OceanDreams: I know! I know! Please don't kill me! Things are happening, I promise!
Draco could feel the sweat running down his back, the hilt of his sword was slick in his hand, and had to tighten his grip as he and Camron circled each other. The two young men were evenly matched, the training spar having been at a stand still for almost fifth-teen minutes as they tried to find a flaw in the other's defenses. A small crowd of knights had gathered to watch the impromptu match, eagerly cheering for both royals.
Camron lunged forward, his sword swinging into a high arc and Draco brought his own sword up to meet it. The two weapons met and Draco hoped Camron's arms were felling the shock that his were.
"I think you can call it a draw!" Blaise called from the sidelines. Draco looked to Camron, who had yet to drop his stance. The other shrugged and sheathed his sword, Draco following suit.
"If we kept this up, we'd be here all afternoon," Camron said as they walked from the training field. Draco looked up at the sun and cursed when he saw it was almost an hour past midday. He was supposed to be meeting Harry for an afternoon meal, and knowing his betrothed, the young prince was still working in the hot sun.
"We'd better find Harry before he realizes we're late." Camron lead them toward the kitchens and then out to the gardens. The kitchens were practically empty, only a few servants cleaning the large room, most out doing their other chores. Neville exited the pantry, blushing hotly when Blaise kissed his cheek openly, and rubbed some dirt from his nose. The boy bowed, trying to push Blaise off, and managed to stutter out, "Good afternoon, your majesty, your highness, my lord."
"Was my brother still working in the gardens?" Camron asked, holding in his snicker as Neville tried to keep his decorum as Blaise continued his affections.
"I believe so, your highness. He was finishing up the last section while I came to store the other herbs and plants."
Draco strode past the others and into the bright afternoon sun. Harry would work himself until he fainted, if left to his own devices. The others followed behind him, Neville hissing at Blaise to keep his hands to himself. The sight of Harry pinned to the ground, clothes ripped from his body, stopped his heart in his chest. Draco rushed forward, drawing his sword.
"HARRY!" Then he was on the man, his free hand clutching the dirty hair and ripping him away, his sword slicing through the meaty wrist trying to retain its grip on Harry, The hand fell to the round next to Harry and Draco kicked it away, throwing the man back to Camron, whose own sword came to rest against the man's chest, the metal biting into the skin.
Draco fell to his knees, gently cradling Harry in his arms. Harry was limp, but his eyes were open and he was shaking so hard Draco had to shift them so that he was sitting on the ground instead of kneeling. Draco reached for Harry's discarded robe to wrap it around the trembling boy. Harry's eyes were unfocused, flittering around trying to center on one thing. Draco felt around Harry's body for injuries, the smaller boy moaning when his hand ran over the back of Harry's head. His hand came away wet with blood.
"Harry! Look at me!" Draco commanded, trying to get Harry to focus on him.
"Call for Severus!" Camron cried at the sight of the blood. Neville, whom Blaise had turned away from the scene, ran to gather the potions master. "Tell him to meet us in the healing wing!"
Harry was trying to focus his glassy eyes on Draco and the blonde continued to whisper encouragements. Pettigrew tried to crawl to his knees, his bloody stump clutched to his chest, but Camron kicked him back down, his foot pressing against the man's throat with a satisfying crunch. Pettigrew scratched at the crown prince's foot, his face turning blue from lack of air. All the commotion had drawn the guards and one of the older knights pulled Camron away, allowing the others to pull the man to his feet. He gasped in air, then coughed out a mouthful of blood.
"Draco," Harry moaned, voice so low that Draco had to bend to hear him.
"I'm here, Harry" Draco answered, ripping a piece of his sleeve to try and stop the blood seeping from Harry's head. "I'm here."
Harry's hand twitched and Draco took it in his own, bringing it up to press his cheek against the soft palm. Harry's eyes seemed to focus on Draco for a spilt second before they rolled back into his head and he went completely limp in Draco's arms.
"You will pay for this!" Camron hissed at Pettigrew, the man shrinking back form the crown prince. "Take him away!" The knights hurried to do their prince's bidding. Camron turned to Draco, the Slytherin king rocking his brother in his arms.
"The head wound is clotting," Draco choked out thankfully, "I don't know if we should move him."
