I thought I'd begin by making it clear that this fic is part of the MWAHA fan 'verse Vairetwilight and I share. So you might want to read our fics in this fan 'verse in order to understand some of the things in this fic (a chronology will be posted at the bottom to show what fics would affect this one), but as always, you can read this separately and still enjoy it (hopefully that is!).

Now, on to other things. This fic is dedicated to ArwendeImladris who, by giving me a gorgeously sexy Eomer/Harry fic (read it!), earned herself a Marcus/Harry fic in response. So I whipped this up for her, and hopefully she, along with all of you guys out there, will like it. /crosses fingers/

This fic is a bit more emotional than all of the other installations, but I realized that though Vaire and I were touching on all the good parts of Marcus and Harry's relationship, neither of us had bothered with some of the downsides that could come along with it. I felt the need to rectify this; therefore, this angsty little romance fic came into existence.

Enjoy!


Reassurance and Renewal

Chapter 1: Because Even the Greatest of Men are Human,

and Even Saviors Need to Find Love.


"Tell me, Marcus," Harry asked, kicking his legs against the balcony he was resting on. "Will you love me forever?"

Marcus, startled by his little lover's question, turned to look at him. The two had been in a conjured library, courtesy of the Room of Requirement, studying some last minute spells before the Third task tomorrow. Harry, taking a break from his constant studying to observe the stars, had been resting on the ledge of a balcony also created by the Room, when he had asked Marcus his question.

"Why would you ask that?" Marcus asked quietly, moving to stand behind his lover. Not even a year had past since the pair had first kissed, not even half-a-year in fact!, and yet Marcus knew that Harry had spoiled him to love; no one else would ever be comparable to Harry. Confused, he had confessed to his younger lover his revelation but a few moths ago, and Marcus had not been surprised when Harry had shown the maturity that had been forced on him by his childhood neglect and professed that what Marcus was feeling was love, and love returned wholeheartedly at that.

Marcus had been unwilling, unable to accept such a fact. He was not meant for love, least of Harry's love. Harry, no matter how cynical and secretive he truly was, was a creature of the light and deserved someone worthy of him. Someone who would love him without inhibition and cherish him with all their heart. Ignoring his mind that was screaming at him that he could be that person, that he could be the one blessed enough to be loved by Harry, Marcus had told Harry of the foolishness of thinking that they, two teenaged hormonal boys, could ever be truly in love.

Harry had stared at him and promised that as long as he loved Marcus, he would never love another and remain eternally faithful to him. And as Marcus delved into bright emerald eyes, he saw the truth in Harry's words. Two futures, two promises lay in those eyes: one of a lifetime of sorrow devoted to one that would never return his feelings, and one of a lifetime of happiness, joined with the man that had been given his heart.

Marcus, overcome with Harry's devotion, had fallen to his knees unable to comprehend what he had almost lost. No one would ever be able to match Harry's love; no one would ever be able to match Harry. And so Marcus begged forgiveness needlessly for his possible transgressions and for doubting the love they unknowingly shared; needlessly, for Harry had forgiven him the moment he had doubted himself.

And now Harry doubted himself? Doubted Marcus? Doubted their love?

Harry shifted, feeling Marcus' hurt in the odd empathetic way he shared only with him. "Do not think I am doubting you, Marcus; I never have, nor will I ever."

"Then why ask me if my love to you is eternal or not?" Marcus snarled, his heart beating furiously. He had known, he had always known; Harry would one day realize that he could do so much better than Marcus and break up with him. Marcus was neither brave, nor smart, nor beautiful like Harry was, and whatever physical strength he may have was overshadowed completely by Harry's magical strength. All he was doing was keeping Harry back; Harry needed a lover that would match him in all ways, and Marcus could never be as perfect as he was-

A sharp slap impacted with Marcus' cheek, and Marcus stared incredulously as Harry's bright eyes filled with tears.

"How dare you think of yourself in such a way?" Harry hissed, tears beginning to stream down ale cheeks. Marcus moved to comfort him, but Harry met him with a punch to the jaw. "Never think of yourself in such a way again!" Harry shouted, throwing himself off the balcony and into Marcus's arms, sending the larger boy to the ground.

Marcus breath wheezed out of his body, and when he regained his balance, Harry was straddling his waist, his tears falling onto Marcus' chest. "I can hear you as easily as if you were talking," Harry mumbled into Marcus' hard chest. "I can tell what you are thinking. 'You are not good enough, you were never good enough, and you will never be good enough. You aren't worthy of love.' Right?"

"How?" Marcus asked shortly, cradling Harry's head and ignoring the throbbing in his jaw. Harry had a surprisingly strong right hook.

"I have thought the same before," Harry confessed, and Marcus was thrown for a moment. When would Harry have felt like…Marcus was almost overwhelmed with pure murderous rage as he realized how deeply Harry's neglect and abuse had affected him even now, and Marcus was tempted to let loose his inhibitions against the filth that called themselves his love's relatives.

He could kill them. He knew he could. The Flints were and always had been a Dark and influential family, and they had enough connections to be able to assassinate a couple muggles easily enough. Their wealth would keep them out of Azkaban even if the news broke to the public, and if it did not, then it would be a simple matter to kill the assassin who had been foolish enough to accept one of the Flint's requests and sweep the evidence under the rug. Or better yet, he could go and kill the Dursleys himself. How satisfying it would be to crush their heads in his hands, to make them feel the same pain they had inflicted upon Harry, give them the recompensation they deserved.

