at him periodically, no doubt trying to figure out if it was really just a dream, or if it wasn’t…and if Will will be true to his word. Will decides he’s not going to react, letting Neal struggle with the issue, his punishment for the hurt he caused. Over breakfast Will quietly fills Hannibal in on what transpired, Hannibal’s eyebrows shooting up in surprise.

 

*

 

             As Valentine’s Day approaches, Will is struck again by how much he dislikes not having any money – why don’t Prefects get a stipend?  It’s the first Valentine’s Day he’s had a true significant other and while he knows Hannibal doesn’t care if he gets him anything or not, he resents the fact that he can’t go out and buy him something. As he is getting ready for bed that night, he overhears Donald Sutcliffe telling Neal Frank about his plans to give his Slytherin girlfriend a promise ring and does he think that’s too much? Will tunes out the rest of the conversation, but can’t help the image that pops into his head, unbidden, of himself and Hannibal with matching rings, engaged, married, wedding, house, dog, maybe multiple dogs... His brain continues on before he consciously pulls it back. He’s never really given much thought to his future, always living moment to moment under the onslaught of sensory information and questionable morality, but he finds himself blushing at his domestic romantic thoughts and is suddenly glad he now can count Occlumency under his skillset. No way in hell is Hannibal seeing all that.

              As Will is getting ready for bed that night, he opens his nightstand to put his book away and sees a glint of silver sparkle at him. Leaving the drawer open, he reaches back and pulls out his old pair of glasses, the ones Hannibal repaired and embellished for him. That also feels like a lifetime ago and he smiles at the memory, cradling the glasses gently in his hand. In a sudden flash of inspiration, he smiles to himself as he has an idea for a Valentine’s Day gift.

 

*

 

              The next day, when Hannibal is volunteering, Will goes to the library and starts reviewing Transfiguration. Like most subjects, he’s pretty good at Transfiguration, but he’s never attempted his current goal – glasses to ring. Silver ring specifically. Ever since the idea presented itself, he can’t get it out of his mind. When he stops to think about it, giving Hannibal a ring is a big step, but he rationalizes that pre-meditated murder with someone is also a big step. He ends up pulling a few more library books down on Transfiguration, and by the two-hour mark he thinks he’s confident enough to give it a try. The only unknown is the size for Hannibal’s finger but Will can’t do much about that at the moment.

              He pulls the glasses out of his bag and places them on the desk in front of him. Concentrating hard on what he wants, visualizing it in his mind, he recites the incantation “Annulum argenteum” and waves his wand. Will watches as the glasses briefly glow before morphing and shrinking down into a silver ring. He picks it up gently, turning it over in his hand, smiling. It worked!  He places it on his ring finger, noting that it fits him, and he can’t help the flood of images that pass through his mind – of Hannibal giving him a ring, of himself wearing it proudly, of people seeing them together with matching rings – a visual representation of how they belong to each other. Taking off the ring, he smiles as he shakes his head, trying to calm his vivid imagination. As he puts away the books he pockets the ring, feeling his pocket periodically, checking to make sure it’s secure.

 

*

 

             Later that evening, as Will is getting ready for bed, he is struck with another fit of inspiration in regards to the ring. He opens his Charms textbook and reviews the spell he wants, reading it over twice just to make sure he’s got it.  Satisfied, he pulls out the ring, closes one eye to better focus, and casts the spell, “Defodio,” as he carefully moves his wand to carve out what he wants. It’s not as neat as he’d like it to be, but it will do. Inside the ring, he engraves:

WG + HL

 

*

 

              Valentine’s Day finally arrives, on a Friday, and all day Will feels on the edge of being overwhelmed. Thankfully Fridays he has classes with Hannibal, but even with Hannibal at his side, the sheer quantity of emotions floating around is a lot for him to handle – about half of the students are radiating sickly, infatuated love, and the other half bitter, jealous loneliness.  Were Will not so overwhelmed he would have sympathy for the latter category, he himself having felt that way for many years on Valentine’s Day.

              That morning Hannibal had informed him he had plans for them for dinner, and that he would send for Will when he was ready. All day through class Will has been distracted by the weight of the ring in his pocket, as if it weighed fifty pounds instead of a matter of grams, his own Tell-Tale heart, unable to let his mind forget the significant item he has created, sure Hannibal must be able to hear his rapid anxious heartbeat, smell his anxiety. By mid-day he has begun to question if it was a good idea or not but reminds himself that so far, every time he has been apprehensive about doing something with Hannibal it has turned out okay – so why would this be any different?

             After they are released from Alchemy, Hannibal leaves Will with a kiss, telling him he’ll send an owl when he’s ready. Will walks back to his dorm, trying to ignore the flurry of emotions of the people around him. Most are getting ready to go out for the evening, Will bets Hogsmeade will be packed. For the students staying back, Will heard there would be some sort of special dinner and event in the Great Hall.

              Once back in his dorm, Will showers and changes into his nice dress shirt, slacks, and shoes from the Yule Ball, wanting to look nice. He looks at himself in the mirror and is satisfied, although he tries and fails to get a wayward curl to stay in place, giving it up as a lost cause. He checks his pocket, feeling the ring there and swallows the lump that has formed in his throat. He pockets his camera as well, and feeling too antsy to wait in his room, decides to go on a walk outside, nature always seems to calm him. He exits the castle, out of habit heading towards the lake, and with every breath of crisp fresh air, he finds himself feeling a little less anxious. Just as he makes it to the lake shore a shadow passes over head and a piece of parchment is dropped nearby. Will picks it up and reads it, seeing Achilles already flying back towards the owlery.

 

              Room of Requirement, at your earliest convenience.

 

              Will smiles down at Hannibal’s precise script. To his knowledge Hannibal has never created a room for the Room of Requirement, and he’s curious what it will be. Will is pleasantly surprised no one else has taken it, the day being what it is, but decides not to consciously question his good fortune. Pocketing the note, he takes a deep breath, and makes his way up to the seventh floor. When he reaches the stretch of hallway, Will realizes he’s not sure how to get in. Figuring he has nothing to lose, he tries walking past the wall three times, visualizing Hannibal, figuring if that doesn’t work he’ll just have to wait for Hannibal to come out. Thankfully, third pass a door materializes. For a moment Will considers knocking but dismisses the notion and opens the door.

              Will stops just as he enters the room, taking it all in. He sees Hannibal by a giant stone fireplace and hears soft music playing. At the foot of the fireplace is a soft looking rug with some huge pillows. Directly in front of him he sees a rectangular dining table, adorned with a huge centerpiece containing burgundy roses, half open pomegranates – seeds glistening like jewels, feathers, and bones. It’s both morbid and incredibly beautiful. Behind the table is what appears to be a wall of planter boxes with what looks like herbs growing out of them. Further back he can see a large bed with blue bedspread and fluffy white pillows. Nearby the bed Will sees what looks like two large mirrors, to which Will blushes slightly, remembering their last experience with mirrors. On the other side of the room he sees a piano and a record player (ah! That’s where the music is coming from!), and on the walls - which alternate between warm wood and earthy blue - he sees various artworks (many from the Renaissance, he notes), antlers, and wall sconces providing soft light. In addition he sees candles ubiquitously placed all over the space and a large opulent chandelier over the dining table. It’s a lot to take in, but it’s breathtakingly beautiful and screams that Hannibal designed it. For that reason alone Will already loves it and takes a few more steps into the room, meeting Hannibal’s eyes again.

              “You’ve really outdone yourself, this is amazing.” Will accepts the glass of wine Hannibal offers him, feeling a little dazzled, loving every moment like this where he gets even a smidgen more insight into Hannibal. Even after all they have shared, Will still finds Hannibal hard to read at times, so he happily soaks in all the nuances of the room, wanting to glean all the clues he can, forever wanting to know more about this beautiful complex man he loves. Will notes Hannibal has changed clothes as well, now in a burgundy dress shirt, black waistcoat, and plaid tie with dark slacks. He looks decadent and truly in his element, confidence exuding out of him into the surrounding space, it’s magnetic. Will catches his eyes and Hannibal offers him a smile, looking immensely pleased at the praise. Hannibal holds up his wine glass towards Will.

              “Happy Valentine’s Day Will.” Will smiles and clinks his glass with Hannibal’s.

              “Happy Valentine’s Day Hannibal.” They both sip the wine, it’s smooth and rich and Will takes another sip after the first, feeling the alcohol and the fire warming him pleasantly.

              “Did you make this?” Will gestures at the wine.

              “I did, can you tell?”

              “No but it’s good, so I’m not surprised.” He smiles, seeing how the praise delights Hannibal, and Will again has the image of a peacock preening in his head. His mind goes on a slight detour, imagining Hannibal’s patronus as a peacock and how funny would that be?!  He is brought out of his amusement by the feeling of Hannibal’s hand on his waist. Will turns, seeing Hannibal’s face close to his, sees the shadows dance across his features from the firelight and feels Hannibal’s other hand come to his cradle his face tenderly, almost as if he is made of spun glass. Without thinking Will kisses Hannibal, slowly, letting his love and happiness pour into the kiss. Hannibal kisses him back, matching his pace, both in no rush and savoring the moment. Will’s hand comes to Hannibal’s side, anchoring him, and he notes he can taste the wine on Hannibal’s tongue, tangy, earthy and rich. After a lovely interlude, Will pulls back slightly, resting their foreheads together. “I love you so much,” Will says softly. He wasn’t planning to say it, it just slips out, feeling right, and he can’t regret it, sappy as it is.

              Hannibal’s eyes meet his and he smiles, placing a light kiss on Will’s lips. “I love you too Will.” They rest against each other comfortably for a moment more, Will feeling at peace. Eventually Will feels Hannibal step back, seeing him pick up his wine glass off of the mantle, “Are you ready for dinner Will?” Hannibal asks.

              Will nods and they make their way over to the table. Hannibal pulls Will’s chair out for him and Will smiles at how extravagant this is. Were he with anyone else, he knows this level of luxury would likely make him feel uncomfortable, but somehow knowing that Hannibal created everything here makes it all comfortable, familiar, and he basks in this new experience. Will continues to drink his wine as he watches Hannibal uncover a dish and begin to slice and plate something. From where he is sitting, Will can’t see what it is but he is confident he will be informed when the time is right so he waits and watches, enjoying the soft music playing. Shortly after, a beautiful plate is set in front of him and before he can ask, Hannibal is saying with pomp and presentation, “Beef tenderloin with rosemary and pomegranate seed splatter, with salad greens and root chips.”

              “You made this?” Will asks, awestruck. It looks like something out of a five-star restaurant.

              “Yes, cooking is a passion of mine, and I feel like I haven’t had the opportunity to share the experience with you yet. Tonight seemed like a perfect opportunity. Please.” Hannibal gestures for Will to begin, and they both cut a slice and begin to eat. Will closes his eyes as he savors the first bite of food. It’s seriously the best thing he can ever remember eating. The meat is perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. The rosemary adds an earthy fragrant aroma, and the pomegranate adds a tangy sweetness that all together blends into a delicious complex taste. He takes a bite of the salad, not expecting much, but is surprised how the slight bitterness of the greens pairs with the sweet vinegary dressing and the crunch from the root chips.

              “This is amazing,” Will says after he swallows. “Seriously this is the best thing I have ever eaten.” Will takes a sip of his wine and of course, the wine complements the meal perfectly. Hannibal smiles at the praise, looking pleased. “You’ve been holding out on me,” Will playfully accuses, pointing his fork at Hannibal across the table. Will can feel the buzz from the wine starting to kick in, filter lowering and playfulness increasing.

              Hannibal smiles in response, “I would cook like this for you everyday if I could Will, if it would bring that smile to your face.” Will blushes, having flashbacks to when he first met Hannibal, thinking Who talks like this?  They continue eating in a comfortable silence, legs and feet touching occasionally under the table, and when they are done Will can’t help the praise that continues to fall from his lips.

              “That was incredible Hannibal, thank you.” Will grabs his hand from across the table, holding it gently, feeling Hannibal’s fingers curl around his, feeling that familiar warm tingly sensation he still gets whenever Hannibal touches him. He makes a mental note to show Hannibal the feeling the next time they do legilimency. Will’s thumb lightly brushes over Hannibal’s ring finger and Will has a brief spike of anxiety remembering what is in his pocket, but just as quickly as it came he lets the feeling go. Then he experiences another brief moment of panics, wondering if Hannibal can smell his anxiety, but if he does, he doesn’t comment on it.

              “You are very welcome Will. There is something else I would like to give you.” Will’s pulse quickens.

              “You didn’t have to get me anything,” Will says, and it’s true; as much as he loves everything Hannibal has given him, each gift also nudges his insecurity, reminding how he is lacking, the fact that it isn't his fault he is in this state not helping his feelings. Hannibal smiles as he extricates his hand gently.

              “If it makes you feel any better, this gift cost me absolutely nothing.” Will looks at him, checking for deception. Finding none, he gets up to follow Hannibal, curious, drinking his wine as he goes. Hannibal turns off the record player, then walks to the piano which Will now realizes is actually a harpsichord; the sight instantly brings back the memory of Hannibal telling him he used to play and wanted to get one someday. Will sits on the soft rug by the fire, leaning on a pillow and watches as Hannibal sits on the bench. “I wrote this for you Will.” And before Will can react, Hannibal starts to play a hauntingly beautiful melody. It starts off slow, almost with trepidation, then midway through blossoms into a melody of harmonious chords. Will isn’t sure how much time has gone by but by the time Hannibal is playing the last melodic notes, having brought the crescendo back down to a beautiful delicate ending, he has tears in his eyes, overwhelmed with love and adoration for Hannibal, that he could take something broken like Will and transform it into something so beautiful. Will absently remembers Hannibal repairing his glasses, telling him he likes to leave things better than he found them, mind firing on overdrive, connecting all the experiences they have had, coming full circle from that moment to now, with the same atoms of the glasses in his pocket now perfectly formed into a ring, and thinks how perfect this moment is right now.

             Hannibal finally looks over at him, almost shyly, having been looking at the keys as he was playing, and freezes when he sees Will’s expression. “Will? Are you okay?” Hannibal gets up and comes over to him, sitting on the rug in front of him. Will nods, unable to form words quite yet but wraps his arms around him, burying his face in his neck, feeling his heart beat in his chest, uncaring that the posture is somewhat awkward to hug while sitting. Hannibal wraps his arms around Will and easily remedies the awkward position by putting one bent leg on either side of Will and scooting closer, holding him. Hannibal gently rubs Will’s back as Will tries to corral his strong emotions.

             When Will feels like he has somewhat of a handle on his rampant feelings, he pulls back slightly, meets Hannibal’s questioning gaze, and kisses him, pouring his love and happiness into the kiss, feeling a tear fall down in the process. He pulls back slightly as he tries to formulate what he wants to say. “That was beautiful,” Will says and Hannibal visibly relaxes. “Part of me really wants you to just come into my mind so you can see and feel and understand what I’m feeling right now, but you deserve to hear it so I’m going to do my best to tell you.” Hannibal nods, intensely focused, and Will takes a breath. “Do you remember when you repaired my glasses?” Hannibal nods but looks lost, clearly not expecting those words.

             “Of course.” Will takes both of Hannibal’s hands in his own and their fingers gently caress each other’s as he talks.

             “I remember you telling me that you like leaving things better than you found them.” Hannibal nods, acknowledging this. “Well before you, I was a mess, broken, at odds with myself.” Hannibal nods again, listening. “And since knowing you, being with you, I feel like I’m finally whole and happy. I was shocked to hear that song, I couldn’t believe you could take someone like me, and be inspired to create something so beautiful like that. But then I realized you've already changed me, made me better than you found me, just like my glasses…Thank you.” Hannibal smiles, and takes one hand to tilt Will’s chin up, forcing their eyes to meet.

             “You are very welcome Will, but you forget, you have changed me for the better too. You didn’t know me before; I didn’t realize how lonely I was until I found you. I am happier now than I have ever been, than I ever dared to hope for, and that’s thanks to you.” Will smiles, not fully believing it that but acknowledging the sentiment.

              “I got you a gift as well, and I also didn’t spend any money on it,” Will says with a watery smile, lightening the mood slightly. Hannibal smiles in return and Will removes his hands, reaching into his pocket, and pulls out the ring. It glimmers in the candlelight and Will hands it to Hannibal.

              “I don’t expect you to wear it, but I transfigured it from the glasses that you fixed for me. It has both of our magic in it. A physical representation of how you a have changed me for the better. I love you.” Will watches as Hannibal takes it from him, inspecting it, seeing the inscription. Will isn’t really sure what reaction he expected, but he was expecting a reaction as Hannibal continues to just stare at it. “Hannibal? Are you okay? I’m sorry, is it too much?” The worry has already started to creep into Will's tone adn that seems to wake Hannibal out whatever trance he was in as he takes Will’s face in his hands and kisses him passionately. Will feels someone’s cheeks are wet but he can’t tell whose. When Hannibal finally pulls back Will sees Hannibal’s eyes are moist, and he’s sure his own are as well.

              “It’s perfect. I love you. Put it on me.” Hannibal hands the ring back to Will and now Will looks confused, disbelieving. Hannibal holds out his left hand, clearly indicating it to be put on his ring finger and after a moment a shadow of doubt crosses his face, “Unless I’m misunderstanding the significance?” It clicks into place for Will and he holds Hannibal’s hand gently in his own as he slides the ring on his ring finger, feeling surreal, and it thankfully it seems to fit. Will holds Hannibal’s hand in both of his firmly and looks into his eyes.

              “No, you’re not misunderstanding. I’m just a coward, I wasn’t sure if you would want that with me. But I do, want that with you. I want everything with you…as long as you’ll have me.” Hannibal smiles at the words.

              “Forever it will be then,” and Will can’t help the smile that blossoms across his face.

              “Forever,” he echoes softly, as he leans in to kiss Hannibal gently. After a moment they pull back, foreheads resting against one another as Hannibal speaks.

             “You know, your description of us reminds me of a concept my Japanese aunt taught me as a child. Kintsugi.” Will’s eyes flit up to Hannibal’s as he speaks, indicating he is listening. “It means ‘golden joinery’ or ‘golden repair,’ it’s the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, silver or platinum. As a philosophy, it embraces the flaws and imperfections that result from being broken, making the item more beautiful than it was before it was broken, showing the scars with pride. In some ways it seems we have done this for each other, filled in the broken areas we both had with love…” As Hannibal talks Will feels like his whole life was made for this moment with this man, and he kisses Hannibal again, feeling a tear run down his cheek.

             “Yes, exactly. That’s beautiful, that’s us.” They share a watery smile, the air heavy with emotion, fingers interlocking, resting against one another. After a moment Will feels Hannibal extricate himself, standing as he offers Will a hand.

              “Will you dance with me Will?” Will smiles at the absurdity and nods, accepting the hand, feeling the mood lightening once again. Hannibal smiles too and goes to turn the record player back on, then takes Will into his arms into a slow dance, hand in hand on one side, arms around each other on other side, and heads gently resting against each other’s. “I regretted not getting to dance with you more at the Yule Ball.” Will smiles as he remembers. They hadn’t even kissed yet, how much has changed. Will smiles as they slowly sway with the music.

              “Maybe it’s for the best, I’m a terrible dancer. You might be disappointed.” Will feels movement and the next thing he knows he is being dipped dramatically, before being pulled back up close to Hannibal, laughing.

              “I disagree, I would have no one else.” Will smiles at Hannibal’s playful tone. Will feels the cooler temperature of the ring where their hands touch, running his his thumb over it.

              “So you’re really going to wear that? Like an engagement ring?” Will feels like his tongue trips over the word ‘engagement’ but he powers through.

              “Indeed. Unless you don’t want me to?” Hannibal asks.

              “No, I just don’t want you to feel like you have to.”

              “I assure you that thought had not crossed my mind. Although I admit I would like to get you one as well, if you’re amenable.” Will smiles.

              “Yes you can get me one,” Will agrees quietly. As much as he resents people buying him things, Hannibal buying him an engagement ring is too good to be true. It will be like having a piece of Hannibal with him all the time, a way to show the world that they belong to each other. Will laughs as he remembers having a similar thought about the hickeys they gave each other. At the sound of laughter, Hannibal pulls back to look at Will, amused.

              “Something funny Will?” Will smiles.

              “No, I was just thinking this is a step up from the hickey I gave you, wanting everyone to know you were mine. This is the classier way to do it I suppose.” To his surprise Hannibal laughs too and continues to move them to the music.

              “Yes I suppose it is, although the two are not mutually exclusive.” And Will smiles as he feels Hannibal lightly kiss at his neck. “Although if that is the case, as I have no ring for you now, would you like me to mark you?” Will hears the teasing smile in his voice and feels Hannibal’s teeth lightly scrape his throat. In response Will tilts his head back, baring his neck, invitation clear, gasping slightly as he feels Hannibal kiss and bite and suck at his skin, feeling the warmth, the wetness, the tingle of pleasure amplified by the slight pain, a moan escaping his lips. After a moment, he feels Hannibal pull away and makes a show of inspecting his handiwork. “Perfect.” Will can’t help the blush that creeps up his body at the praise and he instinctively looks around for his wine. He spots it on the floor and picks it up, taking a sip, seeing Hannibal do the same.

              “I have a proposition for tonight Will. Will you humor me?” Will turns towards him, as Hannibal refills his wine glass. He takes another drink, feeling the buzz of alcohol return after being dampened by the heavy feelings being exchanged. Will smiles.

              “You know I probably will but what is it?” Will replies. Hannibal smiles his mischievous smile and heads to his bag, pulling out two vials. Will instantly recognizes it, Polyjuice potion. “What do you want to do with it?”

              Hannibal comes up close to him, invading his personal space, body pressed against his and Will is instantly overwhelmed with want as Hannibal speaks directly into his ear. “I was thinking we could both drink it, become each other, and make love.” It takes a moment for Will to process what he heard, to be honest Hannibal could be reading The Standard Book of Spells in that voice and he would probably still get turned on. When his brain processes the words he pulls back slightly.

              “Wait…so I would have your body? That means I’d be having sex with my own body…?” Will drinks his wine which he is sure isn’t helping his mental acuity but he’s having a hard time processing this.

              “You would be having sex with me, in your body.”

              “Okay…why?” Will asks, no judgement in his tone, just honestly curious. He can’t picture it.

              “Will, I want to know what it feels like to be in your body, what it feels like when I touch you, what you like, what you don’t, first hand. I want to know your body like I know my own, know what I’m doing to you once we’re back to normal. Just like I have been in your mind, I want to be in your body, in every way I can be. And I want to offer you the same experience, to experience the pleasure you give my body.” Well when you put it that way… Will thinks and smiles.

              “Okay, let’s do it.” Hannibal raises an eyebrow, obviously expecting more pushback.

              “Really?”

              “Yes, you sold me. I’m in. I have no idea what to expect, but I want to know everything about you, experience everything with you. So I’m in.” He sips his wine as Hannibal watches him, looking for any sign of hesitance. Finding none, he adds,

              “I would also like to try legilimency, for us to show each other what we are feeling.” This is some trippy shit Will thinks, but he’s smiling, already ready to dive in headfirst.

              “Okay.” Will downs the rest of his wine, ready to go down the proverbial rabbit hole.

              “You’re sure?” Hannibal asks.

              “Yes, I told you I want it all. I want everything with you.” They both smile.

              “Very well.” Hannibal turns to the table where the vials are and for a moment Will feels like they’re going to do drugs together, and then his imagination wanders off imagining what that would be like. His attention is pulled back to the present by Hannibal handing him a vial. “Place one of your hairs inside please.” Will watches as Hannibal pulls out one of his golden hairs, drops it in his own vial, and instantly the liquid changes color from murky muddy brown, to a deep dark red, reminiscent of blood or wine. Curiously piqued, Will pulls out one of his hairs, and drops it in the vial, having to push it in slightly due to the curl. Instantly the liquid starts to change and becomes a bright blue, similar in color to his eyes.

              “Why are they different colors?” Will asks. He read up on Polyjuice when he first started making it but in his buzzed state he can’t remember the details. He is sure Hannibal did his research in preparation for tonight. Will sees Hannibal’s posture change to what he mentally calls lecture posture.

              “Supposedly, the potion reacts to the nature of the person that is being imitated, becoming the essence of that person. Apparently ‘good-hearted’ people result in more attractive colors and tastes and vice versa.” Will can hear the air quotes around ‘good-hearted’ as Hannibal speaks.

              “So if it tastes bad, we’re bad people?” Will asks and Hannibal smirks.

              “Potions don’t decide what type of people we are Will. If it makes you feel any better, I have already tasted you in many capacities and have never once been disappointed.” Will blushes.

              “How long will this last?” Will asks, noting that the time on the clock on the mantle.

              “Anywhere from ten minutes to twelve hours, according to the textbook, although I suspect this dose will last about an hour.”

              “Okay…well, ready when you are.” Will holds out his vial for Hannibal to take and Hannibal does the same. Will is feeling silly and clinks their vials together. “Cheers.” Hannibal smiles.

              “Cheers.” And with that they drink the vials. Will finds the red liquid has a familiar taste, he can’t really describe it but it is pleasant and familiar and duh his brain supplies, essence of Hannibal, of course it’s pleasant and familiar. For a moment nothing happens, then Will feels his skin start to warm and ripple. Hannibal comes to stand beside him and they face the large mirror on the wall. Will watches as his hair straightens and lightens, his skin takes on a more olive complexion, he becomes just slightly taller, and he feels his body change, feels broader, more muscled. He feels his shirt stretch slightly to accommodate the new size and sees the buttons strain. Reflexively he starts to undo the buttons to alleviate the tightness. When he is done he looks over and sees that Hannibal has now become him, curly hair, blue eyes and all. His clothes now appear slightly baggier than before and they stand and look at each other for a moment.

              “Fascinating,” Hannibal says and Will notes he still has his own voice.

              “Your voice didn’t change. Gosh, neither did mine. Of course, one of the sexiest things about you and you get to keep it,” Will says, the alcohol making his thoughts flow unimpeded out of his mouth. Will sees Hannibal’s devilish smile on his own face and it’s an odd feeling, like he’s being stalked by himself. He finds his courage and says. “You won’t get to experience the effect of your voice on my body,” Will says, his voice going slightly breathless.

              “I will when we enter each other’s minds after,” Hannibal replies, “but first I think we should get oriented.” In that moment Will notices that he can smell so many different smells that it’s almost distracting. He leans towards Hannibal and smells his curly brown hair, remembering his own unique smell from Hannibal’s memory. Hannibal smiles at him, realizing what he is doing. In that moment Will watches as Hannibal tries to smell things and comes up disappointed which causes Will to laugh.

             “I told you, I can’t smell things like you do.” Will laughs at the frown Hannibal puts on his own face, reaching out to hold his hands, seeing the silver ring on his own body, he takes a breath, realizing that soon he will have one as well, the image burned into his mind. He caresses Hannibal’s fingers, feeling the ring, watching as Hannibal shivers and Will realizes he is experiencing the tingle he always gets when Hannibal touches him.

             “Nice huh? Seriously every time you touch me it’s like that. Has been since we first met.”

             “Fascinating…” Hannibal says.

             Will watches as Hannibal shivers again as he runs his fingers over his arms lightly, then pulls their bodies together, feeling the familiar alignment but somehow also unfamiliar, as he feels Hannibal press his lips against his neck. It feels pleasant, familiar and yet foreign, and all of a sudden is hit with a spark of sensation, of lust, sharp and sudden.             

             “Oh my gosh, Hannibal…” Their mouths come together in a kiss and Will’s arousal feels like it’s going from 0 to 60, is this how Hannibal always feels? When Will can think clearly again, he thinks he understands this concept better now, a plan forming in his mind. Tonight, he wants to give Hannibal all the things that feel the best, share those experiences with him, this is his birthday present after all. In a way it’s the most intuitive sex ever because he knows what his body likes, and with that confidence straightening his spine a bit, he starts to kiss Hannibal in earnest, hands coming to undress him, caressing him as he goes. He suspects Hannibal is going to be a little overwhelmed in his body and takes the lead. The kiss intensifies, tongues twining, everything feeling new yet familiar, like a second opportunity at the first time.

             Will can feel Hannibal clutching at him, they are both starting to breath hard, with Hannibal occasionally mewling which turns Will on even more. As more skin is exposed, he caresses Hannibal’s chest, nipples, neck, back, knowing the tingling trail he’s leaving and sees Hannibal’s eyes shut in pleasure. He tries to focus on the sounds because he admits it’s a little odd seeing your own face contorted into pleasure.

             “Oh..oh Will…” They are both naked now and Will pulls them flush together, feeling their bodies start to move against one another. Will can feel this encounter picking up speed and wants to slow things down, make it last, so he pulls back slightly with a groan from Hannibal, guiding them to the bed, encouraging Hannibal to lay down, then getting on the bed beside him, gently running his fingers over Hannibal’s body.

             “So, how do you like my body so far?” Will asks, watching as Hannibal continues to battle with the onslaught of sensory information.

             “It’s…” he starts and stops, distracted by Will’s touches so Will rests his hand in one place. “It’s good, nearly overwhelming at times…do you always feel this much?”

             Will smiles in understanding, already feeling the ample control Hannibal’s body has. “Yes and no. But with you, definitely yes.” Will watches as Hannibal seems to finally get some of his brain power back and looks down his body, seeing his erect cock (Will’s erect cock), and watches as Hannibal reaches down and strokes a few times, testing the feeling. Will finds it a little odd to watch, it’s like watching yourself masturbate, but the sounds Hannibal makes make arousal flood to his own groin, causing him to look down as well, figuring, well, when in Rome…He grasps his cock (Hannibal’s cock), stroking a few times, feeling with interest how much different it feels with foreskin, watching as the head pokes out the top, then slides back in, how the motion spreads the pre-come evenly, almost self-lubricating, a small moan escaping him.

             A sound from Hannibal causes him to turn back, Hannibal watching him with interest. “Find something you like Will?” Will remembers him saying that before and smiles. “How are you enjoying my body?” Will feels like he says it with pride, like he is proud, and Will supposes he should be.

             “It’s wonderful.” Will knows he’s fueling his ego but it’s true, then he remembers his plan. “Hey, lay back, let me do something for you.” Hannibal lays back and Will crawls over him until he is between his legs, again having a what the fuck moment, until he shakes it off, rubbing his hands over Hannibal’s hips a few times, before grabbing his cock, leaning down, and bringing it to his mouth.

             The noise that Hannibal makes is like nothing Will has ever heard from him before, and he smiles as much as he can with a mouthful of cock, remembering firsthand how much he enjoys this. He tries to recall what Hannibal does and slowly takes more in, cautious of gagging, pleasantly surprised when he is able to take it all in, nose pressed into pubic hair. He pulls back, finding it odd on some level to be so intimate with his own cock, but instead focuses on Hannibal’s sounds of pleasure as he starts a slow rhythm. He feels Hannibal’s hands come to his hair and moans loudly at the pleasant tingling sensation it produces on his scalp. He absently recalls Hannibal enjoying that and resolves to do it for him more often. The moan must send vibrations because Hannibal arches off the bed, thrusting into his throat, moaning loudly. Will knows his body, he’s close. He slows the pace, letting him slip from his mouth, as Hannibal whimpers.

             “The Polyjuice was your birthday gift Hannibal. What do you want? I can tell you my body likes both ways equally. You inside me…me inside you…both are fantastic.” Will sees the shiver that passes over Hannibal and wonders if maybe his body does like dirty talk, even when it’s not in Hannibal’s voice? Deciding to experiment, Will gives it a try. “I could fuck you like this, slowly working you open, your long fingers feel so good, I can feel the calluses you have from your drawing.” Hannibal moans, trying to keep his eyes open and Will smiles, he’s not really even touching him right now. “Or, you could watch me finger myself open, finger your body open, then I would ride you, feeling you inside me.” Hannibal shivers in pleasure, and Will relents, waiting for his decision, knowing how worked up he gets.

             After a moment, Hannibal seems to collect himself enough to reply. “Fuck me Will, like this.” Will smiles and kisses Hannibal, both of them getting lost in the kiss for a moment, before Will pulls back, turning Hannibal over and pulling his hips up, wanting to give Hannibal something else he enjoys before they get to the main event. He takes a moment to mentally rally, before pulling his cheeks apart and licking. Will has barely a moment to ponder – am I really licking my own ass?  before he is distracted by Hannibal nearly sobbing with pleasure. Yep, that sounds about right, Will remembers it feeling pretty damn good.

             The sounds Hannibal makes normalize the disconnect he has between his visual input and what he knows is happening. Hannibal sounds like he’s falling apart and its music to Will’s ears, already heady with the power over him. After a few minutes of working him open with his tongue, he turns Hannibal back over, onto his back, and finds the lube, settling between his legs once more, leaning forward to kiss him.

             “Doing okay?” Will asks.

             Hannibal opens his eyes dreamily, “Yes, splendid.”

             Will smiles, pouring some lube over his fingers. “Ready?” Will sees his own blue eyes staring at him, flooded with want.

             “Yes, please.”

             As he reaches down, Will is again struck by the odd image before him, even though the body is different, somehow his soul still recognizes Hannibal’s. He leans down to kiss Hannibal again tenderly, seeing the emotions running rampant, how much Hannibal is feeling, as he gently inserts a finger, hearing Hannibal gasp. He’s less tentative than he normally would be, knowing this body before him. He sees the moment the discomfort fades and adds another finger, seeing his body find a rhythm, the moans coming more frequently now. He has a moment where he tries to see himself how Hannibal sees him, attractive, sexual, a thing to desire, and for a fleeting moment he thinks he sees it.

             He adds a third finger, remembering firsthand that it does hurt for a few minutes if this step is skipped. When he feels sufficiently stretched, Will pulls back with a kiss to his knee, to slick himself up. In that moment Will just reflects how easy it was to control his arousal, realizing his self-control is nothing like this and Hannibal seems to be realizing it as well.

             Hannibal watches as Will pours some more lube into his hand and slicks his cock, all of a sudden getting hit acutely with a flood of arousal, a strong pull to act now now now, the urgency difficult to ignore. He’s honestly not sure which is easier to navigate, his feelings are on 110% all the time but Hannibal’s is like getting hit with a freight train out of nowhere, strong and disorienting.

             When he feels sufficiently slicked, he reaches out and touches Hannibal’s cock, spreading the lube over him, watching as Hannibal’s eyes have to shut briefly against the onslaught of feeling. He gets them into position, and makes eye contact before pushing in, feeling surreal. Despite the wonderful feeling, he finds he can easily detach from it, allowing him to focus on accomplishing exactly what he wants to, remaining in control. He can’t help the smug smile on his face as he begins playing with angles, speeds, and force, adjusting as he recalls what he likes, what he wants Hannibal to feel. It’s a novel experience. He gradually builds the pace, from occasionally hitting his prostate lightly to bringing him closer and closer. Will debates if he wants him to come untouched or not; he has the confidence in the moment that he could make that happen and that’s a heady feeling as well, but he recalls it being intense and a little scary the first time, so he tells Hannibal to touch himself, figuring if he really wants the untouched experience he can make that happen.

             As they reach the precipice, Hannibal looks nearly overwhelmed and appreciative of the direction, reaching down to stroke himself, focusing on the new feeling of how each stroke on his cock feels. Will is enthralled watching Hannibal learn his body. Will can tell he is close and thrusts faster and harder, trying to recall what has given him the most pleasure. “Come for me Hannibal.”

             Will feels the moment he does and as he feels the ripples start around him, he is again hit full force with how close to orgasm he is, no longer able to hold it at bay, like the dam has been released, and he loses his rhythm, holding onto the body below him as they ride the experience together, eyes meeting wordlessly in the intensity, both moaning as comes inside him, feeling the warmth of Hannibal's climax between them. After the last aftershock has passed, Will collapses onto Hannibal and belatedly tries to shift some of his weight, realizing his body is heavier than he is used to wielding. He feels Hannibal hold onto him tightly, holding him in place, the sides of their faces pressed together intimately, skin hot and sweaty. They can hear each other’s breathing and feel the warm wetness between them. Will takes in all the scents, able to pick out his own arousal scent, Hannibal’s, the slightly stronger scent of their come, as well as the new scent they create together.

             Will feels himself soften and begin to slip out, kissing Hannibal tenderly before leaning back, wanting to give Hannibal once last experience. He pushes gently at his knees so they fall wider, softly touching his hole as his come leaks out. He meets Hannibal’s eyes, seeing them widen and hearing him gasp. “Will.”

             Will hears the plea and crawls up, holding him. After a few minutes, they get their wands, doing legilimency at same time, reliving the memories together from each other’s point of view. Will feels disoriented as the feelings and images merge, as if he had the experience in his own body, even though he didn’t, and feels Hannibal feeling similar things. It’s a mess of love and pleasure and if they didn’t just have sex he would be hard again.

