A/N: Hey everyone, I'm back again and this is something I've been working on for a while. It came to me when I was writing Beautifully Broken (a bit of self advertisement I know, but if you haven't read that yet please check it out) and it wouldn't go away and so I began writing and this is the result. This is much more fluffy than my usual stuff, but I don't believe its sickening – I don't write sweetness or angst well in my opinion! It does have Mpreg in it and it is slash, so you have been warned, but I beg of you to keep an open mind and read it – you might be surprised.
Warnings: Mpreg, a little bit of slash and mentions of it, violence and language,
Disclaimer: Characters belong to J.K, but I'm pretty sure the plot's mine XD.
He had never expected this to happen. In actual fact, he didn't know what was going to happen, but this had never crossed his mind. He knew it could happen, it was a common thing, but he never thought it would happen to him. He should have, fate did so like to play with her favourite person, but no, he stayed wilfully blind. Harry shook his head as clenched his eyes closed before looking back at the parchment in front of him as if it was going to change; it didn't.
He was pregnant.
It explained the slight weight gain, his growing mood swings and the need to be around him more than normal. It had started off as an accident. After Sirius had died, he had gone off the rails spectacularly, going out drinking, sleeping around and doing everything Sirius would have done. It didn't matter who it was, man, woman, even creature on the odd occasion, he was there to have fun. And then he came. Charming, smooth and oh so good looking, and Harry had gone willingly. He introduced himself as Tom Gaunt, Harry replied he was Harry Black, Tom had a glamour up and Harry had his glamour down except the hiding his scar and as they continued to drink the night had become blurry. Harry had woken up in Tom's bed and he had known. How could he not have known? It was obvious with the first kiss, but it had continued and Harry had spent the night. He knew that he knew as well. They had a connection, one that could not have been replicated again, but he had also let it continue. And they had moved on.
The first time had been an accident.
But it had happened again. They had pretended they had not truly recognised each other, they were still Tom Gaunt and Harry Black, the masquerade in place and they spent the night in the same fashion without the aid of alcohol.
The second time could be counted as a mistake.
Everything after that was knowingly and willingly.
They had both kept the façade up, pretending to be someone else despite the other knowing exactly who they were; until they just stopped. They had been together too many times to even contemplate pretending anymore, they had spoken about things no one else knew about them, discussed dreams, hobbies and wishes; the pretence was something there only to fool themselves in to thinking that what was happening was ok. It was unneeded. They both knew it was wrong. That it should have stopped the moment they knew the truth. But it never had, and it was quickly becoming too late. Once the pretences fell, it was expected that everything else would fall too, when brown eyes became startling crimson, and unmarred flesh revealed a distinct lightning bolt scar, it was supposed to stop. Only it didn't. It managed to escalate. And Harry was helpless to stop it.
He didn't want to stop it. It made him realise that he didn't mourn Sirius, but what the man had represented, someone that only cared about him and had Harry as his main priority. And, somehow, Tom had replaced that. He made Harry feel as if he was the only person in the world that mattered, that there was no one else who was important. For the first time in his life, Harry felt truly cared for. Tom showered in affection, attention and care, he bought him expensive gifts, took him out all over the world and brought him to the highest peaks of pleasure. Just remembering the first time he had been taken to Paris made Harry smile, Tom had organised everything perfectly, a penthouse opposite the Eiffel Tower, his favourite foods and roses. It was sickeningly romantic, and Harry had adored everything about it. It continued through the whole summer and the impending ending of their… affair was coming closer and Harry found himself not wanting it to end. It seemed as if his feelings were reciprocated because he was given a pendant which would light up whenever it was safe for him to go, Harry had no problems slipping out of the castle, he knew more ways than most.
The feeling of betrayal hit him the first time he left, but he pushed that aside as soon he was back in Tom's arms. There were some days he could not get out, but he went the next night and got back in the morning. No one noticed. Well, he pretended that no one noticed what he was doing, but he knew that wasn't true. Hermione. Truly his best friend. Of course she noticed. She knew, Harry believed, from the second he slipped out what he was doing, and he knew that she had an idea just who he was going to. He couldn't be sure, but he believed she had guessed who it was by the end of September, and he received nothing but understanding from her. He had tried to stop going, knowing he was betraying everyone, but his heart sped up and he was flushed with happiness whenever he saw the pendant light up and it was then he realised what had happened.
He had fallen in love with Tom. He, at first, did not know what to do about it, but then he had decided to do nothing. This shouldn't have happened so it didn't have to change anything. Harry had a feeling that Tom knew though, if there was anything that he had learned about the other it was that he was perceptive, unusually so, and he would only be oblivious if he chose to be so. But this was something that could not be ignored. This was an entirely different situation, one he could not have prepared for even if he tried. He did not know what to do. The thought of getting rid of his child made him physically ill so he vetoed that idea immediately, he also knew that not telling Tom and hiding from the man was pointless. He was a possessive man, and not only would he be taking himself away from him, he would be taking the man's child away from him too. But at the same point, he didn't know what the man was going to do about this either, he could want to take the baby himself. Harry had, technically, been hiding for the past month. Ever since he had found out on the dreaded Halloween, it was now the end of November and he had not once gone to Tom, despite the light shining constantly. It was starting to get to him, being away for so long and it was getting to Tom too. He was 16 weeks pregnant, and he was terrified. He knew, even if he did manage to hide from Tom, as soon as the baby was born people, especially those like Dumbledore, would know exactly who the father was and his baby would be taken from him and possibly killed.
That was something he could not allow. Even if Tom wanted to take the baby, at least they would be alive and well looked after, because, despite what Tom believed, Harry knew he would take great care of his own child. Harry looked down at the parchment again and sighed at the words which were burned in to his mind,
Pregnancy test – 31/10/96;
Term; 12 weeks
Maternal father; Harry James Potter-Black
Paternal father; Tom Marvolo Riddle
Harry's attention snapped up when the door opened and Hermione walked in, he snatched up the parchment and held it close to his chest as she walked closer and sat on the edge of his bed. Gently, and slowly so he could see what she was going to do, she reached out and took the sheet of parchment, he offered no resistance and looked down.
"You have to go to him, Harry." Hermione's soft voice made him look up again. She was giving him the same look of understanding as when she found it up and it brought tears to his eyes. She was worried about him, that much was obvious, and it was understandable, he was pale and drawn, and he was starting to get dark circles around his eyes due to lack of sleep.
"I never meant for this to happen, you know." Harry told her, and she smiled.
"I'm scared, Mione,"
"I would think you stupid if you weren't." She agreed, "But you do have to go to him."
"I do, don't I?"
"Your baby stands more of a chance there than here, you know what will happen." She said gently and he shuddered.
"I love you, you know that, don't you?"
"Just as much as I love you,"
"Anytime," And they both knew she meant that in the literal sense. They shared a hug before she got up and left. Harry knew what he had to do. He flicked his wand and made all of his belongings pack neatly in to his trunk, there was no chance he could come back at least until the baby was born and safe. He threw on a pair of his joggers and a long sleeve black stretchy top that clung to his body and illustrated, quite clearly now, that he was, in fact, pregnant. He grabbed his trainers and invisibility cloak before dropping his glamour and shrinking his trunk, he made sure the way was clear on the map and left the tower. He made his way to the RoR and asked for a flooing room, he wasn't risking apperating too much because he didn't know what effect that would have on the baby and he didn't know if he would need to get somewhere quickly later. Harry threw some powder in to the grate and stepped in,
#Riddle Manor,# he was sucked through and, despite his many times at flooing, he still fell out of the grate and only managed to catch himself from not falling because of Tom's desk. The parseltongue sent him directly to the master study within the manor, it was warded to only allow speakers access unless given access by the Dark Lord himself and seeing as it was only the two of them then it was rather masterful. Of course, because of this, the moment he stepped out of the fireplace Tom knew exactly who had arrived and where he was. It was why he was not surprised when the door was opened mere seconds after he had arrived, his breath caught in his throat when he saw him stood in the doorway; oh how he had missed him. He wanted to go to him, but he kept himself back by remembering the parchment.
"It has been a month." There was a touch of accusation in Tom's voice that made Harry droop.
"Why are you here?"
"Because I missed you," Harry told him truthfully,
"I find it hard to believe you missed me when you chose to be away." Tom said coldly and Harry flinched.
"Tell me why you are here, Harry, the real reason." Tom demanded walking in to the room. Harry turned to face him properly and Tom's eyes narrowed, he walked over and gently ran his ringer under Harry's eye.
"You have not been sleeping,"
"I said I missed you, I was not lying."
"Why have you been away from me?"
"Something happened, it was… unexpected and I didn't know what to do." Harry explained, "I did want to be here, with you, more than anything, but I was scared. Still am, actually," Tom, despite being highly displeased with him, still pulled him in to his arms and pressed a kiss to his temple.
"Your fear is unnecessary, have I not proven I will not hurt you?" Tom murmured linking their hands together,
"I am not worried about me," Harry said and his voice shook as he spoke, Tom raised an eyebrow in question and Harry took his hand and placed it on his raised stomach where their was a slight pulse of magic. Harry watched as it sank in to Tom's quick mind, the man's face drained of all colour and he went completely still, it took a while but he blinked a few times and Harry took it as good sign.
"You are… pregnant." Tom stated in a strained voice,
"And its mine?" He asked and Harry's grip on his hand increased painfully, "Ok, so it's definitely mine."
"You do not think me unfaithful, do you Tom?" It was asked in a sugary sweet voice and Tom shook his head quickly.
"Of course not, I was merely surprised as I thought myself infertile."
"Well you are not." Harry stated with steel, he withdrew the test and pushed it, none to gently, in to Tom's chest. "Read," Harry pulled himself away and walked to the window, insulted that Tom thought so little of him. He heard Tom such in a sharp breath and his earlier fears rose, he still did not know what was going to happen with this, it depended on Tom.
"It's funny, of all the things to happen with this, and there were many things I had thought out, this was definitely not one of them."
"I am not parent material, Harry, you must know this." Tom said shakily and Harry closed his eyes.
"And I am a prime example for a parent." Harry scoffed,
"I am a monster, I am cruel, cold and heartless, and an overall horrible person. Any child of mine will be tainted before it even has a chance."
"You wish me to get rid of it?" Harry said and his voice had gone dangerously icy,
"No, of course not, but that baby would be better of as far away from me as possible." Tom said and Harry could hear the pain in his voice.
"Oh, and where do you suppose this baby should grow up Tom?"
"You play an excellent façade, Harry, you could raise a child perfectly, with all the help needed."
"And what do you suppose will happen, when they realise just who helped create my baby? You know as well as I do that, not only will I be condemned faster than you can blink, they will kill the child." Harry turned to look at him through narrowed eyes, "And on the off chance they don't, where will our child grow up then? I'll be in Azkaban or dead, you have already rejected them and so that leaves either my relatives or an orphanage. I'm sure our childhoods are perfect for your child." Tom looked ill at that and Harry took a slight vicious pleasure at that,
"I am not… rejecting the baby, I just think they would benefit growing up away from me. Although, you do raise a good argument,"
"Do you not want this baby, Tom?" Harry asked quietly,
"Of course I do, but you know I'm no good. I ruin lives, I ruined your life, you have to see that. This baby, our baby, I would ruin it."
"You condemn yourself, Tom." Harry said shaking his head, "You believe you are all of the above, but yet you treat me right."
"You are different… you are simple and you can walk away." That was weak and Tom knew it, but Harry decided to enlighten him anyway.
"Walk away… you truly believe I could walk away now, after 6 months? Do you truly believe that, if you hadn't treated me so well, if you hadn't given me everything I wanted and needed, I would keep coming back? You know exactly how I feel, Tom, despite you not believing you deserve it, so don't disrespect that by saying I could walk away."
"What do you want from me, Harry?"
"I want you to decide if you want your child to have a chance at living or not."
"You know I do, you know I would love to have a child. But I don't have anything to offer." Tom tried, his arguments getting weaker under the reality of having his own child. It had been one of Tom's wishes, to have a child of his own, and one of his greatest fears because he believed he would ruin the baby which was why he never sired one despite the many willing carriers.
"You may believe that you are no good, but I do not believe that, and the best possible future for this baby is to have both its parents there loving and caring for them. Face it, Tom, the only way this baby even have a chance as living is with you in its life." Harry said to him and Tom sighed, he ran his hand through his dark hair and walked over to stand in front of Harry. He placed his hand, hesitantly, on the bump and Harry watched as his resolved visibly crumbled.
"Our baby," He murmured with a touch of awe,
"Our baby," Harry repeated with a slight smile.
"You are 16 weeks gone,"
"Yes, I – I am scared Tom."
"You do not need to be scared. I may not be an ideal parent, but I am powerful and I can protect you, the both of you." Tom assured him,
"I do not doubt that, you always look after me. But if Dumbledore catches wind of this, if he even suspects…"
"Let me worry about Dumbledore," Tom said, "You need to worry about keeping yourself healthy for our baby."
"I should have come sooner, I know."
"You feared my outright rejection."
"Honestly, I don't know what was going to happen. The only thing I was certain of was if it was discovered who the father was then it would have been terminated before I could even protest."
"You won't be able to go back." Tom stated,
"You'll be completely pulling out of the war,"
"As long as Hermione, Luna, Remus and the twins are unharmed then I do not care."
"Only those five?"
"Yes, Remus could not harm me even if he tried, his wolf sees me as a cub. The twins, lets just say I owe them, Luna is Luna, and Hermione is my best friend. She knows, about everything,"
"You told her?"
"No, that's the funny thing. I didn't tell her anything." Harry shook his head
"They will remain safe,"
"You are giving me something that I have longed for, I believe I should be thanking you." Tom told him, "You could have gotten rid of it, you could have hidden, but you didn't, you came to me."
"You have been wanting me to stay, and I kept finding pointless excuses, this just made me see things clearer."
"You do want this?" Tom asked uncertainly and Harry leaned up to kiss him softly.
"Come, let me you draw you a bath, and I'll have the elves bring you some food."
"Mmm, sounds lovely." Harry agreed. He allowed Tom to lead him up to the bedroom, he was placed, carefully, on the bed and Tom vanished in to the bathroom, Harry took the time to unshrink his trunk and pull out more joggers and a white top.
"You were prepared to run?" Tom said and Harry nodded,
"I did not want to risk the baby,"
"I admire you,"
"I did what I had to,"
"Your bath is ready," Harry went in to the bathroom and began to undress when Tom stopped him and did the task for him, he carefully removed the clothes and kissed each bit of skin he uncovered paying special attention to the visible bump.
"Are you joining me?" Harry asked shivering under the skilled touches.
"If you wish," Tom muttered against his neck.
"I do," As he climbed in to the bath, Tom climbed in behind him and Harry leant back against his firm chest, where an arm wrapped around him settling a hand on his stomach.
"I can feel the magic already." Tom said amazed and Harry smiled,
"It was what clued me in, it is so strong and when I first felt it I nearly passed out."
They relaxed in the water and Harry felt all the tension, which had been building exponentially over the past month, melt away. Tom kissed his neck lightly drawing a shudder from the teen, Harry was suddenly reminded that he had been away for an entire month and turned to face him.
"Tom," even to him his voice sounded husky and breathless, and he saw Tom's eyes darken. The kiss was burning hot and filled with passion, Tom rose from the water and Harry wrapped his legs around the man as he dried them both with a snap of his fingers. Tom led him down on the bed and worshiped every part of his body, and when they finally came together there was just something so right. Tom paid attention to every gasp, every cry and every plea bringing him to his peak and leaving him completely satisfied, they were clean again with a wave of his hand and Harry curled up with his back pressed firmly against Tom and his arm wrapped around his stomach. Tom placed his own arm protectively around Harry and linked their hands together, before they both fell asleep.
"I would like you to have a check up soon," Tom said gently. He was sat on the sofa with Harry led out with his head in his lap. Harry had been at the manor for a week and they had settled comfortably, it seemed as the week had passed Tom had completely come around to the idea of a child. He wasn't as openly excited as Harry, but he often cast awe inspired looks at the growing bump and he always had his hand protectively around Harry as they slept.
"You said I wouldn't have to leave, Dumbledore has connections and-," He was cut of by Tom lightly putting his hand over his mouth.
"I will bring you a healer that will not speak a word of this." Tom assured him,
"And can we find out what gender?" Harry inquired perking up at the idea, Tom smiled slightly,
"If that is what you wish,"
"What do you want it to be?" Harry asked sitting up and placing himself on Tom's lap.
"I am unsure," Tom said after a moments thought, he placed his hand over the bump and smiled. "I am positive that it will be perfect no matter what,"
"Do you think? Oh, but wouldn't it be nice to have a little girl? I could dress her up and she'll be the perfect little lady, and you'll be the terrifying overprotective daddy that makes sure no one every upsets her." Harry said in excitement, "Or we could have a handsome little boy, he'd be the perfect heir that would show all the pretentious purebloods how much more powerful and charming he was and how he takes after his parents."
"Of course I think so, they are coming from you." Tom said and Harry beamed, he pressed a light kiss to Tom's jaw.
"Whatever our child is, they have to have your charms."
"I am pretty charming," Tom agreed, and Harry laughed,
"Maybe without the ego, I don't know if this house is big enough for another." Tom mock glowered at him as Harry grinned unashamed.
"I'll have you know that I speak the truth." Tom sniffed and Harry rolled his eyes.
"I know," Harry suddenly frowned and looked down at his belly, Tom blinked at the quick change,
"What is it?"
"What if we have a boy and it doesn't look like you?" Harry said and Tom raised an eyebrow,
"Then it doesn't look like me," He replied simply and Harry shook his head,
"No – no, he has to look like you." Harry stated, "If they don't it'll be awful!"
"Will you suddenly not like the child?"
"Of course not, how could you say such a thing, Tom!" Harry exclaimed horrified and Tom shook his head amused.
"That is my point, it will be of no consequence however the child looks."
"I guess," Harry sighed, "But if baby is a he, I still want it to look like you."
"I would much prefer it look like you." Tom disagreed,
"No, definitely not." Harry vetoed straight away, "You cannot curse a child with hair like mine."
"You have not had problems with your hair in months." Tom pointed out,
"You need not worry, the baby will be perfect no matter what."
"I suppose we will have to wait. I mean, he or she could end up bringing forth dormant genes." Harry said looking at his bump, "You may surprise us all, isn't that right baby?"
"We shall find out if everything is ok this week, I shall talk to my healer and have her come." Tom told him,
"Thank you," Harry said,
"Come, you need to eat." Tom said, easily lifting him up and placing Harry on his feet.
"Ooo food sounds good." Harry said, "I want a sandwich."
"A sandwich?" Tom repeated, amused, he always found Harry's little wants amusing when the teen could have whatever he wanted. "What kind of sandwich?"
"Roast chicken," Harry decided, "In a freshly baked baguette with a side gravy."
"You want… gravy?"
"Yes, to dip my sandwich in." Harry said as if it was obvious.
"Then you shall have it." Tom said, choosing not to point out the strangeness of the demand.
"Mm, and maybe some bacon." Harry added, "I do so love chicken and bacon."
Tom took a deep breath and sank down on to his chair behind his desk, Harry was settled asleep for an afternoon nap and Tom thought it was the perfect time to call his healer. He had promised yesterday that Harry would have a healer by the end of the week and so he would, he knew he was going to call, it was an easy choice, but he wasn't looking forward to it. She was going to be very pleased, of that he had no doubt, but Narcissa Malfoy had a way of knowing everything and he was going to have to explain. Ha, that was something, he was supposed to be the Dark Lord and he was forced to explain himself to a tiny woman, granted she was terrifying when angered and was probably the only person, bar Harry, who was not afraid to curse him, but still! Tom sighed, he still hadn't dealt with the reality that he was set to be a father, despite coming around to the idea, he didn't know what to think. He groaned, thinking was not going to stop the inevitable and so he got up and threw some powder in to the grate.
"Narcissa, a word." He called, he opened his wards to allow her in and took a seat in the chair by the fire. He only had to wait a few minutes before Narcissa Malfoy stepped through in all her glory, he motioned towards the chair opposite him and she sat down gracefully.
"Drink?" He offered,
"Tea, if you will, my Lord." She answered, her eyes already glossing over him and taking in details. Tom called for an elf and had the tea served, they sat in silence for a few moments before Tom began.
"As I am sure you are aware," He gave a pointed look to which she smirked, "I have a… lover, a partner." Narcissa smiled knowingly, telling Tom that he was not mistaken and she had noticed.
"I see," She said, not admitting anything, "And may I assume that it is not a casual affair, my Lord?"
"No, it is not." He confirmed, "But I find myself in need of your… aid."
"Oh? How can I be of service?" She asked, sitting forward slightly.
"I find myself in a new situation." He told her, and then mentally scoffed, "And you are the only one I trust, and has the necessary knowledge and understanding to help." Narcissa's mind was working furiously, it wasn't surprising for her Lord to call upon her, they had an odd relationship, but they worked well together. She was trying to work out where not only her knowledge but her understanding was needed, she was healer, which was usually why she was needed, but she was also a Lady of a household, a woman and a mother. She froze and her eyes widened, she turned to her Lord, the question open on her face and he sighed, nodding.
