Title: By All the Different Kinds of Light
Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling and associates own these characters. I am writing this for fun and not profit.
Warnings: Fluff, sex, established relationship, ignores the epilogue.
Summary: Harry and Draco wed in the turning of the year, on the cusp of the world.
Author's Notes: This is the last in my "Seasonal Processions" series, a group of one-shots focused around the neopagan holidays. It's the direct sequel to "Flame and Shadow," but you should read the others before that one if you haven't done so. This is for the holiday of Imbolc.
By All the Different Kinds of Light
Draco was getting married today.
He lay still, thinking that, for some time after he woke up. When he could close his eyes, he did, but mostly he kept them open so that he could watch the pale winter sun dancing on the walls. The beams slid up and down, fractured, and came back together again, a pinwheel that Draco knew was mostly due to his wards. If he tilted his head or waved his wand, he could drop the wards and the sun would look normal. Once, he would have done that, impatient with anything that spoke of such merry playfulness, because it didn't fit in with his life.
Once, he never would have lain here like this past waking.
But his life had changed in the past eleven months, a breath of spring that touched his face and his throat and finally his heart, and Draco thought differently about things than he had. He lay there and watched the sun play, and let it.
When he finally picked up his wand and turned his head, it was only to cast a Tempus Charm, and he smiled at the resulting numbers.
He was getting married in seven hours.
It was plenty of time.
Draco knocked briskly at Harry's door and gave his robes one more critical glance. Harry had helped him choose them, and then Granger had cast the necessary alteration and cleaning spells, since no one at the shop where they had chosen them would do it. (Draco was convinced they had sold to him at all only because of the damage Harry could do to them if he actually spread gossip, as he'd threatened to). They were a deep color, on the far side of dove-grey, and Draco was pleased with them—
Well, except for the grass strains that had collected on the hem when he crossed Harry's yard. Draco cast a spell that removed those, and the robes shifted and sparked and then fell back around him, caressing his skin with aching softness. Draco had to swallow back the excitement in his throat.
This day was a large glass ball that he carried in his arms, and until he knew that he could set the ball down and it wouldn't break, he would have to be careful.
"Harry!" he called, knocking again. It would be just like the git to oversleep on the morning of his own wedding.
Wonder threatened to overwhelm Draco for a moment. That he was getting married, that he knew that about Harry, that he was marrying Potter of all people—
The wonder disappeared down his throat when he thought about it. Once, he would have thought himself worthy of this honor, instead of being overwhelmed with gratitude. He had to remember that. Gratitude would poison the beginning of his relationship with Harry. Harry wasn't marrying Draco to save him or salve his reputation, but because he loved him.
And Draco could finally believe in that, now.
The door opened, and Harry yawned full in his face, hopping back and forth on one foot as he tried to drag a boot on. "Yes, yes, I remember," he said.
"But you haven't remembered that you need to put on your wedding robes," Draco said, rolling his eyes as he stepped inside. He felt light flickering under his skin, as if he wore the sunlight that had danced through his wards that morning. "You aren't getting married in Auror robes and dragonhide boots, Harry."
Harry blinked and looked down at the boot on his foot. "But I thought the ones I was wearing to the wedding were like this."
"Not like that," Draco said, giving the boot a sidelong glance. It carried scars on the toes and the sides from acid, a stray curse gone wrong, and God knew what else. "I want you to wear something that we can be proud of when we look at the photos, and something that will keep you warmer than that can."
Harry blinked at him again, but nodded, obedient. Draco told himself to remember that pertinent little fact: Harry was much more likely to do what he wanted if Draco woke him early in the morning.
And there were ways to wake him more pleasant than knocking on his door, too, so Draco thought Harry would forgive him in time.
"They need to look like the ones that I know Weasley took you to buy," Draco said, and stuck out his wand. "Accio Harry's nice dragonhide boots."
There was a noise down the corridor that was probably a cupboard door flying open, and then the boots came soaring along. Draco caught them by the heel in one hand and smiled. Yes, they were shining and glossy and didn't look as though they had ever stepped in the mud and snow that they would later this morning. Draco added a pre-emptive Cleaning Charm anyway, as well as one that should keep off the worst of the stains, and then thrust them at Harry. "Here. Wear these."
