Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or its respective characters and settings. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made on my part.

Title: All That is Pure
Gift for: Kris
Beta: Lisa
Rating: R
Pairing: Blaise Zabini/Harry Potter
Warnings: slash (male/male relationships of a sexual nature), underage relationships (Harry and Blaise are both 16 and 17 respectively), creature!Blaise, alive!Sirus, independent!Harry, intelligent!Harry, no Horcruxes. LIME AHEAD this means it'll get a little hot and heavy later on but doesn't go into great detail. If you don't like that sort of thing or don't want to read. HIT THE BACK BUTTON NOW! I'll not have one person ruin it for the rest of us!
Blaise Zabini doesn't like to be noticed, but it isn't because he's shy. His mother, notoriously known as the 'black widow', isn't what she seems and Blaise inherited more than just her good looks.
Author's Notes: Though this was done purely for the Secret Santa, I found myself rather intrigued with the idea the more I wrote. I might turn this into a longer chaptered fic at a later date (when I'm not so swamped and can get the time to do so.) Plene Defaeco is Latin for "completely purified."

NOTE: Sometimes ff likes to smoosh words together that shouldn't be together...if you catch an instance of this, please let me know in your review! I think I caught them all...but you never know. LOL

Harry stood in the doorway to their dorm, arms crossed, and his upper torso leaning on the frame as Ron scrambled to pack his belongings. Bill and Fleur had saved up enough money to take the Weasley family on a grand trip for the holidays, and both Hermione and Harry had been invited. Harry would not be joining them. Ron, it seemed, had no qualms about reminding him of this fact every time the two came face to face.

"I can't believe almost half of the Slytherin sixth-years are staying for the hols," Ron spat out in disgust, his voice muffled by his position under the bed. "Poor Harry's going to be stuck with the bastards, too." He glanced at Harry as he shimmied back out, a random sock in hand. "Sorry, mate." Before Harry could reply to the offhand remark, Hermione's voice rang out from her place at the window.

"Ron, not all Slytherins are bad!" Ron scoffed at the bushy-haired girl, who forged on regardless. "Really, Ronald, after last summer, you should know better! Dumbledore fought tooth and nail to make sure those students were safe!"

She was referring to the Slytherins who had opted to stay for the hols—those same students who had forsaken the Dark Lord when called to join arms. Harry wasn't half as surprised as the rest of the Order seemed to be, but he'd known for a while that things weren't always what they seemed. Pettigrew had been a perfect example of that. Still, he knew how biased Ron could be, and the last thing he wanted was a fight breaking out between his two best friends, so he quickly intercepted the conversation.

"Either way, it's just not safe for me to leave the castle right now. Despite the fact that those Slytherins are targets now, too, I've always been enemy number one." He shrugged nonchalantly, his voice unnervingly calm. Though Ron and Hermione had gotten used to Harry's strange new attitude, it still unnerved them some days.

Harry understood the need to keep himself safe; it was his job to defeat Voldemort. He understood the danger that seemed to follow him like a dark cloud. These things came with the territory, and he'd gotten used to that fact. Nevertheless, it didn't stop him from feeling irritated by his friends who hadn't even put up a fight. Sure, they could claim that there really wasn't a point. They all knew what the outcome would be regardless, but it would have made him feel better had they at least protested. They hadn't, and Harry had acquiesced with barely a twitch of annoyance.

That apathy was something Hermione had noticed right away. After the incident at the Ministry of Magic, Harry's friends and surrogate family had been on eggshells around him, wondering when he'd finally crack. When Sirius had turned up a month later, wandering the streets in front of Grimmauld Place, they'd been relieved. But Sirius wasn't quite the same. He refused to talk about what had happened, telling them only that he'd found his way back through another veil just south of Hadrian's Wall—a rather vague description in and of itself due to the nature of the landmark. Harry, of course, felt entirely responsible.

However, since Harry wasn't acting how anyone had expected, no one realized how he felt. He was calmer and quieter than usual, and he spent a good amount of his time in the library. Ron wanted to know who'd Polyjuiced himself into his best friend's body. Hermione, on the other hand, was ecstatic over most of the changes; it was his apathy that set her on edge.

Harry had always been rather distant. He kept more secrets then the whole of the school combined, but at the same time, he'd always worn his emotions on his sleeve. It made that distance less cavernous. Now, Harry's emotions were closed off behind a wall of solid stone, and Hermione could feel that distance stretching every day. Intellectually, she understood that Harry had simply grown into his adult responsibilities. As Harry's best friend, she only knew that she was losing someone precious to her.

"All right, mate. We have to head down now, or they'll leave without us." Ron brushed his knees off as he tossed the last article of clothing into his trunk. Harry watched in amusement as the redhead struggled to latch the old metal lock over its bulging contents. Then Hermione intervened with an eye roll.

"Honestly, Ron. We'd already be down there if you hadn't waited until the last minute to pack!" Her words were made less harsh by the affectionate undertones they held. Still smiling, she turned to Harry, kissing his cheek in farewell. "I'll send a letter as soon as we get there, all right?" Harry let a ghost of a smile cross his features as he returned the kiss to her cheek.

"Of course, Hermione. Have fun." He nodded to Ron, who clapped him heartily on the shoulder on his way out. Hermione fussed for a moment more before she followed Ron down the stairs and through the portrait hole.

The sudden silence was deafening.


Harry had known he'd be the only Gryffindor staying for the holidays. He'd actually known a week beforehand. But facing that reality was an entirely different story. He'd thought it would be rather pleasant having the whole of the tower to himself, but he hadn't anticipated just how quiet it would be—how empty and strangely depressing.

It was the reason he currently sat at a table in the library with a book about spell crafting open before him.

Though the library was quiet as well, he was not the only one sitting among its dusty tomes. And since it was a library, the quiet wasn't anything out of the ordinary. He could still hear the rustle of a page turning every so often, the scuffle of a book being shelved or pulled down, and the occasional clearing of a throat or cough. All-in-all, it was not an unpleasant, consuming quiet.

He had not, however, expected anyone to join him. So, when the chair in front of him scraped across the floor, he was startled enough that he nearly tore the page he'd been holding.

"Potter." Her voice was deeper than most girls', though it was still feminine. For a moment, Harry struggled to place her; she wasn't wearing school robes. Her hair was dark brown and it fell in loose curls about her shoulders. Her eyes were a golden brown and almond-shaped. Harry imagined she had quite the following of admirers since even he found her to be pretty.

Though Harry had come to the conclusion that he wasn't picky about what gender he may like, he'd also come to the conclusion that he was a bit asexual, all things considered. Perhaps it was the fact that he had a maniac out for his blood. Perhaps he was too worried over making someone else a target. Or, perhaps he was simply too busy with studies to pay heed to such things. But after the fiasco with Cho, he simply hadn't found himself interested.

"Davis." Her name finally came to him. Tracey Davis—a Slytherin, though she'd never followed Draco or Pansy's posse. She was one of the few who'd declared allegiance with the light.

"Mind if we join you?" We? Harry hadn't noticed the other two until then, which was certainly saying something as the boy was particularly hard to miss. Standing at least six feet in height, if not more, he had skin darker then Dean's mocha tint and eyes that shone oddly in the light. Or, Harry thought, it was the light. The boy shifted and Harry's breath caught in his throat. No, it wasn't the light. His eyes, which slanted slightly, were violet and strangely hypnotic. His hair was black, but it curled softly around his ears. Overall, he was incredibly exotic looking.

