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An Interesting Development

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Harry was glaring at his parents' backs. He really hated going to Ministry functions with a passion. All those sycophants and boot lickers… Ugh!

He drew his knees to his chest and fell sideways in a foetal position, his sheets covering his slim form. While he loved his parents dearly he hated the fact that they were so well known. Lilly Potter had risen quickly in the Ministry of Magic for her work in international affairs while her husband James Potter rose to the position of Head of the Auror Department. They could not just not attend the functions they were invited to, but the teen hated being dragged with them. His parents did not see the world for what it was. They understood Harry was under pressure, being the Boy-Who-Lived at the tender age of one and then again in his first year at Hogwarts defeating a few left over Death Eaters that wanted to resurrect the Dark Lord. But they did not have to deal with all those people wanting something more of them.

At school Harry had a few select people for friends. The rest of the population either hated or adored him. Many Gryffindor’s and even more Slytherin’s did not trust him; he was after all the first Potter to be sorted into Slytherin House. He was cunning, intelligent and quite devious; traits his mother often told him came from her but were cultivated by Severus. His father was still bitter about this fact but after a long talk with Lily he did not grumble about it so much. Except maybe during Quidditch matches when Harry secured the win for the Slytherin team since he joined as their Seeker.

But Harry loved the House of Snakes. His best friends, Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini were there. He had grown up with the blond and met the Italian boy during his first year. That was not to say he was limited to one House. He spent time with the Weasley Twins from Gryffindor and sometimes their little brother Ronald, Neville Longbottom, with whom Harry spent time growing up as their mothers were best friends, and Luna Lovegood from Ravenclaw, a witty, if odd girl, that understood his moods and never judged him. Unlike the crowd in the function his parents wanted him to attend.

A thought entered his mind and hope bloomed in the teen's heart. He tossed the covers off him and went to his walk in wardrobe.

"It's here somewhere," Harry muttered to himself. The twins had been developing a few new potions and while still in the early stages they had the result he wanted. "There you are!" the teen exclaimed. He had found the pastilles he had been looking for. "Vomit and fever with lemon flavour," Harry smirked as he popped one in his mouth. He had an hour to put up a convincing performance.

 


Lily was in her bathrobe making up her hair when the house elf popped in to inform her that something was wrong with Harry.

"He's just pouting," James told her. "I'll go talk to him." The bespectacled man left the room only to return back soon looking worried. "There's really something wrong with him! He's sweating and Yin said he threw up twice already."

The red haired witch frowned and dropped everything to run to her son. Soon enough she found the teen in his bed, looking pitiful; he was sweating, his face a pale, yellowish colour, his eyes bloodshot.

 

"Harry? Oh, you poor baby!" she exclaimed. "How are you feeling?"

"Head… hurts," Harry moaned.

She placed her hand on his forehead and gasped. "James! He's burning up! Stay with him. Yin! I want you to prepare compresses. I'm going to call a Healer."

"Lily," It's probably a simple cold," James told her, trying to calm her down. "Perhaps some pepper up? And rest?"

"No," the witch shook her head. "I heard from Alice there's been an outbreak of summer flu, it can go on for days, even turn to pneumonia."

James winced. "Okay, I get it, call a Healer."

The red haired witch gave him a pointed glare. "I know just the person." She turned around and went to the Floo chamber.

"Lestrange Manor," Lily called out as she threw the powder in the fire. "Emergency call for Rodolphus Lestrange from Lily Potter."

"Bloody hell," James yelled. "Not him!"

Lily glared. "Our only son is suffering. Do you need someone who will fawn and gawk him or someone who can get the job done?"

Cowering under her ire James hurriedly nodded.

"Just go get dressed," Lily told him.

"You'll wait half naked?"

"For Merlin's sake! He's a Healer! But if it bothers you this much…" she flicked her wand and transfigured her robe into a comfortable dress. "See?"

"Fine," James grumbled.

Lily focused on the lit fireplace. It was not long before a tall man was spinning in the emerald green flames and then gracefully landing on the marble floor. The man was tall, much taller than her, broad shouldered, with long black hair, angled face and dark, grey eyes. He had a dark air about him and something that commanded attention. Lily was used to it by now but it took her a while; Rodolphus Lestrange was a rather intimidating wizard.

"Lily," the man greeted coolly.

The witch offered him a strained smile. "I'm sorry to call on you on such short notice…" She noticed he was dressed impeccably in navy blue robes with silver trim, not a crease on the expensive fabric. "Oh, I interrupted your plans."

"You did," he told her. "So you better tell me what is wrong and why you need me."

"Hey! Talk better to my wife!" James called from the door. He was dressed in formal robes but he was restless. "Harry doesn't look good."

"Your son then?" Rodolphus commented.

"Can you take a look at him?" Lily asked.

The wizard nodded. "Just show me to his room."


James Potter was sulking. He glared at the back of the wizard who had entered his home. He really hated having him here. When he suggested he went to see Harry, James really had wanted to protest but his wife squeezed his upper arm.

"Don't even think about it," she hissed at him. With an elegant stride the red haired witch was walking before Rodolphus Lestrange. "Harry's room is this way. Thank you for coming on such a short notice."

"It is no trouble," the mans deep voice had a certain darkness to it. James scowled at Lestrange's back as the small talk between the two began.

He knew the man was a Dark wizard to the last fiber of his pure-blooded hide. He dabbled in the Dark Arts, it was a common secret. After the fall of Voldemort he had offered his services to St. Mungo's, helping with victims of Dark magic or mental torture. He had been a Healer before the war in name only. During the war he had experimented, using funds from both sides. He, his wife Bellatrix and his brother Rabastan were known Death Eaters. James had seen the Dark Mark on the wizard's arm. Yet Dumbledore had vouched for the Lestrange brothers and now both of them walked around free. While James trusted the Headmaster he thought that this was too much even for the old man. He did not care how many years passed, Rodolphus Lestrange gave him the creeps.

James had to give credit to his wife though. Lilly had managed to make tentative friends, despite his distaste over them, out of Severus Snape, Lucius Malfoy and, of course, Rodolphus Lestrange. James felt that this was the reason, with the blame lying on Snape, that his son was the first Potter ever to be sorted into Slytherin.

He could only watch as Lily showed the wizard to his son's bedroom and then he and Lily were asked to stay outside.

Chapter Text

Rodolphus was finished dressing for his evening date. It was not really what he wanted to do but he could hardly say 'no' to his family. For years his family, namely his great Aunt Andromaque wanted to see him settle down again and had been playing matchmaker for the last decade. While he was a hard man, Rodolphus did not have the heart to refuse her. So he went to each meeting she set up, met the prospect, declined politely and moved on.

He knew what people said about him: Death Eater, traitor, stuck up aristocrat, cruel scientist, sadist and a dozen more names, each one worse than the last. But Rodolphus was a clever man. While he did not care about the fickle public he cared about keeping his name clean. So he avoided hexing all his 'blind' dates, acted civilly, tried to avoid sleeping around, much, and had made a friend in the person of Lily Potter nee Evans. He almost smiled at the thought of the red headed witch. She was bossy, lively, smart and did not try to have him married off to the last spinster in Britain. Plus she was also friends with Severus and Lucius and that made her more than acceptable. It was also commendable that she had never asked anything of him.

It was with surprise that Rodolphus Lestrange was informed by his house elf that Lily Potter had Floo-ed him and wanted his help.

Checking his watch, the wizard decided that he could afford the delay. "Tell her I'm coming through," he ordered the house elf then bowed low and cracked away.

When he finally stepped through the Floo and to Potter manor he paused a bit. It was a large, luxurious residence. He knew it was a two storey house in the heart of Godric's Hollow exactly where the former house had been after it was destroyed in the explosion. He greeted Lily but paused at her husband. James Potter never liked him, or trusted him, despite old man Dumbledore's assurances.

'Smart man,' Rodolphus mused.

"…Harry."

The wizard focused back to Lily as the witch offered to show him her son's room, up the stairs and down the hall.

He followed, listening as the witch listed her son's symptoms.

"Here you go," Lily told him. "Do you want us in…"

"It is best I do this privately, I'll get back to you soon."

She nodded and he entered the room.

Rodolphus had not seen Harry Potter in years, not since his nephew Draco was six. He did not bother with the tabloids on principle so he was decisively shocked at the teen's appearance. Harry Potter was a beautiful young man, not handsome, simply beautiful. He had thick, raven hair that went every which way in a chaotic fashion and long, thick lashes to match. His face was tanned with a wonderful hue that probably looked better when the teen was not in bed, suffering from fever.

Once the initial distraction from the teen's presence passed he finally noticed what his senses told him. There was no aura of a sick person in the room. That was…odd.

"Mister Potter, I am Rodolphus Lestrange, a certified Healer. Your mother called me."

"She did?" the teen asked. His throat was sore but he certainly sounded alarmed. "Shit."

Rodolphus arched an eyebrow. "Language young man."

"Agh, I never thought she would bring a bloody Healer!" the teen continued. He studied Lestrange for a minute or two before throwing the covers off and standing, albeit wobbly.

"You are not really sick, are you?" It was not really a question but Harry nodded anyway. He had loads of experience with Healers and he knew from experience they were not to be trifled with. Madam Pomfrey could raise hell when she wanted. And he was certain that a man like Rodolphus Lestrange with a reputation like his would not appreciate being made a fool of. Still, Harry's body would just not cooperate. As he passed the wizard to go to his closet his legs gave in and the older man barely caught him from crashing down.

"Damn it! I'm going to kill those twins!" Harry cursed. He stared up at the wizard and swallowed, hard. Up close Lestrange looked even better.

Without being asked to, Rodolphus guided the teen back to bed. It was for his benefit as well, the teen was really warm and with his small frame and build he looked right at home in his arms. He shoved the thought away as he nearly dropped the youth onto the bed. Harry did not complain.

"You, young man, better start talking."

Harry sighed. "First I need the antidote, the blueberry caramel toffee in my trunk."

The other wizard summoned it for Harry and watched with amusement as the heavily ill teen 'miraculously' recovered. The he settled on the bed and offered him a seat which he took.

"First you have to promise not to tell mum and dad," Harry pleaded. "You can bargain if you want…"

"First I want to hear the whole story," Rodolphus stated. "And I do not like waiting."

Harry shook his head. "Okay. You know about the gala tonight?"

Rodolphus nodded. He remembered that event. He was skipping it to keep his Aunt happy.

"I was invited to the bloody thing again, I have no idea what the deal is with it; it's like the third in fifteen days. Anyway, I 'have' to attend," the teen quoted. "I really tried to talk my parents out of this, I hate stuffy, boring old people that are more perverted than the criminals my dad usually arrests…" the teen was rambling and he swallowed the rest. "I was angry."

"I see," Rodolphus commented. "And you decided to get sick."

"Better than throwing another tantrum," Harry replied.

The former Death Eater could see how this Potter ended up in Slytherin. There really was no other House for the boy. Plus, it was getting interesting. Rodolphus settled better in his spot.

"And exactly how did you manage these results so fast Mister Potter?"

"Call me Harry."

"Harry then."

"Well, you know the Weasley twins?" Harry asked.  At the wizard's nod he set off explaining about the creative twins and their products.

"And you took it while it is still experimental? That was a stupid thing to do little wannabe Gryffindor…"

"Hey! Lay off with the insults, I am desperate here! Look, you're here now, which sucks for me," the teen took a breath. "I'm not going to that ball and you will help me," he said with conviction.

Rodolphus smirked. "Will I? What's in it for me?"

Harry chewed on his lower lip as he thought about it. What did he truly have to offer a man like him? He was rich, powerful, wizards and witches threw themselves at his feet. He also had a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue. This was difficult.

"The clock is ticking," Rodolphus drawled. Green eyes glared him and he almost chuckled, almost. The Potter heir was truly a delight.

"I know," Harry said as he eyed the door.

It was a rare moment when Rodolphus felt pity for the teen. "I will help you if you help me."

Harry leaned forward. "I'm all ears."

"My relatives want to see me married off…"

"I'm not posing as your toy boy," Harry cut him off.

The adult scowled. "I was not finished, Harry." The teen blushed and nodded. "I want you to be sick on certain days."

The teen stared at him, a grin shining in those green eyes. "Well, what if the next time you want me to be sick I have a date or something."

Rodolphus waved him off. "I'll warn you in advance. If I do spoil your evening I could always make it up to you. Of course I will be available should you wish to fall ill before a formal event."

"I like that plan. I'm in," the youth told him.

"Good."

Harry beamed at him. "You know what this means, don't you? I'll be pranking 'The Marauders'! Awesome! Too bad I can’t tell Remus, he would laugh his tail off." He caught himself before he could ramble too much and blushed. "Sorry, I seem to have a short attention span."

Rodolphus arched an eyebrow, his eyes searching the face of the teen before him. "You are a very interesting lad Harry Potter."

"Yeah, I know. Now can you please lie to my parents?"

The older wizard could not help it any more.

He laughed.


James paced the hall outside Harry's room. He was in no better shape than his wife.

"Perhaps we should not go," Lily said then.

"Yes, well, let's have wonder Healer leave our house first," James told her. "And tell us what is wrong with Harry."

"Wait, did you hear that?" his wife said then.

"Laughter," James said. "That's it! I'm going in."


 

Harry blinked. The sound…

He could only stare in awe as Rodolphus truly laughed.

"We actually have a deal, Harry."

Harry almost let a whoop escape him. Instead he saw the door creak and managed to jump under the covers in his bed and tried to look miserable. The fact that the symptoms had stopped did not mean that the results were not obvious on his face.

"Harry?" James came inside the room, Lily right behind him.

Rodolphus too stood up and nodded at them.

"So, what does he have?" Lily asked.

"A minor cold really," Rodolphus expertly lied. "He should rest, eat well, perhaps a pepper up. I will come by in two days, see if he’s improved any." He studied the married couple. "You should not really worry. The fever is down and I doubt he will feel any worse."

"You really should go," Harry told his parents and Rodolphus marvelled at the teen's acting skills. "I'll probably go to sleep soon."

"You have to eat first," Lily worried. "I'll have Yin prepare a soup.

Harry grimaced and gave a pointed look at his conspirator.

Rodolphus got the hint. "No need, he can eat whatever he wants."

"Shepherd's pie?" Harry sounded hopeful. Lily looked dubious and James confused.

"Why not," the Healer commented. "Anything you like."

"Well, if you say so," Lily told Rodolphus. "Thank you for coming tonight and on such a short notice."

A look of hers and a jab to his ribs prompted James to mutter a 'Thank you' and soon Rodolphus was exiting the room, but not before catching the teen smiling at him and mouthing his thanks.

Harry watched the former Slytherin walk away with glee. It was good having an accomplice.

Chapter Text

Rodolphus, true to his professional word, returned the next morning to Potter Manor to check on the wayward teen, and yet again pacify Lily.

A house elf answered the door, followed by Lily Potter. He greeted somewhat warmly the witch.

"Rodolphus?" she smiled upon seeing him. "Are you here to check on Harry?"

"Yes, I am. How is he today?" the wizard asked, not expecting anything less than a positive reply from the witch.

"He recovered almost overnight. You really are an amazing Healer," Lily told him.

"Thank you but young boys tend to have a tough constitution. And, of course, proper nutrition helps."

Lily blushed, "You Slytherin’s always know how to sweet talk a mother."

"A necessity in our House," Rodolphus replied.

"Severus often tells me the same thing," Lily commented. "Come on, Harry is awake and just finished with his breakfast."


Harry had only finished dressing when his mother knocked on his door. The teen was dressed in black, fitted jeans and a blue t-shirt was in his hands, ready to be worn.

"Come in!" he hollered. He half expected his mother to come but not Rodolphus Lestrange. He froze on the spot and stared at the wizard. He did not understand why he was here today. A quick peek at his mother showed that Lily was not angry so he had not told her the truth or their arrangement. So why was the wizard here?


Rodolphus waited for Lily to step inside the room first. He followed in a less hurried pace and once inside he felt his breath hitch.

Harry was in the middle of the room, dressed in black, tight fitting trousers Muggle’s favoured, the names of which escaped him. And more importantly, he was shirtless.

Now, Rodolphus was a man who had lived his life well, having enough lovers both male and female. His lovers were almost always aesthetically appealing, and in the case of males, well built and muscled. Harry Potter was a rather beautiful teen, short and lithe, with nicely developed muscles on his arms and abs. He also sported a very nice, even tan that dipped lower than his low riding trousers that barely stood on his hips. Only with the help of his professionalism was Rodolphus capable of keeping his composure and stop trailing every inch of that skin with his eyes.


"Mum? Mr. Lestrange?"

"Rodolphus is here to check on you," Lily told her son. "You had a very high fever yesterday." She walked over and caressed him on the face. "Shouldn't you dress warmer? What if you're cold worsens?"

"That's what the Healer is here for, mum," the teen said.

"Indeed," Rodolphus spoke up. "May I examine my patient?"

"Of course," Lily hurriedly replied, "I'll leave you to it."

The two wizards waited until the red haired witch left the room.

"You are free to dress Harry," Rodolphus told the teen.

"Thanks." With swift movements Harry swung his t-shirt over his head, messing his hair even more. He missed Rodolphus' reaction, the flexing of his hand's muscles. When he was able to see again the other wizard was composed again.

"I'm here to ease your mother's fears, nothing more, nothing less," Rodolphus assured him.

Harry studied the man. Rodolphus looked haggard and worn, yet he had still come. Harry knew that getting information out of a Slytherin in a straight forward way was impossible so he quested "Hot date last night?" Harry teased the older wizard.

"She was part Troll," Rodolphus drawled.

Harry stared for a minute before he started laughing.

"I am serious," the other insisted but the teen was lost in mirth.

When Harry could breathe again he showed the man to a seat and he squatted down on the bed. "Sorry, I couldn't help myself."

"I blame the nature of youth," Rodolphus told him.

"Or your unique sense of humour," Harry told him. "Snape is the same as you."

"Professor Snape to you," Rodolphus corrected.

"No, really, it's Snape. He told me that was the closest to casual I can think or speak of him and should I ever, even jokingly, refer to him as 'Severus' in a third party's ears he would skewer me and then chop me to pieces and use me to lure Thestrals."

Rodolphus paused, unsure whether to believe the teen or not. In the end he believed him, simply because he knew the Potions Master well enough. So he cleared his throat and changed the subject. "We have a few more minutes until we can assure your mother that everything is fine with you. Now I have your schedule," he told the teen and handed him a piece of paper with dates and hours.

"I'll be sick twice a week?" Harry observed. "Hey! This is the date the French ambassador is throwing a Ball."

"Yes. It is also the day I have a date with Wilhelmina Bulstrode," Rodolphus said with a grimace.

"Ouch!" the teen commented.

"Precisely," the other wizard replied.

Harry studied the 'schedule' some more and huffed. "My parents will think I'm defective or something."

"Have you never gotten sick?" Rodolphus inquired.

"Not this much! And not as often," Harry told him. "The last thing I need is for my classmates to think I'm soft or sickly."

"Small price to pay," Rodolphus commented.

"Perhaps," the teen replied.

