A/N: New one-shot, thought you all might enjoy a little gift since I'm almost over with my finals!! =)
Of Red Kings and Green Butterflies
The first time he had the dream was during his official visit to China, he had been in the country before of course, as a fugitive, a researcher and even a tourist, but never as the new King of Wizarding Britain. It had all gone according to the plan, breakfast, meetings in the ancient city with the Emperor, lunch with the Emperor and Empress, a tour over the mix of wizard and muggle around the countryside, dinner, sitting next to the High Magus Xuan-Li during a special presentation and finally drinking tea before bed.
He decided it had been the tea, he had never tasted jasmine tea before, so it had to be the reason for his strange dreams. He had never been one to dream, much less about music. It was simple really, as he had bid everyone on his entourage and the Emperor's entourage good night, he had received a deep bow from the High Magus followed by a simple statement of "May the moon bring you nice dreams tonight."
Still laying in bed, the smell of green tea coming closer to the room, as well as the sweet natural aroma of oriental magic, the man decided it was either the tea, the High Magus or simply the country that was to blame. He had dreamt that he had been sitting by the piano, all the way back in England, his fingers caressing random notes on the grand piano, the melody echoing in the air, sounding like butterfly wings. In his dream a jade-green butterfly had flown through the closed window, stopping in front of him. And while his right hand caressed the higher notes, his left hand hovered above the butterfly, who simply flew and landed on his hand.
He had woken up with his hand inches from his face, and a strange ache in his chest. Something he had never felt before. Maybe he was getting sick? It was the ache that convinced him that something was wrong with him and that someone or something was to blame. He just had to find out who.
The red-eyed man sighed, finally getting up, deciding he had indulged in his lie-in far too much already. Getting ready for the day, he started to remember the last couple of years. He had won the war, his side paying a high price, he had had to become mortal again and many of his followers had their magic burnt out of them like a candle in the wind. In contrast, the 'light' side of the war had lost only the core leaders, Albus Dumbledore, Alastor 'Mad-eye' Moody, Rufus Scrimgeour and the one whose death bothered him the most, Harry James Potter. The young man did not need to die, but he had chosen to, saying only that he "will be back when you least expect it."
With a sight, the King got up. Going about his day as his agenda dictated it. It was at night that the anxiety grew, the fear of never waking up again, but he knew he had to sleep.
The second dream feature the tune of 'Danse Macabre' playing on the background as he watched the shadows dance, making love to one another as they adorned his bare white walls, green butterflies flying around the room like moths drawn to the light of fire. His dream self smiled as one of them landed on his hand again. Same as the last time.
In the morning he could feel the silly smile still attached to his face. It crumbled as the bliss of his dream was followed by the ache on his chest, even worse then before.
The week progressed the same way, meetings with Chinese wizards, the Emperor and the High Magus during the day, at night he dreamt of green butterflies and piano music.
It was getting rather tiring.
Needless to say, the red-eyed wizard was rather glad to leave China, those dreams were starting to affect his mood during the day, and those aches on his chest during the morning were starting to worry him. He even begun to think he might have developed a heart condition. Saying farewell and wishing good luck to the Emperor he took a hold of the international portkey, along with 2 other people, the most trusted of his entourage.
As soon as he arrived, he summoned his mediwizard, the man, Lloyd, examined him from head to toe with his wand, finding nothing out of the ordinary. The other wizard had the audacity to speculate, with a wishful smile, that he might be suffering from a heart ache. He had scowled and stormed out of the room, he had no need for anyone else.
He had thought that by leaving the foreign country the dreams would stop. As he had found out, that was not the case. The night he arrived in England he had another dream again. This time the melody had a certain melancholy to it, a deep longing that reminded him of his chest ache. He had never heard it before. The same green butterfly continued to appear, by the piano or on his palm, always facing him, its bright green wings moving along with the melody. He had guessed it was a dream thing.
As the days went by he caught himself noticing little things about his dreams, like it was always night there, the pale moon casting its light upon the closed room, in real life it would be nearly impossible for a butterfly to appear during night hours. Another thing he had noticed was the green butterfly, it was the same one over and over, the same pattern, the same shade of green.
His followers had noticed the difference, he was even tempered and rarely snapped at anyone, unless the offence was too high, and he often found himself looking at his hands searching for the shade of jade-green of a certain green butterfly.
In his dream he often caught himself actually playing the melancholic melody, instead of caressing the keys. It was while playing that he heard something that, while it certainly complimented the song, he had never heard before. It was a partner to the sound of the grand piano, the other piece of a puzzle he hadn't even know existed.
It was the sound of a violin.
Along with it came someone he never would have guessed would appear inside his head. At least not willingly. The green eyed boy. Instead of questioning his appearance he continued playing, the two distinct sounds coming together as one, the melancholy of the piano mixing and transforming the hopeful sound of the violin. He didn't noticed the lack of a certain green butterfly.
The next night he talked to the boy, stopping the melody in the middle as he got up and stood in front of the green-eyed youth. "Shouldn't you be comforting one of your friends?" he asked, no mocking, no sneer, no hidden meaning.
The boy snorted, putting the violin aside as he stared at the man who killed him. Amusement and something else shinning in his eyes. "They don't need me anymore, I've comforted and consoled them for as long as it took to make them live again. It's your turn now Marvolo." the boy smiled, rocking back and forth on his feet, the picture of innocence with his hands behind his body holding violin and bow, his hair longer and eyes bright with something so utterly human that made the red King long for it. "I hardly think I need comforting from someone I personally killed."
The boy just shrugged sitting on the floor at the King's feet. "I hardly care what you think of this situation, I'm here, period. Besides I remember telling you I'd see you again." he ruined the 'grown-up' moment by sticking his tongue out. And it was the first time the red-eyed King smiled a true smile at anyone. But he couldn't bring himself to care. Specially since he hardly counted dream-induced grins as a smile.