He'd make a great Beater, Harry absently noted, finding his eyes trailing the built form in front of him before shooting back up to that intense gaze. Blaise Zabini—also a Slytherin, though his family was actually known for their neutrality, among other things.

"No, it's fine." Harry managed to pull his eyes away, embarrassed to note the amusement that flashed across that handsome face. He hadn't reacted like that towards someone in ages, and it unnerved him just how much it had affected him. It was safe to say he was attracted to Blaise. No big deal. But why now?

The other girl he recognized immediately as Daphne Greengrass. Her blonde hair was cropped in a styled bob that accentuated her aristocratic features. Her eyes were dark blue, and she wore her makeup naturally. Before she'd declared her stance in the war, she'd been the most popular girl in Slytherin, despite how Pansy had felt in the matter. Though she'd become a bit of an outcast since her allegiances had come out, she never seemed to let the threats and taunting get to her. She still held herself with dignity and class, one arm linked with Tracey's.

"Zabini, Greengrass." He acknowledged the other two, now thoroughly embarrassed since even Daphne had a smirk on her face. Tracey sat first, directly in front of him, casually leaning on her hand. She was also the first to speak once the other two had taken their seats. Harry suddenly felt like he'd been ambushed.

"So, Harry…" She smiled, and Harry had to admit it was a lovely smile. "Mind if I call you 'Harry'? We're all friends here, after all."

Before Harry could comment, Daphne chimed in, gazing at Tracey in fond amusement. "Really, Tracey, don't scare the poor boy."

Harry opened his mouth to protest just as Tracey spoke again, forcing him to close his mouth with a snap. "Scare him?" Tracey looked affronted, though Harry could still see the amusement on her features. "I've never scared anyone in my life! Now, you on the other hand…"

Harry watched in baffled silence as the two began to banter back and forth, seemingly oblivious to anything else. Though, unlike with Ron and Hermione, it was quickly apparent that neither of them was offended in the least and actually seemed to be enjoying the repartee.

"Don't mind them." Blaise's deep baritone sent a pleasant tingle down his spine. "They do this a lot." He gestured to the book that Harry had nearly forgotten about. "A bit of light reading?" he teased.

"Oh." Harry glanced down at the page. "Yeah, I guess. It caught my eye."


"Um, it could be." Harry scratched the back of his head with a grimace. "If the author didn't drone on every other paragraph."

Blaise laughed outright then. "Callum Bagshot's never been known to captivate an audience." He flipped the book over to the front cover. "Actually, this book is rather advanced."

"I noticed." Harry chuckled. "It sounded interesting in theory. I guess I never realized how important runes were to spells."

Blaise hummed slightly, but it was Tracey who spoke. "Blaise is second in his Ancient Runes class. He should tutor you!" She grinned.

"Oh, he doesn't have to—"

"He'd love to!" Daphne declared before the boy in question could speak.


And with those words, Harry found himself being led down to the Great Hall by three enthusiastic Slytherins. Well, two enthusiastic Slytherins and an amused Blaise Zabini.

"You don't actually have to do this," Blaise whispered from behind Harry. The warmth of his breath sent shivers down Harry's back. They sat at the center table with the rest of the students, since there were very few actually staying behind. The teachers were sitting at the head of the table. They were far enough away that the students wouldn't be able to hear them but close enough that they could easily talk to the students should they choose to.

Harry scanned the group as they sat, wondering if he'd recognize anyone. There were two Hufflepuffs, three Ravenclaws, and five of the sixth-years from Slytherin. He was surprised to realize he only knew the names of the two other Slytherins. The first was Theodore Nott, a quiet boy who seemed to excel in Potions and Herbology. The second, who Tracey now seemed to be deep in discussion with, was Morgan Vaisey, one of their team's Chasers. Harry wondered how he'd managed to keep his spot on the team since the reveal. Then again, the boy was talented; it would have been suicide for the other students to kick him off the team.

"No, it's fine," Harry finally answered, fidgeting with his sleeves. "I mean, it sounds really interesting—the spell crafting, that is—and if I have to learn runes to understand it better, I'm all for it. I mean, if you don't mind, of course." Harry realized he was rambling and snapped his mouth shut with a click. He felt his face heat up and hoped it wasn't too obvious.

Blaise smiled. "I don't mind."

"Well, I'm sure we could do some sort of trade off." Harry rubbed the back of his neck. "Not like there's anything in this for you. Um, what do you want in return?"

Daphne was eyeing him oddly: a cross between amusement and something else he wasn't sure of.

"It's not a big deal. I don't really need anything." Blaise had finished loading his plate with food and had begun eating along with the others. Harry absently noted the boy seemed to be very fond of meat since it was the only thing present in front of him.

"Um, okay, I guess." Harry grabbed a roll and nibbled on it, unaware of the sharp eyes that watched his every move in return. "If you think of something, just let me know." Blaise made a noncommittal sound as he cut up his steak. Harry blinked when he realized exactly what the other boy was eating, as well as the fact that it still seemed to be red. Though even sitting Blaise towered over his slighter frame, it was possible he just needed the extra nutrients.

Harry picked at a fruit salad, listening to the conversation around him. He was only slightly surprised when he realized that both the Hufflepuffs and the Ravenclaws seemed to be getting along fine with the Slytherins. It shouldn't have surprised him, as even he realized how biased Gryffindors could be. A sudden thought occurred to him.

"Where will we meet?" he wondered aloud. Tracey answered, though he noticed Blaise staring at him rather intently from the corner of his eye.

"There's an abandoned classroom in the north wing of the dungeons," she declared. "I've only passed it a couple times, but if you cleaned it up it would work nicely." Harry had never seen such a room, and he looked up at Blaise in question. Blaise tilted his head to the side, and Harry felt he'd somehow read his mind.

"I know where it is." He turned back to his plate in nonchalance. "If you meet me by the dungeon entrance tonight, I can show you."

"All right." Harry watched as Tracey's face lit up in a smile and wondered exactly what he'd just agreed to.


The room turned out to be rather small, no larger than ten feet by ten feet, but it would be perfect for their needs. A quick Scourgify removed the dust and grime that had collected, but there was still the matter of furniture. The room was completely bare. There wasn't even a chalkboard to show that it had been a classroom at one time.

"This castle is full of empty rooms," Blaise said softly from his place at the window. It wasn't a normal window. The north wall, as Harry remembered, faced out onto the lake. The window was identical to the one he'd seen during his and Ron's little joint into the Slytherin common room their second year. Though, in the dark, it was hard to see much deeper than a foot into the water. "There's got to be some spare furniture stored somewhere."

"Yeah, but how are we supposed to find it?" Harry shivered subconsciously when Blaise stepped closer.

"We could ask the house-elves."

"Oh, right!" Harry suddenly exclaimed, making Blaise startle. "Dobby?"

A small pop announced the arrival of the strange, little creature. Dobby stood proud. His mismatched ensemble of clothing was only one of the things that made him stand apart from his fellow creatures. Freedom had been very kind to the eccentric being, whose entire composure radiated self-confidence and happiness not known in other elves.