"We're going to have to take that chance," Camron said and moved to pick his brother up, but Draco stood before he could, Harry in his arms, making sure the boy's vulnerable head was protected against his chest. Harry wasn't light by any means, but he was a comfortable weight in Draco's arms as they fled the garden and rushed to the healing wing. Severus was waiting for them, and Draco had to force himself to lay the injured boy on the bed Severus had prepared.
Severus pushed Draco out of the way, his slender hands running over the pale body. Hands clamped onto Draco's shoulders and pulled him away towards the door.
"Let Severus work, Draco," Blaise said, his calm voice only making Draco more anxious.
"I can't leave him!"
"Get everyone out of here!" Severus roared. Blaise tightened his hold on Draco and guided him toward the door, Camron following reluctantly behind. The door to the ward was shut firmly in their faces.
Lily arrived moments later, Camron going to her, the queen instantly taking him into her arms and leading them away from the small group. Draco stood staring blankly at the door, listening to Severus' muffled voice barking orders through the door. His hands were sticky with Harry's blood and he didn't realize he was weeping until the tears hit his hands and the blood began to trickle off his hands in streams of pink.
"We should get you cleaned up," Blaise said gently, fingering the patch of blood at Draco's shoulder.
"He'll need me when he wakes," Draco protested pitifully.
"What Harry won't need, is to se you covered in blood," Blaise pointed out logically.
Draco nodded reluctantly and allowed Blaise to lead him back to his rooms and guided him through the motions of changing his shirt, replacing the stained white linen with a dark green shirt.
"He's going to be alright, Draco," Blaise tried to reassure, but all Draco could think about was Harry's blood on his hands, so much blood.
When Draco returned to the healing wing, the hallway had filled with people during the time he was gone. Benches had been brought in and Remus and Sirius had seated themselves next to the distraught queen. Camron was pacing infront of the door, stopping every time they heard approaching footsteps. Draco took a seat on the far side of the bench, Regulus coming to sit beside him and Draco prepared himself to wait. Lily moved to Camron, murmuring softly to him, and Draco suddenly missed his own mother. What he wouldn't give for one of her cool hugs and soft words, right now.
The door to the healing wing finally opened and Severus stood somberly in the doorway. Draco leapt up, questions on his tongue, but Severus held up a hand, stalling anything Draco was going to say.
"I've done what I can for him," Severus began. "Aside from the wound to the back of his skull, I've found no other major wounds, only minor bruises and scrapes. I can't say when he will wake, or if there will be any lasting effects of the wound. We can only wait."
There was silence in the hall, no one wanting to ask the one question that everyone wanted to answer to.
"There was no damage to his lower regions," Severus forced out, eyes rimmed red. "Harry managed to fight him off, but from the state Harry was brought in, we can be sure what Pettigrew had planned."
"When can we see him?" Camron demanded.
"Now your highness, though only for a moment." Camron nodded curtly, then gently guided his mother into the healing wing. Draco desperately wanted to follow, but knew the queen would want some privacy with her son. Severus moved past him with a brief squeeze to his shoulder, and moved to sit by Regulus.
Sirius and Remus still sat together away from the others, whispering fiercely between each other. Draco rubbed his hands together, trying to warm them, his fingers running over an almost invisibe scar at the edge of his right hand. An accident with Blaise during training had resulted in a cut to his hand that was large enough that it normally would have required stitches. Harry has healed it easily when Draco had embarrassedly come to the healing wing. Of all the times, Draco had seen Harry heal someone, he'd never seen the boy heal himself.
"Why doesn't Harry just heal himself?" Draco asked, the quiet voices falling silent at his question.
"He's never been able to heal himself," Severus answered. "We think it is because his body is so attune to his magic that it has become immune to it, in a way. No matter how many times he's tried, it just won't respond."
They fell quiet as the queen and Camron exited the healing wing.
"Sirius, Remus," Lily said, voice hard, "we need to find my husband."
The two men stood to follow, telling Camron to keep them informed. Draco watched them go, then strode past Camron into the healing wing. Harry lay in the same position Draco had left him in. Someone had removed his robes, leaving him in his tunic and trousers. A linen bandage was wrapped around his head, tufts of raven hair springing free. Harry was pale in the afternoon sun, and aside from his color and the wrapping on his head Harry looked as if he were only sleeping.
