Author's Notes: I have three other stories I'm supposed to be writing but this hit me during a particularily vengeful Harry Potter faze, it transcended into a frightening Kings obsession. This was born. This will not follow Kings exactly and is an alternate universe for Harry Potter.
Summary: The Kingdom of Slytherin is a beautiful and timeless place but there are secrets hidden behind her walls, much like the Royal Family themselves. Harry Potter was just an ordinary soldier when he did the unthinkable and saved the king's son and defeated Lord Voldemort. As a reward, he is invited to the palace but not everything is all it appears to be and Harry finds himself swept up into a circle of lies, romance and mutiny.
WARNING! This story contains SLASH! Do not like? Then do not read.
Disclaimer: If I owned Kings, it would have never been cancelled. If I owned HP, Draco and Harry would be out of the closet by now. (TRANSLATION: I don't own Kings or Harry Potter)
The cloying scent of roses is in the air as Harry Potter- defeater of Voldemort- stepped out of the nondescript government car and stared in wonder at Malfoy Palace. It was breathtaking, made of polished marble and stone, glittering and reflecting the bright sun. It looked like heaven, an image of absolute beauty and perfection that it only fit to call it unattainable.
That's what it was to most people. They wouldn't even step foot inside the castle, never see anything beyond the iron gates yet still they were fascinated by it. They flocked outside, stopping to stare at the pearly columns and even reverently stopped for a few minutes as they passed by it. They all hoped, dreamed, prayed to be admitted into the hallowed ground but they never would, still they would hope.
Harry had been one of those people. A common soldier from a too-large family deciding to finally do something with his life. He had shown prowess and skill during training and rose through the ranks, finally settling on Captain. But he had never dreamed that he would be commemorated for saving the king's son. Even if it was just stopping a plot on the prince's life. He expected to see a glimpse of the king and queen on the television, or at a memorial service where he would award Charlie (his adopted brother) or someone else with a purple heart for bravery.
"Alright there?" Mr. Gimms said, coming around in his impeccable suit and staring at Harry through his own glasses lens. He had been assigned as Harry's chauffeur and Harry suspected, his job was to make sure Harry didn't do anything too embarrassing. Harry nodded sharply and Gimms gave him a little smile before leading him up the the marble steps and up to the oak doors.
"No need to worry. You're a hero, Mr. Potter." Gimms continued
The door was opened and they were admitted by a butler in a tailcoat. The foyer was across between a manor home and a museum. There was a mural with the names of war veterans etched in gold. Portraits of state figures and past kings and ministers n glistening gold frames giving the appearance of saints. The floor was of course marble but Harry was surprised to find a deep green carpet stretching up both staircases and to the front door. Silver and green appeared to be the favoured colours much like the flag of the Slytherin Kingdom.
Gimms hand on his forearm brought Harry back to the present.
"I'll leave you here, someone will be with you in a moment. Don't look so worried, you're a hero." Gimms said, kindly seeing Harry's stricken expression. Harry gave him a wobbly smile that dropped as soon as the older man was out of sight. He kept his hands in the pockets of his uniform; dark green with silver lining and a snake pendant, as he wandered about. He couldn't help but want to explore; he was in the mouth of the lion, the den of the beast; a forbidden place that everyone coveted to enter.
A gilded mirror rested on a silver table against the staircase, he could make out faces and names, recognising some and clueless about the others. He reached out a finger to trace the words at the top of the mirror: Toujours pur. Always pure.
"It's a family heirloom," a voice said from above. Harry snapped his hand back as if burned, blushing as he looked up at the staircase.
The voice belonged to a girl with brown hair pulled back a headband walked down the stairs and over to her Harry. She looked well-dressed in brown trousers and a blue blouse that brought out the colour in the large brown eyes. Her face was familiar and harry dropped into a frenzied bow, "Princess!"
"I prefer Nat, sounds less formal." She said once he straightened up.
"For what? Touching the mirror? It's only here so the people can admire it. That's the point of this entire area, it's all about image." Nat swept her hand to gesture to the busts and statues that Harry had missed on his first glance.
"I'm-" He said trying to introduce himself. She held up a hand to stop him, "I know who you are. Everyone knows who you are. You defeated Voldemort, that makes you a hero. You're the Boy Who Lived."
Harry looked at her started, "What?"
"That's what the Prophet and the rest of the newspapers are calling you: Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived." Nat continued. Harry's eyes widened.
The sound of heels against marble announced another presence and interrupted Nat's next words. A taller woman came over to them with warm hazel eyes and a black book held tightly in her right hand.
"Harry, may I call you, Harry? I'm Hermione Granger, I've been charged with preparing you for tonight." The woman said, holding out a delicate hand. Harry shook it warmly, letting out the breath that he had been holding. Hermione was not what Harry expected in a counsellor of the king. Her face still had the fullness of youth but she made a mature figure in a demure grey dress and a string of pearls around her neck. Her hair was held back in a clip but tendrils were escaping free.