"Of course I could let a virus loose in Diagon Alley to make your ailment rather believable…"

Harry was now gawping. "You cannot be serious…" He then shook his head. "Never mind, I think you could actually pull that off."

"If it is necessary," Rodolphus agreed.

"Slytherin."

"Takes one to know one."

"I know."

Chapter Text

Hogwarts, September 12th

Harry was lounging in the Slytherin Common Room, robes forgotten in favour of a much more comfortable outfit with a book in his lap and a mug of coffee floating within reach of him.

Draco happened upon this scene when he returned to the dungeons.

“Hey! Harry!” he called out even as he was making his way towards the youth. The blond aristocrat along with the rest of the Slytherin’s was careful around the green eyed raven. Even before the year had started Harry Potter’s health had taken an odd turn. Harry had been ill quite a few times during summer and had been again once the school year had started. What was even odder was that he was being treated by his own uncle, Rodolphus Lestrange. While Draco knew that Lily Potter was in a tentative friendship with many Slytherin’s, including his father, godfather and uncle, he had not expected Rodolphus to put up with such a menial ‘task’ as taking care of a teen, no matter his status as the Boy-Who-Lived.

“I’m reading Draco,” Harry told him as he turned a page.

 “I can see that. And you are also using your magic recklessly,” Draco scolded him as he took the cup of chocolate and put it on the low table next to where Harry sat.

Harry rolled his eyes and closed his book. “Draco, I’m fine,” he told his friend. “This is nothing serious, just seasonal.” But inwardly, Harry was wincing. His deal with Rodolphus was already showing its drawbacks and the teen feared that soon he might have to take up the older wizard on his offer of spreading a virus in the magical world, if only that would help him escape the looks his friends and family were giving him.

However he was beaten to it when a letter arrived that very evening. While his September was pretty much free, and the months following, (Madame Pomfrey was not in on this deal with Rodolphus and she would never let that man or any other personnel in her infirmary routinely unless he was dying, neither Rodolphus nor Harry were desperate enough to go that far) but apparently he was booked for December in advance.

Harry sighed. He would have to wait for months before he could learn the details. Until he met with Rodolphus!


Shrieking Shack, October 25th

Rodolphus renewed the warming charms he had cast around him to keep warm. He was already getting anxious as the boy was late.

No sooner had he thought that, than a black clad figure appeared from the tree line. Lily’s son was running towards him, already looking out of breath.

“Sorry…… late…… Draco……”

 “Stop, I cannot understand a word,” Rodolphus told him.

Harry nodded and caught his breath. “Sorry. I’m late, Draco held me up forever doing his worried mother hen thing and I’ve had to run like the wind.”

Rodolphus snorted at that but did not argue the point. He remembered the blond as a four year old bringing him all sorts of animals to heal, from injured owls to scratched Kneazles. His wince was Harry’s answer.

“Anyway,” the young Slytherin muttered. “What did you want that you could not write to me about?”

“All Hallows Eve Ball. You cannot miss it and neither can I!”

Those words made Harry groan. “Nooo!”

Rodolphus almost smirked at the exaggerated despair in the teen’s response. “Yes.”

Harry dropped his head. The he looked up. “Okay, I can survive, I’m a Slytherin. I have survived Yule in Malfoy Manor.”

The Lestrange wizard snorted this time. He had survived a number of celebrations thrown by Narcissa Malfoy. Few people knew just how energetic and prissy the former Black was. Sometimes Lucius’ wife gave him shivers at times and as he had been married to the insane Black sister; that said a lot.

“You never said what happened with that witch from the continent,” As Harry remembered.

So far the teen had faked illness twice for his merit and three for the older wizard’s. Harry used various methods to achieve the symptoms of various illnesses. The tricks and pranks the twins invented were a big help but now Harry had the option of using some of the potions or spells Rodolphus had created that mimicked the common cold, dragon pox, pneumonia and a dozen other common illnesses. The teen had found that Rodolphus had a cruel but teasing personality when he wanted to and the duo had put it to good use. It also helped that the two were of the same Hogwarts house and their personalities were not all that different. For Harry, Rodolphus Lestrange became a new, older and fun, not yet friend but the man had potential. The last time he had been sick, Harry’s parents were both at work and their house elves were busy cleaning one of the Potter properties. Rodolphus had offered to stay with him to ‘monitor his condition’. They had made it so that Madame Pomfrey was away from Hogwarts at the time so that Rodolphus could be called as a substitute. Lily had been grateful for this. Harry was grateful as well by the end of the day. The older wizard had been great company that day and a lot of fun. They played chess; with Harry being defeated in a most humiliating way (Rodolphus was too smart for the game to be fair). They also bantered and mocked several of the potential wives that were presented to Rodolphus. The teen really liked the man, hence the newly found confidence Harry had around him and the snigger he made when he saw the grimace of the former Slytherin’s face.

“That bad, huh?” the green eyed wizard commented.

“Worse,” Rodolphus replied. “She was a real slut, wouldn’t stop hitting on me during dinner. She even flirted with my brother and Rabastan is happily married. Our Aunt never noticed a thing.”

“How come? From what Draco tells me she usually has very keen eye for such things.”

“Apparently Miss Rosier’s dowry is too large for her to care about fidelity; that’s what marriage contracts exist for.”

Harry winced. “Tough luck.”

“I know.”

“How long till you become Lord Lestrange?” the teen asked.

“Two more years.”

“You make it sound like time in prison,” Harry observed. “Do you even like women?”

“Sex does not matter to me,” Rodolphus replied.

“Species?” Harry teased.

The older wizard glared at him but there was no real danger or threat in the look. “Careful brat.”

Harry gave him a cheeky grin. Then he shuddered. “It’s cold.”

“Warming charms,” Rodolphus intoned.

“Bah, you purebloods are so lazy,” Harry muttered. “Listen I need to go now. Is there any date you need me to be sick?”

“Not yet. Oh, and know from now that you and your family are invited to the celebration Rabastan is holding for Yule.”

“We are? Huh. I wonder how mum is going to convince dad about that?”

Rodolphus smirked. He had an idea of exactly how sweet, gentle Lily managed her husband but he did not want to scar the teen for life. There were just a few things kids never should or need to know about the personal lives of their parents.

“Just giving you heads up.”

“Thanks,” Harry beamed. “Now I really need to go. Bye!”

Rodolphus shook his head as he saw the teen’s back. He wasted no time Apparating away.


Slytherin common room, October 31st

“I still can’t believe you turned him, down,” Blaise complained to Harry.

The two teens were sprawled in a corner near the fireplace. Lots of chocolate and bottles of Butterbeer were shared among them and a contemplative Draco Malfoy. A carefully placed ‘Muffliato’ was added to the privacy ward they had erected. Not that the Common Room was very busy. It was well after midnight and most students, even upper years were in bed after the delectable feast in the Great Hall.

“I can,” the blond admitted. “The guy was a complete idiot. He strutted up to our St. Mungo here,” he nodded at Harry. “You know how Potters are. A good sob story and they can pity even a killer.”

“Just because I said ONCE that I understood how Tom Riddle turned into Voldemort does not mean I forgive that bastard,” Harry shot back.

“Keep telling yourself that,” Draco taunted.

“Why… I ought to hex you,” Harry threatened. 

“Boys,” Blaise said in a stern tone. “One stray hex and I’ll spread the rumor that you two snogged each other.”

“But we did,” Harry and Draco said together.

“Exactly.” Blaise’s grin looked shark like. “Imagine all those fan girls…”

The other two shuddered. Harry had his own group of fans as the Boy-Who-Lived. Being sorted to Slytherin did not deter them from kissing the ground he walked on. The fact he was single, good looking and the sole heir was merely a good bonus. The last three reasons were behind Draco’s own club of stalkers.

“I will not have you aid those Gryffindor twins and their obnoxious betting poll.”

“There’s a poll?” Harry wondered.

The other two Slytherin rolled their eyes.

“Centuries of Gryffindor blood are not helping him, poor boy,” Draco mock-cried.

Harry threw a Chocolate frog at him.

“Seriously though,” Blaise spoke again. “Why did you turn Diggory down?”

Harry shrugged. “I just found him a bit boring.”

“Really? I have heard some very interesting rumours about what goes on in Hufflepuff after curfew,” Blaise winked.

Draco grimaced in distaste. “Blaise, your taste is deplorable.”

But the Zabini heir shrugged Draco off. “So, Hufflepuff’s poster boy is boring. Anything else?”

The green eyed wizard shrugged again. “I dunno. He just does not have that flare or any spark.”

“Flare?” the other teens asked.

“Yes, you know, nothing exists but that special someone. One look and you turn to mush. That kind of thing.”

“Aha! You snogged Diggory!” Draco accused triumphantly.

Harry blushed but he did not deny the accusation.

“And all that talk about flares and sparks?” Blaise teased Harry, throwing his words back at him.

“He was probably just… browsing,” Draco smirked.

Harry threw another frog at the blond. This one Draco caught and threw back, hitting the Potter heir on the forehead.

“So, was he any good?” Blaise was curious to know.

“He gets points on technique,” Harry admitted.

“And?” Draco motioned with his hand for Harry to continue.

“That’s it. Great guy, nice snog, not dominant enough.”

“Now, that’s one juicy piece of gossip,” Draco commented.

Harry nodded. “Chang was far more dominant than Cedric,” he added.

“You snogged the Ravenclaw Seeker as well?” Blaise yelped. “When? And didn’t Chang date Diggory at some point?”

“Before they broke up,” Harry unabashedly admitted.

“You dog,” Draco sniggered. “How was she?”

“Wet,” Harry flatly stared. “That’s how I knew girls are a no-no for me.”

“Wet?” Blaise echoed. Then he shrugged. “Then again that’s what I thought when I snogged Boot.”

“I thought he was a homophobe,” Draco frowned.

Blaise snorted. “Oh, he’s bi, just that most guys in Hogwarts won’t date him. Personality can be an issue even if he is a pretty boy.”

“Puberty sucks,” Harry sighed.

“I’ll drink to that,” Draco cheered.

“And better snogging material,” Blaise added.

Harry smirked. “Too bad it’s not Fire-whiskey.”

“Did you try and smuggle anything under Snape’s nose,” the Zabini heir retorted.

“Nope. I like my limbs intact,” Harry replied before picking up his bottle of Butterbeer and toasting with his two best friends.


Hogwarts, November 16th

“SLYTHERIN WINS!!!!!!!!”

Harry felt dizzy from the high of the victory. The Snitch was still fluttering in his palm, trying to escape. He landed gracefully and was immediately suffocated by his excited team mates. Draco almost succeeding in cracking his ribs, the blond being a successful Chaser. Blaise clapped him on the back as well, the Beater waiting until the Malfoy heir was done with him before he could get his turn.

The green eyed wizard spotted his parents in the crowd that wanted to congratulate him. His father was arguing with his Head of House, again. His godfather was mopping as the team that got destroyed in the game was his old House (420 to 150 was kind of embarrassing for the house of the brave). However, Lily was giving him a worried look.

“Good game pup,” Sirius admitted grudgingly.

Harry beamed and hugged him.

“I still can’t believe how bad Gryffindor played,” James despaired.

Lily rolled her eyes at their antics and made to hug her son but then pulled back.

“Well, you could do with a shower,” she admonished Harry.

“You know you want to hug me,” the teen teased her and threatened to hug her.

He fooled around for a bit until the witch finally gave him a tight hug.

“I can never get used to seeing you pull those stunts on that deathtrap.”

“The Firebolt is a perfectly safe broom!” Sirius piped up, defending his gift to his godson.

“Are you sure you’re okay Harry?” Lily asked. “You should not be standing here, all sweaty. You might catch a cold again.”

“I’ll be fine,” Harry told his mother. “But just to get you to calm down I’ll go shower and change right now, okay?”

“Yes, you do that,” Lily ordered.

Harry walked away, meeting with his team in the locker rooms.

“What is it with your mother?” Blaise asked. “She was acting like Weasley’s.”

Harry shrugged. “I have no idea. Now let’s hurry. It’s pasta for dinner tonight.”

“Did you bribe the house elves again?” Draco groaned. He hated pasta.

“Nope. Remus did.”

“I thought he was the serious one!” Draco whined.

“That’s how he gets people to underestimate him and then he strikes,” Harry boasted.

Chapter Text

Malfoy Manor had always fascinated Harry but during All Hallows Eve Ball he found Draco’s ancestral home to be even better than Hogwarts. The whole place while majestic was usually dreary and had a dark aura after centuries of dark wizards living in its walls. But during Christmas it was simply magical. The grounds were covered in snow and glowing lights decorated the paths that led to the main house.

Harry had used a Portkey to arrive along with his parents. He wore traditional robes but with a bit of flare. He was dressed in black and white, like the invitation required. He wore trousers with boots under the silky smooth fabric. A black undershirt with a Chinese neckline and platinum buttons followed by a white vest with soft velvety patterns that looked a bit like snakes. Over the clothes he wore robes with long sleeves from a fine material. They had faint patterns as well, if one looked closely. It was snug against his chest and waist, allowing a peek to his shirt and vest, before flaring down until it fell like a cape over his trousers, ending just where the heels of his boots started. His mother had decided on a pure white dress with black onyx as jewellery and she looked dazzling next to his father, who was dressed like the pureblood Lord that he was. Their masks were on as well, the only leeway they had been given. Harry’s was a Venetian half mask that left only his mouth uncovered. It had been a sort of gift from his housemate Blaise and Draco had gotten a similar one just for the occasion. Harry’s was a green mask, much like the scales of a dragon, the green similar to his uniquely coloured eyes. It had a few short feathers coloured in green shades decorating the right side and being held together by a small stone. It was quite simple really but it suited Harry just fine. Lily’s mask just covered her eyes, while at the same time brought them out. It was a simple white design with vines moving and twirling across the surface. James had decided to go with a mask similar to his wife’s in a dark red colour with gold vines and leaves twirling around.

“I hope they like the gift we sent ahead,” Lily fussed.

“They’d better,” James muttered. “I cannot believe I spent a thousand gallons on seeds.”

“I consulted Draco,” Harry cut in. “They’ll love it. Narcissa wanted a new seed collection. She’s got amazing skills in Herbology. Mum, you must ask to see her garden. It’s amazing! The varieties alone… Did you know she has a Harpy Lily?”

The red headed witch blinked. “I thought those were exclusively bred in Italy.”

“Blaise’s mother managed to get her two seeds, just the two,” Harry confided. “And Draco’s mum got both of them to grow and bloom.”

Lily’s inner potion mistress was gleeful. “So that’s where Severus got those petals!”

Harry smirked. “Exactly! So, trust me, she’ll love the collection. Lucius as well, he loves rare treasures.”

They stepped onto the threshold and the double doors opened inwards. The lord of the house was dressed impeccably in white robes with black clothes under them and a white peacock mask that made him stand out, the mask covered the left side of his face. Narcissa was outfitted in a shimmering white dress with wrist length, fingerless gloves made of lace. Her mask was similar to her husband’s in style but the material was lace and it covered only the right side of her face. Draco stood along with them, dressed in white, much like his parents, in a style similar to Harry’s. He wore Blaise’s gift, a mask that left his mouth uncovered. It had a deep blue outline and the rest of it was white. It looked like a Periotte’s sad face. It even had teardrops escaping in a loop.

Their hosts were standing there and they personally greeted them. Harry stoically braved Narcissa’s hug and a kiss to his cheek and Lucius’ knowing smirk and firm handshake. As the adult Malfoy’s exchanged pleasantries with the adult Potters Harry and Draco exchanged looks of boredom.

“… Glad to have you. Please help yourselves to refreshments,” Narcissa offered. “Draco, please take your friend and introduce him around.”

“Yes mother,” Draco dutifully replied.

Harry and Draco separated from their parents and finally could breathe a bit.

“Better than I hoped,” Harry muttered.

“I’m surprised your father did not hex mine over their … battle is the only way to put it over the bill last week in Wizengamot,” Draco admitted.

Harry gave an inelegant snort. “Never mind them. Give me heads up to who else is there.”

“First a glass of wine,” Draco told him. “Mother ordered that no more than two glasses for ‘us kids’.”

“You snagged a couple of bottles on the sly?” Harry guessed.

“And a stack of ‘Sobering Potions’,” Draco added. “My godfather finally shared his recipe.”

“Thank Merlin!”


Rodolphus arrived along with his brother and sister in law. Narcissa was her usual charming self and Lucius the same as always. While Rodolphus might have gotten rid of his wife the Malfoy family and Narcissa in particular, did not hold a grudge. If anything their relations had never been better.

“Just go mingle,” Rabastan urged his sibling. His face was hidden behind a mask that looked like an eagle.

“I will not get hunted down by those barracudas,” Rodolphus replied. His face inscrutable behind his mask. “Well, they don’t know who you are. You can even get back at them. It’s the beauty of masks. And by the way, did you really have to wear that monstrosity?”

Rodolphus elegantly shrugged a shoulder. He was dressed in fine quality robes, completely black. The mask was completely white, with gold details to the sides, prancing jackals. It was a traditional Venetian mask named ‘Dr. Death’ but rather elaborate.

“I am wearing a mask,” Rodolphus replied. “I respected the dress code. Now leave me be.”

“Love?” Rabastan’s wife spoke and Rodolphus’ brother ignored him in favour of his beloved who took him to the dance floor, leaving Rodolphus finally in peace. The wizard did not spare them a glance and instead went towards the bar section in search of a drink.

On the way there he passed the double doors that led to a small hall that led to the place he knew the younger people were likely gathered in a smaller ballroom. The door was open at the time and Rodolphus spotted Draco (the hair was a giveaway) and a very familiar black haired head. He knew immediately it was Harry Potter even if he could not see the green eyes. Those two were almost always together along with the Zabini heir, more like brothers than housemates and friends. Before them Rodolphus would have never believed a Potter and a Malfoy could get along.

Rodolphus ignored them for a moment and went to get a drink. He recalled what Harry wore and he knew he would later be tracking the teen down to ask for a dance.


Harry inched away from a shrilly giggling girl he knew to be Pansy Parkinson’s older sister. Draco had abandoned him to save his own skin and now the girl kept clinging to him and not letting go no matter how much he tried to lose her.

“Are you going to dance with me?” Imogene asked.

“I was going to get a drink,” Harry replied.

Eyes fluttered from behind a parrot like mask and Harry felt his skin crawl.

“Oh! I could use a glass of Gilliwater!”

“Right, then you wait here…”

A shrill giggle followed Harry’s words. “Don’t be silly, you handsome stranger! I’m not letting you out of my sight!”

The young wizard gave her a pained smiled and contemplated the pros and cons of hexing the annoying girl.

“Well, I need to stop by the loo first,” Harry told her. He saw her hesitate just a bit before her grip to his arm tightened.

“I will show you the way!”

Harry bit his tongue to keep from letting her know who he was then he would never get rid of her.


Rodolphus had finished his drink and even danced once with Narcissa when he decided that Harry had spent enough time with his peers and sought him out. He had to make his way around the dance floor and dodge quite a few extra festive people and tickling feathers that were part of several masks before he reached the small hall that connected the two rooms. He spotted Harry with a bit of difficulty but the moment he saw the mask he knew him. Rodolphus saw the witch clinging from his arm and made his way. He reached them when he heard the teen insisting that he could find his own way around. It was hilarious really. And while he would normally find it fun to see the teen squirm he felt pity for him.

