AN: It's been quite a while hasn't it. I won't give you guys a bunch of excuses on what happened. Without further ado, here's chapter 5. Hopefully you guys still want to read this.
The weight of Terence's hand on his lower back was warm and comforting. Harry wasn't surprised at it. He was actually more surprised that he wasn't surprised at all. He felt just as comfortable and at home now as he did back at Florean Fortescue's when the veela had hugged him.
At least he was saved from embarrassment since he didn't burst into tears this time.
They were still drawing a lot of speculative glances from around. At Terence's insistence Harry had told him of the possibility of meeting up at Hogsmeade and the other had immediately told him it was a date.
Harry had felt the others smirk at the wording through the letter.
He was still a bit anxious at how well everything was going with Terence and how much he liked what their letters had shown him of the man. He had learned early on at the Dursleys that anything nice was always taken away.
But – as Harry glanced at Terence from the corner of his eye – he wasn't about to give what he now had up.
The glances from the other students were starting to make him uncomfortable. Terence didn't seem to be bothered but he smiled at Harry and asked if there was a place he wanted to go away from the prying eyes. Harry happily nudged the veela towards Honeydukes gaining a laugh from him.
As they walked towards the sweets shop, and away from the majority of people spying on them, Harry thought of how things had gone since he met Terence.
People had quickly noticed how often he had started receiving letters. It was after all quite a difference from how seldom he normally received any. His happiness after reading one was also noticed. Hermione had continued scolding him, even after he told them about Terence. His apparent joy wasn't enough in her eyes to make up for the risk he was taking and she told him this – frequently.
Ron on the other hand had been happy for him, but Hermione's attitude always made him back down and he stayed away during her tirades. It was obvious he didn't want to get caught up in the whole thing and while Harry understood that he didn't want to choose between a best friend and a girlfriend, it just made Harry feel even more sour towards him.
The cracks in their friendships had appeared long before, but now it felt like his relationship with the veela had made those cracks even bigger – possibly unsalvageable.
Harry was starting to understand what Terence had meant in his letter when he said it wasn't that uncommon that a friendship formed in childhood didn't last. People grow up, some faster than others, opinions start differing and priorities start to become noticeable.
He smiled at Terence as they picked up some chocolate frogs before starting to try out some of the more bizarre wizarding sweets.
He had already had vastly different opinion on things than Ron from the very beginning, but he had ignored that because he had finally had a friend. Hermione wouldn't have even been a part of the their trio if the troll incident hadn't happened and drawn them together. Her personality wasn't bad per say, but she could be so overbearing and set in her ways.
He laughed as Terence picked up some Ice Mice and Skeletal Sweets while Harry picked up a huge amount of Sugar Quills and Wizochoc.
Terence's eyes were positively sparkling as he smirked. "I'm beginning to suspect you have a chocolate addiction, Mister Potter."
Though he could feel a blush on his cheeks, Harry still managed to grin at the veela. "Perhaps."
Terence laughed heartily and headed towards the counter to pay for their purchases. As the lady at the counter rang his sweets up, he turned his head to Harry. "Any other shop you want to head into now, or should we go sit down at Three Broomsticks?" he asked.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, looking at these sweets is making me a bit hungry." He smiled and continued, "If you want we can check out the knickknack shops after that."
The veela paid his purchases and stepped aside for Harry to do the same. "Sounds like a plan."
With their purchases paid for and in their individual bags, Terence's hand found its way back to Harry's lower back. Warmth instantly flowed through Harry's veins, driving away the slight autumn chill. He smiled up at the veela and was startled at the affection he could clearly see in the other's eyes. Directed at him. It wasn't something he was all that used to.
Before Terence, Sirius had really been the only one to regard him with such affection. He fondly recalled the man's bark of a laugh as he thought of him. They hadn't known for long, but the bond they shared was undeniable. He had thought his dreams of family had finally come true, but sadly fate had other plans.
Harry didn't want to blanket his date with Terence in his sorrow for Sirius. Here was his new opportunity for happiness.
Terence let go of him to open the door for them as they went inside the Three Broomsticks. Madam Rosmerta noticed them entering and finished on the counter as they found themselves a quiet booth. She took their orders (butterbeer for Harry as usual and mead for Terence) and they were left alone until she would return with their drinks.
