This story is a Harry Potter/Firefly crossover.
I don't own it, but please review.
Thanks to PC for betaing
Rivers Don't Wear Boots
Evan brought Ketherine to a small villa he owned on Persephone that further served to convince Ketherine that he wasn't completely right in the head. He had a small staff of house elves tending to a half muggle half magical house that was completely up to date with both worlds. Another interesting aspect was the wards. It was the most unique and intricate set Ketherine had ever seen, and it expanded passed the house and completely incased the forest behind Evan's property.
Evan gave Ketherine unrestricted access to his home, but he did ask that Ketherine respect the privacy of his desk drawers. Evan had the most impressive collection of things from Earth-that-was that Ketherine had ever seen and that included the collection at the Temple. His first night there Evan made him a delicious dinner and introduced him to a strange device called a jukebox. He put on a song by a group called The Beatles and insisted that Ketherine dance with him. Evan jumped around the room until Ketherine laughed.
"You look like you're having a seizure."
The song changed to something much slower. Evan took Ketherine in his arms and they danced together, moving in a small circle. Evan rested his head on Ketherine's shoulder and halfway through the song began pressing light kisses on his neck. After a few of these teasing kisses, Ketherine pressed him against the wall and kissed his lips. When he pulled back, Evan was sporting a healthy blush. He gave Ketherine a positively indecent leer before pulling him into a tight embrace and apparating them.
Ketherine barely had time to ask where they were before Evan tossed him onto a large bed. Before he could even begin to be affronted, Evan joined him on the bed and distracted him by sucking on his neck. Evan pulled off both of their shirts and they remained still for a long time, enjoying the feeling of their magic combining where their skin touched. Ketherine felt his arousal completely fade away in favor of this comfortable intimacy.
Ketherine woke once in the middle of night and Evan was gone. He noticed the door to the balcony was halfway open and expected to find Evan out there. The balcony was empty, but he noticed a figure on the ground halfway between the villa and the forest. A small herd of Centaurs met him there. There was no wind to carry their words, but Ketherine assume they were talking by the hand gestures that indicated the sky. Eventually the Centaurs retreated to their forest and Evan apparated to the balcony. He started at Ketherine in surprise.
"How come you're up?"
"I woke and you weren't there…"
Evan smiled and steered Ketherine back inside, pulling the doors shut behind them. Ketherine waited for Evan to mention the Centaurs, but the other man simply snuggled up to him and fell back asleep. Ketherine lay on his back and stared at the ceiling. The Centaurs had sworn off humans after the passing of Our Lord the Savior. Why were they talking to Evan? He wondered how Evan had managed to convince the Centaurs to talk to him, but eventually decided it wasn't worth bringing up. He fell asleep carding his hand through Evan's dark hair.
The next time he woke it was morning and Evan was still asleep, using his chest as a pillow. He stirred not long later, turned his head and began pressing light kisses to Ketherine's chest before he even opened his eyes.
Evan grinned and kissed his cheek, "Good morning."
After getting ready and having a short breakfast, they spent the afternoon gathering fruit from a small orchard adjacent to the villa. It had been so long since Ketherine had a fresh apple that he ate more than he collected. The house elves served lunch when they returned to the house and after the meal they went into town. They wandered around aimlessly for a while and Evan checked the docking schedule. He grinned widely.
"Some friends of mine are coming in tomorrow."
They had a late dinner at small place where no one spoke English and everyone seemed to know Evan. The walk back to the villa was leisurely.
"What did you talk about with the Centaurs?"
Evan's pace faltered for a moment, "Me."
"What about you?"
"What they see coming in my future derived from certain recent choices I made."
"Did they see something bad?" Ketherine asked tentatively.
"They saw reason for concern," He admitted, "But nothing to go into a panic about. I'm not worried," Evan looped his arm around Ketherine's waist.
Ketherine smiled to himself. He enjoyed the casual affection that Evan offered so thoughtlessly. It was a relief to be with someone that he didn't have to watch himself around.
"Why do they talk to you?" He asked before he even realized he had opened his mouth.
He winced when he felt Evan tense.
"Where were you born?"
Grateful, Ketherine leapt on the opportunity for a topic change, "Osiris, in the capital city."
"Tell me about your family."