When the butterfly showed up again, a month later, instead of greeting the creature, he searched for his dream companion, somehow or other he had ended up calling the boy 'his sweet'. He had no idea where he picked up the idea or even the word, but there it was. The Kind thought it strangely fitting with the energetic young man he always found on his dreams. After searching for one missing Harry Potter, he picked up the green butterfly, cradling between his hands like one would carry a precious burden. But looking at it like a father would look at a naughty child.
"He said he'd be here to comfort me, now you tell me, where is he?" he questioned the insect, leaving the grand piano and doing like his dream guest, sitting on the floor. "Where have you been anyway?" That night he spend staring at the green butterfly. When he woke up a feeling of lost blossomed in his chest, his fist closed above his heart, as is trying to protect it from the hurt.
The day was spent as many others before it, a meeting in the morning with his staff over breakfast, hearings in the afternoon and night making future plans, the whole time that feeling of lost eating away in his chest, the red King even took some time from the schedule to pay a brief visit to his personal healer for a check-up. He went to sleep dreading the permanent lack of His Sweet.
His next dream was completely different from the ones he had the year before, oh the melody was the same with him playing the piano, the room was the same, dark with moonlight pouring through the closed windows. Even the butterfly was the same. Same enchanting green, same black spots on his wings. And the initial lack of His Sweet.
The difference was something subtle, something he couldn't quite understand at first, until after the butterfly left and his young dead companion walked in through the glass doors.
"Really," he said, an impish grin on his lips. "You think too much, my King." he watched the green-eyed youth smile at him. That feeling of completeness that he had become used to in the past few months bringing a smile to his face and the urge to take His Sweet in his arms and never let go, the smile went away immediately as he looked at the green-eyed youth.
...undeserving... he thought, that familiar ache in his chest taking a new meaning as he sat heavily by the grand piano. Not noticing his companion frowning at him or the silent growl.
"Why do you keep doing this to yourself, Marvolo?" he heard His Sweet asking in exasperation but he didn't turn around, somehow unable to comprehend the words, he who had taken the art of speech and flattering to a new level. "I choose to be back here, in your dreams. It has nothing to do with deserving or not, so don't make it seem like there was no choice, that it was fate. I choose to come back."
It was with those words that the Red King turned to His Sweet, finally realising what was different about this dream, he was feeling warmth, he was feeling the odd fluttery of wings he had before associated with his sickness. It was surreal, and he admitted - to himself at least - that he never thought himself capable of being so smitten with another being not himself.
He, who during his younger years had perfected the art of wooing another being to his cause, to his person and even his bed was at a lost for words. 'You're over 70 now, Marvolo,' he thought to himself, he had never really thought of himself as Tom. 'Really, stop acting like a teenage girl in love.' With a self-depreciating smile he looked at the his young Sweet Green in front of him "But why did you choose to remain? And why the butterflies?"
Instead of answering, the young man knelled before the Red King, taking his hands and resting his chin on a flannel covered thigh. He knew what the problem was, he had been feeling the same way for some months now, so, instead, he asked "Would you like me to return with you, my Lord?"
"Would you think me weak if I say yes, my Harry?" he answered, devouring the youth's face with his eyes, his fingers tracing and retracing the lines of his hands, his fingernails and the line pattern on the inside of His Sweet's hands.
With a silly grin on his face, he took in his Harry, kneeling before him, but not in submission, not forced. But by his own choice. He tightened his hold on His Sweet's hands as he realised what he had been feeling for a few months now. If this is what... that felt like, no wonder he hadn't been able to stand the other near him for a long time. But this time it would be different, even if he dared not say it yet, he knew now what he was feeling, and Marvolo had never been one to lie to himself.
"You, weak? My Ki- no, my Marvolo could never be weak even if he tried." the youth smiled standing up and embracing the Red King as the dream slowly gave way to reality.
Marvolo woke up to His Sweet curled up to him, an arm resting on his chest, encased by his own hand, his bed was warm and he felt the need to feel His Sweet's skin on his own, to make sure, beyond doubt, that he was real. That this was real. And that his dream finally became true.
"Can we stay?" came the sleepy request from the precious bundle curled around him. "I don't want to get up."
"We can stay for as long as you like my Sweet Green Butterfly."
When he next woke up he was not alone, as he feared, his Harry was on top of him, staring at him with one of those impish smiles of his. "I wasn't sure this would work you know, but I had a feeling and I just had to try."
"Try to come back to life?" The Red King asked, his hand holding His Sweet possessively, the hangings around his bed protecting them from real life for now. "I'm glad you did. Even more because you succeeded."
The Red King received a smile instead of a proper answer, and felt Harry's stomach grumble against his own, the tightness around his heart giving away at the proof that His Sweet was there, alive, above him, feeling, touching, and hungry.
"Let's eat now my Sweet, then you can tell me how you escaped Death's clutches." he whispered, gathering the green-eyed youth in his arms and, after their morning routine, steering him towards the wooden door.
"Well, when I died, the Fates gave me the choice to come back and comfort those who missed me, after Hermione and Ron I was surprised it was you, so I remained as a butterfly for a time. Did you know Eastern people think butterflies carry the souls of their loved ones? And it is true, anyway, after that..."
The Red King smiled as he led His Sweet away, closing their bedroom door behind him.
AN – The first song Voldemort plays is 'Butterfly lovers violin concert, act 01' on the computer it says it's Chinese folklore song, but I'm not certain, it sure sounds like it though! The second song is 'Danse Macabre', and the third and last song he plays is a Tokyo Babylon (manga) song, entitled 'Kashou no Tsuki theme'. A thanks to Zhu Yingtai for the correction =)