Chapter 36: Such a Short Time

The next day was Christmas and Tom blinked as he woke first to a noise then he realized it was a baby Basilisk moving around his rooms searching for heat before settling in front of the fireplace. Staring at it for a long time he finally asked where she came from and was told the young speaker had placed her in here late in the night with a spark over her eyes making her unable to petrify things unless a speaker gave her permission again. Walking over he picked up a card on his dresser and read, 'You have romanced me through notes and gifts, now's my chance, H.'

"Hmm, he is adorable," Tom sighed out before going to get dressed before blinking, inside his dresser was a package which when he touched a note appeared, 'Your arms make me feel so safe and warm, H.' and he opened the package to find a gorgeous outfit in his size, putting that on after his shower he smiled some more. Heading out of his room once the baby Basilisk had a bed and a place to stay warm he saw another note floating in front of his door, 'I wish to follow the path your heart has made for me, H.'

Heading down to where he knew the others would be he found two more notes as he walked, 'You have made me love more than I thought I could, H' and the other was right outside the door to where he could hear the others and it read, 'No more R is needed just you, H' and he smiled some before walking in and seeing Harry sitting there while Theo and Neville argued over who Harry would sit with.

Settling on a love seat Tom simply said, "I think he'd prefer sitting with me," and got a smile and nod before Harry moved to his side, wrapping an arm around his waist he kissed his forehead very softly, "Good morning, your notes are adorable and I love my gifts."

"You still have a Christmas gift to open," Harry smiled relaxing into him before seeing his friends watching him, "What you all knew who he was."

"Yeah but when did you tell him you knew?" the twins asked since they had ditched out on their family to join Harry and the others, "Last we knew you were seeing how far he would take the courting."

"well I'm sixteen I can only handle so much of having something dangled in front of me that I want before going after it," Harry said and got them to break into perverted laughter, "You're both idiots."

"Love us anyways, though not in the same way you love your Voldie," they said before getting a glare from both making them sober up and whisper to each other before focusing on Harry, "He's perfect for you we fear him almost as much as we fear you Boss man."

"Good," Harry simply said before saying, "Nev let the others know where their loyalties lie now."

"Right away," Neville said jumping up and rushing away before looking in the room at the twins, "Are you two coming or what?" and they rushed off as well.

"Darling," Tom hissed in Parseltongue in his young loves ear, "What did you mean by that?"

"Nothing you need worry about now," Harry hissed right back before Theo handed him hot chocolate and they all fell into soft chatter and a light breakfast brought in by house elves, when the three returned and nodded to Harry about an hour later he smiled, "Brilliant, then let Christmas truly begin," and they all felt the magic activate in his words as the gift pile under the tree seemed to triple in size.

"Whoa," Theo whispered in shock along with most everyone else.

"Well what did you expect?" Neville asked him and the twins seems so calm, "He is the wealthy wizard alive."

"You are?' Tom asked and got a nod then he blinked a few times feeling his jaw clench some as he thought over the gifts he had sent the young man, none were expensive and extravagant and he was unsure if Harry was who he truly thought he was as he had not known about the sketching, money, mod like tendency he had before the Courting started.

"Tom?" Harry asked softly since the others were all digging into the gifts excited and happy but the man had not moved or really blinked in about five minutes, "Are you alright?"

"I…I need to think," Tom stood and left the room making the others pause in confusion as he simply walked away from Harry who sat there looking confused as well as slightly disappointed. When he went back to the family room where the others had been most the day he was not expecting to see Harry there packing some gifts away in a box which seemed to have a charm to hold a large amount, :Why are you skipping dinner?"

"I'm not hungry," Harry simply said not looking at the man as he kept packing, finally he was done and stood lifting the box with him and turning to the man who frowned since he was not wearing the jewelry he had sent him during the courting, "Pardon me," and he walked around him and away.

It was Theo who had gone to check on Harry and saw the whole thing before saying, "He really does love you but he knows you didn't expect some of who he is so he's not going to pressure you, if you wish to back down he'll understand completely."

"I just needed to think," Tom frowned before following after Harry he paused when he saw Harry set the box in front of his door, "Are those for me?"

"For you, from you, I'll not accept anything that you may regret giving me," Harry said turning to look at the man he felt his own jaw clench some before whispering, "What changed?"

"What do you mean?" Tom asked softly as he walked closer.

"Last night you…you said you loved me when you were R and yet now you're unsure?" Harry asked before looking down and saying, "I do love you and I know there are parts of me you did not know about but there are parts of you your letters didn't portray and I still love you," looking up he asked softer still, "What changed? Was it the bossing my friends around? The gifts? The money?...Me?" he sounded scared now as if he had screwed up something he had barely gotten a chance to have, "Have your feelings changed about me?"

"I…I don't know," Tom answered honestly and watched those beautiful green eyes lower some, "Harry I…are you alright?"

"I'll be fine," Harry whispered even though his eyes were shining with tears, "I really want to keep Kawaii…do you mind?"

"He's yours Harry I would never take him from you, you love him so much," Tom said before seeing the tears start even though Harry just brushed them aside, "Please don't-"

"I'm sorry," was all Harry said before leaving the area he had to leave his heart was breaking.

It took Tom less than a minute to say to the empty hallway, "What have I just done?"