"Mister Harry Potter, sir! Dobby is being happy to see you!" The enthusiastic elf bounced happily.

"It's good to see you too, Dobby." Harry smiled affectionately, something that did not go unnoticed by Blaise who watched the byplay with interest.

"What can Dobby be doing for Mister Harry and his Blaisys?"

His? Harry tried to shake that thought off but couldn't help the blush that crept up his collar. He cleared his throat slightly before speaking. "Um, we were wondering if you knew were we could get some furniture for this room." Dobby was nodding excitedly as Harry spoke. "Maybe a couple sofas and a table?"

"Dobby is knowing just where to go!" The elf's ears flopped humorously as he nodded. "Does Mister Harry be wanting Dobby to bring them here?"

"Could you, Dobby?" Harry smiled. "That would be fantastic." Dobby grinned, happy to be helping Harry in any way he could, and vanished with a soft pop.

"Blaisys?" Blaise was clearly amused. Harry's blush increased two-fold as he stuttered out an explanation.

"Oh, um, Dobby, he—uh, he likes to nickname the people around me. Er—I mean, he calls Ron my Wheezy." Blaise laughed outright at that, and Harry was struck momentarily speechless at the sound. It was deep and rumbling and extremely compelling. He was so entranced that he failed to hear the pop that announced Dobby's return.

"Dobby is being needing Mister Harry and his Blaisys to stand outside for a moment."

"Oh, um, all right, Dobby." Harry quickly darted out the door, followed closely by a still chuckling Blaise. The door closed behind them.

The hall was completely dark, and the silence reminded Harry of the empty tower that awaited him. It was not something he looked forward to. He looked up into Blaise's smirking face and faltered; those eyes seemed to be glowing in the darkness. He swallowed heavily, watching as that gaze dipped down to follow the movement before locking back on his own. Blaise took a deep breath, and Harry watched as his pupils dilated.

Harry's mind flew into overdrive. Rare steak? He can't possibly be a vampire, right? But no, there was no glint of sharp canines to follow that smile, and his eyes, though peculiar, weren't the red of a vampire's. Werewolf wouldn't fit either since, for one, Harry remembered seeing the boy in passing during the full moon, and two, the eyes still didn't match up.

"Are you all right?" Harry asked quietly. Before Blaise could reply, the door swung open to reveal a rather pleased-looking Dobby. Harry wasn't exactly sure where Dobby had made his finds, but the room was now quite cozy.

A plush, dark purple rug covered the center of the floor where two black sofas formed an L shape, facing the window. A large oak table, slightly taller than a coffee table, sat in the middle, easily accessible to both sofas as well as two small, black ottomans on the opposite side. There were two pillows on each sofa with a subtle design in purple and beige, as well as two matching throws over the back of each. Though the sconces on the far wall were bright enough to study with, Harry wished there was a fireplace as well. He hadn't realized he'd said as such out loud until Dobby scurried to the wall adjacent to the door and did—well, what he did, Harry really wasn't certain. One minute the wall was lined with bookcases and the next a fireplace seemed to grow out of the center of them. With another snap of his fingers, the fireplace lit up in a warm blaze.

"It's perfect, Dobby. Thank you."

Dobby beamed at Harry's praise. "If Mister Harry is being needing anything else, lets Dobby know."

"I'd hate to leave this where just anyone could find it," Blaise said. "It really is lovely, Dobby."

Dobby's grin seemed to get larger, if at all possible. "Dobby can be making a portrait entrance, though he isn't supposed to know how." He squirmed slightly then. "But Dobby would do anything to help Mister Harry, so he doesn't mind." Before Harry could protest, Dobby popped out into the hall and shut the door quickly. Harry tried opening the door, but it wouldn't budge. There was a brief moment of internal panic on Harry's part before Dobby once again appeared beside them.

"It is being done!" he declared cheerfully. "Mister Harry is be needing to give his password to his new guardian."

"Dobby, that really wasn't necessary." Harry was slightly shocked at how quick the elf had been. It was almost as if he'd known Harry would protest. "I don't want you to get in trouble."

"Oh, no, Mister Harry! Dobby is not being in trouble because Dobby gots permission from Hoggy." The little elf nodded with confidence.

Blaise caught Harry's eye and mouthed, Hoggy? Harry could only shake his head in confusion.

"All right," Harry said slowly. "Um, thanks again, Dobby. I'll see you later."

"You is welcome!" And with a final pop, they were left alone.

"Hoggy?" Blaise muttered.

"I have no idea. Hogwarts maybe?" Harry apprehensively tugged at the door handle, relieved when it swung open.

"He got permission from the school?" Bewildered, he followed Harry into the hall to face the portrait guardian.

Harry took in the painting. "Stranger things have happened." The painting was of a panther lounging on a thick branch, high up in the trees. Its eyes were violet and shimmered in the light that streamed through the leaves. Though Harry couldn't see its mouth move, it spoke then, a soft female voice drifting into the hall.

"You will need to close the door entirely before a password can be set." Harry let the door latch and watched in fascination as it seemed to melt into the stonework until only the painting was visible. "You may choose your password now."

Harry looked at Blaise, who shrugged. "Anything's fine with me."

The panther glanced between the two of them before speaking once more. "If I may make a suggestion?" She blinked lazily, her tail twitching in contentment. "Perhaps 'Raksha'? It is my name, and it also means protection."

"That works." He glanced at Blaise who nodded in consent.

Raksha's tail swished as the door swung open before closing behind them with a soft click. Harry was the first to notice the new painting on the inside of the door. It was a mirror image of the painting that sat outside. The panther peeked over her shoulder with a feline grin before yawning and facing forward once more.

Blaise chuckled when he finally noticed the full extent of Dobby's contribution. "A two-sided painting. Your friend is ingenious." Harry could only nod.


The winter hols passed much faster than Harry could have expected. He met with Blaise every evening. They started immediately on basic runes, and from there, they moved on rather quickly. They moved so quickly, in fact, that Harry began to surprise himself. Blaise seemed thrilled by how easily he caught on and asked him, on several occasions, why he hadn't taken the class when he'd had the chance. Harry couldn't honestly tell him why, though he had his suspicions.

From the time that Harry was a small child, he'd been taught to never be more than second best. The Dursleys had never been nice to him, but things only ever got worse when he'd score higher than Dudley on a test. So Harry had learned to restrain his own intelligence—on paper at least.

When he'd gotten to the wizarding world and met Ron and Hermione, he'd continued to underachieve, knowing it would keep them both happy. Outshining Hermione was simply out of the question, as it would have completely alienated the girl. And, since Ron was already jealous of everything concerning Harry, getting better grades than him would have made things that much more difficult.

Harry was good at making people see what he wanted them to see. He continued to place highest in Defense simply because it was expected of him. Everything else had been moot point until Sirius had fallen through the veil.

It was then that he'd realized he hadn't just curbed his grades, but he'd actually begun to curb his intelligence as well. It simply wasn't acceptable. He knew that had he actually concentrated in his classes, the debacle might never have happened. He would have looked at things more logically and never would have rushed off to the Ministry as he had.

Harry was through hiding his true self. It only ever led to pain.

Blaise was an excellent teacher. He was patient and forgiving when Harry didn't quite understand something. He knew all the best books and was never late to their meetings. He'd plan every study session perfectly, and Harry continued to progress well past what Blaise had been expecting.

