The unease Harry'd been feeling all day escalated as he and Severus sat down in the Great Hall at the Head Table. Severus noticed his nervousness as Severus held his hand in his.
"Love, what's wrong?" Severus murmured as the food appeared in front of them.
"I've a bad feeling like I get every Halloween," Harry admitted. Severus kissed his hair, causing Professors Sinistra and Sprout to giggle and then blush when he glared. Harry looked at his fiancé and smiled shyly at the two witches. They smiled brightly at their former student.
"Well, nothing's going to happen, I promise," Severus told him.
"But something bad always happens on Halloween, so something bad's going to happen today."
"Maybe it all ready happened. Maybe Draco getting hurt was it."
"No. That happened yesterday. Besides, it would have gone away by now."
"But something bad doesn't happen every Halloween," Severus tried. Harry quickly interrupted him.
'Something bad always happens," Harry snapped quietly. He sighed. "Can we talk about this later?"
Severus nodded curtly and began to eat. Harry picked at his food despondently. He kept his head down until his parents came through the teacher's entrance.
"You're not mad at me, are you George?" Draco asked as he let the redhead lead him back to their flat (Draco'd officially moved in with them a week after he'd left school, with Sirius and Remus's approval and blessing).
"A little upset, but no, not mad," George told him as they reached the humpback witch. He said the password and led Draco into the dark tunnel. George changed the topic. "Love, I know you don't want to go back to St. Mungo's, but..."
Draco'd interrupted him as he'd said the name of the hospital. "George, please don't make me go there, please."
"Draco, I promise you nothing bad will happen. They fired that guy, and he's in prison. And Fred and I will be right there beside you."
When the Order had rescued Draco form his father, he'd been placed in St. Mungo's for his many injuries. One of the male nurses' girlfriend had been murdered by Lucius Malfoy. As fate would have it, he was one of the nurses assigned to care for Draco. And the wizard, named Andrew Glaizer, had taken out his anger on Draco. Draco'd been beaten while in a hospital bed, but no one knew because Glaizer'd been able to heal everything he'd inflicted.
This had gone on for a month before and unexpected visit had Draco's healer discovering the secret. Andrew Glaizer had been put in Azkaban for eighteen months. When he was fully healed, Dumbledore'd place him with the Weasleys. The twins'd just bought Honeyduke's shop (they'd sold out to another company and the owners moved to a nice country setting for their retirement), and when they visited, it was the only time Draco would smile. The twins started visiting home more as they'd become addicted to Draco's laughter. Draco began to open up a little bit more and soon started to talk a bit more, even when Fred and George weren't there.
"George, please," Draco pleaded.
"You have to go. We'll protect you. You'll just be in there for an hour at most, I promise you."
"I...I...I...," Draco looked terrified. George gently kissed him on the head.
"It's all right, lovely. You're not going if it upsets you this much, all right? We'll see if we can get someone to visit you, okay?" Draco was still shaking, but he'd stopped mumbling and stuttering.
"Here, love. Let's stop here until you feel all right," George pulled him top the ground in between his legs in the dark tunnel. George re lit his Lumos spell and hugged his younger fiancé to him. Draco shivered in the redhead's arms as George rocked slowly, calming the blonde.
A good ten minutes later, Draco wiped his face (using George's sleeve) and stood up, pulling up the Gryffindor as he went.
"Better now?" George asked as he put a lock of Draco's hair in its place.
Draco smiled gently and nodded. "Lumos."
The light from the two wands lit the tunnel brightly and helped Draco see a bit better, even though everything was still terribly blurred. George led him along gently, though, and Draco made it back to their flat without falling once.
Harry and Severus walked back to their quarters silently, the air tense between them. Harry's fathers had noticed the spat going on, what with Harry and Severus not speaking to each other or anyone else.
Severus spoke his password. "Cowardly Lion," (Harry'd been reading The Wizard of Oz) and they went inside.
Harry sat down in the armchair and clasped his hands together.
Harry cut him off. "October 31st, 1980, I got dragon pox; nearly died, as I was only three months old. Halloween, '81, you know what happened. The next year, I can remember, because it was the first time I was locked in my cupboard. 1983, Uncle Vernon hit me for the first time. In 1984, he really started to beat me, because I got sick all over the floor. My first year of primary school, my Halloween costume was a plaster on my right arm. The next year, I got the measles because Uncle Vernon would let Aunt Petunia have me immunised. Year after that, lucky number seven," Harry spoke sarcastically," I accidentally apparated myself to the top of a school building and Vernon broke two of my ribs, three fingers, and locked me in the cupboard for a week. 1988, Vernon set the shed in the backyard on fire with me in it. Claimed I set it on fire when I had to be treated for my burns. I think my magic protected me from being burned to death. After that, I was abandoned in London and molested. I was attacked by this wild cat and had to get rabies shots in 1990. You obviously know what happened the years after that."
Severus stared at him in shock, "But I thought...?"
"Vernon never hit me until last summer? No. I just said that to keep everyone from killing him last Halloween.
"I can't figure out what's making me feel like this. I'll feel so stupid when I figure it out."