"He's pregnant?" She whispered, stunned. Tom nodded again, not even bothering to wonder how she knew Harry was a he, and she blinked a few times.
"Yes, he's pregnant, 17 weeks." Tom told her,
"Ok, I can help you with this. Does he know the sex of the child?"
"No, he does want to find out however."
"We shall get on to that," Narcissa said, "Is this his first check up?"
"Yes, there are certain circumstances that surrounded him and our situation that made it impossible to have one." Tom explained,
"I will perform a full medical on him to monitor his health, while male pregnancies are common, they are more unstable to female pregnancies and it is vital that both baby and father are kept in the best health." Narcissa told him,
"That is fine."
"It has been noted that the pregnancy is less stressful on the carrying father and baby if the other father is always around, that way the baby has both magics to become help them develop." Narcissa said,
"I moved him in here." Tom said, "I wanted him near me to make sure he was safe."
"Good, the manor is filled with your magic." She then looked at her Lord, "And how have you taken this news."
"Fine," He answered immediately, and she continued to look at him pointedly. They sat in silence with Tom pointedly ignoring the look Narcissa was giving him, unfortunately, Narcissa had the patience of a saint and Tom did not.
"I do not know, ok, I am going to be a father, it came as a slight surprise." He finally relented, and Narcissa smiled.
"I can understand the shock that you feel, I myself was surprised when I fell pregnant and it didn't quite believe it until I started to show." Narcissa remembered fondly, "How is your… partner? Taking it?"
"He is terrified that Dumbledore will find out, and he panicked that I would not want the child, and he keeps having these unnecessary worries."
"That would be hormones. They will get worse, but I shall go through that with your partner as he will need to know also." Narcissa said,
"He is asleep currently, but I have to wake him to eat." Tom said, rising to his feet. He led Narcissa through the manor and the blond had another question,
"Why would your partner be worried about Dumbledore specifically?" She asked and Tom shot her a humourless smile.
"When you see him, you'll have your answer." He said wryly, she raised an eyebrow but Tom said no more. He allowed her in to his – their – bed chambers and walked over to Harry, he heard her gasp and contained a wince; this would go down well.
"Excuse me, my Lord, for my complete disregard of etiquette, but what in Merlin's name were you thinking?"
"I can explain." Tom said, keeping his voice low as not to wake Harry.
"Explain!? My Lord, that, right there, is Harry Potter." Narcissa whisper exclaimed.
"I am aware of his identity, Narcissa, he is carrying my child." Tom stated and Narcissa shook her head.
"You got Harry Potter pregnant." She muttered, pinching her nose, "Dear Merlin, he went and got Harry Potter pregnant."
"It's Harry Potter-Black actually." Tom couldn't help but correct her, and she threw him a dark look but took a deep breath.
"Ok, so I have confirmation that you are in fact insane, I knew this already." She muttered to herself ignoring his glare, "Would you please explain how this happened."
"It was an accident at first, I did not recognise him and he introduced himself as Harry Black. I did not put it together until it was too late, and it just… escalated."
"I see," She took another breath, before rounding on him, "You had better be treating him well, or so help me Merlin…" Tom held up his hands,
"According to Harry, I treat him very well." Tom defended himself, and then he blinked, "Did you just threaten me?" Narcissa's face was masked again and she looked like the epitome of pureblood lady.
"No, I would never do such a thing, My Lord." She denied, "You were about to wake Mr Potter-Black."
"If you were anyone else…" Tom muttered, shaking his head; the woman was a menace.
"You would not change me, my Lord." She stated and Tom didn't answer, knowing it was true. He crouched down next to the bed and ran his hand through Harry's hair, smiling slightly when the teen leaned in to the touch.
"Wake up my amor," Tom murmured, and Harry stirred, "Wake up for me little lion."
"Tom?" Harry asked, his voice thick with sleep and Narcissa watched as the Dark Lord smiled at his partner.
"Come on, wake up little amor. I have a healer here, she's hear to check you and the baby over." Tom told him. Harry grumbled a little but pushed himself up and stretched, he ordered Tom to get him a sandwich and used the man as leverage to pull himself to his feet. It was understandable, Narcissa thought, that Tom's endearment for Harry was little love, the teen didn't even come up to the man's shoulder and compared to the Dark Lord's towering statue it made him look tiny. She thought it was rather cute the way the Dark Lord had Harry wrapped in his arms, not that she would ever tell him that, and Harry was adorable in his sleep ridden state.
"Harry, let me introduce you, correctly, to Narcissa Malfoy." Tom said, and Harry flashed her a smile which was positively oozing with Black charm.
"Lady Malfoy," He greeted with a nod, "It's nice to meet you. I would bow, but I am unsure to what state I am in currently."
"It's Cissa, dear," She told him, smiling warmly, and Tom marvelled how Harry seemed to have her wrapped around his finger already, "And formalities are not necessary, we're family." Harry seemed delighted at that, and Tom carefully sat him down on the sofa, directing Narcissa to the chair opposite and Harry pulled him down next to him on the sofa.
"Ok, so how does this work?" Harry asked, and Narcissa shot him a reassuring smile.
"It is quite simple, I will run a full medical scan to make sure both you and baby are in full health. If necessary, I will write out what potions are needed to keep you healthy. I can show you the gender of the baby if you wish and I am also here to answer any questions you may have on what to expect, what is to come and what is best for you." She explained to him, and Harry looked relieved.
"I want to know what we're expecting, that way I can plan for names, the nursery, what clothes I can buy and what colours I'm going to need." Harry said, excitement lining his tone,
"Would you like to see the baby?"
"Yes, there is a spell, its quite recent actually, that allows one to project an image of the baby for you to see." She told them, and Harry beamed,
"Oh this is brilliant, I want to see our baby."
"Allow me to run the medical scan, that way we can make sure there is nothing crucial that needs to be done and to make sure you and baby are healthy. Just sit still and relax." She said. Narcissa waved her wand over Harry, muttering under her breath, and Harry felt the magic wash over him. It was still for a few moments before a sheet of parchment appeared and writing started jotting itself down, Narcissa looked it over, nodding in places before a frown came to her pretty face.
"What is it?" Tom demanded,
"There is nothing wrong currently, both Harry and Baby are healthy, Harry may need a potion to counter his developing anaemia. However, there may be a problem later, it is reading that, due to a previous case of severe malnutrition, your bones may suffer during the developing pregnancy due to the strain." She explained, and Tom muttered a curse under his breath, Harry kissed his cheek and squeezed his hand.
"There's nothing you can do." He told him, and Tom glowered,
"I am going to kill them." He stated and Harry nodded,
"I know, but it is not important right now." He said and Tom sighed but agreed, partially. "Is there anything to be done about it?" Harry asked, turned back to Narcissa.
"I will start you on a potions regime to strengthen your bones and add nutrients to your body, that way, when the time comes, the problem should already be in hand." She said and Harry nodded.
"Ok. Anything else?"
"No, the baby is in perfect health, and, according to my readings, developing wonderfully. They are in the correct stages for 17 weeks."
"Now, I assume you wish to find out what you are expecting?" She asked rhetorically.
"Oh, yes please." Harry answered. He looked up at Tom and bit his lip, "What do you want the baby to be?"
"I told you before, anything that comes from you will be perfect." Tom told him, making Harry smiled brightly.
"Ok, I'm ready."
Narcissa waved her wand again and it took a few moments before she smiled,
"Congratulations, it's a girl."
Harry gasped and looked down at his bump, his baby, their baby, was a little girl, a tiny little girl.
"A little girl." Harry muttered, shocked,
"Yes, now if you lay back I will be able to show you." Narcissa said, and Harry led out with his head in Tom's lap. Narcissa pointed her wand at the bump and said;
Immediately, his belly was surrounded by a bright blue light and Harry could feel the magic wrapping around his baby, it was odd but not unpleasant. The area above his belly flickered a few times before an image blinked in to existence, Harry gasped as he laid eyes on their baby for the first time. She was so small, so delicate, and he could see her tiny limbs all folded up, he couldn't take his eyes off the image. Tom was equally, if not more, stunned than Harry as he took in the sight of his child, his daughter, dear Merlin he was going to be a father, he was looking at his little girl, and the reality hit him in the face.
"That's our daughter." He murmured, his voice sounded as stunned as he felt as he gazed upon the image, "Out little girl."
"Wow," Harry breathed, "I can't believe it."
"I've made a few copies of the picture." Narcissa told them, "I thought you would like them."
"Thank you," Harry said sincerely, he sat up and wiped his eyes having not realised he had been crying.
"Now, is there anything else that you would like to know?" Narcissa questioned.
"I have loads of questions!" Harry said, sitting up and leaning in to Tom as he looked towards Narcissa eagerly. "Mainly on what is going to come."
"As your body develops to house the baby, your hormones will change and that will affect your behaviour or your reactions." Narcissa said and Harry blinked,
"Just how bad will they change?" Harry asked,
"Well, it does depend. I remember when I was pregnant my emotions were all over the place, I threw a vase at Lucius' head, hit him too, amongst other things." Narcissa said and Harry's eyebrows shot up, he didn't notice Tom going pale next to him but Narcissa did and hid her smirk.
"Oh, well, I'll avoid vases." He joked lightly, and Narcissa grinned,
"It may help."
"You may experience cravings, some may be relevant to what you like now, or you may crave something you have always hated. It worked in the opposite too, you make suddenly hate or be disgusted by things you love now."
"I think that has begun," Tom put in, amused.
"It has not," Harry disagreed,
"So the gravy for your sandwich was because…"
"I simply fancied gravy." Harry defended, and Tom smirked.
"I'll take your word for it." Tom said, but his voice betrayed his amusement.
"If I ever want to throw a vase, its going straight at you." Harry grumbled and Tom kissed his temple.
"I'll practice ducking."
"So you should," Harry agreed, before turning back to a smiling Narcissa, "Now, what about the baby?"
"The baby, as you saw, has already taken on a human shape. She will continue to grow and develop at a steady rate and you may begin to feel her move or kick as she grows."
"You hear that baby? You'll be moving and kicking and I'll feel it."
"The baby, when developed enough, may respond to the sound of both your voices and may respond in their own way too. I often spoke to Draco when he was still growing."
"So she'll understand us?" Harry confirmed,
"That's so amazing!" Harry exclaimed excited. "Don't you think so, Tom?"
"That is rather astonishing." Tom agreed, "Is there anything else that is crucial to know?"
"No, unless you have anymore questions." She looked at Harry who shook his head, "Then I shall leave the potions regime with you, my Lord, and I will be available for you Harry when ever you need."
"I shall see you out, Narcissa," Tom said, "Harry, your sandwich is in the dining room."
"Does it have gravy?"
"Yes, in freshly made baguettes." Tom confirmed,
"Oh good," Harry kissed Tom's cheek and Narcissa's hand and left the room, skating on the wooden floors in his delight. Tom watched him go fondly before turning back to Narcissa who was looking at him with a raised eyebrow,
"Yes I know, I am different and he brings out the best of me." He muttered, somewhat sullenly,
"I am merely glad that you are happy. I do not think I have seen it before." She told him, following him back to the study.
"I have been happy before." Tom said, but Narcissa shook her head.
"You were content, there is a difference." She corrected. "Now, do not be too surprised if he becomes snappy, clingy or tearful. I didn't want to alarm him, but male pregnancies tend to be much more hormonal."
"I will be patient."
"Good. Anything he needs, or that you need, call me and I'll come straight over."
"Thank you," Tom said, sincerely, and Narcissa smiled.
"You are most welcome." She floo'd away and Tom sighed; that went well.
Hermione slumped in her seat in the depths of the library, she was tired, stressed, annoyed and worried and it was all because of one person. Harry had been missing for two weeks now and she hadn't heard anything from him, not that she had expected it but it was in her nature to worry about her best friend. The school had gone in to a mass panic when it became known that Harry was gone and Hermione scoffed darkly, they wouldn't have cared last year when he was supposedly a lying psycho, but now when he was the nation's hero again they were beside themselves; they were all sheep. She had had a good laugh when she imagined the reactions that would garner if it was known what had actually happened to him instead of the wild rumours that were spreading. It was another one of those times where the real story was more astonishing that the rumours.
At first, Hermione had thought she was going insane, she had noticed that Harry was different when he returned from the holidays, but where nearly everyone else had put it down to Sirius, Hermione had looked a little bit closer and she had known he had snuck out to go and see someone the first time he had done it. Of course, she had wanted to know who it was, and she had immediately ruled out anyone in the school, so then she put her mind to Harry's 'type'. It was a guy by his attitude but other than that Hermione couldn't work out who it could be. So she had watched him for more clues and it was the middle of September that she had worked out that it was someone of dark origins, and someone she knew. That narrowed it down significantly, they would have to be sane and single, so there went Rodolphus, Lucius, Jugson, Mulciber, McNair and the male Carrow. Then she analysed Harry's character and eliminated Nott, Greyback, Dolohov and Rabastan, but then she ran out of names. It wasn't until the final week in September that she realised that she had missed one crucial person from her list, and when it came to her, Hermione couldn't believe she hadn't seen it before.
The Dark Lord.
It was so obvious once she had seen it, and her mind had exploded with questions, the first being; how in Merlin's name did this happen? With their history, Sirius' recent death and the urge to kill each other when in the same vicinity, their affair should have never happened. She, at first, believed that he had been tricked or cursed, but she knew no one could keep Harry under the imperious and she would have noticed if he was dosed. And then she stopped and actually looked at Harry. Hermione found herself stunned. He was happy. Not acting, fine or content, he was actually happy and she marvelled at how his bright green eyes sparkled. Hermione had decided long ago that she was with Harry until the end, and if that meant going to the dark side because that's where Harry was then so be it. Of course, as with everything with Harry, there was a bump in the road and she was again stunned to find out that he was pregnant.
She knew that he would have to run, as soon as anyone found out who the father was the baby was as good as dead and Harry would be locked up faster then he could blink. It was better that he ran, he and the baby would be safe, somewhere at least, and that was what was important. As far as she knew, she was the only one that knew exactly why he was gone, she knew the twins suspected that Harry had gone to the dark and fully supported him and she knew that Remus couldn't care what Harry had done as long as the teen was safe. The werewolf was going out of his mind with worry and she hated that she couldn't tell him why Harry had gone or reassure him that he was ok. She got up, moping around wasn't going to get her anywhere so he headed back to the tower, she didn't speak to anyone and no one spoke to her, since Harry had left Ron had wandered off and Hermione didn't want to stop him. She couldn't be bothered with his immaturity and lazy attitude and his degrading comments about Harry had caused her to hex him a few times, and it had only been 14 days. Hermione walked straight to her dorm and over to her bed, she would have fell on to her bed if it wasn't already occupied by a very familiar snowy owl. She muffled her squeal of relief and held out her arm for the owl to land on as she sat down, Hermione sealed her curtains around her so she wasn't disturbed.
"How is he, Hedwig?" She asked the smart owl, stroking her feathers. Hedwig hooted and stuck out her leg, Hermione eagerly took the letter and conjured up a bowl for water for the owl. She ripped open the letter and three separate things fell out, Hermione gasped as she saw the picture of the baby and swore she didn't tear up at the roughly scribbled 'Baby girl' on the back.
I know you must be cursing me for not writing sooner but everything has been up in the air and I wanted to get settled. I am ok, better than ok, and baby is fine, I'm sure you saw the picture – yes I know you got emotional – and it's a baby girl.
Tom has been… great. He is making sure everything is perfect for me and baby, he's gotten his personal healer to help me through this and he is arranging everything so he can be there with me too. I'm still scared, I'm going to be a parent, and I know Tom is too. He thinks I haven't noticed but he carries the picture around with him as if it reminds him that he really is going to be a daddy; it's sweet.
I know I've said it before, but I love you, and cannot thank you enough for sticking by me with this. You are the only one that knows so far and I know, without your acceptance, I would have gone insane. I've asked so much of you already, but I have another favour to ask of you. Please, if you can, give these to the people I trust. Tell them I'm sorry for worrying them, but I'm happy, I'm safe and I'm seeing this through to the end. Tell them that I love him and nothing will change that, and that I'm sorry for everything.
I love you,
Hermione smiled down at the letter, she was so happy for her best friend and she knew, once they had gotten over the shock, the others would be too.
"I'll write a reply and you can take it, Hedwig." Hermione said, already scribbling a reply. She tied the letter to Hedwig and took the owl to the window, "You look after him for me," Hermione said and Hedwig looked affronted which made Hermione smile as the bird took off. She burned the letter to get rid of the evidence before copying the picture twice and casting a strong glamour on them to hide them. She knew Remus would be as the school tomorrow, he was there daily, yelling obscenities at Dumbledore for losing Harry. She would see him then.
As predicted, Remus was stalking through the corridors in a towering rage the next day, he was moving away from Dumbledore's office which explained his foul mood. Hermione approached him carefully, she had to make sure the portraits didn't overhear or it would get back to Dumbledore.
"Hermione," Remus greeted, his voice as stiff as wood and he didn't turn around to look at her.
"Hello, Remus," She returned, "Have you been to Professor Dumbledore?"
"Yes, he is as informative as usual."
"I can see. You are rather worked up, I think it might be best if you didn't run in to any students, you know, with your ah…" She trailed off, and felt absolutely awful with herself for using his condition against him but it was the only thing she knew that would make him follow her.
"You're right," He sighed, "But I need to leave and I don't want to show the ones from the map."
"Come with me, Harry taught me a crucial way out without using the map." Hermione said. She took him to the RoR and walked passed the wall three times, she led him in to a homely room with a large welcoming fire.
"I thought you were showing me a way out." Remus pointed out, when the door was shut.
"I know. I am so sorry for using Moony, but I needed you to come with me." Hermione told him, "It's about Harry." She had his full attention now,
"What about Harry?" He demanded,
"He told me to give this to you." Hermione said, handing him one of the sheets that fell out. "He told me to tell you he's happy, that he's safe and that he is sorry."
"Hermione, what's going on?" Remus asked shakily, "He smells different."
"Open it, and I'll explain as much as I know." Hermione told him. Remus carefully opened the letter and a photo fell out, he picked it up slowly and sucked in a sharp breath.
"Yes, a baby girl." Hermione confirmed,
"The other father is dark." It was a statement.
"The dark," Again, another statement.
"He is happy?" Remus asked,
"More than I have ever seen him." Hermione answered,
"That is all I want." Remus sighed, "I just want him happy and safe."
"I don't know how this happened exactly." Hermione said, "Obviously there are tons of questions being who they are, but Remus, I have never seen him so happy, so alive before, and he was always happiest on the days he would sneak out."
"I want to see him, I need to see it for my own eyes." Remus murmured, he had yet to take his eyes off the picture of the baby.
"So do I, and I said as much when I wrote back to him. I have to go and see the twins too, they are the only other people Harry trusts other than us." Hermione told him, "But I don't know where he is, only that he's with him."
"He's with him then?" Remus asked, "I didn't think he would take it very well, according to Albus…" He trailed off and laughed without humour. "Albus also said he knew where Harry was when he clearly didn't."
"According to Harry, he's been great. He has a personal healer and, in Harry's words, 'making everything perfect' for him." Hermione said,
"Well this isn't what I expected." Remus said, shaking his head,
"No, but this is Harry. He does have the tendency to break the rules."
"It's a Potter gene, then mix them with the Black ones he got from Padfoot and you have a human capable of maximum rule breaking." Remus joked, "I'm glad he's ok."
"If I hear anything from him, I'll let you know straight away."
"I'll be at Grimmauld, Harry all but ordered me to stay there before he vanished for the summer." Remus said to her, "I have to go, I'll need to think of some excuses to why I'm not looking for more werewolves." Remus tucked the picture in to his robes and floo'd away, Hermione took a deep breath and stepped up to the floo.
"Weasley Wizard Wheezes," She called and stepped through, Hermione remembered to duck as not to be hit by anything flying at her and stepped twice to the left to miss anything else coming at her. She didn't mover from the spot until the twins appeared, they raised their eyebrows at her in surprised and motioned for her to come further in to the flat.
"Well what do we have here?" George began,
"A Hogwarts escapee!" Fred continued,
"How can we be of service, Miss Granger?"
Hermione couldn't stop the small smile at their antics as she walked over to them.
"I have something for you from Harry." She said and instantly they were completely serious, they motioned for her to sit down and pinned her with twin looks of question.
"How is he?" They asked together and Hermione gave them the other sheet that fell out, they opened it and Fred nearly dropped it in shock.
"Oh dear Merlin," He breathed,
"He can't do anything by the book, can he?" George muttered, shaking his head.
"He's safe and happy, and he said sorry for worrying you."
"I think he can be forgiven." They said,
"Yeah, the only reason he would have run would be because he knew he wasn't safe where he was." Fred pointed out,
"Which means the other daddy is dark." George added,
"Swear you will not speak of this unless given expression permission from Harry." Hermione ordered and they instantly swore on their magic.
"The other father is Him."
"Him?" They repeated confused, and Hermione watched, somewhat amused, as the meaning entered their minds and their jaws dropped.
"Yes, Him." Hermione confirmed their silent question.
