BEWDS' Note: After twiddling our thumbs and working out some issues, we have finally come around to posting this. Eh heh. XD It doesn't help much that we've started another rp, but at least Lady D has started writing again. #heartheart# A cure for my boredom and she spiffi-fied the forum we use to work on these lovely stories. The withdrawal nearly killed me. #sniffle#

Lady D's Note: Well, it only took us forever and a day to get this chapter out. We are extra horrible because we left it on a horrible cliff hanger… I don't know why we took so longer, we really have to excuse, though if you ask BEWDS, she would probably say that it is my fault. She's probably right.

Warnings Slash, violence, naughty words, mpreg. You have been warned! Arrr!

Disclaimer: See Chapter 1.

Natural Feelings
BlueEyes White Dragon Sorcerer and Lady Draculea
Chapter 7: Grant and Spoon

Taking a deep breath at the death of his once-beloved mentor, Harry let out a relieved laugh as he clung closer to his mate, the fact taking a little while to really settle in. He bounced happily, still holding on to his Tom's arm, and looked up into the amused eyes of his love. His love! Bouncing even more, Harry giggled, swinging their arms energetically.

"It's gone, Tom! Completely gone! No more pain because of that stupid block! No more worrying about Dumbledork!" Harry tugged his mate down to where he could give his mate a kiss, ignoring their surroundings completely. The Death Eaters would have found out eventually and if they had a problem with them, well... they could end up like Tom's worst enemy.

Deepening the kiss the Harry initiated, Tom pulled his mate close, not caring one bit that his Death Eaters who were no doubt gaping at them in shock behind their masks. Pulling away after one final bite and tug to Harry's lower lip, Tom held on to his mate's hand, only noticing now that he wore no gloves and that his fingers were cool. Frowning, Tom nodded to his Death Eaters and watched as they disapparated, the spells used to keep the students and residents of Hogsmeade in the buildings disappearing with them. Tugging his mate against his body again, Tom apparated them both away and headed to the chateau where no doubt the Death Eaters were celebrating the death of Albus Dumbledore.

Tom and Harry had more reasons than that to celebrate.

Clutching close to his mate, Harry groaned, cursing the creator of apparation... and portkeys, for that matter. Tom scooped him up into his arms, causing Harry to squeak and wiggle closer, and carried him up the stairs, well, almost up the stairs. At about half way up, a Death Eater hurried their way, bowing and apologizing repeatedly for disturbing them before inquiring if the Dark Lord knew anything about the creepy piano and violin music disturbing the celebration, originating from a room near the ballroom.

"Go up to the door and tell those inside that the two they wish to speak to are indisposed at the moment and they will get back to them tomorrow," Tom growled, causing the Death Eater to bow and grovel before hurrying off to do just as the Dark Lord said. Sighing deeply, Harry cuddled against his mate's chest, rubbing his hands together to warm up.

Noticing how Harry was shivering lightly, Tom held him closer to share his body heat, and he quickened his step to their rooms. Once safely behind locked doors, the fireplaces located throughout the rooms flared to life and began heating the once cold chambers. Before, while Harry was at Hogwarts, the rooms had been cold and lifeless. Tom hadn't been able to stay in them; the scent of his mate that lingered in the air nearly drove him insane. He had slept, as little as he did, in a room on the other side of the chateau. But now with Harry exactly where he should be Tom was more than happy to share the rooms with his mate once again.

Setting his mate to his feet, Tom kissed Harry, all the while beginning to shed the younger male's clothing.

Shivering in the still chilled air (though the fireplaces were helping), Harry did his best to strip his mate, but his fingers felt frozen and hurt to bend. Now shaking, he squirmed closer to his mate. Why was he so cold?

He had been eating more, even sleeping more though that was with the help of Hermione dragging him along when she went to talk to Professor Binns. Concerning the other Gryffindorks, Harry had just been sleeping down with the Slytherins. Well, he had until Ron tattled to Dumbledore, then he slept in the Room of Requirement. Why was he tired?