              “I think we’re beginning to blur,” Will thinks he says that in their merged minds but he’s not 100% sure.

             “I think that’s just fine,” Will hears, and still can’t tell if he is saying it or Hannibal is saying it.

             “I don’t know if either of us can survive separation,” he hears, still unsure where it is generating form but agreeing all the same.

             He supposes it should scare him, but finds there is no room to feel fear when he is surrounded inside and out with an all-consuming love.

Chapter Text

 

             With the beginning of March comes the signup sheet for Apparition lessons, provided by the Ministry of Magic. When Will approaches the parchment to find out more, he is unpleasantly surprised to see that it costs 12 Galleons (fuck). That surprise is closely followed by another, albeit a slightly more pleasant one, seeing his name already written on the list in Hannibal’s elegant script. He laughs, seeing Hannibal’s name right above his own, of course Hannibal signed us both up. As much as Will still resents Hannibal paying for things for him, he can’t deny apparition is an extremely useful thing to learn and he is grateful. The sheet says classes are one hour every Saturday for the next twelve weeks in the Great Hall, and start next weekend.

             During the coming week, Will is finally able to lock down a day and to hang out with Beverly, her schedule quite unforgiving. They plan to have lunch on Sunday and when he tells Hannibal, Hannibal immediately offers to make them a picnic. Will is somewhat surprised to feel a smile appear on his face, for once looking forward to a social interaction.

             When Saturday morning rolls around, Will and Hannibal make their way to Great Hall at the assigned time, seeing most of the other sixth years doing the same. When they arrive, they see that all the dining tables have been removed, leaving the room eerily open, murmuring voices echoing off the walls and high ceilings. Exactly as the clock strikes eleven, there is a loud crack which causes everyone to startle and turn towards it. As it happens, Will sees Hannibal shift to place his own body between Will and the sound, seemingly unconscious of the motion. Will smiles, touched by the protective action, another piece of evidence of how much Hannibal loves him. Sometimes he still can’t believe all that has happened, in a matter of months going from being hopelessly alone to being so thoroughly loved that when he thinks about it, it causes his head to spin pleasantly, love whiplash. Despite no longer worrying Hannibal will tire of him, he still can’t help the warm fluttery feeling he gets when little signs of Hannibal’s love for him slip through into his actions subconsciously.

             Immediately following the loud sound, they see a man standing at the front of the room, presumably their instructor. As soon as the surprised murmur dies down, the man introduces himself as Wilkie Twycross, a Ministry official, who informs them that Headmaster Crawford has lifted the Anti-Apparation charm only for the hour class is in session. Will notes Wilkie has an odd aura about him, having wispy hair, transparent eyelashes, and an insubstantial air, as if a gust of wind might blow him away. They are also informed that the class is designed to prepare them to pass the Ministry test required to get a license to apparate. They are told today, the first class, will be entirely on theory, to which many of the classmates groan. A moment after, there is another (even louder) crack, causing everyone to instinctively duck and look around frantically. The class quickly realizes Wilkie has apparated from where he stood at the front of the room, to now on the complete opposite side, near the loudest of the groaners who now look sheepish. Will finds he likes this guy’s style already, smirking at Hannibal in amusement.

              Now that he has everyone’s attention, Wilkie proceeds to teach ‘The Three D’s of Apparation': Destination, Determination, and Deliberation, explaining each one in detail. This is followed by Wilkie cautioning the students on the dangers of incorrect apparition, primarily splinching, and proceeds to show very graphic pictures of those unfortunate souls to whom it has happened and this is why you need to pay attention! Following that loud outburst, class is dismissed until the following week.

 

*

 

              The next day they meet up with Beverly at the Entrance Hall, and as promised, Hannibal prepared a picnic, complete with wicker basket (where the fuck did he get that? Will wonders). Together, they all walk out towards the lake to their usual spot. Will leads the way, leaving Hannibal and Beverly to talk, recognizing that they both have been looking forward to getting to know one another. As he walks, Will takes a moment to reflect on how unlikely it is that he, Mr. Unsocial, has brought two people together. He glances back as he hears Beverly’s musical chuckle and can only imagine what Hannibal is saying to her, his charm turned up to eleven today. He has to admit he finds it cute that Hannibal wants to make a good impression on her. He supposes it makes sense as she is probably his only real friend outside of Hannibal himself.

              Will stops as they arrive at their spot, taking a moment to appreciate the nice weather. The February chill is gone, leaving blue skies, green grass, warm sun, and a gentle breeze in its wake. He turns as Hannibal and Beverly catch up to him, apparently discussing how Beverly met Will.

              “You should have seen him, all alone in the train compartment, curly hair wild and a sour look on his face.” Will frowns at the description. “Yes! Just like that!” Beverly points at him amused and he frowns more.

              “You would be sour too if you were ostracized by your peers.”

             Beverly continues her recounting of events, undeterred. “Well obviously I didn’t see why everyone was avoiding you. I just barged right in and started talking to you.” Will smiles at her description, yes, that’s about right. “I didn’t get it, you were normal.”

             “Implying I’m not normal now?” Will teases.

             “Ha. Ha. You’re hilarious,” she replies sarcastically. As this exchange is happening, Hannibal is unrolling a picnic blanket and Will’s eyes widen slightly, wondering again where Hannibal got this stuff. They sit down as Beverly continues, “So we obviously got sorted into different houses, and realized we run in different social circles-”

             “Ha. Ha. Now who’s funny? I didn’t have a social circle…back then I didn’t even have a social line segment,” Will jibes, enjoying the banter.

             “Whatever, so what I’m trying to say is we didn’t see much of each other throughout the year, but what can I say? I missed the kid. So when we took the train back at the end of term, I found him again, sitting alone in the compartment. And the rest is history! Every train ride I find him and we catch up, it’s tradition now.” She looks at Will with a smile and he returns it easily, remembering why he likes her.

             Will notes that Hannibal is now unpacking food, utensils, plates, napkins, cups, bowls, and a thermos of something. Once it’s all out, Hannibal, explains what everything is, formally gesturing at each item as he names it, “Ham and asparagus quiche, celeriac and carrot remoulade, fire-roasted tomato bisque, French bread, fresh-squeezed lemonade with mint, and for dessert blackberry clafoutis. A classic French picnic. Bon appetit.” Will smiles but is shaking his head, of course Hannibal made the fanciest picnic possible. Apparently Hannibal wasn’t kidding that he has a passion for cooking. Will thought the dinner Hannibal made on Valentine’s Day was exceptional and he is already expecting this picnic to be equally delicious. Beverly stares at all in disbelief for a moment, before looking at Hannibal, almost scrutinizing him.

             “You made all this? Seriously?” Her tone clearly implies she is skeptical. To his credit Hannibal doesn’t look offended at all, just smiles graciously.

             “I did. Cooking is a passion of mine, something I don’t get to do often being here at Hogwarts. Thankfully I have been allowed to use the kitchen here occasionally, exceptions made for special occasions.” Beverly turns to Will, look clearly saying Really?! Is he for real?

             “It’s true,” Will confirms, looking both amused and proud. He has a moment of seeing Hannibal in a new light, through Beverly’s eyes. It’s a novel sensation feeling like he’s almost showing off Hannibal. Yeah that’s right, he’s gorgeous, charming, intelligent, cooks insanely delicious meals, and is so extra he makes ridiculously fancy picnics just to make a good impression on my friend. And he’s mine. He loves me. How did I get so lucky?  Will is startled out of his daydream when a plate of food is pressed into his hand and he happily starts eating, enjoying himself fully. Will notes as Beverly accepts the plate handed to her, her eyes skate to the ring on Hannibal’s finger.

             “What’s with the ring?” She looks from Hannibal to Will, already connecting the dots. “No way. Really?” Will can’t help the smile that breaks out across his face, and Hannibal grins as well.

             “Yes really. Will gave this to me, and I intend to get him one as well.” Hannibal takes it off and hands it to Beverly, who looks it over carefully, and of course sees the inscription.

             “Oh my gosh,” Beverly puts her hand over her mouth briefly, then removes it. “You two are ridiculous, but so cute I can’t even.” She hands it back, shooting Will a look. “Alright, spill it Graham, tell me every grotesquely romantic detail. And you,” she points at Hannibal accusingly with her fork, “don’t let him leave anything out.” Hannibal holds up his hands placatingly, before making himself a plate, and Will proceeds tells the G-rated version of his “proposal,” Hannibal jumping in every now and then. As they eat, Will is not the only one with praise for the food, Beverly equally vocal on how delicious everything is. Midway through Will knocks over his bag, camera tumbling out onto the picnic blanket. Quickly realizing his fingers are covered with bisque from dripping his bread, he leaves it there.

             After the story, Beverly and Hannibal dissolve into a discussion of Quidditch, as Beverly is one of the Gryffindor Chasers, and Will sits back, sincerely enjoying himself, enjoying the internal peace and happiness that has eluded him for years. Occasionally a question is thrown his way, and he is thankful to be included, but to be honest he happy just being.

             “Hey it’s Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff this Saturday after Apparation, you guys should come and cheer me on!”

              Will looks to Hannibal, realizing he himself would like to go. They haven’t been to a match since the infamous bath incident, and he quite likes the idea of going to a game now that they are truly a couple. Seeing no objections on Hannibal’s face, he answers for them.

              “Sure, we’ll be there.”

             After about half an hour, Hannibal brings out the dessert, and Beverly’s eyes light up. Hannibal takes out the blackberry clafouti and dishes it out to everyone. Will accepts it, not having any idea what a clafouti is, but is pleasantly surprised; like everything else Hannibal cooks it tastes delicious. As Beverly takes a bite, she closes her eyes in ecstasy, a smile lighting up her face. When she opens her eyes, she aims her fork at Will and says “Will don’t ever lose him,” around a mouthful of clafouti.

             Will grins, seeing Hannibal has won over Beverly, of course. “I don’t plan to,” he says softly with a smile, looking from Beverly to Hannibal, noticing Beverly is already halfway through her portion of the clafouti.

             “And when you have a house together someday don’t forget to invite me over for dinner. This is a-maz-ing,” she says as she takes another bite. Will smiles, imagination already running wild at the suggestion, getting lost in the daydream of him and Hannibal having Beverly and her yet-to-be-determined significant other over for a fancy dinner in their home. Home. Where they sleep in the same bed every night, wake up together every morning, maybe have a dog, maybe more than one dog… Will’s not sure how long he is lost in his thoughts but is abruptly brought back at the feel of a hand on his face and Hannibal’s insistent voice.

             “Will? Will…” Will opens his eyes (when did he close them?) seeing Hannibal’s amused face filling his field of vision. He smiles at the sight, getting lost in Hannibal’s warm brown eyes, forgetting where he is and who he’s with, his world narrowing to just the two of them. He is brought out of his bubble by a click and a whir close by. Turning towards the sound, he sees Beverly lowering his camera, grinning.

             “You two are sickeningly adorable. I need to find a man who looks at me like that.” As she says this, she hands over the photo the camera spit out. Hannibal takes it, holding it where Will can see and Will blushes. He looks stupidly in love, glossy eyes, goofy smile. And Hannibal is looking at him with such pure unadulterated adoration on his face, slight quirk of his lips betraying his amusement at Will getting lost in his mind. It’s perfect but he’s a little embarrassed it being the center of everyone’s attention.

             Desiring to move the conversation away from the photo, Will says to Beverly, “I imagine you’d have your choice of most of the male student population. What happened to that guy you were with at the Yule Ball?”

             “That fool? Psshh, he’s like the rest of them at this school. Fine for a good time, but not exactly sweeping me off my feet. Nah, I’m hoping there’s more out there beyond Hogwarts, because the guys I see here are idiots, present company excluded. I mean, am I wrong? If you two didn’t have each other, would you see any guys here as seriously date-able?”

              Hannibal is first to answer, tone perfectly serious and with finality. “No, not a one.” Will laughs, warmed by being the exception.

              “No” he agrees, secretly conceding he never considered any of the male student population for dating, but as he considers them now, he agrees. Ugh, no.

              “Beverly, I have no doubt in my mind that you will find someone worthy of you someday. Regretfully, I agree it will likely not be here,” Hannibal says and Beverly laughs.

              “Yeah, you punk, you swoop in from another school with your accent and fancy cooking and take away the only decent guy here,” Beverly teases, winking at Will. Will smiles back, appreciating the compliment for what it is. He knows neither of them would want that in reality.

             Hannibal appears to take a moment to formulate a response, before looking directly at Will, smirking. “Yes, I suppose I did, didn’t I?”

 

*

 

             Midway through March, the weather becomes decidedly less cold, bordering on warm and pleasant, so Hannibal suggests they try to see if Patroclus can indeed hunt for fish in the lake. This leads to a discussion on what Patroclus would be fishing for, as both of them are unsure if there are regular fish in the lake, or if the lake solely contains magical creatures. A brief inspection of the lake suggests that there do appear to be non-magical fish in it. Okay, so far so good.

             Once it’s decided, they summon Patroclus, hoping his natural instinct will take over, being this close to the water. What they didn’t count on is Patroclus’s naturally subservient nature, him sitting pleasantly on Will’s arm, waiting for instruction. Will suspects if he saw them fishing he might catch on, but as they have no fishing gear (and aren’t technically allowed), he gives up for the time being.

             As they are turning back, Will says, “It’s just as well. What would we have done with a fish anyway?” To this Hannibal replies of course he would cook it for them, and that has Will doubling down on coaxing Patroclus to fish. In a bid of desperation, Will tries summoning a fish out of the lake briefly, then throwing it back in in the oddest game of fetch he has ever attempted to play while seeing Hannibal trying not to laugh at him, watching him from further back. Somehow seeing Hannibal’s skepticism makes Will that much more determined to succeed (and then rub it in Hannibal’s face). After a while, Will’s patience pays off as Patroclus, who had been circling above, dives dramatically, taloned feet dipping into the lake. Will waits with baited breath, watching his large wings flap frantically as he rises back into the air clutching a fish! Well I’ll be damned it worked! Take that Hannibal.

             Will summons Patroclus who lands on his outstretched arm and drops the fish at Will’s feet, looking as pleased as an owl can. Will smiles, satisfied his effort paid off. He turns back to see Hannibal who still looks like he’s internally laughing at him. In that moment Will wants to wipe the smirk off of his face, so he picks up the fish and throws it at him. Hannibal, not expecting this, gets ‘fish slapped’ for lack of a better word as it catches him near the jaw, his arms not coming up in time. Now Will is the one trying not to laugh as he walks over to him, mentally gloating.

             To his credit, Hannibal recovers quickly, eyeing the fish at his feet and wiping his face with a moue of distaste on his lips; mission accomplished  Will thinks, the smirk is gone. Will releases Patroclus back to the owl tower as he arrives at Hannibal, who is looking at him with narrowed eyes. Will waits, curious what will happen, it’s not often Hannibal is sincerely angry with him and he wonders for a moment if this is one of those times. Deciding to test the waters, Will reaches up to Hannibal’s face, wiping off some of the lake water off with this thumb. Finding no resistance, Will holds Hannibal’s face in place as he leans in and kisses him. Hannibal allows it but Will can sense the tension in his body, suggesting all is not forgiven.

             Against his lips, Will says, “Even with fish mouth I still want to kiss you, that’s love.” Will feels Hannibal take in a breath that sounds irritated so he changes gears, humor obviously not the way to go. “Hey, I’m sorry I threw a fish at you. Let me make it up to you, hmm?” Will looks him in the eye as he gently guides Hannibal to walk backwards towards the Forbidden Forest. Will steers him towards a large tree, pressing his back up against it, both of them out of sight of the castle.

             Will kisses him again, pressing his body to Hannibal’s intimately, still feeling the tension but no true resistance. If Will had to guess, Hannibal’s curiosity about what he will do wins out over any irritation he might have. He breaks the kiss, trailing kisses down Hannibal’s neck, pulling back after a moment. He takes a breath as he looks at Hannibal, eyes still defiant but a small smirk to his lips, cheek flushed from Will’s attention. In that moment Will makes a decision, watching with satisfaction as Hannibal’s eyes widen when he kneels on the patchy grass before him, proceeding to undo Hannibal’s belt and zipper. Throughout this Will maintains eye contact with him, trying to make his gaze appear repentant but he suspects it probably lands somewhere closer to challenging and mischievous. Hannibal makes no move to stop him, but Will thinks he sees his breath come quicker in anticipation. Will reaches in, finding Hannibal semi hard and strokes him a few times, watching his face, both of them realizing how very public they are despite the cover of the forest. Will secretly hopes no creatures or centaurs happen upon them.

             Will sees Hannibal’s breath come faster as he hardens under his ministrations. As he works him, Will finds himself getting hard as well, the thrill from the risk of being caught getting to him, the occasional nature sounds reminding him precisely where they are. Without breaking eye contact, Will slides the foreskin down and brings the tip to his mouth, sucking it in gently, watching Hannibal’s face, the incredulity and pleasure on it. He continues to take more and more in, gently licking and sucking, setting up a rhythm, bobbing his head. He feels as Hannibal brings his hands to his hair, holding but not forcing, occasionally stroking his fingers over Will’s jaw, his throat. When Will starts to reach his gagging point, he reluctantly pulls back, wishing he had Hannibal’s ability to do that. Instead Will pumps the base with one hand, the other hand resting on Hannibal’s clothed hip. For some reason the feel of the cloth under his hands reminds him how public they are, how they both are mostly fully dressed, and he moans, feeling his own arousal hitch up higher, pants feeling tight, breath coming quicker through his nose, smelling Hannibal’s arousal. The vibrations cause Hannibal to gasp and thrust slightly into his mouth. Will takes that as a cue to pick up the pace, doubling down on his efforts, licking, sucking, stroking.

             With every sound he hears - a bird call, a splash from the lake, a frog croaking - Will finds himself getting more and more turned on, all reminding him exactly where they are and what they are doing. Will can feel his own cock is hard and leaking in his pants. He takes his hand from Hannibal’s hip to palm himself, trying to take the edge off, but it backfires as he finds himself undoing his belt one-handed and slipping his hand inside, pulling his cock out into the spring air and stroking as he continues to suck Hannibal.

             He looks up as he hears Hannibal moan above him, seeing Hannibal looking at him with unadulterated lust, he looks close, Will thinks. Both of Will’s hands speed up of their own accord, his moans coming nearly nonstop and Hannibal is moaning along with him, trying not to thrust but failing. Will feels the hands in his hair tighten as a warning, followed shortly by Hannibal saying “Will, I’m—ahh” and Will feels the bitter liquid start to fill his mouth in quick spurts, still too fast for him to swallow, his own hand flying over his dick, chasing his own pleasure. As his own orgasm starts to overtake him, he takes a breath, Hannibal slipping from his mouth, and Will feels warm wetness hit his face right before his own orgasm crashes over him.  

             After the wave of pleasure has passed, it takes Will a moment to come back to reality and assess the situation. He looks up seeing Hannibal leaning on the tree, looking wrecked in the best way, hair falling over his face, breathing hard, pants still open, staring at will in awe. Will realizes he is still kneeling on the ground, hand covered in come, dick out, and he feels a tickle on his face. He reaches up with his other hand and realizes Hannibal has come on his face. Huh. He’s not sure how he feels about that, but one thing at a time. Hannibal offers him a hand and Will takes it with the cleaner of his two hands. As he stands Hannibal doesn’t let go, pulling him into a kiss, Will turning his head slightly, figuring it’s probably rude to smear your partner’s come back on their face after an apology blow job. When he pulls back, there’s a smile on Hannibal’s face and he says, “Apology accepted.” Will barks out a laugh, shaking his head, then uses his wand to clean up, as both of them redo their pants.

             When they walk back to the lake to look for the fish, it’s gone. They both agree it’s likely an owl saw an easy meal and picked it up. Will doesn’t suggest they try again and neither does Hannibal.

 

*

             

             The following Saturday, the weather is near perfect. Blue skies, fluffy white clouds, warm sun, and a light breeze. Perfect Quidditch weather. Will and Hannibal make their way to the Gryffindor side of the stands, and Will has a few moments wondering if he made the right decision coming here, having to duck under a large lion headpiece that roars on demand, but in the end they find an acceptable spot to watch the game.

             As they wait for the players to come onto the field, Will leans against Hannibal, thinking back to the last time they were at a Quidditch game, how times have changed. He feels Hannibal’s arm snake around his waist and smiles. Just then the players start to come out onto the field and he sees Beverly, decked out in her Quidditch garb. Shortly after, the game begins, players shooting up into the air like rockets as the quaffle is tossed. Instantly they all begin zooming all around the Quidditch pitch, Will’s eyes not quite knowing where to look. For a moment he tries to follow the snitch but he loses it a second later. After that he tries to follow Beverly as best as he can. The game is more captivating to watch than Will expected, not sure if it has to do with having a friend playing or the actual quality of the game, points being scored every few minutes keeping everyone on their toes. Will finds he’s quite impressed with Beverly’s skill, she’s ruthless. He cringes as she gets hit hard in the shoulder by a Hufflepuff, her teammate having failed to protect her. She’s in freefall for a millisecond before she rights herself, scanning the area and taking off towards the quaffle. Will feels his respect for her growing, he always knew she was tough but this is another level of tough. He glances at Hannibal who looks impressed as well.

             Midway through the game, Hannibal excuses himself to the restroom. Will stays, loyalty to Beverly winning over having Hannibal at his side all the time. He continues watching the game, until he feels a presence at his side, turning and seeing none other than Franklyn, huffing and puffing, pink in the face, presumably from running from the Hufflepuff side, yellow garb standing out in stark contrast to the sea of red around them.

             “Hi Will!” he says somewhat short of breath but excited. Yippee Will thinks sarcastically, eyes already scanning for Hannibal to scare him off.

             “Hi Franklyn,” Will reluctantly says as he turns his attention back to the game, hoping Franklyn will take the hint, deep down knowing he won’t.

             “I didn’t know you came to Quidditch games! I’ve never seen you at one before.”

             “I don’t usually. I’m here to support Beverly.”

             “Oh…that’s nice. So Will, I know we never really got to properly talk after the herbology incident, as I’ve taken to calling it, and I just wanted to thank you again for saving me. I feel like I owe you a great debt.”

             Will keeps his eyes on the game. He’s known for being socially awkward and rude, and figures he might as well capitalize on that. “It’s fine Franklyn, you don’t owe me anything.” Will’s eyes scan the crowd again for Hannibal.

             “Nonsense Will! I meant it when I said if there was anything I could do for you…although come to think of it, I don’t know what I could do for you…do you like cheese? My uncle is a fromager…that’s French for cheese merchant-”

             Will turns to Franklyn, staring at him directly, getting more irritated by the second, hoping his intense glare will scare him off. I can be as scary as Hannibal if I want to. “Seriously Franklyn. We’re good. Now if you’ll excuse me.” Will turns back to the game, hoping that’s the end of it.

             “Oh yes, okay, I’m sorry, I understand. I’ve been told sometimes I don’t know when to stop...I guess this is one of those times hehehe-” Will has had enough, irritation sailing past the breaking point. Pretending to place a friendly hand on Franklyn’s shoulder, aware of the many other students around them, Will grabs the back of his shirt in his fist and lifts, making Franklyn’s eyes go wide in fear as the front of his shirt hints at choking him. Will secretly feels a rush of power at the vision, fleeting images of punching Franklyn floating through his mind. Will tries to let all his emotions show on his face, irritation, anger, glee at the thought of bringing harm to Franklyn, letting his eyes show how close he is to giving in. He supposes he must look crazy, psychotic, but right now it serves his agenda which is get rid of Franklyn.

             In a low voice so no one but Franklyn will hear, Will says, “Don’t say another word. If you do you’ll regret it.” Will tightens his fist, collar digging in to Franklyn’s throat in earnest, and Franklyn looks terrified. Voice dead of emotion, Will lets go, Franklyn’s hands flying up to his throat out of reflex as Will levels another glare at him. “Leave.”

             Franklyn seems rooted to the spot in fear for a moment before taking a few steps back, bumping in to a few fellow students, before turning and making a hasty retreat, looking back every few steps as if to make sure Will isn’t following him, bumping into more people in the process.

             Will can feel the rage still bubbling inside of him, waiting to be let out. Where the fuck is Hannibal? It can’t take that long to use the restroom. Will turns to scan the crowd again and sees Hannibal about ten feet away watching him with an amused smirk on his face. Oh no fucking way. Will stalks towards him, irritation evident in his expression. As he gets closer, instead of Hannibal looking concerned, he grins more, which fans the flames of Will’s anger. When he arrives in front of him, Will demands, “How long have you been standing there?”

             Calmly Hannibal replies, “Not long.”

             “Bullshit. Did you leave me alone with Franklyn on purpose?”

             “How could I have known Franklyn was going to approach you after I left?”

             “Tread carefully Hannibal, I’m not in the mood. That’s not what I asked.”

             “When I arrived back from the restroom you were already engaged talking with him. I thought I would give you some privacy.”


              “Like hell you did, don’t lie me Hannibal.”

             “It’s no secret Franklyn’s…trepidation around me. I thought I would wait for you two to finish before I approached you.”

             Will has an epiphany. “You were curious what would happen. Curious what I would do…and you had a front row seat.” Will is feels his anger ratchet up higher.

             “I will admit that is also true, but it doesn’t negate my former statement.” Hannibal puts his hand on Will’s shoulder and Will shrugs it off, knowing he’s being childish but unable to stop it, the anger bubbling over, even more irritated that Hannibal is taking it in stride, not looking even remotely hurt. And right now Will wants to hurt something. “You clearly had the situation under control.” Will takes a breath, trying to corral his emotions as Hannibal leans into his personal space, speaking directly into his hear in breathy whisper, “And I must admit to being aroused by that threatening display you put on, your scent is positively electric right now, like a spark ready to ignite.”

             Will closes his eyes against the onslaught of Hannibal’s words, feeling the arousal course through him almost against his will. He feels like he doesn’t have enough room inside of himself to feel more emotions and yet that is exactly what he feels happening, trousers tightening. Will feels Hannibal lay a hand on his shoulder again, and this time he doesn’t shrug it off as Hannibal speaks to him again. “Let me make it up to you, hmm?” making a show of using Will’s phrase from their time at the lake, intention clear. Will’s eyes fly open as he feels Hannibal’s other hand palm his crotch briefly, feeling himself harden even more, very aware of all the students around them. Hannibal must see that he’s won because he slides his hand down from Will’s shoulder to his hand, lacing their fingers together and leading him out of the stands.

             Will allows himself to be led, noting with interest that instead of leaving the stands, Hannibal makes an unexpected turn past the restrooms. He watches with interest as Hannibal lifts the edge of canvas material, and all of a sudden they are underneath the Quidditch stands, wood slats visible above them, sounds of the game audible. Cracking a small smile, Will asks, “So what did you have in m-”

             Will is cut off by Hannibal kissing him roughly, forcing him backwards until he is up against one of the wooden beams, grunting a little as his body makes contact, feeling the anger start to ebb away from the physicality of the contact. Hannibal keeps kissing him and Will starts to get lost in the kiss, noticing almost belatedly as Hannibal grabs his hands, bringing them above his head, encouraging him to hold on to a beam there. Will does, curious, holding on, and finds he has leverage to press his body into Hannibal’s quite easily like this, letting out a moan as their hardness’s rub against one another's through their clothes. He hears cheers erupt from the stands, remembering where they are and Will can feel his cheeks color in both embarrassment and arousal.

             Hannibal breaks the kiss, smiling at Will knowingly, as he kisses his neck, hands sliding down his sides, then starts to undo his belt and pants. Will moans again at the realization of how far this is going to go here. The forest was one thing, there wasn’t a human within half a mile of them but here? There are many people here. Will feels Hannibal free his aching cock, stroking it a few times and whimpers, getting lost in the pleasure and the thrill. Will feels himself relinquishing control of this to Hannibal, being swept along in the pleasure he is giving him. Hannibal sends him a devilish grin, a dangerous smile with teeth, before he kisses Will once more and drops to his knees. Will whimpers again at the sight before him, glad he’s holding onto the beam above him as he’s not sure if his knees would have given out. Hannibal looks positively wicked and totally smug, knowing exactly what he’s doing to Will and Will loves it right now, the anticipation is delicious.

             Will watches, rapt, as Hannibal takes his cock in hand and sucks him in in one go, other hand at his hip. “Oh fuck, Hannibal..” There’s no teasing, Hannibal starts a slow pace, varying his techniques, sucking and hollowing his cheeks, licking, bobbing his head and Will can’t stop the stream of obscenities and pleas emanating from his mouth. “Oh god, fuck, Hannibal, oh, oh, please, yes, ah, shit, yes…” Will feels Hannibal increasing the pace, and a moment later feels Hannibal change gears, getting his attention. Will looks down as Hannibal motions for one of Will’s hands. Will releases one hand and watches as Hannibal places it on his head. Then the hand at Will’s hip pulls and pushes, and Will gets the idea. Hannibal is allowing him to thrust into his mouth. “Oh fuck.” He has to close his eyes for a moment, holy fucking hell he's going to be the death of me and I don't even care.

             Will does a small experimental thrust, finding holding the beam above gives him good control and leverage. He does it again, a little deeper and feels as Hannibal’s other hand leaves the base of his cock, coming to rest on his other hip, encouraging Will to move. Will feels lost in a haze of lust and starts up a rhythm, progressively losing caution, thrusting deeper and deeper, chasing his release, feeling the head hit the back of Hannibal’s throat. He feels Hannibal’s hands come to his ass, pulling forward, and Will loses it, thrusting a few more times before he comes down Hannibal’s throat, lost in a sea of pleasure, body alight. As he begins to return to his senses, Will feels one of the hands leave his ass and watches through lidded eyes, still riding the aftershocks of his orgasm, as Hannibal rubs the heel of his hand against his crotch, once, twice, then he groans around Will’s softening cock still in his mouth. Will whimpers at the sight and the sensitivity, threading the fingers of his hand on Hannibal’s head through his hair, eliciting another groan from Hannibal.  

             Will is adrift in a sea of satiety, sharing the afterglow with Hannibal in their own private bubble until it is popped when he hears an eruption of cheering from the stands and remembers exactly where they are, cheeks coloring again. He looks down as Hannibal releases him from his mouth, looking pleasantly debauched, saliva on his chin, hair mussed from Will's fingers, flush to his skin. Releasing his grip on the beam, Will tucks himself back in and does up his pants, then pulls Hannibal up, threading his arms around him lazily but insistently and kissing him. Will feels Hannibal’s warm body against his, mouth warm and what is that taste? Oh! Will blushes all over again realizing he is tasting himself in Hannibal’s mouth. He must freeze briefly because he feels Hannibal’s hands come up to cradle his face, slowing the kiss before pulling back. Will shyly meets his eyes, Hannibal’s smile contagious, and he finds himself saying, “Apology accepted.” They both laugh, and then Will gestures his eyes downwards. “Did you…?”

             Hannibal grins, “Yes, speaking of…” He gets out his wand and does a cleaning spell. They hear another burst of cheering from outside. “Well, shall we watch the end of the game?”

             Will can’t help the grin across his face, accepting his hand. “Sure, let’s go.”

 

*

 

             The following Monday afternoon in Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor Quirrell announces that the topic for the day is boggarts. Will continues to look at Quirrell with disdain, but tries not to let it hinder his learning, despite the source. When the topic is announced Will has to admit he’s curious, seeing as how the boggart will transform into each person’s worst fear. It promises to be a fascinating glimpse into his classmates’ psyches, and the dark part inside of him plans to file away each person’s fear in case he ever needs it, Bedelia’s and Neal’s in particular.

             Will spares a moment wondering what his worst fear will be. For the longest time his biggest fear was losing control of himself over to his dark side, enjoying killing, and the image pops into his head of the boggart turning into him standing over a dead body covered in blood. Well that would surely ostracize him from his classmates even more than he already is; he wonders if that happened if Quirrell would be forced to have him committed? Maybe he could argue that that is his fear, meaning he does NOT want that? But he also thinks that since being with Hannibal he isn’t as afraid of that as he once was. It’s still a fear, him not quite knowing where the lines are, but it doesn’t feel as scary a thought as it once was which makes him wonder what his greatest fear is…?

             His attention is pulled back to the present as Quirrell starts teaching them the spell, Riddikulus! A unique feature of this spell is that you not only have to have wandwork and the incantation down, but you also have to look at what’s in front of you, your worst fear, and come up with something humorous to transform it into, must laugh at the boggart to submit it. What a psychological creature. Will absently wonders if after he graduates if he would like to study them…or have one to unleash upon enemies…he’s already beginning to wonder what it would be like to keep one when his attention is again pulled back to the present by Quirrell struggling to roll out dusty ornate cabinet from the back of the classroom. Occasionally the cabinet shakes and rattles which makes him startle, slowing the process.

             Once Quirrell gets the cabinet to the middle of the room, he asks everyone to stand in a semi-circle around it so they can see, but to not get too close as the boggart will focus on the person physically closest to it. They all do and Will realizes excitedly that he is going to get to see what Quirrell is most afraid of, this could be very helpful to their plan. Quirrell shows them the spell a few more times, then releases the latch on the cabinet. As he does, a shapeless smoke starts to pour out and immediately begins to shift and swirl, forming the shape of a man with no identifiable features, but clearly holding a knife and stalking towards Quirrell with murderous intent. Quirrell looks terrified before he seems to remember his purpose and waves his wand saying “R-r-riddikulus!” Immediately the figure becomes the generic white person on muggle bathroom signs, complete in two dimensional glory and falls over in a ribbonous heap. The class laughs of course which makes it sag further, and with another wave of his wand Quirrell forces the creature back into the cabinet and does the latch. “Alright everyone line up here, I will be standing by in case anyone can’t handle what it becomes. Pl-please everyone be respectful.”

             Will gets in line and watches as one by one his Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff classmates tackle the boggart. Most are the expected things people fear, and Will is amused by what they are transformed into: snakes (balloon animals), a beehive and bees (a pinata spilling candy), spiders (confetti), dentist with scary dental chair and equipment (plumber complete with butt crack and toilet), being teased/bullied (bullies become in their underwear and embarrassed), being burned alive/fire (fireworks zooming all around), and zombies (dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller – Will looks over in interest suspecting Peter Bernardone must have muggle parents). A few of the fears are not immediately apparent what they are to the class as the boggart encloses the student, obscuring them from view until they are defeated. It is explained after that one is claustrophobia where the boggart formed walls closing in which then dissolved into strips of peeling wallpaper. Another time the student became encased in what looked like a floating blob of water, which ended up being fear of drowning, which then dissolved into those colorful plastic balls from muggle child ball pits.

             When it’s Jimmy Price’s turn, the boggart encases him so the class is again forced to wait until he defeats it. When he emerges, he looks pale but was successful. He explains it was fear of heights manifested as himself teetering on the edge of a tall cliff. He defeated it by making the scene before him become the cover of a post card which fell to the floor as he became visible again. After Jimmy, it’s Brian Zeller’s turn. This time the boggart takes the form of a really fucking creepy clown, and Will finds even though he’s not afraid of clowns, he recoils from it. Brian hesitates for a moment before doing the spell, turning the clown into Santa Claus, to which the class laughs.

             When it’s Franklyn’s turn, Will wonders with some amusement if it will become himself or Hannibal. That would be awkward. To everyone’s surprise, the boggart becomes Professor Snape which causes some laughter before Franklyn can even do the spell and Will snorts, watching as Franklyn seems to struggle with what to do. Professor Quirrell ends up stepping in to give him a suggestion whispered into his ear, and the next thing everyone sees is Professor Snape dressed in elderly women’s clothing, compete with feathered hat and pink handbag. The class erupts in laughter and Will suspects next Potions class is going to be extra tough, as word of this will undoubtedly get to Snape.

              Will watches with interest as Bedelia is next in line. As she approaches it, the boggart shifts for a moment before turning a dark red color and then all of a sudden there is blood everywhere - the floor and ceiling both oozing and dripping bright red blood. Quickly Bedelia is covered in it just like in the muggle movie Carrie, dripping from her in a creepy cadence, complete with metallic smell. Barely a second passes before Bedelia has fainted, passed out on the floor. Shortly after the blood recedes, becoming the formless mist again. Quirrell instruct two of Bedelia’s friends to help take her to the hospital wing while he corrals the boggart, the whole class murmuring as they leave.

             Neal is next up and the boggart transforms into a giant cockroach. Will finds himself happy for Neal that the boggart didn’t reveal his fear of being gay; Will may not like the guy but that would be an awful way to be outed. Neal looks ill but to his credit, despite his green-tinged, pale appearance, he waves his wand saying “Riddikulus!” and suddenly the cockroach gets roller skates on all six of its feet, slipping and sliding all over. Of course everyone laughs and now its Will’s turn.

