With the Stars as Our Witness

A Harry Potter Fan-fiction

By Systatic


Summary

It started with a late night visit to the kitchens. If Harry didn't know better, he'd say that the House Elves were playing matchmaker. But, he came to realize that true Slytherins always get what they want.


CHAPTER SIX


After dropping Harry off at his common room with a promise that he would pick the teen up for their Hogsmeade outing the on the weekend, Blaise took a meandering route back to the Slytherin dorms, using the extra time to gather his thoughts. More specifically, he focused on the way Harry had erupted into a blushing, stuttering mess at Granger's insinuation that they were in a relationship.

While Blaise would have to be stupid not to notice Harry's attraction to him, he also knew that Harry was wary to act on his feelings. The Slytherin was pretty sure it had to do with the way that Harry was so inexperienced with relationships in general, by no fault of the teen's own. Though he soaked up any sort of positive attention, Harry was tentative at best when returning affection. It made Blaise smile and quiver in anger simultaneously: Harry was so easy to please, and so loving, but his hesitant demeanor was all too telling.

He had mixed feelings about Harry's friends. He knew the green-eyed teen harbored a fierce devotion towards them, and they returned it to some extent, but Blaise was reluctant to fully entrust Harry's well-being to them. They were able to hurt Harry far too easily with poorly chosen words and actions.

Harry had been a complete mess when they met. He'd been utterly drowning in grief, having just lost his godfather and no one—not his friends, family, nor a single member of the faculty—had seen fit to speak to him about his loss. Blaise's jaw clenched in anger. The adults at Hogwarts were complete imbeciles, almost neglectful in caring for their students' emotional well-being. If he were to count the incidents where Harry had been physically endangered during his time at Hogwarts... He already felt a strong urge to maim something—or someone.

Nonetheless, Blaise wasn't in a hurry to put a label on his and Harry's relationship. They were growing closer in a manner that was comfortable for both of them; their connection was something that went beyond the shallow affairs of teens into something that was deeper, more permanent.

Blaise would stop at nothing to protect that.

He let out a quiet sigh as he reached the entrance to the Slytherin dorms. He already considered Harry as good as his; he only tempered his affection because Harry wasn't quite ready for something more serious. Blaise grimaced internally; he sounded like some lovesick teenage girl. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he muttered the password to his dorms. He ignored the thick silence that greeted him after the entrance's stones ground to a halt and calmly sat down in a comfortable armchair in a far corner of the room.

Blaise couldn't care less about what was going through their feeble minds. No doubt Malfoy's screeching had alerted the entire northern peninsula to his and Harry's friendship.

He suppressed the urge to smirk in remembrance; the disbelief on the blond's face had been comical. He had an inkling that Malfoy Junior's absurd reaction had much to do with ill-concealed jealousy. Blaise remembered when Harry, a thin slip of a boy at the tender age of eleven, had turned down the blonde's offer of friendship. Since then, Harry had pretty much avoided members from the Serpent House like the plague. Malfoy obviously took some sort of twisted pleasure in the fact that he was the only Slytherin Harry spoke to on a regular basis, regardless of the fact that most of their conversations consisted of hurling insults and, on some occasions, spells. Seeing Harry interact with Blaise so easily—another Slytherin, of all people—had clearly rubbed salt in a wound the youngest Malfoy had let fester for years.

Blaise glanced around the room, taking in the hushed whispering of the older years and the deliberate, if apprehensive, quiet of the younger Slytherin members.

Harry probably would have done well in Slytherin, of that he was certain. But Blaise had a feeling that his house would have changed Harry, tainted him in a way. While Harry's observation at their first meeting had been correct—Slytherin wasn't always about power plays and blood purity—Blaise would be the first to admit that Slytherin had a dark side to it, something rotten and seething and all too connected to the brewing war.

Blaise was no exception to that; he generally preferred to keep his dark side hidden, however.

Putting the growing tension in the room out of his mind, Blaise pulled out a shrunken text from his pocket, resized it, and settled in to read. He'd been on his way back from the library when he'd run into Harry and his friends; he'd have to make up for the delay if he wanted to spend his weekend work-free.

All too soon, his face morphed into an irritated scowl when the entrance opened and stomping footsteps interrupted his concentration. "Zabini!" Blaise knew without looking that it was Malfoy who had barged into the commons like an idiotic buffoon and yelled his name. Though he didn't glance up from his book, Blaise felt the comforting weight of his wand fall into his grip.