Yet, there were still moments when Harry had a horrible time concentrating. It had nothing at all to do with the material and everything to do with the teacher. Every time Blaise hovered just a bit too close, spoke just an octave too low, Harry's heart raced in his chest and his mind went blank. A part of him acknowledged that there was no way Blaise hadn't noticed, but he hadn't said anything about it either. Harry continued to pretend that nothing was amiss.

Harry continued to fall for a boy he hardly knew.

On the night before the rest of the student body would return, Harry and Blaise sat together, enjoying the solitude their room offered. It was not as awkward as Harry thought it would be, considering neither of them had bothered to bring any study materials. There was a fire roasting merrily in the hearth, and the usually murky waters were clear and crisp in the winter chill.

Harry was the first to speak. "Will we still meet?" As usual, Blaise's gaze hadn't left his form all evening, and though Harry had gotten used to the intense scrutiny, it still sent a shiver down his spine.

"Of course," Blaise said as if it were obvious. "You have a natural gift for runes. It would be a shame to see that go to waste." Harry chanced a look in his direction, not at all surprised when his gaze locked with violet.

"Why didn't you ever take runes?" Blaise asked the question, and for once, Harry actually answered. In fact, he found it hard to stop once he'd started. He told him about the Dursleys' dislike of his higher grades, he told him about how Ron and Hermione were his first friends and how scared he'd always been of losing them. He almost told him about Sirius but stopped at the last minute, only saying how he'd realized how important it was for him to study so he could finally destroy Voldemort.

"I don't understand." Blaise looked more annoyed than confused. "Why does it have to be you?" Harry misunderstood the annoyance.

"It's not like I want it to be. I'm not a martyr—"

Blaise cut him off before he got too angry. "That's not what I meant." The hand he set on Harry's arm was intended to be comforting, but Harry only found it to be a distraction. He felt more than saw Harry tense and quickly removed the hand. "I meant, why are they forcing you to do something no one your age should be forced to do? It's not fair. I don't understand why you have to be the one to do this. Can't they make someone else do it?"

Harry's anger dissipated immediately. "It's not that simple."

"Of course it is. I mean, it's their war, not yours." Blaise didn't have to elaborate. Harry knew he was talking about Dumbledore.

"There was a prophecy at the Ministry—"

"No. Absolutely not," Blaise growled. Harry could only blink in surprise. "Almost every prophecy ever made is self-fulfilling. Who told you this? Dumbledore? Dumbledore can take his prophecy and shove it. I know for a fact that every damn prophecy orb in that Ministry is either fake or self-fulfilling. If you don't want that prophecy to be real, than it's null and void."

Harry suddenly found it hard to breathe. Whether it was the realization that made his breath come out in short bursts or the sudden energy that surrounded him, he wasn't certain.

"Harry?" Blaise was crouched on the floor with Harry's head cradled in his lap.

Floor? Harry thought. How did I end up here?

"I'm so sorry, Harry. I didn't mean to…" Blaise sounded distraught.

"Wha—?" He'd meant to say, What happened? but not much more than a croak left his lips.

"Here, let me help you up." Harry staggered to his feet with Blaise's help and back into the warmth of the sofa. "I'm sorry—" Blaise said once more, but Harry waved him off.

"Don't worry about it. I still have bouts of magic like that sometimes, too. It's okay."

Harry assumed the lash of magic was just that; he didn't want Blaise worrying over something he'd struggled with himself. Blaise's expression was hard to read, but he nodded slowly in acceptance, his hand still at the small of Harry's back. Harry chuckled, looking up into those violet depths. "Thank you. I don't think I've ever had anyone get so angry on my behalf before."

Blaise's smile was crooked, not so much a smirk, but a caring smile Harry had come to be rather fond of. "You're welcome." His smile fell slightly, making him appear quite serious. "I think, at this point, it would be very hard for me to not get angry on your behalf."

Instinctively, Harry scanned the face in front of him for any deceit, but he found only understanding. It was an odd sensation to look into the face of someone he hardly knew and to feel a connection to him unlike any he'd ever felt. He loved his friends, but neither of them had ever made him feel like he belonged—not really. The Weasley family always made him feel like a welcomed guest, but only a guest. He was still an outsider. And Hermione, for all her brilliance, had never fully understood tact when it came to social situations. She'd gotten better of course, but she never seemed to know when to stop, always going too far, too personal.

And yet, Harry wondered, if Blaise asked those same questions, would he feel he'd gone too far? Harry didn't think he would, and that confused him.

"The welcome back feast is about to begin," Blaise said. He watched the play of emotions on Harry's face, wondering what thoughts had caused each. "The other students should be arriving by now."

Harry nodded and stood up. "Yeah, we should probably get going." The grip on his wrist stopped him at the door.

"So, I'll see you tomorrow night?" Blaise's expression was earnest, and Harry paused for only a second. He really didn't have to think about it. He wanted to see Blaise again; he looked forward to it, in fact.

"Yes, of course."


Dinner was a slow-moving affair. Hermione and Ron rambled endlessly about the great fun they'd had over the holidays. They'd both thanked Harry for his gifts, which Harry had completely forgotten about. In fact, Christmas had passed by in a blur to him, and the realization left him spinning.

Every year, Christmas was something Harry looked forward to. After living with the Dursleys, the thought of presents waiting just for him had never ceased to amaze and awe. Yet, this year, he hadn't really paid it much mind. He'd opened the gifts from his friends, the usual from each of them, and had simply stuffed them into his trunk. It wasn't that he was ungrateful, but his mind had been focused on something else entirely.


If either of his friends noticed his preoccupied state, they didn't mention it. Harry rather suspected the two of them were far too engrossed with their own stories to pay attention to anything else.

That night, when all the other students had drifted off into sleep, Harry crept down to meet Blaise. As before, they studied until they were too tired to continue. The next morning, however, Harry realized a flaw in their plan as he fell asleep in several of his classes. Blaise quickly pulled him aside between classes. Hermione and Ron looked on in confusion, but a wave from Harry had both of them moving to their next class, although hesitatingly.

"Harry, this isn't going to work."

"Oh, I understand." Harry rubbed the back of his neck. He'd actually expected Blaise to brush him off ages ago, though he was surprised at how painful it actually was.

"We need a different time to meet." Blaise, who was watching each passing student with a close eye, never saw Harry's eyes falter before lighting up once more. "Do you have a free slot?" Blaise asked.

"Yeah, after Transfiguration, the third slot every other day."

"Is that tomorrow?" Blaise wondered, his eyes locking once more with Harry's.


"Then that's when we'll meet." Blaise smiled, subconsciously brushing a stray lock of hair from Harry's face. Before Harry could even fully register the action, Blaise was already halfway down the hall.

The two continued to meet every other day, and since the next period was actually lunch, Harry found himself joining Blaise then as well. Unfortunately, after several weeks of this, his friends had started to question his whereabouts.

"We never see you at lunch anymore, Harry." Of course, Ron's first thought immediately revolved around food.

"Actually," Hermione said, as she sat across from him in the common room, watching as he stowed his books in his knapsack, "we hardly see you at all." Harry just frowned slightly as he stood up, swinging the bag over his shoulder.

"You're leaving again?" Ron asked in disbelief. "You just got here!"

