A/N: This story has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted smaller to fit your screen. Please see endnote for explanation.
Harry slowly awoke from his hazy sleep to soft puffs of air being blown across the back of his neck. He shivered slightly, but stopped himself from moving too much so that he wouldn't awaken his bed-mate. The dark-haired man smiled as he thought of the previous night they had shared together: making love, sleeping on and off, and talking in between. How had he been graced with such a wonderful man? They had talked the night away and finally gone to bed in the wee hours of the morn speaking of things that happened in their lives -lovers, battles, scars, likes, dislikes…. Everything had been perfect.
Why had he woken up though? Lucius had surely been breathing on his neck all night seeing as how his arm was still securely fastened –almost in a possessive manner- around Harry's waist, so why had he awoken?
Suddenly, Harry's eyes shot open. It was Sunday! He had promised Jen that he would be there that morning after he had realized he wouldn't be able to make it the night before. Damn!
After returning to Lucius' rooms the night before he had sent a message by owl to Hermione, asking her to call Jen and relay the message before he had begun stripping to encounter his mate.
He bit his lower lip in thought as he slowly brought his watch up to eye-level. It was only five o'clock. He could still make it there by six thirty without having to Apparate. It couldn't be avoided. Not only had he promised Jen, but he also didn't have any clothes left that were clean.
It had taken him nearly three hours of argument with the house-elves to get them to leave his clothes be. He had to hide them in his closet so that the elves wouldn't take them and cast charms on them. He didn't want that, and besides, he liked the smell of fabric softener and his weekly trips to see his friend. This couldn't be avoided, no matter how much he would love to remain in Lucius' arms for the better part of the day.
He would only be gone until, at max, nine; he would surely be home before Lucius could really worry about him being gone, if the veela even awoke before then.
With that solved in his mind, Harry cast a warming charm over the blankets with a swish of his hand to keep the blonde veela warm whilst he was gone, and blissfully unaware of his departure, then he slowly pulled himself from the tender embrace and got up.
Upon looking back to the bed, he saw an adorable image. Lucius had one hand curved under his pillow laxly and the other that had been holding Harry, was now resting in the spot where he had been. The blonde's mouth was slightly agape, but just enough for him to breathe in and out, and his hair was streaming out on the pillow behind him, making him look rather fetching just then. Even though a slight crease was forming on his brow and his fingers were slightly twitching, but he was still looking attractive nonetheless.
Harry felt himself slightly respond to that image and he licked his lips, thinking about how he could wake Lucius up in the most pleasurable manner, but he stopped his train of thought and turned back to the armoire.
He quickly dug out his pile of dirty clothes he had asked the house elves to bring from his other room along with his other clothes of course, then pulled out one of the only clean T-shirts he had left, pulling it over his head, then taking out a fleece jacket he had stolen from Draco's closet and putting that on too before stepping into his sneakers –that he just left loose instead of having to tie and untie- and he was off.
As he reached his motorcycle and put his clothes in the carriers, he thought about leaving a note.
That would probably be wise. Both Malfoys would probably flip out if either woke up early and found him gone without a trace.
He hurried back inside, still in his striped and fleeced pajama bottoms that barely clung to his hips, and sleep tousled hair. He walked into the study and grabbed a piece of parchment and quill before penning a short message about him leaving. The dark-haired wizard then called a house-elf and directed him to give either Malfoy the note should they inquire to his whereabouts. The elf nodded slowly, before stating its opinions about him leaving without telling the masters of the house. Harry just smiled and dismissed the elf, before leaving quickly.
He put a silencing charm on his bike before turning the key. He could feel the engine roar to life through his legs, though no sound came out, and he began to take off. Instead of going through the gates, he decided to fly over them, and he took off into the early morning, feeling the dewy atmosphere shoot past him as he drove into the dawning light.
"Where's that flea market we went to?" Jen asked Harry as they both fished clothing from their dryers and proceeded to fold everything. No one was there quite yet because it was so early on a Sunday, that only they would be crazy enough to be doing laundry.
"Which one?" Harry asked, thinking of the many places his friend had dragged him when he wasn't working; some even in other countries, like Egypt, or Germany.
"The one in America." She clarified.
Oh, yeah. Harry remembered that one alright. Damn, what a plane ride that had been. Jen had family in America, and for Fourth of July weekend (something he hadn't known the Americans celebrated, but the parties had been fun anyway) he had been dragged to America and brought to –where was it again, oh- New Jersey, to visit her family and go to a flea market right near where they lived.
