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All or Nothing

Chapter Text

Nothing was ever easy. Nothing was ever normal. Not for him.

He’d survived the killing curse at a mere fifteen months old – the only person who had – and grew up hated and abused for being a freak.

At age eleven he’d found out he was a wizard. He made his first friend on a train that had departed from a platform hidden behind a magical wall while his second friend was made in a girl’s bathroom after knocking out a mountain troll. He was the youngest seeker in a century – and the only first year in the school to make the quidditch team.

When he was twelve he crashed a flying car into a tree that fought back, was accused of setting a monster loose to attack his fellow students, narrowly escaped a forest full of gigantic spiders with his life, and was bitten by a basilisk. The poison would have killed him if not for a phoenix that shed tears to save his life.

At thirteen he almost broke his neck falling off his broomstick in a Quidditch game when soul-sucking wraiths known as Dementors swarmed the pitch. Then he went back in time a few hours to save the life of his godfather as well as a hippogriff named Buckbeak.

At fourteen he made it through the Tri-Wizard Tournament – only to be sucked into a trap and transported to the place where the Dark Lord, Voldemort, was resurrected with the aid of his blood. Against the odds he defeated said Dark Lord and barely escaped the snake’s followers.

Who would have thought, three years later, he’d be sitting here cold and alone. He shivered and his breath formed small wispy clouds as he exhaled. He sat on a bench near the intersection of Silver Stone Lane and Grey Stone Road, off Diagon Alley, and watched as snow fell heavily around him. Fresh out of school and in his present condition he had few prospects for his life. For the first time in a long time Harris Jameson Potter was completely alone and had no idea of what to do.

-o0o-

“… can’t believe the price of beef these days,” a muttered feminine voice reached his frozen ears from the direction of Silver Stone Lane. “Might be forced to stick to pork and chicken, not that chicken is getting much better…” The voice rose as the woman drew nearer to his spot on the cold stone bench. He shook his head and clumps of snow fell onto his lap. “Don’t know what these merchants are think- oh dear!” the woman exclaimed when she came within two meters of him. “What on earth are you doing out here in this dreadful cold on an evening like this? And without so much as a cloak to keep you warm, you poor dear.” She hurried over to him, removing her own cloak and wrapping it around his chilled frame. “Oh! Harry? Harry Potter? Is that you?”

Harry lifted his sad green gaze to see, through the curtain of his long dark bangs, the slightly haggard but warm face of none other than Bellatrix LeStrange. Were it not for the fact that he was well aware that the woman had been operating under several Imperious curses prior to the downfall of Voldemort (the need for multiple casters increasing her insanity), her presence would have startled him greatly. As it was he was merely surprised that she could even recognise him. While the final curse had broken when her husband was sentenced to Azkaban and kissed by Dementors for holding her under it, the recovery of her sanity was a long process. It had taken nearly two years for her to be able to properly function in regular society without someone to watch over her – these days she looked more like her eldest sister, Andromeda. These days she owned and operated a successful business and lived a tidy and respectable life.

In answer to her question he merely nodded, unable to form a verbal response with his sure to be blue lips. His jaw was clamped tightly shut to control the chattering of his teeth. “You poor child, you must let me get you out of this awful cold.” She wrapped an arm around his waist and helped him stand before leading him away to where her shop was located. Before he knew it he was seated on the couch of her comfortable apartment located behind the shop. She magically dried his clothes, wrapped a warm blanket around him and lit the fire before conjuring a cup of warm tea to slowly chase the cold away from his body. “There we are now, that’s a bit better,” she said as she sat beside him and smiled gently.

“Th-Thank you, Miss Black,” Harry managed to get out once he started to warm up, referring to his hostess by the maiden name she now went by.

“Oh, what lovely manners, but please, call me Bella. And no need to thank me, young Harry.”

“Alright, Bella,” Harry smiled lightly. “Um, would it be alright for you to call me Harris? At the moment, being called Harry is bringing up thoughts I’d rather forget for the time being.”

“Of course, Harris,” she smiled warmly with understanding in her eyes. Given their history it was more than a bit odd for Harris to see the woman like this instead of the crazy person she’d been before, but despite that he still felt very fortunate for her hospitality. “Now, do you think you’re well enough to eat anything? Could you stomach some soup?”

“Yes, please.”

“Coming right up,” she said as she disappeared into the kitchen and set about warming some of the soup she had prepared only the day before.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

A month later found eighteen year old Harris clearing off the last table of Bella’s Meat Pie Shoppe before going down to the oven room. It hadn’t taken the woman more than a day to convince him to let her know what was wrong. Afterwards she’d insisted on giving him a job waiting tables and helping man the meat grinder and oven in her shop.

Once the oven was shut up tight to bake a fresh batch of pies in preparation for weekday lunch he headed back upstairs. When the last of the magically cleaned dishes made its way into the drying rack he neatly stacked the plates near the warming racks – where the pies were placed after they finished baking. The racks were charmed to keep the pies fresh from the oven, but not scalding hot. Harris then set about charming the forks and knives to pair up and wrap themselves in a napkin, the wine glasses to hang themselves upside down in their rack above the shelves where he sent the regular glasses, and finally magicked the mugs to their place around the coffee pots.

The dishes sorted, he set about replenishing the various refreshments. The Pie Shoppe offered three flavours of coffee each season. This season there was the regular dark roast, a butterscotch caramel, and what was called a Minty Fizzer – a wizarding coffee that tasted like mint, fizzed down ones throat and warmed the body starting from the stomach. The last was a very popular flavour in these winter months.

With the coffee percolating, he restocked the tea containers. ( Bubbling Butterfly was popular brand among female patrons. This tea emitted small bubbles that popped to release tiny steam butterflies in a variety of colours. It came in a small variety of flavours including, among others, Rose Crème, Pumpkin Pie, and Chocolate.)

Next he made sure the “juice cupboard” was fully stocked. This cupboard had sliding glass doors and was charmed to keep the drinks cold. It lined with a variety of glass bottles filled with different coloured liquids – some made to resemble potions – each with its own distinctive label. Some were the normal orange, apple and pumpkin juices, as well as regular and chocolate milk. But as with the coffee and tea there were a number of magical drinks as well. Some of the more popular with the younger crowd included: Soda Blood (a bright blood red drink that tasted like a mixture of strawberries and chocolate with the tiniest tinge of copper); Monster Mix (this had both green and purple liquid swirling around each other); Electric Blue (this bright blue drink randomly pulsated with light and tingled the mouth, throat and stomach); and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Milk (which randomly changed flavour with every drink).

Lastly he refilled the biscotti and biscuit jars, and rearranged the feather-light chocolate crisps – making sure to reset the charm that prevented them from floating too far away from their flavour groups.

He gave the seating areas a once over, making sure everything was tidy and the floor was properly swept before going to get the next batch of pies from Bella to put in the oven. He paused at one of the windows and looked out onto the street.

Convoy Street was a charming and curious little place, much like many of the other streets in Wizarding London. Full of the same appealing unusualness that can be found in places like Diagon Alley – though, truth be told, it was a fair bit more organized in its appearance than the first magical street that Harris had ever laid eyes on. It was lined with shops that catered to the slightly more grown up citizenry than the street that was aimed more at magical students. And to think, he had never even known that Magical London was comprised of more than two alleys (Diagon and Knockturn). It was interesting just how the various streets, which were scattered all over the city, were connected. The street ends were actually portals of sorts, magical archways that transported you to different areas when walked through. One could easily enter Wizarding London through the Leaky Cauldron, walk down Diagon Alley, take a right onto Bronze Brick Road, and exit the Tarnished Arrow into a completely different area of Muggle London. It was a much more convenient mode of travel through the city than apparation or floo, if one didn’t mind walking. On his days off Harris enjoyed wandering through the streets of London, armed with two maps (the wizarding one provided by Bella’s younger sister who, along with her husband, owned and operated the Conjuror Hotel on Imperial Avenue; after the two were proven to be spies against the Dark Lord under veritaserum after Voldemort’s final demise they were left alone by the Ministry to lead a more civil life in wizarding society).

As Harris looked onto Convoy Street he watched an older woman with a small child walk carefully through the small layer of snow and stop at the window of a dress shop. The dresses were beautifully made in a style that was in fashion in the muggle world around the mid- to late-1800s. Being raised in the muggle world, Harris often appreciated the timeless quality of the wizarding world. He guessed the little girl was the woman’s granddaughter and smiled softly as the two admired the dresses. He rested a hand on the small mound of his stomach, feeling the fluttering of movement below the surface. His smile turned sad as he thought of the tiny child now growing inside him. He wondered briefly what his parents would have thought of their impending grandchild. Glancing once more at the woman and child he turned from the window and went to fetch the next batch of pies from Bella in the kitchen behind the mahogany stained diner-like bar, just to the right of the door leading down to the meat grinder and oven.

“Ah, just in time Harris,” Bella said cheerfully as she set the last few pies on the baking sheets. Her apron was completely covered in flour. It surprised Harris to find that a lot of the preparation of the pies was done manually instead of magically, which was how Mrs Weasley always prepared her food, the house elves at Hogwarts were also expected to prepare all meals magically.

Bella explained that using too much magic with the raw ingredients compromises the overall quality of the food – especially when they were conjured up. While conjuring things is extremely handy when they are needed quickly, as with the tea when he’d first arrived, Harris soon came to find that the quality of hand-prepared food actually was better. It also surprised him that he hadn’t realized the difference sooner, but put it down to the fact that while living with the Dursleys he really never had much experience with actually eating fresh hand-prepared food. “That’ll be the last batch for a few hours, at least.”

He helped her set the remaining baking sheets onto an enchanted rack that floated down the stairs behind him as he went to change the batch. The oven was about six feet tall and twice a wide as a refrigerator. The door was hinged on the side and it held the same amount of sheets as one of the enchanted racks. Using magic he removed the cooked pies and placed their sheets on an empty rack before carefully guiding the rack to the warming area where two other racks full of pies also waited in the designated area charmed to keep the pies fresh. He then manually moved the new pies into the oven before shutting the door again. He gently rubbed his belly as the seventeen week old foetus turned beneath his hand.

Harris had just stepped behind the bar when the bell above the door chimed as it opened to reveal a slightly odd couple. They were odd in the fact that they were dressed in modern muggle attire – two very different styles of muggle attire, and properly coordinated outfits, very unlike what he’d seen at the Quidditch World Cup over three years previously.

The second and shorter of the two men was dressed in brown leather work shoes, slightly faded blue jeans, a plaid flannel shirt, and a brown jacket that looked to be made of suede. He had short brown hair and warm brown eyes with a bit of scruff on his chin. His only jewellery consisted of a gold link necklace and a simple gold wedding band. The taller man was dressed almost entirely in black: black leather boots with two inch heels, stylish black and grey camo pants which zipped up the sides to his knees, a Slytherin green dress shirt with black silk tie, and a long black leather jacket which – along with all the rings, necklaces and earrings – gave the tall man the look of a rock star. His perfectly styled hair matched his clothes in colour though his eyes were a dazzling shade of bluish-grey with the slightest hint of green, which were outlined in smoky black eyeliner. Black nail polish and fingerless leather gloves completed the look. (1) Harris felt a little self-conscious with his unstylish runners, blue jeans, and t-shirt; his hair, in its lengthened state, lay relatively flat on his head and covered his scar; and the same old round glasses he’d worn since forever sat on his nose.

The two took a seat at a booth near the back, along side the wall, and removed their jackets. Given their clothing Harris half expected them to jump in surprise when two menus sprang out of the sconce on the wall next to their table. The smaller of the two did look amused. He readied a tray to float above the counter and made sure his order pad and self-loading quill were in his apron pocket before approaching their table.

“Anything I can get you gents?” He asked and pulled out the order pad and quill.

“Hmm, I’m not really sure,” the smaller man said in an American accent – a southern type if Harris wasn’t mistaken – as he looked over the menu. “What ever you think is good, Adam,” he said to his companion.

Adam studied the menu. “To drink I’ll have the mint Bubbling Butterfly tea,” he spoke in a more west costal North American accent. “And Kris’ll have a Minty Fizzer. And we’ll both have the chicken and vegetable pie.” (2)

“You drink tea?” Kris said with an eyebrow raised and a lopsided grin.

Adam grinned back. “I drink this tea.”

Their interaction interested Harris as he went to prepare their drinks. He figured Adam was definitely a wizard with his familiarity with the magical drinks. It was unclear if Kris was just a muggleborn or a full muggle – while it wasn’t uncommon these days, if he was a muggle his friend would have never dared bring him to Wizarding London a few years ago. These days of peace were certainly changing a few things.

He poured the coffee into a mug and placed it on a saucer on the tray before pouring a mug of hot water and placing it on the tray as well. He fetched the required tea bag, placing it in the mug before taking out a tiny basket from the cupboard below the coffee counter which had sugar and creamer packets and placed it on the tray before floating it over to the table. Again Kris looked amused. He placed the mugs and basket on the table before retreating back to the bar to get the pies, which had different designs cut into their top shell to indicate their flavour contents.

Harris observed as Adam fixed his tea and Kris’ left eyebrow lifted when the bubbles started floating out of the hot drink. The other shot up beside it when the bubbles began to pop and tiny glitter butterflies fluttered around their table. Adam chuckled at his companion as Kris flicked one of the butterflies and it burst like a tiny glittery firework before evaporating.

“I like the mint BB tea ‘cause the butterflies are glitter,” Adam smirked.

“Now there’s a surprise,” Kris said wryly causing Adam to chuckle again. He took a drink of his coffee and his eyes widened in shock, he sat straight up in his seat. Adam outright laughed.

Harris placed two pies on plates already on the tray and floated it back to the table. “Here you are, sirs,” he said as he placed the plates on the table. “I trust you’re enjoying the drinks.”

“Yes, thank you,” Adam said with a bright smile. “I’ve been giving my best muggle friend here an international tour of our world lately. His reactions have been very entertaining.”

Kris took another drink of his coffee and blinked rapidly. “What is this stuff? It’s making my fingers tingle.”

Adam laughed again. “The beans are infused with a mild warming potion before they’re ground,” he explained. “Then it’s mixed with a light calming powder before being packaged, which causes the fizzy sensation going down.”

“How do you know all this stuff?”

Adam shrugged. “I got an aunt who’s a potions mistress. She works on contract for the coffee company that makes the stuff.”

Kris looked at his pie. “What’s in this?”

“Chicken,” Harris replied with a grin and walked back to the bar as another group of customers entered the Shoppe. Adam let out another cheerful laugh. (3)

- 30 -

Chapter Text

“See you tomorrow, Harris,” Bella waved cheerfully at the end of the day.

Bye Bella,” Harris replied as he left the shop at the end of his shift. He pulled his coat tighter around his body as he made his way down the street. He took a right on Bronze Brick Road, a left onto Silver Stone Lane – past the stone bench where Bella had found him, then a right onto Grey Stone Road. He took out a set of keys as he walked up the stairs of the second building on the right, the faded letters above the archway reading Wonderland Apartments, and opened the door. He let the door shut behind him and headed up a worn out flight of stairs, continuing until he reached the third floor. Making his way into the dimly lit corridor he stopped in front of an aging door marked 3A in tarnished brass. He opened the door to let him into the small apartment and checked his mailbox. Postal owls entered the building from a charmed window above the front door and deposited their deliveries into the magical slots in the apartment doors. He removed a parcel, a copy of Monday’s evening edition of the Daily Prophet, and a small stack of letters. Leaving the mail on his kitchen table, along with the pies Bella had provided for him, he made his way to the bathroom.

After taking a much appreciated shower and dressing in comfortable pyjamas, he went back into the kitchen and settled in for dinner. He went over the Prophet as he ate. The political section of the paper displayed a photo of and ex-Hogwarts schoolmate.

Cedric Diggory, who’d been the only other Champion in the Tri-Wizard Tournament to reach the centre of the maze and placed second behind Harris, had graduated from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with honours and went on to become a goodwill ambassador and humanitarian. He worked for the Department of Magical Education, specifically the Muggleborn Integration Office. They helped introduce muggleborn students and their families to the wizarding world. Cedric also worked with rights-activist groups to get equal rights for muggleborns in magical society – something that was still a bit lacking. According to the article, muggle and muggleborn relations were improving. Though not as quickly as some may like, they were making headway and showing visible improvement.

The entertainment section displayed schedules for various wizarding theatres – Celestina Warbeck was set for three shows at the prestigious Oracle Theatre this coming weekend, and there was an off Deva Circle play that was getting a lot of attention. (4) The Weird Sisters were signed to play at Club Doxy four times a week for the next two months. There were rumours of bringing in muggle entertainers – a debate to discuss this was scheduled at the Ministry this Friday afternoon.

In sports news the Caerphilly Catapults won their eighteen hour match against the Kenmare Kestrels at 310 to 200.

Harris’ breath caught when he reached the style section, however. There on the front page, on the bottom left, was a picture of his two ex-best friends. Ron was dressed in an out-dated looking set of dress robes (probably once belonging to Mr Weasley) and standing proudly beside Hermione who wore a very traditional, and rather old, set of witch’s wedding robes – handed down from Mrs Weasley, and would likely next be worn by Ginny when she married. They’d matured over the years from being awkward teens to well formed adults. Ron was still a bit gangly and Hermione’s hair was as out of control as ever but they looked more put together than Harris felt these days.

He sighed and folded the paper, setting it aside before finishing his meal. He turned to the letters and tried not to think of the newly married couple. He sorted out his bills and the junk mail from the little pile. He was left with a single letter which turned out to be from his godfather, Sirius Black, and had been forwarded from the Leaky Cauldron . The man had been pardoned of all crimes and compensated for wrongful imprisonment in Azkaban Prison when Peter Pettigrew was found, tied up and gagged, in the main office of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Harris opened the letter to find a bank note for twenty five galleons and short letter. For the past three years Sirius had been spending his compensation money by travelling the world, sending a letter here and there each year to Harris telling him how he was doing and sending a small bit of money – which hardly covered a half a month’s worth of rent. (4b)

Harris tried his best not to feel bitter. He tried to feel happy that his godfather was alive and well and free. But it was hard considering the small Potter fortune was just enough for one person to live comfortably off of for roughly three years – while he was still a student he’d had to fend for himself during the summers as there was no reason for the Dursleys to keep him with Voldemort gone. The remainder of his own education fund wouldn’t cover his child’s first year of tuition at Hogwarts, and he never would have been able to make ends meet on his current salary without what was left of his parents’ money to supplement it – and once the baby arrived things would only get harder. Sirius had received a very large settlement from the Ministry and had the Black fortune, which was very large, to fall back on when that ran out. His grandchildren would never have to work a day in their lives. They hadn’t seen each other since the summer after forth year three and a half years ago, and he didn’t even know about Harris’ baby. Not many people did, though, which he was grateful for.

Harris put the letter and bank note aside and turned to the parcel.

He removed the twine and brown paper, recognizing the neat writing on the paper as his former potions professor’s. He opened the familiar box – a potions storage box – to reveal twenty-eight small vials of a potion he’d become intimately familiar with in the past month. After finding him in the street Bella had taken it upon herself to act as his mother, of sorts. She gave him a job in her shop – as she’d been planning on hiring someone to help her – and helped him find an apartment nearby.

After he was settled she then saw to it he received the necessary prenatal potions and care. Her sister, Narcissa, knew a Paediatric Healer that was discreet to help see to his child’s health. Since his retirement from teaching, Professor Severus Snape set up a lucrative business brewing potions for reasonable prices – he also published his own issues of the potions texts required at Hogwarts as well as a number of advanced potions and household potions texts. Master Snape (as he was now referred to as) provided Harris’ required prenatal potions and had visited Harris personally a few times over the last few weeks to do his own examinations. After the fall of Voldemort, Severus and Harris had come to an understanding. They’d stopped hating each other over the years and recently had begun to graduate from being civil to being acquaintances.

