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Meant To Be

Chapter Text

He runs. That is all he can do.

Run.

Run. And not get caught.

He has been separated from his friends while shopping in Hogsmeade when a raid suddenly happened and now he is lost. He doesn’t know where he is, but he can’t stop to figure it out. He curses his stupidity for letting his guard down. With all the recent attacks lately, he should have known better. But there’s nothing he can do now.

They are after him, and they are close. He could feel it. He has been lucky so far to have gotten away for so long. If they catch him, there is no telling what they might do to him. Especially if they take him to HIM. He shudders at the thought of having to come face to face with HIM; there might not be a next time if he gets caught.

Trees are everywhere, lining his vision and hiding him from view but also hiding his enemies. He must be wary and cautious to not alert them of his location. He must get to safety before they find him. He hopes that his friends are okay, that they got away to safety.

The magic in the air is thick and heavy from the constant confrontations that he has had with them. Hiding where ever he can and fighting when he has to, taking out as many as he can but there are too many for him to handle he has to get to safety. If only there weren’t any anti-apparation wards up he would be able to leave sooner, but instead, he has to find where it ends.

Adrenaline vibrates throughout his very being, enabling him to continue on, but he is getting tired and he is starting to slow down. He finally stops to catch his breath and hides behind a thick bush; keeping an eye out for any sign of movement. He peeks out from behind the bush and when the cost is clear he moves quickly behind a tree and then another. Just a bit more and he is clear to leave this forest. He can feel where the ward ends just a few feet way.

A flash of light is all the warning he gets as a spell hits him in the back, catching him unaware. I should have been more careful, he thinks as he turns over to look at them, white masks glowing in the darkness, smirking at him in triumph. He tries to fight off the effects of the curse, but he is unable. Harry Potter blinks slowly up at them before giving in to unconsciousness.

xxx

The next time he woke up he was in an underground room. I must be in the dungeons, he thought to himself. He thought back to what had happened and curses his stupidity again. I should have been more careful. How the hell am I going to get out of this one? He felt around in his pockets and as he expected his wand was gone. Damn it all!

Harry looked around more carefully and noticed that the room he was in had no windows or a door for that matter; just brick walls. How the hell do I get out of here? On second thought, how did I get in? He felt around on all four walls and felt nothing. The room was cold and bare, but there was a draft coming from somewhere that was making him shiver so there had to be a door somewhere, he just couldn’t see it.

“You can’t keep me in here,” he shouted, circling around in confusion, “I’ll find a way out and get away.” There was no answer. He followed the draft and guessed as to where the door was. He presses against the wall a few times but nothing happens. So all he had to do was wait.

Harry must have fallen asleep because the next thing he knew the sound of moving stone was waking him up. He jumped up and prepared himself to make his escape.

Shrieking laughter met his ears not from in front of him like he thought it would, but behind him. “Shit!” he cursed and tried to turn around, but a spell caught him in the back. Not again, he managed to think before everything went dark again.

Chapter Text

Harry woke suddenly like he had been dunked in water and sat up, blinking stupidly and looking around. He was in a big dark room, seemingly underground, but there were windows, only covered. The walls were wet looking and covered in moss and vines that were coming through the broken windows. Dust was everywhere. It looked like it hadn’t had a proper cleaning in years. Next, he noticed that he was surrounded.

“Well, well, well. Look who's finally decided to join us.”

Harry tensed at the familiar voice. The voice that was in his nightmares, the voice that belonged to the man who took everything from him and continued to make his life a living hell. Harry glanced up at the red eyed snake-like man he had last seen in the Department of Mysteries, “Voldemort,” he spat. “Where have you taken me?”

“Now Harry. Mind your manners,” Voldemort said with a smirk while his followers snickered in amusement, “There’s no need to be rude.”

”Fine,” Harry replied dryly and gave as much as a dramatic bow as he could from his kneeling position, “My lord. Where am I?”

“Mock me all you want, Potter. I care not. But I will answer your question. This,” Voldemort said gesturing around him, “Is my ancestral home.”

“Really?” he asked looking around at the rotting walls and cracked stone, “Doesn’t look like much,” Harry muttered quietly.

“This is also the place of your demise,” Voldemort said ignoring him, “You will die tonight,” he said with obvious glee.

“You’ve been saying that for the past 10 years and I’m still standing,” Harry said with a smirk.

Voldemort scowled, “That will end, now.” He said flatly raising his wand.

Harry panicked, he couldn’t die here. He had to live. He was the one who had to survive. “Wait! You’re not going to let me fight? Isn’t that proper etiquette?”

Voldemort paused, “Your insolence is frustrating. But you are correct. Not that it will make a difference. Give him his wand,” he ordered.

Bellatrix stepped forward and threw his wand at him, which Harry caught expertly. He looked down at his wand and wrinkled his nose in disgust and made a show of wiping his wand on his robes, making her shriek in outrage.

“Bella,” Voldemort warned and she backed down content on just sending him a nasty glare. “Now,” he said stepping down from his dais, “We will begin.”

“You made a big mistake,” Harry said getting into his fighting stance.

“We shall see,” Voldemort said gesturing to his Death Eaters to stand back.

They both stared at each other for a minute before Voldemort made his move. He pointed his wand at him and opened his mouth to say a spell. But Harry was quicker. “Deducere laquearia,” he said and pointed his wand upwards and a jet of orange light slammed into the ceiling.

Voldemort’s eyes widened in anger “NO!!” he shouted before the ceiling collapsed between them.

“Like I said, big mistake,” Harry called out and turned and ran to the double doors, blasting debris and Death Eaters out of his way when they stepped in front of him. Harry had a bad feeling something was going to happen if he stayed here any longer. He had to find a way out.

Thank god the lesser Death Eaters were at the back because they were easy enough to get rid of, but where they lack in skill they made up in numbers. Damn it to hell! Is there no end to them? He thought as he stunned another two making a nice pile. Finally, finally! He saw a clear passage to the doors and hopefully to freedom. He ran forward keeping the door in his sights as he ducked and weaved in and out of the Death Eaters and their spells and curses.

Harry ran through the doors and closed and sealed the doors together. That should hold them off for a bit. He thought and turned around, “Ah fuck!” he hissed as he looked down the large stretch of hallway with doors on either side leading to god knows where. “This is not good,” he muttered and jumped as they started banging on the door behind him. “I guess I’ll just have to get started then.”

He further down the hallway and picked a random door on his left and opened it, hoping it was the right one.

Chapter Text

“Catch him!” Voldemort cried out and pushed a Death Eater near him out of his way. He watched as Harry disappeared on the other side of the room through the door angrily. He had been fooled yet again by the brat. But as soon as he got his hands on him, there would be nothing stopping him. “What did I say?” he shouted as his followers struggled to get through the mess in the middle of the floor. Voldemort rolled his eyes and blasted the rubble away. And the Death Eaters immediately started clambering to obey his orders. I’m surrounded by idiots! He thought and went to find Potter to kill him once and for all.

xxx

Harry ran up yet another set of stairs and down a corridor, Shit. How big is this place, he thought as he looked behind him and blasted a Death Eater over the banister that was behind him. He didn’t get to stop and admire all the exquisite drapery and art work that adorned the walls because he was busy trying to find the way out. But from what he could see at a glance, they looked very old and expensive. Harry was, of course, lost as the door he went through was the wrong one, as the one after that, and the one after that. It only served to get him deeper into the house and even more lost and the Death Easter were catching up to him having the advantage of knowing the house. And of course, Voldemort was right behind them as well. He could hear him taunting him.

Turning down another corridor he came to a set of magnificent double doors. There was nowhere else to go as it was a dead end. In we go, he thought and tugged on the door handle; but it was locked. Damn it! he swore.

“There is nowhere you can go, Potter,” Voldemort whispered caressing his wand, “Just give up.”

Harry whipped around and glared at him and tried a silent Alohomora charm but it didn’t work either. He glanced at Voldemort and saw him smirk as he advanced on him. Harry growled in frustration. –Open up damn you!- he hissed at the door.

Miraculously the door opened. Huh, he thought and grabbed the door and slipped in and slammed it closed as a spell hit the door. With a swift look around he concluded, along with the information of a Parseltongue password, that this was Voldemort’s bedroom. Great, just my luck it has to be HIS room. True to his Slytherin name, the room was done up in green and silver. There was a wardrobe in the corner, a desk against the wall, and a large bed in the center. It was pretty nice considering it was the room of a Dark Lord. Then again he would want the best.

Harry quickly dove under the bed as an angry Lord Voldemort opened the door and closed it behind him.

“Now Harry. It really isn’t polite to go into people’s rooms without permission.”

“Then you should have a better password,” Harry replied and ducked as a spell came flying at him. “You know, it’s also not polite to try and kill someone while having a conversation either, but since when does that matter to you,” Harry replied coming out on the other side of the bed.

After exchanging a few more words they started throwing spells at each other; each trying to distract the other. Voldemort was trying to get closer to him and Harry was trying to edge toward the window in hopes that he could jump out and escape. But it seemed that Voldemort read his mind because the window locked up tight and obviously wouldn’t budge. Harry cursed. Now the only way was through the door…on the other side of the room. He wasn’t the only one getting frustrated. Voldemort was getting pissed that he couldn’t get Harry because he kept moving around, which made him miss and make holes in the walls, and with his anger, his concentration started to waver.

“What’s wrong Tom, not willing to mess up your possessions?” Harry taunted, noticing that he was being very careful on where he aimed but it wasn’t working. Harry, on the other hand, had no problem and banished several books, a lamp and a vase toward his enemy without any remorse.

Voldemort snarled and lunged at him taking Harry off guard. Harry stumbled back and threw a half finished spell at him in defense. The spell hit Voldemort in the arm making him drop his wand but he held onto Harry in a tight grip. Before his eyes, the snake-like visage that was Voldemort dissolved to the very handsome form of an older looking Tom Riddle.

Luckily for Tom, his Death Eaters weren’t allowed into his room so they didn’t see his true form. He only used his Voldemort appearance to scare his followers into obeying him. It wouldn’t do well for them to find out. But unfortunately, Harry did.

Harry was staring in shock at the very human looking Voldemort. The one, who a second ago, was bald, pale as death, had slits for a nose, red eyes and had a forked tongue. Now he had a full head of jet black hair, pale skin but not in an unhealthy way, blue eyes with a swirl of red in them, and a normal looking nose.

“What’s wrong Potter? Cat got your tongue?” Tom smirked.

Harry flushed and looked away from the gorgeous person before him. It was just his luck that he had come to terms with his sexuality just recently, after years of trying to deny it; only to be confronted so soon with something so breathtaking, who happened to be his enemy. Why god, why! Are you punishing me? I’m sorry okay, so would you stop throwing me into these sorts of situations. It’s enough that my life is always at risk, now you have to mess with my libido too. Harry cast around in his mind for something clever to say. “Wow. Using a Muggle catch phrase. You’ve sunk to a new low,” Harry replied and winced internally. That sounded lame to his own ears.

Tom pressed Harry harder into the wall, “I don’t think you realize the position you’re in, Potter.”

Harry shuddered slightly at his words. He had noticed, how could he not. Tom had him pressed against the wall, with a hand gripping his shirt at the collar, his knee in between his legs and he was leaning very close to him. Wrong kind of position, wrong kind of position! His mind screamed trying to stop himself from reacting, but his body didn’t seem to be cooperating.

Tom’s smirk turned into a frown as he looked into Harry’s flushed face and then glanced downward. He shifted his knee up higher into Harry’s slight erection that was only getting harder with each passing moment. Harry gasped slightly and his flush darkened as he started fighting to get out of Tom’s grip.

“Who would have thought,” Tom said in delight, masking his confusion.

“Shut up!” Harry snapped and started struggling harder. Damn you stupid hormones!

“Ah. But I said nothing.”

“Just sh-” Harry cut off as a sharp pain shot through his scar. It was nothing like he felt before, it kept building and building until it felt like his head was going to split open. Like something inside of him was trying to break out. The only difference was that it wasn’t only his pain to share.

Tom let him go and gripped his head in pain. It was so great that it made his eyes water. At first, he thought that Potter was doing something to him and that made him angry, but the anger only made it worse. Plus he saw that Harry was going through the same type of pain.

After a few minutes, the pain started to recede and they were able to breathe properly. But in replace of the pain came a strong feeling of longing and desire that they were having trouble controlling. When they looked at each other, it was as if through a haze. Everything was disoriented.

Harry pressed himself back into the wall as Tom stepped closer to him with a predatory look on his face and planted his hands on either side of his head, “What?” Harry asked trying to sound intimidating and failing miserably. His voice came out husky and raw with need, having the opposite effect on the man before him.

“What did you do?” Tom hissed trying to hold onto his anger and push away the lust that was making his mind foggy.

“I didn’t do anything,” Harry retorted angrily. They both winced as brief pain struck them. “I thought you did it. It usually is.” Tom didn’t answer just kept staring at him. “W-what happened?”

“I have no idea,” Tom whispered honestly.

Harry shivered at the honesty in his voice and also the huskiness. It was doing things to him and he didn’t understand why. “Why are you staring at me like that?”

“Like what?” Tom asked inching closer to him. It didn’t look like he noticed he was doing it.

“Like…that…” Harry whispered breathlessly. Tom was way too close for comfort.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Tom said totally ignoring his panicked expression.

Harry made a disbelieving and shocked sound in the back of his throat.

“Don’t l-”

Harry was cut off as Tom’s lips met his in a passionate kiss and his mind went blank.

Chapter Text

Tom’s hands were everywhere in a matter of seconds. One was wrapped tightly around him pulling him close and the other was up his shirt running fingers over his skin. Harry’s hands were like wise busy, clutched tightly in Tom’s dark locks, pulling him closer. His wand lay forgotten at his feet.

Neither of them could even begin to understand what was happening. First they were at each other’s throats trying to kill each other and now Harry was lying underneath Tom on the magnificent bed, kissing each other like no tomorrow.

Wait? When did that happen? Harry thought frantically. Stop! Stop! What am I doing?!

He tried to move his arms to push him away, they wouldn’t budge. He tried to move his mouth away, which was currently occupied by Tom’s tongue, but he couldn’t. No matter how he tried he couldn’t move. Well he could move, but it was like someone else was in control of his body. He was an observer in his own body, and what made it worse, he was enjoying it.

He tried to reason with himself that it was just his hormones acting up, he wasn’t really enjoying this. There was no way. It was a spell he was under. But it still didn’t make sense. Why was Tom doing this? Tom hated him, and the feeling was mutual. And when the hell did he become Tom? This was Voldemort! Vol-de-mort, get it straight Potter, he thought but his thoughts were starting to get all jumbled together.

Again he tried to reason. Voldemort was old; he probably hasn’t been laid in a while. This is probably the most action he’s had in years.

…wait. Th-then that would mean…

“No…” he whimpered as Tom started attacking his neck. “S-Stop…why…?”

Tom lifted his head with effort and looked at Harry beneath him, lust and fear in his green eyes, “Can’t” he whispered huskily and leaned down to capture Harry’s lips again.

That was when he realized that Tom was having the exact same problem. They had no control of their actions. They could do nothing but give in. But he didn’t care! Voldemort was the smarter one, the stronger one. He should be able to stop. Why wasn’t he stopping?

Harry leaned back against the pillows as his body gave in to its desires, he had no choice in the matter, it was not obeying him. The only indication that he did not want this was the tears gathering into his eyes.

Feeling Harry relax Tom started to eagerly unbutton Harry’s shirt to reveal the tanned skin beneath. He slid his hands down the soft flesh and lent down to capture a pink bud into is mouth.

Harry gasped and arched his back upward and tightened his grip in Tom’s hair. Never had he felt anything like this, it was almost enough to drive him over the edge. But it wasn’t nearly enough. His body was on fire and he wanted more. His hands blindly groped for Tom’s shirt and started to unbutton it, making a few of them fly off in his haste.

Tom released his nipple and tore the shirt off and flung it aside throwing Harry’s shirt along with it. Harry allowed his fingers to trail over Tom’s shoulders and down the toned muscles of his back, feeling how they moved when Tom shifted around.

Tom grabbed the roaming hands and pinned them above Harry’s head with one hand while the other went down toward his jeans. In three seconds flat, Harry’s pants and boxers were stripped off, leaving him exposed in all his glory.

Harry had enough sense left in him to blush as Tom’s gaze seemed to see straight through him. Harry groaned in delight as hands slid up his thighs and slowly and gently cupped him. Heat pooled in his lower stomach and quickly spread, steadily getting hotter and hotter until it felt like he was burning. He arched his hips and let his legs fall open, “T-Tom,” he whimpered, “Hurry!” What exactly he needed to be hurried he had no idea, but Tom seemed to know.

With Harry finally exposed to him, Tom muttered a spell and hastily slid a finger deep inside of the puckered hole, then added another and another. Harry winced as he was ruthlessly prepared, but he didn’t care. He needed it, but he needed something more, something bigger. The heat was really starting to burn and it was not going away. His mind was a blur and he had no clue as to what exactly he wanted. Only for the burning to stop.

Where was it? What did he need? What did- oh yes! That’s it! He needed that! Harry moaned and reached blindly for the man in front of him. No! I don’t want that! What am I thinking? Stop! Yet his hand reached out to touch the bulge in Tom’s pants.

Tom threw his own pants and undergarments away from him and onto the floor, watching greedily as Harry reached for him and successfully grabbed his hardened erection and started pulling. Tom groaned and batted the hand away and climbed over Harry, bringing his hips up at the same time. Harry easily arranged himself below him into a comfortable position with his legs draped over the side of Tom’s hips; open and exposed. N-No! No, no, no! Harry cried in his mind as Tom spread his cheeks apart. Not like this, please, please not like this!

Tom let his eyes slide over the form beneath him and his hazed mind could only form one word, Beautiful. He forced the thought away, No, that’s not it. What am I doing? This is Potter! Why isn’t my body obeying me? I command you to stop! Tom winced slightly as the burning made his cock throb with need, a reminder of what he was supposed to be doing. He lifted up Harry’s hips a little higher and lined himself up with Harry’s entrance. He whispered a spell to coat himself and thrust into Harry’s body quickly and didn’t stop until he was fully inside.

Harry screamed in pain and pleasure as Tom forcibly penetrated him. He threw his head back and arched his hips higher so that he was completely filled. In side his mind; he cried.

Panting, he gripped Tom’s shoulders with his fingers and wrapped his legs tightly around Tom’s waist and waited for Tom’s next movement. He didn’t care at all about what he was doing only that this felt good and right.

Tom moaned loudly as the tight heat enclosed around him. He paused and took few deep breaths. He had half a mind to pull out in disgust and throw the boy to the floor and torture as he had planned to do, but instead he stayed still and allowed Harry to relax to get used to his size.

Harry gripped Tom’s arms and leaned his head back to calm his racing heart. He could hardly believe that the Dark Lord was inside him; kissing his neck like they did this all the time. He was revolted, yet at the same time utterly satisfied. The burning had gone away and his head ache had stopped too. He couldn’t understand it. Harry closed his eyes and allowed himself to revel in the feeling he got from the attention.

Tom pulled back slightly to look down at the figure underneath him and regarded him for a minute before he leaned back down and captured the pink lips again. Tongues danced around each other as the kiss deepened, growing more and more demanding with each passing second. They only parted for air, only to go back for more.

Finally pulling away Tom lifted Harry’s hips a little higher and pulled himself out and slammed back in. Harry threw his head back and cried out in pain. He had not been expecting that and it hurt like hell, but that didn’t seem to bother Tom as he did it again and again. Tears spilled from Harry’s eyes and down his cheeks as he lay there allowing Tom to do what he wanted. It wasn’t like he had a choice. A gentle touch on his face surprised him and he opened his eyes to look up into ruby red orbs.

Tom gently wiped away the tears from Harry’s face and leaned down to kiss him again, “Relax,” he whispered.

Harry swallowed and tried to do as he was told. After a few minutes his body unwillingly relaxed and Tom was able to move more freely inside him. He gasped and arched his hips as a sudden pleasure shot through him. Never had he felt anything like it, not even when he was touching himself. He was so aware of his body like never before; his nipples were hard, his erection was so stiff it hurt, he could feel the feather light touches on the inside of his thighs, he could feel the muscles on his stomach and in his legs straining, but most of all he could feel Tom’s thick cock sliding him and out of him; and it felt so good!

Harry reached up and wrapped his arms around Tom’s neck and pulled him down for a deep kiss. Tom allowed himself to be pulled in, but took control of the demanding kiss. Their tongues dueled as they moved together roughly. Heated kisses and the constant sound of slapping skin on skin was the only thing heard throughout the room.

Tom pulled his mouth away and kissed up the barred neck until he reached his ear, -Tell me what you want- he hissed huskily.

Harry groaned and closed his eyes lost in the pleasure. The hissing words of parseltongue didn’t help any either. “T-Touch me.”

“I am.”

Harry tossed his head side to side, -More-

Tom gently racked the back of his nails over the inside of Harry’s thighs and upward toward the aching cock, but didn’t touch it, over and over again as he pounded into him. Watching his own thick member was engulfed into the tight heat. Tom finally gave in and started to lightly touch the base of Harry’s cock.

Harry screamed in pleasure as nails dug into him and he arched his hips higher. Tom seemed to be waiting for this because he slammed in even harder. “Ahhhh! Ha ha. Oh Fuck! Oh God! Again!” he cried out and Tom repeated the action. Harry tightened his grip around Tom’s neck and spread his legs even wider, “Ah ha ha ha. God Tom. Faster. Faster!”

Tom growled low in his throat and braced himself with one hand beside Harry’s head and the other holding the hips in place. He then started to slam himself even faster inside the begging body beneath him. “You want this? Do you?”

“Yes! Mmm…I want it,” Harry panted, “Ohh, Ahhh, I want it!”

After a few minutes of this blissful torture Harry started to feel really hot in the pit of his stomach, “Oh God! Ohhh! Tom. I’m going to cum, I’m going to cum!”

Tom glanced down at Harry’s face covered in sweat and eyes shut tight in ecstasy and felt his own orgasm close at hand. He reached between them and took hold of Harry’s weeping cock and started to pump it in time with his thrusts.

Harry gasped and clung tighter, “Oh shit. Oh Shit! I’m- I’m going to- Ahhhhhh!!!!” he screamed as he gave in to his body’s wish and came.

Tom gritted his teeth trying to reign in his control unsuccessfully, as Harry tightened around him. He let go of the now slightly softened member and took hold of Harry’s hips and slammed himself in deeply a few more times and releasing his seed deep inside Harry’s body.

Tom panted as he finally stopped his movement and looked down at Harry; who wasn’t moving. He frowned in confusion and rubbed at his eyes which were getting blurry, he blinked as his vision swam and tried to stay alert, but it was futile. What have I done? He thought as he fell sideways and his vision went black.

Chapter Text

Tom paced back and forth, occasionally throwing a glance to the bed, but still, he came up with nothing. He had just woken up next to his enemy of all people after having the most brilliant sex he had ever had, with said enemy. He would never, under any normal circumstances touch Potter. Something happened, but he didn’t know what and it agitated him to no end. He knew Potter had nothing to do with it because it was highly advanced magic and there was no way he could do something like that. That, and there had been such excruciating pain in his head. It’s never happened to him before only to Potter, originating in his scar. That pain had then receded and turned into the most overwhelming need to claim the boy in front of him.

Tom walked over to the side of the bed and looked down at Harry who was still sleeping. He gently moved his hair aside and stared down at the lightning bolt shaped scar he had given him over 20 years ago. Could that be the origin? He thought he had to find out. He went to his bookshelf and dusted off the plaster that had gotten on the books in the fight earlier; he took out several books and set out to find out what exactly the hell happened. But first, he had to get rid of his followers that were making an awful racket at his door.

xxx

Harry blinked his eyes open slowly, feeling dizzy and disoriented. He shifted himself over slightly and felt a dull ache in his backside, it didn’t hurt but it wasn’t comfortable either. Moving his hands over the material underneath him he noticed that he was on a bed, the silk sheets caressing his naked skin. Naked? He shot up on the bed looking around wildly. Why was he…?

Everything came back to him. Oh my god. I-I…

A movement caught his attention and he whipped his head around to see the infamous Dark Lord sitting on the ledge of the window holding a book and glaring at him with hate filled red eyes.

Harry looked down at himself and realized his hands were shaking. He wrapped his arms around himself to try and stop them but it only made it worse. He felt so violated, so used, so…disgusted with himself that he allowed that…that monster to touch him. He knew it was consensual, but that was what made it worse, so much worse.

He did something to me, I know it!

“…er…”

H-He made me, he made me l-like it. I would never!

“…tter…Potter!”

Harry snapped back to awareness when a hand grabbed his shoulder. He slapped the hand away and looked up with wild eyes, “DON’T TOUCH ME!!”

Tom stepped back in shock at Harry’s reaction. He had been preparing himself for what would happen when he woke up, different scenarios on what he would say depending on Potter’s reaction, but this was not one of them. An angry and pissed off one he could deal with but not a crying one.

“Oh god, oh god!” Harry whispered curling into himself and bringing the sheets tighter around him so he was covered. Tears unbidden started to cascade down his face as the full impact of what he had done sunk in.

“Potter don’t you dare go down that road. I did not rape you!”

“Yes, you did! I didn’t want it!” Harry cried.

“Damn it, Potter. I may be a Dark Lord, but I do not rape people. I do not need to force myself on someone to fulfill my needs. So stop those thoughts right now!”

“Well, you good as did. I know you did something, I know it!” Harry shouted back wrapping his arms tighter around himself. “You made me-”

“I did not!” Tom shouted, “I couldn’t control myself, and neither could you, am I right?” he said and picked up the book he had been reading and put it in front of him.

Harry backed away when Tom came closer, but he only set a book down in front of him opened to a page. He looked up at Tom, who had backed away from the bed to look out the window.

“Read it.”

Harry grabbed the edge of the book with one hand to bring it closer while the other held onto the blankets covering him.

Soul mate bond—this bond is the strongest of all bonds and once activated it cannot be undone. The two participants who the spell has been cast over are strongly compelled to be with each other until the bond is able to complete itself. If they do not complete the bond a strong yearning for the other will not go away until the bond is completed. Said yearning will be associated with constant itching, headaches, burning sensation, irregular breathing, etc. For the spell to completely work both participants have to accept the bonding or the same yearning will occur. Said bond is usually used for arranged marriages or to stop feuding families by inter-marrying.

“What does this mean?” Harry asked.

“It means that the connection that we have through your scar compelled us to…compensate the bond.”

“What bond? We didn’t cast any bond spell?” Harry said with mounting hysteria.

“I know that!” Tom snapped, then sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He wouldn’t accomplish anything if he yelled. “This is the closest thing that I can find of what happened.”

“Why now? This never happened before.”

“My guess is because we were never alone together. We never really have before,” Tom said turning away to look out the window.

Harry opened his mouth to disagree but closed it when he realized Tom was right. Every time they met someone was there with them. Quirrell, Ginny, the Basilisk, his friends, Death Eaters, the Order, Dumbledore…This was the first time the two of them had been alone.

Tears filled his eyes again. Did this mean he was bonded to Voldemort forever? He didn’t want that. He had been waiting for the right person, the right man so he could give himself to him. And now…now…

“Quit your crying already! I’ve had enough of it!” Tom snapped, truthfully the tears scared him a little.

But Harry only cried harder, “Shut up! You don’t understand! I didn’t want this to happen,” he ended in a whisper.

“Like I did? Do you think I would want to sleep with someone like you? Don’t make me laugh,” Tom sneered.

Harry gasped as he felt like someone stabbed him in the heart, “I didn’t want my first time to be with a monster!” he shouted back.

Tom jerked back as if stung, but quickly hid it “You were a virgin? How pathetic.”

“To you maybe. But now I’m not thanks to you. What? Did you lose yours in your 5th year?”

“It was 4th year if you’re so interested. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Yes, it does mean something! Not like you can understand. Now no one will touch me, especially after you raped me!”

“I did not rape you!”

“It sure feels like you did. Now I’m bonded to you!”

“We are not bonded,” Tom said through gritted teeth.

“But you said-” Harry started confused.

“I said it was the closest thing to what happened, not that it was,” Tom said, but now he felt uncertain.

Tom looked at the vulnerable boy on the bed, blankets wrapped tight around him. His hair still rumpled and lips still bruised from their lovemaking. But it was the eyes that got to him. The green eyes were filled with tears and made them look glassy. They were full of despair and disgust. The tears fell down his pale cheeks and his lips trembled as he shook with uncontrolled sobs. He looked so lost and broken. This wasn’t the Potter he knew. Tom was startled to feel a twinge in his chest. Was this guilt? Anger built up inside of him and he shouted, “Get out!”

Harry jumped and cowered in fear at the sound of Tom’s angry voice. He backed up away from him as he approached the bed until he hit the headboard and had nowhere to go. Tom grabbed the blankets and tugged them violently out of Harry’s grasp and he let out a startled cry.

Tom whipped out his wand and pointed it at Harry, “Get out now before I change my mind!”

Harry froze like a deer caught in the headlights. Was he letting him go? He didn’t understand why, but he was too frightened by the figure towering over him to ask or to even move. The book that had been tittering on the side of the bed when Tom moved the covers finally toppled over the side and landed on the floor with a thud. The sound snapped Harry out of his frozen state and he hurriedly found his clothes and put them on, ignoring the sharp pain in his backside and the trembling of his fingers. He found his wand where he had last dropped it and looked to Tom one last time, looking to see if he was really letting him go.

“GO!”

Harry spun around and pushed open the door and took off down the hallway. As he ran he vaguely noticed that there was no Death Eaters in sight, but he was too focused on not panicking and falling into a crying mess and to get out of there to be really surprised. He just needed to get out. He finally found some stairs and quickly ran down them and got to the entrance hall. He pushed open the heavy double doors and was immediately touched by the cold morning air. He didn’t waste any time in his surroundings and he ran down the front steps and through the front gate and down the dirt path.

And he kept running and did not look back.

Chapter Text

By mid-afternoon, Harry finally arrived at the main road of the Burrow. Despite being completely fine when he left Voldemort’s manor that morning, his journey back was rough and left him haggard with scratches all over and rips and tears in his clothes. He had originally thought to just go home, but he knew it would be better to just come here. Plus he wasn’t exactly thinking straight. He slumped against the door and knocked; the voices inside quieted and footsteps came close to the door.
 
“Who is it?” sounded Mrs. Weasley’s voice.
 
“It’s Harry,” he croaked out.
 
“Harry!” she exclaimed. Harry heard her hand grab the door knob. 
 
“Wait, Molly. We have to make sure,” came her husband’s voice, “Harry?”
 
“Yeah,” he answered tiredly, pressing his face into the cool wood.
 
“What did the twins and Ron do the summer after your first year?”
 
Harry smiled in remembrance, “They took the flying car and broke me out of my bedroom at the Dursley’s house, then brought me here.”
 
There was a pause and the door unlocked and swung open. Mrs. Weasley took one look at him and gasped, “Harry! Oh, my…what happened?” she ushered him inside and hugged him tightly.
 
Harry immediately felt revulsion at the simple touch and wrenched himself out of her arms, crashing into the counter behind him. He gasped and put his hand to his side where his rib had collided with the edge of the hard surface.
  
Mrs. Weasley clasped her hands together, “Oh I’m sorry. Are you alright? Of course, you’re not, look at you. We should take him to Hogwarts to see Poppy,” she said quickly, directing her last statement to her husband.
 
“Yes. I’ll alert Dumbledore,” Mr. Weasley said and left the kitchen.
 
“Here sit down dear and rest for a bit. You must be exhausted!” Mrs. Weasley said to him.
 
Harry nodded and sat down gingerly at the deserted table, unconsciously wrapping his arms around himself, “Where is everyone?”
 
“Looking for you of course. Everyone’s been in a right state since you didn’t come back with everyone else.”
 
Harry nodded again and stayed silent. He didn’t ever want to talk about what happened, though he knew he would have to. But he knew one thing for sure; he was not going to say anything about that. Harry couldn’t stand to think of what they would think of him if they found out what Voldemort had done to him, no matter that he couldn’t control his actions.
 
Harry used the few minutes it took for Mr. Weasley to come back to make up a believable story with most of the truth, leaving out the majority of what happened last night. He was just fixing up the details when Mr. Weasley came back and said that they were waiting. And Harry was ready.
 

xxx

 
Harry sat completely still as Madame Pomfrey ran her wand over him to see if there was any internal damage, even though he had insisted there wasn’t. He hoped to whatever God was out there that nothing showed up about…that. It seemed that his prayer had been heard because she found nothing and started rubbing a salve on his cuts. As she worked, Harry answered Dumbledore’s questions.
 
“They didn’t do anything to me though after they caught me, just locked me up in a dark room with no windows. Probably just to scare me, but I just waited for them to come back and open the door so I could get out. They didn’t come back until morning and took me straight to Voldemort. To make it short, I got my wand back, we fought, I practically brought down the roof on all of them to escape and I made my way out of the house. Most of the cuts are from just running through the woods that surrounded the place or debris from the ceiling.”
 
Harry took a deep breath as he finished. He tried not to flinch away from Madame Pomfrey as she rubbed the salve into his skin, but the more she touched him the harder it was to ignore the disgust coiling tighter in his stomach, as well as the prickly feeling where ever she touched that had nothing to do with the medicine. He was going to take a long hot shower after he got out of here, but he wasn’t sure the dirty feeling would ever go away. But he would deal, just like he always did. What other choice did he have?
 
Harry shifted on the hospital bed and looked away from the penetrating gaze and waited for Dumbledore to say something. If it looked like the headmaster believed him, Harry couldn’t tell. Even if he did know he was lying, Dumbledore didn’t question his story further, much to Harry’s relief. Besides it was not like he was completely lying it all really happened just like he said, he just…left something’s out, that’s all. He really hated doing that to him, but… He just couldn’t tell him the truth. He could almost visualize how the older man would react and it wasn’t in a good way.
 
“I see,” Dumbledore finally said, snapping him out of his thoughts. “Do you know the location of where you were?”
 
Harry shook his head, “No. As soon as I got out of the forest, the whole place disappeared. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, I just apparated to the Weasley’s.” That wasn’t a lie, it really did disappear. Like it was never there, to begin with.
 
“Interesting,” Dumbledore said thoughtfully, “Well if that is all…?"
 
“That’s it,” Harry said not quite meeting his eye.
 
“Alright then. I am glad that you were unharmed. I will leave you to Poppy’s tender care,” Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling.
 
Harry groaned. He’d be stuck here for a week!
 
Dumbledore left and Madame Pomfrey finally finished with the salve and wanted him to rest. He certainly didn't disagree with the idea of rest, but first, he needed that shower...  
 

xxx

 
When Harry got out of the shower over an hour later his skin was red from scrubbing it so hard, but he was right about the feeling not going away. He would have to live with it.
 
Ron and Hermione were waiting for him when he stepped out.
 
“Harry mate, we thought you drowned in there or something,” Ron said jokingly but the relief on his face showed what he was really thinking.
 
Harry grinned lightly, “I think I can take on a little water.”
 
“Harry!” Hermione exclaimed and jumped on him with a tight hug. Harry instantly pushed her away and took a couple of steps back. Hermione looked at him with a little hurt and concern, “Harry?”
 
Harry just smiled, though his eyes were tight. “Madame Pomfrey just healed me, Hermione,” he said, rubbing his side for effect.
 
“Oh!” Hermione said, her eyes widening, “I’m sorry.”
 
“It’s alright,” Harry said shrugging his shoulder and sitting down on the bed.
 
“So what happened?” Ron asked, “One minute you were right here then you were gone.”
 
“Death Eaters,” Harry said flatly, “They drew me away and they caught me. Next thing I knew I was in front of Voldemort.”
 
Hermione gasped, her hands flying to her mouth, “He didn’t hurt you did he?”
 
If you only knew, Harry thought, but he shook his head, “No, I managed to get out before they did any real damage,” He told them the same story he gave Dumbledore, with more detail of course.
 
“Wow,” Ron awed, “You sure are lucky. How many times have you faced him and come out alive?”
 
“I think that brings the total up to seven,” Harry said with a smirk.
 
“Bet his morale is pretty low right now,” Ron said.
 
Harry smiled slightly then remembered the angry expression on Tom’s face and the smile turned into a frown. When did I start calling him Tom? Hermione saw his strange expression and questioned him, “I’m fine Hermione, just tired.”
 
Hermione nodded and got up, “We’ll leave then; you need your rest.”
 
“You sound like Madame Pomfrey,” Harry smiled.
 
“Well she’s right; you’re in a right state.”
 
“I am?” Harry asked unconsciously wrapping his arms around himself.
 
“Yes. Get some sleep, we’ll see you in the morning,” Hermione said heading to the door and grabbing Ron’s arm along the way.
 
“See ya mate!” he called back and then they were gone.
 
Harry drew the curtains around his bed and laid down to go to sleep, but sleep refused to come. He kept thinking about what happened to him less than twelve hours ago.
 
Now that he was alone he was able to think clearly, but the more he thought about the way Tom kissed him, the way he had felt against him, inside him; the harder he got. The overwhelming need to be touched again completely overrode the feeling of disgust he had earlier. But he could tell it wasn't a need that could be sated by just anyone, it had to be Tom. The name alone sent shivers of pleasure down his spine and he couldn’t help but admit that he had enjoyed every second he had been with Tom, and that was what disgusted him; the fact that he did like it.
 
Harry rolled over onto his side and tried to go to sleep, valiantly ignoring the erection against his thigh, willing it to go away. He was unsuccessful. Again his mind drifted to the soft touch of Tom’s hands on his skin and full on desire made his body burn like it was on fire. He buried his face into the pillow and willed the thought away, wrapping himself tighter in the blankets. Oh God, Why am I feeling this way? He thought desperately, eyes clenched tight.
 
Little did Harry know that fifty miles away someone else was having the exact same problem.

Chapter Text

A few weeks after the incident, Harry was finally getting over what happened. It was surprisingly easy. He simply pretended it never happened. The only time he remembered it was in his dreams. Besides, it wasn’t like Voldemort was having a hard time. If anything he was attacking with renewed vigor, so why should he care. It was just a one-time thing, they got it out of their system and it wouldn’t happen again. Harry continued his training to be an Auror and everything was alright.

That was until he came down with the flu; at least that is what he thought it was.

He woke up one morning with an upset stomach and had to sprint to the bathroom to throw up. He had thought it was just something he ate last night and ignored it, moving on to start his day like normal. But the next few days were the same, he woke up and he had to rush to the bathroom to empty his stomach.

“Great, just what I needed; to be sick,” he muttered to himself as he walked back to his bedroom of the small apartment he had gotten after he had finished school. He went to work at the Weasley twins’ shop and then continued on to his Auror training later on in the day. Half way through his session he got sick once more and barely made it to the rest room.

Ron peeked around the corner of the stall, “Are you alright mate?”

“Yeah,” he said wiping his mouth and flushing the toilet, “I think I’m coming down with something.”

“I can tell,” Ron looked at him worriedly, “You don’t look so good.”

“I don’t feel so good either,” Harry said and spun around back to the stall to start throwing up again.

Ron made a face behind him, “Maybe you should go home. Mum always said rest and hot soup is good for the stomach.”

Harry groaned and slumped over the toilet. Just the thought of food made his stomach queasy. But he knew Ron was right, maybe it would help. So he made his request to his trainer and was allowed to go home to rest.

xxx

The only thing was rest did nothing to appease the sickness. Even after a week and potion after potion, it wasn’t going away. Mrs. Weasley had invited him over for proper care, but nothing she did was working, even though it always had in the past.

It was during dinner one night with all the Weasley’s and Hermione, that he had had enough. Dinner had been going great, Harry had been feeling a little better and was able to keep most foods down now. That was until Ron passed him the meatloaf that his stomach took a sudden turn for the worst. He dropped the container on the floor and ran out of the room and to the bathroom, throwing up the little he had eaten.

The Weasley’s had jumped when Harry made his dash to the bathroom and Mrs. Weasley, Hermione and Ron followed, the others elected to stay behind.

“Harry dear are you alright?” Mrs. Weasley said rubbing his back.

Harry nodded silently. What was wrong with him?

“You should go see a doctor,” Hermione suggested.

Harry made a face as he stood up. Who knows what a scandal they would make if he went there, but Hermione was right, he really should go to see someone.

“If you don’t want to go to St. Mungo’s, go see Madame Pomfrey.”

Harry nodded liking that idea more, “You’re right. I’ll go tomorrow.”

xxx

The next day found Harry under Madame Pomfrey’s ministrations again. Ron and Hermione had tagged along, worried for their friend. But Harry didn’t really think anything of it; he thought it was just the stomach flu. When he told Hermione this, she shot that idea down:

“Stomach flu doesn’t last for two weeks,” she stated flatly.

Harry sighed and sat still as Madame Pomfrey finished up her diagnostics. Finally, she stepped back with a frown. “Did you find anything?”

She shook her head, “I didn’t find anything wrong with your health, it has to be something else…what were your symptoms?”

“Throwing up mostly. Mainly in the mornings but throughout the day too. And I can’t really eat because it makes my stomach upset.”

Madame Pomfrey nodded and pointed her wand at him again, “I’ll try a stronger spell,” and she began again. It only lasted a few seconds though and she stepped back as if burned. She shook her head and did the spell again and again.

Harry felt as if lead had formed in the pit of his stomach, something was wrong he knew it, “Madame Pomfrey? What’s wrong with me?” he whispered.

She looked at him with wide eyes and worked her mouth, but nothing came out.

“Madame Pomfrey?” Hermione prodded her.

“I-I don’t know how to say this, but…Potter…Harry you’re…you’re pregnant.”

A deafening silence filled the room, no one dared to move or say a word, or maybe they just couldn’t.

“I’m-” Harry whispered horrified, his hands settled on his stomach, “p-pregnant?”

Madame Pomfrey nodded, she was unsure if she should be happy or not. She did not know the circumstances behind it.

“How- when did this happen?” Hermione asked, “Harry?”

Harry said nothing, lost in his thoughts. He was pregnant? How? How can he-? Then it came to him. That night…

Images with vivid detail came back to him. Hot kisses, arousal so strong, a hard, warm body on top of him, the heat unbearable…

“Harry?” Hermione said gently touching his arm.

Harry jumped and turned to her and immediately wished he hadn’t. She had a look on her face that told him that she already knew, yet was desperately hoping that it wasn’t true. But how could he deny it? How could he when the proof was growing inside him? He knew exactly what she was going to say before she said it.

“Something happened didn’t it? That night…when you were captured.”

He looked at her face, so full of worry and horror, to tell her she was wrong. Why did you have to be so smart? I bet you knew all along or at least were suspicious of what happened, he thought to himself. Harry had to look away; he couldn’t bear to see the look on her face or anyone’s for that matter. It was over, he couldn’t hide anymore.

He didn’t say anything but it must have been on his face because she gasped and covered her mouth with her hands. Everyone in the room immediately jumped to the same conclusion: rape and Death Eater. Harry didn’t bother to fully correct them.

“What do you mean? Harry said…” Ron exclaimed but came to the truth just like the others did. He had lied.

“Oh, Harry,” Hermione whispered tears rolling down her face. She reached her hand out to touch him, but he moved away from it still not looking at her, wrapping his arms around himself protectively.

“B-But, how can he be pregnant?” Ron sputtered, “He’s a guy!”

“It is possible with potions and rituals or certain spells,” Hermione said, “You didn’t drink anything, did you? Or a spell was cast on you? Harry?”

Harry said nothing but shook his head. There had been no spell or potion, it was just as Tom had said, it was the connection they had. He had taken the time to look up the bond while he was at Hogwarts last time and even to the public library and it was all there. The forced attraction, overwhelming need to touch the other… it all fit, but it had said nothing about pregnancy. It was probably his cursed luck that allowed this to happen.

Harry closed his eyes to keep the tears back that threatened to spill over. Oh my god, I’m pregnant. With Tom’s baby…Voldemort’s baby.

“Harry,” Madame Pomfrey said gently laying her hand on his arm to get his attention, “You’re still within the first stage, we can-” she hesitated not believing that she was suggesting this, but pushed on, “we can get rid of it.”

Harry looked up at her, then back down at his flat stomach. Get rid of it? His first impulse was to say Yes, get this thing out of me! But…

Harry shook his head, “No.”

“No?” Madame Pomfrey echoed, “Are you sure?”

Harry nodded, “I’m sure. It didn’t do anything wrong. It doesn’t deserve that.”

“So you’re going to keep it?” Ron asked.

Harry nodded, “Yeah, I’m going to keep it,” he whispered.

Hermione got up and sat down next to him and took his hand, and Ron sensing the importance of it got up too and sat down on the other side. “We’re with you all the way Harry,” Hermione said softly.

Harry looked up at her, stunned, “Y-You’re not…”

“Of course not!” Ron exclaimed, “It doesn’t matter if you were…um…”

“What Ron means to say is that we are here for you. We know it was all a big accident, s-something you didn’t want and you didn’t mean for it to happen. We don’t hate you for it, or…or are disgusted with you for it,” Hermione said firmly, squeezing his hand.

“Yeah! What do you think us for? We’re there for you whatever decision you make.”

“Exactly,” Hermione said gripping his hand tightly, “That guy…who did this. It’s all on him. It has nothing to do with you. We don’t think any less of you or this baby.”

Harry smiled and couldn’t help the few tears that escaped. It suddenly felt like a big weight that he had been carrying around for two weeks was suddenly lifted. “Thanks,” he whispered.

“Of course. That’s what friends are for,” Ron said proudly.

“And we’ll help you any way we can,” Hermione added.

“I think I’m going to need all the help I can get,” Harry said with a slight smile.

“I’ll put together an information packet to take with you,” Madame Pomfrey said.

Harry looked up at her suddenly remembering that she was there too. She gave him an encouraging smile and Harry knew that she didn’t care either, “Thanks.” She nodded and left the room to gather the necessary information.

“You do know that we have to tell Dumbledore, right?” Hermione said squeezing his hand again.

Harry’s smile faded and he looked down, “Yeah, I know. But…I don’t want to.”

“I know you don’t, but he needs to know.”

Harry nodded, “I’ll tell him.”

“We’ll be there when you do too,” Ron added and Hermione nodded in agreement.

Harry touched his stomach where the life was growing inside him. It didn’t matter who the father was, he would raise this baby to be good, with his friend’s right by his side.

Chapter Text

The next day Harry gathered up his courage and went to see Dumbledore with Ron and Hermione right by his side. He had stayed up all night thinking of what he should say to him when he went the next morning. Obviously not the complete truth, but he had to tell him something, a baby did not just appear out of nowhere.

A baby. He couldn’t believe it. Probably wouldn’t completely believe it until he actually started showing, which hopefully wouldn’t be for a while. But it was true and he had to accept it whether he liked it or not.

They apparated to the front gates of Hogwarts and started the long trek up to Dumbledore’s office. His sense of dread deepened with every step closer he took, and the squeezing of Hermione’s hand on his arm was not reassuring him a bit. If anything it made him more nervous and sick to his stomach than he already was. Just thinking about what he was going to say to Dumbledore was disturbing and if not that, then his reaction. Would he be disgusted with him? Angry? Sad? Harry had no idea what he was going to do and if the headmaster turned him away…

“Are you okay Harry?” Hermione asked softly. Harry shook his head, not trusting his voice. “It will be fine, okay, you’ll see.” She reassured him.

“Are you ready?” Ron asked, “’Cause we’re here.”

Harry looked around and saw that they were standing in front of the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. The walk was too fast for Harry’s liking, he wasn’t ready yet! But he had to do it. He took a deep breath and managed to croak out the password “Peppermint Toads.”

Harry knocked on the door and entered when he was granted permission.

“Ah, Harry, my boy. To what do I owe the pleasure?” Dumbledore asked with a bright smile and twinkling eyes a sharp contrast to the way Harry was feeling at the moment.

“Um…I have to…tell you something,” he managed to get out.

“Of course,” the headmaster said suddenly serious. It was like he already knew, “Have a seat.”

Harry’s mind was racing as he took his seat in front of Dumbledore’s desk with Ron and Hermione on either side of him. He didn’t know if he could do this, but he had to.

“I-I wasn’t entirely truthful about what happened when I was captured.” Harry began.

Dumbledore sat up and leaned forward, “Oh?”

“I didn’t mean to keep it from you, I was just…scared, I guess,” he said looking anywhere but the older man’s face,” It isn’t anything important though,” he said in a rush. At Hermione’s tightening grip on his arm, he said, “I mean, it is important, but…not…” he finished letting his words fall flat.

“I see, well, no matter. You have come now, yes? No harm done. Now, what is it that you wish to tell me?”

“Well, I didn’t lie about anything. I just…”

“Carefully omitted?” Dumbledore offered kindly.

Harry nodded looking down at his hands, “Yeah…” This was harder than he thought it would be. It didn’t help that this time he was outright lying. “When I was in that room…someone else did come, there was no one else just him. I-I think he came to give me food but or something I don’t know. I tried to get out, but I couldn’t do anything without my wand. But I tried anyway…I tried, but I couldn’t use my magic. He pinned me down…” Here he paused, clutching his hands into fists and fighting back the tears that threatened to fall. “I tried to fight it,” Harry choked out remembering what it felt like being pinned down, being trapped within himself, wanting it and not wanting it. “I tried…I couldn’t…” Hermione covered his hand with hers and clutched it tight giving him courage, “He raped me,” he finally choked out.

The silence in the room was deafening after he said the words. The only sound was a consistent ringing sound in his ears that grew louder as the silence went on. He chanced a look up at Dumbledore and he didn’t like what he saw. The headmaster actually seemed to look his age; his eyes were sad and full of pity. Harry looked away.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, then said it again louder to cover up the ringing, “I’m sorry.”

“Harry, my boy…” Dumbledore started, but Hermione squeezed his hand reminding him of why he had come.

“That’s not all,” Harry said cutting the headmaster off, “…I’m pregnant.”

Silence again.

“I’m so, so sorry,” Harry said the tears spilling from his eyes, “I tried to fight him, I tried…”

“I know Harry, I know,” Dumbledore said at last. He got up and walked around his desk to stand in front of Harry, “I do not blame you, Harry.”

“You don’t?” Harry asked looking up.

“No, I do not. I can tell that you fought as hard as you could…I can also see that you have been hurting because of it all this time.” At this Harry said nothing and bowed his head. Dumbledore placed his hand on top of his bowed head in silent comfort. “Have you thought about what you are going to do?”

“I’m going to keep it,” Harry replied softly.

“I thought you might,” Dumbledore smiled and patted his head before moving to stand at the window, “Though it does present a problem.”

“What do you mean?” Ron asked.

“Voldemort,” Dumbledore replied and Harry winced.

“What does he have to do with it?” Ron asked again.

“He would come after Harry wouldn’t he, sir,” Hermione said.

“Yes. Ms. Granger. He would,” Dumbledore turned toward them again, “With something as precious as a child. He would more than likely use it against you, Harry.”

Harry gripped his stomach tight and looked up at him, “But it’s innocent, it…it…”

“It wouldn’t matter. If it is important to you, a part of you, he will use it to hurt you.”

Harry looked down at his flat stomach. He hadn’t thought about that, but…there was the tiny little fact that Tom—no, Voldemort, was the father. What would he do then? He shuttered to think. “He must never know,” Harry whispered.

“That is correct,” Dumbledore said making Harry jump, so lost in his thoughts as he was. “We need to prepare ourselves,” he said moving back behind his desk, “For when you give birth.”

“What about when he starts showing?” Hermione asked, “It would be obvious because he’s a guy.”

“And he’s Harry Potter,” Ron put in.

“Yes indeed. You are both right.”

“Then what do I do?” Harry asked.

“We will have to send you away,” Dumbledore said deep in thought, “Into hiding.”

“B-but what about my training?” Harry asked, “I can’t just leave.”

“I am afraid, at the present time, you will have to. For one, as Ms. Granger pointed out, people will find out when you start showing. And for another, it is not safe for the baby for you to be moving around so much. Male pregnancies are quite a bit more delicate than normal ones.”

“I see,” Harry whispered. He hated the thought of having to hide while others were fighting; to give up his dream. But he had his baby to think about now. “But what do I say; I can’t just up and leave without a valid excuse.”

They fell into silence as they thought about it.

After a few minutes, Ron spoke up, “How about we say that Harry is going to go off for special training. I mean, everyone knows that he’s the Chosen One, so it would make sense for him to leave.” When no one said anything, he blushed and looked down, “It’s just a suggestion.”

“No Mr. Weasley it is an excellent idea,” Dumbledore said.

“It is?”

“Yes. It is entirely plausible,” Hermione said looking impressed which made Ron puff up with pride.

Harry smiled, then looked at Dumbledore, “Do I have to leave now?”

“Hm, no not just yet,” Dumbledore said thoughtfully, “Until you start showing I think. It should give you enough time to prepare yourself.”

“Okay,” Harry said nodding, “Where will I go?”

“I will make arrangements, my boy, do not worry,” Dumbledore said with a kind smile.

“What about after the baby is born professor,” Hermione asked, “Harry can’t hide forever. They’ll notice.”

“Indeed, they will. I suspect that they will see Harry here and there to let them know that he is still around, but we still have time for that.”

“So…I’m going off for special training to defeat Voldemort,” Harry said aloud.

“Yes, that is the plan.”

“Okay. I can do that.” I hope…

Chapter Text

Harry felt a lot better now that he had a plan. It was simple really. When the time came; which was when he started to show, he would tell his trainer that Dumbledore was sending him somewhere for training. He couldn’t tell him where for security reasons. He was the “Chosen One” as people were calling him so it was entirely plausible for him to go for top secret training.

Of course, that wasn’t what is really happening.

When the time came he would be whisked off to a place that Dumbledore secured where Harry would stay until the baby was born. After that…he didn’t know. There was still time for that. He wasn’t even showing. At least not yet.

Harry sighed and looked in the full-length mirror that was in his bathroom where he stood in just a pair of boxer shorts. He didn’t even look like he was pregnant, but then again it had only been a month. Yet he still looked every morning for any sign. He still didn’t believe that he was and until he saw the evidence he would not be completely convinced.

A part of him hoped nothing would show up and that Madame Pomfrey was wrong and that he was not having Voldemort’s baby.

“Harry, you ready? We’re going to be late!” Ron shouts from his living room.

“Coming,” Harry shouted back and finished getting ready for work.

xxx

The months passed quickly. First one month, then two, then three and before Harry’s eyes, the proof was starting to show. The beginnings of a baby bump.

His first feeling was joy. He was going to have a baby, start a family, one he always dreamed of. Then came the fear. What the hell was he going to do now? How was he going to take care of a baby, he could barely take care of himself. He hardly had the best role models to go by and this was a baby for Merlin’s sake! A tiny, living, breathing human. He was so screwed.

So the first thing he did was go out and bought a whole bunch of baby how-to books, both muggle and magical. That was how Ron found him on a Saturday afternoon – surrounded by books.

“You’re not turning into Hermione on me, are you? I can only handle one,” Ron said walking around the table and made himself comfortable in the recliner.

Harry grinned and shook his head, “No.”

“Then what’s going on?”

“Umm. Midlife crisis?”

Ron gave him a look, “You’re not even thirty yet.”

“I know…I-I’m starting to show,” Harry said quietly.

“You are?” Ron surveyed him closely, “I don’t see anything.”

“No?” Ron shook his head, and Harry looked down at his stomach, “I guess it’s not noticeable yet.”

“Nope. So…books?” Ron asked and picked up a book. What to Expect in the First Year. There were more like, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and On Becoming Baby Wise plus a whole bunch of others. Ron thought he saw one on breast feeding. How was that going to even work?

“Yeah. Books. I don’t know. I just…I got up this morning and saw it so I-I…”

Ron nodded and looked at him warily, “You’re not going to cry are you?”

Harry let out a half laugh, half sob, “I’m really trying not to.”

“Hormones?”

“Yes, and they suck!” Harry said swiping at his eyes. “I seriously don’t know how women do it. I’m fine one minute and the next I’m a complete mess.”

“I can see that,” Ron said grimacing.

“And then there are the cravings. Oh my God! I had a peanut butter sandwich last night…”

“That doesn’t sound so bad,” Ron said thought fully.

“With hot sauce,” Harry said flatly. Ron made a face. “Exactly.”

“Geez, even I wouldn’t eat that.”

“Thanks a lot,” Harry said dryly.

“Nothing you can do about that,” Ron said.

Harry nodded “Well,” Harry said with a grin, “I guess there is a bright side to this. When you and Hermione decide to have kids you’ll be prepared.”

“What?!” Ron shouted, turning red and Harry laughed. “A-Anyway, do you think it’s time to leave?”

Harry looked down at his stomach, “No…not yet. You can’t tell yet so I think I can last for a little while longer.”

“For how long?” Ron asked.

“As long as I can,” he answered.

It turned out that it wasn’t long at all. A few weeks later Harry and Ron were sitting in the break room in the Auror Department, talking. Harry got up and went to the vending machine (yes there is a vending machine, awesome right!) and put a gallon in to get his 2nd candy bar.

“Hey Potter,” one of the trainees said passing by the room, “Better lay off the snacks. You’re starting to pack a little weight there.”

Harry paused in his eating and looked down at the half eaten bar in his hand, then set it down on the table.

“Ignore him, Harry,” Ron said. He looked side to side then leaned close, “You are eating for two,” he whispered.

Harry placed his hands on his stomach “…yeah.”

They sat in silence for a few moments.

Ron looked around the break room, glanced at the table, looked at Harry and hesitated, then pointed at the candy bar. “Are you going to finish that?”

Harry smiled and chuckled, “No. Go ahead. I’ve lost my appetite.”

Ron nodded and finished the bar in one bite. Harry looked down at his stomach and silently willed the small lump to go back down.

“On’t ry bt t,” Ron said with his mouth full. Harry made a face and Ron swallowed. “Don’t worry about it. You look great.”

Harry blanked his expression and looked at Ron. “I look great? Is there something you are trying to say?”

Ron panicked, “I- um…that’s not…what I mean is-”

Harry grinned and clapped him on the shoulder and got up to leave, “I get what you mean, Ron. Thanks.”

“Geez Harry. You almost gave me a heart attack,” Ron said with a hand over his heart.

“Yeah, but it made me feel better.”

“Funny,” Ron deadpanned and Harry laughed.

xxx

Harry closed the lid of his trunk with a sigh, and then looked around his bare bedroom. After the episode at the department, he figured it was time for him to leave. He was going to miss his house, his work, his friends…

“Harry, you got everything?” Hermione asked coming into his room.

“I think so,” he said.

“Hey don’t look so down. Look on the bright side. Now you can read those books that I wanted you to read,” she said brightly.

Harry made a face, “Great.”

“Besides, me and Ron will come visit you whenever we can, okay?”

Harry nodded, “You better. I’ll be bored out of my mind.”

“Oh. I’m sure Dumbledore will have something for you to do.”

“I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.”

“Done over here,” Ron said coming into the room. “That’s everything right?”

“Yeah. That’s everything,” Harry said looking around. He shrunk his trunk and put it into his pocket along with all the rest of his stuff. “Let’s get going then.”

They left the house and gathered around a portkey that Dumbledore had given them. Harry looked back one last time at the house he had grown fond of.

He had a feeling he wasn’t coming back.

Chapter Text

Voldemort drummed his fingers on the arm rest of his throne as he listened to reports. His temper, always so close to the surface these days, rising higher the more he heard. He was surrounded by morons! Could they do nothing right?

He lifted his wand and cursed the follower in front of him. He smirked with glee as he watched him wither on the floor in pain.

“Next!” he snapped as he lifted the curse and someone else took his place, only for his irritation to rise once more.

If Voldemort had been truthful to himself, he would know that his anger was not at the incompetence of his followers but with himself. He had been frustrated for months now and not just emotionally but sexually. He hadn’t been able to get what happened out of his mind. The way he had felt underneath him, the moans that came from that soft pink mouth… It was there when he was awake and when he was asleep. It just wouldn’t get out of his mind. And it was all because of-

“…Potter?”

Voldemort snapped his head up “Repeat that!”

“My Lord?” the follower asked.

“You heard me!! Repeat what you just said!”

“Um! I found out that Harry Potter has gone for special training somewhere. I don’t know where or when he will come back. Do you want us to look for him?”

Special training? He thought, “Look for him let me know when you find him. Potter has been a thorn in my side for far too long, it is time I got rid of him once and for all.”

“Yes, my lord.” The room emptied leaving the Dark Lord alone with his thoughts.

Special training, huh? Voldemort thought as he rose from his throne and proceeded out through the side door. Does Dumbledore really think training will really help Potter defeat me? He scoffed, I think not.

As he walked into his study, his Voldemort persona melted away into his normal appearance. His nose formed and lips filled out. Thick, black, wavy hair grew out in full until Tom Riddle was standing in the same place. He sat down behind his desk and flicked his wand at the door to lock it.

I can’t wait to finally be rid of the brat. He can’t hide behind Dumbledore and the Order forever. I can already see it…On his knees before me, green eyes wide with fear, begging me for mercy… As he thought the words, the image in his mind abruptly changed into something else entirely. Tom shook his head violently to rid himself of the image and scowled to himself. He had to stop doing that!

The clinking of the pipe door in the corner drew his attention as Nagini slithered into the room. –Master? You seem displeased.-

-I am- Tom admitted to his familiar.

Nagini coiled herself on the rug and flicked her tongue toward him –Would you like to tell me?-

Tom hesitated for a moment, then nodded and sat back in his chair. -It’s that blasted Potter. He’s gone and ruined my good mood-

-You are hardly ever in a good mood, master-

Tom glared at her and she gave him what would probably be a shrug –You aren’t-

Tom looked away –He always ruins everything. Well no more. I will get rid of him once and for all-

-You always say that master. Yet you never do-

-He gets lucky- Tom gritted out.

-Yes, he does seem to have a lot of that. I say just leave him be and continue with your plans…-

-But?- Tom prompted her.

Nagini flicked her tongue out uncertainly –But, obviously, you cannot. As of late you have spoken of nothing but the Potter-hatchling-

-I have not!- Tom hissed.

-But you have. We are even talking about him now-

Tom bit back his sharp reply and sat back in his chair because no matter what he said or thought, Nagini was right. Ever since that night, he hadn’t been able to get Harry out of his head. It was maddening.

But he refused to think it meant anything because it didn’t.

xxx

Tom was dreaming…

A soft yet firm body withered beneath him. Strong legs wrapped around him, moans of pleasure echoing around him as he rocked forward into the body beneath him.

He trailed kisses up the lightly tanned skin, taking in the musky scent of his lover and the smoothness of his skin. He kissed his way upward as hands clutched at his back and in his hair. He pulled himself upward and looked down...

Into deep, alluring green eyes.

Tom jerked awake, a moan on his lips and his cock stiff and in need of attention. What the hell am I thinking?

-Master? Are you alright?-

Tom looked over to where Nagini lay coiled up on a cushion before the fireplace. –I’m fine, Nagini-

-You sure?- the snake shifted and humor entered her voice –You sounded as if you were in great pain-

Tom couldn’t help it; he blushed. He looked away quickly and schooled his expression. –I wasn’t-

-Strange. You were saying the Potter-hatchlings name- Tom’s eyes widened in surprise. –Care to change your answer, master?-

-Shut it Nagini- Tom hissed and turned away, ignoring his erection and willing it to go away.

Nagini hissed out her laughter and settled back down –As you wish-

Damn it, damn it! Why is this happening? It was getting ridiculous. For months this had been going on. He had tried to push it away, but all of it kept coming back stronger every time. If he did have a hidden sexual desire for Potter, which he did not, it should have already been satisfied. Instead, it left him wanting more. Wanting to slide himself into the tight, willing body…

Tom nearly moaned at the thought and burrowed his face in his pillow.

This had to stop. It was distracting him from his duties. Just remembering...No, stop this. I am the Dark Lord Voldemort. I do not have time to be thinking about this. It happened, it is done. Now focus!

But…

No! There is no room for doubts.

Once Potter was dead, everything would go back to normal. Once he was dead, he would finally be able to move forward.

But he needed to find the brat first.

Chapter Text

Harry looked around the tidy house that he was going to be staying at for a while. It was a three bedroom house near on the outskirts of a muggle town. It would be the least likely place for him to be found.

“It’s…nice,” Ron commented looking around.

“I don’t know. I rather like it,” Hermione said.

“Yeah. I like it too,” Harry said, running his fingers over the back of the new sofa.

The room was done up in simple browns and beige. The walls were white and bare, except for some landscape pictures. The carpet was light brown and led out into the hallway where there were 3 bedrooms and a bathroom. The sofa was a dark brown with beige pillows. A coffee table was in the middle of the room with a vase of flowers on it. A 19 inch TV sat in the corner on a stand against the wall.

“Whoa! What is this?” Ron asked going to the television and examining it.

“It’s a TV, Ron. Muggle technology,” Hermione said, “I guess you have electricity running here.”

“But wouldn’t magic disrupt it?” Ron asked.

Hermione thought for a moment, “Then it’s probably running on magic. I wouldn’t put it past Professor Dumbledore to know how.”

“Cool.”

“Well, at least I won’t be completely bored. I’ll be turning into a couch potato,” Harry said and moved toward the kitchen.

“Before long, I don’t think you’ll be doing much moving anyway,” Hermione said following.

The kitchen was small and bore all the essentials, including muggle-ware: stove, microwave, refrigerator, and toaster. The cabinets and drawers had dishes, cups and utensils and a complete set of pots and pans. The pantry and fridge was full of food.

“Wow. Dumbledore sure hooked you up,” Ron said.

“Thank you, Mr. Weasley.”

They all turned around at the voice to see Dumbledore at the front door. Ron blushed, but Dumbledore only smiled. “I hope everything is to your satisfaction, Harry.”

“Yeah. It is thanks.”

Dumbledore nodded, “I left the second bedroom bare. I thought you would like to decorate it into a nursery yourself.”

“Ooh. How fun!” Hermione exclaimed.

“Indeed. There here are some pamphlets that have instructions. You can add whatever furniture you want or change the colors. I took the liberty of marking things that you would need.” Dumbledore said.

“Thanks, professor,” Harry whispered taking the papers.

“Harry? Are you alright?” Hermione asked looking at him worriedly.

“…yeah. It’s just that…all this makes it all so real.”

Hermione came forward and wrapped her arms around Harry in a hug. “Don’t worry. You’re not in this alone okay.”

“Yeah and we’ll come visit every week,” Ron said.

“And I am always available by owl,” Dumbledore said kindly.

Harry nodded and placed his hand on his stomach. He hadn’t felt sure if he would be able to do this, but with his friends and Dumbledore on his side, he knew he could get through this.

xxx

After moving into his new house, Harry settled in fairly quickly. He didn’t do much because he had nothing to do, plus he was severely limited by the things he could do due to his pregnancy. He mostly sat around and watched TV and movies.

Harry had even started a little flower garden out front; it kept him busy. But he had to stop at around his seventh month because he could no longer bend down to pull weeds, though he could still water them. But when the snow started coming down he had to stop that too.

Hermione had brought him some books to read on a whole variety of topics just like she had promised him and because he had nothing else to do, he read them. So he guessed in a way he was training. Reading up on all these new spells and hexes, though he couldn’t cast them because his magic was on the fritz. One of the books on pregnancy said that the baby was pulling his magic to make its own magical core. Which was kind of cool, though not all the time because sometimes he couldn’t do the simplest of spells.

That was how he spent his time there, in his three room little cottage at the edge of a Muggle town under all kinds of protective wards and spells. Just passing the time until his baby was born. Ron and Hermione came over often and they played board games or just talked; told him of the outside world. A lot of people were asking how he was doing but they couldn’t tell them the truth. Though Harry didn’t know what he was going to do when suddenly he came out with a baby.

Ron also brought news about him and what he was doing. It seemed that Voldemort’s followers were trying to find him, with no luck. Of course, this made Voldemort angry and in retaliation, there were more raids. But Harry was safe from all of that, at least for now.

Harry was allowed to go outside, just not for very long so no one recognized him. Also because he could not stay on his feet for very long, his feet would start killing him if he did. He usually only went out to just go to the market and he wore a baseball cap and jacket that had a charm on it that didn’t show his stomach; to others, he looked normal. The people in town were nice, at least the ones he talked to were and everything went fine when he went out; he even made a few friends. It was nice to go out once in a while.

Spring melted into Summer, and Summer into Fall and finally to Winter. A fine sheet of snow covered the floor, the trees have lost their leaves and all the flowers were closed.

Harry was sitting on the couch watching TV and keeping an eye on the time. Ron and Hermione were due to come in any minute, good thing too because he was starting to go crazy by himself. He couldn’t go anywhere because of the snow so he was stuck.

Two ‘pops’ were heard from outside the door and Harry grinned and hoisted himself up to get the door.

“Whoa! You’ve gotten huge!” was the first thing he heard.

“Thanks, Ron,” Harry said dryly.

Ron grinned, “How are you doing mate?”

“Good. Bored out of my mind,” he said and stepped aside to let them in.

“Ron’s right Harry,” Hermione said dragging her trunk behind her, “You’ve gotten pretty big.”

“I know…um, what’s with the trunks?”

Ron and Hermione grinned at each other then turned to Harry. “We took a few weeks off,” Hermione explained.

“Why did you do that?”

“To be here of course,” Ron said.

“You’re due soon and we want to be here for you,” Hermione said.

“You guys didn’t have to do that,” Harry said with a smile.

“We know, but we want to be here when the little guy comes out,” Ron said.

Harry smiled, “And?” he prompted knowingly.

“And…vacation!!” Ron exclaimed.

“I knew it. I’m just an excuse.”

“Nah. I’m kidding. Sort of. Geez, you look ready to pop,” Ron said patting Harry’s protruding stomach.

“Ugh. Don’t remind me. I don’t want to think about it,” Harry said sitting back down on the recliner.

“Why not?” Hermione asked taking a seat on the couch.

“You do know how they have to get it out right? They have to cut me open, pull him or her out. There’s going to be blood everywhere…”

“Oh Harry, don’t be so morbid,” Hermione admonished him.

“It’s true.”

“Yuck,” Ron said making a face.

Harry grinned, “You can hold my umbilical cord for me.”

“Gross!”

They laughed.

“It will all be worth it in the end. You’ll finally be able to see your baby.”

Harry smiled and touched his stomach. “Yeah. That part I can’t wait for.”

“So it’s cool if we stay?” Ron asked.

“Sure. You can stay as long as you like.”

“Cool. We’ll take the spare room.”

“As long as there’s no sex going on under my roof I’m good.”

“Harry!” Hermione exclaimed her cheeks turning pink.

Ron laughed, “No promises mate.” He moved out of the way of Hermione’s hand and took their trunks down the hall to the bedroom.

“A-Anyway,” Hermione stuttered and cleared her throat. “You sure you don’t want to know the sex now?”

“I’m sure. I want it to be a surprise,” Harry said. He had decided that a long time ago.

“I don’t think I would be able to do that. The suspense is killing me.”

“Harry’s the one having it,” Ron said coming back into the living room and sat down next to Hermione on the couch.

“I know. But still…Have you found a name?” she asked.

Harry shook his head, “No.”

“No? Harry, the baby is coming soon; you have to have a name.”

“I know and I have looked. There are some that I like but none of them have jumped out, you know?”

“No,” they both said.

“But I can see what you mean,” Hermione said, “A name is everything.”

“I think I just need to see him or her to know.”

“Sounds good to me,” Ron said.

Harry nodded, “So…who wants to watch a movie?”

xxx

Approximately three weeks and two days later, on December 12th Harry went into labor.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione were sitting around the coffee table playing monopoly. They had just finished dessert, a chocolate cheesecake that Harry had made and they were stuffed. Now they were just relaxing.

“Okay Harry your turn,” Ron said passing the dice.

Harry reached for it and felt the baby move inside him, which wasn’t unusual because he had felt it move a lot the past few months, but this time it hurt! He paused and waited for it to pass.

“Harry? You okay?” Hermione asked.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine,” he said and took the dice. He shook them and rolled the die on the table. “Four.” He took his little dog and moved. “One, two, th-” he sucked in a breath as a wave of pain hit him again.

“Harry?” Ron asked.

“God, that hurt,” Harry gasped.

“It hurts? Where?” Hermione asked in alarm, scooting closer to him.

“Here,” Harry said placing his hand on the bottom of his stomach where the baby was resting.

“Your stomach?” Hermione asked again.

“Yes,” Harry said through gritted teeth, “I think something is wrong. I-” Another wave of pain. “What’s happening?”

Hermione’s eyes widened, “Harry. I think you just went into labor.”

“I’m a guy. I don’t go into labor!” Harry snapped.

“Well, obviously you did. The baby is looking for a way out.”

“It’s not going to find it. I don’t have a fucking vagina! Fuck!” Harry yelled and wrapped his arms around his stomach.

“Harry. Where’s that thing Dumbledore gave you to call the Healer?”

“Dresser,” he grounded out.

“Ron…”

“On it,” Ron said and ran out of the room.

What happened next was a blur. The healer arrived and so did Dumbledore and Madame Pomfrey. Harry was taken into his bedroom, the comforter removed and towels spread out over the sheets so it wouldn’t leave a mess. He was given something for the pain as he was cut open. He focused on the snow falling out the window instead of the pressure on his stomach. It’s snowing… he thought distractedly.

Through the haze of pain and medication and Hermione and Ron’s words of encouragement, Harry heard the first cry of his baby.