“Darling, is this lady bothering you?” he asked with a frosty voice. Inwardly he was praying Harry would recognize him despite being masked.

The two teens turned to stare and green eyes widened the moment they saw him. Then he smiled.

“Did you come to claim the dance I promised?” Harry asked his smile widening.

Rodolphus extended his hand into an offering. Harry, not bothering to say any excuse to the clingy witch took the hand and allowed Rodolphus to lead him away.

“You owe me,” the older of the two whispered when they were safely away from the affronted woman that was glaring at their backs.

“One more dance?” Harry offered.

“Three,” Rodolphus countered.

Harry laughed. “I’ll survive.”

Rodolphus led them to the dance floor and they fell in step with the Waltz that was currently playing.


Rabastan watched the dance floor with a curious look. He had spotted his brother during his break. He had been bringing refreshments for his wife and himself when he saw a familiar mask among the crowd on dance floor, stopping short.

“No way,” he muttered to himself.

Another thing he noticed was the slim figure of a young man that was dancing and conversing with his sibling. No one else was giving them any looks, well, almost no one. Lucius had been staring too at some point but he was now off conversing with Potter and probably riling the man. Rabastan dismissed them for a moment in favour of staring at his brother’s smile, because Rodolphus had been smiling.

“Well, that explains a lot,” Rabastan mused.

He shook his head and decided it was not his business what his brother did as long as he was happy.


Later that night Harry met his parents at the hall. It was after midnight and the spirits were high as it was. There was a fire lit up outside Malfoy Manor and the guests were slowly leaving. The Malfoy family would place offerings at the fire in peace and the guests were returning to their homes to do the same. Harry knew that he would stay awake for another hour when he returned home along with his parents.

Lily hugged her son to her side. “Did you have fun?”

“Can you imagine I did not?” Harry countered. “There was a brief trouble with a clingy girl,” he scrunched his face a bit, “But I managed.”

“You only drunk…”

“Mum, I only had some wine,” Harry expertly lied. “And after I ate properly.” That part was the truth.

“Hm, okay then. Did you find a nice boy to dance with?”

“Five dances,” Harry replied.

“Really? How come I did not spot you?’ Lily wondered.

“There were a lot of people,” the teen commented.

“Ready?” James asked them, returning to them holding the family Portkey.

They all reached out to touch the small plush toy.

“Family play house,” James said and they were gone.

Chapter Text

Lily was worried about her son. Harry had always been a healthy boy but lately his health was the cause of a lot of sleepless nights for her. The red haired witch trusted Rodolphus as a medi-wizard and she believed him when he told her that it was nothing for her to worry about. Logically she understood that. But her heart was another thing. She kept worrying over it to the point she feared that her son was suffering from something worse than a simple cold. That something worse than a common cold was threatening her boy. Harry had been pressured by schoolwork before and he had never taken ill. Really, five times in the last six months when for years he had been so healthy? It was that dread that led her to St. Mungo’s that morning. The cheery walls and the helpful staff did not matter to her as she moved further inside the institution towards Rodolphus’ office. The wizard had a whole wing to himself as an office and a study and an entirely different ward where he treated his patients.

“Lily,” the wizard came to greet her and then he led her to his office.

The sheer volumes of medical books never ceased to amaze the witch. Lily knew that her Slytherin friend kept the more obscure and grey or dark tomes in his office at home, but this public collection was nothing to scoff at.

“Have a seat,” he requested. “Tea? Coffee?” Rodolphus offered.

The witch declined. She was too nervous to actually drink anything.

“I’m sorry that I bothered you about this…”

“Had I not wanted to speak to you I would have not bothered,” Rodolphus stated in that self assured way most Slytherin’s Lily knew used. “Now speak your mind. Have you perhaps come to admit your husband? Strutting around with those antlers of his must have done some brain damage.”

The witch’s lips twisted in a smile. Lily had no idea how Rodolphus found out about James’s animagus form but the Slytherin teased her husband mercilessly. The small teasing barb did its job and relaxed the worried woman.

“It’s about Harry,” Lily admitted with a soft exhale. “He’s just been sick so often lately. He was always a healthy baby and a strong child. Seeing him so pale in bed… And those fevers…I just don’t know what to do anymore! I’m afraid I am missing what’s causing this and I feel so guilty. He’s my son Rodolphus and I’m incapable of helping him.”


 

After hearing the reason that brought Lily Potter in his office, Rodolphus suppressed any nudge of consciousness or guilt. Self preservation was what drove him since early on in his life. Slytherin had not been a random choice for that blasted Sorting Hat. Even with his brilliant mind Ravenclaw had not been a plausible option. He lied and reassured the woman with facts and a speech he had prepared just for a case like this. Even as he wove his tale he knew that lies and secrets had a tendency of surfacing in the worst moment possible. He calmed her fears about her son and sent her on her way, knowing that if Lily Potter ever learned the truth about his scheme with her only son then neither his head nor her son’s hide were safe from her rage. A healthy amount of fear for the redhead had developed when he saw her spell work during the war.


It was that talk and the promise to check on the boy’s health again that drove Rodolphus to Hogsmeade a few days later, walking among the crowd of Hogwarts kids that crawled all over the picturesque village. He had sent an owl ahead to tell Harry to meet with him at the ‘Three Broomsticks’.

The noise from the pub assaulted him as soon as he opened the door. It was almost spring time but in a freak weather spell it was hot enough to believe summer was near. The atmosphere was almost asphyxiating. Rodolphus searched for the emerald eyed teen and spotted him after some difficulty at the bar. He was dressed in Muggle clothes, like the older wizard knew him to favour. Black, tight jeans, an even tighter green shirt and an almost provocative expression on his face as he flirted with another boy.

Rodolphus stopped short.

Harry was flirting. And being flirted, if the way the other teen (a Slytherin if that scarf was any indication and when did the standard drop in the Sorting Ceremony?) was whispering in his ear and the Potter heir was blushing. A look of distaste appeared on Rodolphus’ face at this. His expression thunderous he moved towards the now laughing pair. The kids cleared a path for him. Reaching the bar, the young snake noticed him first. It showed in the way the kid lost all colour from his face, stammered and stumbled away from Harry. The green eyed wizard was perhaps the only person inside the pub that was happy to see him.

“Rodolphus!” Harry happily exclaimed. He came closer to the frigid looking wizard and gave his partner in crime a short hug around the waist, their height difference and Rodolphus’ larger frame making the teen look even more delicate compared to the older man. Still, the former Slytherin squeezed back lightly.

“Harry. We have matters to discuss,” he told him, completely ignoring the other Slytherin boy.

The Slytherin seeker blinked. “Oh! Okay then.” He turned to the other youth. “See you around Teo.”

Rodolphus eyed the youngest Nott with distaste and suppressed a smirk when the youngest spawn of his once fellow Death Eater accomplice scampered away. The adult wizard then motioned to Rosmerta and asked the witch for a private room. The duo did not really speak about anything else until after Rosmerta had brought Rodolphus’ Firewater and Harry’s Butterbeer. The medi-wizard told Harry about his mother’s, Lily’s, visit and saw the guilty look on the teens face as well as the determination not to back down from their shared deal.

“Still, why all the secrecy?” Harry wondered.

Rodolphus’ improvisation skills got away from him.

“I need your help this Friday,” the Lestrange wizard said, his voice bordering on demanding.

Harry chalked that tone of him being agitated about yet another matchmaking meeting. Also he knew a lot of Slytherin’s and that tone no longer grated on his nerves or bothered him. So he grinned as he replied, “That is fine with me, but you’d better bring a nice game this time. Last time I was bored out of my mind. Not to mention that you suck at Exploding Snap.

“We can always play chess,” the older wizard hinted.

“I like my ego intact and yours does not need any further stroking,” Harry replied.

Rodolphus smirked. He picked up his glass and sipped on the spirit. Now he had to make sure the teen did not learn that there was no dinner he needed to get away from. The boy had his mother’s temper and his mentor’s affinity to hold grudges. He was a cunning man, he could pull this through.

Chapter Text

It was the little things that started hinting of change. One who did not know Rodolphus well enough would have missed it but Rabastan Lestrange was well versed in reading his brother’s moods and expressions. The once stony faced sibling was far more relaxed lately. At first Rabastan had credited that to the lack of matchmaking dinners. Then their Aunt admitted that after Rodolphus had missed the majority of them due to unexpected calls for his services she had stopped bothering with them and left the man alone. The old witch looked resigned about this. Something tugged at Rabastan’s mind when he learned of this. The more pressing clue was how absentminded his brother seemed lately. Rabastan knew that this meant that either his brother had troubles with work, something he sincerely doubted due to Rodolphus’ skills as a healer. That left his siblings personal life and the problem the younger brother had was the knowledge that Rodolphus had no personal life, not really. Sure, the man had acquaintances (or tentative friends as Rabastan thought of them) but none of them would garner that much attention or worry from his brother. Being the younger sibling Rabastan started teasing his older brother about having a crush or getting older (his mood varied and so did the teasing) to get him riled up.

There was a small ‘clack’ and Rabastan was brought back to the game of chess he had started with Rodolphus. The older man capturing his knight after pinning it to his rook.

“It’s so easy that it’s almost insulting,” Rodolphus commented. “Where is your mind travelling?”

“I’m not telling.”

Rodolphus frowned a bit. “Why not.”

“You’ll scowl, we’ll argue. Then we’ll start cursing each other yellow and red and my wife will have us both skinned alive,” Rabastan responded. He then moved one of his pawns were it was safe from any opposing moves. “Next time we’re playing I’ll get white. You know how black always brings me bad luck.”

His brother snorted. “You’re just a sore loser.”

“This game is far from over!” Rabastan protested.

Rodolphus moved his queen. “Check mate. Now start talking.”

Rabastan glared at the board, his face bordering on forming a pout. Finally he slouched in his chair. He saw his brother’s distaste at his casual pose and slouched a bit more.

“I’m worried about you,” Rabastan told Rodolphus. “You are not all there lately. You stare into empty space and you just suddenly stop paying attention. Now I know when you’re plotting something and when something’s wrong. I have teased you about this but I think I hit the gnome in the head with that one.” Rabastan paused, “Rudo, are you really in love with someone?” At his brother’s glare he rephrased that. “Are you interested in someone then? I was only joking but lately I think I was correct in my assumptions.”

“I know that,” Rodolphus replied.

Rabastan lifted his brows. “So?”

“Time will tell,” was the reply he got.

Rabastan sighed and left it like that. “Good luck then,” he told his brother.

 


 

Perhaps it was that conversation he had with his brother or that image of Harry and that kid from the ‘Three Broomsticks’, but Rodolphus felt that something had shifted. Hogwarts had let out for the Easter Holidays. The Potters had gone on a trip to Egypt and their son had insisted on remaining behind, something about the heat being too much for him. The Malfoy’s had agreed for Harry to stay with them. 

One morning, Rodolphus visited the manor he found the teen he was most interested in lounging in the summer room with a book in his lap. The adult wizard slipped inside the room but the teen still did not look up, making him wonder how interesting the book was. Finally he cleared his throat, enjoying the small yelp that came from the green eyed teen and the blush when he was spotted and Harry realized what kind of noise he had made.

“Rodolphus?”

“Good morning little snake,” Rodolphus greeted.

Harry offered short pleasantries back before his curiosity made its presence. “How come you came here?”

“I was delivering a few documents,” Rodolphus replied. “Lucius and I have joined our money in some business ventures.”

The teen arched an eyebrow. “And you could not have sent a house elf?”

Rodolphus gave him a half smile. “Perhaps I could.”

Harry did not press the issue. “Fine, don’t tell me.”

“What are you reading?”

“Oh! This? Some silly book about a pirate and a sea wizard…”

The subject was familiar to Rodolphus. His sister in law had a similar book. “Smut?”

Harry blushed. “It’s not smut exactly!”

Rodolphus chuckled. “Have it your way.” He took a seat in one of the plush chairs. “How do you like your stay here? And why did your parents not take you along?”

The teen sighed. “Well, first of all, I’m pagan so I don’t exactly celebrate Easter. Mum does though and dad just goes along with it, just like she accepts the pagan traditions. And about the trip… well, they’re going as a second, make that third really, honey moon. I decided I did not want to be around for that.”

Rodolphus blinked. “That makes sense. And by the way I had no idea she was Christian.”

“Most Muggleborns are,” Harry commented. “Even after joining the wizarding world. Most half bloods as well, but dad, well, he liked the idea of me growing up the traditional way. Sirius thought it was a good idea as well. It’s one of the reasons Draco and I get along so well; and I don’t really like most of the Weasley’s the majority of the time. They are too wild, upholding none of the wizarding traditions and none of the Muggle ones. Just never mention this to mum, she thinks I can and ought to get along with everyone. She does not want me to be a prat or…” Here Harry paused a bit. “Apparently my grandparents were strict with everything but the way he was brought up and dad felt a bit bad that he was… err…”

“A bully as a child?” Rodolphus suggested.

The teen shrugged. “I guess he thought that a traditional upbringing would shape my character differently. The rituals augment magic and shape a different understanding of it and pagan wizards get a boon every time the solstice comes. There was a bunch of other things that had Mum fascinated and she decided she wanted me to be brought up properly, wizard-like properly, and well, you get me.”

“And a fine ‘me’ you became,” Rodolphus commented. “Despite your crazy parents.”

“All wizards and witches are a bit crazy,” Harry returned. “Have to be. I think it’s because of the magic.”

The Lestrange wizard hummed in agreement. “Any plans for this week?”

Harry worried his lip a bit. “Well, believe it or not, I actually have a date this week, on Wednesday.”

The teen did not see the way Rodolphus’ hands clenched or how his eyes glittered dangerously.

“Really?”

“Hm, a guy from Ravenclaw asked me. I don’t know him, but he is rather cute and well, I’d like to get to know him.”

“Oh, that’s bad. Listen Harry. I’ll need your help this week. And unfortunately it’s on Wednesday as well.”

The teen looked troubled as he thought about this. Harry struggled a bit before he nodded.

“Sure, just tell me what you need.”

He would never know how happy that made Rodolphus. The wizard’s mask was too perfect for that.

“Nothing much. I’ll say you need to come over for some tests. We can just have dinner, the two of us, play chess…”

“As long as we don’t play chess,” Harry cut Rodolphus off.

“Deal.”

 


 

Harry tumbled out of the Floo network.

Then came clapping. “Bravo! You actually managed to land on your feet this time.”

The teen scowled at his host. “Well, hello to you too Rodolphus.”

Rodolphus snapped his fingers and a house elf appeared, dressed in a black apron. “Guilda you take our guest’s…”

“I’m fine,” Harry replied.

“Well, as you don’t drink much, let’s just sit down to dinner,” Rodolphus said. “Through here. Guilda get ready to serve us.”

The house elf bowed and disappeared with a ‘pop’.

Harry had been in the house once before. “I still cannot get used to the simplicity in this place.”

“Yes well, I like this house. Should you ever see Lestrange Manor…? It’s a garish place,” Rodolphus admitted. His house was a townhouse in Wales overlooking the Cardigan Bay. It consisted of two floors above ground and two under it. Rodolphus spread underground and even took up part of the ground floor. The rest of the ground floor was a kitchen, pantry and an above ground cellar, a vast sitting room and a dining room with a Floo room in an alcove by the door. The first floor held Rodolphus’ study and personal library, a few guest rooms as well. On the last floor were family rooms and a master bedroom. Rodolphus used the master bedroom and had turned half the rooms into libraries. Browns and golden hues were everywhere and the house looked quite homey.

The dining room was big enough for ten people but no more and Rodolphus’ excuse had been that he could not host large gatherings this way and he liked it.

Rodolphus helped Harry to a seat, something the teen did not protest, on the right from the head of the table. Then he took a seat himself. Guilda ‘popped’ in carrying trays of food and a bottle of wine, set everything down and made herself scarce.

“I decided to not have her hovering,” Rodolphus told Harry. “Less formal.”

“Thank you,” Harry told him.

“Want me to fill your plate?”

Harry peered at the dishes. “Italian food?”

“Mediterranean,” Rodolphus responded. “That is lentil soup, pasta with tomatoes and basil, spinach pie, roasted cod, Parsley Tabbouleh, Roasted Eggplant with Feta Dip, Chicken Stew and fresh bread. And red wine. Of course, there’s also dessert later but I’ll keep that as a surprise.”

Harry bit his lip. “What do you suggest?”

“A bit of everything,” Rodolphus replied.

The teen smiled. “A bit of everything it is,” Harry agreed.

Rodolphus piled small bits of every dish and did the same for himself. Then he poured wine in both their glasses.

“A toast?” Harry picked up his glass and threw his accomplice a smile.

“To us never getting caught?”

“A fine first subject to toast to,” Harry agreed.

Their glasses met and they took a sip before setting them down again.

Harry tasted the lentil soup and found it quite tasteful. For a soup.

“Not a fan of soups?” Rodolphus asked.

Harry shook his head. “Nope. Mum could never get me to eat much when I was a child,” he admitted.

“Then leave the soup aside,” Rodolphus told him. “You still have a lot more to taste.”

Harry threw him a smile and tried the chicken stew. “Oh! This is delicious!” the teen crowed.

“You are Guilda’s dream,” the other wizard remarked. “I tend to forget myself when I work and she has to cut in all the time and let me know. Sometimes even then I forget myself.”

“You are so much like Severus,” Harry told him. “He does that. Is it a genius thing or just a Slytherin thing?”

“Not everything in life revolves around Hogwarts Houses.”

“So it’s a genius thing,” Harry surmised.

“I guess. Try the cod next,” Rodolphus suggested.

Harry readily tried the fish next.

Rodolphus watched as the teen hummed in enjoyment. He really was such an expressive creature. He had first felt a tiny bit of discomfort, not guilt never guilt, for lying to Harry. But the moment he had heard the teen was going on a date something snapped. He recalled seeing that Slytherin hitting on the Potter heir he had felt angry, but nothing compared to when Harry admitted to going out with a Ravenclaw. It was a dirty trick but necessary. Rodolphus decided he was not just going to sit idly by. He was determined to claim the teen properly. This dinner was not a random act. Young Harry did not know this, but the courting had just begun.

Chapter Text

“And the Pride of Portree SCORE! But the Arrows are still in the lead 480 to 360!”

Harry nearly bounced in his seat.

“Harry,” Draco drawled from the side.

They were in a private box and away from the frenzied crowd.

“Leave off, Draco,” Harry warned.

“I’ll never understand how you became a Pride fan,” Draco muttered.

Harry rolled his eyes. “I cannot believe you like the Falcons,” the green eyed wizard shot back. “Better than the Caerphilly Catapults.”

“No digs at my father,” Draco warned. “Even if I still don’t get why he likes a team wearing garish colours. Light green and red, honestly!”

Harry rolled his eyes once again.

“FOUL!” came again from the announcer.

“This game is boring,” Draco decided.

“To you everything is boring even when it’s interesting,” Harry shot at him. “Now be quiet.”