Draco sat in the chair that had been placed next to Harry's bed, listening to the boy's comforting, even breathes. He took Harry's limp hand in his own, closing his longer fingers to cover Harry's, his other hand stroking softly along Harry's arm. People came and went, the sun slowly slipping from the sky, and Draco watched over Harry until the head matron, Poppy Pomfrey, forced him out so she could finish her nightly rounds. Draco stood silently and leaned over Harry, placing a simple, chaste kiss on his closed lips.
"He will pay for this, Harry. I swear."
James lay slumped in a hard chair beside Harry's bed, his hand enclosing his youngest son's pale hand. Draco had been sent away to get some rest and food, the young king having not left Harry's side since the previous night. He'd had Peter thrown into the cells immediately, but he still couldn't believe that Peter had done such a thing. They had been friends since boyhood, James had trusted him with his kingdom and family, just as he trusted Remus and Sirius. But the man had confessed to James himself, without any sign of remorse. Snape had demanded Peter be put to death immediately, as had Draco, the young man claiming the right as Harry's betrothed, but James didn't know if he could, and he knew, no matter what the man had done to his son, Harry wouldn't want him put to death either.
Now he didn't know how to punish the man. James knew he would never be welcomed in Gryffindor again, not by him, or any of his subjects, but Peter had tried to rape Harry, and more than likely kill him, he deserved much more than simple banishment.
Harry moaned in his sleep, and James ran a gentle hand over his son's hair, his son falling quiet again at the gentle touch.
"I'm so sorry," James whispered and stood, leaving before Draco could make his way back.
Severus slammed the door shut behind him, throwing an innocent vase crashing into the stone wall in his rage. Regulus stood to the side, knowing his lover needed to work through his anger before he would release his grief. Finally, Severus' rage subsided, shoulders heaving as he tried to hold in his sobs. Regulus took his lover into his arms, rubbing soothing circles along Severus' tense back.
"Let it out," Regulus crooned, rocking Severus. He felt the damp warmth of Severus' tears on his shoulder and then Severus regained himself, pressing a kiss to Regulus' slender neck.
"Thank you," Severus said, grateful for the comfort.
"Harry's going to be alright," Regulus reassured. "You've done what you can for him, now you need to believe in Harry."
Severus' arms wrapped around Regulus' thin waist, peppering kisses along his clothed shoulder. Regulus tilted his lover's head from his shoulder, covering the thin lips with his own, and gently led him back towards the large bed. He laid himself down, pulling Severus down on top of him, the older man falling into the hug of his thighs. Severus sighed against him, and spread himself out over Regulus, slowly pulling the man's white tunic shirt up his stomach. Regulus shuddered as Severus' long fingers ran up his sides, the dark head leaning down to kiss along his stomach, softly blowing against his naval. He latched his fingers into those dark locks, and held Severus against him, trying to chase the fear from his lover.
"I'm here, Severus. I won't let you go."
Draco brushed the dark fringe from Harry's closed eyes, the linen bandage scratchy against his fingers. A week had passed and still Harry had yet to wake. Papers and documents were scattered all over the tables closet to Harry's bed, many having been moved to provide an impromptu desk. Draco hardly left Harry's side, working on any matters of state that needed his direct attention there in the healing wing, passing on anything he could to Blaise to oversee. He had taken to telling Harry about the different problems and issues, working through them, and imagining what the gentle, sleeping boy would say in response to each. All his free time was spent with Harry, when he had no work to go through he would read out of one of the many books from the library, or tell him about daily life in the castle. The table directly next to Harry's bed supported a large vase of sunflowers, a beautiful large, yellow, flower that Draco had never seen until he had come to Gryffindor. Longbottom had informed him that they were Harry's favorites and Draco made sure to pick a fresh batch from the gardens every day to place next to Harry's bed.
"The gardens are looking beautiful, love" Draco said, the endearment slipping unknowingly off his tongue. "You and Longbottom did a wonderful job, but you've given the poor boy a horrible scare, and to make it worse, Blaise won't let the boy out of his sight. "
Harry remained silent, as Draco knew he would. The few other patients were quiet, keeping a respectful distance from their young prince. Pomfrey laid a roll of clean bandages on Harry's bedside as he passes, a smiling with bittersweet fondness and her royal patient and Draco. The bleeding from Harry's wound had stopped fully that first night, the bandages nothing more than a precaution now to keep out infection. Draco had started to change the bandages himself when he'd made it clear that he would not be leaving Harry's bedside, and Pomfrey had shown him how to clean the healing gash and correctly change the bandage.