Legs turning to jelly, Harry leaned heavily on Tom, eyelids drooping. Strong arms lifted him and he could no longer stay conscious.

Worry twisting in his stomach when his mate slumped against him, Tom shed the rest of Harry's clothes, as well as the wrap around his waist that concealed the roundness of Harry's stomach. Feeling his heart swell, Tom ran his hand over the bump, marvelling that it was his and Harry's child growing. Once again the icy feeling of Harry's skin made Tom's skin prickle. He should not be this cold. Gathering Harry into his arms, Tom carried him over the bed, casting a heating charm on the sheets and quilt. Placing Harry onto the bed and covering him with the warmed covers, Tom went to a cabinet in the corner. Opening the polished mahogany doors, Tom chose a pale yellow potion full of vitamins designated to fight any oncoming fevers.

Propping his mate into his arms, Tom fed him the potion. Running his fingers through his mate's raven locks, Tom frowned when he felt something catch on his fingers. Pulling his hand away, Tom raised an eyebrow. A pale stone, about the size of a bead, had attached itself onto his skin. Intrigued, but cautious, Tom rolled the stone in between his fingers, startling when he felt his skin start to warm as the bead changed from a light blue to a steadily increasing red. Suspicious that he had found what was causing his mate to become so cold, Tom quickly deposited the stone into the potion bottle previously filled with the vitamin potion. Tucking it away for later study, Tom pulled off his robes, boots, shirt and trousers before climbing into bed with his mate. Pulling Harry's slowly warming body against his own, Tom wrapped his arms around his mate's frame, his hands protectively covering Harry's stomach.

Once again, Harry dreamed of the griffin, naga, harpy, and faerie together, but this time the phoenix who attacked was a fiery red with... freckles?

Harry jerked awake, floundering for barely a moment before he was pulled closer to a warm, firm chest. Looking up, he immediately recognized Tom and relaxed into the embrace. Oh, how wonderful it felt to be back in his arms!

"Loveling, do you know about the bead that was in your hair?" Tom's smooth voice sent shivers down his spine.

"No, I rarely wear anything on my head, much less in my hair," he managed to reply, resisting the urge to just bury himself in the warm covers and his mate and forget about the rest of the world.

"Did anyone touch your hair or head today?" Thinking hard about the question, Harry unconsciously nuzzled his mate's neck.

"Noo, wait. I think... Dumbledore patted me on the head this morning before we went to Hogsmeade. He was smiling, eyes twinkling away, as Draco snarled at him and dragged me away." Harry mumbled, still resisting his instincts, though they were winning. Finally giving in, he brushed his lips over his mate's skin, tail swishing happily.

Tom hummed as Harry caressed his skin with his lips. So it was Albus who placed the bead in his mate's hair. From what he had deduced from fiddling with it earlier, it affected one's temperature. Tom was sure if the bead was left on Harry for any longer than it already was than his mate would have become ill, perhaps even worse from the extreme cold his body was being subjected to. Barely keeping from snarling at the nerve that the deceased wizard had, Tom wished he could murder Albus Dumbledore again. Only this time much more slowly for all the pain he caused both himself and Harry.

Pushing away his murderous thoughts, Tom willed his body to relax as Harry tasted him with his lips. Suddenly feeling the need to ravish his mate, Tom pulled Harry's lips to his own, hungrily devouring him while his hands ran over the length of his mate's body.

Quivering as his mate's hands stroked his flesh, Harry mewled into the kiss, wanting to press his body flush against Tom's but unwilling to possibly harm their child. He opened his mouth, allowing his mate access, as he blushed brightly. They had done this so many times, but only now did he realize how intimate it was because all the times before now he had instinctually done it. Thinking about it now made him shudder at the implications. Could someone really love him that much? Was that even possible?