"Of course it is." George laughed,
"Why go to the dark if you are not going to do it properly." Fred put in,
"Yes, well, I have to get back before I'm missed. But if I hear anything I'll let you know."
"Trust you to know that name." She mock grumbled, she saw them grinning as she vanished back to Hogwarts. Hermione sighed to herself and left the RoR, she hoped she would hear from Harry again soon.
Harry sighed as he rolled over yet again and led out on his back, it has been two weeks since he had had his check up with Narcissa and he had been starting to feel tired all the time. It was annoying because it meant he couldn't do very much and had to rely on Tom, not that the man minded, if anything he liked looking after Harry. Harry was used to being active and now he wasn't, he loved Tom looking after him, but he wanted to be able to go through the day without having to sleep. Of course, that was last week, and now, despite being tired, he was finding difficult to sleep whenever Tom wasn't around. And he knew that the man still had to run the Death Eaters so he was busy, which meant that Harry was alone when he was supposed to be sleeping. He wanted to write to Hermione again, or Remus or the Twins, or Luna, but he knew that he couldn't draw attention to them or himself.
Dumbledore has been keeping his disappearance under wraps, but the old man knew his friends as was going to be watching them. According to Mia, Remus had been driving the old man insane with his daily screaming matches, and if he got unknown owls then it would draw Dumbledore's attention. He missed them something fierce, he ached to see them, especially given that it was approaching the holidays, but he knew that he was protecting his baby and he knew his friends understood. Harry sighed again and pulled himself up, this was getting him nowhere, he searched the connection and found Tom in his study so he made his way there. He knocked on the door and poked his head, in Tom's attention immediately snapped to him and a flash of worry passed through the crimson eyes.
"Harry, what's wrong?" He asked and Harry shifted slightly,
"Nothing really, I couldn't sleep and I was getting annoyed so I thought I'd come here." He replied, stepping in when Tom waved his hand, "I won't interrupt, it's just, your magic and-,"
"You know it is not bother." Tom said, stopping him from becoming flushed.
"Thanks," Harry curled up on the sofa with a book that he summoned from one of Tom's many shelves, it wasn't long before he was fast asleep and Tom smiled slightly. He rose and walked over, crouching down to run his hand through the dark hair.
"Ah, what have you done to me my little amor?" Tom murmured, he didn't know how it happened, and he didn't know why it had happened, but he had fallen for his supposed enemy. It should have broken off when he had first found out just who he had slept with, but it never happened and then he found himself spilling his secrets, talking about things he had never breathed a word of before, not even to Nagini, and a connection built. He found himself longing for the nights when he knew he would be seeing Harry again, and when he realised that their… affair would be coming to an end, he found himself horrified at the thought. He had offered Harry a safe way to come to him, and he had been delighted when Harry accepted it with a bright smile. He realised that he would do anything to see that smile, the one that Harry only gave to him, and that was when he knew.
It shouldn't have happened, it was practically inconceivable and yet it was true. When Harry had stopped coming Tom had been filled with an unexplained pain, he became vicious and cruel to compensate and he thought that he wasn't going to see him again. He didn't think that Harry was going to appear and be pregnant. Hadn't that been a shock and a half, he still believed that he was dreaming half the time, and when he had saw his daughter for the first time his heart all but stopped. It was possibly the most breath taking thing he had ever seen, his own child, a child that his Harry was carrying, and reality came upon him stating that he was going to be a father. He could not express how thankful he was to Harry for coming to him, he had left everything behind to keep his child safe, he could have got rid of the child or he could have run away, but he didn't. Tom knew that he never wanted Harry to leave, he didn't think his questionable sanity could handle it, and with that thought; two ideas came to mind.
"Just come with me," Tom sighed and Harry pouted, he had been having tea with Narcissa, discussing baby things, and Tom had come and interrupted them.
"But I was having fun," Harry whined, Tom rolled his eyes and turned to face him, gently taking his hands.
"I know, my little amor, but I don't think this can wait." Tom told him softly, and Harry all but melted, he loved it when Tom called him that.
"Can she come back?"
"Ok," He allowed himself to be led towards the sitting room, and then tilted his head. "What is so important?"
"It's a surprise." Tom said and Harry pouted again,
"But Tom, I wanna know!" Harry complained and Tom smiled indulgently.
"I know you do, but if you be patient you will see in a moment."
"Fine, be mean to me." Harry sniffed and Tom shook his head.
"I am not being mean."
"You took me away from my tea with Narcissa." Harry stated, looking at Tom with impossibly big eyes, he didn't notice the other people in the room and Tom smiled slightly.
"I had good reason."
"What reason could you possibly have?" Harry questioned,
"I would think that you would want to see me more than you wanted tea." Remus answered and Harry gasped, he span around and flung himself and his pseudo uncle.
Whether it was his werewolf instincts or he just knew Harry that well, Remus caught him in a firm but not constricting hug.
"Hey Cub." Moony whispered, inhaling the familiar scent and reassuring himself that Harry was fine.
"Come on!" Another voice exclaimed,
"You have to share him!" A similar one picked up.
"Don't hog Harry!"
Both Remus and Harry laughed at that, Harry was placed on his feet and was immediately surrounded by four sets of arms and two torsos as the twins hugged him.
"Hey little brother." They greeted,
They released him and Luna flashed over, it was his turn to catch someone and she wrapped herself around him and held on like her life depended on it.
"Hello little sister,"
"Harry," the relief was obvious and Harry kissed her cheek lightly as she let go. Harry turned to the final person in the room, his best friend, the person he depended on.
"Hi, Mia." He whispered and that broke the damn, she released a choked sob and ran over to him, Harry gently soothed her until she stopped crying and looked back with a smile.
"It's so good to see you." She murmured and Harry smiled, his eyes suspiciously bright.
"Its great to see you, all of you. I've missed you so much! But what are you even doing here? How did you get here?"
"We've been kidnapped." The twins informed him brightly,
"It's very exciting," Luna added and Harry's eyes widened and he turned to face Tom,
"You did this?" Harry gasped, and Tom nodded,
"I knew you missed your friends." He said in answer to the next question, and he believed his idea was completely worth it when Harry gave him that smile that Tom loved. Harry kissed him soundly and Tom could feel the happiness he was feeling,
"Thank you," He said softly, "So much,"
"Anything for you," Tom returned, "Am I forgiven?"
"Many times over,"
"Try not to get over excited, I don't want you to exhaust yourself and get sick." Tom warned, and Harry nodded.
"I'll sit down and everything,"
"Good, I'll be in my study if you need me."
"Ok," Harry kissed him again, "Can I have-,"
"The house elves will be bringing your sandwich and your gravy in ten minutes." Tom said and Harry grinned,
"You spoil me,"
"Of course," Tom agreed, Harry watched him leave with a bright smile on his face before turning back to his friends.
"I don't think I have ever seen you so happy." Remus commented, "You are happy?"
"More than I have ever been. I know what you must think, and I still don't know how it happened. But he looks after me, he takes care of me and makes me happy." Harry said and Remus smiled.
"I can see that."
"I can't believe he kidnapped you, sorry about that."
"Don't worry about it." Fred said, waving him off.
"It wasn't really kidnap, more of a one answered choice." George agreed, grinning.
"How did he get you?" Harry asked, looking at Hermione as he began eating his sandwich.
"He knocked on my door and told me that to pack." Hermione said, and she sounded as if she doubted that it had happened.
"Yes, I was quite surprised. Of course, I recognised the eyes or I would have been more alarmed." Hermione said and Harry blinked.
"You live in the muggle world." Harry stated and she nodded,
"He wore a very nice suit."
"That's dedication, right there." The twins said and Harry hummed.
"So, Harry, how have you been?" Luna asked and he smiled.
"Great, Tom's been amazing and I haven't had even a touch of stress." He told them and they looked pleased.
"And the baby?" Hermione asked,
"According to Cissa everything is as it should be, baby girl is healthy and growing." Harry said proudly.
"Cissa?" Fred repeated.
"Narcissa Malfoy, believe it or not, and she's great. Tom got her for my personal healer and she's really nice." Harry said, "She comes over and we're planning all the baby steps, and she's helping me with everything as she's already been there." Harry explained,
"That's nice, I can imagine she's a lot different when in a closed environment." Hermione mused,
"You would like her." Harry said, "But enough about me, what's going on with you and the outside world?"
"Well, Moony almost killed Dumbledore on multiple occasions." George said slyly, dodging the punch aimed for his arm.
"He is lying about where you are." Remus told him, "The old fool has released that you are being privately trained, now that you are no longer delusional you are a hero and people went wild when you disappeared."
"The Chosen One." The twins said, their voices filled with dark humour.
"Ha! I'd like to see their reactions to finding out that I'm pregnant with the Dark Lord's child." Harry scoffed, the teens laughed and Remus shook his head with a grin.
"I want to see Dumbledore's face." Remus agreed.
"Dumbledore brought this on himself." Harry grumbled,
"Yes, that was uncalled for." Hermione said with pursed lips.
"What did he do?" Remus questioned and Harry frowned.
"The old man knew the exact contents of the prophecy, and instead of telling me he dumps me on Snape to be mind raped. Then, after Sirius, he yanks me back to his office, claims he cares and then dumps the prophecy on me." Harry groused, Remus blinked,
"You mean he knew and never told anyone?"
"Because he 'cared too much' about me."
"Bullshit." Remus stated and Harry nodded,
"Exactly," Harry said, "Would you like anything to eat? I'm having another sandwich."
"Sure, I'll have cheese and ham." Hermione said,
"Tuna and bacon," Luna asked for, Harry didn't turn a hair as the others blinked at her.
"We'll have what your having."
"Chicken and bacon," Harry said,
"Rare steak," Remus said with a wolfish grin, Harry laughed,
"Ivy," Harry called, and the elf popped in, "Can I have three chicken of my sandwiches, one cheese and ham, one tuna and bacon and a rare steak, please."
"Right away, master Harry." She bowed and popped away.
"Before you bite my head off," Harry cut off Hermione, "One, this is not my house. Two, Tom treats all his elves respectfully. And finally, I'm pregnant, I don't make my own food."
"Fine," She grumbled, and Harry rolled his eyes. Their food popped in and Harry happily took his sandwich, he poured the gravy in to the sandwich and took a huge bite.
"Um, Harry." Moony ventured,
"Why the gravy?"
"Because I want gravy," Harry said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Ok," He said, choosing to move past the point. They finished their lunch and settled back in to their seats, the twins told Harry about their shop and how well it was coming along. They were at a slight low because of school, but they were in the process of setting up a large scale owl order and looking in to possibly going global. Harry was all for it and told them that if they needed another start up then he was game, he knew that they were good for it. Harry relaxed back and let the conversation wash over him, it was astonishing how much he missed his friends and he was mentally thanking Tom over and over again. He smiled when he felt the man laugh and shook his head, he didn't think he would ever get used to their connection. Harry was drawn in to conversation with Luna and the group enjoyed each others company.
Tom had executed his first idea perfectly, Harry was now exceptionally happy and that was the priority. His second plan was a hellava lot more difficult and he was not looking forward to it, he took a deep breath and made his way to the sitting room.
"Mr Lupin, may I speak with you in private?" Tom asked politely, his nerves were frayed to hell and it was only his iron control that stopped any outward reaction to the bright amber eyes pinning him with a questioning look.
"Of course, let me just tell Harry." Remus said, he muttered something to Harry who nodded with a smile and turned back to his friends. Remus rose to his feet and followed the Dark Lord to his study, this would be a perfect time for him to make sure the man was treating his cub right, Dark Lord or not. Tom offered the man a seat and sat down in his own, swallowing hard when the man before him seemed to shift, he was seeing the protective werewolf now which made his job a lot harder.
"What are your intentions with my cub?" Remus demanded, no small talk or warming conversation; Tom took a deep breath, a lot was hanging in this conversation.
"I wish to take care of him, both him and our daughter." Tom began, "I am not a very nice man, but Harry is different and I care about him a great deal."
"Will you look after him?" Remus questioned,
"With everything I have," Tom answered immediately.
"Will you put his needs above your own?"
"Without a second thought,"
"Will you protect him?"
"With my life." Tom's firm statement rang clear with intention, if it came down to it he would shield Harry with his own body then allow him to he harmed.
"You killed Lily and James." Remus stated and Tom winced, he knew that was going to come up.
"I did," He confirmed, "I won't apologise because it would make their deaths pointless and I would not dishonour them by doing so. I know I am responsible for Harry's lack of parents, and it is something I intend to make up for the rest of my life. They opposed me in a time of war, I offered them three chances to join me and they refused and then the prophecy was made and I made up my mind. It is not an excuse, merely an explanation to why I acted, and Harry knows this and still accepts me."
"You have spoken about it."
"Yes, he is inordinately forgiving, and I know I will never be good enough for him. But I am a selfish man, so for as long as Harry wants me, I will be right next to him." Tom told him, his voice filled with sincerity.
"Why did you wish to speak with me?" Remus asked, not giving anything away and Tom's mouth went dry. He swallowed a few times and took a needed deep breath,
"You are the figure that Harry looks up to, he sees you as a treasure uncle and the closest person to a father and I respect that. Because of this, I believe it is only right for me to come to you with my request." Tom spoke and it was an effort to keep his voice from shaking, this was hard, he thought, he was supposed to be the Dark Lord and this man was making him feel about an inch tall as he looked at him.
"I would like to ask for Harry's hand in marriage." Tom said and then almost shrank back when amber eyes bore in to his own red ones, it was completely silent within the room, even the fire seemed to be lacking sound, and Tom felt himself wanted to break the intimidating, yes he was intimidated by this man, gaze.
"Do you love him?" Remus asked and Tom felt his breath catch. It was an obvious question with an obvious answer, one he had answered many times in his mind, but he had never quite admitted it out loud until now.
"I do," He found himself answering, and Remus looked him over for any traces of deceit or hidden agenda and found none; the Dark Lord was being honest as far as he could tell.
"If Harry accepts, then you can have his hand in marriage." Remus said, his expression relaxing and a small smile coming to his face. Tom seemed to slump in on himself in utter relief, he hadn't realised he had become that tense, it was ridiculous.
"I don't think I need to warn you against hurting my cub, do I?" Remus questions and Tom shook his head.
"I think maim and full moon come to mind," He answered, and Remus' smile was full of teeth.
They both rose to their feet and shook hands, this time the air was much more relaxed.
"Remus Lupin, and welcome to the family." Remus said, "We're all a bunch of crazies."
"Tom Riddle, and I believe I will fit right in."
The pair left the study talking amiably and it wasn't long before they were back in the sitting room where Harry was propped up on the sofa with pillows and blankets and was yawning.
"Why haven't you gone to sleep?" Tom asked, looking at him in concern as he swept over. He didn't notice, but Remus had stepped back to observe them and how they acted together,
"I wanted to see you and Moony before I went to sleep, what if I don't see him again for ages?" Harry said and Tom could hear the sadness in his voice.
"Trust me when I say I will make sure you can see him whenever he is free." Tom told him and Harry smiled up at him.
"I promise," Tom vowed and Harry kissed his cheek,
"I know, now go to sleep, your friends will still be here when you wake up." Tom said and Harry nodded, he curled up and settled, falling straight to sleep.
"You may do as you wish as long as you do not go to the ground floor." Tom told them, "Miss Granger, there is a library three doors down that may interest you greatly, and if one of you could stay with Harry I would be grateful." They nodded and he left the room; he had plans to make.
Tom was pacing the sun room in Malfoy Manor, he had to floo over to speak to Narcissa completely out of Harry's hearing range, his only couldn't hear anything of this upcoming conversation and the teen had like a signal that alerted him whenever Narcissa stepped in to the manor. He couldn't sit still, he was going over everything and how his plans could crash and burn around him, it has taken just over a month to get everything perfect and now he was panicking. Tom ran a hand through his hair dishevelling it, what if Harry didn't like the ring? What if it was raining and the place wasn't available? And the Tom froze, what if Harry said no? He paled at the thought. Narcissa watched from the doorway amused and alarmed as the Dark Lord seemed to work himself in to a frenzy for an unknown reason.
"My Lord?" She spoke softly as she entered the room, Tom span to face her and breathed in relief.
"Narcissa," He nodded and she swore she heard a muttered 'Thank Merlin' and he took the offered seat.
"How can I help you, My Lord? I must admit that your visit is unexpected."
"I need to know if Harry is safe to travel." Tom began, that was the most pressing question, one he should have probably asked before he planned everything.
"I would not recommend apperation, My Lord. But as long as he is not alone, I cannot foresee any problems occurring for portkey or floo travel." Narcissa answered.
"Good, that is good." Tom nodded, speaking almost absently.
"May I ask what has you so restless?" Narcissa inquired, Tom ran his hand through his hair and began pacing again.
"I may have completely lost my mind." Tom told her,
"More than previously?" She quipped lightly, and Tom shot her a mild glare.
"Your humour astounds me." He grumbled, "And yes, for your information."
"Oh? What have you done?"
"I haven't done anything yet." Tom muttered,
"Then what are you planning?" She asked, and Tom withdrew a deep green velvet box from his pocket and opened it to show her. Narcissa released an undignified squeal of delight as she leapt to her feet, she impulsively hugged the stunned Dark Lord and grabbed the ring.
"Oh look at it, its beautiful. Oh Merlin, its stunning." She gushed, admiring the platinum ring. It was a simple and with a strip of tiny black sapphires going half way around the middle of the band, the sapphires were lines with diamonds and in the very centre there was a diamond.
"I believe it will do him justice." Tom agreed, eyeing her warily as if scared she would hug him again.
"When are you going to ask him?" Narcissa questioned.
"I am hoping for the weekend, I have it planned." Tom admitted and Narcissa squeezed her hands together as if she was fighting back the urge to jump up and down.
"This is wonderful." She said brightly, "I cannot wait for the ceremony."
"He has to say yes first." Tom pointed out, and Narcissa got a look of understanding in her icy blue eyes.
"You are worried." She stated and Tom made not move to deny it. "You know that he will accept."
"How do you know? He could laugh and say no." Tom snapped and Narcissa hid her smile.
"My Lord, I can guarantee that Harry will not laugh." She told him, and Tom sighed.
"I suppose you are correct."
"Of course I am." Narcissa said primly, Tom shot her an unimpressed look.
"I do not know why I come to you." He sighed,
"It is because I am an amazing confident that doesn't flinch every time you breathe." She answered surely and Tom cracked a small smile.
"That is true." He agreed.
"Then there is the fact that I offer great advice." She added and Tom nearly snorted.
"You're modesty is your greatest feature." Tom said seriously,
"Let it be known that the Blacks are a rather proud bunch, and I married a Malfoy – Lucius keeps peacocks."
Tom couldn't stop his chuckle at that, she raised a very good point and Narcissa flashed an unremorseful grin.
"There is no argument to that statement." Tom said amused, he cast a tempus and muttered a curse. "Harry will be waking soon."
"Go, and remember not to let him see that you are worried. He is unusually observant." Narcissa advised and Tom nodded,
"I thank you," He told her, and she nodded.
"Any time, My Lord." She said, Tom smiled slightly and apperated away, quickly making his way to their rooms to be there for when his only awoke.
The weekend's arrival put Tom in two minds, one, he didn't think the weekend came quick enough and he was excited, two, it came around way to fast for his liking and he was battling an internal panic attack. Luckily, he had an iron control on his emotions and Harry didn't suspect a thing. It was approaching the evening and he went to find his only, he had to convince him to change and allow him to take him out. The teen had grown ridiculously attached to his joggers, and Tom didn't know if he could argue with the pout that the teen held. Tom sighed, he could do this, he was a Dark Lord and the most powerful wizard in the world. He found Harry using their connection, he was curled up in the library reading a baby names book, they had yet to decide on a middle name and Harry seemed to have an idea that he refused to share with Tom currently. Harry immediately looked up and smiled his smile which Tom had to return, he crouched down and put his hand on his rapidly growing bump lightly kissed Harry's palm.
"Allow me to take you out to dinner?" He asked, looking in to the bright green eyes, Harry tilted his head curiously.
"It's a surprise." Tom told him and Harry pouted, "Ah, don't pout, it's unfair."
"But you won't tell me." Harry said, making his eyes go large forcing Tom to look away.
"You are decidedly evil." Tom muttered and Harry smirked at that.
"Am I allowed to take you? It is perfectly safe."
"Of course," Harry answered and Tom smiled slightly, "What shall I wear?"
"Put something nice on." Tom said and Harry nodded, Tom helped him up and Harry reached up on his tip toes to kiss his cheek.
"I won't be long, allow me a quick shower." Harry said, and Tom nodded.
"I will meet you in the entrance hall."
Harry left the room and Tom swept to his study, he had already laid his robes out allowing Harry the bedroom so he could take his time. If he knew his only, he would be wearing green robes with black tones and so he had chosen black robes with a green shirt and green stitching. He opened a draw and placed the ring in his inside pocked and also grabbed the crystallised white rose that he had had made for Harry, Tom went over what he wanted to say in his mind and nodded; he was ready for this.
