Blaise was fairly sure that facing a firing squad would be easier than this. He was ready to go find the firing squad to get away from this.
And the one thing that was worse than the glares he was receiving from the Gryffindors? Harry's red-rimmed eyes and the fact that it was clear that he had not slept at all through the night.
The ring was burning a hole in his pocket and he had not slept at all through the night as his mind went over just how badly he had screwed this up. His own friends had not been overly sympathetic considering that they had tried to tell him and he had not listened, however, they had stopped the I told you so's when it became apparent just how much he was beating himself up.
And when they realised how much Harry's friends were going to flay him.
"Good morning Theo," Susan smiled moving to sit next to the Slytherin.
"Oh! Morning!" Theo brightened a little.
"Why the shocked face? We agreed to have breakfast together, you hadn't forgotten, had you? Susan smiled shyly.
"Oh no, I just thought with...everything that you might not want to sit with us today," Theo shrugged, and Blaise felt a whole lot guiltier.
"Oh, just because your friend is a raging idiot who can't use his brain apparently doesn't mean that we will judge the rest of you by the same standard," Susan said with a bright smile that had all the Slytherins staring at him awed.
"Harsh!" Daphne whistled impressed.
"True though," Blaise muttered.
"At least he admits it," Susan glared slightly before turning her attention back to Theo.
And that pretty much set up the rest of his day. All Harry's friends and the people that they had started talking to still talked to the other Slytherins. But he was pretty much just ignored.
At least until after supper when he panicked internally as he realised Ron Weasley was heading straight for him with Neville behind him. He caught sight of Luna leading Harry away and realised that the Gryffindor had no clue that they were talking to him.
He actually considered running for one mad moment. But then he caught the look on Ron's face and decided otherwise.
"May we have a word please?" Neville asked politely. Ron was just glaring.
"We will leave you to it," Theo smirked and walked away. This was his punishment then.
They walked to a classroom in deadly silence, Blaise keeping his shoulders straight and his face blank as he stepped into the room and turned to face his….Harry's friends.
"We will start by stating the obvious in that Harry is very upset and we are not happy about that," Neville said, his words sending a nice lance of guilt through Blaise.
"You…" Ron started to say but Neville interrupted.
"He told us what happened, everything that happened,"
"We have spoken to him about the old ways and how what happened could have been misconstrued and how you could have reached the answer you did when faced with his request," Neville managed to maintain an impressively calm tone.
"However, we have also explained that he was well within his rights to call the date to give you his ring and that he was not in the wrong with the events that happened,"
"What happened was a misunderstanding, and I will make it clear now on Harry's behalf that while he is angry, he is more hurt that you would not just talk to him, and jumped to presume the worst of him before understanding everything. He is upset that you did not allow him to explain what was going on, or even waited to see what was happening before you became hostile..."
"I will…" Ron got cut off yet again by Neville.
"...He does not want to break off the courtship," Neville finished.
"How do I fix it?" Blaise asked. Internally he felt absolutely miserable and hearing how much he had hurt Harry, hearing him foolish he had been jumping to the conclusions he did and not just spoken to Harry.
"Well, first I would say you need to figure out why it was that you reacted the way that you did," Ron said grumpily, obviously not happy at having been ignored.
"Oh right, yes," Blaise blinked. "That is a good idea,"
"Then, make it up to him," Neville shrugged.
"How? How do I fix this? I made such a mess of it," Blaise sighed his shoulders slumping.
"We're not going to tell you how to fix the mistake that you made!" Neville scowled.
"Whatever you do, as long as you do it with feeling, and mean it, Harry will forgive you," Ron rolled his eyes.
"We are doing this for Harry, not for you," Ron said firmly before spinning and leaving the room, Neville not far behind.
"Oh yes, and Zabini?" Neville turned to face him making Blaise start and look up from the floor.
"If I ever have to listen to Harry sitting crying like that again because of you, I don't care what the others do to you, I will be there first, and you will find Devil's snare coming out of orifices you don't currently possess," Neville said brightly. "Good luck!"
And with that, he swept away leaving Blaise staring mildly horrified after who he had thought was the most mannered and innocent of Harry's friends.
Two days. It had been two days. Two days of which Harry had bounced around in his head everything that had happened, everything that he had done, everything that he could have done. He alternated between being upset and being angry with Blaise.
But more than anything he just wanted to know why.