Sensing his mate's turmoil, Tom opened his eyes and slowed his actions, emphasizing how deliberate they were, how much he truly meant everything he did. Tears stung Harry's eyes, but he just blinked them away, relaxing and putting his trust fully in his love.

Breaking from the kiss, Tom's lips trailed slowly along Harry's jaw, savouring the taste and only realising now how much he had missed the flavour that was his mate. There was no dish on earth that could compare to how his mate's lips tasted, or how succulent the sighs and mewls coming from his mate were. Nibbling on the juncture where Harry's neck met his shoulder, Tom reinstated the mark that he had placed there all those months ago. Pleased that his mate was once again marked, Tom let his kisses trail lower.

Feeling his mate taste and tease his nipples, Harry whimpered even as his Tom's hands stroked, squeezed, and scratched lightly at the rest of his body. Wanting, needing to show his mate just as much pleasure, he squirmed, causing Tom to gasp as he brushed against his hard cock.

Well, that got his attention, but then he felt a squirm from inside and he jumped in surprise. Prying one of his mate's hands from his hip, he lay both of their hands on his stomach just in time to feel a kick. He giggled at the surprised expression on Tom's face.

Tom was riveted. He could feel the baby kicking lightly under his hand and he nearly forgot everything else until his mate began to whimper and squirm in need. Letting his hand slide lower and brush along his mate's weeping cock, Tom smiled silkily when Harry bucked towards him, demanding more contact. Leaning over his mate to kiss him on the lips, Tom whispered the spell to prepare his mate. Ever so slowly, Tom pressed the head of his cock into Harry, pushing against the slick ring of muscle. Holding down Harry's hip as he moved to buck, to have Tom take him faster, he hissed when Harry wrapped his legs around his hips, causing him to sink in deeply all the way to the hilt.

Groaning in appreciation of the silky heat engulfing his cock, Tom began to move. His breaths coming in short pants as Harry held on to his shoulders, mewls falling from his lips every time Tom hit that sweet spot inside of him.

Pulling his mate down, Harry latched his mouth onto Tom's neck, sucking and biting to renew his mark, that set off Tom and the feeling of his mate's cum in him made Harry climax with a muffled cry.

His mate immediately rolled to the side and both of their hands rose to rest on his abdomen. The child hiccupped, making Harry giggle at the strange feeling and Tom smile. Yawning, Harry snuggled into his mate, making a mental note to talk to Severus about safety precautions and books on male pregnancies. There was no way in hell they'd lose their child because of carelessness.

Content to watch his mate sleep, Tom traced patterns over Harry's skin. Frequently his hands travelled back to his mate's belly to softly stroke and just feel the life that they had created. It barely seemed like hours, but it was nearing dinner time when Harry woke with a stretch and a yawn. Smiling fondly, Tom lay on his side, his head resting on his palm as he watched his mate.

Stretching contentedly, Harry yawned as he woke up before settling back against his mate. He blinked before looking straight up into his mate's loving gaze which made his face heat up. It would take him awhile to get used to that.

"Did you stay awake the whole time?" Harry gasped, stroking his love's cheek with one hand.

"Don't worry, loveling. You need to sleep more than I do." He sat up and gestured to the tray of food Nery had left not twenty minutes ago on a side table, a charm keeping the food hot. "It is about time for dinner, Harry. We'll eat then talk about the past few months?" To Tom, the months past were some of the hardest ones of his life. Every waking minute without his mate felt like a knife twisting in his heart. The nights had been the worst without his mate to hold. It wasn't something he looked forward to discussing, but it was better to get out in the open and would help them in the long run.

Stomach twisting into guilty knots, Harry worried his lip as Tom pulled him onto his lap after conjuring a couple more pillows for him to lean back against. He had been blessed with a potion to ease their separation, but Tom had not. Obediently accepting a sweet one hundred tomato, Harry watched his mate happily feed him the delicious lime- and chile-flavored shrimp salad. He made sure that Tom ate plenty as well after his fifth bite, sitting up straddling his lap and feeding his mate just as he fed him.