He made his way down to the entrance hall to wait for Harry, he knew the teen wouldn't be too long so he summoned an elf to grabbed their cloaks. His was a black one with a deep hood and black metal clasps, while Harry's was a bottle green hooded cloak with a diamond clasp; it was one of the first things that he had ever gave the teen. Tom turned when he heard a light rustle and, still, his breath caught when he saw his only descending the stairs. He was dressed in tight leather trousers which had been altered to expand around the bump, a silver shirt with the top button undone and he was wrapped in form fitting open front robes.
"You look stunning." Tom told him, when Harry stopped in front of him and was rewarded with a light blush.
Tom presented him with the rose and Harry's blush darkened much to Tom's delight, he held out his hand for Harry to take and draw him in to his arms.
"We're going to be taking a portkey," Tom said, "I know it is not your fondest way of travelling, but you cannot apperate." Harry wrinkled his nose but nodded.
"Ok," Harry said, leaning in to Tom. Tom held out a simple ribbon and muttered the activation word bracing for the familiar hook feeling. Harry lurched when he landed but Tom kept his arms around him and stayed still allowing Harry to catch his bearings.
"I hate portkeys." He grumbled and Tom chuckled.
"I am hoping the view makes up for it." Tom said and that was when Harry looked around, he gasped at the stunning view before him and his eyes widened. He could see the ocean and the white sanded beach, it was gorgeous.
"Come, I have hired the restaurant." Tom murmured, gently leading him away. The restaurant was, weirdly enough, in a tree, it looked like a small tree house on the outside, albeit a richly decorated one, and Harry looked inquiringly at Tom as they ascended the spiral staircase.
"We're walking up a tree." Harry pointed out, and Tom smirked.
"I am aware."
Tom opened the door for him and Harry found himself gasping in awe, he would never get tired of magic, it was like the magical tents at the world cup. He stepped in to a large open room decked in soft light, the walls seemed to be made of glass because they opened up and showed the entire island all around them. The ceiling was draped with different colour mesh hangings and there were live fairies hidden within them lighting the room. There was one two person table set up in the centre with a black table cloth, silver cutlery and two white candles lit.
"Tom… this is amazing." Harry breathed,
"I am glad you like it." Tom said. He led Harry over and held out his seat for him to sit before taking his own, immediately they were approached by their waitress and Harry blinked when he saw they had wings.
"Good evening, I am Nadia, and I will be your sever for the evening." She greeted in a trickling voice, her skin was pale and she had ocean blue hair, her eyes were also a bright blue and her lips were white, she had dainty features and large translucent blue wings which seemed to sparkle; she was a water nymph. "Can I get you anything so far?"
"A glass of 1926 Dark Elvin wine, if you will and an apple and raspberry smoothie, non-dairy." Tom asked, she nodded and fluttered away.
"A water nymph?" Harry questioned, amazed. "I've never seen one before."
"This restaurant is run by then." Tom told him, "I came across it while travelling."
"I think this place is amazing."
The wine was brought over and served to them by the same nymph before they began looking at the menu, Tom acted as a translator for Harry.
"Have I ever told you that you're a genius?" Harry said, smiling at Tom.
"Hm, I do not recall you ever mentioning it." Tom mused in mock thought, Harry laughed.
"This smoothie is great. I've never seen them anywhere else apart from at the manor,"
"The nymphs use a combination of magical and muggle ideas." Tom said, "And I know you have a thing for smoothies."
"You spoil me." Harry said,
Harry got Tom to order for him and Nadia brought the food over, Tom had duck and Harry had fish, and Harry groaned in appreciation.
"This is good." Harry told him,
"I thought you would like it." Tom said, watching his only eat, Harry was surprisingly graceful as he ate and Tom took any opportunity to watch him. They ate in silence, but there was no need to fill it, they just enjoyed the company. Harry couldn't help but admire Tom, he seemed to glow in this light and he often wondered how he became so lucky, he looked around the room again and smiled. Tom raised an eyebrow and Harry shook his head,
"I was wondering how I became so lucky." He murmured and Tom shot him a soft smile that made Harry positively melt.
"I am the lucky one, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me my little amor." Tom returned, lightly kissing his hand and Harry blushed slightly, smiling brightly. When it came to desert, Harry ordered a Mediterranean cheesecake while Tom had the dissembled black forest gateau.
"Huh," Harry said looking at Tom's desert, "That is different."
"As you can see, tradition is not a big factor in this establishment." Tom said and Harry grinned,
"Oh really? Didn't notice." He said and Tom rolled his eyes.
Once they had finished their meal, Tom offered his hand to Harry and led him out on to the open balcony, the view was breath taking and Harry couldn't take his eyes from it. He was looking out over a crystal blue ocean in the middle of a setting sun, the orange beams seemed to bounce of the water and sparkly.
"Beautiful," He whispered, and Tom hummed in agreement.
"Most definitely," But he wasn't looking at the view, Harry seemed to notice this and his pale skin coloured,
"I swear you purposely try to make me blush." He mock grumbled, but he was smiling and Tom kissed his cheek.
"I do take a slight pleasure in it, I'll admit."
"Thank you, for this." Harry said, after a moment of silence. He was leaning back in to Tom's firm chest and his hand covered Tom's larger one which was wrapped around his bump.
"Anything for you." And he meant it. "I'd do anything to keep you happy."
"I know," Harry said and he did, Tom treated him with the greatest of cares and he adored the man for it.
"I want you forever." Tom murmured and Harry's tensed slightly before breathing out.
"You sound so sure." Harry returned biting his lip,
"I am surer of this than I have ever been." Tom stated and Harry could hear the belief in the man's voice. "I spoke to your uncle and got permission to do this." Harry turned to face him with a confused look on his face and Tom took a deep breath, he was suddenly terrified of this going wrong and his palms were starting to sweat. He wanted to do this traditionally, this was the one thing that he wanted to do right. Tom to a small step back and went down on one knee, swiftly presenting the box and opening it for Harry to see, Harry's eyes went wide and his hands flew to his mouth muffling his gasp of shock.
"Everything about us started off wrong, in all sense and logic it should not have worked, but I will never regret anything that has happened since you introduced yourself as Harry Black all those months ago." Tom swallowed, "You mean more to me than anything in this world, you are giving me more than I could have ever hoped for and I love you for it. If you allow me to, I will love you for the rest of our lives. Harry James Potter-Black, will you give me the honour of marrying me and becoming my husband and consort?" Tom looked at him and it was taking every part of his control to keep his emotions in check and, by now, Harry had tears streaming down his face; that was the most beautiful thing he had ever heard.
Harry dropped to his knees and kissed Tom with everything he had, when they broke apart he took a slight pleasure at Tom's breathless look but it was overshadowed by his happiness.
"I love you, Tom Marvolo Riddle, and it would be my honour to marry you." Harry answered him, and was rewarded with the brightest smile he had ever seen from Tom. The Dark Lord swiftly removed the ring and slid it on to Harry's ring finger, and then crashed their lips together. Tom easily lifted Harry to his feet and swung him around,
"You have made me the happiest person in the world right now." Tom told him, and Harry beamed.
"I'm pretty happy right now too." Harry agreed and then he looked at the ring, "I love it."
"I am glad."
"I love you too." Harry told him, Tom smiled and kissed him.
"And I you my little amor."
Harry relaxed back against Tom and it was only then he realised how tense the man had been, it made him smile ridiculously and he was absently played with his new ring. He now had a fiancé and he couldn't wait to tell his friends, oh Mia was going to be so excited! Harry was startled out of his musings by a jolt from his bump.
"Oh!" He went still and Tom tensed.
"What is it?"
"I don't kno- Oh!" Harry gasped and looked at his bump in wonder, Narcissa had warned him but it was a lot different when it was happening.
"Harry?" Tom sound worried, and Harry shook his head.
"The baby kicked." He told him, his voice lined in excitement. Tom froze before he span him around and placed both hands on the bump, they waited and then the baby kicked again. Tom almost jumped when he felt it, he gazed at the bump in complete awe and there was a pulse of magic.
"Wow," He breathed, "Our baby moved."
"This is officially the best day ever." Harry exclaimed,
"Let us return home. It will be getting cold soon, and the baby is currently happy." Tom said, reluctantly removing his hands. Harry nodded and allowed himself to be escorted back through the restaurant, Nadia handed then their cloaks with a smile.
"Thank you for dining at The Waterside Perch." She said cheerfully, "I hope you enjoyed your meal." Harry flashed her a positively dazzling smile as Tom last look around of the place Harry now considered his favourite place in the world, they portkeyed away.
Harry and Tom bathed in the afterglow of the proposal for a week, they spent all of their time in each others company and Harry had never felt so loved in his life. Their baby also seemed to be sharing their happiness because she was kicking a lot more and Tom seemed to find it amazing each time it happened. Harry had written to all of his friends telling them the good news, he sent them off with Hedwig as well as to Narcissa and inviting her to tea. The whether in England was starting to warm up again as they went deeper in to February, Harry was hoping that it would be warm enough to sit in the gardens but it was not to be, he would have the back sun room set up instead so he could look out on to the grounds. He was also going to have a check up too, he wanted to make sure everything was fine now that the baby was moving. He smiled as Tom swept in to the room, he was going to be staying while Harry had his check up and then he was going to be dealing with the Death Eaters. Harry, as a rule, no longer had anything to do with the war whatsoever, something that Tom, 100%, agreed with.
"Hey," Harry greeted softly,
"How are you feeling?" Tom asked him,
"I'm ok, just a little tired. Baby likes to kick in the middle of the night."
"Rest after your tea with Narcissa," Tom suggested, "I am going to be busy for the rest of the afternoon."
They didn't have to wait long until Narcissa floo'd in and she smiled warmly at the pair,
"Congratulations." She said and Harry blinked, before he remembered his new ring and a beaming smile came to his face.
"It is a lovely ring,"
"You two can discuss the wedding later, right now you are having a check up." Tom interrupted amused, Harry pouted.
"Now, what seems the problem?"
"The baby started moving." Harry told her and her eyes lit up.
"Wonderful," Narcissa waved her wand and smiled, "She is developing well,"
"That's good," Harry said relieved, "What about me?"
"You are slightly anaemic, so I will up your dosage on the potions, otherwise you are healthy."
"Ok, I hope baby stops kicking in the night though."
"She is merely finding a comfortable position."
"Are you sure everything is in order?" Tom asked and Narcissa nodded,
"Everything is perfectly fine, My Lord."
"Good. I shall leave you to yourselves." Tom said, he kissed Harry briefly and left the room.
"Tell me all about it." Narcissa demanded, Harry smiled brightly,
"It was so romantic." Harry sighed, "He took me to The Waterside Perch somewhere in the Caribbean, we had dinner and then he proposed as the sun set."
"Oh that's so sweet." She gushed,
"And then, baby moved for the first time!" Harry exclaimed and Narcissa grinned,
"The perfect timing." She said, "Was there a speech? I know Lucius conveniently forgot, but he made up for it within our vows."
"It was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard, and there I was a complete mess because he made me cry." Harry said, "The Dark Lord is a secret romantic,"
"He has a certain way with words." Narcissa mused and Harry grinned,
"Something like that," Harry agreed, "So how have you been?"
"I have not been too busy. I have not got any balls to prepare for as of yet, and I do not have the shut down from Yule as it was not the Malfoy turn to hold one." She told him, "It was at the Parkinson Manor, and I cannot say I enjoyed myself."
"Is Pansy still clinging on to the notion that she will be marrying Draco?" Harry asked, amused.
"Yes, and it is passed bothersome at this point. She has even demanded her parents come to up with a contract."
"Why must she insist on being blind? A blind person could see that Draco is enamoured with Astoria Greengrass, she is only making a fool of herself." Harry shook his head,
"Gwendolyn is also as blind as her daughter because she believes that it is still a possibility."
"Oh dear Merlin," Harry groaned, "Maybe you should talk to Draco and Lucius about having a contract in place with Greengrass, that way Parkinson is forced to back off with no ill parts on your behalf."
"That idea has merit." Narcissa thought, "I shall speak with Lucius this evening."
"I am happy to help."
"Now, speaking of marriage…" Narcissa and Harry shared a grin and began, it was time to start planning.
"Where are we going?" Harry asked as Tom led him down the corridor, "I've just woken up from my nap."
"I may have lied about being with the Death Eaters, this afternoon." Tom told him, "I put my time to better use."
"Oh, and what have you done?"
"Wait one minute." Tom said, he walked passed their rooms and to a door that Harry hadn't seen before. Tom pushed the door open and Harry gasped, he had been taken to a beautifully prepared nursery complete with cot, cradle, toys, wardrobe and adjourning door leading in to their rooms. The walls were a soft pink, and the window wall had been styled like a forest and the ceiling was like the night sky.
"Tom this is amazing." Harry whispered,
"I know you have been worried about it, and I know I've been busy. So I thought this would help you relax." Tom explained and Harry kissed him soundly.
"You are a wonderful person." Harry stated.
"That's all that matters."
"What! I don't want to look like this for the wedding, I look horrible." Harry said to Tom, motioning to himself.
"You don't look awful at all." Tom denied, "You are only bigger because you are carrying a baby."
"Bigger? Bigger? So I'm fat now?" Harry demanded and Tom froze, his mind had sirens going of telling to get out while he was still alive. Narcissa had warned him about this, and he had noticed that Harry seemed to switch moods within seconds as the pregnancy went on.
"No, no I didn't say that at all." Tom said hastily, but Harry's eyes narrowed and Tom slowly stepped away as Harry got to his feet.
"I'm sorry I'm not in shape enough for you, my Lord." Harry spat out scathingly, "First you call me fat, then it will be insulting my looks, we screw you! You are never coming near me again!"
"Harry, amor, you are being silly." Tom tried to reason, but that was the wrong thing to say.
"And now I'm stupid!" Harry yelled, his eyes were slits and his magic has started to crackle around him. "Go away, Tom. You are so horrible to me."
Tom rapidly dodged the vase that came for his head with a muted yelp and headed for the door, he didn't quite duck out the way of the second flying object and hissed. He hear Harry scream obscenities at him as he headed for his study, Tom would hide out in there until Harry was calm and no longer throwing things at his head. His hormones hadn't been too bad, there had been a few incidents, such as Harry bursting in to tears because he was convinced Tom was leaving him for someone else because he hadn't seen him. And then there was the time where he got angry at a book because he was certain it was wrong, the book didn't survive the encounter, but luckily, Harry was right at the book was incorrect.
This was the first time that Tom had anything thrown at him, despite Harry using him as something to clutch, something to scream at and something to cry on. Tom collapsed on his chair in his study and then winced, he wasn't sure what hit him last but it had caught his neck and it was bleeding slightly. He healed it with a wave of his wand and pulled out a book, Tom was hoping that Harry calmed down quickly and he could go back to him. He was at the stage of the pregnancy where Tom didn't like to be too far away from him, even though he knew, in his mind, that Harry was perfectly safe. Tom was startled out of his musings when there was a hesitant knock at the door and he called Harry in, the teen was in the doorway shuffling his feet and looking at the floor.
Harry sniffed a few times showing that he had been crying and muttered,
"Come here, little amor," Tom said, rolling his eyes. He gently wiped away the tears and pulled him in to his arms, "It's just your hormones, you needn't be upset."
"But I was so mean. I want to look perfect for the wedding and I don't now because I look horrible and then I threw things at you." Harry cried,
"Hush, you are stressing. If you wish to wait until our baby is born before the ceremony then we will wait." Tom assured him, "We can begin the preparations once she is born."
"Are you sure?"
"Ok then," Harry kissed his cheek and was smiling again, Tom shook his head and cast a tempus.
"Your friend is arriving soon." Tom said and Harry beamed,
"I shall wait for her in the library." He said, "She's attached."
"I've noticed," Tom muttered, he walked Harry to the library and left him lying on the sofa. "I'll send her right up."
"Love you, Tom." Harry called. Harry led back on the sofa with his eyes closes, his frame was small and he was starting to feel the strain of carrying a child. He was nearly falling asleep when he heard hurried footsteps and smile to himself.
"Let me see it, let me see it, let me see it." Hermione squealed, as soon as she got within Harry's hearing range. She all but ran over and it was only because he was sporting a large bump that stopped her leaping on him in her haste.
"Hello to you too, Mia," Harry laughed, he held out his left hand for her to see, "Here,"
"Oh Merlin! Look at it, its so beautiful. Oh its perfect." She sighed, "Tell me everything." She flicked her wand and moved the chair so she could sit directly in front of him, Harry grinned at her enthusiasm but did nothing to deter it; he was just as excited. He pushed himself up in to a more vertical position and smiled,
"Ok, so he took me to a stunning restaurant in the Caribbean. It looked out over the ocean and it was the most unique place I have ever seen, it was in the form of a tree house and it was run by water nymphs. We ate and then he took me out on to this balcony and proposed as the sun set." Harry told her, Hermione sighed and shook her head.
"Who knew he was such a romantic."
"It was the best day of my life and it was the first day the baby kicked too." Harry said and she beamed.
"She's getting big now." Hermione commented and Harry nodded,
"Ugh I know, its getting harder to get up."
"You do only have a month to go." Hermione pointed out and Harry nodded.
"I can't wait until she's out." Harry said, rubbing his bump, "I want to meet her."
"When's the wedding?"
"I made Tom hold all preparations until after the baby is born. I refuse to be fat in my wedding pictures." Harry stated and Hermione rolled her eyes.
"You are not fat, Harry." She chided, "You are carrying a child, it's a beautiful thing."
"Yeah? You tell me about the beauty of child carrying when you're pregnant. You'll change your tune then." Harry grumbled, and Hermione shook her head smiling.
"How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine, I just have to take it easy as its approaching the end." Harry said, "And she seems to like sitting on my bladder and kicking at 3am."
"She probably wants to meet you just as much as you want to meet her." Hermione said to him and Harry grinned.
"How have you been?" He asked and she smiled slightly,
"I'm fine. I was forced to hex Ronald the other day because he was being insufferable. He's had his tongues shoved down Lavender Brown's throat and then had the nerve to come to me when he fell behind on his homework." Hermione huffed, "Prat,"
"He's just as lazy as ever then." Harry surmised, he didn't know what to think on his red headed friend. He didn't necessarily have negative feelings towards him, but he didn't necessarily like him either.
"Worse, so much so that Lune scowled at him." Hermione said seriously and Harry blinked a few times in shock.
"Yes, and he's not even trying to do anything. I just don't understand him."
"Let him fail, he's not your problem anymore," Harry said to her, and she sighed but nodded. Her eyes suddenly lit up and she turned to him,
"I got a rather surprising owl a few days ago." She told him and Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Victor, hoping to re-establish contact,"
"Are you going to?" He asked and she shrugged,
"I've got nothing to lose. Besides, he always treated me nicely."
"Then go for it, and if he asks you out I can threaten to kill him." Harry said brightly and Hermione slapped his arm.
"You will do no such thing!"
"Yes Mia," He answered dutifully, "How's Moony?"
"Still giving Dumbledore a hard time, and loving it."
"Brilliant, the Marauder is still alive." Harry said brightly,
"He's hoping to see you soon, but he had to be careful because of Dumbledore." Hermione told him,
"That's ok, I understand, I am glad he can come at all."
"Is everything ready?"
"Yes, the nursery is done – thanks to Tom. He even covered clothes and toys." Harry said, "The only thing left, from what I know, is actually having her."
"Have you chosen a name?"
"It's a surprise." Harry said and she grumbled.
"Fine. But I think Luna knows,"
"Of course she does, its Luna." Harry pointed out.
"You know, I still don't know how she does it." Hermione sighed and Harry laughed,
"It's Luna, I'm not even sure if she knows how she does it."
"That is a very good point." Hermione conceded, "Do you know what he's going to with the Death Eaters once the baby is born?"
"I'm not sure, I am strictly out of this war. I don't know anything that has been going on, but I'll ask him because I'm going to need Tom with me." Harry said and Hermione nodded,
"Yes, you should. He has to help out or you'll go insane."
"I'm so excited, Mia." Harry sighed, stroking his bump, "I can't believe she's almost here."
"I know, it's gone so fast."
"I'm scared." Harry admitted,
"Whatever for?" Hermione asked,
"What if I'm not a good mother?" Harry questioned, looking at her with fear in his bright green eyes.
"Harry, you have a bigger heart than any other person I know. You gave up everything you knew for your baby and your new family, you will be fine." Hermione assured him.
"I know," She said firmly, harry bit his lip and looked at his bump.
"I hope you're right,"
Harry scowled at his bump, it was causing him a lot of pain and it was safe to say he was not pleased about it. Cissa had warned him that the baby could come at any time, but she didn't say that he was going to be in pain because of it. He was led out in Tom's study with his head in Tom's lap as the man read a book while carding his hand through Harry's hair, the only problem was Harry couldn't get comfortable for the life of him.
"Do you want to go for a walk?" Tom asked, and Harry frowned but nodded,
"That might help," Harry agreed. Tom helped him off the sofa and wrapped an arm around Harry's waist for support, Harry breathed deeply to control the pain and walked with Tom through the manor. The pains were getting more intense and at one particular throb it caused him to bend and gasp, Tom was in front of him in an instant and Harry clutched at his arm when he felt something wet run down his legs.