Harry dragged off the ones he had put on and squirmed into the boots, muttering under his breath. "They pinch my feet," he said. "I don't understand how this is supposed to be better than the old, comfortable ones. At least with those, I know that I wouldn't fall over on my way to you."
"This is what I want," Draco said haughtily.
Harry gave him a melting look, and Draco smiled. It had been a long time since a mere statement of his desires was enough to influence someone else.
He could grow used to this.
Draco Apparated into Hogsmeade and paused, with a startled blink. He had expected that most of the people he saw in the village would either be glaring at him or quietly going about their business, determined to ignore a wedding they disapproved of.
Instead, people lined the sides of the streets and cheered. Draco glanced back and forth between them, seeing numerous signs that said something about supporting the Savior and his decisions, or that the world would be better off if more people followed their hearts and chose the ones they loved rather than the ones their parents forced them to marry. (Some of the signs were rather absurdly long). It was by no means the entire population of Hogsmeade, but it was more than Draco had expected.
He understood when he began to walk between them and some of them glared anyway. He also received more brisk nods than congratulations. They were here to support Harry, not him. They wanted to ensure that those who could hurt Harry would leave him alone, but they didn't really care for Draco.
Draco thought about being insulted by that. Then he put back his shoulders and walked between them as though the whole celebration was for him and he couldn't tell the difference.
He had come to the place where he could afford to take insults lightly. A few months ago, a few years ago, he would have flinched from the briefest meeting of eyes. He had thought he would never marry, partially because he had come to distrust all romantic advances. They inevitably came only from people pretending to be in love with him, and three exposures as a laughingstock had been enough.
Harry had changed things. He had given Draco the chance to resume his strength and his position. Draco could act bitter and angry if he wanted; he could jeer back at those who jeered at him.
But Harry had chosen what Draco thought was actually the stronger path with that ritual in the Ministry. Demonstrate deep and pure love to the public, and they would have to accept that, at least, Draco hadn't used the Imperius Curse or a love potion on Harry.
They might still hate him. Draco wasn't under the impression that he had become anyone's favorite person.
He didn't have to let that hate control his life.
So he strutted along between his honor guards, and reached the field beyond Hogsmeade where they were to wed soon enough. Harry had wanted to get married close to Hogwarts, but not actually on the grounds. Draco had asked why not, as he knew the place was the closest thing to a home Harry'd had as a child, and Harry had ducked his head and given an awkward shrug with one shoulder.
"Because you must have some pretty bloody awful memories from it," he muttered. "I want you to be happy."
Draco had agreed without much more thought. Now, striding across the ground with his grey robes floating just above the snow thanks to a subtle spell, he decided it was an inspired choice.
And that wasn't only because of the people waiting ahead of him, though it had a lot to do with one of them.
Harry was nearest to him, watching the road up from Hogsmeade with a solicitude that made Draco flush. He wore the nice new robes that Granger had bullied him into buying and the dragonhide boots Draco had chosen. His hair wasn't tame, but it didn't look as though he had only used a comb and a bit of water, either, the way Draco knew he did most mornings. Around his neck was a silver torque that Draco blinked at. Harry had joked about wearing it—he'd apparently bought it as a celebration of surviving his first case, where someone had tried to decapitate him—but Draco hadn't known he would.
Granger and Weasley stood to the other side of Harry, with the rest of the Weasley clan gathered behind them. Draco savored the sulky expression on Girl-Weasley's face although it wasn't one-half as sulky as he'd expected, admired the added beauty that Fleur Weasley gave the group, and politely looked away from the Weasley matriarch's red-streaked face. He had to accept them as Harry's guests, especially because he knew Harry wouldn't have accepted them if they hadn't kept their promise not to abuse Draco, but he didn't get much pleasure out of their presence.
Not one of his co-workers had come, not one of his former friends. They were all distant from him, now that he had become a target of general mockery in the years after the war. Draco did at least respect their honesty for not trying to force their way back into his life now that he had chosen the most famous and attractive wizard in the current generation, though.
Of course, my former friends might have different opinions on that. But this didn't bother Draco, since they were wrong.