"Oh," Ketherine hesitated for a moment, "Like all of the most recent Guardians before me, I am born of chosen muggle parents, but I have no blood status. My position is one of high honor and I answer only to the Respected Lord."
Evan barely managed to reign in a deprecating snort, "You have no blood status?"
"To keep the Guardians neutrality," Ketherine defensively, "Of course, I maintain my position in muggle society from the family I was born into. They are relatively well to do. I have an older brother and a younger sister, both muggles. My parents think I attended a government school for the gifted and that I'm going through a mild phase of young adult rebellion."
"They don't know about magic?"
"Of course not," Ketherine continued, "Why would they?" He asked rhetorically.
"I was educated by the previous Temple Guardian. He passed away when I was thirteen and I took over the position then. That was eleven years ago."
"Were you close with your siblings?"
"As much as I was allowed to be."
They entered the villa and continued on to Evan's bedroom. Evan dropped his jacket on the bed and kicked off his shoes. He opened the door to the balcony and stepped outside. Ketherine joined him, leaning against him from behind and wrapping his arms around him.
"What exactly does a Temple Guardian do?"
"I'm responsible for the sanctity of the Temple," Ketherine was quiet for a long moment, "and knowledge of the history and treasures displayed there. I'm responsible for cataloguing all donations given to the Temple and verifying their authenticity. I act as an advisor to the Respected Lord. I also enter communion with the spirit of Our Lord the Savior."
Evan turned around in his arms, "You do what?" He asked incredulously.
"The spirit of Our Lord the Savior. His spirit frequents the area around his tomb, on occasion, and he makes his intentions known to me."
For a moment, Ketherine thought Evan was going to laugh at him. He was surprised by the look of deep worry that passed over his face instead. Evan turned back to lean his elbows on the railing and let the conversation die without offering a response. They remained like that for a while, and when a breeze started, Ketherine tightened his grip on Evan.
"Cold? Want to go inside?"
Evan shrugged, "I don't mind."
Ketherine's hands slid down Evan's sides to his hips as he leaned forward to kiss the side of his neck. He turned to face him and Ketherine kissed him before he could speak. Merlin, he wanted him. He continued to kiss Evan, pressing him against the railing. He lifted Evan up and the other man wrapped his legs around Ketherine. Eventually, they made it to the bed. Ketherine slowly divested them both of their clothes, loving the slightly surprised expression on Evan's face. Evan winced when Ketherine's fingers touched the star shaped scar under his right nipple.
"Is this from cruciatius?"
Evan scowled, "We're about to have sex and you're talking to me about cruciatius?"
"Sorry," Ketherine mumbled.
Evan sighed remorsefully, "Yes, it is. It was an extremely painful experience that I'd prefer never to think of again."
"It's okay. I'd be curiously if you had any strange scars."
"Does it hurt?" Ketherine wondered.
"No," Evan assured him, "I'm just not used to anyone touching it."
"So I can?"
"Touch it? If you want."
Ketherine ran the tips of his fingers around the scar and then around Evan's nipple. Evan slowly relaxed. Ketherine's free hand moved down his stomach to grip his length. Ketherine situated himself between Evan's thighs. After getting Evan to cast a lubricated spell, Ketherine slowly prepared him. He listened to Evan's breathing hitch as he crooked his fingers. Evan watched him the entire time, his green eyes brighter than usual. The sex was slow and caring with both of their orgasms more forceful than the first time. Ketherine dozed off immediately, waking halfway only when Evan asked him a question.
"Ketherine, where are the dementors?"
"On Azkaban, of course," He murmured, sufficiently asleep that he would not remember the question in the morning. Evan was gone when Ketherine woke, but he found him in the kitchen eating a chocolate bar. He was pale and clammy, but insisted to Ketherine that he was fine and they set off for the city once they'd eaten breakfast. The sunshine seemed to perk Evan up and Ketherine's worry soon faded to the back of his mind.
Evan stopped and turned around, looking through the throngs of people. The voice was a little closer this time.
"Jamie!" A blonde man sporting a blue Hawaiian t-shirt pulled Evan into a hug, "Jamie!"
Jamie? Why was Evan answering to the name Jamie? Evan offered a friendly and open grin that Ketherine realized with a start he would do almost anything to have directed at him. The man ruffled his hair and Evan accepted the gesture good naturedly, but not without rolling his eyes.