"Nat, don't you have an appointment you should be getting to?" Hermione gently reminded the girl. Nat gave a half-smile and nodded, "I'll leave Harry in your capable hands then. Goodbye." She then turned and walked down the hallway, disappearing around the corner.
"Shall we then?" Hermione gestured and Harry followed her up the stairs. They passed by men and woman dressed in suits and walking into what Harry recognised as the Court Room but Hermione steered him in the other direction before he could get caught for gawking.
"Before the party, at four today, King Lucius will hold a press conference where he will present you with your medal of bravery. There will be a photo op, try to keep all talking to a minimum, I doubt you're accustomed to dealing with the press. After that, there will be a party in your honour." Hermione told him as they walked quickly.
"A party?" Harry gasped.
"Of course, the King and the press love a party. Good will and all that, no need to worry, just remember your manners. Oh, and bowing, bow to the king once, that's all you need. Shake the queen's hand and the prince's....not too formal. Titles are only required for the king and queen, Draco is exempt though still be polite. He will be king one day and it would a shame to make an enemy of him...Oh, here we are!" Hermione chattered, pushing open a white door and gesturing Harry in.
The room was a study, that much Harry could see. There was a embroidered red couch with a matching armchair and ottoman. The study was lit by huge bay windows that lead out onto a balcony. An entire wall was covered in books, volumes that looked over a hundred years old and kept in good condition. Draped over the couch, legs crossed was the prince himself.
Harry had seen the prince on television, he had seen pictures but nothing compared to seeing the prince in the flesh. He looked to be made of alabaster, milky skin and pale blonde hair that curved gently around his face, highlighting his sharp features. His nose was perpetually stuck up and his grey eyes were calculating as he appraised Harry, stripping him down to the skin and making the young captain feel like a bug under a microscope. His black shirt, collar open to reveal a slender neck, and matching pants did little to conceal the emaciated frame. Draco was thinner with sharper features than his image on television.
"Is that what you're wearing?" Draco asked with barely concealed contempt. Despite the tone, Harry felt like he had passed some test and he relaxed a bit.
"For the press conference, his uniform is appropriate." Hermione answered, playing with her Blackberry.
"Do you have any other clothes?" The prince asked, standing up.
"I didn't have time to grab anything," Harry said sheepishly. Draco lifted one eyebrow, "well, we can't have that, and you won't fit into anything of mine." Draco tapped his chin with one finger, eyes focussed on Harry's, unnerving him.
"I'll send Theo to measure you." The prince said finally. Harry's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "who's Theo?"
"My tailor," Draco said looking at Harry like he was an idiot.
"You have a tailor?" Harry couldn't keep the surprise out of his voice.
"Of course," Draco rolled his eyes.
"I have something else to deal with, I trust you'll take care of our hero, Draco?" Hermione said, placing a microphone in her ear, clipping it onto the lapel of her sweater.
"I'll take good care of Harry," Draco promised with his half-smirk, half-smile. Hermione gave him a warning glare and then left leaving the two young men alone.
Harry put his hands in his pockets, looking down at his feet. He couldn't help it, an oppressive silence had taken over the room and Harry could feel himself becoming more nervous the longer it was sustained. He felt out of place, a commoner stepping foot into the royal family's home. Like Anne Boleyn first meeting King Henry the Eighth, or a prude accidentally joining a nudist convention. The one puzzle piece that didn't fit. Though Draco wasn't helping anything. He kept staring at Harry, keeping his eyes fixated on the squirming boy in front of him.
Harry looked like a good old country boy. His hair was messy, Draco doubted he had even run a brush through it or if it would even do any good. His skin was tanned, a healthy golden tone that spoke of years in the sunshine outside. His eyes were a bright, vibrant green that drew in everyone's attention. He had a magnetic presence, an aura about him that drew Draco's attention and kept it no matter how hard he tried to look away. He looked like the lamb being led to the slaughter and Draco couldn't help but smile; it was adorable.
"You can sit down you know," Draco finally spoke up, startling Harry. His green eyes blinked in confusion before the request registered and he sat down in the armchair.
"That's an interesting scar," Draco said. Harry's hand immediately rushed to touch the thin scar on his forehead.
"I've had it since I was a baby." Harry told him. Draco peered at it, "did you know it looks like a lightning bolt?"
"Yeah, it's strange." Harry said embarrassed.
"They're calling you the hero of the people, you saved the kingdom and I as hear it, you also saved my life." Draco crossed his legs.
"It's my duty, I swore an oath to king and country. I'm just happy that the kidnapping was unsuccessful." Harry admitted quietly.
"I as well, you even get a party in your name. It's all publicity stunt, you'll wine, you'll dine, take pictures with the king as thanks and then you'll be sent back to the frontline and on your merry way. That's the reward for being a hero. Well, that and a medal." Draco explained with a rueful smile.