"Za-bi-ni," Malfoy repeated, walking straight towards his resting place, each step punctuated with a syllable of his last name. He almost grimaced at the sound; only Malfoy had a way of making any word, much less his name, sound detestable.

Blaise knew that Malfoy would demand an explanation after his display in the entrance hall that evening out of a misguided sense of entitlement. However, Blaise had absolutely no patience for dealing with the superior little snot; everything about Harry was Blaise's business alone.

"Yes?" Blaise answered, icily. He looked up from his book with a frigid expression, his dark eyes colored with undeniable annoyance. Hopefully Malfoy would take the hint and get lost, but given the size of the prat's brain, Blaise doubted that would happen. Such subtleties were beyond someone with the intelligence of a rodent.

"What the bloody hell was that?" Malfoy asked, his face tinted red with anger. "What were you doing with Potter of all people?"

"I fail to see how that is any of your concern," Blaise replied, leaning back into his chair comfortably. Did he really thing that Blaise would bend to his childish whims? Yes, of course he did. The skin around Malfoy's eyes tightened at the implied slight; good, let him see that Blaise considered him unworthy of his time and attention.

"I think it's everybody's concern. I'm sure that every person here—" Malfoy said, gesturing around the rest of the room imperiously, "—wants to know what you were doing with him. Not just a Gryffindor, but Harry-bleeding-Potter."

Blaise merely stared at Malfoy, his expression unchanging. Inwardly, he was lamenting the lost study time Malfoy's temper tantrum was costing him.

Malfoy grit his teeth at Blaise's continued silence and whipped out his wand, pointing in the dark-skinned man's face. "You're wasting your time with him, you know. He's going to die. The Dark Lord—"

Blaise surged to his feet, throwing his book to the side, and launched himself at Malfoy. The blond's eyes widened in shock and fear as Blaise's large hands grabbed the shorter teen around his neck and slammed him against the common room's rough stone wall, ripping the wand from the teen's hand in the process.

"Do not threaten Harry," Blaise hissed, his face inches from Malfoy's. He took dark satisfaction in the fear filling the boy's eyes; he wanted it to be known that he would not abide any threat to Harry's well-being. "The Dark Lord will fall, Malfoy. I'll make sure of it, even if I have to tear him apart with my bare hands."

The blond smirked even as he scrabbled weakly at the hand around his throat. The taller young man didn't doubt that there would be a bruise come morning. He hoped it lasted for weeks; it would serve as a reminder. "He's too strong—" Malfoy's words cut off with a choked gurgle as Blaise's grip tightened mercilessly.

"I. Don't. Care," Blaise growled. He kept his ears open for any movement from the common room's other occupants, but it seemed that no one was willing to come to Malfoy's rescue. Malfoy's gaze, meanwhile, remained defiant. Blaise grinned darkly at that. He enjoyed the way the other teen's eyes widened in panic at the expression.

"You know, Malfoy," Blaise murmured, "I don't think you're taking this seriously." He traced the line of Malfoy's jaw with his wand. The tip sparked in response to his anger and Malfoy flinched at the painful flashes of heat against his skin. He would not let anyone or anything stand in the way of his relationship with Harry or, most importantly, Harry's happiness. He'd destroy whatever tried. Malfoy would have to understand that.

"Let me spell this out for you," Blaise said, his voice dropping menacingly, "if you ever try to stick your filthy little nose anywhere near my business again, I'll burn your hands and feet until your skin blisters and flakes and your muscles cook. Then I'll cut them off and mount them on the common room wall." Malfoy went white at the threat, but Blaise wasn't finished, not by a long shot.

"If I hear that you've told your darling father about this," Blaise continued, glaring down into Malfoy's wide eyes, "I'll break each and every single one of your ribs, pry open your chest, rip out your heart, and feed it to you piece by piece while it's still beating." He heard someone choke in the background at his gruesome promise and resisted the urge to smile. "And don't worry, little Malfoy," he cooed in false comfort, "I'll make sure to take pictures so everyone sees just how pathetic you can be when begging for mercy.

"And if any of this gets back to the Dark Lord, you can say goodbye to everything you've ever cared about." Blaise slammed Malfoy against the wall once more for good measure before leaning in to whisper into his ear. "And before they die, I'll make sure mummy and daddy know that their son couldn't just keep his big- mouth- shut."