" New Jersey." He answered her as he folded another T-shirt.
"No! I knew that." She groaned. "My relatives live there! Of course, I knew that!" She glared at him as he smiled at her in response. "It was near that stadium. Which one was it?"
"Um." They both echoed as they racked their brains for the name of the team that stadium had belonged to. Harry couldn't even remember what stupid sport it had been for. It was another country, for Merlin's sake! The only sport he had ever cared about was Quidditch.
"Ya…. Y… Yankees!" Jen shrieked in success.
"The New York Yankees?" Harry questioned with a raised brow. The two major teams in America were the Red Sox and the Yankees, that was about as much as Harry had gotten out of the trip. Especially because half of Jen's family liked the Yankees, and the other half liked the Red Sox. The only reason he had been left out of their feud was because he was from another country and 'didn't know any better'. "I believe the Yankee's stadium is in New York." He responded as her face fell.
"Damn it!" She snarled as they both continued thinking.
"Giants." Harry answered after a moment –only remembering the name because it reminded him of Hagrid and because it had been a giant stadium in his opinion.
"Yes!" She called out. "Honestly, Harry. I can't believe you thought it was the Yankees! You barmy fool." She continued folding her laundry, trying to avoid the indignant glare she knew she was receiving from her friend.
"I thought?" He questioned in a high tone.
"Yes, honestly, you fool! Yankees play baseball! You weren't even close! Of course, I knew it was the football playing Giants." She smiled at herself, as if she were proud of her brilliance.
Without warning Jen found a large towel tossed over her head from her own pile of laundry. She paused and turned to glare at the place where she knew Harry was snickering, even though she couldn't see him through the towel.
"Bastard." She growled.
"Slut." He responded in tease.
She fought with herself as she pulled the towel off her disheveled head, trying to decide what nasty thing to call him.
"Assbitch!" She snapped caught between two words and the man just stared at her, blinking repeatedly, then he burst out into laughter.
"Ass bitch?" He queried as he doubled over in laughter. "Ass bitch? Where'd you pull that out of?" He laughed so hard he had to sit down for a moment.
Though the pregnant woman tried to hide it, she couldn't stop the snickers that finally turned into outright laughter as well.
"It's too early." She deemed as she tried to continue folding her piles of laundry –now moving on to her next dryer.
As Harry was now done with his own, he brought it out to his motorcycle as he continued murmuring to himself about being an 'ass bitch' and how he could remedy that.
When he came back in to kiss her goodbye, Jen was pouting.
"Are you going to go away for a long time again?" She asked with a frown.
"I don't know. Not for too long, hopefully, but I can't be sure. I told you about the guy that I've met, right?" He asked, referring to what he'd told her when he got there.
"Yes." She sighed in resignation. "You've told me about him. He sounds wonderful."
"He's pretty good to me." Harry told her with distant smile forming over his face as he thought of the blonde. "I don't know about this one." He murmured. "He might be it."
"It?" She asked in disbelief. "You mean… the one?"
Harry smiled at her; the happiness glittering in his eyes was beyond all measure as he nodded twice.
"But you…? I mean, you've never…! Will I ever see you again?" She settled on, with her hormones causing her to want to cry at the loss of her friend.
"Definitely!" Harry was quick to assure. "I would never just desert you, but… if it… if this turns out to be something, then Lucius will hold president in my life. It doesn't mean I won't have time for you, it just means I'll be spending most of my time with him." He explained.
"What about children?" She asked quickly, then clamped her hand over her mouth the moment she had said it. She saw the immediate affect her words had had one him and it made her heart ache. "I'm sorry." She whispered.
Her friend was scowling in thought, his brows furrowed with sadness.
"I don't know." He whispered. "I'm not sure about anything anymore, but…" He looked back into her eyes from the floor. "I know that whether we have children or not, I think he's going to be the one in my arms for the rest of my life."
"Harry." She breathed. This was serious. Harry had explained about the whole situation after he had gone to this Draco person's home, but… she hadn't realized it was so serious until her friend had spoken those words.
Harry nodded a few times, as if he were telling himself some things, and making sure that his words were true in his head, maybe going over a mental check list of the good and the bad of his decision.