Draco gently lifted Harry's head, supporting it on his arm, and carefully unwound the linen from his tender head. He checked over the wound, cleaned it with the water also provided, and then rewrapped it with the new cloth. Draco lowered Harry back to his bed, covering him with a light, summer blanket he had stolen from Harry's rooms, along with Dragon, the worn plush animal keeping watch at the head of Harry's bed. He knew it was childish but he couldn't help that think Harry would appreciate having familiar things around him.
The sun was beginning to set, and Pomfrey had opened some of the windows to allow the cooler evening air to circulate through the healing wing.
"Has prince Harry awoken yet?"
Draco tensed as lord Riddle entered the wing, and stood, making sure to keep himself between Harry and the other man. Riddle had come everyday to inquire about Harry, and while most thought he was genuinely concerned, Draco knew the man unnerved Harry. He unnerved Draco too, something in the man's eyes didn't seem right.
"Obviously not," Draco said coldly, resting his hand on Harry's still arm, eyes ever leaving Riddle's. The man moved to come closer, but Draco met him as he stepped forward, blocking his path.
"You overstep your bounds, Sir," Draco said, faces inches from Riddle's.
"Of course your majesty. I apologize," Riddle said with a gracious bow. "You will keep me informed, won't you?"
"Yes," Draco answered curtly, "Now, if you would leave, lord Riddle, Harry does not need any disturbances."
"Of course." The man left without any further words, and Draco watched him go, making sure he was truly gone, before taking his seat again.
"I don't like that man," Pomfrey said, as began to blow out the candles around the wing. "Will you be staying the night, your majesty?"
"Yes," Draco said, as he drew the blankets more tightly around Harry."
"Very well, please send for me should you need anything."
"Thank you." Draco watched as the matron made her final rounds and made her way out of the healing wing, before he took one of Harry's hands and lay his head on the mattress, watching Harry's chest rise and fall, and tried to sleep.
"You have failed me once again, Pettigrew!"
"I'm sorry, master. Forgive me! I didn't have enough time!"
"I don't want excuses! I want the boy dead! Mark my words, if the Gryffindors don't kill you, I will!"
Draco woke to the feeling of fingers weakly squeezing his hand. The early morning sun reflected off Harry's bleary green eyes.
Harry flinched at Draco's astonished cry and the Slytherin king immediately quieted his voice, a hand reaching up to pet the dark hair. Harry's hand reached out, searching on the bed for Draco's and the blonde obliged, taking the smaller hand in his.
"Could I get some water?" Harry croaked, and Draco jumped to get it, pouring from one of the pitchers located near the medicine pantry. He shouted at a servant on the way back, telling them to send for Severus. Draco helped support Harry's head, giving him small sips of water until Harry'd had his fill.
"It was Pettigrew," Harry whispered, his voice trembling, "he tried… tried to –"
"I know," Draco interrupted, soothing, his hands returning to pet Harry's hair and then run gently over the boy's face. Draco's own throat constricted as tears welled in his eyes. "He can't hurt you again, Harry."
"How long have I been asleep?"
"About a week, I was starting –"
Draco moved away as Severus entered, allowing the older man to look over his betrothed. As his hand left Harry's the boy jerked out, reclaiming Draco's hand. The blonde smiled, moving to the other side of the bed where he would be out the way. Both were quite during the examination, Harry answering questions were Severus asked, telling him where he was feeling pain. Harry was gazing at him oddly, eyes somewhat unfocused and Draco assumed it was left over from the blow to his head.
"Why is everything blurry, Severus?" Harry asked, causing the potions master to pause.
"What do mean by blurry, Harry?" Severus asked, hands now moving to probe at the still healing wound on Harry's head.
"Everything is fuzzy, unfocused. Up close I can see most things pretty well, but further away, it's all just blobs of color."
Severus sighed, his hand smoothing over Harry's hair. "I was afraid something like this might happen. The brain is a very delicate thing, any kind of damage can cause major problems. Due to the position of the wound, I can safely say that the blow has damaged your vision."
"Do you think it's permanent?" Draco asked, Harry having fallen silent.
"Is there anything we can do?" Harry asked timidly.
"To your eyes themselves, no," Severus answered, "but we can make you some eye lenses. I've seen some before, very difficult to make because of the angles needed, but it can be done."
