Draco absently fingered the rings in his robe's pocket as he stared out onto the grounds of Harry's manor. Or what used to be his manor, he corrected. After all, it was no longer a home, but now a facility to house underage wizards and witches in need of care and protection. By right he knew that he should be at his mate's side; even now, Harry was probably still escorting the reporters around, giving them a detailed tour of the place that had been officially opened that morning. It was a very important day for his mate. Today's events heralded the end of Harry's endeavours over the past few months. Finally, after all his efforts, success had been found, and the home was now open.
Even now, if memory served him right, Sirius was hunting down that child who had been the catalyst to all of this; determined that he would be the first one to be established here. By the end of the week, Harry expected the number of children moving into the place to reach fifteen; thanks to his collaborative efforts with the Ministry, a number of children residing in Knockturn Alley had already been identified. All of them had been discretely spoken to, and all but one had expressed a willingness to escape their current life. The last one was nearing seventeen and thus could not be forced. Harry had already asked that an eye be kept on him, and that any help he desired should be afforded to him.
Draco was very proud of his mate for all his efforts, and while, earlier in the day, he had stood by his side, smiling proudly at him while he made the required speeches and cut all of the ribbons to the manor, he had now secreted himself away into this isolated area, too lost in his own thoughts to be good company. His fingers clenched around the rings even as he lambasted himself for the apprehension he felt. Why was he being so silly, he wondered. After all, Harry would never refuse him. Many times over the years, Harry or he had absentmindedly spoken of their future and a time when they would be married. And yet, now that the moment was nearly at hand, Draco felt silly emotions complicate what was otherwise a very simple thing.
One month had passed since his last spat with Harry, and, luckily for him, due to the distraction with preparing for this very day, Harry and he had had little time for personal interactions. It gave him ample time to arrange this though, and, turning behind him, he did a quick scan to ensure that everything indeed was in place. Silently thanking his mother for her assistance, he looked out onto the grounds once again. Everything was going to change today he knew, one way or another. He and Harry were about to enter into another phase of their relationship, the precursor to the one that would carry them through the rest of their lives. Yes he was nervous about what he was going to do whenever Harry chose to join him, but there was also joy there, and happiness at the prospect of what was to come.
Eventually he transfigured himself a reclining chair, and, sitting in it, he hummed contentedly as the sun warmed his face. It had been a long night, he thought, for both himself and his mate. Harry had been too anxious to sleep, and he had been too engrossed in trying to calm him enough to rest to get much sleep himself. A quick check of the time showed that there was at least two hours before Harry finished carrying out the tour, after which they would have a few moments to themselves before they retired to the celebratory tea party that had been planned. It was inescapable, something that Harry bemoaned. Draco laughed at that thought; no matter how much time had passed, Harry still hated these official gatherings, however, luckily enough, he had been able to downgrade it from an entire meal to a mere hour of his time. The real celebration, he noted, waited for them when they arrived home. Everyone would be there, from their family to their friends, ready to have an enjoyable evening and night commemorating their engagement. Now it was only to wait for his mate to join him, so that the real event could begin.
Draco was not certain if laughter or tears were in order. After all his anticipation and meticulous planning, he had fallen asleep. To compound that, upon awakening, he had found Harry snuggled into his chest, using him as a mattress. Still caught up in drowsiness, Draco had drifted off again, essentially eliminating any time for him to propose to his mate. By the time they roused themselves, there was only enough time left for them to straighten their robes, and they had not had a private moment since. And now they were once again in the yard, Draco a distance away from the crowd as he watched Harry make his final farewells before they were left alone again.
At this point, Draco was uncertain of how to proceed. Should he stall for a few moments and propose to him now? It was the only time available unless he wanted to be embarrassed when they flooed home. After all, their family and perhaps even friends would be waiting to celebrate with them. So, he had better get a move on with it, unless he planned on doing the proposal before them. And, while he did love his family, there were some things that should be done in private, this being one of them.
"Dominant?" Harry asked, drawing him away from his thoughts.
Draco blinked in surprise, stunned to find that, while he had been musing, the remainder of the people had left and Harry was now standing before him, a slightly concerned expression on his face.
"You startled me," he breathed, even as he stroked his cheek.
"I did call to you. Is everything all right with you? You've been awfully quiet today, and you've been preoccupied for the entire week. I'm sorry that I did not take the time to ask before, but, is there something wrong? Something that we should talk about?"
Draco shook his head lightly, even as he acknowledged that that preoccupation was undoubtedly the nervousness he had been feeling regarding his plans. Perhaps that was why his family had been shooting him amused looks for the entire week?
"Dominant?" Harry pressed.