Soon they had eaten all they wanted and Harry lay slumped against his mate's chest.

Arms wrapped loosely around Harry's waist, Tom gathered his thoughts. "How are you feeling?" Tom was confident that once the block was gone that there were no hidden side affects or surprises. The little bead that was planted in Harry's hair though, he knew next to nothing about.

Harry blinked slowly, analyzing his emotions and health critically.

"I'm -" Their child hiccupped again, causing Harry to squirm and giggle. It really did feel funny. "- fine, hiccupping babies aside." Smiling, Harry stretched up and kissed Tom on the nose. "I've been getting plenty of sleep and eating enough, but now I'm with you and everything is better now."

Tom raised an eyebrow, "hiccups?" He wasn't overly familiar with babies, especially ones still in the womb.

Harry nodded. "It tickles."

Tom shook his head slightly, overjoyed to see his mate so laid back and happy. Smiling he returned the kiss and pecked Harry on the nose, amused when his mate pouted, wanting to be kissed proper. "I take it Severus has been behaving and giving aid?"

Resting his cheek on his mate's chest, Harry sighed, shifting to a more comfortable position on his side.

"He's been great. It's possible that he doesn't hate me anymore." He remembered the time when he had almost fallen down a long flight of stairs; having been pushed by someone he was sure was Seamus. Before he had even hit the first step, Snape had caught him with a levitation charm. From then on, Draco and Hermione were with him every step of the way, every single step. He went to the bathroom; Draco was there. In every class, Hermione was there. For mealtimes, he and Hermione ate at the Slytherin table and when Dumbledore forbid that, they ate in the kitchen with all the house elves rushing to serve them, though Dobby always insisted that he be the one to do so.

"That reminds me. I need to ask him about any precautions we might need to take... and any books that might help. Hogwarts' library had absolutely nothing on human pregnancies, can you believe it? They barely had a paragraph on any creature pregnancies and nothing at all on human!" Pouting, Harry slumped further.

"I can believe it. Hogwarts' library is vast, but it doesn't contain a good portion of things that may be important." He ran his hand up and down Harry's spine, eliciting soft sighs and purrs. "Asking Severus wouldn't be a bad idea, loveling. I want this to be as easy for you as possible."

Checking the time, Tom sighed. "I am going to have to make an appearance downstairs soon, Harry. Sophisticated or no, a few of my Death Eaters get carried away with the drink."

Eyes that had slipped close at Tom's ministrations snapped open to search desperately the face of his mate, fingers clenching.

"You're not going to leave me, are you?"

Placing a finger under Harry's chin, Tom slowly kissed his mate. "Of course not, Harry. You are welcome to come with me if you prefer?"

Nodding quickly, Harry latched himself on his mate as Tom stood.

"Well, then we'll have to wash off first," Tom purred, stroking his hand down his mate's side while the other held the smaller body to his own. Purring, Harry's eyelids drooped and he smiled.

Perfectly heated water fell in wet ribbons over Tom and Harry's forms. Tom's hands were moving over the soap slicked surface of his mate. Harry mewled when Tom's sudsy hands passed over his sensitive nipples, causing his back to arch. Smiling wickedly, Tom's hands found his mate's nipples again, teasing the dusty pink nubs to hardness. Each cry and whimper that fell from his mate's lips went straight to his cock, and he quickly felt the organ fill and grow hard. Harry was just as aroused, his own cock poked at Tom's thigh.

Watching as the water washed the soap from Harry's skin, Tom latched his mouth to a nipple. Harry leaned back against the wall, barely able to stand as his mate's tongue did wicked things to him.

Though his cat ears pressed flat to his head and his tail wound tight around his leg, Harry couldn't think of anything besides his mate and what he was doing to him. His legs felt like jelly, but his cock stood straight up. When his mate finally pulled himself away from Harry's nipples, slick fingers slipped past his ring of muscle as he whispered the lubrication spell.