He felt Malfoy freeze in terror and decided that his words had had their intended impact. He released his grip around the blond's neck and stepped back, watching dispassionately as the teen crumpled to the floor coughing and wheezing and holding his throat. He supposed he should be grateful the little shit hadn't pissed himself.

Blaise kicked the boy's ankle lightly, but hard enough to garner a flinch. "Remember what I said, Malfoy. Stay away from Harry—and keep your mouth shut." He tossed the teen's wand at his feet, summoned his discarded book, and stalked out of the room.


Harry watched the portrait for a long while after it closed, Blaise's words echoing in his head. "Do not feel as if you must hide your face from me." Harry recalled the way Blaise had gripped his chin, tilted his head up, and looked him in the eyes as he'd said that. The green-eyed teen admired the other's fearlessness; he'd been so mortified by Hermione's implication that they were—that they were dating. He'd feared Blaise would be uncomfortable with the insinuation, that her words would cause their friendship to change. All he'd wanted to do in that moment was hide from the hurt that was to come.

Except, Blaise hadn't hurt him; instead, he'd soothed the fears that had erupted in Harry's chest with a few simple words. Harry bit his lip to stop a stupid grin from spreading over his face. He forced himself to turn away from the portrait and wandered over to the cluster of chairs by the fire.

Hermione's presence on the loveseat made him pause. He hovered uncertainly for a moment, remembering their earlier reunion, before sinking down next to her. She looked up at him and smiled in welcome, unsurprised at his presence, but happy to see him nonetheless.

"Finished staring at the portrait?" she quipped, a smirk slipping over her features. He stared at the alien expression for a moment, before nodding, embarrassed.

"Yeah," he muttered, looking down at his hands. Every time he saw them, clasped together in his lap like that, he could imagine that Blaise was there, holding both of Harry's hands with one of his and giving him strength. She watched his face for a moment before setting her book aside.

"What's up?" she asked, angling her body towards him.

"Where's Ron?" he asked, ignoring her question.

She raised her eyebrows at the evasion, but answered anyway, "He's out flying; said he wanted to practice for something or other."

Harry nodded in reply and they sat awkwardly for a moment, Harry trying to figure out what to say and Hermione simply staring at him with those intelligent eyes of hers'.

"Will you tell me what's bothering you?" she asked after another long moment of silence. Harry grunted indecisively, once again staring at his hands. She placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "I know we haven't been very close lately, but I'm still here for you, Harry, no matter what. I meant what I said, earlier: I love you. You're my best friend."

Harry glanced up at her words and took in her open expression before blurting out, "I think I like Blaise!" He gasped afterwards and slapped his hands over his mouth before looking around the common room. He'd said it louder than he'd intended.

Hermione's brow furrowed in puzzlement for a few seconds as she tried to decipher what he'd said—it had come out more like "itinkilieblaze" than an actual statement—before an unholy grin spread across her lips.

"Oh, I already knew that," she said, waving her hand dismissively. Harry stared at her, wide-eyed.

"What?" he squeaked. Was he that obvious? Oh god, if Hermione had figured it out, he was sure Blaise knew—he was so smart that there was no way—

"I can see why. He's certainly handsome," Hermione mused. Harry gaped at her, his thoughts screeching to an abrupt halt. "Exotic-looking. Great body—you can tell by his shoulders."

"H-Hermione!" Harry sputtered. Hermione was looking at Blaise? At his Blaise? She glanced at him before laughing softly.

"Oh come now, Harry. You can't honestly say that you haven't looked at him, can you?"

Harry bit his lip. "Well, a bit, but... most of the time, I'm not thinking about... that. I haven't, well, I haven't done it on purpose. I've noticed things, like—his hands, they're really strong, and big—and his forearms, I noticed those first—and he has this smile, it's a twitch of the lips, really, but he does it whenever he looks at me and it's so amazing," Harry breathed out the last word before noticing exactly what he'd said, and who he'd said it to. He glanced at Hermione, horrified.

She looked amused, but understanding. "Harry, there's nothing wrong with that," she assured him. He nodded, his face pink with embarrassment. It was one thing to notice how Blaise looked, but it was another to be talking about it like some—some—well, like Lavender and Parvati! He knew better than to say girl, because Hermione was a girl and she certainly wasn't like... them.

"Harry..." Hermione began, her face unusually serious. "You do know that it's perfectly okay to like boys, right?"