He looked down at his watch suddenly and gasped.
"Okay, I've gotta fly. I'll talk to you later, hopefully before next week." He kissed her cheek quickly and was gone in a flash.
The young blonde frowned deeply in his sleep at the loud yell, but he just dismissed it as some peculiar abnormality to his dream.
"Master Draco!" The shout came again.
This time, Draco was sure it wasn't part of his dream and he slowly began to awaken. It took him a moment to find the annoying house-elf he wanted to hex in the darkened room.
The curtains were always drawn so that he could sleep as far into the mornings as he liked, but he could see the crack of sunlight through the thick velvet curtains. In that crack of light, he saw the large-eyed elf standing nervously out of reach.
"I swear to the gods that if you don't have a good reason for waking me, Elf, I will curse your tongue around your neck and hang you from it!" He spat in annoyance as he reached for his wand to fulfill his threat. He may not have excelled in Charms when he was at school, but he was a master of curses and hexes.
The elf shivered and cringed in fear as he mumbled and whined something quickly in his defense.
"What did you say?!" Draco snapped, his attitude sharpening his tongue considerably.
"Master Lucius is having a night terror, Sir!" The elf squealed again.
"Night terror?" Draco questioned with a scowl. "You awoke me because my father is having a dream?!" He bellowed, snatching his wand from his bedside and aiming for the elf.
"Master is screaming and tears is coming out of he's eyes! Master is calling for his mate, Sir." The elf announced as he covered his head, waiting for the impact of the curse or hex he would be hit with. When none came, he looked up at the wide-eyed blonde.
"Where is Harry, then? Why not wake him?" Draco asked urgently.
"Master Harry is here not, Sir."
"Not here!" Draco cried out. "Where the bloody hell is he?!"
The elf pulled a piece of parchment from under his tattered clothing as he reached out to give it to his veela master.
Draco snatched it from the elf and opened it quickly. His eyes scanned the page as he scowled again.
"Laundry?!" He demanded sharply. "Why has he gone to clean his laundry?! Why did you elves not clean it for him?" He shouted in accusation as he leapt gracefully from his bed and pulled a robe over his pajamas.
"We tries, Sir!" The elf exclaimed, seeming to be equally as frustrated over the laundry issue. "We tries many times, Sir, but Master Harry threatens us! Master Harry threatens to wash dishes if we did not leaves he's laundry unwashed!" The elf tried to explain.
Draco snorted as he strode from his rooms in great haste to make it to his father's chambers. It took a few minutes to walk there in great stride, though it felt like forever. All the while he could hear the elf explaining his father's nightmare problems behind him as he walked.
He threw open the door and strode through the sitting room and right into the open bedroom.
There his father was, thrashing around on the bed, tears streaming down his face as he seemed to try and be fighting demons in his own mind. The blankets had long since been kicked aside, and there was only Lucius in his silk pants, kicking and screaming in pain every once in a while across the bed.
Draco was amazed he hadn't fallen off the bed yet, though it really was quite a large mattress.
He rushed to the side of the bed and grabbed his father's wrist, trying to calm him down, though the man was still asleep. The young man had never seen his father in such terrible turmoil. Where was Harry when you needed him?
By grabbing his wrist, Draco had managed to calm down his father for the briefest of moments before he suddenly turned violent and swung his fist at Draco to get free, punching his son right in the face, as he continued to thrash, even when free, and remain sleeping.
Draco stumbled back and fell to the floor from the gravity of the punch. His father had never hit him before, and he was surprised by how strong the other man was, even at his age –though in Wizarding years, he was probably in the prime of his life.
Standing, Draco tried casting binding spells on his father, but some kind of magical protection charm seemed to be absorbing all of his attempts. It was just fine and well, because Draco doubted that even if his charms had landed they probably would never hold his father; at least not for long.
"Damn it, Harry! Where are you?"
"Harry!" Lucius screamed, as if in pain, and Draco felt his heart clench. This was terrible. Even in his dreams, Lucius knew his mate was absent from his side, and he probably felt like he had been deserted by his mate subconsciously, which was now throwing him into a very painful dream of loneliness.
As Harry reentered the Malfoy Manor, he instantly knew something was wrong. He had had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach since halfway back there.
He suddenly ran up the stairs, heading toward Lucius' chambers, fearing the worst, though he sparsely knew what that could be.