Harry squirmed at the feeling. It was one thing to feel a preparation spell and it was another to have his mate's fingers in him. Taking his time preparing his mate, Tom made sure he was properly stretched before removing his fingers and replacing them with his cock.

Harry's legs wrapped around his waist as he sunk slowly onto Tom's cock, arms wrapped loosely around shoulders. Hissing between his teeth as the hot velvet that was Harry wrapped around his cock, Tom's hands grasped the round globes of his mate's arse. Rolling his hips, Tom pulled out briefly before plunging back into Harry's warmth. His lips latched onto his mate's neck, making Harry wonder if Tom had been turned into a vampire when he wasn't looking. When Tom bit down a tad roughly, Harry gasped, his cock jumping and inner muscles tightening against the length that fill him.

Two more rough thrusts had them both cumming, Tom biting down on Harry's neck and Harry screaming his mate's name in pleasure. Sliding to sit on the bottom of the shower, they rested against each other, eyes locked and speaking volumes about how they felt for each other.

Once they had finally caught their breath and rinsed off, Tom carried his mate out of the shower and placed him reverently on a large, fluffy towel, taking another to dry him off, then Harry repaid the favor. They dressed in clean robes, Harry - not forgetting the wrap to hide his pregnancy - with great reluctance, and prepared to go downstairs, meaning Harry attached himself to Tom's arm.

Lively music could be heard coming from the ballroom, while voices echoed through the corridor. When Tom swept into the room, Harry at his side all was silent save for the enchanted instruments that continued to play, ironically reaching the pinnacle of the piece when the Dark Lord and his mate entered the room.

Tom could tell that Harry was tense; his back stiff and eyes looking back and forth between the elaborately dressed witches and wizards. Only Tom's presence at his side kept him from bolting to hide in a dark corner.

As Tom and Harry made their way to the center of the room, the loyal Death Eaters bowed and curtsied accordingly, their eyes all on the two powerful male wizards.

Squirming closer to his mate, Harry eyed his mate's servants, seeking out possible dangers. All exits were found and carefully noted. Just because they followed Tom didn't mean they agreed with him on all issues and he was still weaponless. If he were separated from his mate in a battle... he'd be completely and utterly defenseless.

Cat ears swivelled 'round, listening for any suspicious sounds, and tail flicked back and forth agitatedly. Any closer and he'd be stepping on Tom's feet.

Squeezing Harry's arm reassuringly, Tom began addressing his Death Eaters. It wasn't particularly necessary, but without someone to lead them, to encourage and support them, then there would be no order within the ranks. It was impetrative that they knew their place and that they respected him as a leader, as someone who could strategize and recognize situations as they were.

After a short, but to the point speech, Tom led his mate to a set of doors leading to a balcony. Harry was giving him a curious look and Tom would rather no one was around when Harry probed.

The speech his mate had given was concise and to the point, which Harry was glad for but now Tom had dragged him off to a balcony. What were they doing out here? It was chilly, so Harry wiggled closer after having given his love a bit of room to walk.

"Tom, what's wrong?"

Pulling Harry's hand to his mouth, Tom placed a kiss on the smooth skin. "Hm, nothing in particular, you just look uncomfortable, which is understandable." He wrapped his arms around his mate's frame as he shivered from the cool evening air. "Know this, love. The Death Eaters will not harm you. They know that you are not to be touched else they will feel my wrath. I know that you will never completely trust them, but they will protect you. You have nothing to fear. Of that I promise you."

Closing his eyes as he leaned into his mate's embrace, Harry sighed, shivering not from the chill air but from the remembered feeling of so many eyes on him.

"I just... I mean, I wish they wouldn't stare. It creeps me out. From the first time I entered the Wizarding World, all others have done is stared as if I were going to do something worth seeing and they couldn't look away or they'd miss it. Whatever they saw, they'd immediately judge me by it." Squirming closer, he frowned into Tom's robes. Even now it annoyed the hell out of him, made him feel paranoid.