Harry blinked at her in surprise. "Well, yeah. Why would that be a problem?" He wasn't sure what she meant. Was there supposed to be something wrong with liking a boy?

She seemed to relax at his words. "It's not. Some people, though, have a problem with two men being in a relationship. They believe it's a sin, you see, because they aren't biologically compatible," she answered. At his confused expression, she added, "They can't have children."

"Oh," Harry frowned. He'd never heard of anything like that. If you like someone, that was that, right? He just figured that a lot of men liked women because a lot of them were pretty and soft and kind and they usually smelled good. Then again, Blaise smelled good—sort of musky and spicy, but very, very fresh—so maybe that didn't have anything to do with it. But what did children have to do with it? Men couldn't have kids, yeah, but that shouldn't mean that they weren't allowed to be with someone they loved. It was like saying a person couldn't breathe air because they had brown hair or liked to eat dessert before dinner. "That's stupid," Harry declared.

Hermione grinned. "Of course it is, but no one has ever said that humans are entirely logical."

"I don't think I'd ever like to meet someone that thought that way," Harry admitted. People could say very harsh things when they believed they were in the right. He'd suffered enough persecution at the Dursley's for being something he couldn't control.

"No," Hermione agreed, "I imagine not. I wouldn't either." But she knew Harry wouldn't have to worry about that. If someone said hurtful words about Harry's sexual preferences not only would she and Ron curse them to a bloody pulp, but she had no doubt Blaise Zabini would positively ruin them. Harry had been completely oblivious to the dangerous gaze the dark-skinned young man fixed on her and Ron the moment they'd met in the entrance hall, though it had subsided—somewhat—once apologies had been given.

"I just—I don't know what to do about it. I mean, I had that date with Cho, but that was..." Harry cringed in remembrance. Simply spending time with the girl had been painful. She'd cried all the time, and they really hadn't had anything besides a love of Quidditch in common. Not to mention the kiss in the Room of Requirement. Harry had almost jumped out of his skin when she'd laid her lips on his, and only good manners and paralyzing shock had prevented him from shoving her away. He'd never been kissed before that, but he was sure it wasn't supposed to be so... uncomfortable.

Hermione's lips twitched. Harry had described the little kiss he and Cho had shared as "wet," but the look of horror on his face when he'd recalled the experience had said a thousand more words. "I think that you should take it a step at a time. You need to figure out just what you want from Blaise before anything happens."

"I know, but... I'm pretty sure I know what I want." He wanted Blaise's hugs, his gentle touches, his quiet words, his deep laugh, his soothing presence—everything that Blaise offered now. But, he also wanted more than that. He couldn't deny that he wanted to know what it was like to be kissed by Blaise—would he be forward and level-headed like he usually was, or tender like the way he sometimes cupped Harry's face to trace his features? Or would he be rough and demanding and controlling of Harry's every action? Harry shivered at the thought, a sudden flash of heat uncurling deep inside him.

If those books of his were good for anything, it was ideas like that. He wouldn't mind trying out everything he'd read with Blaise. No, Harry mused, not at all.

Harry shook his head to clear his thoughts before turning back to Hermione, who was patiently waiting for him to continue. "I don't know how to tell him," Harry admitted. Or when to tell him. Or whether or not Blaise would even accept. Harry would be surprised if Blaise returned his feelings; the thought was so strange that it was laughable. Who would like someone like Harry?

He couldn't help, though, the small, fragile seed of hope inside his chest, an oft-forgotten place full of sacred "what ifs" and future possibilities.

And then there was Voldemort. The thought sobered Harry immediately. Blaise would be in so much danger if he got involved with Harry. That alone made his concerns moot. "I'm dangerous to be around," Harry whispered sadly, slouching into the couch. "You and Ron—I can't do anything to prevent you following me; we've been together since first year. You know the risks. But Blaise..." He trusted Blaise, he really did, but there was something so painful about the thought of him being hurt—even more so than Ron and Hermione. He couldn't put Blaise's life on the line like that. He wouldn't.

After a long, contemplative silence, Hermione spoke. "I think that you'll know how to tell him when the time comes," Hermione said, answering his first anxiety. "And as for Voldemort... I think that Blaise was aware of the danger of getting involved with you when you first met him, Harry. He's a Slytherin, remember? Voldemort is very real to them—I don't think he has any illusions about that."