"I've had a lot on my mind, that's all. But I am fine."
"Oh? Like what?"
Harry's question, Draco quickly decided, was the perfect opener to his proposal. It was not what he envisioned, and, in seconds, his carefully crafted speech had been discarded, but that was all right. Perhaps the words coming from his heart would be more meaningful anyway.
"I've been thinking about us."
"Then those thoughts must have been delightful," he teased.
"They were," Draco agreed. "I can't help but think that we've been through so much together Harry. We've come a long way you know."
"I know," Harry confirmed, leaning forward to snuggle into his chest. Draco smiled at the gesture, and raising his arms, wrapped them around him. He bent his head so that he could inhale the sweet smell of Harry's hair, before turning to press his cheek against the brunet locks. He continued speaking then, his voice soft. He knew though, that Harry was hearing clearly every word that he said.
"I remember the day you came into my life," he said eventually. "You were so small, so bruised, and yet so perfect to me. I took one look at you and I knew that you were the one that I would spend my life loving."
"I felt the same way too. I thought you were an angel at first; you were standing there over me and your hair seemed to glow. You were so kind to me as well, from the very start. I told myself that night that I never wanted to leave your side."
"And you never did. We've had our spats –"
"Numerous spats," Harry amended impishly.
Draco laughed at that, before continuing. "There were times that I wanted to put you over my knee and keep you there until you turned thirty."
"And there were times when I wanted to bop you good for being an overbearing git," he shot back.
"And yet nothing kept us apart," he concluded. "Look where we are right now Harry. You're here with me, safe in my arms, like it's been from the very start. This is what it's always come down to. No matter what was going on, no matter our age, at the end of the day I knew that you were there for me and that I could pull you to me like this and hold you close. Everything suddenly seemed better – still does – when you are here, in my arms."
"I understand that," he said, pulling back so that he could look into his eyes. "You've always been there for me from the start, whether it was to fight by my side or to protect me – even if it was from myself. You've been a constant at my side, and I doubt that I can ever express how grateful I am for that. Without you dominant, I would not be who I am today."
"And I can say the same. I will always be there for you Harry; whenever you need me, whatever you need, I will do my best to provide for you."
"And I will do the same dominant."
"I know you will," he said, claiming his lips briefly. "There is something I wanted to ask you."
"Yes," Draco returned. Gently he disengaged from Harry before taking a few steps backwards. Briefly he wondered why he was about to go through this the muggle way, but, he remembered watching one of those telly shows, and had found the whole idea of it rather endearing. At the very least, it was bound to bring a laugh from Harry.
"Dominant?" Harry asked, confused as to why, at this heartfelt moment, his mate would back away from him. It seemed opportune for a snog, or at least a good long cuddle before they returned home. And, why was he kneeling?
Draco saw the myriad of emotions flash across Harry's face as he reached into the robes, and removed the ring. At that moment he felt his heart clench from all the love he felt for the fifteen year old standing before him with a dawning look of revelation on his face as he bent down on one knee.
"Draco," Harry began, in a voice that suddenly seemed a bit choked.
"Hush," he bid, surprised to find that his own voice was husky. "I think I've said everything I could have before, so I suppose all I can do now is ask you. Harry James Potter, my mate, my partner, my heart and my soul, would you do me the honour of being my husband?"
As he watched, his mate made a hitching sound, raising a hand to his mouth. After a moment, he nodded. "Yes," he managed, dropping down before him and, ignoring his outstretched hand, threw his arms around his neck instead. "Yes Draco," he said, his heated breath caressing the blonde's skin, "I will marry you. How could I not? I love you so very much."
Draco closed his eyes in relief even as he returned the awkward embrace. "I love you too Harry, thank you."
The brunet pulled back eventually, finally taking stock of the rings in his hand. Laughing happily, he extended his hand to him, shooting him a loving look. "Aren't you going to put it on?" Draco found himself laughing as well as he grasped his hand, and, after kissing the finger that would be bare for the last time, he slipped it on. He then held out the partner ring to his mate who, repeating his action, kissed the finger before placing the ring on it.
"With this ring I promise to bind myself to thee for all eternity," Harry whispered, the traditional words coming easily to his lips.
"Until the day when our union be fixed I shall wear this ring," Draco returned before kissing him.
Harry tumbled them over so that they were sprawled on the ground. Manoeuvring himself, he ended up with Draco's arm around him, while he laid his head on his chest. He raised his hand, allowing the ring to glitter in the sun. Draco mimicked him for a few seconds before placing his hand over his mate's, bringing it down for a kiss.
"I didn't think today could get any better," Harry murmured, twisting to look into his eyes.