Tom stroked his mate's hair reassuringly, "Loveling, no matter who you are, people are going to judge you. It's an unfortunate side-affect of being human. I understand what you mean, though. All I can advise is to not let it bother you. What they think is not important, it is what you think that matters."

He led his mate to a stone bench and sat them both down. "Now, tell me what you think." He meant the scenery. The best view of the castle could be seen where they were sitting, it was one of Tom's favourite places to think.

Harry sighed, knowing that Tom was right as usual, before looking where his mate indicated and feeling his breath leave his chest as he took in the elegant architecture accented by the setting sun, ocean glittering in the distance. He could see the tops of some of the taller trees in the garden, bringing back memories of flitting about flowering bushes with the sun shining down and the strange fountain with its grapefruit soda contents. Turning back to his love, he smiled softly, cuddling closer.

"It's beautiful, Tom."

The comfortable silence shared between Harry and Tom was suddenly broken when the sound of glass shattering followed by a high pitched shriek cut through the air, making both Dark Lord and Boy-who-lived wince. Tom growled softly under his breath, angry that their basking in each other's presence was interrupted. Harry rubbed his cat ears, no doubt irritated at the high pitch of the screech that had came from the ballroom.

Standing, Tom pulled out his wand. One would think that sophisticated men and women such as his Death Eaters knew better than to quarrel, especially in his presence.

Tom stormed off after checking with Harry, who didn't want to go back in quite yet. Curling up, partially hiding himself by a potted plant, Harry waited and listened as his mate chewed out his Death Eaters. Briefly, he wondered who had been fighting and for what reason, but pushed those thoughts away.

Feeling a bit suspicious when the wind suddenly stilled, he crouched down further. All sound stopped, making him feel as if he were underwater. Then Harry jerked to his feet as a lance of pain screamed down their link, worry leading him inside before he could even think of what he was doing.

Victoria Grant and Elsie Spoon were screaming curses and hexes at each other. Sober, they often went out of the way to snub the other, but drunk they were hell bent on destroying each other. The glass from a window unfortunate enough to be in the way of a wayward curse lay scattered on the floor like pieces of a puzzle, while the two witches battled using magic and physical violence alike, tearing at each other with all they had. Both of their dresses were torn, their hair in disarray, and their skin marked from each other's nails. The remaining Death Eaters looked on from a distance murmuring amongst themselves, knowing it was best not to interfere when their lord discovered the fight going on between two members of the ranks.

Each of the witch's respective husbands were involved earlier, but now the both lay unconscious on the floor. Tom couldn't tell if they were dead, but ladies Spoon and Grant better hope that they were not. It was one thing to be killed for punishment of disobedience or treason, but over a pointless squabble over whose ancestor discovered the uses of Grindylow scales, was ridiculous and not tolerated.

As Tom stormed darkly towards the two witches, the Death Eaters looking on in dread anticipation, a wayward hex flew from one witch's wand and flew right into Tom's path. As the curse hit him, silence suddenly engulfed the room as everyone watched as the Dark Lord halted and grit his teeth, barely making a sound as the prickly pain of the hex wore off. Eyes flashing murderously, Tom flicked his wand towards the two witches and watched with morbid satisfaction as each went sailing through the air in opposite directions, their bodies impacting the walls with a sickening thump before sinking to the floor.

Harry entered the ballroom just as the quarrelling women hit opposite walls. Slipping into the shadows, he watched the Death Eaters shrink away from his irritated mate, the most powerful wizard in the world. One of the foolish women stood, amazingly able to stand after the impact. Immediately, she fell to her knees in front of the Dark Lord, begging forgiveness. This made Harry sneer at her stupidity and he barely resisted slapping some sense into her, mainly because that would mean he had to reveal himself to the other Death Eaters, unable to trust the men and women who had been trying to kill him since birth. Tom was a different story, being his soul mate, and he had no qualms immediately trusting and believing in his love.