The cry was wondrous to Harry’s ears. After nine months of carrying his baby inside him; talking to it, touching it, loving it…hearing that cry for the first time made his heart sore. His baby was here. Harry laughed and felt tears come from his eyes; he tried to sit up so he could see where his baby was but he couldn’t hold himself up, he was groggy.

The healer smiled at him as he held a small bundle in his arms. “Congratulations Mr. Potter. It’s a girl.”

A girl? I have a girl? Harry thought as he relaxed back and closed his eyes. I have a little girl!

Harry opened his eyes and watched as the Healer gave his baby- no, his daughter, to Madame Pomfrey to clean up, while he moved back to clean and close him up. Ron and Hermione were looking at his daughter and smiling at her, their eyes bright with happiness.

Harry tried to lift himself up again. “I want to see her,” he whispered.

The healer helped him sit up in the bed and Madame Pomfrey moved forward and gently placed the little bundle in his arms and Harry looked at his daughter for the first time.

Tears sprang into his eyes as he gazed at her tiny form. Her eyes were slightly open and Harry could see the green beneath the little eyelids. She had a tiny pink nose and mouth, rosy cheeks and a shock of black hair atop her head. She wasn’t very big, a little smaller than the length of his arm. “She’s perfect,” Harry whispered as he counted all her fingers and toes. Ten of each.

“She is,” Hermione said softly, sitting on his right side. “She’s beautiful, Harry. You did great.”

“Yeah mate. She looks like you,” Ron said from the other side of him.

Like him too, he thought. His mind picked out the high cheek bones and slightly upturned nose. That was all him, there was no mistaking it. Harry pushed the thoughts away. This was a joyous occasion; there was no need to upset himself with useless thoughts. His baby was finally here, in his arms. Now that he had seen her, he was never letting her go.

“Wynter.”

“What?” Hermione asked.

“Her name. It’s Wynter.”

Dumbledore looked to the window at the falling snow and smiled, “A good name.”

“Yeah,” Harry said and held his daughter close and kissed her forehead, “I thought so too.”

“Wynter, huh?” Ron said thoughtfully, “I like it.”

“Me too,” Hermione agreed. “It’s truly unique. Wynter Potter. It has a nice ring.”

Harry nodded and looked down at Wynter as she opened her bright green eyes. “Hello, Wynter. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

Chapter Text

The weeks passed quickly after Wynter’s birth. Ron and Hermione went back to work and Harry settled down into motherhood. The first few days were rough, but Harry had his friends to help him. Diaper changing, midnight feedings, and her fussy crying. Oh God, her crying! Wynter may be small at 5 pounds, 8 ounces, but she had a pair of lungs on her.

Eventually, Ron and Hermione’s vacation days were over and they had to go back to work.

“You going to be alright?” Hermione asked.

“Yeah. I’ll manage,” Harry said smiling down at his daughter in his arms, who was watching them all with curious eyes.

“Okay then,” Hermione said and leaned down so she was eye level with Wynter. “Bye, bye sweetheart. I’m going to miss you, but I’ll come by and see you okay?” she kissed her on the forehead. “Oh, Harry she is just so cute!”

Harry chuckled, “Thanks.” He looked down at Wynter in her soft pink onesie with a matching headband that had a bow; she certainly was very adorable.

“Yeah, she’s cute and all but I just want to get some sleep,” Ron said dragging his trunk into the living room.

“Yeah. I won’t miss that either,” Hermione said.

“Thanks a lot,” Harry said dryly.

Ron smiled and touched Wynter’s tiny hand where it was curled into a fist. “I sure am going to miss her though.”

“I’ll keep you updated,” Harry said.

“You better,” Hermione said giving him a hug, “You owl if you need anything.”

“I will.”

They said their last goodbyes and then they were gone.

“Well Wynter, just you and me,” Harry said to her. Wynter only blinked up at him with her big green eyes. Harry chuckled and kissed her forehead, then adjusted her so that she lay against his chest. “Let’s get you something to eat, shall we?” He placed her in a play pen that sat behind the couch where he could easily see her through the kitchen door. When she was settled he went to the kitchen to prepare a bottle.

He was getting pretty good at it if he said do himself. Harry had only been at it for a few weeks and he was pretty sure he had this whole mother thing down. When the bottle was cool enough he went back into the living room, turned on the TV, picked up Wynter and sat down on the couch to feed his daughter.

Harry gazed down at Wynter fondly, his heart swelling with love and happiness and also pride. Was this how parents felt when they’re child is born? Was this how it was when they looked at them, not really doing anything, yet they were the most amazing thing ever? Was this the piece that is always missing in your life yet you don’t even know it until it's here? It must be because Harry was practically floating. He could already say that he would do anything, anything to protect his daughter. And if that meant pulling out of the war, then so be it.

He had talked briefly about it with Ron and Hermione and they had been, as always, understanding. He wasn’t sure about everyone else though, they were all expecting him to fight, but they didn’t know about Wynter.

Hearing about the destruction that was going on in the world broke his heart, it really did. At another time, before all this Harry would have been right out there on the front lines fighting. But now he had his little girl to think about. She was his life now; he would not leave her alone, he knew how that felt and Harry did not want Wynter to go through the same. Ironically, he was doing the exact same thing that his parents had done, gone into hiding. He was not one to just hide away while others fought, it wasn’t in his nature, as he was sure his parents had felt, but they did, as he did, for the safety of their unborn child. Harry was also facing the same yet very different threat-Voldemort. In both cases, Voldemort wanted Harry dead, but along with that Harry had the problem of him finding out about Wynter. Not only because he might use his daughter against him, but the very real fact was that Voldemort was Wynter’s father.

No one knew the truth, he hadn’t even told Ron’s parents or the Order and Ron and Hermione didn’t push. Harry didn’t even want to even think what they might say. Even on Wynter’s birth certificate, the area under “father” was blank. Writing it in would not only reveal his biggest secret but would make it all the more real. Harry would every so often think about that fateful night, the night that had changed everything. Thinking about it always brought the dreams and with the dream came the incredible longing and desire to once more lie beneath him, to feel his strong arms around him. To feel his—

No. Those thoughts were bad, dangerous. They made him ache all over made him unable to think properly. It was even worse when he was pregnant because he could hardly reach to, uh, relieve himself. No, scratch that. It wasn’t worse then, it was worse now because now he could.

Harry pulled the bottle away when Wynter was done and placed it on the table. Then put a towel over his shoulder, turned her over his shoulder and started to gently pat her back to burp her. He smiled as her tiny fingers curled into his shirt and she leaned into him, trusting him completely. Despite the horror of what had happened that night, Wynter had been the result; his little miracle, a light at the end of a long dark tunnel. After a minute, Wynter let out a little burp.

“Wow, that was a big one,” Harry commented as he gently cradled her in his arms. Wynter blinked up at him and let out a yawn. “Sleepy?” She only nestled against his chest and closed her eyes. Harry smiled and rocked her until she fell asleep, then he went to her room to put her in her crib.

Harry had made up the room before Wynter had been born and he hadn’t known what sex she was so he had just gone with gender neutral colors. The room was done up in light greens and beige. There was a running theme of a brown bear, it almost looked like Winnie the Pooh, but it was gentler, and softer looking. Harry had fallen in love with it the moment he saw it.

Harry carefully exited the room and clicked on the baby monitor that was on the table, then sat back and relaxed.

This was what his day was like. It started with a 3 am feeding, back to sleep. Then later a changing, back to sleep. Actual wake up time, make himself breakfast, Wynter wakes up for a changing and feeding. She’ll be up for a few hours so he would play with her and talk to her and then she would go to sleep for an afternoon nap. Wake up for a changing, back to sleep. Feeding, back to sleep for the night. Harry would eat dinner, take a shower and go to bed and wake up later in the night for another changing. Rinse and repeat.

That was their routine as the months passed by. He would only be able to relax while she was asleep, but that was also the only time he had to get chores done, so he had to juggle between the two. Ron and Hermione would of course visit; they would sometimes let him take a nap while they entertained Wynter for a while. Harry also took Wynter outside when the snow had melted, just a little walk around the front to get some fresh air.

But as the months passed, nightmares would keep him up. Ones where he would wake up and Wynter would be gone. As life settled down and he was able to relax, there was that little worry that something would happen. But no, he was safe. They were safe. They were just that, nightmares. But even so, Harry would be damned before he let anyone take his daughter away from him.

xxx

Tom walked down the street of a Muggle town heading to the outskirts, ignoring the furtive glances he got from passerby. He stopped at the last house on the road that had flashing lights of a television in the windows. He stepped off the path and walked around the house, it was only an illusion anyway. The one he wanted was further.

When he felt the surge of magic near him he stopped and gently started to strip the layers of protective magic until a lonely cottage stood in front of him.

Tom’s lips curved upward in a cruel smile.

“Found you.”

Chapter Text

Harry sighed and stretched his back until he heard a satisfying crack. He was exhausted, Wynter had kept him up all night, but she had eventually slept, giving him a few hours sleep. Only now she didn’t want to take her nap.

“You have to sleep sometime,” Harry said to her. Wynter gazed up at him at the sound of his voice from her play pin, and then abruptly dismissed him in favor of her toes.

“I’m going to be up all night again aren’t I?” he muttered to himself. He pulled up a basket of laundry and placed it on the couch and started to fold clothes in neat little stacks. Wynter’s clothes, his clothes, towels. Simple. Harry had done it often enough that he could do it blindfolded. Not that he would, blind was no fun at all. Half blind wasn’t better. Thank god he had found that potion in one of the books Hermione had given him to read that corrected his eye sight, now he didn’t have to wear those blasted glasses.

Harry finished folding and picked up each stack. “I’ll be right back.” He said to Wynter and went to put the clothes in their proper places. When he returned to the living room he saw that Wynter was looking for him; turning her head to the side and looking around. When Harry came into view her eyes fastened on him and she cooed out at him. Harry smiled at her as he passed and blew her a kiss. Wynter gave him a little grin and waved her arms and kicked her legs in greeting.

Harry laughed. He could never get enough of his daughter. He could probably sit and watch her for hours and be entertained. The things she did were adorable as were proved by the dozens of pictures he had taken and put in a photo album. He already had a whole bunch of pictures and she hadn’t even begun to crawl yet!

He leaned down into the play pin and tugged lightly on Wynter’s feet making her smile.

Feeling thirsty he headed to the kitchen to get some water. A sudden shiver went down his spine and he stopped. He tensed and glanced around the room, but he saw nothing. Still, he listened for a minute for anything wrong. Nothing. He looked back at Wynter, but she was fine, playing with a plastic ring of keys.

He shrugged and brushed it off as a chill. “I hope I’m not coming down with something.” He said and continued on to the kitchen.

xxx

Tom paused in front of the little cottage, an exact replica of the image in front of it. The cottage was a light blue with white trim. Flower beds were lined out front, the buds raised toward the sun. Wild bushes grew out front and the sides, obscuring part of the porch and the window. A few steps led right up to a white door. A swinging bench hung from the rafters on the porch.

How quaint, Tom thought with a sneer.

It wasn’t exactly what he had thought Potter to be training at, but looks could be deceiving. Though, he found himself disappointed. The thrill had been in the hunt and he had come up with multiple possible scenarios to which he might have to deal with. He had not expected months of searching to lead him to a muggle town with a nice looking cottage, though admittedly it was…rather brilliant.

Tom had been right, of course. Leaving the search to his followers had turned up nothing. Really he should have expected as much. So, as always he had to do it himself. It took him a few months, but here he was, right on Potter’s doorstep, literally. And all he had to do was focus on the link connecting them. Really something so simple led him straight here and he hadn’t even thought of it before. But thinking about the connection made him think of the fact that there was a connection in the first place. Since he last used it a few years ago to trick Potter, it had gotten stronger, but that was a thought for a later time.

Right now he had a certain green-eyed menace to destroy. Oh, how he was going to enjoy this. He grinned and raised his wand to the door…

xxx

Inside, Harry leaned against the counter sipping his glass of water. He closed his eyes as he thought about the chores he needed to do. Let’s see…Laundry is done, dusting-done, clean the-

Harry suddenly jerked as the front door blew inward. His glass slipped from his fingers and shattered on the floor as his wand slid into his hand. He ran into the living room and positioned himself next to the couch and directly in front of the door.

Then came in the last person he ever wanted to see—Voldemort.

“Potter. I’ve found you at last,” Voldemort or was it Tom? said. He had forgone his snake persona and ratty looking robes for his true form and form fitting robes, but he was prepared for battle.

“Voldemort,” Harry said calmly despite the fact that he was panicking inside. His eyes darted to Wynter who was looking around with curious eyes. He mustn’t see her. He can’t! He turned his attention back to Tom. Please. Whatever God that is out there, don’t let him see her!

“I find myself surprised,” Tom said, “I didn’t expect you to be so,” he paused, “relaxed.” Even as he said it, he looked around. Everything was neat and tidy, homey. The inside looked just as it had on the outside, no tricks. There was a laundry basket on the couch for Merlin’s sake! Something is not quite right.

Harry ignored the silent question. “I’m taking a break. Now get out,” Harry said raising his wand and stepping forward so that he was in front of the couch.

Tom chuckled darkly, “You think I’m just going to leave? Don’t make me laugh. No, I’m going to end this. This has gone on long enough,” Tom said, whispering the last part to himself. He raised his wand. “This will end…with you dead!”

Harry blocked the spell that came at him and sent out one of his own to try and move him back outside, away from Wynter. She was virtually unprotected and if he paused to put a spell on her it would draw Tom’s attention, so he had to lure him away. But it wasn’t working, if anything he was stepping away from the door. Harry took a few steps forward to try and block him, to intimidate him into moving backward and let loose another curse.

Tom deflected it and the spell hit the wall, leaving a scorch mark. “You have been training, bravo. But it is not enough,” he said and released the killing curse.

Harry moved out of the way and the spell hit the picture on the far wall, shattering the glass and releasing it from the hanging. It crashed to the floor.

A whimper caught their attention and Harry’s breath caught, but he forced himself not to look back. No, no. Not now, Wynter. Don’t cry. Please. Be brave sweetheart, be brave! Harry started rapidly spitting out spells, some spoken out loud others wordless, to drive Tom back.

Tom deflected the spells and listened for the sound. He knew he had heard something. Ah, there it is again, he thought and his gaze locked in on the couch. But couches didn’t make sounds unless it was transfigured and it was not, seeing as it had rips and tears in it. It has to be… He redirected his steps but was forced to defend more rapidly.

Potter was…different. In the beginning of their duel, he had been calm, precise, and predictable. Now his spells were sporadic, panicked. If he was seeing right, Potter seemed positively terrified, like he didn’t want him to see something. And whatever was making him so was behind the couch. Tom defended and sent out more of his own spells to drive Potter back, taking steps further into the room.

Harry started panicking, he was getting closer. He couldn’t see her! He can’t take her away! Harry kicked over the coffee table to distract him. “Expelliarmus!” he shouted, but Tom blocked it and took a few more steps closer.

“Sectumsempra,” Tom said pointing his wand. Harry ducked and the spell hit the lamp on the side table, shattering it.

Harry, fearing that it hurt his daughter, turned to look and that was the distraction Tom needed. Harry gasped in sudden pain as Tom’s spell hit his arm and he fell to the floor.

Tom took a few steps closer until he was almost even with the couch and he could see whatever Potter was hiding. He pointed his wand down at Potter and grinned in pleasure as he saw the panic in Potter’s eyes.

The whimpering started again and turned into a full on wail. Startled, Tom pointed his wand to the spot where the noise was coming from.

“NO!” Harry shouted and rammed forward into Tom’s legs. He scrambled to his feet and darted forward to pick up Wynter from her play pin. Harry held her close to his chest and made soft hushing noises to her. He pointed his wand with his other hand at Tom as he started backing away.

Tom had nearly fallen over, but he caught himself on the wall. Potter’s sudden action had startled him, but now he was angry. He straightened and raised his wand, a curse on his lips, and then he abruptly froze. His anger evaporated into bewilderment and then shock. There was a bundle in Potter’s arms, partially covered by a blanket, the corner stained with Potter’s blood. A tiny hand clutched at Potter’s shirt and a tiny foot hung slightly around his waist. That was it? That noise…was a baby?

A baby…

What the hell is a baby doing here?

As the thought entered his head, his mind started whirling with thoughts, piecing things together.

It had been a year since that night.

A baby…

A year since Harry went into hiding.

A baby…

A year he had been searching. No, he had been searching for a few months, but it had been a year since he had his followers start the search. 9 months for a child to grow and another 3 makes a year…since…that night…

Tom took a step back as his mind supplied the answer. I-It can’t be… But the proof was right in front of his eyes. He lowered his wand and stared at the bundle in Harry’s arms. A baby in his arms. He could only stare in shock as the full impact of this implication made itself known.

A baby…his baby…

My baby… Tom thought dazedly.

Harry panicked as he saw the wand lower and the shock appear in Tom’s unguarded blue eyes and he knew he figured it out. “G-Get out,” Harry whispered hoarsely.

Tom unconsciously took a step forward, toward Harry, toward his child.

Terror squeezed Harry’s heart as Tom stepped toward Wynter and he held her closer, “GET OUT!” he screamed at him.

Tom snapped out of his daze and looked at Harry’s wild green eyes to the crying child in his arms.

“Get out! Get out!” Harry continued screaming, hysterical.

Tom took a step back and then another; keeping his eyes on Harry and his baby.

Then he was gone.

Chapter Text

Harry blinked and hesitantly lowered his wand. He was…gone. He had just left.

Harry shook his head and looked down at his daughter who was crying loudly. First, take care of Wynter, he thought. He cradled her close and bounced her in his arms, “Shh, sweetheart. It’s okay, it’s okay. I’m here.” Harry walked down the hallway to Wynter’s room as she calmed down. He rocked her gently and she fell asleep. He placed her in her crib and tucked her in.

Now that Wynter was settled, he started to think and as he thought the slowly dawning horror of what just happened started to creep in. Oh, God. He knows. He knows where I am. He knows about Wynter! We need to get out of here. He’ll come back, he’ll take her… He hurriedly conjured a suitcase and started throwing Wynter’s clothes in along with some toys and blankets. I can’t let him take her from me. I have to go to Dumbledore and- he paused in his packing. But if I tell Dumbledore then he’ll ask questions, like how he found me…how did he find me? Harry shook his head and picked up the suitcase and walked down the hall. Doesn’t matter, he did and he saw Wynter and…he just left. I didn’t expect him to leave. Why did he leave? I was expecting him to…to…I don’t know, do something, not just leave.

Harry put the suitcase down on the couch. Dumbledore would want to know why he just left too. I mean a Dark Lord just doesn’t leave a duel. And that why would lead to other questions, which would lead to him asking who Wynter’s father is…

Harry stared at the suitcase in horror. No! He must never know. Telling him that it was a Death Eater was bad enough; to tell him that it was Voldemort himself… he shuttered and paced in front of the couch. No, I can’t tell Dumbledore, he can never know.

He looked around the battle cluttered room “God this place is a mess,” he said. Wait. I don’t want Dumbledore to know that Tom-no Voldemort is the father. But that would mean I can’t tell him that T-Voldemort was here. I have to clean up!

Harry picked up the coffee table and put it up right, placing the magazines back on top. He fixed the pictures and hung them back up, but the scorch mark wouldn’t come out. So he took another picture and hung it over the mark. As he cleaned he continued thinking. This goes here. This…where did I put this? Oh here. Wouldn’t Dumbledore be here by now? Wouldn’t he know that the wards had been taken down? Harry looked around the room. He could be here any minute! I have to hurry.

He tried to repair the lamp, but it wouldn’t go back together so Harry just threw it away. He ran around the room fixing the walls, the couch, pillows, any glass on the floor until the room was back to normal. He went into the kitchen and picked up the broken glass. There. That should be every thing. Now he will- Oh my God, I’m bleeding!

Harry stared in shock at his blood soaked sleeve and the trails of blood down his arm. How could he not know he was bleeding? Now that he was focusing on it, it kind of hurt. He quickly healed the cut. I need to change… he headed out of the kitchen and into his bedroom where he cleaned up the blood on his arm and changed his shirt. There. He thought as he sat down on his bed.

Harry looked out the door to the room across from his where Wynter was sleeping. What do I do? I don’t want Dumbledore or anyone to know, but I need to protect Wynter. She’s my main priority. So…that means I need to leave. He got up from the bed. But where do I go? And what do I tell Dumbledore? Harry sat back down and bit his lip in uncertainty.

What was he supposed to do?

xxx

Tom paced, walking to one side of his bedroom, turning and walking to the other; his mind working a mile a minute.

I need to think clearly. I have to- My God, I have a child! He ran his fingers through his hair. Harry had been pregnant all this time, and now I have a child. How? He shook his head to clear it. Harry had been pregnant and he went into hiding to give birth to his…do I have a son or daughter?

Tom stopped and looked out the window. I have a son or daughter… He couldn’t stop the smile that spread over his face. I have a child. Mine. My own flesh and blood!

The smile faded as he continued pacing. The question was now, what would he do about it. Kill it? No! No, I can’t do that. It’s mine, I can’t just… Do I take it away? Contrary to popular belief, he thought that a child should have both parents. Taking it away would be horrific. Tom suddenly cringed. That was exactly what he had done to Harry, though it had been necessary. But Tom didn’t want to do that to his own child. It needed both. So no. Stay away?...No, I can’t do that either. It is my child. My son or daughter, my- Tom stopped shocked. My family…I have a family!

Oh, how he had wished, when he was younger, that he had some distant relative that would come and take him away. That he had family that would dare he say it, love him. But it never happened. It was just a childish dream, one that he had given up on a long time ago.

But now, now he was faced with this new way to have one. He had a family, a little boy or girl. His heart swelled with…he didn’t know what it was, but there was joy. Joy that he had not felt in a very long time. A child had never even been part of his plans. Hell, it hadn’t even crossed his mind. Yet he had been blessed with this little miracle.

So he would stay and be a part of his child’s life. Tom nodded to himself. I will do that, he sighed, But there is a slight problem…

Harry.

Harry would never allow it. Was Harry its mother? Father? He would protect the baby at all costs, especially against him. Tom could only imagine what Harry might be thinking. Harry had spent most of his life running from him and now he had his child. After all, Tom had done to him…he would never let Tom anywhere near the child, forget about being in its life.

No. That will not happen. This child was his. His family. He would not let it slip through his fingers. This child was his. His family. He would not let it slip through his fingers. “I will be a part of my child’s life,” he whispered fiercely. With that said he grabbed his cloak and left the room.

xxx

When Tom arrived outside the cottage, he noticed that hastily put up wards, which he easily took down. He also noticed that the window and door that had been blown off by his arrival had been fixed. He had not been gone for that long so it must have been Harry that fixed it. Plus he had taken down the alarm that would have alerted Dumbledore and his damn Order of his attack, so he knew no one was here or was coming. These changes were worth noting, but Tom had other things to worry about. He quickly went up the steps, opened the door and stepped inside.

Once inside, Tom froze. Gone was any evidence of the duel from earlier. Everything back into place, well almost everything. The lamp on the side table was gone and a picture was out of place, but the thing that got his attention was the suitcase on the couch. He’s trying to leave? He thought furiously. Like hell! He immediately started to search the rooms.

Harry, meanwhile, was packing his clothes and other things into his trunk and wasn’t paying attention to the footsteps walking around the house.

He had decided that Wynter’s safety was more important than anyone finding out about who the father was. If they found out…he didn’t care. Well, that wasn’t true but his first priority was his daughter and what ever happened happens. He would leave and find somewhere safe to stay, like maybe one of Sirius’ family houses or one of his. I think I inherited an ancestral home from Dad, maybe I can stay there… From there he would alert Dumbledore about what happened.

Harry nodded to himself and closed his trunk. He dragged it off the bed and out into the hall. There he had the second surprise of the night. Tom was there at the other end of the hallway. He had come back.

Oh shit…

Harry dropped his trunk and pulled out his wand. “Get out,” he snarled.

Tom froze as he saw Harry holding his trunk, and then anger set in. “I don’t think so. I have every right to be here.”

“No. No, you don’t,” Harry said shaking his head.

“Yes, I do and you know it. The child is mine,” Tom said fiercely.

Harry closed his eyes briefly and shook his head. He wanted to deny it but he had been a virgin when Tom had taken him and he had gotten pregnant soon after, it was easy to put it together.

“Don’t you lie to me!” Tom snarled and Harry flinched. “I know that child is a product of our coupling. Don’t you dare tell me otherwise. I’m not stupid. Now, where is it?”

Harry briefly glanced at the closed door that Wynter was sleeping behind.

Tom followed his gaze. There? My child is there! He immediately strode toward the door.

Harry’s heart sped up and he rushed forward and pushed Tom away with his hands. “No!,” he hissed, “I will not let you anywhere near her!”

Tom stopped, “Her?”

Harry’s eyes widened and he snapped his mouth closed.

Her? I have a daughter? Tom thought I have to see her. “Let me see her!”

“No!”

“You can’t keep me from her,” Tom said trying to edge around him.

Harry pushed him away so that he fell back against the wall. “Watch me!”

Tom pushed Harry away and tried again to get around, but Harry was quicker and placed himself in front of the door. “Move.”

“No,” Harry said firmly, bracing himself against the closed door.

Tom felt his anger and desperation rise, but he pushed it down and forced himself to think. This is not working, he thought as he stared into defiant green eyes. Harry is a mother protecting his child, of course, he wouldn’t let me near her…but she is so close. If I could just… Tom took a deep breath to calm himself, “Harry…please,” he said.

Harry’s eyes widened in shock. Why? He’s the fucking Dark Lord, why is he so desperate to see one kid? But even though he asked the question, the answer came to him, Because it's his.

“Let me see her. Let me see my daughter,” Tom whispered.

Harry shook his head minutely.

Tom came closer and placed his hands on either side of Harry’s head and stared into his wide green eyes, trying to convey his need to see his little girl. “Please…”

Harry shook his head again…and suddenly he didn’t know what he was disagreeing with. He could only see the deep blue with a swirl of red of Tom’s eyes. He was close, too close. Harry licked his suddenly dry lips and Tom’s eyes followed the movement. Oh God no, Harry thought as he felt the beginnings of arousal starting to bubble in his lower extremities; one that he had been ignoring for months. H-He’s too close!

Tom watched as Harry’s green eyes became hooded and slightly glazed and he unconsciously leaned closer until their noses almost touched. I didn’t come here for this! He thought frantically, I came here to see my daughter! And yet…and yet having Harry so near after a year of not seeing him…touching him. He felt a flush start in his belly and spread throughout the rest of his body and started to cloud his mind with desire.

“No,” Harry whimpered as Tom’s mouth hovered over his, yet even though he said it, he raised his chin so their lips brushed.

They both groaned and pressed their lips together desperately. Tongues dueled and teeth bit as they kissed passionately, deeply, drowning in each other. Tom slid his fingers down Harry’s side and wrapped his arm around his waist to pull Harry tight against him. He moaned into the kiss as he felt the familiar plains of Harry’s body pressed against him and clutched him tighter.

Harry ran his hands over Tom’s chest, feeling the muscles beneath the robes when he suddenly pushed him away. “This can’t happen. Not again,” Harry panted.

Tom stood away from him, also out of breath, “Do you think I want to?”

They both suddenly winced as a lance of pain went through their heads, almost like something was angry that they had stopped. Desire shot through them so strong that they both shivered. Harry suddenly lunged at Tom, knocking him into the opposite wall and kissed him desperately. Tom fell against the wall and pulled Harry close to him, kissing back with vigor. His hand trailed down Harry’s firm bottom and down his leg where he pulled it up. Knowing what he wanted, Harry wrapped his arms around Tom’s neck and jumped up to wrap his legs around his waist, Tom holding him up. They both groaned at the sudden friction between them and Harry started to rub himself on the body against his. Tom kicked off the wall and took a few steps until they tumbled into Harry’s room and onto his bed.

As soon as they hit the bed, clothes started coming off. Though they both didn’t really want it and said they didn’t, both Harry and Tom had been dreaming about this moment for months; unable to get the feeling or the image of the other out of their head. It was always something that they could never forget no matter how hard they tried. Neither of them were resisting either because they already knew what the other felt like and it had been months since then. Not that they could stop, they did not have complete control of their bodies, but unlike last time there was more awareness and a little more control over certain movements. Tom had more control over his hands, yet continued to touch and pull Harry closer. Harry didn’t feel like such a prisoner in his own body and actually consciously egged Tom on while simultaneously cursing him. But they did not stop.

“I hate you,” Harry hissed at him as they kissed.

“The feeling is mutual,” Tom muttered as he pulled Harry’s shirt up and off and started to attack his chest.

“I thought this was-ah, over with,” Harry gasped as Tom found a nipple and sucked it into his mouth.

“As did I, but apparently not,” Tom replied and moved his mouth downward. He paused as he saw a faint line of a scar on his lower abdomen. He lightly trailed his fingers over the scar and then kissed it softly. This was where his daughter had come into this world and though it was a mark on the otherwise flawless skin, Tom thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world.

“S-Stop that,” Harry stuttered breathlessly as he felt Tom’s lips trace over the scar again and again, fascinated by it.

Tom only grunted in reply and moved his mouth lower. When he got down to Harry’s pants he quickly removed them and Harry gasped as his flesh met cool air. He sat back and gazed down at Harry who was flushed from his kisses and from embarrassment at being looked at. Just like last time, he could only find one word to describe the being in front of him. “You’re beautiful.”

Harry’s eyes widened as the words left Tom’s mouth and he blushed. What the hell? Harry was confused. Why would he say that? Whatever this was that was making them do this was probably messing with the both of them. It was definitely not something Tom would say…or would he? “Fuck you asshole,” Harry said, trying to bring back the anger and hate. Gazing up at him, with his shirt unbuttoned and his hair all mussed up, Harry felt like he didn’t know Tom at all. He had been expecting crazy Dark Lord and now all he was…was human; resorting to pleading and begging and soft sweet words. He didn’t know how to handle it.

The words seemed to bring Tom back into himself, “Well, it looks like I am the one that is going to do the fucking.” He quickly leaned down and kissed Harry, stilling whatever he was about to say; sliding his tongue into the warm cavern. As he kissed him, Tom shed his shirt and felt Harry’s fingers working the button and zipper of his pants when they were loosened, he shed them too until he was left with nothing.

Flesh met flesh and they moved frantically against each other in bliss. They didn’t waste any time in foreplay and went straight to it. Tom conjured wandlessly a bottle of lubricant and slicked his fingers before sliding them one at a time inside of Harry’s quivering entrance; stretching and stroking in preparation for what was to come. Harry’s legs twitched then spread wider and Tom smirked as he slid his fingers in deeper. “So eager.”

“S-Shut up! Ah!” Harry gasped and arched his hips as the questing fingers found his sweet spot, “Fuck!” All too quickly the fingers retreated and he nearly whimpered at the loss, nearly because it was just as quickly replaced with something bigger.

He winced slightly as Tom slid into him, but it wasn’t as bad as last time. What am I doing? Wynter is asleep in the other room! He thought as he was filled. But that thought brought another one. “I better not get pregnant again,” he said as he held onto Tom.

Tom pushed the rest of his cock into Harry then paused in thought. He slowly, with effort, lifted his hand and placed it over Harry’s stomach.

Harry felt a tingle over his stomach. “What did you do?” he asked alarmed.

“Anti-pregnancy charm,” Tom said.

“Oh,” Harry said breathlessly, then gasped as Tom pulled out of him and slammed back in. “Oh God!”

Tom released his own groan of pleasure as Harry squeezed tight around him. He immediately did it again and again until he had set a rhythm that the both of them enjoyed; fast and hard. It was not gentle, not that they were hurting each other, no, but it was full of desire, passion, and desperation. After a year of not seeing each other, a year of dreaming and reliving that night over and over again they both had absolutely no control over it.

Harry clung onto Tom as he pounded into him, his eyes closed in bliss. Why had he not given in sooner? This felt so good and so…right! “H-Harder!” Harry gasped out and tried to move his hips. Tom held him in place and Harry growled in frustration, but Tom pulled his hips close and started thrusting into him harder. –Yesss- he hissed. The Parseltongue obviously did something because he felt Tom’s cock twitch inside him so he said it again.

-Fuck- Tom hissed as he heard the mantra of ‘yes’ and ‘oh yes’ come from Harry’s mouth in the ancient tongue of snakes. And somehow hearing it was arousing to his ears. –Need...deeper- he hissed haltingly. Hearing him, Harry reached down his thighs and spread his cheeks wider for him. Tom let go of Harry’s hips and spread the golden globes even more for a wider passage for his cock.

Harry cried out as Tom drove himself even harder and deeper into him and let his arms drop listlessly onto the bed. He could feel Tom’s big cock deep inside him, creating the most incredible pleasure. It was all so much and he was so close. With Tom’s hands occupied, Harry took his cock into his hand and started to pump. He watched as Tom looked down and stared at his hand sliding up and down his cock and Tom’s thrusts got faster and more erratic. Having Tom watch was arousing and encouraging and his hand moved faster in time with Tom’s thrust and all too soon…he was cumming, hard. Harder than he ever had in his life, semen spilling forth over his chest and Tom’s. Before his orgasm was even over, dark sports appears in his vision and grew darker.

Tom looked up from Harry’s rapidly moving hand to his face just in time to see him cum. Head thrown back, eyes closed tight and mouth slightly opened; his body as taunt as a rubber band. It was the tightening of Harry’s body around his cock that was his undoing. He urged himself deep inside Harry and came. Thick streams of cum leaving him and filling Harry to the brim and spilling over.

Tom pulled out and collapsed onto his side, panting, trying to blink away the sudden spots. Harry and Tom turned their heads toward each other then gave in to the darkness.

xxx

Harry woke to birds chirping and warm sun on the side of his face and turned his face to it. He had slept surprisingly well, only he had a slight crick in his neck and a pleasurable burn in his backside…wait, what?

Harry slowly opened his eyes and took in the familiar white trimmed window and the tree outside, the white wall and ceiling; his bedroom. He then turned his head to the side, his heart pounding in dread, to see the figure sleeping beside him.

Last nights events replayed in his mind and his cheeks burned as he remembered how very desperate and needy he had been. But instead of feeling crushed and devastated by his actions like last time, he was pissed. And not just at Tom, but at himself for allowing it to happen, again! What was wrong with him? Sleeping with, with this…man! The first time…he still didn’t understand anything about why it happened, but that was over and done with. Yet it happened again and it was…it was fantastic…No, not fantastic, stop thinking that! He scolded himself. But no matter how angry he was, it still felt right, to be here with Tom in his bed.

Harry shook his head to rid himself of his treacherous thoughts. He pulled himself up and turned himself so that he was facing Tom with his back to the window and pulled his feet up, then promptly shoved Tom as hard as he could. He caught a glimpse of Tom’s blue eyes snapping open just before he toppled over the edge of the bed.

Tom sprang up, seething “What the hell was that for?”

Harry blushed and looked away as Tom stood there in all his naked glory. He opened and closed his mouth; suddenly he had forgotten what he was going to say. “G-Get out!” he stuttered out.

“What?”

“I said get out!” Harry snapped and threw a pillow at him.

Tom sidestepped the pillow and glanced around to take in the situation and it came to him. –Shit- he hissed.

“Exactly. Now get out,” Harry growled and got up, wrapping a sheet around himself. Tom stared at him incredulously and said nothing. “What?” he spat.

“I don’t know why you bother, I’ve seen everything already…twice.”

Harry flushed and pulled the sheet tighter around himself, “Get dressed and leave!” Harry hissed at him.

Tom glanced down at himself then hunted down his clothes and put them on. “This isn’t over,” he suddenly said.

“Oh. It’s so over,” Harry said yanking up his pants and letting go of the sheet. “Now get out of my house.”

Tom glared back at him, spun on his heel and left the room. A second later he returned. “Don’t you dare think of leaving. If you do I will find you.”

Harry opened his mouth in outrage. How dare he-

“She’s my daughter too. You can’t keep me from her.” And with that, he was gone.

Chapter Text

Harry spent the next few days on edge, expecting Tom to walk in at any moment. Any squeak of the floor or the wind hitting the shutters and he would jump, thinking that he was here to…That was the thing. Harry wasn’t sure what Tom was going to do. Not with what happened last time.

Harry shook his head. He refused to fall into that routine again. He should never have let it happen again. He had felt the same pull towards Tom just like the first time, but it hadn’t felt as strong. Yet it had been there and there had been nothing he could have done to stop it. Not that he really wanted it too; he’d be lying to himself if he didn’t say that he was relieved that Tom was touching him again. Harry had been craving his touch ever since the first time. He didn’t like the thought of it but his body felt differently, it was betraying him in the worst possible way and if it continued to happen then it was going to be a real problem.

But it won’t be a problem because it will never happen again, he thought to himself firmly.

He just wished he knew what was going to happen. Usually, he could predict what Voldemort would do, but ever since finding out about Wynter…things had changed. Voldemort, no Tom was doing something he had never done before. Show emotion. Shock, happiness, uncertainty, desire…they were all so new to Harry. It was like he was a completely different person. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t try something, what exactly, he didn’t know. All Harry knew was that he had to be prepared.

He sighed and looked down at his daughter who was lying on her back on the floor on a blanket. “You have things so easy, you know that? Unlike me. My life is so complicated even when I’m not doing anything.”

Wynter gazed up at him and blinked her bright green eyes, smiling slightly behind her pacifier. “Not that you understand me,” he said to her. “But that’s okay. You just lay there and look cute.”

A knock at the door caught his attention. He gasped lightly at her, “We have a visitor! I wonder who it is.” Wynter blinked up at him and sporadically kicked her legs as she heard his voice and Harry smiled down at her.

I wasn’t expecting Ron and Hermione today… he thought and moved to open the door.

xxx

Tom apparated outside the fake cottage and walked past it to the real one. It stood solitary amongst the trees and bushes, simple and unnoticeable and he felt the presence of Harry inside. Thankfully he had stayed like he had told him to. Tom really didn’t want to go looking for him again. He had been very impatient with wanting to just leave and come back here but he had things to do as a Dark Lord that couldn’t be put off. And after days of putting his followers on new assignments, he finally had time to see his daughter.

His daughter.

Tom still couldn’t believe it. He had a daughter! Every time he thought about it, it brought a smile to his face. He had to be careful because it just wouldn’t do to have his followers see him smile. It would make them suspicious, not to mention destroy his image. But he couldn’t help it. He wondered what she looked like, what her name was, how old she was…there was so many things he wanted to know.

He had been…distracted last time, but he wasn’t to be denied this time.

Not that he had really minded the distraction. It had been a really, really nice one. Yet it was one that should not have happened. All his research that he had done on the subject had come up with nothing. The closest he had was the Soul Mate Bond, but that only counted for the first time. According to the book, they had already “consummated” the bond, but there was none, yet it had happened again. There was something deeper to it; he just had to find it.

Tom mounted the steps and reached for the door knob, but paused. If I am to continue to see my daughter, I have to at least be civil with Potter. Barging in will not help. He took a deep breath and straightened his robes, then knocked on the door.

The door opened and Harry’s face appeared. He clearly hadn’t been expecting him judging on his reaction, which was to slam the door in his face. But Tom had been expecting that and stopped it with his foot before it could close.

Harry didn’t fight it, it was inevitable. So he let go of the door and stepped back as Tom come inside.

“Potter,” Tom said casually.

Harry paused, uncertain of what to call him. He wasn’t Voldemort (if he had been he would definitely not let him in, it would scare Wynter) and he would not call him Tom even if it would annoy him, so he said, “Riddle.”

Tom’s eye twitched at the use of him muggle surname, but he moved on. “You know why I’m here.”

“Yes,” Harry said. “Though I wish you weren’t” he mumbled as he closed the door.

Tom heard the muttered words, but ignored it, “Where is she?”

“Who?” Harry asked freighting innocence.

“You know who,” Tom growled. He stopped to calm himself, “Where is my daughter?”

Harry tensed slightly and glanced over toward where Wynter was laying. Tom caught the movement and turned to look. He saw the edge of a blanket and headed toward it.

Harry bounded forward and picked Wynter up. “Here she is, you’ve seen her, you can go now.”

Tom took a deep breath and released it, “Look Potter. I am not going to hurt you or her, nor am I going to take her from you.”

Harry frowned, “How do I know that?”

“She needs her mother and I am not going to deprive her of that. You have my word.”

Harry blinked in shock. He had not been expecting that. “Y-You won’t take her from me?” he asked.

“No. She belongs here.”

After a second Harry nodded; he would have to go along with it, besides, Tom did give him his word and that was not to be taken lightly. But any sign of a threat and they were out of there. To hell with him being Wynter’s father, he would not put his daughter in harm's way.

“I just want to know my daughter Potter, that’s all,” Tom encouraged.

“Okay,” Harry said at last, “But if you try anything…”

Tom nodded in understanding. Harry Took a deep breath before he sat down on the couch and Tom followed and sat on the other end. Harry clutched his daughter close for a moment before he turned Wynter around to sit on his lap facing Tom. It was then that Tom got his first look at his daughter.

The fact that she looked like Harry came to mind first. Wide green eyes stared at him curiously from beneath a mop of black hair. Her face was all soft and carefree with soft chubby cheeks and a cute little mouth which was holding a pacifier. She was dressed in a light pink onesie with what looked like a picture of a bear on it and looked perfectly content in Harry’s arms.

“She’s beautiful,” Tom whispered as he drank in every inch of his daughter, committing it to memory.

“Thank you,” Harry said softly and looked down at Wynter. She was gazing at Tom with open curiosity, trying to figure out who he was. All she knew was that he was someone new.

Tom reached out a hand to touch her but saw Harry’s arm tighten around her and he stopped. Small steps, he reminded himself and put his arm down. “Um…” Tom had so much to ask he didn’t know where to start. “What is her name?”

“Wynter.”

“Wynter?” Tom repeated with a frown.

“Don’t give me that look. Wynter is a good name and I like it.” Harry said.

“But why Wynter, why not something more original?”

“Because she’s special, I wanted her to have a special name. Besides, Winter is my favorite season and it fit.”

“There are a lot of other unique names out there…” Tom paused as he saw Harry’s angry look. “But Wynter is a good name too.” Harry nodded satisfied. “Is it just Wynter or…”

“Her full name is Wynter Lily Potter,” Harry answered.

Tom smiled, “Wynter Lily…It does have a nice ring to it.”

“Thanks.”

“How old is she?”

“Three months.”

“Three? That’s all? Then she was born…”

“December 13th,” Harry supplied to him. It was easier to just tell him what he wanted instead of fighting. Besides if Tom was being civil why couldn’t he?

“December…” Tom murmured and smiled slightly.

“What?” Harry asked.

“It’s nothing.” Harry narrowed his eyes suspiciously and Tom sighed. “Mine is at the end of December.”

Harry sat back in surprise, “Oh…Happy Birthday then.”

Tom blinked in surprise, “Thank you,” he murmured. When was the last time someone had said that to him? It had been a long time, if ever.

“I guess naming her Wynter wasn’t just some random name.”

“No, it was snowing when she was born.”

“Were you by yourself?” Tom asked curiously.

“No. My friends were here with me.”

“Good,” Tom nodded and fell silent. “Do you have everything you need for her?”

“Yeah. Dumbledore supplied everything that I needed,” Harry said.

Tom nodded; “If you need anything…” he said trailing off.

Harry nodded in understanding and he smiled slightly. It was…endearing to know that he was willing to be there for his daughter.

They settled into a comfortable silence, Tom watching his daughter as Harry played with her fingers that were curled around his own. Occasionally their eyes would meet when Wynter did something and they would smile as parents do when their child did something that was noteworthy; which, with Wynter was every second.

After a few moments of silence, Tom spoke up. “I haven’t…missed anything, have I?”

Harry thought for a moment, unsure what he meant. “Oh no, you haven’t. She only recently started moving her head around. All she really does is lay there and play with her feet. She’s fascinated with them.”

Tom smiled, “Is she?”

Harry nodded and smiled too, “You should have seen when she discovered them. She was lying on her back and was kicking her legs out and she put one of them in the air…” Harry laughed as he remembered, “She looked at it and her eyes got real wide like “where did that come from?” It was so funny.”

“Sounds like it,” Tom murmured, “Is there anything else you can tell me?”

Harry looked up and saw the desperation to know everything he could about their daughter in Tom’s eyes. Harry looked down at Wynter in his arms and felt pride swell in his chest. If Tom wanted to know and was willing to listen then Harry was more than happy to indulge him.

Chapter Text

Over the next few weeks, Tom would come over to visit Wynter; once sometimes twice a week just to see her. Harry always stayed in the room when he was over and he didn’t allow Tom to hold her either. He was still wary that if he did, Tom would take off with her. Tom seemed to understand because he didn’t ask or get angry about it.

But Harry was starting to relax. He allowed Tom to touch Wynter now, just little touches to her face or hands. It seemed to Harry that Tom was almost afraid to touch her, not that he blamed him. Harry had gone through a period when Wynter had been born of being so gentle with her like she was made of glass. It took a while to realize that she wouldn’t shatter beneath his fingers.

And Harry was right. Tom was afraid to hold Wynter in fear that he would drop her. She was so small and fragile. Harry was a natural at taking care of her, even going so far as to only hold her with one arm while he did something else. Tom didn’t think he could do that, not that Harry was ready to give her up anyway. He was content to just sit and watch her lay there and touch her little hands.

While he was there, Tom would ask more questions about Wynter and Harry would answer enthusiastically complete with a story. But mostly they would just watch her as she lay on the floor playing with her toys. They would watch her for what seemed like hours and would never tire of it. Wynter also seemed to like the attention of the new man; she would give a little smile when she saw him come over and Tom would melt when he saw it. They hadn’t known each other long but Wynter already had Tom wrapped around her little finger.

Everything was perfect between the bonding of Tom and Wynter. She seemed to understand that this man was an important person in her life and was more than willing to let another person bask in her cuteness. However, it was an entirely different matter between Harry and Tom. If there was a word to describe it, it would be awkward. With what had happened before seemed to just sit there unspoken about, not that either of them minded, they both just wanted to pretend it didn’t happen.

Nothing would happen when Tom was over though and they made sure that it didn’t. It seemed that whatever it was that was pulling them together only acted out when it was just the two of them, so Harry always made sure that Wynter was there with them. But of course, before they had figured that out there had been a little incident.

Wynter had still been taking her nap and Tom had come over. They had just sat on the couch making small talk when suddenly they were both too close to each other, close enough that Harry could see the little flecks of red in Tom’s blue eyes. They had been saved by Wynter’s cry from the baby monitor announcing that she was awake. Harry had jumped away from Tom and practically ran from the room to get her while Tom composed himself. Tom had then come to the conclusion that if left alone something would happen between them.

Even though nothing happened, there seemed to be something boiling just near the surface. They both felt it though it was ignored. But over time it just seemed to get worse to the point where Harry wouldn’t be able to sleep because of the heat in his nether regions that no amount of touching himself could relieve it. The same could be said for Tom.

But then Tom had an idea that changed everything.

“I can’t do this,” Tom muttered and stood up to pace in front of the coffee table.

“W-What do you mean?” Harry asked getting up and placing himself in front of Wynter who was lying on the floor.

Tom paused and looked at Harry in his defensive position. “Not about Wynter. No. It’s…this,” he said gesturing between them.

“What?” Harry asked confused.

“I know you can feel it. This…this pull that is between us. I don’t know what it is but it’s distracting.”

Harry gulped, “Oh.” He knew what Tom was talking about. That feeling that he felt right under his skin, especially when Tom was near him. When he left it almost felt angry? Frustrated? It was worse when he went to bed and was relaxing, he would feel all hot and bothered for hours and it irritated him to no end. “D-Did you find out anything?” he asked.

“No,” Tom said crossing his arms, the fingers of his right hand touching his lips lightly. Harry recognized it as Tom’s thinking pose. “I can’t find anything remotely close to our situation. It’s like an itch I can’t scratch.”

Harry nodded. He knew how that felt. He was feeling like that right now.

“The only way that seems to make it go away is to…” Tom trailed off.

“No,” Harry said flatly.

“You think I want to?” Tom asked annoyed, “I just need to figure out how to relieve it without bedding you.”

Harry flinched, “Do you have to be so crude. Wynter can hear you, you know.”

Tom blinked and looked down into Wynter’s curious green eyes. “Sorry.”

After that, Tom sat down again, but after a while, he seemed to be getting closer and closer until Tom was right next to him. Harry could feel the warmth of Tom’s skin through his shirt and where they were touching made him feel hot. He couldn’t move either, he was trapped between the armrest and Tom and Wynter was on the floor in front of him. He wasn’t sure if Tom did it on purpose or it was unconsciously done to get closer to Wynter to play with her feet. But he couldn’t just get up, one, it would point out that he was uncomfortable and two, Wynter was enjoying herself, giggling her little head off. Plus, Tom was smiling, actually smiling. It was nice…

No! It is not nice. Stop thinking like that! Harry scolded himself firmly.

“What’s wrong with her?” Tom suddenly asked.

Harry glanced down at Wynter who had her face scrunched up almost like in concentration. He smiled, “Someone needs a change.” Tom made a face and Harry couldn’t help but laugh as he scooped Wynter up. “Come on then.”

“What?” Tom asked bewildered.

“If you want to be a part of her life you have to learn to take care of her,” Harry said as he took a hold of Tom’s arm and pulled him off the couch. “That includes changing her diaper.”

Harry pulled a stunned Dark Lord down the hall to Wynter’s bedroom and gently laid her down on the changing table, then moved aside.

Tom stared blankly at his daughter on the table then up at Harry. “You’re seriously going to make me change her?”

“Of course. It’s part of the parenting experience. And no magic. I do it the old fashioned way.”

“…What do I do?”

Harry smiled and proceeded to direct him. “First you have to get to her diaper so open the buttons…”

It took a little longer to change Wynter, but it got done. Harry was impressed that Tom didn’t gag when he opened the diaper; then again he was a Dark Lord and was probably used to seeing gross stuff like that. Harry was just used to it by now, especially after he had the experience of changing her after starting Wynter on solid foods. Now that had been disgusting.

After Wynter was changed and dressed again, Harry picked her up. “There. Not so bad, was it?”

“How do you do that every day?”

“It’s because I do it every day that I can do it.”

“I see.”

“Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it too.”

Tom nodded and watched as Harry placed Wynter on the floor in the living room and went into the kitchen to prepare a bottle. Harry kept an eye on them from the door way just to make sure Wynter was okay and when Harry came back Tom was in his “thinking pose” again. He thought nothing of it as Tom got that way time to time and sometimes took a few minutes to snap out of it. As Harry made to go to Wynter Tom suddenly stepped into his path. “W-What are you doing?” Harry asked when Tom suddenly pulled him flush against him.

“Testing something,” Tom said before his lips were on Harry’s.

Harry struggled at first; placing his hand against Tom’s chest and the bottle in the other hand pushing against his shoulder, trying to pull away. But Tom put a hand on the back of his neck to hold him in place. After a few seconds, Harry melted into the kiss.

It was simple and sweet; there was no tongue, just simple lips on lips. And it was amazing. It was like a tide of relief washing over them both, soothing the treacherous monster that lived inside of them. Harry let out a little sigh as Tom nibbled on his lip leaving him breathless before Tom pulled away.

Harry slowly opened his eyes and looked up into Tom’s blue eyes feeling like he was floating on a cloud. Then he became aware of what had just happened and pushed away from him and Tom let him go. “W-What was that for?!” he asked, his voice higher than usual.

“Like I said, testing something.” Harry scoffed. “I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been closer than usual to you today.”

Harry felt his face heat up and turned away so that Tom wouldn’t notice. Yes, he had noticed how could he not. He looked over at Tom who smirked at him. He quickly looked away. Damn him and his stupid face! Harry thought vehemently. He looked down at Wynter who was watching them, fascinated. Harry felt his blush deepen and scooped her up and gave her the bottle.

“It seems that what ever this is between us is appeased by physical contact, but simply being near you isn’t enough. Intimate contact, however, seems to work.”

Harry thought for a moment and realized that the “itch” that had been there was gone. Well not completely, he could still feel it but it was bearable. “That doesn’t mean you can just…do that.”

“It’s just a kiss.”

“To you!” Harry seethed.

“It was the only way to test my theory,” Tom said simply, seemingly unaffected by the kiss. “Would you have let me kiss you if I had asked?” Harry said nothing. “I thought so. However, I do not know how long the effects will last.”

“So what? You have to kiss me again?” Harry asked bitingly.

“Yes.” Harry stared at him gob smacked. He couldn’t believe him! “Or we can just let it go and in a few weeks or days we end up in bed together again,” Tom added.

Harry glared in his directing and gently patted Wynter’s back until she burped. As much as he hated to admit it, Tom was right. These emotions or whatever was bound to spiral out of control sooner or later. It was better to head it off and try to appease it any way they could. It’s just a kiss, no big deal…right? “Fine,” Harry agreed; his heart racing a mile a minute.

Tom nodded. “Until I figure out how to stop it completely it is what we will have to do.”

And that was exactly what happened. Tom would come over and before anything else, he would kiss Harry. Like before nothing over the top, just a kiss. Then Tom would go on like nothing happened. Harry would pretend to, but on the inside, he was a whole mess of emotions.

He hated the kisses and yet he didn’t. They were short and sweet, sometimes lingering kisses that took Harry’s breath away and he loved the feeling. They were so gentle and caring, so different than what he thought a Dark Lord would kiss like. Yet it was because Tom was a Dark Lord that he hated them. The kisses stirred up things inside him that he didn’t know how to even begin to explain. It was all so complicated and just so…ugh. He just blamed it all on the connection thing and left it at that.

Harry wasn’t the only one having conflicting thoughts. Tom was feeling things that he hadn’t felt in years yet he had no idea what it was. He had first come up with the theory and idea to kiss Harry to get rid of the itchy feeling that crawled underneath his skin every time he was in a room with him. Only kissing Harry felt like heaven and he had wanted to keep doing it again and again; which is why after a few days of kissing Harry he started giving him another when he left. It had stunned Harry the first time he had done so but he hadn’t been able to resist kissing those sweet lips of his. Not that he told Harry that. No. He just told him that it was just an assurance until they next saw each other. Harry hadn’t complained.

All these visits and kisses stirred up uncertain emotions that they did not know what to do with and left them both very confused.

xxx

It had been a week and a half since what Harry called “the kiss deal” and it was already turning into a normal thing. It was like Tom was kissing him in greeting, then kissing him good bye when he left. It was almost like…

Harry shook his head. No. What am I thinking? There’s no way that we are a family. Tom is only coming here because of Wynter. That’s all; he nodded to himself and continued to fold laundry.

Yet the more he thought about it the more it seemed like they were. Not that he wouldn’t be…opposed to it. They sort of already were, with the both of them here acting as parents to Wynter, taking care of her together. Sure it wasn’t a relationship, more like a mutual agreement but it was something. And what Harry wanted the most in the world was a family. So it wasn’t a bad thing. But now with all these swirling thoughts and emotions confusing him because of this connection. It was almost as if he—

A sudden knocking at the door startled him. He’s here!

Harry quickly tossed the carefully folded laundry in the basket and put it behind the couch so the living room wouldn’t look cluttered. He checked on Wynter, who was playing with her toes again, to see that she was still there and that she was okay and then made his way to the door. As he made his way over he stopped and backpedaled to look at himself in the small mirror hanging on the wall; trying in vain to comb out his hair with his fingers and trying to make it lay flat. He suddenly caught himself and he stopped. What am I doing?! Since when do I fix my hair for Tom? What is wrong with me? He quickly went to the door and opened it to find…Ron and Hermione.

Disappointment suddenly flooded him like a wave and it shocked him. “…hey.”

Hermione’s smile wavered slightly as she saw him, “Hey Harry…Were you expecting someone?”

Harry snapped his attention to her and stood up straight. “O-Of course not! Come on in,” he said gesturing them inside. What was wrong with him? These were his friends, he should be happy to see them. But you wanted it to be Tom… came the snide voice in his head. He ignored it.

Hermione and Ron shared identical grins as the stepped in. Hermione made a beeline for Wynter and picked her up. “Aww! Look at you! You’re so big!” she cooed as she held Wynter up in the air. Wynter squealed in delight at the two familiar faces and reached for her. Hermione “Awed” and hugged her tight.

“You remember us, don’t you Wynter?” Ron said with a smile.

“Of course she does. You’re her godparents,” Harry said.

“I know, but we don’t visit as often as we should,” Hermione said.

“That’s okay, I understand. You’re busy and she knows that too, which makes you coming over even more special.”

“We just don’t want her to forget us,’ Ron said tugging on a foot.

“She won’t forget, I talk to her about you guys all the time,” Harry replied.

“What are you looking at,” Hermione cooed, as Wynter looked around the room. Harry tensed slightly, she wasn’t looking at something, she was looking for someone, but Hermione didn’t notice. “Has she started talking yet?”

“No she just babbles nonsense,” Harry smiled as Wynter started doing just that.

Hermione Awed again and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “I don’t want to miss anything.”

“Me neither,” Ron said.

“I always have my camera with me,” Harry said.

“Good,” Hermione said, “So, Harry who was it?”

“Who was what?” Harry asked.

“Who were you expecting?”

“I wasn’t expecting anyone.”

“Come on mate, you can tell us,” Ron said.

“No really. There was no one. I just wasn’t expecting you today. You usually come on Saturdays,” Harry said.

“We both got a day off and decided to come visit,” Ron said. “So?” he asked not letting it go.

“So, what? There’s nothing to say,” Harry said with a plastered smile getting up to make tea, “I’m not seeing anyone if that is what you are implying.”

“Harry, you were clearly expecting someone else when you opened the door,” Hermione pressed.

“Yeah, you didn’t look too happy to see us,” Ron added.

“Of course I was happy!” Harry said coming back in with the tea set, “I just wasn’t expecting you.”

“So you were expecting someone else,” Ron said with a smirk.

“No. I was not expecting someone else. I wasn’t expecting anyone,” Harry said, getting annoyed. “I am not seeing anyone, okay.”

“There’s no need to be shy, Harry,” Hermione said bouncing Wynter on her lap, “There’s no shame in finding someone and going on dates. It will be good for you.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Ron added, “So is it someone from the Muggle town?”

“There are a lot of cute boys out there that I saw the last time we went to town, one of them catch your attention?”

“Is he nice?”

“Is he hot?”

“Does he treat Wynter okay?”

“Does he-”

“Stop it! That’s enough!” Harry snapped, tired of the badgering.

“Harry-” Hermione said, startled.

“No. I don’t want to hear it anymore. There is no one, okay. I am not seeing anyone, so drop it.”

Harry took a deep breath to calm himself as Ron and Hermione looked apologetic and glanced down at Wynter in Hermione’s lap. She looked startled by Harry’s outburst and was about to cry. Harry hurriedly took her into his arms and rubbed her back soothingly and kissed her forehead to calm her down.

Harry didn’t know why he was getting so angry. They were just harmless questions. Any other time he would have laughed his ass off or would have played along and made up some fantasy guy to catch their interest until they realized he was playing with them. He wasn’t seeing anyone and definitely wasn’t seeing Tom. Okay, sure he had been expecting Tom at the door, so what? It’s not like we’re dating, he thought and immediately thought of one of Tom’s kisses. He burrowed his face into Wynter’s curls to hide the coloring of his cheeks and mentally shook his head to rid himself of the image. No, he defiantly wasn’t seeing anyone…so why was he so angry?

“Harry. I- We’re sorry,” Hermione said, “We didn’t mean to push.”

“Yeah, mate. Sorry.”

Harry sighed and lifted his head. He gazed down at Wynter to see if she was okay and gave her a smile, which she copied. “No. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get so angry. I just…I guess I’m going a little stir crazy here.” Which was true, so he wasn’t lying. He missed the magical world and wanted to see the rest of his friends and the rest of the Weasley’s. And definitely, introduce Wynter to everyone…but he couldn’t.

“I guess you would, being stuck here,” Ron said.

“But you can go outside, go to town…” Hermione put in.

“Yeah, but it’s not the same.”

“I know but just hang in there okay?” Hermione said.

Harry nodded and settled back against the couch with Wynter against his shoulder. “So how’s work?”

With that, they both launched into a conversation about Ron’s Auror training and Hermione’s job at the Ministry and other topics. They told him how everyone missed him and that everyone was doing okay. They avoided talking about Voldemort and his evil doing so as to not darken the mood. Harry was mostly ignorant of the goings on in the world because he wanted nothing to do with the war anymore, not since Wynter. Sure he got the Daily Prophet but he just glanced through it and Tom never said anything either. It was an unspoken rule between them that Tom wouldn’t bring his “work” into the house.

Harry listened with rapt attention, drinking in everything they said about the magical world. Hermione didn’t leave out a single detail so that he didn’t feel like he missed out at all. But all the talk was making him feel home sick anyway.

“So, how about you? Anything going on around here?” Hermione asked.

Harry paused and thought for a moment. That was a good question. Was there? He glanced down at Wynter who was staring up at him as if to say Yeah, daddy was here! But that wasn’t something he could just tell them, could he? Saying something would reveal the secret that Harry had been keeping about Wynter’s father, but it would also mean that Harry had been inviting his enemy into his house, willingly. It would mean that Dumbledore would take him and Wynter out of here and Harry would be away from Voldemort, far away from the man who was a threat to him and his daughter. But that wouldn’t be fair to Wynter. She already adored Tom and had gotten used to seeing him. Not to mention it wouldn’t be fair to Tom. He had been so nice to the both of them and hadn’t made any attempt to harm them. Besides Tom was right, Wynter needed her mother, but she needed her father too. Really the reason Harry went into hiding in the first place was to hide from Tom, but since he was really no threat to them there was no reason to tell.

The good thing that would come out of telling the truth would be to get away from those kisses and smoldering blue eyes and the unwanted attraction he felt, those he could live without. They were becoming unbearable. So what should he do?

“…”

“Harry?” Hermione questioned.

Harry looked up and smiled, “Nothing. There’s nothing.”

Chapter Text

After the little scene with Ron and Hermione, Harry was a lot more careful when opening the door; checking the window to see who it was first. Luckily it seemed to be only a one-time thing as it did not happen again. Ron and Hermione came over almost every Saturday to see them and the other days Tom would come over.

Things by now were almost routine between Harry and Tom now. Neither of them felt the urge to kill the other, nor was there any hate or anger, they just were. It would be hard to describe it to an outsider, but to them it was natural, it made sense. They actually got along and were comfortable with each other enough to have an actual conversation without arguing and Harry no longer felt the urge to flee with Wynter every time Tom came over. Which was why when Tom stepped into the cottage and found no one there he felt a shiver of fear go down his spine.

He had knocked on the door as usual and expected to have the door open and see Harry's expectant face, but instead, there was no answer so he had let himself in. It wasn't breaking and entering because he didn't care and plus the door was unlocked, but as he looked around he could already tell that no one was there.

Harry can't go anywhere, so where is he? Tom thought as he started looking around the house. To town maybe, but he would be back by now.

He checked the kitchen, but it was empty, as was the bathroom. Panic started to grip him as he came up with nothing. It wasn't like him to lose his cool, but the thought of Harry and Wynter being gone made him feel something that he never felt before: fear.

"Harry?" he called out into the silence.

Tom quickly walked down the hallway checking the closet door as he went and tried to clear his mind. He hadn't done anything to anger Harry, so there was no reason for him to leave. Unless.. Unwanted images of Harry and Wynter being dragged away flashed into his mind and he had to shake his head to focus. Who dared to take my family from me? he thought, fear and anger bubbling up inside him.

Wynter's room was just as empty as the rest of the house, the crib empty in the corner with her blankets and toys; the only comfort Tom had was that everything was still in its place, the people were missing. There was only one more room left and Tom opened the door to Harry's room with trepidation, hoping that Harry was in there with Wynter curled up by his side, but they weren't. They were gone. Gone!

Then miraculously he heard laughter.

It was distant but he heard it. Tom strained his ears to see if he could hear the sound again. There! he thought as he heard the unmistakable bubbly giggle and the deeper warm laugh again. Outside? He quickly made his way to the window and looked out.

There they were, sitting in the shade of a tree. Harry sat out on the grass next to a little wading pool where Wynter was splashing the water having what looked like the time of her life.

Relief swept through him and left Tom sagging against the window frame staring out at them as they played in the late afternoon sun. Wynter was wearing a light pink and purple polka-dot swimsuit with a skirt, pigtails on either side of her head splashing the water with both hands with the biggest smile he had ever seen. Her mother was holding her up securely against the side of the pool so she wouldn't slip or fall. Her bubbly laugh is contagious and he could feel himself smiling too.

Harry obviously couldn't help himself either because he let out a carefree laugh as he watched Wynter. He was wearing simple blue jeans and a red t-shirt with some sort of printed logo that was soaked with water. Jet black hair waved freely in the warm breeze and wild green eyes sparkled with joy.

Standing there watching him, Tom couldn't help but think of how beautiful Harry was in that moment. He felt his heart skip a beat (though he would never admit that it did) as Harry gave a breathtaking smile to Wynter as she looked up at him. Shaking his head to clear it, Tom stepped away from the window and back through the house and out the front door, since the little cottage didn't have a back door, and made his way around the back. He paused by the wall to watch the two of them.

Wynter was splashing the water around making what Tom now saw was rubber ducks move with the waves.

"Hey! Don't splash me!" Harry said as water sloshed over the side. He lightly splashed her back and Wynter shrieked in delight.

Harry felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and felt like he was being watched, so he looked up to see Tom leaning casually on the side of the cottage watching them. "hi," he said lamely.

"Hi," Tom said back softly then walked toward them, "having fun?"

"Yes, lots of fun, huh Wynter?" Harry asked her. Wynter giggled and splashed some more. When she saw Tom she started splashing even more as if to show him what she could do.

"Hello there sweetheart," Tom said and knelt down by the pool.

"You may not want to sit there," Harry said.

"Why?"

"Because she might-" Wynter splashed and water flew out and wet Tom in the face, "Wet you," Harry finished, then burst out laughing. Tom pulled away as Wynter continued to splash so he would not get wet again. "She got me too," Harry said gesturing to his clothes.

"I can see that," Tom said and gazed at the pool questionably.

"Oh yeah," Harry grinned sheepishly. "I went to the store today and I saw this really cute swimsuit for Wynter," he said lightly tugging on the fabric on Wynter's shoulder, "I just had to get it, but what's a swimsuit without a swimming pool? So I got this," he said patting the plastic pool.

Tom nodded, "She seems to be enjoying herself."

"Yeah, she'll definitely sleep tonight." He sighed and stretched his back, "I should take her out now, she's going to be all pruney. Come on sweetie time to get out." Wynter fussed a bit but she was pulled out and Harry wrapped her in a towel. He removed his wand from his pocket and made the water disappear and the ducks form a line and trot into the bag they came in. Wynter watched in fascination as the ducks moved one after the other into the bag then close itself.

"You could have just vanished them into the bag," Tom commented.

"I know, but I like to show her magic and see her reactions to it," Harry said and floated the pool to lean on the side of the wall. Tom hummed in agreement and followed them around to the front of the cottage and inside. "I'm going to get her changed," Harry said heading down the hallway, "Make yourself comfortable, just don't break anything."

Tom made a face. Him break something? The very idea was absurd. Tom sat down on the couch and relaxed back. It was strange for him to be able to do so, but he found himself comfortable right there in his enemy's home. Though they were not really enemies anymore, what they were was a mystery and it made his head hurt to try and figure it out. He stood back up when Harry returned to the living room with Wynter fully dressed and placed her in her play pen. When he straightened, Tom pulled Harry to him and kissed him deeply. When they pulled apart seconds later Harry looked up at him with a slightly flushed and confused face.

"I don't believe I greeted you properly," Tom answered his silent question.

"Oh...well hi then," Harry said pulling away.

"Has she started to do anything yet?" Tom asked looking down at Wynter in the play pin. She let out a shriek of glee when she saw him and waving her arms at him making Tom smile.

"No, only that she is starting to lift her head up on her own, but you already know that. Don't worry I'll let you know if she starts to do anything," Harry said from the kitchen.

Tom nodded and looked in and saw Harry pulling a metal bowl out of the fridge. "What are you doing?"

"Making cookies," Harry replied, turning on the oven to the right temperature.

"Making..."

"Cookies," Harry finished for him.

Tom paused, watching as he moved around the kitchen. "Why?"

"Because it's fun. Plus I don't really have anything to do around here besides reading and that gets boring after a while. So I bake."

"I didn't know you could."

"There's lots that you don't know about me, Tom. But I'm a pretty damn good cook if I do say so myself."

Tom froze at the sound of his birth name and saw that Harry did too. Harry glanced over at him and asked, "Is that ok?"

Tom thought for a moment and found that he didn't mind it coming from Harry's mouth so he nodded his head, "Yes. It's fine."

"Okay good, I wasn't sure of what to call you," Harry said turning back to the dough and scooping it up into little balls to put on the cookie sheet. "I mean Tom is your name but you don't like it and Riddle is...I don't know but you don't like that name either and I don't want to call you Voldemort because I am trying really hard to separate the two of you."

"Why?" Tom asked.

"Because you are you and Voldemort..." Harry paused unable to explain it, but he didn't need to.

Tom understood what Harry was trying to say. As Voldemort, he has done a lot of terrible things and hurt a lot of people, but as Tom Riddle, he hadn't done much of anything. Except for maybe in his youth, but there were not many people around from that time anymore. "I understand." Harry gave him a grateful smile and went back to work. "Where did you learn to cook?" Tom asked, curious.

"At the Dursley's. They usually made me cook for them and I found that I liked it. It's even better now that I can do it at my own pace and whenever I want. Do you know how?"

"Having lived in the Muggle world for a time I know the essentials, but apparently not as extensively as you do," Tom replied. "Though I don't know why you like to do such a muggle thing when you have magic."

"I told you, it's fun." At Tom's unconvinced look, Harry elaborated. "I guess it's like making a potion. You mix together different ingredients and it creates something that you are proud of. Cooking is like that...only it tastes good."

"I guess I can understand that," Tom said.

"Good. And that should do it," Harry said and placed the sheets into the oven. He set the timer and then led the way back into the living room to pick up Wynter. They sat down on the couch with Wynter in Harry's lap and talked about various things, mostly whatever Harry had read in a book. Tom was surprisingly patient with all of Harry's questions when he got stuck or didn't understand something and Tom was more than happy to help.

After a while, the timer in the kitchen went off.

"Oh they're done," Harry said glancing to the kitchen. He got up with Wynter and made to put her back in her play pin but hesitated. He looked at Tom who was watching him curiously and decided. "Here," he said handing Wynter to Tom.

There was a flash of what looked like fear in Tom's eyes, "What?"

"I have to get the cookies before they burn, hold her."

Tom floundered for a moment unable to truly understand what was going on and in that moment his daughter was placed into his arms.

Harry smiled at Tom's uncertainty, "Just let her rest against you, she knows what to do. Just hold her tight enough so that she doesn't fall."

Tom nodded and Harry let Wynter go to let her fully rest against him. He was careful to let her settle against him before he secured his arms around her.

"You got her? Okay, I'll be right back. Oh, I hope they didn't burn..." Harry said and left for the kitchen.

Tom couldn't believe that he was holding his daughter. For one, Harry would never let him and two, he didn't know how; he was afraid of dropping her. But it was surprisingly easy, she was so light and she just sat there in his arms looking around to where Harry went. After a minute she tilted her head back to stare up at him and Tom looked down into bright green eyes. They were so similar to Harry's it was uncanny, but they looked up at his with such innocence and happiness that he instantly wanted to protect that.

Wynter suddenly shifted in his arms and he gripped her tight, afraid that she would slip. She made a sound and Harry peeked in from the kitchen.

"Just let her move she'll be fine. You won't drop her," Harry called out to him.

Tom listened and loosened his grip and she turned herself slightly to lean into the crook of his arm so she could look up at him better. When she was settled she gave him a big smile and Tom couldn't help but smile back. She lifted up her arm and lightly touched his face with her tiny fingers and cooed at him.

"She likes you," Harry commented coming back to sit on the couch next to him.

"Does she?" Tom whispered, using a finger to touch her hand and she wrapped her fingers around his, tugging on it.

"Of course, she knows who you are. Here," Harry said handing him a cookie, "Try one." Tom looked at the cookie with suspicion. "Oh come on, I'm not going to poison you."

Deciding to give it a chance he took it and took a bite.

"Well? You do like chocolate don't you," Harry asked as he watched Tom chew. He did nothing for a moment just chewed...then put the rest in his mouth.

Harry smiled, "Glad you like it."

Harry allowed Tom to keep a hold of Wynter as they continued to talk. Mostly about how big Wynter was getting and when she was going to show signs of magic. So far there had been nothing but that was okay, it was still early. By the time Harry was finished baking and he put them away Wynter had fallen asleep, tucked in Tom's arms.

"And she's out for tonight," Harry commented.

Tom looked down at Wynter as she slept, "Looks like it."

"Time to put her to bed then," Harry said and led the way to her bedroom.

"How do I...?" Tom asked, standing over Wynter's crib.

"Hold her head and lower her...there, see easy right?" Harry said.

"She's so light," Tom commented.

Harry laughed, "You say that now, try holding her for a few hours."

"I was..." Tom said uncertainly.

"No, she was just leaning on you, if you were actually holding her...she kills my arm after a while."

"Is she really that heavy?"

"Doesn't look like, does she?"

Tom nodded and looked down at Wynter sprawled out on her back. So peaceful and sweet...

"What is it?" Harry asked.