But, Blaise it seemed was avoiding him. He knew that at least one of his friends had spoken to Blaise, there was no way that they could have resisted despite his ban from threatening the Slytherin.
"Hey," Luna slipped onto the bed next to him and dropped a large box of chocolates onto his lap.
"Thought that you could use some company instead of sitting up here brooding," Ron flopped down at his feet as Neville climbed onto the bed on his other side.
"I am….brooding, yeah I am definitely brooding aren't I?" Harry grimaced.
"You miss him," Luna shrugged.
"It's only been a couple of days, and we haven't been going out for that long, only 2 and a half months," Harry protested.
"Doesn't mean that you didn't get used to him being in your life and miss him," Neville shrugged reaching across to open the chocolates.
"I just...why is he avoiding me? Has he changed his mind after all this do you think?" Harry frowned. He reached out and grabbed a chocolate, taking a violent bite out of it.
"Ah, I think that could be to do with us," Neville winced.
"We may have advised him to think about why he reacted the way that he did. I think going by the expression on his face, he has taken that advice to heart. Though he is taking a little longer to search his soul than I thought he would," Ron huffed.
"He is a Slytherin, he did something wrong so he has withdrawn to think it over and to try and figure out why he reacted the way that he did to make sure that it doesn't happen again," Luna shrugged.
"I wasn't exactly in the right either though. My anger got the best of me," Harry sighed helping himself to another few chocolates.
"And you can tell him that, after he apologises first," Ron nodded.
"I just...miss him," Harry groaned drooping a little on the bed.
"I know," Ron patted his ankle.
"It will work out, don't worry. He still wants you, I have caught him staring at you many times," Luna reassured him.
"You're sure?" Harry hated how vulnerable and unsure he sounded, he hated how vulnerable Blaise made him feel, especially right now when they were fighting.
"Very sure. Harry that boy is besotted. Don't doubt that, that is what got you both into this trouble in the first place," Neville snorted as Luna pressed another chocolate to Harry's lips.
"But...why is he taking so long, it's been 2 days!" He whined around his mouthful of chocolate.
"Give him time," Luna advised.
"Patience is not my strong suit!" Harry groaned.
"We know!" the other three laughed.
Harry had a small sense of deja vu as an elegant black owl landed in front of him and stuck his leg out, this time, however, Harry's eyes went automatically to the Slytherin table, searching out the familiar that was not there. He did meet Theo, Daphne and Adrian's eyes, the three of them watching him intently.
Looking down he took the letter from Noir and opened it quickly, not allowing his mind to take the worse route.
I know that I have hurt you badly, and I have not the words to express how sorry I am for the way I acted. Ronald pointed out to me that before I try and apologise to you,. I should understand why I acted the way that I did, and to ensure that it did not happen again. I also believe that until I could say what I was apologising for in specific, I should not apologise, as I never ever want to give you half answers or offer you empty words.
You mean more to me than you could possibly understand, and the fact that you gave me a chance in the first place still baffles me. I am hoping that you find it in you to give me a second.
I reacted the way that I did, because, in truth, there is a small part of me that struggles to believe that you could truly want me, and I handle that insecurity by being in control of things. When you took control and organised the date I floundered, the belief that you could have finally come to your senses and not want to be with someone who can not express how they feel for you in public, mixed with the lack of control caused me to act atrociously, and in ways I am completely ashamed of.
I wish to apologise properly, and so have included a portkey to take you to a private location where we can talk without anyone eavesdropping. It is set to go off at 1830
I hope you will come.
Harry tilted the envelope and a heavy amulet fell into his palm. The Zabini ring.
He ran his thumb over the crest on the amulet just as the table came to life with food appearing from the House Elves in the kitchen. In half an hours time it would go off.
There was of course only one thing that he would do.
Standing he hurried to the stairs to change before he would have to race to the gates to make it in time.
"You're fucking kidding me," Harry said sharply, his green eyes wide and spitting fire as he took in exactly where he had landed. The landscape painfully and embarrassingly familiar.
"I realise that this was a little bit of a gamble as a choice of location," Blaise's voice had him spinning around to see the dark-skinned man standing behind him.
Even as his eyes drank in the sight of Blaise wearing a simple but fitted pair of black trousers with a grey top that made him look even more regal and powerful, and his ears rang with the deep, husky, slightly accented voice that he had missed over the last couple of days, he felt his ire rising.