Harry sighed. "The two of you spend every waking moment together." He took in their positions, noting the way Hermione leaned slightly against Ron's side. "You eat together, and you study together. Even when you don't share the same schedule, you walk to classes together. When you have a free moment away from your studies, you spend that together, too." There was no malice in his voice, no accusation. "It's lovely that you're so close." Ron's face looked red, but Harry couldn't tell if he was angry or embarrassed. "Everyone can see it." He glanced purposefully at their clasped hands. Hermione jerked slightly but didn't release her hold. "I'd only be a third wheel."

"You're jealous, then? Is that it?"

The red was anger, Harry realized. "No, Ron. I'm happy for you." He smiled slightly, a small lift of lips. He really was happy for them, but even if Blaise weren't in the picture, he wouldn't have wanted to spend all that time with them. He'd feel like more than just a third wheel. He'd be an interloper.

"But where do you go?" Hermione asked. Her knuckles had turned white where she gripped Ron's hand.

Harry shrugged. "Just a spare classroom," he answered truthfully. "I go there to study and get away from prying eyes." He didn't elaborate. It was still, technically, the truth.

"But you can study with us!" She scooted forward, ready to argue her point. "We could go somewhere that no one else could see!"

"I already have a place like that, Hermione."

"Then we could join you." Hermione glanced at Ron, waiting for him to nod in agreement. His mouth was pursed, and when he met her eye, he quickly looked away. Her face fell instantly.

Harry turned fully to face them. "Ron, I still consider you my best friend. I just need some time to myself."

Ron scoffed. "You're not my friend," Ron muttered, but it was loud enough they all heard it.

Hermione gasped. "Ron! Don't say such things! He didn't mean it, Harry—"

But Ron spoke once more. "No, I do! You're not my Harry. You're not the same." He lowered his voice slightly as two third-years strolled by. "Ever since the Ministry, you haven't been the same."

Harry's eyes narrowed. "I lost my godfather."

"Yeah, and then he came back!" Ron nearly yelled, but Hermione hushed him, and he lowered his voice near the end. "He's fine! You know he is," he hissed.

"But he's not fine. He's not the same," Harry growled before reigning in his anger, something that he couldn't have done a year before. "This is dangerous, Ron. Don't you see that? I need to prepare myself. I need to be ready to face him." Neither of them needed to ask whom he was referring to. "And I'm working on something—something I think could change everything."

"Then let us help," Hermione begged. "We can help."

Harry shook his head. "Don't worry so much, Hermione. I have it under control." Before either could argue further, Harry was out the door.


Harry hadn't been lying when he said he had a plan. Once Blaise realized how far ahead of the other students they were, they'd moved on to Spell Crafting, intrigued by the concept. It was while reading a book on spell purity that Harry had been struck with an idea. He wanted to develop a purification hex. Of course, labeling it as a hex was actually oxymoronic, but there wasn't any other way to describe what he had planned. It would require at least two wizards to complete such a task: one for grounding and the other for creating the spell itself. Unfortunately, in order for the grounding to work, the two wizards needed to be compatible. It was something he wanted to do with Blaise, but he wasn't sure how to ask him.

"Blaise?" Harry was curled up by the hearth, the book in his lap. Blaise looked up immediately, his full attention on him. Harry could feel his face heat up. "Um, I was wondering… How do you figure out if someone's magic is compatible to yours?"

Blaise blinked in surprise, shifting in his spot. "That's—well, it's actually rather intimate. Um…" Blaise riffled through the books in front of him. Harry had to bite his lip to keep from laughing at loud; he'd never seen Blaise look anything less than poised. Blaise mock glared at him when he looked back up. "Hush, Cariad." Harry only blinked at the nickname, accepting the open book he was offered. Although, Harry wasn't sure what it meant, Blaise had called him Cariad on more than one occasion. It was always said with affection, so Harry doubted he was being insulted.

He looked down at the page before him: instructions on how to test magic compatibility. Harry frowned as he read the information. It seemed fairly straightforward as he skimmed its contents: the two must clasp hands… allow your core to open... let the magic flow through the other's core. Harry didn't see what had Blaise so flustered.

"So, can we do it?" Harry asked, still reading the page.

At the bottom, it described what to look for during the procedure. When two humans take this test, a golden glow implies the magics are compatible, while a red glow implies the opposite. Many suggest you'll know whether or not compatibility is possible before the glow begins. Incompatibility will cause both users discomfort, which will disappear once contact is lost. While it is not common to find a fully compatible witch or wizard, it has been said that such a merging of magic is followed with a feeling of rightness and harmony. These feelings, both for compatible as well as incompatible tests, are more or less intense, depending upon both the level of magics involved as well as level of compatibility. There is no comprehensive list of how intense it may be or what these levels truly mean.

Flipping the page gave a list of other unions and what colors meant what. Harry flipped back to the instructions before looking back up at Blaise, who looked—almost worried.

"Are you sure you want to?" Blaise asked.

"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't." He chuckled, but Blaise still looked uneasy. Harry furrowed his brow. "It doesn't sound so bad. I mean, if we aren't compatible, it says any discomfort goes away once we pull our magic back."

"Yeah, all right." Blaise stood up and made his way to the hearth. Harry watched his graceful form until he dropped Indian style upon the rug. It was the only part of the room with any amount of floor space open. Realizing he was staring, he blushed and quickly walked over to join him. Blaise only smirked.

"All right." Harry read from the book. "So, we clasp hands?" He jerked in surprise at the sudden feeling of hands on his own. Blaise's patented half-smile bloomed across his features, and Harry felt his breath catch in his throat. The hands were warm, larger than Harry's, and slightly callused. Harry stared, transfixed for a moment, letting his thumb run up the side of one of Blaise's wrists. The answering squeeze pulled him out of his reverie and made him blush harder. "Oh, right." He glanced back at the book, reading carefully how to open his core before slowly letting his magic run along his arms to the hands clasped in his.

"Ready?" he asked.

Blaise nodded and Harry closed his eyes, feeling for his center. He gasped as he reached his core, which greeted him as a friend would. It was the most invigorating sensation he'd ever felt, and he wondered why he'd never tried this before. Slowly, carefully, he directed his magic up through his arms and into his hands. There was a brief moment of resistance, and then an explosion of energy sent Harry reeling.

His eyes snapped open as a rush of cool silk washed over him. It was familiar; he'd felt it before, though not as intense. Then, remembering Blaise's outburst after Christmas, he realized he was feeling Blaise. The magic dove deeper, seeking out his core and Harry felt his own sliding forward, searching for Blaise's. The sensation of their clasped hands dulled in comparison to the feeling of the darker boy's magic as it flowed into him. Vaguely, Harry realized they were glowing white. Though he knew it wasn't what the book had described, it felt so right he found he didn't want to let go.

"Harry, you have to pull back." Blaise's voice was shaky when he spoke, but his violet gaze was unwavering. "Close your eyes, Harry." He did as he was told. "Find your core for me." He faltered slightly but dove once more to his center. It was chaos. The energy flow reminded him of a typhoon, and he almost pulled back out, but Blaise's voice stopped him. "Now, grab onto your magic and pull it slowly back towards you."