"I was just thinking...how it was possible that people like us could create something so..." Tom shook his head unable to come up with the words.

"I ask myself that every day," Harry said, "Come on," he said and led him out of the room, closing the door behind them.

"How old is she now?" Tom asked.

"Five months, two weeks," Harry replied.

"She's getting so big."

"I know. Before we know it she'll be walking."

"Talking."

"Using magic."

"Going to school."

"Dating..." Harry said hollowly.

"Oh god," Tom muttered.

They stood in the cramped hallway for a moment staring at each other, then cracked a smile at each other.

"Look at us, parents. Did you ever think it would ever happen?" Harry asked.

"Never. I just hope I'm doing everything right."

"Me too. But I think we are doing a good job."

Tom nodded and glanced at Harry who was looking at Wynter's door. Staring at him with his windswept hair and bright green eyes Tom felt his body start to react to him. That was not good. He quickly reverted his eyes, "I should go." Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Harry clench his teeth and nod. So it wasn't only him. "Then I shall take my leave."

Harry nodded again and turned toward him for a kiss as was their custom. Tom lightly cupped Harry's cheek and leaned down to kiss him. As soon as their lips touched he knew it had been a bad idea.

Harry instinctively wrapped his arms around Tom's neck as the kiss deepened and he felt Tom slid his around him. I should have just let him leave, Harry thought as Tom's mouth found his neck. Even though he thought that he was relieved that it was finally happening again. It had been far too long.

With the help of the strange pulling and their own desires they stumbled into Harry's room and within minutes their clothes were gone and were free to explore each other's bodies. Unlike any other time they had slept together, they were both completely willing. No words were spoken as flesh met flesh except their breathing and moans of pleasure.

Tom rocked his hips with Harry's as they rubbed against each other, pulling gasps of pleasure from Harry's lips. Before they could both come he pulled away and ran his hands down his sides to his stomach to place the anti-pregnancy spell. With that done he slickened his fingers and slid them into Harry's hole, preparing him for his entry.

Harry gasped at the intrusion and grasped Tom's shoulder to get him closer; spreading his legs to help Tom get better access to him. He wanted this, no matter how much he may want to deny it, he wanted this. Wanted Tom inside him, with him...Harry didn't even understand what that meant but as long as Tom kept doing that with his fingers and mouth, he never wanted him to stop.

Tom looked down into deep green eyes that silently pleaded with him to hurry up. He didn't need to be told twice and didn't waste any time to fully sheath himself inside of Harry.

"Oh God," Harry gasped, throwing his head back.

Tom groaned with him. It felt unbelievable after so long resisting being with each other. It was like coming home.

Tom immediately set a fast pace; driving himself deep and hard into Harry, one that Harry seemed to like with all the noise that he was making, and oh how he loved to hear it. It didn't take long for each of them, they were already on edge as it was.

When they were close, Tom took a hold of Harry's cock and started stroking him in time with his thrusts. Harry came crying out Tom's name and pulling him down. Tongues dueled fiercely in a passionate kiss as they both came, riding out the waves of their orgasm.

Tom collapsed onto his side as dark spots started blurring his vision again. He felt Harry weakly grasp his arm before everything went black.

xxx

Harry opened his eyes and realized immediately what had happened. He sighed, "Again?"

"Apparently," said a voice from beside him.

Harry turned his head and saw Tom laying down beside him, one hand behind his head. He blushed and looked away, gripping the sheets between his fingers. He looked out the window and saw that it was dark out, so not that much time had passed, unlike last time.

"Three weeks."

"What?" Harry asked looking over at him.

"How long we lasted. Three weeks," Tom answered.

"Oh," Harry said and looked to the window again.

"You noticed it's still dark out," Tom commented.

"Yeah. We weren't out as long. Why is that?"

"I am not sure."

"...now what? This can't keep happening," Harry said softly.

"I have yet to pin point what it is that is pulling us together, but we can last three weeks with just intimate touches."

"I guess we have to sleep together all the time now," Harry said sarcastically. He quickly looked to Tom when he didn't say anything to find him staring at him. "W-What?"

"I am not...opposed to it."

"What?" Harry repeated, his heart beating fast.

"It is not as if I don't like it, I do find sleeping with you to be highly enjoyable."

Harry blushed and looked away unable to say anything. It was ridiculous to even think it. It was one thing to kiss him, but to sleep together was a completely different. "I thought that was what we were trying to avoid," he managed to get out.

Tom looked up to the ceiling, "It was, but it does not seem to be working. Whatever this is that is pulling us together seems to want us to sleep together, it makes sense to just do it."

"H-How can you say that?" Harry asked bewildered that they were even considering it.

"I do not like being controlled," Tom said his face darkening slightly. "It would be better to do it on our terms and not be forced into it."

"But...but..." Harry floundered.

"If you are uncomfortable with it, we can just return to the way things were... and be right back here in three weeks," Tom said loftily.

"Fantastic," he muttered.

"It won't have to be every day, but often enough so that we are in control."

Harry stared at the ceiling and thought and Tom let him. What Tom said did make sense, if they kept doing what they have been, they would end up back in bed with each other sooner or later. And they could only use Wynter as a distraction for so long as was proved that night; as soon as they put her to bed they had been all over each other. Harry couldn't really play the "they were enemies" card anymore because their...whatever it was, had changed into something different and they actually got along.

He blushed when he remembered what Tom had said. Harry couldn't lie to himself and say that he didn't enjoy having sex with Tom. It was absolutely brilliant and satisfying and...there really were no words to describe it. It helped that Tom was very pleasing to look at too. There was only so much that simple kisses could do, and lately, they hadn't been enough.

Even though it was all logical to just do it, he was afraid of what it might mean. They were already getting close and if they were to take it a step further, who knew what might happen.

Yet it was a chance he was going to have to take.

"Okay."

Chapter Text

Harry stretched his arms over his head, Wynter in held tightly in his hands as he zoomed her around the living room, her laughter echoing in the small hidden cottage on the outskirts of a muggle town. He so enjoyed making his little girl laugh and it was so easy to do so, any little thing made her happy. She was always happy, and now so was Harry and it was because of Tom.

As hard as it was to believe that Tom could do such a thing to him, it did. He found himself enjoying his company when he came over to see Wynter, talking to him, and now being in his arms when they made love. Because he realized that was what it was now, it was no longer just sex between them especially with the agreement they made. It originally had been agreed that once a week to just keep them suitably maintained, but of course like their kisses, it evolved into two times a week, then three. Now it was like every other day, and there was no argument when they did. Both Harry and Tom easily fell into bed with each other as any other couple did.

Harry paused as that thought processed in his mind. Did I really just think that we were a couple? He shook his head to clear it, but he couldn't stop the speeding of his heart nor the butterflies in his stomach. He brought Wynter down and cradled her close. "It's not possible is it?" he asked her.

Wynter looked up at him with her big green eyes and yawned, then gave him a sleepy smile.

Harry smiled, "Tired, are you? Guess it's time for a nap." She yawned again and nestled herself against him as he walked into her bedroom to sit in the rocking chair to rock her to sleep. "It's never going to be simple for us, is it?" he said softly to her as he rubbed her back, "I guess it's the curse of being a Potter, nothing's ever easy." Wynter gazed up at him with sleepy eyes but filled with adoration for him and Harry smiled down at her and gently nuzzled her. "Not that we want it to be easy, right. We would be so bored." Eventually, she fell asleep and he placed her in the crib, tucking her in. "Sleep tight, baby girl."

Harry softly backed out of the door and gently closed it and headed back to the living room. He was startled when he sensed someone there and his hand was halfway to his wand before he realized who it was. Tom stood there in the process of taking off his outer robe, Harry had obviously caught him off guard.

"Hi," Harry whispered.

Tom glanced around, "Hi," he whispered back.

"I wasn't expecting you today, you startled me," Harry whispered again.

"I was able to get away, so I came over...why are we whispering?" Tom said in a whisper.

Harry laughed, "Sorry," he said normally. "Habit I guess. I literally just put Wynter down for her nap."

Tom looked at the clock on the wall and his face fell, "Oh...can I...?" he asked.

"Sure, just be quiet. You don't want to wake her."

"Okay," Tom said going back to a whisper.

Harry smiled and Tom deposited his robe on the couch and went down the hall to see his daughter. While he waited, Harry picked up toys off the floor and put his lunch dishes in the sink to clean.

"She's out," Tom said from behind him.

"Yeah. Sorry, you missed her. She'll be down for a few hours."

"That's okay, it's my fault. I didn't look at the time."

"Mmm," Harry hummed as he washed another plate, "Are you going to go back?"

Arms encircled him and pulled him back against a firm chest. "No," Tom whispered in his ear, before kissing his neck.

Harry blushed slightly and tried to pull away, "Tom, you're distracting me. I have to get this done," he said gesturing to the dirty dishes.

"It will be there later," Tom muttered.

"I don't want them to be there later." But of course, as always, Tom accomplished what he wanted, he was very good at that. For a moment, Harry basked in the attention of Tom's lips on his neck and his hand sliding up his shirt.

He turned off the running water and turned around toward Tom, "You are impossible," he muttered before Tom's mouth captured his in a heated kiss. He pulled away after a minute and walked out of the kitchen, "I have so much stuff to do."

"Yes you do," Tom said, catching his arm and pulling Harry against him.

"You are not on my list," Harry commented dryly.

"Then put me on top," Tom said in his ear.

"How about the bottom," Harry said and turned and pushed Tom so that he fell onto the couch where he straddled him.

Tom rose an eyebrow in amusement but said nothing as he settled back against the couch, sliding his hands against Harry's thighs, caressing them through his jeans. "I don't do bottom," Tom said, a slight warning in his voice. He did not like giving up control.

"You will today," Harry said, ignoring the light threat and kissing him deeply.

"I'm still fucking you," Tom muttered between kisses.

"I know," Harry said and started unbuttoning Tom's shirt.

"You are very forward today."

"I'm in a good mood. Now be quiet and kiss me."

"Bossy," Tom said with a smile and complied.

Shirts were taken off, followed by pants until they were skin against skin, gliding against each other eagerly. Harry leaned forward to give access to Tom's probing fingers and they gently eased into him, slickening and widening his hole for his cock. When he was deemed prepared enough, Harry lifted himself on his knees and scooted up so Tom's cock was positioned at his entrance and gently guided it inside him.

They both groaned as Tom slid fluidly into him, filling Harry up to the hilt.

-You feel so good- Tom hissed in Parseltongue.

Harry shivered as the soft hisses reached him and he fully sat in Tom's lap; just reveling in the fullness. -You do too- Harry hissed back unconsciously, his eyes slipping closed. -I feel so full- His eyes snapped open as he realized what he just said and was met with red tinted blue eyes full of lust and desire. Tom grabbed his hips and pulled them down as Tom pushed up and unbelievably, he slid in even further. "Oh God!" he gasped.

"Ride me, sweetheart," Tom whispered gazing up at him.

Harry flushed slightly then hesitated for a moment, unsure of how to proceed. Making a guess, he curled his legs on either side of Tom slowly rocked himself. He gasped again as pleasure shot down his spine and spread all over making him shiver so he did it again and picked up the pace, creating those waves of pleasure for them both. Putting one foot on the floor, Harry slowly lifted himself before dropping back down to impale himself on Tom's cock. He cried out at the sudden intense pleasure and did it again to feel it again.

"That's it," Tom encouraged, holding onto his hips, groaning as he was engulfed in the tight, hot heat.

Harry mirrored the action again. Up and down, then again and again. Up...down...up...down... he went, holding onto Tom's arms to hold himself up as he set a steady pace for himself. "I-Is this okay?" he asked softly, he had no idea if he was doing it right or not.

"Does it feel good?" Tom whispered into his ear. Harry nodded, unable to say what he was feeling because it felt really, really good and how could he say something like that? "Then you're doing it right."

"But...what about you?"

"I'm inside you, what do you think?" Tom said and playfully bit his ear.

Harry blushed and turned his face away in embarrassment and Tom chuckled in amusement. Not wanting to be bested by him, Harry grounded his hips down and a sharp hiss escaped Tom's lips. Harry smirked triumphantly but it didn't last long as Tom rolled his own hips upward causing a gasp to come from him and unable to hold it back, he groaned.

"I can play too," Tom said as he ran his hands over Harry's sensitive nipples and down his sides.

"Ah! That's not fair," he gasped.

"I don't do fair," Tom whispered against his throat, placing a few kisses.

"No, I suppose not," Harry said dryly, but he smiled and leaned down for another searing kiss.

They settled into an easy pace as Harry grew more comfortable in his new role complete with heated kisses, twirling tongues, and rolling hips as they tried to please each other. It was hard work, Harry found, to be on top; while yes it felt really good, he felt his body starting to tire, but with Tom's continued encouragement, he continued to bounce on Tom's cock with enthusiasm.

The pleasure built up slowly, bringing him oh so close; he could feel the pressure building up inside him, ready to spring loose. Harry rocked his hips, grinding himself down as he felt his impending orgasm and judging by the tight grip Tom had on his hips, he was close too. He continued to bounce as the pressure and pleasure built and built and built until...

The door bell rang.

Harry turned toward the door, startled and his brain quickly caught up with him. "Oh fuck! It's Saturday!" he breathed stilling his movements.

"So?" Tom asked.

"So? Ron and Hermione come over on Saturdays!" he exclaimed. He eased himself up, allowing Tom to slip out of him and reached for his clothes.

"Tell them to go away," Tom said irritated and tried fruitlessly to get Harry to come back.

"I can't do that. They don't know about you and if they find out, then they'll tell Dumbledore..." Harry trailed off.

They both know what would happen then. Not only would Tom not be able to see Harry, he would never see his daughter again. Like hell that was going to happen. He signed grudgingly and got up, still painfully erect, and started putting his clothes back on that Harry threw at him.

At the door, the knocking persisted, both Ron and Hermione calling Harry's name.

"Coming!" Harry called, voice muffled by his shirt as he put it on. He turned to Tom, "You need to leave." He glanced around trying to find a way out, but there was none. It was times like this he wished they had a back door. He glanced at the window.

"I am not going out the window!" Tom hissed at him as he followed Harry's gaze.

"Well, then you need to hide," Harry said taking Tom's arm to lead him down the hall. A click from the door alerted Harry that Hermione had unlocked the door and he panicked and opened the nearest door, which happened to be a closet.

"Harry! You are not putting me-"

Harry shoved Tom inside and closed the door as the front door opened.

"Harry?" Hermione called out looking around.

"Hi," he said breathlessly, his back to the door.

"Everything okay, mate?" Ron asked.

"Yeah, yeah. Everything's good. Just cleaning up."

"Do you have someone over?" Hermione asked cautiously.

"No, why?" Harry asked, then spotted the robe on the couch, Tom's robe. He groaned internally and cursed himself for not seeing it before.

"You seem a little... flustered."

"Do I?" Harry asked, his mind racing as he moved over to the couch and casually picked up the robe and draped it over his arm, "Well...I just got back from the store so I was putting stuff away."

"Oh," Hermione said, "Need any help?"

"No, everything's put away already," he said and placed the robe in the coat closet by the front door. He turned around and blushed as he saw Ron sit down on the couch...right, where he had been riding Tom a few minutes before. He closed his eyes and tried to calm himself down. "What is it?" he asked Hermione as he saw her looking around.

"When we were outside, I thought I heard voices..."

Harry nearly freaked out at the words, "N-No one is here, just me. I was talking to myself, you know, listing the things I had to do. I tend to do that a lot."

"Oh, okay. So what have you been up to?"

Harry breathed a sigh of relief as the topic shifted, "Oh nothing much, just keeping busy..." he said and settled into an easy conversation with Ron and Hermione, yet he was distracted by what was sure to be Tom's death glare penetrating through the closet door.

"Did you read about the Cannons yesterday? It was so close!" Ron said, turning the topic to sports as Hermione got up to make tea.

"Oh, I know, I couldn't believe it! Just one more shot and they could have made it to the finals."

"Ugh, so close..." Ron said hanging his head.

"Well, there's always next year."

"Yeah...Say, didn't you say you had found something the other day..."

"Oh yeah! It was a poster of the Cannons, but it wasn't moving. I thought it was weird being in a muggle store."

"Did you buy it?" Ron asked excitedly.

"Yeah, I was going to give it to you."

"You didn't have to..." Ron said, scratching his head in embarrassment.

"It's okay. You're a bigger Cannon's fan than I am."

"Where is it?"

"It's in...the...closet," Harry said slowly.

"I'll get it," Ron said getting up.

"No!" Harry exclaimed jumping up in a panic, "I got it."

"Um...okay," Ron said looking at him strangely, but he sat back down.

Harry smiled slightly and went toward the closet door cautiously, completely aware that Tom was behind it. He's going to be so mad, he thought and opened the door slowly. Behind the door, Tom stood holding the rolled up poster Harry was looking for and glaring at him.

"Sorry," Harry mouthed at him and looked at him apologetically as he took the poster from him. He glanced back at Ron and Hermione and saw that Ron was flipping through a magazine that was on the table and Hermione was still in the kitchen; both distracted. He quickly opened the closet wider and pulled Tom out of the closet and pushed him toward the hallway. Tom took the hint and went the rest of the way himself, but not before stealing a kiss from him.

Harry blushed slightly and closed the closet door, "Found it!" he announced unrolling the poster in front of his face as he tried to calm himself down.

"Awesome!" Ron exclaimed as Harry handed it to him, "and you found it in town?"

"Yup, it was just sitting in the back gathering dust, no one knew what it was."

"Glad they didn't," Ron said admiring it.

Harry nodded and glanced toward the hallway, wondering what Tom was doing.

"You are not hanging that up in our room, Ronald," Hermione said coming into the living room with the tea tray, ignoring Ron's "aw" and put off expression. "Harry? You okay?" Hermione asked as she set it down and handed him a cup.

"Yeah, fine. Why?"

"You seem distracted."

"Do I? Sorry."

"You know, if you're busy..." she trailed off.

"I'm not. Everything's fine."

Hermione nodded but didn't look convinced. "Anyways, is it true that you don't want to come back?"

Harry looked at both of their serious faces, "Dumbledore told you?" He asked. At their nod, he sighed, "Yeah it's true. I just...I have Wynter to think about now, and she needs me. I'm not going to just go out there and risk my life, while she's by herself and Merlin forbid that something happens to me? I mean I know she has you guys, but...I know what it's like to live without parents, I don't want to do that to my daughter. I told Dumbledore all this when he visited last week."

"We know mate," Ron said, "You don't have to convince us."

"Ron's right Harry; we are on your side. Really, we weren't very surprised when Dumbledore told us that you were pulling out of the war. It's kind of expected; you being a single parent and all."

"Yeah, Dumbledore understood too, but he seemed, how do I put it...put out," Ron said.

"Yeah, he did seem that way when I told him. I do feel bad that I'm letting everyone down. I am supposed to be the Savior and all." Ron and Hermione nodded in understanding and he continued. "But I never did ask for this, I was pushed into it and I didn't complain because I wanted to help. But now I have Wynter and she's my whole world and now my top priority."

"I get it. But I don't know how the rest of the order is going to take it," Ron said.

"Dumbledore hasn't told them yet?" Harry asked.

"No," Hermione said with a shake of her head, "I guess he's waiting for the right moment."

"That and he has to make some sort of excuse as to why Harry's not coming back. He can't tell them the truth, " Ron added.

Harry grimaced, "I didn't think about that. He already has so much on his plate with Voldemort too." He sighed, "Now I really feel bad."

"Don't be. We aren't doing much anyway."

"What do you mean?" Harry asked confused.

"He means that there has been little to no activity from Voldemort or his Death Eaters in months," Hermione explained, "there are raids once in a while but they seem kind of pointless like it's for show...I don't know how to explain it."

"I bet he's planning something big," Ron said, rubbing his hands together, "but we'll be ready."

Harry looked down and bit his lip as he thought. He hasn't done anything? Why? He wasn't sure what to think of it, Tom was very ambitious, he knew that ever since he met him during his second year, so it wasn't like him to not be doing anything. Ron did have a point though, he could be doing something big...No stop it, you're not a part of it anymore....but it's not like I stopped caring...ugh... It was so confusing, all because he was currently sleeping with said person making the big plans. And it wasn't like Harry could ask him, that was one of their unspoken agreements; Tom wouldn't bring his "work" home and Harry wouldn't needle him with questions or yell at him with what he did. The cottage was neutral territory for them both.

"Harry, you don't have to worry okay," Hermione said, laying a hand on his arm, "we'll figure things out."

"Yeah, we're not so bad that we have to rely on you all the time. Just focus on your cute daughter," Ron said with a grin and Harry grinned back.

"Speaking of, how's Wynter?"

Harry's face lit up, letting the previous conversation go, "She's great! She's getting so big, I keep having to buy her new clothes."

"Aw! How cute!" Hermione gushed, "Where is she?"

"Taking a nap."

"We missed her? Aw," Ron said with a pout.

"We can still see her though," Hermione said getting up. Ron jumped up eagerly and followed her.

"You can't just wait, can you?" Harry teased.

"Of course not, not when it comes to my god-daughter," she said and opened the door to Wynter's room.

Hermione and Ron went straight to the crib and looked in on her and started gushing about how cute she was, Harry on the other hand immediately noticed that the rocking chair against the wall was moving slightly. No, no, no! This can't be happening! Please don't tell me... he turned slightly and looked behind him...to see Tom against the back wall, hiding behind the door.

Harry's eyes widened as he realized his friends and Tom, aka Voldemort, were in the same room! Tom only shrugged and smirked, (or was that a smile?) and Harry knew that Tom was amused at the situation, he would be too if he weren't completely panicking. He turned back to see if Ron and Hermione were looking, and seeing that they weren't, made a shooing gesture behind him to get Tom to move.

"She is getting big," Hermione gushed in a whisper.

"I know," Harry said from behind her, watching out of the corner of his eye as Tom moved slowly away from the wall and inched his way to the door.

"How old is she now?" Hermione asked, turning slightly, "6 months?"

Tom froze behind him and Harry quickly came forward to block their view of him. "Yes, she's 6 months. Well no, more like 5 1/2 months."

"Wow," Hermione said turning to look down at Wynter as she slept and Harry let out the breath he had been holding.

Tom crept up behind him as he made it the rest of the way to the door, "You owe me," he breathed into his ear, grabbed Harry's ass and was gone out the door.

Harry couldn't help the little yelp that escaped his mouth when Tom grabbed him and Ron and Hermione turned around toward him.

"Harry? You okay?" Hermione asked.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm fine," he said, his cheeks turning red. Damn you, Tom!

"Are you sure mate? You don't seem like yourself," Ron said.

"Ron's right Harry. You've been really distracted today."

"No, no. I'm fine. Really," Harry said trying to reassure them as he followed them out of Wynter's room and back to the living room.

"You know if you have someone over, you can just tell us," Hermione said.

"There's no one here," Harry said frustrated.

Ron and Hermione looked at each other and gave each other a look, and then Ron moved over to the jacket closet to retrieve their robes. "You sure?" Hermione asked turning to Harry.

"Yes! What are you doing?" Harry asked as they put their robes back on.

"Going home so you can be alone or not alone," Ron said with a knowing smile.

"Oh my god! For the last time, I do not have a boyfriend!" Harry cried out in expatriation.

"There is nothing wrong with seeing someone, Harry."

"Yeah, even though you have a daughter, nothing should stop you from being happy. And you are- happy; I can tell." Hermione said.

Harry stood there speechless; he was really touched that they thought that way, but they didn't know the truth. The truth that he was seeing and sleeping with the enemy behind their backs. He was frightened what they would think of him if they found out. He didn't want to disappoint them. "I'm not..." Harry said eventually, the fight no longer in his voice.

"Well, then when you're ready to tell us, we'll be here to listen," Hermione said with a kind smile.

"Until then, you can be with your not-boyfriend," Ron said teasingly.

"Oh god," Harry groaned covering his face with his hands.

"We'll see you mate."

"Bye Harry." With that, the door closed and they were gone.

Harry dropped his hands from his face and stared blankly at the door. That did not just happen, he thought. Oh god, what am I going to do? Wait, wait. Don't panic, just because they think I'm seeing someone doesn't mean that they know it's Tom. He nodded to himself, besides they are right, I can see someone if I wanted to. I mean, I'm out here all by myself with Wynter, I'm bound to meet someone out here. Harry nodded to himself again and calmed down. Everything would be fine, he just hoped this wouldn't come back at him and bite him in the ass. He sighed and walked to his bedroom when he knew Tom would be.

Opening the door he found Tom on his bed, his back propped back against the headboard, reading a newspaper that he got from who knows where. Tom glared at him from over the newspaper, but he ignored it and walked to the bed where he collapsed face first.

"Are they gone?" Tom asked, and Harry heard the rustling of the paper moving.

"Yeah, but now they think I have a boyfriend. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing."

"Are you cheating on me, Harry?" Tom said, his voice serious.

"You would be the boyfriend, asshole," Harry replied. Tom said nothing, and Harry turned his head to look at him to find him looking off, lost in his thoughts. Harry sighed and closed his eyes. "I guess I could find someone in town to pretend to be my boyfriend. It would get them off my back. We can go out a few times and-"

He was cut off by abruptly being turned onto his back and Tom's face inches from his own, blue eyes narrowed. "I don't share," Tom said flatly and kissed him deeply.

Harry gasped in surprise and was immediately invaded by Tom's talented tongue. They pulled apart for air and gazed at each other as they caught their breath. "I said pretend you know," Harry said breathlessly.

"Shut up," Tom said and kissed him again. Their tongues dueled together as they fought for control until Harry gave in and just let Tom kiss him. They eventually trailed off down his jaw to his neck where Tom sucked lightly. "You still owe me," he murmured.

Harry couldn't help but smile in remembrance; he bet he was the only one to stuff the Dark Lord into a closet. "I know."

"It's not funny."

"Yes, it is."

Tom glared down at him before pulling away, grabbing Harry's waist and tugging him so that their positions were reversed. Harry glanced down at Tom in slight confusion, as he was now straddling him; it had happened really fast.

"You have to finish what you started," Tom whispered against his throat, trailing little kisses downward as he unbuttoned his shirt.

"Oh," Harry said a little flustered, "okay." He sucked in a breath as Tom reached his nipple and pulled it into his mouth. He groaned and grabbed Tom's hair in the back to pull his head back.

"Ow," Tom complained.

"Deal with it," Harry said and leaned down to kiss him again; grounding his backside down onto Tom's already hard erection, or it could have already been hard from earlier. The thought made Harry almost giddy and he rocked his hips harder.

Tom growled and becoming impatient, with a swipe of his hand, he used his magic to make their clothes disappear onto the floor. Harry gasped as the cool air hit his warm skin and quickly sought Tom's warmth by wrapping his arms around Tom's neck and pressing himself close to him.

"So eager," Tom said huskily.

"Shut up, I should be saying that to you," Harry murmured and Tom hummed in slight agreement.

Harry smiled mischievously before taking a finger and lightly running it over the head of Tom's cock that was in front of him and trailing it down the hard length; he really enjoyed watching Tom's expression change from amusement to surprised arousal. He was really surprised at himself for being able to do this, it wasn't really like him, but it was worth it to see the look on Tom's face. Feeling courageous, he took two of his fingers and slid them into his mouth, sucking on them to coat them with saliva, then reached behind him to his entrance to see if he was prepared enough; with his other hand he continued to stroke Tom leisurely.

He watched the red in Tom's eyes become more prominent so that they were a mix of blue and red, a sure sign that he was turned on as if the erection in his hand wasn't proof enough. It was only this way that Harry could one up him, make him speechless, drive him crazy...it was well worth it though.

Harry lifted himself to his knees to get better access, sliding his fingers inside of himself as he gazed down at Tom; lightly giving him teasing kisses. He felt Tom's hands, warm on his skin trail down his sides and his back, before Tom's fingers joined his own, reaching deeper inside him. Harry blushed and turned his head away slightly in embarrassment, he glanced at Tom out of the corner of his eye and saw a slow smirk spreading on his face. No! I can't back down now, focus. He took a deep breath and let it out before pushing back against the fingers and moaning as they moved deeper. Harry ground himself down onto them for a moment before taking his fingers and Tom's out, taking a hold of Tom's cock and positioning it behind him, he slowly took it deeply into himself.

"Ah!" Harry cried out as his sweet spot was rubbed against.

"Merlin, Harry. You took me all in," Tom hissed against his ear.

"I've had a lot of practice," Harry said breathlessly, wrapping his arms around Tom's neck. Mimicking his position from earlier, he placed his knees on either side of Tom and started to bounce in his lap, creating that earth shattering pleasure.

-Feel good?- Tom hissed, placing his hands on Harry's hips to guide him up and down.

-Yesss- Harry hissed back, rocking his hips and doing anything to make him feel good.

-Good- Tom said and lightly sucked a nipple into his mouth, bathing it with his tongue.

Harry gasped at the stimulation and whimpered as Tom continued to lap at his sensitive nipples. With the pleasure they created together and the fact that they were still aroused from earlier. It didn't take them long to come and when they did, it was as strong and powerful as ever.

Afterward, they laid there next to each other, just listening to each other breathing.

"We should do that more often," Tom muttered after a while.

"We do it often enough."

"Not what I meant."

Harry knew that, and he agreed. Riding Tom was one hell of an experience and was really, really good. Of course, next time they had to make sure they were not interrupted. The thought made him smile, then laugh and he kept laughing.

Tom looked at him strangely as Harry lost control, "Are you dying?"

Harry shook his head and tried to calm himself down. "You were really cutting it close today," he finally said.

Tom smiled slightly, "I know. I've never had to sneak around like that before."

"No? I have, but not like this, there usually was danger involved."

"And that wasn't dangerous?" Tom asked.

Harry thought for a moment, "Yeah, maybe it was. We'll be more careful next time."

"Definitely," Tom agreed, "I still can't believe you locked me in a closet."

"I'm sorry, I panicked," Harry murmured.

"You owe me."

"What do you mean? I thought I already paid you back," Harry said looking over at him.

"Oh no, riding me is not enough to pay me back for the trauma I experienced in there."

"You were not traumatized in there," Harry said incredulously.

"So traumatized," Tom murmured pulling Harry back against him so that they were spooning, a position that they had been in many times before.

"You were not."

"Was."

"Oh suck it up," Harry said with a laugh.

"Comfort me," Tom muttered against his neck, but Harry could feel the smile on his lips.

"I thought you were supposed to be a Dark Lord."

"Not right now."

Harry smiled and settled back against Tom. He was right, there was no good or bad in this house, only them. Tom, him and Wynter, their own strange little family. And Harry was fine with that.

Chapter Text

After the whole thing with Ron and Hermione the week before, Harry and Tom were a lot more careful. Tom would no longer come over on Saturdays so that they wouldn't catch him again, or almost catch him. No matter how funny they thought it was after, Harry did not want to go through the anxiety again. It didn't help that the next Saturday Ron and Hermione came over, they looked around suspiciously and teased him about his "boyfriend." They, of course, tried to question him about who was over and at first, Harry vehemently denied it, but as they kept asking he finally just told them that he had just had a little fling with someone he had met in town because he was horny, that had shut them right up. Hermione had turned bright red and Ron had fallen into hysterical laughter and had quickly changed the subject. At least it had gotten them off his back. They just told him "whenever you are ready to tell us." Ha ha, yeah right, like that would go well.

Tom wasn't too happy about his pretend fling that he had made up, even though it was exactly that, pretend. But he had to say something, Ron and Hermione had obviously knew someone was there and that was what he had come up with on the spot. Also, it wasn't like he could go with the fake boyfriend story, Tom had put a stop to that immediately. Harry had never known that Tom was the jealous type, or was it possessive? It could be a mixture of both, but the point was that Tom didn't even like the idea of Harry seeing someone else; it had made him feel very happy and warm and he didn't know why.

Well, that wasn't exactly true. Deep down he knew, but it wasn't something that Harry wanted to happen. Sure, he was happy that they were all together; Tom, him and Wynter, as a family; and yes they slept together, frequently; but there was no...emotions involved, no feelings. It was just...sex, sex to keep the pulling sensation at bay. But lately he had been feeling...something when around Tom and he couldn't stop it. Every time they made love when they kissed when Tom would look at him, he would feel it and it scared him as to what it meant, and what else was it was dangerous to think that way, especially with who it was about.

It was fine to think that they were a family, Wynter needed that, a warm safe place with parents that love her, spoil her, and make sure that she was happy and had anything she needed. But for Harry, to have something more...no, it was best not to dwell on it. Nothing good would come out of it anyway, so he squashed down whatever it was that he was feeling and shoved it away. The only thing that mattered was Wynter. But what about what I want? a tiny voice in the back of his mind asked; he immediately squashed that thought too. His life was hard enough as it was without having to deal with something like that. It didn't matter though, his main focus is and always will be his little girl.

Though nowadays she wasn't so little anymore. It was hard to believe that Wynter was almost 6 months old, she was growing up so fast! She was already sitting up on her own and would look around, fascinated by everything around her for a few minutes before falling back again because she couldn't hold herself up. That didn't stop her though, she would only try again. She was a lot like him in that respect, not giving up. Her curiosity she also got from him; it will undoubtedly be a problem in the future, but as she couldn't move around yet it was okay. Mostly she just stared at things like she was trying to figure out what it was and probably how she could get to it; that and trying to pick up an object with just her thumb and her finger. She had yet to figure out that she could use her whole hand to grasp things, but she was getting there.

Harry was laying on the floor across from Wynter, watching her do just that. She was propped up against the side of the couch playing with one of those stacking toys that Hermione had bought for her, the ones with different colored donuts that you put on a peg to stack it. She was carefully trying to pick up one of the donuts with her two fingers, unsuccessfully, yet she persisted, slowly trying to wrap her fingers around it to pick it up. She let out a huff of air, in frustration and Harry laughed.

"She must have gotten that from you."

Harry turned slightly to look behind him and felt his heart beat faster as he saw Tom standing there. "Maybe."

"You do it often enough, it makes sense that she would pick up on it. I just hope she doesn't pick up anything else."

"What is that supposed to mean?" Harry retorted in mild annoyance.

"I wonder," he said, then smiled down at Wynter. Her eyes brightened as she saw him and gave a little shriek, waving her chubby little arms at him.

"How are you doing, princess?" Tom asked softly, sitting down next to her on the floor. Wynter gave him a gummy smile and held out her hand to him, which Tom took. She wrapped her fingers tightly around his finger and tugged on it happily.

Harry smiled as he watched the two of them together, as much as a bad person Tom was, he was a great father. She now seemed to know who he was and would reach out to him when he came over and would curl up in his arms completely content with this new man in her life. Harry guessed it was just intuition that she knew that Tom was her father because she treated Ron differently and he was the only other man in her life and had been for a while before Tom came into the picture.

"I have something for you," Tom said to her. He reached into the pocket of his robe and pulled out a fluffy brown teddy bear wearing a white dress with red polka dots and matching bows in front of its ears. Wynter's eyes widened and she reached out her hands for it, grasping at air for it to come closer.

Tom glanced at Harry. "Is this okay?" he asked gesturing to the stuffed animal.

Harry nodded and Tom handed it over to Wynter who wrapped her arms around it and pulled it close to her. It was as big as she was!

"Where did you find it?" Harry asked sitting up and touching the little bows that were attached to the ears and letting his fingers trail over the dress.

"I saw it in a store and I couldn't help myself."

"You were in a store? Wait is this Muggle made?"

"I was and it is. I am allowed to go to the store you know. It helps that no one knows who I am," Tom said smugly.

"But what if you're caught?"

"It's also why I go to the muggle world. No one would expect me to go there. Besides, there are hidden magical shops out there too you know."

"Huh..." Harry said thoughtfully, "I did not know that; well, you learn something new every day. Anyways thank you for this, she loves it. It's really cute."

"I'm glad, I was hoping that she would."

"I think she would love anything that you give her," Harry commented as he watched Wynter gently touched and grasped the bear's nose. "I just hope she doesn't get it dirty."

"It won't. I put some spells on it to keep it clean and in mint condition no matter what she does to it," Tom said.

"Uh huh, and what else?" Harry asked raising a brow.

"Just some protection spells and the like, standard ones."

"Standard for everyone or standard for you?" he asked. Tom smiled slightly but said nothing. Harry sighed and sat back to watch as Wynter examined her new toy. He trusted Tom to protect their daughter. "I hope those spells hold up," he said as the bear's nose went into her mouth.

"They will. Is she teething?"

"Yeah, she is. Nothing has come up yet, but she puts things in her mouth a lot."

"I see."

Wynter looked up at Tom with love filled green eyes as she pulled her bear close, then held out her hand wanting to be picked up. Tom did as asked and lifted her gently into his arms, bear and all and she settled against him comfortably before she resumed her examination of her bear.

"Are you going to stay with daddy?" Harry asked her. Wynter tilted her head back to look up at Tom, then gave what looked like a nod.

"Okay," he said and got up, his back cracking as a testament to him being on the floor for too long. "I've got to put the food in the oven."

"You haven't eaten yet?"

"No, I got distracted."

"That can happen," Tom agreed looking down at Wynter.

Harry took a few steps toward the kitchen then stopped and turned to Tom. "Do you...I mean," he paused and ran his fingers through his hair, "do you want to stay for dinner?"

Tom looked up at him in surprise; Harry had never asked him that before. "Sure."

Harry smiled, "Cool," he said and headed into the kitchen.

Dinner, huh? Tom thought. If it was anything like his cookies, he was looking forward to it. Tom looked down at Wynter who was gazing down at her fallen bear mournfully, but before he could pick it up for her, she got distracted by the little snake design on his robe. Her little fingers reached out for it and before her eyes, it moved out of the way.

Wynter gasped and looked up at Tom, green eyes wide in surprise. She then looked back down at the little snake coiled on his arm and slowly reached out for it again, and again it moved out of the way. She shrieked in glee and continued to try to catch it and each time it slithered out of her grasp.

Tom smiled as he watched her. Harry had been right about how Wynter found anything entertaining. The fact that she found his robe design was proof; she kept bouncing in his lap each time the little snake eluded her, clapping her little hands together. She was comfortable in his arms and trusted him and that meant the world to him. What was more, was that she knew who he was. She had nodded when Harry had asked if she wanted to stay with "daddy;" he was her daddy. It was unbelievable and he felt his heart swell with what he now knew to be love. How could he not? This little angel in his lap was his daughter; one that he created together with Harry, it was impossible to not love her, and Tom just knew that Wynter loved him too by the look in her green eyes as she stared up at him. He just felt so lucky to be here to see it.

Harry came back into the living room and watched Tom and Wynter from the doorway, smiling at his daughter's enthusiasm. Tom looked up, feeling like he was being watched, and spotted Harry leaning against the wall. He gave him a little smile and then looked back down at Wynter as she got tired of the snake and wanted her bear again.

"She loves that thing," Harry said walking toward them and sitting on the couch, trying to still his racing heart from that smile.

"I can see that," Tom said, relieved. He hadn't been sure if he should have gotten it, but he was glad he did just to see her smile.

They continued to watch as Wynter played with her new toy, relaxing back against Tom; completely comfortable, until the beep of the oven sounded and they got up and headed to the kitchen for dinner.

"Okay Wynter," Harry said opening a cabinet after he set the table, "what do you want for dinner today? Carrots? Peas? Sweet Potato?" He asked as he lined jars of baby food up in front of Wynter who was sitting in her high chair.

Tom watched as she looked at them, then up at Harry and then reached out and tried to grab a jar.

"Okay, carrots it is!" Harry said and picked up the rest of the jars to put them away, then opened up the carrots. He sat down at the table and taking a spoon, scooped some and feed it to her. He glanced at Tom who was watching them. "What?"

"Nothing, it's just you do this so easily. I thought babies fuss about eating."

"They usually do, but Wynter is usually pretty good about listening. Plus, I figure if she has a hand on picking what she wants, she won't be fussy."

"I see."

Harry shrugged, "It works. You can start eating," he said gesturing to the plate in front of Tom. Tom glanced down at the chicken casserole and mixed steamed vegetables on his plate and it made him mouth water, it smelled really good too. "It's not poisoned you know," Harry added.

"I know," Tom said, and picked up his fork and picked up a piece of chicken. He glanced at Harry who was watching him expectedly and took a bite. The explosion of flavors hit his taste buds as soon as he put it in his mouth and he immediately wanted more.

"So?" Harry asked nervously as Tom chewed, "is it good?"

Tom said nothing for a minute, chewing until he swallowed and speared another chunk of chicken, "Very," he said and continued eating. He paused when Harry smiled brightly at him and he had to look away as his heart did something in his chest.

Needless to say, after that meal Tom continued to come over just to have Harry's cooking. It was better than what the house elves made up for him back at the manor, but he guessed that was just the fact that it was a home cooked meal, or because it was made by Harry. It didn't matter, it just gave him another excuse to see the both of them for longer.

Tom would come earlier than he usually did just so that he could stay for dinner and play with Wynter until it was time for bed. Sometimes he would help Harry give her a bath, which would turn into a big wet mess, but he didn't care, Wynter would have fun and it would tire her out faster. After Wynter was down for the night; it was Tom and Harry's alone time. They wouldn't jump into bed together right away, though sometimes they did just that, they would just sit in the living room and just talk, taking pleasure in each other's company; though eventually, it would lead to the bedroom. Then Tom would leave and it would start over the next day, always the same, not that either of them had a problem with that. It was just with the moments after when Tom had to leave that was getting harder.

Neither of them would want to move after a great round of wonderful love making, but in the end, Tom would always leave. Harry never asked him to stay and Tom never offered to; it was like, if Tom did stay, it would turn into something that neither of them wanted or were ready for. Not that they didn't drag it out as far as they could.

Harry would stretch out his tired muscles and snuggle close to the warm body next to him and would place his head on Tom's chest to listen to his heart beat. It was Harry's favorite thing to do after mind numbing sex; just listening to Tom's heart beat just as fast as his own made him feel alive and oh so satisfied that he could make Tom, a normally stoic man, lose his cool. His own personal victory. In response, Tom would wrap his arm around Harry's waist and pulled him close; allowing himself to relax and calm himself down, enjoying the comfortable weight of Harry pressed against his side. The both of them would just lay there listening to each other's breathing and the bugs chirping outside the window, it was quite peaceful.

Though this time it felt different, maybe it was just something in the air, it could have been the home cooked meal that Harry spend hours preparing or just the agonizing, wondrous love making they just had, they both just felt really lazy and didn't want to move. Neither of them said anything as time slipped by and with the gentle caressing of Tom's fingers on his back, Harry felt himself drifting off to sleep.

With sleep clouding his mind, Harry started to think of how nice and how comfortable it was to have strong arms wrapped around him, protecting him. That it wouldn't be too bad if Tom stayed the night. He wouldn't have to move out of his cocoon of warmness and fall into the most comfortable sleep he's ever had without being knocked unconscious. Then in the morning, he would wake up and Tom would still be there...and like that the moment was gone.

Harry felt Tom tense slightly and his fingers stopped moving down his back at the same time Harry started thinking about the consequences of Tom staying. Tom's thoughts had taken the same turn as Harry's did. It had felt nice being there with Harry, as it always did, but when he started thinking of what would happen in the morning...What would it mean if he did stay? Being a family was one thing because it was for Wynter, but this, whatever it was between them. It was fragile enough as it was and it scared him, hell it scared the both of them even though they didn't talk about it. That was why he didn't stay, why he shouldn't.

The moment was ruined yet neither of them moved. It was Tom who eventually broke the silence. "I should go."

"Mmm," Harry murmured, just because his thoughts were all jumbled up now, didn't mean he didn't want to move out of his cocoon. Tom didn't move either.

After a moment, Tom sighed and started to sit up and Harry allowed himself to slide out of Tom's arms and onto the now cool sheets. He sat up and watched as Tom got dressed and wanted nothing more to just lay back down with him.

"Tom?" he said before his brain caught up with him.

"Yes?" Tom asked stopping and turning to look at him.

Harry opened his mouth, then closed it, the word trembling on his lips. Stay. "Any preference for dinner tomorrow?"

"Anything you make will be fine. I know it will be delicious."

Harry smiled and allowed the warmth of his words spread through him before he got himself out of bed and dressed in pajamas. He then walked Tom to the door, but not before Tom said goodbye to Wynter as she slept.

"I'll see you tomorrow," Tom said as he stepped outside.

Harry nodded and shivered as the cold night air hit his heated skin. Tom's warm hand gently cupped his face and Harry turned it upward to let Tom's lips meet his in a sweet kiss.

"Good night, Harry."

"Night," Harry whispered.

Tom walked down the steps and then was gone.

Harry sighed and closed and locked the door, then checked that everything was closed and locked before heading back to bed. He slipped into the cold sheets and tried to get comfortable. It took a while because no matter what he did, he just couldn't really find a comfortable position, at least not the one he had before with Tom. But eventually he did and he was able to fall asleep.

Later he would think of what would have happened if he had told Tom to stay.

xxx

Two dark figures wandered up the deserted path under cover of the still dark sky in the early hours of the morning. Turning off the main road they followed the stepping stones, fallen leaves crackling under their weight, yet all was silent. Stopping, the two figures turned to each other and smirked.

Chapter Text

Two figures stood in the shadows of the trees whispering to each other as they watched for any movement in the cottage before them. They couldn't be seen with their dark robes and the only light came from the moon high up in the sky and reflected off of their white masks.

"Is this it?"

"I think so..."

"You think so? We need to be sure if we are wrong..."

"It is! This is it. Potter is here!"

The Death Eater glanced at his comrade speculatively, "You're absolutely sure?"

"Yes, I've seen him walking around here before."

The Death Eater looked up at the small cottage, "I thought Potter was out training somewhere. This is a house."

"I know...but he is here. I double checked and he is here, I swear. Plus, the magic crawling around this place is ridiculous. He's definitely in here."

"You're right. There is a lot of magic crawling around here. And that illusion is no joke either."

"I told you it was weird. That's why I wanted to check it out. I wouldn't have brought you here if I didn't think he was here. Besides, there would be no reason for this much magic unless something was hidden here, especially in such an isolated area."

His partner nodded in agreement, "So Potter is in here..."

"Yes."

"Good," the Death Eater smirked and rubbed his hands together, "The Dark Lord will be so pleased."

"How do we get in?"

"No idea."

"Should we go tell the Dark Lord that we found him?"

"No, I have a better idea."

xxx

Green eyes opened sleepily; something had woke him up, but he was not sure what. Harry coughed and rolled over to try and get back to sleep. He coughed again, suddenly finding it hard to breathe. Rolling onto his back he took in a deep breath and felt his lungs start to burn and he started coughing and he sat up, suddenly wide awake. He looked around his bedroom, trying to see through the haze that looked like smoke. Smoke!

Harry quickly jumped out of bed and made his way to the door, coughing all the way. Opening the door proved to be a bad idea as he got a face full of smoke. He nearly gagged and shielded his face against the smoke, squinting to see as he stepped out into the hallway.

Looking around he could see flames, red and hot licking at the walls around him, coming everywhere at once. Fire! his mind supplied to him in a panic, the house is on fire!

His eyes immediately went to the door on his right, "Wynter!" he whispered and he dashed to it through the flames and threw open the door. The flames hadn't reached the room, thank god, but Harry could see them outside the window, eating away at the plants and catching the roof.

Wynter was surprisingly still asleep but her face was scrunched up in discomfort. He gently picked her up and wrapped her and her bear in a blanket to protect her from the fire and the smoke. She woke as he jostled her, giving a weak sleepy cry. "Shh, it's okay sweetheart. Mommy's got you," he said as he held her close.

Thinking quickly he raised his wand and summoned his trunk from his bedroom and then waving his wand in a circle he said, "Utrum Omnia!" Immediately things from all around the house started to fly into the bedroom and into the trunk; he would try and save as much as he could. As his magic worked, he moved to the window to open it so he could try and get some ventilation, but it wouldn't budge. He tugged and pulled, even used magic and nothing would work.

Harry started to panic as he tried repeatedly to break the window and even the wall so he could get out. It was starting to get really hard to breathe and he kept coughing, the smoke getting thicker the more he stayed inside. Wynter had started coughing too and was now crying in fear and discomfort. He was really starting to worry about her, the smoke was not good for her. He had to get out.

By then the flames had spread into the doorway of the room and was quickly spreading inside. He bundled Wynter close to his chest and dashed out into the hallway and into his bedroom. He went into the bedroom and pulled at the window. It wouldn't move.

"Come on, come on!" he cried out, coughing. "Alohomora! Bombarda! Open damn you!" The more he tried the more he started to panic. It wasn't just his own life at stake here. He pulled Wynter's squirming body close to him trying to keep her covered. "Help!" he started to scream, "Help! Someone! Please!" Someone had to come to help them, there had to be spells to alert someone if something happened. "Help! I can't get out!" He coughed again, inhaling more smoke, "Tom! Help us!"

He looked up as he heard a creaking noise, the fire had spread to the ceiling leaving a gaping hole where he could see the beams of the roof. As he watched one of the beams started to splinter and crumble. He realized what was about to happen and quickly moved out of the way just in time for the beam to come crashing down on top of his bed. Immediately the sheets caught fire and spread until the whole bed was in flames. The house was falling apart, he couldn't wait for anyone to come and help.

Harry stepped out his bedroom and looked down into what used to be the hallway. It was unrecognizable with everything burnt and covered in bright hot flames. He was going to have to go through that to get to the front door. He had no idea why the windows wouldn't open, but the door would have to be the only way. Wynter couldn't take any more of this and neither could he. Summoning his trunk to follow him and another blanket to cover Wynter in, he ventured out into the flaming hallway.

Beads of sweat formed on his forehead and his back as the heat became unbearable and he cursed himself for not putting on any shoes, but it was too late for that now, he had to keep moving forward. Careful not to get too close to the walls, Harry moved carefully, yet quickly through the hallway and into the living room. He could barely recognize it, everything was so bright and hot, the fire was everywhere, on all sides; he couldn't even see what was in front of him.

How did this happen? I didn't leave the stove on, did I? Oh God, please let us get out of this. Why didn't I let Tom stay? He would have known what to do. But Tom wasn't here, he had to get out himself and get them to safety. Harry clutched his precious bundle closer, whispering to Wynter softly to try and get her to stop crying.

Harry quickly went to each window on the left side of the house, but each of the ones that he could reach that were not blocked by flames was all stuck fast, just like the others. It didn't sit well with Harry that all of them were like that, it started to feel less and less like an accident.

He shook his head. Now was not the time to be thinking about that, he had to get to the door. Striding forward, keeping away from the burning couch and the fallen TV he got to the front door and blasted it open...only it didn't. "No! Open, open!" he shouted, trying a few more spells, then ramming his shoulder against it. Nothing.

Harry turned back around and looked desperately for a way out. There had to be a way out! Wynter, he had to save Wynter, his little girl. She was already fussing about and coughing; her face was all red and splotchy. She wasn't getting enough oxygen, he couldn't let her die. "HELP!" he screamed helplessly, "PLEASE! SOMEONE! My baby...please..." he cried, tears streaming down his face. His lungs felt heavy, his breathing becoming short and uneven as he walked around the living room, searching for anything to help him break a way out. He used the couch, the coffee table, just about anything to throw against the windows and the walls to try and break them.

His vision was starting to get blurry and he could barely breathe, especially with all the running around he had been doing. But he couldn't stop, even if he couldn't move anymore, he couldn't stop. He had to make a hole, even if it was just a small one. He had to get Wynter out.

So preoccupied with finding a way out, Harry didn't realize that the wooden beams above him were splintering until it was too late. He heard the loud creaking and looked up to see the beam holding up the roof give in. Fear rushed through him, locking him in place, not for himself, but for the precious bundle in his arms.

Instinctively he sheltered Wynter with his body as the roof caved in. All he could hear was the crashing of wood and the crackling of the flames as everything fell apart around him. Wynter's terrified screams filling his ears as a stray beam struck him from behind and he knew no more.

Chapter Text

In an office at Riddle Manor, while everyone was asleep in their beds, Tom was sitting behind his desk doing paper work. It was completely quiet with no one around, just the crackling of the fire, rustling of papers and the scratching of his quill. It was really quite peaceful and it was the only time that he was not bothered by annoying people. Not that he chose to stay up late and do work, but with spending so much time with Harry and Wynter, he ended up neglecting it and it ended up piling up on his desk. He wasn't complaining though, he would take spending time with his little family over paperwork any day.

Just thinking about them brought a smile to his face. Wynter, so small and full of life, looking at everything with such curiosity and joy. It was certainly a breath of fresh air being around her as she took in all the new things around her; treating everyday objects and experiences with such enthusiasm. Big, bright green eyes staring up at him with such love and trust; grinning at him with a toothless smile every time she saw him.

And Harry. Where did he even start with Harry? He was a pain in the ass, never doing what he wanted him to do; always got in his way, annoyed him to end. And yet...Harry was the most beautiful creature he had ever set eyes on. He had this boyish charm about him, a little rough around the edges, and most of all, he fought back. Tom couldn't think of the last time someone had to argue back, to get up in his face and tell him no. It was refreshing...and also very irritating. But that was how their relationship was; always challenging each other, getting on each other's nerves, and talking to each other, laughing, having fun. Harry could be quite an intelligent conversationalist when he actually used that brain of his. Speaking with Harry and making those green eyes darken in anger and irritation and how fast he could do it was always a game for him; though as time went on it got harder for Tom to do so as Harry learned to deal with him. But the harder the challenge the greater the fun and also the reward.

-Master,- Nagini hissed from her spot in front of the fire, -You have a creepy look on your face.-

Tom sat up and glared at his familiar, -I do not-

-You do, it is most frightening.-

Tom scowled and focused on the papers in front of him. He could hear her hissing in amusement as she watched him try and fail to be more professional. Tom shook his head and started worked on going through reports and plans on his next course of action. He didn't get much done before his mind was right back where it started.

Just thinking about Harry was enough to drive him up the wall; it made him wish he was back at the cottage. He knew what he would find here if he did. Deep green eyes, ones that Wynter had inherited, would stare at him in mild annoyance and amusement from beneath wild ebony locks that stuck up every which way no matter how hard he tried to tame it. Soft, full pink lips begging to be kissed. Creamy, sun kissed skin that he loved to touch and caress; it still amazed him as to how sensitive Harry was when he touched him, no matter how many times they made love. And his legs, god his legs! After years of Quidditch training, Auror training and years of running from him, Harry's legs were well toned and lightly muscled and Tom loved they wrapped around him and held him tight when they moved together. It always made him feel so... wrong.

Tom sat up straight and frowned. No that wasn't right, it wasn't wrong. It felt great, fantastic even, not wrong. There was nothing wrong with it, it wasn't wrong. Nothing was wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Something was wrong.

The moment he pieced that thought together, warning bells went off in his head and he concentrated as to what was causing it. He surged to his feet when he noticed that the source was coming from the cottage. The cottage that Harry and Wynter were; where his family was and something had happened to cause the alarms he had placed to go off.

Fear coursed through him at the thought of something happening to his family, his mind supplying scenarios as to what he might find, each one worse than the next. The fear was very real and kept building and building the more he thought about it. It was mind numbing and he couldn't do anything as it clouded his thoughts. Panic started to set in soon after making all rational thought disappear as he realized he couldn't get out. He needed to get out! But that didn't make any sense, Tom needed to go to them how could he get out when he wasn't there. He couldn't move, he needed to move, why wasn't he moving, why wasn't anything making sense!

Tom needed to think, but the fear and panic were overwhelming and he found himself gripping his desk until his knuckles were white, his breathing coming in short and quick as he fought the hysteria welling up inside him. He was finding it hard to breathe, his thoughts scattered and disorganized, his fear controlling him, driving him, to...to what? He was standing in his office, yet it was all there. It didn't fit, none of it fit, he needed to go to Harry and Wynter, they needed him, why wasn't he moving?

-Master?- a voice hissed in front of him and he blinked to see Nagini draped over his desk as she peered into his face. -Is something the matter?-

-Nagini- he breathed, gaining control over himself.

-Good, you're back to normal.- She looked down, seemingly apologetic, -I didn't mean to tease you.-

-No, no. It's not that, it's...- Suddenly it clicked. It wasn't like him to completely lose control of his emotions. The panic and fear that he was feeling were distant now like it was coming from far away and he realized that it wasn't coming from him.

"Harry," he whispered. It was coming from Harry. Their link, usually closed off and dormant ever since the incident several years ago when he used it to influence Harry and now in recent years out of respect for the other, but now it was wide open and Harry's fear and desperation came through loud and clear.

Wasting no time, Tom quickly apparated out of the manor to save his family.

xxx

Arriving on scene, Dumbledore and the members of the Order of the Phoenix came up the path to witness a small cottage up in flames.

"Oh my god! Harry!" Hermione Granger cried out and ran forward with Ron Weasley right behind her. The flames held them at bay as it consumed everything in sight.

Dark smoke was funneling up into the air, making it very hard to see and to breathe. The walls of the house were completely black and still burning. Flames flickered from inside, amazingly bright in the middle of the night, consuming everything. The plants around the property and the garden that Harry had so lovingly planted and grown had caught the flames and were only adding fuel to the fire, making it spread further.

"Make sure it doesn't spread to the trees! The rest of you spread out and put out the fire!" he called out. The members quickly dispersed as the followed his order.

The air was soon filled with sounds of the crackling fire, shouted commands and pleas for Harry to answer them from inside and gushing water from wands as they tried to put it out.

"Put it out it’s spreading over there!"

"Harry, can you hear me! Call out!"

It was utter chaos as everyone from the Order of the Phoenix ran around and attempted to put out the fire on the cottage. No one really knew as to why they were in the middle of nowhere, only that Harry Potter was trapped inside. Dumbledore knew he would have questions later when they discovered Harry and the new addition to his family tree. But he would have to deal with that later.

What Dumbledore wanted to know was how all the charms and wards had been taken down in an instant without any warning. They had been so careful, he just hoped Harry and Wynter were okay. As he thought this, a section of the roof caved in, the sound loud and echoing as the house creaked under the strain of holding itself up.

"Albus, the door is not opening!" Minerva said coming over to him, "Windows too."

Albus closed his eyes and pushed back the worry he felt. He could only imagine the terror Harry must be feeling if he had no way to get out. "They are charmed shut then."

"Why?"

"I have no idea," he strode forward to release the charms on the house keeping them outside.

From the left side of the cottage, he heard the sound of breaking glass and the fire from inside flared once more, joining the rest of it outside and destroying the progress they had made. Almost simultaneously, all the other glass on the house exploded outward, all the compressed air suddenly released. Everyone dived out of the way or turned away as hot air and fire turned into an inferno, making more of the house give way.

Out of the corner of his eye, Dumbledore saw a shadow shoot out of a broken window. Turning quickly toward it with his wand raised he looked around, dread pooling into his stomach, but he saw nothing. Whatever the shadow was, it had disappeared.

Dumbledore quickly joined in with the others' efforts in putting out the fire by forming a big bubble full of water over the house and letting the water rain down, dousing the fire. He left the other's put out the rest of the flames and, covering his mouth with his robes to hold the smoke at bay, strode into the cottage with a few willing members behind him.

The flames were hot and intense as they made their way inside. A few members started to put out the fire as he and the rest, Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley included, looked around for any sign of Harry and Wynter. There was no answer to their calling out to them, nor any movement. They maneuvered around the debris from the caved in ceiling and searched the bedrooms.

They were empty.

It was then that Dumbledore knew that his fear was very real, that his old mind had been playing tricks on him. Harry and his daughter were missing.

xxx

Tired and dirty, the members of the Order of the Phoenix trooped into the Noble House of Black, one that Harry had generously let them continue to use, and sat down around the kitchen table. Immediately, questions started to fly.

"What was with that fire?

"Was Potter really there?"

"I thought he was training, not playing house."

"Harry wasn't there, where did he go?"

"You don't think he was captured do you?"

"Albus, what's going on?"

"Did you put him there?"

Dumbledore ignored the questions aimed at him and settled himself at the head of the table. As he gathered himself, he looked around. Mr. Weasley and Ms. Granger sat huddled together, their faces drawn in worry for their friend and god-daughter. Hoping that they were alright and where ever they were and hoping that the worst of what they thought didn't come to pass. Dumbledore hoped so too.

Minerva sat down in the seat to his right and folding her hands on the table, stared at him for a moment with her unnerving green eyes, before speaking. "Albus?" Just that one word had a heavy weight to them with a thousand questions that needed answering.

Dumbledore sighed and straightened himself to address the room. Everyone quieted without him having to say anything. "I have, regretfully, been keeping something from all of you regarding Harry."

"Professor!" Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley exclaimed with wide eyes.

He held up a hand to silence them and they looked down at the table, not daring to look at any one, especially Molly who was looking at them with suspicion.

"I believe," he continued, "it is time I told you the truth."

Chapter Text

Harry woke with a start, face down on familiar green silk sheets. For a moment he was dizzy and disoriented, not sure where he was until it clicked and he sat up quickly. He instantly felt a burning sensation on his back that made his eyes water, but he ignored it. "Wynter," he rasped, looking around in a panic. He vaguely heard the sound of a door opening as he continued to try and untangle himself from the sheets, calling out his daughter's name. "Wynter, Wynter, Wynter!" He couldn't find her, where was she! The fire, the fire was going to get them, he had to get out, where was his daughter!

Hands grabbed a hold of him and he was pressed against a solid chest, a hand running through his hair, calming him. "Shh, it's okay. You're safe, Harry. It's okay."

Harry managed to get his breathing to calm down and he looked up into blue eyes that were watching him intently. "Tom?"

"Yeah."

He closed his eyes in relief before snapping his eyes open again and sitting up despite the pain. Grabbing hold of Tom's robes, he looked imploringly into his eyes, "Wynter!"

"She's fine, Harry. She's fine. She's over there," Tom said soothingly, gesturing to a small crib by the window.

Harry pulled himself away sharply despite the pain and shoved Tom out of the way and made his way to the crib and looked inside. Wynter lay there fast asleep, clinging to her teddy bear, not even a scratch on her.

"See she's just fine," Tom said softly, standing beside him looking down at their daughter.

Relief rushed through him as he gazed down at her, lying so innocent and carefree, completely clean in a new onsie and not a speck of dirt on her; it was like nothing had even happened. "Thank god" he whispered, a sob escaping his throat, "thank god!"

Tom caught Harry as his legs gave out and he started crying, clinging to the bars of the crib. Tears came fast and hard as all the fear and relief came rushing over him, draining him of all his energy.

Tom floundered as to what to do; it was just like a year ago in the exact same place, he still had no idea what to do with Harry's crying, but he did his best. He gently pulled Harry into his arms and patted his arm awkwardly, "It's okay. You can stop crying now."

Harry let out a choked laugh, "You suck at comforting people."

"I don't usually comfort people, I kill them."

Harry nodded, burrowing his face into Tom's chest, clinging to him like a life line. And in a way he was, Tom was the one who got them out of there, the one that saved him and Wynter. If he hadn't... he started crying again. "God, if you hadn't been there..."

"But I was, and you're fine, you're both fine," Tom said softly, "Come, you need to lay down. It has been a long day and you need to rest."

"Okay," Harry mumbled and followed as Tom steered him toward the bed, feeling both emotionally and physically drained. He laid face down on the bed, wincing at the pull of his skin. "What happened?" he reached back under his shirt and felt cloth covering him.

"You were burned," Tom said, his face turning troubled, "here to here," he said his finger tracing down his back, sideways from his right shoulder down to his left hip. "A beam got you."

"And Wynter?" he asked jerking up slightly to see him.

Tom gently slid his fingers through Harry's hair to calm him when he winced at the sudden movement, "She was fine, minor smoke inhalation, but it was taken care of."

"Nothing else?" Harry asked.

"No, the bear protected her and you too, your front anyway, but not your back."

Harry shook his head slightly, rubbing his face against the soft sheets, "I don't care about me....thank god for that teddy bear you gave her. I'm glad she never let that thing go."

Tom hummed in agreement, remembering briefly when he broke into the cottage and saw them laying there. It had been terrifying. Even before he had gone in, seeing the house up in flames, the doors and windows sealed shut with magic; he had known right away that it was no accident. He had forced his way through a window, breaking the seals with sheer force and was greeted with fumes of smoke and heat. Instantly, he had heard Wynter's screams and it lead him straight to a pile of rubble where he could barely see Harry underneath. Wynter trapped underneath Harry as he tried to protect her; a faint light glowing around her as the protection spells on the teddy bear did what it was supposed to. He had made quick work of the rubble and gotten them both out of there.

Just seeing Harry lying there helpless and hurt had scared him and did things inside of his chest that he had a hard time figuring it out. Not that he had any time, he had been busy making sure his family was alright and other things...

"Tom?"

Tom blinked and looked down at Harry, who was looking at him inquiringly.

"Where did you go?"

"Nowhere, I'm right here," he replied," You need to get some sleep, we can talk later," Tom said pulling up the sheets to cover him and make Harry comfortable. He gently carded his fingers through Harry's soft locks and watch as he closed his eyes in bliss at the soothing motion, "rest."

Harry nodded and settled in to go to sleep. His eyes snapped open as he felt the weight leave the bed, "Tom?" he called out.

"Yes?"

Harry hesitated for a moment before saying the word he had wanted to say hours ago, "...stay?"

Tom paused and looked at Harry, green eyes tired and uncertain; the fear just below the surface. "Okay."

Harry smiled tiredly and watched as Tom stretched out beside him and gently drew him into his arms. He snuggled into the warmth and safety that Tom provided and with the gentle fingers in his hair, he was lulled into sleep.

xxx

When Harry woke up a few hours later, still a bit tired but more alert than he had been earlier. He was still curled up in Tom's arms, his head against Tom's chest and the rest of him casually draped against his side through the sheets wrapped around him. Tom hadn't seemed to mind and had wrapped an arm around him, careful of his injury, to hold him close. Tom had fallen asleep beside him, which was surprising; he usually didn't let his guard down, then again, that was what he had been doing for months with him. Harry had never seen him sleep before, mostly because Tom had never spent the night; only the one time and they had been unconscious and he had kicked Tom off the bed almost immediately after waking up. Tom had not appreciated that.

Tom's face was relaxed and completely innocent looking; a stark contrast with the type of man that he was. Dark lashes fanned out on pale skin, there were dark marks under his eyes like he hadn't really slept well and likely hadn't, soft lips parted as he breathed evenly. He felt like kissing Tom right then, but resisted the temptation, mostly because it was embarrassing to do so and also he had no idea how Tom would react to it, good: he would appreciate it and respond in kind, or bad: he would end up a red spot on the wall. He would rather not risk it.

Looking around the room, he noticed a few changed from the last time he had been there. There was a new looking bookcase in the corner, a painting was gone, and so was a vase that had been standing near the couch near the window. The bed was exactly the same too, though a corner of the bed post had been replaced. Feeling Tom shift, he glanced up to see Tom watching him. Smiling slightly, he said, "I see you did some redecorating."

Tom scowled at him, "I had to, a tornado swept through." Harry laughed and Tom loved the sound of it. He already looked better; it was amazing what a few hours of sleep did.

Harry sighed and slid his hand over the green silk sheets on the other side of Tom, "Wynter was conceived here..."

"I know," Tom answered. They were silent for a moment; just enjoying each other's company, remembering their last encounter in this room; the one that had changed everything.

"How is she?" Harry asked, breaking the silence.

"She hasn't made a sound as far as I know." At Harry's uncertain look, he elaborated, "I have a spell on her crib to alert me of any changes in her health, just in case, she's just sleeping."

"Oh, okay," Harry said, relieved.

"She's exhausted with all the excitement that happened, I think she'll be out for a while."

"Yeah."

Tom glanced down at Harry and saw tears gathering in his eyes. "Are you going to cry again?" he asked uncertainly.

Harry let out a soft laugh and sniffed, "I'm sorry. I just...I was so scared."

"I know, I felt it."

"You did?" Harry asked, confused before he remembered that they were connected through his scar.

"Yes."

"That's never happened before."

"Your feelings were strong enough that they went through."

"Oh...sorry."

"Don't be. It was thanks to it that I knew something was wrong. Well, that and the alarms I had placed on the house."

"Thank god for that," Harry murmured.

Tom hummed in agreement, "I need to change your bandages."

"Oh okay," Harry sat up slightly to get out of the sheets. He looked down at his shirt to take it off and paused, "This isn't mine."

"It's mine. I didn't want to break into your trunk, so I just took off what was left of your clothes and put this on."

"Mmmm," Harry hummed and smirked, "pervert." Tom rolled his eyes, actually rolled them and shook his head as he gathered new bandages and a what Harry guessed was a burn salve. "How is my trunk?" He asked conversationally as he gently peeled off the shirt with some help from Tom.

"It's a little crispy around the edges, but otherwise it's fine," Tom replied, "lay down."

Harry laid back down on his stomach, folding his arms and pillowing his head against them, "That's good. I got whatever I could, so I don't know what is in there. I'll go through it later." He was silent for a moment as Tom cut the bandages and carefully removed them. "Is it bad?"

"Not as much as yesterday, but it will be a while before it returns to normal."

"Will it scar?"

"It shouldn't," Tom said and started to apply the salve.

Harry winced and Tom stopped, "Cold," he explained. Tom nodded and continued to apply the salve generously. He sighed and watched Tom out of the corner of his eye as he worked, completely focused on the task in front of him. In the silence, he started to think about what had happened at the cottage and why. "Thinking back on it all, I could have done things so differently...I just panicked."

"I don't blame you," Tom murmured.

"But I've been in situations before, you know, because of you and all, but this time...I just froze. My mind was a blank!" Harry burrowed his face into his arms as the tears gathered again, "if something had happened..."

"But it didn't, it's no use dwelling on the past, it won't change anything," Tom said, his voice firm.

Harry nodded, "I'm glad that you came," he whispered," thank you."

"Of course," Tom replied simply, glad that Harry hadn't started crying again. "The Order was there too."

"They were?" Harry asked, glancing back at Tom as he finished with the salve.

"Yes, they were attempting to put out the fire and break in," Tom answered, then added under his breath, "not that they were doing a good job of it."

"I heard that," Harry said giving him a look over his shoulder as he sat up for Tom to put the bandages on, "at least they were trying, right? But I just don't understand what happened, I don't remember leaving a candle or the stove on before I went to bed." Tom's hands stilled briefly before resuming their task and listened to Harry talk. "And the fire was just...everywhere so fast, and I tried to open the door and the windows and they wouldn't open and no matter what I did I couldn't get out...I-I just don't understand..."

Harry glanced at Tom to see him tying off the bandages and picking up the old ones to throw away, but that wasn't what he noticed. Tom was angry, and he was trying not to show it. His eyes were narrowed, slightly with simmering anger just below the surface, and an angry tick was pulsing in his jaw where he clutched his teeth tightly. It was like any moment he was going to burst; like he wanted to kill something. "Tom? Is something wrong?" he asked, but Tom turned away to put the things away and placed the salve on the nightstand with a little more force than was needed. Harry thought it through again and suddenly it clicked, "It wasn't an accident, was it?"

Tom breathed deeply, trying to reign in his anger, Harry didn't need this right now, but he couldn't. Every time he saw Harry and the burn now marring his beautiful skin, his blood would boil and he just wanted to lash out. "You need to rest," he managed to get out.

"I'm right aren't I?" Harry asked, ignoring him, "What happened?"

"Now's not the time..."

"No, I want to know now, Tom," Harry pleaded, "Tom, please!"

Tom only sighed and sat down on the bed and looked down at his hands.

Harry crawled forward on the bed to him and taking Tom's face in his hands, lightly stroking the side of his face with his thumbs as he looked into his eyes, "Tell me."

Tom closed his eyes briefly, before giving in, "Two of my followers found the cottage."

Harry's eyes widened in shock, "H-How?"

"They followed your friends."

"Is...is that even possible?"

"It is, though it is very difficult and advanced form of magic." Harry looked confused look he elaborated. "You know that magic leaves behind a residue of its user, correct?" At Harry's nod, he continued. "The same goes for apparition. It leaves behind a spark of magic at the place where it is used and where it takes its caster. With repeated apparition in the same place to the same location, it leaves a trail and that trail can be traced."

"But...there are so many different signatures..." Harry trailed off.

"Which is why it is never done, it not only takes a lot of magic to channel the direction the trail is going, but it takes patience to find the right signature amongst thousands."

Harry nodded in understanding, "So, they followed Ron and Hermione's trail to my house."

"Yes."

"Then what? They just..." Harry couldn't say it.

"No. From what I understand they made sure you were actually there first. Then took down the wards that were placed by Dumbledore and myself."

"How? If it was put up by two of the most powerful wizards alive, it couldn't have been that simple."

Tom got up and paced to the crib to stare down at his daughter, guilt suddenly filling his chest, "That is partially my fault," he whispered.

"How?" Harry asked from his position on the bed.

Tom took a deep breath before letting it out slowly, "I created a device that is able to take down ancient and powerful wards by releasing a burst of magical energy to cancel it out."

"Why would you need that if you can just take it down yourself?" Harry asked.

Tom remained silent as he knew Harry would figure it out and he did.

"Oh," Harry said softly. The Ministry and Hogwarts, that's what it was for.

"I did not plan this," Tom stated sharply.

"I know, it's not your fault. Hey," Harry said as Tom looked away from him, "It's not. You didn't know it was going to be used for this. Did you?"

"...no."

"See, not your fault."

Tom nodded, then continued, "After the wards were down they sealed the house, windows, the door, the walls were impenetrable. Then..."