"Blaise, I was humiliated here!" Harry glared.
"If it makes it easier, we have the place to ourselves," Blaise tried to smile but it came out more of a nervous grimace.
"You bought out the restaurant?" Harry asked with reluctant fondness creeping into his voice.
"I figured after last time you would want complete privacy, and we have a lot to discuss, and...you worked so hard to plan this, I wanted to try and at least get it right. It really is a beautiful place," Blaise rambled a little, and this more than anything had Harry walking towards the cave entrance. He had not really heard Blaise ramble before.
They walked into the restaurant, the beautiful cave wide and airy as last time, and feeling even more so due to the fact that aside from a couple of waiting staff it was empty. Instead of being filled with people, the area was filled with soft, glittering lights.
It gave the cave an almost otherworldly feel as the lights glittered off the walls, and reflected off the water lapping at the base of the lip of the cave and bounced back in like light shimmering off of a diamond.
Blaise led him directly over to a table and held his seat out for him before seating himself. Harry took in how nervous and worried Blaise was looking despite the fact that his face was quite blank, it was showing in the small things, the rearranging of the cutlery, glancing around the restaurant, the slight shift in his seat. He did wonder absently when he became so adept at reading Blaise's newances.
Blaise turned and met his eyes and they just sat like that for a few beats, Harry refusing to look away as he raised his eyebrow at his hopeless Slytherin.
Before they could say anything, however, the waiter headed over to them holding two menus. He turned to Harry first and handed him his with a small smile. "Sir," The waiter drawled out with obvious disdain practically shoving the menu into Blaise's face, not even waiting for him to get hold of it before he let go and walked off, causing Blaise to have to fumble for it.
"Do you two know each other?" Harry asked bemused watching the waiter walk away.
"Ah, yes, he facilitated in delaying me so that you could escape last time," Blaise coughed. "I was hoping that he would not be here tonight," He glanced over to see the waiter watching him unimpressed, but manners and professionalism kicked in and he turned his back.
"What happened last time, I...I read your letter, obviously," Harry rolled his eyes at himself. He wouldn't be sitting here if he hadn't read the letter.
"I meant what I said. I am sorry that it took me so long, I wanted nothing more than to go to you straight away and plead your forgiveness but as I said in the letter you did not deserve a half-apology, and I wanted to understand why I reacted the way that I did,"
"Blaise, this is a relationship, you can't be in control all the time," Harry said softly. "You understand that right? That is not what I am looking for, and if that is what you want then you need to Court someone else because I can't be that for you,"
"No! That isn't what I want. Harry, I love your fire and that you say and do what you think is right, I like that you're outspoken, I don't want someone who will just do as I want," Blaise looked stricken.
"Then are you going to be able to cope with this? Because if you can't handle me doing something as simple as planning a date, I don't know how everything else will work," Harry hated saying this, but it had to be done.
"I can't promise to freak out a little at times, but I can promise to actually talk about what is bothering me instead of just pulling away," Blaise reached across the table to Harry, holding his hand out with a hopeful expression on his face.
Harry could do nothing but reach out and place his hand in the larger one.
"That...pulling away from me was the worst thing that you could have done to me, Blaise. If you had shouted and accused me of thing it would not have been so bad to me. But doing that, I was treated with disdain and coldness at the Dursleys Blaise that was…."
"I am sorry," In a flash, Blaise was on his feet and made his way around the table to Harry, all without letting going of his hand. He knelt down in front of Harry and looked at him with intent grey eyes. "Harry, I never ever wanted to make you feel like that with me. Never. I want you to know that you mean so much to me, and I did not want to hurt you. I promise I can be better," Blaise pleaded.
"You were not the only one at fault," Harry shook his head reaching out with his free hand to cup Blaise's cheek.
"What?" Blaise looked a little bemused.
"I shouldn't have just stormed out, I should have spoken to you. I can't blame you for not communicating with me when I didn't communicate with you," Harry sighed.
"I think your reaction to my reaction was more than understandable," Blaise shook his head.
"We could both have been a little better," Harry smiled. He blinked when his eyes caught sight of something, glancing down he took his hand from Blaise's face and instead reached down to the chain around Blaise's neck, easing it from beneath his collar and seeing his ring resting safely on the chain.
"I did not want to wear it for the first time while we were arguing, but I wanted to keep it close," Blaise admitted.
"I didn't want to give it to you the way that I did, that was wrong of me," Harry sighed.