Bursting into the already open rooms, Harry called out for his mate, but was greeted by Draco instead.
"Harry." Draco snapped, half-relieved, half-infuriated. "Damn it! Why did you have to leave?"
"What's going on?" Harry asked frantically as he caught sight of Lucius. "What's happened to him?"
"He thinks you're gone, that you've deserted him. He's been calling out for you since you left, I'd imagine."
Turning to Draco, Harry saw the bruise forming on the blonde's cheek and some kind of paternal instinct kicked in, which surprised Draco to no ends. "What happened to you?" He asked as he gently touched the bruise.
"I got too close to him and he lashed out at me." Draco responded raggedly. "Please, just… fix him." He ordered in a pleading tone.
Harry nodded several times, then approached the bed. He sat gently on the side of the bed, somewhat wary of the thrashing limbs as he debated on the least painful course of action. Speaking first would probably be best.
"Lucius! Lucius, calm down. Lucius, I'm here. Can you hear me? I'm here, Lucius! I haven't left you, love. I'm here. Shh. My love, calm yourself." This only seemed to slow Lucius down in a minor degree, but that's all Harry needed. He slipped onto the bed when Lucius had turned the other direction, and he wrapped his arms quickly around Lucius. "I've got you." He whispered softly into the veela's ear. "Peace, my love. I'm here. I'm not leaving you."
Slowly, Lucius calmed at the touch of his mate, and he turned in the embrace.
Draco watched on with baited breath, hoping that that would be the end of it. Thankfully, Lucius seemed to calm back into sleep and both teens gave a sigh of relief.
Suddenly, Harry felt hands sliding under his jacket and shirt, gliding over his skin, causing his breathing to increase slightly. The snaps of his fleece were yanked at and the jacket was thrown off the bed sharply.
Harry gasped as Lucius' cold toes came in contact with his ankle, moving the fabric of his pant up and caressing against Harry's legs, as if to find as much skin to skin contact as his sleep-induced brain could manage without too much effort. Soon Harry was completely encompassed with Lucius inside his clothes and snuggling deeply into him with a very possessive grip keeping him from going anywhere.
Draco stepped closer, wondering if he should help or leave.
"It's alright." Harry murmured softly, but so Draco could hear with a grin plastered on his face. "He won't hurt me." The dark-haired wizard began stroking Lucius' hair with his free arm that wasn't pinned under both his and the blonde's weight.
"Are you sure?" Draco asked hesitantly, but then he saw Lucius snuggling his face deeper into Harry's neck with a serene smile on his face, and he knew his father was fine now that his mate was with him and Harry was too.
Draco's eyes connected with his friend's and they both nodded in agreement that things were alright. With that settled Draco spun on his heel and left the room with a sigh. He wondered if he would be able to get back to sleep, or if he should just head down to the kitchen for breakfast. Eventually, Draco decided to try bed once more and let the house-elves wake him up whenever they were serving breakfast.
"I love you." Harry whispered into Lucius' ear as he pet his veela's hair tenderly. He wasn't expecting a response, but suddenly the blonde froze his movements. He turned to Harry so that their eyes connected, and Harry smiled when he saw the sleep-hazy eyes of the man he loved. "Finally woke up, did you?" He asked in amusement.
Lucius looked over and around at everything in the room, startled, then back at his mate.
"You left?" He asked in a hurt tone.
"I went to do laundry." Harry nodded with a small smile. "I wasn't aware that your reaction would be… quite so terrible."
"You came back."
"Good gods, Lucius, of course I came back." Harry snapped with a frown. "I would never just pack all of my things and leave you while you were sleeping. I don't… I don't think I could ever leave you…. Ever." He looked away suddenly –all of this emotional crap was very unmanly-, but Lucius was beaming with joy.
"Do you mean that?"
"Of course." Harry responded eagerly as he turned back to the veela and saw the Cheshire Cat smile on his face, causing him to smile as well.
"Oh, um, was I about to…?" Lucius began as he looked down at their barely dressed selves -the blonde half inside Harry's clothes.
Harry quirked his brow, curiously, wondering what Lucius meant by that, when suddenly it hit him that the veela thought he had been assaulting Harry in his sleep. "No! Draco thought you might, but you just seemed to want to snuggle. He's really rather protective of both of us, I think." Harry added with a smile.
Lucius smiled as well. "He's loyal, and I think he may be beginning to love you like a father as well."