             Will starts to feel apprehensive as he approaches the cabinet, more for the unknown; he wishes he could do this in private and mentally curses himself that he didn’t think to ask as the latch is released. He raises his wand and watches as the smoke seems to assess him for a moment, pierce into his mind, and he briefly wonders if occlumency would be a good defense against this thing. Unfortunately he has no time to try it, for the smoke begins to move and take the shape of a man. Will has a split second worry it’s going to become himself standing over a dead body, but as he watches, the frame it takes on is larger than him, but it looks familiar… Soon after it becomes clear it is Hannibal and Will is confused, he’s not afraid of Hannibal, he knows he should be but that’s another issue entirely. Just as he has that thought, the Hannibal in front of him collapses, blood starting to ooze out from unseen wounds, and the life slips from his eyes, body slumping down lifelessly to the floor, clearly dead, skin pallor becoming gray. Without thinking, Will rushes forward, forgetting that it’s not real, too struck to the core at seeing Hannibal dead in front of him, feeling like his world is crumbling down around him. He feels a panic attack at the edges of his consciousness, can tell he isn’t thinking clearly but can’t reign it in any more than someone can grasp smoke out of air. Will drops to his knees and reaches out to try to shake Hannibal, help him, something, anything, and feels himself being held back. He fights against the restraint, feeling his elbows connecting violently to his restrainers but to no avail, and watches as Hannibal starts to dissolve into nothingness, beyond his help, gone, becoming wispy smoke. He panics, unwilling to lose Hannibal, and fights harder, before he sees a flash of red light and blacks out.

             Will wakes an undetermined amount of time later in the hospital wing, confused for a moment until events come flooding back to him and he bolts upright, eyes flitting around the room. He sees Madame Pomfry walking towards him and she pushes him back down gently. Will goes, still disoriented, and hears her say, “That must have been some boggart Mr. Graham, to get you so worked up. Lay back please.” She fusses at him as Will digests this information…boggart, yes…so what he saw…wasn’t real?

             “It wasn’t real?” Will can’t help how small and pathetic his voice sounds.

             “No dear, it wasn’t real, and there’s nothing for you to feel ashamed about, facing your worst fear is no easy task. Every year we get students who get overwhelmed, and I’ll tell you what, all of them overcome it. I’ve never seen a student fail based on a boggart. They have a loud bark but no bite I tell you.” Will takes in her soothing tone, feeling some of the tension leave him.

             “How did I get here?”

             “Your friends Mr. Price and Mr. Zeller carried you up here. The note from Professor Quirrell said you were fighting so hard he had to use a stunning spell on you, my word, just when I think I’ve heard everything, you must have been fighting for your life, poor dear. Imagine that, a professor using a stunning spell on a student…” She tsks some more as she continues her task. Will takes this in but is still feeling unsettled, and he realizes he knows exactly what he needs to get his equilibrium back.

             “May I go?” Will feels her assessing gaze looking him over.

             “You feelin better now?”

             “Yes, a little embarrassed but I feel fine really.”

             “Okay, yes, you may go. You want a pass dear?”

             “No I’m fine, thanks.” Will gets up, legs feeling shaky from the receding adrenaline, but determinedly walks out of the hospital wing. Once cleared of the area, he starts running towards the greenhouses, knowing that is where Hannibal should be, not wanting to wait until class is out to see him, his mind craving the proof that what he saw wasn’t real. He slows his run as he approaches, all of a sudden not sure what to do. Should he barge in to their class? Pretend he is removing Hannibal from class as a Prefect? Maybe he should have accepted that pass from Madame Pomfry. Not feeling confident in a decision and still not thinking clearly, he creeps around the back, trying to peek in the windows.

             As he looks, Will can tell they are working on Snargaluff pods, the students being instructed to work together in groups to extract the grapefruit sized pulsating pods, then dump the contents into bowls. Since the Snargaluff plants have thorn covered vines that attack, they are best handled by more than one person. Rounding the corner, he sees Hannibal’s blonde hair and instantly feels some relief washing over him. As he gets closer, he sees Hannibal is working with Chiyoh, Abigail, and Freddie. Will feels calmer already, seeing Hannibal alive and well, and knows he will feel even better once he can experience him with all his other senses.

             Will continues to watch, basking in the proof that Hannibal is alive. As the only male in the group, Hannibal seems to be taking the brunt of the work, Abigail looking repulsed and Freddie looking bored, although Chiyoh bravely grabs the pods when Hannibal holds the vines back. Inside the pods are tubers that wiggle like pale green worms, which will eventually be crushed into juice. Will continues to watch, figuring there’s no easy way to discreetly extract Hannibal, and contents himself to watch from afar until the end of class.

             Will notes with some distaste as another classmate at the station near Hannibal occasionally glances over and all but leers at him, particularly when Hannibal bends over, and Will instantly decides he doesn’t like this guy. The dislike intensifies when said guy lays a hand on Hannibal’s shoulder to get his attention, asking to be handed another bowl for his group, and has the audacity to leave his hand there and leer as Hannibal leans over to grab the requested bowl. Will watches as he accepts it, then pats Hannibal on the back amicably before returning to his station. Hannibal remains polite throughout the whole exchange and in that moment, Will is thankful Hannibal chooses to wear the ring he got him. It may not stop all unwanted advances, but its present when he is not.

             Finally class ends, the girls first out the door, and Hannibal, ever polite, stays back cleaning up their station. Will is about to call out to him through the window when that guy approaches Hannibal, again placing his hand on his shoulder in an overly friendly (almost flirty) way.  

             "Hey Hannibal, some friends and I are going to sneak out to Hogsmeade tonight, you wanna go?” His eyebrows waggle in almost a comical fashion which Will would normally be amused by, but right now is definitely not. Hannibal turns to him as he puts his bag on.

             “Thank you for the invitation Anthony, but I have other plans.” This does not seem to dissuade Anthony in the slightest.

             “You can bring your Prefect friend, if that’s the issue, as long as he won’t rat us out. My buddy found a passage beneath the one-eyed witch statue near the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, supposedly takes you to the cellar of Honeydukes.” Hannibal listens politely before responding.

             “If you are referring to Will Graham, he is in fact my fiancée. And I will have to decline the invitation this time, apologies.” Will’s heart flutters happily and watches as Hannibal turns to go but is stopped as Anthony pulls him back, hand tightening on his shoulder.

             “Wait wait wait…fiancée? You’re only seventeen…” Anthony’s eyes fly to Hannibal’s and hand and he visibly gawks, noticing the ring. That’s right Anthony fuck you. Will feels like he’s his own cheering section. Hannibal continues his calm tone.

             “There are no rules when it comes to love Anthony, every love is unique.” Anthony seems to not have an immediate response to this but then rallies.

             “Of course, yes, but I mean, aren’t you worried? We’re young, have our whole lives in front of us. How can you be sure he's the one?” Will can hear, to his credit, Anthony seems to have no intention of trying to dissuade Hannibal, only curiosity. He can tell Anthony respects Hannibal and Will feels a little bad villainizing him so quickly.

             “Worried? No, not at all. The most beautiful quality of a true relationship is to understand and be understood with absolute clarity. There is no one I desire more and I have no fear of missing out on anything, as I have everything I could ever want, more than I ever thought I could have.” Hannibal’s expression softens as he speaks and Will melts, as Anthony looks surprised but smiles.

             “Wow! Well good for you man. Seriously. Fuck, that’s deep. Well, if you change your mind, you and your fiancée are welcome to join us, six o’clock. And for the record…” Here he leans in, speaking directly into Hannibal’s ear and Will’s animal hind brain screams jealous rage, but as quick as he started, it’s over and he’s releasing Hannibal with one more overly friendly pat to the back. “Think about it my man, later Hannibal.” And with that he waves and walks out of the greenhouse.

             Will looks back to Hannibal who looks somewhere between shocked and embarrassed, looking after Anthony, seemingly frozen in place. Will’s curiosity is piqued, and he calls out, “Hey!” Hannibal turns quickly, startled, and Will sees him try to puzzle out what’s happening. “Come out here, please.” It sounds needy but he still needs the reassurance and sees Hannibal spring into action, grabbing his bag and quickly making his way out of the greenhouse.

             They meet up halfway around the side and Hannibal has barely said, “Will, is everything okay?” before Will has grabbed him around the middle, hugging him fiercely, nuzzling into his throat, smelling his smell, feeling his warmth, hearing his heartbeat, all soothing away the images of Hannibal dead which has been burned into his mind. He takes a few deep breaths and feels Hannibal’s arms come around him automatically, holding him, one hand lightly against his head and he soaks in the comfort. “Will?” Will feels his name spoken against his temple, lightly and with concern. “Why do you smell like the hospital wing?” Will smiles and pulls back slightly, already feeling more like himself, irrefutable proof in his arms that Hannibal is alive and well.

             “It’s a long story, wanna get out of here?” Hannibal nods distractedly and Will can feel his curiosity but takes his hand in his and leads them out to their spot by the lake. Once seated, Will relays the events of Defense Against the Dark Arts class. As he does he notes Hannibal’s face is unusually expressive, smiling darkly at Will’s old fear of standing bloody over a murdered corpse, touched on the verge of tears at Will’s actual fear of Hannibal dead, near rage at hearing that Quirrell hit Will with a stunning spell, and gratitude that Price and Zeller once again took care of Will. Once done, Will watches Hannibal processing the information. “Oh and I got to see Quirrell’s worst fear, it looks like the shape of a man with a knife. What do you think it means?” After a beat, Will sees Hannibal smile menacingly and a thought occurs to him. “No…you don’t think it’s you do you?” Hannibal smiles showing his teeth, looking darkly pleased.

             “It’s entirely possible, he saw his two associates die by my hand, albeit one was with a wand, not a knife, and its likely he heard the news of his other associate at Durmstrang being murdered with a knife. If I were him, I would fear for my life too, knowing I was the last one left.” Will thinks Hannibal looks entirely too pleased by this.

             “You have Defense Against the Dark Arts tomorrow right? He should demonstrate for your class so you can see it. Hey, what do you think the boggart will become for you?” Will asks and Hannibal seems to ponder this for a moment.

             “I’m not sure…”

             At that moment Will remembers the interaction he witnessed in the greenhouse. “Hey, um, as I was waiting for you I kinda overheard you speaking with that guy Anthony…” Will realizes he sounds like a crazy stalker but it’s too late to backpedal now.

             “How long were you out there?” Hannibal seems to put two and two together.

             “Umm…since the middle of class. I came straight from the hospital wing, I needed to see you…alive.” Will can’t meet his eyes, looking down at his lap, embarrassed all over again. He feels s Hannibal scoots closer to him, wrapping his arms around him. Will leans in, still relishing the contact, the memory still vivid in his mind.

             “Oh Will, why didn’t you get my attention?” Will feels Hannibal stroking his back.

             “I wasn’t thinking clearly, I didn’t want a scene, and you were surrounded by people….”

             “Will,” Hannibal lowers his gaze to look him straight in the eye, “They are all inconsequential, please, if there is a next time, don’t wait. Send your owl. Or legilimens me.” Will hadn’t thought of either of those options and feels a little stupid.

             “Yes, okay.”

             “…and in regards to Anthony-” Will cuts him off.

             “I’m sorry for eavesdropping, but what you said…about me…I feel the same way Hannibal, it was so beautiful what you said, I was touched.”

             Will sees Hannibal smile gently, “I meant every word.” They continue holding one another, relishing in the intimacy, until Will remembers, “So what did he say to you? At the end?” At the question, Hannibal pulls back, getting that odd look on his face again.

             After a moment Hannibal speaks, “He um…made us an offer…”

             Will is confused. “An offer?”

             Hannibal pauses again, apparently choosing his words carefully, then sighs, resigned. “I believe his exact words were, ‘if you and your fiancée ever want a third participant to spice things up, let me know.’” Will stares at Hannibal in disbelief, whatever he had expected to hear it was not that. He now understands the strange look on Hannibal’s face.

             “I don’t know if I’m angry of flattered….” Will says.

             Hannibal looks at him pointedly, “Is that something you would want?”

             Will looks aghast, “What? No, no. It was hard enough watching him touch you while he was talking to you. Why? Would you want to?” Will hopes the answer is no.

             “No, I told you before Will I have no intention of sharing you.” Hannibal says possessively. Will smiles, shaking his head. What has his life become that he is engaged to a man at seventeen, planning a murder with said man, and turning down offers for threesomes?

 

*

 

             The following day, right as Will is coming out of Transfiguration, he is caught in a near crushing grip, fighting back for a millisecond before realizing it is Hannibal and he hugs back as best he can. They continue to stand there as most of the students leave and Will notices Hannibal shakes periodically.

             “Hannibal? Are you okay?” Will’s voice is muffled against Hannibal’s shoulder but he feels Hannibal take deep breath, aware of a few pairs of eyes on them but ignores them. Another moment goes by and just when he is starting to get worried, Hannibal releases him slightly, enough to look at his face. Will feels Hannibal’s hands coming up to cradle his face, fingers caressing his cheeks, it’s a tender feeling.

             “Yes I am now,” Hannibal finally replies as he kisses Will lightly once, brushing their noses together, then resting his cheek against his.

             Will takes a guess, knowing Hannibal’s schedule, “Boggart?” Will feels Hannibal nod, “Me?” and he feels Hannibal nod again. Will kisses him, empathy feeling for Hannibal, having experienced the exact same thing yesterday, touched that Hannibal has the same fear he does. “Were you able to do the spell?” Will is curious, knowing Hannibal usually has more self-control than he does.

             “With great difficulty yes, I turned your corpse into mongoose which slithered rather comically.”

             Will laughs, yes that does sound ridiculous. “Well you’ll have to coach me through what I can turn you into.”

 

*

 

             The following week, Will is successfully able to defeat the boggart, by turning Hannibal’s corpse into a penguin that slides around humorously on its stomach, although he still feels ill for the remainder of the class. After this experience Will finds he is no longer interested in having a boggart. Hannibal also tells him that someone in his class asked Quirrell what his boggart was and he told them he is afraid of someone coming to kill him, that during the Voldemort conflict many people he knew were murdered and even though its over he never lost that fear. Hannibal smiles as he’s tells him this, and Will can feel the darkness in him slowly getting stronger as he finds himself smiling back.

Chapter Text

 

             In their fifth Apparition class, they are finally allowed to attempt to apparate within the classroom, one at a time, all having already done side-along apparition with Wilkie to get used to the feeling. After that, they all line up and one by one, Wilkie talks them through the process. The first apparition can be very dangerous so he insists on doing it one by one until everyone has the basics down. Will expects to be bored out of his mind but finds he is anything but; the danger, combined with the curiosity of who will get it first? makes the whole class pass by quite quickly.

             Will is surprised to see Hannibal not succeed on the first try, but then again, neither has anyone else. It’s a reminder that despite his wide range of talents, he is still human. To everyone’s surprise, Will is the first to successfully apparate on his own, going about five feet with a loud crack. Will doesn’t see it but Hannibal’s expression looks positively terrified for the millisecond he is gone, before blossoming into a proud (and relieved) smile as Will returns unharmed.

             Once the initial buzz dies down, Wilkie puts Will on the spot, asking him to describe what he did, hoping Will can voice the process in a way his classmates will understand, from the point of view of a student. Will shrinks slightly under the scrutiny, explaining he has done side-along apparition with Crawford so maybe that helped?  The class all nods, attributing his success to previous experience and exposure which Will takes as his cue to walk to the back of the line. He stands near Hannibal, who looks incredibly proud of him, and Will finds himself blushing under the admiring gaze. Later, Will tells Hannibal he suspects the real reason he was able to do it is his incredibly vivid imagination, able to clearly see his destination in his mind (one of the three D’s of apparation), but that he didn’t want to remind his classmates of his imagination, nothing good ever comes from that.

             On his next turn Hannibal successfully apparates the requested five feet, and Will experiences a brief moment of panic, seeing Hannibal disappear from before his eyes into nothingness with a loud crack, the memory of the boggart fading into smoke making his mind scramble, his heart race, and his blood pressure rise. Thankfully a millisecond later Hannibal is back, safe, sound, and intact, and Will feels himself calming, a relieved smile on his face as Hannibal makes his way back over to him. When he’s within arms reach Will can’t help reaching out briefly, taking Hannibal’s hand in his own, squeezing it once, then letting go, needing that tactile proof that he’s fine. Hannibal offers him an understanding smile with a quick squeeze back.

             By the end of the class period about half of the students have successfully apparated, however one student loses half an eyebrow and is sent to Madame Pomfry. Thankfully no one splinches, although a few look quite nauseated, as those prone to motion sickness tend to find apparation uncomfortable. As soon as they are out of the Great Hall, Hannibal takes Will’s hand in his own again, and they walk together, each taking comfort knowing the other is okay.

 

*

 

             In mid-April, all the students get one week off for Easter. Unlike Christmas break when most students go back home, many more stay back at Hogwarts, about half Will reckons. Their first official day off, Will and Hannibal walk around the lake, basking in the lovely weather, the sun shining with a light breeze, talking about their plan for Quirrell, well out of earshot of anyone. They toss around the idea of using Polyjuice, so that in case they are seen they will look like someone else. However, by the end of the discussion they don’t have any agreement. Will thinks it’s a good idea in case something goes wrong, but Hannibal wants to make sure Quirrell knows exactly who he is. They agree to table the idea for now and revisit it as the date gets closer.

             One thing they do agree on is the need to do some more reconnaissance on Quirrell. That evening, they sneak down the corridor containing Quirrell’s office. Once verifying the coast is clear, they unlock his office door, “Alohamora.” Will sarcastically points out that for a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, he doesn’t seem to have much defense in place if a second-year spell can allow entry to his office, to which Hannibal smirks.

             Inside, with their wand tips alight, they snoop through his office, looking for anything that might be helpful. After about half an hour they are forced to admit that there’s not much they gained from the endeavor, other than the layout of his office (and how easy it is to break into it). As they leave Hannibal has them try out different escape routes, making sure they have at least three options and know the pros and cons of each. Somehow, it’s this step that makes Will’s stomach drop a little, realizing, shit, they really are planning to murder someone, aren’t they?

 

*

 

              On Tuesday, Hannibal eagerly greets Will, proclaiming he has a surprise for them after breakfast. Will is curious what could have Hannibal so excited, but enjoys the anticipation, the unknown. Despite all they have shared, Will still has trouble predicting Hannibal (and his surprises). However, instead of frustrating him, it just endears him to Hannibal more, making him constantly taking in every detail he can glean from him, never really feeling like he knows enough about the man. He glances at the ring, smiling to himself, supposing he’s got a lifetime to try. Once finished with breakfast and the newspaper, Hannibal leads them out of the Great Hall, down a set of stairs, and then through a dark corridor, the temperature dropping slightly and air feeling more damp the further they go. Abruptly Hannibal stops and Will nearly runs into him, not understanding why they stopped until it clicks and he recognizes where they are.

              “No…” Will starts, already taking a step back instinctively as Hannibal tugs on their interlocked hands.

              “Trust me. Just look straight ahead as if you belong here.”


              “Hannibal…” Will can’t help the slight whine in his voice. Going into the Slytherin common room isn’t his idea of fun, in fact it spikes his anxiety. Despite the fact that the bullying has been substantially less since being with Hannibal, he still feels on edge around large groups of Slytherins. Hannibal seems to consider Will for a moment before extracting his hand, taking out his wand and waving it at him. The next thing Will knows his tie is green, and his hair feels funny. He reaches up to touch it and from what he can feel (and the small amount he can see) it’s straight and black. As he is taking this in Hannibal unpins his Prefect badge and pockets it.

              “There, no one will recognize you. Better?” Hannibal looks pleased with his solution.

              Will reflects for a moment, it does calm his anxiety to an extent so he nods, seeing Hannibal smirk at him. With that, Hannibal turns to the wall, says “Merlin,” and a hidden door appears. They walk through and Will does his best to look like he belongs there, whatever the fuck that means. He follows as Hannibal walks down the sconce lit hallway toward the dorms, trying not to make eye contact with any of the students hanging around in the common room. From the brief glance he got, it looked like mostly girls whose eyes followed Hannibal (of course), so Will suspects his presence went unnoticed.

              Once they reach the dorm room, Hannibal closes the door behind him and locks it, waving his wand a few times, leaving Will curious what the surprise is. He doesn’t have to wonder long as Hannibal stalks towards him, waving his wand again, causing Will’s hair to return to its normal state. The next thing he knows Hannibal is walking him backwards towards his bed at the end of the room and pushing him back to lay on it. Oh...Will cottons on, this is a surprise.

              Will lays back on the soft bedding, legs still off the side, smiling as he remembers the last time he was here, in this exact position. He happily pulls Hannibal down on top of him, kissing him, just like how they were over Christmas break, although this time the curtain around the bed isn’t drawn shut and at the realization Will pulls back slightly. “What if-” He doesn’t get to finish his question as Hannibal puts a finger over his lips, staring down at him with a fond but heated look.

              “I made arrangements with my one remaining roommate to have the room to myself between now and lunch. I admit the image of you laid out on my bed over Christmas Break has haunted me. I find myself often returning to that image as I lay here at night, fantasizing about what could have been. It’s incredibly frustrating.” As he explains this, Will sees Hannibal watching him, feels his fingers trailing from his lips further down his body in a teasing caress, followed by the feeling of Hannibal’s lips on his neck.

             Will feels his breathing speed up at Hannibal’s words, arousal starting to course through his veins, feeling Hannibal lift his head to continue. “However, we must be quiet, since as you saw, there are people in the common room.” Will nearly moans at the words, then realizing he must try be quiet, tries to hold it in, gripping tightly at Hannibal’s shirt. Somehow trying to restrain the himself is making him want to moan more, hitching his arousal up. What is that saying? You want what you can’t have? “Think you can be quiet Will?” Hannibal challenges with a smirk, looking seductively down at him and Will nods, feeling a blush on his cheeks.

              “Good boy,” Hannibal says and Will nearly moans again at the praise but holds it back as he arches his body up into Hannibal’s, pressing his erection against Hannibal’s thigh. He hears Hannibal exhale as his body forces Will’s into the mattress, feeling his own hardness pressing intimately into his hip.

              Their kisses become more heated, tongues twirling hotly, breath coming faster. All of a sudden Hannibal pulls back, looking down at Will with a smoldering gaze, and starts to undress Will, loosening his tie, then the buttons on his shirt. Will lifts to allow the shirt to be removed but Hannibal stops him and Will realizes he is crafting the vision he has in his head, which is apparently Will half undressed. Will glances down, realizing the loosened tie around his neck is still green and wonders if that was intentional or not. As if following his train of thought, Hannibal shifts his weight into one arm so he can grab the tie, looping it around his fist once, before pulling Will up by it, bringing their mouths together again forcefully and again Will tries to hold back a moan. The tie is loose but he feels it dig into his skin at the back of his neck.

              Will brings his hands up, working to undo Hannibal’s tie and shirt in a similar fashion, doing his best by feel alone. The task is made more difficult by Hannibal pressing his body more firmly into his, grinding their pelvises together and again he tries to hold in the groan the sensation produces. Suddenly Hannibal shifts downward, kissing his neck and his chest, and Will feels his hands slide down his sides, fingertips ghosting across his skin, leaving a tingling trail in their wake, before landing at his hips, undoing his belt and opening his pants. Will arches into the touch, sliding his own hands anywhere he can reach over Hannibal’s warm body as Hannibal mouths at his nipple, alternating sucking and lightly biting. The longer this goes on Will finds it harder and harder to stay quiet, a moan slipping past his lips.

              At the sound, Hannibal stops his attention and looks up, smirking, the bastard. “Shh, mylimasis, can you be quiet? Or do I need to help you?” Will’s eyes narrow as his mind is distracted by what Hannibal thinks he could do to keep him quiet, when his unspoken question is answered for him, as Hannibal’s large hand comes down over his mouth as he resumes his attention on Will’s other nipple. Will moans against Hannibal’s hand, taking in the sensation, his hand a pleasant pressure against his lips, making them tingle delightfully. Hannibal looks up at Will again, simultaneously amused and assessing, and Will can only look back helplessly, riding the sensation.

              Hannibal gives one last kiss to Will’s chest before leaning up to pull Will’s pants and underwear off. Will immediately helps him as Hannibal has only one hand free, and together they get them off, leaving Will in nothing but the loose Slytherin-colored tie around his throat and his white dress shirt, spread open, erection straining obscenely away from his body. Hannibal leans back, taking in the sight before him, clearly pleased, and Will whimpers under the predatory gaze, tongue accidentally licking against Hannibal’s palm. Will sees Hannibal’s breath hitch as it happens, so he does it again, intentionally, gaze challenging, watching as Hannibal shivers, loving that for all Hannibal can reduce him to putty, he can affect him too.

              “Mm, tempting creature, you have no idea what you do to me do you?” Hannibal whispers and Will shakes his head for lack of a better response. He takes in the view of Hannibal above him, blonde hair falling down, tie loosened, shirt open, fucking gorgeous. Hannibal leans down, and as he removes his hand from Will’s mouth he replaces it with his lips, kissing Will hard. As he does this Will feels Hannibal undo his own pants and remove them. Will groans into the kiss, feeling Hannibal’s warm solid chest against his own, feeling his chest hair brush against his nipples, lighting his body up with pleasure.

              Once Hannibal has kicked his pants and underwear off, Will feels as their bodies come into contact again and moans into the kiss, forgetting his goal of being quiet, feeling their hardnesses sliding against one anothers. They get lost in the feeling for a moment, lips sliding slickly, bodies undulating together, before Hannibal pulls back again, looking down at Will with a scalding gaze. Will is trembling, body a live wire, drowning in sensation. He licks his lips reflexively, missing the contact already as he looks up into Hannibal’s eyes. Something registers in Hannibal’s expression and he slides his left hand over Will’s neck, up to his cheek, then over his mouth, intentionally placing the ring over Will’s lips, sliding it gently first on the top lip, then on the bottom lip. Will feels the difference in texture and temperature instantly, nearly suppressing a groan as he kisses the ring gently, eyes never leaving Hannibal’s, feeling the intimacy and reverence temper the arousal in him slightly, basking in it. He sees Hannibal’s gaze soften, as he turns his hand to gently caress Will’s bottom lip with his thumb before removing his hand and kissing Will again.

              After a searing kiss, Will feels Hannibal shift and the next moment he is pulling back and gently nudging Will to lift his hips. Will does and feels a pillow being placed underneath them. Hmm interesting. Hannibal’s lips slide behind Will’s ear and his hand returns to Will’s mouth in perfect timing to suppress Will’s moan, as he whispers in Will’s ear.

              “I want to make love to you Will, so that every night when I go to bed I can recall this moment, remember it. Store it in my mind castle.” Will moans loudly behind Hannibal’s hand and Hannibal raises his head to look down at him, amused. “But you must be quiet dear Will.” Will nods his understanding and Hannibal releases his hand, turning away.

              A moment later Will sees Hannibal scooping out some Vaseline, then he is leaning back to gently probe Will’s entrance, other hand roaming across his body, down his leg, across his abdomen, occasionally touching his aching cock as he slowly works him open, first with one finger, then gently adding another. Will ends up putting his own hand over his mouth to stifle the moan that threatens to spill out as he feels himself opening under Hannibal’s ministrations, flush rising to his cheeks. For as many times as they have done this, it’s still a very intimate thing. Will can feel the arousal building, his cock leaking pre-come against his abdomen in a sticky trail, as he beings to rock back onto Hannibal’s fingers, blush high on his cheeks, too aroused to be embarrassed, especially with the way Hannibal is looking at him, like he could eat him alive.

             Hannibal adds a third finger and Will groans against his hand, feeling the stretch, the pressure. He feels hot all over despite the cool damp air down here, feels the smooth tie laying across his heated chest. Inspired, he reaches up with the hand from his mouth to grab Hannibal’s tie, wrapping it around his hand and pulling, forcing Hannibal down over him, bringing their mouths and bodies together, moaning into the kiss as he feels Hannibal’s firm abdomen against his cock, feels Hannibal’s rhythm falter.

              Against Hannibal’s mouth, Will gets out a whispered, “Please…” before he feels Hannibal pulling back and watches as he slicks himself up, getting into position, a feral smile on his lips as he lets his gaze rake over Will slowly, almost like a physical touch, committing the image to memory. Will reaches up caressing Hannibal wherever he can reach, grabbing the tie briefly and pressing it flat against Hannibal’s chest, rubbing it down over a nipple and is pleased when a strained sound is forced from Hannibal’s lips as his motions pause for a moment.

              Their eyes meet as Hannibal lines himself up, and before he pushes in Will reaches out, grabbing Hannibal’s left hand, and bringing it to his mouth, intention clear. Hannibal smiles darkly, showing his teeth, before pressing down firmly over Will’s mouth, then pushing into Will slowly but insistently. Will feels the vibrations from the sounds he is making being muffled by Hannibal’s large hand. Will’s hands scrabble, one ending up bunching it up Hannibal’s open shirt, the other gripping Hannibal’s forearm as he continues to slowly slide into him. Will notes the pillow helps keep his hips lifted and makes a mental note to do that next time.

              Once Hannibal has bottomed out, he stays still for a moment allowing Will to adjust. Will breathes through his nose, soaking in the moment, loving the anticipation, like being at the top of the roller coaster before a drop. After a moment, he rocks his hips, starting a chain reaction, becoming lost to sensation as Hannibal slowly starts to fuck him. Will’s eyes wander briefly as he remembers where they are, he’s in the Slytherin dorms, on Hannibal’s bed, where he sleeps every night. The realization washes over him and he moans again against Hannibal’s hand, turning his head briefly into the bedding, remembering smelling Hannibal’s unique scent here over Christmas break, surrounded in it now.

              The pace begins to increase and Will can feel Hannibal sliding nearly all the way out, before thrusting back in and he groans against Hannibal’s hand at the teasing, feeling his hole flutter, it’s maddening, his moans changing to whines. Will feels Hannibal’s tie brush his chest occasionally as they move together, any contact near his aching cock magnified as he seeks friction.

             Suddenly Hannibal changes the angle, forcing one of Will’s legs over his shoulder and begins a punishing pace, hitting Will’s prostate repeatedly. Will moans unabashedly against Hannibal’s hand, not even trying to be quiet, hands sliding over Hannibal’s body, pulling him close, clawing at his back under the shirt which elicits a small groan out of Hannibal (Will is pleased he can pull some sounds out of him). He rocks his body with Hannibal’s thrusts as best he can, chasing the sensation and feels Hannibal’s pace increase faster, feeling on the edge, almost too much, on the precipice, his untouched erection aching, straining against the air, getting a small amount of friction against his abdomen every time Hannibal thrusts particularly hard.

              Hannibal looks down at him, eyes wild, speaking quietly, “You look gorgeous like this Will, ethereal, come for me mylimasis…” The pace grows more frantic and Will feels that same near uncomfortable feeling, straining, wild, eyes wide, vulnerable, as Hannibal continues to pound into his prostate. Right when he is about to touch himself to bring relief, he feels the telltale spasms begin as he starts to come untouched, internal walls rippling and jets of come shooting out over his abdomen. His body arches up against Hannibal’s weight, moans trapped behind Hannibal’s hand, wide eyes never leaving Hannibal’s gaze, giving everything over to the moment. A moment later Will feels Hannibal’s rhythm falter before he thrusts twice more, burying himself deeply inside Will, turning his face into Will’s leg and biting hard to stifle a moan of his own. Will yelps at the sensation, the pain with the pleasure drawing out his orgasm, his cock giving one final spurt before he slumps back down, feeling Hannibal nuzzling at bite mark before leaving it with a kiss and pulling back to look down at him. 

              Will sees Hannibal’s gaze rake down over him, no doubt memorizing it, taking a mental picture, committing it to memory in his mind castle. As Hannibal goes to pull his hand back from Will’s mouth, Will grabs it and turns his hand to kiss the ring and Hannibal’s knuckles, before letting it go, smiling and catching his breath as Hannibal does the same. Will grabs Hannibal’s tie again and pulls him down for a warm sated kiss, before he feels Hannibal pull back, pulling out of him and Will can’t help the slight wince he has at the sensation. He scoots over and turns 90 degrees so that Hannibal can lay down next to him on the bed, and they lay together in a comfortable silence, cuddled together, Will running his hands through Hannibal’s hair and Hannibal nuzzling at Will’s neck. both still clothed only in their loosened ties and open dress shirts.

              As the lay together in the afterglow, Hannibal comments, “You liked that,” referring to the hand over his mouth. No judgement in his tone, although possibly a dash of amusement. Will smiles lazily, turning towards him more fully in his embrace.

              “Yeah I did. I think you liked it too,” Will replies with a dash of sass, feelin Hannibal smile in response.

              “Mmm indeed.” Will feels Hannibal playing with a curl near his ear, half tickling and half tingling. Will shifts to card his fingers through Hannibal’s hair, over his scalp, eliciting a purring sound, reminding Will of their first time drinking in the Astronomy Tower all those months ago. How things have changed.

              After an undetermined amount of time has passed, Hannibal motions to get up, leaving a final kiss to Will’s neck before he does so. “I suppose we should make ourselves presentable, it’s nearly lunch hour.” Will nods, reluctantly agreeing, feeling too comfortable, a surprising sensation considering he’s nearly naked in the Slytherin dorms. They clean up and redress, Hannibal helping Will retie his tie, smoothing the fabric down.

              “I must admit, the green does look quite fetching on you. I can only imagine what life would be like if you were in Slytherin house…down here with me…” Will smiles at the compliment, feeling a light blush on his cheeks.

              “Nah, you’d get tired of me, being together 24/7…” Will looks down, not quite sure why he says it, maybe he still harbors a subconscious fear of Hannibal tiring of him eventually. He didn’t realize he looked down until he feels Hannibal’s fingers tilt his chin back up, forcing their eyes to meet.

              “I disagree, no amount of time with you will ever be enough Will.” With that Hannibal takes Will’s hand in his own and brings it to his lips for a kiss. Will smiles, reassured for the time being. After they sneak back out of the Slytherin dorms and head to lunch, Will decides to keep his tie green the rest of the day. Half the school is gone anyway and he likes the sly looks Hannibal sends him periodically. When Will gets ready for bed that night, he almost changes it back to blue, but something stops him. Like everything else that Hannibal has changed about him, he finds he has no desire to change it back, instead folding it neatly and placing it in his nightstand.

 

*

 

              Over Easter break, Will and Hannibal end up exploring the castle more than they have previously. The most surprising thing they find is in an unused classroom on the sixth floor. As they peek inside, they spy a large gold-framed mirror pushed in the corner, covered in a layer of dust, which suggests it has been here quite a long time, undisturbed. Will sees Hannibal inspecting the mirror and looks around for something to wipe the dust off with, coming up empty handed. Curiosity winning over cleanliness, he uses his shirt sleeve to wipe the dust away, shaking it off after, causing him to sneeze once. The mirror is heavily ornate, at the top is inscribed “Erised,” and around the frame, forming a repeating pattern, is inscribed, “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.” As they both examine the mirror, Hannibal reads the phrase out loud. “What do you think it means?”

              Will looks it over, still sniffling occasionally from the dust. “I don’t know…but there’s something familiar about the words…”

              “You recognize the language?”

              “No…but, it feels like… is it weird to say it feels like English?”

              “You get a feeling off of the words? Like you do with people?”

              “I don’t know…you know that feeling where something is on the tip of your tongue? Like you’ve almost got it?”

              “I suppose…”

              “Well it feels like that…”

              As Will continues to stare at the words, Hannibal moves to stand fully in front of the mirror, looking into it. Will isn’t really paying attention to him until he hears Hannibal gasp and sees him fall to his knees, leaning towards the mirror, hand outstretched, touching the glass reverently, a distressed look on his face.

              “Hannibal?” Will walks to stand next to him, looking in the mirror, trying to see what Hannibal is seeing.

              When Hannibal speaks he sounds awestruck, breathless. “Will, do you see? It’s Mischa, and my parents, they’re alive...and look, we’re there too. You look so powerful Will, you’ve embraced your nature, followed the urges you kept down for so long, cultivating them as the inspirations they truly are, Will together nothing can stop us…” Will thinks Hannibal is starting to sound delusional as he doesn’t see anything other than their own reflection. He places his hand on Hannibal’s shoulder in concern.

              “Hannibal, I don’t see anything but our reflections…” Just as Will says this he notes the image in the mirror changes and he sees himself and Hannibal, but older, in a home, surrounded by dogs. Hannibal is wearing a white apron, and Beverly is at the table – it looks like a dinner party. Then the image shifts and he sees both himself and Hannibal covered in blood, matching silver rings on their fingers catching the moonlight as they embrace, looking powerful, beautiful. Will stares, seeing the version of himself look so confident, so sure of himself, so in control, not a trace of fear can be detected. The images are striking, perfectly real looking, and he finds himself dropping to his knees next to Hannibal, staring, breath caught in his throat, wondering if this mirror somehow shows the future?