Terence leaned on his hand and calmly stared at Harry as they waited. The silence wasn't uncomfortable, and the stare didn't annoy Harry as it most likely would have had it been anyone but the veela. It was obvious the pull of his mate was affecting Terence, his need came through on his letter alone, and Harry wouldn't begrudge him the simple pleasure of looking at his mate. Neither could know when they'd next see each other.
Madam Rosmerta came back with their drinks before too long and left them with a smile. They both took a drink of their beverages.
Harry thought of what he had learned of Terence in their letters. "You mentioned in one of your letters that you'd let me have free reign of your gardens."
Terence nodded. "I'm barely using them as it is and they're not in the best of shape since I'm cleaning them up with charms instead of doing it by hand. I'm sure though that if you really want to make them bloom as they say, you'd be just fine." He took another sip of his drink before continuing. "The other garden that has potions ingredients is in better shape but not by much. It would also need considerable work on it."
Harry rubbed his fingers on his glass as he thought. The thought of working on his very own garden sounded very soothing. Even while at the Dursleys the yard work had always had a calming effect on him. And it would be his own, not Aunt Petunias.
He glanced up from his drink at Terence. "I'd really like that. I still don't know what I want to do with myself after I finish Hogwarts but-"looking back down he continued, "I know for certain I don't want a job at the Ministry." He nodded decisively. "Yes, staying at home sounds right."
Terence was positively beaming at his words. Then his face softened and that affectionate look entered his eyes again. It made Harry's stomach start doing flip-flops again.
"The fact that you would consider my home as yours already makes me so happy I can't describe it."
Harry's own smile widened as he blushed. "How could I not, when you're offering me so much."
The veela's large hand covered one of Harry's own and gave it a squeeze.
"All of me and mine are yours, Harry. You know this."
"I know." And he did. Terence had been nothing but sincere since the beginning. He felt warm all over. His hand tingled underneath the older man's bigger one. It swallowed his own yet he felt comfortable.
Terence gave another smile. "I said before that I had to minimize the livestock count due to my job at the Ministry. How do you feel about having a fully functioning farm?"
"I think I'd like to get the gardens in order before moving on to other parts but-"Harry frowned thoughtfully. "I wouldn't be against the idea. But wouldn't that come at the cost of your job?"
The veela shrugged. "As I've said that job was mainly to bring the bread on the table. It's not something I couldn't drop right at this moment." His thumb rubbed across Harry's knuckles. "Keeping a farm going singlehandedly isn't a simple job. That's why I'm suggesting it now after you said you would like the idea. To be truthful, I'd been hoping to actually run the farm for years now."
Harry chuckled. "Taking advantage of me?"
Seeing his humour Terence didn't take the question seriously and chuckled along. "Of course."
"It sounds like a good idea then. And in case we got into trouble, I still have a ton of money left from my parents and godfather that-" Harry started to suggest but Terence's eyes flashed and he interrupted.
Harry looked at him with wide eyes at the strong refusal.
"I am not going to use money left to you by your family. That is your money."
Harry's own countenance softened and he surprised Terence by lacing their fingers together. "If we're together, then all of me and mine will be yours as well, Terence." He smiled at the veela, whose eyes widened at his words. "By that point it would be our money, not just mine. Besides I don't mind getting us started on a successful path."
Terence was silent for a long while and Harry stared at his butterbeer.
"Do you have any idea how thin my control is right at this moment, Harry?"
Wide-eyed, Harry looked at the veela. His chocolate brown eyes were positively smouldering as they stared right at Harry. Reflexively he swallowed.
Terence closed his eyes and took deep breaths. When he opened his eyes, the look in his eyes was affectionate with a sliver of the earlier passion in them. "You sure know how to test my control."
Blushing Harry tried to apologise. Terence gave his hand a squeeze in response.
The rest of the time spent in the Three Broomsticks was spent in silence as they finished their drinks. As they left the inn their hands were still entwined.
Harry simply couldn't remember a time he felt as content as he had during the date. As he and Terence visited the little knickknack shops of Hogsmeade and acted as any other couple he had in the past only been able to watch from afar. It felt like things were going too smoothly and ridiculously fast, but at the same time, never had anything else felt as right as being next to Terence did. He didn't know if it was the veela pull, Terence himself or maybe it was a combination of both, but he knew that he didn't want to let go of this feeling.
At the end Terence escorted him to the gates of Hogwarts. Without Terence even getting the chance to say anything, Harry jumped into his arms and pushed his head against the veela's chest. Warm arms immediately closed around him and he felt safe. He felt a kiss being placed on his hairline and smiled.