“I cannot. Alas, I have this strange urge to gossip,” the blond replied.

Harry groaned. “How much sugar did you eat this morning?” he asked his best friend.

Draco shot him a big, wide grin, showing all his perfectly white teeth.

“Never you mind,” the dark haired teen muttered.

“I’m so glad Easter break is over in two days,” the Malfoy heir sighed. “Then it’s only two months till Hogwarts breaks for summer and then…”

“Our seventh year,” Harry finished for his blond friend. “I wonder who will make Head Boy.”

Draco snorted.

“What?” Harry demanded.

“Who scored Outstanding in all his OWLs?”

“I did not!”

“You got an ‘O’ in Divination, Arithmancy, Runes, to which I might add you studied independently…”

“Have you met my mother?”

But Draco carried on “…Care of Magical Creatures…”

“That was ridiculously easy!”

“…Transfiguration…”

“Have you met my father?”

“…Charms, DADA, Potions…”

“Hey! Had I not aced Potions Severus, who is your bloody godfather would have strung me from my ankles and used me for bait!”

Draco blinked. “True, yes. And may I continue…”

“I only got an ‘E’ in History!” Harry protested.

“And a few more ‘O’s in Muggle Studies and Wizarding Etiquette and Languages! Admit it Harry, you are a nerd.”

The green eyed teen glared at his best friend. “Well, so did you!”

“But I did not sit for Divination or CoMC.”

“Yes, but you are the first Malfoy to take Muggle Studies and ace them.”

“I blamed you in front of father,” Draco stated.

Harry rolled his eyes. “Fine! I’m a bloody nerd, happy?”

“Meh! For now.”

“FOUL!” came again from the announcer.

The Potter heir groaned. “I missed it!”

“Yes, tragic that, now can I please tell you about the things I wanted?”

“You are worse than the Women’s Association of Hogwarts when it comes to gossip. And that’s saying a lot as it was Pansy that founded that group and she’s the biggest gossip of all!” Harry raged.

Draco dismissed him and started informing him of all the latest news: Which Ministry workers embezzled money, who caught his wife (or husband) with whom, who was Natalia Eckerman’s child’s father, who was drafted to marry the coming summer and fall…

“…and of course Madam Lestrange finally gave up,” Draco commented. “She has not bothered uncle Rodolphus for two months now… Or is it just Rodolphus?  Is he really an uncle to me? I mean he married my aunt, but then she died and …”

But Harry’s brain had caught the one important to him fact.

“Draco!”

The blond blinked. “What?” he demanded.

“What did you say?”

“I was wondering whether I should call him…”

“Before that? About Madame Lestrange,” Harry urged his best friend.

“She gave up on her matchmaking attempts,” Draco informed Harry. “And Rodolphus is supposed to assume the mantle of the family by New Years, that means a bit over six months from now.”

The green eyed teen was left staring.

 

 

 

Harry did not get to think about Draco’s titbit of information until much later, after he left Malfoy Manor and his hosts in favour if returning back to Hogwarts. He had not had a moment alone until then. The first night of his return to the magic school, after he had retired to bed, he lay awake, staring up at the bed canopy and thinking about Draco’s words, thinking about Rodolphus as well. The man had asked for his help, as per their agreement. Harry had blown off a date for this; not that he had been all that excited about the Ravenclaw, but it was the principle of the thing. They had started out as accomplices! Though now Harry thought they were friends, not like he and Draco and Blaise were mates but as friends as a teen and an adult can be.

“Why?” Harry murmured. “Why would he lie to me?”

He stayed awake all night for this until he finally deduced that there was something going on and he had to figure out what that was. Quiet as a mouse he left the bed, took a piece of parchment and a pen and he started writing down all the clues and all the information he had. Then he studied them and made different scenarios as to what Rodolphus’ reason was for lying to him.

Around two in the morning, tired green eyes were glued on the last line.

Rodolphus wants to

Sabotage me – why do that???

Protect me – how come???

Was jealous – why be jealous???’

The last line was whim and Harry added this just to be on the safe side. He was not a Gryffindor, he understood motives. Rodolphus had a reason to visit him in Malfoy Manor, lie to him, invite him for dinner at his home. And the more Harry thought about it the more the last option seemed to fit and the more questions popped up. Also, a small part of the teen felt excitement and quite flattered.

“One way to find out,” Harry finally decided.

The teen destroyed his list and went to bed. He needed a plan and he would get one. He just needed to wait till summer.

Chapter Text

Harry’s birthday party that year was a grand event. Potter Manor was filled with people. All of Harry’s year mates had come, some of the people he knew and were not graduates, some from younger years and all the Slytherin students from third year and above were there. James had not been amused at the thought of his house filled with so many Slytherin’s but he was warned by Lily not to cause any trouble. Severus Snape, Lucius Malfoy and the Lestrange brothers had also been invited, along with most of the Hogwarts professors, Mrs. Pince the librarian and of course Hagrid. Lily had even invited Filch along but the man had politely declined. Harry had not been surprised by this.

The adults had a separate party in the second dining room while the entire first floor, indoors and outdoors was for Harry and his peers.

“Your parents really went all out,” Draco noted. He held a glass of champagne in his hand as he bounced to the music coming from the sound system.

Harry grinned. “Yes well, dad finally got his wish. He had wanted a big party for me since I was a toddler but mum always put her foot down about it. This year she let him but she invited all the people she wanted just so he would not think he got one up on her.”

“That’s… competitive,” Draco commented.

“Like your mother has not pulled something like this with your father,” Harry told him.

Draco snorted. “Of course she has.”

“Harry!”

The birthday boy turned and grinned. “Hullo Blaise.”

“Quite the turnout!” the Zabini heir commented. “So, did your dad get a stroke yet or is there still time?”

Harry chuckled. “Lots of Calming draughts.”

“And a no sex rule,” Draco added.

The other two shivered.

 “Draco!” Harry yelled. “Don’t be gross, not on my birthday.”

“You will use the birthday card all day?” the Malfoy heir asked.

“Of course,” Harry told him.


 

“Stop pouting Prongs,” Sirius told his best friend.

James glared him from behind his glass of Firewhisky.

“My house! So many of them!” James muttered.

Sirius rolled his eyes. “So was mine.”

“That’s different!”

“James! Sirius!”

The both stiffened and turned to see Lily with Remus at her heels.

“Don’t be grumpy James,” Lily told her husband. “”it’s Harry’s party. Do laugh a bit. It’s not like it’s a funeral.”

James grumbled but he did not openly say something as he feared Lily’s temper.

“So, Lily,” Sirius told Harry’s mother. “Quite the turnout.”

“The invitations were sent early,” the witch replied. “Harry was truly excited to see even the Slytherin Alumni here. That Flint boy, his father was awful at school but he was great to Harry. And Mrs. Greengrass, Camelia? Sweet woman. And her daughters… if Harry was not gay he would definitely be dating one of them, nice girls, smart too.”

“How did you get the Greengrass’ and the Malfoy’s in the same room?” Sirius asked. “I thought Mr. Greengrass was pissed about that engagement contract the Malfoy’s annulled.”

Lily smiled. “They were, but the Zabini’s; Madam Zabini in particular came to the rescue. Anyway, not a matter to discuss in a party. Honestly Sirius, you’re such a gossip monger!”

“Tea on Wednesday?” Sirius asked.

“If you get that chocolate cake,” Lily bargained.

James rolled his eyes. “I’m surrounded by gossip mongers.”

Remus snorted. “You should not talk James. I saw that little chat you had with Arthur Weasley, you were chattering like squirrels!”

James glared. “Traitor!”

Lily and Sirius laughed.


 

Harry was swaying to the music. Higgs was close to him, only a breath away, swaying much alike. Harry shot the other youth a smile.

 

…You can try but you can't win
In this game of the love
When your tears have all dried out
You will see the truth…

Higgs’ arms tried to touch and Harry let him, but when he wizard got grabby, the green eyed Slytherin pushed him away.


…Now we go on separate ways
We've been like to a different place
Now which way, another road
Walking to a place unknown…

“Draco,” Blaise muttered, earning the blonde’s attention.

“What?”

“Check out Harry. Higgs is hitting on him again.”

Draco groaned. “That idiot! He thinks he can bed Harry.”

“Obviously,” Blaise muttered. “What do we do?”

“Cut in of course,” the Malfoy heir replied.


…I 'm breakin away
Far from you far, far from you
I'm breakin away
Far from you
Far from everything…
(lyrics from Mark F. Angelo feat. Shaya - Far from everything . 1 .)

 

“Beat it,” Draco told Higgs after he sauntered up to him and Harry. Blaise at his tail.

Higgs, being smart, left and Draco started dancing with Harry for the remainder of the song. Then as the song switched into something more upbeat, Blaise took Draco’s place while the blond went to get a drink.

“What this one called?” Blaise asked Harry.

The green eyed wizard smiled. “This one? It’s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ by The Black Eyed Peas. A Muggle band.”

“Not half bad. Odd name though,” Blaise commented.

Harry laughed.


Rodolphus was itching to use his wand. That kid, Higgs had it coming. The older wizard had seen him all over Harry and his blood boiled. All his jealousy and emotions stirred and Rodolphus used his Occlumency to rein them in. It would not do for him to hex any of the guests, no matter what good reason he had. So he walked away, all the while plotting to teach that kid a lesson, just not that day.


 

 “There you are,” Rabastan saw his brother coming. “Where were you?”

“Loo,” Rodolphus replied.

“Hm, there’s an awfully old crowd,” Rabastan commented. “Not what I expected.”

Lucius raised an eyebrow. “The teens are in another room,” he told the man.

“Obviously,” Rodolphus added.

“Pity,” Rabastan muttered. “If they play one more waltz.”

The music changed then.

“Cheer up brother,” Rodolphus smirked. “That’s a tango.”

Rabastan glared at him.

“Lucius! Rabastan! Rodolphus,” their hostess came by.

“Lily,” Rodolphus greeted her, the other two nodded.

“Great party,” Lucius added.

“Thank you,” the witch blushed. “We are cutting the cake soon, just thought to tell you. Albus needs to leave. The International Wizard Association is meeting and he has a Portkey to catch.”

“Of course,” Rodolphus told her.

“Do you have everything?” Lily worried. “I wanted to come and ask earlier but with so many people …”

“We are fine Lily,” Lucius assured her.

“Good,” the witch sighed. “Is that…? Oh Merlin! Is that Augusta? I better check on my husband.”

The wizards chuckled when they saw the red haired witch make herself scarce.

“Wise woman,” Rabastan commented, the other two nodding.


 

 “…Happy birthday to you!...”

Harry shook his head and fought to keep his blush down. The room was packed, the cake was huge and the noise the singing people made was almost as bad as the Hogwarts song.

“…You belong in the zoo! With the Dragons and the Gorgons and all others like you!” the crowd finished with that bit.

“Make a wish Harry,” Lily told her son.

Harry closed his eyes. He knew what his wish would be. Then he blew the candles and his friends, family and others clapped and cheered.


 

“Come on! One dance!”

“No dad!” Harry protested.

The more formal guests and acquaintances were gone. Only closer friends remained and adults and kids were mixing up.

“One dance with your not so old man?” James asked.

Harry rolled his eyes. “Fine.”

“Yes!”

“Everything but disco dad,” Harry warned.

“Damn,” the stag Animagus cursed.

“James!” Lily thundered.


 

Harry danced with his father a waltz and then Sirius spun him around to the beat of an old disco song. Remus took his turn as well, with something more modern. Then Lily, then Narcissa. Harry had to drag Severus to his feet. The potions master had been reluctant but first Harry, then Lily and Remus, danced with the man, ballroom dancing strictly. Draco was not to be denied either, claiming two dances for himself with his best friend. Harry danced with almost everyone at least once. Rodolphus did not claim a dance this time and Harry did not ask him. They took lots of pictures and they were allowed extra alcohol and they had fun until early morning hours. Harry even opened some of his presents, the pile had been large.  When the guests finally left the Potters retired to their beds.


 

 “So?” Harry asked the house elf.

“Tilly saw it little master,” Tilly bobbed her head. “Mister Rodolphus definitely saw that Higgsy boy and he definitely reached for his wand.”

Harry smothered a grin. He had imagined Higgs would try and bed him but he had invited the oily git anyway. If nothing else it got the plan underway.

“Thank you Till. That will be all for tonight.”

“Good night little master,” Tilly told him and disappeared with a soft ‘pop’.

The teen sighed and flopped back on his pillow. He was tired, slightly tipsy, overly stuffed with food, yet he could not sleep. All because of this. Harry’s suspicions were confirmed and the teen was thrilled about this. He had not imagined this; Rodolphus truly was interested in him. The thought both excited Harry and scared him. The older wizard had a formidable presence. He had been near him long enough to know that the man was cunning, scarily intelligent and had a cruel streak. All those traits (even the cruelty) Harry did not mind, he in fact liked them on Rodolphus. So he was not really surprised to realize he also had feeling for the man. Ever since Draco had told him those things during the Quidditch game it had been all the green eyed wizard could think about. This little scene had been part of his plan; a plan he hoped Rodolphus would forgive eventually because Harry knew he hated being played like this.

“It all begins now,” Harry murmured to himself. He had a plan and he would implement it as soon as his parents left for their trip, when he would have the house to himself.

Chapter Text

Rodolphus was worried.

He knew for a fact that Lily Potter and her husband were away on vacation. So when the Potter head elf Flooed with a message that ‘Little master’ was sick, the wizard was concerned. He wrapped up the potion he had been making and then used the nearest Floo connection to get there and check on Harry. He already knew the way to the teen’s bedroom and he climbed the stairs easily. Upon arriving the house was eerily quiet. An elf was there, waiting for his coat before leaving soundlessly.

He used his knuckles to knock on the door twice before opening the door.

“Harry?” Rodolphus asked.

“Come in!”

Rodolphus walked further in the room. The teen was sitting on his bed. He was dressed in Muggle clothes. Very tight Muggle clothes, practically indecent. And certainly not for wearing them at home, but rather at a club.

“Harry?” the wizard asked.

“I had to call you,” the teen said. “I was getting ready when I felt nausea and my stomach aching.”

Rodolphus let Harry rumble, the teen saying how he gradually got worse. Worry about Harry clashed with his curiosity about Harry’s state of dress.

“Why are you all dressed up?” Rodolphus asked the young Slytherin.

Harry’s face flushed. “I have a date tonight,” he mumbled. “And I was anxious and giddy about it and now this happens! My luck sucks. All year round I’ve been pretending to be sick and now I really am.” The teen shook his head. “Help?”

But Rodolphus‘ mind was stuck. “Date?” he asked as he stood in front of the teen stock still.

Harry gave a short, slow nod. “He was at my birthday party. A bit clingy. But he’s cute enough so… I could do a lot worse.”

Rodolphus’ heart was starting to protest. “Cancel it,” he said before his mind could think of something clever to say.

“What?” the look on Harry’s face was one of disappointment and sadness. “But I wanted this!”

Rodolphus tried not to get affected by those green eyes.

“No, I’ll go,” Harry decided, getting to his feet. “It’s probably just stress for the date! You know, I was actually planning to go a bit further than just kissing so that’s why I…”

“What?” Rodolphus demanded.

Harry flushed again. “I was afraid to tell Draco, he would laugh. But you are my friend too, right? Partner in crime? And you are an adult. You understand right?”

Rodolphus struggled not to show any emotion, he really did. Here Harry was, all vulnerable and wanting his support and help and all the wizard could think was locking him up and throwing away the key, never letting such an exquisite wizard as Harry lose his time with idiots like that Higgs boy or others like him. Rodolphus knew he should have at least put on a show of examining the teen before outright forbidding him to go out. Even if it was nerves, Harry did not have to know.

“Harry, sit back down, I’ll run a couple of spells. There’s a nasty flu going around,” the medi wizard decided.

The teen pouted a bit. Rodolphus did not find it odd. Harry was an expressive brat and he had many faces and moods and he knew most of them, including the ‘Pout of Doom’ as Lily had dubbed this particular face.

“Should I take off my clothes?” Harry asked and Rodolphus’ mind went towards a dangerous direction.

“No need to,” the older wizard said, using all his self control.

“Okay,” the teen agreed and sat back down on the bed.

Rodolphus tried being professional but the proximity was not helping his newly realized emotions.

“So?”

Harry’s voce shook Rodolphus out of his trance.

“Will I live, healer?” Harry asked teasingly.

“Till the next Quidditch match, yes,” Rodolphus replied.

“That Bludger just appeared out of thin air.”

Rodolphus’ lips quirked. “Keep saying that.”

“So,” Harry said. “Can I go on my date? It is just nerves, right?”

The older wizard felt hurt when he saw the hopeful look in those green eyes. Still, he was a selfish man.

“No. you better stay in,” Rodolphus told Harry.

“What? Why? I was so…”

“Does sex really matter this much to you?”

Harry blinked. “Who said anything about sex?”

“Isn’t this what you were expecting from tonight’s date?” Rodolphus demanded.

“Why do you care?” Harry asked him.

“What?”

“You heard me. Why do you care?”

Rodolphus peered at Harry. “No.”

Green eyes continued staring at him.

“You slippery…”

Harry scoffed. “Finally caught on?” he asked, dropping the pout but pinning hard eyes on Rodolphus. “I saw you, glaring at Higgs. And I noticed you looking. And Draco told me. Your Aunt has not set you up with anyone in months, yet you continued with the deal. Why?”

Rodolphus tried to get away, but the teen caught his arm and would not let go.

“Say it!” Harry told him. “I want to hear you say it.”

“You are playing a very dangerous game,” Rodolphus warned him, voiced dark. “Do you have any idea what kind of man I am?”

“Yes. And have you learned yet what kind of man I am?”

“You are no man, just a brat.”

“Yes?” Harry challenged. “And what do you want to do to this brat?”

Rodolphus’ eyes glowed as his magic flared. “Don’t play with me!”

“No! You don’t play with me!” Harry yelled. “I can see through you! Why won’t you give in?”

“Damn it Potter! Get it through your thick skull…”

“Don’t play ignorant with me!”

“Why won’t you stop?”

“Because I deserve to hear it, the truth and nothing but the truth.”

“My control is wearing thin.”

“Good. That’s what I wanted in the first place,” Harry told him.

Just like that Rodolphus’ control snapped.

Furious lips crushed on Harry’s and a kiss savage and dangerous started between the two, stealing the teen’s breath and mind away and breaking any restraints Rodolphus might have had. It might not have been how Rodolphus wanted things to move, but this game Harry played had been the last straw. Rodolphus dominated the kiss, using his tongue to claim Harry’s mouth and taste the teen. He continued kissing him until he ran out of breath and then started all over once he had enough oxygen in him. The second kiss was just as brutal and wild and the teen’s moans showed just how little Harry minded the violence. Rodolphus pulled the teen to him, moulding their bodies as close as possible and stealing Harry’s breath away

“Mine,” Rodolphus hissed in Harry’s ear much later. “I won’t share you. You’re mine Harry Potter. And I’m a curious monster.”

“You are not a monster to me.”

“Silly brat.

“Silly man,” the teen returned.

Rodolphus kissed him again.