Harry felt a bit of heartache through their bond. They'd found that only extremely intense emotions could be detected through their bond.
"Quit feeling sorry for me, Severus," Harry murmured.
"Harry, you are the most amazing person on the planet," Severus caressed his cheek. Harry grabbed his face and brought him in for a passionate kiss.
"I'm tired of waiting and being afraid of you when you're the best thing in my life," Harry wrapped his arms around his neck. "I want you to touch me and show me how I should be touched."
Severus took in a sharp breath. "Are you..."
Harry cut him of with a, "Yes, I'm sure."
"Harry," Severus kissed his forehead.
"Severus, I've been building up my reckless Gryffindor courage since my birthday."
"I love you more than life and only if you know that and that I will never hurt you..." Severus trailed off.
"I now, Sev, I love you so much," Harry whispered. Severus picked up his fiancé and carried him to the other room to get reacquainted to each others' bodies.
Harry had long since fallen asleep when Severus came out of the bathroom, fresh from his shower. The eighteen year old was curled up on Severus's side of the bed, his face buried in his fiancé's pillow. He was on top of the duvet (they'd not bothered to pull it back) and was snoring softly.
Severus gently pulled the covers out from under him, trying not to disturb the dark haired Gryffindor. Harry mumbled and turned onto his stomach but didn't wake up. Severus placed a kiss between his shoulder blades before pulling the blankets to Harry's chin.
Severus finished drying his hair, and pulled on a pair of pants and then put a robe on. He stepped out into the living quarters and was startled to find Harry's brunette father grinning at him.
"Lupin! Just how long have you been in here?"
Remus had the decency to blush. "You forgot to give me my potion, so I came down here, and well...as happy as I am for the both of you, I really could have lived without hearing my son amidst the throes of passion."
"Don't ever tell him. He'd be mortified."
I know. That's why I'm not going to tell Sirius, either."
Severus sighed. "I've got your potion in my lab, so follow me."
Harry awoke several hours later, around dinnertime, warm and toasty in the cold dungeons. Harry had even requested the fire to be lit even in the summer, it was so cold. He was beneath the duvet, so he assumed Severus had covered him up. He breathed in the scent from Severus's pillow and sighed deeply-happily. The littlest things that Severus did for him: covering him, leaving the last blueberry scone, marking his page when Harry fell asleep on his book, etc.; they made Harry feel more loved than anything did.
Harry stepped out of the bed, grateful for the rug on the cold stone floor. He pulled on some muggle jeans, forgoing any underpants. He pulled on a green jumper and shuffled into the living room. He was barely sore at all. Severus had been extremely gentle, even more than Harry's first...time.
Harry suddenly felt the bile rising up his throat. Severus hadn't been Harry's first. Vernon was. Exactly one year ago. Harry ran into the bathroom and was sick.
Severus found him an hour later, asleep over the toilet bowl, with tear tracks all over his face. Severus flushed the vomit away and picked Harry up off the floor.
He carried the eighteen-year-old wizard to their bed and gently laid him down. He pulled the covers over Harry again and returned to the bathroom. Severus retrieved a cool wet flannel and went back to Harry. The Potions Master cleaned his mouth and cheeks to remove any vomit and tear tracks.
Severus's fingers brushed across his lover's forehead. He folded the flannel and placed it on Harry's too warm forehead. He slid into bed beside his future husband and watched as he slept.
The Potions Master must have dozed off, because when he blinked, Harry was sitting against the headboard, hugging his knees.
Severus's voice was raspy," Harry?"
Harry jumped, hi head jerking to face him and he laughed humourlessly. "I finally figured it out. What happened on August 31st before, you know?"
Harry cut him off with a barking laugh. "One year ago, the day before school started, that was the day Vernon...raped me."
The Potions Master sat up and reached for Harry's hand.
Harry snorted. "Been one hell of a day, hasn't it?"
"There's been worse," Severus told him, rubbing his thumb across Harry's knuckles.
"And you're always here to save me, and make it better," Harry gave a small smile at last. "I'm tired of dwelling on everything bad that's happened, but I had to get all that out earlier. I needed to tell someone."
Severus kissed his clothed shoulder. "I'm glad you told me."
"You're the only one who wouldn't act any differently toward me," Harry laid down and Severus wrapped his arms around the green-eyed-eighteen-year-old. "That's what I love about you. You've never treated me any differently than anyone else. Well, except now. I hope I'm the only one getting this kind of treatment from you."
Severus smirked against Harry's neck as he placed kisses beneath Harry's jaw. Harry sighed happily, but that gut feeling wouldn't go away...
Remus rolled his eyes as Sirius continued to rant about Harry and Severus fighting.
"Siri, love, they had a spat. We have them all the time. Just last week, I have you a nasty bump with a vase."
Sirius looked at Remus cautiously and rubbed the still sore place on his head. Remus smiled sweetly at his husband.
"But we fight so we can...ew," the ex-convict screwed up his face in disgust.
"Darling, stop thinking about it," Remus kissed his head.
"Do...do you think Harry's back to that place yet? Where he can actually do anything with Sniv...Severus?"