"It's good to see you, Wash. This is my friend, Ketherine. Ketherine, this is Wash. He's a pilot on a transport ship called Serenity. He taught me how to fly."
"It's nice to meet you."
They shook hands and Ketherine turned to Evan, "I didn't know you piloted?"
Evan shrugged, "I take an odd job here and there when I get bored."
"Which is a damn shame with his skills."
Evan ignored him, "How is Zoe? Still gorgeous and dangerous?"
"My wife has been likened to a wild Amazon warrior before," Wash grinned, "She'll be disappointed she missed you."
"How long are you here for? You and Zoe could come up to the villa for a nice home cooked meal and take the guest room. It still has that bath that Zoe is so fond of."
"I'll send you a wave."
Evan grinned, "Great. See you, Wash."
Ketherine waited until Evan's friend was completely out of sight, "Why does he call you Jamie?"
"It's a family name. I have the right to use it," He said with just a hint of defensiveness.
Ketherine sighed, but didn't pursue the topic, "You offered to cook."
"Who taught you?"
"My Aunt. And a friend, later," He failed to stifle a yawn, "How does a short nap sound to you?"
Ketherine shrugged, "Sure."
Evan was practically asleep on his feet by the time they reached the villa and made it to his bedroom. Ketherine removed his coat and had a slightly more difficult time with his shoes. He was working on Evan's belt when the other man began nibbling on his neck.
"None of that," Ketherine said, "I thought you wanted a nap, not sex?"
"…want both…" Evan murmured into Ketherine's neck, "I want to feel something nice. Something warm and happy. I'm so cold."
Ketherine cupped Evan's face and tilted it up to examine his eyes, which were a little unfocused, "Evan?"
"I'm fine. Just tired."
Ketherine helped Evan into the bed and under the covers, joining him when the other man insisted. Ketherine found a muggle novel and made himself comfortable leaning against the headboard. Using his thigh as a pillow, Evan fell asleep almost instantly, but it was restless and uneasy. After about an hour and a half Evan shot up so suddenly that Ketherine dropped his book in surprise.
His green eyes were wide and he was gasping for breath. Ketherine wrapped both of his arms around him, whispering softly.
"It's okay. It was just a bad dream."
Evan leaned back into the embrace tense and shaking, "Jesus."
Evan shook his head in response to the inquiry. He turned in Ketherine's arms and allowed the other man to rub soothing circles on his back. He pulled away after a few moments and reached for something in the drawer on the small table beside the bed. He stepped out to the balcony and lit a cigarette with his wand. Ketherine joined him when Evan was on his third cigarette and showed no signs of slowly down. Evan took a long drag and purposefully exhaled away from Ketherine.
"I'm sorry if I startled you."
"You did worry me, a bit. Are you okay?"
Evan took another drag, nodded, and exhaled a centaur that trotted around proudly before dissipating. Ketherine couldn't help but smile at the trick. Evan exhaled a phoenix and a bowtruckle before he spoke again.
"This is your third cigarette."
Evan banished the cigarette butt and started a new one.
"Fourth," Ketherine amended.
"I only smoke when I'm upset. It's a nasty habit," Evan admitted, "Even if there are no health risks for us. It helps me relax when I'm stressed."
"You were smoking when we first met," Ketherine pointed out.
"The Temple stressed me out. Fuck, Ketherine! How would you like to see some of the most personal and painful moments of your life put on display for people that have no idea what happened and have just rewritten history to create some sort of perfect martyr for themselves! I have precious few things that belonged to my friends and family because they are on display like holy artifacts!" Evan stopped speaking abruptly, "I'm sorry, I promised."
Ketherine took a moment to collect his thoughts before speaking. The passion Evan spoke with unnerved him.
"I shouldn't have brought it up."
Ketherine was relieved when Evan finished his fourth cigarette and came back inside instead of starting another one.
"When did you start smoking?"
Evan glanced at him briefly, "After… a friend of mine died. The Halfblood Prince."
"That name is scribbled in the margins of the text you took from the Temple."
"I know," Evan admitted.
"Who do you think it refers to?"
Evan met his gaze, "You don't know?"