Draco heard the commotion before he saw it, and as horrible as it was, the sight of Harry squinting up his eyes to try and focus on the group of people trying to push through the healing wing's door at the same time, was adorable. Camron managed to push his way through first and all but knocked Draco out of the way to get to his brothers side. The queen was right behind him, taking Severus' spot. The rest of the royal advisors were there as well. In fact, the only person missing from the small group was James. Harry smiled brightly at everyone, receiving kisses from his mother, and hugs from everyone else. Through it all, Harry's eyes always returned to Draco, lips turned up in a tender smile.
"What do you think?"
Harry looked up at Draco through his new glasses, the sunlight in the garden bouncing off the specially cut glass. It had taken almost two weeks for Severus to formulate the angles the glass would need to be, and then cut the glass to the specifications, but now Harry could see as clearly as he had before the attack. Severus had even had a thin metal frame made from copper, the bronze metal melted, then attached to the glass to hold the lenses in place. The rest of the frame was thin enough that Harry was easily able to bend the metal arms to fit around his ears. His already beautiful green eyes were made even brighter by, the color magnified by the light filtered through them. Draco was speechless. Harry shifted nervously on his feet, fingers running over his glasses self consciously as he waited for Draco's answer.
"I like them," Draco answered honestly, smiling at Harry's light blush. "They suit you."
Draco moved them further in to the garden, steering clear of the back area. They strolled through the formal flower gardens, the different scents intoxicating in the warm summer air. Harry walked next to Draco happily, sometimes stopping to smell a certain flower. After walking for several more minutes, Draco stopped them and Harry sensing the sudden tenseness, took Draco's hands in his.
"Is something wrong, Draco?"
Draco swallowed loudly, but stepped closer to Harry, one hand rising to stroke along Harry's jaw. The boy looked oddly pleased at the gesture and leaned into his touch, "What is it?" He asked again.
"You scared me a very great deal, Harry," Draco confessed, pulling Harry close, "and I can't help but fear that if something like this were to happen again, and very well it might, that I might lose you."
Harry pulled away, hands clasping Draco's forearms tightly, reassuringly, "Draco," he began in a whisper, but Draco cut him off.
"Please let me finish, Harry." At Harry's slow nod, Draco continued, " I know you might not like it or agree with me, but I would like you to start some defense training with myself and your brother."
"I don't know if I can agree to that, Draco."
Draco sighed, knowing before he'd even asked Harry, what his response would be, but he would rather have Harry alive and angry with him, then dead.
"I would never ask you to use any kind of violence, I only want you to be able to defend yourself," Draco continued, encouraged when Harry didn't dismiss the idea entirely. "I can't always be with you, no matter how much I might wish it. I care about you very, very much."
Harry's thumbs rubbed gently against his arms, smile tender as he looked into Draco's grey eyes, then nodded, "I care about you too, Draco. I'll do it, for you," and pulled his future king's lips to his own, Draco surrendering happily to his young love. Harry was still timid in his kisses, but Draco let him lead, hands coming to rest on Harry's slim hips. He shivered as Harry's deft fingers ran through the hair at the nape neck. Draco broke away, panting.
"Your brother is going to slaughter me."
"Don't worry," Harry said, lips pressing kisses to the sensitive skin underneath Draco's jaw, delighting in the shivers it caused. "I'll protect you."
Harry wiped the sweat from his eyes, arms aching from the unfamiliar strain of holding a blade.
"That was good, Harry," Draco encouraged, "but watch your feet."
Harry and Draco had been training for almost two weeks and they had just progressed from the beginning basics. Draco wanted him to be at least proficient with the intermediate basics before they left for Slytherin in the late summer.
Draco moved into an offensive position and Harry readied himself, tightening his grip on his sword. Draco began the drill again, performing the moves slowly at first and gradually speeding up. Harry held his own at the slower pace, but as Draco began to speed up, he began to falter. Draco disarmed him quickly, Harry's wrists smarting as the sword flew out of his grip. Draco was ginning proudly at him, his own sword replaced in it's sheath. Harry knew that he would never have the same talent with a blade that his brother and Draco did, but as long as Draco continued to smile like that at him, he would continue to try. Draco retrieved Harry's sword, allowing the other boy to put it away.