"I'm honoured," the veela whispered before kissing the appendage once again. "And thank you for making this one unforgettable day Harry."
"And to you, I say the same."
"Well?" Harry inquired, turning to look at Dobby.
The elf wringed his hands together in delight as he took stock of him. "You look perfect Young Master Harry," he said sincerely, his eyes suspiciously bright.
"Dobby," Harry stated incredulously, "are you crying?"
"I am trying not to. Dobby not succeeding though."
"What's wrong?" he asked worriedly, moving away from the mirror to crouch before him. "Dobby?"
"Oh Dobby no know what be wrong with him," he gasped, reverting to his native speech pattern. "Dobby is so happy. Young Master Harry be getting married today. Dobby is happy."
"Oh Dobby," Harry gasped, feeling a welt of emotion go through him as he looked at his long-time servant and friend. He reached out, clasping the elf on his shoulder. "How can I thank you for all that you've done for me so far?" he said rhetorically.
"It is Dobby's job..."
"No Dobby," he interjected. "Were I just your job, you would not have done half the things you've done for me over the years."
"You're wonderful Dobby, and I'm glad you're here with me on this on all days. You do have your outfit made though?"
"It is hardly appropriate –"
"Today is my day," Harry interjected once again, "and if I want my house elf at my ceremony, I will. I'm certain Draco asked Trix to attend as well."
"She be looking very pretty," he confirmed.
"Oh? Another wedding in the future perhaps?" Harry proceeded to laugh at the blustering sound his elf made before he straightened and returned to the mirror, perusing his appearance.
In respect to both sides of his familial history, the brunet was dressed in a combination of wizarding and muggle clothing. He wore a white three-piece suit, carefully tailored to allow the wedding robes of the same colour to be draped comfortably over it. Harry found himself smiling at his overall appearance, before sitting to allow Dobby to finish fuss over his hair. At Narcissa's insistence, he had allowed his hair to be magically lengthened to his shoulders, which would, at least for the day, tame the unruliness that had overtaken his locks after he had decided on an impromptu haircut some weeks before while in Diagon Alley. Looking at himself, he decided that he would keep it after all; while he had smiled proudly at the numerous remarks about how remarkably similar he looked like his biological father with the hairstyle, he rather preferred being defined by his own worth, rather than who he resembled.
Carefully, Dobby pulled back and secured several strands to keep the mass of it out of his face. Harry hesitated a moment when he asked if his scar was to be hidden as usual. He took a long look at himself in the mirror, noting that there had never been a time in his life when he had left his forehead bare. That scar, no matter how faded it was now, had always been a symbol, one that he had wanted to hide in order to force people into looking beyond it, and instead focus on him. But was that truly necessary anymore he wondered, for had he not succeeded in that. He was still the boy-who-lived (and perhaps would always be), but more and more, people were starting to associate him as being just Harry Potter, an incredible person yes, but one who was using the privileges life had afforded him to create a better world for them all, one person at a time.
"No," he said finally, "pull it all back Dobby. I don't have to hide it anymore."
"As you wish Young Master."
Harry smiled at his reflection, slightly unnerved, but determined not to renege on his decision.
A knock sounded at the door, and, granting entrance, Sirius and Remus entered.
"Uncles," he breathed, turning away from the mirror to smile at them.
"Hello Pup," Sirius beamed as he reached him, taking his hands into his own while Remus leaned against the dressing table smiling encouragingly at him. "How's my favourite godson feeling?"
"Your only godson is feeling very happy," Harry replied, merriment in his tone.
"You're much better than we were then," Remus noted. "But, you've had Draco with you forever; this transition is natural for the two of you."
"It is," he confirmed, a small smile playing on his lips as he dwelt on his mate who was, like him, dressing. "Is everyone here?"
"Hermione and Ronald have just arrived. We wanted to make sure you were okay before we let them bombard you."
"Why are they so late?"
"Hermione has decided to rehash some muggle traditions," Remus explained. "Something about something old, something blue and something new; she's gotten two sets though as not to offend."
"It's traditionally given to brides for good luck; she didn't want to insinuate anything."
"Is everyone else here?" he asked, once he stopped laughing.
"Yes," Sirius stated, "although they're been some issue with reporters trying to access the manor through the floos. Don't worry they won't get in."
"Why can't they leave us alone?" Harry grumbled. "My wedding is something private; why on earth do they want to exploit that?"
"Ignore them Harry," Remus bid. "The important thing is that they are not here, so you just focus on what is important."
"If you're certain that you're fine, we'll get Ron and Hermione to come up here."
"I'm fine Uncles; please, do bring them up. Ron's grumblings is bound to amuse me further."
"Ron just can't get over the fact that the youngest out of you all is the first to get married."