Harris took one of the potions and cleared up the kitchen. He took the crate into the bedroom and placed it on his dresser. Sitting on the edge of his bed he looked out his bedroom window, watching the snow that was now falling for a while. He sighed sadly and thought of his old friends.

They’d gotten married this afternoon.

He remembered back to the day he’d confessed to them about the baby. He was so scared when he found out he was pregnant. He hadn’t even known it was possible, being raised in a muggle household. Hogwarts didn’t have a sexual education class and no one talked about it. He didn’t know what to do and went to Ron and Hermione, his best friends in the entire world, for support and guidance. He had hoped Hermione at least would have been a little supportive.

Harry and Ginny had been dating for about a year so it was an incredible shock for them to find out he was pregnant and not her. They were both completely appalled by the news. Understandably, Ron felt betrayed on his sister’s behalf. No one ever would have thought that Harry of all people would ever cheat on his baby sister, let alone with another man. Hermione, however, still held strong to certain muggle beliefs. She’d been absolutely disgusted by Harry – not only was he homosexual but he’d gotten pregnant. Despite the fact that, with all her research of the wizarding world, she would have known every detail about male pregnancy in wizards – in fact nearly all magical males had the ability to carry children – the notion of men having babies defied her logic. It simply went against nature, as she’d put it.

He didn’t tell anyone else about the baby until Bella. The rest of the Weasleys felt similarly betrayed. Despite his protests, Fred and George – whom he’d given his thousand galleon prize for winning the Tri-Wizard Tournament – had paid him back in full with some interest. They didn’t want to be in debt to a cheat. Needless to say, the Weasleys had completely turned their back on him. As for the rest of his friends, they viewed his infidelity as the worst of sins. At least they’d merely shunned him. Their reactions would have been much worse had they known he was having a child out of wedlock. It was moments like this that Harris didn’t appreciate the way the wizarding world seemed so far behind in the times compared to much of the muggle world.

Harris sighed and crawled into bed. He gently rubbed his belly as the child turned about. As he was falling into the realm of sleep he thought of eyes the colour of blue tinted storm clouds with flecks of crystal green.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

“You know, I think it’s really weird that you magic types walk everywhere in your cities,” Kris said as he and his best friend Adam exited the Conjuror Hotel, where they were staying in “Magical London”. It was the middle of December and there was a white blanket covering everything in both the wizarding and muggle streets of London.

“How exactly is that weird?” Adam asked, their breath rising visibly in the air as he led them down the snow covered street of Imperial Avenue and turned onto Grey Stone Road. He was extremely glad that Kris was cool about all this. Adam didn’t think any of his other muggle friends would have – in fact the first couple he’d told weren’t and he’d had to get his mother to obliviate their memories.

“I realize this community is a bit farther behind in technology than us mere muggles, but I would have at least expected horse drawn carriages or something,” Kris explained in a teasing manner as he glanced through various shop windows – there were displays of high collar robes in obscenely bright colours, antique shoes, and even one shop that sold muggle souvenirs (Nintendo DS stylus’ on key chains, DVD connector cable necklaces, messenger bags decorated with mini-discs, etc.).

Adam and Kris had been friends for over two years now and this past summer Adam had come out of the only closet Kris could believe the tall Californian had ever been in – despite what the man claimed. He could still remember the first wizarding street Adam had taken him to. It was called Divination Street in Wizarding LA. And Kris had thought the drag queens in muggle LA were a bit over the top… Since then they’d been utilizing magical transportation to explore wizarding society all over the world. For the record, as much as Kris hated portkeys, they were and incredible leap up from the floo.

Adam laughed. “In case you haven’t noticed, my magically challenged friend, but I doubt any street we’ve been on would be large enough for a carriage.”

Kris thought about it as they passed by groups of witches and wizards dressed in varying coloured cloaks going to and from the shops. “True, with all the people around some ain’t even big enough for a horse.” The crowds had unnerved him at first. But the more time they spent in the magical world, the more at ease Kris felt. While he loved his fans dearly, and fully appreciated them, he was equally appreciative of his anonymity in this world. In the wizarding world they weren’t the world famous musicians Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, or even Kradam as many fans still called them, they were just a couple of guys walking down the street – in the centre of the street, not along the side on a sidewalk. (5)

About halfway down Grey Stone Road they entered a place called the Flint Rock Café , where they’d eaten breakfast the day before. It greatly interested Kris to discover many of the different magical foods. He glanced over the menu and ordered a regular coffee and bagel with melted butter cheese and warming sprinkles – something that he discovered was becoming a favourite in the cold weather. He was really beginning to appreciate that his friend was a wizard. Adam had charmed their clothing to keep warm so they didn’t need to be constantly bundled up outside but the warming charms in the food helped too.

They spent the morning wandering through Silver Stone Lane and Bronze Brick Road. They’d looked in various shops and Adam managed to get him to try on some wizarding clothing. Some of it wasn’t too bad. They’d both purchased a few items that would actually pass for muggle clothing – at least in Kris’ case. Adam could wear anything and make it look fashionable. Kris again appreciated Adam’s magic as the man shrunk their bags small enough to fit in their pockets. As lunch drew near the pair turned onto Convoys Street. They men smiled at a little girl in a powder pink cloak and matching beret who skipped up to them. She must have been about three years old. The little girl smiled up at them and turned to Adam.

“Hello, you’re pretty.” Kris chuckled and Adam’s smile widened.

“Thank you, and you’re cute,” Adam replied.

The little girl’s face lit up. “Thank you!”

“Lilly, dear! It’s time to go home,” an older woman – who looked like the girl’s grandmother – not too far from them called. She smiled warmly at Adam and Kris as she led the little girl away.

“Cute kid,” Kris said.

Adam watched wistfully as the woman and child walked farther down the street and around the corner. “Yeah.”

You really do want that, don’t you?” Kris asked gently as they came up to Bella’s Meat Pie Shoppe. “Children.”

“Yes. Every time I think about it I want it all the more.”

“Well, I can tell you one thing with perfect certainty,” Kris said before leading them into the shop. “You’ll make and excellent father.”

They pulled the door open and Adam stepped into the shop first. It was a comfortable place with wooden tables and chairs spaced evenly on the floor. All the wood was stained mahogany with cream painted walls. Booths lined the walls, their seats covered in rich dark red leather. And behind the bar… Adam breath caught and his heart skipped. Standing there was one of the most beautiful young men Adam had ever laid eyes on. Adam never usually went for guys who were that much younger than him but this one intrigued him. He was about a couple inches taller than Kris with jet black hair that fell down his face to his chin in a slightly tousled look. Behind round wire frame glasses were the most enchanting emerald green eyes he’d ever seen in his life.

Kris took in the surroundings of the shop. It looked exactly like something that could be found in the muggle world. Some differences were the cabinet with glass bottles filled with brightly coloured liquids along the wall, and the floating chip shaped chocolates on (or slightly above) the counter. He noticed Adam pause a moment after entering and followed his gaze to the young man standing behind the bar. Kris grinned at the look in his friend’s eyes, and was unsurprised to see the look mirrored in the young man’s. Adam had been getting similar looks all day when they walked into shops.

Adam led Kris to a booth near the back. They removed their jackets and hung them on a coat rack on the end of the booth before sitting down. Adam felt the slight ripple of magic as menus sprang out of the sconce on the wall. Kris had been to enough magical restaurants to only be amused with the materialization of the menus. He skimmed through his menu. The meat pies were pretty basic, but the drinks were another story. Some he recognized from other wizarding menus but others he’d never heard of. Soda blood? Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Milk?

Anything I can get you gents?” Kris noticed him take an order pad and quill from his apron pocket. Adam turned from his menu to take in the young man’s appearance. He was dressed in comfortable looking boot cut jeans that hugged him in all the right places, a maroon coloured long sleeve t-shirt that showed off his well toned biceps and slightly worn but comfortable looking sneakers. The gold plated name tag on his dark green apron read: Harris. The somewhat surprising thing to both Adam and Kris was that Harris showed no reaction to the colour of Adam’s shirt – which nearly every sales person, waiter, waitress, and even most customers did, and the reaction was usually negative. Neither men were sure of why. They seemed to focus on his snake necklace as well.

“Hmm, I’m not really sure,” Kris said as he skimmed the menu again. He turned to his friend and shrugged. “What ever you think is good, Adam.”

Adam pulled his gaze from the delectable sight in front of him and turned back to the menu, which he was gripping to stay connected to the real world and not get pulled into an elaborate fantasy. His lingering crush on Kris wasn’t helping matters. It just encouraged him to think ménage a trois … “To drink I’ll have the mint Bubbling Butterfly tea,” he cleared his throat. He spotted something in the menu. “And Kris’ll have a Minty Fizzer,” he smirked. “And we’ll both have the chicken and vegetable pie.”

“You drink tea?” Kris said with an eyebrow raised and a lopsided grin.

Adam grinned back. “I drink this tea.” His eyes followed Harris as the man went to fill their order.

“Someone’s looking forward to dessert,” Kris’ teasing voice chimed in.

Adam shrugged and grinned. “I like dessert. Especially if it’s covered in ice cream.”

“Bet that’s not the only cream you’d like that particular piece of dessert covered in,” Kris chuckled.

“Hells yeah.” The two laughed. People couldn’t get how the two of them ever clicked. Even they themselves. Then again, no one could possibly expect the innocent little man from Conway, Arkansas to have such a dirty mouth. If Danny had heard half of the jokes the two had shared during Idol Adam wouldn’t have been the only one he didn’t get along with.

Harris came back with their drinks. Kris thought it was cool how some places floated their trays around. He watched with amusement as Adam continued to check out the waiter, and Harris was completely oblivious to it. He went back to get the pies. (6)

“You’re gonna have to make the moves on that one, man,” Kris said as he watched Adam fix his tea. “What the?” His eyebrow went up as little bubbles floated out of the tea Adam had finished stirring. Then bubbles started popping. His other eyebrow also shot up as the table became inhabited by tiny glitter butterflies in every shade of the rainbow. He reached out and flicked a butterfly that tried to land in his coffee and Adam chuckled at him. He teased Adam about the glitter and took a drink of his coffee. If the butterflies were surprising this was completely shocking. The liquid created a fizzing sensation down his throat and in his stomach. From there a warming sensation expanded out to his chilled limbs making his fingers, toes, and even nose tingle with warmth. He registered Adam laughing at him.

“Here you are, sirs,” Harris said and placed plates in front of them, slightly startling Kris. “I trust you’re enjoying the drinks.” Kris took note of the upturned corners of the man’s lips.

Yes, thank you,” Adam said with a bright smile. The bastard, Kris thought good naturedly. “I’ve been giving my best muggle friend here an international tour of our world lately. His reactions have been very entertaining.”

Kris took another swig of his coffee and blinked rapidly as another small wave of warmth enveloped his body. “What is this stuff? It’s making my fingers tingle.” Adam laughed before explaining some of the chemistry that went into preparing the coffee. “How do you know all this stuff?”

“I got an aunt who’s a potions mistress,” Adam shrugged in response. “She works on contract for the coffee company that makes the stuff.”

Kris looked sceptically at the innocent looking meat pie on his plate. “What’s in this?”

“Chicken,” Harris replied with a grin and went to help the next customer. Adam let out another cheerful laugh.

“You’re enjoying this too much,” Kris grinned as they both dug into their pies.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

Kris had gone back to the States for a while. He’d be back for Friday afternoon. They were scheduled to take part in the Ministry debate about whether or not to allow muggle artists to perform in wizarding venues. Adam spent his time wandering around the same streets he and Kris visited on his own for the past two days and today, Thursday, he decided to explore a different area.

He went the opposite way from where he and Kris went and ended up wandering through Math Mathonwy Avenue. He noticed a sign depicting a serpent wrapped around a steaming potion bottle which read: Master Snape’s Potion Bottle written in the exact shade of green his shirt yesterday was. Intrigued, he entered the dim shop.

The shop was lined with shelves. The wall near the back was filled with colourful glass bottles containing equally colourful liquid. The remainder of shelves along the wall and in the open space in the floor were filled with a very strange assortment of produce. Places such as these tended to freak people out but Adam quite enjoyed it. It reminded him of his potion mistress aunt. He’d spent a lot of time with her growing up as he’d been unpopular in school. He remembered shopping with her for ingredients and having private lessons in potion brewing even before he was old enough to attend magic school. He figured there were scent containment charms on most of the produce as many apothecaries were filled with odd and even foul smelling aromas.

He browsed through the potions bottles at the back. Curious if Master Snape carried a stock of cosmetic potions.

“Is there anything you are looking for in particular, young man?” a silky voice came from behind Adam. He spun around and came face to face with a tall, severe looking black haired man with a crooked nose and sharp black eyes. He was dressed entirely in expensive looking modern stylized black wizard robes and black dragon hide boots. The man gave him a once over, taking in his black boot cut jeans, black leather boots, black silk dress shirt, green tie (the same shade of green on the sign outside), his black Skin Graft jacket, and assortment of jewellery and make-up.

“Just familiarizing myself with you stock, sir,” Adam replied in an even voice. He’d been around enough Potions Masters in his life to know how they worked. Especially ones of this calibre. To familiarize oneself with the stocks of a Potions Master was to familiarize oneself with the Master or Mistress themselves.

“Indeed,” he extended his hand. “I am Master Snape.”

Adam took his hand and gave it a firm shake. “Adam Lambert. It is a pleasure to finally meet you, sir. My aunt has always spoken highly of you.”

Master Snape’s eyebrow rose a bit. “And your aunt would be…?”

“Mistress Edelstein.”

Tanya?” Master Snape asked in surprise. He then took on an understanding look. “Ah, you would be that Adam. She speaks equally as high of you, I can assure you.”

Adam grinned. “That is a comforting thought, though I’m sure to sell myself short of her praise.”

“She speaks of that too,” Snape chuckled. “You may call me Severus, Mr Lambert.”

“Only if you call me Adam.”

Now I believe you are in the market for something of a more cosmetic nature, am I right Adam?” Severus said with a small smile. (7)

-o0o-

By the time Adam left the apothecary it was early evening. His ebony dyed hair was streaked in green and silver which gave the illusion of glitter.

Severus had decided to test Adam’s potion brewing abilities by letting him use the lab in the back of the store to brew a few potions on his own, and even showed him how to alter the hair dye potion to streak strategic pieces of hair. In the end he surpassed Severus’ expectations of him by not only making the streaks glitter but making them two different colours – an advanced trick only accomplishable by the most skilled potion brewers. There were some masters who could not do it properly. Severus complimented him by saying that if his singing career ever tanked he’d still make a more than decent living in brewing, even going so far as to offer tutelage in attaining his own mastery at any time suitable.

Adam continued walking past his hotel and headed down Grey Stone Road. The snow was falling softly around him as he passed the rows of closed shops and restaurants filled with people. He continued on aimlessly past Silver Stone Lane and Convoy Street and ended up all the way over on Knockturn Alley. When ever he was in London he enjoyed wandering through Knockturn Alley late in the day. It was bustling with life. Sure it was a bit of an unscrupulous crowd but Adam had plenty of experience dealing with them. Not that he was always proud of it.

He paused as he was about to pass a certain window display. In it was an assortment of jewellery. Adam was keenly aware of the reputation this particular street had in this town. Divination Street in LA had the same reputation. Depending on your views it was completely unfounded. But this reputation was what caused him to pause at the window of Sigyn’s Chalice . There, in a little box nestled between an ornate gold necklace that was fashioned to resemble a string of vicious looking claws and some heirloom broaches sure to give off dark vibes, sat a pair of identical crystal rings.

The bands were carved from silver hematite – a protection stone that warded against negative energies poisoning the aura – and were each set with a different coloured tourmaline stone cut in a ‘true tantric twin’ formation – tourmaline was also a protection stone. The black tourmaline protects against negative energies and spells, and psychic attacks and combined with mica it rebounds negativity back onto the sender. The blue tourmaline was an aid for psychic awareness and encourages fidelity, ethics, tolerance and love of truth. (8)

These were soul mate bands.

They were traditional bands, unlike the modern versions that were created through a melding of magic during the advanced bonding ceremony. These bands were created from the earth and, as such, bound the couple together and grounded them to nature. They protected the wearers from evil forces and harmonized their union. They were the blessings of mother earth.

And they were pagan. (16c)

This fact alone was most likely the reason they were in a shop in Knockturn Alley. Paganism may be the root of today’s magic but it is so old that most witches and wizards these days don’t understand it. It wasn’t evil, just frowned upon as crude and unrefined. If Adam could bet his entire fortune, he would put it all on the owners of this store not understanding their true value. Adam entered the shop and approached the counter with a full air of confidence.

“What do you want?” asked the gruff and worn looking man behind the counter. He eyed Adam dismissively, obviously thinking this tall stranger not worth the time or energy to feign pleasantries. Two could play at that game.

“I’ll give you ten galleons for the pair of rings in the window,” Adam said in a hard tone without bothering to introduce himself. Ten galleons equalled a little more than seventy dollars. He was hoping the man thought the price of ten galleons for two little rings was a rip off on Adam’s side. In truth the rings could easily go for well over a million (which would equal around the seven to seven point five million dollar range).

One look in the man’s greedy eyes gave him his answer. “I suppose I could let them go for that amount.” The man retrieved the rings and when Adam laid the galleons on the counter handed them over without thought. Adam placed the box in one of his jacket pockets and exited the store. No doubt the man was congratulating himself on getting one over on some arrogant American.

He hadn’t gotten far down Diagon Alley before a group comprised mostly of red-heads zeroed in on him.

“Will you look at this Slytherin scum?” one tall and gangly ginger haired man spat. He was a bit younger looking than the rest of the men.

“I knew he was no good the second I saw him swagger on down Knockturn Alley like he owned the place,” said a short young woman with the frizziest hair Adam had ever seen. Adam restrained from suggesting a hair care regiment to her and instead raised a perfectly sculpted eyebrow and kept walking. He’d heard the term ‘Slytherin’ before but couldn’t remember what it meant at the moment.

Hey, we’re talking to you!” an older, stocky red-head shouted. Adam picked up his pace a bit and contemplated continuing down to the end of the street and bolting out the London exit he knew was located there – the Leaking Cauldron or something like that. It was closer than the one on Bronze Brick Road, which he was fast approaching. Deciding against it, he turned onto the next street.

“What’s the matter you slimy little snake?” the young red-haired woman sneered. “Scared?” The group laughed cruelly.

Hells yeah , he wanted to say as though it weren’t obvious. He was grossly outnumbered at eight to one. There were six red-heads (one of them female), Frizzy, and a young black guy who stuck close to the red-haired girl. However he stayed silent and weighed the pros and cons of just running down the street. On one hand he wasn’t the most athletic person in the world and the streets were covered in snow. On wrong move and he’d be eating powder. On the other hand these people probably weren’t all that athletic either – especially the snobby looking guy with the glasses. Though the twins looked strong enough and that older one looked to have some serious muscle under his robe… not helping , he chastised himself. He briefly considered placing a confundus charm on them and disillusioning himself but that was complex spell work and would require he unsheathe his specially crafted and personalized wand, which was strapped to his left forearm in its designer holster. (9b) The group was sure to interpret this as a threat. (9a)

The group’s jeers were getting closer to him when the door to a restaurant named Celestial Bronze about a third of the way down the street opened. Six people exited the restaurant and he heard the group quiet a bit. Looking at the new group he gave a soft sigh of relief. Two of the people, the older blonde male and the brunette woman with blonde on the underside of her hair, were the owners of the Conjuror Hotel where he was a guest and he was on good terms with their family. The two younger blondes were their son and daughter-in-law and the other man in the group was none other than Severus.

“Master Lambert,” Severus greeted when he spotted Adam. “I didn’t expect to see you in this part of town so late.” He extended his hand for Adam to shake and glanced behind at the group that had followed Adam from Diagon Alley.

“Yes, it is good to see you again, Master Snape,” Adam greeted in kind. “I had not planned to do so but time got away with me.” He hoped his agitation didn’t show in his voice.