Harry made a small noise of understanding but didn't look all that encouraged. From his glazed eyes, Hermione could see that he was off in another world entirely. She nearly flinched in surprise when he stood suddenly and walked slowly towards the common room entrance, still deep in his own thoughts.

"Harry?" she asked after him, but he didn't answer. Hermione watched him go with a sad frown. "Don't you see the way he looks at you, Harry?" she whispered to herself, once the portrait had closed after his exit. "It's like you're the most important thing in the world to him."


When Harry got to the kitchens, he was surprised to see Blaise had gotten there first. He hung back for a moment, observing the intense, ice-cold fury that colored the Slytherin's features. He was leery of bothering Blaise when he was so obviously in a bad mood lest his anger be redirected towards Harry, but concern soon won out over caution and Harry approached their sofa.

"Hey," Harry whispered, standing off to the side so as to not startle the other.

Blaise's head snapped up so quickly that Harry nearly recoiled in preparation for whatever slur would be thrown his way, but the dark-skinned man's features softened immediately upon seeing him. Blaise stood swiftly and approached him, wasting no time catching the other in his arms and burying his face in the sable-haired teen's neck. "Harry," Blaise murmured, his voice muffled against Harry's skin.

Said young man blinked in bewilderment as he dangled a foot from the ground, before tentatively reaching up and wrapping his arms around Blaise's shoulders. He was confused at the sudden mood change. What had gotten Blaise so worked up?

"What's wrong?" Harry asked after the tension lining Blaise's shoulders—which, given Hermione's earlier observations, Harry had to admit were really quite fantastic—eased.

Blaise sighed and pulled back to look Harry in the eyes, though he had yet to release him. "Nothing important," he responded quietly, drinking in Harry's worried appearance.

Harry frowned at the non-answer, but allowed Blaise his secret. He let Blaise carry him to the sofa, admitting to himself that it was nice to be engulfed by the man's strong arms after his earlier conversation with Hermione. He sighed happily as a large hand found its way into his hair, before he tensed ever-so-slightly as a sharp tug sent a spike of heat down his spine.

Okay, he had enjoyed that far too much.

"What brought you down here?" Blaise asked, breaking the comfortable quiet between them. The hustle of the kitchens seemed so far off, ensconced in their own little piece of the universe as they were. Neither noticed Winky drop off a platter of their favorite treats.

Harry's eyes began to droop and he yawned, the heat of Blaise's body having a somnolent effect on him. "Missed you," he replied, pressing his nose into the fabric covering the Slytherin's chest. He smelled sooo good.

Blaise hummed in reply. "The feeling is mutual," he said, carding a hand through Harry's thick hair. He watched the teen in his arms drift off, not once releasing his hold. He had seen the strain in Harry's features when he'd first arrived, and the way that he'd shied away at Blaise's expression. The reaction had hurt; a deep, punishing spike of pain had erupted in his chest at the wary, almost fearful look he'd seen on Harry's face.

He'd come down to the kitchens after nearly suffocating Malfoy into unconsciousness to return some order to his thoughts. Blaise was no stranger to violence, nor was he afraid of using it; he could be plenty sadistic on his own right, and he wasn't ashamed of it. While Malfoy had threatened Harry, he was simply an irritating pest—of no real consequence in the long run. Blaise, however, had nearly gone off the deep-end because the blond had no filter between his brain and his mouth.

He didn't regret threatening the little brat until he nearly soiled himself, not really; the blond had needed to know that Blaise wouldn't tolerate any interference and Blaise wouldn't lie and say he hadn't enjoyed it. He just didn't much fancy dealing with the consequences of his inability to keep his head on straight where Harry was concerned. Rumors about the incident would spread, and the entire school would be privy to what happened within the day. Harry would be subject to even more attention and Snape would, doubtlessly, call Blaise to his office once he was made aware.

The latter he could deal with; he was even looking forward to having a shot at the man who'd made Harry's life miserable for the last six years. The former, though, was regrettable. He knew how much Harry hated his fame. Blaise's lack of control would only make that more severe.

He sighed, tightening his grip on Harry's slight frame. He swore to himself that while the green-eyed teen might see Blaise lose his temper—it would occur whether he liked it or not—Harry would never be on the receiving end of it. He glanced at the clock on the opposite wall before settling himself more comfortably on the sofa.

Only one more day until the weekend.


Side note: Story's rating was increased to M because of this chapter's content. Blaise, you naughty boy, you.