In Cold Blood
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognise and most things you don't
Notes: A short chapter after such a long wait, I know you want to kill me –sheepish- I am sorry for taking so long, but I've been working on other stories… I've started and completed two since I last updated simply because I'm blocked on everything else. I'll try to get the next chapter up soon, but no promises… I'm still stuck now. Every paragraph of this was chewed out something terrible.
Harry hissed and clamped his hand over his forearm tightly, trying to take away the pain and failing miserably. He clenched his teeth together and pointedly ignored the looks he was getting from pretty much most of the class. He had been determined to return to lessons just two days after he returned from Voldemort, most knew what had happened to him, and nearly all knew that he now wore the Dark Mark. Pity was the most common emotion he could see in their eyes now but he ignored that too and kept his hand over his arm as he forced himself to concentrate on reading this chapter of the book.
Voldemort had been continually taunting him with the Dark Mark for over seven hours in a row now, luckily he couldn't kill through it but he could, quite obviously, cause pain so severe that Harry had no choice but to curl up into a tight ball and wait for it to end. Dumbledore had Remus and Severus working constantly to try and find out how to cut Voldemort's hold over him but so far they had come up with nothing. Funnily enough Ron and Hermione had come back to his side as soon as he had returned and they had stayed there since, apologising for their behaviour and accepting everything Harry told them. He was too weary now to pretend and so he introduced them to his family, told them he was a vampire and even took them out hunting with him one time. They truly were trying to get things back to how they were, and so Harry put effort into it too.
He fumbled in his pockets for a pain potion and then clenched his teeth again and had to clamp his free hand back over the mark, before he knew what was happening, someone reached into his pocket for him and took the stopper off the phial. Harry turned to see Draco Malfoy watching him carefully and the blonde smiled at him before he pressed the potion to his lips. He had wondered what the Slytherin was up to when the blonde quickly secured a seat next to him, forcing Ron and Hermione to sit the other side, and now he found himself wondering again. The rest of the class were staring at Malfoy just as Harry was, and even Professor McGonagall seemed at a loss for words.
Harry saw something in Malfoy's eyes that just pleaded with him to accept the help and not refuse him and so Harry parted his lips and tipped his head back, swallowing the potion without thought. Almost immediately the pain ebbed and Harry's breathing evened out. He slowly took his hand away from the mark and accepted the potion back from the Slytherin quietly, trying to decide what to say.
"Thank you," he settled for eventually and Draco just nodded with a smile before turning back to his reading. Harry stared at him for a little longer before he realised the rest of the class was doing the same thing, and so he turned his attention back to his book pointedly and waited until everyone else had done the same before he looked up again. Draco looked up at the same time and then he offered his hand to Harry before he could say anything else.
"How about a truce?" he asked softly, keeping his voice lowered so that he didn't attract everyone's attention again. "I went to see headmaster Dumbledore last night, he has agreed to help me. Everything I was told of the Dark Lord I realised was a lie when you were taken and I want no part of it" he explained and Harry studied him closely before he nodded and accepted the blonde's hand with a smile.
As he stared back down at his book again, Harry tried to collect his thoughts and wondered just what Draco had been told of Voldemort that was different. He placed a hand over his still tender stomach and just kept it there for a while as he focused on his thoughts. Everything had gone more or less back to normal now, his family had spent ample time trying to get his forgiveness and he had given it to them as soon as he realised that they hadn't grown tired of him. He and Severus were also back to normal and Harry spent his nights alternating between his family and his lover.
The elves were still in the castle and had accepted the vampires as Anéthiel's family whether they liked it or not, they had seen the furious possessiveness all the vampires felt towards their family and so were pleased that their Anéthiel could be apart of that. Dumbledore had accepted the offer of an alliance and so the king and queen were planning to stay there if just to spend time with the daughter they long thought lost to them.
It pleased Harry to see a smile on his sister's face again, and a twinkle in her eyes that could give Dumbledore a run for his money. With Christmas only days away, Harry's heart felt at rest as his love for his friends and family grew in leaps and bounds every day. He still refused to think about what Voldemort did to him, and he refused to answer any questions about it yet, but his family were content to wait. Harry looked to his left to see Ron and Hermione, and then to his right and watched Draco before he smiled. Now he felt complete in ways he never had before. It was almost worth the pain and torment Voldemort put him through to make him realise just how much he did love everyone.
"Harry?" someone whispered softly in his ear and he looked up to see Professor McGonagall bent over him worriedly, the concern in her eyes made Harry's heart reach out to her and he smiled to let her know he was listening. "Albus would like to see you in his office, are you ok?" she asked again and Harry nodded, his smile brightening
"I'm fine professor, thank you for asking. Should I go now or at the end of the lesson?" he asked and she smiled before nodding to the door now. He packed away his books again and got picked up his bag before nodding to his friends and then he slipped out onto the corridor. He found Severus waiting for him outside and he blinked in surprise before he grinned and then slipped his arms around his lover's neck. He pressed his lips to Severus's and parted his own to the questing tongue. He ignored the phantom fingers he could feel curled around his throat and instead deepened the kiss forcefully and enthusiastically. He was still determined that he would not let Voldemort destroy what he now had.