“Ah yes, young Master Lambert,” Lucius Malfoy said as he recognized Adam. “Perhaps you would be good enough to walk back with us.” He too shot a glance at the red-heads and their companions.

“Figures he’d be in with their lot,” the younger male red-head said. “Snakes need to stick together, after all.”

Clearly, brains aren’t everything are they Miss Granger, if your choice of husband is anything to go by,” Severus sneered. “Though I suppose its Mrs Weasley now, I guess that rather evens the playing field, does it not.” It wasn’t the worst insult in the world but Adam watched amusedly as the ears of the young man who was clearly insulted turned an alarming shade of red. He briefly wondered if the man even understood how he was insulted.

“Come now, Severus,” Lucius said before anyone in the other group could counter-insult. “No need to be insulting to the newlyweds. After all, a walking bush with brains is now the most valuable thing the Weasleys own.” The group looked properly appalled – Frizzy the most. Lucius turned to his wife. “Now then my dear, shall we take this party to a more exclusive setting?”

“Of course, dear,” Narcissa replied and took her husband’s hand. The group plus Adam made their way to the opposite end of Bronze Brick Road. When the other group was far enough away she addressed Adam. “I don’t believe you’ve met my older sister. Adam, this is Bellatrix Black. Bella, this is Adam Lambert. He’s a patron of our hotel.”

“It’s lovely to meet you, Adam.” Bella extended her hand which he took and kissed her knuckles.

“The pleasure is all mine, Bella,” Adam smile charmingly and Bella blushed lightly.

“You must stop by my meat pie shop sometime. It’s over on Convoy Street.”

“Actually I was there just this Monday with a friend,” he replied. “We stopped in for an early lunch. Forgive my forwardness, but your waiter is just as delicious as your pies.”

Bella laughed heartily. “Yes, young Harris is certainly easy on the eyes. I’d never tell him but since he began working for me there’s been an increase in female customers. Of all ages.”

“Yes, Harris has always been at the centre of admiration,” Draco grinned at Adam with a conspiring air. Just as Severus had, Draco too had come to an understanding with Harris after the downfall of Voldemort though they still had yet to graduate up from civility. “Not that he’d ever realize it,” Draco laughed good naturedly. “He’s too innocent for it. He doesn’t see his true worth though, given the circumstances, I suppose it can’t be helped.”

“What circumstances?” Adam asked.

“It’s the fault of those ghastly relatives he was forced to grow up with,” Narcissa agreed.

“Harris was orphaned at a very young age,” Severus explained. “During the first war with the Dark Lord, and by the Dark Lord himself. His only living relative was his muggleborn mother’s muggle sister. I, having a muggle father myself, grew up in the same neighbourhood as the two girls. His mother was the kindest, gentlest and most giving person you could ever have met. Her sister on the other hand…” (10)

“I believe I can imagine,” Adam said, thinking of the muggle friends who’d rejected him after finding out he was a wizard. He’d drifted apart from them after their memories of his confession had been erased.

“They beat down his body and his spirit,” Bella continued. “Made him feel worthless.”

“I think it was worse than that,” Draco disagreed. “They made him believe it.”

“That group that was following you back there,” Severus pointed back behind them as they reached the corner onto Convoy Street. “They were once his best friends and, in many ways, his family.”

“What happened?” Adam asked.

“They had a falling out,” Severus said simply. “But the rest of his story is something he must tell himself.” Adam nodded.

“Well, this is where I say goodnight,” Bella said as she hugged her sister and niece-in-law, Astoria. “It was good to meet you Adam. Do come into the shop again.”

“It was good to meet you too, Bella. And my friend and I will when the Ministry debate is over tomorrow.”

“Oh, you’re attending?”

“Taking part, actually.”

“Well then you can tell me all about it after,” Bella smiled before leaving.

When the group continued on to the Conjuror Hotel he turned to Severus. “What is Harris’ last name?”

“That would be Potter.”

Potter. That rang a bell with Adam but like when the red-heads called him a Slytherin, he couldn’t place where he’d heard it from. Speaking of which… “What’s a Slytherin? That group called me one and I don’t remember what it means?” The other five laughed a bit in amusement.

“That would be us,” Draco said with a smirk.

“Slytherin is one of the four houses in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which were named after the four founders,” Severus explained. “I was, until my retirement last year, the Head of Slytherin House. It was named for Salazar Slytherin, a parcelmouth. The house emblem is a snake, and the house colours are the exact shades of the streaks in your hair.”

“The Dark Lord was a Slytherin while at school,” Lucius added. “That fact doesn’t help the house’s reputation for producing the world’s dark witches and wizards.”

Comprehension dawned on Adam. “Ah, that would explain the reactions to my green shirt yesterday,” Adam commented. “And my snake necklace.” The others laughed again.

None of them noticed the lone figure who watched them from a high window as they made their way down Grey Stone Road. If they had, they’d have seen a young black haired man with a look of longing in his enchanting green eyes.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

“It isn’t that funny,” Adam said dryly. He’d just recounted his previous evening to Kris over lunch in their hotel room.

“But they think you’re evil,” Kris tried to reason, a wide grin still on his face. He paused and thought for a second. “Then again…” Adam chucked a pillow at his friend in annoyance, earning him more laughter.

“Look, we better get going if we’re going to make the debate on time.”

The two exited the hotel and headed down to the end of Imperial Avenue. They exited into muggle London through the Chinese restaurant The Orange Lantern and walked over a couple of streets to a place called Hector’s Diner . Through the back of the diner they re-entered magical London and came out on Andraste Avenue and took the first right onto Taranis Road. (11)

They entered the Ministry of Magic through the visitor’s entrance and approached the receptionist’s desk. The receptionist was an extremely bored looking blonde with caked on make-up who was filing her nails. Adam figured not many people entered through her station as Lucius had mentioned that the majority of the Ministry’s entrances were located in the muggle world. The route he and Kris took, however, was actually shorter and less complicated.

“Can I help you?” the woman, whose name plate read Melanie Waters asked without looking up from he nails.

“We’re here for the debate,” Adam explained, trying to ignore the fact that her name made her sound a little like a porn star. Her make-up and enhanced bust wasn’t helping. (12)

Melanie sighed as though they were ruining her day and used her nail file to point to a contraption next to her on the desk before going back to her nails. “State your names and purpose.”

Adam shrugged at Kris, stepped up to it, and spoke into the circular area that resembled a microphone. “Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, we’re here to participate in the debate.” The machine made a whirring noise and two little metal pins clinked out into the dish on the bottom. He picked them up and studied them. They were small silver squares which read Adam Lambert, Debater and Kris Allen, Debater . He turned to Kris. “You wanna wear mine again,” he joked, referring to the time after Idol when they’d receive t-shirts with their names on them during an interview and accidentally took each others. They’d gone to switch them but decided to keep them the way they were to show their mutual support for one another. (13) Kris laughed but stopped short at the glare Ms Waters was now giving them. They cleared their throats and attached their proper badges to their shirts.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

The debate had been going on for over three hours. The first two and a half were taken up by purebloods, half-bloods, and muggleborns who lived solely in the wizarding world. Most of them were citing traditions as grounds for denying the admission of muggle performers. A few pointed out negative muggle reactions to magic.

Hi everyone, my name is Adam Lambert,” Adam began as he took the podium. “I am a pureblood wizard who was raised in both the muggle and magical world. I am accompanied here today by my good friend, Kris Allen, who is a muggle.” He paused when a few of the witches and wizards gasped. He exchanged glances with Kris and they both tried not to roll their eyes. “A lot of you who are on the opposing side are under the misassumption that all muggle performers are, in fact muggle-”

Hem, hem.” The sound came from a small woman near the Minister who bore an eerily strong resemblance to a toad, fly and all with the black bow on her head. Kris began to wonder if the stories of the frog prince were true. “Hello, I am Delores Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to our esteemed Minister.” Adam clamped down on the urge to roll his eyes in front of said Minister who, up until this point, hadn’t offered anything useful or even relevant and sat there looking somewhat confused at the proceedings. “I find it hard to believe that our assumptions are at all misguided as you yourself seem to believe.”

“I can promise you, with all that I am, that you have been misinformed,” Adam assured the woman.

She gave an annoying little giggle. “Well, forgive me Mr Lombard-”

“Lambert, Ms Umbridge,” Adam corrected. “My name is Adam Lambert.”

I’m sorry, Mr Lambert,” she replied sounding more derisive than sorry. “But if you will forgive me, I’m sure you can indulge me for just a moment. I am sure that the, er, panel would greatly like to see some evidence of your claim, as it can so be called.” She gave a sickly sweet smile that made both Adam and Kris want to gag.

Adam held out his arms on either said of him in a self-presenting manner. “Hi.”

Umbridge blinked confusedly, her smile tight. “Yes, I believe you’ve introduced yourself already Mr …”

“Lam - bert,” Adam pronounced slowly. “Adam Lambert.” He got the feeling she was trying his patience on purpose.

“Mr Lambert.”

“You asked for proof that not all muggle performers are muggle?” He held out his arms again. “Well here I am!” He gave her a wide, dazzling smile. More than a few of the women in the room sighed dreamily and he could see Kris’ shoulders shaking as he reigned in his laughter.

“You are a muggle performer?” Umbridge asked as though he were an infant who just did something cute. She giggled annoyingly again. “But you are a wizard,” she explained like he didn’t understand.

“I realize that madam. But the fact still remains true.”

“Forgive me, young man, but perhaps you could indulge me once more. I am sure I am not the only one who does not understand exactly what you are trying to say. Are you a muggle performer or a wizard?”

“May I ask you a question, Ms Umbridge?”

“I believe the proper way to address me, young man, is by either Madam Undersecretary or Madam Umbridge.”

Adam plastered a fake smile on his face. “May I ask a question of you, Madam Undersecretary?”

“Of course you can,” she smile like she’d just scored a point.

“Are you the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister, Madam Umbridge? Or are you a witch?” Her smile half dropped from her face and a few people looked confused.

“I believe it is obvious, Mr Lambton-”

“Lambert.”

-that I am both the Senior Undersecretary and a witch,” she continued as though she hadn’t heard him.

I am both,” Adam repeated. “I. Am. Both.”

“Yes, young man. I am,” she said with an air of superiority.

Well, Ms Umbridge, I am both too.” She frowned at him “I am a wizard. That is a fact of my life,” he explained. “And I am a muggle entertainer. It is my occupation.”

The outcome of this decision cannot be placed on the occupation of one man,” Umbridge stated sharply.

“I have with me a list of muggle entertainers who are not muggle,” Adam held up a scroll of parchment. He sent it to the hands of Madam Bones, the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, who was overseeing the debate. “You will see, Madam Bones, that the list is comprised of over one hundred names, each with their own talents in both music and theatre.”

Hem, hem.” Adam cringed inside. “It seems that an alternative option has presented itself.”

“How so, Madam Umbridge?” someone asked.

“If it is possible to draw up a list of names of wizarding people who are performers, it should be possible for just those performers to take their talents into our world.”

“I am afraid it’s not that simple, Madam,” Kris’ voice interrupted. She stared at him where he stood at the podium next to Adam almost scandalized that he would dare to speak.

I beg your pardon, but what place do you have in this debate Mr…?”

“I was invited by the head of your legal department to take an active part in this discussion,” Kris explained. “And as Adam mention earlier, my name is Kris Allen.”

“Can you tell us, Mr Allen, what complications would arise if we were to only allow the wizarding performers in?” Madam Bones asked to prevent Umbridge from side tracking the argument.

“I am aware of the names currently on that list, and while they are all very talented in their own rights, they do not all perform individually,” Kris replied. “You have to understand that in the muggle world the majority of musicians, at least, perform as part of a group.”

“Would it not be possible to simply group the wizarding musicians together then?” Umbridge asked with a smirk.

“No, it would not,” Kris stated firmly. “A musician’s life if far more complicated than that. It is very involved. Typically when a band of musicians is formed that band performs together for years, often with no changes to the line up. Surely you would not expect the Weird Sisters to change their drummer with every venue.”

“It’s inefficient,” Adam agreed. “Bands practice for hours practically every day, sometimes for months, before going on tour together where they can play an average of four or five concerts a week. My first world tour ran for a year. My band has been together for over two. The only changes to who was in it were made within the first three months.”

“And on top of that, there is the legal side to consider. All artists are under contract. In order to group the wizarding artists together they would be required to abandon their original bands and form new ones, which is in violation of their contracts,” Kris went on. “They would be required to start from scratch. Most bands have struggled hard to get where they are, and they’ve struggled together. Besides, it’s unlikely you’ll get Rob Zombie and Carrie Underwood to successfully blend their styles.” He kicked Adam’s leg behind the podium, knowing the taller man was about to mutter something about how it could work and completely blow their argument out of the water. Adam just wasn’t built to say anything quietly. The panel looked contemplative which was encouraging.

Hem, hem.” Adam’s teeth were grinding and Kris had to clamp his arms behind his back to distract him from reacting to the woman. “While their arguments are very intriguing and possibly even convincing, I am sure I am not the only one who thinks it unwise to allow this… muggle… to retain his memories of our world should the panel reach a dissenting verdict.” Both Adam and Kris frowned at the way she said muggle, as though it were something dirty she picked up on her shoe. “We wouldn’t want be the ruling body who allowed the exposure of our world, now would we.” She aimed that sickly sweet smile at Kris.

Are you nuts woman?” Kris blurted out and Umbridge’s round eyes bugged out making her look even more like a toad than either of them thought possible. “If I go around telling people I honestly believe the wizarding world exists, I’ll end up in a straight jacket and locked up in a padded room in the nearest mental hospital for the rest of my mortal life. No one would believe me. Hell, even I wouldn’t believe me and I know it’s true.”

“If our world were that easy to expose the knowledge would have gone public the first time I was on a psychedelic trip,” Adam pointed out. Kris had a coughing fit to cover up his laughter. He couldn’t look at the confused expressions of the pure and half-blood witches and wizards in the room without laughing again. Magic folk apparently weren’t as well versed in the world of drugs as they were in alcohol.

Umbridge turned her attention back to Adam. “You, Mr Lambert, are guilty of numerous accounts of violating the Secrecy Act of-”

“How about we ignore, for the moment, the fact that neither I nor my friend are citizens of this country and are therefore outside your jurisdiction?” Adam interrupted dryly, taking note of the correct use of his name.

“You are still in violation of the Act,” Umbridge pointed out. Adam inwardly stuck his tongue out at her. These people clearly didn’t have the same sense of law as muggles did as it wouldn’t matter what nationality he was for them to charge him with anything.

“I realize that, however the violation occurred in a different country and therefore cannot be tried by the legal system of this one,” Adam countered with a cheeky smirk. That part was certainly true. Umbridge glared at him.

“The panel will adjourn and discuss our verdict,” Madam Bones announced before Umbridge could say anything.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

The crowd cheered as Adam and Kris popped open a couple bottles of champagne and sprayed each other with it. The two laughed and Adam drank from his bottle before pouring the remainder into glasses.

“It wasn’t an outright win but it was a decent compromise,” Kris explained to Draco and Astoria as they all sat at tables in Bella’s shop. The elder Malfoys and Severus were there as well, along with people who’d been on their side of the debate.

“And you should’ve seen the look on that grumpy little toad’s face when they approved it,” Adam laughed.

“Our young Adam certainly had her eating her own words,” Lucius smiled. He’d attended the debate as a spectator.

“Painted her right into a corner,” Kris agreed. “At least twice.”

“So long as the muggles who come in swear to an oath of secrecy it will be fine.”

“Actually, it’s so long as they sign a muggle gag order,” Adam pointed out. “It was deemed Muggle Abuse to make them sign magically binding contracts.”

“Thank god for that guy Diggory,” Kris agreed. “Saved my muggle ass,” he laughed and drank his champagne.

“Well, I am very proud of both of you,” Bella said brightly as she and Harris served up the meat pies.

“That frizz ball was annoying, though,” Adam said as he started in on his mini cheesy chicken pie. “You know, that yacky one? She was with those red-headed idiots last night.”

“Ah yes, the new Mrs Weasely,” Severus remembered. Adam noticed Harris get a startled look on his face before hastily moving to the bar to fill another order. “She hasn’t changed one bit in the months since her graduation.”

“Actually she has changed,” Draco countered. “She’s gotten worse.”

The group bantered over their meal – at least the younger ones did, the older ones talked and reminisced at the expense of the younger. It was closing time and they were the last ones in the shop. Kris had just finished recounting an embarrassing story that happened to Adam while they were on the Idol tour. The group was laughing and Adam’s face was red behind his make-up, he turned away a little embarrassed, laughing along with them as they filed outside, and noticed Harris clearing tables near the back. He excused himself by bringing up the time Kris got locked out of his hotel room on his solo tour in his birthday suit, turning all the attention to his now blushing shorter friend. (14)

As the rest of the group exited the shop, Bella was outside saying her goodbyes, he turned to the back and approached the younger wizard. “Hey there,” he said as he leaned against a booth.

“Hi,” Harris replied shyly.

“I noticed you didn’t indulge in the champagne and wine like everyone else. I take it you’re not much of a drinker,” Adam said, unable to think of anything else to say. He felt like a dork.

“Uh, I’ve not really had much experience with drinking,” Harris said, cringing at the memory of the last time he’d really drank. It was that night in the Leaky Cauldron on his birthday when the majority of the Weasleys were on holiday in France visiting Bill and Fleur. He rubbed his stomach. “I really can’t these days though.”

Adam took a careful look at Harris. “And why is that?” Harris blushed. “I’m sorry, I’m being nosey.”

“N-no. It’s fine,” Harris said hastily. “I just… I’m not use to telling people and it’s beginning to get obvious anyway-”

I was wondering where you’d got to, Adam,” Bella’s voice interrupted. The two turned to where she was approaching them. “You can call it a night, Harris dear,” she said with a smile. “And take tomorrow morning off. Merlin knows you haven’t had a break since you started working here.”

“Oh, um. Okay.” He excused himself to go get his coat.

Bella had two brown paper bags waiting on the bar next to the till. “Here you boys are, just a little something if you get hungry,” she said and handed them each a bag.

“Thank you Bella,” Adam said with a smile and shrank the bag before placing it in a jacket pocket. The two exited the shop. “Uh, would it be alright if I walked you home?”

Harris smiled softly. “I’d like that.”

“Where do you live?”

“In an apartment building on Grey Stone Road.”

“Well then, follow me,” Adam said with a grin and offered the smaller man his arm. Harris took it and blushed slightly. “So how long have you lived in London, Harris?” Adam asked as they walked. The snow was around their ankles but it was at least not slushy yet.

“About five months. I just graduated from Hogwarts last year,” he explained. “I lived at the castle during the school year and the four summers since my fourth year I stayed at the Leaky Cauldron. Bella helped me find my apartment last month.”

“I believe Severus mentioned you stayed with family for a while.”

“Uh, yes. I lived with my Aunt and Uncle and cousin in Surrey,” Harris replied sadly. “I didn’t like it there and was actually quite happy to move out on my own.”

“Why did you move away so young? I’m sorry if my questions are making you uncomfortable,” Adam said as he saw the sadness in Harris’ eyes. “You don’t have to answer. We can talk about something else.”

“No, it’s fine. I actually don’t mind talking about it,” Harris assured. “After Voldemort was gone there was no reason for me to stay with them. The blood protection was no longer needed.”

“Blood protection?” Adam asked, confused. “Can I ask what it was protecting you from?”

Harris glanced at Adam unsure, but he saw sincerity and genuine curiosity and concern in the older man’s eyes. “Well, from Voldemort. He tried to kill me when I was a baby but the Killing Curse rebounded on him.” Harris paused his walking. “The curse left a scar of my forehead.” Adam reached up and gently brushed his hair away from his forehead, revealing a lightning bolt shaped scar.