"You're doing very well," Draco said, brushing a streak of dirt from Harry's cheek, the younger boy surprising Draco by leaning forward to lay a quick kiss to the corner of Draco's mouth. The knights that had been watching from the sidelines began to whistle, the cheering sounds stopping at Camron's growled, "HARRY!"
Harry laughed delightfully, waving at his brother as he crossed the field in a run. Camron's knights, whom had always been fond of their younger prince had welcomed Harry to their circle with open arms, many of the men teaching Harry when Draco or Camron couldn't. Draco followed slowly behind Harry, smiling as he watched his betrothed interacting with the rest of the knights. Draco left Harry in his brother's hands, claiming work he needed to finish before the light was gone, and made his way from the training grounds.
The cells were quite when Draco reached them, the guards stepping aside when the young king made his way to the furthest cell.
"Has he sad anything?"
"No, your majesty. Not a sound."
Draco stared through the bars of the cell that held Harry's assailant. The man had ticked himself into the corner of the cell as far as he could, his stump of an arm, bandaged and held against his chest.
"I don't think you understand the predicament you've placed yourself in," Draco growled, knowing the man was listening even if he refused to look at Draco. "Even if your king doesn't kill you, be sure that I will."
Pettigrew finally looked up at Draco, "James would never allow it," the man weezed out, voice weak from both injury and disuse.
"Harry is my betrothed, and therefore under my rule and protection. If I wish to kill you, James has no say in the matter. You will die."
Pettigrew spat at Draco's feet, the blonde merely raising an eyebrow at the gesture.
"If, however," Draco continued, "you tell me who it is you're working for, I might be persuaded to allow you to live."
When the man remained silent Draco signaled to the guard to resume his post.
"I hope you enjoy hell, Pettigrew."
Harry sat next to his mother in the study, trying not to fall asleep as she droned on about flowers, foods, and decorations for the royal wedding. They had less than a month to prepare and Draco had managed to weasel out of planning, claiming 'very important matters of state'. So Harry was stuck with his mother, alone, to plan his wedding.
"What do you think of yellow roses, darling?" his mother asked.
"Please no roses, mother," Harry begged, "Can't we chose something a bit more masculine?"
His mother smiled indulgently and set aside her notes on flowers and instead pulled out different swatches of fabric. Harry moaned and laid his head on the table with a thump. The only piece of clothing Harry had ever been truly enamored with was his winter robe that Draco had sent him at Yule.
"Last thing, Harry, I promise, then I'll set you free."
Harry sighed and began sorting through the fabrics, looking at all the traditional colors of white, cream, and ivory that his mother had brought, but it was a pale green that caught his eye. It had a good weight to it and a subtle shine that would look nice in the summer sun.
His mother nodded her approval, and then sent him on his way. Harry began to make his way to the library hoping, he could find Draco and hopefully spend some time with the blonde. As he passed the study, he spotted his father, and halted outside the open doors. James had yet to talk to Harry about what had happened with Pettigrew. He'd barely even spent any time with his father since then, and he couldn't help but feel that he was avoiding Harry.
Harry entered the room as quietly as he could. His father was facing the fireplace, arms resting against the stone mantle.
"Father," Harry said quietly, James jumping at his voice and turning to face his son. James face was tired, purple bruises under his eyes. The lines around his eyes and mouth seemed to have doubled since the last time Harry had seen his father.
"Harry, I didn't hear you come in. You seem to be feeling better."
Harry moved closer, but his father looked away, turning back towards the fireplace.
"Yes, Severus and Poppy, even Draco have been taking very good care of me."
"That's good," James said softly, the louder, "You new glasses suit you. Did Snape make them for you?"
"Yes, he did, Draco's quite fond of them too."
James remained silent, and Harry drew close enough to place his hand lightly on his father's elbow, the man tensing under the touch.
"Are you angry with me, father?" he asked so quietly he Harry wasn't sure if he'd really spoken, but his father whirled around so fast, it almost made Harry dizzy.
"Of course not!" James cried, "What on earth made you think that?"
"You haven't spoken to me since I was allowed to leave the healing wing. I thought you might be angry with me for what happened."
James' face crumpled and he drew Harry into a hug so tight, the boy lost his breath.
"Never! Harry, I could never be angry with you over this. None of this was your fault, the only person to blame is Peter."
Harry pulled back, and saw his father's eyes were full of tears, "Then why?"
"I was ashamed, son. Peter had been my friend for many years and I could not see the signs of betrayal. And you were hurt because of it. I could not face you."