              “Hannibal…I see us…throwing a dinner party, in our….” Will’s voice cracks a little on the next word, desire of how much he wants it creeping in, “…home, with dogs, and Beverly…and I see us, married, bloody, radiant under the light of the moon…I look fearless, powerful…it’s perfect…it’s so perfect…” Will’s voice sounds slightly breathless, seeing his fantasies come to life before his eyes. He can feel Hannibal’s attention slowly shift to him, happy but not understanding.

              “Perfect yes…wait, dogs? I don’t see dogs…” The confusion seems to finally permeate them both and they pull their eyes away from the appealing visions on the mirror, staring at one another. Will can see Hannibal’s eyes look moist, and he supposes Hannibal seeing Mischa alive must be a powerful image.

              “Hannibal, I think this is a magical mirror. It’s doing something to us…” At that Will backs away instinctively. It’s harder than he thought it would be to remove himself, the images are so appealing, magnetic. He holds his hand out to Hannibal who looks visible torn. Will watches as Hannibal turns to look at the mirror again and then back at Will, clearly conflicted. Will feels bad, lowering his hand, hoping Hannibal will eventually agree with him but knowing that pulling him away will hurt him. “It’s okay, take your time Hannibal. Just…be careful, we don’t know what it’s doing. I’m going to try to decipher the words on the frame.”

              Will sees Hannibal nod, both grateful and vulnerable, and then return to looking in the mirror, a longing sadness in his eyes. He watches him a moment longer, concerned, before turning back to the frame, staring at the jumble of letters, willing them to make sense. He still feels the answer is right in front of him and feels frustration building, the more he looks, the stronger the feeling gets. He brings his hands to his face, steepling his fingers over his nose, exhaling. Fuck. He turns away, looking around the room for anything that might help, anything that might snap the understanding into place. Maybe it’s a code? Shifting all the letters? Or maybe the words are scrambled?  He stares at the first word “Erised” and plays around with shifting the letters, scrambling them, until he sees it. Desire! He moves on to the next word “stra” which he assumes is star (or less likely but also possible - rats). Okay Desire star…? He hits a dead end on the third word, “ehru,” as no amount of unscrambling yields any results. He can feel he is so close and wills his brain to think. Return to the facts, he thinks. He looks back at “Erised” and realizes, of course! “Erised” is “desire” backwards! It takes him a moment to realize the grouping of the letters is irrelevant and he needs to read the sentence backwards starting at the end. Eventually he is able to parse out where the words start and end and he ends up with “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.”

              “Hannibal! Hannibal! I’ve got it!” Will sinks down next to Hannibal, who still has the far away look on his face as he stares into the mirror. Will shakes him when he doesn’t respond right away and Hannibal looks dazed for a moment before finally focusing on Will.

              “Will?”

              “Hannibal look, read it backwards. ‘I show not your face but your heart’s desire.’ This is an enchanted mirror. It shows us what we want most.” Will watches as Hannibal takes this in, obviously trying to get his emotions in check.

              “Yes, yes…that makes sense…” Hannibal still seems off, distracted, and Will can tell he’s fighting the pull of the mirror. He takes Hannibal’s face in his hands, cradles it gently, and brings their foreheads together, trying to help him focus.

              “Hannibal, I need you to trust me, do you trust me?” Will wants this to be consensual. Hannibal’s eyelids flutter, working to stay in the moment.

              “Yes…yes of course Will. I trust you.” Will savors the brief moment of warmth that brings to his heart before he steels himself.

              “Then I need you to do something for me. You aren’t going to like it but I need you to trust me.” Hannibal looks at him, concerned.

              “What is it?” Here goes nothing. Will slides his hands down from Hannibal’s face to take his hands in his own, squeezing lightly.

              “Come with me out of this room, away from this mirror. Right now.” Will watches as Hannibal processes the request, sees the conflict. In a way it’s his love for Will versus his love for his sister and it hurts Will to the core because that’s not what he wants, but he’s scared of this mirror, scared of the influence it has over Hannibal. Hannibal looks from Will to the mirror then back a few times and Will squeezes his hands again. “Please Hannibal, trust me.” Will gently strokes his thumb over the back of Hannibal’s hand, waiting. After a long silence where Hannibal closes his eyes, he feels Hannibal gently squeeze back. Without opening his eyes, he nods.

              “Okay, let’s go.” The pain in Hannibal’s voice cuts Will to the core and he almost backpedals but stands his ground. If this mirror turns out to be safe then they can come back, but he has a bad feeling. He pulls their joined hands and together they walk out of the classroom, Will leading the way as Hannibal is keeping his eyes closed. It’s after lunch so thankfully the corridors are mostly empty, as Will walks them far away, outside the castle, over the grounds, near the lake. Only when they stop walking does Hannibal finally open his eyes, blinking slightly under the brightness of the sun.

              Will looks at Hannibal, trying to assess if he’s regretting his decision. “Are you okay?” Will watches as Hannibal takes a moment, breathing.

              “Yes…I believe so…” He sounds a little better, Will thinks as he pulls him into a hug, holding him tight.

              “Thank you, for trusting me…I know that must have been…difficult…to leave,” Will says softly and feels Hannibal inhale sharply. “Just so you know, I’m not opposed to going back if it is safe. But I want us to know what that thing is before we do, if we do. I’m afraid…do you understand?” Will hopes he does, he needs this to be a team effort.

              Will feels Hannibal nod. “Yes, that’s fair. I understand.” He still sounds a little far away but it’s closer to his normal tone.

              Will pulls him down to sitting and they lay together on the grass, shoulders pressed together and heads close, staring up at the cloudless blue sky. It’s not quite a comfortable silence but it’s needed to cement the moment. To make sure Hannibal is still choosing to be here. After what Will guesses is an hour, long enough for the sun to change positions in the sky and the sky to darken, Will breaks the silence.

              “Talk to me, hmm?” Will takes Hannibal’s hand in his own, squeezing lightly, turning his face into Hannibal’s golden hair. Hannibal continues to stare at the sky but does squeeze his hand back.

              “I…I know it’s not real. I know. And I understand why you asked us to leave…”

              “But?”

              “But…it’s painful Will. I never thought I’d see her or my parents again. And yet, there they were. So real…and to leave them...it hurts.”

              “I know, I know, I’m sorry…” Will’s empathy feels Hannibal’s sadness and it hurts him too, like a knife to the heart, to the point of feeling his eyes tear up. He wants to focus on resolving this so he proposes a plan, hoping Hannibal will go along with it. “I think our best bet would be to look at the library, to find out what we can about that mirror…when you feel up to it.” Will feels Hannibal shift away from him, moving to sit up.

              “That’s a good idea. Let’s go.”


              “Now?”

              “Let’s not delay the inevitable Will. I’ll be honest, I want to go back very badly. But if I can’t, I need to start getting used to it…” Will hears the determination in his voice, the massive amount of self-control he has, belying how much he is feeling underneath. At that Will sits up too and stands with him, brushing off the grass.

              “Alright, let’s go.” Will holds out his hand and together they walk to the library.

              Once in the library, they set up at a table and begin their search. It’s not long before they learn a few key facts:

  • The Mirror of Erised was created before the nineteenth century, creator unknown
  • It shows the deepest, most desperate desires of our hearts
  • Countless people have wasted away their lives in front of the mirror, losing track of reality
  • Many others were driven insane by seeing their desires presented before them but unable to achieve them

 

             Once they both read that, Will leans back in his seat, waiting for Hannibal’s reaction. It makes sense now, what they saw. To Will it is clear that they should not go back, and he hopes Hannibal will come to the same conclusion. He sees as Hannibal closes his eyes and take a breath, as if resigning himself, and Will takes his hand, understanding. He wishes they had a place they could go to just be together for a while, somewhere peaceful and private. He briefly thinks about the Room of Requirement but he can’t for the life of him figure out what he would ask it to be right now, his mind and heart too overwhelmed by the pain this is obviously causing Hannibal. Thankfully, at that moment, his brain supplies an alternate idea and he latches onto it. He meets Hannibal’s eyes and stands, pulling on his hand. Surprisingly, Hannibal stands up as well and follows where Will leads, no words needed apparently, blindly trusting.

             Will leads him from the library in the direction of the Great Hall, but at the last moment turns down a corridor the opposite direction from it, stopping outside classroom eleven. It’s almost dinner hour and Will does a quick look around to make sure they are alone before pulling out his wand and quietly unlocking the door, hearing the telltale click as the door lock releases with a whine, long unused. Will takes one more look around before opening the door and pulling Hannibal inside with him. As he shuts the door behind them, they are in complete darkness for a few seconds as their eyes adjust, the air simultaneously stale, refreshingly cool, and slightly damp.

             After a moment, the classroom comes into focus and Will smiles, remembering how much he likes this room. In his younger years, he used to come here when he needed to get away for awhile, before he figured out how to sneak out of the castle. The room is enchanted to look like the Forbidden Forest, complete with a sky full of stars visible at night. It was created back when Firenze, a centaur, taught Divination. Crawford had the room specially made for him on the ground floor so he wouldn’t have to climb the stairs with his horse-like body and so he could feel at home in his natural environment. After two years, he resigned and was replaced with Professor Trelawny who prefers to use the Divination classroom in the North Tower. Since then, the room has been vacant and locked, hence the stale air, yet the enchantment remains.

             Glancing around, Will takes it all in. The ground is soft, covered in springy moss, with large trees growing out of it, the occasional boulder here and there. Looking up, Will sucks in a breath as he sees the main reason he came here, the night sky, complete with stars that twinkle, the Milky Way clearly visible - it’s breathtaking. He chances a glance at Hannibal who is also looking at the sky, a look of awe on his face and Will smiles, sharing the moment of being dazzled by the power of magic. He tugs on Hannibal’s hand to lead them both further into the room, sending a locking spell to the door as he goes.  

              Will leads them to the middle of the clearing and sits down on the springy moss, then lays down, folding his hands behind his head as he used to do years ago. From this angle Hannibal looks like a giant as he is still standing, looking down at him. Will waits a moment and sees as Hannibal lays down next to him before speaking.

             “I used to come here often, when I was upset.”

             “What is this room?”

             “It used to be the Divination classroom when we had a centaur as a professor.”

             “It’s lovely.”


              “Yeah, I always found it peaceful, could lay here for hours just being in nature, or looking at the stars…we don’t have to stay. I just thought…” Will feels Hannibal turn towards him and he turns on his side as well, seeing Hannibal’s hand laying face up between them, just like Will did when he was in the hospital wing. Automatically Will takes Hannibal’s hand in both of his own, kissing the back of it. Hannibal’s eyes sparkle in the moonlight with unshed tears and Will makes an executive decision, pulling and shifting until he is holding Hannibal firmly against his own body. Will is on his back, Hannibal’s face tucked into his neck, their legs twined together, and Will’s arms snugly around him, one on his back, the other in his soft hair.

             Will finds himself gently stroking his back, lightly carding his fingers through his hair in what he hopes is a comforting motion as he holds him, and hears Hannibal inhale shakily before Will feels hot tears against his neck. His heart breaks for this beautiful damaged man who has been fighting almost his whole life to avenge his sister, and now is given a brief glimpse of her alive and well before knowing he can never have it ever again. Will feels his eyes grow moist as well and he holds Hannibal tighter, pressing his cheek against Hannibal’s soft hair, turning to drop a kiss there. He feels Hannibal sniff and tuck in tighter. Will has the suspicion that Hannibal has not allowed himself to be seen like this by anyone, has always carried his pain hidden away, dealing with it alone, and Will is glad he doesn’t have to shoulder the burden alone anymore. If this doesn’t prove Hannibal trusts him, then nothing does. He wants Hannibal to be able to grieve, to let out the hurt he has been carrying around so long.

             There’s no way to tell how much time has passed but Will isn’t worried. He’s prepared to stay in here as long as it takes, all night even. He already knew he’d probably do anything for Hannibal and right now is a reflection of that, he feels like he would do whatever it takes to bring a smile to Hannibal’s face again. Since they met, Will has consistently felt like Hannibal has given him so much, helped him, saved him, and that Will hasn’t given him much in return. When Will has voiced this, Hannibal has always disagreed, said that Will has given him so much, and maybe this is what he was talking about. That even though Will can’t see it easily, he helps Hannibal too.  

             Eventually Will feels the trickle of tears against his neck stop and Hannibal’s breathing levels off. Will continues to hold him, occasionally caressing his back, his arms, whatever feels right, trying to convey comfort, acceptance, and love, through his movements. Shortly after, he feels Hannibal’s face turn, his forehead against Will’s chin, Will can feel the soft puffs of his warm breath across his neck and turns to kiss his forehead briefly. A moment later, Will feels as Hannibal shifts around, seeing him pull a handkerchief out of one of his pockets, of course he owns a handkerchief, bringing it to his face, before putting it away.

             Will feels Hannibal tense slightly before he hears his voice, soft, slightly nasal, and raw sounding, “Will I-” Typically Will is not able to read Hannibal well, but right now he’s clear as day. Will cuts him off, rolling them slightly so they are both on their sides facing each other, bringing a finger to Hannibal’s lips, halting his words. As he looks in his red-rimmed, swollen eyes, he sees his expression is more vulnerable than Will has ever seen, tear tracks still visible. “The next word out of your mouth better not be ‘sorry.’” Will says gently. He sees Hannibal pause, confirming his intuition was correct, before seeing him try again. Will’s getting better at reading him, but to be fair it seems like all Hannibal’s walls are down right now.

             “Thank you,” he says instead and Will’s heart breaks a little. He pulls them together as best he can on their sides, bringing his hand up to cradle Hannibal’s face, thumb brushing below his eyes, wiping away the residual moisture, looking into his warm brown eyes, almost black in the darkness.

             “You don’t have to thank me, but you’re welcome. I just…I wish I could help…”

             “You already have.” Hannibal’s eyes fall shut again and Will shakes his head before leaning in to gently kiss each eyelid, resting their foreheads together, shifting his hand down to Hannibal’s shoulder, sliding it down until he finds his hand, and interlacing their fingers loosely. Will admits his next question is a risk, and he hopes it is the right decision.

             “Can you tell me about her?” The words are barely above a whisper, and Will hopes he isn’t wrong. All he wants is for Hannibal to have some closure, some happiness in regards to Mischa, to process all the feelings he is carrying around. It’s not realistic, he knows something like this takes time, but he feels like Hannibal needs to give voice to the happy memories he has of Mischa, give life to them, not only mourning her loss. Will saw first-hand the worst memory, her death. He’d personally like to know more about her life, but only if Hannibal wants to share. Like at funerals, the focus being on celebrating a life, not wallowing in sadness over the loss. Will suspects Hannibal has probably never had anyone to talk to about this. Plus, Will wants to know as much as he can about Hannibal, and he obviously loved Mischa tremendously.

             Hannibal goes still at the question and Will tries to keep his breathing normal as he continues, “You don’t have to. But know that I would love to hear about her. Any time. Okay?” He feels Hannibal’s breathing resume but his eyes remain shut. Will rolls over onto his back again, pulling Hannibal with him, returning to their previous position, Hannibal’s face tucked into his neck and Will looks up at the starry sky, hoping he planted the seed without causing Hannibal more pain unnecessarily.

             Will’s not sure how much time has gone by as they coexist in the darkness, but he is nearly startled by Hannibal’s voice, slightly muffled by his neck. “Mischa was four years younger than me.” Will goes still for a moment, not wanting anything to get in the way of the fragile words being gifted to him. “Ever since I can remember, I felt very protective of her, more like a father than a brother, perhaps because my father was often away.” Here he pauses and Will nods slowly and squeezes him in acknowledgement. He feels Hannibal take a breath before going on, this is obviously difficult for him but as long as he’s choosing to do it Will wants to be there for him. He holds him firmly, slowly caressing whatever is under his hands as he listens.

             “Everyone loved her, how could they not?” He sniffs a little on his small laugh. “She was energetic, curious, playful, kind, genuine in her caring…yet not spoiled, surprisingly, considering how everyone doted on her. My mother would wind her hair into curlers at night, so the next day she almost looked like a living doll, complete with long eyelashes and rosy cheeks.” Will can envision it perfectly and smiles, thinking he feels Hannibal smile as well, aware of what a precious gift he is being given.  

             “She was almost always dirty which was a constant thorn in my mother’s side. In the colder months she would spend hours doing arts and crafts, creating all manner of things, mostly gifts for people, and making a mess in the process. Her fingers were constantly stained with different colors of paint and the refrigerator continually covered in her creations.” Will smiles, imagining it easily. “And in the warmer months she was frequently covered in dirt or mud. We would often play by the small pond on our property after the snow melted in the spring, watching the toads, the birds, the fish… she loved animals…she was like you in that way Will, she seemed most at peace in nature.” Will smiles at the comparison, touched. “I was frequently tasked to watch over her as she wandered around.” Will takes in every minuscule detail Hannibal provides, Mischa becoming more and more fleshed out in his mind, and despite the fact that he never knew her he almost feels like he loves her, simply by hearing Hannibal describe her.

             “As we got older we would often climb the oak trees on our property which scared my mother to no end. She would tell me if anything happened to Mischa she would hold me accountable, and I believed it. I would climb right behind her in case she fell…” Will hears him take a shaky breath and holds him tighter, kissing his hair, hoping this is cathartic and not more traumatic.

             “She sounds lovely. Was she magical like you?” Will prompts, hoping to keep the conversation going. He feels Hannibal pause for a moment and then take a breath, answering.

             “I suspect so, yes, our whole family was, it was all we knew as a pureblood wizard family, it was assumed everyone was, the question was when it would present itself. Once or twice I saw her doing things that in retrospect were likely unconscious magic, but at the time I thought nothing of it.”

             “Like what?” Will asks, curious since he has very little experience with magical families…although he could also say he has very little experience with any family. He pushes that unpleasant thought away as he feels Hannibal smile.

             “One summer my family took a trip to the beach resort town of Palanga. We had spent the day at the beach and were walking back to our hotel, when we passed by a street vendor selling ice cream, incidentally one of Mischa’s favorite foods, and my father bought us each a cone. The street vendor was enchanted with Mischa, and offered her two flavors in one scoop, a special treat just for her. She giggled and selected chocolate and lemon, which at the time I found quite odd but she loved it, I’m certain she made the day of the vendor, her joy was infectious, it was impossible not to be affected. After that day she declared that was her favorite ice cream flavor – chocolate and lemon.” Will smiles, imagining the scene in his head.

             “After that we all walked on the long pier that stretches over the ocean, relaxing after a long day in the sun. When we got to the end of the pier she and I sat down, legs dangling over the side, watching the sunset as we ate our ice cream, hers occasionally dripping down into the ocean water below. I don’t know how long we sat there, but suddenly we saw dolphins in the distance, they were traveling in a pod and leaping out of the water so joyfully. I wish you could have seen the way her face lit up Will, she was so excited, neither of us had ever seen dolphins in real life before. Imagine my surprise one of them swam over to us, milling around below the pier, occasionally jumping out of the water which made Mischa laugh. At the time I was just as dazzled as she was, happy that she was happy. But now I suspect her unconscious magic may have summoned it.” Will smiles, envisioning the scene.

             “Another time I had been drawing while she played near the pond when she yelled to me, ‘Hannibal! Hannibal! Look!’ I looked over and there was a humongous eagle perched not six feet from her on a log near the pond. It was huge, a regal, magnificent bird, standing tall and proud, head cocking to the side when it heard a sound, but I could swear it was looking at Mischa. The protective part of me worried it might hurt her, as I could see its large talons gripping the bark where it stood. I set down my drawing stuff and stood to get up, watching with concern as she walked closer to it, telling her stay still but she didn’t listen to me. I was sure it would fly away, but she got about a foot away from it and it still just watched her, blinking its golden eyes. Imagine my surprise when she reached out to pet it. At that point I ran, worried it would snap at her, but it just sat there, letting her pet it for a minute or so before spreading its huge wings and taking off into the sky. The smile on her face in that moment is something I’ll never forget… You know, I used to think her fearlessness was bravery, but now I realize it was kindness. She couldn’t understand why anyone or anything would intentionally cause harm to another, hence why she had no fear of the eagle. But again, I suspect her excitement likely manifested some unconscious magic, keeping the eagle there.”

             Will kisses his hair again, whispering. “She sounds like she had all of your good traits. Curious, caring, determined…”

             Will hears Hannibal almost laugh, caught in his throat around all the emotion. “Yes I suppose. She got all the good without the bad. She couldn’t hurt another living thing…I’m certain she would have been a Hufflepuff, her kindness was by far her strongest trait, outshining everything else.” Will reflects on that a moment and asks a question he’s not sure he should before he loses his nerve.

             “What do you think Mischa would think of your actions?” Will correctly assumes he doesn’t have to give voice to what those actions are, the murders Hannibal has committed to avenge her. Contrary to what Will expects, Hannibal doesn’t tense up at all, apparently having thought of this before.

             “I abhor the thought of her knowing my actions, she would detest them surely. I don’t pretend that my actions are for her. They are for myself and myself alone, a way for me to cope with her loss.”

             Will rallies for one more tough question, since Hannibal seems to be more settled. “I have one more question for you Hannibal, and I want you to know that whatever your answer, I will respect it.” Will feels Hannibal tense again. “What do you want to do about the mirror?” Will lets the question sink in before he continues. “I can go to Crawford and he’ll no doubt have it removed and hidden or destroyed…or we can do nothing, leave it where it is. I told you before I wouldn’t stop you from going back as long as we knew what it was. I know how much she means to you, how much it means to you to see her again…” Will feels like he’s offering a heroin addict a hit but he’s not Hannibal’s keeper. As much as he wants to smash the mirror to bits for the hurt and pain it has brought Hannibal, he will never stand in the way of his happiness, he loves him too much.

             Will feels Hannibal squeeze him, before he has pushed himself halfway up, leaning on his side, hovering over Will, looking down on him with a watery smile on his face. He watches as Hannibal leans down and kisses him lightly and Will returns the kiss, gentle, intimate, and fragile.

             “Sweet Will, what did I ever do to deserve you?” Hannibal kisses his cheek and brings his hand up to cradle Will’s face. “You already know what has to be done my love. When we leave here, tell Crawford.” Will is simultaneously surprised and relieved.

             “Are you sure?”

             “Yes, I am sure.” Hannibal sounds sad but firm, resigned.

             “Okay then.” Will is surprised again as Hannibal leans down to kiss him, a little more deeply, noses brushing, before laying down on his back, looking up at the stars, eyes still glistening. Will turns on his side, looking at Hannibal in the moonlight, before scooting over to lean his head against Hannibal’s chest, feeling his arm slip under him. Sometime between looking at the stars and feeling Hannibal’s steady heartbeat below his head, he must fall asleep, for the next thing he knows is bright light overhead and he sits up, disoriented, looking around. I fell asleep in the forest?  He looks down seeing Hannibal asleep beside him.

             “Hannibal?”

             “Hmm?” The events of the previous night come flooding back and Will realizes it’s morning and they have slept all night in classroom eleven.

             “Hannibal wake up.” Will shakes him gently, seeing Hannibal sit up and look around.

             “What happened?”

             “We fell asleep in the old divination classroom. It’s morning.”

             “Oh, well good morning then.” Hannibal turns to kiss him and Will gets lost in the kiss for a moment before pulling back.

             “We should get out of here.” Will’s stomach chooses that moment to growl. “Um, and eat.” Hannibal smiles at him and stands, offering his hand. Will takes it and stands up, surprisingly less sore than he expected to be for sleeping on the ground, the moss springy almost like a mattress. Kind of like camping he supposes.

             Will undoes the lock and peeks out, slipping out first, then Hannibal following. Thankfully breakfast is still on the table in the Great Hall and they eat, Will surprisingly ravenous, although in retrospect not surprising considering they both skipped dinner last night. After they finish, they part ways to get cleaned up and Will knows what he has to do. He goes straight to Crawford’s office, telling him about the mirror, leaving out the messier details, and Crawford, as Will suspected, heads straight up to move it, mumbling his irritation about Dumbledore leaving his crap everywhere.

             The next day Will sneaks up to the classroom on the sixth floor and sure enough, the mirror is gone.

 

*

 

              The following day finds Will and Hannibal in the library again, this time for a more pleasant purpose. Earlier that day Will had referenced the “Restricted” section of the library, which apparently Hannibal had been unaware of and subsequently wanted to see. “No information should be restricted Will. Who decides that? All information is potentially valuable,” Hannibal had told him quite vehemently. Will didn’t object, but also never felt the risk of poking around in it worth the risk of whatever was inside. And being the Prefect he (kind of) is, Will informs Hannibal it is technically against the rules to look in there without permission, but is already following Hannibal over there, preparing to be his lookout.

              When they arrive, the library, like the other time they were here, is empty as far as they can tell, most students and faculty wanting to be as far away from it as possible while on break. Will shows Hannibal the Restricted section, then stands at the end of the aisle, pretending to look at the books but really keeping an eye out. Will can see Hannibal scanning the books, occasionally grabbing one and peeking inside. The first two he pursues thoughtfully, taking his time. He tries to get Will to come over to look at one called Secrets of the Darkest Art but Will declines, insisting he stay as lookout. Hannibal pesters him until he points out that Hannibal’s photographic memory can allow Hannibal to tell him all about it later to which Hannibal sighs, putting the book back. Will mentally pats himself on the back, apparently he can say no to Hannibal sometimes. The third book Hannibal selects wails quite loudly when he opens it and he instantly slams it shut, forcing it back onto the shelf quickly, as if he’s been burned.

              Will’s adrenaline spikes, startled, surely if anyone were here, they definitely heard that. Will waits, trying not to breathe, listening for anyone who might have heard it, only hearing the sound of his own rapidly beating heart. His eyes meet Hannibal’s and after a moment goes by and nothing happens they smile at each other, apparently lucky.

              A moment later their smiles die as they hear rapid footsteps clicking on the polished wood floor getting louder, headed their way. Will grabs Hannibal’s hand and runs full tilt down the aisles, weaving between bookcases and dodging desks, pulling Hannibal with him, before finally stopping, pressing himself against the end of the bookcase, peeking around it, straining to hear anything, hoping they weren’t followed.

             He hears muffled voices far away but no footsteps, and suspects they successfully got away. Catching his breath, he turns, meeting Hannibal’s gaze, seeing him catching his breath as well, as grins break out over both of their faces. Will feels alive, the thrill of the chase, the escape, he and Hannibal against the world. He moves to turn fully towards Hannibal but is stopped by Hannibal stepping in close behind him, caging him in, holding him in place, seeing his grin turning predatory. Will feels his warm solid body make contact with his own, can feel that he’s breathing hard from running. A moment later Will feels him press his body against his, Hannibal’s erection pressed firmly against his ass, and has to hold back the whimper that wants to emerge from his mouth, his own dick becoming hard in record time as he is pressed against the bookcase, reminding him of exactly where they are. “I can’t take you anywhere can I?” Will whispers playfully, still trying to listen for the voices.

             Will feels Hannibal lean into him further, feeling his lips near his ear, his warm breath there as Hannibal whispers to him, “On the contrary, dear Will, I can take you anywhere. I believe our track record has proven that.” Hannibal kisses behind his ear, nibbling at his earlobe and Will feels hot all over, shuddering. “Or do you need a reminder?” He sucks a kiss into Will’s neck, scraping his teeth on the tender skin there before he pulls back and Will feels like his legs are turning to jelly.

             Will presses his body back into Hannibal’s and feels Hannibal rock into him. Will’s adrenaline-fueled mind is running a mile a minute. Surely they can’t do this here, can they?  His lust addled mind is having a hard time remembering why they shouldn’t as Hannibal grinds into him again and he brings his own hand up over his mouth to stifle the sounds starting to spill out without his conscious consent.

             Just as he does, Hannibal steps back and turns him around, backing him into the bookcase, pulling Will’s hand away and replacing it with his mouth, kissing him hard, pressing their bodies flush against one another’s, passion fueled by the residual adrenaline coursing through their veins. A moment later Will feels his hands pulled up over his head and sees Hannibal holding his wrists in one hand, a smirk on his face. Will returns the smirk and arches his back in what he hopes is a seductive gesture, licking his lips slowly. He sees Hannibal smile with his teeth in response before he is being kissed again, small whimpers escaping him, as well as a groan as Hannibal brings his other hand to palm at Will’s erection over his pants.

             Will breaks the kiss, speaking in a whisper “Oh fuck Hannibal…” as Hannibal continues kissing down, his palm continuing to slide against Will’s groin. Will feels himself rutting against it shamelessly, his breathing speeding up, rapidly losing control of the situation. Shortly after Hannibal lets go of his wrists, grabs his ass and pulling their groins together and they both stifle a moan, Will holding on to Hannibal’s hips as they push and pull against one another, pleasure building. The sounds of their breath and the slide of their clothes sound loud in the quiet space and Will can’t help as his eyes glance around, half worried they’ll get caught, half enjoying the risk.

             “Will,” Hannibal whispers by his ear and Will shivers.

             “Mmm..Hannibal, fuck…” Will whispers back, just as Hannibal lifts him, hands sliding from his ass to the back of his thighs, hooking them around his hips, and Will tries to hold back a moan as Hannibal pins him to the bookcase, grinding into him. He feels the hard wood at his back, in contrast to the hot body at his front, feels the delicious friction, feels the pleasure building higher and higher, enhanced by the risk of where they are. Will feels carnal, free, wild, feels Hannibal kissing his throat, biting it and in response he kisses whatever skin is in front of him, lost to the pleasure. All of a sudden it’s too much, Will can feel his orgasm coming. He claws at Hannibal’s back, biting his shoulder as he comes, trying to stay quiet but losing himself in the ecstasy of the moment, feeling Hannibal stiffen and exhale as he presses once more, climaxing. As they come down, they rest their foreheads against one another's, sharing the same humid warm air between them, light sheen of sweat coating them. They stay like that for a moment in their own magic bubble before reality starts to encroach, Will’s ears picking up distant sound of voices. They don’t sound close, but it’s enough to bring his brain back online, reminding him exactly where they are. He subsequently feels the warm stickiness in his underwear begin to cool, reminding him exactly what they just did. Holy hell that just happened. He looks at Hannibal and smiles almost shyly, not sure exactly why he’s feeling bashful all of a sudden as Hannibal smiles back, kissing him once before lowering him back to the floor.

             They both pull out their wands, doing the cleaning spell, then share a conspiratorial smile before holding hands and walking out, keeping a wide berth of the Restricted section. Will supposes it’s going to be difficult for him to study in the library from now on.

Chapter Text

The lovely image of Will above was created by the amazingly talented madsmeetsmisha - thank you for letting me use it! ^_^ <3

 

             In the first week of May, the weather has become quite hot and humid, so of course Professor Quirrell decides it’s the best time to learn Firestorm spell. As if Will needs another reason to hate Quirrell – couldn’t he have taught this when it was COLD outside? You motherfucker, Will thinks as he’s sweating under his robes, irritable from the heat. The class is told that the spell is designed to keep Inferi, which are reanimated dead bodies, at bay should they ever encounter them. They are shown pictures of Inferi - ghastly looking creatures, gaunt and skeletal, with white cloudy eyes. Apparently, like many creatures that dwell in cold and darkness, they fear light and warmth, hence Firestorm being a wise choice to defend oneself.

             Quirrell, who likely did not think the lesson plan through all the way, demonstrates the spell inside the classroom, which results in the strong smell of singed hair and the class rapidly dropping to the floor. Will has to admit Firestorm is quite an impressive spell, as it creates a large ring of fire around the caster’s wand which can be swung around much like a lasso. Once it’s determined that no one was seriously harmed, Quirrell informs them that the caster may also project jets or balls of flame, which cause everyone to duck again, however this time Quirrell is smart enough to not demonstrate this. Thank god for small miracles, Will thinks. Quirrell’s solution is to have only one student at a time practice, which Will admits is much safer, but makes for a sweaty and simultaneously fearful and boring class until it’s your own turn.

             Will tells Hannibal all about it at lunch, excited for him to learn the spell too so they can practice together. He secretly wants to see Hannibal do the spell. Will loves Hannibal’s magic, it’s always so intense and powerful, and with a spell already as intense as powerful as Firestorm, he’s confident it will be an impressive display.

              Later that week, after Hannibal has had the lesson, Will is not disappointed. They walk out to their spot by the lake after class, smartly realizing large open space and water are wise to have when creating large rings of fire. The day is already hot and humid, and part of Will doesn’t want to practice; the idea of creating more heat when it’s already so hot seems cosmically wrong. He eyes the cool lake water fondly, imagining himself floating on his back, nice and cool, rather than hot and sticky as he actually is.

              Hannibal prompts him to go first, as Will has had more time to practice. Will sighs a little, knowing his weakness is saying no to Hannibal, so of course he gets up, walking sadly away from the cool temptation of the lake. After a moment of thought, he then walks a little further from Hannibal, not wanting to accidentally burn him, although Hannibal doesn’t appear worried. Will raises his wand, points it above him, learning from the mistake of his classmate with no eyebrows or eyelashes, and recites the incantation, “Circulus ignus!”

              Immediately, fire begins to shoot out of the tip of his wand, growing until it has created a ring around him. He pulls his wand in a circle, feeling the flames grow, creating gusts of wind that would feel good if they were about, oh I don’t know, A THOUSAND DEGREES COOLER, Will thinks. He feels the weight of the fire as if it is tethered to his wand and rotates it like he was taught. He has to admit, despite feeling incredibly overheated, he feels quite badass doing this spell. Every time he does a particularly strong swish of his wand, the flames grow, leap, and roar, crackling powerfully. Once he has exhausted his experimental motions, he glances at Hannibal as best he can through the ring of fire, trying to lift it above him and hey that was pretty, easy! I guess that makes sense, heat rises. When their gazes meet Will sees Hannibal looks both awestruck and proud… and maybe a little turned on? Interesting… Will smirks at him, feeling flirty and playful, and winks before he raises his wand up in a flourish, ending the spell.

              When he catches Hannibal’s eyes again, Will definitely sees his performance was appreciated and he walks just a little taller, feeling Hannibal watching him as he walks a fraction closer. Fueled by the confidence he feels, Will makes a spur of the moment decision, doing a brief, glance around, before loosening his tie and unbuttoning his shirt, flapping the fabric open. Oh god, that is so much better, it’s so fucking hot out here! He can already feel the light breeze cooling his sweaty overheated skin, before giving in and pushing the whole thing off. He meets Hannibal’s eyes and can feel his gaze like a caress, the tension sparking between them despite the fact that they are quite far apart, and Will enjoys the anticipation. Still feeling overheated, he sits down on the grass, taking off his shoes and socks, and then rolls his pant lets up. Ahh, much better.

              When he stands again he has Hannibal’s undivided attention and he walks close enough to not have to shout. “Your turn?” The words have barely left Will’s mouth before he realizes the vagueness of his sentence. He meant ‘Your turn to do the Firestorm spell’, but instead he sees Hannibal pocket his wand, staring right at him as he slowly loosens his tie and removes it, making a show of dropping it to the ground. He then proceeds to slowly unbutton his shirt, and Will is riveted by this impromptu striptease he is being given, feeling his arousal building. Will watches as Hannibal slowly slides the shirt off of his shoulders, revealing his muscled torso, glistening with sweat, and golden chest hair. Fuck he’s hot. Will keeps waiting for the honeymoon period to end, for his magnetic pull to Hannibal to wane, and so far it hasn’t. He wonders if it will always be this way - he hopes so.

              Will watches as Hannibal toes off his shoes, easily removing his socks as well, and copies Will rolling up his pant legs. For a moment Will imagines they are pirates or wrestlers, before his attention is pulled back to the present by Hannibal pulling his wand back out, smirking at Will and fuck, even his smirk is sexy.

              “Ready?” Hannibal’s voice is huskier, belying that he is affected by their teasing too. Will steps back slightly and nods. A moment later he hears Hannibal mutter the spell before a huge jet of fire is coursing out of his wand and encircling him, crackling and roaring - and Will can’t help that he leans back slightly out of reflex. He watches as Hannibal swirls the flames around like a lasso, the fire roaring on each swing as it grows in size and speed. After a moment Will sees Hannibal attempt to do what he did, raise it above his head and oh my god he looks like a painting, like a God of Fire, muscles glistening, hair flying, fire roaring, forearms tense. Will can’t tear his eyes away but his hand scrambles blindly for his bag nearby, feeling for his camera because he wants this image saved, it’s epic and fucking sexy as hell.