"Yeah well, don't let the twins up! I won't fall for anymore of their tricks."
"Like convincing you that men could get pregnant?" Sirius laughed, earning himself a glare from his godson.
"It isn't funny Uncle," Harry fumed. "With my luck I was right to panic. I imagined myself waddling around with twins, or worse, triplets!"
"It didn't help that no one would tell you the truth for days," Remus chuckled despite himself. "We'll leave you now. The ceremony starts in an hour and I suspect, other than your friends, there are a few other people who want to say a few things to you."
Harry smiled shakily when he felt Ron's hand settle on the small of his back. On his other side, Hermione briefly laid her head on his shoulder. "Are you ready," she asked, looking at him.
Harry took a deep breath before nodding. "I have no reason to be nervous," he said, although the shakiness in his voice belied his words.
"You have every right to be mate," Ron countered. "You're getting married Harry!"
"I know," he laughed, before swallowing as he heard music start from behind the doors they were standing outside off.
"One minute," Hermione murmured, before looking at him. "Draco's waiting for you, just remember that."
"Stay with me," he bid unnecessarily.
"We'll be with you the entire way," she promised.
"Hermione knows the vows in case you forget," Ron added teasingly.
"Just wait until it is your turn Ron," Harry threatened, despite the fact that with his current state, the words were far from unnerving. "I swear I will not be in the least supportive."
"I rather not marry a bumbling idiot Harry," Hermione said mildly. "Try to leave him with his wits okay?"
"Some of them," he conceded. "But only half."
"Why you..." Ron began, ready to launch a mock-attack on him. Hermione immediately moved to warn him off while Harry laughed uproaringly. There was never a dull moment with them around; and to believe at one time he had been worried about their friendship. And here they were, on either side of him, ready to escort him toward his future husband.
Unfortunately, at that very moment, the door opened, and, given the number of hired photographers milling about, their candid moment was caught and would become the source of much humour. Harry found himself laughing anew at Hermione's chagrined face. Already things were going against plans, but, for Harry, it mattered not. So what if Draco arrived at the front before him? It's not like he could get married without him. Nevertheless, with her usual diligence, Hermione quickly righted herself, and with a small glare, the two of them fell into place. Their unreadiness had been witnessed by many though, and as they finally entered the room, they were subject to many amused looks. At the front of the room he saw Severus shaking his head ruefully while, besides him, his husbands struggled to control themselves. If anyone expected this to be a serious event, they were very much mistaken.
Harry silently thanked his friends for the laugh that did wonders to calm his nerves. Waiting briefly to fall into queue with the music, Harry started walking, trying not to turn to his left. On the other aisle, he knew his mate and future husband was also walking, his own friends framing him. Ron blocked him from vision though, and so, Harry was forced to look forward. He would only get a sight of his mate when they faced each other before the officiator who also happened to be their Grandfather. The man's twinkling gaze met his as they finally reached the end of the long aisle and he found himself winking at him. They stopped at the start of the first row, and, after squeezing a shoulder and hand encouragingly, his friends took two steps backwards. The rest of the trip to the raised area would be made on his own.
Reminding himself not to turn to his mate before time, Harry took the last remaining steps, passing his family until he was standing before Albus. He felt Draco's presence settle beside him, and, glancing discretely to the side, he caught a glimpse of his robes, white as well. Although it went against tradition, Harry found himself reaching out with his hand, and he stifled a chuckle when Draco's hand met his halfway. He was surprised though at the faint, yet obvious tremor in it. Startled, and now entirely abandoning propriety, he turned to look at him, shocked when he saw the emotion on his mate's face.
Draco was far from a stoic character; nevertheless, he had his public persona that he always strove to maintain. Every sign of it was gone currently though. His mate's emotions were laid plain for all who cared to see it and Harry felt his own feelings rise resultantly. Albus' words gently guided his attention back to the front, but, even as the ceremony begun, he refused to release his mate's hand, instead interlacing his fingers with his in support.
The next few minutes were forever engraved into Harry's mind. Albus, in deference to his relationship with them, departed from the traditional words and instead, made a speech unique to them. Then, finished, he waved his hands at their family while Harry and Draco, still without looking at each other, backed away before claiming the seats Blaise and Ron brought forward for them. Harry rhythmically squeezed his mate's hand while the second part of the ceremony began. Lucius and Severus, representing Draco, took and brought forward a silver chalice, while, representing Harry, Narcissa and Sirius did the same. Harry felt himself choking back a happy cry a few seconds later when Lily and James materialised alongside the four, placing their hands on the goblets as well as the contents of it was poured into a larger golden one.