"They set it on fire," Harry finished and Tom nodded. He shivered remembering what it was like in the hot flames with no way out; he never wanted to go through that again. Harry was silent for a minute, trying to find a way to ask the next question that he wanted to know. There was no other way to ask, so he just said it. "What...what did you do to them? Your followers?"

Tom's back stiffened and his hands curled into fists at his side, "Nothing."

"What?" Harry asked incredulously. Harry couldn't believe that Tom would just let them go, just like that, not with what they did. What they could have done.

"It's not like I didn't want to. I have to be careful," Tom said coming back to where Harry sat on the bed. He could see the disbelief on Harry's face. "They were only doing as they thought would please me."

"As 'Voldemort', you mean," Harry said quietly.

"Yes," he said, sitting down next to him, "They were punished for disobeying me of course, but left unscathed. But they will not remain that way. They will be punished permanently later," Tom said, anger leaking into his voice.

"Good."

Tom looked at Harry in surprise. He hadn't expected that, not from Harry. Normally so against anything having to do with hurting anyone, and now...

"They tried to hurt our daughter," Harry stated fiercely, tears gathering in his eyes, "I will never forgive them for trying to hurt her."

"It wasn't just Wynter," Tom said, touching the side of Harry's face gently, "It was you too."

Harry placed his hand over Tom's and lightly nuzzled the hand. He could hardly believe that he almost lost this, whatever he had with Tom. He had been so preoccupied with thinking about Wynter and making sure she was okay, that he hadn't really given it the thought that he had almost died too. Sure it was terrifying, but Harry had always been prepared to die. With his encounters with Tom, or rather Voldemort, and what the prophecy had said, it was always a likely outcome. Though, now that the both of them were no longer after each other, it was rather null and void at this point.

But now that things had calmed down and they were safe, he was so glad and happy that he was here, with Tom. Harry couldn't think of what t would be like if he wouldn't be able to see Tom again, feel his warmth, his soft touches and deep kisses that always made him want for more. Just thinking about it made him feel...empty.

"I know I said it before, but thank you. For saving us," Harry whispered, his eyes lowered, a light blush stinging his cheeks. He had no idea why he suddenly felt so meek, but he did. It may have to do with how Tom was looking at him like he wanted to eat him. He found he didn't mind if he did.

"Always," Tom said softly and knew that his words were true. Unable to hold back anymore, he leaned forward and captured Harry's lips with his own in a sweet, tender kiss before leaning his forehead against Harry's. "I don't know what I would have done if I had lost you both."

Harry nodded, knowing exactly how he felt, but instead of using his voice, he brought Tom's face back down and kissed him again, this time with more passion. The kiss deepened, their tongues gliding against each other gently, not rushing it. He was pulled into Tom's arms so that he was half straddling his lap and had to hold onto him by wrapping his arms around his neck. Tom's fingers found their way underneath the shirt he was wearing and found a patch of skin not covered by bandages and caressed it lightly with barely there touches. They were enough to ignite the flame of desire inside him and he tugged at the robes Tom's was wearing and started to shed them, pushing the material off of broad shoulders as their mouths continued to duel. They would have made it further, but as with any new parent with a child, they were interrupted.

Looking to where the source of the banging was coming from, they saw a pair of bright green eyes peering out at them between the bars of the crib.

Harry bit his lip and giggled in embarrassment, "I almost forgot about her."

"Me too," Tom admitted with a sigh and gently placed him back on the bed. He got up and went to pick his daughter up along with her bear that she didn't let go.

"Hi sweetheart," Harry called out to her and Wynter smiled at him and waved her small arms as Tom carried her to the bed, her hair mussed from sleep. He couldn't say he was annoyed that they were interrupted because now all he wanted to do was hold her and that was exactly what he did. Tom placed Wynter into his arms and he pulled her close, small and warm against him. "Mmm, she smells good. Did you give her a bath?" he commented.

"I did," Tom replied, "made a big mess in my bathroom, but it was done."

Harry laughed and looked down at Wynter as she curled into him, placing her head on his shoulder, seeking the comfort of her mother. "Did Daddy take good care of you?" he asked her softly. Wynter only babbled at him and tugged on the hem of the dress on her bear, excitedly. Harry sniffed and gave her a watery smile and rubbed her back as he held her close. After a while Wynter got fussy and wanted to be put down so Harry put her down in the middle of the bed and laid down on his side and Tom laid down on the other side, entrapping her between them and watched her play with her teddy bear, babbling away with baby talk.

"I think she likes it here," Harry commented as he watched Wynter look around the room in fascination.

"She's just not used to being here. It's new to her."

"Yeah...I don't think she knows that we can't return home anymore," Harry said sadly.

"No," Tom admitted, "There's probably nothing left."

"I didn't think so," Harry said with a sigh, "Hey, how did you get in any way? There had to be a lot of people from the Order there."

"Window."

"I thought you didn't do windows," Harry commented with a grin.

Tom grinned back, "I made an exception."

Harry laughed, "You weren't seen were you?"

"No," Tom paused, "I don't believe so."

"Don't believe so?" Harry repeated.

"I was not exactly thinking clearly, but I was careful enough to not be seen."

"Oh okay," Harry said and rolled onto his stomach to stretch himself out and was content enough to just watch Tom play with Wynter and see her laugh. He tugged on her feet and used the bear to bop her in the face; she enjoyed every minute of his attention, laughing her head off.

He looked around the spacious room and suddenly wondered how they were going to live here, he would go crazy."You know, as much as I would like to stay here in your cozy manor with all your friends." Here Tom made a face, making him laugh. "I don't think we can stay confined in this room forever."

"I know," Tom said, "It's temporary. At least until I find somewhere for you to stay."

"Yeah?"

"Yes, preferably somewhere more secure. I'll place the wards myself."

"Sounds good to me."

"Good. Any preference?"

"What do you mean?"

"Country side, Mountains, Beach, Suburban area?" Tom listed off.

"Geez, I have no idea."

"Okay...then do you want to be surrounded by people?"

"Mmm, no. I kind of like being by myself," Harry said thoughtfully. "Oh, but I do want some town or something nearby. Not endless, nothingness either, I would go mad."

"Okay, that narrows it down. Mountains or Beach?"

"Endless trees and grass or salty water and sand..." Harry closed his eyes and thought about it. Visualizing where he would like to live. A small house out on a hill surrounded by trees with the sound of birds and the wind or a nice comfortable flat out on the beach, nice ocean breeze, the sunset on the water, endless clear ocean water... The more he thought about it, the more appealing it became, "The beach sounds nice."

"The beach?"

"Yeah, I want somewhere that is quiet and nice and bright, somewhere where I am secluded but not completely isolated, and somewhere that is happy and comfortable where we can raise Wynter."

"Somewhere on the beach then," Tom said thoughtfully, "It sounds like a great idea."

"I thought so."

"Okay then, I'll see what I can do."

Harry nodded and smiled at Tom, "I guess having my house burn down had some good come out of it. We can start over, with Wynter. No more hiding."

"I like it already."

"Me too."

Chapter Text

Dumbledore stared around at all the faces turned toward him and took a deep breath. "I believe it is time I told you the truth."

"About what, Albus?" Minerva asked uncertainly.

"About Harry and his involvement in this war," Dumbledore answered.

"What do you mean?" Molly Weasley asked, glancing at Ron and Hermione who were watching Dumbledore in what looked like dismay. She knew just by looking at them that the two of them knew something, but really or course they did; it involved Harry.

Dumbledore sighed softly, "I regret to inform all of you that Harry has no longer any desire to participate in this war."

Sounds of outrage and despair went around the room as many members voiced their concerns about the news. "What do you mean?"

"He can't just leave!"

"What about us? What are we going to do now?"

"He has to defeat You-Know-Who!"

"He's our Savior!"

"I know!" Dumbledore said, raising his voice over the din and everyone quieted down, "I know you are upset, but despite all Harry has done over the years, he never did ask for it. We put him on a pedestal and expected him to fight our battles in exchange for nothing."

At Dumbledore's words, everyone looked down, ashamed. No matter how they wanted to deny it, it was true. Every since Harry had entered into the wizarding world he had been put into dangerous situations and when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named came back, they expected Harry to vanquish him for them. He had always been there, fighting right there on the front lines, risking his life day after day, even more so after he graduated.

"I do not blame him for wanting to drop out, not after all he has been through. Which is why I placed Harry in that cottage, away from everyone else...to protect him."

"I don't blame him either, I always said he was too young to be out there fighting," Molly spoke up, "it is way too dangerous. You too," she said rounding on her youngest son and Hermione.

"Mum..." Ron said with a sigh.

"Now, now," Arthur stepped in as Molly got rearing to go, "We all understand how you feel, dear."

"Indeed," Dumbledore said with a slight smile. They all knew how vocal she was during meetings when any of her children volunteered to go out on missions for the Order, Harry and Hermione included.

"But why? Why so suddenly?" someone asked. Murmurs around the room voiced the same question.

"Albus?" Remus spoke up hesitantly, "does this have anything to do with...with that room in the house?"

"Ah! I saw it too," Tonks exclaimed, "there was a crib in there, and toys, though it was all burned...why would he have those things?"

"Unless there was a child there, but why would there be? If he was in hiding..." Remus trailed off as he started thinking and not believing where his thoughts were going. "Albus? Why was there a child there?"

"Yeah, why?" Others started to ask, their murmurs going around the room and wild guesses accumulating as it made its way around.

Dumbledore closed his eyes briefly and sighed. He hadn't wanted to tell anyone about Wynter until Harry was ready, or until Harry told the Order himself, but with Harry and Wynter missing, it was no longer something that should be kept secret. Not if they wanted to find the both of them. I'm sorry, Harry. "Everyone is aware of Harry's capture by the Death Eater's about a year ago, correct?" At everyone's nod, he continued, "Harry did not tell the whole truth about his capture, at first," he closed his eyes and breathed out a deep sigh, suddenly feeling his age, "while in captivity...Harry was raped."

Gasps of horror and shock rose up from around the room. Whispers of "oh my god" and "is that true?" They were shocked and angry that someone would do such a thing to Harry, or anyone for that matter, but not as much as those close to him.

Remus was lost for words; unable to comprehend what had happened, that it didn't happen, that Dumbledore did not just say that Harry, his best friend's son, one who he had vowed to protect, had something so...inexcusable done to him. And he hadn't done anything; hadn't even known.

Minerva closed her eyes and looked away, clearly upset; Harry hadn't deserved this. For the sake of protecting them all, he had been hurt too many times to count, now this was just another scar for Harry to bare; only this time it cut too deep, there was a limit to how much one can take. It hurt her to know that one of her Gryffindor's had been through something of this magnitude and she had not been able to stop it or help; no matter that he was no longer one of her students.

Molly was crying, her hands covering her face at the thought of Harry, who she thought of as her own son, going through such a thing, such a horrible, horrible thing. Oh how, scared he must have been. It had been no wonder that Harry had been so distant when he had come back, jumpy. And he had told no one except Dumbledore...she glanced at Ron and Hermione who were both looking down, hunched over as the people around them expressed their outrage; she was suddenly sure that maybe Harry hadn't been alone and was at least glad for that.
Ron and Hermione kept quiet and faced downward as the news sank in. They really couldn't believe that Dumbledore had told everyone without Harry's consent, it made them angry that he had betrayed Harry's trust like that, but on the other hand, they knew that it had to be done. With the evidence of Wynter in the house and the fact that some of the Order had seen it, it had to be explained, especially if they were going to find the both of them. Now it was only a matter of time until someone put it together.

"T-Then the baby..." Remus whispered, eventually, the facts clicking into place.

"Is Harry's," Dumbledore stated. "He found out he was pregnant a few weeks after he came back," he finished amongst another round of gasps.

"That's why he was sick," Molly whispered through her fingers, eyes swimming with tears, "why he went away..."

"Correct," Dumbledore answered, "once it was time he was hidden away to give birth and stayed there."

"You mean he kept it?" someone asked in surprise.

"Kept it? No, he should have just gotten rid of it."

"Yeah, it's a Death Eater's spawn. It should be killed."

"Would be best..."

"What was Potter thinking?"

"Disgusting..."

"Harry should have known better than to keep it."

"Should be put down..."

"Stop it!" Hermione shouted, standing abruptly. "All of you should be ashamed of yourselves!" The room went quiet as the normally composed girl started fuming at them. "It's a baby you are all talking about. A completely innocent little baby! It doesn't matter who her father is or what he has done. It has nothing to do with her."

"Hermione is right," Ron said standing up, shifting their attention to him, "it doesn't matter. How she was conceived or who her father is. Harry has been doing his best to raise her with all the love and care he can and that's all that matters."

"But it's a Death Eater's kid," a woman spoke up.

"Yeah!" other's joined in.

"It's a monster!"

"It's Harry's too!" Ron snapped, "or does that not matter to any of you? The one you claim to be your savior. It was his decision to keep her and love her despite all of that. If he can then so can you."

"All babies are born innocent," Hermione put in, "it just depends on how they are raised. And Harry is raising his child the way he sees fit. It has nothing to do with you."

"If you can't deal with it, just keep your damn mouth shut," Ron stated.

Cries of outrage and disgust rose up at the words and Ron and Hermione defended Harry with everything they had. Molly and Remus also joined in as well as those of who knew Harry personally, taking his side. They didn't know everything that was going on but they knew Harry and knew he wouldn't make a decision like that lightly.

"SILENCE!" Dumbledore thundered, angry at the accusations and derogatory words flying around, and immediately everyone went silent and still. "Now, I know everyone has their own opinion on the matter, but Harry has made the best of what has happened to him and no one has a right to say otherwise. It was his decision to carry his child and give her life, knowing where she has come from and how she came to be. It is the most difficult and bravest decision he has ever made and deserves our full support, even if some do not feel that way." He looked around the room over the rim of his glasses and everyone bowed their head and stayed silent.

"She? You keep saying she," Molly spoke up, turning to Ron and Hermione.

"Yeah. He had a girl," Ron answered with a soft smile.

"Beautiful little thing; big, bright green eyes," Hermione spoke up, smiling too, "though she's not so small anymore."

"You've seen her?" Tonks asked.

"Yeah, we would visit every week to keep Harry company. She always gives us this big smile when we come over; would light up a room," Ron added.

"She sounds wonderful," Molly said, smiling as well; it was infectious and as the other's listened they found themselves smiling too.

"She is, she's just a normal bright, happy baby," Hermione said.

"What's her name?" Remus asked.

"Wynter," Hermione answered, "Wynter Lily Potter."

"Wynter Lily...that's a unique name," Remus said thoughtfully.

"Yeah, but if you meet her, you can see why. She has a mind of her own."

"I like it," Remus said with a smile.

"We do too," Ron said.

Remus hesitated for a minute before asking, "Do...do you know who her father is?"

Ron and Hermione shook their heads and Dumbledore spoke up, "Unfortunately no. Harry never told anyone and I did not put the issue; it was traumatic enough for him. Though whether or not he knows at all is unclear."

"Harry's never said anything to us either," Hermione added, "he never talks about it and we never pushed."

"It doesn't matter anyway," Ron put in, "It's Harry's daughter, there is no father."

"Right, understood," Remus said with an amused smile. "I would like to meet her."

"I'm sure Harry would like you to meet her too, but I have no idea where he is," Hermione said, suddenly worried, "he hasn't contacted us yet. He wasn't at the house and most of the stuff was gone, so I thought they got out."

"We never did set up what to do in case something happened," Ron admitted, "I wish we had."

"It could be that he's laying low," Tonks suggested.

"Perhaps, but I believe that is not the case," Dumbledore said, running his hand down his white beard in contemplation.

"What do you mean, Albus?" Minerva asked.

"While we do know that Harry was no longer in the cottage when the fire was put out, I don't believe that he got out by himself. I do believe he had help."

"How do you know that, professor?" Hermione asked.

"I had briefly seen a shadow leaving the premises earlier tonight. At the time I was not certain as to what it was, but I believe that it was Harry."

"He was leaving?" Ron asked, "then why didn't he just come out to us?"

"Didn't you listen, Ronald?" Hermione scolded him, "Harry wasn't alone, but that means...that someone took him! Professor, we have to find them!"

"I know, Ms. Granger, though it remains to be seen whether the person who took him was a friend or not."

"Well, obviously it was a Death Eater, right?" an Order member spoke up, "they did set fire to the house."

"Yes, and I would have thought the same, but all the windows and doors were sealed shut, with the sole purpose of keeping Harry and Wynter inside with no way out," Dumbledore explained, "But the shadow that I had seen had come from a window where the glass had been broken inward."

Ron looked around as comprehension showed on people's faces, "You lost me."

"It means, someone, broke in and took Harry and Wynter and left again," Hermione said.

"So...then who took them and are they are okay?" Ron asked.

"I have no idea," Hermione said softly; not sure if she should panic or not, "I hope to God they are okay."

"As do I," Dumbledore said, "You two have spent the most time with Harry, do you know if he had any contact with anyone?" he asked Ron and Hermione.

"...no. I don't think so," Hermione said thoughtfully, "he mostly kept to himself so that he wouldn't stick out to anyone."

"Wait," Ron suddenly said, "there may be someone. We always teased him about Harry possibly seeing someone."

"Oh! That's right!" Hermione gasped.

"What do you mean, he was seeing someone?" Remus asked.

"It's just that...Harry's been really...happy lately and we teased him constantly that he had met someone from town down the way. He always denied it though, so I'm not sure if it's true and was just embarrassed or that there really wasn't anyone," Hermione explained.

"Now I'm not sure if his mystery guy was a muggle or not; especially since the guy who took Harry and Wynter away obviously had magic. It could have nothing to do with him at all," Ron stated.

"This is all may be true, but what matters most of all is that we find Harry and his daughter before harm comes to them," Dumbledore said, "it is of vital importance that we make sure we bring them home safe and sound."

Chapter Text

He watched.

Watched as they walked around high and mighty after what they had done. They relaxed and had fine; patted themselves on the back for a job well done. Walked with their heads held high at their accomplishment despite the minor detail of disobedience that tarnished their victory. They thought they were on top of the world, with just a few words of praise from their Master, but they had another thing coming.

They can accept the pats on the back and congratulations from their fellow comrades, float on the cloud they had placed themselves on, it wouldn't last long. No, he would wait, wait as their inflated egos made them careless; then he would strike.

When they least expected it, when they were alone and vulnerable he would come; and they would pay.

xxx

Abel Gibbon walked through the dark, empty alleys of Knockturn Alley, slightly inebriated from the gathering he had just left. He had been partying almost non-stop since the incident, celebrating his victory that only he had been able to do. Well, he had help of course, but that was beside the point. He was still standing and he had never felt prouder of himself; proud to be one of the Dark Lord's faithful followers. He hadn't really lived until now, when he was on top, in the spotlight for a job well done. And why shouldn't he? He had gotten rid of Potter. Something no one had been able to do. Not even the Dark Lord, though he would never say that aloud.

Gibbon knew that he was the most polished wand in the box, but he was known to show some promise and he had. He had proven it to everyone, especially the Dark Lord. Yes, he had gotten for insubordination, and boy did it hurt, more than usual, but he did disobey an order and you do not do that. But the Dark Lord had praised him! Told him good work and that he would be rewarded in time. Gibbon didn't know what that meant, but it had to be good. He couldn't wait!

Until then, Gibbon had been busy socializing with all the popular people who knew of his accomplishment. Unlike his partner in crime, he enjoyed the praise and attention that everyone bestowed upon him. The celebratory dinners, the pats on the back...he could get used to it. Sure, he didn't really do much that night, but he had found Potter by following his friends. And it had not been easy, it had been exhausting and took all the magic that he had to perform the spell but he had done it; Jugson had done most of the work at the house, but it didn't matter. He had set the place on fire. Oh, that had been a sight to see.

Watching the house go up in flames with Potter trapped like a rat inside, screaming and lashing out as he attempted to escape. Not that would be able to, they had made sure of that. Eventually, Gibbon hadn't been able to hear Potter anymore over the crackling of the flames and the sounds of the house caving in; only the occasional shout of fear. It had been like a dream, it was too bad that he hadn't got to stay and watch and listen to Potter's end as the Order had shown up, but oh well. They had done what they had come to do and it felt good.

He still had the memory of Potter's screams to fill that hole. It had been glorious and terrified, no doubt surrounded by the fire and smoke. Unable to breathe, trapped and- what was that?

Gibbon stumbled as he turned around and glanced about. Nothing. He had thought he had heard or felt something had been there. Maybe I just had too much to drink, he thought and continued walking.

Now that he thought about it, the alley was remarkably empty for a Friday night. He wondered where everyone was...

Ah. There it is again, he thought swinging around. He gripped his wand in his hand and waved it menacingly. "That's what I thought," he muttered drunkenly as nothing showed itself. Tucking his wand away he turned around...only to meet a hooded figure.

"Wha-" was all he got out before everything went dark.

xxx

The hallway was dark and devoid of people as it usually was at the manor, but Elliot Jugson preferred it that way. He could be out there, like his comrade Gibbon, partying and reveling in their victory over Harry Potter, but he was not that kind of person. He was more of one to bask in silent victory, not show off. Showing off more likely got you into trouble, no doubt what Gibbon was doing at that very moment. No, he preferred the quiet solitude that he found with his own company, maybe a few others who enjoyed the same. Like now, he just wanted to sit back and relax, maybe have a glass of wine to celebrate and wait for his reward. And that was all that mattered, his reward. The Dark Lord had promised that it would be big, life changing. Jugson couldn't wait.

Would it be riches? Valuable trinkets? Rare books? A house out in the country? Anything he would receive would be welcome, it was from the Dark Lord after all. And he was generous at times, very generous depending on the type of job it was and how well it went. This particular job was very high stakes and had gone off without a hitch. Only the fact that they had done so on their own and had thus been punished was the difference, but Jugson had calculated that into his thinking and it was but a minor offense. The reward would be just as good. How could it not when they had gotten rid of the Harry Potter? Oh, how victory was sweet. If Jugson walked a little straighter, prouder, then so what, it was an excellent victory.

Maybe I will join Manson for a drink, he thought pausing in the hallway; he was suddenly in the mood. He turned around to make his way back to the drawing room where he had originally come from and came face to face with a cloaked figure. He blinked startled and took a step back, but the figure didn't move.

"Can I help you?" Jugson asked.

The figure only stood there, head tilting to the side as if studying him. The action sent chills down his spine and instantly his guard was up.

"If this is your idea of a joke Avery, it isn't funny," he snapped pulling his wand out and pointing it at the figure threateningly. The gesture didn't even faze it and continued to stare at him. "Stop it!" he said. Still, no reaction. "I don't have time for this," he said, "screw you." He was no longer in the mood and side stepped the figure to go around it.

He didn't even have a chance to move when the figure attacked.

xxx

"...on..."

"...bon... a up."

"Gibbon wake up!"

Gibbon head snapped up and he blinked around blearily. "Wha-?" he mumbled and smacked his lips; his mouth felt like it was full of cotton. He moved his arms and found them tightly bound, and did as what any other person would. He panicked. As a result, the bonds got tighter.

"Stop that, Gibbon, you'll only make it worse," Jugson said.

"Yeah, yeah. I know that" Gibbons said calming down. "What happened?"

"No idea," Jugson replied and glanced over at him, "What did you do?"

"I didn't do anything!" Gibbon bristled.

"Well, then how else do you explain it?"

"I don't know, they are so going to regret this when I get out of here...where are we anyway?"

Jugson looked around the room, that wasn't really a room, covered in old stone top to bottom of what he could see. Which wasn't much, he could barely see what was a few feet in front of him, there were no windows and it was completely dark, and there was a constant drip...drip somewhere nearby "I don't know, but it looks like some sort of dungeon."

"A dungeon? Why? We didn't do anything."

"I wouldn't say that. There are plenty of things we have done."

"Oh, very good. I knew you were smart," a voice said in the darkness, soft and smooth as velvet.

Gibbon and Jugson looked toward where the voice was coming from. They could see a vague shape of a man in the gloom, but that was it.

"Boy, you are in big trouble. Do you have any idea who we are? Who we work for? Do you?" Gibbon sneered.

"Gibbon, shut up!" Jugson hissed. He had no idea who this man was, but he was getting a really bad vibe from him. Surprisingly, Gibbon did shut up, probably starting to sense the same thing as the figure started to step toward them with smooth, measured steps.

When the figure made it within a few feet of them, torches lit up from the walls, basking the once dark room in light, blinding them. Blinking his eyes, Jugson looked up to see a man, early to late thirties, pale skin and black hair that fanned across dark blue eyes that were boring into him as he drank in the sight of the figure. He instantly lowered his gaze, fear running through him in that split second when their eyes met. He heard Gibbon's sharp breath and saw him dip his head in a similar matter; so it wasn't only him who knew they were in deep shit.

"What do you want with us?" Jugson asked lowly.

"Want?" the man asked, "What I want is not the right question to ask Jugson, what I will do to you? That is what you should be asking."

"How do you-"

"Know you? Oh, I know you two very well. I should, I recruited you," the man said pacing in front of them," though I never thought you would betray me."

"Betray you? We don't work for you!" Gibbon stated.

It was then that it clicked for Jugson. The familiar feeling of power and intimidation, the fear he felt being so close to the man, yet oh so intoxicating at the same time. There was only one person Jugson knew that made him feel this way.

"Ah," the man commented as he realized Jugson had figured it out.

Jugson shook his head in disbelief, "It can't...you...my- my lord?"

"What? My-" Gibbon paled as he too realized who the man was, "Oh fuck."

"Indeed, Mr. Gibbon."

"H-how?" Jugson whispered a he looked the man over, glancing away frequently, afraid to catch his gaze.

"It took some time, but I was finally able to gain my old body back," the man said examining his hand, "but it is easier to rule with fear so I kept my disguise. To keep you all in line, but apparently, it did not work on some of you," he said, clutching his hand into a fist.

"My lord! We will always follow you," Gibbon exclaimed, "we obey every-"

"SILENCE! You are lying to me," the man said.

"No..." Jugson said shaking his head.

"Oh, but yes, you did."

Tom turned to the two men kneeling in front of him, cowering like dogs, afraid and confused; completely at his mercy. He had been waiting for this for weeks and now it was finally here. He had them right where he wanted them, and they would finally pay for what they did. It was why he had come as himself not as the Dark Lord that they knew. It was as Tom Riddle, a father and lover, that had nearly lost two very precious things; so he revealed his true self. It was not like they would live to tell anyone.

"You two disobeyed one of the most important orders that I've ever given," Tom said drawing his wand.

"N-No my lord. We never...we followed your every word!" Jugson exclaimed.

"If we did anything to displease you, I'm sorry, my lord," Gibbon said, bowing his head.

"Displease me?" Tom asked, "You have done more than just displease me," he said as he paced lightly in front of him, tapping his wand against his thigh. "Did you ever think, that there was a reason I called off the search for Harry, hm? Did you even use those brains of yours?" Tom asked softly, stopping in front of Jugson and caressing his cheek with his wand. "NO! YOU DID NOT! YOUR CARLESSNESS NEARLY COST ME MY DAUGHTER!!!!" he yelled, making them flinch.

Tom stepped away in an exaggerated manner, lightly putting a hand to his chest as they sat there confused at his words. "Oh! Oh, I am so sorry. I forgot that you didn't know. You see, Harry Potter is my lover," he explained turning away from them as if he was talking to himself, he didn't notice, or chose not to, their surprised faced and the dawning horror at what they had done. "He wasn't always, of course, it is a recent thing, unintentional at first, but now...but that is a whole story of its own," he stated waving his hand as if to banish the thought. "The point is that Harry has become very dear to me. But as the result of our first coupling, he bore me a daughter. A sweet, beautiful, innocent little girl," Tom said softly as he thought of them. He suddenly whipped around toward them, "and you two nearly took them from me," he snarled.

"M-my lord. I-I...we are so sor-"

"DO NOT APOLOGIZE!" Tom snarled and they flinched back, "Your apology means nothing to me."

"We- We didn't know," Gibbon protested weakly.

"Of course you didn't know. You think I would tell you all something so important like that? After everything? No," Tom shook his head and resumed his angry pacing, "no, I had to keep my family safe and protected. And they were until you two went behind my back and tried to kill them."

"We didn't know! We didn't know!" they both shouted, but Tom would hear none of it.

"I would never be able to see Harry again. Never be able to just talk to him, banter with him, see his eyes light up when he laughs or gets angry, to hold him, make love to him, to have his delicious cooking. It would all be gone. And my daughter. My sweet little girl..." Tom turned toward his two followers who cowered in terror; knowing now that there was no coming out of this.

"If you had succeeded in your endeavor, I would never be able to see my daughter grow up. See her smile and laugh, teach her all the things that I have learned over the years, see her rise into an incredible woman I know she will be..." Tom stalked forward and grabbed Jugson and yanked him forward so that he was kneeling in front of Gibbon; ignoring the yells and pleas for his life coming from the man. He used his wand to pull Jugson's tied hands up so that they were lined up with his face; so they could both see what was going to happen. Tom made the fingers straighten and slowly drew his wand in a line just below the knuckles. Jugson started to scream as his fingers got cut off one by one. "She would never be able to feel the smooth wood and warmth of a wand, the magic that flows just beneath the surface of her skin. To enjoy the warmth and affection from her mother and myself as we hold her," Tom whispered, and with a slash of his wand, Jugson's hands were gone too.

Jugson screamed as he felt his hands fall into his lap and felt a wetness in his clothes as his robes soaked up the blood. The pain was unbearable.

"She would never be able to feel what it is like to successfully brew a potion, nor able to smell its intoxicating aroma," Tom continued, ignoring the screams as Jugson flailed his arms; spraying blood everywhere. "To smell the flowers as they bloom or the change in seasons," Tom grabbed a handful of Jugson's hair and pulled his head back so that his neck was bared. He ignored the pleas of mercy and Gibbon's sobbing and gently traced his wand up his neck and up his face. Jugson could sense what was coming and tried to shake his head, but Tom's grip was tight. "To smell the delicious food that her mother makes when she comes down for meals. It smells so good! To come home and have the aroma surround you as you walk in the door," Tom savored the thought as he traced Jugson's nose carefully with his wand, "and that...is something that should not be missed," Tom hissed and with a swish Jugson's nose slid off his face and onto the floor with a splat and the screaming started again.

"B-Blease! by lrd!" Jugson cried through his tears. Blood dripped from the stubs where his hands used to be. He felt his body going into shock as the blood loss started to make him dizzy and it was hard to breathe from the mess where his nose used to be. He just wanted it to end, but from the look on his lord's face, he was far from done.

"Oh no, no, no Jugson," Tom breathed and waved his wand over the stubs, and his nose; instantly they were cauterized. "You don't get to just go to sleep now. Not when you so easily caught our home on fire and just sat back to watch," Tom hissed and glanced at Gibbon who shrank back and tried to make himself as small as possible, but Tom wasn't done with Jugson yet; he would deal with him later.

"Blease! I'b sowy!" Jugson cried.

"Sorry? You're sorry?" Tom asked angrily, "were you sorry when you watched the fire consume our home. As the smoke invaded my little girl's lungs so she couldn't breathe or see in front of her? That's all she has you know; being that small, she can't do anything on her own yet. She has to rely on her senses to tell her that something was wrong and something was wrong. Did you not hear her crying, Jugson. See her lying there helpless? Or did you sit there and just watch. Taking those senses away. It is only fair that I take yours, is it not?" Tom asked while caressing his cheek with his wand, trailing it upward towards his eyes.

Jugson shook his head, tears dripping out of his eyes in fear and pain, "Blease...my lrd, blease."

"No? Not your eyes? You want to keep them?" At Jugson's nod, Tom nodded in understanding, "Ah, I see. Not the eyes then, good idea. I do want you to see everything that I do to you. How about these then?" he asked tapping Jugson's ears with his wand. With a jab of his wand, an audible pop was heard and blood started dripping out of Jugson's ears.

Jugson screamed as his hearing was suddenly cut off and everything went white for a minute. He couldn't feel anything but pain and now, his hearing was gone. Everything felt off balance and he felt like he was tilting over when he was rooted to the spot where he had been placed; he wasn't moving. He could feel himself talking, screaming, but he couldn't hear it. He could hear nothing, just...silence.

"I bet that didn't feel very good," Tom commented, ignoring Jugson's high pitched screaming. "But you can't hear me anymore, yet you can still see me, isn't that nice?" Tom asked looking directly at Jugson's tear stained face and gesturing between their eyes. " As I said it was only fair. My little girl wouldn't be able to hear either, she wouldn't be able to hear my voice or Harry's. Be able to listen to music, and all the other sounds that we all hear on a daily basis like you did." Tom's eyes narrowed as Jugson kept talking, saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" over and over again, loudly. "You know what else my daughter wouldn't be able to do?" he asked, then said slowly, "Talk."

Jugson's eyes widened as he read Tom's lips and shook his head, but Tom raised his wand and made a slashing motion. He screamed in pain as he felt something in his mouth tear free and tasted the coppery taste of blood; it was soon filling his mouth and he was gagging on a big lump of something so he spit it out; it was his tongue and it now joined his other dismembered limbs littered around him. He screamed or tried to as he started to breathe with the blood filling his mouth. In front of him, Gibbon was staring at him, screaming in silent horror from behind the Dark Lord. He could only imagine what he looked like with his hands and nose missing and blood pooling from his destroyed ears and his mouth. But it was only what they deserved, he knew that now; he was going to die and he could only guess what Gibbon was going to go through once their Lord was done with him.

"Talking is a big thing in life and I haven't even heard her say her first word yet, I would have missed out on that. That is a big deal, don't you think? And all the other firsts? Walking, running, doing magic for the first time, her first day of school. Gone, just like that. But most of all, she would never be able to see the world around her. All the wonderful things that are out there, magic, creatures that you can only see to believe...she couldn't see me or Harry. She would never be able to enjoy anything if you had taken her away from me," Tom stated flatly, "and that is unforgivable."

Tom placed his wand between Jugson's wand and an incantation later, his eyes popped out and onto the floor. Jugson started to scream, Gibbon joining him in his horror, as his vision went dark; he could sense nothing. He was suddenly pushed over onto his back and he could feel blood running down his face and out of his ears, but most of all blood pulled in his mouth with no way to escape, he couldn't move. Breathing was impossible with his nose gone and his air way blocked by blood. This was it; he was going to die. Jugson knew his mistake now, even though he hadn't known the whole truth, he had disobeyed and had paid the price. He had no one to blame but himself and Gibbon, who would no doubt join him shortly.

Tom watched with disinterest as Jugson proceeded to drown in his own blood then, dismissed him as unimportant; instead, he turned his attention to Gibbon who was watching his comrade die in horror. "To think that you two could get away from this makes me sick. Going out having a fancy dinner, drinks, thinking of the prizes that you will receive from me. Oh, I know what you were thinking. I am not a fool. But you are getting a gift from me, probably not the one you were hoping for, but a gift all the same. For me anyways. You probably thought it was such a thrill to take out Harry Potter all on your own, thought you were so smart. And for once, you were Gibbon, I'll give you that. But you chose the wrong time to show off."

"M-my lord, please. I'm sorry!" Gibbon cried, "I-I would have never done such a thing if I had known that your daughter was in there. If you had told us-"

"Are you implying that this is my fault?" Tom asked incredulously.

"No!" Gibbon exclaimed in shock, "I wasn't saying that. I was just...I mean that...if I...knew..."

"So you are blaming me?" Tom said brandishing his wand.

"No! I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I won't do it again."

"No, you won't. You know I thought of how I would kill you. Jugson got what he deserved, he was smart enough to know better than to go against me. But you...I didn't know you could be that stupid! When I give an order, I expect you to follow it."

"I know, my lord. I'm sorry!" Gibbon cried, glancing at Jugson who was no longer moving.

"You know, yet you still did it."

"L-Let me make it up to you, I'll do anything!"

"Make it up to me? There is nothing you can do to 'make it up to me'. You tried to kill my family!" Tom hissed at him. "No, you will die here and no one will know what had become of you and they won't care. You. Are. Nothing."

"M-My Lord..."

"Silence! I don't want to hear you blubbering, you lost your chance for any mercy the moment you decided to act on your own. You were the one to find them and you are the one to set the house on fire, then you just sat back and watched."

"N-No..."

"Yes! I can see it, right there in that mind of yours," Tom seethed, pressing his wand against Gibbon's forehead, "you stood there and laughed and gloated while Harry and my daughter burned. Let's see how you like it!"

The tip of Tom's wand glowed bright red and Tom stepped back away from him. Gibbon had closed his eyes, but he didn't feel any different and he opened them again. Looking around he saw that nothing was happening and thought his lord had changed his mind. "Thank you, my lord, thank you! Thank-" Gibbon stopped as he started feeling really hot and glanced up at Tom, who just smirked down at him.

"What's wrong Gibbon? Feeling a little warm?"

Gibbon started panting as his body temperature started to rise. Feeling dripping coming from his nose, he raised his shackled hands and wiped at it and stared at his fingers; there was blood. It was slowly dripping from his nose and he continuously wiped at it to try and make it stop. He was still feeling hot and getting hotter that he started to perspire and he wiped at his forehead to wipe the sweat away...only for blood to be smeared on his arm. "W-What's...what's happening?" he asked, starting to panic. His eyes started to water and when he wiped them he was relieved to see it was only water, but as he continued to wipe for the fifth time, blood came away. It was then that he started to notice his arms, once where there was a nice tan was now turning black in several places. He started to scratch at it and his skin started to flake and crumble; not to mention it hurt like hell.

He felt hot, so hot, burning. He was burning! Gibbon started to scream as it became unbearable and fell over and started to thrash around on the floor. He tried rolling around on the floor to try and make it all stop but it did nothing, if not make it worse. "What did you do to me?!" he screamed.

"Just returning the favor," Tom said lightly, stepping out of the way of a flailing limb. "Not very fun is it?"

"I'm burning!" Gibbon screamed, "Fire!"

"Not exactly, but yes."

Gibbon continued to scream and thrash around as blood poured from every orifice that he had; dripping onto the already blood coated floor. His eyes started to feel watery and spots appeared in his vision, steadily getting bigger until eventually, his sight started to waver, until it went out completely. Gibbon screamed if possible, even higher as he felt his eyes give and felt a slimy substance start dripping down his face; reaching up to feel it, he felt it coming from his eyes, or more specifically, it was his eyes. The heat had become so hot that his eyeballs had melted in his face.

Gibbon now knew what the Dark Lord had done; he had set him on fire but from the inside. His blood was boiling at an alarming temperature that it was now seeking a way out, which was from everywhere. And his skin was blistering and burning on the inside, turning his skin black. When he rubbed it, the blackened skin would break and would bleed; and with his thrashing, cuts were opening up all over his body.

He begged and pleaded for it to end, but his Lord would not hear his pleas, no doubt watching, just as he had at Potter's place. And now he was the one being burned alive. Oh, how he regretted being the smart one for once. This was not what he had in mind when he thought of a reward. But now it was getting hard to think, his mind felt dizzy and he started to forget what was going on around him, what he was doing, why he was in so much pain, where he was, who he was...

Tom watched as Gibbon's mind literally turned to mush with all the heat. He started babbling nonsense and started to drool and flop around as he lost his motor functions until he just stopped moving. Tom made a face as he saw pinkish goo coming from his ears; he had a high tolerance for this sort of stuff, but there was a limit to what he can take.

It didn't matter anymore, he had finally had his revenge for his family. His anger had lessened but was still there below the surface. So as a last move against the two traitors, he set the two of them on fire and watched as they burned to a crisp, leaving nothing left. When they were nothing but ash on the floor, Tom was finally satisfied.

xxx

Harry lay on the bed in Tom's room reading one of the books that were on the shelf. Wynter was fast asleep in her transfigured crib and now Harry was just waiting for Tom to come back from where ever he had gone. Harry had felt anger off and on throughout the day coming down the link that they had shared, but that was it. He wasn't worried since sometimes "work" didn't always go the way Tom wanted it. So he waited.

Eventually, the door opened and Tom walked inside, closing the door lightly and walking over to the crib to look down at Wynter.

"Tom? Where have you been?" Harry asked closing his book and getting up. He walked over to Tom and he instantly knew something had happened; he just felt like something was off and when he looked at Tom's tired face and stained clothes, he didn't need to ask. He just searched Tom's eyes with a silent question that was answered in a minute nod.

Tom watched Harry's eyes widen slightly and look away; he then backed away and went into the bathroom, where he could hear water running for a minute and Harry came back out with a wet towel. Silently, Harry gently wiped the blood that had splattered onto his face with the damp towel and Tom let him. Harry continued to wipe any blood off of his neck and hands until there was none left and he tossed the now pink towel aside onto a chair. Stepping behind him, he slid Tom's robe off of him and tossed that onto the chair as well. He then continued to strip Tom of his clothes until he was down to his undergarments and then took his hand and led him to bed. He turned the sheets down and gave Tom a push to get him to lay down and then gently tucked him in before climbing over Tom and pushing his way under the covers next to him; where he snuggled up against Tom's side.

If Tom held him a little tighter than usual, Harry didn't say anything about it. Nor did he comment on what he knew Tom had done that night.

Nothing needed to be said.

Chapter Text

They didn't talk about that night; where he had been, what he had done. It didn't matter anymore, it was in the past. Tom had done what was expected of him as a Dark Lord and as a father and Harry couldn't blame him for that. It made him a little uneasy with what his imagination came up with, yet Harry felt a sort of peace knowing that they would not be harmed again. They were safe.

Wynter was happy and healthy, any smoke inhalation had been taken care of and she was as happy as could be as she took in her new surroundings. Harry's burn had also healed nicely, leaving no trace that he had been burned at all thanks to Tom's fabulous potion making skills.

Now that all the excitement was over, Harry was bored out of his skull. He was trapped in Tom's bedroom because Death Eaters were walking around all over the manor, so the only safe place was here. The only entertainment he had was Wynter and books, lots and lots of books. And Tom himself when he wasn't busy. But other than that there was nothing to do. So Harry was left to just fill the time himself, mainly reading. Which in hindsight was a good thing because he was learning a lot of new things, most of it, he would never ever use, but it was an interesting read.

It just got repetitive; as it was now.

Harry was sprawled out on his stomach on the bed reading another book, Potent Potions and Poisons complete with graphic illustrations, to keep himself company and Wynter was taking her nap. The book was absolutely horrific but he couldn't look away. Who knew there were potions out there that completely cooked your insides, needless to say, he was not making pea soup anytime soon.

The door opened and Tom appeared looking frustrated and annoyed. "Harry?" Tom said, "I found this banging at my office window..."

Harry managed to tear his gaze away from his book to see a familiar white owl perched quite comfortably on Tom's head. "Hedwig!" he exclaimed tossing his book aside and jumping up. Hedwig flew from her perch and landed on Harry's outstretched arm. "I missed you, girl. I was so glad you were out hunting at the time," he murmured to her, "I don't know what I would have done without you."

"Get a new one," Tom stated. Harry glared at him and Hedwig turned her large yellow eyes at him and seemed to glare too.

"Hedwig is irreplaceable," Harry just said and resumed petting her. Hedwig hooted happily and nibbled at his fingers and picked at his shirt and Harry smiled and stroked her feathers. "I'm okay." She hooted again and then left his arm to land on the edge of Wynter's crib and gazed down at her sleeping form. "Wynter is fine too. We're both fine."

Tom watched their exchange with mild amusement and perplexity and just shook his head. He would never understand the relationship that Harry had with his owl; it was just a bird.

"What?" Harry asked as he saw Tom shake his head.

"Nothing," Tom said. "How the hell did she find this place? I have the strongest protection and concealment charms that I put up myself."

Harry grinned at Tom's frustration, "Hedwig's good like that. She always knows where to find me." On the railing, Hedwig puffed up her feathers in pride and Harry gazed at her fondly. When she was satisfied with her inspection of Wynter she turned to Harry and offered up her leg. It was then that Harry noticed that she had a letter attached. "What do you have for me, girl?" he asked and took it from her. He opened it up to find two letters addressed to him.

"It's from Ron and Hermione..." Harry said softly recognizing the writing of his best friends.

"What does it say?" Tom asked suspiciously, approaching him cautiously.

"Let me read it first," Harry said and turned his attention to the first letter.

Harry-

I hope this letter finds you, knowing Hedwig, she knows exactly where you are. At least I hope she does. If she doesn't find you that means that either you just are really well hidden or there is nowhere for you to be and that means...Oh, god. I can't think that way. Are you okay? Are you safe? Is Wynter alright? We are so worried about you and have no idea where you are. Please be safe. I don't know what we would do if...

All we know was that some Death Eaters found out where you were and tried to...burn you alive along with Wynter, though I don't think they knew about her. I really hope they didn't and that they didn't take you. Though, Dumbledore seems to think that you got out. That, someone, was there...I know you have denied it, that you have been seeing someone, but if he saved you and Wynter...I am glad he was there, that he has kept you safe. Whoever he is, I am thankful that he has kept you safe. But you have to come home now, it's not safe. You-Know-Who will be looking for you. We don't know yet how the Death Eaters got through the wards or even found you, but we can keep you safe until we can figure out a new plan.

Also, I should tell you that, we had to tell the rest of the Order about Wynter. Please don't be mad! It was unavoidable. They saw some of her things that were in the cottage and there were questions...So now they know everything. So now they know that we have to look for two people, not one. Please, please write back. I have to know that the both of you are okay and safe.

Hermione

Harry set the letter down as he finished reading and gazed out at the wall deep in thought. He knew his friends would be worried about him but now that they actually contacted him, what should he say? Plus, now the Order knew. Harry didn't know what their reactions had been but he was sure there had been some unsavory ones.

"What did it say?" Tom spoke up, "How much do they know?"

"Everything."

"Everything?" Tom repeated.

"Well, not everything. They know that Death Eater's tried to burn me alive in my house." Here Tom's eyes narrowed in remembrance. "They also know about Wynter." Harry gave a deep sigh and let himself fall back onto the bed. "Hermione didn't say how they took it, but I can imagine."

"Their opinion does not matter," Tom said softly as he sat down next to him.

"I know...but it kind of does. You know?" Harry asked looking up at him.

Tom tilted his head slightly in acknowledgment. "Did your friend-" "Hermione" Harry interjected. "Hermione," Tom repeated, "say anything else?"

"Yeah, she knows about you." Tom whipped his head around so fast Harry had to laugh. "Not about you, but of you," he said waving Hermione's letter in front of his face. Tom took it and read the letter himself. "She knows that someone came and saved us from the fire, but not who. Ron and Hermione have been bugging me for weeks about the guy I have been seeing, I've been denying it, but they know."

"You're seeing someone?" Tom asked suspiciously with a somewhat hurt look on his face.

"Don't give me that, you know it's you," Harry stated flatly. Tom turned his attention back to Hermione's letter, but not before he saw the slight smile on Tom's face. Harry shook his head. "Anyways, they assume that you were the one who did it."

"Mmm," Tom only hummed, not bothered by it.

Harry only rolled his eyes and picked up Ron's letter which would hopefully be more forthcoming.

Hey mate-

What's up? Hope you and Wynter are doing alright. Everyone is losing their heads over here and so am I a bit since...you know, the fire and that you were taken, or not taken. Some people are not sure. Hermione and I think it's the guy you have not been seeing. Which was a bit surprising since I thought he was a Muggle, but that may be why you didn't say anything... But I am glad he was there if he is the one who got you out. He must be a pretty good guy if he caught your attention, which makes him okay in my book. Unless he's a jack ass then he's not.

Harry shook his head. Trust Ron to not be discreet. Oh, Ron, you have no idea, he thought and glanced at Tom who was idly flipping through the book he had left on the bed.

But as long as you are okay and not being...I don't know tortured or something, alls good. We still need to know where you are though, we can't protect you and Wynter from You-Know-Who if we don't know where you are. Though I don't think some of the Order would want to. Oh right, the Order knows about Wynter now. Sorry mate, but Remus saw the crib in what's let in Wynter's room and put it together and asked questions. Some were not happy, bunch of hypocrites, they are. I don't even want to repeat what they said, it makes my blood boil, though you can probably imagine it. You were worried about what they might think...and you were right. They are doing better now though once Hermione and I knocked some sense into them. Mum and Dad want to meet Wynter though, so does Remus. They are very excited about it too. We are all focusing on finding you first, so hurry up and show yourself. Everyone is waiting!

Ron

Harry smiled and covered his face with Ron's letter. Ron was always more carefree in his letters, there was no underlying message, no gaps in what he was trying to say, just unfiltered Ron. Which he was grateful for.

"Well, I was right about the Order. Half of them hate my guts for having a devil's spawn and the others want to meet the sweet baby that I created," Harry said handing Ron's letter to Tom for him to read. "I don't know what to tell them."

"Nothing," Tom stated simply.

"I have to tell them something," Harry said sitting up, "they won't let up if I don't."

"Mmm," Tom hummed again and leaned toward him, nuzzling his neck slightly.

Harry turned to look at him to see a mischievous look on his face, "What are you doing?"

"Torturing you."

Harry's eyes widened and looked at the letter in Tom's hand. "Oh."

Tom smirked and leaned in to kiss him, which Harry accepted eagerly. Harry felt the all too familiar stirrings in his stomach and realized it had been weeks since they had last slept together. With all that had been going on, neither of them had been in the mood.

Harry pulled away slightly, already breathless, "Wynter..."

"Is asleep."

"She could wake up."

"She won't," Tom murmured leaning in again.

"How do you know that?" Harry asked.

"Because if she is anything like you, she could sleep through a thunderstorm."

Harry gasped, "How mean!" but then laughed as Tom tilted him over onto the bed and continued to kiss him.

"She could still wake up," Harry insisted between kisses.

"The curtain around her will block anything out here and she can't stand yet to move it," Tom explained as he left a trail of kisses down his neck. "That is if she even wakes up."

"Oh, okay then," Harry said and pulled Tom's face closer to kiss him some more. Their kisses steadily got deeper and more passionate as everything that happened over the past few weeks caught up to them. They quickly shed their clothes, tugging and pulling in haste to touch skin. Hands and mouths roaming where they could.

Tom's lips found a sensitive spot on his neck while his hands wandered and teased lightly, making Harry breathless with need. Hands were skimming lightly over his sides and across his stiff nipples, spreading his legs so that he could come between them and grinding their cocks against each other to create that delicious friction.

"Ooh, no foreplay today. Just fuck me already," Harry moaned.

"God, you're eager." But Tom wasn't about to argue, he was just as impatient. He lightly placed his hand over Harry's stomach to place the contraption spell and Harry giggled.

"That always tickles," he said then gasped as Tom's fingers intruded him.

"Does that tickle?" Tom asked huskily, sliding his slick fingers around Harry's hole, stretching him.

"No, feels good. Hurry," Harry panted, laying there ready and willing. To entice Tom even more and get him to hurry up, he spread his legs more and lifted his hips invitingly.

That was obviously the right thing to do because Tom's eyes narrowed, his arousal clear in his red glinted blue eyes. He pushed in a third finger a bit roughly, but not enough to hurt, and stretched him further. When he was ready enough, Tom pulled his fingers away and immediately filled him deeply with his cock. He pulled Harry's hips up higher and sank in deeper making them both groan in pleasure. Tom didn't waste any time and started moving with sharp, deep thrusts.

-Fuck. Feels so good- Harry hissed, closing his eyes and just feeling the way Tom slid in and out of him, hitting his sweet spot just so to make sparks of pleasure run down to the tips of his toes. He would clutch tight around the cock inside him for a tighter fit and enjoyed the feeling of it rubbing inside.

-Stop clutching- Tom hissed.

-Why?-

-You're going to make me come too soon- Tom replied as he focused on his movements.

-What? You can't hold it?- Harry asked with a smirk. His eyes flew open when Tom thrust in hard right against his prostate. "Fuck!" he gasped then slipped back into Parseltongue. -A-Again, right there-

-Here?- Tom asked and thrust in again in the same place.

Harry moaned, arched his back and moved his hips to meet Tom's -Yessss.-

Tom continued to move and Harry let his hands wander down Tom's chest; sliding against pert nipples and strong abs, tracing faint scars from years past. He felt Tom's breathing hitch slightly as he explored and felt empowered by it, who else could do that to him? Then again Tom could do the same, as he was doing right now, being deep inside of him. Harry trailed his hands over Tom's sides and held them still on his hips; feeling the movements Tom made as he moved in and out of him. It was bliss.

-Harder- Harry hissed as he rocked his hips back to meet Tom's thrusts. He could feel the beginnings of his orgasm creeping up along his untouched cock, spreading through his stomach and down his thighs.

Tom gazed down at Harry; at his heavy lidded eyes, vibrant green peeking through, that were watching him and at his hands, one of which was trailing down his chest and into the trail of hair that led into his nether area where they were joined, then detoured and found its way onto his thigh to wrap around his own cock, where he gripped it tight and started moving it in time with Tom's thrusts.

Harry continued to move his hand faster as Tom started to quicken his pace and slam himself harder into him; both of them were close now. He suddenly jerked forward and hooked an arm around Tom's neck to pull him down, claiming Tom's mouth with a kiss that he returned. Harry shuttered and moaned into the kiss as he came and clutched tight around Tom's cock inside him as he felt it swell as he came inside him. Harry pulled away to breathe and tucked his face into Tom's shoulder and clung to him as they rode out their orgasm.

After a little while, Harry let himself drop back on the bed. "God, I needed that," Harry groaned as Tom rolled off of him.

"Mmm," Tom hummed in agreement, as he caught his breath. He turned his head away for a moment then looked at Harry with a smirk, "See, she didn't wake up."

Harry turned his head to where the crib was and there was no movement or sound coming from within. "I guess so."

"Nothing to worry about," Tom said, relaxing back against the sheets with his hands behind his head.

"Yeah..." Harry said slowly then grinned and sat up. He quickly kicked off the sheets and straddled Tom's lap. Tom's eyes were wide in surprise as he used his hands to steady him. Harry leaned down to give him a brief kiss, "Again?"

He didn't have to ask twice.

xxx

Sometime later, Harry and Tom finally got out of bed and Tom reluctantly went back downstairs to work. But they were both in a very good mood after the two uninterrupted rounds that they had that had been long overdue. It was a good thing too because a few minutes after Tom left, Wynter's face poked sleepily through the bars and wanted out. So Harry settled her on the bed, nestled safely in a nest of blankets while he lay next to her with a quill and parchment with a book as a table, trying to write a letter to Ron and Hermione.

He had no idea how much to tell them or what he should say that wouldn't reveal too much without worrying them. He knew he had to tell them something though, or they would likely freak out.

"You sure have it easy," he commented lightly to Wynter, "this is too hard. Hopefully, you won't have to deal with this sort of thing." He glanced at Wynter and saw that she had fallen back to sleep. He chuckled and lightly caressed her cheek, moving her hair away from her face. "Thank you for your input," he murmured and turned back to his letter.

xxx

Ron stretched his arms above his head and closed the door behind him. "Hermione, I'm home!" he called as he took his cloak and tossed it on the couch where he then sat down with a groan. It was nice to come home to a comfortable spot after a long day.

"Ron, put your stuff away," Hermione scolded peeking out at him from the kitchen.

"Aw. I already sat down," Ron complained, but he got up anyway and put it away. He knew better than to argue with her, as he had learned since they had moved in with each other two years ago. Harry used to make fun of him about it, that Hermione had whipped him into submission. He denied it of course, but it didn't stop Harry from...ah, now he did it, he was worried now. It had been two weeks since Harry had disappeared and they had heard nothing from him.

Hermione came into the room and saw his troubled face and knew what he was thinking about. Her face immediately became troubled too. "I hope they're okay," Hermione whispered, twisting a kitchen towel in her hands.

"He's okay. I mean he's Harry. He always turns out okay," Ron said reassuringly.

"It's because it’s Harry that I am worried."

Ron opened his mouth to answer but thought better of it; she was right after all. Harry was always okay, but not before getting in some big drama that resulted in something terrible. He and Hermione were usually there with him, but this time...he hoped Harry was okay on his own, he had little Wynter to think about too.

"What was that?" Hermione asked suddenly.

"What was what?"

"That."

"Wha-?"

"Shh. Listen," Hermione whispered.

Ron listened and he heard a noise, a tapping noise. "It's coming from the kitchen," he said getting up from the couch and going in. It was then that he found it was coming from the window. Going over to it, he peered out and saw an owl, a white one to be exact. "Hedwig!" Ron exclaimed and quickly opened the window.

"Did she find him? Did he write back?" Hermione asked impatiently bouncing on her toes in excitement and worry.

Hedwig hopped in and flew over to land on a chair and extended a leg over to Ron. He took the letter that was attached to her leg and unfolded it with baited breath. Opening the letter he sighed with relief as he recognized his best friends' writing. "It's from Harry."

Hermione dropped into a chair with relief, "Oh thank God." She rubbed at her face to try to keep herself from crying. "What does it say?"

Ron sat in the chair opposite her and started to read the letter out loud.

Dear Ron and Hermione,

First of all, I am alright and so is Wynter so you can both stop worrying. And second, I won't tell you where I am for our safety. It is not that I don't trust you, you know I do; it is just safer for no one to know where I am. All you need to know is that we are fine and safe.

I don't really know what happened that night, it's all kind of fuzzy and everything happened really fast. I only know that Death Eaters found me and set the cottage on fire. I got lucky and Wynter and I were able to get out.

Here Ron could tell that Harry had paused like he was unsure if he should say more. And in the next line, he could see why.

You guys were right. I was seeing someone. I didn't mean to keep it from you, it was just...it was all new and awkward and I didn't want to scare him off. You guys can be very pushy and I wasn't sure how you would react, or more like how he would. He's a little...different, I guess. I met him by chance and we hit it off right away and yes he is a wizard, but he doesn't pay attention to all the stuff about me, nor does he care, which is why I like him. He gets along really well with Wynter too. He's agreed to keep my secret, so you don't have to worry about that. At first, everything moved too fast, but now we are taking things slow, but then the fire happened. He saved us.

He came and he found us and got us out. I suffered from minor burns that have healed now and Wynter didn't have a scratch, just some smoke inhalation that was taken care of. We are both fine now and are staying with him. Like I said, I won't tell you where I am because it is safer that way, but we are fine and happy.

As for the Order now knowing the truth...I don't blame you or Dumbledore. it was bound to happen sooner or later. I am glad that I wasn't there for it. Going by what Ron said it was pretty nasty. I probably would have cursed someone, so it was probably better that I wasn't there. I just wish I had told Remus and Ron's family myself. I hope they are okay with all this, that they don't...hate me. I am glad that you guys defended me. It makes me really happy. I didn't want this to happen to me, but I am glad it did because then I would never have met my little girl and I wouldn't wish that away ever.

I am perfectly happy where I am and how things turned out. Don't worry about me, tell everyone else too. Hope you two are doing well.

Harry

"Oh Harry," Hermione murmured. "Thank God he's okay."

"Yeah. He didn't tell us where they were though and we were right about the guy."

"I knew it. We are going to have to meet him though," Hermione sighed, "I'm just so glad that they are okay. I just wish he told us where he was at. But I do understand why he didn't tell us."

"Yeah," Ron said re-reading the letter.

"We should tell Dumbledore that Harry wrote to us," Hermione said and left the room to get parchment and a quill.

Hermione came back and wrote a quick letter to Dumbledore telling him that Harry had made contact but didn't tell them where he was, only that he was with a guy and that both he and Wynter were okay. Then sent the letter off with Pig. Hedwig had made herself comfortable by the window where Ron had given her some water and a treat as she rested.

"I hope this guy is okay," Ron said.

"Me too. But I trust Harry's instinct. He wouldn't let anyone near Wynter if he thought they were a danger to her."

"True."

Ron and Hermione both sat there deep in thought, relieved yet still worried about Harry and Wynter. They most likely would remain that way until they actually saw them. They sat there for a while until the ringing of the timer from the oven went off and Hermione got up to serve dinner. Once they were done and the table was cleared they both got parchment out and sat down to write their replies to Harry.

"Harry's not going to answer all of these questions if at all," Hermione sighed as she wrote.

"Well, you know how he is. He'll give us enough to satisfy us and that's all. Doesn't help in our favor that we can't do the questioning in person."

"I know, we would have better luck in getting answers if we were face to face."

"What? Like his face turning bright red if we ask is they've slept together yet?" Ron asked with a smirk.

"Exactly. Though from what he told us and the way he was acting before, I think they have."

"Geez, you'd think he would have learned his lesson," Ron said.

"Yeah, but the first time wasn't exactly normal," Hermione said quietly.

"That's true," Ron said and fell silent. As they continued writing their letters, Pig flew back in the window carrying a letter from Dumbledore. "What's it say?" He asked as Hermione read the letter.

"There's two," she said as she pulled out a single note and another envelope that had Harry's name on it. "It says: 'I am glad to hear that Harry and his daughter are safe, but we do need to bring him back home. Please pass on the letter I have attached to Harry if you would.'"

"That's it?"

"That's it," Hermione said turning the letter over to see if there was more.

"I guess he just wants information straight from the source," Ron stated. "You done?" he asked gesturing to her letter.

"Oh. Not yet," she said and quickly sat down to finish.

Ron folded up his letter and put his letter with the one from Dumbledore's. "You up for another trip Hedwig?"

Hedwig hooted and flew down to land on the back of his chair. Ron went to start tying the letters to her leg as Hermione finished up hers, but Hedwig suddenly started screeching and hopped away. "Hedwig? What's wrong?" Ron asked her, but she continued to screech as Ron approached her and flew on top of the fridge. She continued to flap her wing in indignation as Hermione got up and tried to placate her.

"What's wrong with her?"

"I don't know. I didn't do anything. I just tried to give her these," Ron said holding up the letters.

Hedwig took flight and knocked the letters out of his hand with her wing and landed on top of the pantry on the opposite side of the room.

"The letters?" Hermione questioned as she picked them up. She knew that they didn't put anything on them, they wouldn't do that to Harry unless he was in any danger; that left just one. Hermione glanced at Ron uncertainly, then drew her wand and pointed it at Dumbledore's letter. It glowed bright blue.

"What does that mean?" Ron asked.

"Tracker," Hermione said stiffly, a bit angry, "Professor Dumbledore put a tracker on Harry's letter." She couldn't believe that he would do such a thing; she understood why though, but still.

"He did? And Hedwig knew? Wow," Ron said looking at her impressed. Hedwig ruffled her feathers in response.

"Yeah, but that means she won't take them."

"Can you remove it?"

"Maybe...but I think we should just send it back," Hermione said picking up said letter, "It would likely alert him if I do."

"Oh." Ron watched her take another piece of parchment and write a brief note explaining what had happened. She then gave the letter to Pig who was ready to go after a little rest and sent him off.

"We'll send our stuff to Harry in the morning when we get Dumbledore's letter back," Hermione said as she watched the small owl disappear into the setting sun, "Then when he replies we can get some answers."

xxx

Harry woke up to the sun spilling across his face and he squinted and turned his head away, snuggling deeper into the covers. A second later he felt tiny hands patting his face and he opened his eyes to see bright green eyes peering at him underneath wild tangled hair.

Harry smiled, "Good morning, sweet pea," Harry said to Wynter and she smiled and patted his face again and brought her face close to him as she babbled her baby talk. He grabbed her and laid her down on the bed and rose so that she was beneath him and leaned in and kissed her soft little cheeks loudly, making her giggle. As she squirmed around, waving her arms and legs around without any coordination, Harry looked over on the other side of the bed, but it was empty. He looked around the room and toward the bathroom, but there was no sign of him.

Harry looked back down at Wynter, "Where is your daddy, huh?" he asked her. She only blinked up at him with a gummy smile and her bed head and he couldn't resist kissing her cheeks again. A crinkling sound caught his attention and he pulled away and looked at Wynter and realized she was on something, rolling her over slightly he realized that wasn't right, something was on her, a piece of parchment to be precise. He unstuck the paper from Wynter's back and read the note that was from Tom.

Something came up that required my attention. I will be back later. -Tom

"Well, I guess it's just you and me," he told Wynter. "Did Daddy change you?" Harry pulled her bottom up and checked her diaper. "He did. Good for him." Wynter clapped her hands and Harry copied her, "Yay! Okay, Mommy has to get dressed, stay here." Harry rolled over intending to roll off the bed, but he was suddenly stopped by an invisible presence. He tentatively touched the barrier and realized Tom had put it in place so Wynter would not fall off the bed while Harry had been asleep. "Your Daddy thinks of everything," he commented and took down the barrier and got out of bed.

He was still naked from last night's activities, but at least Tom had been considerate enough to leave him some clothes nearby so he didn't have to go across the room stark naked. After Tom had come back yesterday, a house elf had brought them dinner, they gave Wynter a bath and she knocked out so he had put her to bed. They then didn't waste time, with their newly awakened sex drive, and went for another round before crashing for the night. He was only slightly upset that he had missed waking up next to Tom, but seeing his beautiful daughter's face instead more than made up for it.

After he was dressed, he picked up Wynter and got her crazy hair tamed and tied in little pigtails and changed into some clothes. He glanced over at the small sitting area by the window to see a covered plate on the table. "Are you hungry?" he asked heading over to the area where he also saw a jar of baby food for her. Wynter makes a little motion with her head that looks like a nod before placing her head against his chest; Harry takes it as a yes and sits down for breakfast.

He is cleaning up Wynter's face of the remnants of her food when there is a tapping on the window. Looking up he sees a familiar white owl. "Look who it is!" he said picking Wynter up and going to the window to open it for Hedwig. She hops in from the window and flies up onto his shoulder to peer down at Wynter in curiosity, turning her head this way and that to view her at all angles. Wynter coos up at her and reaches to touch her feathers. "Gently," Harry tells his daughter as she cautiously pets the soft downy feathers, feeling them between her tiny fingers.

Harry smiled as he watched them interact, just staring at each other. They used to do that at the cottage too, just observing each other. Wynter had been too small to touch her then, only having to resort to staring up at the owl. "Have something for me, girl?" he asked Hedwig as he placed Wynter in her crib. Hedwig fluttered down onto the edge of the crib and stuck out her leg, then went back to gazing down at Wynter as she stared up at her in fascination; Harry, on the other hand, opened his letters.

"Three of them?" he questioned as he pulled them apart. He recognized Ron and Hermione's writing and after some thought realized that Dumbledore had written to him too. He panicked slightly and ran his wand over the letters but didn't find any sort of spells on them; he didn't want to expose Tom's hideout, even if he was technically on the Order's side. But all that didn't matter now. Harry could only guess what was in the letters, especially Dumbledore's; so he sat back down in the sitting area and opened one of the letters, which happened to be Ron's.

Harry-

Boy am I glad to see that you replied. I knew Hedwig would be able to find you. We used other owls but they all came back with no results, but then Hedwig showed up and low and behold, she found you. Right smart bird she is. I understand that you want to remain hidden, but we want to see you and Wynter with our own eyes. Hermione is driving herself crazy with worry. I wish you would just tell us where you are...but I know you, once you are set in your ways there is no changing your mind; just know that we are here if you need us.

We also want to meet this boyfriend of yours; we so called it. He seems like a nice enough bloke from what you say, but he still needs to go through our inspection, even if he is shy. He won't be approved until he goes through HR...get it H. R., Hermione and Ron...I thought it was funny...Let me know if you laughed, it's hard to do this sort of thing through a letter, I just feel stupid. Anyway, just be careful, I don't think you want another one running around so soon. And don't try and deny it, you are sometimes glowing when we went to see you; it was so obvious.

Don't worry about Mum and Dad or Remus, they are all fully on your side on this. The more we describe Wynter the more they want to meet her. I'm sure Mum will want to hold her tight, she won't be able to resist. The others will follow, I'm sure, once they meet her.

Hope you are doing okay, where ever you are.

Ron

Harry laughed at Ron's stupid little joke, trust Ron to make him feel better, even through a letter. Turning back to the letter, he saw just below his signature that there was a hastily written note.

PS. Just so you know, Dumbledore tried to put a tracker on your letter but Hedwig wouldn't take it. We had to send it back to have it removed. Smart bird. He apologized though, he thought it was best to find out where you were, but I think you know what is best for you and if it is not with us, then...there you go. Hope you write soon!

Well, that was disturbing and relieving at the same time. It also explained why there were no spells; though he didn't think his friends would do that to him; not unless they believed he was in real danger. Though it was something that Dumbledore would try to do, no doubt 'for the greater good.' Not that he didn't understand why, but it did anger him a little that he didn't respect his privacy that he had clearly asked for. But it wouldn't do to make himself upset, so he turned to his next letter.

Dear Harry-

I knew it! I knew you were seeing someone. You were just so happy and glowy all the time, but you kept denying it...it's nice to have a confirmation. I want to meet him, I have too, it's a rule. Best friends have to meet the boyfriend for approval. But since we don't know where you are you have to at least give me details. What does he look like? Is he good looking? How old is he? Is he treating you right? He better be, or he will be hearing from us. How about Wynter, is she okay with him? Oh, so many questions, and you better answer them. I will keep asking them until you do or when I meet him myself.

But I am grateful that he was there for you when we couldn't. And I am glad to hear that you two were not truly injured. You did heal alright, right? I would hate for you to have another scar to add to your already extensive collection; though I think only one of them is a treasured one. And you are safe where you are right? I know that you don't want to tell us where you are. but are you some place safe? Like under wards and spells, not just hiding somewhere, because then someone could find you. But then again our letters from before couldn't reach you only Hedwig could...I guess I just answered myself. But still, tell me.

I hope that we can come see you soon, or at least you come see us. I have to see both of you with my own eyes. Plus, we have a few people here that want to meet your beautiful little girl. Mrs. Weasley especially and Remus, they keep asking us for any sort of detail of her to tide them over. They want to know if she is talking or walking yet...she isn't yet is she? I don't want to miss that so you better tell me when she does, or I will be so mad!

We would have had these letters to you earlier, but we had a bit of an incident. You have no doubt seen that you got a letter from Dumbledore. Well, turns out he had placed a tracker on it. We had to send it back to have it removed because Hedwig would not take it. I understand his reasoning for it, but I still disprove of it. It is a complete violation of privacy!...Then again the situation is a little extreme. I really hope that you come out of hiding so we can see you and protect you. I feel so helpless, Ron and I both do. But I know you and it seems your mind is set, though I wish you would change it.

You take care of yourself and of our sweet goddaughter, understand? And you write back to us, you hear! Don't go leaving us in the dark; you know we hate that. Love you lots.

Hermione

Harry sighed. Trust Hermione to make him feel good and bad at the same time. He felt really guilty keeping such a big secret from his best friends, but it was for his daughter's safety as well as him just being scared shitless of the outcome. He shook his head and turned to the letter from Dumbledore that he had deliberately left for last. He was not looking forward to what it said.

Dear Mr. Potter-

I am glad to hear that you and little Wynter were not terribly harmed in the incident at the cottage. I am very sorry that you were put into that kind of danger and I apologize for my inability to keep you safe. Though I find myself puzzled over how Voldemort's followers found you and got through the layers of wards around the cottage. They must have been very skilled. I regret the loss of your possessions that you were unable to save, but all of those can be replaced, however, you and your daughter cannot; you at least have your memories. But all that is in the past and we must look to the future to ensure that you and Wynter are safe. Which is why I believe it is best that you come home so that the Order may better protect you.

From what Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley have told me, you are staying with a young man. I know that you feel safe and protected there with him, however, I do not believe he understands the sort of protection that you and Wynter need. It would put him in great danger if Voldemort and his followers should find you again. I do not believe you wish for that to happen. You also have to think about your daughter; she needs to remain safe and the Order can provide you with the protection you need.

Now if I am not mistaken, Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley have told you that the cat is out of the bag as the muggles say. It is unfortunate but was necessary to tell the Order the truth about why you suddenly pulled out of the war and have not come back and also about your daughter. As I am sure you know, some of our members did not receive the news well. However, that will not prohibit them from doing that they need to. They just need time to adjust and I am sure they will welcome Wynter in no time. There are others, Molly Weasley for one, who are very anxious to meet the newest Potter member. They won't be able to do so if you are not here.

Therefore, I would ask you to please contact one to disclose your location or to come to Hogwarts or the Burrow if you feel more comfortable there. Molly would probably prefer that. From there we can go about providing you and Wynter the proper protection.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Albus Dumbledore

Harry stared in shock at the letter in his hands, anger, and amusement filling him. He couldn't believe how effortlessly Dumbledore had tried to guilt him into coming forward out of hiding. Not that Tom would let him, but still. He had used his daughter's safety and Tom's to make him feel guilty, not to mention Mrs. Weasley, who he loved like his own mother. If the situation had been different then he would no doubt go back and seek the Order's protection; no matter his trepidation. But Tom was no ordinary 'young man' he was, in fact, the one he was supposed to be hiding from. But he couldn't tell Dumbledore that, so Harry would just have to say he was staying with his 'young man.' If Dumbledore didn't like it, then so what.

The thought made him chuckle. Tom was not young. He was, what? 70? Though wizards did live a lot longer than muggles, so he guessed Tom was still technically 'young'. Harry wouldn't dare tease him about it in fear of making him angry...well he did just a little bit, but it was all in good fun. He never pushed too hard though; age seemed like it would be a bit of a touchy subject with the 50 year age difference, no matter how young Tom looked.

Harry sighed and absentmindedly wiped Wynter's face with the wet towel he had left on the table to get rid of the crumbs that she had somehow obtained in the few minutes he was occupied. He knew what he was going to say to Dumbledore, that was easy, but his friends were another story. He couldn't just say 'no, I am staying with my boyfriend and nothing you can say can change my mind.' They would want more, especially Hermione with all her questions. He would answer some of them, vaguely; just enough to satisfy them and that was it.