Ketherine shook his head, "The identity of the Halfblood Prince is one of the biggest mysteries in the Temple. It doesn't seem likely to have been Our Lord the Savior himself," Ketherine ignored Evan's wince, "One of the more popular theories is that it was Neville Longbottom."
Evan laughed and shook his head, "Neville Longbottom, really?"
"He was a Halfblood."
Evan's smile didn't fade, "He wasn't the only one. Look up Eileen Prince. That should clear up that mystery."
Ketherine nodded slowly, "I will. So, do you think your friends will come for dinner?"
"Probably. I'd better start cooking."
Ketherine followed Evan into the kitchen. The house elves were completely nonplussed by their presence. Evan was in a flurry of assembling ingredients when Ketherine stopped him.
"If you want to talk about your dream… well-"
Evan smiled and kissed his cheek, "Thank you, Ketherine."
Once Evan's friends confirmed they were coming, he sent the house elves out of sight for the rest of the night and adjusted the wards to hide everything magical from the muggles. Evan's friend Wash was as friendly as before, but his wife was a completely different story. She was exactly as her husband had described and he could tell from looking at her that she had been a Browncoat. She was clearly fond of Evan, despite her reserved demeanor, and Ketherine wondered how much of that was because of his presence.
"Zoe, I still can't believe you got that man to shave his moustache."
Zoe laughed, taking a sip of her wine, "I can be very persuasive."
Evan raised an eyebrow.
Her smile was conspiratorial; "I threatened to do a runner if he still had the moustache when I met him at the altar."
Evan gave another one of his completely carefree grins, "Amen to that!"
Zoe laughed, but Wash looked vaguely insulted, "Ai ya! Did everyone hate it?"
Zoe glanced at him patiently, "Yes, dear."
After desert and a game of the worst played chess Ketherine had ever seen between Wash and Evan, Wash and Zoe retired to the guest bedroom. Evan was beginning to look peaky again, so Ketherine got him straight to bed with only one short snogging session as a detour.
Something woke him in the middle of the night. He reached out without bothering to open his eyes. His hand found Harry's elbow and the other man didn't respond to the touch, so he was clearly still asleep. Ketherine opened his eyes slowly and sat up. There was a Centaur standing at the foot of the bed, staring at him with distaste.
"Wizard," He intoned coolly, "Wake your lover."
Ketherine shook his shoulder and fought to keep his voice free of panic as he spoke, "Evan."
Evan shifted in his sleep.
Ketherine shook him again, less patiently, "Evan, wake up!"
"What's wrong? Are you okay?" He asked groggily, half opening his eyes.
"Harry Potter," The Centaur spoke gravely.
Evan shot upright in bed, "Firenze? What happened?"
"I have not seen Mars in a very long time."
Evan rose to his knees, "You're scaring me a little. Tell me what has happened?"
"We still know so little about this new sky above us," The Centaur whispered, "There is so much to see, and yet I can interpret so little of it. This is like the night we first met, Harry."
Evan inhaled sharply, "Is there a unicorn in danger?"
The Centaur ignored the question, "There is a girl, an albatross. She will bring part of your change, Harry. She is in grave danger."
"Where is she?"
"She will find you," He hesitated, "I think. She is the unicorn, Harry. The horcruxes and the hallows."
Evan was staring at the Centaur in vague horror and a little confusion.
He gave Evan a look of deep irritation, "Good grief, Harry. Find the girl and protect her. In the enemies hands, she is a weapon."
"Oh," He said sheepishly.
The Centaur rolled his eyes, "I bid you goodnight."
He galloped out of the room and jumped off the balcony. Ketherine and Evan went to the balcony to watch him retreat back into the forest. Evan ran a hand through his hair.
"Damn it! That was practically a prophecy. I hate prophecies."
"I didn't think Centaur's were usually that straight forward."
"He's a weird one," Evan admitted, "Spent a good deal of time among wizards and dabbled in our type of magic and divination. I need a cigarette."
Ketherine caught his hands to keep him from going off in search of one of the vile sticks, "How did you meet him? Centaurs don't like humans. They haven't forgiven us for Earth-that-was."
Evan shrugged and avoided his gaze instead of replying to the question.
"Come back to bed."