"I don't know if it was beautiful or disturbing, but I had the experience...of walking in while they..." Sirius blanched. "They were in their bedroom, but...you know how Severus is always complaining that Harry is loud? That's not half of it."
Sirius turned green. "Do they know you heard? Because Harry'll never speak to us again."
"Severus knows. But I told him I wouldn't tell you, but you were being such an arse, I had to make you nauseated."
Sirius glared at him, but Remus tapped him on the head.
"They still haven't set a date for their wedding. I wonder how long they'll wait."
"Probably not long. I bet they'll run off for a week and elope, or something," the animagus replied, shifting on the couch.
"You're probably right. Harry would either insist just that to avoid the press and fanatics, or he'll want a wedding with all his friends and everyone in the wizarding world because he feels guilty," Remus sighed for their dark haired son.
"The poor boy's had so many bad worries. A worry that everyone goes through at one time or another will be good. He won't feel so unnatural then."
"Severus and Harry deserve happiness. But if they don't start planning soon, Harry's going to get upset," Remus said as Sirius shifted again, so that Remus's head was on his shoulder.
"How in the world did they ever get together? They're both too...stubborn to admit their feelings," Sirius commented.
Remus fought to contain his laughs.
When Harry awoke the next morning, a wave of uneasy and terror washed over him. He jumped from Severus's arms and gasped for air.
For the second time in the past twenty-four hours, Harry ran to the bathroom to empty his stomach. Granted, he didn't have anything in there anyway. He and Severus had missed dinner.
Severus stumbled in a few moments later, his sleepiness fading into worry for his young lover.
Harry wiped his mouth on the back of his hand and answered before Severus could ask. "I'm fine. I've got to go take my potions." Harry stood and flushed the toilet. He washed his hands and brushed his teeth, with Severus watching his every move. He followed when Harry left their room and retrieved his potions from his fertility doctor.
"You should see Madam Pomfrey, love."
"I'm fine," Harry repeated as he began to mix potions.
"Your hand is shaking, Harry. You can't even hold that phial properly," Severus replied, taking the phial from Harry before he could spill it on himself. Severus finished mixing and forced Harry to sit down. "I want you to see Madam Pomfrey..."
Harry cut him off. "I am fine. I don't need to see a nurse just because I got sick to my stomach."
"That is exactly why you need to see Poppy. Do you not realise that you have a disease?"
Harry looked bewildered. "What are you talking about?"
"Wizard's Flu, Harry, remember?"
"But you cured that with the potion," Harry drank the potion Severus handed to him.
"No, Harry. That potion was to stop it from killing you. There is no cure. That potion was to hold off the effects so you could lead a normal life. It will last for a long time, but you'll need to potion again, several times," Severus told him, angry that no one else had explained this to his fiancé.
"It's sexually transmitted; you could have gotten it," Harry removed his hands from his face and looked up at the dark eyed man.
Severus shook his head. "That potion acts as a block so you can't give it to anyone while it's working. I'm safe."
"Why didn't Draco explain this to me? He knew I didn't know anything about this."
"Have you looked at the colour of his hair, Harry? That should have been an obvious thing."
Harry laughed. "Could I...pass this on to...our children?"
"Not while that potion is in your system. However, if it weren't, any females would only be carriers and not sufferers. Only males actually get the disease."
"How come I didn't start getting sick until recently? And how did I get it in the first place?"
"You got it from James. I...this potion wasn't developed until you were born, so he didn't have the potion available to prevent you from getting it. In addition, usually, the disease stays dormant until you've become sexually active. Great trauma can also trigger it," Severus explained, grateful for his knowledge.
"Well, before this potion was created, how did my dad stay alive?" Harry inquired.
Severus grimaced. "Before you were born, people with Wizard's Flu had to take several different potions everyday and had all kinds of spells placed on them once or twice a week."
"You know so much about this. Did you know anyone else affected by this?" Harry asked as Severus took his hand and squeezed it.
"No, not really. I researched it when I was trying to develop the potion that you took. And I had some people who had it test my potion," Severus smiled suddenly. "My picture and the story about the potion were directly across the page from your birth announcement. I remember thinking that was odd because I knew you might need the potion someday. I'd forgotten, though." Harry smiled slightly and laid his head on Severus's shoulder.
"If you made my potion then I shouldn't be sick from Wizard's Flu, but I'll go see Poppy later."
"You're such a teacher's pet," Severus whispered teasingly, but he was smiling from the compliment.
Harry, true to his word, saw Poppy after dinner and found out that his potions were making him sick, but that it would pass after his body became used to them.
Despite being nervous about formally leaving school, Harry slept deeply through the night, thanks to a romp between the sheets with Severus. However, when morning came, Harry was sick into the toilet basin again. Harry and Severus both passed it off as a reaction to his potions.
Overall, Harry's ceremony was not that. There was just a small congratulation after the sorting, and Harry took his seat between Severus and Sirius for dinner.
Harry ate his meal with a blinding smile on his face and a glittering ring on his finger for all to see.
End Chapter Three