"Tom, I think my waters just broke." He gasped and he heard the man suck in a sharp breath, he didn't need to look up to know that Tom just went pale.
"Are you sure?"
"Pretty sure, yes." Harry said, "The baby is coming."
"No she isn't." Tom denied, Harry looked up to see the man had gone pasty, he had bypassed pale and gone for ill it seemed.
"I need you to stay calm for me, Tom." Harry said, when he saw that the man was on the verge of a panic attack.
"I am perfectly calm." Tom told him, his voice 2 octaves higher than normal. "You are only having our baby, its nothing monumental whatsoever." He took a deep breath only to choke on it, "Oh Merlin, I can't breathe." Harry wasn't sure who was holding on to who by this point, but Tom's miniature panic attack took his mind of his own growing panic.
"Breathe Tom, just breathe, it's going to be fine." Harry soothed, and watched as the man got it together, "Now, I'm going to need you to help me."
"Right, help you, I can do that." Tom muttered, "What shall I do?"
"Help me to the bedroom first," Harry instructed, hissing over what he now knew to be a contraction "And then get Narcissa here as fast as possible."
"Bedroom then Narcissa, got it." Tom said, he began leading Harry up the stairs and along the corridor, stopping every time Harry had a contraction. Tom flicked his wand and removed the comforter from the bed and led Harry down, he propped him up on the pillows and kissed him. "I'll be right back." Harry chuckled slightly as he saw Tom, literally, run from the room, he concentrated on his breathing like Cissa had told him to and he clenched his teeth as pain washed over him. Thankfully, Tom rushed back in to the room, looking frantic, and to his side so Harry could hold his hand, he winced has he felt his bones start to crack and breathed in relief when Narcissa came in.
"Oh thank Merlin," Harry breathed,
"Ok, Harry, I see you are breathing like I told you. This is good." She said, "Now, I need to run a scan to see how close we are until it is safe to remove the child."
"Right, but I think it's soon." Harry told her, and then cursed as he was hit with another contraction.
"You are correct. The baby is almost in position." She said, "Here we go," Narcissa waved his wand to vanish his top, she poured a pink salve on to his bump and rubbed it over the entire mass. Harry felt his entire abdomen go completely dead and Narcissa confirmed that by prodding him with her wand,
"That's fine," Harry got out, "I'm ready,"
"I'm going to make an incision, you won't feel it, but it may be disconcerting to watch." Narcissa warned, she conjured up towels and cast warming charms on them. She cut in to Harry's stomach and used one of the towels to stem the blood, it was silent in the room as she worked until a choked wail broke the din and Narcissa pulled a tiny baby from him. She quickly wrapped the baby in a towel and handed her to the waiting elf so she could heal Harry, the skin knitted back together easily and she covered it with a scar remover so he was blemish free. Once she was certain everything was how it should be, she countered the numbing salve and Harry slowly felt the sensation return to him. Narcissa took the crying baby and quickly wiped her over before checking her weight and switching towels and coming back over to the nervous couple.
"My Lord, Harry, you have a very healthy baby girl."
"Let me have her," Harry said, he was exhausted but he wanted his little girl, Narcissa carefully handed her over and Harry gasped; she was beautiful. He looked up at Tom to see the man gazing at the baby with a stunned awe on his face, Tom couldn't believe his eyes. Here was his child, his daughter, she was actually with them and he couldn't stop his gasp when she opened her eyes and startling green met shocking crimson.
"Wow," He breathed,
"She's here, she's actually here." Harry said, he didn't even care that he was crying, he couldn't believe he was holding his little girl in his arms. Tom gave him a truly beautiful smile and pressed a soft kiss to his lips,
"I love you," Tom murmured and Harry smiled,
"I love you too," Harry returned, he turned to a smiling Narcissa and grinned, "Thank you,"
"You are most welcome. You'll be pleased to hear that everything is in order, you should return to your previous size within the week, you didn't actually put on any weight during your pregnancy so once everything settles you should be fine. Your baby is in perfect health, and a lovely 6 pounds, 9oz."
"Wonderful," Harry said, pleased,
"May I ask a name?" Narcissa inquired and Harry and Tom shared a smile.
"Let us introduce you to Lily Madia Riddle."
Harry collapsed on to his bed faced down with a groan, to put it mildly, he felt like he was dying. He didn't think he have ever been so tired in his life. He absolutely loved being a mother, his little girl was everything he could have hoped for and more, he couldn't help but smile whenever he saw her and it was like everything was right in the world. Harry remembered the first time Tom had held her, the man looked so lost and it was mixed with amazement as he looked at the tiny little human in his arms as if she wasn't real. He was so gentle with her, and he didn't stop reminding Harry how much he loved him. For the first two weeks it was like they were both on a cloud, he had sent out letters and pictures to his friends instantly and Harry swore he saw Tom skip. The man was always with him because he had instructed Lucius and Bellatrix to handle things while he was 'away on business' and he was not to be disturbed unless the world was burning. They had enjoyed looking after Lily, sharing the responsibilities and the joy:
And then the crying set in.
They soon discovered that their beautiful little girl. Their darling little angel, their tiny daughter had one hell of a set of lungs on her. They were up at Merlin knew what time in the night, multiple times in the night, every night because she was crying. They took it in turns of course, Harry believed he would have literally died if they hadn't, but he knew that Tom was also just as exhausted as him. The thing that made Harry laugh in irony was, when it was day time and they were up and moving about, Lily was the most angelic child one could ask for. She didn't cry, she didn't scream, she took her bottle when she was supposed to and she happily played with her toys.
It was like as soon as they went to sleep she was determined to see if she could break windows. Of course, he wouldn't change it for the world, but he wished for a little sleep from time to time. All of the things that Lily was doing were completely mesmerising, she laughed at the bubbles Tom would produce from his wand and she could lift her head steadily when she was lying on her front. Both he and Tom were so proud, she was just over 2 months and she had performed her first bit of accidental magic. She had wanted a toy and suddenly it was next to her, Tom has been practically bouncing in delight and Harry actually was bouncing. Narcissa had become such a regular guest that the elves knew her menu preferences, she kept regular checks on the baby to make sure everything was fine and they were thankful that nothing had gone wrong.
Harry felt the bed dip next to him and he knew Tom had collapsed too, the man had the stamina of a god Harry was certain of it, but even he was feeling it.
"Lily asleep?" Harry asked, his voice muffled from the fact his face was in the pillow.
"Thankfully," Tom said, "I think we are going to need to speak with the elves. Harry, I think I may be dying." Harry couldn't stop himself bursting out laughing, he rolled over to face Tom snickering.
"I thought the same thing, I just need a couple of straight hours." He agreed, "I think I'm going to start sleeping in the day. When she sleeps, I'm going to be sleeping."
"That, is a brilliant idea," Tom said. "Let's start now."
"Agreed," Harry said, "Ivy?"
"Yes, master Harry,"
"Watch Lily, and bring her to me when she wakes."
"Yes sir," Ivy said with a bow, before popping away. Harry sighed in to the bed before curling in to Tom's side and they were both out like a light.
Harry smiled proudly as he saw Lily determinedly hold herself in a sitting position with a look of utter concentration of her little face. At four months old she was growing quickly and Harry was thankful she had started to stop screaming at the top of her lungs in the middle of the night. She was a very curious baby, Tom swore that she got it from Harry and not him, but she also had a bit of a temper on her and Harry blamed Tom for that; especially because they discovered that, when in high emotion, Lily's eyes flashed red. Now that she was older, it was obvious to see that she had raven black hair which contrasted against the pale skin she had inherited from her father. She was a beautiful child really. Harry watched amazed as Lily daringly (Tom again blamed him for the 'Gryffindorness') let go of the chair and sat up on her own, she seemed stunned by her own ability before she flopped backwards. Harry rushed over, thanking Tom for the cushioning charm, and smiled at her.
"Who's my clever little girl?" He cooed, scooping her up and twirling her around, "Mummy is so proud of you." Lily reached up to grab some of his hair giggling and Harry grinned, "Shall we go and tell daddy what you did?" He asked her and chuckled when her eyes immediately started searching for Tom. Harry left the room and headed down to Tom's study, he knocked on the door and entered, only to stop short when he saw that Tom was not alone.
"Huh, well this is going to raise questioned." Harry said, looking at the shocked form of Lucius Malfoy.
"Questions that will not leave this room unless Lucius wants to die." Tom stated, his voice hardening as he looked at the blond. Lucius flinched,
"Of course not, My Lord," He rushed to say, "I would never-,"
"That is good, because it would be a rush to see who would get there first. Harry, myself, or your wife," Tom continued, Lucius went sheet white at the mention of his wife and nodded hurriedly.
"I will say nothing." Lucius assured,
"What is it, Harry?" Tom asked, turning to him with a smile on his face, Harry practically beamed with excitement. He flicked the door shut with a wave of his hand and came over,
"Are we going to tell daddy what we did today?" Harry asked Lily, at the mention of daddy, Lily's eyes searched for Tom again and she gave a sharp squeal when she found them. Harry handed her over where Tom ran a finger down her cheek and she grabbed his finger in her tiny fist.
"And what have you been up to, my little flower?" Tom asked, smiling when she giggled.
"Say, I managed to sit up all by myself today." Harry said and Tom looked at him surprised.
"Yes, she's a determined little thing."
"I wonder who she gets that from?" Tom muttered,
"I'm pretty sure that's you." Harry said seriously, grinned when Tom rolled his eyes.
"So that means you'll be crawling soon." Tom said and Harry groaned,
"Remind me to put up the wards."
"I put them up last month when she managed to banish her bear." Tom said, he turned Lily around so she was sat on his lap and her eyes looked around the room in all their childish wonder. Harry snorted when she looked at Lucius and her eyes widened in utter shock, Lucius seemed to find it amusing too, if the glint in his eyes was anything to go by.
"Come on angel," Harry said, "We have to go and wait for Auntie Hermione, Uncle Moony, Uncle Fred, Uncle George and Aunt Luna. They are all dying to meet you." Harry picked her up after Tom and kissed her head, "Say goodbye to Daddy and Lucius." Harry waved her hand before kissing Tom's cheek and leaving. He didn't need to be in the room to know that Lucius was bombarding Tom with questions about everything, he laughed to himself. They made their way up to the sitting room where the portkey would be dropping his friends, they were due any minute now so he kept Lily in his arms so he could introduce her. He summoned her favourite snake toy and handed it to her, Lily giggled happily waving it around and Harry kissed her. He felt the wards pulse at the incoming portkey and grinned, he watched Lily's face brighten at the sight of magic and giggle when the occupants collapsed to the floor. Harry couldn't help but join her as they groaned and untangled themselves from one another,
"Harry!" Hermione exclaimed, looking at him and then she gasped. "Oh Merlin, she's so adorable. Look how big she's gotten."
"Hey, Mia." Harry greeted, leaning over to kiss her cheek. "And yes, I know. She sat up for the first time today."
"She's gorgeous, cub." Remus told him, Lily looked up at him with wide eyes before smiling and waving her snake. "A snake! Well, we can't be having that. Here," Remus pulled out a stuffed lion, and Lily's eyes went huge. She dropped the snake and grabbed the lion in fascination, Harry laughed.
"Tom is going to love that." He joked,
"We have to keep the Gryffindor alive." Remus stated, smirking.
"We have gifts too." The twins called, Harry watched in amusement as Lily's went wide again at the sight of the twins, she kept looking between them like she couldn't believe her eyes.
"I worry about your gifts." Harry said, laughing.
"We baby proofed everything." They assured him, they pulled out a rattle that made different sounds when it was shaken, a wand that would allow Lily to make her own different colour bubbled and a stuffed dragon.
"Guys, this is great." Harry said, looking at the wand in interest.
"The bubbles are completely harmless, even if she eats them or gets them in her eyes." Fred told him,
"Brilliant," Harry said, impressed. Luna came over to say hello and waved at Lily who looked at her hair in amazement, she pulled on it slightly giggling and both girls had a round of awhh.
"Who wants to hold her?"
"Oo, me first!" Hermione called, "I get best friend rights."
"Mia first," Harry agreed with a laugh, he looked at Lily with a smile, "You are going to say hello to Aunt Hermione." Harry handed her over and Hermione looked like she was going to cry, Lily looked up at her with her big green eyes and Harry knew that she had Mia smittened in an instant. Harry sat back and let the others look after Lily for now, he knew she was safe and Moony took a seat next to him.
"How is everything, cub?" Remus asked softly, Harry smiled.
"It's going well," Harry answered, "I'm exhausted, I think I'm going insane, but I love every minute of it."
"Your mother was the same." Remus remembered, "I think she would be very happy right now."
"I like to think so,"
"What about your fiancé?"
Harry grinned and fiddled with his ring,
"Tom has taken very well, he adores her, Moony. You can see it plain as day, and I can't help but love him for it."
"I am glad you are happy cub, and she's a beautiful little girl." Remus said, looking at the baby who was now playing with the twins while sitting on Luna.
"She's going to be one spoilt little girl with the way things are going." Harry joked, but he knew the words to be true. Not only did he and Tom (Tom more so than Harry) dote on her, Narcissa was always bringing things over and he had no doubt that his friends would send regular gifts.
"Of course," Remus laughed, "Did you expect anything else?"
"No," Harry sighed in a self suffering way, and then laughed as Remus rolled his eyes.
"Oh look at her," Luna exclaimed and Harry span around, only to smile when he saw Lily sat up again.
"She's such a clever little girl." Harry said proudly, "Have I told you that she's already performed magic?"
"Really?" Hermione gasped,
"Yes, Tom was so happy."
"Of course I was," said man spoke as he came sweeping in, he scooped Lily up of the floor causing her to giggle and clap her hands softly. "She's a powerful little flower, are you not?"
"So Lucius has finally stopped bothering you." Harry said, Tom rolled his eyes.
"That man is relentless, I don't know who is worse. Him or his wife,"
"I wouldn't let Narcissa hear you say that." Harry warned and Tom shuddered,
"The woman is a menace."
"Speaking of which… guess what Lily's new favourite toy is." Harry said, mischief lining his tone.
"…What is it?" Tom inquired warily, Harry grinned and summoned the lion, holding out for Lily who grabbed at it with a squeal. Tom looked horrified and Harry laughed,
"Absolutely not," Tom denied, "She's a little Slytherin, she's supposed to love snakes." Tom tried to take the lion away and replace it with her snake but her eyes began to fill with tears and so he hastily gave it back while Harry burst out laughing. "Harry!"
"Remus bought it," He defended himself and Remus grinned in response to the glare he got,
"How is she going to be a little snake when you're making her love lions?" Tom complained and Harry rolled his eyes,
"She can love lions if she wants." Harry said,
"But Harry, it's not proper."
"What's your excuse?" Harry asked, smirking, Tom threw him a look of utter betrayal.
"You're half a snake, I'm sure of it." Tom decided, Harry laughed and kissed him.
Tom looked up as the great doors swung open to admit the person he knew to be Severus, despite the mask. Tom's eye's narrowed, his spy was late and he didn't appreciate being held up when he could be upstairs with his fiancé and his child.
"Severus, do explain to me why you have come so late. I do not like to be kept waiting." Tom drawled, his voice icy and biting. The potions master swept in to a low bow, gracefully rising and removing his mask.
"I offer my sincerest apologies, My Lord." Severus said, his voice as soft and silky as usual, "But Dumbledore extended his meeting because he has had some curious information."
"Dumbledore has been told by an unknown source, that you have a child, My Lord." There was a touch of confusion in Snape's voice, but Tom ignored that and pinned him with a look of death.
"He has turned the Order's attentions to getting rid of the child before it has time to develop in to 'instant evil'." Snape explained and Tom went pale, Lucius eyes widened in horror.
"Oh Merlin," He breathed,
"It's true?" Bellatrix exclaimed, shock evident in her voice.
"How did he find out?" Tom demanded in a snarl, feeling sick to his stomach. How dare that bastard threaten his family, he would kill him before he touched Harry and Lily."
"I do not know, he was not very forthcoming. It was strange, My Lord." Severus answered, obviously stunned that it was true. Tom turned to Lucius with fire burning in his crimson eyes and Lucius paled,
"My Lord, I swear on my life and magic that I have not spoken of your child." Lucius said quickly, his magic flaring to comply with the bond and he lit his wand to show the truth in his words.
"You have a child, My Lord?" Nott asked confused,
"Yes, I do, Izar," Tom answered, running his hand through his hair,
"When did this miracle occur, My Lord?"
"My little Lily was born nearly 6 months ago." Tom answered softly, his expression fond before it hardened, "You all just became an advanced guard. The wards here are going on full lockdown and only when called with the death eaters be allowed entrance. I want at least 4 of you hear at all times as well as 7 inner circle."
"Yes, My Lord,"
"Ivy," He called, and the elf popped in,
"Go to Harry and tell him I want to see him here immediately, Lily too."
Tom paced across his dais cursing Dumbledore for all he was worth,
"Severus, you will need to find out where the old fool got this information. Did he mention anything else, like knowing the identity of the mother?"
"No, My Lord, Dumbledore didn't even omit the gender," Snape admitted, "I will do all I can to find out any information."
"Severus," Tom said and looked the potions master in the eye, "Do not think I have not been unaware of your questionable loyalties, you are extremely good but I am better. I have not questioned it as of yet because you are useful and talented, but if Dumbledore finds out even so much as a spec of information about my fiancé or child I will make it my personal goal to see you die in the most excruciating and terrifying way I can possible imagine. Do we have an understanding?" Snape looked back at him, deathly pale and frightened,
"Y-yes, My Lord." He answered, and he had no doubt of the man's words, he would not be sharing anything with Dumbledore; not even under duress. The great doors opened again and this time a small figure carrying a child entered the room, the elite members, except Lucius, gasped as the recognised the green eyes and lightning scar of Harry Potter. That was about the only recognisable features of the boy they used to know, 17 and powerful, the man's Black heritage shone through.
"Tom, you asked for us?" Harry questioned, ignoring the others in the room and walking straight towards the Dark Lord. When he was close enough, he handed Lily over and dropped a kiss on the man's cheek.
"Harry, my little amor," There was a waver in Tom's voice that immediately put him on edge, he tensed and looked at Tom.
"What has happened?" He asked, dreading the answer.
"Dumbledore has found out about Lily," Tom told him, reluctant but knowing it was futile to keep it from him. Harry went a sickly pale and stumbled slightly as the world began to spin around, he took a deep breath to regain his mental facilities and looking up at Tom with wild panicked eyes.
"I won't let him harm her," Harry hissed and Tom nodded,
"I won't let him harm either of you." Tom said and Harry closed his eyes, nodding.
"My Lord," Bellatrix spoke and Harry tensed again, "That's Potter, what's he doing here? The filthy halfblood should have died with my mangy cousin."
Wrong thing to say.
"That's Potter-Black, for your information, Bellatrix. Lord to the Noble and Most Ancient Houses of Potter and Black. The head of your birth house and the person who would ruin you with mere words, so unless you wish for me to annul your marriage, disown you from the Black family and cast you out on to the streets in nothing more than the clothes on your back you have better shut your fucking mouth, keep out of my fucking sight and hope to Merlin that I don't have a bad fucking day and feel like acting like a complete prick. Am I speaking clearly enough for you?" Harry snarled, his magic swirling around him in his rage. Bellatrix had paled and nodded hurriedly, bowing her head so she lost eye contact. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry caught Snape sneering at him and wheeled around to face the greasy bastard next.
"And as for you, you double crossing, sneaking, cowardly bastard. You, who plays both sides of the war to save his own skin and then has the audacity to believe himself superior, well news flash; fuck you. If I find out that you, in any way, shape or form, has given Dumbledore any information about me or my child, speculation or truth, I swear now, on my magic and honour, that I will lock you in a fucking room with Moony on a full moon after telling him that you were personally responsible for the harm of those he considers pack. And I will make it my goal to sit back and watch as you get mauled to death by the very same werewolf that nearly killed you 20 years ago." Harry hissed, his magic sealing the promise and leaving Snape translucent. "Does anyone else have any other problems?" He demanded and they hurriedly shook their heads. "Good," Harry turned back to Tom to find the man smirking with pride in his eyes, he leant down to capture Harry's lips in a sweet kiss and carefully passed Lily back to him and indicating his throne.
"Very well handled," He murmured and Harry smiled slightly,
"Now," Tom turned back to address the Elite as Harry sat down, "Lucius, work with Bella to organise the guards that are being stations here. Nott, organise with the Lestrange brothers on the schedule for your own guard duties, Dolohov, work with Lucius, and Severus, you have your orders. Go now, and remember, when you return the wards will be on lock down." Tom dismissed them and they apperated away at once, the man walked over to Harry and offered a hand which Harry took gratefully. They made their way back to the study where Tom immediately slit his palm and pressed it to the ward stone, Harry felt the wards slam down around him and allowed the magic to comfort him.
"That feels better," Harry said, holding Lily close. Tom came over and wrapped his arms around Harry and sighed,
"I am sorry," Tom murmured, "I do not know how this information got out."
"Someone probably saw me without me realising." Harry said, "I mean, it's not like I've been overtly discrete."