"None of us could have known, father. You are no more at fault than I am."
"But I am your father, and I have failed to protect you as I should have. Can you ever forgive me?"
Harry closed his arms around his father's back and held tight, "There is nothing to forgive."
Draco watched from the library window as Harry moved among the servants in the garden, directing and helping as they set up for the wedding the following afternoon. The last few weeks had flown by, both Harry and Draco busy with court and planning. Harry looked lovely in the morning sun, the pale light reflecting off his dark hair and glasses. Harry seemed to sense him and looked up and caught Draco's eyes. He gave a brilliant smile and a wave. Draco raised his hand to him and waited for Harry to turn away before blowing a kiss to his betrothed's back.
Blaise chuckled at him from his spot at the table, letters from Slytherin spread out around him. Draco sat back down at the table and tried to go back to his work, but the wedding was looming before him. It was the morning before and he was already nervous.
"Calm down, Draco," Blaise chided, "Harry isn't going to change his mind."
"I know that, but I can't help it. What if it were you and that gardener of yours?"
"But we are not talking about me are we? We're talking about you. Now if you can't get anything done, go work off some of nerves at the field and come back when you're useful."
Draco pulled at the collar of his robes, the formal material stifling in the heat of the day. How Harry wore things like this all day, he had no idea, but as soon as they were home in Slytherin, Harry could wear whatever he pleased. One day of these robes were enough of a hell for Draco. He could see Harry through the leaves of the hedge, the other boy's form moving behind his own hedge. James had taken his spot in front of the alter and motioned to Draco to begin walking towards him.
Harry ran his hands nervously over the front of his robes, the pale green fabric glistening in the sun. From his vantage point at the far edge of the garden, he could see his father at his place at the alter that had been built just the day before. Draco's head was peeking just over the top of the hedge at the opposite end of the garden, and Harry wondered if the blonde was as nervous as he was. The entire Gryffindor court was seated in the garden, along with many of the servants, and Harry spied his mother, Severus, Sirius, Remus, and even Blaise on the first row of benches. A hush fell over the small crowd, and Harry saw Draco move from behind the hedge, his own ceremonial robe a deep grey that accented Harry's own pale green. Harry gathered his courage and began his own walk to the alter. Each of his steps were mirrored by Draco and slowly the two came to meet in the middle, in front of James.
Draco could barely remember to breathe as Harry met him in front of the gathered crowd. The boy looked resplendent in his robes, that pale green making his eyes shine even more than usual. He saw Harry's eyes run up and then back down the length of his body, and Draco hoped his soon to be husband found him as appealing as Draco did Harry.
James smiled at them both and took each of their right hands in his, before bringing their hands together. Harry's hand was warm in his, and Draco took comfort that Harry didn't appear to be nervous.
"Greetings to all," James addressed the crowd, "Today we a gathered to bond these two young men before us!"
Harry's hand squeezed Draco's as the two turned to face the crowd.
"Today they are joining more than just themselves, but our two great kingdoms, forever."
James turned to Draco and Harry, "Harold Potter, Prince of Gryffindor. Do you take Draco Malfoy, King of Slytherin, to be your husband? To join your lands, your power, you wealth, your bodies, and hearts, as one?"
Harry eyes never left Draco's face, his left hand joining his right, "I swear," he said, placing a kiss on the palm of Draco's hand.
"Draco Malfoy, King of Slytherin. Do you take Harold Potter, Prince of Gryffindor, to be your husband? To join your lands, your power, your wealth, your bodies, and hearts, as one?"
"I swear," Draco answered, his own kiss placed on the top of Harry's hand.
James smiled, and then took Draco by his shoulders, and kissed each of his cheeks, "I welcome you, my son. May you be blessed."
Then he did the same to Harry, and placed one more kiss to the top of Harry's head, "My love to you forever, my son. May you be blessed."
Turning back to the crowd, James moved to the side, and Draco took Harry into his arms. The smaller boy raised his head to Draco, his lips parted in a beaming smile, and before Draco could bend to meet him, Harry kissed him.
"It is my great pleasure, to present, Draco Malfoy, King of Slytherin and Prince of Gryffindor, and Harry Malfoy, Prince Consort of Slytherin, and Prince of Gryffindor!"
OceanDreams: cowers behind a pillow. Please don't kill me for the long wait, I know it took forever but they're finally married!