A squeeze from Draco signalled that he too was seeing them, as did the remainder of their family. He would have to ask later though, to determine if anyone else was privy to the sight. His biological parents had not made an appearance for months, to the extent where Harry had wondered if he would have to wait until his death to see them again. But now, he understood. The pair had been giving him – them – a chance to live their lives without their interference. After all, they could not grow dependent on having knowledge of the future to guide them through their lives. Somehow Harry knew that this would be the last time that he would see his parents on this plain – the look they gave him when their eyes met confirmed this. Harry felt a brief moment of sadness before it was suppressed by a wave of gratitude for them joining him today on this most special day. Lily nodded at him, mouthing her love to him before vanishing once the goblets were replaced, James doing the same. He nodded at them, too overcome to speak, and he was forced to bend his head and blink rapidly to regain control of his emotions.
"This cup," Albus intoned, lifting the golden chalice, "represents the merger of two different entities into one glorious being. So too is the case for these two households. The Malfoys and the Potters from this day forward will be irrevocably bound; united in the marriage of these two members."
It was their cue to rise, and they did, moving to him once again. They had no choice now but to separate their hands as the man held the chalice to Draco. Harry had a moment's apprehension as the blonde accepted it, for he himself knew how shaky his mate's grip was. The anti-spillage charm that he was certain on it prevented a mess though, and while it wobbled, Draco was able to maintain a firm grip on it.
"Who gives this young man forward to create the unifications of the household?"
"I, Lucius Abraxas, patriarch of the Malfoy family, do give my son Draconis Lucius forward for this union."
"And who gives this young man forward to complete the unification?"
"I, Sirius Orion, patriarch of the Black family, do give my godson Harrison James forward to complete this union."
"It is a blessed day indeed," Albus said, losing that officiating tone for a moment, "when two families officially seal a union that has been in place for over a decade now and someone decides to rename their godson."
"Grandpa," Harry gasped, before chuckling ruefully at the truth of his words.
"Well Lucius didn't have to add in that extra syllable," Sirius huffed.
Behind them chuckles came forth from the audience, something that Harry was most grateful for as the tension he felt from Draco dissipated considerably.
Albus cleared his throat before falling back into character. "Draco, offer your intended the symbol of your unification."
Harry felt his breath hitch. Finally, he could observe his mate for the first time that day and see fully the truth in his face. He turned, mindful of his robes, and waited for Draco to do the same. What he saw took his breath away. Draco's silver eyes sparkled with tears – happy tears, he saw, but tears nonetheless. The amount of love and affection in his eyes pierced him to his very core, and he felt his own eyes burn slightly. How long they stood like that, simply staring at each other, as they silently conveyed their feelings he would never know. It felt like an eternity though before Draco started extending the cup toward him. Without him realising it, Harry's hands reached out to steady his mate's own, willingly accommodating this rare loss of control and composure. He closed his eyes briefly as he took a long draw from the chalice, relishing the sweet taste before gently moving it away. He had to remind himself to wait for the old man's words before he pushed the chalice toward his mate's face.
"Harry," Albus urged, "offer your intended a taste of your unification."
Harry nodded his head slightly before he complied. Unlike him, Draco's eyes remained open and affixed on him as he drank deeply from it. Harry moved swiftly to stroke Draco's cheek before he withdrew and was heartened when Draco managed to wink at him, offering a silent apology for his state. Harry shook his head slightly to dismiss it, for he too was feeling the same. Neither paid attention when Albus took the cup from their hands, nor did they bother to face forward once again. Instead, they reached out and clasped each other's hands and waited. Understanding, Albus continued the ceremony.
"With you as witnesses, the couple has sanctioned the unification of their union, and are now, forever united as one. Before I seal the union, I invite the couple to present tokens of their bond to each other."
Reluctantly they separated. As the dominant in their relationship, Draco moved first, taking the ring from Blaise before looking at him. He swallowed several times, undoubtedly in an attempt to clear his voice before he attempted to speak. His tone was the most emotional Harry had ever heard and the brunet found himself swallowing as well before meeting his gaze.
"H-Harry," Draco paused, breathed, and then continued on in a more steady tone. "Harry, you already know what is in my heart and mind. You mean the world to me, you have made me into the man I am today. I ask of you, that with this ring, you accept me forever as a part of your being. Where you go I will go, whenever you falter, I will be there to assist. We are two beings, but we possess one soul. Will you accept this ring, and with it me and all the love that I have to offer?"
"I-I do," Harry managed, fighting against a wave of emotion that threatened to overtake him. He raised his left hand to Draco, noting now that it was he who was trembling. With slight effort, Draco got the ring onto his finger, where it joined the first. Much like the day they were engaged, the veela raised the hand to brush it with his lips.