For the rest of the day, Harry just lazed about with Wynter on the floor trying to get her to move on her own, but all she did was wiggle her butt in an attempt to pull herself up onto all fours. The most she could do now was sit up on her own and roll over onto her tummy, but she had a hard time getting her legs beneath her to pull herself up; it was cute to watch her try. Harry was simultaneously looking forward to and regretting the day she started crawling. From what he understood, once they started moving, they didn't stop. She was just getting so big! It was like yesterday to him that she was just a tiny thing that had been growing inside him and now she was 6 months! Time was going by too fast.

Harry played with her some more until Wynter went down for her nap and then he sat down to write his letters back. He wrote a simple one to Dumbledore saying thank you but no and the more extensive one to Ron and Hermione. He would send them later that night to let Hedwig rest. Other than that, it was another very uneventful day.

Chapter Text

Over the next few days, Tom would leave early and come back late. Harry had to guess whatever he was planning was big if it took up so much of his time. He was worried what it might mean for his friends, but he didn't ask, nor did he say anything when he exchanged letters with Ron and Hermione.

But now he wasn't sure. When he had woken up that morning, Tom was still there in bed with him, quietly watching him in that creepy way of his. Why would he watch him sleep? But anyways, he didn't question it, glad to have someone to talk to at least for a little bit. They got up and Tom got dressed while Harry got Wynter changed and dressed and ordered breakfast from the house elf that appeared; completely normal morning. But Tom was a little...on edge? There was just something off, but Tom didn't say anything, nor did he act like anything was different. When the house elf came back with their food, they sat down and ate breakfast, filling the silence with idle chatter; then when they were done, Tom helped him clean up Wynter and her mess and then went to the bathroom to do whatever. Harry put Wynter on the floor to play and then got dressed.

He had just finished tying up his shoelaces and straightened himself when he saw it. His blood ran cold and he froze as he looked at his daughter...wrapped up in the coils of a huge snake.

She didn't look scared, only curious, but Harry was freaking out."T-Tom," he managed to get out, his voice shaky. The door to the bathroom opened and Tom peered out and Harry gestured with his chin over to what he could barely see of their daughter.

-Nagini- Tom hissed in Parseltongue, leveling her with a look, -Be careful-

"Careful?" Harry asked Tom incredulously. Then turned to the snake -Get off of her- he hissed.

Nagini turned her huge head to look over at him -I will not harm master's hatchling- she hissed and continued to smell Wynter with its tongue; flicking in and out at her face.

That didn't make him feel any better and he was afraid to move for fear it would trigger a reaction and hurt Wynter.

Tom sat down next to him on the bed and gently placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. "Nagini will not harm her," he said softly and then looked to his familiar with a stern look. Nagini bowed her head slightly in understanding.

Harry relaxed slightly but was still on guard if the blasted snake did anything. But Wynter seemed just fine wrapped up in the large snakes' coils, watching it with fascination. Nagini leveled her face inches in front of her face gazing at her and Wynter stared back.

-Hello hatchling- Nagini hisses to her and Wynter laughed as the tongue flicked out and touched her. Then as quick as a snake herself, Wynter grabbed a hold of Nagini's snout, giggling all the while.

Harry gasped and made to move get up, but Tom stopped him by wrapping an arm around his waist and pulling him against him. Harry needn't be worried because Nagini did nothing, only hissed in discomfort as Wynter held on to her face tightly and swung her arm making her head move with Wynter's hand. It would have been funny if Harry wasn't so terrified. Even if she was a tame snake who listened to her master, he knew what the big snake could do, had seen it.

-Let go hatchling- Nagini told Wynter trying to free her head from the surprisingly tight grip. But Wynter would not let go and continued to swing her head back and forth. -Please let go...it hurts- she hissed and Wynter let her go and cooed at the snake.

Harry was kind of startled that Wynter listened and even Tom stiffened slightly but he just passed it off as a coincidence; he glanced at Tom and it seemed he thought so too. Nagini was playing with Wynter, which was surprising, by lifting her tail and swaying it in front of her and Wynter tried to catch it, her little hands grabbing for it. But she soon got bored of it and suddenly wrapped her arms around Nagini's neck and held her close; happy as could be.

-Your hatchling is very clingy- Nagini said to Tom as she moved in discomfort; she was obviously not used to so much affection, especially from a small child.

Tom smiled and had to agree, but she was a baby still. -Her name isn't hatchling. It's Wynter- he told Nagini, yet when he said her name Wynter looked up at him let go of Nagini and went about petting her scales in a careful manner. Tom had seen it this time and stood up, suddenly radiating hope and excitement.

"What?" Harry asked getting up to, worried, "What happened?" He looked at Wynter to see if she was injured but saw nothing.

Tom didn't reply and just knelt down in front of Wynter. -Wynter- he hissed softly. And miraculously, Wynter looked up at him and smiled. Tom could only stare in shock.

"Oh my god," Harry whispered and dropped to the floor too, -Wynter. Look at mommy- he hissed and she turned her head to look at him and started babbling away at him.

"I can't believe it, she can understand us," Harry shook his head and laughed, "Well, looks like there is another parselmouth in the family."

"Yeah," Tom whispered, staring at his daughter in shock, "I never thought- never even considered the possibility that she could have inherited parseltongue."

"If you think about it, both her parents have the ability. It makes sense that she would get it; at least from you, as I am not a true parselmouth."

Tom looked at Harry curiously, but said nothing and instead placed his hand on top of Wynter's head and gently stroked a soft cheek as he looked at his daughter in pride.

-The Wynter-hatchling is another speaker then?- Nagini asked -Good-

Tom looked at his familiar with an amused smile, -Yes. She will be. And thank you, Nagini-

-I did nothing, master- she hissed back.

-On the contrary, you did very much. It would have been a long time for us to realize that she was a speaker if it weren't for you- Nagini only nodded her massive head in understanding.

-I guess it was worth it for you to come in here and scare me half to death- Harry said.

Nagini bowed her head to him -I am truly sorry Harry Potter, it was not my intention-

-Just Harry is fine- he hissed and then hesitantly reached out a hand to touch the snakes big head and she let him. -I hope we don't have any problems in the future-

-As you wish Harry. And I hope we do not either. Just keep master satisfied and all will be good. I like seeing his goofy smile in the morning-

-Nagini- Tom hissed in warning. A series of hisses came from the snake in response and Harry realized she was laughing. Harry couldn't help but smile too and gave Tom a suggestive look.

-I will take my leave now, master- she said and uncoiled herself from Wynter and headed to a large camouflaged flap that was near the door. Harry had never known it was even there.

"Well, that was a surprise," Harry said as he watched Nagini disappear into the hole, the flap closing behind her and disappearing. At least that explained why he never saw it. "But not that we can do anything about it yet, she has to start talking first."

"True," Tom muttered and stared out in thought. But he snapped back to himself before he could go too far."Speaking of surprises. I have one for you."

"Ooh? Dirty?" Harry asked with a smirk.

Tom held back a laughed, but he did smile; his blue eyes sparkling with mirth. "No."

"Where is it?"

"It's not here. I have to take you to it," Tom replied.

"Okay."

"You have to wear this," Tom said holding up a blind fold.

"Kinky," Harry said taking it from him and running it through his fingers, "I don't think I'm into this sort of thing."

"We'll see," Tom said, eyes glittering with promise.

Harry just shook his head with a smile and looked at Wynter who had allowed herself to fall onto her back while she played with her bear, then looked back at Tom.

"We'll take her with us," he said to Harry's silent question, "It's for her too."

Harry looked at him curiously as he went to put together Wynter's diaper bag. "Does she need this too?" he teased holding up his blindfold.

"No. I don't think she would keep it on anyway."

"Probably not," Harry said, checking to make sure he had everything. He then picked up Wynter, made sure she wasn't sticky from breakfast and gave her her bear, which she clutched close. Harry then turned to Tom and held out his blindfold. "Ready."

Tom took it and lightly trailed it over Harry's free shoulder and against his neck as he circled behind him. Harry shivered and gave Tom a playful glare before the black cloth covered his eyes.

"So glad I don't have my glasses anymore."

"So glad," Tom echoed, tying a knot in the back.

"Hey!" he exclaimed playfully.

"Okay? Not too tight?"

"No, I'm good," Harry said and kissed the small hand that was on his face, curiously patting the fabric. He felt Tom's arm encircle his waist and pull him tight against him, encasing Wynter between them.

"Ready?"

Harry tightened his grip on Wynter and nodded.

With a final check to make sure everyone was secure. Holding Wynter's small hand when she gave it to him, huddled close knowing something was happening; Tom shifted the wards slightly and apparated.

xxx

Harry breathed in deep as he always did after apparating and did a mental check that everything was intact. It was a little disconcerting that he did not know where he was but everything was intact. Wynter made a noise of discomfort in his arms, one that sounded like she was going to cry and Harry quickly bounced her.

"Shh. It's okay, princess," Tom cooed to her and Harry could feel him touching her to calm her down and she did.

As Tom soothed their daughter, Harry took a moment to catalog what he was feeling to see if he could tell where he was at. There was a nice cool breeze blowing that ruffled his hair, and it had a sort of smell to it that he couldn't place...was it salt? There were no identifying sounds but a few birds chirping and he could hear something else in the distance but didn't know what as he had never heard anything like it, but it was loud like running water. "Where are we?" he finally asked.

"This way," Tom only said and guided him forward up what he guessed was a path. Harry could feel cracks in it like it was stone, placed there; not solid. "Okay," Tom only said after a short walk up a slant and stopped him.

"Here?" he asked. It was curious because they were still outside, but Tom said nothing. But he felt Tom go around him and started releasing the knot of his blindfold. With his eyesight cut off his hearing was enhanced, so he heard Tom let out a nervous breath and was confused as to why. Dark Lords didn't get nervous, Tom definitely didn't as far as he knew. He thought it was weird.

But then-

Then the blindfold fell away and what he saw took his breath away.

Standing in front of him was the most beautiful, beautiful! two story house he had ever seen.

"Oh my god, Tom...this...this is..."

"Yours," Tom paused to think, "Ours," he gave him a hesitant smile, "House on the beach like you asked."

"Really?" Harry asked and turned and yes, he could see the blue of the ocean in the distance.

"...Do you like it?" Tom asked uncertainly.

"Yes! It-It's beautiful!" Harry said in awe, trying to take everything in at once.

He turned completely around to see a road that curved in front of the house and on one side was a cliff that dropped down to the sandy beach. Further down he could see other houses; there were also some on the other side farther away from "his" house. Looking down at the floor he saw he was standing on a cobble path that led straight to the door. Plants lined the path on either side and went straight up to the front steps and turned into bigger bushes that were against the house. Facing forward again, the beach drop off was on his left were a wall covered in ivy had been erected and led all the way down and around the back. Flowers and small bushes lined the wall in front and stopped against the house, but then bigger bushes and flower arrangements filled in the space in front of the house in line with the front steps. There were also big, tall palm trees here and there in the little yard up front and some in the back from what he could tell.

It was after Harry was done looking at the scenery around them that he finally turned to the house itself. The path they were on went up to three steps to a little-enclosed porch where there was a tall white French door; potted plants were on either side, giving it some color. The house itself was a light beige color, a little darker than the sand out on the beach, with white trimming. On the front of the house on either side were two big windows on the bottom floor and two bay windows on the top floor. There were also two small windows in the middle of the second floor. He looked up and shielded his eyes against the sun to see a light brown shingled roof, where he could also see the brick of a chimney.

"We have a fireplace?" he asked excitedly. The cottage hadn't had one and he missed the warmth of the hearth that his old place had had before all the drama had started.

"Two," Tom replied and smiled slightly as Harry's eyes widened. He looked just like Wynter then, green eyes wide in child-like wonder, looking around at everything at once. It had been the first time giving a gift to someone where he actually cared about what they thought and he had to admit that he had been uncertain, but judging by Harry's reaction, he liked it. It was a big relief. "Want to check out the inside?"

"Yes!" Harry exclaimed and eagerly followed Tom up the steps. Tom opened the door and stepped back to let Harry through, and Harry gasped for the second time. If the outside was beautiful, the inside was gorgeous, with its white walls and dark hardwood floors. "Oh my god, Tom," Harry breathed drinking in the room, "When did-" he stopped and turned to Tom. "This is what you were doing?"

"Yes," Tom admitted. "I found it last week. I was putting up all the wards and picking out all of this," he said gesturing inside.

"So it's safe here?"

"I wouldn't have brought you two here if I didn't think so," Tom said, "This place is heavily warded and invisible to outsiders. It just looks like the drop off outside. It's one of the reasons why I chose it,"

"It looks natural," Harry guessed.

"Exactly."

Harry nodded in understanding and stepped further in, holding Wynter tight against him in excitement as he scanned the room. The whole first floor was open, as in one big room, but had different areas. To his left was the stairs leading to the second floor. There were two book cases full of books against the wall, most of them simple reads like fairy tales and simple magic books on charms and potions, but there was nothing dark; all next to one of the big windows he had seen outside with a lovely dark blue long curtains that were common throughout the house on all the windows. Next, to the bookcase there was a desk with a computer set up on it against the wall of the stairs and right next to it he saw a door and he opened it to a small closet that had a few coats and a folded up play pen that was obviously for Wynter. He flashed Tom a smile as he closed the door and turned back to the room. Across from him on the other side of the front door was a closed off room that jutted out slightly. He walked over to the door and saw that it was a small bathroom with just a toilet and sink; the walls were a light beige color and the same dark hardwood as the main room with a simple beige bath mat as decoration. Going around the wall he saw a sliding wooden door which revealed a washing machine and dryer in a deep maroon.

"Ooh, red," Harry awed.

Tom laughed from behind him, "I thought you might like that."

"Thanks," Harry said and looked at Wynter who was looking upward and lightly tugging on his shirt. He followed her gaze and saw that there was a hole in the ceiling. Walking over he realized he could see up into the second floor. Wynter pointed a finger up and looked at him babbling at him to look. "I see. How cool is that, huh?" he asked her and she just continued to look up, completely fascinated.

"I thought so too," Tom said.

Harry turned his attention forward and saw a small sitting area set into the floor; it was like a pit that you had to step down into it. It was square with four white couches on each side, two blue lamps were on opposite sides in the corners to five light and a coffee table in the middle.

"This is amazing!" Harry exclaimed stepping down into the pit and running his hand over one of the couches before sitting down. It was a nice place to sit down and relax and just talk, have a nice cup of coffee or tea with Tom, watching Wynter as she played with her toys, running around and hearing the soft patter of footsteps... He shook himself from his daydreaming and got up to explore the rest of the house. He left the pit and went to the far right side of the house to the dark mahogany dining table that seated six, possibly eight with two more chairs, but there were only six but had a highchair at the end by the wall. The chair was a chocolate brown and white, with pink fabric lining. Right across from it was the kitchen which he made a beeline to, mouth dropping open at the giant kitchen with all the fixings; microwave, blender, knives, pots, and pans hanging from the ceiling. It was a nice dark wood, same color as the dining table with two sinks. One built into the counter and another on the island. His kitchen had an island! Complete with four stools that he could sit on, on the opposite side, closer to the table. It was so extravagant and elegant at the same time, he loved it.

"I know you like to cook," Tom said from behind him.

"I do," Harry replied as he peered into a few of the many cabinets; there were plates and glasses, Tupperware, utensils in the drawers and a pantry full of food. He opened one of the top cabinets, "Wynter look! Daddy got you your food!" he said to her, bouncing her on his hip. The bottom shelf was full of baby food and the second one had some soft crackers for her to munch on or gnaw, for now; there were also new bowls to replace the ones that had been lost in the fire. Wynter pointed to her food and looked at him then looked back. Harry smiled and kissed her forehead; she was doing that a lot now, pointing at things that interested her, which was everything.

"You thought of everything, didn't you?" he asked as he passed the double basin sink, running his hand over the granite countertop. He peered out the window that was right in between the top cabinets and the countertops over the sink and saw plants and another palm tree right outside; he could see the beach and a house in the distance. He then turned to the other window facing the backyard and nearly squealed in excitement. "We have to pool?!"

Tom chuckled, "Yes. I know the ocean is right there, but sometimes you want to just stick close to home."

Harry nodded and reined in his excitement and turned back to the kitchen; he would see the backyard later. He continued on between the counter and the island; in which the other sink was and opposite it was a high-end stove. "I guess I will be cooking a lot more now. Don't want all of this to go to waste."

"I look forward to it."

"I bet you do." Harry bypassed the floor to ceiling windows and the door to the backyard, but he did notice that there were two on each side of the door, covered in the same blue curtains only longer; it touched the floor to cover the whole window when it wasn't tied back by the sash. Right in the corner of the room was another sitting area, only this one had a TV set up in the corner at an angle on top of a wide mahogany stand. Surrounding it was two long couches in a deep blue like the curtains with a blue armchair between them. There were side tables with white lamps on each side of the couches; one near the wall closest to the backyard and the other in between the couch and armchair in the middle.

"I love the color scheme in here," he said running his hand over the soft cushions of the couch. Blue and white is a good color and it looks great."

"Glad you think so," Tom replied.

"I'm surprised you put this here, the computer too," Harry said as he looked at the flat screen TV and brand new DVD player sitting in the middle of the stand.

"I will admit, Muggles have some useful things," Tom said, pointedly not looking at Harry's grin.

Harry's face suddenly fell. "Aw. I just remembered all of my movies are gone," he said sadly. He had just got all the important things like clothes and his pictures and that was it; he was kind of in a hurry.

"I got some," Tom said opening up the top drawer on the TV stand. Inside were a few DVDs still wrapped in plastic. "They are mostly the ones that we have seen already, but I did get a few that looked interesting."

Harry nodded as he flipped through them, "We can start having movie night again once we get settled in."

"Sounds good." Tom had missed those nights, truth be told, just simply sitting on the couch with Harry and sometimes Wynter is she hadn't fallen asleep yet, watching a movie. It was an entirely useless process but he enjoyed the quality time he spent with them.

"Okay, back yard time," Harry said hoisting Wynter up from where he had put her on the couch. "You are getting heavy," he told her and she gave him a smile. "Here, go with Daddy," he said, handing her to Tom. She held out her arms for Tom and wrapped them around his neck when he took her.

"What do you think, princess? You like it here?" Tom asked her. But she wasn't paying attention. She had lost her bear. It was on the floor and she made him bend down to get it.

Harry meanwhile had freed his arms and put down the diaper bag, then practically ran to the glass door and headed out to the back yard. It wasn't that big but it was wide with lots of greenery. Plants and bushes grew around the border wall of the yard, vines growing up it, giving it a natural look. To his right was the pool he had seen through the window. It was not your standard rectangular pool, this one had rounded corners and it curved slightly on one side, giving it a lopsided look. At the far end, there was an above ground Jacuzzi that had a lower lip on the side to create a waterfall into the pool. There were plants that grew around it to make it more exotic. A table was right next to the door with four chairs so that they could eat outside. On the other side of the pool were two long lawn chairs facing out toward the beach that could be seen over the fence.

Speaking of fence, Harry saw a break in the wall where there was a gate. Going over to it and looking over the bars he could see stairs. "We can go to the beach from here?" Harry asked excitedly.

Tom looked up from where he was playing with Wynter by the Jacuzzi sitting on the side and letting her put her hands in the water. "Yes. The steps go all the way down to the water. The wards have it blocked off on the sides so it's like a private beach."

"Really?" he said and gazed out at the clear blue water. "I could go skinny dipping," Harry said, more to himself but Tom heard.

Tom's eyebrows rose in surprise, "If you want to."

Harry turned away blushing slightly with a little smile, no doubt plotting in that Gryffindor mind of him; until he turned back to explore some more.

Harry moved on to the left side of the yard, skirting along the vine covered wall to another sitting area that was set up like the one inside. There were four couches in a square; the cushions a soft cream color and the border a dark brown, surrounding a fire pit...of it looked like one. It was long and rectangular and had edges so that you could put a cup or plate if you wished. The inside was different as well, there was no wood but there were light blue crystals that looked like glass.

"What is this?" he asked Tom, picking up a few of the shards, it was glass.

Tom came over with Wynter who was holding her bear again with wet hands, water spots on her clothes and Tom too. It seemed Tom didn't learn his lesson from the last time he was near Wynter with water. “It’s fire glass," Tom said answering his question, "There is a gas line underneath and it reflects off the glass to create fire."

"Ooh," Harry said in awe. He dropped the pieces of glass back in the pit and watched how the sunlight shone on the glass. "Cool."

"I can show you later."

"Okay," Harry said and continued on. Beyond the sitting area, there was a grassy area that extended past the side of the house; the wall and the vines were encircling it enclosed and away from the cliff on the other side. In the grassy area was a playground complete with a swing set, three slides and climbing steps, all of them leading into a little cabin like enclosure at the top. It was really big, but nothing but the best for their little girl. "Oh my god, it's so cute!" Harry said running over to it. He sat down on one of the swings and lightly swung himself; there were three swings, two regular ones and one that had a baby seat on it.

It was here that Tom placed Wynter into the baby swing and gave her a little push to get her swinging. Wynter gazed at them both with wide eyes as she swung and started laughing in joy, clapping her hands as the wind caressed her face as she moved back and forth.

"She loves it," Harry said as she kept laughing, "Oh she is going to so enjoy all this when she is older."

"I thought so," Tom said, making grabbing motions at Wynter as she swung up to him, making her screech in delight. "I had to put something out here for her, and I always see these things at parks and such with kids running around...I thought it would be good to have."

"Well, you thought right, huh sweet pea!" he said to Wynter. Harry got up and went to the climbing rocks on the side and easily scaled it into the cabin area where he crawled over to the curvy slide and went down it. It was such a short ride, but it was so much fun, he had never been on a playground thanks to Dudley, so he was glad his daughter was going to; he had a feeling Tom felt the same way.

Harry faced forward again after going down the slide and saw that there was a built in BBQ, complete with a sink, small fridge and two burners on each side with a wide counter top near the side of the house, opposite of the sitting area. "Wow. I've never had one of these before," he said going over to it and running his hand over the stone countertop.

"No?" Tom asked as he picked Wynter up from the swing.

"No. Not even at the Dursley's, but I'll learn. It opens up a lot of food possibilities."

"Sounds good," Tom said using Wynter's hand for emphasis and she giggled.

She patted Tom's face with her wet hand and babbled at him, "Mmma, mmma, mmma," she said.

Tom smiled at her, "I'm not mama, mama is over there," he said pointing to Harry who had come up to them.

She looked at Harry then looked back to Tom, "Mmma, mmma."

"No Dada," Harry told her, "I'm mama."

Wynter looked to Harry again and started babbling again excitedly, "Mmma! Mmma!"

"Mama," Harry told her, but she kept saying the same thing, until she got distracted by a bird that flew by and she started pointing at it, babbling away. Harry sighed and rubbed her back, "Almost."

"She's growing too fast," Tom said as he kissed her forehead.

"Yeah..." Harry agreed and they stood there in silence until Wynter yawned and laid her head against Tom's shoulder.

Tom snapped out of his daze, "Ready to see upstairs?"

"God yes!" Harry said realizing where he was, he was already comfortable here; it was home. But he had only seen downstairs and it was amazing, he could only imagine what it looked like upstairs.

From what he could see from here, there were balconies on each side of the big floor to ceiling windows that were in the middle of the floor. He couldn't wait, so he led the way back inside and passed the TV area, which he had started calling the "entertainment area" in his mind, to get to the stairs. But before he went further he saw the fireplace that he had noticed from outside. It was right between the entertainment area and the stairs.

"Fireplace!" he exclaimed and stopped to look. It was one of those stone fireplaces in a light brown with a white mantle and trim around it and a black grate inside that had fresh logs ready for burning. On the mantle there was a little statue of a lion with a snake wrapped around it, the snakes head resting on the mane of the lion; it was a simple knick knack, but it apparently held much more meaning. On either side of the statue were picture frames...of people he didn't know. He looked at Tom quizzically and he chuckled.

"Those are just fillers. I figured you can put pictures of Wynter in them or-" he shrugged, "your friends."

"You?" Harry inquired.

Tom looked surprised for a moment, before shrugging again, "If you want."

"I think I will. It's your home too," Harry thought for a moment. "I think I have one of you, I'm not sure...I'll have to take one. Well, anyway, thanks."

"Not a problem," Tom said, then gestured to the stairs in an 'after you' way and they climbed the stairs to the second floor.

When they reached the landing, Harry was in front of one of the big bay windows. It was the kind that jutted out of the house and had a sitting area. Harry got up on the ledge to look out the window and saw the whole front yard sprawled out in front of him including some houses in the distance. He could also see a cluster of houses as they got further into the main land; there was even a shopping center out there as a cluster of big buildings, all within walking distance.

"What kind of stores are out there?" he asked.

"A market, deli, two department stores and a few others," Tom replied.

"Wow."

"I rather liked that too, it's convenient. Plus, there are a few other stores along the shore, maybe a restaurant of two."

"We have to go then," Harry said getting up and turning to the room, which was just a large hallway.

The room was smaller than downstairs, but that was because there were rooms up here. Right in the middle of the floor was the hole in he had seen in the ceiling downstairs. Looking down over the railing he could see into the sitting area and part of the kitchen. The railing was a nice dark wood, the same color as the hardwood floor, all around the hole and he felt wards around it too, no doubt for extra precaution. There were doors on either side of the hallway, two on the left and two on the right.

"How many rooms are there?" Harry asked looking at them all.

"There are four bedrooms and each has their own bathroom. Two guest rooms, the master and Wynter's."

"Two guest rooms? I don't think we need them."

"No, but they are there."

Harry had no doubt that they had been there with the house, but it gave him hope that one day he could have guests over.

"Where do you want to start?" Tom asked. "Guest rooms are both on this side," he said pointing to the left, "or ours and Wynter's," he pointed to the right."

Harry hesitated, not sure where to go, but then decided to leave their bedrooms for last and went to the left and opened the first door. As he walked in, he let out a pleased laugh when he looked around. Inside was a wide spacious room with white walls, the floor the same dark hardwood with a white rug in front of the bed. A queen size bed that had a red cover on it was in the middle of the room against the far wall in between two wide windows with white curtains. The furniture in the room was all a sleek modern design in a deep red like the bedcover; the dresser, wardrobe the desk in the corner and chair, even the lamps--all in Gryffindor red.

"What do you think?" Tom asked with a smile, just a quirk of the lips.

"I didn't think you were going to put in Gryffindor colors in this place, guess I was wrong."

"We're not sleeping in here," Tom said simply.

"True," Harry chuckled and shook his head as he looked around, "This is amazing." He went to the side door and opened it. "Oh my god, even in here!" Harry exclaimed as he walked in to what was a bathroom which was also done up in red and white. Two of the walls were white and the other two were red giving it a nice contrast, and the floor was a nice tile with red and black in a checkered pattern. The cabinet above the sink was red and had a mirror on the front. The sink, toilet, and the shower were white and there was a white rug on the floor in front of the shower.

"You should see the other one," Tom said.

Harry looked at Tom and his slight smile and he had to see it. He left the guest room, letting Tom close the door behind him while Harry went further down the hall to the next door and went in. He immediately laughed as he stepped inside. True to what Tom had said, this room was done up in a light green and brown.

"Way to stick to your roots Tom," Harry said running his hand over the green duvet that had white flowery stitching.

"Have to display it somewhere."

"Our room isn't like this is it?" Harry asked gesturing around at all the green.

"No."

"Good," Harry said and went around inspecting the wardrobe which was also green. There was a green armchair in the corner and brown curtains on the windows in the room, which there were four, two on either side of the bed and two on the wall facing the back yard. Peeking into the bathroom through the door on the right, Harry saw that it was also done in green and brown. The walls a soft green with white trim, but the toilet, shower, and sink were white. "This is amazing," he said closing the door and walking over to look out the sliding glass door that was between the two windows to see the small balcony with two simple chairs and a potted plant in the corner. "And these are just the guest rooms."

Tom only tilted his head as if to say 'wait until you see the others.' Wynter looked up at her father from her position in his arms, one underneath her that she was sitting on and the other wrapped around her waist so that she was leaning back against his chest, kicking her little legs--and tilted her head to the side, copying him, making Harry laugh. She picked up on a lot of things that they did, this was just one of them. Harry only hoped she didn't pick up on any of their bad habits.

Harry tugged on her feet as he passed her and back into the hallway. At the back of the house, the whole back wall was a series of big windows. There were no curtains to block the sunlight from streaming in and lighting up the whole floor and you could see the whole backyard and the blue ocean beyond the fence as far as the eye could see; it was breath taking. In front of the window were two white love seats and a coffee table where one could sit and relax under the rays of the sun.

"Oh I am going to love this," Harry said sitting down in one of the loveseats and closing his eyes, letting the sun warm his face.

"It is a nice place," Tom agreed, "I liked the windows here, you can see so much from here."

"I know," Harry murmured opening his eyes and gazing out the window again. Wynter yawned and Harry gently combed her hair back from her face. "Sleepy sweetie?" he asked her. She gave him a sleepy smiled and rubbed her eyes and relaxed back against Tom, completely comfortable. "Is she heavy?" he asked.

"No, she's good," Tom said and gently kissed the top of her head.

"Okay," Harry said getting up. He went down the rest of the back hallway and around the corner of a room that jutted out slightly, to a door. "Whose is this?" he asked.

"Ours."

Harry's eyes widened and he turned to the door in excitement. Taking a deep breath, he pushed the door open. The first thing he noticed was that the room was big, bigger than the other rooms and that the jutted out part that was in the hallway was not part of the main room, probably a bathroom. The second thing he noticed was that there was a fireplace in the bedroom.

"Another one!" he exclaimed as he examined it. It was the same brown stone as the one down stairs, but there was nothing on the mantle; he would fix that later. There was also a door to the right of the fireplace. "What's in here?"

"Wynter's room," Tom answered.

"Oh. That makes things easy," Harry said and turned away from the door to look at the rest of the room.

The walls were a nice white and the floor the same hardwood as the rest of the house. There was a big beige rug in the center of the room and on it was a big king size bed in beige and chocolate brown, which was the colors of the room, against the far wall. Two bay windows were on either side of the bed with beige curtains inside to block the sun. On the right side of the right window was a wardrobe in dark oak wood; on the opposite side of the room there was another wardrobe, apparently one for each of them. Night stands in the same dark oak wood were placed on either side of the bed with lamps on it. Opposite the bed was a long dresser in the same wood with a mirror over it. Next to the dresser on the right was another door and opening it revealed a big bathroom. Inside there were two sinks on the left with beige tops and a toilet against the far wall, an above ground tub in the corner and a walk-in shower on the right, opposite the door that looked like it could hold four people.

"My god, Tom. This is amazing," Harry said, backing out of the bathroom, "It's too much!"

"I thought we deserved some comfort," Tom said. He had placed Wynter in the middle of the massive bed and was watching him, gauging his reaction.

"Yes but..." Harry looked around at it all, not knowing what to say.

"It's a master bedroom for a reason," Tom said simply.

"True," Harry murmured and went to one of the windows that faced the backyard to look out, moving the beige curtain aside. There was a balcony out there with two chairs and a small table so that they could sit out there and enjoy the view. In the middle of the two windows was a sliding glass door and he opened it to let some fresh air in through the screen; closing his eyes against the wind. "I can't believe this is ours."

"Do you like it?" Tom asked, "I tried not to overdo it."

"I love it," Harry said turning away from the window and jumped up on the bed, making Wynter bounce and fall over, giggling. "How about you? Do you like it?" She babbled at him and reached out her arms and Harry picked her up. "Want to check out your room? Yeah?" he asked has and she stared up at him and gave what looked like a nod. "Okay." Harry headed out into the hallway preferring to see the room from that perspective; Tom following behind him with Wynter's teddy bear. "Did you decorate it too?" he asked.

"Yes...was that okay?" Tom asked uncertainly.

"Yeah. That's fine. I decorated the last one. It was fun, but so much stuff! I mean how many shades of pink are there?"

"47," Tom supplied.

Harry stopped and turned to stare at him. "Of course you know that."

"Of course."

Harry rolled his eyes and continued to the last door. He turned to Wynter, "Ready?" he asked, bouncing her on his hip, then opened the door.

What he saw brought tears to his eyes. The room was beautiful! The walls were a light beige color and the floor the same hardwood. Right across from the main door on the wall in block wooden letters in chocolate brown was Wynter's name. Underneath her name was a beautifully made crib that had soft curved sides so that it wasn't just square. Inside the crib were soft pink blankets and a mobile with stars and moons connected to the side so that it hung down above the crib at the head. On either side of the crib were long windows and on the right wall facing the front of the house was a bay window; each with beige curtains. In between the long window and the bay window in the corner was a rocking chair with a rocking ottoman in chocolate brown with pink cushions. A dresser was against the wall next to the main door on the right and a changing table against the far wall near another door, which turned out to be a bathroom in pink and white. The room was shaped like an 'L' to accommodate the bathroom so the connecting door to their bedroom was in a little indent on the left. On the other side of the main door was a toy box that no doubt had a bunch of toys inside and stepping further into the room he saw to the right of the bay window a tall doll house with incredible detail complete with a family of dolls.

"Oh, Tom...It's wonderful..."

"I'm glad you like it," Tom said, slowly letting out the breath he didn't know he had been holding. "I figure when she gets older we can put in a bigger bed in place of the crib and replace the changing table with a full wardrobe," he said gesturing to the items.

Harry nodded, unable to speak. He couldn't believe the length Tom had gone to with this house. He had been expecting a small cottage like the last one, but on the beach, nothing like this. Then again, Tom didn't do small. Harry turned to Wynter and kissed her head, "This is your room, sweet pea," he told her in her ear. "Do you like it?"

Wynter just looked around pointing at everything and babbling. Harry lifted her off his hip and gently lowered her down into the crib and they watched to see what she would do. Wynter looked around at her surroundings in curiosity, eyeing everything, peering through the bars. She curled her fingers into the soft material of the blanket, scrunching it up repeatedly. She then lay herself down on her back and stared up at the mobile; Tom giving it a little spin, and she giggled and made grabby motions at it as if trying to reach for it.

"I think she likes it," Harry said with a smile.

"Good," Tom said and wrapped an arm around him to pull him back against him. "What about you?"

"I love it. I love every inch of it," he shook his head in amazement at everything he had seen, "It's more, so much more than I ever dreamed of...you outdid yourself."

"Maybe," Tom said with a simple shrug, "I wanted you to be comfortable."

"Oh, we will be, you made sure of it."

"You can take out or add anything you want if I missed anything," Tom said, "I don't think I-"

He was cut off as Harry turned around and tugging on the collar of Tom's shirt, pulled him down for a kiss. Tom returned the kiss; deep and slow, with the barest hint of tongue, before Harry drew away. "It's perfect, as you well know," Tom smirked at that. "Thank you."

"For what?"

"For..." Harry paused and shrugged. "Everything. For this," he said gesturing around, "for her," he looked down at Wynter who was watching them with her fingers in her mouth. He looked down and gently smoothed. Tom's shirt down. "For not being the monster I thought you were," he finished softly.

"I should thank you," Tom said glancing at Wynter, "also for showing me that I am not the monster I thought I was...at least not all the time."

Harry laughed at that and wrapped his arms around him in a hug. Tom stiffened slightly like he always did, but then relaxed and hugged him back, allowing Harry to burrow his face into his chest.

"You're not getting emotional on me are you?"

"No. Shut up," Harry said, letting his eyes slip closed and soaking up the warmth of Tom's arms; hoping that his simple action could convey the gratitude he felt.

Tom remained quiet for a minute before speaking up. "How long are we doing this?"

"As long as I want. Now, shush. You're ruining the moment."

"We're having a moment?"

"Yes."

Wynter giggled as if to say duh, daddy and he turned his head to look at her. She was watching them and had managed to pull herself up to a sitting position. He gave her a smile and she waved her fingers at him; her hand going open close, open, close. He just stayed quiet and enjoyed Harry's closeness.

Harry pulled away after a little while and looked around the room. "Okay, so this place is ours?" he asked re-confirming.

"Yes," Tom replied.

Harry nodded and turned to pick Wynter up out of her crib. He gave her a kiss on the cheek and spoke to her. "Guess what? We are going to be living here from now on, okay? Mommy, Daddy and you, all together. Would you like that?" Wynter babbled and gurgled at him and Harry smiled and nodded his head. "Yes?" She copied the motion. "You'd like that? I thought so. You have a new room and new toys to play with and a yard to play in. You are going to have so much fun and grow up big and strong. This is home now," he said kissing her forehead as Tom wrapped his arm around him and pulled them both close.

Harry looked up at Tom and smiled. "We are home."

Chapter Text

It didn't take long for Harry to settle into the new house. It already had a homey feel to it, so it wasn't hard. That same day, Tom left back to the manor to get Harry's trunk with all his valuables while Harry and Wynter got comfortable. Wynter adapted fairly quickly, for sure. He had fed her lunch and immediately after she knocked out. So he had placed her in her new crib and she had snuggled in, already at home, her bear underneath her like a pillow. Harry had left her to sleep, taking the baby monitor that was sitting on the dresser; it was the kind with a camera so he could see her, and took another walk through the house, looking at everything more closely. He focused on the kitchen specifically.

When Tom came back with his trunk and one of his own, they went around and unpacked, placing little trinkets he had in different spots around the house, and put their clothes away, leaving Wynter's things for later. After, Tom took him around again to give him a more detailed run down of the place. Along with his trinkets, Harry had also gone around filling the empty picture frames with the ones in this photo album; most of them of Wynter, one of his friends, and he did have a few of Tom, so he put those out too. After Wynter woke up from her nap, Harry put her clothes away brought her downstairs; setting up her new play pen behind the couch of the entertainment area for her to play in. Everything ran so smoothly, it was already starting to feel like home. The rest of the day was like that, just settling in, getting a feel for the new home. It was nice to be able to move around again and not stuck in one room. He couldn't seem to sit still, he was constantly moving, rearranging things to how he wanted it. Tom only watched him and helped him as he turned the house into a home,

When it was time, Harry made a nice dinner in his new kitchen using all his new appliances, and pots and pans; serving it out on new plates and utensils; Tom had gone all out. When they were done, they sat down and watched TV like they used to. Wynter eventually got sleepy, so they gave her a bath and put her to bed. Then they made it an early night and went to bed; making love between the new sheets to christen it, to make it theirs.

After that first day, Harry and Tom fell back into their routine like before, only this time Tom came home and stayed. It made Harry really happy, more than he thought he would be, that he got to see Tom every day. He had gotten used to falling asleep next to him and having him still be there in the morning while at the Manor, it was nice. He could tell Tom enjoyed it too, seeing Wynter so early in the morning with her hair all over the place, and she was happy to see him too with her big smile and wrapping her arms around his neck and curling into his neck, so content. And Tom was now a pro at holding her; he was able to hold her with one arm and able to do things with his other without fear of dropping her; it helped that Wynter wasn't an overly fussy baby, to begin with. Besides seeing them, Tom also got a free breakfast in the morning cooked by Harry before he left for work.

Harry still got letters from Ron and Hermione, though they took longer to get to him, they had certainly noticed and had asked why, so he had told them that they had moved to a safer location. Harry hadn't even known where they were until he asked Tom and found out that they were in Australia. Australia! It had blown his mind; he was on a different continent! He had never been so far from home before, though it was good, no one would be able to find him. Tom had also told him that the beach house had a name: Haven Hall. A very pretty and fitting name since it was their safe haven, but really it was just named after the city, which was Whitehaven Beach. He didn’t tell this to Ron and Hermione though or they would try to find him and they had finally given up asking, though now they wanted him to come see them. But that was a whole other argument.

Harry did want to go see them, but he was sure Tom wouldn't let him, but maybe in the future. He would have to give a solid reason why in order to get the okay from Tom. He could probably just go, but it wouldn't be safe. It was a sure fire way to get Tom worried or pissed, he didn't want that, so he just left it alone. For now.

Other than that, the days passed peacefully. Harry and plenty to do around the house, he could watch TV, surf the web on the new computer, play with Wynter and her new toys. He figured out how to use the BBQ and how he had a new variety of foods, not without trial and error of course.

Within the first few days, Tom had found Harry outside tearing out a section of the plants near the back wall, using his wand to jerk the roots out of the ground. Harry had always wanted a vegetable garden and there was more than enough room, so he had decided to make one. So after shopping for the vegetables he wanted, he had grabbed some gardening supplies, took Wynter and went outside. He placed Wynter in the swing at the playground and lightly pushed her with his magic as she watched in fascination as things floated up and settled in a pile; babbling back to him as he did his gardening. Tom didn't mind it, not when there was something to come out of it; who didn't like fresh vegetables.

Harry also found the time and went down to the beach with Wynter. Harry had applied a vigorous amount of sun tan lotion on Wynter and himself so they wouldn't burn and then had taken the steps that were carved out of the cliff all the way down to the beach. He had worn sandals so he had taken them off, Wynter was already barefoot, and put his feet into the warm soft sand. When they had gotten down to the shore line where the water washed up, he placed Wynter down so that she was standing, holding onto her hands, and watched as she shrieked in glee as the water rushed over her feet; stomping her feet to splash the water. They had spent half the day on the beach, burrowing their feet, in Wynter's case, half her body, in the sand. Using a cup that Harry had brought with their lunch to make small mounds in the sand; he said mounds, not castle because Wynter would destroy them before they got very far, but they had fun anyway. She eventually tired herself out and they headed back to the house; she fell asleep on the short walk back, tired after a long day of fun. It had been a good time. Harry made it a point to have Tom come along the next time they went.

It had been about two weeks since they had moved in and had made themselves at home. Tom was at work and Harry was sitting down in the sitting area playing with Wynter. Harry smiled down at his daughter who was in his lap giggling as he tickled her tummy. He was always so happy to see her smile and hear her bubbly laugh. He had to admit that he had been worried when, he found out he was pregnant, that he wouldn't be able to love her the way she needed to, especially with how she had been conceived and by who. But now, having her here, those worries had been unfounded. He loved his little girl with all his heart and he made sure she knew it every day. Harry was sure Tom loved her too, he may not say so, but he showed it in other ways. But Wynter was happy and was loved by both of her parents and god parents and she would want for nothing if Tom had anything to say about it. Staring down at her, Harry could hardly believe that she was already six and a half months, going on seven. She was getting so big! it seemed like just yesterday he had given birth to her, now she was already sitting up on her own and rolling over, grabbing things. And now she was starting to talk! Not actual words, more like sounds that she picked up, but the more vocal she got the more they started to sound like words. He would always try to get her to talk by talking to her, but she couldn't get her mouth around the words; it looked like she knew what she wanted to say though, she was really smart. She got that from Tom, he knew, not that Harry wasn't smart, Tom just got things a lot faster than he did. He was glad that Wynter seemed to too. But she got her curiosity and adventurousness from him.

"Wynter! Can you say, mama?"

"Mma, mma!"Wynter exclaimed happily.

"No, ma-ma."

"Mmma!"

"Mama."

"Ma!"

"That's it. Mama."

"Mma, mma, mma!" she kept saying.

Harry sighed, "Guess not. How about dada?"

"Mma?"

"Dada."

"De?"

"Dada."

Wynter looked at him confusedly, "Ma!"

"No. Da-da."

"A-De...mma..." she said again, putting her fingers in her mouth.

Harry lifted her so she was standing on his knees and she bounced up and down with her legs while he held on to her waist. "Come on Wynter, say dada."

"Mma, mma, mma!"

"Mama?"

"Mma, mma!" She looked around distractedly for a moment before focusing on Harry. "Ppapappapapapa," she started saying, making noises, trying them out with her mouth.

"Papa?" Harry asked her, "Papa or dada?

"Papapapa," she babbled, "Wwa Wwa Wwa."

"No, no. Not wawa, Mama."

"Wwa wwa wwa!"

"Stop changing it on me. It's mama," he said shaking her slightly and she bounced on his legs again.

"Babababababa," she changed it again.

"Baba? You want this?" Harry asked holding up her bottle. Wynter took it and took a few sips from the nipple before throwing it on the couch where it bounced and rolled off onto the floor. "Hey!" he exclaimed, while she giggled. "You don't do that," he scolded.

Wynter gazed at him and put her hands on his face, "Mmma, mmma."

"Mama."

"Wwwa."

Harry sighed, "Not yet, huh?"

Wynter shook her head, "O."

Harry let out a surprised laugh, "No? Not yet?" she shook her head again and smiled at him, bouncing. "Okay." He sat her back down in his lap and leaned back on the couch, "You're exhausting," he told her.

Wynter only babbled and grabbed hold of his fingers, drawing them into her mouth.

"Daddy will be home soon," he said out loud, mostly for her benefit. "I have to make dinner soon...what should I make? I made chicken yesterday, maybe pork-Ow!" he gasped, jerking his fingers away and looking down at Wynter. "You bit me." She gazed up at him uncertainly, wondering why he reacted that way. Harry smoothed her hair down to reassure her until it sank in. "You bit me..." he repeated. He gently tilted her head back, "Can you let mommy see?" he asked her and put his finger into her mouth, running it over her gums until he felt it. Harry peered at it and saw it, a little tooth peeking out on the bottom, right up front."Oh my god!" he exclaimed, "You have a tooth!"

Wynter grinned at him and he lifted her up above his head. "You have your first tooth!" he said again and she giggled. He pulled her back down and held her close. "Oh my god," he repeated. She had her first tooth, the first of many. He looked down at her and framed her face with his hands. "Stop growing," he told her and kissed her forehead, then just sat there holding her; Wynter didn't mind it and was content to be there in his arms.

They stayed like that until Tom came home, Harry's head buzzing with the news and what it meant, mainly that Wynter was growing up. When Tom walked in the door, Harry got up and carried Wynter over to him. "Look!" he said, holding her out to him.

Tom looked at him, trying to figure out what he wanted as he took his daughter. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with her and Harry was not freaking out, so it was nothing bad; if anything he looked excited.

"Mma!"

"No, that's dada," Harry said to Wynter who was kicking her legs as Tom held her at arm's length, watching her. "Look," he said to Tom and lightly pulled her lip down and ran her finger over her gums.

Tom took the hint and shifted Wynter to his hip and ran his own finger over the same spot and felt it. His eyes widened and he looked in her mouth, not without some resistance, and saw the little piece of white in the pink of her gums.

"I know, right?'' Harry said, seeing his reaction.

"Already?" Tom said looking at his daughter with pride and a bit of sadness.

"I thought the same thing, but...there you go."

"De!" Wynter exclaimed, patting his face.

Tom smiled at her and kissed her fingers as he covered his mouth, "Anything yet?"

"Not yet. Isn't that right?" he said to Wynter and she shook her head.

"No?" Tom asked her following Harry further inside and she gave him a hug instead.

"I'm going to start dinner," Harry said and left Tom in the sitting area with Wynter.

So Harry made dinner while Tom entertained Wynter and when it was ready, they sat around the dining table with Wynter at the head in her highchair and ate. After dinner, they sat in the entertainment area and watched TV. Well, Tom watched somewhat, mostly he watched as Harry played with Wynter to try and tire her out so that she would go to sleep. He would tickle her and play with her bear and peek-a-boo, which was her favorite; it made her laugh.

"Where did you go?" Harry asked with the bear in front of his face, then removed it suddenly, "There you are!" and Wynter giggled and watched as he did it again and again. "Are you sleepy?" he asked her as she rubbed her eyes.

She shook her head and reached for him, "Umma, op."

"Up? You want up?" She nodded. "Okay, up you go," Harry said and pulled her up so she was balancing on his knees. She reached up and wrapped her arms around him. "Oh, a hug!" he hugged her back tight then let go. "What a nice hug."

Wynter grinned, then looked around. "Mma, bbbbababab"

"What is it? You looking for your bottle? Where is your bottle?"

She continued to look and spotted it on the other side of Tom, she pointed and babbled at him. "There it is," Harry said. "Daddy has it. Tell him to give it back."

Wynter held out her hand to Tom, "De!" she said in a scolding tone.

"I was just holding it," Tom teased lightly and gave it to her.

She took the bottle and sucked it as she leaned against Harry and he rubbed her back. He looked over at Tom and gave him a little smile which he returned; it made his heart flutter. It was moments like these that Harry cherished, they were simple, yet so full of meaning. Family that is what it was.

When Wynter was done she handed to empty bottle to him. "All done? Your tummy full?" he asked, rubbing her stomach. She patted her stomach and Harry poked it, making her giggle. Then she launched herself at him to give him a hug. "Another hug? Can I have a kiss too? Kiss?" he made kissing noises and her face lit up. She leaned forward and put her lips against his, no puckering, she didn't know how to do that yet. "Mwah!" he said kissing her loudly. "Thank you. Oh, do I get another one?" he asked as she leaned in again. "Mwah!" he laughed as Wynter giggled and she leaned in yet again. "Another one? I'm so lucky. Mwah!"

"That's not fair," Tom said from beside him.

"Daddy wants kisses too, can he have one?" Harry asked her. Wynter looked at Tom the back at Harry. "Daddy kisses?"

"Ye," she cooed and reached for Tom.

"Okay give daddy some kisses," Harry said and handed her over to him.

Wynter immediately started to give him kisses. "That's what I'm talking about," Tom said kissing her back, "You know what?" he dropped his voice to a loud whisper, "I think your kisses are better than mommy's."

"Watch it," Harry said slapping him in the arm, then got up, "I'm going to go get her bath started."

"Ma!" Wynter cried out as she saw him leaving.

"I'll be back, sweat pea," he called and disappeared upstairs.

Wynter made a noise of distress and kept looking at the stairs where Harry had gone, kisses all but forgotten.

"What? Am I not good enough for you?" Tom asked her.

Wynter looked at him with her big green eyes, then back at the stairs, then back at Tom. Her face was so completely serious, Tom wanted to make her laugh. So, checking to see that Harry wasn't coming yet; he stuck his tongue out at her. Wynter's eyes went wide in surprise before she started giggling, then stuck out her own little tongue and giggled again. "There is it," Tom said and kissed her forehead as her smile made a reappearance. He lifted her up above his head with both hands and watched as she waved her arms around and screeched in joy. "What are you doing?” he asked as she kicked her legs. "Are you trying to kick off?"

She continued to pinwheel her arms and legs, so Tom got up and used her like an airplane, flying her around while she laughed. "Go right!" he said, turning her, "now left!" he turned her the other way. "Oh no! Window, window!" he exclaimed making her go toward the back window. She shrieked and waved her arms as it got closer and closer, but he turned her to the right before she was going to hit. Tom turned around with Wynter above him and saw Harry standing there with a smile on his face. Tom felt his face heat up in embarrassment, which was a first for him, and looked away.

"Mma, mma!" Wynter cried happily.

Harry came forward, still with a smile, "Time for a pilot change." Tom sheepishly handed her over and Harry resumed his stance, "New destination," he said with Wynter above his head. "Bath time," and zoomed her across the room and up the stairs where he could hear her giggling.

Tom let himself drop down on the couch of the entertainment area and closed his eyes. He couldn't believe he had allowed himself to do something so embarrassing, and to be caught too, by Harry of all people. He didn't know what had possessed him to do such a thing, but yet he couldn't find it in himself to regret any of it.

After a while, Harry came back downstairs with Wynter, all fresh and clean from her bath and droopy eyed. "Daddy! Kisses!" he announced.

Tom got up and met him at the foot of the stairs and gave Wynter a good night kiss, "Sweet dreams, princess."

Wynter gave him a sleepy smiled, then burrowed her face in Harry's shoulder. Harry flashed Tom a smile and headed back upstairs, "Time to go night, night."

It didn't take long for Harry to come back, "She's out!"

"Is she?"

"Yup," Harry said and gave him a sly smile.

"You keep your mouth shut," Tom said turning his attention back to the TV.

"Oh come on, it was cute," he said sitting next to him.

"It was not. I was just-"

"Being a father," Harry finished for him, "the things we do just to get a laugh. Believe me, I've done some things that I never ever would have done," he shook his head with a fond smile, "but I guess that is what being a parent is."

"I did not expect to turn into such a sap."

"You're not a sap. You just love your little girl and want to make her happy."

"I guess," Tom muttered.

"Hey," Harry said and got up to lightly straddle his lap, sliding his fingers into his hair on the back of his head, "You are just being a good father. And you are. I mean, sure, we don't really know what we are doing, but you are not bossing her around or yelling at her or ignoring her..."

Tom nodded, but he had a feeling Harry was drawing from experience. He knew he had a few of his own that he never wanted to happen.

"...So anyway, I think we are doing okay. And you playing with her just shows you care."

Tom nodded again and closed his eyes as Harry's fingers carded through his hair in a soothing way. He felt better now that Harry had spoken to him. And what he said was true, he had caught Harry doing things that looked out of character for him, but he had brushed it off as it had to do with Wynter. It was just so not like him, but now he guessed it was happening to him now too. Not that it was any less embarrassing. He could only imagine what he would do in the future, but he found that he didn't really care. "You are not going to let me forget this, are you?" he asked opening his eyes.

Harry smirked, "Nope," he said popping the 'p.' Tom groaned and dropped his head back against the couch. Harry chuckled, "I wish I had my camera..."

"Don't you dare," Tom growled.

"What? Not like I will show anyone. No one would believe me anyway."

"Still..."

"Have to protect your Dark Lord-y image?" Harry asked with a smile, leaning up so he was on his knees and flush against Tom's chest.

"Yes," Tom replied, running his hands over Harry's ass and down the back of his thighs.

"Thought you weren't a Dark Lord here."

"That's true."

"Then nothing to worry about. I won't tell my friends," Harry said trailing kisses up Tom's jaw.

"Better not," Tom murmured and returned the kiss Harry had bestowed on him; sealing his mouth with his own in a slow kiss.

"I won't," Harry said between kisses, "and you won't tell your...friends?" he pulled away and looked down at him, "Do you even have friends?" Tom frowned at him. "No, I'm serious. Don't you have someone to talk to? Besides me."

"Not really."

"No one?" Harry asked sitting back down so he was eye level with Tom again.

"I don't have friends, Harry. I have followers, acquaintances at most."

"Do you talk to your acquaintances at least?"

"N-" Tom paused, "maybe."

"Maybe? Who?"

Tom paused again and Harry tilted his head to the side; green eyes alight with curiosity. "Fenrir Greyback."

"The werewolf?" Harry asked in surprise.

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Despite what you might think, Fenrir is quite easy to talk to. He is one of the only ones who is able to talk to me so casually; though he is still careful."

"Wow," Harry said in awe. He had only heard bad things about the werewolf, but it just goes to show that he shouldn't judge a book by its cover; Tom was a prime example.

"He's also the only one that knows that I use a glamour," Tom said.

"He knows?"

"Yes. Unfortunately. He has a very sensitive nose and can smell the magic on me, though I have never shown him my true face and he doesn't ask." Harry didn't say anything; only stared out in thought as he tried to visualize it. "Not that we sit down and chat," Tom continued, "...just mundane things once in a while."

"Really? So you're friends with one of your followers," Harry commented.

"He's not one of my followers. He follows me, yes, but he is not a follower."

"I don't understand."

"Werewolves, most anyway, are very independent creatures. Especially Alphas, they follow no one."

"And Greyback is an Alpha. So he's not a follower."

"Correct. But he does follow my cause."

Harry was silent for a minute, debating with himself, then just decided to ask, "What is your cause, exactly?"

Tom looked at him and only saw curiosity and interest. He was surprised because Harry had never shown any interest in what he was fighting for before. "Equality...in part," he answered.

"Equality? Really?" Harry asked surprised.

"What? Did you think I just wanted to take over the world for power?"

"...Uh..."

Tom smirked, "What do you take me for, that isn't it at all. Though I don't blame you. For a while, I was not myself and lost sight of my goals. Then I was...defeated." Here Harry grinned lightly. "And I had a lot of time to think."

"So now you are back on track?"

"Trying to. A lot has changed."

"Yeah...So what kind of equality is it for?"

"Werewolves, Vampires-"

"House elves?"

"...I never thought of them."

"If you do, Hermione will love you."

"I am not sure if house elves even want it. Well, any magical creature that can think for themselves basically. "

"I get it," Harry said thinking of Remus. "You said 'in part,' is there more?"

"Yes. To bring back wizarding traditions."

"Wizarding traditions? What's that?"

"You asking is exactly my point. No one really knows anymore, except the purebloods that still practice it. Muggleborns and Halfbloods come into our world bringing their own traditions like Halloween and Christmas, and that is fine, but it is overriding our own traditions that have been around for centuries."

"Like what?" Harry asked getting off his lap and sitting down next to him on the couch; his knees were starting to hurt.

"Samhain, Yule, Summer Solstice...There are all kinds, some darker than others, but they are all centered around becoming one with magic and the earth. And it is so...enriched with magic...There is nothing like it Harry," Tom said.

The way he spoke of it, so excited and elated by a simple ceremony, Harry could see that he was very passionate about it. It made him a little excited just listening, he could only imagine going to one. "I didn't know about any of this."

"No one really does anymore and it's a shame. It is amazing. It's like a magical high that doesn't leave you for days...I can't really describe it, you would have to experience it yourself."

"It sounds amazing."

"It is."

"Can you show me?"

Tom looked at him in surprise, yet he was excited. "Of course. I would love to. Summer Solstice is coming up soon. It is a good one to start with. I would like Wynter to experience it too, but she is too young. When she is older maybe."

"Okay," Harry said simply and they fell into a comfortable silence, each deep in thought.

Harry was surprised to hear about these traditions; they sounded fascinating and the way Tom explained it, almost like a little kid, it wasn't something that one should miss. He wondered if Ron knew of it or if they did something on these holidays, he had never spoken of it so maybe not; he would ask anyway. Hermione probably had heard of them though. Tom's thought were along the same line. It had made him unbelievable happy that Harry wanted to celebrate the Summer Solstice with him. He had never celebrated one with someone he was intimate with, he wasn't sure what to expect but it was bound to be unforgettable, especially as it was Harry's first. He was going to make it as special as possible and he started to calculate the things that he would need and how he was going to do the set up this year.

"So. Is there anything else or is that it?"

"Huh?" Tom asked, blinking as he became aware that Harry was talking to him.

"Your cause. Is there more?"

"Not really. The rest is more...personal."

"What do you mean? Harry asked.

Tom hesitated for a moment. "You know where I grew up, correct?"

"Orphanage," Harry answered.

"Yes...It was not the best place, especially being different. And having to go back every summer..." he shook his head as if shaking off bad memories. "I always wished that there was somewhere I could go, with people like me, like us."

"Magical children?"

"Yes, and not just any one. The orphans, the abused ones, the unwanted. Somewhere where we could fit in," Tom said passionately. "Be-" he trailed off.

"Loved," Harry finished softly. An old pang went through his chest, one he had shoved way a long time ago.

"Accepted," Tom added.

They both fell silent and let out identical deep sighs and smiled at each other.

"That sounds like a wonderful idea," Harry said and reached over to lace his fingers with Tom's, "An orphanage for magical children."

"Yes," Tom replied, looking down at their laced fingers, "but that is not all. I also want an educational plan put in place for children new to the wizarding world."

"Why?"

"When Muggleborns, and some half-bloods, turn 11 they are brought into this new world of magic and know absolutely nothing. We are thrust into a new school where we know no one, while others around us greet each other like old friends."

Harry nodded. He remembered feeling so lost when he first got onto the train to go to Hogwarts and some of his classmates did already know each other. Draco Malfoy immediately came to mind; his cronies already by his side at his beck and call.

"Not only that, but they were born in this world, grew up around magic and its customs, some even know spells before they even have their own wand and know how to use it. It can be very intimidating and unfair that they are already so far ahead."

"That's true. So what? You want a magical primary school?"

"Exactly. That way we can learn magic early too. And it doesn't have to be just Muggleborns, it can be all magical children."

"Ages five to ten," Harry commented, seeing it in his mind already.

"Sounds about right."

"Wow. That all sounds great. I wish we had something like that while I was growing up."

"Me too."

"Past and future children too, no doubt," Harry said, "you have good ideas."

"I know." Harry threw him a look and Tom grinned, "Thank you."

"Anything else?"

"No. That's it."

They lapsed into silence again and turned to watch the late night news that had turned on during their talk. Harry curled into Tom's side, his head on Tom's shoulder and kept their fingers laced and Tom let him, as they got lost in their own thoughts. Harry kept thinking about what Tom had said; about his cause. For being a Dark Lord, it was actually very appealing. It was a wonder why people flocked to his side. Not to mention that he was very passionate about it and made it very clear why he wanted it, that and with his charm, Tom could easily sway people to follow him. And his cause wasn't just one thing wither, there was a little something for everyone. It was also something that the Light side could get behind; that is if they had ever even listened to what Tom wanted.

"Why didn't you just take the easy way? Go through the Ministry. I'm sure you are smart enough to make your way up to get things done," Harry asked.

"I would have, but the chance of it getting done would be slim to none. People don't like change, too set in their ways to even want to," Tom replied.

"That's true." Harry could think of many ways that it was; the most prominent was when he had told everyone that Voldemort was back when he was 15. No one had wanted to believe him because it would have broken the bubble they were in, things would change if they acknowledged it. And they all knew how that turned out.

"And equality for werewolves?" Tom continued, "They are too scared because of one or two isolated incidents among thousands, so you can forget that. So I had to do it by force, to make them see, to acknowledge these issues, or they would just blow me off."

"That's kinda sad. I mean, wouldn't the Ministry want to move forward?"

"You would think so, but things work just fine right now and they don't want to take the risk of something going wrong."

"But that's the whole point of moving forward. Making mistakes, learning and fixing them to do better," Harry said. Tom said nothing, only nodded. Harry was starting to see his point. "That's messed up."

"It is. But that's how it is. Why do you think we are so far behind the Muggles?"

"Fear of change," Harry answered.

"Fear of change," Tom repeated.

"That sucks."

"Indeed."

They fell silent again for a moment. Then Harry sighed deeply. "Well, that was sort of depressing."

"A little," Tom looked over at him and gave him a wicked smile full of promise, "I know what we can do that is not."

Harry's eyes widened and he gasped "Pervert!" he cried in mock outrage but didn't resist when Tom turned off the TV and pulled him up the stairs to their bedroom.

Chapter Text

The rest of the month passed quickly and with nowhere to be, nothing really happened. Harry continued to receive letters from Ron and Hermione, who continued to ask him to come over. He did ask Tom and like he thought, he said no, he didn't push it, but he did ask periodically in case Tom changed his mind or if he wore him down he would give in; not that he did, Tom was remarkably resilient. Harry also got letters from Remus and Mrs. Weasley and occasionally Dumbledore; now that they knew Ron and Hermione were in contact with him, asking if he was okay, reassuring him that they didn't think any less of him with what happened and wanted to meet Wynter. It made him feel a lot better seeing it in their handwriting, he was glad that his daughter was accepted.

Towards the end of June, Tom kept his promise and showed him what went on during a magical solstice ritual: the summer solstice. On the morning of, at dawn, Tom took Harry outside to the backyard where they made a little altar decorated with flowers, said a brief little sermon, and then went about their day. It wasn't until later that the real magic happened. After they put Wynter to bed when the sun went down, they went back outside to the altar where the flowers were glowing softly in the dark, it was beautiful. They set a bowl of water and milk in front of the altar and long with an empty one in the middle and lit and a few candles and some incense. They pricked their fingers to let a few drops of blood into each of the bowls and Tom had Harry repeat an ancient chant after him; a brief eulogy to Mother Magic. While chanting, Harry could feel it- magic- around him, going through him, inside him; singing in joy, his own magic, and Tom's dancing together, absorbing everything. It was enchanting, exhilarating and oh so liberating. He could feel everything; the wards around the house, the magic that was in the air and he could feel Tom; strong, powerful and dark. Harry could understand then why Tom was so addicted to dark magic, it was intoxicating. It swirled around Tom like a cloak, dancing along his skin; it was so strong that Harry could feel it caressing him while his own magic tentatively reached out for the other, and from the way Tom was looking at him, he could feel him too.

It was hard to describe exactly what he felt and saw, only that magic filled him and made everything so much brighter, so rich and beautiful... it also made him really horny. The longer it went on, the more he wanted to jump Tom right there, but he didn't. The ritual went on, and as they continued chanting they each grabbed a bowl and poured it into the bigger bowl in the center so that the water, milk and their blood was now combined. It swirled together on its own and Harry shivered as the magic in the bowls joined together; it was hard to breathe with all the magic swirling around them that it almost felt like he was going to pass out, then it was over. The candles went out on their own and the magic around them gradually dissipated into the air. The liquid in the bowl was now a silvery color, reminding Harry of unicorn's blood, and it still gave off that intense feeling from before.

Tom took the bowl and poured the contents over the now dully glowing flowers on the altar and they flared briefly before going out, leaving a glowy residue. After that was done, Tom stood there with his back to Harry; they didn't say anything, just stood there in silence until finally, Tom turned around. Harry took one look at Tom's blue eyes, flecked with red and felt his heart leap into his throat. The horniness that he had pushed aside earlier came back to him full force as Tom stared at him. The look was dark with magic and lust, and his cock, already hard, tightened even more as Tom stared at him with such need. They stared at each other for a second, then reached for each other at the same time; meeting with a clash of lips, teeth, and tongue in a deep bruising kiss.

They tore at each other's clothes in eagerness, wanting to touch skin. Harry pulled open Tom's shirt, losing some buttons in the process and ran his hands over Tom's chest; his fingers tingled as they came in contact with Tom's skin- magic was still very much around them. Tom got a hold of his jumper and pulled it over his head and let his own fingers splay over his back and down his spine; making Harry moan. He then threw Harry over his shoulder and up the stairs to their bed where they made love, no, it was more than that, they fucked. They fucked long, hard, deep and rough; like they were dogs in heat. It was amazing and went on for hours; neither of them able to get enough of the other, not with the magic high they were on. Eventually, they collapsed in exhaustion and didn't wake up until late in the morning to Wynter wailing in hunger.

The high had subsided somewhat by then, but he could still feel it just under the surface of his skin, running through his veins. Tom had been right, it was very intoxicating. Later, when Harry had Wynter situated and calmed down from being ignored, Tom had explained to him that the intensity that had happened between them had never happened before; the high yes, but not the intense horniness. Then again, he had never done the ritual with someone he was intimate with, not that he had anything against it and Harry had to agree. It had been...wow...Harry would definitely participate again. But now it was over and things went back to the way they were. Well, not exactly the same.

Harry couldn't really spot the change only that he could feel there was. Some sort of shift that had nothing to do with the ritual or maybe the result of the ritual. It was almost that they were...closer? Which was weird because nothing had changed really. Their magic had intertwined with each other during the ritual and that was sort of intimate on its own, but it had worn off by now. But it seemed that Harry was more...aware of Tom, especially the little things. The way his eyes brightened when he saw Wynter, the soft curve of his mouth when he found something amusing, the slight wrinkling of his nose when Harry told him to do something- he did it though- and the small brief glances that Tom seemed to be giving him more often. Besides that, there were also the little touches that happened, either Tom or he would "accidentally" brush up against each the other, even when there was more than enough room for them in the kitchen or in the bedroom...And every time it happened, Harry would feel his heart jump and start to race. He didn't try not to look too much into it as he didn't want to even to even begin to guess what it meant and what it would lead to. So he put it off as a side effect of the ritual and was done with it.

As June melded into July, Harry became more insistent with Tom in wanting to go see his friends. It bewildered Tom that he was suddenly so interested. He had just casually asked him before and now... it was every day, in the morning when he woke up, when he got home and when they were going to bed. Yet he wouldn't let him go. It was too dangerous. He didn't know if his followers would do something to them again. And what if he let him go and he didn't come back? He would never get to see Harry or his daughter again. That was what Tom was most afraid of, not that he admitted that to him. Not that he would truly be able to stop Harry if chose to go... unless he locked him up, but he couldn't do that. Harry was a free spirit and would not appreciate it.

Tom got up from the table where Harry was feeding Wynter, or was trying to; she was being fussy and went to the kitchen sipping the last of his coffee to put his plate in the sink. “I won’t take you swimming,” he heard Harry say and he turned to look at Wynter with a pout on her lips, then obediently opened her mouth to allow Harry to feed her. Tom smiled softly then let his eyes wander over the dirty dishes on the stove, the fridge that had magnets of locations that Harry made. They had words like ‘went to town’ or ‘down at the beach’ or ‘at work’ for him so that they could keep track of each other’s whereabouts. It was rather convenient.

He turned over his magnet on the board, then looked over at the hideous calendar on the wall that Harry had put up. The current month has a big dog’s face on it with big googly eyes and its tongue hanging out; the phrase “It’s Woofin Summer!” written across the top. It was absolutely ridiculous, but Harry had loved it. Looking at it Tom saw that there were two boxes outlined in red at the end of the month, indicating a special day. One box had the name ‘Neville,’ obviously, Harry’s friend Longbottom and the next day was also highlighted and he realized with a start that it was the 31st; Harry’s Birthday. His name was written in the box with the number 24 in parenthesis. Harry was going to be 24? Seriously? Tom could hardly believe it.

He had been trying to kill Harry for most of his life. It had only been a few months that their relationship had changed… Should he get him something? What did he even get his enemy turned mother of his child and lover who he now lived with? Should he even bother? Who knew if Harry would even welcome a gift from him? What would he even say? ‘Sorry I screwed up your life and tried to kill you multiple times. Happy Birthday’? That sounded ridiculous, even to him. Tom shook his head and put it in the back of his mind to deal with later and idly flipped the pages up to the next months.

Here and there were other days outlined in red; clearly other friends of Harry’s. Getting to December, he saw Wynter’s birthday on the 13th outlined with ‘1st Birthday!!!!’ right under her name. Tom could hardly believe it; a year already. It was just like yesterday that he was meeting her for the first time; so small with bright green eyes just staring at him with open curiosity. She had grown so much since then, but she was still so tiny to him. He guessed that was just what it was like to be a father; she would always be his little princess…but that was still some months away. Looking further down the calendar he saw another date outlined in red, the 31st. At first, he assumed it was because it was the last day of the year, New Years until he saw a name in the little box, his name. Tom just stared at it in incomprehension until he realized that was his birthday. He had just said it off handedly once and Harry had remembered and included him on the calendar. It was such an insignificant gesture and yet...

Tom abruptly dropped the pages and turned away opting to look out at the kitchen, glancing at Harry, who was finishing up feeding Wynter, but that only made the ache in his chest hurt more and he didn't know why. He was starting to feel these type of emotions a lot more now and he wasn't sure if it was a good thing or not.

Pushing that aside too, Tom finished his coffee, said goodbye to Harry and Wynter and left for work.

xxx

After Tom left, Harry continued to finish feeding Wynter who was being really fussy. The day had just started and already the summer heat was coming in making the air muggy and humid, at least there was a breeze coming in from the beach. He had already decided that he would make use of the pool today, it just seemed like a good day to use it. He already had an inflatable tube for Wynter, the kind that had a net underneath to hold her in place. He would put spells on it just in case; he didn't want anything to happen to her even if he would be right there.

Wynter was really excited to go in he could tell. So far all he had done was put her feet in the water and she would shriek with joy. This time, however, she was going all the way in. But that wouldn't be until later. For now, he just needed to have Wynter finish the last of her breakfast. When she was done, he cleaned her up and placed her in her play pen with some toys to keep her busy while he did some chores around the house. Harry did laundry and had the dishes cleaning with his magic as he folded towels, Wynter watching in fascination. She always got endless joy watching the dishes clean themselves, the laundry sort and her toys match into a toy box by the fireplace; she would laugh and point and clap her hands in joy. Eventually, she got sleepy and laid down for her nap, allowing Harry to continue working without her screaming at him for something or other. After all that was done, he was able to relax, at least until she woke up.

Harry actually took a nap himself. He didn’t mean to, but it was welcome all the same. He was watching TV one minute and the next he was waking up to Wynter’s insistent babble.

“Mma! Mma!”

Harry turned his head to her, “What?” She babbled unintelligible words as she peered at him through the netting of her play pen; pushing her face against it to see him. He glanced at the clock above the fireplace and saw that it was lunch time. "Hungry?" he asked her and she nodded and lifted her arms as he came over to her. He picked her up and went into the kitchen to get their lunch together. They ate their lunch, Wynter completely hyped up as going into the pool got closer; at least she ate without any trouble this time and when they were done he took her upstairs to get changed into her bathing suit.

It was the same one that she had worn last time, light pink with purple polka-dots and a little skirt to hide her diaper underneath. He also put her hair in small pigtails high on her head. Once she was ready, he took her to his room and placed her on the bed while he got changed himself.

"You ready?" he asked her as he summoned some towels for them to use.

"Ye!" Wynter exclaimed and reached her arms out for him to pick her up.

"Okay. Off we go!" Harry said picking her up and made his way downstairs and outside. He put her down in a chair and told her to stay. She complained and gestured to the water. "Hold your hippogriffs. I have to blow this up," he said taking out the inflatable tube he got just for her. Luckily he had magic and didn't have to waste his breath and put air into it until it was nice and round and placed some safety spells, then he tossed it into the pool. "Ready?" he exclaimed, taking off his shirt and plucking her up from where she sat and swinging her up in the air. She giggled and pointed at the water. "Yes, yes. We're going in the water.”