Chapter Text

First Date…

 

The invitation came with a letter and Harry smiled when he saw the cursive writing on the fine parchment. The letter was accompanied by a pig package complemented with a big mauve bow.

 

Dear Harry,

I am romancing you tonight and I am going all out. Let me pamper you the way I want to.

The package is a gift, the first of many. Wear the contents for me and me alone.

Be ready for me by seven this evening. We have a Portkey to catch.

Rodolphus Lestrange

 

Harry felt like giggling, that was how happy he was. He tore the package open and his jaw dropped in shock. Rodolphus Lestrange did not like Muggle’s but he liked their music. Inside a very fine tuxedo was waiting for Harry. It was tailored to fit the teen and even had shoes to match.

“That man thinks of everything,” Harry mused. With that last thought he hurried to get into the bathroom and start getting ready.

By seven Harry was ready, looking every part the aristocrat or a prince, he had yet to decide.

When Rodolphus came he looked dark and handsome and yet the sight of Harry struck him speechless.

“You look lovely,” he told the teen. “Devilishly so,” he added.

“You’re not bad yourself,” Harry told him.

Rodolphus smirked and kissed Harry on the cheek, lingering after his lips left the teen’s cheek and taking in the wonderful scent that was all Harry.

Lovely indeed,” he whispered and pulled away. He offered an arm to Harry. “Shall we?”

Harry accepted the offered arm and nodded. “I cannot wait for what you have in store for me.”

It took them one Apparation and a Portkey to reach the destination Rodolphus had in mind.

“Where are we?” Harry asked, looking around.

“A small island in France, on the Petit-Saulcy Island in Metz, capital of the Lorraine region,” Rodolphus commented. “Let us walk this way...”

Harry followed while his mind was still reeling from the information that the wizard decided to take him to France for their first date.

“Look.”

And the teen did. It was a huge building, expansive and it looked like a palace really.

“The Opéra-Théatre de Metz Métropole, the oldest opera house in France and one of the oldest in Europe. There’s a performance tonight. Carmina Burana, a delightful opera.”

Harry gasped. “You are crazy.”

“I know. Shall we? I believe the first bell has already rung. And for later I have reservations for a light dinner nearby.”

The green eyed teen smiled. “You really went all out.”

“I aim to impress,” Rodolphus stated.

Harry shook his head with amusement. “Romance away then. Just so you know, next date is going to be all me.”

“You can plan?”

“I managed to get you to admit you have feelings for me,” Harry cheekily replied.

“That you did.”

Harry let Rodolphus lead for the night, enjoying the performance, the opera house and the opera itself, even though he was not a big fan of classical music but he was a fan of quality and luxury. Even though his mother had tried not to spoil him, the Potter heir had expensive tastes and Rodolphus responded to that side in Harry and the teen loved every second of it. Then afterwards during the dinner, the two wizards just talked, not about the blossoming relationship, but for everything else, like they used to before they admitted they had feeling for each other. Harry had one of his best friends back and so did Rodolphus and both of them revelled in this and the intimacy the date was bringing.

 

Second Date…

 

“No!”

“Come on!”

“I said I refuse to do this…”

Harry pouted.

“That look won’t work on me,” Rodolphus stated.

“Tough,” Harry dropped the pout. “You promised.”

“I did no such thing!”

“Well, not really promised, but today is my day. I make the plans. You conceded this!”

Rodolphus sighed. “I did, true.”

Harry grinned and tagged the man closer. He had decided to get in touch with his inner child and do the same for Rodolphus. So he had settled for visiting a fair. It was a public place in the Muggle world, full of colour, noise and Muggle’s and children. Rodolphus looked out of his element here but Harry fitted right in.

“My father brought me to my first fair,” the teen admitted.

“If you tell me that you like me due to daddy issues…”

“I have no daddy issues. And don’t compare yourself to my father; the last thing I need is a complex. No, I chose this location because of the memories it holds for me. I wanted to share this with you.”

Rodolphus felt himself give in. he could hardly argue with the teen. For some reason his usual defences would not work around Harry. It was a blessing and a curse and the reason the teen had stolen his cold heart. “Just don’t ask me to ride the Carousel.”

Harry smiled and stood on the tips of his feet, kissing the older wizard sweetly. “Thank you.”

 

Third Date…

 

Their third official date took place in a more intimate setting, in Rodolphus’ home. The wizard had his house elves cook dinner for he and Harry while the two wizards were engaged in lengthy discussions about everything they could think of. The only thing that changed from the last time the duo had had dinner together in this place was the intimacy. Harry was seated closer to Rodolphus, nearly climbing on the man’s lap while they were having their tea. They could not stop touching each other, revelling in it just because they could do this without curious eyes around. And the kisses were plenty and scattered throughout the evening. Neither wizard could keep his hands and mouth to himself long enough for the entire night. Harry wanted to explore this newfound emotion and attraction he felt for the older man. He would steal kisses from a very willing Rodolphus Lestrange as the man was always willing to let the teen explore and taste him.

“I love this,” the teen admitted.

“What? Molesting me?”

Harry smiled. “I meant having you all to myself. No strangers staring, no sneers, just us.”

Rodolphus pulled Harry closer to him and nuzzled the teen’s neck. “Hm, I agree with you.” His large hands flexed around the teen’s sides. “The temptation however…”

“I know.”

The older wizard kissed the teen hungrily and Harry responded eagerly. The house elf that happened upon the scene squirmed and gasped and nearly popped away, but Rodolphus broke the kiss, leaving a dazed Harry panting in his lap.

“What is it?” he demanded of the creature.

“Master’s dinner is ready,” the elf said and popped away.

“Well, time to feed you,” Rodolphus told Harry who just blinked.

“Feed?”

“Food’s ready.”

“Oh! Good.”

Rodolphus chuckled. “If my kisses blow your mind away I can only imagine what will happen when I take you.”

Harry flushed. “Don’t tease me!”

“I’m just planning out loud,” the other wizard commented. He helped Harry to his feet. “Now, let’s get some food in you.”


 

 

Florean Fortesque’s Parlour…

“I hardly see you nowadays,” Draco complained from behind his mountain of sorbet ice cream flavours.

Harry winced from behind his chocolaty treat.  “I’ve been busy,” he guiltily admitted.

“Doing what?” the grey eyed wizard demanded.

The raven haired teen worried his lip. “Can’t say.”

Draco’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t you trust me?”

“I do!” Harry said, shocked that his friend would think otherwise. “It’s… just… It’s something new, okay?”

“What is?” Draco asked. Then his eyes went wide and a smirk appeared on his face. “You found a boyfriend?”

Harry flushed a bit. “Keep your voice down, will you?”

Draco leered. “Why?”

“Draco! Nobody must know!”

“Why not?”

Harry looked around. “You have to swear not to say anything to anyone,” he hissed to his best friend.

“Want me to swear a Vow?”

“It won’t need to go that far,” the green eyed teen said.

“Come on, say it,” Draco said.

“Rodolphus Lestrange.”

The Malfoy heir blinked. He blinked again. “You are joking.”

“No.”

“Yes! You have to be! He’s like… old!”

Harry rolled his eyes. “It pays to have an older lover.”

Draco’s jaw dropped. “Oh! Merlin and Mordred! That’s my sort of uncle!”

“You insisted on knowing!”

“I take it back!” Draco declared.

Harry spluttered. “You cannot take it back.”

“Well, Obliviate me.”

Harry glared at his best friend.

Seeing the green eyed teen looking a bit hurt, Draco’s face softened. “Look. I’m sorry. You just surprised me. Really, him?”

The Potter heir shrugged and listlessly ate a spoonful of his chocolate ice cream.

Draco studied Harry with a critical eye. “And it just happened?”

Harry shook his head.

“Okay,” Draco decided. “I sense a story here.” He looked around a bit. While they had been whispering all the while this was a very sensitive topic to discuss out in the open. “Let’s finish up with the ice creams and then we can go to my place for privacy.”

Harry nodded.

“And Harry?”

“Yes?”

“No more secrets from me.”


 

 

Fourth Date…

 

“AND THUNDER FINISHES THE RACE!”

Harry smiled as he looked through the binoculars at the race that just finished taking place up in the skies. The Abraxan’s were a glorious race of horses. He turned to Rodolphus.

“How did you get tickets? For that fact how on earth did you know I liked races?” the teen asked the older wizard.

“I have skills,” Rodolphus replied. “Also, I approve horse racing over Quidditch any day.”

Harry kept back from pouncing on the man and hugging and kissing him. He could not risk it with so many eyes all over the place. You never knew who was watching.

“Thank you,” the green eyed teen told Rodolphus.

“Words won’t cut it,” the medi wizard responded. “I will get proper gratitude.”

Harry blinked. “What do you mean?”

Rodolphus ran a finger over his lips. Harry followed the movement. He did not miss how those sensual lips curled into a smirk. He could not help but blush, his imaginative mind and hormones making it difficult for the teen to keep any composure.

“I hate you,” Harry hissed. “Stop provoking me!”

“Was that what I was doing?”

“Stop trying to play innocent. You are failing miserably,” the teen muttered.

Rodolphus smirked. “As long as you know the price. And stop pouting. Really, stop, my self control was never exemplary.”

 Harry gave a smirk of his own. “Really.”

“Don’t make it into a race Harry. You are going to lose, badly.”

“Hm? I can’t hear you?”

Rodolphus looked around. Then he abruptly stood and pulled Harry after him.

“Hey! What are you doing!” the teen complained.

“The races are mostly finished anyway,” Rodolphus stated as he pulled the teen out of the private box and with a hissed order to follow quietly he headed towards the nearest Apparation point and Apparated along with Harry to his home.

“What on earth were you thinking?” Harry demanded.

“Doing this,” Rodolphus replied as he pulled the teen to his front and kissed him, holding Harry’s jaw with his fingers and with his other hand curled around the teen’s waist.

Harry moaned but it was muffled by Rodolphus’ mouth as the older wizard took charge and claimed the younger wizard with his mouth. foreheads were pressed together as they caught their breaths and then Rodolphus was kissing Harry again with more fervour than before while at the same time pushing the teen towards the nearest hard surface, in this case the piano in the sitting room. He pushed the smaller male to sit up on the hard surface and then moved to settle between the youth’s parted thighs. Harry gasped and pushed back, trying to catch his breath.

“Merlin…” the teen gasped.

Rodolphus was looking over Harry with heated gaze. “Caught your breath yet?”

Harry looked up at him and barely had time to nod. Rodolphus placed both hands on either side of Harry’s head and started kissing the teen again. The green eyed youth wrapped his hands around Rodolphus neck, pulling upwards to meet the man’s probing kisses.

“I cannot keep my hands off you,” later the older wizard would admit.

Harry was still trying to catch his breath, his chest resting in the crook of Rodolphus’ neck.

“I like it when you don’t hold back,” Harry whispered.

“Just remember that I’m a very dangerous man, Harry. You should not antagonize me so much.”

“But it’s so much fun!”

“Minx,” Rodolphus growled at the mischievous look on the green eyed wizard’s face.

Harry smiled and pecked the man’s red lips with his own swollen ones.

Rodolphus once again took control and deepened the chaste kiss and took it to a whole other level again and the two wizards spent the next hour intimately entangled kissing and talking with each other, enjoying the closeness and privacy.

Chapter Text

Harry and Draco were in the first teen’s room just resting after riding on broomsticks all morning. Harry had actually made them sandwiches but the teens had eaten them hours ago.

“So, Juliet, how is the Romeo?”

The green eyed teen glared at Draco for his comment. “You enjoy this way too much.”

“My prerogative as your best friend,” the blond replied.

Harry sighed. “Some best friend.”

Draco snorted. “Stop complaining! Details! Has he ravaged you yet? Thrown you on a bed and had his wicked way with you?”

“Draco!”

“Yes?”

“Stop being so… so…”

“Harry, I’m a teenager. My hormones are raging. Out of the two of us you are seeing more action so I am living my life and fantasies through you. So. Harry, what’s new?”

“He’s a great kisser,” Harry offered. He then stared at the clock on his wall. “And in about three hours we are meeting again.”

“Where are you going? Is he going to choose a place again?”

The green eyed teen gave a wicked grin.

“Where are you taking him?” Draco pestered Harry.

“What is the one club we have not been able to go because our parents are so protective?” Harry asked.

Draco sat up. “No way!”

“Yes!”

“You are going to Club Hell with Rodolphus Lestrange?”

“Draco! Keep your voice down!”

“Oh, please, your parents are not home for another two hours.”

“Well, the walls have ears!”

Draco looked at the walls suspiciously.

“Not literally!” the raven haired teen swallowed his laughter.

“With your father and godfather,” the blond told Harry, “I can never be sure.”

Harry chortled. That was the bitter truth.

“What are you wearing?” Draco inquired.

 

 

Fifth Date…

Rodolphus gritted his teeth so hard he thought he ought to hear them crack.

“What on earth was I thinking?” he wondered. But in truth he had not been thinking. Harry told him they should go dancing, but not to one of the dance clubs Rodolphus knew. While the wizard had been to clubs before, it appeared things had changed drastically since his younger days, something that highlighted the age gap between him and Harry. The green eyed youth had given Rodolphus warning.

“Wear that pair of dragon hide trousers and something that reveals your upper body. Oh! And boots. Please?”

Rodolphus had listened to those pleading lips and those imploring green eyes. They had decided to meet outside the club. Rodolphus had listened to Harry and dressed in the tightest pair of leather trousers he owned and wore a shirt Rabastan had given him as a gag gift a few years back that was all silk and black and strained against his toned upper body. He gathered many appreciative looks from the assembled crowd while he waited for Harry. And when the teen showed up it took every bit of Rodolphus’ self control not to walk up and pull the teen away from prying eyes. Harry was beautiful and looked like textbook seduction, and if the former Slytherin was right, that had been the green eyed wizard’s aim in the first place. He wore jeans, low riding jeans that just about stood at the teen’s hips. His t-shirt was black like the jeans but ended a bit over them, enough to show silky skin and a hint of the well toned body the seventeen year old sported. His hair was all mussed up and his eyes were alight as he took in the picture Rodolphus made. He walked up to the older wizard and greeted him with a kiss much to the consternation of the people who had been eyeing said wizard.

“Hey!” Harry greeted his man. “You look great.”

“And you look underdressed.”

The younger wizard laughed. “Come on. I want to dance for you tonight. And with you.” He took Rodolphus’ hand and tagged gently. The older wizard followed without much fuss, his eyes often sliding downwards to look at the teen’s perky bum.

Harry led them straight to the bouncer, whispered something in the walking brick built toilets ear who took one look at them and let them in.

The loud music washed over them when the door opened. Rodolphus winced a bit.

“Ignore the noise,” Harry told him. “It’s just you and me. All night long.”

And it turned out the teen meant it. From the moment he stepped inside he was all over Rodolphus, keeping close to the man’s side while they ordered drinks. Harry barely took a sip of his; he did not need alcohol to have a good time, as he proved not ten minutes in the club when he started dancing and hopping according to the beat, gaining Rodolphus’ full attention as he did so.

“Dance with me?” Harry sweetly asked.

Rodolphus never stood a chance he realized while he was on the dance floor being pressed from all sides. He had his arms firmly around Harry’s waist or hips and the teen was moving sensually in the enclosed space Rodolphus had created for him. He rubbed and ground against the older man’s front aiming to provoke and get a response. After a while Rodolphus followed the feral beat that echoed from the speakers with his own body, much to Harry’s delight, who only got more bold as he practically went wild. Rodolphus had to bat several stray hands away and glared a number of people who tried to cut in or take a piece of the chemistry between the duo, but the pair would not have it. Harry’s attitude screamed ‘Mine!’ when Rodolphus was concerned and it made people back off. They lost track for how long they danced but soon sweat made their bodies and clothes damp and slick as they moved against each other provocatively.

“Possessive,” Rodolphus growled in Harry’s ear during a particularly slower than the rest song.

“You love it,” Harry stated.

“Oh, yes,” the older wizard admitted as he pulled the teen roughly to him and crashed their mouths together in a harsh kiss.

Harry returned it enthusiastically and the two wizards soon forgot about the crowd that kept dancing and grinding all around them.

“Delicious,” Rodolphus said against the lips before grabbing Harry’s hand and pulling the teen out of the dance floor and then out of the club. Their ears barely had time to get used to the change in pressure before Rodolphus made sure they entered an empty alley before they left via Apparation and reappeared at his home. Before Harry could ask about the rapid change in scenery the older wizard made his reasons known. He pulled Harry against his body and he made sure the teen felt exactly how affected he was by all their activities at the club. The blush on the teen’s face was lost due to the flush he maintained from all the activity.

“You do this to me,” Rodolphus told Harry. “The mere proximity is enough. The way you practically used my body tonight… a very naughty thing to do.”

“But it felt sooo good,” the green eyed teen complained, his eyes darkened by desire that mirrored the one shown in the older man’s eyes.

“If you want to play the big game,” Rodolphus told Harry, “I will be very, very happy to oblige.”

“Rodolphus…”

“Come on, my bedroom is this way…”

“Rodolphus… I…”

“Don’t worry, we have plenty of time,” the older wizard commented. “Tonight I just want to get to know you. Get a taste of you.” He nuzzled his nose into the top of Harry’s hair. “Are you coming to bed Harry?”

The teen gave a hesitant nod but it was all Rodolphus needed. The trek up to his bedroom was swift. Undressing himself from his damp top too and getting Harry to take his office was a done deal. After that they both took their time. Shoes came off then and the pair started kissing. Harry was hesitant at first. For all his bravado the teen was hesitant as he knew that whatever happened next would be a big step in his relationship with the older wizard. Rodolphus seemed to sense this for he slowed down a bit and he just kissed the teen for a while, making no further attempt to remove more clothes until Harry, unable to bear the tightness in his trousers made the first move, and mid kiss cupped the bulge in Rodolphus’ lower body.

Rodolphus broke the kiss with a hiss. “Careful Harry, that’s fire you’re playing with.”

“I know,” the teen replied.

“Good,” Rodolphus stated. He pressed his mouth against the teen’s ear. “I won’t do much tonight. Don’t worry. Let me take care of you.”

“I want that,” Harry replied.

Rodolphus caressed the younger wizard’s cheek. He kissed one of Harry’s sweaty temples before he carefully ran his large hands in front of the teen’s bulge. Harry’s soft moan was music to the older man’s ears. When he hooked his fingers under the teen’s pants the green eyed wizard blushed and tried to avert his gaze but Rodolphus would not let him.

“Eyes on me,” Rodolphus demanded as he pulled the clothes down, freeing Harry even more as he pulled the underwear off in one go.

Harry squirmed when he was bared to the older wizard’s gaze. His hands twitched as he wanted to cover himself rather badly.

“You are beautiful,” Rodolphus told the teen. He ran his eyes all over Harry’s form and then with his hands he trailed the length of Harry’s toned body, starting from that delicate neck, caressing his way down the chest with the pert nipples and coming to rest on the teen’s hips. “Simply beautiful.”

“I’m a guy,” Harry grumbled.

Rodolphus smiled. With his index finger he touched the base of Harry’s swollen member and then wrapped his large hand around the teen. Harry’s breath hitched.