              His fingers scramble and then aha! he feels the camera and grabs it, lifting it up and taking a picture, to which Hannibal seems amused, a quirk of his lips, but doesn’t seem bothered. Will watches as Hannibal ends the spell with a flourish of his wand, and just like that they are about twenty feet apart, both sweaty and shirtless. Will sets down the camera and walks towards Hannibal, seeing Hannibal pocket his wand and walk to meet him halfway.

             As they meet, Will brings his hands up to Hannibal’s chest, sliding his palms slowly over his warm skin, feeling the slick slide from the sweat, feeling his soft slightly damp chest hair. Hannibal watches him, briefly tilting his head back at the sensation and taking a breath through his nose. Will can almost imagine the air around them crackling with sexual tension and he inhales as well, savoring the moment. He can feel the residual heat radiating off of Hannibal and it’s making him hotter, but not in a good way. He turns to look longingly at the cool water of the lake again and has an idea.

              Will takes Hannibal’s hands in his own and starts walking backwards towards the lake. As he does, he sees Hannibal looking at him curiously but notes he goes along willingly. When he gets them to the edge of the lake, Will glances at it, assessing, and is distracted by the image of them reflected blurrily on the surface. They look quite good and Will realizes he doesn’t look quite as skinny as he used to, in fact he looks almost as muscular as Hannibal – apparently having lots of sex is conducive to gaining muscle, who knew?

              Going back to his original train of thought, Will wonders how safe it is to swim in the lake. He’s seen students do it before, even though it is technically against the rules, and most come out fine. He recalls a few years ago a student got attacked by a Grindylow, the water demons that live at the bottom of the lake. The risk of such an attack is quite low, since even though Grindylows are aggressive, they typically don’t come near the surface. Decision made, Will looks from Hannibal to the lake, then back. “Care to go for a swim?”

              Will watches as Hannibal’s eyes narrow, no doubt working through the pros and cons as he did. The childish part of him wants to push Hannibal in while he’s thinking, but he resists. Will sees the moment Hannibal decides, apparently curiosity wins over caution, big surprise there. “Alright, after you.”

              Smiling briefly at his success, Will casts a quick look around before undoing his belt and pants, sliding them off, and haphazardly folding them, setting them near his bag. Hannibal watches, then follows Will’s lead. When Will is down to his underwear, he hesitates. Part of him loves the idea of skinny dipping with Hannibal, but another part of him knows it’s not a good idea in case 1) someone sees them, or 2) they get attacked by something (which would inevitably also result to someone seeing them). Realizing he’s standing around in his underwear, Will immediately steps towards the water, grabbing Hannibal’s hand and pulling him along.

              Will hisses a little at the shock of the cold water but it is followed by a sigh of relief and pleasure. He lets go of Hannibal’s hand, diving under, feeling the refreshingly cool water wash away the layer of sticky sweat, cooling his overheated flesh and he instantly feels a hundred times better. As he surfaces, wiping the water and hair out of his eyes, he sees Hannibal is still working his way in, watching Will. In that moment Will wishes he could sneak up on him and knock him in but the likelihood of that is slim at the moment. Instead he swims over and wraps his arms around Hannibal, instantly noticing that the contrast of their body temperatures is shocking. Hannibal feels scalding hot to the touch and Will sees Hannibal shiver at the contact – he supposes he must feel ice cold in comparison. Will slides his hands over Hannibal’s hot skin, moving the water around, feeling the planes of his muscles, before bringing his hands to his jaw and kissing him, feeling Hannibal’s arms come around him.

              Hannibal’s face and mouth feel just as hot and Will relishes the contrast of his cool lips to Hannibal’s warm ones, feeling the temperature of each normalizing the longer they kiss. It’s a beautiful metaphor, Will thinks, for how they continue to change one another. He hears Hannibal moan lightly and sees an opportunity. Trying his best not to telegraph his plan, Will continues kissing Hannibal as he brings his arms tightly around him, then sharply pulls them to the side, and feels the moment gravity wins. He enjoys a split second of seeing Hannibal’s eyes widen in shock as their lips part, before they both fall into the water with a splash.

              Will is on cloud nine, feeling playful and joyous, as he feels Hannibal’s body move against his underwater. He feels Hannibal jerk up away from him, and when they both surface Will tries to hold back laughter as Hannibal glares at him, spitting out the lake water and pushing his wet hair back out of his eyes. Despite the glare he looks gorgeous, skin glistening in the sunlight, rivulets of water running down his body. Will swims over to him and climbs up his body, feeling their body temperatures almost the same now, Hannibal’s still holding some residual heat, and lets out a gasp as their bodies slide against one another. Will feels Hannibal’s arms come around him and smiles innocently at him.

              “Feels good right?” Will asks with a teasing smile. He watches Hannibal’s calculating stare, then feels him pull their bodies flush against one another, as Hannibal bends his knees so just their heads are above the water. In this position Will feels the outline of Hannibal’s hard cock through his wet underwear against his stomach and feels his own respond in kind as Hannibal whispers into his ear..

              “Yes,” he grinds into Will, causing him to gasp as his eyelids to flutter, “it feels very good.” Fuck, Will thinks, he knows what he’s doing to me the bastard. Will feels on sensory overload, he supposes he didn’t really think this through. It’s not an ideal location for fooling around for a number of reasons, but he can’t resist pressing his own body against Hannibal’s, his own arousal rubbing against Hannibal’s thigh. Before things can proceed too far, he musters up some will power and pushes off from Hannibal, ducking underwater, and coming up about six feet away with a teasing smile. Will swims around, aware of Hannibal watching him from a distance. It’s deeper where he is now, so he decides to try to float on his back, remembering his vision from earlier.

             Will feels Hannibal’s eyes on him as he kicks back, feeling the buoyancy, as he begins to straighten out, floating. Just as he’s going to fully straighten out, he realizes this will make his erection clearly visible through his underwear above the waterline and thinks better of it, trying to keep his hips underwater. In his moment of indecision, Will is not paying attention to his surroundings and realizes for a brief moment he doesn’t see Hannibal, before he is being pulled underwater. He has a moment of panic, thrashing around before recognizing the familiar hands and body near him – Hannibal dunked him!

              Once he figures out which way is up, Will kicks to the surface, spitting out water as he goes. He leans his head to the side, trying unsuccessfully to get the water out of his ear. He rotates in place until he sees Hannibal, treading water a few feet away, eyes dancing with amusement. “Feels good right?” he asks with mock innocence. Will wants to glare but can’t help the smile that breaks out over his face, he loves the playful banter they have.

              “Oh yes, lovely,” Will says sarcastically as he swims over to him, still half-heartedly trying to shake the water out of his ear. At the last moment he dives under and tries to swim around Hannibal, hoping he can come up behind him and dunk him, but it’s hard to see in the murky lake water and Hannibal realizes his intention right before he comes up. They play for a bit, splashing, teasing, and trying to dunk each other. As they tire, they hold one another as they catch their breath. Will can feel their body temperatures are now the same and he leans forward to kiss Hannibal, feeling the contrast of how warm the insides of their mouths are compared to the coolness of their lips and skin.

              A shiver passes over Hannibal which seems to inspire one in Will. In that moment, Will realizes the sun is setting and he feels a bit cold, but he’s still running on the high of happiness. He turns to Hannibal, kisses him once, then pulls back and says, “Race you back!” With that he dunks Hannibal as best he can, pushing off from him to start swimming back to shore. He hears Hannibal resurface and sputter before beginning to pursue him. Will manages to make it to the shore before Hannibal catches up to him. As Will steps out of the water on shaky legs, he shivers again, feeling colder by the moment. Shortly after, he sees Hannibal emerge from the water, shivering as well. He also notices a small glare being leveled his way but Will can tell he’s not really mad.

              Will tosses Hannibal his clothes and they both duck behind the treeline to remove their wet underwear and put on their dry clothes, opting to “go commando,” carrying their wet underwear back in their bags, deciding that the time it would take to dry them is not worth the wait to get back to the castle and out of the cold.

              “Dinner?” Will asks as they walk back hand in hand, feeling that particular brand of hunger that seems to only occur after swimming and lots of sunlight.

              “Yes, but I want to shower first, that lake can’t be sanitary.” Will rolls his eyes as Hannibal continues, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we caught something. You saw how murky that water was. And thanks to you I probably swallowed a gallon of it.” Will rolls his eyes again.

              “Drama queen, that’s what you are.”

              “Health and cleanliness are nothing to joke about Will.” Feeling bold, still running on the high from earlier, Will leans in close to Hannibal, whispering.

              “Can I convince you to delay your shower? I love the idea of you walking around without underwear on. Our little secret…” To Will’s surprise Hannibal actually blushes slightly and Will finds he feels powerful. Normally the roles are reversed and he has to admit, it’s kind of fun on this side.

              “I…” Hannibal starts but seems to get stuck. Will rides the wave of empowerment, grabbing Hannibal’s hand and pulling.


              “Come on, eat dinner with me, you can shower after. Please?” Will tries to look pleading and sees the moment Hannibal relents, slight blush still on his cheeks.

              “Alright fine, lead the way.” Will smiles and they eat dinner together in the Great Hall, Will shooting sly looks at Hannibal the entire time, enjoying the color it brings to his cheeks.

             

*

 

             The next day, all through Potions, Hannibal looks green under the gills, not focusing well. He has a dazed look on his face, staring off into space, glossy eyes, unhealthy skin pallor, and has a sheen of sweat on his skin. Will thinks overall he looks quite peaky. Once the lecture portion of class is over and they set up their cauldrons to brew, Will asks him quietly, “Hey, are you okay?” His concern worsens when Hannibal doesn’t answer the first time and Will grabs his forearm, asking him again more forcefully. At this Hannibal looks up at him, looking very out of it.

             “I didn’t sleep well last night,” Hannibal replies after a beat.

             “Yeah you look like it.”

             “It was much colder than usual. In fact, even now I still don’t feel warm.” This raises alarm bells in Will’s mind, as the Potions classroom is definitely not cold. In fact, the room was warm enough to warrant Will removing his robe shortly after they arrived and now the room has become even warmer due to everyone using their cauldrons.

       By lunch it’s clear that Hannibal is suffering from more than just not sleeping well. “I bet I caught something from that unsanitary lake,” Hannibal complains. Will lays his palm against Hannibal’s forehead, noting that it does feel hot enough to be a fever. Despite the fact that Hannibal seems to be burning up, he continues to complain that he feels cold. As they continue through lunch Will notes Hannibal has also started periodically sneezing and begins to look more and more pale. The tipping point comes when Will notices Hannibal has barely touched his lunch, and had just been pushing the food around aimlessly on the plate.

             “Alright, that’s it, I’m taking you to Madame Pomfry,” Will states with decisive force, expecting some pushback. The fact that Hannibal doesn’t fight it says volumes, and Will helps him up to the hospital wing. Once there, Madame Pomfry takes one look at her prized student before pushing him into bed and forcing Will aside in a stern tone as she assesses him.

             “Fever, body aches, chills, sore throat, headache, fatigue, discomfort…yes it’s the flu,” Madame Pomfry declares as Hannibal lays in the hospital bed, closing his eyes now that the probing assessment is done, looking miserable.

             “Would Pepperup potion help?” Will asks, trying to remember what he can about healing potions, as she continues tut around. As quickly as the words leave his mouth, he hears her scoff at his question.

             “No that’s for the common cold Mr. Graham, it won’t work on the flu. I’m afraid the only cure is rest and time. He’ll have to stay here for the time being.” Will looks at Hannibal who appears to be asleep already.

             “Can I stay with him?”

             “He’ll be in good hands Mr. Graham, you go to class, he’ll be here when you return.” She offers him a small smile, then walks off. Will checks that she’s gone before sitting on the side of the bed and leaning down over Hannibal, brushing the hair off his face, kissing his forehead, noting the heat still emanating off of him. Deciding he isn’t totally useless, Will gets a washcloth, remembering where they are from his extensive stay in the hospital wing. He discreetly wets it, wringing the excess water out, then folds it and gently sets it on Hannibal’s forehead. Hannibal mmms at the gesture and Will continues to stroke his hair gently.

             “Hannibal?” Will says softly, realizing reluctantly that he needs to leave for Alchemy soon.

             “Mmm.”

             “I have to go to class now. I’ll come back after, get some rest.” Will leans in and kisses him on the cheek, whispering, “I love you.”

             “Mm love you too.” Hannibal’s eyelids flutter and with that Will leaves.

             Of course when Will arrives in class, everyone demands to know where Hannibal is and oh no, is he okay?  Will immediately realizes literally everyone wants to go see him in the hospital wing and isn’t sure how to stop them, or if he should? Surely Madame Pomfry won’t allow an endless parade of students visiting, would she? Should he lie and say Hannibal is contagious and no one is allowed? He ends up trying to discourage some of the visiting by saying Hannibal really needs rest and maybe tomorrow he would be up for visitors, hoping they respect that. He already feels drained by the conversations and hopes that by tomorrow Hannibal won’t be in the hospital wing anymore anyway. Before he leaves, he gets Hannibal’s assignments from Dumbledore.

             After class Will goes straight back up to the hospital wing. He sees Hannibal is still asleep so he doesn’t wake him. Instead he goes down to the kitchen and talks Pogo into letting him take some chicken soup and tea with him for Master Lecter.

             When he returns to the hospital wing Hannibal is in a lighter sleep than before and turns towards the sound as Will is setting his stuff down.

             “Hey how are you feeling?” Will asks gently.

             “Awful,” is Hannibal’s nasally reply. Hannibal winces as he speaks and Will remembers vividly when the roles were reversed, empathy constricting his heart, wanting to provide whatever comfort he can.

             “Want some tea? Or soup?” Will asks as he gestures at the bounty he brought, earning a slight smile from Hannibal.

             “Tea please.” Will pours him some, rewarming it with his wand before handing it over, then sits down in the visitor chair. After a moment Hannibal speaks, looking less pained after sipping the tea. “Thank you, this is nice.”

             “You’re welcome. Anything else you want? I’ll probably get kicked out at curfew so think about it.” Hannibal nods, contemplating a moment before he speaks again.

             “There is something I want, but I suspect I can’t have it,” Hannibal says, voice slightly gruffer and more nasally than normal, likely due to the congestion.

             “What is it?” Will asks, wanting to give him anything that would take that pained expression away.

             “I feel so cold, Will, I wish I could lay here with you, soak up your warmth…” Will sees how Hannibal is holding the cup of tea close to his body and how he is scrunched in on himself under the blankets. Reaching out his hand, Will takes Hannibal’s in his, twining their fingers together and tucking them both under the blanket. Hannibal may feel cold but to Will his skin feels burning hot – the flu he supposes, fever and chills. Will wants more than anything to crawl in there with Hannibal but suspects it would earn him a one-way ticket out of the hospital wing. That being said, his weakness is saying no to Hannibal and he finds his mind already forming something of a compromise. Will pulls back his hand as he makes a decision.

             “Scoot over,” Will directs. It’s probably not a good idea but Will sees Hannibal’s already complying, moving over with a small wince. Will sits down on top of the covers, moving the pillows around so he can lay back but still be somewhat upright. He puts his arm behind Hannibal and pulls Hannibal’s head to rest on his chest, feeling Hannibal’s arm come up over his own chest, cuddled together. As they settle, Will can feel as they both release a contented sigh, yes this is better. Not perfect, but it will have to do and Will will fight Madame Pomfry if need be. After a few moments Will feels Hannibal’s breathing slow and even out, his head pushing more heavily into his chest, and Will just holds him as he sleeps, looking down occasionally at the silver ring on Hannibal’s finger laid over his chest, smiling. In sickness and in health huh.

             After about an hour Madame Pomfry peeks in and frowns. Will meets her stare head on, unafraid. He watches as she looks at Hannibal, who is deeply asleep, and then to Will. Will tries his best to keep his expression from being challenging or defiant, despite the fact that that is exactly how he feels. He almost wants her to challenge him, the words ready on the tip of his tongue, there is nothing inappropriate going on here. Madame Pomfry gives him a hard look once more but then turns and continues on her way, and Will smiles, letting out the breath he didn’t realize he had been holding.

             Around dinner time Will gently cards his fingers through Hannibal’s hair until he stirs, groaning. The sun has mostly set and Madame Pomfry is lighting the wall sconces.

             “Hey,” Will drops a kiss on his hair. “How are you feeling?”

             “Mm…” Will hears Hannibal clear his throat before trying again, “…still awful but marginally better.” At that moment Hannibal seems to notice where Will is and pauses, seeing Madame Pomfry moving around at the far end of the room. Noticing his confusion, Will speaks softly to him, explaining.

             “We have a tacit agreement for now, Madame Pomfry and I, don’t worry. But if you want me to move, just say so.” At that Hannibal holds onto him a little tighter and Will smiles, holding him back.

             “No, I like you here.”

             “Well you may want me to move if you want to eat. I brought chicken soup.” At that Hannibal’s stomach rumbles slightly and Will smiles again. “I’ll take that as a yes. Here sit up.” Will sits up, pulling Hannibal with him, and stuffs more pillows behind him, before getting off the bed and retrieving the soup. He heats it up with his wand and pours some carefully into two bowls, belatedly realizing it would have been much easier to pour it before he heated it – he makes a mental note for next time as he tries to avoid hot splashes. He hands a bowl to Hannibal, then sits in the visitor chair with the other and they eat in comfortable silence.

             “It’s not homemade soup, I got it from Pogo,” Will says around a bite. It’s not bad but his standards are likely much lower than Hannibal’s in regards to food.

             “It’s wonderful Will thank you,” Hannibal replies graciously.

             After they finish, Will puts the bowls away, then feels Hannibal’s forehead, seeing his eyes closing briefly at the contact.

             “You still feel hot, hold on.” Will gets the old washcloth, rinses it out and brings it back, laying it over Hannibal’s forehead as he closes his eyes.

             “Mmm, you would make an excellent healer Will,” Hannibal says which causes Will to scoff.

             “I doubt that. I suggested Pepperup potion earlier and Madame Pomfry quickly shot that down.” Will sees Hannibal smile, his eyes still closed.

             “Common mistake, cold versus flu.”

             “Yeah well that’s a mistake you wouldn’t make.” Will feels Hannibal’s hand find his own and sees Hannibal has turned his head slightly, eyes open, looking at him.

             “I wouldn’t want anyone else looking after me,” Hannibal says as he brings Will’s hand to his mouth and kisses his knuckles, before turning his head back, closing his eyes again, shivering with a wince.

             “Still cold?”

             “Mm…and my head hurts.” Will gets up, Hannibal watching him, and motions for Hannibal to scoot over again. He does and Will sits down on top of the blankets again, pulling Hannibal to him like before. He sets the cloth aside and angles their bodies so he can bring his hands to Hannibal’s head, gently massaging his scalp, his temples, his neck, alternating with carding his fingers through his hair. After a few minutes of this Will hears Hannibal groan in pleasure and shushes him.

             “Stop that! Madame Pomfry is going to kick me out if she hears you making sounds like that,” which causes Hannibal chuckle slightly but Will notes he does quiet the sounds he makes.

             “I don’t see why, there is nothing illicit about this.”

             “Okay well you can explain it to her then as she’s booting me out the door,” Will teases. He continues until he hears Hannibal’s breathing even out again and suspects he is asleep. Will stays in place with Hannibal resting against his chest until the hour when visitors must leave, and he gently extricates himself. As he lays Hannibal down he kisses his forehead, not caring if Madame Pomfry sees. By his ear he whispers, “I love you Hannibal, get some rest.” And with that he heads back to his dorm for the night.

 

*

 

             The next day, Will makes sure to get Hannibal’s assignments from Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts, and then after classes are over stops by the kitchen to get more tea and soup before heading up to the hospital wing to visit Hannibal. Will would swear that his errands barely took half an hour, if that, but apparently a lot can happen in that time.

             When Will returns to the hospital wing he nearly drops the soup and tea at the sight that greets him. As he rounds the corner and looks to Hannibal’s bed, he can’t see Hannibal for the wall of people around surrounding him. Why is he so fucking popular?  As he scans the wall of bodies, his brain automatically identifies them: Freddie, Abigail, Anthony, and Chiyoh. Yay, Slytherin fan club, Will thinks sarcastically. Truth be told, Will doesn’t begrudge them visiting. What he does begrudge is 1) Anthony sitting on the side of Hannibal’s bed – what the fuck?, 2) Chiyoh tucking Hannibal’s blankets in – again – what the fuck?, 3) Freddie leaning on the head of Hannibal’s bed, and 4) Abigail…well he doesn’t really see Abigail doing anything other than staring at Hannibal from the visitor chair but right now that rubs Will the wrong way too.

             Will feels jealous rage building up in him and slowly takes a breath, again being thankful for the ring on Hannibal’s finger that he can see clearly from this vantage point. Not that it’s doing much good at the moment, but who knows, maybe it would be worse without it?  He shudders at the thought of the scene before him being worse and shakes his head to clear those thoughts away, not helping his anger. The audacity!  Will thinks. Hannibal’s sick - it’s not like he can get up and walk away from all this company, and he’s too fucking polite to kick them out. Will smiles darkly, luckily for Hannibal he has no such qualms. In a way it’s like a do-over for the greenhouse incident. This time Will has no intention of watching without taking action.

             Before he has made up his mind what to say or do, his feet carry him forward. The group turns to look at him as he sets down the tea and soup he’s carrying, then folds his arms defiantly. Will sees Hannibal’s eyes light up when he spots him, and that is all the fuel he needs to continue walking forward, unafraid. He spares a moment to realize the novelty of confidently walking towards a group of people, since he not only dislikes groups of people, but especially dislikes groups of Slytherins. Score one for personal growth, he thinks wryly.

             As Will approaches, Anthony calls out to him in an overly friendly manner, “Hi Will!”

             Will’s eyes reluctantly leave Hannibal’s face to glare at Anthony as he says, “Hannibal’s too polite to say this but I’m sure as hell not. Get out, all of you. He needs to rest.”

             “But Will, we just got here,” Abigail says, expression shocked and confused as Will turns to her, seeing her visibly shrink back. Will can’t help the small rush that goes through him, the power of instilling fear in others versus being afraid. The righteousness of punishing these people who think they can impose on Hannibal.

             “Did I fucking stutter? If you care about him, let him rest. If you stay, I can only assume it’s for selfish reasons,” Will says, annoyed. At this Freddie pushes off from the bed, coming to stand right in front of Will, attitude in her posture.

             “Hold up, Romeo. I get it, I do, you two are together. We know. But that doesn’t mean no one else can talk to him. You don’t own him.” Red flashes behind Will’s eyes and he steps forward into her space, staring her down. To her credit she doesn’t flinch.

             “You’re right Freddie…I don’t own him. But I love him and I’ll be damned if I’m going to stand here and let you take advantage of his politeness, he’s sick. Now get the fuck out.”

             “Or what?” she challenges. She talks big, Will thinks, but he sees a flash of fear in her eyes. Will decides to capitalize on that, leaning in close to her personal space, speaking quietly so only she can hear.

             “Or what? Freddie, you’ve heard the rumors, haven’t you? I helped the Ministry catch a murderer, by getting inside his head, understanding why he kills, how he does it, how he was getting away with it... so I want you to think really carefully about the next words that come out of your mouth. It isn’t very smart to piss off a guy who thinks about killing people…someone who can think like a murderer.” As Will pulls back he smugly notes he can see real fear in her eyes. He observes Abigail and Chiyoh looking at her with concern, and sees Anthony watching the whole thing with wide eyes. To his credit, Anthony jumped off the bed the second Will started speaking. Will can see Freddie nearly trembling in fear and sees Abigail rush over to her, clutching her arm.

             “Freddie?”

             “Come on Abby, Chiyoh, let’s go,” she says, dazed, eyes never leaving Will. As a pack the girls make their way out and Will instantly feels significantly better. One to go…

             Anthony remains but is already putting on his bag to leave. Contrary to expectation, rather than looking scared or ashamed he looks amused. He saunters over to Will and stops in front of him, giving him a once over, as if he’s seeing him for the first time. “I must say Will you are suddenly so fascinating.” Will takes a breath through his nose, anger flaring. However in that moment Hannibal interjects before Will can respond (which is probably for the best, Will thinks; as empowered as he feels, he can’t deny he feels a little unstable at the moment, jealously clouding his thoughts).


              “Anthony it would be best if you would leave,” Hannibal says, voice still rough with illness, sniffing his nose slightly. Will stares down Anthony who still looks more amused than scared which only serves to further piss him off. Anthony lobs a small smile at Hannibal before holding his hands up in a placating gesture and making a show of leaving, waiting until the last minute to turn to the door. Will watches him the whole way, feeling his hackles rising the longer he’s in the room, finally starting to calm down when he is out of sight.

             When he’s finally gone and they are alone, threat neutralized, Will finally looks to Hannibal. Will is surprised to find he’s not ashamed in the slightest - in the past his displays of possessive behavior always made him feel embarrassed afterwards, but right now all he feels is power and triumph (soured slightly by the details of Anthony’s exit). He sees Hannibal is looking at him like he’s a question and Will walks to him, wanting to be the answer. Hannibal is the first to speak, smirk on his lips as he reaches his hand out to him.

             “I can’t take you anywhere can I?” Hannibal says, amused, and Will cracks a smile as he plops on the bed, recalling the same words he spoke to Hannibal in the library. Very different circumstances.

             “Technically you didn’t take me here, I got here on my own.” Will takes Hannibal’s hand in his, twining their fingers together, looking from their hands to Hannibal’s face, meeting his gaze - it feels intimate despite the teasing banter.

             “But I appreciate the company,” Hannibal replies, causing Will to laugh darkly.

             “Did you appreciate their company?” Will feels a small sliver of insecurity that remains, eyes flitting downward briefly as his forehead furrows. The only thing that would have altered his actions are Hannibal’s wishes, which he concedes he didn’t really consult. But as long as he’s known Hannibal, he’s never known him to put up with something he sincerely didn’t want. Hannibal takes a moment to reply, caressing Will’s fingers in his own and coughing a little.

             “I appreciate the gesture of their visit, but your company is infinitely preferable. Come here Will.” Hannibal tugs on their joined hands, moving over to make room. Will scoots over on top of the blankets, intentionally messing them up where Chiyoh had been tucking them in. Will suspects this small act of defiance does not go unnoticed by Hannibal who raises an eyebrow at him but doesn’t comment. Will leans back against the pillows and puts his arm around Hannibal, sighing in contentment at the contact, feeling Hannibal relax into him. Will finds Hannibal’s left hand and twines their fingers together, feeling the ring, as he tries to formulate his thoughts into words. Upon reflecting on his actions, he is reminded of the description of his Cedar wand, how it can make for a frightening adversary if harm is done to a loved one. Yup that about sums it up.

             “I’m not sorry…for kicking them out. For the way I kicked them out. If it bothered you I want you to tell me.” Will feels Hannibal cough a little before replying.

             “On the contrary, it was both highly amusing and slightly arousing. You are becoming Will, realizing your potential, your power. Your scent is changing to reflect the change too, reflecting your confidence, your true nature… it’s a beautiful thing to bear witness to. To see you take control.”

             “You think I’m in control?” Will asks softly, honestly curious, wishing he could see himself how Hannibal seems to see him, but unable to deny he does feel a change happening. Again, Hannibal coughs a bit before he speaks again.

             “I think you’re more in control now than you ever have been.” The conviction in Hannibal’s words wills Will to believe them to be true, and he is starting to feel like he’s becoming who he is really meant to be. Will rests his head atop Hannibal’s and they nap for a bit after Will fills Hannibal in on what he said to Freddie, earning a darkly proud smile which Will would find arousing if the circumstances were different. They wake a short time later to the unnecessarily loud movements of Madame Pomfry nearby and Will sits up a little straighter until she moves on. As he settles back in Will comments,

              “I should have just taken you to the Room of Requirement. If I had known all you needed was rest then we could be resting together…more comfortably,” Will finishes lamely to which Hannibal laughs lightly.

             “That would have been more comfortable yes, but unfortunately it would not have excused me from class.” Will realizes he is right of course. This prompts Will to think about what life will be like when he stays with Hannibal over the summer, having a place all to themselves and he smiles at the thought.

             A short time later Alana and Margot stop by. Will stiffens for a moment, wondering if he should move from their cuddled position but Hannibal makes no motion to move, continuing to lean against him so he decides to just go with it. For an absurd moment he feels like he is looking at them from the outside, through Margot and Alana’s eyes, and feels a slight blush rise to his cheeks at the intimate picture they no doubt make. Will finds their company much more tolerable than the previous group, but suspects that may have something to do with his current position plastered to Hannibal’s side. For a moment he imagines being cuddled up to Hannibal like this with the Slytherin group…and he can’t. He really can’t.

             “Hey guys,” Margot says as she approaches the bed, Alana a step behind her, holding her hand. “How you feelin Hannibal? We heard from this one,” here she gestures at Will, “that you were ill.” Hannibal sits up slightly, looking quite soft in Will’s eyes, in his pajamas and hair softly falling over his face. He coughs a bit before he can answer, and when he does his voice still a bit nasally.

             “Yes, unfortunately I have the flu.” More coughing. “Fortunately, I have an excellent caregiver,” Hannibal says as he gestures Will’s direction and Will colors, not sure how he feels being called a caregiver. Margot smirks knowingly at this.

             “Yeah I bet. Aren’t you worried you’re going to catch it Will?” Margot asks, looking like she’s laughing at some internal joke. Truth be told Will hadn’t thought of that but even if he had, it wouldn’t have changed anything.

             “I’ll take my chances,” he replies cautiously, seeing her smirk at him again.

             “Well, we hope you get well soon Hannibal,” Alana chimes in.

             “Thank you ladies, I appreciate the sentiment, and the visit.” At that they turn to leave.

             “Feel better Hannibal. Will, take good care of him,” Margot says and she winks just as they clear the doorway, gone before Will can respond.

             About an hour after that, Will sees Beverly peek into the hospital wing, gaze searching. To be honest Will feels drained from all the visitors but is willing to make an effort for Beverly. When their eyes meet she walks towards them. Hannibal fell asleep shortly after Alana and Margot left so Will is now holding a sleeping Hannibal in his arms and blushes slightly, feeling Beverly’s gaze take in the scene before her.

             “Hey,” she whispers when she’s within earshot.

             “Hey,” he replies back in a whisper, feeling his cheeks warming. Beverly nods towards Hannibal.

             “How’s he doing? Sick?”

             “Flu,” he replies in a whisper. “And he’s better, but still resting.”

             “Yeah I see that,” she says, grinning and Will has the feeling he’s being made fun of again but can’t pinpoint why. Will realizes he must have narrowed his eyes at her because she responds, “Hey, chill  Will, you guys are just cute, that’s all.” She holds up her hands placatingly and Will relaxes, no longer feeling scrutinized and under attack.

             “…thanks?” Will isn’t sure what an appropriate response is to that but is willing to try for Beverly.

             “You’re welcome. Well tell him I stopped by and I wish him a speedy recovery. Oh wait…” Beverly stops her motion to exit as she apparently has an idea, pulling out her wand. Will sees her swish it and then watch the door expectantly. A minute or so later Will sees a small vial fly into her hand. She walks around to Will’s side of the bed and hands it to him (the hand not around Hannibal). He looks at it, part of the label is written in what looks like an Asian language that he can’t’ read, but he can read the part that says Ultra Strength Red Panax Ginseng Extractum.

             “What is this?” Will whispers.

             “It’s a muggle remedy…well a Korean muggle remedy for the colds and the flu. My grandmother won’t let me go anywhere without it, makes sure my trunk is stocked with it before I leave for Hogwarts every year.” Will takes this in.

             “Is it safe?” he asks.

             “I’ve taken it loads of times and nothing bad has happened. But to be honest I can’t tell if it helps at all. But tell your fiancée,” Will blushes slightly hearing her say that, “that he can take it if he wants to, maybe it’ll help him get well sooner?” Will smiles, touched that Beverly cares enough to give him this.

             “Thanks,” he says with a real smile.

             “Anytime. Okay well I’ll leave you to it. Bye!” And with that she leaves. When Hannibal wakes around dinner time, Will shows him the bottle, relaying what Beverly said.

             “Well that was very kind of her.”

             “Yeah it was. Are you going to drink it?” Hannibal seems to ponder this, then gets hit with a wave of coughing.

             “Might as well. Hand it over.” Hannibal opens it, sniffing it carefully, then takes a sip and winces, causing Will to vividly remember that awful potion he was forced to drink when he was here, shuddering. Will leans over, smelling the small container.

             “How is it? Bad?”

             “It’s bitter, but tolerable.” With that Hannibal downs the rest of the small vial and Will sets it aside. “I think it’s alcohol based. Oh, it has a warming quality to it…” Will sees Hannibal rub at his throat briefly, before laying back down against Will again, eyes closing, but Will notes he does seem to have stopped coughing for the time being. Maybe it does work? He relaxes back against the mountain of pillows, holding Hannibal to him, and stroking his hair. After a while he rests his head atop Hannibal’s and drifts in and out until Madame Pomfry wakes him to leave.

 

*

 

             By the next morning Hannibal is feeling better and suspects Madame Pomfry will release him by the end of the day, which Will is quite happy to hear, fatigued by the influx of socialization required to repeatedly answer How is Hannibal doing? in nearly every class.

             When Will enters Potions, he sees they are making the Draught of Living Dead. In a surprise turn of events, Snape is offering a vial of Felix Felices for the student that brews the best Draught of Living Death, if anyone manages to do it successfully. It’s clear from Snape’s tone he does not expect anyone to succeed. Will wishes Hannibal were here, he could probably do it. Snape explains Felix Felices for the students who are not familiar with it; it takes six months to brew, and is also known as liquid luck. It makes the drinker lucky for a period of time, during which everything they attempt will be successful (if it possible for it to be successful). Will sees it looks like molten gold in the small vial. Amusingly, the potion is incapable of being spilled and when in a large enough container, drops of the potion will leap across the surface and splash about merrily. Of course the amount Snape is offering is a very small vial. He also cautions it is banned in any competitions.

             As he is explaining this Will has a thought. If he can get that potion, he and Hannibal could use it when they murder Professor Quirrell! Will has had a growing anxiety the closer they get to doing it. At first he thought he was having second thoughts, but then realized his worry was not for Quirrell and his well-being (fuck him Will thinks), but for Hannibal’s well-being. Surely the fact that a professor at Durmstrang was murdered, then Hannibal transfers here and another professor is murdered, would be suspicious? Will can’t stand the thought of anything happening to Hannibal, and suspects the chances would be better in their favor with that potion. In that moment he decides, he’s going to brew the best damn Draught of Living Dead he possibly can - that potion is his! He realizes it’s really going to have to be amazing, since he’s in class with Slytherins whom Snape frequently gives special treatment to.

             As Snape explains the instructions, which are quite complicated, Will assesses who his biggest competition will be. As this is NEWT level Potions, everyone is basically competent. This potion is the most difficult they have attempted so far; it is a potion that is essentially an extremely powerful sleeping draught, sending the drinker into a deathlike slumber, similar to suspended animation.

             Will figures his biggest competition will be Bedelia and Chiyoh. He’s pretty sure he can outdo them without any handicap, but considering what’s at stake he’s already brainstorming ways he can make sure they don’t succeed. As he has that thought, another one comes on its heels – maybe I really do belong in Slytherin?

             When it’s time to start, he gets out his cauldron and starts with the infusion of wormwood. He then measures out his powdered root of asphodel, disliking the smell immensely. Ugh, yeah this would make me want to be dead. Stir clockwise twice, okay check.

             Will cringes a little at the next ingredient, sloth brain, ugh. He briefly wonders if the Berty Bott’s Every Flavor Beans have a sloth brain flavor and immediately decides he never will eat a gray one ever again, just in case. He adds the sloth brain and then gets ready to add the sopophorus bean juice. The recipe calls for 12-13 beans and here Will sees his opportunity. Bedelia and Chiyoh share a station, and he discreetly keeps an eye on them as they count their beans, also keeping an eye on Snape. Snape is no fool. Will sees his window of opportunity as Snape has his back to them, glaring over some poor students shoulder intimidatingly. Will holds his wand in his pocket, waiting for the moment where Bedelia and Chiyoh are about halfway through counting their beans. He does a nonverbal spell, locomotor bean, and gestures his wand to move two of Bedelia’s beans to Chiyoh’s pile. He quickly turns back to his own cauldron, panicking as he loses track of Snape for a moment before he finds him again on the other side of the room thank god. Will takes a breath and hopes his bean trick works as he starts juicing his own sopophorus beans, crushing them with a silver dagger.

             Well it’s the moment of truth, he adds the sopophorus bean juice, stirs the potion counterclockwise seven times, then clockwise once, and watches as it turns from a pale lilac color to clear. Yes! It looks right. He waits patiently until the end of the hour when Snape comes around, dropping a small leaf into each cauldron. Apparently if brewed correctly, the leaf will disintegrate. For the first fifteen students, the leaf floats on top – intact, and Snape comments on what they did wrong. Too much sloth brain, use less of it and more of your own next time! Stir counterclockwise Mr. Pazzi, not clockwise, can’t you read?