"Dumbledore cannot get anywhere near you or Lily." Tom said and Harry could hear the worry in his voice,
"I trust you to not allow Dumbledore anywhere near us." Harry said surely and he meant it, Tom was more powerful than Dumbledore, and he had seen the man battle.
"But what if I can't keep you safe?" Tom demanded, he began pacing his office, "I can't loose you, I can't." Harry frowned, he had never seen Tom so panicked, minus Lily's birth of course. He placed Lily on the floor on a cushioning charm and warded off a section, she was crawling now and she liked to get in to everything. The house elves and baby proofed everything on their floor accept Tom's office, she had yet to speak yet, but she was using magic much more often. Harry stopped Tom's frantic pacing by wrapped his arms around his waist and leaning in to his chest, Tom's arms immediately came up to hold him tightly.
"You won't loose me." Harry assured, "And even on the off chance Dumbledore gets anywhere near me, I do own a wand, Tom, and I can use it quite well."
"I know, but the mere thought makes me sick to my stomach." Tom muttered,
"Yeah well, I'm not exactly filled with joy at the prospect of him coming anywhere near you." Harry grumbled,
"I have to protect you,"
"I know, but it doesn't mean I have to like it."
"Well, there is one bonus, I suppose." Tom mused and Harry raised his head to look at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Oh, and what's that?"
"I've been meaning to tell my elite." Tom said seriously and Harry laughed, shaking his head.
"You're an idiot."
As a result of the lockdown, Harry found himself getting to know the unknown elite members. Sure, he knew them by name, but the only time he had ever met them was when they were at each other's wands. He found that the Lestrange brothers were a lot like the twins, and because he got on so well, when ever Tom was not with him and Lily, the brothers would be guarding the door. That was until Harry snapped at them and told them to come in and sit down because they were annoying him, they grinned and flopped down in reminiscent of the twins.
Harry estimated that it took an entire 4.25 seconds before Lily has them wrapped around her little finger and they were reduced to being playmates while Harry took a quick nap. Tom had walked in on Lily sitting on Rabastan's chest while she was pulling at Rodolphus' hair, he blinked a few times and looked for Harry who was asleep on the sofa and nodded. Nothing was said, but the brothers became a permanent fixture, Harry was pleased with that and was very happy to discover that Rodolphus was not as crazy as his wife.
Harry has also discovered that Nott and Dolohov had gone to school with Tom and were original death eaters, they were very pleased to see their Lord and friend happy and doted on Lily just as much as everyone else. Bellatrix kept out of his way and the only time he saw her was when she was switching over on the guard duty, it seemed as if she had taken his threat to heart because she didn't so much as cough in his presence. Snape was another he didn't see a lot either, the potions master avoided him like the plague and Harry was perfectly happy with that. Of course, Tom was practically a shadow, and only when Harry pushed him out of the door did the man leave him, he was all over Harry and, instead of feeling stifled he felt cherished.
He hadn't managed to send any letter's to his friends because of the lock down, and he knew they were going to be worrying, but he hoped that, given Remus was still technically part of the order, they would have heard and understood. If not, well he would have to explain when this was over. Lily, it seemed, was missing them because she kept looking at her lion morosely, and then chewing on it, she was eating solid foods now and Harry was under the belief she was teething. Narcissa said it was around the time that Draco has began teething so it was perfectly normal, the Malfoy Lady was also around the manor more because Lucius was and because she was worried both for Harry and her Lord.
Harry sighed, it had nearly been a month since they had received the notice from Snape and information was hard to come by, Dumbledore was keeping tight lipped on his source and on the Order's progress, Harry assumed it was because he has noticed that Snape was with the Dark Lord more so than normal. He smiled slightly when he saw Lily clap her hands at the bubbles Rabastan was producing for her, she was giggling too which only saw fit to encourage him. Harry looked around when Tom stormed in, by his flaring magic he was pissed off and Harry was on his feet in an instant.
"What is it?"
"There is a chance the old man has found our location," Tom hissed and Harry paled.
"How is that possible?"
"I do not know, I've tightened the wards but there is nothing to be done until it has been confirmed." Tom ground out, furious at the mere thought. He paced agitatedly, cursing Dumbledore under his breath and for once not paying any attention to his daughter. Lily frowned at that, not liking that her daddy wasn't paying any attention to her even when she made sounds and held up her hands.
"Why does that man constantly have to meddle in things that do not concern him?" Tom growled, "You would think, as I have been laying low, that he would be pleased. But no, instead he hatches out a plan to attack a child. Not even I do that."
Harry cleared his throat.
"You were a special case, there was a prophecy, I was insane and, to put the icing on the cake, it failed anyway." Tom waved him off and Harry grinned, it was something he had noticed, Tom tended to avoid attacking children unless they attacked first. Tom was about to start another round of pacing when a voice stopped him,
Everyone in the room froze and as one they span to face Lily who, much to Harry's amusement, was glaring up at her daddy with flushed little cheeks and her hands outstretched. Tom was stunned in to immobility; he was convinced his brain was shorting on him because he swore he just heard his little girl call for him.
"Dada," Lily called, more insistently this time and Tom broke out in to a brilliant smile.
"She said dada," He whispered, amazed, "She actually spoke," he picked her and twirled her around.
"Wow," Harry said, shocked, he walked over to them smiling. "She's going to be a daddy's girl when she grows up."
"Of course she is, isn't that right, my little flower?" Tom said proudly, "Now we just have to make sure she's becomes the model little snake and everything will be perfect."
"Sorry, Tom, the lion wins out." Harry said, grinning.
Harry froze from where he was feeding Lily and paled, he looked to Rodolphus who was looking out of the window with a troubled expression on his face and cursed.
"Rodo, stay here," Harry ordered, "Look after Lily for a moment," He kissed his daughter before running through the manor, he slid around the corner and nearly ran in to Tom.
"They're trying to get through the wards." Harry gasped and Tom nodded, his face grim.
"They shouldn't be making such progress, these are goblin wards." Tom stated, and Harry cursed again.
"Bill Weasley, he's a curse breaker for Gringotts."
Harry took a second to marvel at the fact that Tom just swore out loud before he shook his and turned to his fiancé.
"What are we going to do?" Harry asked, panicking.
"We are not going to do anything," Tom stated, "You are going to come with me and get Lily and go to Malfoy Manor so you are both safe."
"Harry please," Tom looked in to his green eyes and his own red ones were full of pleading, "I cannot lose you or Lily, if anything happens, you know exactly what to do to bring me back, but that's not an option with you." Harry wanted to argue, but looking in to the red eyes he knew he couldn't.
"Fine, but don't do anything stupid," Harry warned. He had noticed that the full inner circle has been called and were manning their stations under Lucius and Bellatrix' command, he reluctantly turned away and went to fetch Lily.
"Rodolphus, find your brother and go to Bella, the Order and a few aurors are here."
"Right away, My Lord."
Harry grabbed Lily and rushed to their rooms, he waved his wand to pack the necessary things he needed before pulling on Lily's coat and going back to following Tom back to the study. They were cut off half way by a death eater Harry didn't recognise,
"My Lord, they've put their own anti-apperation and anti-porkey wards up, and the floo channel has been disconnected." He rushed to say and Tom went still,
"Very well, start layering trip wards within the grounds. Scatter them, and make sure they are painful."
"Yes, My Lord." The person bowed and hurried off,
"We're trapped," Harry whispered, fear beginning to lace his tone. He wasn't scared for himself, he was terrified for Lily, he wouldn't let them take his daughter.
"I'm going to kill every one of them for dare threatening my family." Tom hissed, and Harry knew that the man had gone past simple fury now, he could feel the blind rage that was beginning to consume Tom's mind.
"What am I going to do with Lily?" Using Lily's name seemed to make Tom control himself,
"Come with me," He said, "You might thank my paranoia," they went back to their rooms and Tom walked straight over to the fire place, he sliced his palm and wiped it over the, what Harry thought to be, decorative stones. Each one of their flared up a bright read before wards slammed down around them, Tom waved his hand and Harry felt another ward go off and then finally protection spells layered themselves on to both him and Lily.
"Stay here, and protect our daughter." Tom said to him, "And keep yourself safe."
"I will," Harry said, "Come back to me."
"I love you." Tom said, before he was gone. When the door shut, Harry felt the protections flare up and he began biting his lip, he put Lily in her cot so he could pace the room. He couldn't believe this was happening, this was possibly the worst thing ever and after all this time he wanted to know why now. Who was the informant and was he able to kill the little bastard for endangering his family. He could hear the battle begin and he couldn't help but pray to Merlin and Morgana that Tom would be ok.
The Dark Lord stalked through the corridors of his home with his full power on show, thick black clouds of magic surrounded him and his crimson eyes shone like freshly spilt blood. The death eaters who he passed to a moment to feel pity for those who dared come here today before sharing smirks and rushing to follow their Lord. He hissed wordlessly when he felt the wards snap and the Order flooded the grounds, the first wave of the inner circle, made up of 14 death eaters, met them and the fight began. The second line of inner circle lined the perimeter of the manor and was the bigger group of 20, the elite were stationed within the manor and Tom felt his two best fighters take up place beside him; Lucius and Bellatrix. Tom's eyes narrowed in to slits when he saw Dumbledore and he felt his elite stiffen,
"I think, Severus, your position within the light has been compromised." Tom stated as he noted the look of calculation of the old man's face, even at a distance he could see the man looking around searching for someone.
"I believe it is for the best, My Lord." Was Severus' bland reply, Tom's quirked a smirk before his face settled in to a hard mask. The battle was picking up and Dumbledore created an opening for the aurors to flood the grounds, and Tom could hear that some of the battle had began behind them.
"Rodolphus, Rabastan, Nott," He murmured and they three of them went to assess the damage. "The battle is coming to us, my elite. Shall we join them?" the elite rushed out of the house and joined the fray, there were cries of pain and the aurors were taken down by the superior power. Tom watched as Dumbledore turned toward the sounds and their eyes met, he saw the smug gloating in the blue eyes and Tom's eyes narrowed before flaring with rage. He stepped out of the manor and shielded from the spell shooting towards him, he quickly returned with three silent bone breakers and a killing curse, the green spell was defected and struck some auror who went down with a grunt.
Dumbledore transfigured the grass beneath him in to vines which Tom immediately set on fire and sent it at the old man, it as banished and a heart stopped was returned. Tom raised an eyebrow at the choice of spell and smirked, so Dumbledore was playing with fire, Tom could play as well. He twisted his wand and sent an expelling curse followed by a cutting curse a flaming metal wire and a black coloured spell which caused the head to cave in. Dumbledore's eyes narrowed when he missed the cutter and it called first blood, and the duel picked up. Many around them couldn't help but stop and watch was spells began to blur, the magic flaring around them was enough to leave most short of breath. Dumbledore, unknowingly to Tom, was leading him further from the manor, during the duel but Tom didn't notice because he was concentrating on killing the old man; he should have noticed.
Harry span around when he felt the wards twinge, he shot a look of panic at Lily who was, at the current time, sleeping in her cot. He threw as many protection spells he knew and put himself in front of the cot, the wards flickered again before the door was blown of its hinges and Moody and Tonks rushed in to the room. He could immediately tell that Tonks did not want to be there which reassured him slightly, but Moody's eyes, both of them, were filled with blood lust and his robes were flecked with blood. Both of their eyes widen in shock when he see Harry stood there with his wand pointed directly at them,
"Harry?" Tonks gasped, "What-,"
"I like you a lot, Tonks." Harry said, his voice layered with steel, "But I will not let you harm my child."
"Wait what?" She gaped, "Your child?"
"You!" Moody roared in a rage, "You traitor,"
"Call me what you want, but you will not be harming my baby." Harry spat, "What can you possible gain from killing a baby."
"That kid's the spawn of the devil himself." Moody growled, his magical eye spinning in his fury, "And you whored yourself out to produce it."
"Think what you like, she's just a baby." Harry said,
"A baby which will grow up just as dark, evil and twisted like its father," Moody snarled, brandishing his wand, "Now move out the way, Potter, and let us kill it before it's too late."
"Moody, she's just a baby." Tonks said quietly, looking decidedly uncomfortable. She had been against this entire operation from the beginning, but it was even worse now she saw Harry, he was a good kid who didn't have a lot, she refused to take away his family; he'd already lost one.
"The kid's evil. Look at its father, down there killin' all the decent light wizards without a care." Moody spat, spit flying and looking madder than ever,
"You invaded our home, you are threatening his family. What did you expect him to do? Welcome you in for dinner and then lead you up here himself?" Harry yelled, "You're crazy!"
"Mad eye, the baby is still part of Harry, even if the father is evil." Tonks tried to reason, but it fell on deaf ears.
"The kid's obviously gone dark, the kid is better of dead." Moody growled, "Now, we got a job to do." Moody threw a cutter at Harry who had already shielded and threw back three of his own spells, one of which clipped Moody's arm because the ex-auror was not expecting it. With a scream of rage, Moody unleashed a torrent of spells, Harry twisted, and returned fire, keeping a shield over Lily at all times. He was hindered because he couldn't move to far away from the cot which resulted him hissed when his left forearm shattered, he ducked a spell and shot a fire hex at Moody's wooden leg. Harry was forced to the right as the ground beneath him exploded, he missed the spell but it left Lily open and Moody took his chance and Harry felt his heart stop as the dreaded green light shot from his wand and went towards his daughter. He didn't think,
Tom, I love you with all my heart. I'm sorry, look after Lily for me, Harry sent through their link before he dived in the way of the curse and the bright green light slammed in to his chest.
Downstairs, Tom froze, making Lucius have to throw up an overpowered shield to stop the cutting curse striking his Lord. He felt a wave of panic from Harry and then:
Tom, I love you with all my heart. I'm sorry, look after Lily for me. His only's voice echoed around his mind before the connection went dead. There was absolutely nothing coming from the other end, it was like someone had severed the line and there was only one reason for that to happen.
Harry was dead.
Tom released a roar of utter rage and desperation and his magic blew out of him, any aurors within 10 feet were vaporized as the violent magic washed over them and took their lives. The Dark Lord swiped his wand through the air and every single ward blew apart as Dumbledore called for a retreat, Tom apperated to his rooms where there seemed to be a battle going on in there. He stepped in to the room and his eyes were instantly drawn to Harry, his Harry, who was on the floor and his vibrant green eyes dull and glazed. It was like someone had ripped out his heard and was stamping on in repeatedly, he couldn't breath and the room started to spin when a wail cracked through his despair.
She was still alive Tom realised with relief and he focussed on the room, Dumbledore's metamorph, or at least she was Dumbledore's, was protecting his daughter and Harry's body from none other than Mad Eye Moody. He took a moment to marvel at her skill, and then rage took over, it was obvious who was responsible for Harry's death and Tom allowed his magic to flare in to the room. Moody span around and the grizzled ex-auror started throwing spells, only for them to be batted away like insects as Tom stalked closer, he was like a predator and Tonks fell back to keep a shield over herself, the baby and Harry's body.
"You dare come in to my home and attack my family." Tom whispered, but it seemed much more deadly than if he had screamed at it. Tonks shivered at the sound and shrank back, strengthening her shield, she watched as the Dark Lord got closer to Moody all the while batting away the spells with his hands.
"Monsters don't have families, you just have a spawn and your whore's dead." Moody snarled and Tonks watches and furious red eyes gained a glaze of utter madness before the Dark Lord lashed out. Moody was completely unprepared for the fist that slammed in to his face and he went to the ground with his wand bouncing away, but Tom didn't stop there, he kept punching him, blood spurting everywhere until he grabbed his head and, with a sickening crack, he snapped his neck. Calmly, as if nothing untoward had happened, the Dark Lord rose to his feet and brushed himself off, ignoring his wounds and his now bleeding hand. He looked towards Tonks, who was now fearing for her own life after seeing the Dark Lord beat a man to death, and his red eyes dulled slightly.
"Thank you, for protecting my daughter and Harry's…" Tom couldn't get himself to say it, because that would make it real and he couldn't face that right now. Tonks nodded, lowering her shields with a wave of her wand and watched stunned as the most feared Dark Lord in history collapsed next to the prone form of Harry Potter.
"What," She heard him swallow and she was sure he was crying, "What happened?" Tom needed to know, he had to know what had happened.
"Mad Eye was put in charge of the mission by Dumbledore, I was made to go with him because I trained under him and I can change my appearance. I tried to keep him distracted and when we got to the corridor, I tried to convince him that there was nothing here but he felt the wards and used something Bill built to rupture the wards." Tonks began, trying to keep her voice steady as she spoke.
"Why did you want him distracted?"
"I was against this whole thing from the beginning, I don't agree with harming children but I was outvoted so I thought if I could keep Moody away for long enough then the Order would be forced to retreat and we would fail." Tonks told him honestly,
"Moody blasted down the door and stopped when he saw Harry in front of the cot, he was trying to get Harry to move but he wouldn't. Then Moody started throwing spells, but he wasn't expecting Harry to retaliate or be that powerful or quick because Harry called first blood. They were fighting, but Harry refused to move or release his shield so he couldn't fight properly. Moody had me pinned back with a shield so I couldn't help because I told him that we should leave and that the baby wasn't evil." Tonks explained and swallowed, "The Harry was forced aside and Moody cast the killing curse at the baby and Harry leaped in front of the cot, he just jumped at the killing curse." Tonks voice shook as she spoke and she saw the Dark Lord's shoulders shaking in an effort to control his emotions, she was completely stunned as she watched the man, albeit shakily, smooth down Harry's ruffled appearance and heal his arm with a flick of his wand.
This was a man, according to Dumbledore and the 'light' that could not feel anything but anger and hate, this was a man who care about nothing but himself and his goals, and yet here he was, breaking his heart over his fallen lover, by the looks of things. Tonks didn't think her mind could take any more surprises, everything she had ever been told about the Dark and the Dark Lord had just been burned before her very eyes and everything that was supposed to be good and right had just shattered her illusion because no one, who was actually 'good' would ever launch an attack to kill an innocent child.
At least the Dark were honest that they were a bunch of crazies, they were just not as insane as the light made them out to be. The baby started crying and the Dark Lord's attention snapped up to her, Tonks' jaw dropped when the man, with more care than she actually thought possible, scooped up the child and hushed her with practiced ease. How could anyone say that this man couldn't feel anything? It was as plain as Dumbledore's beard, and it was also apparent, to her anyway, that the man was breaking on the inside as he looked in to the bright green eyes of his daughter. Eyes that reminded him so much of Harry,
"Would you take her, please?" Tom asked Tonks, not being able to bear looking in to those eyes. Tonks quickly took the baby and began amusing her by changing the colours of her hair, the Dark Lord took a great shuddering breath but it didn't seemed to be enough, he felt like his entire life was breaking. He had never even considered a life without Harry in it, since he had come to him with the news of his pregnancy, the thought of life without Harry was something so inconceivable that he didn't even give it a second thought.
And now Harry was dead.
He didn't even bother to stop his tears from flowing, he couldn't if he tried, it was like the grief was swallowing him and for the first time in his life he felt remorse. Remorse for those he had left without their loved ones, because if they had had to feel what he was feeling, he wouldn't wish it on his worst enemy. There was hurried footsteps coming toward the bedroom and Narcissa Malfoy appeared, she was flushed and ruffled but otherwise unharmed.
"My Lord…" She trailed off at the sight of the room, she turned to her Lord and almost took a step back in astonishment; he was crying. Her eyes darted around to find the source of his anguish with her heart sinking, she saw her niece holding the baby and then her eyes found Harry's still form. The air rushed from her lungs and she stumbled back in to the wall, she couldn't believe her eyes, it was simply not possible; Harry couldn't be dead.
She looked back at her Lord and her heart dropped even more, the man was breaking. Narcissa could see it in his eyes, he was going to revert back in to the soulless monster that was consumed by madness and the world was going to burn. It would take a complete miracle to help Tom now, Harry was the only person that he had ever loved and he would be the only person her ever loved; and they killed him. Tom's magic started to build and Narcissa was worried to see he was no longer crying, the air began to get thick when the impossible happened. Harry sat bolt upright, gasping for air and the entire room went still; even the baby. Harry looked around wildly trying to control his erratic breathing,
"What the fuck just happened?" He asked, and no one seemed to be able to get them selves to speak. They all looked at him with wide eyed wonder and Harry blinked a few times, "Um, yes?" Tom knelt down and reached out a shaky hand to touch Harry's face as if he was afraid that he wasn't real.
"Harry?" Tom whispered in utter disbelief, Harry looked at his fiancé in question, alarmed at his behaviour. Harry's eyes widened when he saw the tear tracks on Tom's face, he wiped the tears away astonished to see them in the first place.
"Why have you been crying?"
"You died," Tom choked, causing him pain to even say it, "You were dead."
"Hey, I'm fine." Harry assured him softly and Tom just broke, Harry allowed himself to be pulled in to Tom's arms to calm him down. The man was shaking violently and he could honestly say that he had never seen Tom have such a strong reaction to anything before, Harry smiled as he heard the muttered 'I love yous' coming from Tom. Tom kissed his deeply and when they broke apart Harry looked in to the crimson eyes that he loved so much with a smile.