Hmm, that’s a curious shape now isn’t it?” Adam said softly as he gently traced the bolt with his thumb. Harris’ breath caught. No one had ever touched his scar before. Adam frowned slightly as he stroked the scar. Very curious, he thought. Lighting bolt scar… Voldemort… Killing Cur- Potter?! Adam blinked and his eyebrows rose. “Oh, so you’re that Potter,” Adam said as it dawned on him. Harris took in a sharp breath, a feeling of dread building up in his gut. “I remember now.” Adam continued to rub the scar. “I was wondering why it sounded familiar.” He smile softly and pressed a light kiss to the scar. “C’mon, let’s get out of the cold.”

Harris blinked in confusion as Adam led him down the street. “That’s it?” he asked, not fully believing it.

“What’s it?”

“You’re not making a big deal out of this,” Harris stated.

“A big deal? Out of what?” Adam frowned slightly.

“Well, people tend to make a big deal out of finding out exactly who I am,” Harris explained. “They used to freak out until word got out that the Death Eaters were permanently disbanded.”

“The Death Eaters are Voldemort’s followers, right?”

“Yes,” Harris replied slowly.

Adam looked bashful and shrugged. “I’m from California in the States, on the coast farthest away from here. I mean, I heard about what went on here in my Modern World History class when I was in school, and I read a bit about the current events in the media but honestly I’m so far removed from the situation that I don’t always remember it all.”

Harris smiled fully for the first time and it was Adam’s turn to catch his breath. “So it really doesn’t matter to you that I am the Harry Potter?” he asked as they stopped outside his apartment building.

Honestly?” Harris nodded. “No, Harris, it really doesn’t.” Adam hesitated briefly before wrapping his arms around the smaller man and pulling him closer. “Does it matter to you that I am the Adam Lambert?”

Harris grinned. “Honestly?” He shrugged and looked at Adam’s chest. “I’d never known you even existed until the first time you came into the shop.” He looked up into Adam’s eyes with a shy smile. “And after finding out exactly who you are, it really doesn’t matter to me.” Adam smiled too and leaned down, pressing his lips gently against Harris’.

Later they were lying on Harris’ bed, Adam’s arms protectively around the smaller frame. They hadn’t done anything besides kiss and cuddle. They had spent the evening talking and had explained a bit about their lives to each other. Harris had told how he use to be family to the Weasleys and that he use to be with Ginny. As he lay in Adam’s warm embrace he whispered what he hadn’t had the chance to say back in the pie shop. “I’m pregnant.” Adam snuggled closer to him and slid a hand onto the mound of his stomach. His child turned merrily underneath. “That’s why we had a falling out.” A tear escaped his eye and he felt Adam’s lips press gently behind his ear. He turned around to face the older man. Adam wiped the tear away with his thumb and placed tender kisses on his eyelids before capturing his lips. They poured all their feelings into this kiss. When Adam pulled away he gently caressed the American’s freckled cheek, his face bare of the make-up he wore during the day.

“Stay,” he said with a soft voice. Adam smile softly and pulled him back into his arms.

“I won’t go anywhere, I promise.” Harris curled into Adam’s warm chest and let his eyes drift closed.

Chapter Text

Adam had guessed back at the pie shop what Harris had been trying to tell him. When they went back to the younger man’s apartment and talked – about everything but what he’d almost said – Adam kept silent on the subject knowing Harris would tell him in his own time. Adam had magically cleaned his face of make-up during their discussion, letting the younger man see his lightly freckled skin. Harris had been unsure at first, it reminded him of the family he lost quite recently, but the more they talked the more Harris seemed to like them. At least Adam thought so after Harris commented how they looked good on him and traced the ones on his bottom lip.

Harris had suffered a lot of emotional pain in his young life. When he completely broke down Adam led him to the bedroom and laid down, holding the smaller man protectively in his arms as though he could shield him from the world. They lay in companionable silence for a time. When Harris’ whispered confession reached his ears he pulled him closer, letting one hand venture down to the curve of the younger wizard’s stomach. He felt a prickling in his eyes as he felt the soft but steady pulse of the small child’s magic swirling beneath his hand along with the gentle movements of the child itself and pressed a kiss behind Harris’ ear. (16b) When Harris turned to face him there were tears in his own eyes. Adam reached up to wipe away one that escaped, pressing gentle kisses on his eyelids, and an emotion filled kiss to his lips. He didn’t care that he’d only known of this young man’ existence for four days and that they’d only been officially introduced today. In his heart he knew this was right… this was where he was meant to be.

He pulled back and leaned into Harris’ hand as it caressed his cheek. “Stay.” It was whispered so softly that Adam almost didn’t hear it. He looked into Harris’ eyes, seen how vulnerable and sad they were.

He smiled softly, and a little sadly, before snuggling the smaller frame into his own again. “I won’t go anywhere,” Adam replied gently. “I promise.” He focused his raw magic to wandlessly shift his clothing into a comfortable pair of pyjamas and Harris pillowed his head on Adam’s chest. Adam lay awake for a while after the younger man’s breath evened out in sleep.

He thought about the red-heads and the frizzy-haired girl and wondered how this sweet and gentle person could have ever fit in when them. He couldn’t believe that anyone would want to let this man go. He understood some of their reasoning, after all the guy had been dating their sister/daughter/friend. But Adam couldn’t fault Harris for his infidelity. While Harris hadn’t told him much about the father of his child he had briefly explained the night it happened. The only night they’d ever been together, and the last night he saw the man.

Harry had been slowly admitting to himself that he was gay. He still didn’t want to believe it. He knew it was expected that he and Ginny would end up together. He was fairly certain that Mrs Weasley was already planning the wedding. Since the fall of Voldemort, Harry was often left to fend for himself during the summer. He was still invited over to the Burrow on his birthday and to spend the week before the school year started. But since he had no reason to live with his relatives any longer, and Dumbledore deemed him safe enough not to need a guard, his friends were leaving him alone more often as they no longer needed to be so concerned for his safety.

It was the summer of his eighteenth birthday when the Weasley family decided to spend their entire summer vacation in France with Bill and Fleur as they were expecting their first baby. Hermione, who was Ron’s fiancé, was invited. Harry was not. (15) It was while he was sitting in the pub of the Leaky Cauldron that the man approached him. Harry had been attracted to this man for a long time – since Bill and Fleur’s wedding last summer. Until then Harry had thought his attraction went unnoticed. They had talked for a while as they drank but when the man kissed Harry the younger wizard, though he’d had quite a bit to drink, had managed to excuse himself and return to his room. He wouldn’t do this to Ginny. About an hour later the man had shown up at his door with a bottle of firewhisky and a sincere sounding apology on his lips. The man got Harry just drunk enough not to care about the Weasleys. The next morning he woke up to a killer hangover and an empty room. His one night lover was gone and Harry was completely alone.

Three months later he was sitting alone on a stone bench on the corner of Silver Stone Lane and Bronze Brick Road in the middle of the falling snow. It didn’t matter that the affair wasn’t his fault, that he’d tried to stop it, they blamed him. Blamed his sexuality. Even his non-Weasley friends abandoned him. They’d all claimed it was the infidelity but Harry could see it in their eyes that it wasn’t that. So when Bella took him in he set about rebuilding his life, starting with his name.

Adam pulled out of his musings and looked down at the dark head resting comfortably on his chest. He didn’t know what the future had in store for either of them but he did know what he wanted it to be. He closed his eyes and let sleep claim him for the night.

-o0o-

“So, how was your night?” Kris asked with a knowing grin. It was almost lunch time on Saturday and Adam had just returned to the hotel. Adam rolled his eyes and shrugged of his jacket.

“It was very nice,” Adam said as he flopped onto his bed. “I always enjoy a nice cuddle.”

Cuddle?” Kris said in a flat, disbelieving tone. “You spend all night and most of the morning with a hot young twink and all you do is cuddle? You’re off your game, man.”

“Dude, you’ve spent your entire romantic life with the same chick,” Adam replied wryly and quirked an eyebrow. “And did you just call him hot?”

Just because I’m straight don’t make me blind. And there were other girls before Katy,” Kris crossed his arms defensively.

“Who? The little blonde girl who forced you to play house with her in kindergarten?”

Kris cleared his throat. “There were also those girls I played doctor with in summer camp…”

“Say what?” Adam asked interestedly. “Doctor? Really?”

Kris blushed and rubbed the back of his neck. “Technically it was gynaecologist, but that’s not the point.” He quickly picked up the room service menu. “I think it’s almost lunch time, how about we order something?”

“I have never been so proud to call you my friend,” Adam grinned wickedly as Kris’ blush deepened.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

Harris sighed and snuggled into the warmth under his head, breathing in an intoxicating scent of cologne. He paused when the warmth quivered and he heard a light chuckle above his head. His eyes popped open and he looked up finding a startling blue-grey gaze staring back at him.

“Hey beautiful,” Adam greeted and pressed a tender kiss to Harris’ lips. Harris smiled softly and sat up, reaching for his glasses on the bedside table. It was still dark outside, the morning’s rays not yet peaking out over the horizon. “Hmm,” Adam said as he studied Harris’ face. He reached up and removed the glasses again before summoning something from his coat in the front room. (16a) He caught the item and handed it to Harris. It was a small potion bottle, the same size as his prenatal potions, and filled with an amber liquid with what looked like flecks of glitter floating in it. (17)

“What is this?” Harris asked looking back at Adam.

“I’ve had you on my mind since the first time I laid eyes on you. I worked on this the other day at Severus’ shop,” Adam explained. “It’s an optical enhancement potion. And I know it’s safe for you take right now. It won’t harm the baby.” It was also very expensive but Adam would never let Harris know that.

Harris lowered the bottle, unsure. “Did you know already?”

“About the baby? No,” Adam replied honestly. “But I do know my potions. If I wasn’t completely sure it was safe I’d wait to give it to you.” He looked away bashful. “At least, if you want it. I didn’t meant to impose or anything.”

Harris took hold of one of Adam’s hands and smiled again as Adam looked back up. “You made it for me?” Adam nodded. “Thank you. It’s very sweet.” Adam smiled widely.

“It works pretty instantly so you can take it whenever. It won’t make you drowsy or hurt or anything.” Adam shrugged a bit. “It may be a tiny disorienting but nothing severe.” Harris uncorked the vial and tipped the contents into his mouth, swirling the sweet liquid on his tongue before swallowing. It tasted like blueberries and champagne. (18) For a second there was a buzzing sound in his ears and a light warm tingle in his eyes. He blinked it away as everything came into focus.

He took in a sharp breath and looked around. “Artemis’ Silver Arrows!” Harris exclaimed as Adam chuckled at the typical wizard swearing. “I’ve never been able to see this well in my life.”

“Glad you’re enjoying it,” Adam grinned.

Harris smiled warmly back. “Thank you, Adam.” He leaned in and pressed a gentle kiss to the American’s lips.

“You are very welcome.”

Harris lay back on the pillows and rubbed his slightly swelled stomach. He took in a breath and exhaled. “Someone’s wide awake.” He smiled when Adam lay on his side next to him and pressed a hand to feel the baby move. He noticed to look of longing in the clear multi-coloured eyes and felt a certain longing of his own. If there was one thing he could change about this past year it would be the father of his child. Though they’d only known each other a short time he wished the man could have been someone like Adam. He placed a hand on top of Adam’s and rubbed the back with his thumb. When Adam rested their foreheads together he leaned into it.

They stayed like this until the baby settled down again. Adam kissed Harris’ temple. “I like you Harris. A lot. Think me foolish if you like, but I might even love you.”

Harris blushed and turned away from the older man a moment. “I don’t think you’re foolish. I think I agree with you.”

Harris turned back to him and studied the older wizard’s features. The man was almost too beautiful to be real. He reached out and traced the lines of Adam’s face. Harris yearned for this god-like American, so much that it nearly made him cry. He’d been quietly longing for him since that first day in the shop. He’d envied the Malfoys and Snape when he’d seen them walking by his apartment building with the tall man in their midst. They’d looked so easy in each other’s company. He took a shaky breath before pressing an experimental kiss to the freckled lips. This kiss was different from the other ones. It asked for something more.

Adam relaxed onto his back and allowed the younger man to control the kiss. Oh, how he wanted the younger man, with every fibre of his being. He didn’t want to push Harris though. He didn’t want the younger man to think all he wanted was a one time fling. The kiss deepened as the younger wizard’s hands grew bold, sneaking up Adam’s shirt and tracing the contours of his skin. They paused upon reaching Adam’s nipple rings. He allowed the younger man to lift the shirt over his head, smirking erotically as it was tossed to the floor. He was contemplating stopping the younger man’s exploration when he gasped and arched his back in surprise as Harris lowered his head and took a nipple into his mouth, tugging on the ring with his tongue. He moaned when the young Brit suckled and teased the hardening nub, and shuddered in excitement as his young partner licked a trail up his chest and neck before nibbling on his ear.

For a brief second he considered halting this before it got too far but the thought was erased as the younger man’s leg brushed against his hardening groin. He moaned again and lost himself, far too turned on by this point to ever hope of regaining any semblance of restraint. Harris rubbed against him again, teasingly, and he growled before taking over control, carefully flipping them over so Harris was the one on his back. He had the presence of mind to cast a silencing ward on the room to prevent the neighbours from listening in before wasting no time in divesting both of them of remaining clothing. He took pleasure in teasing his young lover’s senses with his hands, tongue, and even his magic. When he had Harris squirming and gasping beneath his touch he cast careful and specialized cleansing, preparation, and lubricating spells.

Harris moaned when the spells were cast. His nerves shook with anticipation. His body felt like it was on fire and his head was spinning. This felt nothing like it had with… well that had been sloppy and uncomfortable – the man not having taken much time with preparation – and was quickly becoming forgettable. He gasped and called out Adam’s name as the older man entered him. His world exploded in feelings and senses and he clawed at his lover’s back. He’d never felt anything like this before. Never known it could feel anything like this . Even the few times he’d managed it with Ginny it had been nothing special. It felt like his magic was going to explode in every direction.

Adam felt his young lover’s magic swirling wildly around them and mixing with his own. It made his nerves vibrate and drove him nearly as wild as the feel of Harris’ body against his own. He thrust into the delicious heat below him and when he released a jolt of magical electricity coursed through his veins. He registered Harris’ screaming his name and responded in kind. Just managing to prevent himself from collapsing onto his partner, he shakily rolled to the side and slipped out of consciousness as his magic receded back into his core.

-o0o-

When Adam reawakened the sun was up. He drowsily turned to gaze down the smaller man tucked into his side. He yawned as the younger man made a small grunting noise and stirred awake. He stretched his arms above him and groaned as his joints popped. Beside him Harris struggled to lean up on his elbow, his tousled hair sticking up every which way as he blinked owlishly and looked around.

“Hey there,” Adam grinned and brought his arms around the smaller wizard.

Harris smiled back at him and sighed, relaxing into his embrace. “Mmm.”

Adam chuckled lightly. “Is that satisfaction I hear?”

“Mmhmm,” was all he got in response. Adam pressed a kiss to Harris’ temple and held him as he regained his bearings. “That was… wow.”

Adam chuckled at his lover’s articulate response. “You’re welcome,” he grinned and kissed Harris’ lips. “Wow definitely covers it.”

“Is it always like that?” Harris asked a bit dazed.

Adam chuckled again. “It can be.”

“Mmm,” Harris snuggled into Adam’s side again.

Adam spied the clock on the wall. “Damn.”

“Damn what?” Harris asked sleepily as Adam forced himself to sit up.

“I guess I should get back to the hotel. Kris is probably wondering what I’ve been up to.” He leaned back down to Harris and pressed one more kiss to the soft lips. Harris wrapped his arms around Adam’s neck and the small kiss began to pick up some heat. “If we don’t stop making out I’m going to want to go for round two,” Adam said as he trailed kisses along Harris’ jaw.

Harris looked at the clock. “Damn. I have to get to work soon. It’s getting close to lunch.” He recaptured Adam’s lips with his own. “I don’t wanna go,” he pouted lightly. Adam chuckled and lightly kissed the end of his nose.

“I have something for you,” Adam said and summoned something else from his jacket.

“Hmm. What is it?” Adam caught the small box and opened it to reveal the two crystal rings he’d picked up in Knockturn Alley.

“These are a sort of pagan protection band.”

“Pagan?”

Yeah, we still practice a lot of it back home. Here it’s seen as backward and crude but the ancient traditions are as important to us in the Americas as the modern advancements,” Adam explained. “Technically these are called soul mate bands. They create a binding union and ground the couple to the earth. These ones also protect the wearer against evil.” He conjured a set of hematite chains and linked the rings onto them. He placed the chain and ring set with the black tourmaline and mica stone in Harris’ palm. “I want you to have this one.”

Tears sprang to Harris’ eyes. “Are… are you sure?”

Adam smiled tenderly. “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my entire life.” He unclasped the other chain with the ring set with the blue tourmaline stone and had Harris place it around his neck before helping Harris put on his own. He kissed Harris’ bare shoulder. “This is a promise, Harris. A promise that you’ll always be mine.” He looked into the vibrant green eyes of the young Brit. “A promise that, when the time is right, we’ll be able to wear these bands properly. Do you accept my promise, Harris? And when the time is right, will you marry me?”

Harris smiled lovingly. “Yes. I accept. And yes, I will.” Adam pressed one last meaningful kiss to the soft pink lips.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

The two American’s laughed as they exited Celestial Bronze, the five cross restaurant the Malfoys recommended on Bronze Brick Road. (19) They’d been enjoying a recount of all their favourite memories of their solo tours all through lunch and it was now part way into the afternoon. As they stepped away from the restaurant a distracted Adam felt a ripple of magic behind them before there was a bright blue flash and, with a hard slam to their backs, the two were thrown to the ground. He spit snow out of his mouth and shook it from his head as he pushed himself up onto his elbows. He looked up and took in the blood splattered snow around him. Kris. He searched frantically for his friend. Kris was lying prone about thirty feet down the street from him, a trail of blood leading up to him where he’d slid through the snow.

Kris!” Adam shouted and tried to stand ignoring the niggling pain in his spine only to be hit with a knee-locker jinx on his left leg. He stumbled back into the snow. Cruel laughter was heard behind him and he rolled over to see his attacker. It was the same group that had tried to corner him the other night, minus the twins and the black guy, with the dense looking one (Frizzy’s husband) standing ahead of the others.

“Not so tough now are you? Slimy snake,” Mr Frizzy spat as the group advanced on Adam, he slowly dragged himself backwards towards Kris, clenching his jaw in an effort to ignore the growing pain his body was in. He had to get to the short man. Without a magical core to act as a buffer between his body and the backlash of the spell that was clearly aimed at Adam it had slammed right into Kris at full capacity. He needed to see just how far his injuries went.

“What, you can’t go Muggle Hunting anymore so you think you can just have them imported now?” Little Red sneered and tossed a copy of last night’s evening prophet at him. A picture of him standing at the debate podium was clearly displayed on the page.

“Bet that was exactly the sort of entertainment you had in mind when you fought so hard for the muggles,” Frizzy said in a snotty know-it-all manner.

Fuck, don’t they see the blood? Adam thought as he kept dragging himself, trying to filter out the sharp stings now throbbing through his nerves from his spine which was causing him to sweat. Don’t they realize there shouldn’t be this much, if any? What kind of backward knowledge do they teach in this country?

“Knew this Slytherin scum was planning something when he went down Knockturn,” Big Red (the stocky, muscular one) said, voice full of contempt.

“I knew those streaks were familiar last night,” Snob said suddenly. The others focused on him. “Saw this fag sucking face with that little slut before disappearing into the slut’s apartment building,” he said with a look of complete disgust. Big Red looked sharply at him and Adam couldn’t read the look in his eyes.

You’re the one he was shagging behind my back?” Little Red shot at Adam with anger and disbelief. One word entered his mind: Ginny. Then she threw her head back and laughed. “Boy certainly has taken a large step down now hasn’t he?”

Like hell he has you hag, Adam thought with a glare. He let out a strangled grunt as his back exploded in a fresh wave of pain.

Ad- Adam…” a harsh whisper reached his ears. He turned away from the group to see Kris struggling to move and cringed when Kris let out a choking scream. Adam was dismayed when Kris coughed up blood.