When he released him, Harry turned to Ron, accepting his own ring. His vision blurring, Harry raised his eyes to Draco, tears finally slipping free as he saw one trickle down Draco's face.
"D-Draco, I...this is why people shouldn't have to speak at their own weddings!" he finally gasped, drawing laughter from all who were gathered.
Draco chuckled as well, a watery sound, before reaching out to cup his face, offering him support.
"This is why I love you," Harry managed. "No matter what the situation, whenever I need help, you're here to offer it to me. It's been that way from the start. I've said this before and I know I'll say it again, but I doubt that I would reach very far without you Draco. You are my other half, that rational, level-headed person that ensures that I don't go overboard with anything. I have already accepted you, but will you now take this from me? With this ring I pledge myself to you; you will never be alone for I will always be with you, body, mind, heart and soul. Draco, will you be mine?"
"For all of eternity," he confirmed, holding out his hand to him.
After placing the ring and kissing it, Harry reached up to wipe away the tears from his mate's cheek, sighing when he returned the favour. Smiling at each other, they turned toward Albus once again. The man's eyes seemed to be twinkling for an entirely different reason, however, when he spoke, his tone was sound, even as he waved his wand above their heads.
"Draco and Harry have stood before you and have declared their love and support for each other on their life journey. Where two individuals once stood, now exist one solidified unit that no one shall tear asunder. With the power invested in me, I seal the bond between them, forever bound they will be. Gentlemen, congratulations, you are wed."
Although it was a muggle tradition, neither could resist grasping each other before kissing tenderly.
"Hello husband," Harry whispered when they parted.
"Hello to you too," Draco returned before kissing him briefly. Breaking away from each other, they turned, and allowed themselves to be surrounded by those they cared about the most who wanted to offer them their congratulations.
Opening his eyes, Harry blinked sleepily up at the unfamiliar ceiling. Where was he? The question faded though when he realised that the pillow he was resting upon was moving slightly but steadily. His memory returned when his eyes met his slumbering husband's face and, humming contentedly, he bent to press a small kiss against his bare chest before resting his head down once again. Idly he raised his hand to stare at the rings on his finger, a silly smile playing on his lips. They had port-keyed here the night before after the celebrations had ended. If he recalled correctly, they were in one of the Black properties, a Cottage on a hillside although he could not remember which country they were in. That wasn't too important, he decided after a moment, and contented himself for long moments simply admiring his rings.
Eventually he decided to rise and, careful not to disturb his mate, he slipped from the bed. Forgoing a robe for now, he padded across the wooden floors to the window. Slowly he parted the curtains enough to look out, although he ensured that the glare was not affecting his slumbering mate. Looking outside, he took in the beautiful scenery. Across from him, he saw the sea, and smiled as he saw the sunlight glittering on the water, creating a kaleidoscope of colours. He was looking forward to journeying down there with Draco later on; the water was beautiful and he would enjoy taking a dip in it with him. Moving from the window, he wandered quietly through their temporary home, eventually entering the bathroom. It was a good way to pass the time until Draco woke up, he decided.
Running a bath, he eased out the remainder of his clothing before sinking down into the warm water. He sighed in contentment as the water lapped at his shoulders before he allowed his eyes to drift close. The day had been perfect he decided, even if their night had not gone according to tradition. They had not yet consummated their marriage, and with it their bond, but Harry found that he was not too concerned about it. They had spent copious amounts of time exploring the Cottage, and after that, they had finally unravelled the gift they had been presented it. They had both gaped in surprise at the thick album that had been revealed, one that started from the day Harry had arrived at Malfoy Manor and ended with their marriage ceremony. The rest of their waking hours had been spent curled together pouring through the pictures. It was a wonderful gift and they had reminisced over the photographs even while questioning at times how their family had managed to take out the pictures for certainly they had been alone for a lot of those times.
"What a beautiful sight," a gruff voice stated from the doorway.
Lazily Harry opened his eyes, looking to where his husband stood. He smiled happily at him.
"Finally awake then?" he asked, his hands skimming the water.
"Have you been up long?" he inquired as he walked across to where he was, sitting on the edge of the tub.
"Long enough," he shrugged.
"I had hoped to wake up with my husband in my arms."
"Well you found him in the tub instead," he retorted before reaching out to pull him down. "Why don't you get in with me?"
"We are married now," he grinned, pressing a kiss to the corner of his mouth. "It is wholly acceptable to take a bath with one's spouse."
"You're an expert on the married life then?" Draco teased, although he did rise, hooking his hands into his pants' waist.
"On this I am," he returned coyly. "Come on in, I promise I won't peek."