For a moment, he struggled over how to attempt to grab hold of something so elusive, but just as the thought passed, his magic was there at hand, happy to be reunited. He directed it, the energy resisting at first before curling back into his core. Gradually, the maelstrom died down until, at last, it settled back into place. Upon opening his eyes, Harry's world tilted on its axis; but instead of meeting the floor, he found himself cradled against a firm chest.

"Blaise, what just happened?" There was a long pause. Harry turned slightly in the embrace, noting anxiously the worried expression on Blaise's face.

"I was worried this might happen," Blaise muttered, though Harry heard him quite clearly.

"What would happen? Blaise?"

"You didn't read the entire ritual," Blaise accused.

"What?" Harry was affronted. "Of course I did! Do you think I would be that careless?"

"Harry, no, listen," Blaise tried to placate him. "I meant you didn't read the next page."

"What?" Harry was confused for a moment before remembering the lists for creature compatibility. "Well, no, it wasn't really relevant."

Blaise looked worried. "It was completely relevant."

"I don't understand."

"I'm not completely human," Blaise stated. Harry's mind rapidly flashed over the last few months. Blaise was peculiar; he'd known this. He'd even entertained the thought that he might not be human, but no creature he knew of matched Blaise in any way.

"Then what are you?" Harry asked slowly. For a moment, Harry thought he wouldn't reply.

"Half Cambion," Blaise finally whispered.

Harry wasn't familiar with the term. Sliding the book over, he re-opened it, turning to the pages he hadn't read. He scanned through quickly and smiled.

"Well, that's good then! It says here that white means we're compatible." He looked back up, catching Blaise's eyes. "You can still help me." Blaise had an odd look on his face—half-disbelieving, half-hopeful.

"Harry, I'm not human. Not completely."

"So?" Harry was bemused. "What does that have to do with anything?"

"Doesn't that bother you?"

"Why would it bother me? Professor Lupin is a werewolf, Blaise. That's not even considered half-human, and it doesn't bother me. Why should you being half-human bother me? Hagrid is half-giant and he's one of the first friends I ever had."

"You don't understand. It's more complicated than that. Cambions are considered Dark."

"So are werewolves," Harry deadpanned.

"The rest of the wizarding world would hate you. They hate me."

But Harry was having none of it. "Blaise, the wizarding world is fickle and hateful. One minute they hail me as a martyr and the next I'm a pariah! I couldn't care less what they think at this point." He frowned. "Besides," he said, smiling once more, "I wanted it to be you, anyway. I feel comfortable with it being you."

Blaise hesitated a moment longer. "All right, I'll help you."

Harry beamed.


Despite his earlier confession that Blaise's half-human status didn't bother him, Harry was still intrigued. In all his years in the wizarding world, he'd never heard of a dark creature called a Cambion. Assuming something like that would have come up either in Defense Against the Dark Arts or during one of Hermione's random lectures, he mentioned it in passing to her just before curfew, but she'd only asked him more questions in reply. He ended up lying, telling her he'd probably misread it and agreeing to the first name she'd spouted out with, saying that must have been what he'd actually read. He was surprised and slightly suspicious of how readily she believed him.

That night, Harry lay awake in bed long after his roommates had drifted off. Sleep was evading him completely, and he knew it would continue to until his questions were answered. He swung his legs over the side of the bed, stealthily retrieving his Invisibility Cloak. The path to the library was quiet, and he made it there without event.

The iron doors of the restricted section creaked on rusty hinges as he pushed them open. He tossed the cloak over a nearby chair, knowing the teachers wouldn't check this section of the school for many more hours. Bare feet padded across the floor as he made his way up and down the aisles, searching. Finally, he found a relevant book and tugged it off the shelf, opening it slowly. He waited a moment, though he hadn't detected any heavy charms on the tome; it wouldn't do to be shocked by a screaming hex or something even nastier.

When nothing happened, Harry scanned the pages in front of him. The further he read, the wider his eyes became. Cambion… half-human offspring of a succubus or incubus… still birth… devilishly cunning… impossibly beautiful… live on a higher content of meat… Merlin was thought to be Cambion… mate for life… can become violent if a mate is lost, losing their sense of morality.

"Harry?" Harry's breath hitched sharply, the book landing on the floor with a muffled thud.

"Blaise!" Those violet eyes flashed in the dim lighting. "I was just…" He shifted back a step as Blaise stalked forward, his face strangely blank. "You didn't tell me much, I just…" Harry felt his back press against the shelves behind him as Blaise stopped before him, almost touching. "I wanted to know." His voice was barely above a whisper.

"And did you find what you wanted to know?" Blaise sounded calm. It unnerved him more than anything.


"Do you hate me?"

"Wha—what?" Harry faltered.

"Do I scare you?" Blaise continued.

"Blaise, you're acting ridiculous. If you didn't want me to look—" Harry's breath caught in his throat as Blaise took the final step forward, closing the gap. His arms perched to each side of Harry as he leaned forward. Harry's mind shut down as warm lips covered his own.

The kiss started slow, and green eyes slid closed on their own accord. The body in front of his pushed forward, sliding a knee between his legs, and Harry couldn't help but gasp. Seizing the moment, Blaise deepened the kiss, and Harry suddenly found it hard to stand as a familiar wave of energy washed over him.

In that moment he thought his legs would give out completely, but two strong arms wrapped around his waist, pulling him impossibly closer. Harry shuddered into the kiss, finally wrapping his own arms around those broad shoulders. Just as he was starting to really enjoy himself, Blaise pulled away sharply, backing up several steps. Harry's breath came out in soft pants, his hand flying to his mouth. The strange energy slowly dissipated.


"I'm sorry, Harry. This is hard to explain," His eyes glanced at the book before locking with green again. "How far did you read?"

Harry swallowed. "Quite a bit, I think."

"My mother is a succubus. They aren't usually violent. It's why there are so many laws against enslaving them."

Harry nodded to show he understood.

"She—you've heard of her, I'm sure."

"I've heard some rumors."

Blaise's mother was notoriously known as the Black Widow. Every man she'd ever married had ended up dead, yet nothing had been done about it. Every time one of them died, she was questioned and immediately released from custody. Soon after her release, the cases were always closed.

Blaise chuckled; it was not the pleasant sound Harry had become accustomed to. "Yes, rumors." He shook his head. "But it's not like that. She had a mate." Harry had a sinking suspicion; he knew where this was headed. "He was murdered by his best friend." He felt his insides freeze as the pieces fell into place. …losing their sense of morality. "It was a jealousy issue. The man thought he was my mother's mate."

"So, those men she married?" Harry's voice shook with emotion, emotion that was reflected in Blaise's eyes, though his face was stoic.

"They looked an awful lot like my father." Blaise looked away then, his eyes glazing over in memory. "She has a tendency to find men that remind her of him. But still, she feels like they've abandoned her, even when they're standing beside her. She's not all there; she thinks they're him." Blaise's hands clenched and a small sob escaped his lips, but his eyes remained dry. Harry could not say the same. "The Ministry can't take legal action against her when it happens. The men that court her"—he spat the word out in disgust—"know what she is. They know that she's lost control of her lure."

"That energy I keep feeling?" Harry asked, finally understanding.

Blaise looked pained. "It's my lure."

"So, I mean, you're young. You don't have complete control over it yet?" Harry was uncertain.

"I have control over it." Blaise licked his lips as he looked up at Harry. "Usually."