“Holy Merlin,” Frizzy’s voice gasped. Finally the excessive effect of the curse on the smaller man had registered to someone.

“What?” Mr Frizzy asked stupidly.

“He’s a muggle.” Snob stated in surprise.

“Huh?”

Slytherin’s Ghost!” a new woman’s voice swore. “Kris! Adam!” Adam looked over to see Narcissa and Astoria rushing towards them. “Astoria, you get Adam, I’ll see to Kris,” the woman ordered and took out her wand. He saw her cast charms before feeling Astoria side-apparate him away. The jarring pain doubled with the apparation and Adam blacked out.

-o0o-

Adam! Where is he? Adam!” Kris shouted as he was rushed into a room in the Emergency Ward at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. “What happened? What’s going on? Why won’t he answer?” Kris babbled. As soon as a numbing charm had been placed on his body and stopped the pain he’d concentrated on the next thing that he’d been able to focus on: the well-being of his friend.

“Mr Lambert is being treated in another room, sir,” a person in lime-green tried to explain but it was like Kris couldn’t hear him. All he could remember was a strange blue light and a blinding pain. He started thrashing and screaming.

“Everyone back off!” a woman shouted. She approached Kris and forced him to focus on her. “Kris look at me!” she commanded sharply.

Kris focused on her face. “Nar- Narcissa?” he said hoarsely.

“Yes, Kris, it’s me,” she explained softly and stroked his face to calm him. “Adam is fine where he is at the moment, but you need to calm down. You are currently in St. Mungo’s Hospital. You were attacked. The magic current from the curse that hit you injured you severely, now you need to let the Healers take a look at you so they can mend you. Alright?”

“O- okay,” Kris nodded. Narcissa stepped back and the Healers began their diagnostic scans.

“Mr Allen, I am Healer Faust,” one of the lime-green dressed people, the older man, began as the other two continued their scans. “First I’ll explain that certain types of spells and curses give off a large amount of energy that affects more than the intended target. We call this ‘bystander effects’. The fact that you are a muggle has caused the bystander effects of the curse aimed at your friend to be much more severe than if you’d been a wizard. Are you following me so far?” the Healer asked concerned as he took note of the magical display monitoring his brain activity. Among other things, Kris had a severe concussion. They would need to keep him conscious until it could be treated.

“Think so,” Kris replied quietly.

“Now, you have a concussion which will be treated as soon as possible, however I must warn you of what we’re going to do first.” He made sure Kris was looking at him before continuing. “The bones in the right side of your body, specifically your entire shoulder, arm, hand, and most of your ribs, have been shattered. Luckily the spell missed your spine. While we can fuse them back together I think it would be more efficient and better for your long-term physical health if we were to remove them-”

What?” Kris gave a startle cry.

“Mr Allen, please stay calm. I will explain, I promise.” Healer Faust waited until Kris seem a little less agitated. “We will use a spell to dissolve the bone fragments away, you won’t feel anything as we have placed a numbing spell on you, and you will be given a dose of Skele-Gro, a bone growing potion, that will re-grow your missing bones overnight. We’ll keep the numbing spell on you because we won’t be able to heal your flesh wounds until the bones are back in place. Do you understand everything I just told you?”

“Yes.”

“Good,” Healer Faust nodded to the assistants, one of which exited the room. “My assistant and I are going to spell the fragments away now.” They waved their wands over his body with a concentrating look. Kris watched in fascination as the upper portion of the right side of his body seemed to slowly deflate. “Good. Now I’m going to have to set up an I.V.” The Healer paused to look at him. “You do know what and I.V. is right?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Our wizarding patients tend to get apprehensive when we implement muggle medical practices,” Heal Faust explained. “The I.V. will slowly administer the potion to combat your concussion.” The assistant who left was rigging an inverted potion bottle to the I.V. stand that was set into the side of his bed. He averted his eyes when a needle was produced and shut them when it was inserted into the inside bend of his elbow and taped down. Luckily the numbing spell extended to that area as well so he didn’t feel it either. “You were very lucky, Mr Allen, that Mrs Malfoy is well versed in healing charms. She was able to stem the blood flow and prevent you from bleeding to death before we could treat you. She was also able to do so without cauterizing the area, which would have prevented a full recovery. We’re going to finish stabilizing you and then have you moved up to the Spell Damage Ward.”

“How’s Adam?”

“I am not sure but I will find out for you once you’re settled into your room,” Healer Faust replied.

-o0o-

Kris was faring better than the Healers had originally hoped. His injuries wouldn’t have been so distressing if he’d been even a base level wizard. He’d have at least had enough magic to prevent an injury greater than a dislocated shoulder and a few fractures.

Adam, on the other hand, had suffered the full intended effects of the curse. The back of his skeleton, mainly his spine where the curse hit directly, was covered in spider-web fractures. The fractures were slowly growing wider and would eventually crack open into full breaks. It was as though the bones were pulling themselves apart. Given the fact that is was a spinal injury they couldn’t merely vanish the bones and re-grow them as with Kris. If they weren’t careful about their healing the spinal nerves could be damaged and he could become paralysed.

He’d been placed in a magically induced coma in a position floating above the bed to keep pressure off his spine, and they’d succeeded in putting a stasis charm on his body to dramatically slow the progression of the curse, but reversing the effects was going to take specialized Healers. The healing of spinal injuries and nerve damage was a relatively new practice. Its development was greatly due to muggleborn access to muggle technology. There was a specialized institution in Canada where magical Healers worked directly with muggle doctors on advancing the treatment of these types of injuries which occurred quite frequently in both the magical and muggle world.

While Adam was currently stabilized the biggest problem they were now facing was transport. They couldn’t use portkeys as the jarring nature of that form of travel could cause additional injury. Similarly apparation was out of the question. It was Kris who came up with the solution.

Flying.

He then had to explain about muggle airplanes when they immediately shot down his idea as their minds automatically went to broomsticks. In the end Severus contacted Adam’s Aunt Tanya to explain the situation. She in turn contacted his parents and together they ironed out the details. Adam and Kris’s record label – which was actually run by a group of squibs – arranged for the transport of both musicians to the facility in Canada. Kris would need to undergo some magical therapy to help his heal his damaged nerves, which were actually singed when the magic current tore his flesh open.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

Kris wasn’t sure what to tell his wife. When she found out about his “accident” she immediately arranged to fly to the hospital he was at to be with him. He wished he could talk to Adam before she got here but that was impossible. Instead he waited nervously in his private hospital room. To distract himself he thought back to when he woke up the day after the attack.

It was an odd sensation, waking up and having no feeling anywhere in his body. At first he panicked and thought he’d gone paralysed. After the clouds lifted from his brain the events of the previous day came back to him. He stole a look to his good arm and sighed when the needle was gone. He paused when he tasted something metallic in his mouth and frowned. Moving his tongue around his mouth he discovered a number of small, hard, metal objects. Lifting his good hand to his mouth he spit out the foreign objects and stared bewilderment at the small silvery rock-like things in his palm. Inspecting them closer he was shocked when he realized what they were: his fillings. For a brief moment all he could think was I’m going to need a new dentist… (20)

Kris was pulled from his memory when a familiar person knocked on his door. “Leila,” Kris greeted Adam’s mother with a small smile. Even two years after Idol ended their families were still quite close.

“Hi Kris, how are you doing today?”

Kris shrugged. “Still partially numb but better than yesterday. I can feel my legs and the left side of my body. Doc says they’ll take the rest of the spell off once they’re sure the nerves have either reconnected right or don’t register anything.”

“That’s good,” Leila said a she took a seat next to his bed. “I hear Katy is coming to see you tomorrow. And I just got off the phone with your Mama. Her and Neil are very worried about you boys. I explained that you two were in a car accident not too far from here. That’s in the statement the label is going to release to be media. We’ve already staged a convincing crash while you two were in transit. With our potions we even have media shots of the two of you being carted off in ambulances. We made sure it was a weather related accident, so your reputations have remained intact.”

Kris looked relieved. “Good, I wasn’t sure what I was going to say.”

“You’re not going to tell Katy about our little secret, I take it,” Leila said with an understanding glint in her eyes.

“I don’t think she or any of them would understand,” Kris sighed. “I just wish I could talk to Adam about it. It would make this all seem easier.” He moved into a more comfortable position. After a few moments of silence he finally voiced what he wanted to. “Is there any change?”

“No.” Leila’s voice was hushed. “The Healers and doctors are unsure of how to proceed.” She took a shaky breath and Kris reached out to hold her hand. “They’re still trying to figure out how to stop the curse’s progression.”

They’ll get it,” Kris said, trying to convince himself as well as her. “They will.” They have to, he thought and sent a silent desperate prayer to whatever god was listening.

-o0o-

Bella wiped the tiny tear that trailed down her cheek, smearing a bit of flour on her face. She was fixing another batch of pies for the evening service as Astoria and Draco (who’d insisted on accompanying his wife) helped out on the floor, serving pies and drinks.

Harris had been on bed rest for about two months now. When he’d found out about what happened to Adam and Kris he’d become so upset that it had nearly driven him to a miscarriage. He’d fallen into a deep depression. Both Severus and Narcissa had taken to caring for Harris and his unborn child. Their care was supplemented with visits by his Paediatric Healer. Bella helped out where she could.

It was good news that Harris’ condition wasn’t worsening. Even better was that the Healer confirmed that the child was growing strong and healthy, even its magic was twice as strong as the last scan three months prior and getting stronger every week.

But as no word of improvement came concerning Adam’s health Bella was beginning to worry that their good fortune was in danger of changing.

No one had been apprehended for his and Kris’ attack. Being related to the Junior Undersecretary to the Minister obviously had its benefits. It was the word of five Weasleys – one of which was the Junior Undersecretary himself – against Kris. Bella and the others believed the new Mrs Weasley had cast some sort of obscuring charm on the street around them before the attack. No one on the street or in the surrounding shops could remember what the attacker looked like besides Kris. His memories were inadmissible in court as he was a muggle. Apparently their memories were too erratic to be trusted. The five had claimed they were merely chance witnesses to the crime like everyone else who saw and called Adam’s character into question, making it look like anyone could have wanted to attack him. This claim was supplemented by statements by the twin Weasleys and the girl Weasley’s fiancé. It had been made known that the group had seen Adam travelling into Knockturn Alley and returning some time later. This was nothing that could be legally held against Adam but it helped in deflecting some of the suspicion from the Weasley family. So far no one else could be found suspect.

“He’s going to be okay Auntie,” Draco promised as he placed a hand on her shoulder. “They both will. I know it.”

Bella nodded. “Yes, I just have to keep telling myself that.” She took a calming breath. “Now, be a good nephew and take these pies down to the oven, there’s a good lad.”

Later, as they were all clearing tables and setting everything in order Bella came to a decision. If her layabout, good for naught, world traversing cousin wouldn’t come down out of his own happy little play land long enough to realize his responsibility to his godson, then she was just going to have to take matters into her own hands. She had so far been as supportive as she was able to Harris as a friend. Now she was determined to be something more. She hoped his parents wouldn’t object, but considering the current actions of the godfather the Potters had chosen she felt certain the couple was cheering her on from the afterlife.

After she said goodbye to Draco and Astoria and locked up for the night she went back into her apartment and composed a letter to her estate manager at Gringott’s Bank. She sent it off before going to the Messenger Pyre, one of four identical Black family heirlooms. She and each of her sisters had received one upon graduating from Hogwarts, the fourth had remained in their parents home – which had been inherited by Bella herself after her elder sister Andromeda had been disinherited (though she’d been disinherited she’d been permitted to keep her own Messanger Pyre). They were items of pagan origins and had fallen to disuse when the art of constructing them became a lost art. They worked similarly to the floo network. One ignited the flame of the pyre and called out whose pyre they wished to connect to and the flame became a window into the room the corresponding pyre was set in.

Bella ignited her flame and called out “Harris Home”. The flame flattened into an oval shape and she had a perfect view of Harris’ living room, where she’d placed the fourth pyre not long after Adam’s attack. Her younger sister came into view.

“Good evening Bella,” Narcissa greeted warmly. “How were things today?”

“Good evening Cissy. Business was as usual. How is he?”

Narcissa turned sober. “There’s been no change in him.”

“I suppose that should be a good thing,” Bella offered. “He’s not getting worse.”

“Yes, I suppose we should look at it that way.”

“Cissy, I had an idea tonight. Actually I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I’m not sure if it is a good idea or not.”

“What is it Bella?”

Bella paused a moment. “I want to make Harris my son.”

- 30 -

Chapter Text

“Good morning, Ms Black,” Gloin greeted Bella when she entered his office in Gringotts the next morning.

“Good morning, Gloin,” she replied. “Thank you for seeing me on such short notice.”

“Yes, your letter was much intriguing,” Gloin replied as he looked over some parchment rolls in front of him. “I have here the necessary documents for you to fill out,” he said as he removed a small box from one of his desk drawers. He opened it to reveal as small knife. “Some of these documents will require a drop of blood. This blade is specifically enchanted for the use of naming an heir as it prevents the person using it from being forced into the decision. If you do not truly wish for the person whom you named in the documents to be your heir, the blade will not pierce your flesh.”

“Thank you.” Bella took the documents and filled the necessary information. She then produced a small vial of blood she’d witnessed Narcissa take from Harris which she used to identify her intended heir. Lastly she took the enchanted blade and pierced her index finger, dropping blood onto the required parchments. Once her blood had been absorbed by the last document they all sealed themselves and disappeared in a gold flash.

Copies of the documents you have just filled out have been filed at the Ministry and in your personal and family records vaults,” Gloin explained as a small black box appeared in front of Bella. “Inside that box is the Black bloodline Heir Ring sanctioned for your line. You may present it to your heir at your discretion.” She opened the box to reveal a silver ring fashioned to look like a cobra with a blood red jewel set in its mouth and emerald chips in its eyes. She smiled at this. Perfect.

-o0o-

“It is a dangerous procedure and there is no guarantee of success,” Healer Clark, the Chief Magical Resident of the Canadian Alternative Medical Research Institute (CAMRI), argued with his colleague, the Chief Muggle Resident. “It could paralyse him.”

I admit that this is a huge risk if undertaken,” Doctor Lewis agreed. (21) “But if we don’t, this curse is eventually going to run its course and he will be completely paralysed at best.” Dr Lewis sighed. “Your magic can’t stop this thing indefinitely. It’s like…”

“Like what?” Healer Clark asked when the doctor trailed off. Dr Lewis remained quiet and contemplative. “Like what?” the Healer asked impatiently.

“Radiation treatment.”

“It’s like radiation treatment?” Healer Clark looked confused.

Dr Lewis momentarily glared at his colleague and friend in annoyance. “I mean what about treating it with radiation treatment?”

“For bone deterioration?”

I was just about to say that it’s like cancer. Which is something that, so far, even magic has never been able to heal. It’s even spreading to infect other areas of his skeletal system. At least five of his ribs are being affected as well as the base of his skull, and it’s beginning to move into his pelvic and tail bones,” Dr Lewis explained.

“But if caught early enough radiation can help push it into a recession,” Healer Clark said, catching on.

“How far gone is his spine?”

“The cracks are getting bigger and if they keep progressing at the speed they are the bones will be completely broken apart in about two weeks.”

“But they haven’t broken yet?” Dr Lewis asked as he led them out of their shared office where they’d been discussing Adam’s case.

“No. Even if the radiation only succeeds in halting the curse’s progression we’ll have a lot better chance of saving his spine.”

“Yeah, and eventually his life.”

-o0o-

Harris was sitting on a comfortable chair in his living room looking out the window, a hand resting on his more visibly advanced stomach. The baby was twisting strongly underneath. The child’s movements had strengthened noticeably after that night with Adam – more so than was to be expected. He wasn’t sure why and didn’t really feel comfortable asking the Healer about it.

“Ah, it’s good to see you up and about,” Bella said as she entered the apartment. She’d come directly here after her meeting with Gloin.

Harris smiled sadly. “Baby’s been moving like crazy today. It’s like it knows something I don’t.”

Bella smile softly at him. “Well, I know that something did happen today, though I’m not sure if it’s what the baby is waiting for.”

“What is it?” Harris asked interested.

“Well, I hope you aren’t cross with me after I tell you this,” Bella magically expanded his chair to seat two and sat down.

“Now why would I be cross with you?”

“I went to Gringotts today and spoke with my estate manager.”

“Estate manager?” Harris asked confused. “Are you selling the shop?”

“No, nothing like that silly,” Bella’s smile widened a bit. “I’ve come to the decision that I need to name an heir,” she explained. “As I am past my child bearing years I shall have to find someone to choose to be my heir.”

“And have you chosen yet, Bella?”

“Yes, I have. And I have already filled out the required documents and even updated my will.”

Harris started expectantly at her. “So who is it?”

She took out the black box with the cobra ring inside. “This is for you.”

Harris took it and opened it. “What is this?” he asked inspecting the beautifully crafted ring with admiration.

“It’s my Heir’s Ring.”

Your…” Bella smiled in response and waited for it to completely sink in. “You mean me?

“Yes,” she replied happily. “As of today you are officially my heir.” She hesitated for a moment. “And, actually, I was hoping you’d also consider… being my son.”

Harris stared blankly at her then looked back at the ring. “You… you really want me to be your son?” he asked softly, tears stinging his eyes.

“I do, Harris. With all my heart,” she answered honestly.

Harris smiled widely and removed the ring from the box. “Um, which finger does this go on?”

She chuckled lightly and pointed to his right middle finger. “That one.” She smiled gleefully as he placed it on his finger. “And when you are ready, we’ll go to Gringotts and get your Potter family ring, if you like. It would go next to this one on your right ring finger.”

“So, if I am your heir, does that mean I change my name?”

“You can if you like. You are still a Potter even though you are also my heir. You can have the names of Potter and Black separate, with one being a third middle name, or you can hyphenate them,” she explained.

He thought for a few moments. “I think I’d like to make Potter my third middle name and go by the name of Black.” Harris leaned his head on her shoulder and she wrapped her arms around him lovingly. “Thank you… Mum.”

Tears of happiness sprang to her own eyes. “You’re very welcome, my son.”

-o0o-

Bella had come back later that day after preparing pies for the evening service. Severus was due in a few moments and the two were having a bit of fun going over the Black family tree (the book version, one that didn’t have holes blasted into it). The Family Black was littered with all sorts of “blood traitors” and squibs. The book was self-updating and they were able to read everything that had happened to each of their lines. Interestingly enough, a descendent of her Great Aunt Lucinda – a squib – had immigrated to the Americas a few decades back, become a mechanic, and opened a very successful garage that specialized in “tricking out” automobiles.

There was an impatient knock at the door and Bella left Harris to continue flipping through the book. Upon opening it she came face to face with the last pe rson she’d ever expected to see…

- 30 -

Chapter Text

There was an impatient knock at the door and Bella left Harris to continue flipping through the book. Upon opening it she came face to face with the last person she’d ever expected to see…

What in Ares’ name are you doing here?” Sirius asked confused. He was standing in the worn hallway dressed in an expensive looking blue designer suit. “And why was I not informed of my godson’s new address?”

What are you doing here, more like,” Bella practically spat at her cousin. Violet-grey eyes glared into violet-grey eyes. “Where in Hades have you been all these years? What-”

Sirius pushed past her. “I will not be trifled with, woman, and certainly not by… Harry? ” Sirius stood in the middle of the living room gaping at Harris, who was still reclined on the small sofa near the window. He looked up at his godfather uncertainly with and protective hand on his obviously pregnant stomach.

“Hello Sirius,” Harris managed to say.

“What the bloody hell is going on here?” Sirius demanded angrily.

“I doubt that this is any of your business,” Bella commented after she’d shut the door again.

Sirius spun around to face her. “The fuck it’s not, I’m his godfather.”

“You could’ve fooled me,” she said as she moved to stand closer to Harris. “Now I ask you again, where the bloody hell have you been the past three… no, it’s nearly four years now isn’t it?”