              Will holds his breath as Snape gets to Bedelia and Chiyoh’s table. He checks Bedelia’s and the leaf floats. Bedelia looks confused and disappointed. Snape turns to Chiyoh’s and same thing occurs, Chiyoh frowning. You, pointing at Bedelia, not enough bean juice, and you, pointing at Chiyoh, too much bean juice. You likely miscounted in this mess, clean up your station! Chiyoh looks crestfallen. The next four students also do not succeed. You forgot the first set of stirring didn’t you?

             Finally Snape arrives at Will’s desk, and Will holds his breath; Snape looks bored, likely assuming no one will get it right. Will watches in what feels like slow motion as Snape drops the leaf into his cauldron. For a moment nothing happens, it just floats on top and Will’s heart sinks. However, after a moment the leaf takes on the potion and it starts to disintegrate…and keeps disintegrating until its completely gone! Yes!  Snape’s eyes fly up to Will’s accusingly and Will looks back at him, honestly surprised and happy it worked. Apparently Snape sees no guilt in his face because he announces Mr. Graham has successfully brewed Draught of Living Death, to which many students crane their necks over to take a look. Snape continues on testing the few remaining students’ potions just in case anyone else was successful – they were not - and then presents the vial to Will. As Will reaches out for the vial, Snape pulls it back slightly and says with a sneer. “Congratulations. Use. It. Well.” Will nods and accepts it, placing it carefully in his pocket.

             After class Will runs up to the hospital wing and finds that not only has Madame Pomfry already released Hannibal, but that she also excused from class the rest of the day. Will rushes back down to the Great Hall, nearly out of breath, hoping to find him for lunch and yes, there he is at the Slytherin table. He still looks tired, but is less pale than before. Will rushes over to him and Hannibal smiles when he notices, setting his spoon down in his soup bowl. As Will stands there he can feel the entire Slytherin table watching him and tries to ignore them as best he can.

             “Feeling better?”

             “Yes, much thank you.”

             “Wanna come sit with me?” Will asks and Hannibal nods, carrying his soup carefully and they make their way over to their usual spot at the Ravenclaw table. As they eat, Will tells Hannibal all about Potions, and then under his breath he tells him, “I was thinking we could use it for Quirrell, just for insurance.” Hannibal’s tired eyes light up at that.

             “Mm my brilliant boy, what a lovely idea.” Hannibal nuzzles behind his ear briefly and Will shivers, blushing. Life is good.

 

*

 

             As they walk around the lake that weekend, Will shares some of his thoughts about their upcoming murder now that he knows he’s not second guessing it. “So you’re not worried they’ll suspect you? You came from a school where a professor was murdered and now you’re here…I mean, it’s logical to suspect you,” to which Hannibal smiles, unconcerned.

             “They will see it as an unfortunate coincidence, nothing more.” Now that he’s started giving voice to his fears, Will can’t stop them from tumbling out.

             “What if they make you take Veritaserum and you confess?”

             “Will, they can’t just go around giving truth serum to students without valid cause for suspicion.” Hannibal must see that this answer does not satisfy Will, because after a beat he continues, “In the unlikely event that happens, I suppose I would have no choice but to escape by any means necessary, but I don’t think it will come to that. Even more unlikely thanks to your prize.” Here he stops walking and kisses Will gently. “Relax mylimasis, everything will be fine, I promise.”

             “You can’t know that,” Will finds his mouth speaking without his conscious consent, fears continuing to spill out.

             “Do you trust me, Will?” Hannibal counters calmly.

             “Of course I do,” is Will’s automatic reply.

             “Then you have your answer.” He kisses Will once more for good measure. Will finds he feels better having discussed his concerns, but still can’t stop the niggling worry that there is a lot at risk.

 

*

 

             The following week in Charms they are learning the Bird Conjuring Charm. Will is prepared to be incredibly bored by this, figuring it’s going to be a walk in the park, can’t he already summon birds?  He notes he can summon his owl any time and an owl is a bird right?  He is startled into paying attention by a loud blast - loud enough to be a gunshot - that emits from Professor McGonagall’s wand as smoke and a flock of birds emerge from the tip of her wand, flying around the room. Will catches Beverly’s eye who is all but laughing at him and he shrugs.

             By the end of class he is actually quite happy to have learned this charm; he thought it would have no practical application, but on the contrary it can (in theory) block a killing curse, causing the bird to die, not you. As he leaves class he wonders if the type of bird you conjure can change, wheels already turning. As June gets closer he is still worried about the murder and wants to do anything and everything to keep them safe. They haven’t explicitly talked about the how of the murder, but Will suspects it will be like the others, Hannibal taking a trophy of some kind for them to feast upon after. Were it not for that nuance, in theory they could stage the death as an accident, but Will knows first-hand what it means to Hannibal to take part of the body. Which brings him to his idea…what if he could summon carrion eating birds? Like ravens, they’re native to Scotland right?  What if they poked and pecked and ate at the body after Will and Hannibal did their thing, would it help cover up what was done? Or would it raise more suspicions? He’s not sure but he plans to ask Hannibal.

             After class when they are out by the lake, Will somewhat shyly shares his idea with Hannibal. He is surprised and slightly embarrassed when Hannibal all but picks him up and swings him around once before crushing him close in a hug, followed by a passionate kiss, holding him in the embrace. Will is not that much lighter than Hannibal anymore for him to do that but he secretly likes it. When Hannibal pulls back his eyes are warm, nearly maroon in the May sunlight, and trained only on Will, causing Will to blush.

             “Oh my precious Will, you are beyond my wildest dreams. This is truly your becoming.”

             Will can’t help the smile that breaks out across his face at the praise, the acceptance, the pride, the love. No one has ever loved and accepted him for who he really is. He feels whole, complete, like he found his other half in life, no longer afraid of the darkness inside of him, accepting it as part of him, embracing it as he kisses Hannibal back.

 

*

 

             By Friday Hannibal is fully recovered from the flu, and Will suggests they celebrate. Hannibal says he has an idea as they eat dinner together, and later that night Will gets a note from Achilles:

 

                          Tomorrow, one o’clock, Room of Requirement, wear your Slytherin tie – Hannibal

 

             Will smiles as he reads it, curious. He digs around in his drawer where he kept the tie that Hannibal changed to Slytherin colors when he smuggled him into the Slytherin dorms over Easter break. Will could have easily changed it back to its original Ravenclaw colors, but to be honest he didn’t want to. So far, anything that Hannibal has changed about him he hasn’t wanted to change back, and he smiles at the realization Hannibal somehow knew he hadn’t changed it back.

             The following morning, he gets ready (putting on his Ravenclaw tie) and meets Hannibal for breakfast. Hannibal’s eyes skate to his tie and Will smirks at him, raising an eyebrow.

             “You said one o’clock. It’s not one o’clock.” Hannibal smirks back at him.

             “True.”


              Will makes exactly one attempt at inquiring about the nature of Hannibal’s plan, curiosity getting the better of him, and then gives it up, surrendering himself to the surprise. After breakfast they rush over to Apparition class, their last one, where they all attempt to apparate through a hoop - it’s nearly identical to the official Ministry test. Overall the class does well, with nearly everyone successfully apparating through. Two students would not have passed the official Ministry test, as one left a shoe behind and the other ended up with her skirt not all the way through the hoop, but overall it’s a pleasant end to the class.

             Afterwards they head to lunch, and shortly after Hannibal disappears to make whatever preparations he needs for his surprise. Will heads back up to the Ravenclaw dorms, swapping out his tie for the green one. He can’t help as his eyes flit around, nervous for anyone to see him wearing it, and finds himself blushing as he ties it. As he walks around with it on, he almost feels like he’s wearing a claim by Hannibal and wonders if this is what it will feel like when he has a ring of his own.

             At one o’clock Will plants himself outside the Room of Requirement, walking past the area three times, thinking about wanting to find Hannibal, and a door appears. He goes to open it but finds it’s locked. That’s odd. Did he do something wrong? He thinks a moment, then knocks for lack of a better plan. A moment later Hannibal opens the door slightly, just enough for Will to see Hannibal’s face and body. He has a devilish smile on his face which Will finds simultaneously sexy, contagious, and intimidating.

             “Hello dear Will,” Hannibal’s eyes automatically go to his neck, and his smile widens seeing the tie. “Excellent. Close your eyes please my love.” Will automatically does, melting a little at the term of endearment as he feels Hannibal take his hand and pull him into the room. He can’t tell much about the room but he supposes that is the point and gets tingly with anticipation, curious what Hannibal has in mind. He feels Hannibal walk him about ten steps and then stop. Will feels him let go of his hand, followed by Hannibal’s warm hands at his neck as he begins to untie his tie. Will sucks in a breath, senses heightened without his sight as he feels the tie removed from him entirely. As if on cue, Will feels Hannibal slide the cool smooth tie over his eyes like a blindfold, tying it behind his head, then his hands return to cradle Will’s head gently.

             “Okay?”

             “Yes,” Will says automatically, noting it comes out slightly breathless. They’ve never done something like this before and Will isn’t sure where it’s headed but he trusts Hannibal.

             “Good,” Hannibal kisses him and Will responds to the kiss strongly, senses on overload, trying to prolong it as he feels Hannibal pull back. He then feels Hannibal lean to the side, near his ear as he whispers, “Will you please undress for me Will?”

             Will gasps slightly and feels a shiver go through him, feels himself starting to get hard at the direction this is taking.

             “Y-yes.” His voice is breathy but he starts to comply as he feels Hannibal step back. It’s disorienting at first, not having his touch, feeling adrift, but he focuses on his task. He untucks and unbuttons his shirt, shrugging it off and holding it a moment. When no instruction is given what to do with it, he drops it to the floor. He tries not to rush it, savoring the anticipation, but he has a hard time telling how much time has passed with no visual cues.

              “Mm lovely.” Will startles and turns to the side, not realizing Hannibal had moved and freezes, forgetting his task. “Please continue Will,” and he startles again as Hannibal’s voice is now on the other side. How does he do that? The man moves silently. Will takes a breath and starts to undo his belt, sliding it out and dropping it on the floor. It’s much louder than his shirt as it hits the floor and he startles again when he feels Hannibal’s hand on his shoulder, from behind turning him so Hannibal can speak into his ear. “There is no need to be nervous Will, trust me you will enjoy this.” Will swallows and nods, trying to shake off the nerves as he feels Hannibal’s hand leave him.

             He toes off his shoes and awkwardly pulls off one sock at a time, realizing there’s not really a sexy way to do that that he is aware of, especially when balancing is made harder by his lack of visual input. He undoes his pants, the zipper loud in the quiet room and lets them drop to the floor, stepping out of them. He takes a breath, appreciating the moment, taking in the new experience, before hooking his thumbs in the waistband of his underwear and pulling them down, stepping out of them as well. He feels the cooler air against his body, mainly at his cock which is hard and might be leaking a little if the coolness against the tip is anything to go by. He stands, doing his best to not feel awkward and nervous and waits.

             He turns as he hears Hannibal’s voice to his right. “Mm…you are exquisite Will, truly. Quite breathtaking.” Will shifts as Hannibal’s voice moves, it sounds like he’s circling him, like a predator Will thinks and he smirks at the thought. He’s long past wondering why he only feels happiness and contentment when he probably should be scared. In this moment his theory is that he too is a predator, not prey, which causes him to smile to himself. He is brought out of his musings by Hannibal’s decadent voice. “Are you ready for your surprise?”

             Will nods, breathing increasing and waits but nothing happens. A moment later he feels Hannibal near him, feels his hand on his shoulder, almost hesitant. “As much as I’m confident you will like this Will, please tell me if you don’t okay?” Will nods, now slightly worried but he’s in either way.

             “Okay.” The next moment Will feels himself whisked up into the air and yelps before he recognizes what’s happening, the motion familiar - Hannibal did the DQ hex on him, but like usual, put the slowing charm on it. He is suspended in mid-air, supine, naked, and blindfolded. He smiles, never able to predict Hannibal but truthfully he wouldn’t want to.

             “How do you feel Will? Okay?”

             Will nods, then says, “I feel fine, good.” He pulls at the imaginary restraints, strong as always but no pain.

             “Good good. Now Will, you once told me, and I believe your exact words were, ‘You could probably talk me to orgasm, you realize that right?’” Will smiles, amused at Hannibal trying to mimic his cadence, and having a feeling where this is going. “Do you remember?”

             “Yesss…” Will’s arousal just went up a notch.

             “And do you remember what I said?” Will thinks back, recalling the memory.

             “You said you would love to try.”

             “Mm yes I did. And I would like to try that with you now Will, if you’re amenable.”

             Will nods enthusiastically. “Yes.”

              “You know Will, words are living things. They have personality, point of view, agenda…but despite this, you realize it may not be possible.”

             Will nods. “I don’t care, I’ll still love it.” Hannibal was right, he will enjoy this, regardless of the outcome.

             Will can almost hear the smile in Hannibal’s voice. To be honest Will is surprised Hannibal is giving a disclaimer, Mr. Confident that he is, but Will supposes he’s not sure its possible either, but he meant it when he said it. Hannibal’s voice never fails to turn him on, rile him up, and he shudders a little just thinking about it. Right next to his ear, Hannibal whispers, “Very well, mylimasis, anything for you.” Will shudders again, gooseflesh breaking out across his skin.

             “Do you see Hannibal? What you do to me? What your voice does to me?” Will can hear Hannibal circling him again as he talks.

             “Mm yes I do. I see goosebumps on your arms, a vestigial reflex of the sympathetic nervous system.” Will smiles, Hannibal can’t stop being Hannibal, even giving lectures at a time like this but he wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves him so much he feels like his heart might burst. Will has long suspected Hannibal could be talking about nearly anything and Will would still get turned on, his voice innately sensual, and the accent magnifying it. “In animals it’s often due to the fight or flight response, adrenaline, but in humans it can also be due to sexual arousal and intense emotion. Is that what I do to you Will? Arouse you?”

             “Mm yes,” Will’s hips attempt to thrust but of course they can’t move more than a centimeter, if that, his cock bobbing slightly at the attempt. Will hears Hannibal continuing down his body.

             “I also see your nipples have become erect, firm, straining upward as if desperate for contact. Did I do that to you as well?”

             “Mm yes. I never even knew touching my nipples would feel good until you.”

             “Oh yes, the body has many erogenous zones. Many people think only women enjoy nipple stimulation, but it’s a myth. There are many nerve endings there, the potential for great pleasure.” On the word pleasure Will’s hips thrust involuntarily again and he gasps.

             “I also see a flush that has been creeping across your skin, like your whole body is blushing. Can you feel it Will? Your crimson blood rising to the surface of your lovely skin, blossoming in a lovely pink tone, making you warmer, hot to the touch. You are gorgeous like this Will, spread out for me to see everything. Stunning.”

             “I think you’re missing something,” Will breathes out, liking the participation. He always loves teasing Hannibal and the banter they share.

             “Oh not at all, there is no way I could miss how full and hard you have become dear Will. A state you have been in almost since you walked into this room, I could smell it on you.” Will shivers, hearing Hannibal breathe in. “And I can smell it on you now strongly, your arousal. You’re saying I did that to you Will?”

             Will nods, feeling himself get lost in the pleasure of Hannibal’s voice, the feeling washing over him likes waves lapping at a shore. “Yes. Because of you. Always because of you.”

             “It is true you have been aroused since you walked in, but since you have been on display for me like this, your cock has filled out even more, very swollen indeed, begging to be touched. I tell you Will, you tempt me like this, it’s so hard not to reach out and touch you, put my mouth on you, fuck you, anything.” Will moans, body undulating as best he can but of course he is held in place. “Oh and the sounds you make Will, they bring out the beast in me, it’s taking all my self-control to not pull you to me, press myself against you, grind our bodies together until we climax together.

             “Uhnnn yes…” Will can picture it perfectly, his vivid imagination creating the images behind his eyelids as Hannibal talks. “I can see how close you are Will, your cock is leaking quite a bit, how I long to lick it off of you…” Will moans, “…to suck you down my throat until you come, oh god, you taste so good Will.”

             “Oh Hannibal,” Will is near whining, thrashing against the invisible restraints, he feels hot all over, so keyed up and turned on he can’t think.

             “You look so close to orgasm Will, your legs are spread for me I can see everything, your balls are drawn up tight, your cock flushed deep dark red, its exquisite. You look as if you’re on the precipice, nearly there.” Will groans.

             “Yes Hannibal please.”

             “Please what dear boy? You know I would do anything for you. Anything. What do you like best my love? Fucking me? You look so ready to slide into my body right now, leaking so much we wouldn’t need any lubrication at all. You would slide into me, feel how tight I am, thrust into me over and over until I loosen for you, pounding into my body, giving me exquisite pleasure, until you come inside of me, marking me from deep inside, is that what you want Will?”

             “Ohh…nn…Hannibal I’m close.”

             “Yes Will, yes, or would you want me to take your cock in my mouth. Would you want me to do it slowly, licking gently, lapping up the pre-come leaking out, tonguing at your slit, before sucking just the tip into my mouth, the most sensitive part, teasing you…”

             “Hannibal oh god…” Will can imagine it in his head in perfect technicolor, remembers vividly all the times Hannibal has done that for him, how much he loves it, how it undoes him entirely, reducing him to a quivering mass of feelings.

             “Or would you want me to suck you down all at once, letting you fuck my throat, hearing me groan around your cock, feeling the vibrations…”

             “Ohhh Hannibal…” The imagery in Will’s mind automatically adapts to the suggestion, recalling with perfect clarity how each of those things feels, how numerous times the vibrations from Hannibal’s voice have been the thing to push him over the edge.

             “Or would you want me to lick you in your most intimate place Will, force my tongue inside you, make you slick with my saliva, suck and lick at your hole until your body is rocking back onto my tongue. You taste exquisite Will. And I love knowing I’m the only one who will ever know how you taste, your body is mine and mine alone…”

             “Oh god oh god Hannibal keep talking fuck…” Will is sure he is red as a tomato from all the filth Hannibal is spewing in his ear but every word brings him that much closer to orgasm, pleasure overpowering any embarrassment he feels at his enjoyment of the possessive words.

             “Fucking you with my tongue Will, spreading you wide so I can see everything, seeing how slick and open you are for me, until I slide my cock into you, rubbing against your prostate, hearing you moaning.”

             “Yes yes Hannibal.” Will can envision it perfectly, can feel it in his mind, his empathy and imagination working in overdrive at the stimuli, recreating the words Hannibal is telling him. He can feel a tickle on his cock and thinks he feels a drip of pre-come but with the lack of other physical stimuli it causes him to moan unabashedly.

             “Hearing you nearly sobbing in pleasure as I’m fucking you Will, claiming you, making you mine, marking you from the inside out, is that what you want Will?”

             “Yes yes Hannibal I want everything oh god.” Will feels too much, lost in a sea of pleasure, yet anchored by Hannibal’s voice, directing the image in his head, overpowering his mind, his heart, his body, he feels himself losing control and for once is not afraid, letting go of the reigns, fully trusting his wellbeing to this man he loves with his whole heart. It’s too much, all of it, too much and yet also perfect and he surrenders to it, feeling a tear drip out of his eye.

             “Yes Will come for me, let go, let me see you climax for me, you’re so beautiful mylimasis let go, come for me my love.”

             “Oh! Oh god Hannibal!” Will feels the telltale muscle contraction in his pelvic floor signaling orgasm is coming. “Yes yes, for you oh god I love you ahhh fuck!” Will feels as he comes, his ejaculate spraying out over his abdomen and leaking down onto his cock as he rides out the waves, body arching against the restraints, pleasure intensified by the lack of his other senses, almost electric in nature.

             “Yes come with me Will yes.” Will’s brain barely registers the ‘with’ as he rides the wave of the most intense orgasm he can recently recall, ears straining to hear Hannibal’s breath and the sound of friction before he hears a little groan and Will’s body gives one final pulse as he realizes Hannibal just came as well. Fucking hell.

             Will’s breathing like he ran a marathon, feels hot all over but also amazingly content, fuck that was intense, he probably has a goofy smile on his face but he can’t help it. He feels Hannibal at his side as he removes the green tie and Will blinks at the light, eyes adjusting after being covered for so long. He feels giddy. “Hi,” he says with a coy smile.

             Hannibal smiles back at him, amused, “Hi yourself. Would you like to come down now?”

             Will smiles up at him, “Yes please.” He didn’t really think it through and worries for a second Hannibal is going to let him drop to the floor (he didn’t even see what the floor looks like yet) but Hannibal places his arms under him before he releases the spell and instantly Will is in a bridal carry, being carried over to a bed. Will groans, if he didn’t just have a spectacular orgasm he’d be turned on again as Hannibal easily carries him (he’s so fucking strong how does he do that?) and feeling Hannibal’s clothes (he’s still wearing everything! Fuck) against his naked skin.

             Hannibal deposits him on a bed and Will relaxes back into it, watching as Hannibal pulls out his wand and cleans them both up, before taking off his clothes and crawling into bed with Will, pulling their bodies together comfortably.

             Will feels both amazing and sleepy, cuddled in here. He can almost imagine this would be like how it would be if they lived together…when they live together his mind amends. Making love anytime they want, cuddling in bed after, going to sleep together, waking up together. He kisses the closest part of Hannibal to him (chest) and nuzzles in further, feeling Hannibal’s arms tighten around him.

             “That was amazing Hannibal, thank you,” Will says around a yawn. Hannibal chuckles.

             “It was my pleasure, literally.” Will almost rolls his eyes at the joke but instead just relishes in the closeness.

             “I told you you could do it.”

             “Yes you did, I was skeptical.”

             “I did tell you when we did Polyjuice you were missing out on feeling how your voice affects me.”

             “That’s right. May I experience it now?”

             “What?” Will’s tired brain doesn’t understand.

             “Legilimency Will.”

             “Oh yeah sure.” A moment later Will feels Hannibal’s consciousness slide into his head and he replays his experience for Hannibal, nearly getting hard again in the process. When it’s over he feels Hannibal leave his mind, looking at Will both with awe and curiosity, breathing a little harder than be was a minute ago, causing Will to smile. “Intense huh? I told you,” Will can’t help the smug sing-songiness of his tone. Hannibal smiles, a sparkle in his eye.

             “Yes, quite intense indeed. Although I admit it is a little strange objectively to hear my own voice and feel that type of response.” Will nods, supposing that would be weird. “Now that I know how strongly my voice affects you, are you worried I might use it against you?” Hannibal asks teasingly. Will thinks about it a moment.

             “Not even a little. I may regret this later but use it against me anytime, you’d be doing me a favor,” he says with wink, then yawns again. Hannibal smiles at that, twining their legs together under the sheets and turning his face into Will’s curls.

              “I love you Will,” Hannibal says gently.

             “I love you Hannibal.” Will yawns again and Hannibal laughs.

             “Rest my love,” Hannibal says and drops a kiss on Will’s forehead. Will feels loved, cherished, warm and happy and finds it incredibly easy to blank his mind into sleep.

             When they wake some time later Will feels hungry and assumes it must be dinner time. He hopes Hannibal thought to add a bathroom to the Room of Requirement and sits up, looking around. He didn’t really get a good look at the room earlier and sees it’s a large room with taupe colored wood walls, cobalt blue ceilings, a large fireplace, dark wood bedroom furniture, and a large bed with a blue bedspread. He sees a door on the wall closest to him and pads over to it, hopeful. Yes! Bathroom! After utilizing the room, he returns to bed, seeing Hannibal reaching out for him. Will leans down to kiss him briefly, before leaning back on the pillows, looking down at him. Hannibal looks soft and unguarded, warm brown eyes still sleepy and golden hair softly falling over his face, licking his lips seemingly unconsciously as he wakes up.

             “Hey you,” Will says, amused at the cute sight before him. Hannibal’s eyes peek open.

             “Hey yourself.” Will shivers slightly, he already forgot how Hannibal’s accent is stronger when he first wakes up. “Mm…what time is it?” he asks as he licks his lips again and Will realizes he wants to wake up like this every day.

             “Probably close to dinner,” Will guesses. “What is this room?” he asks as he tucks his feet back under the covers.

             Hannibal yawns again, so uncharacteristic of him  Will notes, slowly inching his way up on the pillows, looking very at home in the space. He takes a breath through his nose as he reaches for Will, pulling and pushing until he is spooned up behind him. Will goes with it and finds it’s comfier than he anticipated, being the “little spoon”.

             “It’s my room, at home.”

             “Home? In Denmark?” Will asks.

             “Yes.” Will feels the reply near his ear.

             “The one we’ll go to this summer?” Will can’t keep the excitement out of his voice and Hannibal can obviously tell.

             “Yes the very same. Consider this a preview. Now I don’t have to wait to see what you look like in my bed.” Will feels warmed by the words and feels Hannibal nuzzle behind his ear lazily. Will suspects this room makes Hannibal more comfortable, which makes sense if what he says is true. He rolls over so he is facing Hannibal, eyes meeting over the pillow briefly before he leans in to kiss him, then burying his face in his neck and holding on to him tightly, all of a sudden feeling so happy its almost overwhelming. In response Will feels Hannibal’s arms come up around him, holding him.

             “Okay my love?” Will feels Hannibal speak into his curls.

             Will nods, noting his eyes feel moist. “Yes,” he manages to say. “More than okay.”

Chapter Text

 

              Right as June hits, Will constantly has the upcoming murder on his mind, and suspects Hannibal does as well. After classes and on weekends they often walk around the lake together, well away from the student body, to be able to talk about their plans in private. The contrast between the dark topic they are discussing and the incredibly pleasant weather - blue skies, warm sun, and puffy clouds - makes Will feel even more surreal. Are they really planning to murder someone? Is this his life?

              Every evening during his Prefect patrol, Will explores the castle and grounds, making sure they have exhausted all options for escape routes. By the end of the first week he feels like he has a map of Hogwarts permanently etched into his head (as much as it can be considering the moving staircases). He also starts paying attention to the windows, figuring worst case scenario they could summon their brooms and fly to escape. He even goes so far as to try to find places out of sight lines of paintings, knowing the inhabitants could not only witness the murder, but spread word of it incredibly quickly. He suspects his ability to think like a criminal is going to be an asset, for once feeling like his complex mind is more of a blessing than a curse.

              As they are walking around the lake the week before their final exams, they finally agree upon a tentative plan. They will each drink half of the Felix Felicis potion (Will continues to grumble that he thinks Hannibal should drink it all but can’t convince him, so he reluctantly agrees to a compromise). Another concession Will makes is that they will not plan to use the Polyjuice potion (although Will insists that they bring it with just in case to which Hannibal concedes). This leads to a discussion of what supplies they do need to bring. Hannibal tells Will he plans to bring some gloves, the wand from the Death Eater he killed (to use in case law enforcement are able to trace what magic was done), some jars, and the knife (the very same one that killed both Mischa and the other Death Eater). Will asks where he is keeping all of this stuff currently and Hannibal assures him it is hidden safely in his trunk with multiple concealment charms on it.

              They agree to attempt the murder during or after the Leaving Feast, figuring the commotion will make for a nice distraction, a bonus that nearly the entire population of Hogwarts will be in one location. Their plan is to discreetly follow Quirrell as he leaves the feast, hopefully back to his office, but if not, they can improvise by petrifying him somewhere hidden from view and breaking into a nearby room. Once they have him in a secured location, the plan is that they will lock and silence the door, drain some of his blood into a jar, and then remove his heart, placing in another jar. Once done, Hannibal says he will remove the gloves and burn them, blowing the ash out the window, and then they can summon the ravens to peck at the body (a spell both have been mastered over the past month), hopefully masking what was actually done. Then all they need to do is sneak back out to the feast or back to their dorms, depending on the time.

              When Will hears the part about the blood, he has a moment of what the fuck, before realizing he is curious what Hannibal has in mind, since that is something new from his previous murder. When he asks, Hannibal tells him they only need about two cups or half a liter, not the entire supply in his body. When he doesn’t elaborate, the question of what Hannibal plans to do with the blood is on the tips of Will’s tongue, but he hesitates. If he’s honest with himself, he feels too overwhelmed to take on any new information that he doesn’t absolutely need to know, and he trusts that Hannibal will tell him anything essential, so he lets it go.

              The week of exams seems to fly by, the atmosphere at school tense, but for Will it’s tense for an entirely different reason. He is sure he and Hannibal will pass their exams without difficulty and his prediction proves to be accurate when the results are released the following week; they both get Outstandings in every subject.

              The night before their last day, Will surreally begins packing his stuff into his trunk, feeling like he’s doing it on autopilot as his mind runs a mile a minute. He is reminded of packing at the end of last year and how different it is now. Last year he remembers feeling morose and stressed, not looking forward to meeting up with his father in Cornwall – another new place. For the past three years, each summer has been spent in a different place as his father keeps moving around, new trashy girl in each location too. Conversely, this year he can’t wait to arrive at his summer home, he’s actually looking forward to leaving Hogwarts for the first time he can recall.

              Another difference that is readily apparent is the sheer quantity of stuff he has to pack. Jesus fucking Christ, he’s thankful for all the items Hannibal has got him but he can barely get everything to fit in his trunk! Thankfully he has excellent spatial reasoning and channels the hours he spent playing the muggle game Tetris as a child and gets the trunk closed and latch secured, mentally reminding himself to tell Hannibal to not buy him any more stuff without his approval.

              The thought of his father reminds him of another task he must do. Without much emotion, he picks up some parchment and a quill, and writes a letter addressed to his father (by name as he isn’t confident the address from last year would still be relevant), informing him that he is staying with a friend for the summer. He pauses here and debates writing more, realizing that sentence is the understatement of the century as he is actually staying with his fiancée forever, but sees no reason to since his father isn’t really part of his life these days. He is about to summon Patroclus out of habit but stops and instead summons a generic school owl, deciding he doesn’t want to put Patroclus through the wringer of trying to find his father. As he gives the letter to the barn owl that arrives in the windowsill, he hopes the owl doesn’t have too hard of a time locating him.

              Once that is taken care of, he sits down on his bed and gets out his photo album, as well as the stack of photos and letters he has stashed in his nightstand drawer. In pulling them out he sees his Slytherin tie in the back and pulls that out as well, blushing at the memory of the last time he wore it. He tucks it into his school bag, then returns to his previous task. He spreads out the photos and letters on his bed, smiling as he looks them over, feeling again the surrealness that this is his life. There are moments when he is alone that he sometimes can’t believe his good fortune and wonders if it was all a dream, but when he sees these letters and photos, it’s irrefutable proof that everything is real. He is no longer alone, and no longer afraid of the darkness within him. It’s still extremely new and he’s still finding where his boundaries are, but he feels so much more free, no longer crippled by tremendous amounts of anxiety, no longer battling himself internally day after day.

              As he scans the scraps of parchment with Hannibal’s elegant handwriting and looks at the photos they have accumulated, his heart swells. He tenderly places each item in the album, noting he still has a lot more empty pages and can’t help the excitement he feels at looking forward to his future, something he had never considered before, always trying to just survive the day. Now he’s ready to be more than a survivor - he’s ready to live life, embrace it, shape it. With that thought, he tucks the album into his school bag and gets ready for bed, falling asleep with a smile on his face.

 

*

 

              The following evening, Will and Hannibal meet outside the Great Hall before the Leaving Feast.  Hannibal pulls them off to the side, out of view of most of the students walking in. Will feels like time slows down as their eyes meet. This is it. He sees Hannibal looking at him and Will finds himself nodding, not sure who he’s trying to reassure but either way he’s in. He sees Hannibal nod back and with that, he takes a breath and gets out the vial of Felix Felicis. As he looks up from his own bag, Will notices Hannibal doesn’t seem to have his bag with him. Don’t they need that?

              “Where’s your bag with the supplies?” Will asks, trying to keep his voice down, which he realizes in retrospect probably makes him sound more conspicuous but can’t do anything about it now. Hannibal smiles at him smugly and pats his hip, lifting his robe to show Will a small pouch attached to his belt, which to Will’s eyes looks far to small to be carrying the variety of supplies they agreed upon. His confusion must show on his face because Hannibal pulls him in closer, speaking near his ear, which brings a warm blush to Will’s cheeks.

              “Everything we need is in here. I put an undetectable extension charm on this bag. See?” Hannibal takes Will’s hand and brings it to the pouch. Will sticks his hand in the top and is shocked to feel an enormous amount of space inside; he feels the gloves, multiple jars, the Polyjuice potion, the Death Eater’s wand, the knife, and what the fuck…is that a broom? His eyes widen as he removes his hand, not used to seeing space not follow physics in front of his eyes, but smiles, dazzled by not only the magic, but by the incredible wizard standing in front of him.

              “Have I told you lately how incredible you are?” Will says, not caring a whit that he is fueling his ego, and sees Hannibal grin smugly at him in response.

              “No but you can tell me later, in great detail, I look forward to it. Right now we should prepare ourselves,” Hannibal says with a wink and Will feels like he’ll never stop falling in love with him over and over again. Once the message permeates his sappy brain, he gets out the vial of Felix Felicis. He uncorks it and smells it, noting it doesn’t seem to have much odor (thankfully). He meets Hannibal’s gaze, seeing him nod, and sips the golden liquid, aiming for half or less since they are sharing the small vial. He passes it over to Hannibal as he swallows the potion, and instantly feels an odd sensation come over him. He feels energetic but…tranquil? No anxiety to be found, nothing to worry about, a sense of certainty that fate is already decided and everything will happen as it should, so why bother worrying? He feels a goofy grin on his face and smiles wider when he sees a matching one on Hannibal. Feeling a confidence he can’t recently recall feeling, he grabs Hannibal’s hand after seeing him pocket the empty vial, and they walk together, hand in hand, into the Leaving Feast.

              They sit down at the Ravenclaw table in their normal spot near the back. There is a palpable energy in the Great Hall, students excited about being done with another year and going home, sharing their plans for the summer, making promises to stay in touch, etc. Even the faculty are chatting amicably, adding to the cacophony of noise in the room. Will scans the staff tables at the front and easily finds Quirrell sitting to the left of Flitwick, both of whom appear deep in discussion with one another. Target located, Will sees no reason not to partake in the feast so he turns to the bounty of food in front of him, filling his plate with steak and roast potatoes, then at the last minute adding a treacle tart because, why not? He digs in, seeing Hannibal do the same to his plate of roast chicken, Yorkshire pudding with gravy, peas, and carrots.

              They periodically glance up to keep an eye on Quirrell, but he continues to talk with Flitwick. Will absently notes he has really never seen the two of them talk, but then again, everything is as it’s meant to be so why worry about it? About half an hour later, Headmaster Crawford stands from where he had been seated next to Snape and walks up to the podium, using his wand to magnify his voice, causing silence to fall over the Great Hall, commanding the attention of the student body.  

              “Students! Welcome to the End of Term Feast! It’s been quite a year, I must say. First, I want to offer congratulations to our seventh year students! I hope your time at Hogwarts has prepared you for your next step in life. Remember, you are the ones who will shape our future. Let’s hear it for the seventh years!”

              Everyone claps and then Crawford continues, “Before we go on, I’d like to announce the winner of this years House Cup. In fourth place, with 466 points, Gryffindor house!” Everyone claps. “In third place, with 507 points, Ravenclaw house!” More clapping, and Will finds he isn’t disappointed in the slightest that his house didn’t win. He realizes now he never felt a true connection with Ravenclaw, it was just the safest option at the time for him. He knows now with confidence where he truly belongs, where he was too afraid to even consider before. “In second place, with 521 points, Slytherin house!” Here there is a mixture of claps and boos as some Slytherins appear to be unhappy with the runner up position. “And in first place, with 550 points, Hufflepuff house!” As he says it, cheers break out, mainly from the Hufflepuff table, followed by gasps of surprise and awe as Crawford waves his wand and the entire Great Hall’s decorations become yellow and black in honor of Hufflepuff house.

              “Yes, yes, congratulations Hufflepuffs, well done. With that, I’d like to thank you all for a great year, have a happy and safe summer, and I’ll see most of you in the fall.” Crawford sits back down and everyone turns back to eating and talking, some getting surprised as the ghosts fly in to make an appearance. Will continues to keep an eye on Quirrell and after another half hour, sees he still is in deep conversation with Flitwick. Will spares a moment wondering what they are talking about, but isn’t really that curious; his intuition tells him it’s irrelevant, and tonight his intuition is named Felix and he is listening to him.