He walked around the side of the pool to the steps and carefully waded into the water until he was waist deep and Wynter’s legs were submerged. She screeched into his ear and started splashing the water with her hand, sloshing the water this way and that. "I swear you are going to make me deaf," he muttered as he pulled the inflatable tube to him and placed her inside. He gave her a little spin and let go and watched her twirl around and giggle her head off. They spent the next few hours swimming around, Wynter having the time of her life as she kicked her legs and floated around. Harry would splash her and she would shriek with delight and splash him back. He let her float around and play with a ball and chase after it, yet watched her like a hawk, but she did not have any problems. She was so active, Harry knew that she would sleep like a log that night.

At some point, Tom came home to find Harry floating on his back with Wynter beside him playing with a fish toy that squirted water, giggling when it hit his face. She spotted him first and squealed, "De! De!"

Harry looked over and smiled at Tom as he tilted his head to see him straight, "Hi."

"Hey," Tom replied. "Having fun?"

"Totally," Harry said and held up a hand, "I'm all pruney."

"I can see that."

"De!" Wynter exclaimed squeezing the water out of her fish.

"I see you, princess."

"Switch with me," Harry said, turning himself upright.

"What?"

"Switch. I have to start dinner and I can't leave her by herself."

"Take her out," Tom said simply.

"She's not ready to come out, are you sweet pea?" he asked her.

"O!" Wynter exclaimed, kicking her legs to turn herself around and swimming away.

"See?" Harry said turning to Tom. He looked skeptical still and just stared at him. "...you can swim, can't you?"

"Yes, I can swim!" Tom snapped and turned around to go back inside.

"Don't forget a towel!" Harry called after him. He could almost hear Tom's grumbling through the closed door. He turned to Wynter, "Daddy's going to come into the water, doesn't that sound like fun?"

"De?" Wynter questioned and handed him the fish to fill with water again.

"Yes, Daddy. He's going to play with you," he said as he filled the toy and handed it back to her. "Would you like that?"

"Ye!" she exclaimed and squeezed the fish and sprayed water at him and he splashed her back.

"Oh! There he is!" Harry said.

Wynter looked up as the sliding door opened and her face brightened. "De!" She splashed the water and kicked her legs to get herself to move over to the side of the pool; looking up at him and waiting for him to come to her.

"Hurry Daddy, hurry!" Harry exclaimed, swimming up beside Wynter as she bobbed in the water.

"I'm coming, I'm coming," Tom said dropping a towel on the chair.

"Ooh, showing some skin. Nice!" Harry teased folding his arms on the side and gazing at him. He was wearing black trunks with white strings that tied in the front and pockets on the sides. It was actually very flattering as it hung low on his hips. Tom only gave him a look that just said 'Really? That is what you went with?' and stepped into the water.

"De! De" Wynter kept exclaiming and kicking her way over to him. She may not know how to walk yet or even crawl, but she was pretty quick at swimming and made it over to Tom, arms raised, in no time.

"Hi sweetheart," Tom said holding her still as she bobbed in the water.

"Mmah! Mmah!" she said and Tom leaned down to exchange kisses with her.

"Okay, keep an eye on her, she moves fast. I'm going to start dinner," Harry said swimming up to him and giving him a kiss of his own and getting out of the pool.

"Okay," Tom said then looked around when Wynter was not there, but kicking her way across the pool.

"Tom!"

"On it," Tom said and caught up to her where she gave him her fish to show it to him.

While they played in the water, Harry got busy making dinner. He decided on using the barbeque so that he would be nearby and watch Tom and Wynter play. He would duck into the water and Wynter would look around for him and he would pop up and she would scream in delight. Tom did it until she got bored and then they splashed water at each other. But as the food started cooking, the smell of baked potato and steak filled the air and drew Tom and Wynter out of the water.

"Ma!" Wynter exclaimed from under a fluffy towel.

"All dry? Ready to eat?"

"Uh," she said and rubbed her tired eyes.

"She is going to be out soon," Harry commented.

"Yeah. But after we eat, right?" Tom asked her, giving her a little bounce.

"Ye," she said nodding her head and then placing it on Tom's shoulder.

"Do you want to eat inside or out here?"

Tom looked out at the rolling waves in the distance with the sun setting low in the sky behind some clouds making it look like an orange ball of cotton candy. The breeze was also nice and warm. "Out here is good."

Harry nodded and Tom headed inside to clean up. The food finished cooking and the table was set, Wynter's high chair was placed outside so she could join them at the table and then they sat down to eat. When they were done, they cleaned up their dishes and put the leftovers in the fridge. Harry left Tom cleaning the barbeque and took Wynter upstairs to give her a bath. She was already falling asleep in his arms, no, even before that, at the table she had been leaning into her food, she had pieces of cracker stuck on her face. So Harry gave her a warm bath and got the crumbs off her face and washed her hair to get out the chlorine; by the time he was done her head was rolling on the side of the chair in the tub he used to keep her upright. She was out cold when he put her down in her crib; all clean and warm from her bath she just knocked right out and would sleep until morning.

After putting Wynter to bed, Harry made his way back outside and found Tom relaxing in the Jacuzzi with his eyes closed. "She is out," Harry said approaching him.

"Mm." Tom opened his eyes as the water moved and Harry got inside next to him.

Harry groaned and stretched his arms above his head and settled back in the seat, "Ah, this feels good."

"Wynter tire you out?"

"Yeah, she's quick if you don't keep an eye on her. Once she got the hang of kicking her legs to move, she was everywhere."

"I noticed."

"I can only imagine what it will be like when she starts crawling..." The simultaneously let out a deep sigh at that thought. "She's getting so big."

"She is," Tom murmured.

"Before we know it, she'll be walking and talking...I don't want Ron and Hermione to miss out."

Tom sighed, "Are you still going on about that?"

"Yes," Harry said turning to him, "they are her godparents. They deserve to see her and she misses them."

"She probably won't even remember them."

"I don't want that to happen!" Harry exclaimed, "They are family and family is important. You know that now, don't you?"

Tom grit his teeth and looked away, he couldn't argue with that. But that was why he didn't want Harry to go, so he could protect his family. It was safer here. Tom stood up and made to get out, but Harry wrapped his arms around his middle and turned pleading green eyes up at him.

"Please, Tom, what's the harm?"

Tom ran his fingers through his semi-dry hair and blew out a breath, "Everything," he replied flatly and sat down on the edge of the Jacuzzi.

Harry placed his chin on Tom's leg, dropping his arms back into the water and stared up at him. "We can just go."

"I wish you wouldn't."

"You can't keep us locked up here."

"Yes, I can."

"That won't keep me happy." To that, Tom said nothing and they lapsed into silence. Harry turned his head to lay his cheek against Tom's leg and suddenly a thought entered his head and he felt his face heat up. "...what if I can convince you?" he asked softly.

Tom looked down at Harry and saw the slight pink tint to his cheeks yet determined look and his eyes widened slightly; then he smirked. "Oh? And how do you propose you can do that?"

Harry flushed and also felt a sting of anger; Tom was teasing him. He might feel embarrassed but he was not about to back down from a challenge. "I can think of something..." he said trailing off seductively, or what he hoped was seductive. He moved a hand out of the water and ran it up Tom's leg until it was close to his crotch.

"Oh do you?" Tom asked.

"Mm hmm," Harry hummed and stealing himself, tugged at the strings of Tom's trunks and pulled the material down until his cock was free. He stared at it, big and thick and wondered briefly what he was doing. Sure, it wasn't the first time he had seen Tom's cock before or touched it, but he had never given him a blowjob. But hearing the way Tom's breathing changed as he grasped him gave him courage.

"Harry..." Tom said breathlessly, "You don't have to." No matter of Tom's teasing, he didn't want Harry to do something he was uncomfortable with. But Harry just looked up at him with those glowing green eyes and licked the head of his cock. He tilted his head to the side as if considering the taste, then gave it another experimental lick.

Harry heard the hitch of Tom's breath and felt the twitch of his cock in his hand and felt empowered by it. He wrapped his lips around the head and sucked lightly; he continued sucking to get the hang of it, then licked from the base to the head and sucked it back into his mouth. Taking a deep breath through his nose and letting it out slowly, he gently eased Tom deeper into his mouth...only to gag when it reached the back of his throat.

"Easy love," Tom said breathlessly, sliding his fingers into his hair to hold it back.

Harry eased back and took in as much as he could and used his hands to wrap around the rest and play with the sack beneath. As he bobbed his head up and down Tom's cock, he could feel Tom's fingers tightening and releasing in his hair. It hurt somewhat but it also felt good. He wasn't sure how that made sense, or if he was even doing this right but when he chanced a glance up at Tom's face, he thought he was at least doing okay.

Tom had settled back with one arm behind him to support himself while the other held back Harry's messy locks and felt the motion of Harry's head, bobbing up and down his cock. It took all his effort to hold still and not just move his hips and fuck Harry's mouth that was so lovingly taking care of him. He could hardly believe that this was the first time Harry had done such a thing because it certainly didn't feel like it. He had learned how to use his tongue to lick around him and across the head of his cock, taking the pre-cum that beaded at the top in and savoring it with a half lidded gaze. He also made this slurping sound as he sucked that went straight to his cock that he wasn't sure was intentional or not. Harry was so enthusiastic about it too; bobbing his head and sucking him down as far as he could, his fingers lightly caressing him. He would gag occasionally, but Tom could tell he was doing his best and it was driving him insane. He could feel the heat pooling in the pit of his stomach and the tightening of his balls and knew that he was going to come soon, but he didn't want to. Not yet.

"Enough," Tom said hoarsely, tugging at Harry's hair to pull him away.

Harry released Tom with a pop, a string of saliva and cum was all that connected his mouth from Tom's hardened cock. He gazed up at him and licked his lips, swiping at the string and it fell away. "Was it that bad?"

Tom's gazed narrowed and he pulled at Harry's hair to pull his head back as he leaned down and kissed him hard. The taste of his cock was in Harry's mouth as he explored the sinful cavern, and started to stand up, bringing Harry with him. Harry released a moan deep in his throat as the hand in his hair tightened and pulled upward. He followed the movement so his hair wouldn't rip out of his scalp and found himself standing on the seat of the Jacuzzi where Tom was. Harry opened his eyes as Tom pulled away and looked at him questionably. He opened his mouth to ask why he had made him stop, but never got the question out as Tom moved.

Harry couldn't help the squeak from escaping his mouth as Tom swept him off his feet and threw him over his shoulder. "Tom!?" he exclaimed as Tom stepped out of the water and started toward the door. "Where are we going?"

"Inside," Tom answered shortly.

"Wh-ah!" Harry cried out in surprise as he felt his trunks pull down and a finger start to probe him. He knew where they were going now and what they would be doing. "You are dripping water all over the floor," Harry said panting as the slick finger was joined by another and started scissoring him.

"Don't care," Tom replied, as he made his way across the room and up the stairs.

As Tom made his way up the stairs the movement jostled him and suddenly sparks flew in front of his eyes and his fingers scrambled over Tom's back. "Fuck! Right there!" Harry cried out and twisted his hips to get the fingers to touch that spot again.

"Here?" Tom asked, and let his fingers slide across that spot again.

Harry couldn't answer as his eyes rolled back in pleasure, but the shuddering of Harry's body was all the answer Tom needed. They made it to their bedroom and Tom closed the door with his foot and tossed Harry onto the bed.

Harry bounced on the mattress and flopped onto his back and moaned at the loss of the probing fingers. Once he got his senses somewhat under control he sat up and the first thing he noticed was that Tom's cock was still jutting out from the hem of his shorts; swollen and waiting for him.

He licked his lips and saw Tom track the movement with his gaze. Feeling liberated and bold, he kicked off the soaking shorts and let them fall to the floor with a plop. He spread his legs and fixed Tom with a seductive, needy look. He let his eyes lower to Tom's cock, then back up at his face and placed a hand near his mouth, letting a finger slide in; and the other hand slid down his chest over his own hard cock to his slickened hole. "Here or here?" he asked breathlessly.

Tom's eyes widened in disbelief, but the pupils were blown in desire. He moved forward, shedding his trunks and climbed on the bed, pushed Harry down and opened his legs wider and didn't waste any time before thrusting deep inside.

"Fuck!" Harry gasped as he was filled so suddenly.

"Does it hurt?" Tom asked.

"No," Harry groaned, shaking his head.

"Good," Tom said against his lips and kissed him deeply again.

Harry opened his mouth invitingly and Tom slipped his tongue in and stroked Harry's to play, which he complied. He wrapped his arms around Tom's neck to hold him in place while they kissed and Tom continued to thrust into him. The pace was hard and fast, much like the when they were on that high from the solstice ritual, but this time it was purely them, Harry had gotten Tom all riled up. The thought made him smile.

Tom pulled away and kissed down his jaw to his ear, "What are you smiling about?"

"N-Nothing, ah..." Harry panted, arching into him, "I was just, mmm, thinking that y-you are slipping a little."

"I could never hold my emotions around you," Tom said, "how could I after you did that."

"Then it wasn't bad?"

"Fuck no, the exact opposite," Tom hissed into his ear and thrust harder to make Harry gasp. He took the opening and kissed Harry again, murmuring against his mouth. "What are you doing to me?"

Harry couldn't answer, his tongue tangled with Tom's, but he thought the same thing. Staring up at Tom as he became undone, he felt his heart race and he didn't think it was just the physical exertion. He was a sight to see with his normally immaculate hair in disarray, still damp from their swim earlier and his skin glistened in the moonlight that shone through the window behind him whether, from water or sweat, he didn't know. Harry was sure that he was not picture perfect either, but he didn't care and could only stare at him and think about what this man, this man who not long ago had been trying to kill him, now meant to him. How good of a father he was to Wynter, how surprising it was when Tom made him laugh, or when he taught him something new. How it felt just being near him, and oh god, how it felt being beneath him. It felt amazing and he felt happy and complete. Staring up at Tom in the moonlight as they were connected, he couldn't help but feel himself falling in l-

Harry suddenly gasped, his eyes rolling up as Tom shifted his hips upward and plunged down deeper inside him. "Oh God!" he groaned, every thought wiping from his mind, there was only the mind numbing pleasure as Tom hit his prostate dead on. He whimpered and clung on to him as he kept hitting that sweet spot inside him. "Harder!" Harry pleaded, "Fuck me harder!"

Tom obeyed and moved faster, making sure to hit that spot that made Harry make those keening noises. With the pace they were going and the blowjob that Harry had given Tom earlier, they didn't last much longer and came within seconds of each other. Harry blindly reached for Tom with his eyes closed and felt him come closer until their lips met in a sweet, post coital kiss. He opened his eyes when Tom pulled away and rolled over to lie next to him and looked over at him. He was just as wrecked as he felt, and completely out of breath. But that was what he liked about sex with Tom, it was always amazing and sometimes unexpected. Harry hadn't been planning on giving Tom his first blowjob or even sleep with him; Wynter had tired him out, he was surprised he even had the energy for it, but there you go. Hell, they had been so eager that they hadn't even landed on the bed right; they were laying there with their legs hanging off the side. But there had been a reason...

"Sooo...can I go?" Harry asked watching him carefully.

Tom stared up at the ceiling as if in thought, then said, "No."

Harry huffed, "Fine. I give up." He sat up and turned himself around to pull down the covers and climb inside. His feet hit an obstacle that was Tom and he kicked. "You're in the way."

Tom only got up and went to the bathroom allowing Harry to get comfortable. When Tom got into bed, Harry was asleep. But Tom lay there awake for a while after. Thinking.

xxx

The days passed quickly and Harry and Wynter, as well as Tom, spent more time in the pool. They even took a trip down to the beach and watched as Wynter proceeded to cover herself with sand. True to his word, Harry didn't ask again about going, but as July came to a close, he seemed a little put-down, yet he said nothing and continued on like normal. Tom went to work like usual and seemed a little distracted and distant, but Harry assumed it had to do with the war and they didn't talk about stuff like that. So he left it alone. He had stuff around the house to keep him busy anyway.

The day of his birthday came and was uneventful. Tom said nothing and went about preparing for his day and Harry went downstairs to make breakfast. He thought maybe Tom had forgotten his birthday since he had yet to say anything, but when Tom left he said a simple "Happy Birthday" and then left. It left Harry feeling a bit put off and hurt, but could he expect anything less? Tom obviously wasn't one for birthdays and there was a ton of history between them...but it still left a pain in his heart when the door closed behind him. He was at least expecting...he didn't know, at least something. He carried around this hollow feeling in his chest the best he could and made the best of the morning. Watching TV with Wynter, entertaining her with her toys and generally lazing about.

His mood did pick up sometime before lunch when Hedwig arrived. He had let her out a few days prior to hunt and she hadn't come back. Harry could guess where she went; it wasn't the first time she had gone out before his birthday and he was right. Hedwig had come through the open kitchen window carrying gifts from his friends. He took them to the living room and set himself on the floor and opened them with Wynter, who took a liking to the brightly colored wrapping paper. It was the first time since he was twelve that he wouldn't celebrate his birthday with Ron and Hermione. It was basically his childhood all over again and it made him a little depressed. At least he got some cool stuff though. Hermione, of course, gave him some books, one on curses and jinxes and another on parenting. Ron gave him some candy along with a book on Quidditch, the most recent one. Remus gave him a book on household charms and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley gave him his customary birthday cake. He got a few other treats from various people, like Fred & George and Neville. All in all a good haul this year.

Other than that, Harry just went about his day, picked up all the shredded paper Wynter had thrown about, took a nap when she took hers and played with her until dinner time. Despite his rather abysmal morning, he wanted to end this day on a happy note, so he went about making a good dinner. So he plopped Wynter down in her highchair and brought her over to the island where he was working, he also out on the radio to fill in the silence. When he got into the tempo of the music he started to move about the kitchen in time with the beat, chopping vegetables for his casserole in time to the drums of the song and it escalated to him twirling around the kitchen as he worked. Wynter loved it and shrieked in joy and bobbed her head in time to the beat as well. He sang to her and danced around and generally was making a fool of himself, but Wynter loved it. She was swaying to the music with him as he stirred the pot on the stove and clapped her hands and babbled away in what Harry thought might be singing. So he swayed with her and sang along and enjoyed himself.

Harry was so absorbed in what he was doing that he didn't even hear the door. One moment he was dancing on his own and the next a hand took his and spun him around until he was in Tom's arms. He was startled but was immediately confronted with Tom’s amused grin and he blushed and looked away.

"What are you doing?"

"Nothing, just entertaining her," he said gesturing to Wynter.

"Oh I see," Tom said sliding his arm around his waist loosely and started to lead him in a simple two-step. "So is this what you do when I am gone?"

"Not usually," Harry said following his footsteps around the kitchen, "but we really got into it and well...it was fun."

They lapsed into silence and focused on each other as they danced around the kitchen island. Wynter had fallen silent and watched them happily and all there was, was the music and the two of them. It was surprising really; he didn't think of Tom as much of a dancer, but here they were dancing around completely out of step with the music, but he didn't care, it was perfect. They continued to move around, Tom giving him an occasional spin. He laughed at the ridiculousness of it all, but Tom was smiling and enjoying himself and it turned out to be a pretty good birthday.

Tom gave him one last twirl that ended with his back against Tom's chest with Harry's arms crossed in front of him and they stopped as the song ended and started a new one.

Tom pressed close to Harry's back and gave him a light kiss on the side of his head. "I have something for you," he whispered near his ear.

"Do you?" Harry asked leaning back against him, reveling in his warmth. He pulled away when Tom let him go and turned around to Tom holding out a box. Harry looked up at Tom in surprise but his face gave away nothing, so he took it cautiously and opened it up.

Inside was the most beautiful looking pendant he had ever seen. It was a lion and snake intertwined in gold and silver respectively. It was small, but so intricately detailed in all the right places. In the place of the eyes of the lion were two small green emeralds and in the snake two rubies. It suit the two of them perfectly. "Oh Tom," he breathed and took it out of its enclosure, "it's...it's beautiful."

"Do you like it?" Tom asked uncertainly.

"Yes. I love it," he gave a laugh, "And I thought you didn't care."

"How can I not?" Tom asked with a slight smile. "Sorry I was a bit rude to you this morning."

"Is this why? You were planning this?" Harry asked holding up the pendant so it caught the light.

"Yes."

"Then you are forgiven." He handed it to Tom, "Here, put it on me."

Tom took it and Harry turned around to have it placed around his neck. "It has taken a while to have done. For the past week, I have been placing enchantments on it. It was very difficult and complicated, but I got it done so that it has different kinds protection spells to keep you safe. It has various kinds of shield charms, has the ability to break out of any entrapment spells like anti-apparition spells and wards, and will take you here with the password -Take me home-" Tom explained.

"Take me home?" Harry asked turning around and holding the pendant in his hand.

"No. -Take me home-" Tom hissed with emphasis.

-Take me home- Harry hissed back taking the hint and he felt the pendant warm in his hand. "What was that?"

"The spells activating. It will only respond to your touch and cannot be removed unless you take it off."

"And the password is in Parseltongue so no one else can use it," Harry added, "but why go to so much trouble?" he asked puzzled.

"You are going to need it when you go."

"Go where?"

Tom hesitated for a second, "When you go visit your friends."

Harry felt like his heart stopped, then it sped up as he processed what Tom had said. "I can go?" Harry whispered in awe, searching Tom's face for a lie, but Tom only nodded. "B-But why?"

"You were right. I can't keep you locked up here like some trophy. You won't be happy that way...and I want you to be happy."

Harry stared at Tom for a second before jumping him and hugging him tightly. “Thank you, thank you!” He felt tears prickle his eyes and he burrowed his face into Tom’s shoulder and held onto him tighter when he felt Tom’s arms encircle him. He was so surprised, no matter how much he had pleaded Tom hadn’t budged, but now… “What made you change your mind?” he asked pulling away and wiping at his eyes.

“Well, when you so carefully took care of me…” Tom said with a teasing smile and Harry blushed at the reminder, “and as your birthday got closer, you were…sad and I didn’t like it. And I know how important they are to you.”

Harry nodded, “They’re my family.”

“I know. Which is why I changed my mind. I just…” Tom trailed off and gently ran his hands up and down Harry’s arms.

“Just what? Talk to me, Tom.”

“I’m just…afraid…that you won’t come back,” Tom finally said.

“I’ll come back.”

“I know you will, but they might not let you,” Tom said, revealing his fear.

“They can’t do that. Ron and Hermione know I can’t stay,” Harry told him, “It’s not ‘safe’” he said using air quotes.

“That’s true,” Tom said thoughtfully.

“It is, so don’t worry about it. We will come back. We belong here,” Harry said determinedly.

Tom gave a hint of a smile and felt himself relax, then moved on. “I have another surprise for you.”

“Another one? Geez, how many do you have?” he asked, following Tom out of the kitchen to the sitting area in the middle of the house.

“Just this last one.”

“Ma!” Wynter cried out as she saw them leaving.

“I’m right here, sweetie,” Harry told her. “What is it?” he asked as they stepped down into the sitting area. Tom waved his hand over the side table and the spell that Harry didn’t even know was there shimmered and revealed a cordless phone sitting innocently like it had been there all the time. “A phone?”

“Mma!” Wynter said in the background.

“Yes. A phone,” Tom answered.

“Ma!”

Harry stared at it incomprehensively, until it clicked into place. “I can call people. I can call Hermione. I can talk to her!”

“Yes you can,” Tom said smiling when Harry’s face split in another dazzling smile.

“Mma, ma!”

“Oh! I can’t believe it. I can talk to Ron and Hermione. Do I have their number? I think I do, somewhere. Oh, I can’t wait to call her!” He gave Tom another hug, then pulled away abruptly as a thought occurred to him, “Oh! I can tell her I can come over!”

Tom laughed, “Excited much? I take it you like it.”

“Ma! Ma! Ma!”

“I see you,” Harry called to Wynter, “Of course I’m excited and I love it. The phone and the necklace.”

“Good. I assumed, since your friend is Muggleborn, that she had a phone.”

“Mam!”

“She does so she can call her parents,” Harry shook his head in disbelief, “When did you do this?”

“Ma! Ma!”

“Two days ago actually. It was simple to do, keeping it from you on the other hand…”

“Well you did, you completely caught me off guard I was so surpr-”

“Mama!”

They both froze and turned to Wynter and saw her kicking her legs against the island and holding out her hands for them. “D-did she just? Did I hear?” Harry gasped and hurried to her, Tom right behind him. She held out her arms to him and Harry picked her up. “Hey sweet pea, did you call me? Huh, did you say my name? Can you do it again? Say, Mama?”

“Ma!” Wynter said happily, now that she had their attention.

“No. Mama,” Harry said again.

“Mma,” she said and held out a hand to Tom, “De.”

Tom took her offered hand and shook it and gave it a kiss on the back, “Come on princess, can you say Mama?”

“Mma, ma.”

“Mama,” they both said.

“Ma,” Wynter said again and pulled her hand away from Tom so she could shift in Harry’s arms.

“Come on you can do it, Mama,” Harry said. Wynter looked up at him and put her hand on Harry’s mouth. “Ma-ma”

She opened and closed her mouth as if mouthing the words, then “Mama.”

“Ah!” Harry cried out in excitement,” She said it! She said her first word!” He gave her kisses on her cheek and looked up at Tom. He looked so proud and he had the brightest smile on his face that Harry had ever seen. Harry hugged Wynter close and kissed her again, then moved away for Tom to give her a kiss of his own.

Wynter giggled and clapped her hands, then said, “Mama!” again. She knew she had done something right when the both of them exclaimed again and gave her more kisses. Her father wrapped his arms around them both and squeezing tight. She felt safe and warm between them. “Ma! Mama!”

Harry looked up at Tom with tears of happiness in his eyes as they held Wynter between them. “This is the best birthday ever!”

Chapter Text

The next day, having spent the rest of his birthday with Tom and Wynter, he scoured his trunk for Hermione and Ron’s phone number and called them on his new phone. Hermione had picked up cautiously because there were few people who had her number. When she realized who it was she shrieked into the phone and called Ron over and put him on speakerphone. After he calmed her down and got Ron to stop yelling, they talked for over 2 hours just to catch up; there was only so much they could say in a letter, and it was different to actually talk to them. He also set up a date for Wynter and him to visit the next Saturday. They were all very excited to see each other after not being able to for four months.

Harry spent the next week nearly bouncing off the walls in excitement on his impending trip. His excitement was contagious apparently because Tom was constantly in a good mood and Wynter was as active as ever. She kept playing with her toys and clanging them together and now that she said her first word, she would not shut up. It was always, "Mama! Mama!" all the time. It was wonderful the first few times, but Tom was now waiting for her to say his name. Harry just saw fit to gloat a bit at that but tried his best to get her to say it while Tom was gone as a surprise, but she hadn't done so as of yet.

Finally, the day of the visit came. Harry had agreed to come after lunch so they had time to get home from work and so Wynter could have her nap. Tom had been loathed to go to work, wanting to stay until Harry got back, but Harry didn't want Tom to just stay around the house and made him go. So the house was quiet for a few hours and allowed Harry to get a bag ready for Wynter and anything else he might need. Then when it was time he went to go get Wynter.

"Hi, sleepyhead," Harry said peering into her crib. Big green eyes blinked up at him as she laid there trying to wake up.

"Ma-ma," she muttered sleepily, rubbing her eyes.

Harry smiled and scooped her up and she automatically placed her arms around his neck. "Are you awake yet?"

"Ye," she said and rubbed her eyes again.

"We're taking a little trip. We're going to go see Auntie and Uncle. How does that sound?"

"Ai-e?"

"Yes, Auntie Hermione. You remember her, don't you? And Uncle Ron?" He asked her as he put her on the changing table to give her a change. She gave a nod and took a hold of her onesie that he took off her, tugging it between her fingers. "We haven't seen them in a while, so we’re going to go visit them." He completed changing her diaper and changed her clothes into some purple filly shorts and darker purple top complete with a headband that had a flower on it, which she took right off. When she was ready, he went down stairs, grabbed her diaper bag and stepped out of the house. Locking the door behind him, he took a deep breath and looked down at Wynter. "Ready?"

"Ye!" she exclaimed happily, holding her bear close.

"Okay." He took a hold of his necklace and squeezed it for good luck, then tucked it into his shirt. "Hold on tight," he told her and she squeezed her bear to her and closed her eyes, but she was smiling in excitement. Harry made sure she was secure and apparated.

xxx

Harry arrived in front of a nice, quaint one story brick house that Ron and Hermione shared. He checked Wynter over to make sure nothing was missing. "Nose? Check," he said touching her nose and she giggled. "Fingers?" She only stared and he showed him his hand and waved his own fingers, so she showed him her hand too, "check. Feet?" he said looking down and she followed his gaze, "check. Ears? Where are your ears?" Wynter gazed at him in incomprehension. "You don't know where your ears are? Here they are!" he said and tugged one, then the other. Wynter giggled again and touched one. "Yup, your ears are there. All good."

"Mama!" Wynter exclaimed and patted his face.

"Mama has everything too. See?" he said tugging on his own ear. "Okay, let's go," he said and proceeded up the walkway. When he reached the steps, the door opened and Hermione came out.

"Harry!" she exclaimed closing the door behind her. She quickly came to him and gave him a big hug. "Oh, I've missed you so much!" She pulled away and looked at Wynter. "Hi, sweetie. How are you? Oh, you've gotten so big!"

Harry smiled, "You remember Auntie Hermione, right? Say Hi."

"Aye," Wynter said reaching out a hand.

Hermione took the offered hand and shook it, "Aw. Hi. You're so cute in your purple outfit. I gave you that, didn't I?"

"Yes, you did. She doesn't like the headband though," he said holding up said item.

"Oh. I see."

"Is Ron inside?" Harry asked stepping around her to get to the door.

"Ah!" Hermione quickly stepped in front of him. "Harry...There's, um, I mean..."

Harry felt dread fill him as he watched Hermione squirm. "What?"

"Well...You know, we were so worried about you and we've only gotten letters from you and through us we keep the Order updated, so they know you are okay. Because, you know, you’re so far aw-"

"Just spit it out, Hermione," Harry interrupted.

She took a deep breath, "We let them know that you were coming over today and..." she trailed off, looking at him with apologetic eyes.

“Hermione!” Harry said in irritation.

“I know, I know. We shouldn’t have said anything.”

“No, you shouldn’t have.”

“Well…we were kind of excited and we wanted to keep them updated.”

“You could have just told them after we came over.” Hermione stayed silent and Harry sighed, “I can’t believe this.” He was so not ready for this. He had been just expecting it to be the four of them. “How many?”

“Um…seven?”

“Seven?!” Harry exclaimed and held Wynter close to him. Definitely not ready.

“It’s just the usual. Ron’s parents, Bill and Fleur, Professor Dumbledore and Remus and Tonks,” Hermione explained lightly. Harry groaned. That was even worse. He wasn’t mentally prepared to confront them. What would they think? About him, about Wynter? “It’s not that bad. They’re all really excited to meet her,” she said rubbing his arm in comfort.

Harry looked down at Wynter and she gazed back up at him eyes full of uncertainty as she watched their exchange. He looked over at Hermione his own uncertainty reflected in his eyes. “I don’t know, Hermione.”

“They really, really want to meet her. And you are already here,” she said hopefully.

Harry closed his eyes against the tribulation he felt, trying to decide what to do. “It was going to happen sooner or later,” he said, more to himself. Hermione nodded beside him but kept silent. It was something that he was dreading because he was scared. Sure, in letters they told him that they didn’t care, but you could say anything in a letter. The truth came out when he actually saw them. Harry didn’t want to see the disappointment on their faces, especially Mrs. Weasley, whom he thought of as a surrogate mother. It would devastate him if he saw that look. But it did have to happen; it just came up before he was ready. He glanced down at Wynter again who was looking around at her new surroundings in fascination and wondered if he should put her through this. Though the chances of her understanding what was going on were slim, she would probably pick up on any high emotions and upset her. Other than his fear, there was no reason not to. Finally making his decision he sighed, “Might as well get it over with.” He squared his shoulders and tucked Wynter against him and turned toward the door. He stopped suddenly and turned to Hermione. “If they say or do anything I don’t like, we’re gone,” he told her sternly.

“I understand.”

Harry nodded, “Okay,” he said and let her go ahead of him to open the door.

The door opened up into a small foyer that hid him from view, but he could hear that the chatter had stopped when the door opened. To his left was a hallway that led to a bathroom and two bedrooms and to his right was an opening that opened into the living room, beyond that was the kitchen. Very homey. When he stepped inside, Harry felt himself relax. Despite all the things that had changed around him, this place had remained unchanged and that was a source of comfort for him. He had spent many good times in this house, he just hoped that this visit didn’t destroy that record.

After the door was closed, Ron came out to greet them. “You tell him?” he asked Hermione and she nodded. He looked to Harry sheepishly and shrugged. “Sorry, mate.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Harry said, but smiled anyway and received his hug and a hard pat on the back.

Ron stepped back and focused on Wynter, “Hey kiddo!”

Wynter looked up at him and smiled in recognition, “Aye!”

“She got bigger, didn’t she?” Ron asked.

“Every day,” Harry replied.

“Geez…,” Ron said and stared at her and she stared back. “Remember me?”

Wynter looked up at Harry, questionably. “You remember Uncle Ron, don’t you?” Harry asked her.

“On!” she exclaimed and pointed at Ron.

“Yes! She remembers,” Ron said with pride. “Well, ready?” he asked Harry.

“It’s as good as I’m going to get,” Harry muttered and followed Ron into the living room.

Stepping inside, all the attention was suddenly on him and he felt like just turning back around and leaving, but Hermione put a comforting, supportive hand on his back and he didn’t. “Hi.” He said lamely.

“Oh, Harry!” Mrs. Weasley exclaimed and made her way over to him, “We were so worried!” She gave him a big hug, which he returned hesitantly, shifting Wynter to the side so she wouldn’t get squished. Once she had held him long enough, she pulled back. “Are you okay? You eating right?” she glanced down at the figure in his arms “Is this…?” she questioned.

“Yeah,” Harry said softly, looking down at his daughter. She had hidden herself against Harry’s chest, shy, but peeked out over her teddy bear.

“Hello sweetheart,” Mrs. Weasley cooed at her, but Wynter turned her face away.

“I guess she’s shy,” Harry commented then address the room. “Well, um…I-I really didn’t mean to keep this from everyone…But…this is Wynter, my daughter.”

“Wynter?” Remus asked.

“Yes. Wynter Lily.”

“That’s a beautiful name.”

“Thanks,” Harry said starting to relax; no one was yelling at him yet. That was a good sign. He stepped further into the room and took a seat on the couch, Ron and Hermione flanking him. “Want to say hi?” he asked Wynter. She peered out at everyone, then hid again and she shook her head.

“She has your eyes,” Remus commented.

"Yeah, she does," Harry said glancing down at her, "My hair too," he added, patting her hair down. There was laughter all around at that and Harry relaxed even further. “I’m…I’m sorry I never said anything. I didn’t know how. She was entirely unexpected, but…I had to have her, I couldn’t just…” Harry trailed off.

“We understand Harry,” Remus said softly, “You just have a big heart and that extends to the unexpected.”

Harry nodded and gave a small grateful smile to him, “We just decided that it would be better if no one knew so that Voldemort won’t come after her.”

“It was a good idea, no?” Fleur commented, “Who knows what he could ‘ave done.”

“I shudder to think,” Mrs. Weasley said.

“Me too,” Harry said softly, glancing away. Not like I need to worry about it…But I can’t tell them that, Harry thought.

"So, Harry, how old is she?" Bill asked after a few seconds of silence.

"Eight months, she was born in December," he answered.

"Aw, Christmas baby!" Tonks exclaimed, peering around Remus, trying to get a good look at Wynter.

"I'm guessing that explains her name," Mr. Weasley commented.

"Yeah. I love winter, with all the snow, all white and pure..." he shrugged, "It was snowing at the time and it just seemed to fit."

“Well, it’s a good name,” Tonks commented.

“Thanks,” Harry said and busied himself with smoothing Wynter’s shirt so it wouldn’t have any wrinkles and to also distract himself from looking at anyone.

It was quiet with no one really knowing what to say even if they were bursting with questions. They just didn’t want to scare Harry away or offend him in any way.

“So, ‘Arry, ‘ow ‘ave you been?” Fleur asked, trying to break the ice.

“I’ve been fine. Just keeping busy. She’s a lot of work,” Harry said gesturing to Wynter who was now staring at Ron from against his shoulder and he was staring back. She would smile and hide her face again only to stare back at him again. Ron was certainly getting a kick out of it.

“I’ll bet,” Bill responded.

“She’s not that bad though,” Harry said, “she’s actually very compliant, she only acts up once in a while, like when it’s almost her nap time, or when her tooth is bothering her.”

“She has a tooth already?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

“Yeah, one has already grown in and I saw another starting up on the bottom in the front the other day.”

“She does?” Hermione asked, “Can I see?” she said to Wynter touching her ear to get her attention and she turned away from her staring contest with Ron to look over. “Smile!” Hermione said and Wynter just looked and then turned away so she poked her, again and again, Wynter turned and looked away, but she was being amused by it, Harry could tell. By the fourth time, she was giggling and smiling. “Oh! There it is!” Hermione said spying the tooth that was right front and center.

“Uh oh,” Wynter said as her bear came free and tumbled to the floor.

“Uh oh,” Harry repeated and Ron picked it up to hand to her.

“How cute!” Tonks exclaimed. “Uh oh…you teach her that?”

“Uh not really. She picks up on a lot of things that I do.”

“Children are very impressionable at this stage,” Mr. Weasley stated wisely, “It’s why you have to be careful of what you do and say because they will repeat it.”

“Yeah, I got that,” Harry said lifting Wynter up so she sat on his lap.

“Hello!” Tonks said waving to her. Wynter looked up at Tonks and waved her little fingers back then burrowed her face into her bear letting out a little scream as she did.

“What are you doing?” Harry asked her.

She smiled up at him and reached up to touch his face, “Mama.”

“Aw!” Hermione gushed as did the rest of the room. “I know you said she was talking but wow. To hear it…”

“I know,” Harry said, pride coloring his voice.

“Does she say anything else?” Remus asked.

“No. Just that. It’s Mama, Mama, Mama-”

“Mama!” Wynter said.

“Yes, yes. Just like that, all the time.”

“Mama.”

“See, it’s like that all the time at home. She isn’t even asking for anything she just says it.”

“She ‘ust likes saying eet,” Fleur said.

“Exactly.”

“Mama!” Wynter said excitedly.

“What?” Harry asked and she pointed at Tonks whose hair was changing colors. “I see.” He said and Wynter watched Tonks in fascination. Then gasped and clapped her hands as her features started to change. They all watched her for a minute, then moved on as Tonks continued to entertain her.

“So, you’re good?” Remus asked, “You’re…safe?”

“Yeah. I’m safe. I just stay home and do housework, I go out occasionally to go to the store, but mostly I stay in. I have plenty to do.”

“Where are you, exactly?” Remus asked hesitantly.

“I can’t say.”

“Why not?”

“It’s just better if I don’t tell anyone.”

“But then how can we protect you, if we don’t know where you are?” Bill asked.

“Honestly, I don’t need protecting. I’m doing just fine on my own,” Harry said with a shrug.

“But…wouldn’t it be better if you were closer?” Mrs. Weasley asked. “You can stay with us. We would be happy to have you.” She said hopefully looking to her husband who nodded.

“Thank you, Mrs. Weasley. But I am fine where I am.”

“But if something like what happened at the cottage happened again,” Dumbledore said.

“I was unprepared last time, but it won’t happen again,” Harry said firmly.

“But if it did...”

“It won’t.”

“Harry, my boy, surely-” Dumbledore started.

“I’m sorry Professor,” Harry interrupted, “I really can’t. It’s just safer for no one to know where I am. All I can tell you is that where I am staying has plenty of protections and defenses that even if an atomic bomb went off it would still be standing.” Harry could tell that the reference was lost on everyone there besides Dumbledore and Hermione and he sighed. “I’m well protected is what I am trying to say.”

“Even if you think you are safe-”

“Professor,” Hermione spoke up loudly and then flushed in embarrassment as everyone turned to her, but pressed on, “I think Harry is going to be fine. We couldn’t find him when we searched for him not matter how hard we tried. And he’s more than capable of defending himself.”

“Plus he has his man,” Ron added and Harry felt his face heat up.

“That too,” Hermione added. “My point is that Harry and Wynter are just fine.”

Harry gave her a thankful smile and adjusted Wynter who was squirming him his lap, “Really, I’m just fine. Trust me.”

Dumbledore sighed and gave in, “Alright, Harry. I will, but if you need anything…”

“I’ll be sure to contact you. But we are well taken care of.”

“By that man of yours?” Tonks asked suggestively.

“Oh God,” Harry groaned and dropped his head back against the couch.

“Come on Harry, spill,” Tonks goaded.

Harry searched all their faces that had varying degrees of interest and settled on Mrs. Weasley who was watching Wynter with a fond look. “Want to hold her, Mrs. Weasley?”

“Can I?” she asked in a hushed voice. It had been a long time since she had held a baby.

“Sure,” he said getting up and handing Wynter to her and she cradled Wynter against her gently. Wynter looked at Harry bewildered and looked up at the woman uncertainly. She made a sound of distress and held out her arms to be picked up by her mother again. "Shh. It's okay. Mrs. Weasley won't hurt you," Harry said. But she continued to struggle and then started to cry. Mrs. Weasley tried to appease her by bouncing her on her knee and cooing to her, but she wasn't having it. So she gave Wynter back to Harry. "I'm sorry. I don't know what's wrong with her."

"It's alright, dear. She's just not used to new people."

"That's right," Hermione," added, "Wynter only knows you and Ron and I. And Professor Dumbledore, somewhat. It makes sense that she would react differently."

"Yeah, I guess so," he said looking down at Wynter who was now content and was gazing up at him like she just didn't have a screaming fit.

"So?" Tonks prompted.

"So what?" Harry asked.

"Your man..." she said suggestively.

Harry groaned. "Okay, fine. Look...I met him in the town that was not far from where I was living. We hit it off and he saved me from the fire and got me into hiding. That's all I'm saying about it."

"Aw! What? That's it?" Tonks asked.

"You 'ave to give us more than that, 'Arry," Fleur said. Harry only shook his head and kept his mouth shut. "ees 'e good looking at least?"

"What's he like?" Tonks added.

"Is he a good kisser?"

"Does he treat you right?" Mrs. Weasley added in.

"You know they are not going to let it go, mate," Ron said, nudging him in the side.

Harry sighed and decided to just answer a few of their questions, but not without some embarrassment. "Yes. He's nice and kind of sweet when he wants to. Yes, and Yes." he said.

"Oh that's good," Mrs. Weasley said. "Is he good with Wynter?"

"He is actually. He treats her like his own daughter. And I couldn't ask for more."

"Is he good in bed?"

"Wha-" Harry blanched.

"Tonks!" Remus exclaimed at her in surprise as Bill laughed. Mrs. Weasley just settled for looking at her disapprovingly.

"I-I am not answering that!" Harry stuttered his face turning red.

"But you are?"

"Oh God," he said and lifted Wynter so that he could cover his face. She giggled and wrapped her arms around his head, but ended up kicking him in the chest as her feet hung there that Harry had to put her down again.

"What about-"

"I'm not answering anything else."

"Aw!"

They continued to try and tease him into giving out answers but soon realized that Harry was going to remain tight lipped on the matter. But looking at Hermione, he could tell that she and Ron would want real answers soon.

The twins came over soon after that, providing a nice distraction, yet it confused the hell out of Wynter. She kept looking back and forth between them not comprehending that there were two different people in front of her. They all got a good laugh out of that. She wouldn't even let them come near her and would scramble up into Harry's arms as they got close to her. It wasn't until Harry made her touch their faces that she finally warmed up to Fred and George, even if they still scared her a little. Fred and George did rather enjoy her little hands touching their faces, how could you not, especially from a sweet little baby. Babies had that effect. The twins had their own questions, mainly how domestic life was treating him.

"It's not bad. I mean..." Harry paused trying to find the words. "I do miss being out there with all the action, but not as much as I thought I would. She keeps me grounded," he said looking down at Wynter and played with her legs, kicking them up in the air. She giggled and looked up at him her face full of joy and Harry kissed her on the nose.

"I can see that," Fred said.

"She's been good for you," George commented.

"Yes, she has. It's tough but very rewarding," Harry said.

George picked up Wynter's teddy bear and held it up just out of reach of Wynter and she reached out to grab it. "Uh! Uh!"

"Does he have your bear?" Harry asked, "Tell him to give it back."

"Ak! Ak!" Wynter exclaimed making grabby fingers for her bear.

"Geez, okay, sorry," George said and gave it back.

Wynter grabbed it back and squeezed it to her tight and gave them this look that was so completely Tom that it made Harry smile, though the others didn't know that. Harry got up, "I'll be right back, bathroom break. Here," he said and handed her to Remus.

"W-Wait!" Remus started but Harry had already deposited her into his lap and he quickly wrapped an arm around her so she wouldn't fall.

"Mama!" Wynter called out reaching out for him as he walked away.

"I'll be right back. You'll be fine," Harry called back, talking to both of them and then was gone.

Remus and Wynter both looked at each other uncertainly. "Hello," Remus said softly to her and she looked away back to where her mother had disappeared then back up at the man holding her. He was kind of scary looking but his eyes were gentle.

"Well, she's not crying," Tonks remarked.

"Remus has the magic touch," George joked.

"She's really cute," Bill said as they watched Wynter look around the room and clutch her bear to her. "Do we know who the father is?" he asked.

"No," Hermione said quietly, "Harry hasn't said or he just doesn't know. But it's not important. Wynter is his daughter, he won't let anyone harm her."

"He let that man in though," Tonks said.

"True, but he did save their lives. That has to count for something," Ron said. "Plus, it's not like Harry would allow him to do anything or face his wrath."

"I don't think he will though," Hermione put in, "From what Harry has told us, his boyfriend treats Wynter like his own and that is good enough."

"And Harry seems to really like him and he doesn't say that lightly," Ron said and Hermione agreed.

"So he's really okay?" Mrs. Weasley asked.

"Seems to be," her husband spoke up, "Both of them are happy and healthy from what I can see, so they are obviously well taken care of," Mr. Weasley said. "I believe we should just trust Harry on this. He will come to us if anything goes wrong. And now Harry can have faster communications with Ron and Hermione with his fellytone."

"Telephone," Hermione automatically corrected.

"Yes, that."

"Whatever the case may be, we will continue to be vigilant, Voldemort does not give up very easily," Dumbledore said and the others nodded.

Harry came back to everyone with serious faces, "Did I miss something?"

"Not really," Ron said.

Harry nodded and turned to Wynter who was relaxed back against Remus. "I'm back. Want to come with Mommy?" he asked her but she didn't reach for him like he thought she would. "No? You okay?" Harry asked.

Wynter looked up at Remus, then back at Harry and nodded, "Ye."

"Okay," he said and went to sit next to Ron, "I knew she would like you, Remus."

"I guess so," Remus said sheepishly.

"You're a natural, Remus," Fred commented.

"Not really, I have a little bit of experience," Remus said looking to Harry and he smiled back. Remus looked down and saw the same green eyes looking back at him and miraculously Wynter smiled at him.

"Aw! Remus got a smile!" Tonks exclaimed.

They continued to coo and try to play with Wynter and she was warming up to everyone, which Harry was happy about. She didn't seem to like anyone at first until she sat in Remus's lap. But he had that calm, quiet strength about him that was quite soothing and apparently Wynter could sense it and she was really comfortable as was proven by not wanting to leave him. After that, she started to play with the twins and Tonks. They even put her on the floor to try to get her to crawl but she was a bit late on that and could only barely get herself onto her hands and knees, but she did try. While Wynter was entertained, Harry was able to catch up with the others, without the added burden of their judgment. It was quite nice to just be able to relax, so that is what he did.

xxx

Tom leaned back in his chair, tapping his fingers against the side as he listened to his Death Eaters give their reports. Yet he couldn't seem to be able to concentrate. It was a small meeting with just his inner circle that consisted of Lucius Malfoy, Rabastan and Rodolphus Lestrange and his wife Bellatrix and Fenrir Greyback and they were in his office with them gathered around his desk, while he sat regally in his chair in his Voldemort persona; Nagini curled on the rug in front of the fire. It was the usual reports and was nothing really new, but he rarely ever tuned out this much. His mind was on Harry and Wynter and the fact that they were somewhere out of his reach.

It was rare that he would put so much trust into one person, but he did, he did trust Harry. It was the others that he didn't trust. That Harry would want to come home, but the Order may not let him. He had of course taken precautions against such a thing, but still...

"..rd?"

"My Lord?"

Tom blinked and looked to Lucius who was watching him nervously. "Continue," he said dismissively.

Lucius and Rodolphus looked at each other uncertainly and then continued with his report. "No one seems to be suspicious of our movements within the Ministry. And I have passed along the advice to the Minister per your orders," he concluded.

"Good," Tom hissed out. "Make sure you keep at it....what is it Lucius?" he asked.

Lucius straightened and cleared his throat, "Forgive me, my lord. I do not mean to question you..."

"But?" he prompted.

"But I do not see the reason why we are changing tactics now after all this time," he finished and the others waited to see if he would answer.

"You dare question our Lord?" Bellatrix snapped at her brother-in-law.

"Bella," Tom said simply and she backed down, "I do not feel the need to tell you my plans..." he said and his followers bowed their heads in submission, "but I am feeling generous and will tell you," he paused to find the words and even more so to make them fidget. He may have changed somewhat, but he still took pleasure in watching people squirm. "I am changing tactics simply because the old way was not working. And I confess, I was getting off track of my original goals. I am simply going back to that."

"What about Potter," Bellatrix asked reverently.

"What of him? He had no place in my plans. I may have gotten side tracked by Potter, but that has nothing to do with now."

"So, that's why you don't want to go after Potter anymore?" Rabastan asked and his brother nodded to show his own curiosity.

"Correct. Harry Potter is of no more importance. All we have to do is make everyone recognize our culture that has been ignored for so long. It is just easier to go the long route by going from within than by force. I have found that doing it that way is rather pointless and leads to nowhere. As long as all of you do as you’re told it will be a reality. Understood?"

"Yes, my lord," they replied.

"Good. Dismissed." Tom got up from his chair to stare out the window as his inner circle left the room. It was a warm day and the sun shone brilliantly, a stark contrast to his current mood which was restless. "Did you need something Fenrir?" he finally said as he noticed the werewolf had yet to move.

"No. Nothing. I just noticed that you've been a bit distracted," Fenrir said with a shrug, not moving from his spot by the fireplace.

"I do not get distracted," he sneered.

"Sure, and I am a friendly kitten on a full moon," Fenrir said sarcastically.

Tom frowned but didn't turn from the window. He didn't normally let anyone speak to him this way, only Harry. He could of course just curse the fool and put him in his place, but Tom remembered Harry asking if he had any friends and Fenrir was the closest thing that he had to one. He was the only one that was not afraid of putting a toe or two over the line to get on his good side. But it was a dangerous line to be on when one side could kill you at any moment.

"Is it about the man you've been sleeping with?" Fenrir inquired. Tom snapped his attention to the werewolf with narrowed eyes, his hand itching towards his wand. Fenrir held up his hands in a submissive gesture as he came forward. "I can smell him on you. Sunshine, chocolate and...something else..." he sniffed the air, "applesauce?"

Wynter, Tom thought. And of course, Harry smelled of chocolate, he was always eating it. The fact that Fenrir could smell it that strongly on him meant he was spending too much time with them to have it cling to him, but he didn't care. Only it caused this unexpected problem. "That is hardly any of your concern," Tom decided to say.

"There's nothing bad about having someone to warm your sheets," Fenrir said with a wicked grin. "Though, it's probably easier without that glamour on."

Tom glared at him in annoyance, he had almost forgotten how strong Fenrir's nose was, strong enough to be able to notice his Voldemort guise was a fake. Though it was the first time he had really commented on it. "It is," he said.

The werewolf barked out a laugh and headed to the door, "Well, whatever it is that's bothering you, you can probably fix it with no problem. You are the Dark Lord after all."

"It wouldn't be so sure," Tom muttered to himself. He looked up to see Fenrir looking at him questionably. "It's complicated."

"It always is," Fenrir said with an easy going grin and left through the door.

Tom turned to the window again, feeling a bit better despite it being a brief conversation. It at least took his mind off of his worries for a little while. While Fenrir was right about being able to fix any problem by just ordering it to happen, it was different with Harry. For one, Harry would not take kindly to being ordered to do anything and two, he didn't want to. Harry's spitfire personality is what drew Tom to him; how he never seemed to listen to him and how he had a mind of his own, one that he was starting to see in Wynter. Plus, Tom was starting to feel like he would do just about anything to keep Harry happy. He did let him go visit his friends after all...and now he was back to worrying.

Tom sighed and turned back to his desk that had paper work on it and knew he wouldn't be able to concentrate on it; not with his mind focused elsewhere.

-Are you going home already master?- Nagini hissed from her place by the fire.

-Yes. I would not so much good by staying here-

-But will you do anything different at home?- she asked turning her massive head toward him.

-That is true, but I would rather be there than here. Besides Harry should be back soon anyways-

-Whatever you choose master-

-Would you like to accompany me?-

-Yes, I would. I have yet to see your home and I have not seen your hatchling in some time- she said uncoiling herself and making her way to him.

-I thought you did not like her clinging to you- Tom said with a knowing smile.

-I don't...-

-She grew on you-

-Perhaps-

-Well, come then. You can join me in my boredom-

-You will be, I have a house to explore- Nagini hissed as she wound her way around him.

-I could just leave you here-

-Please don't. I'll behave. I will join you in your misery until Harry returns-

-You imprudent imp- Tom stated while Nagini hissed out a laugh. Tom just rolled his eyes and took her home.

xxx

Harry sat back against the couch where he was catching up with his friends. They had moved on to what was going on their end. It was interesting, to say the least hearing of all the things that Voldemort was doing, or not doing, when Tom, who was essentially the same person, was with him at the time of it going on. How Tom managed to be with him most of the time AND be a full-time Dark Lord. But Harry was not interested in coming back no matter how they pleaded and tried to convince him with information. He had Wynter to take care of and that took up most of his time. Thankfully, they didn't really push the issue now that they are met the reason why. And it turned out they couldn't get enough of her.

Wynter was having fun playing with everyone; Fred and George, Tonks and even Fleur was down on the floor with her. They played with the few toys that Harry had brought with them and made her laugh and babble her baby language that only she seemed to understand. But they were happy to interpret what she wanted by trial and error.

"Has she displayed any magic yet?" Ron asked.

"Not quite," Harry said.

"What do you mean?" Hermione asked.

"Well, sometimes when she wants something that is just out of reach she holds out her hands to try and reach it and I can swear that it moved just a little bit, but she just ends of crying and I have to get it for her."

"That is quite impressive," Dumbledore said stroking his beard in thought.

"I wouldn't expect anything less, she is my daughter after all," Harry said proudly. And Tom's, he added in his mind.

"Let's just hope she doesn't end up like her mother," Hermione said.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Harry asked.

"Come on, mate, you know," Ron said patting him on the back.

"My grades were good. I could have done better if I wanted to," Harry pouted. Hermione and Ron snickered. "Well, if she does better than me, all the better, but if not, then that is fine too."

"Hey, Harry? Has she learned to crawl yet," Tonks asked from the floor. Wynter was sitting in front of her and holding her bear just out of reach.

"Not yet, she's close though," Harry answered, "She can get up on her hands and knees and make like she is going to move forward, but-"

"Mama!" Wynter wailed at him. She had managed to do just as he said to get to her bear, but ended up with her butt in the air and her arms tangled beneath her and her face pressed against the floor and was stuck like that.

"She ends up like that," Harry gestured.

"Cute," Hermione said and watched as George picked her up and sat her down again.

"She's heavy," George commented.

Harry nodded, "Usually I just leave her there. She knows how to. Besides, she does it so often that it's a hassle to have to pick her up every time."

As is on cue. "Uhh!!!" Wynter whined and they turned to see that she had gotten herself into the same position.

"Turn yourself over, sweetie. You can do it!" he called to her. Wynter gave a choked sob as she struggled and looked up with pleading eyes at Fred and George. They both turned to Harry with wide eyes. "I know she is giving you the big green eyes, but just leave her. She's got it." They watched as Wynter struggled and finally got herself to roll over onto her side and then pushed her arms up and got into a sitting position. "There you go!" Harry told her, "I knew you could do it." Wynter beamed at him and everyone cheered for her success.

"That was intense," Bill said.

"Yeah. It's hard, but she won't learn if I keep helping her," Harry said.

"That's true," Mrs. Weasley agreed.

"So she really does that often?" Remus asked.

"Yup. At least four or five times a day. One time she actually fell asleep like that," Harry said with a laugh.

"Really?" Tonks asked, giving in and giving Wynter her bear back.

"Yeah, I wouldn't help her and she started crying, but then she stopped and when I looked over, she was asleep in that weird position. I picked her up of course and put her to bed, but it was funny." Harry explained. "Speaking of," he said glancing at the clock on the wall, "I need to get going."

"What?" "Already?" "Don't go!" Those around him said, voicing their unhappiness.

"I know, but I have to make dinner and then get this one off to bed," Harry said getting up and going over to Wynter. "Time to go, sweet pea."

"O!" Wynter said.

"No? But we have to. Come on," he said reaching for her.

She pushed his hand away, "O!" she exclaimed again with a pout and flopped down onto her back.

-Don't you want to see Daddy?- he hissed softly to her.

She blinked up at him then nodded, "Ye."

"Okay then," he said and picked her up when she raised her arms up to him.

"She understands you?" Hermione gasped.

Harry looked around at the others and saw that they were all looking at him and Wynter in similar awe. Though Dumbledore had a thoughtful look that Harry didn't really like. "Uh...yeah," he finally said.

"I didn't think it would pass on," Hermione said.

"I didn't either."

"How did you find out?" Remus asked.

"I was outside in the garden when I came across a garden snake and I spoke to it. Wynter reacted to it," Harry lied smoothly. "I speak it to her sometimes so she's not afraid of it. Not like how I was."

"That's amazing," Tonks said.

"Yes, while it is an extraordinary feat, it is not something that should be shared," Dumbledore finally spoke up. "If Voldemort found out there was another parselmouth out there. There is no telling what he might do."

"Like what? Raise her himself?" Fred asked.

"It could be a possibility," Dumbledore said, "There has never been another one, besides Harry, and he might want to exploit that or would want to be the only one."

Harry clutched Wynter close to him despite the fact that he knew that would never happen. Tom had been over the moon when he found out that Wynter was a parselmouth like him, but that was it. There were no plans to train her to be the next Dark Lord or to teach her obscure dark magic. He was just happy that there was another one in the world, that she was carrying his bloodline to the next generation. But that was beside the point, Harry couldn't say anything. "I won't let anything happen to her," he said firmly.

"I know you won't, my boy," Dumbledore said with a smile and patted Wynter on the head.

Harry had to stop Wynter's hand that was reaching for Dumbledore's beard, she would have yanked it if he didn't, it had happened before. He gave her her bear to hold instead. "Well, we're off."

"Are you sure you can't stay?" Mrs. Weasley asked.

"I'm sorry," Harry could only say.

She sighed and then wrapped him and Wynter in a hug, "You come visit us, you hear. Our door is always open." She let him go and stepped back to stand next to her husband.

"I will. And thank you."

"You come back to visit, okay?" Hermione said.

"Won't make any promises that it won't be a big party again though," Ron added.

Harry laughed, "That's okay. I rather enjoyed it."

"And you better call us the moment she starts crawling," Hermione demanded.

"I will," Harry said and looked down at Wynter, "It shouldn't be long now, right?" Wynter only blinked up at him with a small smile. "Okay, say bye to everyone. Bye-bye!" He said to her and she waved her fingers at them.

"Aw! Cute!" Tonks exclaimed and came forward to coo at her some more.

They all gathered around and said their goodbyes to him and Wynter with long, warm hugs and well wishes and promises to see them again soon. With that said, a fun and rewarding visit came to an end.

xxx

Tom waited.

And waited.

And waited.

After a few hours, he realized he may have been a little hasty in coming home so soon, but he couldn't help it. He usually wasn't one to assume the worst, but as he sat there idly flipping through the channels he started to think of different scenarios in why Harry was taking so long. He felt ridiculous. Nagini was off exploring the house, but he would hear her once in a while as she passed by hissing her laugh at him as he became increasingly restless.

That is how Harry found Tom when he came in. He apparated outside the house, unlocked the door and stepped inside only to find Tom sitting in front of the TV with the channels switching really fast, too fast to really see what was going on.

"Oh! You're back already?"

Tom jerked around to see Harry standing in the foyer with Wynter in his arms, "You're back."

"Yes, I am. I told you I would. Here," Harry said holding out Wynter to him.

"Mama!" Wynter exclaimed reaching for Tom.

"No not mama, Daddy," Harry corrected and handed her to off.

Tom took her and carefully inspected her for anything unusual as Harry put his things down.

"There is nothing wrong with her, we just went for a visit, no experiments were given."

"How do you know that?" Tom asked.

"She didn't leave my sight for no more than a few minutes."

"So you did leave her alone."

"I had to go to the bathroom. Besides, I trust them not to do anything to her," Harry argued.

Tom said nothing to that and was satisfied with his inspection so he just held Wynter against him and she curled into his shoulder. "Did your visit go okay?" Tom finally asked.

"It went well," Harry said heading to the kitchen to start dinner. "It wasn't like I expec- Ack!"

"What?" Tom asked as he saw Harry jump back.

"Nagini," Harry said looking down where the massive snake was curled in a patch of sun behind the island. -I didn't know you were here-

-I came along with master- Nagini hissed.

"She wanted to look around our new house," Tom said.

-Very fancy-

-I know. Tom knows no restraint- Harry hissed back and continued to move about the kitchen.

-You can say that again-

-Well, it was nice to see you again, I guess. Glad he had someone was here to keep him occupied-

-I didn't help very much. He was very worried you know-

-Was he?-

-Yes, very restless-

-Hey!- Tom hissed in warning as he realized they were ganging up on him.

Nagini hissed out a laugh and moved out of the kitchen to get out of Harry's way. Wynter saw her and immediately wanted to be put down. Tom didn't want to, but she struggled and whined, so he had no choice and placed her on the floor where Nagini had moved to. Wynter giggled and wrapped her arms around the snake, happy to see her again.

-Too tight, hatchling- Nagini hissed in discomfort.

-Wynter- Tom hissed and she looked up at him -Gently- She blinked up at him and then loosened her hold around Nagini and started to pat her scales; happily letting Nagini coil loosely around her. -Good girl-

"She's so smart," Harry said proudly.

"Of course she is," Tom said and leaned against the island to watch Harry work. "You didn't say how your visit went."

"It went well. Not how like I expected though."

"You did say that. What did you mean?"

"Well, there were far more people there than I thought." At that Tom narrowed his eyes in dislike. "Now, don't scrunch your face like that."

"I am not scrunching," Tom argued, smoothing his face.

"Yes, you are," Harry said copying him, then resumed chopping vegetables, "I will admit that it made me uneasy at first. I mean, they knew about Wynter, but it was the first time that they had meet her. I wasn't sure how they would react. Would they like her? Or would they hate her just because she was the product of my "rape by a Death Eater"" he said using air quotes.

Tom nodded in understanding, "Who was there?"

"Ron and Hermione of course. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Bill and his wife Fleur, Remus and Tonks, Dumbledore and Fed and George came later."

"Dumbledore was there?" Tom asked flatly.

"Chill out, Tom. Yes, he did try to get me to stay, but I told him no. She is my daughter and I know what is best for her. Besides, he knows how stubborn I can be so he didn't push it too much and neither did the others. And I am here, right?"

"...Yes."

"See? No harm. We had a great time. They loved her. I was so relieved. Wynter really liked Remus too."

"The werewolf," Tom asked.

"Yeah. He has this calming aura about him, I guess Wynter sensed it too. She cried with everyone else before she got comfortable with them, but with him, she was fine. Oh, and when the twins came over," Harry laughed as he scraped the chopped veggies into a pan, "She was so confused."

"Sounds like you had a good time," Tom said softly.

Harry walked to over to him and slid his arms around Tom, "I did. Thank you for letting me go."

"You're welcome," Tom murmured against Harry's mouth as he leaned upward for a kiss. It was slow and brief but sweet and conveyed Harry's gratitude in a way words couldn't.

Harry pulled away and smiled at him, "I can't wait to see them again."

"Again?" Tom asked.

"Of course, it wasn't a one-time thing, right?"

"No, but I didn't think you would go so soon."

"I won't, but it's still nice to be able to say that. Thanks to you," Harry added.

Tom looked proud of that fact and Harry knew it. Tom was a difficult man, but Harry was starting to figure out what made him tick. He knew for a fact that Tom liked to have his ego stroked once in a while, it made him feel proud. He also likes something else stroked that makes him stand really proud. Harry abruptly turned away back to the stove. Oh, God where did that thought come from!

"What is it?" Tom asked.

"N-Nothing, I don't want it to burn," Harry managed to get out.

"Hmm," Tom hummed with a knowing smile, "Your face looks like it's about to burn."

Harry cursed his complexion and how easy it was to see his embarrassment. He also cursed his himself for suddenly thinking such a thing, he had only been gone for a few hours, no different from when Tom was at work, yet the moment he was close to Tom, his mind suddenly turned dirty. I'm thinking about it again, damn it...And now I am horny. Harry sighed, nothing to do about it now. He glanced at Tom who was staring at him with a fixed look, desire swirling in his blue eyes. It was like he knew exactly what he was thinking.

"I didn't think you missed me that much," Tom whispered, suddenly behind him.

Harry jumped, not expecting it. Damn him and his stupid, perfect face, Harry thought, Well, two can play at this game. "I thought it was you who missed me, you were obviously waiting for me for a while."

Tom pulled away, "It wasn't that long."

"That's not what Nagini said," Tom said nothing, just turned to look at where Nagini was playing with Wynter.

Harry felt a smile tug at his mouth and was rather touched that Tom was that concerned, it made this little game they were playing that much more rewarding. He lightly brushed against Tom as he finished cooking and felt Tom stiffen. Harry always got a thrill when he made Tom react like that and it was always accompanied by butterflies in his stomach. He looked up at Tom through lowered lashes, "Help me set the table and get Wynter to bed and I'll show you how much I missed you."

Tom's eyes widened in surprise, but he complied rather quickly. And soon they were sitting around their table for dinner, stealing little-heated glances at each other.

Harry was glad that Dumbledore and his friends didn't make him stay. Sure, he enjoyed seeing his friends again and liked being with them, but he rather liked being here with Tom. Just sitting around, watching Wynter play, having friendly banter filled with fun and sexual innuendos. It might seem strange to anyone else, but everything about them was strange; to them, it was how they worked. It was how their little family worked.

Yes, Harry thought as he cooed and coaxed Wynter to eat and kicked Tom under the table when he got too handsy. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Chapter Text

With his new found freedom, Harry was already planning another get together with Ron and Hermione, just the four of them this time; Tom wasn’t too happy to hear that he would be leaving the house with Wynter again, but he didn’t say anything. Harry was sure to remind Tom of how appreciative he was that he let him in the first place, so they were good. But with Ron and Hermione’s busy schedules it wouldn’t be for a while. But Harry was content to know that he would be able to go sometime soon.

Instead, he filled his time with taking care of Wynter and playing with her. And during that time, something miraculous happened; she crawled for the first time! Well, not all the way. She had gotten up onto her hands and knees, moved an arm out and a leg and pulled herself forward, then promptly dropped herself onto the floor. She only moved about an inch, but it was something. Tom and Harry had been beside themselves with happiness, congratulating her and giving her kisses, so she knew she had done something right.

She continued to make progress after that, until finally one day, she did.

Tom was sitting in the entertainment area watching TV with Wynter in his lap, trying his best to get her to say 'daddy' while Harry made dinner.

"Dad-dy," he was saying.

"De?" Wynter said up at him, sticking her fingers into her mouth.

"Close, Dad-dy."

"De!"

"How about Da?" Tom asked.

Wynter seemed to consider it, "Da?"

"There you go, now say dee."

"Dee!" She exclaimed.

"Now say, Daddy."

"De!"

Tom sighed in defeat and dropped his head back against the couch. "You're never going to say it are you?"

Wynter giggled and reached for him, "Mama!"

"No, I'm not mama."

"De!" She said again and then said "Dedee!"

"So close!" Tom said with a smile, "It's Da-ddy."

"Dedee!" Wynter said again.

"Looks like that is all you're going to get. For now," Harry said.

"I'll take it," Tom said and kissed Wynter on the forehead.

She giggled again and grasped his shirt as he got up, "De?"

"Aaand back to square one," Tom said and put her down behind the couch where her toys were. She whined and reached for him as he walked away. "I'll be right back."

"Mama," Wynter said sadly.

"Daddy just went to the restroom, he'll be right back," Harry told her as she watched looked around for him. "Play with your toys for now."

Wynter looked around her and picked up one of her blocks, looked at it briefly, then dropped it before continuing to look around for her daddy. After a little bit, she looked up when she heard a door opening and saw her daddy come out of a room on the left. "DeDee!!" she yelled excitedly.

Tom glanced at her as walked out of the bathroom and headed toward Harry, "Dinner ready yet?"

Harry took his eyes off Wynter to look down at the pot he was stirring, "Just about, maybe about fi-" he gasped suddenly.

"What?" Tom asked and turned to look where Harry was staring, which was Wynter. And she was making her way over to Tom. Crawling. She was crawling!!

"Oh my god, oh my god!!" Harry exclaimed, frantically looking around, "Where's my camera?!"

Tom dropped down to his knees and egged her on as Wynter haltingly crawled toward him, "Come here, princess. You can do it."

"De!" Wynter said happily as she kept him in her sights and continued forward. It was slow going, and she had to stop a few times, but she started get the hang of it.

"Look at her go!" Harry exclaimed, snapping picture after picture of her, before turning to video to capture the moment.

"Come on!" Tom said holding out his hands to her.

She picked up her pace, aiming right for him until she did, yelling, "Dedee!" as she did.

"You did it!" Harry exclaimed.

Tom scooped her up and gave her a big kiss on the cheek and Harry kissed the other. “I’m so proud of you Wynter,” Tom told her and she babbled happily at him.

“Oh my god, she’s crawling,” Harry said as the fact sank in, “Soon she will be walking! Stop growing,” he told her and Wynter giggled and clapped her hands. "I'm going to cry."

“Don’t cry,” Tom said simply, he didn’t know what to do with tears.

“No promises.”

After her first attempt, Wynter got steadily better and faster at crawling and their little Haven was soon filled with running footsteps and shouts of "Don't touch that!" "Stay where I can see you," and "Wynter no!" as she got her hands on anything and everything as she explored around with her new found freedom and Harry chased after her. And she would think it was funny, giggling her little head off as she made Harry and Tom run after her. And, boy, did she move fast!

Gone were the quiet relaxing days when they didn’t have to worry about her. And now? Now they had to keep an eye on her so she didn’t get into anything. Or do something she shouldn’t, which there was a lot of.

There was one time, a week after she started crawling. It was warm out and the doors and windows were open, Harry was barefoot with shorts and a light t-shirt and Wynter had forfeited clothes altogether and was crawling around with just a diaper on. Tom had gone upstairs to change after coming home from “work” and was just listening to Harry make dinner downstairs when suddenly…

"Wynter?! Where is your diaper?"

A pause.

"Uh oh."

"Uh oh? Why uh oh? Where did you put it?"

A murmur.

"What do you mean you don't know? You didn't pee everywhere did you?"

"O!" He could hear Wynter proclaim proudly, and Tom smiled as he buttoned up his shirt.

"You better not have. Come here," he heard Harry say. “I said come here, get back here!”

As Tom made his way down the stairs he passed by Harry with a butt naked Wynter in his arms.

"Aye, Dedee!" she greeted him with a smile.

"Keep an eye out for a diaper," Harry said in passing, "And maybe some wet spots."

"Got it."

Tom ended up finding her diaper half way under the couch and no wet spots anywhere around the house, thankfully.

Other times it was just Wynter grabbing things, but thanks to Harry’s quick reflexes, there was no lasting damage. Mostly she just followed Nagini around, who had decided to stay at Haven Hall instead of return back to the manor; Harry had a feeling it was to stay near Wynter and not to get away from the “smelly, pea-brained mice” that occupied the place as she said. Harry thought it was rather sweet of the big viper, she was almost like a loyal dog the way she watched out for her; curling up in front of her crib at night, which usually resulted in being awoken by a pillow to the face and a loud proclamation of “Gee-ni!”

To put it simply, it was now quite loud in their home; but neither Tom nor Harry minded, it kept them busy. But at night when Wynter went to bed, the time was theirs to unwind.

“I didn’t know she could be so exhausting,” Harry yawned as he fell back on the couch in front of the TV, his head lightly grazing Tom’s leg.

“Mmm,” Tom agreed, sliding his fingers into Harry’s hair, “Is it just me, or is she getting faster?”

“Oh, she’s getting faster and she thinks it’s funny.”

“Not funny,” Tom replied. He had been chasing after her since he got home; he never chased after anyone. Ever. Now here he was breaking a sweat as Wynter crawled around getting into things she shouldn’t. Now that she was mobile, Tom was starting to think of having to further baby proof the house.

“God, why is it so cold? It’s summer!” Harry exclaimed turning toward the inside of the couch in the direction of the lit fireplace trying to get warm.

“Australia is in a different climate zone than England. It’s actually the other way around, summer is winter here and winter is summer.”

“It’s weird,” Harry said burrowing into the couch, “Where’s the sun? It was here a few weeks ago. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow! And not a warm rain either, a cold one.”