“Who asked you?”

And hardly anyone’s heard a word from you, aside from those poor excuses for letters,” Bella mocked. “Not even Remus knows anything about you these days!” her voice rose a bit as she spoke. “Did you even know that your friend is married? Hmm?” The startled look in his eyes said that he did not. “Yes, dear Remus is married. And to whom do you ask? None other than my dear niece, Nymphadora.”

Sirius stood gob smacked. “Dora? Little Dora?”

“She’s not so little anymore, cousin mine. They’ve been married for almost two years.” Bella was enjoying the guilty look on Sirius’ face. “And that’s not the half of if,” she continued. “They have a son. He’d be about…” she looked to Harris for confirmation.

“Teddy will be one in April,” Harris answered.

“Ah, yes, I remember Tonks booking the shop for a birthday party.” She turned back to Sirius and glared. “And you have no right to be angry with Harris.”

“Harris?”

“Me,” Harris replied.

“Harris?” Sirius repeated with an eyebrow raised.

“Catches on quickly, doesn’t he?” a silky voice asked from the reopened doorway. Sirius spun around again.

You.”

“Me,” Severus replied with a smirk.

Snivellus.”

Sirius!” scolded Harris. Sirius turned surprised to his godson. “I will not have you disrespecting the people who have been helping me while you have been off gallivanting around the world. Especially not in my own home.”

“Wha-”

Kris?” Harris breathed in disbelief. “Wh- what are you doing here?” He held both hands to his stomach afraid of the answer. The baby twisted and turned energetically.

“Don’t panic,” Kris began. “I have some… better news.”

“Better?”

Well,” Kris rubbed the back of his neck. “It’s not completely good news, but it is better. They’ve stopped the curse’s progression.”

“What curse?” Sirius asked confused, looking between his godson and this little American stranger.

Harris’ eyebrows rose. “They figured it out?”

“Figured what out?”

“Yes,” Kris replied.

“How?” Bella asked as she took a seat beside Harris.

“What’s going on? What are you all talking about?” Sirius asked impatiently.

“They’ve utilized the radiation treatments typically used to combat cancer,” Kris explained.

“What radiation? What about cancer?”

“I don’t understand how it works, all I know is that it does,” Kris continued as though he hadn’t heard Sirius. “Something about the radiation interfering with the curse’s objective or something,” he shrugged. “Now they just need to figure out what they’re going to do about the damage to his spine.”

What in Camelot’s Castle is going on here? Whose spine?” Sirius waved his arms in the air and stomped his foot like petulant child.

Harris looked at his godfather. “Adam,” he said with a steady voice. “My fiancé.”

-o0o-

I still say it’s a dangerous procedure,” Healer Clark insisted. He and Doctor Lewis were back in their shared office at CAMRI arguing about how to proceed with repairing Adam’s spine.

“Yes, there is no question of that,” Dr Lewis agreed. “But what else are we suppose to do? Removing the bones and re-growing them has always been out of the question.”

“Yes,” Healer Clark nodded. “It’s not precise enough. The newly forming bones not only could but would sever a nerve in the spinal cord.”

Also magical procedures are demanding on your Healer’s magical reserves. This particular case is just too intricate and massive to allow this. Given how precisely the bones need to be healed, it will take a full week for your entire team to correctly heal one vertebra. Every micro millimetre of the spinal bones need to be fully healed, unlike the rest of the skeleton. And you’ll all need an additional week to recuperate your magic cores,” Dr Lewis reasoned.

“I suppose you’re right,” Healer Clark grudgingly admitted.

Dr Lewis sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “You know that if it were only a few vertebrae that were affected I would gladly hand it over to your team. But with all twenty-four affected the entire procedure will take approximately eleven months, which Mr Lambert doesn’t have. The stasis charm has already been on his body for two months. It’s beginning to affect the rest of his body. If we leave it too much longer his weakening muscles will begin to deteriorate and his organs will shut down, at the very least.” (22)(23)

“Yes, I know,” Healer Clark sighed. “But the thought of replacing his entire spine with an artificial one…”

“We’ve done it before,” Dr Lewis pointed out.

“Yes, on two vertebrae and a spinal disc,” Healer Clark pointed out. “Never on a scale like this. It’s just as dangerous as fusing and re-growing the bones.”

“But even if the bones could be fused safely his spine wouldn’t be the same as before,” Dr Lewis stated. “Fused bones are weaker. In many cases, even more so than naturally healed ones.”

“The whole purpose behind Skele-Gro was to replace damaged bones with sound ones,” Healer Clark agreed. “Fused bones break more easily in the long run. After a few years even a fall could do it.” (24) Healer Clark sighed. “And considering he’s still young and leads an active lifestyle it’ll be more damaging to him.”

“Do I have your approval on the muggle procedure?” Dr Lewis asked. All procedures required the signatures of one muggle doctor and one wizarding Healer due to the fact that most procedures in this hospital required the skills of both, but for major procedures such as this it required the signatures of both the Chief Muggle and Magical Residents.

Healer Clark stared out the window in thought for a few minutes. He sighed. “Yes. I don’t like it but this is our best solution. My team will be ready for our part in the procedure.”

- 30 -

Chapter Text

“I’ve never seen someone faint straight back like that before,” said Kris, impressed, as Severus nudged Sirius’ prone body with his foot. “He went all rigid and just…” Kris gestured to Sirius. “It was like watching someone cut down a tree.”

“If he weren’t sprawled all over the floor like that I’d have thought someone put a full body bind jinx on him,” Tanya Edelstein, Adam’s aunt the Potion Mistress, commented from her spot lounging on the couch in the middle of the room. Tanya looked much like Adam. They had the same eye shape, lips, and cheekbones, and they were the same height. They even had the same hair colour – though unlike Adam, Tanya’s waist length hair was her natural red shade and pulled back into a braided pony tail. Her eyes were a more brilliant blue than grey. She was currently dressed in a style similar to what Adam wore: black skinny jeans tucked in black laced boots that came up to just below the knee, a deep violet dress shirt and a black vest, topped off with a long stylized black robe jacket.

At least the lug’s head missed the coffee table,” Bella said dryly.

“I thought when people fainted they naturally fell forward,” Kris said still blinking in a disbelieving manner.

“They usually do,” Severus agreed as he continued prodding his unconscious nemesis. “Given the way that human legs bend at the knees the body is more likely to fall forwards than back.”

“Severus, stop that,” Harris said tiredly. He leaned his head back and rubbed his eyes. The baby had calmed down. “Bloody hell,” he cursed equally as tiredly. “I didn’t mean to just blurt it out like that. He was just…” Harris imitated a strangling and shaking motion with his hands.

“Who is he anyway?” Kris asked as he nudged Sirius’ side with his foot.

“He’s my godfather now stop that,” Harris gave him a chastising glare.

“Godfather? You have those?” Kris asked surprised. “I thought that was a religious thing.”

“It is. It’s an adopted practice from the times of the witch trials,” Severus explained. “Real witches and wizards tended to look less suspicious if they had their children baptised by muggle priests. The ceremonies are now overseen by licensed witches and wizards.” (25)

“You need a license to baptise children?”

“Well, they handle more than baptisms. They also perform marriages and bonding ceremonies-”

“While this is all very fascinating,” Harris interrupted. “What are we going to do about him when he wakes up? I mean, assuming he hasn’t had a heart attack or anything.”

“Sadly he’s just fainted,” Severus replied with a slight sigh. “I checked.”

“Well I don’t care a jot what happens to him, what I really want to know is since when are you and Adam engaged?” Bella asked as she turned to her son. “And how come you didn’t tell me?”

Harris felt a little self-conscious as the others turned questioning eyes to him as well. “Since the morning he was attacked.” He pulled the chain around his neck out from under his shirt. Tanya gasped at the ring that dangled from it and stood from her seat to take a closer look.

“Adam has one that looks just like that,” Kris stated. “No one could take it off him at St. Mungo’s. No one in Canada tried. Especially after his mother forbade them from it.”

“That would be because of the pagan magic,” Tanya explained. Severus and Bella looked at her in both shock and interest.

“Pagan? That’s like old magic, right?” Kris asked.

“Yes, it is very old magic,” Severus nodded. “So old that it has fallen into disuse here in Britain and in much of Europe. You see most of the wizards today, the ruling bodies especially, actually believe paganism is outdated.”

Bella scoffed. “A bit like the pot calling the kettle black, if you ask me.”

“I can tell you it is still widely practiced in the Americas,” Tanya said as she admired the ring. “I can also tell you that you, young man,” she addressed Harris. “Will not be able to remove this necklace any more than the Healers at St. Mungo’s were able to remove Adam’s.”

“Why is that?” Harris asked. He had never considered removing it.

“It’s part of the pagan tradition. The necklaces are worn during the engagement phase. During the marriage ceremony your partner will remove the necklace and place the ring on your finger, and you will do the same. This seals the binding union initiated when you exchanged necklaces.”

“But Adam had both rings.”

“I would assume you placed Adam’s necklace around his neck.”

Harris though a moment then nodded. “Yes. And he put mine on for me.”

“And since the necklaces have successfully locked a proposal was exchanged,” Tanya smile warmly.

“Yes. He asked me,” Harris smiled softly at the memory.

Bella had tears in her eyes and was smiling widely. “My baby’s getting married!” She threw he arms around her son.

Tanya was about to say something when there was a groan from the floor. “What are you yammering on about now you wretched thing?”

“I thought I told you I won’t tolerate you disrespecting anyone in my home,” Harris glared at Sirius as the older man sat up and rubbed the back of his head.

“I feel so incredibly lost,” Sirius said miserably as he stared at the floor. “Everything’s gone topsy-turvy. I can’t make sense of anything any more.” He looked up at Harris, guilt practically overflowing his eyes. “I am so sorry for the way I’ve acted all these years.”

Harris sighed, taking pity on the man on his floor. “I realize that, but in a way I suppose I should be thanking you.” Not only Sirius but the others looked confused. “I think your not being here may have been the key to everything that has happened this past year,” Harris explained. “If I hadn’t been alone last summer I’d have never gotten pregnant, and I’d have likely broken down and proposed to Ginny. Knowing her it wouldn’t have been a long engagement. I would never have run into Bella that day, never worked in her shop. And then I would have never met Adam.” He smiled softly. “So, even though it will take a while to forgive you for neglecting me… thank you.”

Sirius smiled sadly. “I’m going to do right by you from now on, I swear it.”

“You better,” Bella stated. “If you don’t you’ll have me to answer to, as he is now officially my son.” Sirius fell back into another dead faint.

“Good, he’s out,” Tanya said. “I didn’t want to mention this while he could hear me.” She turned to Harris. “Now I was going to say that, speaking of babies, I’ve just noticed something interesting about yours.”

“Mine?” Harris asked worriedly.

“It’s nothing to fret about, but I need to ask, were you and Adam intimate?”

Harris blushed furiously. “Er, well…”

Tanya smirked knowingly. “I thought so.” Harris glanced at his mother when she took in a sharp breath. There was a look of understanding in her eyes.

“Ah, so that’s why it’s been getting so strong,” Severus said.

“What’s been getting so strong?” Kris asked confused.

“When it comes to pregnancy in either a witch or wizard, intercourse with a wizard who is not the father of the child can, at times, result in a change in paternity.”

Kris had a blank look on his face for a few moments. “So, Harris and Adam had sex, now Adam’s his baby daddy?” (26)

“His what?” Severus asked, looking at Kris strangely.

“You know, Adam’s now the father of Harris’ baby,” Kris explained.

“Indeed,” Severus smirked.

That’s actually how Mrs Arthur Weasley remained Mrs Arthur Weasley after their third son was born,” Bella grinned at Harris.

“You say the child has been getting stronger?” Tanya asked.

“Both physically and magically,” Severus nodded.

“Well, Adam wasn’t a tiny baby himself,” Tanya chuckled. “Obviously with his current height. As for the child’s magic, that is what interested me. It feels a lot like Adam’s, that’s why I asked you if you were intimate. I take it you didn’t know the paternity could change?” Harris shook his head. “I doubt Adam did either.”

“Clearly Adam is a higher level wizard than the original father for the child’s magic to strengthen so dramatically,” Severus observed.

“Yes, our bloodline has always been able to sense the magical currents around us even without instruction. Something only higher level wizards and witches can do easily,” Tanya explained. “But I believe that skill is not something that is taught here in Britain.”

“No, the headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts have never thought it necessary,” Severus replied. “I did offer it as an elective myself when I first started teaching, but interest wasn’t high enough to keep the lessons going.”

“This is getting very disorienting,” Sirius said as he came to again. Suddenly a strange tinny sound filled the room. It sounded like music. They all looked at Kris who removed a small rectangular object (which was emitting the odd sound) from his jacket pocket. “Am I going to need to faint again?”

Kris pressed his thumb to the object and lifted it up to his ear after it was silenced. “Hey Leila, what’s going on?” he said as though talking to an imaginary person standing beside him. Severus, Bella, and Sirius were looking at him strangely.

Harris chuckled. “It’s just a mobile phone. I remember Dudley had one before I moved out of the Dursleys. Both Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had them as well.”

“Isn’t Leila Adam’s mother?” Bella asked. “I thought she was in Canada.”

“Muggles are great, aren’t they?” Harris grinned.

Okay, I’ll talk to you later. Bye.” Kris pressed something on the mobile phone and placed it back in his pocket. He turned back to the group. “They’re getting ready to operate on Adam in the morning,” he explained. “The surgery is expected to take all day.”

“What are they going to do?” Harris asked apprehensively.

“Leila says their going to systematically replace his damaged spine with an artificial one.”

Sirius hit the floor again.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

It was late the next evening when Kris walked down the hall of CAMRI to the Surgery Ward. The incandescent lights gave off an eerie glow that was both foreign and comforting to him. He suddenly wondered how people like Adam dealt with living literally between two worlds. It was sometimes a little disorienting, like stepping through a time portal. When he spent enough time in one world and went back into the other he had to pause to readjust his mind.

He entered the waiting room where Adam’s parents, Leila and Eber, brother, Neil, and Aunt Tanya were sitting in on the provided couches and chairs. They were watching television, or at least Neil was flipping through the channels. His parents looked lost in thought and Tanya was pouring over an ancient looking hardback tome. Kris’ parents had come up almost two months before when Kris was still a patient. He’d sent them back to Conway when he was released but Katy had remained with him at the hotel when he refused to leave while Adam’s future was still so uncertain.

He’d taken a portkey back with Tanya last night and all day Katy had tried to keep his mind from constantly dwelling on the fact that his best friend was currently undergoing highly dangerous surgery. That one mistake and the eccentric Californian could be paralyzed… that he could die…

Kris was just about to ask about the progress of the surgery when two men in lime-green scrubs and white doctor’s coats entered from another door. The Lamberts and Tanya all stood and Kris joined them in front of Dr Lewis and Healer Clark.

“The surgery went smoothly,” Dr Lewis began and you could feel the tension lift out of the room as everyone relaxed a bit. “We’ve successfully replaced Adam’s entire spine. Due to the extensive damage we were required to also replace his tailbone and placed a plate on the back of his skull, but we will have to wait until he can be woken up to address the damage to the rest of his skeleton. But the stasis charm has been lifted.”

“What happens when he needs to take Skele-Gro?” Kris asked suddenly. “How will that affect the artificial bones?”

“This facility is lucky. We have a solid contract with the goblins that craft and enchant the artificial implants we use,” explained Healer Clark. “Their particular brand of magic is much stronger than our own and the enchantments, which in essence trick the body into believing the implant is real, last forever. When Adam takes Skele-Gro, which he will have to in order to repair the remaining damage, the body will believe his spine is undamaged and won’t attempt to re-grow those particular bones.”

“While the Skele-Gro will repair the damage to the back of his skull we will have to keep the plate in,” Dr Lewis added. “Because the skull cannot be completely removed safely the re-grown section will be like a fused bone and eventually become too weak to withstand even a small bump.”

“How much longer until he can be woken?” Leila asked.

“We’d like to wait until at least tomorrow afternoon to let his body settle into a normal routine after being in stasis for so long,” Dr Lewis replied.

“Will he remember the attack?” asked Eber.

“It is likely,” said Dr Lewis. “His mind will be a little foggy when he first wakes up, but it is unlikely he will forget too much. I believe Kris’ injuries were more likely to affect his memories than Adam’s.”

“Can we see him?” Leila asked.

“Of course,” Healer Clark said and led the group to the recovery room.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

Adam felt like he was floating. His skin was tingling and numb and it was like his ears and mouth were stuffed with cotton. His eyes were sealed shut and his limbs were frozen so he couldn’t look around or move. His world had become an empty void. All he could do was wait. Wait and think and sleep. But what was he waiting for? He didn’t know. So he thought.

He thought of the attack on Bronze Brick Road… He thought of Kris lying in the blood soaked snow… Of the red-heads who attacked him…

From the stories Harris had told, Frizzy – the new Mrs Weasley – had to be Hermione formerly Granger. The know-it-all muggleborn witch Harris had befriended back in first year at Hogwarts. She was highly intelligent in a bookish sense but was severely lacking in people sense. Not a socialite, Hermione Weasley was likely a brash sort of woman: pushy, self-confident, and presumptuous. Most likely the type to put her nose in everything whether it was her business to do so or not. And from what Adam seen of her she was arrogant. Not the type of arrogance Draco displayed which came with money, but the self-righteous kind. Thinking herself above everyone of lesser intelligence. Despite all her intelligence she was an average level witch. Power wise she was about half what Harris is.

Next there was Mr Frizzy. The Neanderthal husband of a Know-It-All. All brawn, no brains. Ronald Weasley. He had the look of someone who was use to getting hit in the head. He was also a person who believed he had no reason to think things through for himself. He just ploughed head first into things without thinking of the consequences, despite being a brilliant strategist. And he was jealous. Jealous of Harris and all that he had while Ron’s family went without. He had likely been more concerned with what Harris would have brought to his family if he’d married Ron’s sister than anything else. And he was the most discriminating of the lot. From what Harris had said, and how the red-head spoke, he was the type to hold onto a huge grudge with both hands. Even if that grudge was unfounded. His power levels were rather low. Less than half of his wife’s. No wonder his magic wielding relied on brute strength instead of finesse. Anyone could hit hard with their magic, but only the higher levels could control it with absolute precision. Which is why the backlash of his curse had hit Kris so hard.

Little Red, or Ginny, was just as pig-headed as her brother. However she was smarter than he was with stronger magic levels almost equal to her sister-in-law. Her forked tongue had Harris believing a life with her was all he ever truly wanted. Had him convinced that he was in love with her. It had taken years for him to even begin to realize that his disinterest in other women was not because of his love for the youngest red-head. The girl was in her last year of school and apparently had already secured a fiancé – within the week of her relationship with Harris being officially over. Clearly she was very successful at whatever she did, sacrificing little more than time and conscience to get exactly what she wants – and probably one other thing if the rumours Draco had told of her were true. Apparently she was a tiger in the sheets – slightly overrated but worth the try.

The snob with the glasses had to be the third Weasley son: Percy. Conceited, arrogant, pompous, chauvinistic, self-important, and a stickler for rules… So long as they benefited him. He was a high ranking Ministry official, and one of the most prejudiced ones at that – needless to say his entire family were homophobic, among other things. He got along very well with Madam Umbridge. They tended to support biased causes that would have many equality rights revoked – and make current rights non-existent. If they had their way “dark” wizards would be required to register themselves and be denied the use of wands, werewolves would be put down, and muggleborns would be little more than servants. Despite the fact that his new sister-in-law was a muggleborn, and a somewhat high ranking Ministry official herself. Just like his Neanderthal brother his magic levels were very low.

Lastly, there’s Big Red. The second son… The dragon tamer… Charlie … There was something different about Charlie. Something Adam couldn’t place. His magical levels were on par with his sister, but still well below Harris’. And well below Adam’s, which were double in comparison with Harris’. He recalled how Charlie had stared sharply at him in the street that day, his expression unreadable. Adam remembering locking gazes, for the briefest second, with the dragon tamer. He focused on that second, trying to figure out what was so different about this man… It was almost familiar…

Adam’s eyes snapped opened.