"I'm just not used to all this ceremony," Harry said, rubbing his forehead. Draco patted his knee sharply, "no need to worry. One night and then you can go back to living in squalor."
"It's not squalor!" Harry exclaimed. Draco raised an eyebrow, "alright, whatever you want to call it. Though I don't know how you live without a personal tailor."
There was knock and the door before it opened and a handsome black boy strode in. His entire appearance shouted privilege and money. He came over to the couch and Harry knew that this young man was a great deal taller than him.
"There you are, been looking everywhere for you." He said to Draco, sitting on the edge of the couch. His eyes finally landed on Harry and they widened a fraction further as he smiled.
"is this him then, the hero?" He asked Draco.
"Please don't call me that," Harry groaned. Two heads stared at him and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat under their unwavering gazes.
"Lesser people than you would at least be excited at the prospect of being a national hero and getting to see the inner-workings of the palace." The black man pointed out, pouring himself a drink from the tray in front of him.
"I just meant...that all this fame is about uncomfortable. I didn't really do much, the war still isn't over." Harry stammered out, growing more and more uncomfortable.
"Didn't do much?" The black man echoed, "you defeated the Dark Lord, someone who has threatened the royal family for almost twenty-five years. Modesty doesn't suit you, Mr. Potter."
"You know my name but I have yet to know yours." Harry said in annoyance.
"Did that only occur to you this minute?" Draco raised an eyebrow, "Harry Potter, meet Lord Blaise Zabini. He's staying here for the summer while his mother's on tour."
Harry's eyes widened....Zabini?
Blaise nodded, obviously guessing Harry's thoughts. "Yes, my mother is Gabriella Zabini, famous opera singer."
Who hadn't heard of the Zabinis. Gabriella had been a young star on the rise when she married Lord Malcolm Zabini, heir to the Zabini fortune and worth as much as the king. Their wedding had been the most talked of affair, the Zabinis and the Malfoys had been friends and the king and queen had attended the wedding. Then Malcolm was killed in a plane crash, leaving his entire fortune to his wife and naming his young son as his heir. Since then Gabriella had been married eleven times and each one had been killed in some tragic way. She was infamous for her marriages as well as her many indiscretions. It appeared her son had inherited her movie star good looks as well as her arrogance.
"Close your mouth, Harry, or flies will get in." Draco said lightly. Harry snapped his mouth shut, cheeks burning in embarrassment.
"He has potential but he isn't wearing that tonight, is he?" Blaise asked Draco. The prince shook his head, "god, no, I'll have Theo find him something appropriate."
"Well, we should probably go with him. Theo may not be able to handle him on his own." Blaise grinned over the rim of his glass. Draco nodded, "splendid idea, Blaise." They both turned to look at Harry with identical smiles on their faces. Harry squirmed uncomfortably; he didn't like that look in their eyes.
"Has he arrived then?" Lucius Malfoy asked, keeping his tone light as he sat behind his desk in his study. The king was dressed in a three-button suit with a dark green tie. With his white hair that cascaded down his back and his silver eyes, he looked completely at ease in his study. It had been decorated with prestige in mind. There was a marble fireplace to match the marble floor and columns. The paintings were of his family members: a portrait of the three of them hung over the fireplace, while Walburga and Cygnus Black, his in-laws glared at him from the right. His father looked down at him from his left while the Malfoy crest hung proudly behind him.
Severus Snape had been serving the Malfoys for years. He was their primary physician, confidante and advisor. He was not handsome: his nose was bent oddly and too big for his face and his hair was greasy, looking out of place in his rich clothing. Severus and Lucius had become friends at school which was a surprise in itself, since Lucius had been quite popular and Severus the school geek. While Lucius had been from a powerful family, earning the title of Lord, Severus had been from a middle-class family yet the two boys had become friends and then eventually colleagues. He was Lucius' most trusted and faithful employee.
"The Potter boy has already been briefed on the proceedings." Severus nodded, standing in front of the desk. Lucius nodded, "what is he doing now? I don't want him wandering about the castle."
"Shopping." Severus couldn't keep the smirk out of his voice.
"Shopping?" Lucius echoed in disbelief.
"Draco's idea," Severus continued. Lucius would have rolled his eyes, a nasty habit he had if not for the memory of his father beating the habit out of him, instead, he steepled his fingers, leaning his head against them.
"This Potter," Lucius practically spat the word out. "Did he really do it? Did he really defeat the Dark Lord?"
"It appears so, the camp was completely destroyed though the army are still fighting the remaining forces, even without their leader they refuse to give up. Though the body is still missing, still they all swear that he killed the Dark Lord. He has become the hero of the people." Severus reported.
"He's dangerous." Lucius said. "If the people love him too much-"
"He is a threat but one that can be easily managed." Severus reassured. Lucius stared into the flickering flames as if their depths held all the answers.
"Then I suppose we will just have to keep a close eye on him." Lucius said, though his cold eyes never left the fire.