He halted next to Harry, who reached out and squeezed his hand, too hard. Draco gave him a glance from one eye as they waited for the wizard who would bond them to arrive. Harry's face was calm, and he made small-talk with Weasley and Granger as if this were any other morning in his life. Only that squeeze told Draco differently.
Only I get to see that I'm stronger than he is right now.
Before Draco could glory in that position too much, a sharp pop of Apparition made him turn and look down the trail. There was a slender witch with floating blond hair, wearing overly-elaborate golden robes, walking towards them from Hogsmeade. As she came closer, Draco could see that she wore sandals, completely inappropriate for the snow and the cold. Of course, there were always Warming Charms, but—
Then she came close enough for him to recognize.
"Lovegood?" he hissed out of the corner of his mouth at Harry.
Harry appeared startled, but, after a moment, smiled. "I asked for someone friendly to come," he murmured. "I didn't know that it would be her. I didn't know that she'd taken up bonding people."
Draco stiffened his neck as he stared down the path. Lovegood was coming closer and closer, but he didn't think everyone in Hogsmeade might have seen her yet, depending on where she had Apparated in. If they hadn't, and they heard about this, then he could pretend that he hadn't been married by the maddest student in Hogwarts—
Hogwarts was a long time ago, Draco.
Yes, it had been. And he had lost the respect of his peers since then, and gained Harry. Draco took a few deep breaths and made himself relax. If he was married by Lovegood, well, it was scarcely the greatest humiliation to happen to him in the last few years. And he would do his best to make sure that no part of his wedding actually was humiliating.
When she came closer, her eyes at least focused on them, so there was that. And she smiled at them both, then raised her hands and shaped a circle in the air, the way that she was supposed to. If she wore sandals, well, she didn't shiver as the snowflakes drifted over her.
"You have your rings," she said, with the utter assurance of someone who had arranged things in a certain pattern and expected to find them just as she had left them.
Draco faltered for a moment, but Harry produced a small black wooden box, and opened it to reveal two silver rings. Draco relaxed. Harry slid the nearest one over his finger, turning to face him as he did so.
Draco's heart sped up, and the world around them, snow and Lovegood and watching Weasleys and all, disappeared. Harry's eyes shone, and Draco had to blink away the tears that wanted to fall from his own eyes because of that. It was hardly dignified or worthy of him to cry right now.
On the other hand, this was a moment he had once thought would never come, even when he had begun to trust Harry. Tears were hardly necessary, no, but they might be all right.
"Make your vows," Lovegood said, her voice a distant push of warm air against Draco's ears.
"I accept you as mine," Harry said, his voice, by contrast, resonant and warm and so ringing that Draco didn't understand why people didn't pour out of Hogsmeade protesting at the noise. "I accept your love and offer my own. I will struggle for your happiness, and I expect you to struggle for mine. If we part, let it be by mutual agreement and not because something small and petty drives us apart. I will speak to you, hold you, shelter you, exist with you, fight with you, stand at your side. I ask you to do the same for me." The ring was fully slid into place now, behind Draco's knuckle, and so his fingers ran up and down Draco's, while he looked at him with eyes so full that Draco blushed.
One of the Weasleys might have made a disparaging comment. Draco never heard it, if so. He reached for his own ring and put it on Harry's finger. Harry's eyes fluttered the way they did when Draco gave him a different and much more private kind of touch.
Again Draco felt the surge of power that he had when he and Harry cooperated in the public ritual to show that the rumors of him enchanting Harry were false and they were in love. He could bring Harry to his knees like this. He was the only one who could, because he was the only one Harry would ever grant that power to. He leaned forwards and spoke his vows a few inches from Harry's lips, so that he could kiss him the moment they were done.
"I accept you as mine." A strong shiver from Harry at that, and Draco smiled at him, into him, through him. Oh, yes, he was going to enjoy this, the wedding ceremony and the wedding night and all the marriage after. "I accept your love and offer my own. I will struggle for your happiness, yes, and I expect you not to give up that struggle even if it seems difficult. If we part, I will confront you, tell you why, and try to win your agreement. I will speak back to you, hold you, shelter you, exist with you, fight with you, stand at your side. I will ask you to do the same for me, but to always do it, until and unless we part." He had pushed the ring fully into place now, too, and he kissed Harry on the lips, a kiss that seemed to sting and hurt, probing deeper into his bones and mouth than he had known a kiss could go.