The first thing he registered was the bright light above him. He groaned and shut his eyes again, moving his arm in front of his face. At least he tried to move his arm but the second thing to register made him drop it back to his side: a persistent aching in his entire body.

He groaned again. “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.” His voice scratchy from disuse, it was as though he hadn’t used it in months and his mouth is dry. His entire body was throbbing uncomfortably and it hurt to move.

Run over, actually,” the reply came from somewhere to his left. Kris, Adam thought. Kris is here. He must be okay. I doubt I’d be in this much pain if I were dead.

“What?” Adam asked groggily and let some ice chips be slid into his mouth. He blinked until his eyes adjusted to the light.

“You were run over,” Kris repeated a little too cheerfully. “It was amazing. It was like a glitter bomb went off.”

“What are you talking about?” Adam frowned and slowly glanced to his side.

They’re calling it the Glitter-mobile,” Kris continued with a cheeky smirk. “And they want you to sign the Adam shaped dent in the hood.”

Adam grinned at his friend. “You’re an ass.”

“Well, you’re an engaged man now so you can’t tap that,” his mother’s voice came from his right.

He carefully turned his head to see Leila sitting beside his bed next to his father, Eber. “I couldn’t tap it anyway. He’s married.”

“To a woman,” his brother, Neil’s, cheery voice added from the end of his bed.

“Thank you,” Kris said dryly to Neil. “I’d forgotten all about that.”

“You want me to call her in case you forgot what she looks like too?” Eber quipped from his seat beside his mother.

“Dad, I’m gay,” Adam joked. “I don’t need to see that twice in a lifetime.”

“The last time you saw one you were drunk,” Neil pointed out. “You barely remember it.”

“Why would I want to?” Adam asked innocently.

“It’s educational?” Leila asked.

“This family should scare me…” Kris said to Adam’s Aunt Tanya, who sat beside him. “Maybe I should run.”

“Too late, you’re already one of us,” Eber stated with a grin.

“So,” Adam began conversationally. “Where am I?”

-o0o-

Two months… He’d been unconscious for two full months – under a stasis charm and a magically induced coma. And on top of everything he’d just had his spine removed and replaced by an artificial one. A slightly mechanical one that was enchanted by goblins to not set off any metal detectors and warded against rusting.

“I’m the Bionic Man,” Adam blurted out.

“I think Bionic Queen would be a little more accurate,” offered Kris with a grin.

“Watch it Gnomeo, I may not be able to jump over tall buildings in a single bound, but I’m sure I can lift you over the edge of one without hurting myself,” Adam grinned back.

“You might be thinking of the Million Dollar Man.”

“Who cares, I have a bionic spine and I’m a wizard.”

Kris thought for a moment. “True.” Adam had been put under a numbing spell until his damaged bones could be removed and re-grown that night. After that he’d be put on a Potion I.V. to heal the damage that had resulted from both the curse and being in stasis for as long as he had.

So how are you?” Adam asked seriously, a worried look in his eyes as he surveyed his friend. “How are your injuries? What were your injuries?”

“Good, I’m healed to the best of their abilities,” Kris replied. “The Healer at St. Mungo’s described what happened to me as ‘bystander effects’. When the curse hit you the blast of the magical current overflowed into me and shattered the bones in my right side: my shoulder, arm, and some ribs. It’s just lucky it didn’t seriously damage anything above my shoulder. All I had was a concussion.”

“There was so much blood,” Adam remembered with a distant expression. “I remember thinking that I had to get to you, had to know how badly you were hurt despite the growing pain in my back. I couldn’t figure out why no one else noticed all that blood.”

“The curse tore through my flesh,” Kris explained. “They had to vanish my bones and re-grow them before they could properly heal the tissue. They explained later that if they healed the flesh before re-growing the bones it wouldn’t fit properly and would cause me even more discomfort in the long run. It’s easier to repair the soft tissue over the reformed skeleton. I didn’t feel any of it, thank God.”

“You probably should be thanking Merlin,” Adam grinned softly. “I hear God don’t look very kindly on the whole witchcraft thing.”

Kris grinned back just as softly. “Anyway, they placed a numbing spell on me when I first got there. It hurt like hell until then. They said it was lucky that the spell missed my spine. It would have paralyzed me instantly. After the bones were removed they hooked up an I.V. to feed the potion that healed my concussion.”

“So your side is good now? No lasting damage?”

“Well, the bones are all back in place and the concussion’s fully healed. Apparently it’s like I never had one,” Kris answered in a roundabout way.

“What?” Adam asked with narrowed eyes.

“What?” Kris tried to look innocent.

“You know what, Allen,” Adam glared. “And don’t try to pull those cute brown puppy eyes at me either. What aren’t you telling me?”

Kris looked down for a moment before explaining evenly. “I had to go through some nerve therapy here. They specialize in nerve and spinal damage.” He took a small breath before looking back up at Adam. “As well as tearing the flesh… the curse literally singed my nerve ends. They had to keep the numbing spell on me until they were sure that either the nerves were reconnected…”

“Or?” Adam prompted softly.

Kris took a shaky breath. “Or they couldn’t feel anything at all.” Kris suddenly looked smaller.

“Kris?” Adam tilted his head.

“I’m scared,” Kris admitted with a small voice.

“Hey, c’mere,” Adam indicated the space next to him on the bed. Kris curled into his friend’s side and let a few tears fall. “What are you scared of.”

“The nerves,” Kris began. “They were too far gone to save. All I felt was pain when they took the numbing off. Even though they were singed they were still alive.” He took another shaky breath. “The Healers had to kill the nerves. I haven’t told anyone yet.”

Adam held his friend close. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered as he felt tears in his own eyes.

“For what?”

“Getting you into this. If I hadn’t-”

Adam, stop,” Kris demanded as he sat up and stared hard at Adam. “Stop. This isn’t your fault. It’s that damn red-head’s fault. It happened.” Kris stopped Adam from looking away. “It freaks me out, I admit it. But I’ll never regret learning about this… amazing side of you. What happened to me, and you, is really no worse than what could happen in my world. You are my friend. And I won’t have you shoulder blame that isn’t yours.”

Adam slowly blinked his tears away and offered a small smile. “Thank you.”

Kris tilted his head. “For what?”

“Being my friend.” Kris smiled widely. “So how weird is it?”

“It’s gonna take some serious getting use to,” Kris grinned and flexed his arm. “It’s like there aren’t nerves in my arm, shoulder, and most of my side at all. They explained that the sensory messages from my skin aren’t reaching my brain any more. It feels like everything just stops at this point,” he traced a line down the right side of his chest. “But everything is still there and still works.”

“Bet that’ll come in handy when Katy’s not around,” Adam teased.

“Handy being the operative word,” Kris smirked. The two laughed. Quietly at first and then they just couldn’t stop. They laughed so hard that a nurse had to come in and ask them to quiet down.

After calming down Adam asked about something that had been in his mind since before he woke up. “How’s Harris?”

“Your baby mama’s beside himself,” Kris answered with a grin. “They won’t let him travel in his condition.”

“My what?” Adam asked, quirking an eyebrow.

Oh, yeah. You don’t know,” Kris’ grin turned into a smirk. “Apparently, because you’re both magic, your intimacies have shifted the paternity from that low level jerk to you.”

“Low level?” Adam chuckled. “I didn’t know you could be so spiteful.”

“I mean that the guy has lower magic levels than you, Wiz,” Kris rolled his eyes.

“So does anyone know who it was?” Adam asked interestedly. This information niggled something at the back of his mind. But he couldn’t put his finger on it.

“No,” Kris shook his head. “Harris thinks it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“And what if the jerk takes interest in the baby?”

“You’re magically stronger than the guy,” Kris shrugged. “And with your new bionic spine I think you could take him,” he teased with a grin. “Other than that, I’d take it up with your hot little lover.”

“That’s the second time you’ve called him hot. Should I be worried?” Adam said suggestively.

“I am going to go see if my wife is still in bed,” Kris pretended he couldn’t hear Adam.

“Sure, sure,” Adam laughed. “Does it matter if she’s awake?” he called after Kris as he walked to the door.

“Does it ever?” Kris shot back with a smirk, Adam’s laughter following him down the hall.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

“Baby, I love you,” Adam said as he hung up the phone and placed his cell phone back in his pocket.

His remaining damaged bones had been removed and re-grown before he was placed on a Potion I.V. regimen for roughly a week. After he was healed, and his doctor and Healer were satisfied that his organs and everything were working properly, he went into physiotherapy for his spine and to rebuild his lost muscle. It was four more weeks before he was released from the Research Institute. He had been there for over three months and his record company had released a statement that he was taking the next five months off to “recuperate” from the “accident”.

It had been released that he’d been in a coma for two months and that he was currently completing physiotherapy to recover from his injuries. According to the muggle press their car had hit a patch of icy road and crashed into a tree on Adam’s side resulting in near fatal injuries while Kris had dislocated his shoulder (they’d both groaned at that) and suffered a severe concussion which he was still recovering from, “luckily not breaking anything”. Kris had glared at his publicist, a woman whose sister was a muggleborn, at that point in the explanation. She’d just smiled innocently in return.

In the past weeks since he’d reawakened Adam had only been able to talk to Harris on the phone. Harris was grounded by his Healer for the rest of his pregnancy due to some complications that occurred after Adam’s attack. Adam had yearned to see his little fiancé constantly. He still couldn’t fully believe what Kris had told him about the paternity of the baby but the thought always caused him to smile.

Adam grinned in anticipation as he walked down a worn out corridor and knocked on an aging door with tarnished brass numbers and waited. He leaned against the door frame with one arm. His grin turned to a smile as the occupant opened the door.

“Hey you,” he said tenderly as a pair of enchanting green eyes widened at the sight of him.

Harris stood there for a moment, not believing his eyes, before throwing his arms around Adam’s neck and pulling the taller man into a fervent kiss. Adam gently guided them into the apartment and kicked the door shut behind them, not breaking the kiss. He’d waited too long for this. Far too long. When he pulled back he wiped the tears from Harris’ cheeks and peppered kisses all over the younger wizard’s face.

“Adam,” Harris whispered breathlessly and held onto him tightly and cried. “Adam.”

Adam held onto him just as tightly. “It’s okay now,” he whispered back and pressed a kiss into Harris’ hair, breathing in the scent of the younger man’s shampoo. “I’m here.”

They stood like that until Harris had to sit down. Adam guided his young lover into the bedroom where he quietly stripped them of their clothing and snuggled into bed. He wrapped his arms protectively around the smaller frame, holding the young man close.

I was so scared when I found out what happened,” Harris spoke in a low voice. “I was out shopping for groceries. Severus had decided to keep me company. We ran into Ginny and she laughed as she told me what happened to you. I became so upset that Severus risked a portkey to my paediatric Healer’s office. I almost lost the baby.” Harris held onto Adam’s arms and cried. Adam’s arms tightened around him, one hand moving onto the large mound where their child rested, and he pressed a kiss behind Harris’ ear.

“I missed you so much,” Adam said softly. “Both of you,” he gently rubbed circles on Harris’ belly. “You’re all I’ve been able to think about since I woke up.”

“Did they tell you about the baby yet?”

“About the paternity?” Harris nodded. “Kris mentioned it.” Adam sat up a bit and Harris looked up at him. “There is a chance they could be wrong.”

Harris tensed, feeling a pang of disappointment at the comment. He doesn’t want this…

“We should do it again just to be sure,” Adam smirked seductively. Harris relaxed and beamed up at him before pulling the American into another fiery kiss.

-o0o-

Harris sighed contently as he leaned against Adam’s bare chest, one hand absently playing with Adam’s right nipple ring. He grinned at the thought that Adam’s new spine had certainly had a workout. Adam’s arms encircled him as they nodded off in the sunny February afternoon. Adam trailed sleepy little kisses on the soft pale skin of Harris’ shoulder.

When they awoke a while later they stayed comfortably cuddled under the blanket. Adam focused on the magical signature of their child as it turned and reached out to his own magic. It was so much different than it had been before. The child’s magic was much stronger and steadier… and familiar. He felt connected to it in a way he hadn’t before. It is mine, he thought with a happy smile.

“Do you know what it is yet?” Adam asked quietly.

“The Healer said it was a girl,” replied Harris. Adam nuzzled the younger man’s neck.

“Have you thought of any names yet?”

“None that really stand out.”

“What about… Lilly?”

“Hmm, why Lilly?”

Adam shrugged a bit. “Just before I met you, Kris and I were walking down the street Bella’s shop is on, and this little girl in a powder pink cloak just skipped up to us. She looked like a little sprite dancing on a frosted cake as she skipped through the snow. She stopped in front of us and looked right up at me and said ‘Hello, you’re pretty’.”

“Well you are,” Harris agreed with a tender smile.

“She was such a sweet little girl. At that moment I realized just how much I wanted children of my own.” Adam kissed Harris’ bare shoulder again and held him more securely in his arms.

Harris raised an arm and gently massaged the back of Adam’s head where the plate was. “Lilly Lambert-Black,” he tried out.

“Black?” Adam asked curious.

“Bella named me her heir not long before you woke up. I am now her son,” Harris explained.

Adam thought for a minute. “How about Lillitrix?”

Harris chuckled. “Lillitrix?”

“You know, like Bellatrix, but different,” Adam grinned.

Harris grinned as well. “Then she’ll be named for both my mothers.”

“I’d forgotten your mother’s name was Lily,” Adam admitted and ran his fingers through his lover’s jet black locks.

“How about Leilatrix. Then we could get all her grandmothers in,” Harris suggested.

“Leilatrix Lambert-Black,” Adam pronounced experimentally.

“Lilly for short,” Harris pointed out.

“I like it,” declared Adam.

Harris smiled and linked a hand with Adam’s bringing both to rest of his stomach. “Lilly it is.”

-o0o-

The first month after they’d finally reunited, the two lovers were left relatively alone. Everyone dropped in for visits but none stayed as long as they had after Adam’s attack. Kris had gone back to the States to “recover” at home with his wife. He’d worked out a plausible explanation to give his wife and family for what ultimately happened to his arm.

Sirius had been sent off to reconnect with old friends – the main one being Remus. He was currently getting to know his honorary nephew, Teddy, who had his mother metamorphmagi abilities (the ability to change his appearance). He’d taken such a shine to his new uncle that he’d managed to morph his eyes and hair to match the strange man who turned into a dog. The first time Sirius had showed the small boy his animangus form he’d squealed and shouted “mine!”.

Harris had been amazed when he heard Adam sing for the first time. The man’s voice was like its own brand of magic – “aural intercourse” he’d jokingly called it. Adam often sang for Harris’ amusement, and every evening when Lilly wouldn’t settle down he sang softly to her until she relaxed into sleep. Harris would smile at the feel of her reaching for the sound of Adam’s voice as the older wizard sang into his stomach. Harris’ favourite song that Adam sang to their daughter was one Adam had recorded long ago, when he worked making demos for a recording company, called “I Just Love You”. It was beautiful and the tender way Adam sang it always brought a tear to his eye. (27)

They also spent a lot of time talking. They swapped stories of their lives growing up. Harris’ always ended with Adam holding him protectively and whispering sweet words of comfort in his ear.

They learned a great deal about one another in that month together. And with everything he learned Harris fell that much more in love with the man who’d captured his fancy that day in the pie shop. Adam’s heart ached with every bad memory Harris recounted. He wanted nothing more than to take all the bad away and shelter his young lover in a cocoon of warmth and love and hide him away from the world. But he knew this was silly. Harris’ experiences made him who he was. Adam felt fortunate to have this affectionate, warm, caring person in his life. Harris’ strength and endurance earned Adam’s complete respect. And the man’s good heart in spite of it all earned Adam’s complete love and devotion.

Adam hoped the ones who let his angel go would realize, one day, exactly how big of a mistake they made. But he was still grateful for that mistake, because it allowed him to find the young wizard. One day, Adam thought. I just might thank them.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

The last week Adam and Harris spent alone they had moved out of the tiny worn down apartment in the Wonderland Apartments complex and moved up closer to Deva Circle. They now shared a penthouse suite in Zelda Heights on Cian Street. They were three floors down from top but thanks to magical engineering and architecture it was more like a house than an apartment. It had three floors to it. The middle floor was the main floor – the one entered from the front door. The greenhouse was on this level. Its’ ceiling was enchanted to not only look like the sky but selectively behave like it as well – meaning the natural sunlight would filter onto the plants but it was warded against unfavourable weather, such as snow or rain, which would be kept out.

The very spacious balcony ceiling was similarly enchanted, only the weather charm functioned fully. Harris happily imagined Lilly playing there. Most of the floor was covered in real grass with a small section of stone to set up a picnic table and barbecue. He could see her building snowmen in the winter and learning to skate on the seasonally charmed pool that was currently hidden under the magically retractable floor (the floor specifically keyed to either Harris or Adam’s exact magical signatures); and in the summer they could set up an enchanted sand pit for her to build sand castles and she could learn to swim.

There was a large front room where they could host parties, a full kitchen with a breakfast booth, a dining room, and a small guest bathroom all on the main floor.

Bedrooms were upstairs. The master room had two large walk in closets and a full private bathroom – complete with a hot tub, shower stall, a bath tub large enough to comfortably fit two and a large vanity mirror.

There were three smaller bedrooms and another full bathroom – minus the hot tub with a combined shower/bath. One was a guest room and they set up the one next to the master room as the nursery. The third, next to the nursery, was going to be Lilly’s play room when she got a little older.

Located on the bottom level was a music studio for Adam (and Kris when he visited) to work on music at leisure. There was also a den, a fourth bathroom (slightly larger than the guest bathroom), and a larger storage room. (28)

Harris was currently sitting in a rocking chair in the completed nursery, a hand on his stomach as Lilly slept, still for once. He took in the enchanted mural painted on the walls and ceiling – the glittery golden butterflies that flew through puffy white clouds on the ceiling and through the colourful garden scenery on all four walls; the light that looked like a softly glowing sun. When the light was switched off the butterflies would settle into constellation patterns on the ceiling and turn into silvery twinkling stars while the sun would turn into a dim, blue tinted moon that would shift through its monthly phases with the real moon.

There you are.” Harris turned from the butterflies to his mother. Harris and Adam had originally decided to hold off on the wedding until Lilly was born. She was expected to arrive in about two weeks time. But at their mothers’ insistence they’d relented and had eventually set the date for late this afternoon. Not many people would be in attendance for the ceremony, which would take place on the grassy area of their balcony. On Adam’s side were his parents, Leila and Eber, his brother Neil, Aunt Tanya, and of course Kris. Adam’s surrogate sister, Allison Iraheta (another Idol contestant from Adam and Kris’ year who was actually a muggleborn witch) had also been invited. She had met Harris the previous day and the two were already on their way to becoming very close friends. For Harris, Bella was in attendance, as well as Severus (who by now was like a quietly affectionate uncle), his new Aunt and Uncle: Narcissa and Lucius, and cousin and cousin-in-law: Draco and Astoria

The women had taken over the top floor to get ready for the ceremony upstairs with Harris while the men were directed to the bottom floor.

“Are you nervous?” Bella asked as she helped Harris straighten out his wedding robes. Everyone was wearing dress robes today (even Kris, to his amusement and horror).

“More about the ceremony than actually getting married,” Harris admitted. “I love Adam, with all my heart. I am looking forward to us officially belonging to one another.”

Bella smiled with happy tears in her eyes. “Even a blind person could easily see the bond you and Adam share. And very soon you shall start your own little family.” She kissed Harris’ forehead. “I am so proud of you, my son.” Harris beamed at this. No one had ever said anything like this to him before.

“Thank you,” Harris said. “For everything.”

-o0o-

“I never thought I’d ever live to see the day one of my sons actually got married,” Eber admitted as Adam helped him straighten out his dress robes.