              After another forty-five minutes, Will nudges Hannibal, noting Quirrell has stood from his chair. He is looking at the door to the Great Hall as Flitwick appears to be giving him directions, pointing this way and that, looking from the door to Quirrell to make sure he understands. He sees Quirrell nod and then he is walking down the aisle and out of the Great Hall. Will’s gaze meets Hannibal’s and they don’t need legilimency in this moment to read each other’s minds. Show time!  Will gets up, feigning Prefect patrol and walks out of the Great Hall. As he does, Hannibal gets up as well, heading the direction of the Slytherin table, but then at the last minute turns towards restrooms, also leaving the Great Hall, and they both rendezvous out in the corridor.

              They follow Quirrell easily as he climbs the stairs, and luckily the staircases don’t move before they get there. Will is surprised when they keep climbing (where the fuck is he going?) and is even more surprised when Quirrell stops at the seventh floor, clearly trying to recall the directions he was given from Flitwick. Will meets Hannibal’s gaze and they have another moment of near telepathy; Will is sure they are both thinking the same thing – the Room of Requirement!  This is perfect.

              They see Quirrell moving from door to door and Will recalls that Flitwick’s office is on this floor, that’s probably what he’s looking for, and sees when he finds it. However, before he can open it, Hannibal has pulled out the Death Eater’s wand and sent a nonverbal Full Body-Bind curse his way, seeing Quirrell fall to the floor, petrified, with his arms and legs pinned to his body. Will instantly looks around making sure no one is nearby, then scans the walls checking for paintings in their line of sight but luckily none are occupied, probably all down at the feast. Just in case, Will keeps his own body between Quirrell and the paintings, noting Hannibal has already begun to walk back and forth in front of the expanse of wall across from the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy. Shortly after there is the telltale rumble and a door appears.

              They both take one more look around before Hannibal sends nonverbal Mobilcorpus spell to move Quirrell’s body into the room. Will follows closely behind, closing the door. Once inside, Hannibal lets Quirrell’s body fall to the floor with a thud. Will sees Hannibal send a locking spell and silencing charm towards the door, and then they both take off their robes, setting them aside. Together they walk over to their capture and Will watches as Hannibal turns him over with his foot so Quirrell’s eyes are visible.

              “Hello Professor,” Hannibal says, and a chill runs through Will at his voice, goosebumps breaking out over his skin, thinking Hannibal is scary as fuck right now. He sees Quirrell’s eyes go wide with terror, looking up at them helplessly. “Do you recognize me? No, I didn’t think so. Maybe this will jog your memory.” At that Hannibal pulls out the knife from his pouch and Quirrell’s eyes go so wide Will thinks for a moment he might have died from fright. “Yes, now you know. You can’t escape your past, Professor. This is for my sister.” Hannibal steps back slightly so Will does the same, seeing him wave the Death Eater’s wand and Quirrell is again whisked up into the air, suspended upright, floating vertically in front of them. “Will, can you please remove his shoes and socks?” Mechanically, Will does as asked but his attention is on as Hannibal, seeing him get out one of the jars from his pouch. Will finds the moment feels surreal but not unpleasant in the slightest, that everything is going as it is meant to. One small fear does slip through though, with Will wondering if the Felix Felicis is clouding his judgement (will he regret this later?), but he supposes he can’t do much about that now anyway and dismisses the thought. Once Will has set the shoes and socks aside, he sees Hannibal place an open jar below his feet. Hannibal stands and Will returns to his side. A moment later, to Will’s great surprise, Hannibal turns towards him and offers him the knife, handle towards him.

              “Would you like to do the honors Will?” Will looks him in the eye, stunned. He had assumed Hannibal would want to be the one to kill him, knowing how much it means so much to him. However, Will remembers that Hannibal never does anything he genuinely doesn’t want, so if he is offering this to Will, he must really be okay with it. Will takes a moment to honestly ask himself, is this what he wants? As he looks from Hannibal to Quirrell, he sees two alternate futures in front of him, clear as day, and he knows his decision is already made as he reaches for the knife, never breaking eye contact with Hannibal. As he grips the cool handle, Hannibal holds onto it firmly, and Will feels like the moment has been put on pause, as if they are the only two people left in the whole world. He feels as if Hannibal is speaking directly into his soul as he stares back in to Hannibal’s blood colored eyes.

              “Are you a killer, Will? You. Right now. This man standing in front of me. Is this who you really are?” Will hears no judgement in the question, just unabashed honest curiosity, feels the desire to know and be known, feels Hannibal’s intense scrutiny on him. He briefly wonders if Hannibal is worried he’s coercing him? If he is secretly afraid that Will will change his mind? Regardless of the reason for the question, Will has his answer and looks him in the eyes as he speaks, feeling the words resonate from deep within himself.

              “I am who I’ve always been. The scales have just fallen from my eyes. I can see you now. And myself. I know who I really am, what I’m becoming. What I’ve become.” As he says it, he feels Hannibal release the knife and he accepts it, seeing Hannibal grin with his teeth at him, proud and predatory. He supposes that’s what they are - predators, wreaking righteous vengeance on the world, punishing those that are unworthy, transforming them into something worthy.

              With knife now in hand, Will faces Quirrell, seeing his eyes pleading with him. He notes he finds it incredibly easy to ignore the pleading. The ease at doing so once would have worried him, but he casts the thought aside easily, accepting himself, for once feeling in control of his empathy. Will is surprised to find that the one thing he does feel in reaction to the pleading is irritation– why don’t people fear him? Everyone seems to innately have a healthy fearful respect for Hannibal (Franklyn’s face flashes in his mind). Why is it that Will has to flip his lid before he gets any respect, any fear? Why? He can be just as scary, just as powerful as Hannibal. He resolves that this new version of himself will command others to respect him, to recognize his power. The fearful boy he was will be gone, replaced with the new man he is becoming.

              Looking at Quirrell again, Will finds he feels contempt and hatred for this pathetic excuse for a human being who makes the world a worse place just by existing, who has killed one of the most pure souls Will has ever encountered (albeit only through memory), and hurt the man he loves. He is reminded of the words Ollivander spoke to him when he got his new wand, 'Cedar also tends to make one a frightening adversary, especially if a loved one is harmed'. That is how he feels right now, he is a fucking frightening adversary, no one harms Hannibal and gets away with it. Righteousness flowing through him, he reaches out with his left hand, feeling Quirrell’s throat for his carotid artery and feels Hannibal come up close behind him, arm around his waist, speaking directly into his ear.

              “Yes, right there my love. It will spray at first from the pressure, so keep to the side if you don’t want to get blood on you. Blood leaves the body at a gallop, then a stumble…” Hannibal’s tone suggests that stepping to the side is not something he is necessarily recommending, and Will smiles a dark smile, feeling powerful. He controls how much longer this man lives. He is surprised to find he feels excited anticipation and is ready, unafraid. He raises the hand holding the knife, feeling Hannibal still standing right behind him; his body close, hand on his shoulder, grounding him, sharing the experience. He takes a breath, feeling the reassuring calmness that everything as it is supposed to be, then slices into Quirrell’s throat. Instantly he feels the warm sticky blood spray out onto his face, his chin, soaking into his shirt, covering his arms and hands, before it starts trickling out, gravity pulling it down to drip off of Quirrell’s feet into jar.

              They both watch as Quirrell looks at them first in shock, betrayal, and horror, before his expression becomes panicked, and then finally freezes, dead. Will looks down at his own body, covered in blood, knife in his hand, and he feels alive like he never has before. He feels balance restored to himself, feeling whole. His empathy also detects the shift in Hannibal’s feelings, satisfaction, pride, and a modicum of closure.

              Will turns in Hannibal’s arms, getting blood all over his clothes in the process, and uses his free hand to pull him down for a kiss. Hannibal oofs in surprise before kissing him back, and Will feels his large warm hands come up to cradle his face. Will tastes blood in their kiss, and is instantly reminded of the kiss they shared at the Yule Ball, his Amortentia potion, and basks in the perfectness of the moment.

              Thoughts swirling around in his head, he takes a moment to wonder – why did he fear this for so long? How can this be wrong? It can’t. It isn’t. He’s done fighting his nature; this is who he is and he is no longer afraid. When they finally break apart, Will feels at peace, letting out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. As they gently separate, Will remembers that as happy as he is, this experience is not over. He offers the knife to Hannibal, who takes it, leaving a kiss on his bloody knuckles as he does. With a blood-tinged smile, he turns back towards the floating corpse in front of them.

              “Move the jar please, Will?” he moves it as Hannibal releases the levitation spell, and Quirrell’s body slumps to the floor lifelessly. For some reason the fact that the jar is warm surprises Will until he realizes it’s the residual heat from Quirrell’s blood. Will can’t stop the thought that Quirrell is already better in his new transformed state, the world a better place for having him gone from it. He sets the jar filled with blood aside and retrieves another jar out of Hannibal’s pouch in preparation for what he assumes is coming next.

              Will watches as Hannibal straddles the body, foregoing gloves, and slices the knife in at the belly, then pulls it upward towards the chest. Almost like a Y-incision Will thinks. With his bare hands, Will sees Hannibal reach into the hole he cut, feeling around. In the next instant, Will watches him force the hand with the knife inside as well, carefully doing some motion Will can’t see. A few squishy moments later, Hannibal’s bloody hands emerge holding Quirrell’s heart. It’s smaller than Will expected but metaphorically he supposes it makes sense; anyone who can kill children can’t have that big of a heart. Will holds out the jar and Hannibal drops it in, job complete. Will finds it entirely pleasant how they work in synchronicity, as if they’ve done this together a hundred times.

              They stand facing one another and Will can’t imagine what Hannibal is feeling, but his empathy is picking up a deep satisfaction, a wholeness, fulfillment, which makes sense considering he has finally killed all four men who killed his sister…well, technically Will killed Quirrell. In retrospect Will is touched that Hannibal allowed him to be such a significant part of this, knowing firsthand how much Mischa meant to him. Nearly overcome with emotion, Will holds out his hand, then pulls Hannibal in for a hug, resting his head on his chest, hearing his heart beating. He feels Hannibal’s hand clutching onto his shirt at his side, feels him nuzzling against his hair, as they both try to catch their breath from the overwhelming feelings.

              “This is more than I ever wanted Will, more than I ever dreamed was possible. For both of us,” Hannibal says against his temple, still breathing hard. Will feels tears in his eyes, the moment so perfect, something he feared for so long and now he has someone to share it with.

              “It’s beautiful,” Will says into his neck, slightly breathy with emotion, and he finds he means it to the core of his being. Absently Will notes everywhere he touches Hannibal becomes stained with blood, marking him, and he holds on a little tighter, for a moment almost wishing they could merge into a single powerful being.

              They hold each other a moment longer, finding composure, before Hannibal steps back, gripping his upper arms and bringing their gazes together.

              “Let’s finish up, shall we?” Will nods, collecting himself, for the first time noticing the room around him.

              “What is that?” Will gestures at a large machine nearby, thinking it looks like something that either belongs on the lower decks of Titanic or in a bank; it appears to be a large metal box with a reinforced door on the front.

              “Excellent question, Will. That is an incinerator,” Hannibal declares in his slightly smug tone and Will can’t help the smile that breaks out across his face.

              “Quite lucky of that to be here, wouldn’t you say?” he replies, amused at his own joke, seeing Hannibal quirk his lips in response.

              “Yes, quite,” Hannibal replies as he Mobilcorpuses the body to the incinerator. Will rushes over and barely figures out how to open the door in time before Quirrell’s body is guided inside. Hannibal helps him close the door and they turn it on, watching as the flames reduce Quirrell’s body to nothing but a pile of ash. When it’s done, they open the door and Hannibal scoops the ashes into another jar he pulls out from his pouch.

              “What are we going to do with that?” Will asks, curious; that wasn’t part of their plan but then again, neither was most of this.

              “I don’t know, but something tells me we shouldn’t to leave it here. We can dispose of it once we’re outside Hogwarts grounds,” Hannibal replies.

              “Okay,” Will says, going with the flow, it feels right. Now that the end is in sight, he wonders, “What do we do to clean up?” They certainly can’t leave the room looking as they do, although Will has to admit if it wouldn’t be incriminating, he would love a photo of how they look right now, as morbid as it sounds. He suspects they look like what he saw in the mirror of Erised, covered in blood, powerful, together an unstoppable force.

              In response, Hannibal holds out his hand in invitation, and Will notices the ring on Hannibal’s finger, silver barely visibly under the blood covering Hannibal’s hands and Will finds it a beautiful sight. He takes Hannibal’s hand and is pulled towards a door he didn’t notice earlier. Beyond the door is a nice bathroom including a large shower. Wordlessly, they both undress and get in together under the warm spray, watching the water turn red as it washes away the blood, baptizing this new aspect of their relationship. Their eyes meet periodically and each time slow, almost shy smiles grow on both of their faces. It’s a new level of intimacy.

              Once clean, Will does a scouring charm on their clothes, doing his best to remove the blood. Hannibal’s clothes look okay but Will decides his shirt is a lost cause, tinted a coppery color no matter how much magic he throws at it, so he keeps his robe clasped shut to hide it as best he can. Once they are dressed, they pack up all their stuff into Hannibal’s pouch and reluctantly agree to head back to their respective dorms for the night to avoid suspicion.

              Will finds it’s hard to say goodbye and they share an intimate kiss, slow and meaningful, staring into each other’s eyes, before they leave, one at a time. Will warns Hannibal to keep an eye out for paintings, but luckily they still seem to be at the feast. Thank you, Felix!  After Hannibal leaves, Will leaves as well, also not encountering any problems on the way back to the Ravenclaw dorms, though not surprising considering how close they are. 

 

*

 

              That night, Will can’t sleep, but not for the reasons he expected. He can’t stop worrying about Hannibal and absently wonders if the Felix Felicis potion has a rebound effect on his anxiety. He may be at peace with this new facet of himself, but he couldn’t stand it if anything happened to Hannibal. What if someone finds the blood? The ash? The heart? What will happen when people notice Quirrell is missing?  He ends up barely getting any sleep, and by morning feels strung out and on edge. As soon as the sun is up, he showers, dresses, finishes his last-minute packing, and hauls everything down to the Great Hall with groggy eyes, intending to wait there until he sees Hannibal.

              Once down there, he picks at his breakfast. Not many students are in the Great Hall yet as most stayed up late for the feast and are sleeping in. And still others waited until the last minute to pack (Jimmy Price, every year!) so are holed up in their room fighting with their trunk. Thankfully Will doesn’t have to wait long as he sees Hannibal arrive with his own trunk, dressed in non-uniform clothes (damn he looks good) and looking more chipper than anyone has a right to this early in the morning. Will smiles and jumps up when he sees him coming, unable to contain his need to be close.

              “Will ooph-” Will intercepts him with a slightly too forceful hug, already feeling better the second their bodies touch. “Are you okay?” Hannibal lets go of his trunk, pulling back to cradle Will’s face in his hands, looking at him, no doubt seeing the dark circles under his eyes. He can probably smell my worry, Will thinks. As Will looks at him, he feels the worry start to wash away. Hannibal is here, in his arms, he’s fine, they’re fine, and he feels a smile grow on his face.

              “Yes. Yes I’m fine now.” With one final squeeze, he forces himself to let go and sit back down, seeing Hannibal sit beside him after he parks his trunk next to his own. Will has a passing thought he likes seeing their trunks side by side, despite the clear discrepancy in quality, Will’s trunk is ancient. They both start eating and Will feels the anxiety slowly receding, but admits he’ll feel better once they are on the train, away from here. He hasn’t heard anything about Quirrell yet and certainly isn’t going to bring it up.

              As time goes on, the Great Hall begins to get louder. Eventually Will opts to begin their trek to Hogsmeade to get away from the noise, and as a bonus to get some fresh air in the process. Once outside, Will half expects to feel different, to question his actions, but he finds he still feels like himself…just tired, he amends. Having about two hours to kill before they board the Hogwarts Express, Hannibal suggests they take a nap in their spot by the lake, about halfway between Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.

              They park their trunks and Hannibal sits with his back against a tree in the mottled shade created by the branches above, the weather pleasant, gentle sun and a light breeze. When Will sits down next to him, Hannibal pulls his head down into his lap, gently carding his fingers through his curls and Will finds it incredibly soothing.

              “Sleep, my love. I’ll wake you when it’s time.”

              “Are you sure?” Will asks but he’s already yawning.

              “Yes mylimasis, sleep.”

              With that Will finds he falls into a dreamless peaceful sleep. He wakes later to Hannibal calling his name, touching him gently as if he is something precious. Will opens his eyes seeing Hannibal’s face, backlit by sun, blue sky, and green leaves. He looks like an angel, Will’s sleepy mind thinks, then as he becomes more awake he dismisses the thought, maybe a fallen angel. He has to admit he feels better. Truthfully he could use more sleep, but the nap definitely refreshed him. As they stand to begin the walk to Hogsmeade, he is hopeful the power nap will get him through the long journey they have. On their way they summon Achilles and Patroclus, putting them in their respective cages.

              When they arrive at the station, it is bustling with students and every few minutes Will is pulled this way or the other saying goodbye, have a nice summer, etc. Price and Zeller find him first. Then Alana and Margot. When Anthony Dimmond says goodbye to Hannibal, he and Will share an odd moment of eye contact. When Beverly finds them she first hugs Will, and then Hannibal too, to both of their surprise. They talk briefly and then she agrees to find them on the train to keep the tradition alive, already getting pulled away by friends.

              When it’s time, they board the train for their five-hour ride to London, and Will smiles at the novel experience of having someone to do that with, just another piece of evidence that he is truly not alone anymore. Will forgoes the special Prefect carriage; there is honestly nothing that could tempt him to be away from Hannibal right now. Nothing. Will follows as Hannibal enters a compartment and they stow their luggage, owls settling down once the door is shut, blocking out some of the noise.

              Once the whistle blows and the train starts moving, Will relaxes more, leaning against Hannibal, already feeling sleepy again. He sees Hannibal pull out a book as he feels an arm come around him.

              “Sleep, Will.” He feels a kiss to his forehead and smiles as he closes his eyes, lulled to sleep by the motion of the train and Hannibal’s warm body.

              The next time Will wakes is when the trolley witch comes by, Hannibal asking if he wants anything. The reflex to say “nothing” is almost out of his mouth before he changes his mind. He is a bit peckish and Hannibal clearly wouldn’t have asked if he didn’t want to.

              “A pumpkin pasty would be great,” Will says and sees Hannibal smile genuinely, apparently thrilled at Will’s progress to have stuff bought for him without argument. Will still doesn’t like it but he has another year before he can do anything about it. He rationalizes that they’re engaged so it’s not as bad as it once was to have Hannibal buy him stuff, but he’s certainly not going to tell him that. Hannibal ends up getting a chocolate frog and they watch it jump, trying to catch it before it hits the floor. Once it’s stationary and contained, they look at the collectible card inside, seeing it’s Newt Scamander, world authority on magical creatures and author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

              Feeling significantly better with some food and sleep in him, Will gets out the photo album from his bag, wanting to show Hannibal now that the whole year is complete. Hannibal is particularly surprised Will saved his letters and put them in the album. Will is embarrassed at first but then retorts,

              “You’re telling me you didn’t save mine?” The look on Hannibal’s face and his lack of answer clearly say, yes he did. Beverly chooses that moment to knock on their compartment before Will can tease him further and he waves her in. Once inside, she instantly sees the photo album and asks to look through it. Will hands it over, moving to sit down next to her on the opposite bench, answering questions for her as she looks, enjoying her running commentary.

              “Those are your partronuses?!? Holy shit what the fuck is that?!?” And then, “Aww that’s the photo I took! Hey there’s me!” Followed by, “Damn Hannibal, you’ve got abs!” At that Hannibal looks up from his book, seeing the firestorm spell photo and raises an eyebrow at Will.

              “Yes he does,” Will replies with a wink to Hannibal, pleased to see his cheeks color slightly.

              After Beverly finishes, they sit and talk for a bit, summer plans, invitations to look her up if they are in London, the importance of writing and staying in touch – no excuses because now he has an owl, to which Beverly says “Thanks Hannibal!” slapping him on the knee from across the compartment. Hannibal looks like he’s not sure what social protocol is required of him when your fiancée’s friend thanks you by slapping you, so he settles for a nod which is followed by a louder than normal exhale. Will smiles to himself, he supposes both himself and Beverly are a bit rougher around the edges than Hannibal is, their tendency towards foul language certainly one example of it, Beverly’s physicality another. Eventually she stands to leave, hugging them both once more.

              After she leaves, Will notices Hannibal rummaging around in his bag and asks, “What are you doing?” In response Hannibal pulls out the jar of ashes, opens the window, and dumps them out. Will instantly sees they are scattered to the wind, lost for all time in the middle of nowhere in the English countryside. Once empty, the jar follows the ashes and Will feels his residual worries knocked down slightly. When their gazes meet he notes Hannibal has a smug look on his face, which Will finds endearing, and a little arousing if he’s honest. For a moment he wishes they had some privacy, but the door to their compartment is crystal clear glass, as if they are in a fish bowl. He contents himself knowing that soon they will have total privacy for the whole summer and smiles at the thought.

 

*

 

              They arrive in London around four o’clock, and as they wait to disembark from the train Will has a moment of feeling stupid for not even asking how they are getting from London to Denmark, he supposes he had other things on his mind. Hannibal informs him that they have a two-hour flight but that they have some time to get a late lunch before they get to the airport. As they carry their luggage off the train, they say goodbye (again) to their classmates as they encounter them. Not wanting to haul their luggage farther than they have to, they eat in the food court of King’s Cross station. They choose to eat at Prezzo, Hannibal getting King Prawn and Salmon Risotto (Will rolls his eyes fondly as Hannibal orders, of course he picks the fanciest thing on the menu, the posh bastard) and Will gets the Spicy Carne Calzone. As they eat, Will is struck by how they are out in the real world, both dressed in regular clothes, Hannibal looking gorgeous. He also realizes Hannibal is wearing the ring he gave him for the world to see, and Will can’t help taking his left hand in his own across the table and squeezing his hand. He has another surreal moment, realizing this is really happening and he smiles, seeing Hannibal smile back.

              When they finish, Hannibal waves down a cab for them to take to the airport, estimating about a thirty-minute ride. If it weren’t for the owls they would consider taking the tube, but the thought of navigating the underground with trunks and owl cages makes the decision for them. Definitely not. As Hannibal pays the driver and they continue hauling their trunks into the airport, Will asks has a thought.

              “How do you have so much money?” It feels like something he should have asked sooner, although Hannibal doesn’t look surprised at the question.

              “When my parents died, I inherited their fortune which is quite vast. It was in my uncle’s name until I turned eighteen, and is now officially in my name. I am the sole heir of the Lecter fortune...for now…” Hannibal lets his sentence trail off, unlike him, looking pointedly at Will.

              “What do you mean for now?” Will asks, clearly not getting it. Hannibal smiles before responding, looking as if the answer should be obvious.

              “When we are formally wed you will share that title with me.” Will freezes in place, gaping and Hannibal looks amused. “Unless you don’t want to, of course, but I insist you do. Should anything ever happen to me I want you to be taken care of.” Will still looks like he doesn’t know what do with the information and Hannibal takes pity on him. “But that is a discussion we can save for another day, hmm?” Hannibal’s arm comes around him and Will leans into the contact, trying to clear his mind and focus on the immediate task of navigating Heathrow Airport.

              Once they reach the baggage checkpoint, Will once again develops questions and grabs Hannibal’s forearm to halt him.

              “How can we take…certain items…on the plane?” he asks, trying to be discreet but once again probably making it sound more conspicuous rather than less by lowering his voice. Hannibal smiles, not looking remotely concerned.

              “Excellent question Will. I put a muggle concealment charm on them.” This only prompts more questions in Will’s worry-filled and sleep-deprived mind.

              “What if a wizard or witch sees it?” Here Will sees Hannibal roll his eyes slightly and it makes him smile if only because he can’t recall ever seeing Hannibal do that before.

              “Will…” he starts off seriously, tone slightly patronizing, “…it is highly unlikely that a witch or wizard would be working airport security.” Hannibal sees Will isn’t totally satisfied by this explanation so he continues, “But if you prefer, we can take a fifteen-hour train ride to Denmark instead of a two-hour flight…” At that Will’s eyes widen in horror and he starts shaking his head, seeing Hannibal grin, knowing he’s won.

              “No, no, you’re right. Okay, let’s go.”

              The airport process is surprisingly smooth, and Will falls asleep leaning against Hannibal on the plane, it taking off a little after six o’clock, headed for Copenhagen. Will is gently shaken awake when they land, feeling a light kiss to his cheek. He opens his eyes, hearing the chimes of the airplane and people shuffling around. He sits up, stretching, and wipes the drool from his mouth, mildly embarrassed. Once they deplane, they pick up their trunks and owls and decide to get a late dinner at the airport, as it is already after eight o’clock. They choose the first place they encounter, Pret-a-Manger and both get sandwiches. Despite the fact that they only lost one hour, Will feels jet lagged, like he crossed multiple time zones due to his poor sleep.

              By the time they finish it’s about nine o’clock and Will is beyond ready to be at their final destination, fatigued from the past few days. Hannibal hails a cab and tells Will it will be a half hour ride to his home. That wakes Will up; he finds he starts to feel antsy - not nervous exactly, but it feels monumental. This will be his home for the summer, the start of his new life with Hannibal outside of Hogwarts. The place where they will be cementing this new aspect of their relationship with the macabre meal they have planned. Despite feeling emboldened after the murder, more accepting of himself than he ever has been, Will finds he can’t fully shake the fear that Hannibal’s feelings for him might change now that they are out in the real world. Will may be the best of the lot in Hannibal’s eyes at Hogwarts, but there are a lot more people in the world. The phrase ‘a big fish in a small pond’ pops into his mind and he tries to dismiss the fear, only moderately successful.

              Will is pulled out of his disjointed sleep-deprived thoughts as the cab stops in front of a nice looking two-story home. As they get out, Hannibal pays the driver and Will walks around shaking his legs a little, stiff from all the sitting. Together they tiredly haul their stuff up to the door, and Will watches as Hannibal unlocks the door. Will follows Hannibal inside, setting his stuff down in the dark entryway, seeing Hannibal moving around to turn on the lights. Despite being tired he wants to be helpful, so Will lets their owls out into the night before closing the front door, hearing the click of the door latch resound in his mind. Home.

              “Who takes care of this place when you’re at school?” Will asks around a yawn. Hannibal's answer comes from beyond a nearby doorway and Will starts walking that direction.

              “We have a landscaper who tends the yard, and I haven’t found a need to have anyone tend to the inside.” Will looks around as he’s speaking, taking in the space as best he can with his tired mind. His first impression is that the home is opulent but also down to earth, guilded, old-fashioned, dark rich colors, with a lot of art and sculpture and all manner of frippery, but still tasteful. He sees more than one set of antlers and is reminded of one of the places he stayed as a child with his father at the peak of their hunting. The room feels like Hannibal, and Will feels like every new thing he sees lets him understand Hannibal just a little bit more and the thought brings a smile to his lips. He belatedly realizes he is probably the first, maybe only person, who has been invited here and that thought makes him a little sad, picturing Hannibal alone here all summer, which prompts him to ask,

              “Were you lonely?” Will correctly assumes he doesn’t really need to specify when. Hannibal appears to pause to consider his response after he returns from turning on the light in the next room, then walks towards Will. Hannibal brings their hands together, squeezing once, before looking in Will’s eyes tenderly, considering his response.

              “At the time, I would not have described myself as lonely, no. I didn’t desire anyone’s company; no person I ever met had inspired a desire in me to seek them out, and I assumed all people were that way. Sure some were more tolerable than others, even enjoyable in small doses, but I never missed any after they were out of my sight. I had my passions – reading, writing, drawing, cooking, music – to occupy my time, as well as my…quest, for lack of a better word. I didn’t know any other possibility existed. I saw how others enjoyed companionship, friendship, love, and I supposed I understood it abstractly, as I recall the love I had for Mischa, for my parents…but I assumed my opportunity for those things died with them, having no evidence to prove otherwise.” Will feels Hannibal’s thumb brushing the back of his hand gently as he continues. “I think as I grew, I realized my…proclivities…meant I could never really be myself around others, let anyone truly know me, and perhaps because of that I kept others at a distance out of self-preservation, but I never felt lonely.” Here Hannibal pauses, seemingly collecting his thoughts as he holds Will’s gaze and Will is rooted to the spot, frozen, listening intently as Hannibal continues. “That being said…since knowing you, Will, I have experienced loneliness. Missing you when we were apart. I’ll admit I didn’t understand what it was at first, in our early friendship, because the desire for someone’s company was completely new to me. When I saved the seat for you next to me in Potions, I didn’t fully understand why I was doing it, I just knew I wanted you near me…and I definitely didn’t want you near anyone else. Before you, I didn’t know I could have love, friendship, companionship, with someone who knew the real me.”

              As Hannibal speaks, Will’s eyes get misty, tears threatening to spill out. Since the beginning, Will always felt like Hannibal was saving him from himself, making him whole, helping him find his true self. What he didn’t realize until now is how much he was giving Hannibal in return. His fears of Hannibal realizing he isn’t that interesting or preferring the company of others are dying as he hears the words falling from Hannibal’s lips, drinking them in like water to a man dying of thirst. How fortunate they are that the two of them, both so unique and so alone, have found each other. Will sniffs a little, feeling a tear escape down his cheek, and sees Hannibal lean in to kiss it away.

              “But now is not the time to talk of loneliness, hmm? Come mylimasis, let me show you our home, before you fall asleep,” he teases with a sly smile. Will’s heart skips a beat hearing “our home,” smiling back and following Hannibal into the next room that turns out to be the kitchen. Once inside, he sees Hannibal removing the blood and heart jars from his pouch. Will instantly notices the kitchen almost doesn’t fit with the vibe of the rest of the home. It’s large, modern, and sleek with lots of stainless steel – a chef’s kitchen. A moment later, Will realizes his surroundings look familiar and he has the epiphany that this is the same kitchen he saw in Hannibal’s memory.

              He is brought back to the present by Hannibal handing him the jars to as he pulls out another key and unlocks a door off to the side of the kitchen. Will had assumed it was a pantry, but as Hannibal opens the door, he sees it looks more like a creepy basement. Leaning forward to get a better look, Will sees stairs leading down into darkness and notes the air smells stale. Hannibal pulls a chain that illuminates the stairway, takes the jars from Will, and then walks down the stairs. Will follows, looking around now that the room is visible.

              “What is this? A basement?”

              “Of sorts,” is Hannibal’s cryptic reply. Will sees more stainless steel refrigerators identical to the ones in the kitchen. Hannibal puts the jars inside one of the refrigerators, then says, “You could say this is a private space. I keep it locked at all times, for obvious reasons,” he says with a smirk.

              The logical part of Will’s brain says he should be alarmed by this, a very large red flag having a secret creepy basement to store body parts in. However, he knows in his heart he not only loves Hannibal but understands why he does what he does, and not only that but agrees with it, something within him responds to it. If Will is perfectly honest with himself, he was the one to kill Quirrell, not Hannibal. Sure it was a joint effort, but Will was the one who cut his throat. Will nods in understanding, and Hannibal leads them back up the stairs, locking the basement and then pauses as he seems to have a thought.

              “We’ll have some keys made for you,” he says and Will smiles, appreciative, but to be honest he can’t picture being away from Hannibal’s side long enough to warrant himself needing his own set, but he also supposes he’s quite sleep deprived so he’s probably not thinking straight.

              Hannibal then leads them into the dining room, and Will notices again that the room is familiar from Hannibal’s memory. As he walks Will can’t resist touching the table, the chairs, reconciling the vision in his head of Hannibal eating alone with the reality in front of him. Then Hannibal leads him to the living room, and Will sees a large fireplace, armchairs, more antler decor, rugs, and a sofa. From there Hannibal leads Will to large French doors off the kitchen, saying, “I’ll show you the yard tomorrow.” They continue on into what looks like a study containing a large desk, bookcases, and most surprisingly samurai armor, although maybe not so surprising when Will remembers Hannibal said his aunt by marriage is in Japan. “The study, where I hope to put a harpsichord one day.”

              “What stopped you from getting one? It doesn’t sound like money…” Will asks, seeing Hannibal pause as he formulates a response.

              “The harpsichord reminds me greatly of my childhood. I suppose it was too painful to consider getting one before I had…completed by plan.” Will nods, wondering if he will get one this summer, hoping he will, the memory of him playing on Valentine’s Day nearly brings a tear to his eye.

              Then Hannibal takes them back towards their trunks. “Our bedroom is upstairs,” Hannibal says with a wink as he locomotors his trunk, walking up the stairs, trunk following behind. Will does the same and follows, blushing slightly at the ‘our bedroom’ comment. At the top of the stairs there are multiple rooms and Hannibal explains, “There are a total of four bedrooms up here.” He follows as Hannibal opens a set of double doors, presumably to the master bedroom, and Will stops dead in his tracks in shock, trunk thumping to the floor, as he sees the room because fuck it’s exactly same room as the Room of Requirement. Hannibal really did replicate his own bedroom. Will has to admit he already feels comfortable in the space even though he has technically never been here, and wonders if Hannibal anticipated that. He rolls his trunk in and sits down on the bed, lying back on the covers. It feels identical, its uncanny. Will feels the bed shift as Hannibal lies down next to him, taking his hand, bringing it to his mouth and kissing his knuckles.

              “Welcome home Will,” Hannibal says softly and Will feels so much, nearly overwhelmed with happiness as he tries to hold back tears. He smiles, feeling like he really does feel like he is home; not necessarily this house, but as long as he is with Hannibal, he is home, and he replies softly,

              “Welcome home Hannibal.”

 

*

 

              The next day Will wakes up, having slept splendidly at Hannibal’s side, and he turns to find said man awake, watching him with fond eyes, looking entirely soft and cute. Will inserts himself at Hannibal’s side, relishing the ability to just lie here and listen to his heartbeat, soaking in this new reality, feeling Hannibal’s warm arms come around him. He feels entirely comfortable and just relaxes into the feeling, absently playing with Hannibal’s hair, hearing him nearly purr in response, voice more gravelly after sleep. They continue cuddling until hunger forces them up. They both shower together but there is no sexual overtone. It’s sinking in that they don’t have to make the most of each opportunity for privacy; they have all the privacy they want and they bask in the domestic intimacy. After they get dressed, Hannibal makes breakfast out of the few shelf-stable pantry items they have (coffee and oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit) and Will offers to do dishes, feeling like he wants to contribute too.

              After breakfast Will gets the tour of the home in the daylight, and also gets to see the backyard, containing a covered patio, table and chairs, and large beech tree, along with plants and flowers. Before he consciously realizes it, Will’s mind is already imagining having a dog here. He’s brought out of his musing as Hannibal comes up next to him.

              “I’d like to prepare our special meal tonight and will have to go to the store. Do you want to go with or stay here?” Will mentally scoffs, of course he wants to go. Together they walk to the Metro station, taking the train a few stops and then walking to a local grocery store called SuperBrugsen. For some reason Will finds it incredibly surreal to do something as mundane as grocery shopping with Hannibal, and is amused by how long Hannibal takes to select items, reading labels, inspecting quality, and asking questions. At first the questions are directed at the store staff, and Will enjoys the new experience of hearing Hannibal speak Danish. Fucking hell his voice is sexy in every language, Will thinks. Something about the softness and sibilance of Danish gives him goosebumps and he makes a mental note to ask Hannibal what other languages he knows. Will is shaken out of his musings by hearing Hannibal ask him a question (in English).

              “Will, do you like crunchy or smooth peanut butter?” Will smiles, still feeling surreal.

              “Either is fine but I prefer crunchy. You?”


              “Both are equally palatable to me. Crunchy it is.” He drops it in the cart and Will smiles.  

              As they walk through the store, Will finds he enjoys learning what Hannibal likes and Hannibal appears to be enjoying learning what Will likes, asking him more preferences as they shop and encouraging Will to pick out anything he wants. Will tosses a few items in the cart, mainly things to snack on, figuring with the amount of stuff Hannibal is getting, he’s probably got the main meals covered. He ends up getting a bag of Kim’s sour cream and onion chips as well as bag of Marabou cookies, both of which earn an amused smirk from Hannibal as he drops them into the cart. When they are in the alcohol section, as Hannibal is picking out wine, Will finds the admittedly small section of whiskys and selects a mid-range one called Stauning, dropping it in the cart, which causes Hannibal to smile wide, looking quite pleased. Will recalls sneaking his father's whisky over the past summer so he's curious, he suspects anything he gets here will be better. Will colors slightly on the personal care aisle, seeing Hannibal buy lube, and then colors again as they are paying for their groceries, trying to avoid the gaze of the young clerk. Despite his new confidence since the murder and his proudness of being with Hannibal, it’s still a new experience buying lube, essentially declaring to a stranger in public, Yes that's for us. We have sex. With each other. He finds he feels simultaneously proud and embarrassed.