Evan nodded and allowed Ketherine to lead him back to the bed instead of going off in search of a cigarette. Evan returned to sleep before Ketherine, but the tension never left his body. Ketherine sighed. Centaur predictions were not to be taken lightly. He found himself wishing the Centaur had offered more detail, but knew they were lucky he had been as straightforward as that. He wondered if Evan had any ideas about the specifics and resolved to ask him in the morning.
However, when the morning came they saw Wash and Zoe back to their ship and hung around to watch it depart until it broke atmo. Evan took his hand and they walked together. Evan was still uneasy from the Centaur's visit the night before. They continued to the outskirts of the town, just enjoying each other presence instead of heading in any particular direction. Evan squeezed his hand and Ketherine realized something. There was no way he was going to leave the other man, even if he never recovered from his delusion.
"Let's head back."
They walked back through the town and started to the villa. Ketherine elbowed Evan in the side.
"Going to cook me lunch?"
Evan smiled and put his arm around Ketherine's shoulder, pulling him flush against his side, "Want me to?"
"I like your cooking. So what will you make?"
"What do you want?" Evan countered.
"Hmmm," Ketherine pondered for a long moment, "What are you good at?"
Evan pinched his bottom and sent him a suggestive glance. Ketherine rolled his eyes.
"You now what I meant."
Evan chuckled and Ketherine noticed how much of the tension had left his body, "Actually, I mostly cook vegetarian dishes. Lu-" He cut off abruptly and a sad expression crossed his face, "A good friend of mine was a vegetarian and she couldn't cook to save her life. She stayed with me for a while after her father passed away," He forced a smile, "Sorry. I still miss her."
"Vegetarian is fine," Ketherine assured him, "Maybe I could help?"
"Can you cook at all?"
"No," Ketherine admitted, "But you could teach me."
Evan smiled and Ketherine almost let out a sigh of relief. Ketherine was worried he was going to return to being tense and edgy. Evan pressed a kiss to his temple and sent Ketherine a soft smile that showed he noticed and appreciated his efforts. Ketherine bumped his hips against Evan's. Evan bumped him back, hard enough that he stumbled out of his embrace.
Evan winked. They ran, pushing and shoving each other and laughing like unruly teenagers. Ketherine pulled ahead of Evan, but stopped when he no longer heard the other man behind him. Evan was a few yards behind, a puzzled expression on his face. Ketherine jogged to his side as Evan's hand went to his neck. The movement was slow and sluggish.
"Are you okay?"
Evan pulled a small dart out of the right side of his neck and stared at it in horror. Ketherine's eyes alternated between the trickle of blood moving down Evan's neck and the dart in his hand.
"What is it?"
Evan dropped it and gave Ketherine a weak push, "A dart. Run! We have to get to the wards around the villa."
Evan was barely able to keep up with Ketherine's pace and Ketherine looped an arm around his waist to help him along despite his protests to be left behind. He heard the pound of footsteps behind them, but didn't dare risk looking over his shoulder. The villa was in sight when Evan collapsed.
"Not a chance," Ketherine hissed, pulling Evan to his feet.
There were two men, and they slowed to a jog as they approached. Despite hardly behind able to stand without leaning on Ketherine, Evan managed to pull his wand and hold it steady. The men exchange glances. They were both wearing dark suits and blue gloves on their hands.
"You aren't going to be conscious long enough to use that. This can be peaceful. We have no intention of harming the Guardian."
"But you're muggles," Evan objected, "What do you want with him?"
Neither of them responded.
Evan dropped to his knees. He seemed about to curse them, but at the last minute turned his wand on Ketherine and whispered something, before passing out completely.
Ketherine dropped to his knees and gently turned Evan over.
"Evan. Evan, please."
His pulse was steady, but he didn't stir. Almost trembling with anger, Ketherine took Evan's wand and aimed it them. One of the men held up his hand.
"We're on an operation sanctioned by the parliament. You cannot interfere, unless of course you wouldn't mind spending some time in your kinds prison."
"I've heard it's a nasty place," The other one added.
"Hm. Come with us willingly or both you and your friend will find yourself accused of interfering with the parliament. You both will be sent to the wizarding prison. The parliament will insist on it."
"At least let me get him back to the villa-"
One of the men snorted, "So you can hide from us within the wards? No, Guardian."
Ketherine pressed a gentle kiss to Evan's forehead and whispered to him, "I'll miss you. Come for me if you can. If it's safe."