"I love you," Harry told him,
"Let me get you healed, to will have to have a full medical scan and lots of rest." Tom insisted, easily getting to his feet and bringing Harry with him. Harry's eyes looked around for Lily and blinked when he saw her with Tonks,
"What happened?" He asked, "I only remember green light and being told that I was not supposed to die yet then being forcefully removed from the afterlife."
"Miss Tonks protected Lily until I got here." Tom told him and Harry breathed in relief, flashing Tonks a grateful smile.
"Thank you," He said sincerely,
"No problem, squirt." She said, grinning and Harry pouted at the nickname.
"You're not allowed to call me that anymore." He said, "I'm a mother now." She laughed, her hair flashing blue.
"You're still a little squirt." Tonks said and Harry rolled his eyes with a grin of his own.
"Fine, be that way, Nymphadora," Harry said, emphasising her name and she scowled.
"Why, it's your name."
"And I still firmly believe that my mother must have hated me to use such a stupid name. Nymphadora, honestly," Tonks shook her head, her hair fading to a dark purple. Harry walked over and held out his arms for Lily,
"Mama!" She called and Harry beamed,
"Yes, finally," He cheered, bouncing her up and down.
"I think she may be the cutest kid I've ever seen." Tonks mused,
"So what happened?"
"Well, I held Mad Eye off until um… He came," Harry snickered at the stumble and Tonks blushed, "And then… well Mad eye died."
"I can see that, what in Merlin's name happened to his face?"
"Ah, that was someone's fist." Tonks answered brightly, and Harry blinked a few times.
"Mad Eye, over there, was beaten to death." Tonks told him and Harry slowly turned around to face Tom with an expression of shock.
"You beat him to death?"
"I might have lost my temper." Tom said, his voice lofty and his nose in the air, Harry had to fight back his laughter at the absurdity of the situation.
"Have you gotten your hand healed yet?" He asked instead, and Tom shifted,
"I was slightly preoccupied."
"Tom!" Harry exclaimed, "What were you thinking? How were you supposed to look after Lily if you are injured?"
"Harry! I would have gotten around to it." He defended,
"No, you get healed right now." Harry demanded and glared at Tom when he made to protest, he sighed and held out a hand to Narcissa, who had gotten over the shock of Harry not dying and composed herself enough to join their group. She tapped it and the skin knitted back together and with another flick the blood was gone, she also healed the other injuries that he was sporting and Tom didn't bother to protest. As soon as he was healed, he wrapped his arms around Harry and pulled him close.
"My Lord, I'm going to need you to step away from Harry so I can make sure he's in good heath." Narcissa pointed out, Tom scowled but took Lily and stepped away. Narcissa waved her wand and nodded,
"Minus a bruise on your chest, you are fine." She said to him, "Just apply some salve and that should clear right up."
"Thanks," Harry stepped back towards Tom and the man snaked an arm around his waist,
"What are the casualties?" Tom asked her,
"5 Inner circle dead, 2 in critical condition and 10 in injured which I have now healed, as for the Elite, minor injuries accept Rabastan who was unconscious when we found him. He is in a healing sleep currently." Narcissa told them.
"That is better than I expected," Tom mused, "Do you need to call in for assistance?"
"No, I've already put the two in critical in to a healing coma, and the 10 injured can be force fed potions by Severus." Narcissa said, and Harry could have sworn the woman looked too pleased about that.
"Very well," Tom turned to Harry, "What do you wish to do with Miss Tonks?"
"Oh, yeah, you're in a bit of a situation…" Harry remembered, "I know, you can stay with Moony. I'll lock down the wards."
"Moony, where is he? Dumbledore stopped telling him about meetings after this mission was announced,"
"He may have lunged across the desk and called Dumbledore a sick scumbag that needed to be put in the ground, all the while trying to take out a bite out of the old man's face." Tonks explained and Harry blinked,
"Huh, yeah, that might be a reason." Harry said and Tom smirked,
"I knew there was a reason I liked him."
"As for Moony, he's living at No. 12 Grimmauld Place." Harry told her, she grinned,
"You recast the Fidilius charm?"
"Yup, and forced Moony to live there because he was going to go back to that shack." Harry shook his head, "I don't know what he was thinking."
"He's a bit too prideful sometimes, what did you have to do to make him stay?" Tonks asked and Harry adopted a look that was positively heartbreaking.
"But Moony, you-you wouldn't leave me alone would you? What if I need you, or just want to speak to you? If you stay at Grimmauld I know where you'll be and I know you'll be safe." Harry spoke in a soft pleading voice, Tonks and Narcissa gaped at him while Tom was chuckling in to his shoulder.
"That was incredibly impressive," Narcissa said,
"It's a talent." Harry agreed, "You need to organise your death eaters, and prepare to strike."
"We need to go prepare our death eaters, you are not leaving my sight for the next year." Tom stated,
"I really like the sound of that." Harry said, pleased.
"Come, we have things to do." Tom said, leading him out.
"Hey Tonks, do you know where Dumbledore got the information about our baby?" Harry asked,
"Oh, apparently he has another spy that has been watching the Dark Lord's HQ. They couldn't tell him the location however," Tonks answered,
"Do you know the name?"
"Something like Bradley or Brady."
"Baldrey?" Tom said and Tonks nodded,
"That's the one. He's extremely good at masking spells according to the headmaster."
"He's going to be very good at being dead in around ten minutes." Tom muttered, they walked through the manor where the elves were hurrying to clear up the mess from the battle. Tonks changed her appearance so she looked like Narcissa's sister and the five of the entered the meeting room, the death eaters lined the walls as they walked in and Narcissa led Tonks over to where she stood with Lucius. Harry followed Tom up to the throne where the Dark Lord sat Harry in the pretentious seating and cast a slight warming charm for Lily. Whispering broke out when it became apparent who he was, it might have something to do with the fact that Harry no longer hid his scar, but silence fell when the Dark Lord turned to look at them.
"My loyal death eaters," He spoke softly, but it was impossible to miss the fury lacing his voice. "Today Dumbledore and his order attacked our base and my home." Angry hissed filled the room and Harry knew it wasn't just following the crowed, the death eaters were genuinely angry and this and it made his smirk slightly at the loyalty Tom created.
"The reason for this despicable attack is because Dumbledore wished to murder my child." Tom continued, silencing the whispers with a raised hand. "The reason you were not told of this glorious news was illustrated today, it was not safe for the knowledge of my child or my fiancé to be released." It was like the girls when they found out Victor Krum was at Hogwarts, the death eaters burst in to whispered conversation, giggles and even a few sighs. Tom rolled his eyes and Harry grinned behind Lily, it was highly amusing for him to see the Death Eaters like this, he had heard all about how they were not mindless killers and they weren't just mindless drones, but seeing it was a lot different. One of the inner circle stepped forward, Jugson Harry believed, and took a deep breath.
"May we inquire when both these miracles happened, My Lord?" He asked,
"My beautiful daughter was born on the 22nd of April, and Harry agreed to marry me on the 4th of February." Tom told them, pride flowing through his voice.
"And her name, My Lord?"
"A beautiful name, My Lord," Jugson said and Tom inclined his head in acknowledgement.
"I kept them a secret to protect them, and yet Dumbledore still found out and decided to hunt my daughter." The atmosphere in the room dropped, "We have a spy within our midst." Furious hissing spread through the room as the death eaters wondered who would betray their Lord to Dumbledore.
"Who is it, My Lord?" Mulciber asked, disgust lacing his tone.
"Jonathan Baldrey, step forward." Tom ordered and the room fell silent, no one moved for a few seconds before one quivering figure stumbled out of the crowds and towards the Dark Lord. He knelt when he was in front of the dais with his head bowed, Tom sneered down at the figure and the other death eaters gave him looks of disgust.
"Look at me," Tom commanded, the death eater's head snapped up and Tom sliced his hand through the air. The white mask vanished like smoke revealing his face to the crowd and Harry noticed he was decidedly pale.
"You have been discovered a spy and a traitor to our cause, do you deny it?"
"No, My Lord,"
"You knowingly and willingly passed in formation to Dumbledore about our ranks and my person."
"Yes, My Lord,"
"You knowingly put the lives of my fiancé and daughter in danger, to serve your own person."
"Yes, My Lord."
"Do you have anything to day in your defence?" Tom asked coldly,
"No, My Lord, only my sincerest apologies."
"Avada Kedavra," the green light shot out of Tom's wand and hit Baldrey in the chest, he slumped over dead and Tom motioned for two of the closest Death Eaters to deal with it.
"The same fate awaits any other that defies our cause, is that understood."
"Yes, My Lord,"
"We have to remain vigilant, Dumbledore and some of his Order escaped today and I will not allow their attack to go uncountered. Lucius and Bellatrix will be organising attack fleets to hit strategically places forcing Dumbledore out in to the open where he shall be killed." Tom said to them, "Dumbledore will pay for his actions today, for the lives of our fallen comrades and for the threat on our lives." The death eaters cheered and clapped their hands, Harry smirked at Tom's ability with words. "You are dismissed," they started apperating away in groups until only the elite remained, Harry rose to his feet and went to stand with Tom, who wrapped his arms around his waist and kissed Lily.
"How long do you think it will take to draw Dumbledore out, My Lord?" Dolohov asked,
"Not that long, when he realised that the two he sent to kill my Lily never returned he will think the worst and act upon it. The attacks will be seen as a warning and Dumbledore will feel compelled to hit back when we strike at Diagon Alley. There will be no damage done to the Alley, our mere presence will be enough to draw him out and then he dies." Tom explained and they nodded,
"It will be done, my Lord." Lucius said,
"Dismissed," they bowed and popped away, Harry waved at Tonks and Cissa as they left and when the manor was finally empty he sighed in relief.
"I need to reset the wards." Tom said,
"Let's do that before going to sleep." Harry muttered,
"I believe that is a splendid idea."
Tom, it seemed, was taking the literal meaning of 'I'm not letting you out of my sight' because Harry swore the man had stuck himself to his side. It wasn't as if he was with him everywhere, no, Harry was sure Tom made sure they were touching so how every moment of the day. For a whole two weeks after the attack, Tom took his paranoia beyond anything Harry had ever seen. The man had a layered protect bracelet made for Lily, he had solidified the wards on the manor and he even sat and created a ward which was completely impenetrable because it was in parseltongue. Harry didn't mind Tom being there all the time, actually he quite liked it, but it was getting to the point of excessive and Harry sighed as he put Lily down for a nap with Tom lingering behind him. Harry took the man's hand and led him in to the bedroom and sat him down, he stood in front of him with his arms crossed.
"You have to calm down." Harry stated and Tom blinked,
"I don't know what you mean." Tom said and Harry raised an eyebrow.
"I know you are worried about Lily and I, but you cannot keep following me around and not doing your own work." Harry said to him, Tom shifted slightly and looked away.
"Tom, I love you, you know that. But you have to stop this, you have done everything that is physically possible to ensure nothing can harm us, you gotta calm it down." Harry said to him, "We're not going anywhere."
"You died, Harry." Tom said quietly, and Harry ran a hand through his hair.
"I know, but I'm fine now and I'm still here."
"It still doesn't remove the fact that you died, Harry." Tom said, pain lining his voice. "Do you know what I see every time I close my eyes? I see you on the floor dead and I'm reminded that I didn't protect you, that I failed to keep you and Lily safe." Harry's eyes softened at that, he didn't know that Tom was having such a hard time dealing with his sudden death. He walked over and sat on his lap and wrapped his arms around his neck, he pressed a soft kiss to Tom's lips.
"I didn't know you were still reeling over that." Harry murmured,
"You wouldn't have I need not worry you when its my problem." Tom said and Harry smiled wryly.
"Oh, would you not want to know if I was in pain or upset?"
"Of course I would. How am I supposed to take care of you if I don't know what's wrong?" Tom said incredulously, Harry just gave him a pointed look and Tom looked sheepish.
"Yes, ah," Harry shook her head, "You need to talk to me Tom, or I'm not going to know these things."
"Now, that still doesn't remove the fact that you need to calm down. There was absolutely nothing you could have done to change the outcome of that day, and you cannot beat yourself up about it." Harry told him, making sure to keep eye contact. Tom sighed through his nose,
"I will try."
"I will keep our connection open fully and I will wear whatever protective enchantments you've been itching to layer me in, if you promise to go and do your work. Lucius, bless him, has been working himself to the bone organising these raids and he has a family too, Bellatrix is powerful but she's insane." Harry said to him,
"Every single charm?" Tom confirmed and Harry nodded with a smile.
"Yes, fine, every charm,"
"Ok," Tom agreed, Harry got up and pulled Tom with him,
"Now go do some work for an hour, in your office while I stay in this extra warded room and sleep." Harry ordered with his hands on his hips, Tom looked at him in amusement and raised an eyebrow.
"Yes My Lord," Tom replied sarcastically, Harry sniffed and put his nose in the air.
"It's about time you acknowledged my superior status." Harry said primly, Tom gave him a look of pure incredulity and Harry burst out laughing.
"You are an idiot."
"But I'm a loveable idiot." Harry said, grinning.
"You are not wrong." Tom agreed, Harry wrapped his arms around Tom's neck and kissed him. When they broke apart Harry smiled and stepped away,
"Go be the most feared Dark Lord in history and make Dumbledore suffer. You only have an hour though because I want to go see Moony." Harry said,
"Very well, I shall endeavour to return within the hour." Tom said and swept away. Harry sighed happily and curled up on the bed; sleep would be welcome.
"Number 12 Grimmauld Place," Harry called and stepped in to the flames, he felt the normal nauseating feeling of floo travel before he was spat out of grate and in to Remus' waiting arms.
"Thanks," Harry said with a grin, "There was a very good reason why I didn't carry Lily."
"I really don't see it." Remus joked and Harry laughed. They moved out of the way as the floo flared again and Tom stepped gracefully out of the floo, Harry shot him an envious look to which Tom smirked. Lily did not look too pleased with the floo and Tom passed her over to Remus so he could cheer her up, Tonks was sat at the table and she waved at Harry with a grin.
"Hey Squirt, um what do we call you?" Tonks asked, looking at Tom, Harry snickered at her sheepish look and Tom rolled his eyes
"Ok, wow, didn't see that one." She muttered,
"Awh what, I was hoping you were going to go for You-Know-Who." Harry groaned in mock disappointment, Tom smirked,
"I think that would get annoying."
"So, how are you feeling, cub?" Remus asked him, "No adverse affects from… dying?"
"No, I'm fine. And if I wasn't, you could bet this house Tom would have tied me down to the bed with Narcissa hovering over me until I was back in to full health." Harry said and nimbly dodged the stinging hex sent at him and flashed an unremorseful grin, "You know it's true."
"Things are picking up, I've been told that Dumbledore is agitated since he's lost Moody and Tonks." Remus told them,
"Good, he'll be forced out soon enough." Tom said,
"He won't be able to sit back for long, he'll be seen as not doing anything and his image is everything." Tonks said,
"We intend to crush that image before he dies." Tom said gleefully, Harry knew the man was counting down the days until he could crush Dumbledore and Harry would admit that he was looking forward to it.
"You don't sound pleased at all." Tonks said seriously, and Harry laughed at Tom's unimpressed expression.
"I'm thrilled." He deadpanned,
"So Moony, what's this I hear about you trying to take a bite out of Dumbledore?" Harry asked lightly, masking his grin. Tom didn't bother, he smirked highly amused at that and Remus coloured.
"I may have lost control of myself when I heard his plan and I had to be restrained, by the time I was released and told not to come back your wards were up fully and I guessed Snape had already told you." Remus explained,
"I am highly disappointed that you did not actually bite him, Remus. I feel as if it was an largely missed opportunity." Tom told him seriously, Remus grinned apologetically.
"I apologize, I blame the desk and the other people in the way."
"Such a shame,"
"I thought it was hilarious." Tonks said, "Dumbledore looked so surprised,"
"I can imagine." Harry said, "Oh, I should probably tell you, Moony. I may have threatened Snape with you."
"What do you mean, 'with me'?"
"Well, he has a pathological fear of werewolves, you in particular. And, when I lost my temper a little, I may have threatened to lock him in a room with you on a full moon after telling you that he had harmed your cub." Harry said somewhat sheepishly, Remus blinked a few times before laughing.
"That was evil." He laughed and Harry grinned,
"Yeah it was, you should have seen his face."
"Severus is now scared to be in the same room as you," Tom said smirking, "He practically lived in the labs when he was there."
"Yeah well, served the bastard right," Harry muttered, he watched as Moony passed Lily over to Tonks and his little girl started giggling when Tonks switched her hair colours.
"She's going to love you forever if you keep doing that." Harry warned,
"I don't mind, she's adorable." Tonks said, changing her hair to a vivid red.
"She's talking more now." Harry said, "She knows who we are and she's names her snake Hiss."
"Original, I like it." Remus laughed,
"She still favours that damn lion," Tom grumbled,
"Of course, it is the only way." Remus said solemnly,
"Oh does that mean I can get her a badger?" Tonks asked excitedly,
"Absolutely not," Tom and Remus exclaimed in unison, Harry burst out laughing at their surprised looks and Tonks' pout.
"You both suck." She muttered before turning to Lily, "When you grow up, you'll be a great little Hufflepuff and we'll tell that lot to stick it." And she changed her hair black and yellow it illustrate, Tom looked sick at the thought and Remus looked horrified.
"You are all terrible." Harry said, picking up his daughter, "Don't listen to the horrible people, Lily. You will grow up to be just perfect no matter what." Harry watched in amusement as the three of them stumbled over themselves to assure him that she would be perfect, Harry snickered as Lily giggled.
"That's what I thought," Harry said primly, "How are Hermione, the twins and Luna?"
"Well, Hermione had to be stopped from attempting to kill Dumbledore. I had to physically hold her and remover her wand because she was coming up with some interesting ways to kill with first year spells." Remus winced,
"Sounds about right, she's scary." Harry agreed,
"The twins have riddled the castle with Merlin knows what and they seem to target those in the Order and Dumbledore, last time I seen the old man he was beardless." Remus said with a smirk, Harry grinned and Tom looked pleased.
"They are growing on me."
"You just don't like them because they coloured your sitting room red and gold with lions on the wall." Harry said, and Tom looked disgusted,
"It was awful,"
"Lily loved it,"
"See, they are corrupting her already." Tom exclaimed,
"And Rodo and Rabastan aren't?" Harry questioned, "Those two dressed her up in silver and green with snake patterns, dyed all of her toys silver and green and the only reason they had to change it back was because she threw her lion at them screaming."
"I see nothing wrong with that." Tom sniffed,
"Impossible, honestly," Harry shook his head, "What about Luna?" Remus shuddered,
"She actually scared me."
"Yes, all of her dreaminess vanished, and it was replaced with utter fury. She wasn't seen for a few days and then she returned and gave me this." Remus summoned a scroll and handed it over, "Honestly, I don't know how she did it, but I never want her going after me." Harry unrolled the scroll and scanned it, his eyebrows climbed higher and higher up his head until he broke out in to an malicious smirk.
"Here you go Tom, have a happy birthday from Luna." Harry said, his voice filled with vicious glee. Tom took it with a questioning look and Harry watched as his eyes lit up and his face slit in to an evil look.
"She is now my favourite one of your friends." Tom murmured, looking at the scroll in reverence, "Actually, I think she may be my favourite one out of my own friends."
"I'll pass along the message." Remus said with a grin,
"Dumbledore and all his dirty little secrets, who would have thought," Harry sighed happily,
"This is brilliant, when he's dead I'll have it framed." Tom said brightly,
"Above the fireplace?" Harry asked,
"Yes, I think it will be a nice touch."
"I don't know whether to be amused or alarmed," Tonks decided and Harry grinned,
"Amused, we're hilarious." Harry stated seriously,
"I'll take your word for it," Tonks replied.
Harry and Tom stayed for dinner and Remus had a great time feeding Lily, they had discovered that she was a huge fan of potatos but she hated carrots and, in retaliation of feeding her carrots, Remus got mush thrown in his face. Tom thought it was hilarious and Remus mock grumbled out spoilt little menaces, Tonks took over and got on much better by serving her broccoli and changing her hair to match the colours. Remus insisted it was cheating and pouted for the rest of the meal, Harry was sure that, once everything was cleared up with Dumbledore and Tom had secured the wards to his standards, he had found the perfect babysitters. After dinner, they sat and had drinks and Lily fell asleep in Tonks' arms much to her joy,
"She's so cute." Tonks whisper exclaimed,
"Of course, she's our child." Tom said as if it was obvious, Tonks rolled her eyes.
"Don't mind the ego, I'm hoping it's not hereditary." Harry mock whispered, Tom jabbed him in the side and Harry laughed, he pressed a kiss to the man's check and got up.
"Of course," Harry agreed, "We had better go, I have to get Lily to her bed or she'll get used to sleeping like that."
"Fine," Tonks sighed, but she was smiling. She carefully handed over the sleeping baby to Tom as Harry hugged Moony, once she was baby free she jumped on Harry and squeezed.
"See ya, squirt."
"Bye Nymphadora," Harry responded in kind, he dodged her and leaped in to the floo, vanished in a swirl of green flames.