Harry watched those eyes dilate once more. "Except when you're around me." It wasn't a question.

"I'm sorry, Harry." And he really did sound sorry. "I didn't want to scare you away. Daphne and Tracey, though, they felt that pushing us together would help. It only made it harder to resist." Blaise's hands clenched and unclenched. He seemed to be fighting an internal battle.

"Blaise, you're going to have to elaborate. What exactly does this mean?"

Blaise's head cocked to the side, and he breathed in, his violet eyes now surrounded by a thin ring of silver. "You're my mate." There was a pregnant pause.

Harry felt numb. "Are you sure? I mean, maybe you're just attracted to me and that's why your lure keeps coming out."

"Not possible. You wouldn't have felt the lure so strongly if you weren't mine." Blaise shook his head and stalked forward once more with a half grin. "There's no doubt. I can feel it; even more so, now that we did that test."

Harry felt reality rushing forward once more. Though instead of the expected panic, he felt a sense of elation. "So, you're mine?" Harry panicked when the words left his lips. "I didn't mean like—I'm not trying to—It's just that—You'll be family. I've always wanted family. I'll finally belong somewhere. Oh God, I'm rambling."

Blaise stared in shock as Harry stuttered his response before promptly bursting out in laughter. "You're the strangest person I've ever met, Harry. Anyone else would have been halfway out the door by now."

"Why would I do that? I was more worried it really was just a fluke." Blaise gave him a questioning look. "I felt it, too, Blaise. It felt so right. I felt whole. I don't know what I'd do if someone told me I had to give that up."

"This doesn't freak you out?" Blaise let his hand rest on Harry's hip; it seemed to help center him.

"No, well, maybe a little, but it's nothing I can't handle." Harry chuckled. "Are you going to, ah, jump me often?" Blaise's expression went strangely blank. Harry rushed on, "Not that I mind! I don't mind. It'd just be nice to know so I don't accidentally pull my wand on you or something."

Blaise's eyes narrowed for a moment, flicking from one green globe to the other before he chuckled as well. "I can't make any promises. Until I mark you as mine, the creature in me will have a hard time letting you roam around freely." Harry looked slightly alarmed. "It's nothing like that. The mark is hardly visible and nothing like His mark." He shuddered at the thought, which relaxed Harry marginally. "It just lets me know where you are and if you're in pain so I can come help. Cambions are a bit" —he bit his lip—"over protective."

"All right." Harry nodded slowly, his gaze settling on the book he had dropped. "I should probably read the rest of that." Instead of answering, Blaise leaned forward, licking from Harry's collarbone to the base of his jaw. Harry trembled slightly, though not out of fear. "Blaise?"

"Sorry." His voice had dropped an octave. "Couldn't help myself."

Harry had a feeling the next few months would be very interesting.


He wasn't disappointed.

As promised, Blaise helped Harry during every step of the spell's creation. Several months had passed and though it was coming along even better than he'd anticipated, things actually seemed to be getting worse for Blaise. Apparently, informing Harry of his status made his creature want to claim him even more, and it was all Blaise could do some days to resist jumping him.

The silver no longer left his eyes as long as Harry was near, and he knew it was taking its toll on him. The moment to ground the spell drew near, and Harry understood that, as things stood, they would not succeed. They had only a month left until they'd be sent home for the summer, and if they wanted to finish the spell before then, something had to be done.

"Blaise?" Harry leaned over the table, studying the handwritten scrolls strewn across its surface. Each depicted the many routes they could have taken for such a spell, carefully displayed in their runic forms. Blaise, of course, stood behind him, hands perched on each of Harry's hips, groin pressed firmly against—oh, and it would have embarrassed Harry more if he weren't so used to it. Still, it didn't stop the blush from flitting across his cheeks as he leaned back into that embrace.

"Hmm?" Blaise nuzzled against the crook of his neck, breathing in his scent.

"Stop, listen." Blaise immediately obeyed, though he didn't let Harry leave the embrace. "We have to do something about this," Harry said.

"About what? Your runes look perfect to me."

"Not the spell. Well, sort of the spell." Harry huffed in frustration, turning in those arms so he could face Blaise directly. "Blaise, there's no way you can concentrate long enough to ground this." Harry fiddled with the buttons on Blaise's shirt, unwilling to meet his gaze until he'd said what he needed to. "Ithinkyoushouldmarkme."

"What?" Blaise looked amused.

Harry growled before starting again, this time more slowly. "Your creature is too off-balance. I think you should mark me."


"No, listen, Blaise." Harry licked his lips and forged on. "You'll have to do it soon anyway, right? I mean, what would happen if you didn't and we're separated for the summer? If it's this bad when you see me almost every day, I can't imagine what it will be like when we're miles apart. And we really should get this spell done as soon as possible. The next full moon is this weekend and it would be the perfect time to ground everything."

"Harry, I wasn't going to argue." Blaise looked amused. "I was going to say 'If you're sure, then we'll do it'."

"Really?" Harry grinned.

"You're excited?" Blaise mused.

"I'm just curious, is all."

Blaise chuckled at the lie. "Mhmm, curious, I'm sure."

Blaise had picked the best book to read on Cambions that night in the library, and Harry had read it several times from cover to cover, intent on knowing exactly what he was getting into. Part of it was from the excitement, but the other part was to make sure no one could ever say he'd done it without thinking and that he hadn't known what he was getting into. Though he planned on telling his friends about his mate, he knew he'd have to wait until there was nothing they could do about it, or they'd try to do something about it.

It took Harry a minute to realize that while he'd been thinking, Blaise had slowly backed him into the far sofa. He felt the backs of his knees hit the edge before he fell. He looked up into those amused violet eyes. The silver was steady and seemed to flow like a river of mercury.

"Blaise?" Harry didn't know what he wanted to ask, but Blaise seemed to understand anyway.

"It will sting at first, but that will fade quickly." Harry could only nod. "Where do you want it?" Blaise asked.

Harry paused. He'd never really thought about it. He didn't want it to be too visible; it seemed like such a private thing. "You pick?" Harry muttered.

Blaise's eyes flashed in the morning light that streamed through the water. "I have the perfect place." He grinned, and Harry furrowed his brow as Blaise starting unbuckling his belt. He felt his cheeks flush but couldn't help the amused chuckle that followed.

"What on earth are you doing?" Harry asked. Blaise didn't hesitate in his movements, and soon Harry's trousers were tugged down past his knees. "Blaise!" He let out a half-laugh, half-squeak, grasping at the hand that had immediately reached for the hem of his underwear. Blaise stopped and captured those lips in a deep kiss, Harry melting under the caress.

"Do you trust me?" Blaise sounded so serious.

"Of course I do," Harry answered truthfully, a small smile dancing across his features. "I just wasn't expecting you to be so forward." He grinned cheekily, happy when it earned him a smile in return.

"Little Cariad." Blaise pulled down the remaining garment and Harry shivered at feeling so exposed. Cariad. Harry flushed in contentment, now knowing the pet name for what it was: a term of affection between mates. His train of thought was derailed when Blaise's hands began moving.