“Believe me Harry, I know you’re all male,” the older wizard replied.

“Umm.”

“Uncomfortable?”

“I’ve never been touched like this,” Harry admitted.

“Really?”

“Stop looking smug,” the teen sulked.

Rodolphus was a very happy man to know that the youth he had had his sight on had never had another before him. It made him feel smug, like Harry accused him, and very pleased. He wanted to be everything to the teen, teach him, watch him evolve and enjoy the entire process. It was the possessive streak in him that demanded this and the darkness in him that would have hunted down any other who had touched Harry previously.

“I cannot,” Rodolphus told the teen. He extended a hand towards the dresser and with wandless magic summoned a small vial of clear liquid which he then uncorked and poured the contents in his hand and then guided his hand back to Harry’s length. The younger wizard’s breath caught again. Rodolphus continued with his ministrations, enjoying seeing and feeling Harry’s member swell a bit more.

Harry’s green orbs were pinned on Rodolphus, watching the man’s hands move over his skin. He raised his hands and pressed the palms against the skin on Rodolphus’ stomach.

“Go on,” Rodolphus urged Harry.

“I don’t know if I can.”

“Do whatever you feel comfortable with,” the older wizard told Harry, making the teen shiver as his breath caressed his ear.

Getting bolder Harry trailed his hands downwards and came to touch the large bulge in Rodolphus’ pants. The older wizard moaned in delight when the teen applied a bit more pressure with his hands and he pressed against the teen’s hands for more. Harry smiled at this and repeated the action before getting much more bolder and turning green eyes towards the older wizard.

“I want to see more of you,” Harry stated.

“Undress me then,” Rodolphus urged.

Harry flushed and shuddered as Rodolphus did not stop moving his hand up and down the teen’s shaft while the younger wizard pulled the trousers down and the older wizard paused enough to kick the clothes off before hovering near Harry again and urging the youth to go on. Harry let Rodolphus pour some of the oil in his hands before tentatively touching the much larger and thick member of the older man, shyly at first and much more boldly when he heard the older wizard responding to his ministrations. The deep noises of pleasure that Rodolphus purposely did not stifle boosted the teen’s confidence who gradually grew a bit bolder. Still, Rodolphus so as not about to forget his task to pay the green eyed Slytherin for his conduct in the club and he soon pulled his hands away. Harry moaned a protest when the older man did this.

“You like that then?” Rodolphus asked.

Harry glared. “You know I did.”

“Shall we try something else then, step it up a bit? Don’t stop what you are doing.”

“Why not?”

“I already have half a mind to spank you but I believe it is too soon for trying anything as risky with you,” Rodolphus stated. “Denying you pleasure for a while is your punishment for toying with me, provoking me all night long.”

“But you liked it,” Harry protested.

Rodolphus smirked. “My eyes did, but my body suffered.” He pushed his hips into Harry’s hold and the teen flexed his palm, not releasing him. “Go on.”

Harry glared but then the thought of getting back at Rodolphus for leaving him like that entered his mind. While he had never been intimate with another before Rodolphus, certainly never did anything remotely similar to what he was doing right now, and pleasuring himself did not count. But how far did the older man want to go tonight. Harry was a bit afraid of what Rodolphus might ask him or that the man had expectations he would not be able to fulfil.

“Not all the way,” Rodolphus repeated, when he saw the teen fall into deep thought. “Just a step up.” He nuzzled Harry’s throat. “Let me taste you?”

Harry saw him bring one of the hands he had been using to pleasure the teen up. There was something more than oil there.

“The scent is nice,” the older wizard said. He brought the stained fingers to his mouth. “And this is a wonderful treat. But I want the source of it.”

The younger wizard could only watch, eyes wide as Rodolphus slowly moved down his body, his big hands caressing his skin. When the he stopped in front of Harry’s cock he smiled up at the teen. “What do you say Harry?”

“Do it,” the teen whispered. The words left his mouth, surprising Harry.

“Hm, finally,” Rodolphus muttered. He did not take Harry in his mouth immediately. Instead he drew it out, caressing the area of the teen’s privates, fondling his sack, teasing the sensitive skin but leaving the teen’s swollen member alone. When he finally took notice of how strained it was and how painful it had to feel for his younger lover, he lowered his mouth on the length and slowly took him inside.

The sensation made Harry gasp. It was so much different than a hand touching him. No matter how warm Rodolphus’ hands had been his mouth was so much more. And then the older man started bobbing his head up and down and Harry’s mind blanked out. All that existed for Harry was this novel sensation, the way his body responded. He felt noise and moaning and it did not register that he was making the ruckus, not until Rodolphus paused enough to make Harry look at the man’s face and see him with his lips wrapped around the teen’ cock. The sight earned another pleasurable noise from the teen’s lips. The older wizard then resumed his task, taking Harry deeper. The teen hardy noticed when he started moving his hips and thrusting into his lover’s mouth, only that he was getting closer to his orgasm and then Rodolphus hummed and the vibrations made Harry gasp. One thrust and another and Harry came, shouting out his pleasure.

Rodolphus took everything Harry had to offer and released the teen’s member slowly, enjoying the way the younger wizard was trembling in the aftermath of his orgasm. The picture Harry made was so much more than he had imagined in his dreams and daydreams. It was another reason for Rodolphus not to regret pursuing the teen, giving into Harry’s charm. He rose on his knees and then moved up. He saw Harry’s green eyes opening again and the teen staring at his mouth like he had not seen it before. Rodolphus lost no time and took the teen’s lips in a hard kiss, letting the younger wizard have a taste of himself. Harry mewled in the kiss, making he older wizard smirk when he finally broke it to let his minx breath.

“How was that Harry?” Rodolphus asked.

“Smug bastard,” the teen muttered as he moved closer to the man’s body, seeking out his warmth.

Rodolphus let Harry curl up at his side and press their bodies closer. He knew the minute the teen felt his hard cock, the way he pulled back as if burned and he looked down both in awe and trepidation before his eyes went up and stared into his eyes.

“You are still hard,” the teen remarked.

“I know.”

Harry snuck another peek, worrying his lip as he did so. “Do you want me…?”

“What do you want?” Rodolphus cut him off.

The teen went quiet for a while. Then he slowly left Rodolphus’ embrace and pushed the older man back on the mattress while he moved his body downward, rubbing against the older wizard. Rodolphus bit back a hiss when Harry’s warm body started teasing him, even though the teen had probably not intended to do this.

“Your hand will be enough,” Rodolphus said, his voice rough. “Or I could do it myself with you watching. I bet you would love the view.”

Harry’s blush was lost as his face was still heated from his earlier activities but Rodolphus knew that his words had reached the teen.

“I want to try,” the younger wizard decided. “Just…”

“Start slowly. Taste me first.”

Harry did just that, encouraged by Rodolphus’ suggestion. He wrapped a hand around the base and pumped once at the stiff cock before tentatively using his tongue to taste the asking once, then twice. The older wizard groaned at the sight the teen made when he tried this. Green eyes met his face.

“Um,” Harry had no idea what to say, but the deep groan had startled him.

“You truly are a minx,” Rodolphus told him. “Just, find a pace you are comfortable with.”

“Okay,” the teen replied.

He started stroking Rodolphus again, more boldly when the older wizard made noises of pleasure that elevated the teen’s confidence. When Harry felt a bit more confident he lowered his mouth again and licked at the tip this time. Rodolphus gasped and Harry, eyes wide and much bolder this time went a step further, taking the man in his mouth.

It had been a while for Rodolphus to feel another’s mouth around him and the way the little minx was going about it was driving him insane. He longed to take charge; plunge deeper in Harry’s mouth and thrust, but the youth was new to this. He waited as Harry adjusted to the sensation, he watched as the teen figured out how to relax his jaw and take him further inside and he tried not to move when Harry started sucking him and then bobbed his head a bit, taking as much of Rodolphus as he could before he gagged once and pulled back. Rodolphus bit back a smile; he did not want the teen to think he was laughing when in reality all he wanted to do was take Harry in his bed. But he was a patient man. as his younger lover figured it out and was back at pleasuring him, Rodolphus allowed some of his control to slip and he started enjoying himself and not worrying about anything but the sensations the teen was giving him.

As Harry learned to take him a bit deeper his hips moved on their own accord and the teen instead of being shocked appeared rather pleased by this. Rodolphus felt Harry release him and try again, the heat returning around him as the teen took him deeper than before. Rodolphus moved and rolled his hips, holding back as much as he could as the pleasure Harry gave him heightened. While the green eyed minx was new to this he was apparently a natural. The older wizard had enough of his senses to call out Harry’s name when he felt his orgasm coming.

“Pull back,” Rodolphus told Harry. “Unless you can take it, pull back.”

Green eyes danced with delight as the teen bobbed his head once more before releasing him and using his hand to make Rodolphus finally come with a guttural groan and a curse on his lips. Harry watched, enjoying the sight and when he was certain he had Rodolphus eyes back and the man’s attention he raised a stained hand on his lips and licked at the liquid that had come from the man.

“Not bad,” the teen muttered, making Rodolphus groan.

“You little tease,” the older wizard accused. “Next time I will forget about being a gentleman.”

“Hm, maybe I’ll let you,” Harry commented before the man sat up a bit and pulled the teen in his lap.

“What did I say about provoking me Harry?”

“That you like it too much?”

Rodolphus growled low in his throat. Then he pushed his mouth against the teen’s in a harsh kiss. Harry moaned and kissed back, wrapping his arms around Rodolphus’ neck and moving his body so that he could straddle the man. Rodolphus had come but he was still half hard and Harry felt it when he continued kissing the man that had stolen his heart and mind. The thrill of having Rodolphus so close and himself so dangerously exposed made Harry excited. The heat coming from the older wizard’s body added to that and Harry felt his body stirring again and his lover felt it as well.

“Hm, you insatiable devil,” Rodolphus chuckled.

“Shut up,” Harry nipped at the man’s jaw.

Then he nuzzled the man’s throat, down his Adam’s apple and then his mouth sought out his neck where he used his teeth to mark Rodolphus. The older wizard hissed at the sharp sting and his body shuddered. He liked a bit of pain with his pleasure, something to introduce his young lover a bit later, after he had feasted on him. Rodolphus sunk his fingers into Harry’s thick hair and pulled the teen’s face up and claimed his lips again. Harry shook against the man as his lust stirred again. The other wizard took notice.

“Up for another round Harry?”

The teen gave a shiver when Rodolphus took his member in his hands and started stroking him again.

“Rodolphus…” the green eyed youth moaned.

The older wizard slowly changed their positions and had Harry on his back again and used his body to cover the youth’s smaller frame.

“Having you here, in my bed,” Rodolphus said, “You belong here with me, I know that now.”

“You really have a one track mind,” Harry told him.

“You are at fault.”

Harry sucked in a breath when Rodolphus settled on him, trapping their erections together between them. He started rocking his hips. Harry gasped and clutched Rodolphus’ arms.

“Not as good as the real thing,” Rodolphus said. “But we have all the time in the world.” He rested his forehead against Harry’s. The teen pulled the bigger body closer to him, delighting with the friction their bodies created. Their pants and moans soon filled the room and the pair reached completion for a second time that night.

Afterwards Rodolphus used magic to clean both of them and he let Harry snuggle up to him while the teen dozed, spent and tired from the intense happenings of that night. The older wizard revelled in the closeness and fell asleep not long after the Potter heir.


 

Rabastan had been worried when for most of the summer his older sibling claimed that he was busy. While it was true that Rodolphus had plenty of ways to keep himself busy if he wanted, never before had he avoided family meetings to such a degree so after a while Rabastan got fed up and went to confront his brother himself. He found the man in bed, clothes strewn around the room and the curtains closed even though it was noon.

“Rodolphus?” Rabastan trod carefully.

“What?” a voice grumbled from the direction of the bed. Rabastan’s brother lifted his head off the pillow, saw the younger wizard and scowled. “What are you doing here?”

“After you turned down dinners and lunches of a month’s worth with only a fire call or a brief letter to show me you are still breathing I think I have a right to come and see you!”

With a groan Rodolphus left the bed, making Rabastan yelp.

“Damn it! Put some clothes on or give a man warning!” the younger sibling yelled.

Rodolphus ignored him and walked towards the adjacent bathroom still nude. “Just order the elves to make breakfast and I’ll meet you down stairs. And Rabastan? Next time call.”

Rabastan scoffed. He looked around with a critical eye and came to one conclusion. His brother had company the night before. Who that was he had no idea but he could guess what had happened. The wizard hoped things turned out; he wanted his brother to have a companion. Perhaps then he would lighten up.


 

Harry fell on his own bed with a tired sigh. He had managed to sneak into his room without his parents knowing and for that he was glad. His body was tired, his head was pounding and he desperately needed more sleep. But at the same time he was giddy with the knowledge that he and Rodolphus were now much closer and that he definitely had feelings and cared for the older man deeply. The night before was truly and utterly perfect, he decided as he burrowed his head into his pillow and fell asleep with a smile on his face.

Chapter Text

James had been a teen once, not too long ago in fact. And his lovely wife thought he had never truly left that age behind. He was willing to give in and admit this much. It was also the reason why the typical teenage behaviour his son Harry was showing had raised alarm bells in his mind. At first he waited for Harry to come to him, but when his son had not, James went to Sirius for counsel and help.

This was why he was now sitting in Grimmauld Place, nursing a beer and pouting in Sirius’ company.

“James,” the dog Animagus sighed. “Just because Harry’s sneaking out…”

“And lying. Don’t forget the lying,” James told him. “I caught him having lied last Monday. He said he was going to Draco’s place but the blond menace had no idea.”

Sirius sighed. “Have you thought that maybe he is having a special someone?”

James shrugged.

“Prongs… It’s natural to hide from your parents.”

“But he used to tell us everything!”

“He’s a teen,” Sirius countered. “Did you tell Dorea everything? Or your dearly beloved father?”

“No. some things you just don’t say to your parents.”

“Exactly,” James’ friend said.

Still, even though Sirius made sense, James was worried.

“He knows we don’t care if he dates a girl, guy or troll… well, we draw the line at troll, but you get my point! Why hide? It could be a Slytherin and we would not care.”

“Wouldn’t you?” Sirius challenged.

James grimaced. “Well… I would. But Lily would talk my ears off until I agreed so, no; her opinion is my opinion on this subject.”

“Whipped,” Sirius grinned.

The stag animagus glared at him. “Sirius, I’m not joking here. Harry… I think something’s wrong.”

“Have you asked the kid or are you going to go straight to stalking him?” the dog Animagus said.

James refused to say anything, making Sirius groan.

“Fine. Here’s what you are going to do and don’t think of not following this or I will curse you. Harry is my godson; I am supposed to look after him and his interests especially when his father is behaving like an idiot. Talk to Harry, like, truly talk, no baiting, no teasing. I mean it Prongs. And only if Harry says something that truly warrants you to worry then we will act in true Marauder fashion, got it?”

James sighed. “I get it.”

“Good. Want another beer?”

“Please.”

 

 

James knocked on his son’s door and Harry’s voice beckoned him inside. The room was not as messy as his used to be before his house elf got around to cleaning. Lily had been adamant Harry learn to clean up after himself and James now agreed that it had made Harry less spoiled than he used to be when his son’s age.

“Dad!” green eyes lit up. “Finally! Just as I was getting around to doing my Transfiguration report. Well, the epilogue of it. Mum gave me an earful last week and I had to finish homework by today or else. One of these days I need to find out what her ‘or else’ means.”

James chuckled. “Better not let Lily hear you. She has a wicked imagination that witch. So, Minnie’s still torturing students with homework?”

Harry smiled. “Minnie? Dad, she’s a cat Animagus.”

“That’s why I dubbed her thus, well, not really me. Sirius did that.”

James’ son shook his head. “Sometimes I wonder how you and Sirius survived Hogwarts without her smothering the both of you.”

“Why not Remus too?” James asked.

“He’s smarter,” Harry replied. “All he had to do is play the ‘I’m the poor unfortunate kid that got bitten by a monster’ card and she would melt.”

James spluttered. “Harry!”

“Don’t wear out my name, Draco says it’s worth gold.”

“Stop acting like a Slytherin Harry.”

“But daddy, I am one,” the green eyed teen said looking as innocent as he could master.

James sniffed. “No, you are a Gryffindor in disguise; I know this in my heart.”

Harry chuckled. “Joking aside, you wanted something dad?”

“Just to talk, you know, hang out.”

“Hm,” the teen mused. “Your interrogation techniques need work. Ask away.”

James rolled his eyes. “I want to know where you are going. I know you lied and did not visit Draco last week.”

Harry blinked. “Okay.”

“Just okay? No denial or anything?”

“Nope!”

James’ eyes narrowed. “You could look remorseful.”

“Will you ground me?”

“No.”

Harry shrugged. “Then what’s the point of looking remorseful?”

James closed his eyes, feeling a headache form. This conversation reminded him eerily of a time Harry was five and James had tried convincing him that wearing no clothes was indecent. He still got teased for arguing with a five year old and losing spectacularly.

“Harry, why won’t you tell me?”

“Because you are not going to like it.”

The stag animagus blinked. “Okay, how do you know that?”

“I just do,” Harry replied.

“Harry, you are not taking any mind altering potions, are you?”

“What! No!”

“Smoking?”

“Hate the smell of tobacco, even scented,” Harry replied.

“Then why are you sneaking around like this? Why not tell me? I worry.”

“I’m not doing anything bad,” the teen said. “I just want to keep it a secret. Is it that bad a thing?”

James had no idea how to answer this.

 

 

Sirius was not surprised to see James return a day after their conversation, looking down. Remus was also there and he shot his friend a worried look.

“Talked to Prongs junior?” the dog animagus asked.

James nodded.

“And?” Remus asked. “Just so you know, Siri filled me in.”

“He would not tell me,” James replied. “Can we stalk him now?”

“Sure man,” Sirius agreed. “I just hope we don’t regret it.”

 

 

 

 “I feel stupid,” Sirius sighed. They were standing outside James’ home. Harry had just left, taking the Knight Bus. The adults were going to follow the teen’s signature there. An underhanded thing to do and also James’ prerogative as the Patriarch of the Potter family to know where and how to find his family members. Sirius loved family magics.

“You? What about me?” Remus asked.

James swivelled around and glared at his two best friends. “Will you both shut it? This is for a good cause, so suck it up. When either of you have spawns of your own then come and talk to me.”

“Don’t call my future descendants spawns,” Sirius sniffed imperiously.

“Really? Because Spawn has a nice ring to it. Like that Muggle comic,” Remus said. “I could name my kid that, if it’s a boy that is.”

Sirius and James stared at the werewolf.

“Moony, mate, sometimes I wonder about you,” James admitted, with the dog Animagus nodding in agreement.

Remus rolled his eyes. “Shall we start stalking Harry now?”

“We got the Cloak?” Sirius asked.

“No, gave that to Harry,” James admitted. “Under Lily’s nose I might add.”

“Disillusioning spells then,” Remus said.

“Let’s go,” James told them.

Their quest took them to a small but cosy restaurant in the Muggle world.

“Looks fine,” Sirius commented.

“And romantic,” Remus added. “A restaurant for couples then? Do we go in?”