Aw, c’mon dad,” Adam grinned. “Surely we’re not that old that you’d given up on us.”

“My boy, you are practically thirty,” Eber reasoned. “I thought for sure after your first album released that you’d be permanently married to your career.”

Adam scoffed. “Again, I’m not that old. And I only recently turned twenty-nine. I have almost ten more months before I’m thirty. Besides, in our years I can still be considered a teenager.”

“Its okay dad,” Neil piped up. “You can totally give up on me. I’m happy as a bachelor.” The younger man grinned.

You’re happy to be surrounded by the women who fall over each other to get to me when I let you work on my tour,” Adam pointed out.

Neil shrugged. “What’s the point of having a rock star brother if you can’t mooch off his rock star life?”

“So are you nervous yet?” Kris asked Adam.

“I’m always nervous when great things are about to happen,” Adam grinned.

-o0o-

According to the North American pagan tradition – which the Lambert family followed for most of their ceremonies – Adam and Harris were each to be presented into the marriage ring by their family’s matriarch. Leila and Adam stepped forward first. Adam was dressed in a modern stylized robe accented in silver, his mother dressed in semi-traditional deep blue flowing robes.

“I, Leila, do present my son Adam into the ring of marriage where he may take the hand of his intended so they may, of their union, go forth and create a complete life together,” she recited an interpretation of the ancient words. “I let go the bonds of motherhood, not to lose one son, but to gain another.” Adam stepped into the circle of colourful stones arranged in the grass next to where the Bonder, a young silver haired man from America, waited. Each stone was selected and placed to strengthen the marital bond and to ward against evils and temptations.

Bella and Harris stepped forward. Harris was dressed in similar robes to Adam but his were in a rich emerald green to match his eyes, while his mother was dressed in deep violet robes done in one of the classic Black family styles. “I, Bellatrix, do present my son Harris into the ring of marriage where he may take the hand of his intended so they may, of their union, go forth and create a complete life together,” she echoed Leila’s words. “I let go the bonds of motherhood, not to lose one son, but to gain another.” With a shy smile Harris stepped into the circle and stood facing Adam.

Take each other’s hands,” the Bonder instructed. “Adam and Harris have been presented into the marriage ring,” he began. “Do you, Adam, consent to the bond formed within this circle? Do you solemnly swear to uphold the honour of the bond you will share with your intended; to always love, trust in, and respect your bond mate; to endure and persevere through difficulties and mutually celebrate successes? And do you swear to do so for as long as you are bound to this earth?”

“I do,” Adam promised firmly, smiling tenderly down at his soon-to-be husband.

“And do you, Harris, consent to the bond formed within this circle? Do you solemnly swear to uphold the honour of the bond you will share with your intended; to always love, trust in, and respect your bond mate; to endure and persevere through difficulties and mutually celebrate successes? And do you swear to do so for as long as you are bound to this earth?”

“I do,” Harris promised happily, eyes locked on those grey-blues.

“Adam and Harris have freely consented to bond in the marriage ring,” the Bonder smiled. “They have sworn themselves to each other on their lives on the earth, and shall bind their souls in loving union. Adam, if you will, unlock the engagement necklace and present the bonding ring.” Adam reached up and unclasped the necklace he’d placed on Harris’ neck almost five months previously. He removed the crystal ring and took Harris’ left hand.

“Harris, I present this ring as a symbol of my love to you, and as a sign of our bond to others,” Adam said as he slid the ring with the black tourmaline and mica stone onto Harris’ ring finger. It automatically resized itself to fit comfortably.

“Now Harris, if you will, unlock the engagement necklace and present the bonding ring.”

Harris also reached up and unclasped the necklace around Adam’s neck. “Adam, I present this ring as a symbol of my love to you, and as a sign of our bond to others.” He slid the ring with the blue tourmaline stone onto Adam’s ring finger. The two rings and the stones in the marriage circle glowed red for a moment before returning to their natural colours and Harris felt a stirring in his heart and mind. He knew instinctively that this was the bond. He was suddenly very aware of a feeling that radiated from Adam and this feeling was aimed directly at him: unconditional love. His eyes filled with tears of happiness and as the Bonder announced that the bonding was complete, he leaned forward and captured his new husband’s lips with his own.

-o0o-

Everyone had gathered into the front room after the ceremony. Adam’s mother was deep in conversation with Bella about their granddaughter and things they still needed for her; Adam’s father and brother were discussing sports with Draco – both magical and muggle; Allison and Astoria were talking fashion with Lucius – strangely enough; while Severus, Tanya, and Narcissa were explaining different fields of magic to Kris.

Harris and Adam were curled up (as much as was possible) on a couch together testing out aspects of their new bond. They were able to sense basic emotions from each other and had a general idea of where those emotions were aimed at. Over time that sense would sharpen and eventually they’ll be able to sense all the complex layers in emotion their spouse felt. As the bond was grounded into the earth, they would be able to sense each other when they were in separate places – the intensity would dampen over distance. Adam knew this feature would come in handy when he travelled to the States and around the world for work when Harris and Lilly couldn’t join him. He’d at least know his husband was safe.

Adam had just gone into the kitchen to fetch more drinks for everyone when some additions to the party arrived. Harris finally felt that Sirius had done enough reconnecting to be allowed back into his home. Accompanying Sirius was his last living best friend, Remus Lupin.

Remus was one of the few people that Harris had been able to remain in contact with. Harris, however, didn’t want Remus to experience any more negative backlash on account of staying in contact so they’d not seen each other in about half a year. Harris thought he had enough to deal with when everyone thought low of him because the man was a werewolf. They’d kept regular contact with each other through the mail though. Harris nearly cried when he hugged the man in greeting. Also with Remus was Harris’ new cousin, Nymphadora Lupin (who still preferred to be called by her maiden name of Tonks instead of her first name). Their son Teddy toddled happily over to his Great Aunt Bella – who looked so much like his Nana – and started telling her stories in his mostly baby talk. Teddy had recently turned one.

Tonks’ parents, Andromeda and Ted Tonks, had arrived as well. Harris hugged his aunt and uncle and the newcomers were introduced to Adam’s family. Ted and Kris hit it off being the only muggles in the group.

“Sirius, there’s one more person I’d like you to meet,” Harris said as Adam re-entered the room behind Sirius. Adam had just magicked the tray of drinks onto the coffee table when Sirius turned around.

Oh Merlin, it’s you,” Sirius yelped startled.

- 30 -

Chapter Text

Oh Merlin, it’s you,” Sirius yelped startled.

Harris felt confusion radiating from Adam. “Hey, I know you from somewhere…” Adam said studying Sirius’ face.

You do?” Harris asked bewildered.

“Yeah… I knew Bella’s eyes looked familiar,” Adam said absently.

My eyes?” Bella asked equally perplexed.

Adam nodded and continued to study Sirius. “They look like his,” he tilted his head to Sirius. “But where…” Adam’s eyes widened and Harris felt a wave of shock. “Holy shit it’s you!” Adam suddenly pointed accusingly at Sirius and attempted to hide behind his much smaller husband. Sirius’ eyes widened and he held up hands in front of him in a placating show of surrender.

“What’s going on here?” Harris asked, looking between his husband and godfather in amusement and confusion. “Should I be worried?”

“You’re that guy!” Adam exclaimed.

“What guy?” Kris asked frowning and looking at Sirius.

Remember, I told you about that guy in that club in Australia,” Adam turned to Kris and explained. “During my solo tour.”

“Oh yeah,” Kris said as he remembered the story. “The older guy trying to score with all the hot twinks.”

“Twinks?” Harris asked befuddled.

“The one who got drunk and chased me around cracking jokes about partying down under,” Adam continued.

Harris looked at him then at Sirius in shock. “You what?

“Holy crap, I remember that!” Allison suddenly exclaimed.

“I- I- I- uh, I can explain,” Sirius stuttered as his face turned an alarming shade of embarrassed red.

“You molested my bass player!” Adam accused.

You made out with him on stage! I thought he was free game!” Sirius shouted in defence, pointing a finger at Adam.

Then you did a strip tease and tried to give him a lap dance!” Adam shot back.

“I was just dancing and I thought he was a girl!” Sirius practically screeched and blushed more.

After he screamed ‘Fuck off man, I’m straight! I don’t do guys!’ and ran off screaming,” Adam mentioned dryly, crossing his arms in front of him and raising an eyebrow.

“Well he sure screamed like a girl,” Sirius muttered defensively and crossed his own arms, partially turning away from Adam.

“He’s in therapy!” Adam shouted, throwing his arms up exasperatedly.

“Er… guys?” Harris said, a hand on his stomach, as he tried to get the two men’s attention.

“Oh my-” Bella exclaimed.

It wasn’t that bad,” Sirius pouted.

You snuck into my hotel room!” Adam hollered at the man.

I thought you were a chick and playing hard to get,” Sirius explained weakly.

Guys?” Kris tried to diffuse the two.

“You were rifling through my clothes!” Adam yelled.

I respect fashion!” Sirius justified, his cheeks still a furious shade of red.

“Hello! Can you hear me?” Harris waved an arm between the two taller men.

“You were doing a hula dance in a leopard print thong!” Adam pointed out.

“What are you suddenly the fashion police?” Sirius demanded. “And I thought you were a chick who was sharing a room with a guy.”

You have an ‘I (heart) Kradam’ tattoo on your ass,” Adam declared as if that clarified everything.

Oh, bloody hell,” Bella said exasperated.

Hey!” Harris bellowed.

“What?” both arguing men asked and turned to him.

“My water just broke,” Harris explained. The two blinked and stared at him uncomprehendingly. Harris rolled his eyes and shouted impatiently, “I’m in labour!”

Adam and Harris left Sirius sprawled on his back on the floor.

“I’ve never seen someone faint straight back like that before,” said Allison, impressed, as Severus nudged Sirius’ prone body with his foot. (29)

- 30 -

Chapter Text

Adam smiled down at the tiny face of his daughter as he held her securely in his arms the next evening. “You know, a lot of parents say this about their kids, but she is absolutely perfect,” he declared as he sat on the edge of the bed beside his husband. It had been an underwater birth in their private tub at home. (30) Narcissa had flooed Harris’ paediatric Healer the moment his water had broken and the man had arrived just as Adam and Sirius had broken up their argument.

“Mmhmm,” Harris agreed as Adam placed their daughter in his arms. He smiled tiredly as he stroked her thick red hair – the exact shade of Adam’s natural colour, and his Aunt Tanya’s. He traced the dusting of freckles on her nose and cheeks. “She looks just like you,” he observed. She was two weeks early but perfectly healthy.

“Not completely,” Adam disagreed with a grin. Lilly yawned and opened her eyes to reveal brilliant emerald green. “She’s got your eyes.”

“She is perfect, though, isn’t she?” Harris cuddled their daughter until his eyes began to droop. At this point Adam placed her in her bassinet, which was currently located near their bed. He crawled into bed behind his husband and snuggled the smaller man into his arms.

He lay in wonder long after Harris had fallen asleep. How swiftly his life had changed in the past five months… really it was only three from his point of view as he’d spent two months in a coma. But in less than half a year he went form a single twenty-eight year old musician only dreaming of the possibility of ever being able to have children (he’d turned twenty-nine while in the coma), to a very happily married man with a newborn daughter. And he had the next four months to complete his “recovery”. He planned to enjoy as much time with his little family as possible in that time.

-o0o-

Six months later…

The news of Adam’s sudden marriage made headlines. The public story stated that Adam had met Harris and his daughter while spending some time recovering in Britain, away from the American media. The two had formed an attachment that quickly grew into love – the kind you only find once in a lifetime. The two had married in a private ceremony when they had moved from Britain to Canada for Adam to continue another round of physiotherapy.

Adam had completed his “recovery time” two months ago and was now releasing a new album – which he’d actually worked on at his home studio in London during his extended vacation.

He was busy at work doing publicity for the album, entitled “The Curse’s Gift” – the title song about one misfortune turning a life around into something wonderful. This month he was doing a publicity tour through some European countries. At the moment he was in his home at Zelda Heights – specifically his own walk-in closet – getting dressed in a black mod-style wizarding outfit complete with glammed up make-up (including silver paint designs on his temples) in preparation for the first annual Muggle Entertainer’s Benefit Concert – the first concert in the wizarding world to ever feature muggle artists and muggle style performances. In the line up were Adam, Kris and Allison; Kelly Clarkson, David Cook, David Archuleta, Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, Matt Giraud, and Blake Lewis. (Actual muggles consisted of Kris, both Davids, Clay, and Matt.) It was being held to raise money for the Magical Students Education Fund which helped students who couldn’t afford the Hogwarts tuition fees to attend school.

“Leilatrix Rosalie Lambert-Black, you get your little butt back in here!” Adam grinned at the sound of his husband’s voice coming from the nursery and finished lacing up his boots. “Hey! Where did you go?” Adam quirked an eyebrow and turned around. He blinked in surprise.

“Now how did you get here, Little Miss?” Adam asked as six month old Lilly crawled, completely naked and incredibly quickly, across the rug towards him. He smiled and went to pick her up. “You are getting to be a little hell raiser, honey,” Adam said fondly as he carried his daughter back to her daddy.

“There you are,” Harris smiled exasperatedly. “Where you helping Papa get ready?”

“She was critiquing my choice of jacket, if her biting my collar was anything to go by,” Adam chuckled as he handed her back to Harris.

Well, I’ll just be thankful she hasn’t started vanishing her clothes like Teddy did at her age,” Harris commented wryly as he quickly dressed her in a mod-style outfit that was actually a mini version of what Allison was going to wear – they’d decided to name Allison and Kris as her godparents. “There,” Harris said when he was done. “Now you can play fashion critic with Papa,” he said and handed her to Adam, kissing his husband before going to change his own clothes. Adam then magicked his husband’s make-up to look like a toned down version of his (with the same silver paint designs).

The three headed to the prestigious Oracle Theatre on Deva Circle – which was also an exit into muggle London – perfect to host the first muggle concert in Wizarding London. They arrived at the apparation point at the centre of Deva Circle and walked up the purple carpet in front of the theatre. On both sides were wizarding reporters from all over the world snapping photos and trying to nab interviews – just like their muggle counterparts. Adam stopped at a few, the other performers at various points on the carpet doing the same.

When the performers were inside with the theatre patrons Allison squealed and bounded up to Harris. “There’s my little goddaughter!” she said, taking Lilly in her arms and bounding away again, getting lost somewhere in the large crowded lobby. She did this sort of thing so frequently that Harris and Adam didn’t worry anymore.

“You’d think Lilly was hers,” Adam joked.

“Well I’m not complaining,” Harris grinned. “She’s too convenient a babysitter.” Adam chuckled at this. He stopped short when he felt a familiar ripple in the air, one that he realized he hadn’t felt in a long time.

“Baby, why don’t you see how our muggle friends are doing,” Adam suggested. Harris kissed him before finding the muggle men looking curiously around and talking with Ted Tonks – who was now almost as good a friend to Kris as Adam was. When Harris was far enough away Adam turned and located the source of the magical signature he’d picked up.

There, standing along the edge of the far wall, was a group comprised mostly of red-heads. Among them were some new additions. The elder red-heads were obviously Mr and Mrs Arthur Weasley. The tall and rather cool looking one next to the gorgeous blonde holding a little red-headed girl was probably Bill Weasley with his wife Fleur and their daughter, whom Adam didn’t know the name of. A light brown haired woman stood next to Percy, his wife Penelope if Adam remembered correctly. And the Weasley twins were accompanied by their girlfriends – a Caucasian woman named Katie Bell and an African woman named Angelina Johnson who were both former quidditch team mates from Hogwarts. Ron and Hermione were standing near Ginny and her husband, Dean Thomas. But none of these people were the one that interested him.

Adam approached the one red-head who had come unaccompanied.

“Hello Charlie,” Adam said darkly. The dragon tamer turned around and a look of apprehension flashed momentarily in the shorter man’s blue eyes.

“Lambert,” Charlie grunted. The rest of the Weasleys watched him carefully, obviously ready in case of a threat.

“I should probably beat the shit out of you,” Adam said evenly. “But,” he held out his hand which Charlie shook, confusion clearly displayed on his freckled face. “Thank you.” At that Adam turned and walked away leaving a group of very confused Weasleys.

“What was that about?” Harris, who’d seen the exchange, asked sceptically.

“Nothing Baby,” Adam grinned and wound his arms around his husband’s waist. “Just feeling fortunate to have you in my life is all.” Harris smiled and leaned his head back on Adam’s shoulder. Adam had realized about three months back what it was that was different about Charlie Weasley, even familiar about the man.

It was Lilly.

Charlie had cornered Harris in between some shops in a small alley no one bothered with one day two months earlier when Adam had gone back to the states to fine tune his album.

We can go away from here, Harry,” Charlie said as he tenderly caressed the younger wizard’s cheek. “You could leave him and we can raise our child together, you and I.” He tried to kiss Harris but the younger man turned away.

Even if I wanted to, which I never will,” Harris stated firmly. “It wouldn’t matter if he died. We are bound together as long as we are bound to the earth.” He brushed Charlie’s hand off his arm and started to walk away.

But-”

But what Charlie?” Harris asked as he spun back around. “The baby isn’t even yours.”

Do you think I’m stupid, Harry? Like Ron?” Charlie sneered. “I knew you were a virgin with men the moment I started to fuck you,” he spat.

Yes. Fuck me,” Harris stated. “You never wanted me Charlie. You only wanted a cheap thrill… another notch in the bedpost. The child was yours in the beginning, I’ll admit that. But from the fourth month she was still in my body she was his.”

She doesn’t even look a thing like him,” Charlie argued and shook his head. “She’s got Weasley written all over her with all that red hair and freckles.”

Harris shook his own head. “She looks exactly like him, Charlie,” Harris clarified. “With my eyes. And she’s not a Weasley red.”

You’re delusional,” Charlie insisted. “I have rights as her father. I’ll sue for custody.”

Harris scoffed. “ Go ahead. Try. You’ll only find out I’m right.”

What you claim is impossible,” Charlie persisted.

Harris shook his head again. “Not impossible. But y our mother can explain it better than I can.” Harris turned and walked away, never offering even the slightest glance back.

-o0o-

The crowd cheered as Adam took the stage once more. The night had been a success. Even the muggles who performed were greatly admired by the wizarding audience. Adam had opened the show with a performance of the song “Voodoo” from his first album. It was now the end of the night and he had one more performance in mind.

“This last song is not one that was originally done by me, or any of the performers you’ve seen here tonight,” he explained. “It was recorded a few years ago by a Canadian band called Theory of a Deadman. And its basic message is one that I hold dear to me. I’d like to dedicate this song to my wonderful husband. Harris, you’ve been the single greatest thing that has ever happened in my life. Thanks to you I get to enjoy the blessings of marriage, and experience the miracle fatherhood – which I hope will be repeated more times in the future. Baby, this song is for you. Here’s “All or Nothing”.” (31)

Behind Adam on the stage his keyboardist began to play the opening notes of the song.

When I first saw you standing there,
You know, was a little hard not to stare.
So nervous when I drove you home,
I know, being apart's a little hard to bear.
Sent some flowers to your work, in hopes
That I'd have you in my arms again.
We kissed that night before I left, still
Now it was something I could never forget

You've got all that I need

Looking at all or nothing
Babe it's you and I,
With you I know that I'm
Good for something
So let's go and give it a try.
We've got our back against the ocean,
It's just us against the world.
Looking at all or nothing,
Babe it's you and I.
Looking at all or nothing,
Babe it's you and I…

- 30 -

THE END

Chapter Text

Hello Readers,

I have recently made the decision to give this story a major re-write. As a result I shall be removing all completed chapters and reposting new ones it their place under this same URL.

If you wish to keep this version in its current form, you have a few weeks to use the download feature provided by AO3. I’m not exactly sure when I shall be starting to post the new chapters, but it will be sometime in August 2019 at the earliest.

Thank you.

Sincerely, your author.

P.S.: Thank you for your support of my story in its current form.