"I am glad you did, it made me realise how much of a fool I had been, and how much of a good night I could have had if I had not been such a control freak," Blaise said dryly.
"So you brought us back here?" Harry raised his eyebrow.
"To do it right, your night, without me being a complete and utter arse," Blaise smiled sadly. He started and nearly pulled away when Harry lowered himself down and pressed their lips together, but he quickly caught on and pressed back.
"For the record, you weren't a complete and utter arse, just an arse," Harry grinned when they parted.
"Wow, thanks," Blaise said dryly making Harry laugh. He stood and kissed Harry once more before making his way around the table and taking his seat again. "I was expecting to have to do a lot more grovelling, to be honest," He said softly.
"I didn't want you to grovel, Blaise, we're going to argue, I have a temper and you can be an arse," Harry grinned. "But seriously, it is part of any relationship. I wanted an apology that is all. You didn't have to do all this, all I would have needed was exactly what you said on our sofa in the kitchen and I would have been happy,"
"But you deserve all this," Blaise said softly.
"Thank you," Harry smiled.
"I really am sorry,"
"I know. And it is forgiven. New start," Harry said firmly.
"Ok," Blaise nodded. "Wow Harry, I like this lace and have never been here, how did you find it?!" Blaise gasped theatrically, making a point of gazing around causing Harry to burst out laughing.
"Well, I asked Sirius and Remus to help me find somewhere special and different. I thought that this would be a good place to come to get ideas for your hotels,"
"That is really thoughtful of you, thank you," Blaise said honestly.
"I'm glad you like it," Harry smiled. "I missed you the last couple of days," He said softly.
"Me too. It has been one of the longest couple of days of my life I think," Blaise reached across the table and took Harry's hand again.
"On the plus side I have had about a shops worth of chocolate from the others trying to cheer me up," Harry grinned cheekily.
"Are you ready to order?" The waiter looked between them with a very blank look.
"Yes thank you," Harry smiled brightly.
By the time they ordered Blaise was squirming slightly in his seat and was relieved when the waiter left.
"I think I may have to check for spit in my food," Blaise said drolly causing Harry to burst out laughing.
"He isn't that scary," Harry snickered.
"Speaking of scary," Blaise hummed.
"Yes?" Harry encouraged when Blaise didn't carry on.
"Longbottom is fucking terrifying!" Harry blinked at the declaration before he started laughing again.
"Did he threaten you?"
"Yes he did, something about devil's snare and things coming out of orifices I did not previously have," Blaise said slightly wide-eyed making Harry laugh even more, to the point that he had to hold his side. "You don't seem shocked,"
"Neville is highly underestimated. He is a Gryffindor for a reason when he wants to be he is terrifying," Harry smiled fondly.
"He seems very protective of you," Blaise noted.
"Sadly I don't think anyone besides Professor Sprout had ever told Neville that they believed he could do great things or had faith in him until the D.A when I encouraged him. He is a great person, an amazing friend, and a skilled wizard, he just lacks confidence," Harry sighed.
"I love how you are with your friends," Blaise smiled a little, his grey eyes bright as he looked at Harry. "And how you are with my friends. I don't think you realise how much your accepting attitude means to people. They were telling me off for being an idiot,"
"They were, were they?" Harry smiled slightly.
"Yes, they were," Blaise sighed. "And they were right,"
"Hey enough of that," Harry raised their joined hands and kissed Blaise's wrist sweetly, at least until his green eyes flashed onto Blaise and the mischievous twinkle in them told Blaise that he knew exactly what he was doing to his poor Slytherin.
"Sir's, would you like dessert?" The waiter seemed to have warmed up to Blaise a little over the course of their night, meaning he wasn't glaring any more.
"I really fancy the chocolate cake, but the passionfruit cheesecake sounds so good as well," Harry worried his lip as he looked at the menu.
"How about we order both and share them?" Blaise suggested.
"I thought you wanted the salted caramel thing?" Harry looked up.
"We will just have to come back so I can order that next time," Blaise smiled.
"If you're sure," Harry grinned.
"Hmm, another date with you….such a difficult decision," Blaise hummed making Harry reach across the table and push his shoulder gently. "The chocolate cake and passionfruit cheesecake please," He smiled winningly at the waiter.
"Of course," The waiter was turning even as he spoke.
"We are never coming back here again," Blaise huffed as Harry started laughing again.