Draco laughed huskily at that, but in less than a minute he was seated across from his mate, tilting his head back to wet his hair.
"I was thinking that we could go to the beach this afternoon," Harry said eventually. "I want to swim."
"It's been years since we've done that," the veela mused, before reaching for a washcloth. "We'll turn into prunes if we remain in here much longer," he pointed out.
"What's wrong with that?" he asked glibly, before mimicking him. "Wash my back?" he requested a few minutes later.
Draco arched an eyebrow at him. "You've been doing it yourself for years," he pointed out, even as he moved across to accept the washcloth.
"And now it shall be your job," came the haughty reply before Harry turned his back to him. "Hurry up now, I'm hungry. Do a good enough job and I may return the favour."
The veela snorted at that, but obliged. Wetting Harry's back, he gently moved the cloth in small circles across his skin, smiling softly when the brunet made small, contented sounds. Gradually the veela's mood changed. The gentle amusement he had felt at his mate's pseudo-order were now changing into something else, as he could not help but notice how smooth and soft his skin was. Eventually he allowed his bare hand to replace the cloth, and then the other joined in, gently exploring the expanse of his mate's skin. Harry twisted his head enough to give him a smouldering look and the veela felt himself become embolden. Harry was feeling the same thing that he was – arousal.
Draco bent and, still meeting his mate's gaze, licked a drop of water from his shoulder. He smirked at the light shiver the action induced before repeating it. He continued for a bit, working his way across from one shoulder to the other. By the time he reached up to lightly nip on Harry's earlobe, small goosebumps had erupted all over his mate's skin. He shifted slightly, exerting gentle force on Harry until he leaned forward more, folding his arms on the edge of the claw-foot tub before resting his head on them.
"Good boy," Draco whispered before nipping him again.
Harry's only response was a light moan as Draco moved aside his wet hair to kiss the back of his neck before working his way down. The gentle touches and kisses maddened Harry and more than once he squirmed, wanting to turn around, only to be stopped by a firm hand before the veela resumed his caresses.
"Draco," Harry gasped when the man's arms snaked around him to rub lightly along his chest, stopping on his nipples where he rolled them.
"Hmm?" he said heatedly, his lips once again on his ear.
Harry was unable to continue, too distracted by those skilful fingers. Gently Draco drew him backwards, so that his back was braced against the bathtub once again, Harry's body held firmly to him. A heated flush graced Harry's face when he felt the proof of Draco's arousal nestle itself against him, even as his mate's hands moved down, tracing a light pattern on his stomach.
"Draco," he moaned, flinging his head back against his shoulder when the blond's hand descended beneath the water, gently taking hold of him.
He squawked into an open-mouth kiss when his hand moved slowly along his length. It was the first time Draco had handled him thus, but, far from nervous, Harry spread himself a bit wider to get more of the wonderful feeling.
"Is this what you've been wanting mate?" Draco's heated voice asked.
"Yes," Harry managed, arching his back slightly. "Wanted this...wanted you...dominant!"
The veela smirked at the admittance before slowly stopping the intimate caress despite the frustrated grunt it brought from Harry. "Don't worry," he whispered, taking a kiss from him again, "this time, there will be no stopping."
Harry's breath hitched at the words, but he remained pliant as the veela shifted them around before rising from the tub. Harry swallowed as he took in his husband's nude form, and he felt his desire increase threefold, as he felt the urge to explore the length and breadth of the man's frame. Draco pinned him with a look, one that silently asked him to remain where he was. Swallowing, he fell back against the tub, watching through hooded eyes as the veela walked about the room, first drying himself before fetching a next towel. Wrapping the dry one around his waist, he held out a third one to Harry in invitation.
Harry stood still for a moment, blushing slightly at the look of pure desire that his mate gave him as he took in his naked frame before he stepped out of the tub, and into his open arms.
"Feeling shy are we?" Draco chuckled when he buried his face into his shoulder, refusing to look up. "Such swift mood changes you have. I've always enjoyed that."
"Don't tease me," Harry pouted as he looked up. "It's just that...well..."
"I understand," Draco interrupted, saving him from a bumbling explanation. "It's natural for you to feel this way. Allow me to take the lead my husband, my mate. Trust me, all will be fine."
Harry closed his eyes once again as the veela gently dried him before dealing with his hair. He quickly grew impatient though, and despite himself, Harry laughed when he resorted to a warming charm to remove the last bit of moisture from his hair.
"Much better," he grumbled, before leading him out of the bedroom.
Instead of the bed as Harry expected, he was seated before the dressing table, while his mate took up a hairbrush.