              Once home, Hannibal makes them sandwiches with their bounty from the store and Will thinks he could get used to this. “I’m going to get fat if you keep feeding me like this.” Hannibal smirks at him.

              “I assure you I will not let that happen, I promise to keep you quite active,” he says with a wink. Afterwards Will does the small amount of dishes (two plates and a knife), already feeling like they are falling into a domestic rhythm and surprised how much he likes it.  

              Will spends the day exploring, getting comfortable in the space, and unpacking. He ends up doing laundry and offers to do Hannibal’s too, noticing he strangely likes seeing their clothes mixed together, even though the discrepancy in quality is quite staggering and he has to double back twice to ask Hannibal if certain things can go in the washer. How annoying, Will has never owned anything that needed to be dry-cleaned. As he walks past the French doors to the backyard, he unexpectedly sees their owls in the large beech tree, snuggled together, asleep. He fetches Hannibal from whatever he had been doing in the study so he can see, and he is also amused. Will ends up summoning his camera and taking a picture.

              Later that evening, Hannibal tells Will he’s going to get started cooking dinner soon. Instantly Will offers to help, realizing the significance of this meal. Hannibal puts on the same white apron he saw in his memory and Will smiles, satisfied that this time Hannibal will no longer be alone. Hannibal gives Will the key to the basement and asks him get the jars. When he returns, the jars are exchanged for a tumbler containing the whisky he picked out earlier. He sees Hannibal has a glass of red wine (presumably the one he picked out). Going on instinct, Will raises his glass, it seems like the sort of occasion to do that right?  Hannibal smirks but raises his glass at well and they silently toast. Will takes a sip and feels the amber liquid warm his throat on the way down; it’s strong and smooth. As he drinks it, he slowly feels the warmth creeping into his cheeks, his body beginning to pleasantly buzz. Will sees that while he was gone, Hannibal has gotten out a blender and a saucepan, as well as various ingredients including oranges, milk, dark chocolate, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

              “So, what can I do?” Will watches as Hannibal goes to the kitchen island and gets out a cutting board, a knife, and a bowl, then gestures him over. When he is within arms reach, Will is manhandled so that Hannibal’s body is at his back, and the kitchen island is at his front, caging him in. The way Hannibal pulls him forces Will to jump a little to compensate.

              “You could just tell me to move you know,” Will says smiling, feeling the buzz from the whisky already. Just as he did back in October during their sparring match, Hannibal leans over his shoulder, close to his ear and says,

              “I could, but where is the fun in that?” Will shivers, feeling a pleasant deja vous, a slight blush to his cheeks at the memory, basking in the contrast between the memory where he was so unsure and now where he has everything he has ever wanted and more, feeling his arousal start to simmer in the background and he smiles, loving life. Still speaking softly near his ear, Hannibal says, “Now my love, you want to help, hmm?” Will nods, taking a breath, leaning his body against Hannibal’s warm solid form at his back. “Okay, watch.” He watches as Hannibal gets closer to him, leaning over his shoulder more as he picks up an orange in one hand and a kitchen knife in the other. Hannibal easily cuts the orange in half, its juice spilling out in small droplets over the cutting board. Next Hannibal picks up one half of the orange, then expertly uses the knife to cut out the flesh inside, dropping it into the nearby bowl, leaving the rind behind intact, forming a small bowl which is set aside.

              Will’s mind is paying attention but going off on all sorts of tangents, first wondering who decided “flesh” and “skin” were appropriate terms for fruit. Now that he knows what it’s like to cut into human skin and flesh, the terms take on new meaning for him. He is then distracted by the graceful dexterous movements of Hannibal’s long fingers confidently wielding the knife, feeling his arousal tick up a notch, transiently wondering if that says something about him, but no longer concerned. Nothing he feels about Hannibal is wrong, it can’t be. Hannibal drops a light kiss on his neck, earning a gasp from Will. “Think you can manage?” He asks, gesturing to the other oranges and kissing Will’s neck again. Hannibal’s hand is still holding onto the knife on the cutting board as he presses Will against the island. Will groans, leaning his head back against Hannibal’s shoulder, baring his neck in the process, and closing his eyes against the feeling. Will belatedly realizes he was asked a question and needs to respond.

              “Y-yes,” he says, stuttering slightly as he feels Hannibal’s teeth on his neck and an erection at his backside, grinding into him. He pushes back reflexively, feeling Hannibal kiss his neck once more before pulling away. Will turns slightly as Hannibal offers him the knife, handle first. Will feels deja vous again, as he accepts the knife, remembering the moment he accepted the knife from Hannibal before he killed Professor Quirrell. Murdered him. Fuck he murdered someone. He’s a murderer. He waits for remorse or shame to come with the revelation but it doesn’t. He knows what kind of a man Quirrell was and doesn’t regret it. He smiles to himself, quietly proud at his growing acceptance of himself. Like usual, Hannibal seems to be able to read him well, a proud smile forming on his face as well, as if knowing what Will’s thinking. Will accepts the knife, moment pregnant with meaning.

              “Tell me Will, did your heart race when you murdered him?” Will takes a moment to think, picking up whisky and taking a sip, feeling like it’s probably not smart to be holding a knife in one hand and alcohol in the other but dismisses the thought as soon as it enters his mind, washing it away with another mouthful. He thinks back, reliving the moment in extraordinary clarity in his mind.

              “No, it didn’t,” he realizes, surprised. He sees Hannibal grin darkly at him, looking dangerous and Will feels the magnetism drawing him in, unable to look away.

              “A low heart rate is a true indicator of one’s capacity for violence. Your choices affect the physical structure of your brain.” Will notes Hannibal sounds quite pleased pointing this out.

              “Killing is changing the way I think,” Will summarizes, taking another sip, then sets his whisky tumbler down on the island, still holding the knife.

              “Yes,” Hannibal says with a smirk. Will nearly feels overwhelmed with the intense raw intimacy as Hannibal cradles his face in his hands, smiling and looking into his eyes, saying, “You must understand that blood and breath are only elements undergoing change to fuel your radiance. Just as the source of light is burning in you.” Despite the intensity of the eye contact, Will finds he can’t look away, his mind captured by Hannibal’s words, so poetically accurate; he does feel like the light inside of him is burning, burning away to ash until none will be left and the darkness will consume him. At one time he would have been terrified of that, being alone in that darkness. But no longer, now he is not afraid, and not alone. He holds onto Hannibal’s waist with his free hand, grips his apron, leans in and kisses him, slowly and firmly, eyes staying open a little longer than they normally would, seeing Hannibal do the same, eyes crinkling in amusement, shining with love and pride.

              Will nearly gets lost in the kiss but remembers they have more planned for this evening than waxing poetic on life and death and making out in the kitchen, so he pulls back, taking a contented breath before he opens his eyes. “We’re never going to get anything done at this rate,” Will says with a wry smile. He sees Hannibal smile back at him.

              “We’re in no rush, but you’re right, having you here is proving to be more distracting than I anticipated, but there is bound to be an adaptation period, this is new for both of us.” With that Hannibal takes Will’s hand in his own and squeezes it once, thumb gently caressing the back of Will’s hand, before he turns to walk back to the counter. Will smiles, enjoying the residual tingle in his hand before beginning to cut the oranges, finding getting the flesh out slightly more difficult than it looked but he gets it done. Will smiles again realizing this is a new moment for both of them, another thing Hannibal has probably never shared with anyone, and something Hannibal will never have to do alone again if Will has any say in it.

              Will peripherally watches Hannibal and stops his orange cutting in curiosity when he sees him pick up the blood jar, taking it towards the blender on the counter. He then opens it and Will is surprised to see the blood has become congealed into a solid blob, which Hannibal gently nudges into the blender and closes the lid.

               “What is that for?” Will asks, coming up to stand next to him, wiping his sticky hands on his pants. He feels he should have some sort of reaction to seeing human blood in a blender but finds he’s mainly curious, and is less bothered by that than he thought he would be. Hannibal smiles with one side of his mouth, looking pleased.

              “We need to reliquify the blood before using it for Sanguinaccio Dolce, our dessert for the evening.” Hannibal looks at him almost warily, gauging his reaction but Will just looks back with a smile, the moment surreal, his feelings likely augmented by the whisky coursing through his veins.

              “Oh right of course, I should have known that,” Will says with playful sarcasm. Hannibal smiles back, amused, and then holds up a finger and turns on the blender. Morbidly curious, Will watches as the gelatinous scarlet blob does indeed become liquid, and a little foamy at the top. Hannibal turns it off after about fifteen seconds and Will finds himself stepping closer, feeling insanely curious and loving the freedom he feels to express that curiously, no worries of judgment or shame. He feels Hannibal’s gaze on him as he approaches the blender, seeing him step aside to allow him access. Will opens the top and looks down inside, instantly getting a whiff of a metallic organic smell, not unlike his Amortentia potion. Curiosity satisfied for now, he heads back to the oranges as he asks, “What is Sang…what is the dessert we’re making?” He takes a sip of his whisky, noting the glass his almost empty. He picks back up the knife and continues his cutting.

              “Sanguinaccio Dolce is an Italian pudding originating in Naples. It’s traditionally made for Carnevale, the feast day before Lent, and is normally made with pigs’ blood. Of course ours will differ from that slightly,” Hannibal says, adopting his smug lecture posture and tone. Will smiles, basking in the dark beauty of it.

              “Sounds wonderful,” Will says, turning his attention back to the oranges as he sees Hannibal doing something on the stovetop. A few minutes later, Will is nearly done with the oranges and sees Hannibal bring the blender with the blood to the pan on the stovetop and pour it in, seeing him stirring continuously. As Will finishes the last orange, he washes his hands and walks over to the stove, watching Hannibal work, seeing what looks like chocolate pudding in the pan. Hannibal turns off the heat and instructs Will to get out a tray and put the orange rind “bowls” on it. Will does as asked and sees Hannibal scoop some of the pudding into each one until it is all allocated, and already it looks fancier than anything Will has ever eaten pre-Hannibal. Hannibal puts the tray in the refrigerator and asks Will to get the bowl of orange flesh. Will grabs it, and as he does he  sneaks an orange segment into his mouth, enjoying the juicy sweetness. On his way to the refrigerator he decides to share and brings the bowl over to Hannibal, picking up a segment with his fingers and bringing it to Hannibal’s lips. Hannibal gives him an amused look before opening his mouth and allowing Will to place the orange segment inside, closing his mouth over Will’s fingers briefly. Will is surprised at the wave of arousal and power that courses through him as Hannibal chews and swallows it, eyes never leaving Will’s face. Will pulls his fingers back, feeling the pleasant tingle, and then takes the bowl to the refrigerator as originally requested. On his way his buzzed state has him sharing his thoughts on the word “flesh” as it relates to fruit, earning him another amused but fond look from Hannibal.

              Once done, Will meets Hannibal back at the kitchen island, and sees him take a drink his wine, realizing he looks quite happy. The sight makes Will’s heart swell, he wants Hannibal to look this happy and comfortable all the time. He never noticed the subtle changes before, but he now realizes Hannibal does wear a mask around others, at school, in public, the same mask he wore when Will first met him. The Hannibal he sees in front of him now, in his own home, secrets shared, is Hannibal without a mask and he loves him so much.              

              As Hannibal sets down his wine glass he notices Will’s tumbler is empty. “More whisky my love?” Will swoons a little, he loves Hannibal’s terms of endearment. He nods, feeling his cheeks warm, watching Hannibal pour more of the amber liquid into his glass.

              “Thanks…so what’s next?” he asks as he takes a sip.

              “Next is the main course.” Will watches as Hannibal opens a drawer and pulls out a leather box. He opens it and pulls out a handwritten recipe card, handing it to Will that reads, ‘Beef Heart Braised in Red Wine’ at the top. As he reads the recipe over, he realizes recipe sounds more technical than he is used to. He volunteers to cut the potatoes, feeling confident in his ability to do that, having recent experience with the cepelinai recipe that was 90% potatoes. When he’s done, he ends up doing the carrots and onion as well, after getting guidance from Hannibal on the size, while Hannibal carefully cleans and cuts the heart. Will can’t help watching for a minute as Hannibal confidently slices the heart with precision. It might be the whisky talking, as he has a healthy buzz going, but Hannibal with his sleeves rolled up, muscular forearms flexing as he works, is turning him on. For a morbid minute he imagines Hannibal cutting his own heart with that same care and is strangely comforted by it, then shakes his head as if to clear the thought.

              His attention is then pulled to Hannibal pouring some flour in a dish, seasoning it, then dredging the pieces of heart in it. Will stands next to him, and can’t help touching one piece of the heart before it gets flour on it; it’s cold and firm, and is again mentally surprised that he isn’t disgusted by this. Once all the pieces are covered, Will watches Hannibal get out a pan, put some butter into it, and then begins to sauté the heart. Will leans against the doorframe nearby, sipping his whisky, enjoying watching Hannibal cook, watching the flex of his forearms, the way his shirt moves over the muscles of his back, the way his pants hug his fine ass and Will is nearly lost in his appreciation until he hears Hannibal’s voice.

              “Will?” From the tone it sounds like not the first time he called him.

              “Hm?” he offers, floating pleasantly in the buzz of the whisky. Hannibal gives him a calculating look and Will smirks, feeling playful. “Just enjoying the view…thoroughly.” He probably sounds ridiculous, not everyone can say cheesy stuff like Hannibal can but he doesn’t seem to mind, smiling and raising an eyebrow at him.

              “I see, well can you please bring me the potato, onion, and carrot?” Will sets down his whisky, saunters to the cutting board, and brings it over, helping to scoot the cut vegetables into the pan. Hannibal then asks him to get the chopped thyme and Will didn’t even see Hannibal do that but gets it as requested, along with the beef broth and the wine bottle. Shortly after it is determined he needs to open another one to get the quantity the recipe requires. Once it’s all in, Hannibal covers it, reduces the flame, and sets a timer. “It needs to cook for an hour. I think I’m going to go freshen up.” Will nods, realizing he should probably do the same. This is a very important evening for them and he’s still in his clothes he wore doing chores today.

              “Good idea,” Will agrees as he takes one more mouthful of whisky, draining the glass, before setting it down and following Hannibal upstairs to their room. Will smiles, still warmed at the thought of their room, wondering how long it will take for the novelty to wear off, wondering if it ever will. He sees Hannibal go to the bathroom and hears the shower turn on. Will realizes he should figure out what to wear, although if he’s honest he really only has one option. He gets out his freshly laundered shirt and slacks from the Yule Ball and lays them out on the bed, mind instantly recalling all the pleasant memories he’s experienced in them so far: the Yule Ball, his first kiss with Hannibal, their engagement…he must get lost in his head for longer than he realizes because the next thing he knows Hannibal is coming out of the bathroom, towel wrapped low around his sculpted hips, and Will’s mouth goes dry; this is another thing he could definitely get used to. He must be gaping because when Hannibal sees him, he changes trajectory, coming up to Will, cupping his face and kissing him once with an amused look, his skin warm and moist from the shower, before continuing to his closet to get out clothes and get dressed. Will’s buzzed happy brain has him just standing there, enjoying the show, until Hannibal walks over to him again, now dressed in slacks and a maroon button-down shirt that nearly matches his eyes, looking unfairly gorgeous.

              Hannibal kisses him gently once, before letting him go, “I’ll be downstairs, dinner will be ready in…” he looks at the clock on the nightstand, “…twenty minutes.” Will nods in acknowledgement and Hannibal leaves the room. Once he’s gone Will finds it slightly easier to think, no longer distracted by Hannibal’s gravity. He takes a quick shower, smiling as he uses Hannibal’s fancy shampoo, basking in the smell that he has come to associate with the man he loves, and then changing into his clothes. He spends a quick and frustrating minute trying to get his hair to make a decision on which way it wants to go, then gives it up as a lost cause. My hair must be tipsy too Will thinks, laughing to himself.

              As Will descends the stairs, he sees Hannibal is setting the dining table and the full force of what this dinner is comes back and smacks Will hard. He hears soft classical music and realizes Hannibal has a record player playing in the corner. When Hannibal sees him, he sets down his wand from lighting the candle and meets him halfway, smiling. When they meet, Will feels Hannibal’s eyes rake over him like a physical caress. They share a kiss, slow but charged with electricity, full of potential, but both hold it at bay, knowing there will be time for more later. As Hannibal pulls back he says, “You look quite ravishing, my love.” Will smiles and can’t help the blush that colors his cheeks, flashbacks of when they purchased this outfit flying through his mind, however he finds with his newfound confidence, he replies,

              “You look pretty damn ravishing yourself.”

              They share a moment of smiling at each other, both simultaneously happy and in awe of the uniqueness and good fortune. Hannibal steps back, resting a hand at Will’s lower back, and urges him forward towards a chair at the table. Hannibal pulls out the chair for Will and he sits, asking “Wine or whisky?” Will thinks for a moment and is surprised he is leaning towards wine. For one, there is wine in the dish so he is sure it will pair well, knowing Hannibal. Secondly, he feels pleasantly buzzed but doesn’t want to get too intoxicated, wanting to be fully present for this. And three, what is that saying? Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear?  He should be fine.

              “Wine, please.”

              Hannibal’s grin looks proud as he retrieves a glass and pours some of the burgundy liquid into it, handing it to Will before disappearing into the kitchen. Will takes a sip of his wine and notices the table has been decorated similarly to what he saw in Hannibal’s memory (and also similar to the Valentine’s Day dinner). The centerpiece is made from small animal bones and skulls, flowers in dark reds, purples, blacks, pomegranates broken open, seeds glistening like geodes, and a candle; it’s morbidly beautiful.

              A moment later Will sees Hannibal return, carrying two plates. He sets one in front of Will, the barest hint of uncertainty and trepidation coloring his smile, before he sets his own down across from Will and sits down. Will feels their legs occasionally brushing under the table, taking the edge off the intense atmosphere. Will looks down at the plate in front of him and of course it’s beautiful, and somewhat surprisingly, the aroma is heavenly. There is a brief silence as the weight of the moment permeates the air, before Hannibal takes a breath and gestures at the plate, “Heart braised in red wine. Bon appetit.”

              Will realizes this is the moment of truth, he’s going to eat a human heart. Not only that, but a human heart of a human he killed. He can feel Hannibal’s eyes on him, gaze intense. Will picks up his fork, spears a piece of heart, noting how easily the fork pierces it, tender. He brings the fork to his lips and takes a bite, closing his eyes, instantly recalling the feelings he felt in Hannibal’s memory - the righteousness, the correcting of an imbalance, the vengeance - and he feels like he tastes it too, feels it too. The bite is delicious and he truthfully wouldn’t be able to tell it’s human. He opens his eyes as he swallows and smiles at Hannibal, seeing his answering relieved smile. The air around them feels charged as Hannibal brings a bite to his lips as well. They eat in silence, gaze meeting frequently, communicating unspokenly. With every glance, Will feels like he can see Hannibal’s emotions, see the release he has, at finally conquering these men, finally not only taking vengeance, but dominating them through this final act.

              About halfway through the meal, Hannibal sets down his fork, taking a sip of his wine, leg lightly brushing against Will’s under the table, as he asks, “I’m curious Will, if you’ll indulge me…how did killing make you feel?”

              Will swallows the bite in his mouth, setting down his fork, and taking a drink of wine as well as he gives the question real thought freely, without fear, without shame, without judgement. How did he feel? He feels safe to seriously ponder this question with Hannibal. As contradictory as it sounds, he realizes he feels safer with Hannibal than he ever has with anyone before.

              “Righteous,” he says, then after a beat quietly, reverently, he adds, “I was euphoric when I killed Quirrell. I’ve never felt as alive as I did when I was killing him.” Will takes another sip of his wine, feeling free, powerful, like he is coming into himself, as Hannibal looks at him intensely, as if he wants to consume him; it’s both scary and arousing to be caught in his gaze.

              “Doing bad things to bad people makes us feel good,” Hannibal says as Will smiles back at him, feeling like a new man, the alcohol making him share his thoughts freely.

              “I feel changed…I’ve changed…you’ve changed me,” Will says, twirling his wine glass in his hand, catching Hannibal’s eyes, seeing Hannibal smile at him darkly.

              “I disagree, but I feel fortunate to have bore witness to your transformation, dear Will.” Hannibal raises his glass in a toast, “To your becoming.” Will smiles darkly, feeling positively effervescent as he raises his glass to Hannibal’s, stopping it a second before it makes contact.

              “To our becoming,” Will amends, recognizing Hannibal will never be the same after tonight as well. Whatever the future holds, it will be new to both of them, together. Surprise flashes briefly over Hannibal’s face, before he smiles, and nods his head in acknowledgement, as they clink glasses. When Hannibal speaks, his voice is lower, almost a purr.

              “Yes, to our becoming.”

              Will shivers as he brings his glass to his lips. As they both drink, Will has a brief flash in his mind of the concept of taking communion, surprised, but then mentally concedes that this is nearly a religious experience for him. This is his own rebirth, that this meal is the transubstantiation of turning Quirrell from something unworthy to something worthy, turning Will from being a victim of life into a force of nature. They continue eating and as Will takes his last bite their eyes meet again, pupils blown nearly black. Will clears his throat, dispelling some of the tension as he tells Hannibal,

              “That was incredible, perfect.” Hannibal smiles at the praise.

              “Thank you. When you are ready, don’t forget we have dessert.” Will thinks Hannibal is looking at him like he is dessert and he wouldn’t be surprised if he wears a matching look, feeling his pants getting tighter at the sexual tension crackling in the room.

              “How about we sit by the fire, and we can enjoy our dessert there?” Hannibal proposes and Will nods, feeling more comfortable with that. Truth be told he’s not used to the formal dining setting. They walk to the fireplace, Will noticing there is now a soft rug in front of it that he doesn’t recall being there before. They sit down, both taking off their shoes, then Hannibal turns, using his wand to light the fire. As he does, Will appreciates his backside, seeing his powerful muscles flex underneath his shirt and pants tighten as he bends over; Will notes he feels his own pants tightening as well. After a moment he sees the flames catch and the firelight reflecting off of Hannibal’s golden skin.

              Feeling emboldened from the meal and the wine, Will licks his lips and smirks seductively as Hannibal turns around, catching his gaze. He slowly taking a sip from his glass, never breaking eye contact and sees Hannibal’s eyes darken. A moment later Will senses a switch has been flicked inside Hannibal, predator mode on, as he crawls towards him. The next instant Hannibal is plucking the wine glass out of his hand, setting it aside, and then kissing Will sensually, slowly, deeply. Will feels like he’s being tasted and wonders if Hannibal can taste the heart, his emotions, his desire, and the thought makes him moan wantonly, returning the kiss fervently.

              Hannibal breaks the kiss gently as he pushes Will down onto his back, and he goes easily, laying down on the soft rug. He sees Hannibal crawl over him, flames casting golden shadows over his skin, as he resumes kissing him and Will claws at his shirt, feeling the encounter picking up speed. He presses his body up into Hannibal’s, feeling his hardness against his own, loving the delicious friction they are creating. Things accelerate quickly, both panting, until Hannibal pulls back, sitting up. Will tries to follow but feels Hannibal stay him with a hand to his chest. With a devilish grin, Hannibal slowly starts to undo Will’s shirt, one button at a time, teasing. Will watches, chest heaving, as Hannibal slowly exposes his chest to the cool air of the room, feeling his nipples harden despite the warmth from the fire. Feeling bold, he stares at Hannibal, eyes challenging, as he stretches his body, lifting his arms up overhead, arching his back, pressing his hips up. His little show elicits an appreciative groan from Hannibal and Will smiles smugly, pleased.

              “Mm my wicked boy, you don’t know how tempting you are…” Will licks his lips and bucks his hips up again, feeling playful, confident, free to be himself, embracing all of what he is, and looks up at Hannibal from under his eyelashes. He sees Hannibal take a breath, shivering, before he runs his hands over Will’s chest once more. Finally he finishing unbuttoning Will’s shirt, pushing it open but not taking it off.

              Will lets out a breathy moan, arching up again, then brings his hands back down, feeling Hannibal’s thighs caging him in. He tries to untuck Hannibal’s shirt from his pants with only partial success. Hannibal smiles at Will’s attempts, assisting him in his goal, as he sits back up out of reach. Will watches with hungry eyes as Hannibal slowly unbuttons his shirt, enjoying the show in the firelight, which casts a warm glow over his skin, reflecting off of his golden chest hair. Once its open, Will takes in the ethereal view above him, before Hannibal leans down to kiss him again. As he does, their warm chests brush together and Will feels Hannibal’s chest hair against his sensitive nipples causing him to gasp into the kiss. On the gasp, Hannibal’s kisses change course, trailing first to his jaw, then to his throat. He pauses at Will’s ear, causing him to gasp again as he says quietly in his sex raspy voice,

              “Wait here you gorgeous creature.” With that Hannibal gets up and Will feels cold and disappointed for a moment, but then a moment later he sees Hannibal walking back from the kitchen with the dessert they made, the blood pudding in the orange rind bowl. Hannibal sets it to the side, then takes up his former position straddling Will, and in the same announcement voice he used for dinner, says,

              “Sanguinaccio Dolce.” Will smiles darkly, thinking he might have an idea where this is headed. “Would you like to try some Will?” Hannibal asks, playing innocent, and Will nods, watching as Hannibal scoops some up with his finger, and brings it to his lips. Will licks the pudding first, closing his eyes to savor the taste, fuck how can Hannibal cook so well, tasting rich chocolate, hints of cinnamon and vanilla, but underneath, the earthy salty metallic taste of blood. He opens his eyes and sucks Hannibal’s finger into his mouth, licking it clean, running his tongue over his fingertip, before releasing it, realizing it tastes even better off of Hannibal’s skin.

              “It’s delicious,” he says, noting his voice sounds lower, huskier than it usually does.

              “Thank you Will. I think I’ll try some as well.” He watches as Hannibal scoops up some more and proceeds to spread it over Will’s chest, pushing his shirt open, some of it smeared on his nipple. Will shivers at the cold, then again at the realization that Hannibal is literally going to lick blood off of his body, blood of his enemy, blood of the man they killed together. He remembers thinking he’s always been fucked up and wondered if Hannibal was just as fucked up as he is. He thinks he has his answer – yes, maybe moreso - but he loves it, finds poetic beauty in it, a base sensuality that he responds to. He is brought out of his musings as a moan is wrenched from his throat when he feels Hannibal’s tongue on him. He feels Hannibal lick it off slowly, tongue sliding over his nipple, hardening it, then sucking the whole thing into his mouth and Will cries out again.

              “Fuck, Hannibal…”

              Hannibal does the same to his other nipple, spreading some of the dessert on it, then licking it off. Will can’t stop the sounds he is making, his body undulating against Hannibal’s above him. When Hannibal lets up, Will reaches over and scoops some onto his finger, debating. As much as had love to reciprocate, the logistics of chest hair and pudding don’t sound appealing, so he leans up, smearing some on Hannibal’s neck. He hooks a hand around Hannibal’s neck and uses it to pull him up. Once upright, he grips a fistful of Hannibal’s fine hair tightly. Eliciting a gasp, he forces his head back, licking up the dessert, scraping his teeth across his skin which causes Hannibal’s moan to become a growl. Will’s not sure what’s coming over him but he feels powerful, like something deep inside of him being unleashed. He holds on to Hannibal’s hair, hooks a leg over him and flips them, Hannibal going easily due to the tight grip on his hair. And just like that Will has reversed their positions, now straddling Hannibal who is flat on his back looking up at him in undiluted awe and adoration, which Will finds only fuels the powerful feeling in him more.

              Will scoops out more of the dessert, spreading it on the other side of Hannibal’s neck. He forces his head to the side and slowly licks it off as they both moan. Will scrapes his teeth harder, sure he is leaving marks, as their pelvises grind together, erections sliding against one another through layer of fabric, their breath coming quicker. He can feel the pleasure building and wants to make this last, so he pulls back, putting some space between them, releasing Hannibal’s hair in the process. As he does, he scoops more of the pudding and brings his finger to Hannibal’s lips. Maintaining eye contact, he watching as Hannibal’s mouth opens obediently and Will forces his finger in, feeling Hannibal’s warm mouth close around it, his agile tongue caressing and swirling around his finger. He closes his eyes in pleasure, feeling Hannibal increase the suction and Will forces his eyes open. He slowly pulls his finger out, then smirks as he pushes it back in, sliding it along his tongue, teasing Hannibal who seems to be enjoying it as well, feeling Hannibal’s hands rubbing his thighs possessively.

              Will adds a second finger, slowly fingerfucking Hannibal’s mouth, enjoying the teasing, the anticipation. After a pleasant interlude, he removes his fingers, watching as Hannibal leans over to scoop up the last of the dessert, and reaches up, smearing it over Will’s lips. Hannibal uses his other hand to pull Will down, licking at his lips almost vulgarly before crashing their mouths together violently. Will feels Hannibal’s mouth open against his, tongues twining lewdly as they taste each other, the kiss tinted with a hint of chocolate and blood. Will gets goosebumps as their bodies writhe together, shrugging out of his shirt and working to reach between them to undo Hannibal’s pants, needing to feel their bodies against each other now. They work together to get his pants and underwear down and Will leans back, breaking the kiss so Hannibal can kick them off.

              Will takes a moment to look down at the gorgeous scene before him, Hannibal bare but for the open shirt still clinging to him and the silver ring Will gave him, skin glowing in the firelight. Hannibal’s eyes follow Will’s, realizing he’s looking at the ring. Sitting up, Hannibal shrugs out of his shirt, then threads his fingers into Will’s hair as they kiss, Will’s hands coming to rest on Hannibal’s shoulders gently. Will feels Hannibal’s hands travel down his body, undoing his pants, and he awkwardly extricates himself from them. He crawls back over Hannibal, seeing the firelight flicker over his body, seeing his erection hard and leaking, looking at Will in awe, pupils blown wide with lust. Will leans back a moment, looking down at Hannibal, feeling power coursing through him. Hannibal’s hand finds his and their fingers automatically intertwine, and Will feels the ring reverently, taking a breath.

              “Will, mylimasis, my love, you are so radiant, make love to me…” Will shivers, that voice holy fucking hell.  

              “Mm yes.”

              Will is on Hannibal in an instant, all restraint gone, mouths crashing together savagely, both of them moaning at the intensity. Shortly after, Will returns to Hannibal’s neck, biting, which causes Hannibal to growl. Will sees Hannibal’s hand scrambling to the side and lets up a moment, seeing the instant he encounters his wand and a moment later a bottle of lube has flown over to them. Hannibal looks up smugly and Will finds his own mouth smirking back as he picks it up, scooting back between Hannibal’s legs.

              He pours some onto his fingers, then reaches down as Hannibal raises his legs shamelessly, always so comfortable with his body, and Will finds his target. He gently presses one finger inside as he watches Hannibal’s expression go from smug, to vulnerable, to desperate, and he feels powerful all over again. He works his finger in and out as he brings his other hand to Hannibal’s length, stroking slowly as Hannibal moans, body undulating against the stimuli. Will adds a second finger, continuing the rhythm, seeing as a sheen of sweat breaks out over Hannibal, his hair beginning to dampen and stick to his forehead.

              “Will…Will…” His breathless voice causes Will to shiver in anticipation as he adds a third finger, intentionally grazing over Hannibal’s prostate, watching as he starts to become undone. It’s intoxicating, seeing him like this, knowing he’s the cause of his pleasure, stoking the flames of arousal inside of him.

              “Will please.”

              Will groans, his own arousal demanding attention. He pulls his hands back, quickly pouring more lube on his fingers, slicking his cock, and wiping his fingers on whatever piece of clothing is closest by. He gets into position and then is struck with an idea. He leans down, kissing Hannibal fiercely, gripping his silky hair again. He pulls him up and Hannibal goes easily, looking at him from underneath half-lidded eyelids. Will breaks the kiss abruptly, sliding his mouth near Hannibal’s ear.

              “Turn around,” Will says as he lets go of his hair, and Hannibal smirks at him before complying, getting on his hands and knees.

              “Like this?” Will takes a moment to appreciate the sight, firelight highlighting his sculpted muscles, before getting into position behind him. He grabs his hair again and pulls Hannibal up to kneeling, forcing him to scramble for balance. Will feels a rush of power as Hannibal moans. Speaking by his ear he says, huskily,

              “Yes.”

              With his free hand he lines himself up and pushes in, slowly but insistently, breaching the tight channel until he is all the way in, his other hand coming to Hannibal’s hip. He releases Hannibal’s hair, guiding him down to hands and knees again. Will twines his fingers with Hannibal’s left hand, feeling the ring, as he begins to thrust in and out, setting up a measured rhythm. He kisses and bites at Hannibal’s back, moaning, feeling drunk with pleasure, with power, Hannibal’s answering moans only fueling him more.

              His pace increases and he reaches down, finding Hannibal’s length and stroking, hand sliding easily from all the pre-come dripping out, feeling Hannibal’s body straining towards the contact. Will can feel Hannibal pinging between his cock buried deep in him and hand stroking him, caught in between in pleasure, and Will finds himself getting swept up in the pleasure too, feeling close. Despite the rough, savage tone of their lovemaking, Will can’t help but feel like this is so pure, this is them at their cores, stripped away to their most base selves.

              “Hannibal, fuck, oh god you feel so good, I love you so much, I’m close…” Will hears Hannibal groan and he speeds up.

              “Yes, yes, Will I love you too, oh Will...” Will feels the contractions start around his cock signaling Hannibal is close. A moment later he feels Hannibal shift his weight to one hand, his own hand joining Will’s on his cock, gripping tightly. Will continues to thrust savagely, hearing Hannibal moan incredibly loudly, or is that him? He can’t tell. In the next instant he feels Hannibal’s warm seed spill out over their joined hands as he climaxes, feeling Hannibal's body grip him tightly from the inside, spasming, and he drives in a few more times before stilling, biting at Hannibal’s back as he comes, vision whiting out in ecstasy, body tingling, feeling alive.

              “Hannibal oh oh…”

              After a moment Will comes back to himself, catching his breath and reluctantly pulling out, seeing Hannibal lowering himself to the rug. Hannibal lays on his back and Will kisses him softly before flopping down on the rug himself, exhausted. He situates himself half on top of Hannibal, head resting on his chest, hearing his rapid heartbeat, and feeling his sweat cooling on his overheated skin.

              Will feels Hannibal’s fingers lightly trailing over his body and he lets his hands wander, coming back to Hannibal’s hand, feeling the ring. The words spill out of his mouth unfiltered.

              “This is really happening isn’t it?” The disbelief flows into his voice, along with the joy, the reality hitting him that this could be his life now, will be his life. He looks up at Hannibal who is looking down at him with a soft smile.

              “Yes…” he kisses his forehead, “…yes, it is.”

Chapter Text

 

 

             It’s been a week since they arrived at Hannibal’s home, and for Will it has been the happiest week of his life. He feels more relaxed and at peace than he can ever recall being, all his lingering doubts seem to have been put to rest. He is no longer afraid of the darkness within him, and no longer afraid that Hannibal’s love for him will fade. These revelations bring with them some unexpected benefits, firstly being no more nightmares (but to be fair he’s never had nightmares when he’s slept with Hannibal anyway). In addition, he finds he has a newfound confidence that makes him take just slightly more pride in his appearance and walk a little taller. He also notices he has much less anxiety in general, and most interestingly, he finds his empathy is much easier to control.

             He first discovers his improved control over his empathy the second time they go grocery shopping (the first time Will admits he was mostly swooning over Hannibal speaking Danish). As Will was waiting for Hannibal to select a chutney (for gods sakes, just pick one! or better yet make your own!), a woman turned the corner of the aisle, and Will had no time to avert his eyes. He ended up making full eye contact with her, something he has trained himself to avoid with strangers. Normally, in a situation like that, he would be cowed into looking down, lest he be overwhelmed with her feelings - so imagine his surprise when he felt nothing! Out of curiosity he let his eyes linger, and still he felt nothing (other than pleasant surprise). The woman nodded and continued walking, and since then Will has been experimenting with how much he has changed, including how much he can control his empathy.

             The big test was at the Metro station waiting for the train. Normally loud enclosed spaces with lots of people would get to Will, putting him on the defensive and on edge; however now he found his eyes could skate around quite easily, undisturbed by the cacophony of noises around him. On the next train ride, he takes it a step further, actively reaching out his empathy to other passengers. He was pleased to discover that not only was it not uncomfortable for him to try to empathize with strangers, but that surprisingly, he liked the rush of power he got from it. Upon reflection, he finds he likes the feeling of having a leg up on someone, having leverage should he need to use it, an ace up his sleeve. The more he practices, the more confident he gets, finally feeling like he has something to grasp onto in social situations. Instead of his empathy being an anchor weighing him down, now it’s something he can use to his advantage - a tool he can use, a weapon he can wield - should he need to.

             Will