"It truly is beautiful here," Harry hummed as he looked out the cave mouth at the water glittering beautifully in the moonlight. "It reminds me of our first date,"
"It does yes," Blaise nodded holding out a piece of chocolate cake for Harry. "I was thinking of looking for somewhere in Greece for my next hotel, somewhere with a cave nearby that I could do something like this would be wonderful,"
"It's like being hidden away from the world," Harry said after licking his lips to make sure he didn't get any chocolate on them.
"Are we still going to Hogsmeade together this weekend?" Blaise asked before leaning forward to take the bite of cheesecake Harry held out to him.
"Yes definitely," Harry smiled, but the smile made Blaise blink at him confused, it was a smile that spoke of mischief and his eyes were glittering to match. "I need to re-stock my butterbeer supply,"
"Can't you ask Dobby to get them for you? I'm sure he would," Blaise rolled his eyes as he thought of his Harry's relationship with the unusual House-elf, a House-elf that he had a sneaky suspicion that if and when he and Harry got their own home would be coming to work for them.
"Oh he would, but one of the other House-elves Winky is recovering from butterbeer addiction, I don't want to risk her finding them or hearing about them," Harry frowned a little.
"Only you Harry," Blaise said with fond exasperation in his voice. Harry looked up and saw him smiling at him with something in his eyes that made Harry's heart flutter and a blush burning across his face.
"Hey," Harry pulled Blaise to a stop.
"What's the matter, have you forgotten something?" Blaise asked concerned turning to look back at the exit of the cave they had just left.
"Yes actually," Harry smiled.
"Oh, I will run back and grab it for you," Blaise said but before he could go anywhere Harry pulled him in for a kiss. Momentarily distracted it was not until they were parted that he felt the chain around his neck slipping away. Panicking he reached up but found Harry holding the chain and the ring in his hand.
"Will you wear this please?" Harry slipped the chain out of the ring and held it out to Blaise.
"Harry? Are you sure?" Blaise blinked. He had not expected to be allowed that privilege for another few dates.
"I am sure," Harry laughed reaching out for Blaise's hand, he rested the ring just on Blaise's finger. "Will you wear it?"
"I would think the answer to that would be obvious," Blaise said softly pressing his hand forward and sliding the ring on. Harry beamed up at him happily and Blaise could do nothing but wrap his arms around Harry's waist and gently pull his slender body against his own as he pressed tender kisses to his sweet lips.
"Thank you for tonight," Blaise sighed holding Harry close as they came to a stop outside the Gryffindor common room. They had made their way back to the castle and hurried their way up through the castle aware that curfew was looming over them, but Blaise had insisted on walking Harry to his common room anyway.
Harry hadn't been able to stop himself from smiling as he caught Blaise looking at the ring on his finger every now and then, a small flicker of awe flashing through his stormy eyes each time.
"Thank you for tonight," Harry smiled standing up a little higher on his toes and pressing their lips together again in one last sweet kiss.
"Hem hem, I am sorry to break this up my dears, but it is nearly curfew, if your beau is going to make it back in time he will need to leave now," The Fat Lady smiled at them from her portrait.
"Thank you, Madame," Blaise nodded.
"Oh so polite! You got yourself a good one Harry dear," She chortled.
"Yes, I have," Harry smiled happily. "I will see you in the morning?"
"Yes, may I have breakfast with you?" Blaise asked.
"Of course, you don't need to ask," Harry laughed dodging forward for one last kiss before he slipped to the portrait entrance.
Blaise watched until the portrait closed and was about to step away when it opened again and Harry popped his head around it. His blood ran cold at the expression on Harry's face and knew that whatever was about to happen would not be good.
"Oh yes, by the way, as punishment for what happened we are meeting with Sirius and Remus in two days time for the Hogsmeade trip. Sweet dreams!" He chirped before dodging back in, the portrait closing to cut off the sound of Harry's friends laughing.
"There there dear, I am sure it won't be that bad," The Fat Lady comforted him seeing the expression on his face.
"I'm not so sure," Blaise grimaced stepping away and making his way down to the Slytherin Common room in a daze. It wouldn't be that bad. Right? I mean it was just his werewolf ex-professor who saw Harry as his cub and the only person who had ever managed to escape Azkaban who had escaped to protect the godson who he apparently loved more than anything and had been willing to risk everything to protect.
No nothing to worry about at all!