"Silence!" Tom had a blinding headache thanks to that hex and no tolerance for the repentant woman in front of him. The other lay dazed on the floor where she landed, blood forming a puddle from the wound on the back of her head where it had impacted with the wall.

Grant, the one in front of him, was thankfully silent. Quickly casting a sobering spell so that the Death Eater was fully aware of what was happening, Tom then cast crucio briefly. After the pure-blooded witch's screams began, effectively increasing the pain in his head, Tom released her from the spell after a minute, unwilling to waste anymore time.

As the witch lay twitching on the floor, Tom growled, his voice low and threatening. "If I hear so much as an inkling that you and Spoon have been fighting each other once more, I will personally make sure neither of you live long enough to even think the other's name. Have I made myself clear?"

Crawling to her knees, Grant nodded briskly. "Yes, milord."

"Get out of my sight."

The witch scampered off as if the hounds of hell were hot on her heels.

Scowling, Tom motioned for an acquaintance of Messieurs Grant and Spoon, directing them to remove the unconscious witch and wizards to the infirmary to be looked over. Once the four where gone and the window repaired with a flick of his wand, Tom pinched the bridge of his nose before glaring around the room. Nothing good would come from another disturbance.

Feeling the dull ache echoing down their link, Harry took a deep breath and gathered his courage before slinking out of the shadows to his mate's side, doing his best to ignore the burning eyes on him. He slipped a partially empty pain relief potion from a pocket of his robes, mentally giggling at the habit he had picked up from Severus over the past few months, and offered it to Tom, who gladly took it.

"Feeling a bit better, love?"


The potion effectively masking the pain that was pounding fiercely on the inside of his skull, Tom smiled thankfully at his mate. Relaxing his shoulders, Tom was relieved to see that the Death Eaters were departing for the night. Once the room was empty, Tom motioned to the instruments that had halted their performance when the fight had broken out. As music once again softly floated through the air, Tom held out his hand to Harry. "Dance with me?"

"Anything for you, love," Harry purred, taking his mate's offered hand, and easily let himself be pulled to his Tom's body. Allowing Tom to lead him across the floor, he squashed the memories of the only other time he'd ever danced with anyone. Well, he hadn't really danced with Parvarti, rather she had lead him around like a show dog. Dancing with Tom didn't feel that way. No, it really felt like they were dancing together even as Harry learned the dance steps as he went.

Resting his head on Tom's chest, Harry sighed, letting himself drift. The music was beautiful, soft and slow, and the ballroom was shimmering in the dying light of the sun. Best of all: his mate's body was warm against his own and their child contentedly resting within his own body.

Tom traced his hand along his mate's back as they rocked to and fro will the soft music. Their heart beats melded together as one as they held each other, revelling in each other's warmth and presence. Finally, the music drew to an end and the instruments stilled as Tom and Harry finished their dance. Pulling away slightly, Tom caught Harry's mouth in a sweet kiss, telling his mate exactly how he felt through the act of affection.

Breathing deeply, enjoying the scent of his mate, Harry reciprocated. He felt completely calm as he stood there, pressed against the love of his life. It no longer mattered to him in the slightest that this was the man who killed his parents, at least one of his schoolmates, and many others. Even if he logically thought about it, ignoring his instincts screaming that it was his mate and he loved him, he still wouldn't care. The other side was no different.

The question was: what role did he play in the war now that he was no longer Dumbledore's perfect little Golden Boy? Was he going to become Tom's co-ruler? Or just his consort? Did he really want to fight in the war?

Tom hummed into the kiss, sensing that his mate was distracted. "What are you thinking about, love?" Before his mate could answer, he latched onto his mate's neck, loving the taste presented to him on such a delicious platter.