“You’re going to have to get used to it.”

“I know. At least it will be warm at Ron’s tomorrow,” he murmured.

“What?”

“Don’t ‘what?’ me. I told you. Or are you losing your memory?”

“I am not,” Tom grumbled. He remembered Harry telling him of his upcoming visit back to his friend’s house, not that he was happy about it.

“Then you do remember. Besides, you’ll be at work anyway.”

Tom grunted and they fell into a comfortable silence watching the television until it was time for bed.

xxx

The next morning saw Harry up early so he could do a load of laundry and clean up any toys left out. The house was straightened by the time Wynter woke up, so all he had to worry about was getting her ready. A lot easier said than done. But first, they had to get through breakfast, which was starting to become a chore. She was now on more solid foods and would put her hands into it and make a mess. While he finished feeding her, Tom went upstairs to get ready for work.

“Why are you such a messy eater?” Harry asked her as she grabbed a fist full of mashed cereal and put it into her mouth, most of it oozing through her fingers. “Well, at least you’re trying,” he added with a sigh and she gave him a toothy smile.

“Mama?” she asked him, holding out a hand.

“No, I’m good. Thank you,” he said and watched as she fed herself with a weariness he felt deep down; her spoon abandoned on the tray beside her. “Do you want to use your spoon at all?”

“Ooon?” she asked curiously. Harry pointed to it and she gave the spoon a cursory glance then grabbed another handful of cereal.

“How’s it going?” Tom asked coming up behind him.

“Other than the fact that she has half her food all over her face. Perfect,” Harry responded dully.

“Mmm. Well, I’m going to get going.”

"Getting out of here, huh?"

"Yes," Tom said eying Wynter's disheveled appearance.

“Okay. Wynter, Daddy’s leaving. Say bye bye.”

“Aye, Dedee!” Wynter said waving her dirty fingers at him.

“Bye, sweetheart,” Tom said and kissed her on top of the head, careful to not get in the way of her dirty fingers.

“I’ll see you later,” Harry said, getting up and giving him a kiss, “Don’t miss me too much,” he said with a teasing smile.

Tom glared at him, but it had no bite, “I’ll manage.”

-I will come with you master- Nagini hissed coming toward him.

-Aw, you’re leaving Nagini?- Harry asked.

-Yes. With Master, you and the Wynter-hatchling gone, there is no point- she hissed, her tongue flickering out.

-Well, your patch of sunlight will be here when you get back- Harry hissed to her with a smile.

-Thank you-

With that, Tom and Nagini left leaving Harry with a food covered baby.

He turned to Wynter with a sigh, “Are you done?”

“Un, Mama!”

“Okay, time for a bath then.” And he took her upstairs to get her cleaned up, which took time because she wouldn’t sit still until finally she was dressed and ready to go. But then Harry looked down at himself and saw that he was covered in cereal and all wet from her bath, so he had to change. By the time he was done, they were late for their agreed upon time with Ron and Hermione.

But they were going to be even later because when he got downstairs Harry realized he hadn’t cleaned up Wynter’s highchair and it was just a big mess. With a groan, he placed Wynter on the floor and telling her to stay put, then used his magic to clean up. He was going through her diaper bag to make sure he had everything when the phone rang.

“Hello?” He answered.

“Harry?” Hermione’s voice came to him.

“I know, I know.”

“Okay, I wasn’t sure if you were coming.”

“I am, it’s just,” he sighed, “It’s been a hectic morning.”

“It sounds like it.”

“No kidding. With her crawling around, it’s like she has a new found confidence, which is fine, but she’s just – Wynter! Don’t touch that!” he suddenly shouted as she reached for her box of blocks that were neatly stacked inside.

“Is she getting into something?”

“Yes. But anyway, I just have to get her bag together and we’ll be along in a minute-” the sound of wood hitting the ground suddenly echoed around the room and Harry closed his eyes in wariness, then turned to look at Wynter who was looking at him innocently from amidst the fallen blocks. “Make that two.”

“Okay, take your time,” Hermione said; he could hear the smile in her voice.

He hung up with her and turned to Wynter, hands on hips.

She only gave him a bright, sunny smile.

xxx

The door opened and Hermione’s smile greeted him, "Hi," Harry said with a tired smile.

“You made it! Come in,” she told them, pulling the door open to emit them.

"Oh it's so warm," Harry exclaimed shifting Wynter over and placing her bag by the couch.

"Is it not where you are?" Hermione asked casually.

"No. It's getting so cold! The rain was not helping either."

“Anie!” Wynter exclaimed interrupting him.

"Hi, Wynter!" Hermione said getting distracted, but she filed the information for later. She took Wynter from Harry's arms and returned the hug she gave her. "Oof. You’re so heavy!” she commented.

"Every day," Harry stated.

“Hey mate,” Ron greeted, “You look like crap.”

“I was fine, then she woke up,” Harry said and gave him a hug, “I’m so tired,” he groaned clinging to him.

Ron laughed, patted him on the back and released him, “So glad I am not you.”

“You will someday and you will feel my pain,” Harry said, and looked around the empty living room, “No one else?”

“Nah, we didn’t tell anyone you were coming this time,” Ron said.

“Good, I don’t think I would be able to take it right now.”

“Aw! She has another tooth,” Hermione exclaimed as she made Wynter smile.

“Yeah, they are suddenly popping up,” Harry said taking a seat on the couch, “She has another one coming up on the bottom.”

“Uca!” Wynter said and waved her arms to Ron.

“Is the saying Uncle?” At Harry’s nod, Ron smiled, “Hey,” he said and took her when Hermione handed her over. “How are you doing?”

“Oke,” Wynter said.

“Okay. You causing your mom any trouble?”

“O.”

“Ha!” Harry said, “Yeah right.”

“Oown,” Wynter said looking up at Ron.

“What?”

“She wants down,” Harry said.

“Oh,” Ron said and placed her on the floor.

“Mama, edy?”

“Teddy is right there,” Harry said pointing over to his bag where it was poking out. She saw it and crawled over to get it.

“Ahh! She’s crawling!” Hermione cried, “I know you said she was but wow!”

“Geez, she’s fast,” Ron commented.

“And now you see my problem,” Harry said, but for now she was behaving, “So how’s everything going with you guys? House Elf campaign going well?” he asked Hermione.

“Ugh. Slow,” she responded, “People are starting to listen and understand the issue with how house elves are treated, but they don’t want to do anything!”

“Well, you know it was going to be a challenge, but that never stopped you,” Harry said with a smile.

“Yes. I will not stop,” she said firmly.

“What about you Ron?”

“Busy. Mostly with the usual, break-ins, arguments getting out of hand, you know.” Harry nodded. "Then with the raid-"

"Raid?" Harry asked sitting up.

"Didn't you hear?" Ron asked.

Harry shook his head, "I don't really keep up with what is happening here anymore."

"Voldemort conducted a raid on a town outside of Glasgow last week. We are still cleaning up the mess."

"I see," Harry said quietly. He hadn't known Tom had done anything like that, then again they had agreed not to talk about any of the things that he did while he was Voldemort. But it didn't stop some of the guilt to trickle in since the man behind all of it, was sleeping in his bed.

"Ah, not that you have to worry about any of that," Ron quickly said, misunderstanding his silence. "Just leave the fighting to us. We'll find out a way to beat Voldemort. I mean, with you no longer fighting with us, it's going to be hard, but there has to be another way. Not that we are blaming you! Well, some are, but-"

"What Ron means to say," Hermione butted in glaring at Ron, "Is that you should just focus on Wynter. That's all that matters."

"R-Right, Voldemort has nothing to do with you anymore," Ron added.

Hermione turned to him and hissed, "You are not helping!"

Harry laughed at their bickering, yet he was still a bit uneasy. Oh, Ron, you have no idea...

"Well," Hermione said clapping her hands and turning toward Harry, "How have you been?"

"Oh, where do I start...?"

xxx

Harry, Ron, and Hermione were laughing and catching up with each other, eating a late dinner or breakfast for Harry and keeping a strict eye on Wynter. With her in the house, Ron and Hermione got a firsthand experience in what she was like with Wynter's grabby hands. They chased after her when she got a hold of something she shouldn't and when she was about to. Harry enjoyed it.

"You're enjoying this, aren't you," Ron said dropping back down into his chair.

"Immensely," Harry said, "Now you see what I was talking about."

"Yes. I don't know how you do it," Hermione said.

"Honestly, I have no idea. What?" he asked as Wynter crawled up to him.

"Mama? Dedee?" She asked blinking innocently up at him.

Harry felt his heart seize, Oh Shit! "He's not here sweetheart," he told her hoping they didn't catch it. But of course...

"Did she just say, daddy?" Hermione asked.

"No, it's uh a toy. She left it at home."

"No... It sounded like Daddy."

"Dedee?" Wynter said again.

"It's not, how can that be? Ron's the only other man in her life," Harry laughed, but it sounded fake to his ears, "Right?" he said to Wynter. Pleading with his eyes for her not to say it again.

"Dedee!" Wynter insisted.

"Wait..." Hermione said slowly, a smile creeping across her face, "Speaking of men..."

"Oh god," Harry moaned leaning forward so his head was resting on his arms. He felt a small hand pat his head and looked up to Wynter's concerned green eyes.

"I had completely forgotten about the man you've been seeing."

"Oh yeah," Ron said perking up, "You've been keeping it from us the whole time. So? Spill."

"What's his name?" Hermione asked her eyes sparkling at the prospect of information.

"N-Name? It's-" Harry froze. Shit! What do I call him? Tom is too obvious. "Mar-" No still obvious! "k..."

"Mark?"

"Yes, he's French," Harry closed his eyes briefly, cursing himself. French? Really? Is Mark even a French name? Why didn't I come with some sort of story? But that was him alright, making up things on the spot.

"French?" Hermione asked with a wide smile.

"Ooh la la," Ron teased.

"I bet he's good in bed."

"Hermione?!" Harry gasped, his cheeks turning pink.

"I'll take that as a yes," she giggled.

"Where did you meet this Mark?" Ron asked.

"At the...store?" Harry said hesitantly. "I went there every week, and he was always there at the same time, so we got to talking and it went from there," Harry finished lamely.

"And he's a wizard?" Hermione asked.

"Yeah, there are a few of them around the area. You can tell because they dress a little funny."

"Did he dress funny?" Ron asked.

"No. He knew how to dress," Harry smiled.

Hermione gasped excitedly, "Does he have an accent?"

"Kind of?" Harry said uncertainly.

"Does he speak French to you? That is so hot."

"Maybe I should learn," Ron commented lightly.

"Maybe you should," Hermione said back. Harry laughed and shook his head. They were too much some times. "How is he with Wynter?"

"He's...fantastic. I really couldn't ask for more; he's just so...gentle with her and treats her like she's his own daughter," Which she is... Harry thought, "When they first met, she would just stare at him, unsure like I was, but she warmed up to him. And now she's starting to call him Daddy and Mark doesn't seem to mind. If anything he's overjoyed," Harry said with a fond smile.

"And you?"

"Me? I don't mind. Wynter needs a father, and Mark is more than up to the task. I wasn't...sure, at first, what with our situation, I didn't want to put us in any danger. Mark didn't mind that either, he knew who I was, it's obvious," Harry said gesturing to his scar, "As was why I was in hiding," he added, caressing Wynter's hair, who had sat at his feet playing with her Teddy. "Plus, I don't really have any, uh, experience with men and with Wynter, I wasn't sure if he would be...interested? I guess. But we started off as just friends; it was gradual. We would just talk, about anything and everything. Wynter mainly. But mostly it's..."

"Physical?" Ron put in.

Harry felt his face heat up, "Y-Yes. That."

"So he's good to both of you?" Hermione inquired.

"Yes. He is," Harry said thinking of Tom, "He treats Wynter wonderfully, like a princess and she adores him. Watching him with her I can see that he loves her and he’s so careful because she’s so small. And he’s just as ecstatic when she learns something, like when she started crawling and got her first tooth. Right away, Mark was very receptive of Wynter, she is his whole world now.”

“And you?” Hermione softly asked so to not disrupt his thoughts.

“Me? Well, it’s…I mean…” he floundered, trying to find the words. “I don’t know. We are so completely different, yet we get along really well. We buttheads at times, but that’s to be expected. I’m more…open? I guess would be it and he - Mark - can be a little…distant and standoffish at times and kind of…rude, I guess. It’s just the way he is, it’s like he doesn’t understand now to…” he shrugged, “be emotionally there?”

“Sounds like a lot of work,” Ron commented.

“Yeah, but he tries. He can be so...sweet and gentle and kind; a little rough around the edges sure and sometimes a pain in the ass. He doesn't...sugar coat anything, he just tells it like it is. One moment he can be kind of rude and condescending and the next he's really sweet and attentive. He’s actually very playful in a way that is borderline dirty and logical. He’s really smart too, so his humor is kind of…out there, but…he makes me laugh. And he’s softened up since he’s been with Wynter. Watching them together…” he just shook his head, unable to put it into words.

Ron and Hermione shared a look and a knowing smile. "You're in love with him," Hermione said.

Harry felt like he had just been doused with ice water and he stared at Hermione in disbelief. "...W-What?! No!" Harry said incredulously, eyes wide. "No. There's no way."

"Really? It's just, the way you talk about him...it sounds like-"

"No!" Harry said, not wanting to hear it. It wasn't possible. He was not- He couldn't be...

“Harry,” Hermione said gently, seeing the panic on his face, “There’s nothing wrong with falling in love.”

“Yes, but…” he trailed off. “Not with him,” he whispered to himself and pressed his hands against his eyes.

Hermione frowned when she heard, but said nothing. She was not expecting this type of reaction to this new information. She thought it was a good thing, Harry was not one to give up his heart easily; Wynter was the exception.

Harry was having what felt like a mini-panic attack when he felt a small tap on his leg and he removed his hands to looked down to see Wynter sitting at his feet.

“Mama, oke?” Wynter asked him, her eyes concerned.

“I’m okay sweetheart,” Harry said and picked her up. She placed her hands on his face and looked at him as if to make sure, then wrapped her arms around his neck in a hug and he hugged her back.

“Harry…” Hermione said uncertainly.

“I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Please,” Harry said rubbing his forehead where he felt a headache coming on.

And as if to confirm that the conversation was over, Wynter exclaimed “O!” Effectively scolding the both of them.

They finally dropped it and they moved on to lighter topics, but the words kept floating around in his head for the rest of the visit.

xxx

Harry walked in with Wynter at his hip and Tom was there waiting in the sitting area reading the paper. He looked up when he came in and he relaxed, yet he frowned when Harry looked quickly away.

“De!” Wynter exclaimed when she saw him and wiggled around to be let free, so Harry put her down and she crawled to him, “Dedee!”

“Hi sweetheart,” Tom murmured to her as he picked her up, “Did you have fun today?”

“Ah!”

“Yeah?” He walked over to where Harry had put his stuff down, "You're back early."

"Well, it's late over there. They have to sleep, you know."

"Hmm," Tom hummed in agreement, walking up beside Harry, “Did you go shopping?”

“W-What?” Harry asked, startled by his closeness, “No, no their gifts for Wynter. Hermione got her an outfit and Mrs. Weasley made her something, and Tonks sent a shirt…it’s crazy.”

“Were they there again?”

“No. Just Ron and Hermione. They sent it to them and Hermione gave it to me.”

“I see…so everything went okay?”

“Yeah, why do you ask?” Harry said quickly, wincing at the crack in his voice and he turned to busy himself with the bags.

“You seem…distracted,” Tom said cautiously.

“No, no. I’m fine. You know, you're here early too.”

"Didn't have much to do yet, I have to go back later...you sure you're okay?"

"Yeah."

“Harry…” Tom said and put Wynter down so she could play with her toys and took a hold of Harry’s arm to turn him around.

Harry stiffened at Tom’s touch, all too aware of him and turned to look at his chest then up at his face. He saw the concern there, but all he could think of was what Hermione had said – that he…with Tom - it had all he had been thinking about for the past few hours. So when he looked up at Tom he had no idea what to say and his heart was beating so fast and he felt like everything he was feeling was all over his face, so he blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “I had to tell them who you were!”

At Tom’s lifted brow, he elaborated. “Well, not about you, but you as my…” he gestured not able to say it, but Tom got it. “They wanted to know your name, how we met…I had no idea what to say, I panicked.”

“What did you say?” Tom asked.

Harry shrugged and lifted his arms and dropped them in defeat, “I said your name was Mark, you were French and we met at the market.”

"Mark?" Tom questioned.

"Yes. Mark. Is that even French!?" Harry exclaimed tugging at his hair and pacing, now really panicking. "I couldn't think of anything else, they put me on the spot. I couldn't say Tom because there is only one Tom that we know, Tom Riddle. And I was going to say Marvolo, but that's even more obvious!"

"Is that M-a-r-c or M-a-r-q-u-e?" Tom asked thoughtfully.

"I don't care how it's spelled! Why aren't you panicking?"

"They already knew that you were seeing someone, right?"

"Yeah. But still!"

Tom nodded to himself, "I think M-a-r-q-u-e will do. God of War suits me."

"Ugh! I feel so stupid!" Harry groaned loudly.

"Calm down," Tom said and pulled Harry to him, "Tout ira bien, mon coeur," (Everything will be alright, my heart) and pulled him in for a kiss.

They broke away and Harry gazed up at him, "Of course you speak French."

"Of course," Tom said with a grin and kissed him again. He pulled away again and added, "Besides, all you did was give me a name and where I came from and how we met. You didn't lie about anything else did you?"

"...No," Harry said shifting his eyes away, in embarrassment at the things he had said.

"Alors il n'y a rien à craindre." (Then there's nothing to worry about)

"I have no idea what you are saying. But Hermione was right," Harry murmured, "It's hot."

"Oh? Aimes-tu ça, Harry?" Tom said with a smirk, feeling the shiver that went down Harry's spine. (Do you like it, Harry?)

Harry gazed up at Tom’s blue eyes and felt his heart beat skip as the whispered words he didn’t understand caressed his ears, yet made him feel butterflies in his stomach. You love him, don’t you? Harry suddenly jerked and turned away, his heart hammering now for a different reason, “I-I have to make lunch and get Wynter down for her nap," he said and quickly headed to the kitchen where he banged pots and pans around looking busy, so he missed Tom's frown and suspicious look.

Yet despite his curiosity to why Harry was acting that way, he didn’t push, instead, Tom set his sights on keeping Wynter busy and out of trouble; a job in itself.

Harry, on the other hand, tried to push those forbidden thoughts away as he focused on lunch. He just couldn’t be in love with Tom. He was a Dark Lord, he killed and tortured people! He was heartless and unforgiving. He had killed his parents! It was just impossible and wrong, so wrong!

Harry glanced up as he heard Wynter’s bubbly little laugh and felt his heart melt as he watched Tom raise her up in the air, letting her wave her arms and legs about, then pulled her in for several kisses and then raised her back up again, only to bring her back in for more kisses.

He looked down at the pan he was stirring and frowned. And yet, despite all that. Here he was living with said Dark Lord, having made a child with him. And he was happy. He no longer had to watch his back, he had a very nice roof over his head and had a beautiful little family. Harry even got to see a side of Tom, this smiling, playful side that no one had seen before. Hell, even Tom had never seen it, it was that rare or actually had been non-existent. But Tom was trying and he liked seeing the change in him, it was so special and enlightening to see Tom light up when he was with his daughter.

Things between them were fine too. He wasn’t treated like dirt or any less than a human being, he wasn’t being tortured; he was well cared for. And they got along pretty well and spent time together – had dinner together and movie night, or generally just sitting in comforting silence – but that didn’t mean anything. It was just what people did, what else were they going to do? Sure he liked Tom well enough, he was kind, the sex was fantastic and he was sweet with Wynter, but he wasn’t in love with him.

Was he?

Chapter Text

The following weeks after Harry's revelation were full of blunders and blushing, at least on Harry's part. Tom remained blissfully ignorant of what was going on inside Harry's head, though he tried to pry it out of him unsuccessfully. It wasn't like Harry could just tell him; he had no idea how Tom would react, hell, he didn't know how to react. It just hadn't seemed real.

He had come home from Ron and Hermione's place and had been in complete denial about the whole thing. It just wasn't possible, Tom was a Dark Lord, and not any Dark Lord, THE Dark Lord Voldemort, the one who had been trying to kill him, who had killed his parents! But that line of thought didn't work; Harry had long since separated them into two people, Tom Riddle and Voldemort, it helped when he was continuously sleeping and living with the man. So trying to put them back into one person didn't make the feelings he felt go away. If anything, it made it all the more pronounced and the more he denied it the more it became obvious and thus it made him self-conscious.

Whenever they were in the same room, Harry found himself watching Tom, whether he was playing with Wynter or just sitting there reading the newspaper his heart would flutter erratically in a way that wasn't normal. And when they made love! Merlin, it was like his heart would burst out of his chest, he would turn his head away, afraid Tom would see it on his face. It wasn't that he hadn't felt it before, but he would just pass it off as nothing special, that he was just happy that Wynter was happy. Yet Harry no matter how he denied it, he eventually admitted it. He was in love with Tom.

Just what to do about it, he had no idea.

"It's not like I can just tell him," Harry muttered to himself as he chopped vegetables on the counter. He had never told anyone that he loved them before, nor had he been told, but that's because he had a crap childhood. Same with Tom, but he was sure he had been confessed to before, possibly gone out with some because they were convenient to him...that sounded about right. Ah, speak of the devil, he thought as the front door opened to reveal the object of his thoughts.

"Hi," Tom said as he shed his outer robe.

"Hey."

"Where's Wynter?" he asked as he planted a kiss on Harry's forehead in greeting.

Harry gestured with his head to the dining table and Tom looked at him curiously before walking over and looking under the table. Underneath he found his daughter quietly playing with her toys when she saw him her face brightened.

"Da-dee!" She exclaimed and crawled out under a chair where she was picked up.

"What are you doing under there?"

"She's been under there pretty much all day," Harry answered, "Not that I'm complaining, she's been keeping herself occupied and not getting into anything for once."

"I see. Staying out of Mama's hair?" Tom asked her.

"Mama," Wynter said pointing to her mother.

"That's right, and how about me?" he asked sitting down on the couch with her.

Wynter framed his face with her small hands and gave him a kiss, "Da-dee," she said happily.

"That's right."

It had taken a little while for Wynter to get it right, even then, she still had to say it slowly or she would revert to her usual 'Dedee.' Tom was overjoyed with the progress.

"Pay?" Wynter asked.

"You want to play?" Tom asked her.

"Ye."

"What do you want to play?

"Da-dee!" she exclaimed and pressed her face to his, giving happy giggles when Tom rubbed his nose against hers.

Harry watched them, smiling softly as he cooked dinner. It was always so sweet to watch the two of them together. It had always been said that the Dark Lord had no emotions and didn't know how to love, but here he was caring and loving their daughter. Whether or not that extended to him, he had no idea. It was possible, right? But it was also possible that it wasn't and that was what he was scared of. He tried to suppress these emotions he was feeling, but they kept bubbling up at odd moments, like now.

"Harry?"

Harry blinked and looked up to see Tom holding Wynter looking at him in concern. "Are you alright?"

"Y-Yeah. I'm fine," he said and quickly turned off the stove so the pot wouldn't boil over as it was about to do.

"Are you sure? You've been distracted."

"I'm fine, really. It's just...it's nothing," Harry reassured him and turned away.

"Mama?" Wynter asked.

"Wash your hands, we are going to eat soon," Harry told her.

"an!" Wynter yelled, showing her daddy her hands.

Tom smiled and headed to the sink to wash their hands, but looked at Harry's turned back in concern. He had been like this for weeks and he didn't like it. It was obvious Harry was keeping something from him, but he wouldn't budge and kept saying he was fine. He had tried various tactics to try to get it from him-persuasion, sex, and plain just asking- but Harry remained tight-lipped about it.

It wasn't affecting anything, Harry just seemed really distracted and at times wouldn't look at him. It clearly had to do something with him and he tried to think if he had done anything to upset him, but Harry wasn't angry. He would know if he was angry. Hell, Harry would let him know if he was angry at him. But he wasn't, he was...Tom had no idea. It was frustrating.

He would just have to wait for Harry to come to him...he hated waiting.

xxx

Tom was sitting in his office at Riddle Manor working on an outline of his new area of attack, but he wasn't completely focused on it. The night before, Harry had abruptly turned away from him after they had made love and had kept his back to him the entire night, but he had let him hold him. He didn't know what he had done and it was very annoying. He had half wanted to grab Harry and shake him until he told him what he did. But that wouldn't work. It would only cause him to clam up.

He sighed and rubbed his eyes, Harry was so difficult to understand sometimes.

There was a knock at the door that drew his attention from his musings, "Enter," he called as he sat back in his chair.

"'Sup, boss man," Fenrir said with a grin as he strode in.

"Fenrir. What is it?"

"Just wanted to let you know that the rest of the wolves are behind you, though I am having trouble with one of the tribes. They are not too keen on you."

"Mmm, is that so? I knew going into this, not everyone would be agreeable."

"I'm sure that with time, I can convince them. They are just not completely swayed with the way you do things. Though, things are turning around now."

"I suppose so."

"Um..." Fenrir paused watching the Dark Lord as he gazed outward, clearly not paying attention.

"Yes?"

"Is everything alright, my lord?"

"Everything is fine. Why?"

"You seem...distracted."

Tom looked up at the man before him, looking imposing yet concerned. "It's more of a personal matter."

"Really?" Fenrir didn't really see the Dark Lord of having anything "personal" to deal with, but then again he had to have a life outside the war. Well, except..."Does this, uh, have to do with the guy you're seeing?"

Tom regarded the werewolf in front of him for a minute before sitting back in his seat. "Yes."

"Ah. Well, everyone goes through a lovers quarrel."

"We haven't fought," Tom said casually, steepling his fingers with his elbows on the arms of his chair. "He's keeping something from me."

Fenrir paused, not sure what to say. "Well. Um, i-it's not like he's cheating. You're...you're um..." he racked his brains trying to find something appealing about the snake-like man sitting in front of him, "You're the Dark Lord," he finished weakly.

Tom stared at his rambling companion and realized he was still in his Voldemort disguise. He considered a moment and decided. He glanced at the closed door and it locked.

Fenrir stiffened when he heard the lock slide into place, afraid he had crossed a line but then watched as the Dark Lord's face began to change into that of a young man, early twenties with a head full of black hair, blue eyes and a nose. "Holy Shit!" he laughed. "He's defiantly not cheating!" And he continued to laugh his surprise and approval.

Tom cracked a small smile, "This doesn't leave this room, understood."

"Got it boss man. Not like anyone would believe me anyway."

"Good. But no, he's not cheating," Tom said getting up to look out the window behind him.

"That's good."

"Yet, he's still keeping something from me."

"Good or bad?" Fenrir asked.

"I have no idea. He has just been increasingly evasive. It bothers me to no end."

"Well, you can always make him tell you. But if he's, uh, you know...um, special? Your guy may just tell you when he's ready."

Tom hummed and thought about it. He had to admit that Fenrir was right, it didn't seem to be anything bad, he hoped, but Harry may just tell him on his own. "Maybe."

Fenrir sat in silence watching the new form of the Dark Lord curiously, as he stared out the window thoughtfully. It was strange seeing him look so human, he was used to his usual form, but he had to admit that this one was easier on the eyes. He had known that the Dark Lord had a glamour on, but not what kind or what it did. It certainly explained how he had gotten a frequent lover. "Sooo...when did this happen?" he asked breaking the silence.

Turning his back to the window, Tom replied, "Shortly after I got my body back. Though this appearance hardly strikes fear in people."

"But it sure as hell will get you a lot of women. Or guys," Fenrir said with a grin.

Tom rolled his eyes, but allowed a small smile, "It helps."

Fenrir just let out a healthy laugh. After he got himself under control he asked, "Does he know? About you, who you are?"

"Yes. Though we don't discuss it."

"I suppose it's not an ideal pillow talk conversation."

"Definitely not."

A knock at the door cut off anything more that Fenrir was going to say. "It's Johnson, my lord. I have my report." A muffled voice called through the door.

"Enter," Tom said taking a seat at his desk as his appearance changed back to his Voldemort guise.

"That's my cue to leave. Later boss man."

Tom nodded and turned to his follower and thus back to work.

xxx

The moment Tom stepped through the front door he heard hysterical laughter coming from upstairs. It was obviously Harry, but he had never heard him laugh like that. Curious, Tom headed upstairs to Wynter's room; inside, Harry was on his knees in front of Wynter who was wearing the most ridiculous outfit.

"Da-dee!" Wynter exclaimed as she saw him in the door way.

"What is she wearing?"

Harry wiped tears from his eyes, "It's one of the outfits I got from some friends. This one is from Mrs. Weasley. But she is just...it's huge." Harry said and he was right. The outfit was a full-body jumpsuit in thick bright red, complete with a red cap that was held on under her chin. "I know she made it, but she looks like a big red, jelly bean," Harry said trying not to laugh.

"Pin cushion, more like," Tom commented and Harry dissolved into laughter.

"Mama! Jee be! Jee be!" Wynter repeated happily, waving her arms and making herself fall over.

"Oops! My jelly bean fell over," Harry said scooping her up.

"Jee be!"

"Jelly bean. Are you my jelly bean?"

"Ye!" Wynter said, clapping her hands and reaching for him.

"I could eat you up. Nom, nom, nom!" Harry said lightly munching on her cheeks.

"Mama! O!" she giggled and pushed his face away.

"Okay, okay," Harry said and settled her in her lap, but she didn't stay still, crawled out of his lap to her toy box, and pulled out her stacking toy and crawled back. Thanks to magic, her toy box was connected to the one downstairs and she could pull out what ever toy she wanted where ever she was, granted that they were in the toy box. It led to many crying sessions when she couldn't find the one she wanted because she didn't put it away.

"I love that."

"Love what?" Tom asked.

Harry smiled and said nothing, only looked down at their daughter. She was playing with one of her toys and chatting to herself. "Mamamamama." Wynter looked up when Harry touched her head, "Mama!" she cried, toy forgotten as she reached for him.

"Yes. Mama, my little jelly bean," Harry said lifting her up in the air as he laid back on the floor.

"Eeee!" Wynter squealed.

"Whee!" Harry laughed, "You are so cute! Oh! I need to get a picture!" he said and sat up. Handing Wynter to Tom, he took off downstairs to get his camera.

Tom and Wynter looked at each other and she gave him a smile which he returned. "You look like a tomato," he commented, tugging at the hat.

"O, Dadee, Jee be!" Wynter exclaimed adamantly.

"Okay, okay, jelly bean. The red ones are pretty good."

"Ye," Wynter agreed.

"How can you know, you don't have teeth?" Tom asked her, but she only agreed again. "Well, you do have 2 in there. Not that they can do anything yet," he said tugging on her lower lip and taking a seat in the rocker by the window.

"Ow," she said touching her mouth and looking up at him.

"Ow? Did that hurt? Are you growing another one?"

"Ye."

"Yeah? Let me see." Tom lifted Wynter's face up and tugged on her lower lip to peer inside, and right next to the other one was a new tooth coming up. "Look at that," he said softly in slight awe, "You're going to have a full set of teeth soon."

"Dadee," Wynter said happily as she gazed up at him.

"What princess? Oh, Mama is coming," he said hearing Harry's footsteps on the stairs.

"Mama!" Wynter yelled enthusiastically as she saw him.

"Wynter!" Harry called back.

"She's growing another tooth," Tom commented as he came in with camera in hand.

"I thought so, she keeps rubbing her mouth. It's going to be like that for a while until she gets all her teeth in. Okay jelly bean," Harry said bending down in front of the rocking chair and holding up his camera, "Smile!" Wynter only blinked at him, so Tom tickled her stomach and she giggled. "There it is," Harry cooed and snapped a picture. "She looks ridiculous...but at least she's warm."

"I think babies are the only one who can make ridiculous look... not ridiculous?" Tom finished slowly, thoughtfully.

"I know right? If I ever wore something like this, I would never live it down. Or you." Harry glanced at Tom, looking at his up and down, a smile twitching at his lips.

"Stop it," Tom warned.

Harry turned away quickly, a snort escaping him, then dissolved into giggles.

Tom knew what Harry was envisioning and it wasn't funny, but he found he wasn't angry at being laughed at, especially as it was the first time in weeks that Harry had been normal around him. He had missed it.

"Mama," Wynter said pointing at Harry who was now in full blown laughter on the floor.

"Go get him," he said releasing her on the floor where she crawled over Harry's face.

"Ah! I'm being attacked by a giant red jelly bean!" Harry cried as Wynter attacked him.

"Jee be!"

Tom could only chuckle and shake his head at the ridiculous scene before him, Harry was acting like a child, rolling around on the floor and making a fool of himself, but when Wynter crawled over and attacked his legs he played along and went down, pretending to topple over and allowing her to crawl over him and conquer the big daddy giant. He felt ridiculous laying on the floor with Harry helping Wynter pin him down, but hearing her laugh in delight was worth it. And seeing Harry smiling and laughing with them didn't feel bad either.

Chapter Text

“Aw, Harry. Don’t go yet,” Hermione said pouting as Harry started to gather his things together.

“Don’t give me that,” Harry said as he picked up Wynter, “It’s late for you guys and you need to sleep.”

Harry had once more come to visit Ron and Hermione and had a great time catching up. Talking over the phone was always great, but nothing beats face-to-face conversations. Plus, Wynter got to see her godparents. The only downside was that they only got to visit for a few hours because of the time difference. It was really late here in London and Harry hated having them stay up so late. Not that it bothered them, they loved seeing Harry and their little goddaughter.

“I don’t need sleep,” Ron said.

“We don’t work tomorrow anyway,” Hermione added in.

“It’s after one o’clock in the morning. Go to bed!” Harry said sternly.

“Wow you have the scolding voice down pat,” Ron commented with a grin and a yawn.

“Shut up. Now I have to go and get this one down for her nap,” he said smoothing his hand down Wynter's back.

“O, ap!” Wynter exclaimed, rubbing her hand across her face.

“Yes, nap. You’re rubbing your eyes,” Harry said smoothing her hair.

“O,” she said sleepily, laying her head down on his shoulder.

“Yes, you are,” Harry said and turned to his friends, “I’m going.”

“2 hours is not enough time,” Hermione said following him to the door.

“I know, but with the different time zones…” Harry shrugged. “I’ll see you guys later. I’ll call about when I can come again.”

“Okay…” they said mournfully.

Harry wished them goodbye and stepped out with Wynter in his arms. He gripped the portkey necklace around his neck and spoke the password –Take me home- The portkey had already whisked them away by the time he felt something gripping his arm.

xxx

Harry landed with a little more weight than usual, but remained upright, he immediately knew what had happened and started to panic.“Oh my god, oh my god! What did you do?” Harry said turning to the guilty faces of his friends who were right behind him. In front of his house. In Australia.

“I-I’m sorry Harry, I just…” Hermione made a grabbing motion. So she was the culprit.

“Relax, Harry. We just want to spend more time with you. We hardly ever see you anymore,” Ron said, but Harry didn’t hear it.

“You have to go back,” he said panicked. What would Tom say!? Fuck!

“A-ie,” Wynter said holding out a hand which Hermione took.

“We’re already here, Harry, why don’t you just show us around,” she said.

“I can’t-“ Harry started but was drowned out by Ron’s awed voice.

“Wow, you live here?” Ron asked as he looked around the nice neighborhood and the big house in front of them.

Harry hesitated. It shouldn’t hurt, right? Tom is at work. I can just show them around and send them home. No biggie… “Okay, fine. But not long.”

“Sure, sure,” Ron agreed. “What time is it anyway? It’s so bright.”

“It’s about noon here.”

“Ah, it is a little jarring,” Hermione commented. “Are you going to let us in?”

“Okay,” Harry breathed to himself and opened the door to let them in…only to stop dead in his tracks. Why? Why, of all days! “T-M-Marque…You’re still home,” he stuttered as he saw the figure sitting on the couch reading the newspaper.

Tom looked up at the use of his fictional name and spotted the two people he knew to be Harry’s friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. He narrowed his eyes in anger, they were not supposed to be here, no one was, but then he looked at Harry and saw his wide-eyed frightened look and realized this was an accident. How? He did not know, but he will find out. For now…

He schooled his expression and got up, “I decided not to go in today,” he said with a perfect French accent.

Harry’s eyes widened slightly, Of course, he can do an accent, “Oh.”

“You must be Ron and Hermione,” Tom said holding out a hand, “Bonjour. Harry has told me a lot about you.”

“Oh, Bonjour,” Hermione said reddening slightly. “You must be Marque.”

“Oui,” Tom said taking Hermione’s offered hand and turning it over to kiss the back of her hand, making Hermione blush.

“You must have a good job to just not go in,” Ron commented, shaking Tom’s hand.

“Yes. I own my own company, so taking time off is not a problem.”

“Oh? What do you do?” Hermione asked.

“My company produces artifacts for various purposes, protection mostly,” Tom lied smoothly.

“Ah. That explains Harry’s necklace.”

“Oui,” Tom agreed, “Please, make yourself at home. Harry, word?”

Harry nodded and handed Wynter to Ron -“Uca!” – and followed Tom to the kitchen.

“I’m so sorry,” Harry started when they were out of earshot. “I didn’t mean for them to…Hermione grabbed onto my elbow and then they were here,” Harry closed his eyes and shook his head, opening them again, he looked at Tom apologetically, “I’m sorry.”

Tom sighed and watched the pair carefully as they looked around, impressed. “I know. It’s not your fault. Though I will have to fix that.”

Harry nodded in agreement, “I’ll take them back.”

Tom hesitated for a moment, “You don’t have to just yet. They are already here. Show them around.”

“Really?” Harry asked in a hushed voice and wide eyes.

“They’re your friends. I can trust that they won’t put you and Wynter in any danger.”

Harry smiled brightly and kissed him full on the mouth, “Thank you!” He turned around to tell Ron and Hermione and they were each giving him wide smiles. Harry then realized the had kissed Tom in front of them. He felt his face heat up and he ducked his head as he walked back to them. “Shut up.”

“We didn’t say anything,” Hermione said.

“You don’t have to,” Harry grumbled. “Marque said you can stay for a while. Come on, I’ll show you around,” he said almost bouncing on his feet in excitement.

So off they went, Tom, trailing after them, as Harry showed them around Haven Hall, pointing out some detail or another. They were very impressed with the spacious backyard and the playground for Wynter that she was unable to use yet. And the pool, oh the pool. Hermione loved the wide pool with the waterfall coming from the jacuzzi and the plants that surrounded it, giving it a more natural feel. But when they got upstairs to the bedrooms, especially Wynter’s they were absolutely floored.

“Oh Harry, this is beautiful!” Hermione gasped looking at everything from the letters that spelled Wynter’s name above her crib to the big bay window overlooking the town that was down the road.

“I know. Marque did it all for me. I didn’t have to do anything this time, thank god,” Harry said.

“I remember going through all those booklets and brochures,” Ron commented, “That was a nightmare.”

“Marque had to do it instead. He did a great job.”

“That he did. You have very good taste,” Hermione said to Tom.

“Thank you.”

“Ai’n!” Wynter exclaimed.

“Is this room yours?” Hermione asked her.

“Ye,” Wynter agreed.

“Why don’t you show them,” Harry said and placed her in the crib.

“Sep,” Wynter said and laid down.

“This is where you sleep?”

“Ye,” she said rubbing her eyes.

“Show Auntie how you sleep,” Harry said and Wynter closed her eyes as Harry pulled the blankets up around her. Within minutes she was asleep.

“Nicely done,” Hermione praised.

“I know, I can’t believe it was that easy today.”

“Why? It usually isn’t?” Ron asked.

“Not always. Sometimes she really fights it and ends up cranky when she wakes up.”

“That’s not good,” Hermione said.

“No, it’s not. For either of us.”

“Soooo…is your room through here?” Ron asked casually, but there was a smirk on his face, as he went to the connecting door.

“Yes…” Harry said slowly.

“For both of you?”

“Oh, my God, Ron!” Harry groaned in embarrassment.

“What?” he asked innocently as he opened the door and stepped into the room.

“Wow, you do not hold back, do you?” Hermione asked looking around.

“I wanted nothing but the best for Harry and little Wynter,” Tom replied.

“And yourself,” Ron added.

Tom’s mouth twitched in a smile, “Yes. Me too.”

Harry rolled his eyes and showed them the rest of the house. When the tour was done, the four of them settled out in the backyard around the fire pit to talk.

“So, Marque. Harry told us that you met at the market,” Hermione probed lightly.

“Oui, in the frozen foods section, if I remember correctly. It went from there,” Tom responded smoothly.

“Did it bother you at all that Harry already had a baby?” Ron asked, watching him carefully.

“Non,” Tom shook his head, “I always wanted a family. It just so happened that Harry had one already pre-started.”

“That’s nice,” Hermione commented. “I’m just glad that Harry found someone who can care for them both, not everyone wants a “pre-started” family to use your term.”

“Usually a big turn off,” Ron added.

“Yes, but Wynter is…how you say…” Tom paused as if trying to find the word, “Mignon. Uh. Very cute.”

“She is,” Hermione agreed.

“And Harry is…not so bad,” Tom said with a shrug.

“How mean,” Harry gasped while Ron and Hermione laughed. But he knew that Tom had just gained his friends approval.

"So, Marque, um...do you know about Harry and stuff?" Ron asked.

"If you mean the whole Boy-Who-Lived stuff, then yes. It is quite hard to not know when the name Harry Potter comes up."

"You're not afraid that Voldemort will come after you?" Hermione asked.

"To live in fear is not truly living," Tom responded smoothly.

“That’s true,” Hermione agreed, “Although, Voldemort seems to have stopped going after him for some reason.”

“Perhaps he is tired of endless failures and turned his attention elsewhere,” Tom suggested.

“After 14 years of targeting him, not likely,” Ron said, “He’s planning something.”

Tom frowned thoughtfully, but Harry put a hand on his arm to soothe him.

“Who knows,” Harry said with a shrug, “I’m perfectly safe here anyway, Voldemort can’t hurt me anymore.”

“Where is here exactly?” Hermione asked looking toward the beach, “It’s very sunny and warm and judging by the time I figure we are somewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere.”

“You are correct,” Tom said. He hesitated a second then said, “We are in Australia.”

“Australia?” Hermione asked and took another impressed look around.

“I guess that’s why owls took so long to get back.

“Yeah, it’s a long trip for Hedwig. That’s why I’m glad we got the phone.”

“So Marque, what kind of charms are you using around here,” Hermione asked Tom.

“Different kinds ranging from Muggle repelling to…” And off they went into a rapid-fire question and answer discussion regarding charms and their different uses.

Ron just rolled his eyes with a fond smile and Harry laughed. “I knew they would get along,” Harry said.

“I can see why. He’s another bookworm.”

“He is,” Harry agreed.

“So how is Hedwig?”

“She’s fine. I think she likes it here. There are a lot of big creatures here. She actually brought home a giant spider the other day.”

“Did she eat it?”

“Yup. Gobbled it right up. It was so gross yet very fascinating.”

“Cool. Have you gone skinny dipping yet?”

Harry blinked at the surprising question and turned red when he remembered Tom screwing him in the jacuzzi. “N-No!”

“Meaning yes,” Ron said with a smirk.

“Meaning no,” Harry argued back, “Really. I haven’t. Not that I haven’t thought about it,” he admitted and Ron laughed.

“I’m sure Marque would like to see it,” Ron said lowering his voice.

“Shut it!” Harry hissed. “What about you then? Have you asked her?”

Ron paled and he looked away. “No.” he mumbled.

“Why not?”

“It’s not that easy…”

“Sure it is,” Harry said and scooted closer to the red-head. “You know she’ll say yes.”

Ron opened his mouth to respond, but Tom got up on the other side of the couch, catching his attention.

“I have a book about home protection charms, I’ll go find it,” Tom said and promptly disappeared inside.

Hermione scooted over so that she was sitting next to Ron, “I like him.”

“I thought you might,” Harry said.

“He really did up this house with every protection charm he could think of, there no way anyone is getting in here.”

“I told you we’re safe.”

“I know,” Hermione said, “But knowing the full extent of how well you two are protected makes me feel better.” She smiled, “He really likes you, I can tell.”

“I don’t know about that,” Harry said getting uncomfortable.

“I can. Just as I can tell that you love him.”

“Hermione,” Harry warned irritably.

“What? There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a natural thing, just as we love you.

“Just not that way,” Ron added.

Hermione sighed, “Yes Ronald, I’m sure he knows not that way. And we don’t love you any less if you love that man. You do love him, right?”

Harry flushed and fidgeted, wanting to deny it, but he couldn’t do that anymore. So he nodded, before nodding. “Yeah.”

“Have you told him yet?”

“Told me what?” Tom asked coming back outside, book in hand.

“Nothing!” Harry said hurriedly and pointedly looked at his friends to change the subject.

"We just wanted to know if Harry told you he's into roleplay," Ron stated with a serious face.

Harry gaped at him. That was so much worse!

Tom couldn't help the smile that came to his face, "Non, he has not. But I will keep it in mind."

"Oh. My. God." Harry groaned covering his face in embarrassment. "I hate you so much right now," he told Ron.

"Aw. Come on Harry, don't be like that," Ron pouted, then gave a massive yawn.

"Go home already," Harry said.

"Don't wanna," Ron said with another yawn.

"No, really. You guys should go home and get some rest. It's already 2 a.m. in London," Harry said.

"Is it really?" Hermione asked as she took the book Tom gave to her and looked at it longingly, "I suppose we should get going." She held out the book to Tom, but he held a hand up.

"Take it. You can give it back to Harry when you are done," Tom said.

"Really? Thank you. I'll make sure to take care of it," she said flipping through the pages, some of which had Tom's neat handwriting in the margins.

"We should go before Hermione gets absorbed in that," Ron said.

"Come on, Hermione," Harry said getting up and tugging on her arm.

"Oh, alright," she said reluctantly closing the book, "It was a pleasure to meet you, Marque."

"The pleasure was all mine," Tom said with a slight bow.

"I'll be back," Harry said to Tom as he led Ron and Hermione to the front door. They needed him to exit the house because of the wards.

"Bye Marque," Ron said, lifting a hand in farewell, "Take care of him for us."

Harry rolled his eyes, fighting off a blush. Then he took their hands and disappeared.

xxx

Despite just being there to drop them off, Harry ended up staying a few minutes longer. That was until Ron fell asleep on the couch as they were talking. Hermione had to shake him awake and send him to bed. Harry gave each of them a hug, Hermione giving him an extra long one along with a last "tell him," before Harry took his leave.

As soon as he was inside, Harry sighed and leaned back against the door, he was home at last.

"I thought you would be back right away," Tom said from the couch, French accent gone. Harry sort of missed it.

"I did too, but we ended up talking some more. At least until Ron passed out on the couch." Harry went over to the couch and sat down next to Tom and leaned his head on his shoulder. "Thanks for putting up with them today."

“You're welcome. I actually quite like the Granger girl.”

“I thought you might. She’s book smart and a stickler for the rules. Though not sure about that last part with you.”

“I don’t break the rules, Harry. I bend them.”

Harry laughed, “Okay, if you say so.”

Tom hummed in agreement, then asked, “Do they really suspect I am up to something?” Referring to the conversation earlier.

“Well, if you see it from their point of view. Voldemort suddenly went quiet with a few attacks here and there. Other than that, nothing.” Harry paused. “You spend a lot of time here.”

“I do,” Tom admitted, “I don’t want to miss anything with Wynter, she should be walking soon. And I like being here with her.” He hesitated, then added, “And you.”

Harry felt his face warm and turned his face away so Tom wouldn’t see how happy that made him. “There’s also the fact that you go in at a different time now with the time difference. It probably throws the Order off. Your followers too.”

“Yes, well. They conform to my schedule. I don’t care if it’s midnight for them. They have to be there whenever I need them.”

“You’re evil.”

“Yes, I am.”

“They need to sleep, you know.”

“They can sleep during the day.”

“They have day jobs.”

“I don’t care.”

Harry laughed, “You’re ruining their internal clock. They’ll get found out just because they’re exhausted.”

Tom hummed thoughtfully, “You may be right.”

“Of course I am,” Harry responded looking up at him.

“Just this once,” Tom said and leaned down to kiss him.

Harry leaned up into the gentle kiss, holding Tom in place with his hand on his neck. He opened his eyes and glanced at the clock as he pulled away. “You know I should really thank you for letting Ron and Hermione stay, even though it was an accident.”

“That reminds me, I need to fix your necklace so that doesn’t happen again.”

“You can do that later,” Harry said getting up and going to the staircase. “We have about half an hour before Wynter wakes up.”

Tom’s interest immediately perked up, “Are you trying to seduce me, Harry?”

“Trying to, is it working?” Harry asked shyly.

“Maybe,” Tom responded.

Harry gave him a shy, yet bold smile and held out a hand and beckoned Tom to him. Tom immediately got up and took Harry’s hand and he led them upstairs to their bedroom. When they got there, Harry pushed Tom to sit on the bed.

“What do you want me to do?” Harry asked toying with the buttons on Tom’s shirt and trailed it downward.

“Should you really ask me that?” Tom asked, watching the wandering hand.

“Fine. Should I surprise you then?” Harry asked and squeezed Tom through his pants.

Tom jerked in surprise and looked up at Harry as he continued to massage him. In response, Harry pressed him back against the pillows and straddled him, deftly unbuttoning his shirt and pulling it open to reveal a pale chest which he ran his hands down.

“You’re being very bold today,” Tom said voicing his thoughts.

“I’m in a good mood.”

“Are you?” Tom asked breathlessly as Harry began trailing kisses down his chest.

“Yes,” Harry said nipping at Tom’s belly button as he pulled the zipper down on Tom’s pants and tugged him free. “Very.”

-Fuck- Tom hissed and Harry idly stroked his cock with feather-light touches. “Maybe I should let them come over more often.”

“I would like that very much,” Harry said and gave Tom’s cock an expert lick across the top.

It took a lot of self-control Tom had to not buck up when Harry ran his tongue up the length of his shaft. “If you do this, maybe I will,” Tom managed to get out. Harry just gave a sly smirk and wrapped those full lips around the head of his cock and sucked until he got a groan out of him.

Harry made himself comfortable between Tom’s legs and slowly started to take the rest of Tom’s length into his mouth and down his throat. Tom placed his hand on Harry’s head and watched and felt Harry bobbing his head as he sucked him off. Harry had gotten very good at giving him a blowjob since the first time, he applied just the right amount of suction and his fingers lightly stroked his sack underneath to give unsurmountable pleasure. In short, Harry knew how to turn Tom on and also get him off with just his mouth. Just as Tom was feeling his impending orgasm, Harry’s mouth disappeared and he let out a frustrated groan.

Harry smiled and pulled himself up so he had Tom pinned to the bed. “Not yet.” Tom narrowed his eyes in displeasure but said nothing and Harry took a moment to study the man beneath him. Tom was being surprisingly submissive today, waiting in anticipation as to what he might do, yet his eyes remained watchful, in control…at least as much as he could when he was about to come. Despite his eyes being careful, they were gentle and unguarded. He was allowing him to take control, which was not often since Tom was very controlling, it said a lot to how much Tom trusted him to relinquish that control. Damn it, Harry thought as he stared down at Tom fondly, I love him. The admission was freeing and he felt his heart squeeze tight as warmth spread through his body. I love him. I love him. He leaned down and kissed Tom deeply, trying to convey what he felt without saying anything and Tom opened his mouth invitingly, giving him more control, yet the hands on his ass told him it could change any second.

Harry continued to kiss Tom deeply until the need to breathe properly became needed. He sat up and pulled his shirt over his head while Tom’s eager fingers undid his pants, pulling them down to pool around his knees so Tom could grasp him. Harry gasped as Tom stroked him and he let his eyes slip close and head fall back as he felt Tom’s expert hand work him. Shifting, Harry struggled to move his legs and regretfully pulled away to take his pants off. Seeing that Tom’s were still on, he turned around and untied his shoes and tugged the rest of Tom’s clothes off, unceremoniously tossing them to the floor.

Feeling really bold and a bit dirty, Harry reached for the bottle of lube on the nightstand and coated his fingers. He then bent over Tom’s legs, exposing himself and started to prepare himself.

“God, Harry, what are you doing?” Tom groaned.

Harry paused, “Do you want me to stop?”

-Fuck no- Tom hissed and pulled Harry’s cheeks apart so he could see better.

Harry flushed as he felt Tom’s penetrating gaze on his backside, yet he continued to work his fingers in and out of himself, gasping when they went in further and touched that spot inside him and adding another finger when he was ready. He continued to fuck himself with his fingers, moaning with the effort, until Tom couldn’t take it anymore.

“Enough,” Tom finally said. He couldn’t watch the slick fingers anymore without wanting to touch and he had refrained because it was a sight to see. Harry wouldn’t usually be this dirty and he loved it. But he’d had enough. He wanted that tight hole around his cock and it was currently feeling neglected.

“What’s wrong?” Harry purred as he turned around and put his arms loosely around his neck, smiling coyly down into Tom’s now red eyes and then leaned into him to give him a kiss, yet he wouldn’t let their bodies touch.

“I’m feeling neglected,” Tom stated, turned on by Harry’s husky voice.

“Are you? Shall I give you some attention then?” Harry asked arranging his legs so that he was sitting in Tom’s lap, his cock trapped beneath him, and Harry started to rub back and forth against it.

“I thought I was the Slytherin,” Tom panted, the friction getting to him.

“I’m half Slytherin, remember? Why do you like it?”

“I do. Though I don’t think I will last long if you continue to do that.”

“Don’t want that,” Harry murmured and leaned forward to kiss him lazily. Reaching behind him, Harry grasped Tom’s length and positioned it all he had to do was push down for it to slide into him. He gasped and moaned into Tom’s ear as his cock filled him all the way with no resistance.

-Fuck. You feel good- Tom groaned, sliding his hands over the back of Harry’s thighs and over his ass, one hand moved higher to his stomach and Harry felt the familiar tingle of the conception spell take place.

-You do too- Harry hissed and pulled up so Tom’s cock slid out of him, leaving the head inside, before pushing back all the way down. –You fill me up so good-

They didn’t say much after that as Harry started to bounce up and down on Tom’s cock. And Harry was really feeling it today, especially after the liberating admittance of his love for Tom - dark side, red eyes and all. All that mattered was them and Harry continuously leaned in to kiss him as he bounced harder, reveling in the feeling of Tom’s cock sliding in and out of him.

Tom finally couldn’t take it anymore and took a hold of Harry’s hips to pull him tight against his chest with one arm and planting his feet on the bed, thrust upward into Harry startling a sharp cry out of him. But Tom didn’t stop and continued to thrust upward at a rapid pace.

Harry could do nothing but lay against Tom as he bulldozed into him, hitting his prostate over and over. He could only pant, give Tom sloppy kisses and chant “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!” as he felt a tightening in his balls as his orgasm came closer and closer. “Oh fuck! Fuck!” Harry cried out, holding onto Tom’s shoulders. –Tom. I’m going to come. G-Going to c-come!-

-Do it. Come for me- Tom hissed back.

“C-Coming!” Harry gasped and arched his back as the spasm hit and he came, hard. He sat back so he could reach down and grasp his own cock and jerked himself off so more semen came out onto Tom’s chest.

Tom watched as Harry came, mouth open in a silent scream of ecstasy; hand working himself through his orgasm. Harry had gotten really tight around him and he could feel his own coming upon him, bubbling up as he continued to thrust into Harry's tight hole. He gave the last three thrusts and came just as hard, pulling Harry's hips down to meet him. When Tom finally let go, Harry lifted himself off and collapsed next to him bashing in the aftermath.

“Your friends can come over anytime they want,” Tom finally said when he caught his breath.

Harry just laughed. "I guess I will just have to remember to reward you when they do," he said turning onto his side.

Tom turned toward him. "If it's like that then I would enjoy it very much."

"Of course you would," Harry said with a grin.

Tom only grinned back and leaned in to give him a kiss.

Before things could get interesting...

"Da-dee!"

"Ah...She's calling you," Harry commented.

Tom growled in frustration and kissed him one more time, before getting up to perform his Daddy Duties.

"Don't forget to check her diaper!" Harry called after him as he opened the connecting door.

"I know."

Harry laid onto his back and listened as Tom tended to their daughter.

"Hello princess. Sleep okay?"

"Ye."

"Good. Did you go potty?"

"O."

"No? Are you sure?" Silence. "Let me check, okay?"

"Oke."

"You did go potty."

"Uh oh."

"That's okay. Let's get you changed."

"Oke Dadee."

"Okay. Here we go."

Harry smiled as he listened to Tom talk to Wynter. He was always so gentle and calm with her and it warmed his heart to hear the light talk that Wynter probably didn't fully understand. It was what made him fall in love with Tom in the first place, Harry realized. And yes, he did love him. He could admit that now.

Just whether or not to tell Tom was the question. Hermione always pressured him to tell him, but she didn't know the whole truth. Tom could accept it and they could move on or he could love him back...but that was unlikely. Yet there was also the possibility that Tom would be disgusted by his feelings, could laugh in his face, it could destroy what they had built and he didn't want that. He wouldn't be able to bear it. Not after falling this hard.

It shouldn't matter if he didn't tell him. Didn't Dumbledore once say that Voldemort couldn't love? Then there is no reason to, Harry reasoned with himself. Well... he then thought, He does love Wynter, I can hear it in his voice. But that's different. She's his daughter. It was all very confusing, but it was safer to just keep it to himself. He wasn't hurting anyone.

"All done."

"Ah dn!"

"Let's go see Mama"

"Mama!"

Harry looked down at himself and realized he was still naked on top of the covers and quickly got up to clean himself up and get dressed. Then started to think of what he was going to make for dinner, he thoughts of love and confessions pushed aside. For now.

Chapter Text

He had to admit, magic was a wonderful thing. It had been a long time since Fenrir had been able to walk about freely without people screaming and running in the opposite direction. Looking at him as if he was a monster..., which, admittedly, he was. However, he did enjoy a simple walk in the sun once in a while, and thanks to the glamour on him, he could walk around and do a little shopping while he was out. Unlike his usual grisly-self, he looked like a roguish, well-dressed 50-year-old, quite like everyone else walking around Diagon Alley. It was reminiscent of what he used to look like before he gave in to his wolfish tendencies; dark brown, slightly wavy hair was tied back at the nape of his neck, face unmarked by scars allowed his blue eyes to shine all the more brightly- he looked good and he knew it.

Though he was glamoured, it didn’t get rid of his wolf senses, so as he was walking, looking into the shops he caught a whiff of a familiar scent. It was mixed in with other scents, but it was there: sunshine, chocolate, and applesauce. It had been on the Dark Lord too. Curious, he followed the scent, wondering if he could find out who the Dark Lord’s mystery man was. He had to be really something if he had caught the Dark Lord’s attention, enough so he had his scent on the Dark Lord so thoroughly. So Fenrir was surprised when the scent led him to two familiar people: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry Potter’s friends; the smell was starting to fade, but it was there. They had recent contact with the Dark Lord’s lover. There was also a very familiar scent, faint but still there, that he usually associated with the Dark Lord himself. But why was the Dark Lord’s scent on Potter’s friends? And How?

Without attracting attention to himself, he followed them into a shop and listened in on their conversation.

“…think it would look good on her?”

“I think she has enough clothes, Hermione.”

“Well…I guess, but she’s just so cute! I can’t resist! Oh, I miss her already.”

“Me too. It was good to see them. Harry seems pretty happy.”

Harry? Must be Potter?

“Yeah, I wish we can see them more often, but I understand he’s trying to stay hidden. He needs to keep Wynter safe.”

Winter? Is that a person?

"She's his priority now, but at least he has Marque."

"I know, right? I was surprised, but he seems to be making Harry happy. And Wynter has a father figure, so that is a bonus too. And he seems really nice."

Father? Potter has a kid? Well, that explains the applesauce scent on them, but wait, it's on the Dark Lord too...

The magazine he had been holding slipped out of his finger's as it all came together.

"Fuck."

xxx

Fenrir halted outside the Dark Lord’s door, only now hesitating. He had apparated out of Diagon Alley after his revelation and had practically ran to his office, but now he wasn’t sure if he should say anything. One, it wasn’t any of his business. Two, the Dark Lord may just kill him if he knew Fenrir knew, and three, he may be just blowing this out all out of proportion. Yet his nose was rarely wrong.

But if I don’t say anything, and he finds out he may kill me anyway, he thought, pacing. Or he may not, we are friends…sort of. He at least tolerates me more than most.

“Fenrir, stop wearing out my floor,” came the Dark Lord’s voice through the door.

“Hey boss man,” Fenrir said weakly as he opened the door to let himself in. The Dark Lord was behind his desk writing something and didn’t look up when he came in. He stood there uncertain of what to say.

“What is it Fenrir?” Tom asked, still not looking up.

“Uh. Nothing much. I was just…” he floundered for a reason he was there and came up with nothing. Despite his worry for his life, he felt the words bubbling up and blurted out, “Potter! You’re sleeping with Potter!”

The Dark Lord stopped writing and looked up at him. He looked pissed. Slowly rising, he asked, “Who have you told?”

“N-No one,” Fenrir said putting his hands up defensively as he heard the lock slide into place behind him. “I just figured it out. I saw Potter’s friends at Diagon Alley and they had the same scent on them that you do all the time. I just…put it together.”

Tom hung his head and sighed as he placed his hands to support himself on his desk as Fenrir fretted in front of him. Of course, he would find out with that nose of his. “How much do you know?”

“Uh…he has a kid,” Fenrir admitted.

-Fuck- Tom hissed and dropped back into his chair and let his Voldemort persona bleed away.

“I-It’s true?”

Tom looked at Fenrir’s apprehensive look, yet there was no disgust only curiosity and…pride? “Yes.”

“And it’s…”

“Mine.”

“Holy. Shit.” Fenrir stated in awe and collapsed into the chair in front of the desk. “How?”

Tom sat back and looked up at the ceiling in thought, wondering how much he should tell him. “It was an accident.”

“So your cock fell into him by accident?” Fenrir asked with a laugh.

“Nothing so crude,” Tom said with a slight smile, “But to tell the truth, I still don’t understand what happened that night. I haven’t really given much thought to it really.”

“What happened?”

“It was the day we captured Harry a year ago,” Tom started.

“Yeah. I remember. He got away,” Fenrir said thinking of how pissed the Dark Lord had been that day. Throwing out Crucio’s all over the place and threatening everyone.

“Yes and no. He ran off and found himself in my bedroom of all places. Some spell or curse was put into effect and the next thing I know we were in bed together. I had absolutely no control over what I was doing.”

“And Potter?”

“Same. He was…understandably upset after and I was…I am never not in control and it unbalanced me. And with Harry the way he was…emotional. I let him go.”

“Just like that?”

“Yes. Later, I was pissed off that I let him go so easily. So what that we slept together. It wasn’t planned, but I still wanted to kill him,” Tom said as he thought back.

“But that changed,” Fenrir prompted when Tom fell silent.

“Yes. I ended up finding him myself. In a small cottage outside a muggle town. What I found there…” Tom shook his head in amazement, “Changed everything.”

“The kid?” Fenrir asked.

“Yes. The kid. It could only be mine. The time frame fit, from the time she was conceived to that moment.”

“She?” Fenrir asked catching the word.

“Yes. I have a daughter,” Tom said with a soft smile.

Fenrir watched in amazement as the Dark Lord smiled fondly as he thought of the little girl he had. It was not something he had seen before on his face. “What’s her name?” he asked in a hushed voice.

“Wynter. A little unique I know, but I like it.” Tom paused, thinking. “Things changed after that. I wanted to be a part of her life, so I left Harry alone and I would visit. I could have just taken her and killed him, but…I didn’t want Wynter to grow up without parents like I did…and Harry. I also didn’t want her to be around all of this,” he said gesturing around them. “It’s not an environment to grow up in.”

“Definitely not. So you had like, visitation rights?”

“Exactly. I got lucky that Harry was so forthcoming, so I would go visit them whenever I could and focused more on my original plans. I had gotten distracted from my purpose because of him.”

“And got back on track because of him,” Fenrir added with a grin.

“Yes. Funny how that happened.”

The werewolf nodded, “So that’s why you had everyone stop looking for him.” Tom nodded in agreement. “But…the fire.” He gulped when the Dark Lord’s expression darkened. “Are they okay?”

“Yes. Thankfully. I was able to get them out with minor injuries. I, of course, had to play my part and award them for their accomplishment.” Tom explained darkly, referring to the two culprits.

“And the fact that they disappeared soon after…” Tom said nothing, but Fenrir saw the narrowing of his eyes and knew what happened to the celebrated Death Eaters. “Right….Just so you know, I won’t tell anyone.”

“Good,” Tom said steepling his fingers, “I would hate to have to kill you.”

“No. I rather like being alive,” Fenrir said with a forced laugh. “So you have your own little family now,” Fenrir said.

“I do.”

“Good for you.”

“Thank you,” Tom said and he meant it.

“How old is she?”

“11 months. She’s already crawling and talking. It’s only a matter of time before she’s walking.”

“That fast? Wow.” Fenrir and Tom were silent, each thinking their own thoughts. Tom on his daughter and Harry and Fenrir tried to process all he had heard. “You know it explains a lot. Now that I know.”

“Does it?” Tom asked curiously.

“Yeah. You suddenly switched gears to moving forward with the Ministry and not on Potter. No one knew why; not that we were questioning you, but it was just…sudden. It had always been about Potter, and now it's not."

"I suppose when you put it like that, it seems weird," Tom said thoughtfully.

"Weird," Fenrir echoed with a grin. It wasn't a word he was used to hearing from the Dark Lord's mouth.

Tom closed his eyes briefly and sighed, "Harry's rubbing off on me. I meant strange. But there was no reason I could give that would be satisfactory unless I told the truth and I didn't want that."

"True," Fenrir agreed, "I still don't completely believe it and you are telling me the truth. Don't get me wrong, I am glad we are moving forward though. It's just, you were always trying to kill him."

"Yes. And that wasn't an easy hurdle to get over. I don't think it would have worked if Wynter wasn't there. Then again, if it wasn't for her, we wouldn't be in this situation."

"But it comes out in your favor, you are still sleeping with him. I can smell him all over you," Fenrir commented with a grin.

Tom chuckled, "Yes it does."

"He's good in bed, then. Potter?"

"Yes, very. Once I showed him how" Tom admitted. And he wasn't lying. Harry had become very daring in bed once he got over his shyness and nerves, it sometimes led to some very interesting foreplay.

“He was a virgin then,” Fenrir grimaced.

“Yes,” Tom admitted remembering Harry’s distraught face, “But it did make it easier to figure out that Wynter was mine. There had been no one else.”

"He's been good for you," Fenrir commented after a moment. At the Dark Lord's confused look, he elaborated. "This, here between us, talking. It's never happened before. I mean sure we've chatted briefly, but never like this."

Tom thought back on past conversations with the werewolf and realized he was right, they hadn’t. “I suppose so. I never had the urge to share my life with anyone. Then again, I didn’t really have one outside of here. And I would most likely curse anyone who asked.”

“True,” Fenrir inputted.

“Which,” Tom continued, “is why Harry tells me I don’t have any friends.”

“Who needs friends?”

“Exactly,” Tom agreed, “Though if I were to say I had one, you are the closest I would consider.”

“Likewise, boss man,” Fenrir said with a grin and lapsed into an uncomfortable silence. “Sooo,” he said scratching at his chin trying to break the silence, “From what I heard from Potter’s friends, you met them? Do they know who you are?”

Tom leaned back in his seat to get comfortable, “Yes I met them, but no they don’t know who I am. Harry made up a persona for me to elude them. I don’t really care, but I do understand that Harry would be…persecuted if anyone found out that he had a child by the enemy.”

“I see. Then what did he say happened?

“Rape by a Death Eater while he was here.”

“Ouch!”

“Yes. Not very eloquent, but from his state of mind at the time, that was what it felt like.”

“Because you couldn’t control yourselves,” Fenrir remembered.

Tom nodded in agreement. “He went with one of my followers, not me, who knows what would have happened if they knew that Wynter was mine.”

“Throw a fit?”

“Most likely. From what Harry told me, the Order wasn’t too happy when they found out he had a child.”

“They didn’t know?”

“No,” Tom explained, “The fewer people knew about Harry’s pregnancy, the better. He went into hiding when he started showing. To everyone else, he was out for special training to take me down.”

“But he was really giving birth to your daughter.”

“Yes. Something I wish I was there for, but it was beyond my control.”

“Not to mention you were trying to kill him,” Fenrir added.

“True.”

“So did Potter accuse anyone in particular? I don’t have to watch my back do I?”

“No. He was vague and said he didn’t know who it was.”

“Good to know. So they’re safe now?”

“Yes. I placed them in a safe location so they can’t be found by the Order or the followers who are foolish enough to try and please me.”

“Does it have anything to do with the sudden switch in meeting times?” To that, Tom stayed silent. “Right. Well, at least you’re happy.”

Tom paused. Was he happy? Yes. Yes, he was. Remembering the dark days in the past when he poured over plans and books in his dark office, snapping at anyone who dared to bother him; he definitely wasn’t happy then. But when Harry and Wynter entered his life, everything seemed so much brighter. “I guess I am.”

“Good. Even you deserve to be happy. Dark Lord or not.”

“I used to believe taking over the world would make me happy.”

“And now?”

“Now…I’m not sure. A lot of things have changed, especially my outlook on life.”

“Yeah, well,” Fenrir said, “Relationships do that to people.”

“I don’t think I would classify what Harry and I have as a relationship,” Tom said thoughtfully.

“Well, what would you call it? Friends with benefits?”

"I don't think so."

"Enemies with benefits?" Fenrir asked.

"Mmm," Tom hummed thoughtfully, "We aren't really enemies anymore..."

"Acquaintances with benefits?"

"I have no idea what to call it. I'd rather not put a label on it. We just...are."

"Sounds complicated."

"We are complicated," Tom agreed, "And it makes no sense..."

"But it works."

"Yes. Yes, it does."

"Well, then keep your complicated family safe and happy. Things will fall into place on its own."

Tom raised an eyebrow in surprise, "That was surprisingly eloquent."

"I have my moments," Fenrir said with a grin.

Tom chuckled and shook his head, then shooed him away. He had work to do.

xxx

"Hey," Harry greeted him as he stepped through the door. "How was work?"

"Fine," Tom replied, picking up Wynter who was crawling over to greet him. "Fenrir knows about us."

"Fenrir...Greyback? Did you tell him?" Harry asked eyes wide.

"No. He figured it out."

"H-How?"

"He has a really good nose," Tom said and pulled Harry against him, making him blush, "Apparently, I smell like you."

"W-Well, you are around me all the time," Harry reasoned.

"Yes, but that's not why," Tom said with a grin and leaned down to kiss him. But he was interrupted by a small hand tapping his face.

"Dadee oown," Wynter requested, done with him.

"Okay, okay," Tom said pulling away and putting her back on the floor. He watched as he crawled away back to her toys, pulling them toward her and sitting down.

"So," Harry said turning back to his cooking, "How did Greyback take it? Was he mad?"

"No. He doesn't really care. He seemed thrilled that I was getting laid," Tom said leaning back against the counter to watch Harry cook.

"Yeah, well. When is the last time you got laid before I came along?"

"I'm not answering that."

Harry threw his head back and laughed, and turned away to get to his spices. "Well, I suppose that's a good thing. About Greyback, I mean. He won't say anything, right?"

"No. I trust him to keep his mouth shut."

"You? Trust someone? Shocking," Harry said teasingly.

"He's one of the rare few that I do trust. Besides. He knows I'll kill him if he says anything."

"That will work too," Harry agreed.

Tom nodded in silent agreement and settled back to watch him.There had been a significant change in Harry that he had noticed. He was subtle, but he had found he watched Harry very closely to gauge his mood. Harry was a very private person and preferred to keep things to himself, which was why he knew Harry was keeping something from him. Yet, over the last month, Harry had been really happy. He still fidgeted around him and wouldn't look at him in the face at times, but most of the time, he was just generally very happy. It was slightly unnerving, but also reassuring. Tom had no idea how to make anyone happy save for himself (and even that was iffy) but Harry was happy, he could tell with the smile on his face and Wynter...she was always happy and anything made her smile. Like her own reflection which she recently discovered.

Which brought up the question Fenrir had asked. What were they really? They weren't enemies anymore and they weren't acquaintances, not with them sleeping together. And like he said before, they weren't exactly friends and they weren't in a relationship, then what was it between them?

Tom thought for a moment, trying to figure it out, then said out loud, "What are those older men called? The ones who spend money on someone younger?

"What!?" Harry exclaimed in surprise and confusion.

"I forgot what the term is called. And you are a part of the younger crowd," Tom admitted grudgingly, "You would know."

"Why do you want to know?"

"Fenrir asked me what kind of relationship we had and I have no idea," Tom explained.

"O-Oh?" Harry asked a bit flustered. They had never put a label on what they were and Harry had never brought it up. And now that Harry had realized his feelings for Tom, for him to bring it up himself made Harry's heartbeat quicken in a good way.

"I've never given it much thought, but now I can't stop thinking about it. So I thought maybe it would be like someone takes care of someone else sexually and buys things for them."

Harry turned fully toward him, his face completely serious, "Are you calling me a hooker?"

Tom actually looked shocked, "No!"

Harry laughed and turned his attention back to the stove, "I should hope not."