He placed Evan on the ground gently and joined the two men. The taller of the pair grabbed him and forced him to be still while the other injected something into his neck. Ketherine felt his body begin to relax.
"Just a sedative," The man said, "Sweet dreams, Mr. Tam."
Ketherine turned his face and took one last look at Evan before the sedative knocked him unconscious. When Ketherine woke, he knew he was no longer on Persephone. He was sitting in a chair and he raised his head slowly to find the men staring at him from across the table. He stretched, hoping to displace the ache in his back before turning his attention to the men. He had never been more tempted to break any of the statutes and restrictions on magic against muggles set down by the assembly. They had hurt Evan. He hoped one of the house elves or neighbors had discovered Evan before robbers or some other unsavory characters, or before night fell. He tried to push aside his thoughts about Evan and concentrate on the situation, but the worry remained at the back on his mind.
"Where am I?"
"I am not allowed to use magic against you. That does not translate to aiding you," Ketherine announced frostily.
Neither of them looked especially concerned, "Here is the deal we are willing to make. You will aid us and we will not inform your assembly the manner in which we located you, consorting with the Masquerader."
Ketherine's eyes narrowed, but he didn't bother to ask how they knew about that, "What do you want?"
"We're trying to find a girl. This girl."
They slide a photograph across the table to him. He glanced at it for a minute before pushing it back.
"There is another thing you should know. After the incident with the individual you refer to as the Masqurader at the Temple, your magical protections have begun to weaken."
Ketherine snorted in disbelief.
"We entered the Temple."
"Muggles can't enter the Temple."
"I was particularly interested in the tomb. Here lies Harry James Potter, Our Lord the Savior, the Destroyer of the Dark One and the Boy Who Lived. His name will never be forgotten."
Ketherine felt his mouth go dry, "No… it's not impossible."
"We brought it with us as a little souvenir, but we'll release the tomb to your custody, intact, for a simple trade."
"So Simon broke her out then. There was something to his story."
Neither of them looked pleased by the reminder, "Not at all. She is a very valued pupil. We have high hopes for her future… Simon Tam was misled and corrupted by extremists. They're both in danger they longer they are without our protection. These people will use them and cast them aside without a second thought."
"None of this matters. The assembly…"
"Would support you killing her for the safe return of the tomb."
Ketherine was silent for a long moment, "You overestimate my ability. How am I supposed to find her?"
Both men stood, "You'll find a way. We'll release you back to the custody of whoever is responsible for your keep, Guardian."
His face tightened, but he ignored the jibe, "The assembly will stop you."
"You have two weeks. Bring the girl here or we'll destroy the remains."
The men stepped from the room. Ketherine was left alone in the room. He stared at his hands in horror. How could this possibly be happening? How could Evan have eroded the wards so easily? While staring at his hands he noticed a strange magic on him and it took him a moment to place it. Evan had cast a tracking spell and general protection spell on him. It brought a small smile to Ketherine's face. His siblings were in serious danger. He silently cursed his older brother's rash attitude. Several young Federals non too gently escorted him from the building and ejected him into the hubbub of the streets of Osiris. He stood on the sidewalk and waited. He was surrounded by a four-point guard of Auror's and escorted directly to the assembly. The Respected Lord was angrier than Ketherine had ever seen him.
"Did those barbarians injure you, Ketherine?"
"No, Respected Lord. Have they given you their ultimatum?"
Ketherine's eyes widened, "It's true? They were able to enter the Temple?"
"Damn that Masquerader," the Respected Lord sneered, "Yes, they were. The wards have already been fixed to ensure that it cannot happen again. The assembly has agreed. You will do as they say."
Ketherine's eyes widened I surprise, "Respected Lord."
The man's eyes narrowed, "It was not a request."
Ketheirne bowed his head.
"Go. Find the girl within the allotted time period and return her to them. Do not fail in this, Ketherine. Do not disappoint us once more."
Ketherine bowed his head and left the presence of the assembly. He had no idea how he was going to find Simon and River, but he had no time to waste. He sighed regretfully. It wouldn't do for Evan to find him. He closed his eyes tightly as he canceled the tracking spell Evan had placed on him. He sighed when the spell ended and he felt the comforting magic of his lover fade away.