"You know he's going to be on his face when you get through there." Remus pointed out to the Dark Lord, Tom nodded with exasperation.
"I don't know what it is, but magical transportation hates him." Tom said rolling his eyes, "Thank you for dinner, we shall see you again." and he to vanished in a blast of green flames.
"He's nothing like we were led to believe, is he?" Remus said to Tonks,
"No, not even close."
It had been another month in the waiting, but finally Tom was stood before his death eaters as they gathered in the meeting room, Harry was sat in the throne as usual, the only difference was he had Remus and Tonks stood either side of him. They had volunteered to mark him along with Rodolphus and Rabastan, he was partially amused by their stunned expressions as they watched the crowed gather. Tom had called for his full inner circle, 30 people, his full elite, 7 people, and a section of his outer circle, 35 people, and they were all stood facing the Dark Lord.
"Dumbledore has no idea just how many people the Dark Lord has." Tonks whispered and Harry smirked,
"They do not stand a chance." Remus muttered,
"My loyal death eaters," Tom spoke and the room fell in to total silence, "Today is the day we have been waiting for. Today is the day that the light falls. Today is the day Dumbledore dies." The crowd roared in approval and Tom smirked, he allowed them their expression before silencing them with a raised hand.
"You have been given your positions and you have been given your instructions. It is imperative that you follow them to the very letter, because this cannot fail. Dumbledore will no longer get away with allowing our magic to lay stagnant and feared, Dumbledore will no longer control the government and force us in to the shadows, and Dumbledore will no longer be a threat to our families." Tom told them passionately, and they cheered, they had been waiting for this day for years and it had finally arrived; this was it.
"Wow, he knows how to speak." Tonks whispered amazed, "If I had been given that speech I would have signed right up."
"Why do you think he has so many people?" Harry asked rhetorically,
"He could probably talk a goblin out of his gold." Remus joked and Harry chuckled,
"I might ask him to try."
"Today we will prevail and today dark shall take control." Tom yelled over the din, "To your positions, and we shall take this society as our own." The crowd was yelling and cheering as they bowed and apperated out. Half of them were going to the main raid on Diagon, but the other half were going to be waiting in position for the ministry to empty and then seize it. Harry held Lily close to him and apperated out along with Tom and his guard, he landed in the shadows of Knockturn Alley and they quickly made their way through the alley and up in to Diagon.
They lingered in the shadows, using their cloaks to hide themselves as they watched the death eaters swarm the alley. The screaming began almost instantly, despite the fact that the death eaters were not casting any spells, there were merely lining the alley and looking intimidating. The Order and aurors soon arrived and they looked confused at the lack of action even when they cast spells, the death eaters had been ordered to shield themselves only. Tom kissed Harry and stepped out of the shadows, his magic seeping around him as he glided towards the assembled group, the aurors and the Order looked terrified when it registered that they were looking at the Dark Lord. He made an imposing figure as he stopped before them, tall and cloaked with thick magic surrounding him; Harry grinned.
"Everyone, my future husband." Harry mock announced to their little group, Remus and the brothers grinned as Tonks laughed.
"I don't know how he does it." Remus shook his head, "Dumbledore has never, even in his prime, cut such an impressive figure."
"He's just that great." Rabastan answered,
"Ok, Dumbledore's coming." Harry said and they focused back on the crowd. It was like a stare off, no one was moving as the Dark Lord stood there and even the public were lining the Alley in a quest to fine out what was going on. A crack rang out and Dumbledore came forward, his blue robes standing out against the see of black that the death eaters held, his blue eyes were no longer twinkling as he looked towards the Dark Lord.
"Why have you come here today, Tom?" Dumbledore asked, keeping hold of his grandfatherly mask. The whispers that had flooded the alley with the arrival of the aged headmaster fell silent at the question, the Dark Lord smirked, not that anyone could see it.
"I came here to tell the nation that the dark will be controlling the government from this day." Tom announced grandly, and shouts and screams broke out.
"You cannot win this battle, Tom. And the bloodshed you will cause will only create rebels and you'll never win." Dumbledore countered, with equal amount of grandeur.
"There will be not battle and there will be no bloodshed, apart from yours." Tom told him and the alley went silent, confusion was most prominent on people's faces and even Dumbledore looked shocked.
"How do you intend to take control without force?" Dumbledore demanded, not pleased that he was thrown off.
"When the world knows the truth of what you have done, all in the name of greater good, then they will no longer wish for you to be in power." Tom said surely, and it was obvious the crowds were intrigued. This was like nothing they had ever seen, there was no fighting, no blood, no screaming and it was obvious the Dark had come with a message.
"My mistakes can never come up to yours."
"I wouldn't be too sure, Dumbledore. How about we shed a little light on the lies you have spread about me and my cause?" Tom asked rhetorically.
"I have told no lies."
"Really? How is it that people believe that I wish to murder all muggleborns?" Tom questioned,
"Your goal has always been to eradicate muggleborns, you follow nothing but the pureblood ideals. You wish for the purebloods to run everything."
"You lie, Dumbledore." Tom stated gleefully, and Harry knew that he was going to enjoy the next part. "I believe in traditions being kept and I believe that muggle ideas and holidays need to be removed from our world. We are witches and wizards, we should not be celebrating something that has no link to us. No longer do we celebrate Samhain for it is substituted for Halloween, Yule has become Christmas, and Beltane and the other traditions are long forgotten. You twisted that to make it seem as if we hated muggleborns because they were unfamiliar with our traditions." Dumbledore looked slightly uncomfortable as the crowds looked interested with the Dark Lord's points.
"You have always believed that anyone who didn't possess pureblood was beneath you, that only purebloods were superior." Dumbledore shouted and the Dark Lord laughed coldly.
"Come now Dumbledore, how can that be true?" Tom questioned shaking his head, "Why would I, of all people, believe that purebloods were superior?"
"Isn't that what you have always promoted?" That came from Amelia Bones and Harry commended her for speaking up.
"No, why would I? I am a halfblood." Tom told them and the entire alley went deadly silent. This news was not a surprise to the death eaters, Harry had been stunned to discover that the Dark Lord's big secret wasn't so secret within the Dark. The Alley of public and aurors were either gaping forcefully stopping themselves from looking so undignified, Dumbledore looked furious and shocked at the same time and Harry smirked.
"He's a halfblood?" Tonks hissed in Harry's ear.
"Well, there goes Dumbledore's argument." She laughed,
"Yeah, kinda just died right there," Harry agreed, and they quieted down when Tom started speaking.
"As I said before, I wish for our once valued traditions to become currently valued. Why should we be forced to celebrate something that means nothing to us, especially when we have our own holidays to remember?" the crowds of people were definitely looking more interested, and some were even coming around to the idea.
"You are a mindless killer." Dumbledore changed his tactics and Tom inclined his head.
"I will admit that, in the final parts of the previous war, I was less than sane and I have committed acts that I do wholly regret. But answer me this, Dumbledore. Why did I become so unstable?" Tom asked him, and his admittance gained raised eyebrows.
"Because you became drunk on power and drowned yourself in darkness and evil." Dumbledore said triumphantly.
"You speak of lies again, headmaster. The use of dark magic does not make one evil, magic is magic and it is merely the intent of a spell that makes it evil."
"Lies," Dumbledore yelled,
"How it is lies when there is proof? I could kill you now with a first year spell which has been taught at Hogwarts for the past 50 years at least, the Diffindo hex. And that would be much more brutal and messy than if I just cast the killing curse and killed you painlessly and humanely." Tom said to him and his voice had taken on a lecture-like tone. Dumbledore didn't seem to have a response and so Tom took that as an opening to continue.
"You speak of dark magic like it is uncontrollable, but who's fault is it that it became that way? Who was it that, after defeating Grindlewald, began promoting the evils of dark magic and had multiple laws passed to have it banned. Multiple other countries around the world begin teaching dark magic theory from 11 and begin the practical side at 13 to teach young witches and wizards how to control it and how to wield it without allowing it to control you." Tom explained and he was speaking mainly to the gathered crowd, Harry had seen that, somehow, the crowd had grown and he was sure that as Tom had been speaking students had appeared. He was sure he could see uniforms and they were looking interested, even the ministry officials were paying rapt attention to the Dark Lord's words.
"Dark Magic corrupts you, and when you throw around the unforgivables as much as you there is no hope." Dumbledore stated, but his argument was weak.
"Dark magic does not corrupt you because magic is pure, if your intent is not to harm then how can you be corrupt? Besides, if you truly want to look in to the nature of the unforgivables then you would find that they are grey in nature." Tom returned,
"How is that possible?" This was Bones again, "Their purpose is to control, to harm and to kill."
"Not originally," Tom told her, "The Imperius curse was created in 1502 by a wizard called Cygnus Whiteman, he was a mindhealer that specialised in suicides, and he created the spell to force those who were trying to take their own like to stop and remove them in to a safe location so they could begin a healing regime. The Cruciatus Curse was created in 1354 by Jefferson Peters, who a desperate man was wishing to cure his wife of a mysterious alement, the feelings in her limbs were deteriorating and there was no known cure.
"He believed that if he forced the nerve endings to feel sharp blasts of pain without damaging them then they would begin to heal themselves from the damage that was not actually there, thus fixing the damage that had been created by the disease; he succeeded. The spell was then published as a medical miracle and cured many others. Finally, the killing curse was created in 1198 by Cadmus Abbott for a way for farmers to kill livestock in a humane way and allow them to retain all of the available meat and merchandise. It was then transferred in to medical purposes to end the suffering of patients who had terminal diseases that were calling them great pain." He explained clearly and left another resounding silence in his wake.
"He would have made a fantastic teacher." Remus muttered, sounding disappointed.
"He applied for the DADA position, but Dumbledore refused to give it to him which is why the position is cursed. Tom was petty and did the who 'if I can't have it no one can'." Harry told them,
"Yep, he loves sharing knowledge, and he's full of it." Harry confirmed,
"I would have loved to have had him as my teacher, I would have never slacked off." Tonks said and Harry grinned,
"How do you think I got so good?"
"He's been teaching you?"
"Yes, so I can take my NEWT's at the ministry and pass with flying colours. I'm making it my goal to beat at least his DADA score."
"What did he get?"
"Oh, he's a certified genius so he got 12 perfect OWL's and followed it with 12 NEWT's." Harry said.
"Why am I not surprised."
They turned back to Tom who was talking to Madam Bones and ignoring Dumbledore completely,
"If this is true, why has it not been announced?" She asked,
"Albus Dumbledore has never liked me, he taught me back when I was at Hogwarts and when I started questioning me he began stopping me at every turn. I have the highest combine grade scores to come out of Hogwarts in the last 100 years, possibly even before that, I could have entered the ministry and spread my thought there. But Dumbledore blocked me. I wanted to be teacher." Tom gave an ironic laughed, "But Dumbledore denied me and then he forced my hand in to opposing him when he tightened his control on dark magic." Tom told her.
"He expanded it to dark creatures as well, sectioning off entire races of our community with his bigotry and lies. Werewolves are seen as pariahs here and yet in other countries they are worshiped, they are seen to have been touched by the moon and allowed to run free. Because of this they do not become repressed and they do not become the mindless creatures Dumbledore has reduced them too. Vampires are seen as evil simply because they require blood to survive, but yet it has been forgotten and hidden that they don't actually need to kill.
"Only drink their fill and it doesn't even need to be directly from a human, I have seen countries have centres where donated blood is collected and sent out to clans so they can survive without so much as touching a human. Goblins are shunted to the point of wars and yet it seems to have slipped most's minds that they control our entire worlds financial upkeep, and yet we allow them zero rights of their own. Rights they deserve as their own race." Tom said to them, his voice filled with passion and belief and it was clear that every single person was hanging on to his every word, the dark had practically won the war by now; it was time to finish Dumbledore.
"You are lying, you want to twist and corrupt everything." Dumbledore screamed, he was falling apart as people believed in the Dark Lord.
"You are the liar and you are the one who is corrupted, because of you our world is failing and even worse, our children are no longer getting the education they deserve." Tom stated coldly, his voice changing in an instant.
"I am the greatest headmaster Hogwarts has ever seen." Dumbledore declared.
"The same headmaster that has allowed grades to drop by 58% since he took the post," Tom said; it paid to have Lucius Malfoy in your ranks. Furious whispers broke out at that number and Dumbledore shifted,
"Hogwarts is the greatest school for magic." Dumbledore stated,
"Indeed, the very same school that allowed its students to be tortured with the use of a blood quill while under your watch." Tom said and there was an outcry at that, Harry had informed Tom of that little bit of information and sat back to watch as the man destroyed a lot of things and then went out to personally kill Delores Umbridge.
"Excuse me, blood quill?" Bones demanded, shooting Dumbledore a furious look.
"Down to the recently deceased Delores Umbridge, and I believe your niece was a victim." Tom told her, Amelia's eyes flashed and she took a threatening step towards Dumbledore.
"You allowed this?" She hissed,
"It was not my fault." Dumbledore said and Tom laughed coldly,
"Of course it wasn't, headmaster, it was for the greater good." Tom said mockingly.
"You speak nothing by lies."
"I, the Dark Lord Voldemort, do hereby swear upon my magic that everything I have spoken of in this alley has been the whole truth as I know it, so mote be it." they was a bright flash of light and then Tom light up his wand it illustrate he still had his magic. Dumbledore looked horrified and the crowd gaped, it has just been irrevocably proven that Albus Dumbledore had been lying to everyone for years, and the Dark Lord was not as evil as he had been presented.
"You've still committed monstrous acts," Dumbledore tried and Tom inclined his head.
"I have already said I have done things I regret, but I was also in state that would legally written me as clinically insane. I suffered many times of complete black outs where I still, to this day, do not remember what I did or how I acted. I had frequent times where I could not control my own magic and points where my paranoia reached levels that were unprecedented. If I was tried I would have been sentenced to an indefinite stay in St Mungos until such time where I was coherent. And I would swear on my magic to confirm it." Tom said sombrely, it was not something he was proud of, but it was the truth; he had never wanted to become a mindless killing machine.
"You would willingly swear to that, that you were insane and not in control?" Bones asked,
"I, the Dark Lord Voldemort, do swear upon my magic, that everything I said about my health was the whole truth as I know it, so mote be it." his magic flashed for a second time and Tom light his wand to prove himself. An outbreak of whispers ripped through the alley as that registered with the people, they couldn't believe it and yet it was the complete truth.
"But as Dumbledore brought up monstrous acts," Tom began bringing the crowds back, "Let's talk about Dumbledore's latest monstrous act, shall we?"
"I have done nothing?"
"No? Are you sure? I would think long and hard about this one, Dumbledore." Tom said, there was a trace of mocking in his voice.
"You lie again,"
"The great Albus Dumbledore, the champion of everything 'light' and 'good' recently tried to kill a child." Tom announced and people gasped, "But not just anyone's child. The child of Harry Potter." BOOM, the crowd went completely berserk, they were screaming and yelling obscenities at Dumbledore for daring to harm their precious saviour and his child. Dumbledore looked at the Dark Lord in utter horror and he realised just what had happened, and the old man knew he was done.
"How is that possible?" Someone yelled,
"We've been told that Harry Potter was in a high level training program." Amelia said, looking coldly at Dumbledore.
"That is but more lies." Tom told her,
"How do you know this?"
"Because he came to me for protection, and it was my home that Dumbledore and his Order attacked to try and kill the child." Tom explained,
"Harry would never come to you, you would kill him at first sight." Dumbledore spat,
"Why would I dare harm my fiancé?" Tom asked him, confused, and Dumbledore went still.
"Fiancé?" Dumbledore repeated hoarsely, "No, it cannot be true."
"Oh but it is, and he was with me when you and 30 other men attacked my home to try and kill an innocent child." Tom hissed, the first traces of anger showing.
"Foolish man," Tom sneered, he held out his left hand and the crowd followed as a cloaked smallish figure surrounded by four other cloaked people walked swiftly towards the Dark Lord. When they arrived next to him, the four fell back to stand behind the figure and the figure placed their smaller hand in the Dark Lords. Tom used his right hand to draw back the hood and the crowds gasped when they saw the famous lightning bolt scar. Harry flashed a smirk at Dumbledore before he shifted to reveal the baby resting on his hip, there were many 'awhs' that rippled through the crowd and Harry couldn't help but smile.
"You made a big mistake coming after my baby, Dumbledore." Harry told him coldly,
"This is a mistake, he's imperiused." Dumbledore cried.
"I've been able to throw that of since I was 14." Harry deadpanned, "I highly doubt that it would affect me now."
"You are lying."
"That is a common sentence from you lately, and yet it is you that speaks the most lies. You did come to our home and try to kill my baby and it was the Dark Lord who protected me when I needed it most. I was with him during the entire pregnancy, he was the one who saw to it that I had a private healer, he made sure that I had everything I could have possibly needed, he was the one who was right next to me when Lily was born and he was the one who protected me and Lily with his own life when you attacked us." Harry stated fiercely,
"I only attacked because I had information that it was Voldemort's child, it had to be removed before it became evil likes its father. Surely you must have known that I would have never harmed you or your child." Dumbledore said, trying to save face but failing miserable, people were looking at him in disgust and some even looked on the verge of cursing him. Harry looked at him through narrowed eyes,
"She is the Dark Lord's child. I fail to see how that makes any difference." Harry ground out, Dumbledore's eyes widened in shock,
"What's your excuse now, old man?" Tom asked mockingly, Dumbledore looked around and he seemed to realise that he had no one on his side.
"You'll never win," He shouted,
"I already have one." Tom declared, "Look around, old man. Everyone hates you and all I had to do was tell the truth, besides, look at the crowds gathered here. While we've been speaking I've taken the ministry, I've taken Hogwarts and you are nothing. All without spilling a drop of blood,"
"You've taken the ministry?" Amelia gasped, "How?"
"Nearly all ministry personnel are hear and the ones that weren't were either compelled to go home or come here, Fudge did the smart thing and resigned and Izar Nott is not minister for magic and the wards have reverted to me." Tom explained, "Everyone will currently retain their positions, but checks will be carried out and those who don't meet my standards will be fired."
"I am the Lord Slytherin and my fiancé is the Lord Gryffindor, the castle was ours to begin with." Tom said,
There wasn't much anyone could really say about that, there had been too many revelations that day and no one seemed to be in the mood to fight it. Dumbledore was the final hurdle,
"You're evil and you and your spawn cannot be allowed to live." Dumbledore screamed, the grandfather mask long gone and he was looking more than a little crazy.
"It's over Dumbledore." Tom stated coldly,
"No, it's never over." Dumbledore yelled, "Avada Kedavra," the sickly green curse shot, not towards the Dark Lord, but to Harry and the baby. Tom conjured up a shield that took the curse and it caused an immediate reaction. The death eaters lining the alley all flicked up powerful shields to protect the public and the gathered crowds for what they knew were coming, the four behind Harry swarmed in front of him and led him back to safety but still in view and through up shields of their own, and a duel broke out between Dumbledore and Voldemort.
The duel that they bore witness to would later be referred to as the Great Duel, it would go down in history books and the best duel ever witnessed and they would speak of how the Dark Lord performed magic people only heard about in stories. His moves were impossibly quick, any spell that Dumbledore sent was countered and returned with gusto and the man never relied on shields. He dodged, twisted, ducked and even rolled out the way of the incoming spells, the power in which he demonstrated when he returned fire was astonishing. A raging fire whip light up the whole alley as is snapped at Dumbledore's wrist and snatched the mans wand from his hand. The wand flew up in and arch and was deftly caught by the triumphant Dark Lord, Dumbledore looked old, worn and beaten as the Dark Lord approached him.
Tom slowly pulled down his hood to show his face for the first time and there was another round of stunned gasping, his red eyes being the only recognisable feature.
"Albus Percival Wulfrc Brian Dumbledore, according to Wizengamot Law passed in 1782, any attack on a Lord of the Wizengamot or said Lord's Lady/consort/intended or Heir, once proven, will result in a punishment in equal severity given by the Lord's own hand. I am the Lord Slytherin, I hold a seat in the wizengamot, he is my intended, everyone saw you try to kill him and my daughter, you are now a dead man. Do you have any last words?"
"I fell in love." Tom stated, "Avada Kedavra," the green light him in the chest and Albus Dumbledore was no more. Tom turned away from the body and walked back towards his death eaters.
"Victory is ours." He called and their was a thunderous cheering that broke out from the crowd, Tom smirked and his eyes found his smiling fiancé. Harry handed Lily over to Remus and ran over to Tom, throwing himself at the man and wrapping his arms and legs around him. Tom kissed his passionately leaving him breathless and Harry beamed,
"You did it," Harry said happily, "You took the world in a day,"
"I'd do it all again to keep you happy." Tom stated,
"I love you, Tom Marvolo Riddle." Harry told him, looking in to the red eyes he loved so much.
"And I you, my little amor,"
Tantum - My only
Amor – love
TAH DAH! Ok, there you have it, my longest one shot to date and I have to say that I did enjoy writing this! It's been fun, filled with ups and downs and a bit of everything else. I really hope you enjoyed it, and I would be completely honoured if you would give me a review and tell me what you think!