Shivering as his mate latched onto his neck (Harry was really starting to think his mate was a vampire or at least had a neck fetish, not that he was complaining), he mewled as his mate unintentionally distracted him from answering, belatedly realizing that his mate had just called him 'love'. Harry smiled sadly, pulling away slightly to focus Tom's attention on what he was about to say.

"I'm just thinking about what I'm going to do – about the war, I mean."

Resisting the urge to pout as his mate pulled away, effectively catching his attention, Tom hooded his eyes. He really didn't have an issue with his mate involving himself in the war; he was a large part of it after all. As long as it didn't put his mate or their child in danger, that is. "I'm sure we can come up with something, though I'm perfectly content to have you safely by my side."

Harry rolled his eyes.

"Of course, I'm staying with you! They couldn't pry us apart if they tried, but I'm not sure if I'm going to participate in any attacks. The last thing I want to do is to leave our child without parents. Sadly, you can't exactly say, 'Sorry, guys, I'm going to stay hidden for at least eighteen or so years so my child can grow up, so see you later,' can you?" It wasn't really a question. He glanced up at his mate, becoming nervous when he noticed Tom's eyelids at half-mast thus making it a bit more difficult to decipher how his mate felt. Shifting uncomfortably, Harry fought back tears as Tom remained silent and unmoving.

"Tom?" he managed to whimper, tugging on his mate's sleeve when he still didn't get a reaction.

Taking hold of the hand that was pulling at his sleeve, he could feel how his mate was being to tremble slightly at his silence. "Not quite how I meant it, Harry. I know you have no intention of hiding away, and yet if I had my way I'd keep you from any chance of becoming hurt. But," he pressed a finger against his mate's lips as he made to respond, "I know that you would not allow me to do so. There are many things that are available for you to do; completing your education is one. There are many books here and others I can pick up. There is also nothing that between Severus and I that we cannot teach you." An eyebrow raised, Tom waited for Harry's answer, remembering to remove his finger from his mate's lips.

Giving his mate a tremulous smile, Harry finally responds.

"Good 'cause I wasn't going to hide away!" Gaining courage at his mate's encouraging nod, Harry continued in a stronger voice. "There are many things I want to learn about that I was never allowed the chance to even hear about, so I need to see all the things that I canstudy." Winking mischievously, Harry tilted his head slightly to the side. "I'm sure you and Severus will have no trouble telling me all the possibilities and helping me choose and then teach me all about them, love. That reminds me." Leaning back slightly, hands holding tightly to Tom's, he appeared thoughtful. "We need to talk to Severus about my pregnancy and possible dangers to our child."

"Of course, Harry. It has been a tiring day, and I'm sure there is nothing that cannot wait until tomorrow." He kissed the hand that he still held, nibbling the flesh then licking the sting away. "We have much to do tomorrow, including paying a visit to Salazar and Godric, they've missed you almost as much as I have."

"Really?" Harry yawned. 'In a very feline way,' Tom mused, eying the added appendages and wondering if they were the reason why Harry was so kittenish. Nodding, Tom led his mate back to their rooms, taking care to avoid the room where Salazar and Godric could be heard.

They arrived at the stairs and Harry eyed the spiralling architecture warily, but before he could even open his mouth Tom had scooped him into his arms to carry him. Sighing deeply, Harry relaxed at the feeling of utter content and safety that engulfed him. To Harry it seemed like he had just closed his eyes when a ray of sunlight struck his face, effectively dragging him back to consciousness. Glancing around at his surroundings, he immediately noticed he was back in their bed, still in the arms of his mate. For that, Harry calmed, sinking back into his love's embrace to watch his Tom's sleeping face. He was glad to see that the Dark Lord looked much better than when he first saw him in Hogsmeade.

Uninterrupted sleep and a complete meal (along with his presence) seemed to have done some good at bringing back Tom's health. What good would the Dark Lord have done if he dies of bad health before he takes over the world? Harry just hoped Tom didn't get sick.