Tom came up behind him and wrapped his arms around Harry's waist so he was leaning back against him, "Are you making fun of me?"

"N-No," Harry stuttered trying to get his heart under control, "It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. But I think the term you are looking for is Sugar Daddy."

"That might be it," Tom said thoughtfully, placing his chin on Harry's shoulder so he could watch him work.

"I don't think so. Not when we are both pretty wealthy. Neither am I a Gold Digger."

"Then what would you call this?" Tom murmured into his neck.

"I-I don't know," Harry said. He hated when Tom got all sweet and clingy, it made him feel all gooey inside. "A family I guess." He managed to say as he looked over at Wynter playing with her toys.

"I suppose so. Not really what I thought, but it will have to do."

"Ah!" Harry said, having a thought, "I'm your Baby Mama!"

Tom laughed and pulled away, "I doubt you want to be called that."

"It is true though. Wynter is our baby together."

Tom had to agree with that.

"Mama?" Wynter called questionably as she heard her name.

"I didn't call you, jelly bean. But you should wash your hands."

"An?" she asked lifting them.

"Yes. Come here, we'll wash them."

"Oke," Wynter said and started crawling toward them.

Harry then turned to Tom, "Hungry?"

"Starving." Tom said, then added, "Baby Mama."

Harry laughed, "Go help your daughter."

"Gladly."

Chapter Text

"What are you doing?" Tom asked looking away from the TV. He had turned his head to find Harry sitting cross-legged, sideways on the couch staring out into space.

"Trying to see where to put our tree," Harry responded.

"Our what?"

"Tree. Christmas tree," Harry said glancing at him. "I don't know where to put it."

"Why?" Tom asked looking around the vast hall, trying to see what Harry was, but couldn't.

"It's December Tom, Christmas is coming. We need a tree."

"We don't really need one, you know."

"Of course we do!" Harry admonished him, "Besides it's going to be Wynter's 1st Christmas, well actually 2nd, but still! And..." he stilled in realization and fell back onto the couch so he was lying down. "Oh god."

"What?" Tom asked slightly alarmed as Harry covered his face with his hands.

"The 13th. It's Wynter's birthday. She's going to be one."

Tom froze, "One?" he asked shocked.

"Yeah."

Tom slumped back and let the thought wash over him. His little girl was going to be a year old! He could hardly believe it. "Already?"

"I know, she's getting so big now," Harry commented looking at the baby monitor that was showing Wynter asleep in her crib, "Now we really need to get a tree."

"Where do you want to put it?" he asked, as the urge to make this the best Christmas ever took over him.

Harry sat up and grinned at him, knowing he was now on board. "I don't know. I was thinking over there by the staircase, but then it's blocking your desk. And if we put it on the other side it will block the bathroom. Or we could put it here by the window, but then we need to move the TV and the couches to make room..."

"Or..." Tom added thoughtfully, "We can put it right in the center."

"What do you mean?"

"We can move the couches and the table and just put it right in the center."

"Then what do we do with the couches?"

"We have magic, Harry. We can just shrink it for now and put it back later."

"Oh, yeah," Harry said sheepishly, but he sat up and looked at the sitting area and visualized the tree. "We can move the phone over to the table by the fireplace and use the entire area for the tree. How big do we get it though?"

"Big," Tom answered, "Biggest one we can find so we can see it up on the second floor."

Harry grinned. "Sounds like a plan."

xxx

Later that day after Wynter woke up from her nap, they went out shopping for a tree. It was quite different here in Australia with the sun beating down on them getting a tree, but it was a different experience. Wynter had no idea what was going on but had a lot of fun looking around at all the trees that were way bigger than she was. But eventually, they found the perfect fir tree to go in their living room. Thanks to magic, Tom was able to shrink it down and let Wynter hold it as they headed home.

"Tee!" Wynter exclaimed holding the small fir tree in her hands to show her mama.

"I see. It's a nice tree, huh, jelly bean."

"Ye!"

Harry laughed at her enthusiasm. "Too bad it's not snowing. It's so warm."

"The seasons are different here remember," Tom said using his wand to shrink the furniture in their sitting area and moving it to sit like a miniature set on the fireplace mantle. "It's snowing in London, yet over here it's a lot warmer. It's why most people here celebrate Christmas in July when it's cold."

"July, really?"

"Yes. Not that it stops them from celebrating in December as well."

"Two Christmas's! Yay!" Harry said cheerfully, lifting Wynter into the air and spinning. "Whee!"

"Eee!" she shrieked in delight.

Then Harry put her on the floor so she would watch them. "Can I have the tree?"

"Tee!" she exclaimed again and held it out.

"Thank you!"

Harry then placed the tree in the center of the holder Tom had placed there and with a flick of his wand made the tree grow back to its natural size. The tree they had picked out was wide and full and stood a good 24 feet. The top of the tree reached past the ceiling to the second floor just as they wanted it to. It was perfect.

"Ooooh," Wynter exclaimed staring up at the big tree now in the center of their house.

"It's big huh?" Harry asked.

"Ye," Wynter said in awe, her hands together as she stared up at it.

"Okay. Decorating time," Harry said, pulling out his wand. "Hmmm. Decorations, decorations," he murmured and visualized what he wanted. Little baubles formed at the end of his wand and floated in a line to hang on the tree. On the other side, Tom had his wand out and was doing the same.

Wynter clapped her hands and giggled in joy as she watched ornaments and garland zoom through the air and wrap around the tree. Within moments the tree was decorated with brightly colored lights and colored ornaments with a big star on the top.

"It's perfect," Harry said stepping back to take it in," Not bad for our first tree."

"I think so too," Tom agreed standing next to him.

"I just realized something," Harry said picking up Wynter so she could see, "It's all our house colors."

Tom looked up at the tree and did notice that the ornaments were Red, Gold, Green, and Silver. "Well, they are Christmas colors."

"True. Oh! I almost forgot.," Harry said pulling out an ornament out of a small box he had placed on the table in front of the fireplace. "I got this last year." He held it out for Tom to see the inscription My First Christmas below a simple baby sculpture in pink. "She was only 2 weeks old when she had her first Christmas, but she doesn't remember it."

"She'll remember this one," Tom said looking down at Wynter's face full of awe as she stared at the decorated tree.

"Yes, she will," Harry agreed. "Wynter, want to help Daddy put this on the tree?"

"Tee?" Wynter asked pointing at it.

"Yes," Harry said handing her over to Tom with the ornament. Then stood back and watched with his camera at the ready as the two of them placed the ornament on the tree. "We need a family picture." He said as he took several pictures of the two of them.

"Do we have to?" Tom asked grudgingly.

"Yes. It's our first Christmas together as a family. We need to make memories," Harry said setting up the camera so the tree was in the shot. Setting the timer, Harry rushed to Tom's side as they held up Wynter between them "Wynter, smile!" After the picture was taken, Harry took a look, "Aw! Wynter what a big smile!" he exclaimed and showed Tom. Wynter was front and center showing off all four of her teeth in a bright smile.

"That is a good one," Tom admitted.

"Yup, I'm framing this one."

Harry took a few more pictures until Tom had enough and went to go sit down to read the paper while Harry and Wynter went around the living room adding more decorations to the fireplace mantel, the staircase, and around the ceiling until Harry was satisfied.

"You really went all out," Tom commented when Harry sat down with a sigh after placing Wynter amongst her toys.

"I may have gone a little overboard, but I had fun. I never had any say in regards to decorating and Hogwarts did everything themselves, so..." Harry shrugged. "I wanted it to be perfect."

"You didn't do this last year?"

"No. I had a tree and that's it. I was so out of it, Ron and Hermione had done the decorating while I had just laid there all bloated and exhausted. Then after Wynter was born it was all 2 am feedings and diaper changes. I didn't really have the energy to do anything else."

"I see."

"But I have you here this year and I definitely have more energy. I am feeling the Christmas spirit! How about you?"

Tom thought about it."I am usually indifferent to any of the holidays," he admitted, "But this year is different. I guess some of your Christmas cheer is rubbing off on me...What are you doing?" Tom asked puzzled as Harry rubbed his head against his shoulder.

"Rubbing more cheer on you," Harry said simply and Tom just laughed.

xxx

Over the next few weeks, Harry went out shopping for Christmas presents and birthday gifts for both Tom and Wynter. Luckily there was a shopping district for Australian residence called Sunshine Plaza. When first looking at it, it was a regular shopping center with all Muggle shops, but down a certain road, only known to wizarding kind, was a second shopping district full of wizarding shops and oddities. Harry had been overjoyed when he had found out about it. He thought he would have to go to Diagon Alley with Wynter while she was sleeping since the time difference was a big one. He had not been looking forward to lugging her dead weight around. Not to mention, no one knew who he was at Sunshine Plaza, so he was free to browse without interruption. The only issue was that Wynter was with him and he couldn't hide what he was getting for her, not under her watchful eye.

Which was why Harry decided to leave Wynter at home with Tom, yet he couldn't bring himself to leave. Tom was currently distracting her by pushing her in her swing and she was having fun. All Harry had to do was go to the store and be right back...yet it was hard.

"Are you sure you'll be okay?" Harry asked for the third time.

"Yes. We'll be fine," Tom said again as he pushed Wynter in her swing in the backyard.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, Harry. Now go before it gets too busy."

"Okay," Harry said fretting. "Okay. You contact me if anything happens. Hedwig will find me."

"I will. But everything will be fine. I got this," Tom said firmly.

"Okay. Bye sweetheart!" Harry said and started walking backward toward the door, taking in his daughter's smiling face.

"Ai, Mama!" Wynter said waving her fingers at him.

"I'll be back in a few hours," he told Tom.

"Take your time."

Harry gave him an uneasy smile and went inside and left the house. Leaving Wynter in Tom's care.

"Okay, princess. Just you and me." Tom said to a giggly Wynter as he pushed her again. "This shouldn't be too hard."

xxx

-Make her stop-

-I can't- Tom hissed back to his familiar. Wynter was currently sitting on the floor in the living room, having realized Harry was gone, crying her little head off. And boy did she have a set of lungs on her.

"Mama!!" Wynter wailed. She stopped for a second, sniffled and took a deep breath and continued to wail.

She had been fine for a while. Tom pushed her on her swing for a bit longer, then took her on her slide. She went down it a few times with Tom, then played in her sandpit. Until she wanted her Mama.

Tom had told her that he wasn't home, but she insisted on going inside to look for him. So they went inside and Wynter crawled around calling for Harry. When she didn't find him, she started getting worried, so Tom lied and said he was taking a nap upstairs so she wouldn't be so panicked. So Wynter went to the foot of the stairs and called for him. Tom had to stop her from climbing up them though. She had continued to make whimpering noises as she continued to look for Harry and call for him until she finally realized her Mama wasn't there. Once she came to that conclusion, she sat down and started screaming her head off and stayed like that for the past 10 minutes.

"Come on, Wynter. Stop that now," Tom reasoned. "There's no reason to cry. Don't you want to Daddy?"

"No! Mama!" Wynter yelled.

It stung a bit, but Tom didn't let it get to him. "Please stop crying," he pleaded. He had no idea what to do, Harry had always made it seem so easy.

-It hurts my ears- Nagini hissed ducking her head into her coils, to try to find some quiet.

-Then you try-

-I did. She doesn't want to play with me-

-Then what do I do?- Tom hissed at his familiar. He was at his wit's end. Really it was ridiculous. He was trying to overthrow the government and he was being done in by a crying baby.

-I think she got louder. Can't you put a spell on her to make her quiet?- Nagini asked.

-I would if she was someone else's kid, but she's mine. That would be cruel-

-Pick her up then- Nagini hissed at him.

-She doesn't want me-

-Do it anyway. Just make her stop-

Tom hesitated, then went to her and picked her up. Wynter pushed him away, still crying, but he held on and held her to his chest and started bouncing her as he had seen Harry do. "Shh. It's okay, sweetheart. It's okay. Mama will be right back."

"Mama," Wynter cried burrowing her hot face into his shoulder.

"I know you want Mama. But you just have to be patient. He just went to the store."

"Or?"

"Yes, the store. He's coming back."

"Ai o?"

"No, you can't go. We have to wait for Mama here. You can wait with Daddy. Is that okay?"

Wynter sniffed, but she stopped wailing, so that was a start. "Ye."

"Okay. Okay," Tom said continuing to bounce her. He looked around the room to try to find something to occupy her. "Want to watch TV with Daddy while we wait?"

"Mama ak?"

"Yes, Mama will come back before you know it."

"Oke," Wynter agreed.

Tom breathed a sigh of relief and turned on the TV to some cartoons and settled onto the couch with Wynter in his lap.

Harry come home soon.

xxx

"I'm back!" Harry called coming through the door laden with gifts a few hours later.

"Oh, thank god," Tom muttered as he continued to rub Wynter's back as she whimpered. She had been fine for a while watching TV but then she started to cry again. But now as Harry walked through the door, she perked up.

"Mama!" she called holding out her arms to him.

"Hi, jelly bean!" Harry cooed as he set his stuff down and took her from Tom, holding her close. "Oh, I missed you! That was the longest 3 hours of my life."

"Was that all?" Tom asked, "It felt longer."

"Really? How was she?"

"Okay...for a little bit, then she started crying."

"Aw. Did you miss me, Wynter?"

"Ye, Mama," Wynter murmured into his shoulder, she was clinging tight to him.

"I've heard of separation anxiety and she is usually fine. I thought she would be okay with you," Harry said rocking her in his arms.

"Apparently, not. Then again, you two are always together. Always have been."

"That's true. We haven't been apart since the day she was born, isn't that right, jelly bean," Harry said to Wynter and nuzzled her soft hair and she cooed back.

"Well, looks like you got everything you needed," Tom commented looking at the gift bags.

"Not everything. I am going to have to go somewhere else to find gifts for a few more people. But I think I went a little bit overboard with gifts for you know who."

"Me?" Tom asked with a playful grin.

"Haha," Harry mock laughed catching what he did there, "I may have something in there for you, but you will have to wait to get it."

"But you got me something?"

"Of course, I did," Harry said and moved away to put things away. So he didn't catch the excited smile that Tom had on his face. It was then that Tom was excited for Christmas for the first time in a long time.

xxx

Harry went into town two more times before he was done with Christmas shopping. Wynter complained each time and started to cry, but seemed to be used to it after the 3rd time when she realized her Mama would be back. Not to mention, Tom got rather good at calming her down and keeping her occupied.

But before they knew it, it was the 13th. Wynter's 1st birthday.

Harry spent most of the morning between showering Wynter with kisses and making her a small cake for her to stuff her face with later. Ron and Hermione were going to come over later to be there for their god-daughter as well, so he made a separate cake for the adults.

Wynter was busy crawling around with a big smile on her face. She didn't know exactly what was going on but she did know that something special was going on involving her. She also knew that she couldn't touch the presents under the tree, not that it kept her from trying.

"Ah, Ah!" Harry called out to Wynter as she made to grab the ribbon of a big box under the tree. "Don't touch that!" Wynter looked over at her mother then back at the bright curly ribbon and reached for it again. "Wynter! No! Tom grab her."

Wynter screeched and tried to crawl away, but Tom caught her. "What are you doing, princess? You know you can't open that yet." She just pointed at the gift indicating she wanted to open it. "You can't open those ones until Christmas, but there are some for you to open later, okay?"

"Oke!" she said finding interest in the buttons on his shirt.

"I know what we can do," Harry said as he put the finishing touches on the cake. "We can take her measurement."

Tom and Harry had talked it over about keeping track of how big she gets over the years. The Dursley's had done it for Dudley as he grew, though he never got to participate, and Harry wanted to do the same.

"Let's go see how big you got," Tom said setting her on her feet and holding onto her hands to make her walk over to the laundry room.

"Can you stand jelly bean?" Harry asked taking Wynter and placing her against the doorway, he let go of her to see if she would stay, but she started to pitch forward. "Oop!" Harry exclaimed catching her, "It's okay, Mama's got you."

"Mama!" she said excitedly and looked up at Tom to see what he was doing.

"Put your head down, sweetheart," Tom said leaning down to measure her.

It took some doing because she wouldn't stand still, but Harry was able to hold her still long enough for Tom to mark the doorway with her current height.

"Look at that," Harry said turning her around for her to see where Tom had made a line with Wynter- Age: 1 right above it. "That's how tall you are."

Wynter pointed at it and looked at Harry.

"Yes, that's you," he replied and she clapped her hands. "Yay!" he said clapping with her and hugged her from behind. "You've gotten so big!"

"Ig!" Wynter exclaimed.

"What's the verdict?" He asked Tom who was measuring the height.

"2 feet 3 inches," Tom determined as he put his tape measure away.

"2 feet? Really?" Harry asked in shock. "Wow. She really did grow a lot. She was 18 inches when she was born."

"Was she?" Tom asked.

"Yes. 7 pounds, 10 ounces, 18 inches long," Harry answered and gave Wynter's chubby cheeks more kisses.

Wynter bore a few kisses then pushed his face away, "No."

"No? No more?"

"No," she said again and struggled to be out down, which Harry did, and he went straight for the tree.

"And there she goes to the tree again."

"I got her," Tom said going after her, "Wynter no touching."

An hour later and the fireplace lit up indicating that someone wanted to go through. Tom had set up their floo system for Ron and Hermione to be able to come over, but it was restricted to only them and either Tom or Harry had to let them in. It was better than Harry having to go get them every time they wanted to come over, and Tom had fixed Harry's necklace so them tagging along wouldn't work anymore.

So Harry went over to the fireplace and pressed a switch on the mantle to open the floo and Ron and Hermione came through.

"Good Morning!" Ron announced, "Holy shit, that's a big tree."

"Morning? It's 5:30," Harry said and gave Ron a hug, "And yes it is a big tree. Nothing but the best. Right, Marque?"

"Of course," Tom said in his flawless French accent.

"Well, it might be late for you, but we just got up. It's still the morning of the 13th for us," Hermione said coming out behind Ron.

Harry gasped dramatically, "You're in the future!"

"Oh, stop it," Hermione said giving him a hug too. "I'm afraid we can't stay long. We have to get to work later."

"Okay, well I am glad you could make it."

"For Wynter. Always."

"Where's the birthday girl?" Ron called.

Wynter came around the couch when she heard them come and was making her way to them, "Uca!"

"There she is!" Ron said scooping her up and giving her a big hug, "Happy Birthday."

"Oh, she's so big already," Hermione said giving her a kiss, "Happy Birthday sweetheart."

"What do you say, jelly bean?" Harry asked and Wynter babbled something at them.

"You're welcome," Ron and Hermione both said.

"Hi Marque," Hermione said finally turning her attention to Tom.

"Hello again, Ms. Granger."

"Oh, please. It's Hermione. I brought your book back," she said holding it out to him.

"And?" Tom inquired, taking it.

"It was fascinating. I didn't know there were so many protection charms. Though I don't know if I would use all of them."

"Yes some of them do require some...sacrifices. But you do what you must to protect those you care about."

"I suppose so," Hermione agreed hesitantly.

"Anyway," Harry inputted, "You guys ready to party?"

"Oh yeah," Ron said, "We came bearing gifts."

"Yes, we did," Hermione said and resized a pile of gifts on the dining table that was in her pockets.

"Whoa!" Harry exclaimed, "That's way more than a few birthday gifts from you guys."

"It's a mix of Christmas and birthday gifts from us and others," Hermione explained.

"Others?" Tom asked.

"Yes. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Remus, Fred, and George..."

"Ah..." Harry said in awe as he gazed at them all.

"When we told them Wynter's birthday was today, we were suddenly flooded with gifts," Ron said.

"The festive paper is obviously yours, Wynter, and Marque's for Christmas. And the others with celebratory paper are birthday gifts for Wynter," Hermione explained.

Wynter pointed at the shiny paper and looked at Ron.

"Yeah, some of those are for you," he said to her and she clapped her hands excitedly.

"Okay, well," Harry said looking around, "Christmas presents under the tree and birthday gifts on the coffee table."

"On it," Ron said and passed Wynter to Hermione and started sorting the gifts.

"Is she standing yet?" Hermione asked lifting Wynter in the air and making her giggle, then sat her down on her lap as she made herself comfortable on the couch.

"Not quite," Harry said, "She can get herself up on her knees and try to reach something, but can't get her weight under her yet. I have a feeling it will be soon though."

"I can't wait, because after that..."

"Ugh. I don't want to think about it."

Hermione laughed and turned her attention to Wynter. "Are you chewing your fingers, Wynter?" she asked.

"No!" Wynter said adamantly and went back to sticking her fingers in her mouth.

Hermione looked at Harry in surprise, then back down at her, "That's a very strong no."

"No," Wynter said again softly around her fingers.

"She's feisty," Harry said proudly.

"Like her mother," Tom added.

"Hey! That's not true. Don't agree with them," he scolded Ron and Hermione as they nodded.

"You're only proving my point," Tom said.

"Shut up," Harry grumbled.

"Here," Hermione said handing Wynter a chew toy that had been sitting on the table, "Use this. Your poor fingers." Wynter just took the toy and put it into her mouth. "Does she do that a lot?"

"All the time," Tom replied, "With her teeth growing in she uses whatever she can get her hands on. Mostly it's her fingers."

"Poor thing," Hermione said smoothing Wynter's hair down.

"I'm going to go check on dinner," Harry said getting up to check the oven. "Oh! Should I make you guys something different? I know that this is breakfast for you."

"Oh no, you don't have to do that," Hermione protested.

"I'll just have breakfast for dinner," Ron said with a grin.

"He would too," Hermione said fondly.

"Oh, I know he would," Harry laughed. "Looks like this is done. Wash up, you guys. Wynter time to wash your hands!"

"An!" Wynter exclaimed.

"Have Auntie help you wash your hands."

"Aie. An!" Wynter said showing Hermione her hands.

"Okay, let's go wash your hands," she said and got up to head to the kitchen sink.

Tom went to the restroom to wash his hands and came out to see Hermione placing Wynter into her high chair and Ron and Harry hanging back by the kitchen island having a silent conversation that looked strange without either of them talking.

Harry nudged Ron and looked pointedly at Hermione then back to him. Ron shook his head. Harry sighed dramatically and rolled his eyes and gave him a look. Ron just shrugged his shoulders sheepishly. Harry glanced pointedly at the Christmas tree drawing Ron's attention. Ron smiled slightly and nodded. Harry grinned widely and nudged Ron on the shoulder hard enough to knock him slightly off balance.

"You better," Harry finally said.

"You guys coming?" Hermione asked as she finally got Wynter settled.

"Coming," Harry said, grabbing his casserole with oven mitts.

"Dadee, ssh an," Wynter said, showing Tom her clean hands.

"Are your hands clean, princesse?" Tom asked and Wynter looked at him strangely as she did when she heard his French accent.

"Whose hungry?" Harry announced as he brought the rest of the food to the table.

They all then settled in and ate the food Harry prepared and talked about casual events like work and what they were doing for the holidays. When they were done, Hermione helped Harry with the dishes while Tom and Ron entertained Wynter in front of the TV. But they were having a hard time keeping her away from the gifts sitting there on the table.

"I think we are going to have to open these soon," Ron said as he held onto Wynter as she tried to reach for her gifts.

"Okay, okay," Harry said as he came over and took Wynter from Ron and sat next to Tom while Hermione took her place next to Ron. "Ready to open your gifts?"

"Ye!" Wynter exclaimed.

"Okay," Harry said reaching for one of the gifts, "This one is from...Uncles Fred and George. Here open it." Wynter grabbed at the paper and scratched at it, but wasn't able to open it. So Harry opened one edge of the paper and showed her where to grab it. "Pull, pull!" Harry told her and she pulled it, the paper ripping open as she did so. Wynter looked up at Harry in surprise then tore it open some more. Soon they were surrounded by ripped paper and gifts from various people.

"This is awesome, guys. Thanks," Harry said holding a box with a potty trainer.

"You're welcome. I thought it would come in handy soon when you start potty training her," Hermione said.

"Yeah. We'll get on that as soon as she starts walking."

Harry sighed and looked at all the gifts around them; from toys to new clothes. "She got so much stuff. What am I going to do with all of it?"

"She still has the stuff under the tree," Tom commented.

"Oh god."

"Wynter will never want for nothing that's for sure," Hermione said.

"But I don't think she needs all the fancy toys to keep her happy. She is having a blast with that paper," Ron commented as he watched Wynter tear a piece of wrapping paper and laugh her head off.

"I know," Harry said looking down at her, "She's making such a mess!"

"Good thing we have magic to clean it up."

"So true," Harry agreed, "We'd be finding pieces for weeks." Harry shook his head and kissed the top of Wynter's head. "Who wants cake?"

"Oh! Me!" Ron said excitedly.

"Want some cake, Wynter?"

"Ak?"

"Yes. Some yummy cake," Harry said and picked her up.

They all headed to the dining table where Wynter was placed back in her high chair with her bib on. Harry placed her small cake in from of her with a big "1" candle in the center. When it was lit they all sang her "Happy Birthday." Wynter had no idea what was going on but she danced side to side with the song with a smile and tried to grab the hot candle, but Harry stopped her hands. Even Tom sang along as he filmed the special event with the camera.

"Yay!" They clapped as the song ended and Wynter clapped too.

"Can you blow out your candle?" Harry asked.

Wynter just reached for the cake and got some frosting on her hands. She put the digits into her mouth and immediately went back for more.

"Oh, I think she likes it," Ron said.

"Looks like it," Harry said and blew and took out the candle for her and let her have at it. "Dig in Wynter." And she did just that. Reaching in with both hands and getting a big handful of chocolate cake and stuffing it into her mouth. "Good?"

"Mmmm," Wynter only hummed.

"I think it's good," Harry said with a laugh. "You getting it?" He asked Tom.

"Every second," Tom replied as he recorded his daughter happily eating her birthday cake.

"I have another cake for us," Harry said as he headed to the kitchen.

"Oh good. I don't think she is going to leave anything for us," Ron said.

Harry served the cake and they sat and watched as Wynter devoured the small cake, well...she devoured most of it, the rest got all over her face and somehow in her hair.

"Oh my god, she's making such a mess!" Harry groaned.

"Oh leave her. It's her birthday," Ron said waving it off.

"You're not the one who has to give her a bath."

"No bat!" Wynter said as she squished the cake between her fingers, playing with it now.

"Ugh," Harry groaned again as she smeared it on her face. He looked at Tom, "You want to do it?"

"No," Tom said immediately, eying her.

"I do not envy you," Hermione said. "No, that's yours," she said to Wynter as she held out her chocolate covered hands to her.

"Wait until you have your own, you will know my pain."

Hermione laughed."Well, sorry to eat and run, but we need to get going," she said picking up her empty plate to put in the sink.

"Already?" Harry asked as he cleaned a squirming Wynter's face.

"Yup," Ron said, "Off to work."

"Okay," Harry said, "Say goodbye to Auntie Hermione and Uncle Ron. They have to go," he told Wynter.

Wynter reached for Hermione and she was careful to avoid the chocolate parts as she gave her a kiss on the clean spots, "Oh, bye sweetheart. Happy Birthday! Mmm, you smell sweet."

"Yeah, she's going to the bath after this," Harry commented.

"No," Wynter said.

"Yes. No arguments. You have cake in your hair."

"Uca!" Wynter said as Ron came to say goodbye, "Bye bye Wynter. You be good, okay?"

"Oke."

Hermione turned to Harry, "Just tell him," She whispered to him.

"Hermione," Harry sighed tiredly.

"Tell me what?" Tom asked right behind him, having heard them.

"Nothing," Harry said quickly, "Hermione is just being a pest."

"I'm just trying to do right by you."

"Well, this is not it," he said pointedly and Hermione shrugged her shoulders, giving up.

Ron and Hermione said the rest of their goodbyes and soon the house was empty and silent with only Wynter's fussing to be heard. While Tom cleaned up the mess in the kitchen, Harry headed upstairs to give Wynter a much-needed bath.

"There we go. All clean," Harry said as he finished buttoning her pajamas.

"Een," Wynter repeated.

Harry laughed, "Yes, squeaky clean." He sighed as he sat down in the rocking chair by the window and held Wynter against him. "You have a good day today? Yeah?" he asked as she nodded. "I can't believe you're one year old today. It seems just like yesterday that you were born," he whispered to her. "So small and soft. Well, you're still small and soft, just a bit bigger." He chuckled and played with her hands as she held onto his fingers. "So much happened this year, hasn't it. I found out I was pregnant, went into hiding and then had you. Then your daddy found us and everything changed, didn't it. He became your daddy, we moved here, you started crawling and talking, and soon you'll be walking. Ugh, you're getting too big."

"Ig," Wynter said sleepily.

"Yes, you are a big girl now. But you'll always be my little jelly bean. I love you very, very much, you know that? Yes, I do. I always will. Don't you forget that," Harry said and kissed her on the forehead. Looking down at her, he realized she had fallen asleep. Harry smiled and kissed her again before getting up and placing her in her crib, pulling up the blankets to keep her warm. Turning around, he started when he saw Tom standing in the doorway. "How long have you been there?"

"Not long," Tom said stepping in and looking down at Wynter's sleeping form.

Harry smiled sheepishly, "I was just talking to her and she fell asleep."

"She's had a long day."

"Yeah, she has," Harry sighed and leaned his head against Tom's shoulder. "I wish she could be a day old again. She was so cute and tiny."

"Well, we can't turn back time..." At Harry wide-eyed look, he said. "No, we can't turn back time."

"I know, we can only go forward from here. She'll get so big and go off to school...she won't be my baby girl anymore."

"Okay, let's get you out of here before you start crying on me."

"I'm not crying," Harry said wiping under his eyes and allowing Tom to lead him from the room.

"I hope not, I'm not good with that type of thing."

"No. You are not."

"Now. Is there anything you want to tell me?"

"No, why?"

"Hermione seems to think you have something to tell me."

Harry rolled his eyes, "There's nothing to tell you."

"You sure?"

"Yes. I'm sure. Hermione's just trying to meddle."

"Okay," Tom said following him to the stairs. "...You're not pregnant are you?"

Harry stopped at the top of the stairs and turned to him in surprise, "What? No! No, I'm not pregnant."

"Okay. Just making sure."

"What made you think I was pregnant?" He asked heading down the staircase.

"It's just the first thing that came to mind."

Harry just laughed, "Believe me, if I was, I would tell you."

"You didn't last time," Tom commented.

"Well, things were different last time. You were trying to kill me remember?"

"I remember."

"Besides, it would be kind of hard to hide," Harry said gesturing to his stomach. Tom just hummed in agreement."Is it just me or do you seem disappointed."

"With what?"

"With me not being pregnant," Harry said sitting next to Tom on the couch.

Tom was silent for a moment. "I would not be against it if you were."

"I don't think I could handle another one. Wynter's a handful as it is...not that I would be...against it...either."

They both said nothing and sat in uneasy silence. They were not sure why they were having this discussion in the first place. It just wasn't something that they thought of, but now that it was there, they weren't sure what to do with it.

"I-I mean. Another child needs to be, you know, planned and the parents have to be..." Harry trailed off as he tried to grasp the words. "I mean, Wynter was an accident and she wasn't... it just, just happened," he said trying to fill the silence.

"True," Tom responded.

"B-Besides," Harry said uncomfortably, "If the Order found out I was pregnant again. And it had the same father as Wynter. That would be a big problem."

"Don't need that happening."

"No, we do not." Harry agreed and broke off into the uneasy silence. "How about a movie?" he suggested.

"Sounds good to me," Tom agreed quickly.

Harry put in a comedy DVD to try to lighten the air as they sat on opposite ends of the couch, deep in thought.

It just wasn't possible. It wasn't right to bring in another child into the world just because. To Harry, there had to be love between both parents for them to be able to bring a child into the world because they wanted it. That's not to say that they didn't want Wynter, of course, they did. But she was the reason things changed; before Tom and Harry had been at each other's throats trying to kill each other. There was no love. Well...there was on Harry's part, but it had to work both ways and that never was going to happen.

For Tom...things were just too complicated. Yes, there had been a brief moment of excitement when he had thought Harry was pregnant. He wasn't going to lie. But it was unreasonable. They shouldn't have another one simply because they could. Did he even really want another one? He had forced thoughts of a family aside a long time ago. And this thing with Harry was a fluke, good one, but a fluke nevertheless. But the thing that was still bugging him was that Harry was still hiding something from him. He might not be pregnant, but there was still something, something that Hermione knew. He didn't like secrets and he wanted to know what it was, but he knew Harry wouldn't say anything if he didn't want to unless he forced him, and that would not bode well for either of them. It may just set them back where they started.

They both sighed at the same time and then looked at each other and gave each other a slight smile. Then focused on the movie deciding to just leave it alone. For now.

Chapter Text

Two weeks passed quickly as Harry wrapped gifts and sent them off to his friends, getting a few stray gifts to put with their growing pile under the tree. Before Harry knew it, it was Christmas.

That morning had Harry waking up early, excited to share the joyous holiday with his family and he rolled over and shook Tom awake.

"Tom! Wake up, it's Christmas!"

"Ugh," Tom only muttered and rolled over onto his other side.

"No, don't go back to sleep," Harry said laying over him, "Wake up."

"Do I have to?"

"Yes. There's presents!"

"They're not going anywhere."

"But, but...presents," Harry whined.

"Wynter is not even awake yet," Tom said.

Harry pouted as he looked at the baby monitor and saw that she was still asleep. "Fine. Let's have sex then." Tom's eyes snapped open, suddenly awake and Harry laughed. "That caught your attention."

"I'm always up for sex," Tom said.

"I know, I can feel it," Harry said with a grin then laughed as he was pulled underneath him.

A while later after a fantastic tussle under the sheets, they heard Wynter fussing in the next room causing them to get up.

"Wynter, Wynter! Are you awake?" Harry sang as he went into her room.

"Ye, Mama!" Wynter called from her crib.

"It's Christmas! Christmas!" He exclaimed picking her up and lifting her in the air. "You excited? You get to open more presents." Wynter just clapped her hands at his excitement. "Let's get you dressed, okay?"

"Oke."

"Alright," Harry said placing her on her changing table and started to sing his changing song he had made up. "First is the diaper. That comes off...gross!"

"Os!"

Harry smiled and quickly removed the soiled diaper. "Stinky, Stinky. In the trash. Now we clean your butt, so you don't get a rash," Harry sang. "Now for a new one, nice and fresh, now that's done, time to get dressed! First are your pants, to keep your legs warm. Legs up!" Wynter lifted her legs in the air and Harry put the pants on. "There you go. Time for the shirt. Arms go up, up to the sky," Harry said as he sat her up and Wynter put her arms up for him to put on. "Shirt goes on, there we go. Arms go down, down to the ground. And now the socks. One Sock."

"Ock!" Wynter said proudly.

"That's right," Harry laughed, "And there's the other sock." He said slipping them onto her feet. Seeing someone at the corner of his eye he turned to see Tom in the doorway, looking at him strangely, shaking his head. "Daddy thinks I'm weird, but I don't care," Harry continued his little song. "Now it's time to do your hair. We get the brush. Brush, brush, brush," he sang gently brushing her fine hair so it wasn't sticking up so much. "There we go, all nice and pretty. Do we want a bow?"

"No!" Wynter said.

"Okay, no bow. And now Wynter is all ready to start the day!" Harry said lifting her up and lightly shaking her, "Yay!"

"Must you do that everytime you change her?" Tom questioned as he passed to go downstairs.

"Yes. I. Do." Harry sang. "Besides, Wynter loves it, don't you?" And Wynter smiled and hugged him. "Okay. Let's go and open presents."

They headed downstairs and Harry and Tom separated gifts into piles for the three of them. Harry could tell Tom was a bit excited himself when he saw the gifts for him, or rather for Marque from Harry's friends. They then sat down on the floor in front of the tree to open gifts.

They spent time ripping open wrapping paper and examining the things they got with excitement, Harry stopping to take pictures of Tom and Wynter. So far, Wynter had gotten several new outfits and even more toys she didn't need. But he couldn't fault the gift givers, there was something about buying things for a baby that was just heartwarming; it was hard not to go overboard. At least Wynter was set in the clothes department.

"What is this?" Tom asked holding out the sleeve of a blue sweater.

Harry laughed in joy, "You got a Weasley sweater!"

"A what?" Tom asked looking at the garment like it offended him.

"A Weasley sweater," Harry repeated, "Mrs. Weasley knits sweaters for everyone every year. Look," Harry said reaching for a present and opening it to reveal a red sweater with a big golden "H" on it. "I got one too."

"Why?"

"Because," Harry shrugged with a sheepish smile, "You're part of the family now."

Tom frowned and held out the sweater that had a big "M" on the front in disgust and uncertainty.

"It could stand for Marvalo," Harry commented, "Put it on."

"I don't think so."

"Come on," Harry reasoned as he pulled his over his head, "They're really warm." He smiled fondly as he lightly ran his hand over the wool sweater. "One of these sweaters was one of the first Christmas gifts I had ever gotten. The Dursley's never bothered to get me anything, so when I woke up on Christmas of my first year, I wasn't expecting anything. But Mrs. Weasley made me one of these. It was a little big and a bit tacky, but I loved it all the same. She's given made me one every year ever since."

"They never got you anything?" Tom asked quietly.

"No," Harry said, "Well, one year they gave me a sock and a 50-pence piece, but that was only because Hedwig pestered them until they gave in."

Tom glanced down at the sweater and then hesitated, thinking about what Harry had just revealed. It was something he too understood very well. He sighed and then pulled the sweater over his head. When he had pulled the material over Harry was beaming.

"It looks good on you. Brings out your eyes."

"Which ones?" Tom said narrowing his eyes and thinking of taking Harry on the couch to make them swirl with red.

"Do you want a red one?"

"No," Tom said quickly.

"I thought so. Oh! I wonder if Wynter got one." Harry turned to find Wynter and found her surrounded by wrapping paper having the time of her life as she ripped the paper to bits, toys and clothes lying about, forgotten. "Oh my god, Wynter," Harry admonished her looking at the mess she had created. Wynter only giggled and took another hold of some wrapping paper on a gift and gave it a tug to give a satisfying rip. "Are you having fun?"

"Ye!" She exclaimed and tore off another piece.

"I have no idea who gave her what now," Harry said not sure which wrapping paper had gone to what gift, least of all where the gift tags had gone.

"Well, you did give them all to her to open," Tom said.

"Not all at once! Ugh, oh well. Oh!" He said spotting a familiar sweater. "She did get one," Harry said holding up a smaller version of their sweaters in purple with a "W" on the front. "Come here, jelly bean." Harry picked her up from amongst her mess and slipped the sweater over her head. "There now we all match."

"I feel ridiculous," Tom stated flatly.

"You look fine."

"Mama," Wynter called.

"What jelly bean?" Wynter pointed to her sweater and at the letter in curiosity. "It's a 'W' for Wynter." Wynter babbled in happiness and picked at the 'W' with a smile. "You like it?"

"Ye!"

"I need a picture," Harry said sitting her down with her presents and snapped picture after picture of her as she played with the new toy that sang to her. She would press a button and it would start playing music making her wiggle side to side like she was dancing.

Harry smiled and turned his attention to Tom who was flipping through a book he had gotten. "What did you get?"

"A few books I already have, a shirt and 3 scarves."

"Well, they don't really know you, so the best they could. At least you got something."

Tom nodded and pulled a dark green, almost black button down shirt toward him, "I like this one," he said lifting it.

"Do you really like it? Or are you just saying that?" Harry asked.

"I really like it," Tom confirmed.

"Good. You're really hard to shop for, you know. You either already have it or it's something mundane that you wouldn't like or even use."

"I would like it regardless of what it is."

"Yeah, but I wanted to get you something that you would actually use. A shirt was all I could think of."

"I'll definitely be using it then," Tom said, making Harry smile.

"Oh! There's one more," Harry said rooting around under the tree and pulling out a wrapped gift, "It's for you."

Tom took the gift, obviously another book and looked at the tag, "It's from Fenrir," he commented and tore open the gift wrap. He held back a laugh as he looked at the title.

"What? What did he get you?" Tom turned the book so Harry could read it. "'The Art of Great Sex'" Harry read with a gasp. "Oh my god! He knows about us right?"

"Yes, he does."

"Then, why?!" Harry exclaimed, his face warming up. Tom shrugged and opened the book with interest. "Don't read it!" he said grabbing the book where it opened to a very provocative position and he slammed it shut, his face turning red.

"Why not?" Tom asked, "It was a gift. And I think I want to try whatever it was you just saw."

"No!" Harry exclaimed hiding the book under the other books Tom got. "I can't bend like that."

"We can still try," Tom said suggestively.

"Definitely not," Harry said hotly and turned away from him to tend to Wynter who wanted out of her sweater.

"We'll see."

The rest of the day was uneventful and lazy, which was just fine. Harry made a nice Christmas breakfast with scones and eggs, then they just relaxed on the couch and put on a cartoon movie for Wynter to watch as she played with her new toys.

Sometime in the afternoon, Harry was dozing against Tom's shoulder as he read the paper when he was suddenly roused by Tom urgently whispering his name. "Mm?"

"Harry," Tom hissed. "Look!"

Harry opened his eyes and looked up at Tom sleepily. "What?" Tom gestured with his head and he turned to find Wynter standing on unsteady feet as she reached for a brightly colored bow on the coffee table. "Oh my god," he whispered, "She's standing."

"I know."

"She's standing!"

"I know!"

Harry sat up straight and picked up his camera next to him. "Wynter! Look at Mama! Look at you, standing, my big girl."

Wynter turned her head to look at him and gave him a big smile, but with her concentration diverted, she plopped back down onto her butt.

"Uh oh! Come on try again!" He prompted her as he switched the mode on his camera to video.

"You can do it, sweetheart," Tom encouraged her.

Inspired, Wynter turned over onto her hands and knees and faced the table. She put her hands up on the table so she was sitting on her knees and pulled herself up so she could get her feet under her and push to a standing position.

It took her a few tries to regain her footing, but when she did she looked at her parents proudly and both Harry and Tom showered her with praise and excitement. It was such a small thing, standing, but to them, it was a major accomplishment and as Harry held his daughter close with Tom by his side, he wondered if all parents went through this simple joy.

They continued to praise her each time successfully stood on her own as she did it throughout the day and she got better at it each time. Once she even tried to step to the side but she fell down as she lost her balance, so she wasn't going to take her first steps that day, but it was going to be soon. For now, Wynter just sat down with Tom on the couch as they watched an animated movie, both of them fascinated, as Harry started on Christmas dinner.

Harry was almost done making dinner when the phone rang from across the room. He glanced up at Tom who was totally absorbed in the movie (though he would never admit it) that he didn't even hear it. So he put his food on stasis so it wouldn't burn and went to pick up the phone and was immediately deafened by screaming on the other side. He jerked the phone away from his ear as the excited screaming mixed with words came through. "Hermione stop screaming, I can't understand you," he said smiling at her obvious excitement. He could hear her take a deep breath, then...

"I'm getting married!!" Hermione screamed.

Harry smiled, happiness spreading through him. "He finally asked you? Good!"

"You knew?"

"Of course, I knew, who do you think I am?"

"For how long?"

"Um...a month or so. It's all about timing you know."

"Yes, and it was perfect. I really can't believe it. It's beautiful," she said referring to the ring on her finger.

"Well, it's about damn time."

"It is, isn't it?" Hermione asked with a giggle.

"Congratulations Hermione, really. To the both of you."

"Thank you. I'm just...I'm so happy."

"Good. You deserve it," Harry said going back to the counter and continuing on with dinner.

"Maybe..." Hermione started slyly, "You and Marque..."

Harry sighed, "Hermione stop, just stop. This is about you, not me."

"Fine," she pouted.

"Good. Now tell me all about it."

xxx

The rest of the week passed in a blur. He got calls from Hermione and Ron, each excited about their upcoming nuptials. They had so much to plan and wanted to make sure to include Harry in them and Wynter too of course. Ron had immediately blurted out and asked Harry to be his best man to which Harry readily agreed. They even asked if Wynter could be their flower girl, she should be walking by then. Harry was already looking forward to it.

But he was looking forward to something a lot closer. Tom's birthday. Tom was a lot like how he had been, not really looking forward to birthdays, but that was before he had made friends who would give him stuff. He wanted it to be like that for Tom, plus it was the first one together, he wanted to make it special. Kind of like how Tom had done for his. He even got the perfect gift, a rare find that he had just happened to come across. And he had Wynter make something for her Daddy, something simple but meaningful. He knew Tom would love it.

Yet, Wynter seemed to have an early birthday gift of her own.

Harry was making dinner one night and Tom sitting on the couch with Wynter just babbling away at him as she bounced up and down on his legs as he held her.

"Dadee, Dadee!" Wynter exclaimed.

"What princess?"

"Dadee, uff oo! Uff oo!"

"Uff? Woof?"

"Uff!" She exclaimed again and reached forward to give him a kiss. "Uff oo!"

"Fluff? Stuff?" Tom tried again "Do you know what she is saying?" he called to Harry.

"Let's see," Harry said coming over from the kitchen. "What are you trying to tell Daddy?"

"Uff oo Dadee! Uff, Uff!" Wynter exclaimed bouncing on her legs.

Tom looked at Harry puzzled, but Harry understood and he smiled softly. "She's saying, I love you, Daddy." If only it was that easy to say, he thought.

Tom's eyes widened and he looked at Wynter. "Do you love me, sweetheart?"

"Ye! Uff oo!"

Tom smiled wide and pulled her close and Wynter snuggled against him and said "Dadeee," happily.

"I guess she decided to give you an early birthday present," Harry commented.

"I'll take it," Tom said and lightly kissed the top of Wynter's head again and just held her as she snuggled close.

Tom felt warmth spread through his chest and wondered if this was love. He had heard about unconditional love from a child to a parent, not that he had ever experienced it, but Wynter was here showing him just that and he felt...warm. It was a pleasant feeling. A nice contrast to the last time he had been confronted with it, it had nearly destroyed him. Harry had told him once that it was his mother's love that had protected him that night, though Tom didn't understand it. How could something so simple, so...mundane and unimportant be his undoing? But now, if this was it, he could sort of understand it. He would do anything to keep his little girl safe. And Harry...

Tom glanced at Harry who was back at the kitchen counter cooking dinner with a bittersweet smile on his face. He didn't know, he...felt things he didn't understand, they were unfamiliar and he didn't know what they were. Tom did recognize possessiveness and desire, but this, this he didn't know. It was a different sort of warmth and it...scared him. Though he would never admit it. And since it did instead of trying to figure it out, he pushed it away back in the furthest part of his mind so he wouldn't have to think about it. Yet it didn't stop the strange feeling from happening from time to time.

Harry looked over at him and quickly looked away so fast he would have missed it if he had blinked. That was another thing he didn't understand. Harry was an open book with most things, Tom could usually tell what he wanted just by reading his face, yet he had been very...secretive wasn't exactly the right word. He was keeping something from him, yet it sometimes looked like he wanted to say something. It was irritating and frustrating because he couldn't read the particular look Harry always had these days.

Seeing it would quickly sour his mood because he hated not understanding people and with Harry, he had to be extra careful. They had a...difficult past and he sometimes said something that would put Harry in a quiet mood, which Tom quickly learned led to no sex. Plus, he really didn't like the silent treatment, he found. He would rather Harry yell at him for being insensitive and cruel then have that wounded look. It was like kicking a puppy...not that he has, of course, but with those green eyes, so expressive, it made him feel bad. Yet when they darkened when he was aroused and lit up when he was happy, it made Tom feel those things in his chest, squeezing almost painfully so. And when Harry smiled at him a certain way...

"Dinner's ready!"

Tom shook his head. He didn't have time for these thoughts. So he put them out of his head and went to eat some delicious dinner.

xxx

A few days later, Tom woke to bright green eyes peering down at him. Harry was hovering slightly above him with a big smile on his face. "What?" he grumbled, he had been sleeping so well.

Harry just moved forward and gave him a lingering kiss and gave him another smile. "Happy Birthday."

Tom's eyes widened in remembrance. Ah, that's right, it is, isn't it, he thought. Now he understood Harry's secretiveness over the past few days. He never really cared about his birthday, he had never had a reason to. People who did know would, of course, pay their respects, obligatory gifts, etc, but they never really meant it. But this, this was different, he could tell by Harry's face. "Thank you."

Harry smiled again and leaned his against his crossed arms on Tom's chest, "Anything in particular for breakfast today?"

"I get to choose?" Harry nodded. Tom relaxed back against his pillow and ran a hand down Harry's bare back making him shiver as he thought about what he wanted.

"Pancakes?"

"Just pancakes?"

Tom thought a moment, "Hashbrowns?"

"Any bacon or sausage?"

"Sausage...and strawberries?"

"Chocolate chips in the pancakes?" Harry asked. Tom's eyes lit up and Harry laughed. "I'll take that as a yes. Okay, I'll get started on that." He kissed Tom again, slipped from the bed, got dressed and headed to the connecting door to Wynter's room. "Wynter, Wynter? Are you awake?"

"Ake!" Tom heard Wynter respond.

"Good. We're making Daddy breakfast for his birthday. Let's get you changed."

"Dadee!"

Tom smiled to himself as he listened to Harry get their daughter changed. He never thought he would actually enjoy his birthday. It had meant nothing to him from the beginning, a purely symbolic date when he had been brought into this world and promptly abandoned by his mother. There had never been any cause for him to enjoy it; he got nothing on his birthday at the orphanage, it was never celebrated nor acknowledged and he grew up not caring. It wasn't until his Hogwarts days that he could use it as a way of getting what he wanted from people, people loved pleasing him and gave him whatever he wanted. And any way that would pull him up in the world, he would use it. Yet with Harry, there were no strings attached. It was a day that was cause for celebration simply because he had been born.

So for once, he was actually excited for his birthday. What he could get out of it from Harry, he will have to see. For now, he just got up and got dressed to join Harry and Wynter for breakfast.

xxx

"When Daddy comes you are going to give him a big big hug," Harry told Wynter as he carried her around the kitchen as he got stuff out of the fridge.

"Ug?"

"Yup. And say 'Happy Birthday'"

"Ap Berty!"

"Yes, just like that," Harry said and set her on the floor to wait for Tom to come down. It didn't take long and when Wynter heard his footsteps on the stairs she crawled over to greet him with a "Berty!!"

Tom laughed "Birthday?" and Wynter nodded and gave him a hug. "Thank you, princess."

"Berty!" Wynter announced again.

"Close enough," Harry told her, "Good job." Wynter just smiled and clapped her hands in excitement. "Breakfast is ready," Harry told Tom, "And when you're done, you can open gifts."

"I get more presents?"

"Of course, it's your birthday isn't it?"

"Yes...but Christmas was a few days ago."

"Yup. And now it's your birthday. Now eat before it gets cold."

"That's what we have warming charms for," Tom responded as he placed Wynter in her highchair.

"Shut up and eat."

So Tom ate his breakfast: Chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries, sausage, and hash browns as promised. If there was one thing that he enjoyed, besides the sex, it was Harry's cooking. Harry did things all by hand with minimal magic usage because it "took out the joy" of it, so he knew this was purely Harry's skill. And there was truly nothing like a homecooked meal.

After breakfast was done, plates cleaned and put away and Wynter cleaned of stickiness, it was time for presents.

"This one is from Wynter," Harry said handing Wynter a bag for her to hold. "Give it to Daddy," he told her as he handed Tom Wynter.

Tom accepted his daughter and sat her down in his lap and she handed up the small gift bag to him "Dadee! Opn!"

"Is this from you?"

"Ah!"

Tom smiled and he dug around in the bag and pulled out a heavy object wrapped in tissue paper. Unwrapping it he held in his hand a plaster mold with a small handprint in the center. Across the top said "Happy Birthday, Daddy" and on the bottom corner "From Wynter, age 1."

"An!" Wynter said happily pointing at it, then she placed her hand on the mold where it fit perfectly.

"Is that your hand?"

"Ye!"

Tom kissed the top of her head and looked across to Harry, "Thank you."

"Do you like it?" Harry asked nervously.

"I love it."

"Good," Harry said relieved. "I couldn't think of anything else to get you."

"It's perfect. How did you do this?" Tom asked turning it over in his hands.

"Standard molding kit. Do you have any idea how hard it was to get her to sit still for that? It was a nightmare. She kept sticking her fingers in it and splashing it, did you know you can splash plaster?"

"No," Tom said with a laugh.

"Yeah, well you can."

"When did you do this?"

"When you went to work one day," Harry said with a shrug. "I had to work quickly because I didn't know what time you were going to be home, especially because of the holidays, you were sometimes home early. Didn't help that she was being uncooperative. But we got it done, huh, Wynter?"

"Ye!" Wynter agreed.

"Well, thank you, princess," Tom said and kissed her on the cheek. Wynter just gave him a big smile.

"Okay, my turn," Harry said excitedly as he handed Tom his gift. "I've been waiting to give this to you since I found it."

"When did you get it?" Tom asked running his hands over the wrapping paper. It was clearly a book.

"During my Christmas shopping."

"Then you could have just given it to me for Christmas."

"I could have," Harry replied, "But I wanted your Birthday gift to be special. You're kind of like me from before, not really looking forward or caring about your birthday. That is until I made friends and actually got stuff. So I wanted it to be good. The first gift from someone who cares has to be good," Harry then frowned in thought, "Though you probably do get gifts so it's probably not the first."

"True, but they do not care. So I will love it."

"You don't even know what it is yet."

"It doesn't carry a returned favor, so I know it's good."

"Just open it," Harry said with a smile and held out his arms to take Wynter.

"Opn?"

"Yes, Daddy is going to open," Harry said settling her into his lap to watch.

Without further prompting, Tom tore open the wrapping and was struck speechless. It was indeed a book, one that he didn't have nor seen before. It was old and still in pristine condition. In gold lettering, it said The Life & Work of Salazar Slytherin written across the top written by the man himself.

"Where...Where did you find this?" Tom asked in awe as he ran his fingers down the cover.

"By chance actually. I went back to England during one of my shopping trips to some shopping center I heard about from a bookkeeper down at the Plaza. He told me about a small out of the way bookstore that rarely gets visitors and I'll tell you, it looks like it. And I just," Harry shrugged, "I found it there on a shelf hidden behind some other books. The bookkeeper there said that it had been there for a long time." Tom just stared at the book in complete bewilderment and joy that Harry knew he had done well.

"You'll have to tell me where this place is," Tom finally responded.

"I will. It's in parseltongue, you know," Harry added, "It's kind of hard to tell because it just looks like English to me." He smiled as Tom lifted the book to eye level and tilted it in a similar way he had when the bookkeeper said no one could read it, yet he could. Harry had known then that he had found the perfect gift.

"Most of Salazar's books have been lost to time and generations of neglect. I could never find anything no matter how hard I tried," Tom said cracking the book open to the cover page.

"Can you blame them? What good is a book if you can't read it?" Harry responded.

"They could have still preserved them," Tom replied in irritation, "It's still history. It's irreplaceable and an invaluable piece of knowledge."

Harry chuckled, "You sound like Hermione...So? Do you like it?"

"Yes. This is...amazing," Tom said looking up at him, "Thank you, Harry. I mean it."

Harry smiled and bounced Wynter in his lap, "He likes it! Yay!" Wynter shrieked in joy and clapped. "I think we should leave Daddy to his book," he told her, "I think he wants to read it really bad."

Tom smiled sheepishly, "That obvious?"

"Yes. I flipped through it, it looks like a good read," Harry said and took Wynter with him to read a book of her own while Tom settled in to read his.

A few hours later, Tom was still absorbed in his book and Wynter was playing with her toys while Harry did a few things around the house then started making a cake for Tom and while it was in the oven, he started in on dinner.

Wynter, tired of her toys, looked around and saw her Daddy still in the same spot so she crawled to the kitchen to find her mama. "Mama, Mama," Wynter said trying to get his attention.

"Mama is busy, sweetheart," Harry said stepping around her as he focused on dinner.

"Mama," she whined, tugging on his pant leg.

"I can't right now, Wynter. I'm making dinner."

"Enr?"

"Yes, dinner for you to eat."

"Et?"

"Yes. Eat. Why don't you go to Daddy," Harry asked.

"Oke," Wynter said and crawled her way over to where Tom was sitting on the couch reading his new book.

Tom could hear the scoot of Wynter's hands and knees as she scooted across the hardwood floor to him, so he knew she was coming. It took her a little bit to cross the space between the kitchen and the entertainment area.

"Dadee!" Wynter called to him, tapping the corner of his book after she hauled herself to her feet.

"Yes, Princess?" Tom asked and put his book down with his finger as a placemark to see Wynter standing before him

"Et?"

"Yes, we'll eat in a bit. Go play with your toys for now."

"Oy?"

"Yes. Toys."

"Oke," Wynter said...and stepped around his legs, holding onto him while doing so, then let go and took a few tottering steps to her toys before she fell over.

"Harry...Harry!"

"What?" Harry asked him.

"She's..." Tom trailed off, "She's walking!"

"What?!" Harry exclaimed and rushed over. "Walking?"

"Yeah," Tom said in shock and put his book aside, "Well she was. She fell over, but she did. She took, like, 3 steps. I saw it!"

"Damn it, I missed it?" Harry groaned. "You're sure though. She was walking?"

"Yes. Dead sure."

"Wynter, did you walk?" Harry asked her coming closer to her.

Wynter looked up at him. "Aowk!" she exclaimed and handed him a toy.

Harry took it and put it on the floor and picked Wynter up. "Let's see if we can get her to do it again. Come on," he gestured to Tom "Stand there," he told him and walked a couple steps away and placed Wynter on her feet as he knelt behind her. "Go to Daddy."

"Dadee!" Wynter said and tried to get down on her knees, but Harry stopped her.

"No, no. Walk to Daddy."

"Aowk?"

"Yes, walk. I know you can do it," Harry coaxed her. Harry held her hands and let her take a few steps with some help like what Tom would do, then he let her go so she was standing on her own.

"Come here sweetheart," Tom beckoned to her.

Wynter stood there and swayed in place before taking one step forward then another and another.

"Oh my god! Do you see that?!" Harry exclaimed. "Keep going, Wynter. Go to Daddy."

"You can do it," Tom kept saying watching as Wynter smiled and held her arms out to him slowly taking tottering steps toward him. She stumbled halfway across and started to fall, so Tom just scooped her up.

"Dadee!" Wynter exclaimed happily.

"She did it!" Harry cheered, "She's walking!"

"Good job, princess," Tom said with a proud smile.

"Oh. I'm so proud of you Wynter," Harry said nuzzling her back and giving her kisses on her cheeks. Wynter just giggled. "Well, I guess that's her birthday present to you."

"Did you walk for me?" Tom asked her.

Wynter didn't understand but nodded anyway, fingers in her mouth, "Ye."

"Thank you. That made me very happy."

Wynter just smiled and gave him a hug.

"Oh damn, I should have taken a video," Harry grumbled.

"She'll do it again."

"True," Harry said smoothing down Wynter's hair in the back that was sticking up. "Ugh, she's getting so big!"

"Yes, she is," Tom said looking down at his little girl nestled contentedly against his neck.

"Ah!" Harry suddenly exclaimed and ran to the kitchen as he became aware of the beeping noise that had been going off for the past few minutes. "The cake!"

"I get a cake?" Tom asked.

"Of course you do."

"What kind?"

"Chocolate."

Tom hummed appreciatively. His mouth was watering already, he couldn't wait.

"Ak?" Wynter asked him.

"Yes, cake. Do you like cake?" Wynter nodded. "I'll let you have some, okay."

"Oke," she said with a smile and put her head back down against his neck.

Tom just smiled and rubbed her back. She was getting so big and now she was walking. Where did the time go? It felt like yesterday he was meeting her for the first time. Holding her...now she was walking, talking. He could see her turning into her own tiny person. Her own personality shining through. Harry was right, he did wish he could turn back time to when she was smaller, but he did want to see her grow up.

The only issue was what sort of world did he want her to grow up in. It was a question that came to mind more frequently these days.

"Dinner's almost ready," Harry called.

"Cake?"

"No. That's for after. Wash up."

"Time to wash up," Tom said getting up with Wynter in his arms.

"Ak?"

"Mama said no cake until you eat your dinner," Tom replied.

Wynter just agreed and focused on washing her hands.

Dinner was a lavish affair with roasted cornish hens, mashed potatoes and stuffing. As always, Harry outdid himself and it was all as delicious as it smelled. And after there was a freshly frosted cake sitting on the counter. Tom was looking forward to it.

After dinner, Tom helped Harry clean up and made sure Wynter was clean because she enjoyed her mashed potatoes a little too much. Then it was time for cake. Harry made him sit through that ridiculous birthday song (he enjoyed it but he wasn't going to admit it) with Wynter clapping and babbling along. Then the cake was served and it was just as delicious as he knew it would be. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, just the way he liked it.

"How is it?" Harry asked across from him. Tom just answered by putting more into his mouth. Harry just smiled and turned to Wynter. "How about you, huh? You like the cake?"

"Ak!" Wynter exclaimed and breaking off a portion with her fingers and put it in her mouth, wiggling side to side in joy.

"Use your fork," Harry reminded her with a sigh. But it was no use, she was enjoying herself too much. "Are you done?" he asked her when she cleared her plate.

"Or!"

"No, no more. Time for a bath."

"No bat!"

"Yes bath, you have chocolate all over your face."

"No bat," Wynter said again but went willingly as Harry picked her up.

"Enjoy yourself?" Harry asked Tom Tom as he finished his own slice of cake.

"Very much. Thank you."

"You're welcome. I'm going to give her a bath and put her to bed. Say night night to Daddy," Harry told Wynter and she reached out to Tom and gave him a chocolaty kiss.

"Good night, princess. Sleep tight."

"Ay Dadee!"

And so Harry took Wynter upstairs for her bath and to put her to bed.

Tom took the dirty plates to the kitchen and set them to clean themselves, then went to sit on the couch to read his book as he casually listened to the sounds of Harry giving Wynter her bath upstairs.

Sometime later, Harry came back down, slightly damp from giving Wynter her bath.

Harry sighed as he dropped down on the couch next to him, "Wynter is down for the night."

"Took a little bit."

"Yeah. I think she was just a little wired from all the excitement from today. But she'll sleep good tonight."

"That's good," Tom said distractedly.

"What are you reading?" Harry tilted his head to look at the cover. "Ugh. You're reading that?" Harry said in disgust.

"Yes. It's very interesting."

"Why not the one I gave you?"

"Because I wanted to look at this one. We've actually already done some of these," Tom commented as he flipped through the book Fenrir gave him.

Harry visibly struggled with himself before scooting closer to look over Tom's shoulder, "Have we really?" he asked.

Tom hid his smirk as Harry became interested, "Yes. Or some variation of them. We've certainly done this one and this one and this one."

Harry followed Tom's finger to one provocative moving picture to the next and despite his embarrassment, he did recognize being in them. Reverse Cowboy, Missionary, Doggy Style...he definitely remembered them...and how amazing they felt. "How can you read this? I feel so dirty."

"Mm," Tom hummed in agreement, "But you can't look away can you?" he asked, voice husky.

Harry slowly glanced up at Tom's face and noticed there was red swirling in his blue eyes; Tom was getting aroused and Harry felt himself perk up in kind. He looked away, flushing.

"I can see us doing some of these," Tom said turning toward him and sliding a hand up Harry's arm leaving goose pimples in its wake as he turned Harry's face back to him.. "Legs over my shoulders as I pound into you, doing it from behind, you riding me with those strong thighs of yours," Tom continued to whisper huskily as he lightly started to kiss Harry's jaw. " Can you feel me inside you?"

"Merlin, Tom," Harry panted and pushed him away, "What are you doing to me?"

"Trying to turn you on...is it working?" Tom said as he slowly stalked forward so Harry was leaning back against the arm of the couch, the book falling shut and to the side, forgotten for now. He slid his hand up Harry's leg and gently pressed against the erection straining through Harry's jeans.

"Y-You know it fucking it is."

"It's my birthday..." he said suggestively.

Harry gasped, "You seriously did not use that against me."

"And if I did?"

"You play dirty," he accused him.

"If I remember correctly, you tried the same move on me."

Harry went silent and pouted as he glared at the book. Then finally bit out, "Fine. Just this one time."

Tom gave a Cheshire grin and quickly flipped to a certain page, "This one."

Harry looked down at the provocative position and reddened, "Y-You already had one picked out?!"

"Of course I did. I have several."

"Just one!"

"We'll see," Tom said and hoisted Harry up into his arms and carried him upstairs to their bedroom.

"I can walk you know."

"And give you the chance to run away. I don't think so."

"I won't run," Harry grumbled, "I said I would, and I will."

"I'm just making sure," Tom said and placed him on their bed, crawling over him in the process.

"I won't," Harry repeated and pulled Tom down by his collar to kiss him, opening his mouth for Tom's tongue.

They kissed, the intensity increasing as things started to heat up. Harry even took the initiative and started unbuttoning Tom's shirt.

"Eager now, are we?" Tom murmured against Harry's mouth.

"You said it was your birthday. I can stop," Harry said letting his arms fall away so he was lying prone beneath him.

"I didn't say to," Tom said but sat back to take off his shirt while Harry worked open his belt and pants.

Harry turned his head when he felt Tom doing something and found the 'porn book' as Harry was starting to know it as on the bed beside him."Did you have to bring it?" Harry asked turning his head away and feeling his face grow warm.

"How will we know what we are doing?"

"You probably have it all memorized by now."

Tom's only answer was a grin and he leaned down to kiss him again, this time divesting Harry of his clothes.

"W-What are we doing?" Harry asked breathlessly as they lay tangled in each other, naked; Harry already open and prepared.

"This one," Tom said tapping the page of the book beside them. "It's called the Sitting Suspended Congress."

Harry looked at the picture nervously but felt himself harden as the picture moved. One of the men in the other's lap with his legs over the other's shoulders, as well as his arms so they were bound tightly together. "I don't think I can get my legs up there."

"I'm sure you can. This one is quite tame compared to the others," Tom responded and gently rolled him onto his back. "Ready?"

Harry glanced at the picture, "It will feel good, right?"

"I'll make sure it does."

Harry gave a deep breath and nodded.

Getting the okay, Tom pulled Harry's legs over his shoulders and slowly sank himself deep inside until he was fully sheathed within him.

"Oh, God," Harry groaned as Tom filled him completely.

"Good?"

-Yes- Harry hissed slipping into Parseltongue.

-Arms around my neck, and hold on- Tom hissed back.

Harry did as told, wrapping his arms around him bringing them close together. Then, quickly, Tom pulled him up, so Harry was hanging from his neck with just Tom's support. Tom then sat down with his legs spread out in front of him on the bed and gently started easing Harry back and forth on his cock.

Harry gasped and squeezed his eyes shut in pleasure as Tom hit his prostate repeatedly, with the angle he was in, Tom hit it spot on each time. It was a tiring position, just hanging there, and he clung to Tom tightly, sliding his fingers through the hair on the back of Tom's neck. But it felt...so good.

"Okay?" Tom whispered to him, lightly nuzzling the side of his face and lightly leaving a trail of kisses.

"Yes," Harry moaned, he just kept. moaning. He couldn't seem to stop.

-Keep moaning like that and I'll come too soon-

Harry shuttered at the hissing, "Shut up," he groaned and blindly kissed him.

After a few minutes of this, Tom whispered to him, "I'm going to put you down."

"Good. My legs hurt."

"You should say something if it does."

"But it feels good."

Tom only chuckled and had Harry place his hands back so he had the leverage to pull his legs off Tom's shoulders. "Just like this," Tom murmured to him as he rearranged Harry a certain way.

"What is this one called?" Harry asked as he started moving on his own. Tom was laid down on the bed with his legs spread behind him and Harry put his hands between them to support his weight as he had his legs spread around Tom's waist, and with Tom still inside him, he started to bounce on him.

Tom moaned as he had the perfect view of Harry riding him, wide open. "It's called the Crab."

"I like this one," Harry said as he let his head fall back and just focused up the up and down movement, bringing in Tom's thick cock deeper inside.

"Thought you might," Tom said sliding his hands over Harry's strong thighs. His hand traveled up further and took a hold of Harry's cock and started stroking him.

Harry moaned and started to bounce faster until he could feel the beginning of his orgasm approaching so he stopped; he didn't want to come yet. He sat up so he was sitting on Tom and in response, Tom sat up too and they met together and kissed deeply as Harry moved gently in his lap, Tom's arms around him to hold him there. "This one?" he asked against Tom's mouth.

"Lotus."

"Mmm," Harry hummed and continued to kiss him sweetly, sliding his hands into Tom's hair because he loved to muse the normally immaculate hairstyle that he had. Plus, Harry loved kissing Tom, it was heaven and Tom was a great kisser.

"Want to pick one?" Tom suddenly asked.

"Pick what?" Harry asked as he rolled his hips toward Tom to keep the friction going. Tom just pulled the book toward them and Harry's eyes went wide. "It's your birthday."

"And I want you to pick one," Tom responded.

Harry stopped all movement and pulled back a little to look at Tom's hopeful face and looked at the innocent (not!) book in Tom's hand. Then, biting his lip, he took it. He looked at Tom's pleased expression and pulled the book in front of his face so he wouldn't look as he flipped through the pages.

Merlin, they were erotic and there were so many! It didn't help that Tom's cock was deep inside him and he could just feel what it would be like to try each one. To have Tom pound into him seven ways until Sunday. And suddenly that was exactly what Harry wanted.

Harry peeked over the edge of the book and wondered if he dared.

"Find one?"

Harry hesitated, then gave Tom the book, pointed at what he wanted and looked away in embarrassment.

Tom took in the position called the 'Pyramid' in surprise and delight, cock twitching at the thought, which Harry felt. "You are really making me work for it, aren't you?"

"N-No," Harry stuttered, face turning red. He then squared his shoulders and looked him straight in the eye. "I just want you to fuck me."

Tom raised an eyebrow and grinned, "I can do that."

Tom then tipped Harry over onto his back and pulled out so he could get to his knees. Then pushed Harry's hips up so that he was bent in half and Harry put his hands on his waist to hold himself up. Tom then sat up so he was near standing on the bed and slid his cock back inside of Harry, letting gravity take him down.

Harry let his head drop back against the bed and groaned loudly as Tom started to fuck him by pounding down into him, using his weight to slam rapidly into him. He probably sounded like a dying animal, but Harry didn't care, he was too far gone to care.

-This what you wanted?- Tom hissed.

-Yes- Harry hissed and moaned at the same time. He didn't even know he could do that. -More. More Tom. More-

-Merlin, Harry- Tom hissed and continued to drive himself downward, penetrating Harry deeply to the point that he was losing control.

-Make me come- Harry said as he took a hold himself and started jerking his cock to Tom's thrusts.

-Merlin, Harry. You're going to make me come-

-Do it. Inside. Hurry- Harry threw his head back and gasped slipping between English and Parseltongue, "I'm coming." -Coming- And he promptly came, thick ropes of semen spilling out across his chest.

Seconds later, Tom came himself coating Harry's insides with his own cum. He then pulled out and collapsed down beside Harry to catch his breath. And Harry just dropped the rest of his body to the bed and stretched out his tired back. It had felt damn good but it was brutal on his body.

"Okay?" Tom asked pulling Harry against him.

Harry hummed happily and curled into him."I can't believe you convinced me to do that," Harry muttered tiredly as he lay snug against Tom's side.

"Mmm," Tom hummed in agreement and glanced over at the open book Fenrir had given him for Christmas. "See, you could bend that way."

"Shut up."

"Hey, hey. It's still my birthday, you have to be nice to me."

"I was already nice to you," Harry grumbled.

"Yes, you were," Tom hummed running his hands over Harry's back.

"Ugh. And you say I'm insatiable." Harry sighed and glanced at the clock that read 11:53. "It's almost midnight."

"Is it?" Tom asked sleepily.

"Mm-hmm," Harry hummed in affirmative, "Almost a new year."

"So it is."

Harry just lay there, completely content and happy. The sex had been amazing just as Tom had promised and Harry, despite his reservations, was looking forward to trying out some of the other positions he saw inside the book, and if it was anything like this, he would definitely be up for trying it. But as the clock struck closer to midnight, his mind went to other things that had happened this year.

And an eventual year it had been. Ron and Hermione got engaged. Wynter was now walking and starting to be more coherent in her talking. Tom had found them, the fire, now they were living together like it was the most natural thing in the world. And it was. Inside their own little world it was like anyone else, but in reality, it wasn't. If anyone else knew, they would most likely freak out and chaos would ensue. And then there was Tom himself. He had changed from psychopathic killer to a father and a lover. No way would he have thought he would be in love with the man who had been trying to kill him for his entire life. And yet...it had happened.

Harry had accepted that now. He had fought it, oh, he had fought, but in the end, he was in love with Tom Riddle. Not Voldemort, an important distinction for him, but just Tom. Despite his condescending, know it all attitude, he was kind and sweet and funny and just wonderful with Wynter. And the more he interacted with her and was patient with her, the more he fell in love.

Starting at the clock, one minute to midnight, Harry suddenly wondered what would happen if he told him.

"Tom?" Harry asked sitting up to look down at Tom's contented face.

"Yes?"

Harry opened his mouth, I love you. But nothing came out, he couldn't say it. What would Tom do? What would he say? Harry didn't want to think about it because he knew what the outcome would be. So Harry just shook his head, "Nevermind, it's nothing." he said.

"You sure?" Tom asked through slightly closed eyelids.

"Yeah," Harry said and laid back down and placed his head back on Tom's chest, "It's not important." The clock struck midnight. "Happy New Year."