"I love you so much" Severus whispered in his ear as they broke apart and Harry smiled blindingly
"I know. I love you too" he replied without hesitation and he slipped his hand into his lovers and allowed himself to be led down the hall.
Harry pulled Anéthiel into his arms as she joined him down at the lake. She laughed as she fell down onto his knee and Harry grinned before encircling her waist with his arms and kissing her cheek before resting his chin on her shoulder. Dumbledore had merely wanted to check up on Harry's progress and also to ask if he would mind training in weapons with the elves. Harry could already wield a sword and daggers perfectly well and could even manage to beat his two brothers once in a while in a play duel… but he was no where near good enough if he wanted to defeat Voldemort. One thing he was brilliant at though was throwing knives, his aim was perfect and he never missed.
His wandless magic would undergo and even deeper training with the help of Celendil and Dumbledore. He would have little free time soon but at least his family and his lover would be helping in the training so that he still got to see them often. Training every night from when lessons finished until he went to sleep, Dumbledore predicted that with what he has learnt over the summer from his family, his training could be complete within a month's time and Harry couldn't wait.
"And how is my most beautiful sister this evening?" he asked teasingly, pulling away from his thoughts. Anéthiel grinned wickedly and then stuck her tongue out before leaning back against him with a contented smile.
"Happy. I have everything I have ever wanted, I have you, the rest of the family and I even have the forgiveness and acceptance off my birth parents. The only thing that could make me happier is to see you smile with no worries," She replied truthfully and Harry did smile at that
"I won't have no worries until Voldemort is dead… but I am happy. Happier than I have been in a long while, so don't you worry about me" he said and Anéthiel smiled before turning around in his knee to look into his eyes
"Are you happy? Do you really accept that we love you? Do you believe that all Voldemort spoke were lies?" she asked and Harry smiled again and nodded
"I am happy. Its took me long enough but yes I truly believe you love me as much as I do you and I know you will always be there for me, as I will be you. Yes I know what Voldemort spoke were lies, and he will pay for making me doubt you" he said sincerely, looking back into her eyes so that she could see he spoke the truth without doubts. She grinned and threw her arms around his neck, kissing his cheek again
"I'm pleased to hear that, you know we'll be right beside you when Voldemort attacks and so try not to worry about that." She said and then smiled again. "Celendil wants to talk to you; she absolutely adores your blunt speech mixed with mild manners and is interested in your views… or something like that. I hope you don't mind but I told her we were busy" she whispered and then grinned again and climbed to her feet, tugging on his hand. "Mum, Severus and Albus knows, but no one else does so let's get out of here before we're chased"
She led him through the grounds and towards the gates before Harry had even the slightest idea of where they were going. Then he saw his beautiful car shining and waiting for him and he grinned before accepting his keys off her and jumping into the driver's seat. Anéthiel laughed softly to herself as she climbed in after him, and then she buckled her seat belt tightly, never once forgetting how Harry drove.
"Good, good, so you know all the basics," Erevan said as he straightened up. He had been going through everything Harry knew about sword fighting for the last two hours straight now and Harry leant on the handle of his sword and looked at the Elven king with a mixture of horror and excitement
"The basics?" he groaned and then sighed, preparing for a long night. The elf king looked at him with what could only be classed as a smirk
"Of course, sparring is like an art young Harry. When it is done properly it can be both beautiful and challenging. You have the basics down perfectly, those are the hardest parts and I believe it's only a matter of time before you pick everything else up," he said as he corrected his stance and lifted his sword, Harry rolled his eyes and picked his sword up again before he turned to face Anéthiel's father.
He shifted to defence as Erevan drove forward with an attack, the elf moved gracefully and lightly on his feet until it was almost as if he was dancing, he twirled and thrust and bent back out of the way of Harry's sword. They moved together like this for hours, neither of them particularly concentrating on defeating the other and instead putting all of their attention into Harry's movements as he tried to copy the king's grace.
Tried and failed miserably
He muttered under his breath the whole time about stupid elves having more fun than they should be as he ended up on his arse for what must have been the thirtieth time. He took the kings hand as he was hoisted to his feet and then he brushed down his robes, dropped the sword on the floor and crossed his arms over his chest with a pout.
"Okay, okay that's enough for today," Erevan said with a laugh as Harry sniffed mockingly and made a show of walking to his seat, holding his back and bending over like an old man. He sat back in his chair and looked up at the enchanted ceiling as the king sat in the seat besides him – gracefully.
"One day you are going to fall on your arse and I hope I'm there to see it," Harry teased as he rolled his eyes at the natural elegance of the elf. Erevan just smiled cheerfully and shrugged
"And when I do, know that I will fall on my arse with grace,"