"In good time Harry," he told him, biting the shell of his ear. "For now, allow me to take care of you."
Rather than cooling his ardour as he had half expected, Harry found himself growing increasingly sensitised. Long after his hair had been untangled, Draco continued, replacing the implement with his fingers as he gently raked his hand through his hair, scraping and massaging his scalp in a most enjoyable way. With a hum, Harry's head fell back to rest on his chest, while he shot him a contented look. "Dominant..."
"I know," he responded, "I love you too. Are you still hungry?"
"I meant for food."
"Right now I want you," he said honestly, reaching up to stroke his jaw. "Please dominant? Enough games, I'm ready."
Draco caught one of his hands, and sucked on a finger, even as he eyed him searchingly for any signs of hesitation. When he was certain that Harry truly bore no fear of what was to come, he nodded slightly, spinning him in the chair. Before Harry could orient himself properly, the veela kissed him, a dominating kiss that overwhelmed the brunet. Finally Draco allowed himself to follow his desires, long suppressed. Without anything further to worry about from Harry, he was free to lose himself to his feelings. Finally they would mate. Harry seemed to sense his thoughts for his arms wrapped around his neck even as his legs parted to pull him closer. They parted only when they required air, and even as they took shuddering breaths, Draco's fingers worked to rid Harry and then himself of the towels.
Dropping them carelessly, he backtracked, pulling Harry gently along with him until the back of his legs hit the bed. Then, with a harder tug, he tumbled Harry on to it, his eyes darkening further with pleasure as he took in his splayed state. The time for foreplay was over, he knew. An urgency had risen within him, and even now Harry was extending his arms to him, inviting him to merge with him. It was an invitation that could not be ignored. With a growl, Draco dropped down over Harry, hissing in pleasure when Harry's fingers dug lightly into the flesh of his back. His hands roamed his body once again even as his mouth worked to taste every bit of Harry's creamy skin that he could reach. Eventually he settled himself into position, and, kissing him once again, he finally fulfilled their bond, completing the process of their mating.
He swallowed Harry's groan, his hands stroking him calmingly even as his spirits flew at the feel of his mate wrapped around him. He gave in completely at that moment, and throwing his head back he groaned in pure delight even as he felt himself transform, his wings erupting from his back before spreading out over him. "My angel," Harry murmured, reaching out to stroke a wing even as Draco shifted experimentally. The shift earned a gasp from Harry, but seeing that his arousal remained constant, the veela took it as a sign to continue. Their groans and cries echoed throughout the room as they participated in that exquisite dance, both of them working in tandem to achieve that pinnacle of pleasure that would overshadow all of their previous activities. Feeling himself nearing it, Harry dug his fingers even deeper into Draco's shoulders, drawing a grunt from him even as he bent to nip at his now rosy and swollen lips. Harry chased after his lips, seeking the affection even as he felt that coil of heat in his stomach uncoil, tipping him over the edge, Draco following him a few seconds later.
Although Draco was heavy, Harry did not have the strength to complain when his body collapsed on top of his. Instead, he closed his eyes, trying to calm his breathing even as some aftershocks of pleasure ran through him. Eventually Draco pulled back, eyeing him speculatively. The question was easily discernible in his eyes and, smiling softly, Harry quickly pecked his lips before pushing lightly against him, until he moved off him. Harry followed him, placing his head on his chest, right above his heart that was still beating erratically. There was no need for words between them. Indeed, he could only purr contentedly when Draco's wings covered him, a natural blanket, before he allowed his eyes to drift shut as he felt along their bond. He now had full access to his mate and all that he was feeling. It was different, for, what they had had before had seemed perfect. But what he felt now...it was as if all of his mate's feelings were in Technicolor and for long moments he was unable to discern his own feelings from Draco's. Not that it mattered, he decided, as he stroked his chest absent-mindedly; they were essentially experiencing the same thing.
Harry moved so that he could look into Draco's face, feeling even more contented at the pure relaxation and pleasure playing across his features. Here, in this bed, their world had narrowed down to just the two of them, and Harry was enjoying the state. Draco was his sole concern, and he found that he liked that fact very much. All of their responsibilities awaited them in England but for now, the wizarding world would have to wait. There was time enough for all of that, however, for the moment, the only thing Harry was concerned about was losing himself in his mate's embrace as they continued to explore the possibilities that had opened with their married state. Everything else would simply have to wait.
Final A/N: A heartfelt thank you to all of you that have taken the time to read/review this story. It's been a long two years, but finally it is at its end. I'm glad you all stuck with me until the very end, and, you never know, we may meet once again in a different story. Regardless, I wish you all a bright and prosperous New Year and best of luck in whatever endeavours you choose to undertake.