James frowned. “No. first, we look through the window.”

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Remus told Sirius.

The last male Black nodded but they went anyway.

“Fuck no!” James yelled. He looked ready to storm the place but his werewolf friend caught his arm and would not budge no matter how hard James tried. Remus for once was glad about his strength; it was the only thing shy of a Stupefy that kept James from storming that place.

“What?” Sirius demanded.

Remus pointed at Harry. “That’s our boy. Notice who’s kissing him?”

“Rodolphus Lestrange!” Sirius whispered his eyes wide.

Chapter Text

Harry tried not to draw attention to himself, or Rodolphus. The other wizard had insisted on taking him home and Harry had let Rodolphus walk him up to the garden door.

What neither of them had expected to see was James waiting there, with Sirius and Remus at his sides. And they all looked furious. It made the teen halt and stare.

“Harry,” the teen’s father said. “Get in the house. Now!”

The teen turned to look at Rodolphus who looked like he understood what was going on.

“Go on,” the older wizard told his young lover.

Harry opened his mouth, seemingly wanting to argue back, but a small nudge and a soft look from Rodolphus towards his house made the teen snap his mouth shut. He stole a glance at his father and uncles and then back at Rodolphus, coming to the same conclusion as the older wizard. His father and Sirius and Remus had somehow found out. They knew about him and Rodolphus and they were furious. There was no other explanation.

“Harry,” Sirius spoke up this time and even he sounded furious, which was a novelty for the green eyed youth.

“Straight to your room and wait there,” James added in a voice that brooked no argument. It was not a tone the man used often but when he did Harry knew not to take his father lightly.

The seventeen year old gave one last look at Rodolphus. He briefly debated putting up a fight, refusing, generally disagreeing, but the situation was already bad and he refrained. He would just need to trust Rodolphus to be able to talk his way out of this and that the men in his family had enough sense not to attack the man in a more than verbal way. A duel would solve nothing and just make a scandal of this. Harry ran inside the house not looking back for if he did he was bound to do something stupid. For now, all Harry could do was wait for his father to chew him out.

 

Rodolphus kept his face impassive and waited till Harry was inside the house. The other men had the same idea it seemed because the moment Harry was not there James Potter snapped his wand and a curse was sent Rodolphus’ way.

The wizard dodged but the next move Potter did was walk up to him and punch him. That Rodolphus did not dodge. He could have ducked, but he felt he should let Harry’s father do that much. He regretted it when James got ready for a second punch, but this time the werewolf stopped him.

“James!” he called out. “That’s enough!”

“That bastard laid a hand on my son! My Harry!” James yelled. He made to shake the werewolf off but Remus would not budge.

“James,” Sirius spoke up, wand trained to follow Rodolphus. “Let the bastard speak. I want to know why he put his filthy hands on our boy.”

“I don’t need to hear him talk!” James raged. “He took advantage of my boy! He’s old enough to be his father! And he played the good healer all year around when Merlin knows what he was doing with him!”

Rodolphus felt his temper rise. “Careful Potter. There are events you have no idea about.”

“It seems so since I had you in my home! I let you near my son!” this time he managed to shake Remus off but Rodolphus had the good sense to duck this time.

Remus and Sirius broke them apart again, holding James back and throwing glares Rodolphus’ way. The Lestrange was busy wiping the blood away from his mouth. There was a look of triumph on James face at that but it disappeared, swallowed by anger again.

“I don’t want to see you around my family again,” James hissed at the man. “Or I swear I will kill you.”

Rodolphus snorted. “You are wrong Potter,” he said.

“You kissed my son!”

The former Slytherin wisely kept his mouth shut about all the other things he had done to the teen. James Potter hardly needed any more ammunition to curse or punch him.

“I was not using Harry,” Rodolphus swore this. “We are dating Potter!”

Rage was his answer. “Dating? My son is seventeen!”

“An adult,” Rodolphus told him.

“He’s still a child! You are in your forties damn it! Couldn’t you keep your perverted hands to yourself?”

“Potter, I never did anything Harry did not ask me to do.” Belatedly Rodolphus realised that was the wrong thing to say to the already enraged father.

This time Remus had been prepared and kept a tight hold on James but Sirius had his hands free and one of his fists connected with Rodolphus’ stomach. This time Lestrange retaliated with a well placed curse against Sirius who was defended by James’ shield.

“Damn it! James! Sirius!” Remus yelled at his two friends. Inwardly he wanted to introduce Rodolphus Lestrange to his more savage side but the consequences would be grave.

Rodolphus sensing things were going to get well out of hand shot one last look at the men and turned on his heel, Apparating away.

 


 

 

James cursed rather loudly and the werewolf finally released his best friend.

“Calm down,” Remus told him. “I know it’s the last thing you need to hear…”

“Ha!” James yelled. “He… that Death Eater had his filthy hands on Harry!” James held his head. From all his anger he felt a pounding head ache come on. They all felt it. It had been Remus, the more level headed that had kept Sirius and James from confronting the pair at the restaurant and instead waited until Harry came home. And right now James had to talk to his son. Harry was bound to have the answers he needed.

“James?” Sirius asked. “Are you okay?”

“Fine… just… I need to talk to Harry.”

“Do you need us?”

“No,” James insisted. “I will talk to him alone.”

“We will be waiting in the kitchen,” Remus decided, already making plans on how to tell the news to Lily.

James gave a short nod towards his two friends and headed back to the house.

 


 

 

Harry was pacing in his room. His fists were held tight. His heart was hammering in his chest. It was all so wrong! He had wanted… No, needed more time with Rodolphus. He was just getting to know the man that had burrowed deep in his heart and was likely going to stay there for a long time. He had needed the time to explore their relationship, to experience more from this thing between the two of them. The teen sighed. He itched to go out, see what was happening between his father and his lover. Merlin, he loved using that word even though he and Rodolphus had not done all that much to be considered true lovers just yet.

“I want that,” Harry whispered to himself. He wanted Rodolphus at his side.

But now that dream seemed too far away. The green eyed teen sat heavily on his bed, closing his eyes as he started feeling despair.

 


 

 

Lily was clever. Her parents used to say that she was too clever for her own good. Her husband and his band of merry marauders also had that thought every time she caught them red handed doing mischief. She had a sixth sense for it. Still, this time it was the commotion that alerted her that something was going on. She left the study she had been doing work in and found Sirius and Remus in her kitchen, both looking grave and worried.

“What are you doing here? I thought you and James had plans.”

The Werewolf and the Dog shared a significant look.

“What is going on? Where’s James?” the red haired witch demanded. “Did you do something stupid?”

“Define stupid?” Sirius asked, looking and sounding tired.

Lily narrowed her eyes. “Start talking.”

“It’s about Harry…” Remus tailed off.

 


 

 

Climbing the stairs to his son’s room was something James had done so many times in the past that he did this without noticing. He blinked and he was there, figuratively. Just outside the door James halted. His mind was all jumbled up. Thoughts and emotions mixing together and the mental picture of his son in the arms of a dangerous man. James did not care if Harry dated boys or girls, but this… It was the only time James disapproved of anything his son did. Now, now he wanted to lock him up and throw away the key. What on earth had he been thinking? There were tons of men out there why did it have to be that man? Contrary to what he had told Lestrange he did not believe that the wizard had done anything to addle his son’s mind, he had taught Harry better. It was precisely that reason why he had such a difficult time understanding why his son was with that man in any way and capacity.

He stood in front of Harry’s door when he heard motion behind him. He turned.

“Lily,” he sighed, a tired look on his face.

“Remus and Sirius told me,” the witch said. Then she knocked on her son’s door. “We need to talk, all of us.” James nodded.

 


 

 

Rodolphus arrived at his house a mess. He was more worried about Harry than he was about the bleeding cuts on his face. All he wanted was to patch himself up and do something to alleviate his worry. He had to know what was going on with the green eyed youth that stole his heart. He was not granted that reprieve. His younger brother was in the living room and upon seeing him he gasped in shock.

“Rodolphus!”

“What are you doing here?” the older sibling demanded.

“I came to bring you news but… what in Mordred’s name happened to your face?”

“This? A small disagreement.”

Rabastan narrowed his eyes. “Brother, will you be straight with me for once? What’s going on? You have changed lately. So much that I don’t know what to do?”

“I don’t need your whining right now,” Rodolphus told him.

His brother sighed and sagged. “Why can’t you understand that I worry about you? If you have someone I want to know so I can be happy for you. If you are in trouble I want to offer whatever help I can. I had to watch our parents and other relatives saddle you with Bellatrix. That woman ruined your life. The Dark Lord ruined it further and our aunts tried to rule your life for you after Bellatrix became history. I’m your brother, not your enemy, not some guy who’s suspicious of you.”

“You got emotional after your marriage.”

“Considering I’m about to make you an uncle…”

Rodolphus blinked. “I see,” he muttered. He offered a genuine smile to his brother. “Congratulations then. You deserve happiness. I’m certain you will make a good father.”

“Thank you. I don’t know about being a good father, I am mostly terrified.” Rabastan told him. “Now sit down here,” he pointed at the spot on the sofa next to him that was vacant. Rodolphus moved to fill it and Rabastan took his wand out and carefully started mending the cuts he found. He used ‘Episkey a couple of times and a ‘Scourgify to take care of some of the mess in his siblings clothes.

“Thank you,” Rodolphus told him.

“I am a pretty good listener,” Rabastan commented.

Rodolphus eyed his brother. “There was someone,” he said after a while.

“Was?”

“Is… Was… I have no idea what’s going to happen now,” Rodolphus admitted after a tired sigh.

“Is this connected with the way you came home looking a right mess?”

Rodolphus offered a nod.

“Who did that to you?”

“James Potter and Sirius Black.”

“Those hooligans,” Rabastan hissed. “You ought to report them! I don’t care if…”

“Rabastan,” Rodolphus put a hand on his brother’s arm. “They were partially right to get angry with me.”

“How can you say that?”

“I… the ‘someone’ I was talking about is Harry Potter, their son and godson.”

Rabastan’s jaw dropped.

 


 

 

Harry heard the knock on his door and however reluctantly beckoned his mother and father inside. They entered reluctantly and Harry remained seated.

“Harry, son,” James said. “I…Why?”

“Why what?” Harry asked in a low voice.

“Why him, why lie to us, why sneak around, why everything,” James said.

“I had no idea you and Rodolphus were this close,” Lily said. “When did it happen?”

Harry thought back to the summer, the agreement between him and Rodolphus, all the time they spent together.

“Harry,” Lily urged her son.

“I will tell you,” Harry said. “But you won’t like this.”

James gritted his teeth, fearing the worst deep down. Then his son started talking about the experimental potions and prank items the Twins made, about Harry’s not wanting to go to a ball with his parents, about that time at summer when he had been sick but not really, about Rodolphus knowing Harry not being sick. Then the teen said about the plan and agreement he made with Rodolphus, how he faked being ill. Lily felt both relieved and angry at the web of lies her son and a man she had trusted with her son’s help had spun. James had mixed feeling, both pride and hurt at this.

“I don’t know when, or how but… I like Rodolphus. He’s great. He has a sense of humour…” At James’ snort he rolled his eyes. “Yes, he can be mean, sarcastic and cynical but not with me, not for long. We just fit together,” Harry said.

“Have you…”

“We’ve only been on six dates,” Harry said. “And nothing happened before I turned seventeen.”

“And now?” James demanded, voice dark.

“Kisses,” Harry lied. He was not about to admit everything to his parents. At Lily’s hard look, he did not waver one bit. Show no fear. It applied to dragons and mothers alike. They could sniff out a lie better than a Niffler could find gold.

James’ face soured at that admittance but Lily merely accepted it with a nod. There were more questions for Harry. Lily had asked her son why the charade with his illness. She was angry, that much was obvious, angry and hurt that her son lied and deceived to get his way and her feeling had stayed there. She was not as hung up as James, her husband was, about Harry and Rodolphus dating and cared more about dishonesty.

“I know I should apologize for deceiving you,” Harry told her. “But I don’t regret it. I’m only sorry I hurt you,” the teen told his mother.  

 


 

 

Their talk stretched late into the night and Harry was mentally exhausted by the time he finally went to sleep. Lily and James instead of retiring to bed headed for the kitchen where Remus and Sirius were still waiting.

“How did it go?” Sirius asked.

“Is that Firewhisky?” Lily asked.

Sirius nodded and she stole his glass (she had banned them from drinking straight from any bottle). The Black wizard let her as she probably needed it more.

“James?” Remus asked his best friend.

“I’m not sure whether to be proud my son is that darn smart or despair him being so devious.”

Sirius and Remus blinked. James then explained the plan Harry had cooked up and got Lestrange to agree to.

“And he couldn’t just say ‘no’ to his aunt?” Remus muttered. “He needed a teenager as an accomplice?”

“Apparently yes,” Lily said.

“Are you feeling fine?” James asked his wife. He had pulled her into his arms for a hug after they had left Harry’s room but it had been brief.

“Just thinking about grounding your son until he’s fifty,” the witch said.

“My son?”

Lily nodded. “It was all you up there, the deviousness, the mischief and you were worried just because he was sorted into Slytherin.”

“If anything he’s far better at it that I am,” James sullenly muttered.

“So, neither of you are angry?” Remus breathed a sigh of relief.

“Really?” Sirius snuck a peek at James.

“It’s not really as if I can put down and ground him for dating!”

“But for the lying he will be punished,” Lily stated. “I had been worried sick! I went to his office; I asked about Harry’s health…And Rodolphus knew it!”

“You did?” James asked and at her glare he cowered a bit. “Of course you did.”

“And you chose to spy on him,” the witch said. “Which I do not agree by the way,” she added.

It was the Marauders’ turn to cower before James’ wife. All three of them kept their eyes open, waiting for whether she would whip out her wand and give them bunny ears of, worse, bunny tails (she preferred cursing them with cute and fluffy body parts).

“We were right though,” James told her.

“It’s the principle of it! Would you like it if your parents followed us on our date?” Lily demanded.

Here James shuddered. “Point taken,” the stag animagus said. “But I was just worried.”

“Sirius told me that you spoke with Harry prior to tonight. He said he was not ready for us to know,” Lily pointed out.

James had the grace to blush at the accusation and he avoided the looks Sirius and Remus gave him. While both his best friends had supported him and spied on Harry along with him they had both voiced their objections to this.

“What are you going to do though?” Sirius asked. The anger had faded now and he could think somewhat rationally. “While I never liked Lestrange … Shut up Moony,” he told the Werewolf who choked at the understatement of not liking the man, “But he must be serious about our boy.”

“That’s what’s keeping me from tracking him down and castrating him,” Lily responded.

The wizards adjusted themselves in their seats a bit. They had vivid memories of the red headed witch using a similar curse to an annoying guy from Ravenclaw during their Hogwarts years and well before she and James started dating.

“Now is not the time though,” Lily said. She eyed Sirius. “Don’t you have work tomorrow?”

“Today you mean,” the dog animagus said. “I do. Come on old wolf, let’s get moving.” Remus stood as well.

James walked them to the door. When he returned Lily was still sitting where he had left her. He placed a hand on her shoulder and she sighed, leaning into his touch.

“What’s the verdict boss?” he teased his wife.

“In the morning,” Lily replied.

“You’re right. Come on, let’s get to bed.

Chapter Text

The Leaky Cauldron was busy with September so near.

Harry, dressed in jeans and a tee shirt tumbled out of the Floo cursing up a storm at his luck. Draco Malfoy was already there, dressed in jeans (Harry had managed to talk the Malfoy heir into Muggle clothes three years ago) and looking furious at Harry.

“There you are!”

“No good morning?” Harry teased but the blond was obviously not in the mood.

“Where have you been?”

Those were the first words out of Draco’s mouth when he saw Harry in Diagon Alley. The green eyed teen had finally written him they could meet. The lists from Hogwarts had come and the Potter heir had finally contacted Draco and offered that they bought their things together and then they could go for ice cream. Draco had jumped at the chance.

Upon meeting the blond wizard pounced on Harry full of questions.

“The books…” Harry tried.

“I sent my house elf for everything,” Draco demanded. “The rest we can buy later, now, I want my answers.”

“Bossy,” the green eyed teen muttered.

“Suck it up,” Draco replied and pulled Harry to the ice cream parlour. After ordering they took a table.

“Happy now?” Harry sighed.

“You prat! I’ve been worried! Just a letter saying that you’re grounded for a week and no answer as to how or why!”

Harry took a spoonful of his chocolate and coconut ice cream. “Well, all hell broke loose,” he told Draco.

The blond blinked. Then a look of comprehension dawned on him, followed by a look of horror.

“No!”

The green eyed teen gave a sorrowful nod. “Yes.”

“Your parents know?”

“Yes.”

“How? Why? When?”

“Dad followed me with Siri and Remus, bad luck, the day before I wrote you,” Harry answered the questions in sequence.

Draco’s jaw dropped. “Merlin! Oh, Merlin.”

“Draco?”

“Just shocked. The Daily Prophet did not mention a massacre,” the Malfoy heir commented.

Harry snorted. “Rodolphus is fine, or at least I think he is.” At Draco’s look he sighed and elaborated. “They cornered us after our date, all three of them. I got sent to my room while they talked.”

“Talked?” Draco’s tone was dubious.

“Dad said there were words exchanged. Then mum found out. She and dad talked to me.”

Draco winced. “I hate those talks.”

“Yes well, it all went south from there.”

“You told them?”

“The one week I got grounded was for lying to them,” Harry told his best friend.

“What’s the punishment for dating Rodolphus?” Draco asked.

Harry shrugged. He took another spoonful of ice cream. It was starting to melt. “Mum said they could not ground me for dating, that would be petty and send me the wrong message. She said if I want to be treated as an adult I ought to act like one.”

“That’s not bad,” Draco commented. He had long forgotten his ice cream, all his attention on his friend’s plight.

“Wait for it,” Harry told him. “I’m not allowed to see Rodolphus.”

“I half expected that,” the blond said.

“For as long as I go to Hogwarts,” Harry added.

“What?”

“At least not without a chaperon,” the green eyed teen continued. “That means an adult, like Remus, Sirius or my parents.”

“They accept it, you dating Rodolphus?”

Harry shrugged. “They don’t like it. Mum was furious; she thought she had a friend in Rodolphus. Dad…he dislikes him, but that’s nothing new.”

“Still, not a death or serious injury,” Draco commented. “Had that been my father…”

“The body would have been fed to the Acromantula at Hogwarts,” Harry finished for Draco. “Now will you eat your ice cream? It’s going to be a puddle soon.”

“Are you really going to go along with this though? Seeing him like some seventeenth century damsel?”

“Well,” the green eyed Slytherin said, “I am actually hoping they won’t go along with it for a year. Perhaps if I behave they’ll let up sooner. And besides, school is in session soon. I wouldn’t be able to see him anyway, with the NEWTs this year and all.” Harry shrugged. “Generally only this summer we have met seven times, which is overall the same amount of times we met throughout the previous year.”

“Quite logical of you,” Draco observed before finally taking a spoonful. “Mm, so good!”

Harry laughed. “Now, we are done about me, but what about you?”