Harry blushed. "That's odd. I can't be his father."
"You can if you marry me." Lucius whispered into his ear before pulling back and staring seriously into his lover's emerald eyes. Harry stared back with wide eyes of surprise.
"I hope that's not your formal proposal, Lucius Caiden Malfoy." Harry responded with a scowl at the manner of which the blonde had dropped that hint. "I usually don't like to judge you by your last name, but I would expect a little more from a Malfoy than that!"
"No, that wasn't formal." Lucius smiled briefly at Harry, then frowned in sadness. "I had terrible dreams while you were gone." He murmured in depression.
"Tell me about them." Harry responded worriedly, leaning closer to stroke his mate and calm him if necessary.
"I was tossing and turning in my sleep. I could feel fatigue and fear gnawing at me. I felt insecure and…" Lucius couldn't find the words to express his sadness as he tried to explain it.
Flashback of dreams…
Harry didn't deserve this pain! He didn't deserve having to mate with Lucius to keep him sane.
It was a curse. He reasoned. The one he loved didn't deserve to be tortured like this. Forced into something he obvious was neither ready for nor desired in the least.
Why had this happened? Forced into a relationship with the worst possible candidate.
Harry's worst enemy. His worst nightmare. His lover and partner for life.
He's gone. Lucius thought. He's left me. I'm not worthy of him. He's justified. He's someone I could only hope to touch and that touch has expired.
Harry embraced his mate, feeling the emotions Lucius was feeling through their connection and wanting to comfort him as much as possible. Lucius had explained his nightmares to the best of his abilities. Nightmares of Harry leaving and not coming back… nightmares of Lucius just not deserving to love anyone… Harry couldn't take the pain and insecurity that emanated through their connection. Lucius did realize though that his mate did love him, and he wasn't about to leave him any time soon. It was going to take a lot longer for his veela self and his human self to be equally as comfortable with any kind of separation from his mate, but it's good that all of their fears were out in the open now. Harry promised that if he ever had to leave for anything again, that he would wake Lucius up first and explain his departure –at least until the veela was more secure. Lucius was very satisfied with this solution.
Wanting to get past the depressing dreams Lucius had had and the rough morning they had both experienced, Harry decided what the best course of action was. He began to rise and looked to his blonde with a cunning gleam to his eye. He knew this person beside him was his life-mate. He knew it perfectly well because if Lucius had been wrong about them being mates, they wouldn't have been able to connect like they had through their minds, and emotions. Knowing you have your perfect match in life eliminates all self-doubt, which made Harry want to express his emotions again and again, no matter how "too soon" it felt to be saying 'I love you'. In this case, in this moment, with his veela… it felt perfect.
So he smiled coyly at the blonde pouting up at him from the bed.
"Care to join me in the shower?" He queried.
The blonde took on his more characteristic self, pulling his dignity together and sitting up in bed to raise an aristocratic eyebrow. He elegantly cocked his head to the side as if he were only considering the idea, but once his eyes caught on the movements of his mate stripping as he walked out of the room and toward the bathroom, he gave up his play and dashed after him, shedding his clothes as he went.
(To be continued in the Sequel should you wish to read more.)
A/N: TO EXPLAIN WHY FIVE CHAPTERS HAVE BEEN EDITED FROM THIS STORY:
I felt that this story was supposed to be about Lucius and Harry and I kind of lost sight of that reality after this point. The rest of the story past this point is more about Draco than anything else, so I have made the executive decision to separate the two parts. This part of the story is complete, but the other chapters that had been posted here will be put toward the sequel to Of Love's Bestowing. I am sorry for any upsets this may cause. I should probably have written the whole thing first then revised it for a while before posting it so this didn't happen. I don't know whether I should do that for the sequel…
I think it would be terribly unfair to you readers if I kept the next five chapters to myself until I finished the rest of the story, but I don't know how long it will take me to finish the sequel…
Well, I suppose the question should be posed to you readers –
SHOULD I POST AS MUCH OF THE SEQUEL AS I HAVE NOW, OR SHOULD I WAIT UNTIL I HAVE IT COMPLETED?
I will wait until Sunday, May 4th, for comments before deciding to post, or not to post the sequel immediately. Feel free to either PM me or drop a review. (I know reviews take less effort, but I don't want you to feel obligated to respond this way.) Thank you all for any response you may have.