"Seriously," Harry gasped as those hands stroked up his legs, "where exactly do you plan on putting that mark?" He shivered when the hands reached his hips and delved up under his shirt. Blaise just smirked and leaned down to capture an earlobe between his teeth. Harry moaned at the sensation, fisting his hands in the white shirt Blaise wore. The next few minutes continued along the same lines, Blaise slowly making his way down, nibbling at Harry's collarbone before lifting his shirt enough that he could shimmy down to nip at Harry's bellybutton.

"Enjoying yourself?" Harry asked in a breathless voice, now completely turned on. Blaise chuckled against the sensitive skin of his inner thigh, causing him to arch and cry out.

"Very much so." He paused before blowing lightly on the same spot. Harry keened at the sensation. "Perfect."

"What?" Harry barely had the presence of mind to ask before a sharp sensation pierced into that same spot. His head slammed back into the sofa cushion as the sharp pain morphed into intense pleasure. He shouted something aloud but was too far gone to know what it was, though he suspected it was probably Blaise's name. His sight went black for a moment.

A muttered spell and the sensation of something trickling across his heated flesh let him know that not only had he just had the most amazing orgasm of his entire life, but he'd actually passed out from it. Blaise chuckled from somewhere above him.

"Beautiful," Blaise purred. Harry tilted his head so he could actually see that pleased face. "You're a screamer." Blaise seemed to be taking great satisfaction in the fact.

"So it would seem," Harry said dryly, but it only made Blaise chuckle more.

"Would you like to see your mark?"

Harry blinked and sat up. He had to maneuver himself just so, but there, on the sensitive curve of his inner thigh, sat an innocent black mark in the shape of a Triskelion spiral. Blaise brushed a finger against it, and Harry's breath hitched. He quickly clamped his hand over the wrist to stop any further movement.

"You did that on purpose!" Harry growled, though he wasn't actually mad.

"Did what on purpose?" Blaise grinned.

"You picked the most sensitive spot on purpose!"

"And?" Harry groaned as Blaise used his other hand to stroke across the now twice-as-sensitive spot. "You seem to be enjoying it, my Cariad."

"Blaise," Harry moaned."Don't stop." Blaise was happy to obey.


The night of the full moon came quicker than Harry had anticipated. He and Blaise stood in a clearing several kilometers into the Forbidden Forest. It was the only place Harry knew of where they'd get the full effects of the moon and no one would be able to see them from the castle. It was risky, but Blaise had felt it was necessary, and Harry had reluctantly agreed. The moon would help the grounding process immensely. Still, he worried at being so deep in the forest.

"It'll be fine, Harry," Blaise comforted him from afar. He was a bit preoccupied with the task of drawing the runic circles on the ground with salt. It was strange, though he still touched Harry as often as he had before, Harry could tell it was done because he could and no longer because he had to in order to get by. Harry felt comforted by the fact.

"You ready?" Blaise asked after Harry scanned his work for accuracy.

"Yeah." Harry joined him at the center of the circle, careful not to brush against any of the marks. Blaise crouched beside him, sliding his hand up his leg to rest against his mark. This was Blaise's idea. The mark bound them even closer than they'd been during the ritual all those months ago, and Blaise felt they should use that to their advantage. Even through the fabric of his pants the spot was ridiculously sensitive, and he shivered at the contact.

Once Blaise was comfortably in position, one palm flat against the ground, Harry began the ritual. It was not complicated in theory, but it required more magic than one person could hold. Harry began by letting his magic loose as he had those months before. The magic reached out to Blaise immediately this time, happily twining with his own, but Harry kept it from diving into his core, remembering how hard it had been to pull back out. Once they were comfortably bound, Blaise pulled at the natural earth magic that surrounded them, letting a strand of it wrap around their already entwined magics. This was where the grounding came into play. Finally, Harry began the actual ritual.

Under the soft glow of the moon, he traced each rune in turn, speaking their names aloud. As he passed each, they lit up in succession until the final rune was traced and named. Finally, he gave them their new name Plene Defaeco and released his hold on them. He felt the moment the magic took on its own life, surging towards the scar that bound him so closely to a murderer.

He watched through moon-touched eyes as it glided along that connection before delving into Voldemort's core. Harry heard the shriek of pain through their connection and watched as Voldemort's magic was shattered. Plene Defaeco was meant to purify something that had been tainted. However, Voldemort's magic was not tainted with dark; it was pure darkness. And so, as Harry had determined months before its creation, the only way for the spell to complete its task was to destroy that taint completely. Harry felt the last thread of Voldemort's existence snap and collapsed next to Blaise.

"We did it," Harry whispered before the darkness took hold of him.


He awoke in the hospital wing surrounded by what looked like the entire Gryffindor class.

"You're awake!" Hermione launched herself into his arms, hugging him tight. "Oh, Harry! We thought you were dead!"

"What happened, mate?" Ron looked ashen and kept glancing to the left side of the bed. Harry looked over and smiled when he saw Blaise perched at the edge of the seat beside him.

"Is it true?" Seamus asked excitedly.

"Is what true?" Harry asked warily.

Colin spoke up in an excited flurry of words. "People are saying you offed, You-Know-Who! They're saying you used the force like Star Wars and made him explode!"

"It's all over the news, Harry." Hermione pulled over a copy of the Daily Prophet.

You-Know-Who is You-Know-What!

In the bleak hours of the morning, Aurors at the Ministry of Magic were called to arms against raiding Death Eaters just south of Epsom, Surrey. They left expecting to witness the usual terror and bloodshed. They found chaos—but not of the usual kind.

They arrived on the scene of terror, on the part of those same Death Eaters, and found You-Know-Who in the throes of apparent agony. Aurors described the scene to reporters, saying, "We quickly rounded up every Death Eater we could find, taking the chance for what it was."

Auror Tonks reported the following, "It was shocking! Voldie screamed, 'Curse you Potter!' all evil madman-like, and then burst into a bright ball of white light!" Her hair mimicked her words, turning bright white as she continued in earnest. "I'm not kidding! I saw it with my own eyes!"

This reporter can only come to one conclusion: Harry Potter has saved us all—again.

The article went on, describing in great (false) detail how Harry had gone about the task. Harry rolled his eyes and tossed the paper to the side.

Neville's quiet voice asked, "So, it's true then? Vo-Voldemort is finally gone?" He stumbled only slightly on the name.

"Yeah, Nev. He's gone." The room cheered in unison, but Harry noticed Ron still looked rather pale.

"Everything all right, Ron?" he asked. Seamus snorted at that, while Dean elbowed him to shut him up. This only served to confuse him further.

"Yeah." Ron glanced at Blaise again. "It's just that, oh it's silly, Harry. You're going to laugh." He forced his own laugh before continuing. "Pomfrey told us…" He cut to a whisper then. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry caught Hermione rolling her eyes. "She said that we could only stay for about an hour and then"—he swallowed—"and then only your mate could stay with you. She pointed at Blaise!"

Hermione snorted. "Honestly, Ron! Is it that hard to believe that Harry is romantically involved with someone?"

"But… but he's a Slytherin!"

"We'd noticed," she said dryly.

"Wait, Harry…" Seamus grinned. "You're not denying any of this."

"No." Harry glanced at Blaise, who nodded in acceptance. "I love Blaise. Why would I deny that?" The room went silent at the declaration. Blaise, amused by the shocked looks, wrapped an arm around Harry and kissed him soundly. The silence was broken by Hermione's coo and the thump as Ron's body hit the floor.