…And yet Harry would never want him to. If Marcus ever fell to his baser instincts, protected his love in such a way, then Harry would know instantly what he had done. Harry would never judge him, never hate him, but he would never forgive him. Because Harry hated murder, hated war; at the age of one, he had seen what war did to families by how he had been torn from his own. Harry would never forgive him if he let himself kill the Dursleys, no matter how tempting the idea was.

So Marcus merely hugged Harry closer to him, and held him until his emotional little raven wore himself out.

Secrets, lies, and masks…all of the deception tired Harry. It set his emotions amuck, and no matter how mature he might be, he was still a teenager with a death warrant hanging over his head, which gave him enough of an excuse to let his emotions explode every once in a while. Until Harry was allowed to be himself, not the Gryffindor poster boy that everyone thought he was (though Harry did have Gryffindor qualities in spades, for the Sorting Hat would never have considered him for the Lion House if he had none), his mind would be constant weighed down with lying to his friends and family…friends and family he might never have had if not for his deceptions.

"I'm sorry," Harry whispered after a few minutes, peeking his head up from the folds of Marcus' robe to peek into dark black eyes. "I am acting so immature."

"Better immature than repressed," Marcus smirked, and the movement drew Harry's eyes to the forming bruise on his jaw.

"I'm sorry," Harry whispered, leaning up to kiss the injury.

"Don't be," Marcus said softly, petting Harry's head.

"And yet I am. I never should have hurt you," Harry mused absently, tracing Marcus' featured with his fingertips. "I hurt those around me more than enough already."

"You hurt no one, save when you demean yourself, or heap unnecessary blame upon yourself such as now," Marcus chided, kissing him when Harry opened his mouth to refute him. "Nothing you have ever done has ever been anything short of wonderful; you bring happiness to people no matter where you go."

Harry shook his head, leaning back to sit in Marcus' lap. "More like pain; I am a herald of suffering, not some beacon of happiness as you seem to think."

"Where have you ever gotten such a false idea in your head?" Marcus asked, a growing sense of apprehension building in his chest.

Harry ducked his head, biting his lip as he blushed. "I…overheard Ron talking with a few others. He said that…all I was good for was my fortune and my fame; it was almost not worth being my friend if not for those two things."

The Dursleys could wait; the first one Marcus would kill would be that traitor.

"Please, Marcus," Harry pleaded, grabbing him by the shoulders as he sat up with Harry still in his lap. "Forget I said anything, forget him in fact; the moment he said such things, he removed himself from my heart. I feel nothing for him any more, just as you should. Whatever rage you have for him, let it dissipate; I have neither need nor desire for the pain of a stranger, Marcus."

"Your lucky you beg so prettily, Harry," Marcus chuckled lowly, cupping the other's pale face with his large hand. "Otherwise I would never have given mercy to that swine."

"Thank you," Harry murmured, kissing his cheek.

"No thank you," Marcus murmured, already thinking of how he could get Harry into his bed so that he could find ways to make Harry beg like he had before for other, more important things. Harry blushed, knowing as he always did what his Marcus was thinking of. Then again, the older teen's growing erection might have been a hint as well.

"Mind out of the gutter," Harry teased, and Marcus smirked as he kissed Harry once more.

"I apologize for my reaction then, as you have apologized unnecessarily for yours," Marcus said, kissing Harry's brow. "Why would you ask me if I would love you forever though? You know that I always will."

"It is near the conclusion of the Triwizard tournament, and I know I should be happy about that, but all I can feel is apprehensive," Harry confessed, shivering. "I still can't believe you can not feel it. It is as if the very air is charged. Something will happen soon, I know it. Something life changing."

"And?" Marcus prompted, shifting so Harry lay more comfortably in his arms.

"I wanted to know, even if we do not have the peace we have now, if you would still love me. I wanted to know if you would still love me even if the world changed around us, as if everyone was against us. I wanted to know if you would still love me, even if I changed into someone you could never recognize. I wanted to know if you would still love me no matter what," Harry said as all his insecurities rushed out, taking Marcus by surprise. How long had Harry held all these doubts in?

"I will love you always, Harry," Marcus said with what many would interpret as uncharacteristic softness, but what Harry knew was just Marcus' love for him showing through his tone. "I will love you no matter what state the world is in. I will love you if the heavens themselves turn against us, and if the world abandoned us, then I would stand by your side for as long as I am able. I will love you no matter how you act, or what you do, or how you change, for no matter what, you will always be you and I will always love you."

Harry rested his head against Marcus' chest once more and listened as the other's heat beat steadily. "I see."

"Hm?" Marcus hummed, burying his nose in Harry's growing hair and nuzzling his younger lover's head.

"I am sorry I ever doubted you," Harry whispered, kissing Marcus' hard chest.

"It does not matter, Harry," Marcus whispered, leaning down to whisper in the younger brunette's ear. "I forgave you the moment you doubted yourself."


So, how was it? Did you all like it? Especially you Arwen, was it worth writing me a birthday oneshot for?

It is no longer my birthday, so I can't exactly beg shamelessly for reviews any longer, but they are still appreciated. And as some of you out there may know, reviewing earns you my eternal devotion, and that can result in oneshots and fics if you ask nicely. Right Vaire, Kiri, Phee, and Arwen?

/All nod/

Good.

Ariaeris~

The promised chronology; the fics of the MWAHA verse in order from earliest to latest in descending order and their authors:

Meeting of Heirs by Vairetwilight
Reassurance and Renewal by Ariaeris
Before the Onset by Ariaeris
Is that Legal? by Vairetwilight
The Most Noble and Ancient House of Black by Vairetwilight
Imperfect Heirs by Ariaeris (ongoing; currently at chapter 2)