“Well…”

Chapter Text

The Lestrange brothers were in Rodolphus study, sharing a bottle of Odgen's, when Rabastan nearly choked on his drink.

He stared at his older sibling with something akin to shock. But then again he was too amused at the situation his brother was in to show that. Instead laugher bubbled out of his throat and he had to try really hard to stop it. The looks Rodolphus was shooting him were promising unimaginable pain and like any younger sibling, Rabastan simply ignored them.

"They gave you rules?" Rabastan repeated. Partly because he could not believe his ears, and partly because he wanted to hear Rodolphus repeat himself. The situation his older brother was in was simply too funny.

"I bet Harry had to abide to more of them, on the basis that they were set by his parents, but there were several basic ones, yes," Rodolphus admitted.

Rabastan tried to compose his expression. "Am I going to hear which rules you're going to be breaking?" he pointedly asked.

The smirk on his brother's face was telling. "Why you that sure I'm the one who is going to break them?"

"Well... Considering the trouble you’ve got yourself into... And seeing that you are in this for the long haul, I bet that you'll at the very least going to bend them a bit. Just enough to keep yourself satisfied and your boy happy, but not enough to make Potter and Black have an apoplexy or the boy’s mother to murder you in your sleep," the younger Lestrange mused.

Rodolphus sighed. "True. Well, rule number one is 'We can never, ever be alone in each other's presence without a chaperon of their choosing and/or approval present for all meetings'," he quoted.

Rabastan cleared his throat and tried (and failed) not to laugh. "I see."

"The second rule is about physical contact between Harry and I."

"No clandestine meetings in remote locations, or your house?"

The Healer sighed. "No kissing or touching. Or prolonged hugging. They graciously allowed us handshakes but no hand holding," Rodolphus shared. "And in the words of one James Charles Potter : 'No sex! definitely no sex! Forever!'," he mimicked the tone his lover's father had used.

Rabastan snorted. "Does he know you've already sampled the goods, if you will forgive the crudeness?"

"There was no castration performed during the meeting," was the dry reply.

"The Lestrange luck lives on in you, brother," Rabastan toasted. "May I predict that will be one of the rules you will be... ah, bending?"

Rodolphus did not answer that, just offered a smirk of his own. He might have allowed the Potters to dictate how and when he would be meeting with their son, but only because he wanted to do so and because he truly did not mind the restrictions as long as he could meet with Harry. In the long run it was better that they were no longer sneaking around. But he had plans. Plans and a goal. Harry had one more year of schooling and Rodolphus had one year left before he was named Head of the family. After that, Harry would be his lover and, dare he hope, his husband, and there would be no stopping that.

"So, the rest of the rules?" Rabastan prodded his sibling.

"We will be meeting once a week only."

"Which is much more that you are currently seeing each other."

"Exactly," the older Lestrange confirmed. "Basically all the rules have the same vibe. And I'm willing to bet Black and Potter will keep adding new ones. Unless Lilly steps in, or Lupin."

"No one ever said you liked the easy way out," Rabastan commented. "And I knew you were a masochist. You were married to Bellatrix."

Rodolphus hexed him.

 


 

Lily hummed as she set the table, without magic. She did not feel as if she had enough concentration to do it with spells. Lately her mind was still distracted.

She still felt hurt that her son felt he had to resort to lying to them to get out of any kind of social obligation had hurt. She had thought the relationship she had with her son would garner her a bit more insight, more honesty. It bothered her that she had not noticed that something was amiss. Certainly, Lily had found it odd that Harry started getting sick so often. But she had been genuinely worried about it, she never thought it was all an elaborate plan. Privately, she did assign a ‘Slytherin’ label to the whole plan and she also wondered if Molly or Narcissa would have noticed that something was amiss earlier. Her long year friendship with Severus had not been enough to help her prepare for this situation.

Even from a younger age Harry had been a reserved child, more prone to staying around adults, and would often follow her and Remus around, even stay around Severus when the man would visit. Was that the reason he felt more drawn to a man Rodolphus’ age and not someone like Draco?

So many questions run around in her head as she pondered over the whole situation.

Two days ago they had all sat down, her husband, herself, Sirius, Remus, Harry and Rodolphus and hashed out a plan on what their course would be, and it had been a trying situation. James had been more hotheaded than ever and for once their son decided to meet his father head on, proving that he was just as stubborn as both his parents. That meeting had left her feeling even more drained emotionally.

"That’s not a good face, " came Remus’s comment from the doorway. "Do you need help setting the table? "

Lily offered him a smile. "You’re early. The food is not done yet. And yes, you can set the glasses; I’m just about finished with everything else. "

Remus nodded and set about doing that task.

"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked her.

Lily sighed. "Am I the only one surprised by Harry’s … everything?"

Remus chuckled. "Well, for a teenager he has always been mild compared to us. No pranks, no detentions, no running around during the full moon with a werewolf…"

Lily laughed. "Compared to what James was up to, what I was up to during that age… I feel almost spoiled," she agreed.

"Are you more hurt that he did not tell you that he was dating someone? Or that someone was so much older than him? Or that it was someone you were friendly with? "

"I’m not angry he snuck around," Lily admitted. "But faking an illness… That is … I have no words to describe it."

"Knowing Rodolphus, I half expected him to unleash some new decease and give them a real excuse. Be glad they only used experimental joke products made from the Weasley twins," Remus commented.

"I can imagine him doing that," Lily agreed.

"So basically we got away with minimal collateral damage," the werewolf commented.

"My son is not speaking to me," Lily told him.

"He’s a teenage boy," Remus reminded her. "His age, I would not be all that eager to share about my love life with my family either. Do you honestly want him to sit down with you and share every details of every date he’s been on?" Remus shuddered a bit. "I hope he never decides he needs to share those with me. I know he’s not a rosy cheeked toddler anymore, but there is such a thing as too much information Lily. "

The redhead laughed. "No, maybe? He told me about his first crush though? Why not come to me, talk to me? "

Remus sighed and motioned for them to sit. "Do you want me to be frank? You and James were getting a bit… um, pushy? What with all the social engagements and such. Harry was never fond of them, or being around politicians and such. He was dragging his feet on quite a number of those. "

"But to go into so much trouble and cook up such a plot!"

"Potter blood. They are drama queens," Remus reminded her. "And may I remind you that I was there from start to finish during your courtship rituals with James. Hexes flying all over Hogwarts, shouting matches in the corridors, experimental potions slipped into goblets… that’s not normal."

Lily laughed. "Yes, James and I were not really normal teens. Compare to us, Harry is much tamer."

"And I have to point out that he is a Slytherin. And for good or worse, Slytherins do have a different kind of mentality from us abrasive Gryffindors. I’m not shocked about it, surprised that Harry did all that, but I was half expecting something to happen before he left Hogwarts."

Lily smiled. "You are basically telling me to be glad I don’t know everything. And that I am lucky my teenage son did not do something worse."

"I know. And to tell you the truth, you are kind of lucky he’s with Rodolphus. Imagine him being involved with Draco or any of the Weasley clan. Would you want Lucius as an in-law? Or Molly?"

Lily turned that over in her head and shuddered. "Just… no."

"But you are allowed to be angry you know. He did lie for the better part of a year. And you can be angry at Rodolphus. As an adult he should know better."

"I’m angry that I’m not as angry as I should be," Lily admitted. "Does that make sense?"

"A bit, yes, " Remus agreed.

"Lily!" James’ voice came from somewhere around the house.

The two friends stood.

"Want me to check on the food?" Remus offered.

"Remus, thank you."

"Don’t mention it."

 


 

 

If he thought that the Potters, and Black and Lupin, would feel any better if he and Harry were chaperoned, Rodolphus soon found out that it was not the case.

Potter senior and his friends despised him. James looked at him like he wanted to kill him and Black was every bit of a danger his family usually was and acted like he was his godson’s bodyguard. Whenever it was his turn to chaperon he was all but stuck next to Harry, glaring bloody murder at Rodolphus through the one hour the couple was supposed to have. One measly hour, once a week. That was the result of all of Rodolphus’ charm and sneakiness and the effort Harry put in when he alternately pleaded with and threatened his parents( teenage rebellion one of the topics broached) if they cut them off from meeting altogether.

The negotiations had been brutal Rodolphus had been present for much of that debate. All the while, James and Sirius were acting as if he was not really present. Remus was cautious around him and watched him like a hawk. Lily on the other hand was much more reserved around him, obviously still feeling slighted and hurt that he had lied to her for most of the year.

The green eyed teen during that time, had not acted like a love struck hero of some medieval novel. He acted like the cunning Slytherin that he was when he faced his parents and the two Marauders and expertly told them that he was more likely to chase after the older wizard the longer they opposed the relationship. And it was not like they could involve the law enforcement to keep them apart since Harry was over the age of consent in the magical community.

“It could be a crush, all these feelings I have for him. I could wake up in three weeks and feel nothing at all. I’m a teenager. I’m supposed to experiment.”

“Not with him!” James yelled.

“He’s a lot more proper and respectable than some of the flings you had before mum went out with you,” his son quipped, making his father blush and his mother snort in amusement. “I’m stubborn as a mule, something both you and mum have. I can stop seeing him completely,” the green eyed teen said, making the wizards in his family perk up.

Only Lily raised an eyebrow, seemingly knowing more would follow. She knew her son well.

“But the second I’m of age and out of Hogwarts, I’m going to hunt him down,” Harry declared.

“What?!” James and Sirius yelled. Immediately they started voicing their protests to such a thing, speaking over each other.

On the other hand, Lily and Remus alike, seemed unsurprised at the teen’s words.

“And I will be waiting for him,” Rodolphus added.

His admission had the red haired witch study him all the more seriously and the werewolf was also giving him curious looks. The dark wizard was almost offended at their inability to believe that he would care enough for Harry in order to wait for the teen.

“You can’t mean that,” James told him. Though he was talking to his son, Rodolphus felt the question also aimed at him.

“I can out-stubborn you,” the teen told his father. “And I can outmaneuver you if I put my mind to it.”

 


 

It was that conversation that led them here, under constant watch, with a list of rules to follow, but still together. It was their weekly date, this time with Sirius Black acting as their ‘watch dog;’ (Harry’s words) during lunch at a muggle bistro in Piccadilly Street. It was also the second month the new system was in effect.

 "Some things are worth the trouble Harry, dating you, is one of them."

Harry blushed at Rodolphus' admission. A throat was pointedly cleared behind them and the unlikely pair turned to look at Sirius, who had been pouring over a book.

The dog animagus blinked.

"I was actually only clearing my throat," he commented truthfully. "But that was just too sweet. You two are giving me cavities."

"You are free to take a walk," Rodolphus suggested.

"Nice try," Sirius replied and reached for his tea.

Harry met Rodolphus’ gaze and sighed.

Rodolphus smiled. "Just tell me about your day, alright? You said you finished Eliseo Cagliostro’s treatise on ward making? " he prompted and Harry smiled and started talking.

 


 

 

"I don't like this," Sirius stressed as he entered the den room he and his friends since Hogwarts had made their sanctuary even within the Potter home.

Prongs was already there, expecting him.

"Well, I hate this entire situation," James said.

Remus, who had kept James company while Sirius was out, had heard all these complaints since some time ago. So he merely shook his head at both but kept his thoughts as his own, mostly because, despite his initial objections about Rodolphus Lestrage, he had started to change his mind. Lately, especially with the time the werewolf spent chaperoning Harry and the older wizard, he had seen a few new sides in the former Slytherin. The amber eyed man was also willing to bet that their sweet, devious Harry knew what he was doing when he backed them into a corner and practically implemented the chaperoned dates on his own. That had been a strategic move generals would envy.

"What happened this time, Padfoot?" Remus had his curiosity tickled. Harry knew just how to manipulate his godfather. But he knew it was not the green-eyed teen who had the dog animagus ready to pull his hair out.

While Rodolphus usually behaved, in the most liberal meaning of the word, when the dates took place, the man was proud and his humour tended to be on the dark side. And of course he found great entertainment in tormenting Sirius and James. Remus was much harder to bait than his fellow Mauraders.

"Did he say something?" the werewolf hedge, trying to make Sirius talk.

The dog animagus scowled.

"No," he admitted. "He was a perfect bloody gentleman," he said and if anything he got angrier. "Their lunch date was in a muggle place, a bistro that bastard suggested. Our boy was ecstatic. And they kept talking about books. And magical theory and warding. It was just…" Sirius shrugged. "Normal."

Remus suppressed a smile at the sullen looks on his friends' faces. Both James and Sirius had let their imagination run wild at what Rodolphus was up to when he was alone with Harry. And probably there would have been more contact, but he honestly did not think a man like Rodolphus would be interested in someone he could not talk with. He was intelligent, a bit too much really, and did not suffer fools. And Harry would never be able to spend time with someone who was not kind to him. If one disregarded the age difference and political history background, they were like all other couples.

Lily had no such hold up. She stood by the door that led to the den. Probably had just stopped by to let them know dinner was ready, but the werewolf caught the smile on her face. Apparently the redhead had warmed up the idea of Rodolphus and her son being a couple. She caught his eyes and they shared a conspiratory grin. It had Remus wondering how long until the witch had her husband and the most stubborn Black he knew seeing things her way.


 

End of Chapter

Chapter Text

Rabastan looked from his older sibling to the glass of fire-whiskey and back to Rodolphus' face. These days he felt like he saw his older brother more often than even when they were growing up under the same roof. And it was in no way a bad situation. Rabastan liked the companionship. He was amused at how his usually aloof brother was here mostly because he was having relationship woes and needed a sympathetic ear to vent. It was entertaining really. And he had gotten better at keeping a poker face. Still, not all of his brother's visits to his house or office were because of amusing anecdotes.

Those days Rodolphus was tired and he would visit immediately after the date, after Rabastan's family had their dinner, so that he could not intrude or see what he did not currently have. Those nights Rabastan had a fifty-fifty chance of helping him apparate home.

"You had another date with Harry, I take it?" he hazard a guess.

His brother nodded tersely. "His godfather was chaperoning."

"Ah," was all Rabastan said. He need no say more. Whenever Black or Potter had their turn at chaperoning his brother got back from the dates in a murderous mood. In his core, Rodolphus was not a ‘people’s person’. He had some family he felt close to (namely his sibling), a couple peers in his field (see Severus Snape and Lilly Potter nee Evans) and acquaintances he tolerated. That he even felt attracted enough to Harry Potter to actually go through with a courtship was still a surprise to Rabastan. That his brother also tolerated his intended’s family was also a big deal.

"Either I'm going to die before he finishes Hogwarts or I’ll end up in Azkaban. Surrounded by so many loud people, all the damn time... My patience is going to snap one of these days," Rodolphus muttered.

Rabastan realised that this would be the other kind of day so he simply stood up, did not even bother to call a house elf, and instead he just poured them both a drink.

 

"So," he said instead, "You're going to keep this up with the chaperoned dates? People have seen you guys around. While most of your meetings have been away from prying eyes, you were sighted in Diagon Alley. There have been rumours circulating, but nothing accurate. And your mood lately has been... Let us just say I did not know you could have so many moods." He handed his brother the drink and sat across from him. "It's a lot of commitment. Not to mention that it is also a long time to remain celibate."

The last remark earned Rabastan a glare.

"I can easily castrate you, brother of mine."

The younger wizard grinned. "Good thing I've already produced heirs! Seriously now, don't castrate me." He paused dramatically. "I enjoy having sex and someone in this family needs to be having it... Regularly ... Damn it!" he yelped as he dodged a hex he did not recognized from the other man.

"Missed..." Rodolphus muttered.

"And you made me spill my drink," Rabastan accused. "Was that going to make me impotent or something?"

"Only for forty eight hours. It's better than being a eunuch, right?" his older brother gave an elegant shrug.

"Fine, I got the message, no joking. Seriously though. People have seen you around. They are bound to connect your face and Harry’s. He is quite the celebrity on his own. "

Rodolphus sighed. "I know. And then all kinds of trouble will start up. Because most wizards and witches just love meddling. They will all have opinions. About how I am too old, he’s too young. We are both men. I used to be a Death Eater. His mother is not pureblood enough. The list is endless. "

"You must truly love him, brother. Because you have a long way ahead of you. I should have thought you would prefer your second marriage to be less stressful. "

"I have always been an overachiever."

 

 


 

 

Lilly stared and Severus.

He stared back.

"I can do this all day. I will outlast you. I have before."

The red-haired woman scowled. "We are not keeping score Sev."

He arched dark eyebrow and her scow deepened. "Just tell me Lily. You have been brooding like an angsty Hufflepuff. Your spawn is hardly around. Potter and his friends don’t even mutter a token protest my way… Something happened."

"It’s about Harry."

"What about him? Did he decided to drop out of Hogwarts? Go Muggle? Start breeding Pygmy Puffs?"

"Now you’re mocking me."

"And you, Lily, are stalling."

"Harry is in a relationship with Rodolphus Lestrange."

Severus promptly chocked on air.

"James, Sirius and Remus stalked Harry and caught them kissing. They tried to hex  Rodolphus but Harry intervened. Punches did fly. Then Harry declared he would elope the moment he was eligible and then Rodolphus initiated a formal courting period. To sum it up," Lily elaborated. "Now Harry’s not talking to any of us. I have James nursing his wounded pride, Sirius being a sullen and Remus trying to talks some sense into them… and I don’t know what to do. "

"Harry, your Harry, and Rodolphus Lestrange? The Rodolphus Lestrange?" Severus repeated.

Lily sighed. "I already said that, yes."

"How? It does not make sense. I mean… I think I remember them talking in a function at Malfoy Manor but that does not explain what you are telling me."

Then Lily proceeded to explain everything that took place, the sneaking round, the lies about Harry being ill and Severus listened with no small amount of fascination.

"First, allow me to say that James Potter had it coming, " Severus stated once she was done explaining the situation.

"Severus!"

"My faith in Karma is restored," the Potions Master exclaimed.

"The situation is not funny Sev! I have not been able to speak to Harry since that night. He’s always on the defensive. James blames himself, thinks we let him have too much freedom. Harry is certainly not speaking with James. Remus is the only go between but that is not a solution!"

He leveled her with a serious look. "What do you want me to do?"

Lily deflated. "There’s nothing you can do, not really."

Her childhood friend sighed. "Do you want me to talk to Rodolphus or Harry? Perhaps both? If they are only doing it out of stubbornness…"

"They’re in love," Lily commented. "Harry is in love with Rodolphus."

He studied her face. "And from your tone… It is mutual," he commented with no small amount of surprise.

"And that is why I don’t really oppose the chaperoned dates and the whole situation. I want my son happy. And if Rodolphus Lestrange makes him happy, then that is more than enough for me."

Severus sighed. "Did you want my help, or did you just call me here to vent?"

"Both, " Lily replied. "I want to organize a dinner in our home and I need…"

"A Slytherin buffer?"

"Of shorts, yes."

"Just tell me what you need."

Lily smiled. "You are a great friend Sev."

"I hate seeing you sad. And I am fond of your spawn."

"You also want a front row seat to the whole spectacle."

He smirked at her. "That is merely an added bonus."

"Don’t taunt James too much?" she asked.

Severus laughed.