Something softer and colder than snow fell on his hair. Draco pulled back, startled, and found that sparks of silver light were coming from Lovegood's wand. She looked back and forth between them with a smile so contented that Draco felt some of his resentment for her being at here at all melt.
"Yes," Lovegood said simply. "Yes, I think you have more than proved that you can bond. And I declare you bonded." She waved a hand, and another shower of silver sparks flew up, settling briefly around his and Harry's wrists and necks as chains. No, Draco thought when he stretched out one hand to look at them, garlands.
Then the garlands faded, and the people who held flowers among the Weasleys—which seemed to be everyone—tossed them, and Draco stepped back with a dazed feeling. He had bonded to Harry Potter. He had married Harry Potter.
He had no idea what would happen next, at least not immediately. That single fact was immense enough to block out everything else.
Then Harry took his hand and leaned forwards to kiss him again, and Draco decided that there were other things he could remember. He looped his arms around Harry's waist and kissed back, hard enough to make Harry stagger, before he turned them in place and Apparated.
They landed in the middle of Harry's bedroom. Draco registered, dimly, that he had Apparated straight through Harry's wards as well as all the distance from Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, and then forgot about it. He shoved Harry down and knelt, kissing him hungrily, feeling the ring on his finger like a chain that freed him.
"Draco," Harry said, and shoved his glasses aside as though he had discovered how ugly they made him look. Draco laughed soundlessly into his stomach and kissed him, sucking on the skin there. Then he began to shove off their robes. He knew that he could enchant them off faster, but he had lost his wand somewhere and didn't remember where.
He wanted to touch, hold, kiss, embrace, lie on top of, lie beneath, fuck, suck, frot, but the way it worked out was that he lay between Harry's legs, while Harry grasped his shoulders and his hips at the same time and urged him to get the lube.
"Draco, Draco, please," was all he said, but from the sounds that he was making and the way he rocked up and down, Draco knew what he wanted. He reached out a hand on which the ring still gleamed—the only thing he wore, now—and scooped up the pot of lube that Harry had taken to leaving on the table beside the bed ever since Draco became a regular visitor.
Not a visitor, not now. Draco laughed and was dizzy, and took forever, in Harry's complaining opinion, to cover his cock and Harry's hole with lube. The oil smeared and turned thicker in his fingers than usual. When he put one finger into Harry, it seemed as though Harry had trouble accepting him. Draco wanted to wait then, to cease the laughter, because he thought he might be hurting Harry, but Harry complained again and kicked him in the arse with the heel of one leg curled around Draco's hips.
"In me," he said, and who was Draco to resist a command like that? He shoved in so hard that Harry grunted, but it was in approval, and then he moaned, and then he spread his legs wide and stared at Draco with dim, inviting eyes.
"Come on," he gasped.
Draco climbed above him and shoved his cock in without any more preparation. Harry still didn't seem to worry about it, instead humming beneath his breath and lifting his hips so that Draco found himself sliding all the way in before he thought about it. Then he was the one gasping and humming, while Harry squeezed him enthusiastically, trying to get him to go faster, ever faster.
Clenching warmth in Harry's arse. Impossible green in Harry's eyes. Dazzling force in his hands that clutched Draco and roamed up and down his body, squeezing and pinching in the most unlikely places.
Draco hurtled ahead, panting and confused, and his hands were in places he hadn't remembered commanding them to go, either: squeezing Harry's hips, twisting his nipples, cupping his face so that he could haul it nearer for a try at a kiss. Harry laughed against his lips, which might be a good sign or a bad one, and then shoved himself down enthusiastically, which made Draco decide it was a good one.
His orgasm came tumbling along in the midst of the daze and seized Draco, making him push further inside Harry and release with a shout and a shake of his head, half-laughing himself now, wild enough to hurt with the pleasure. He slumped over Harry's chest but kept thrusting, moving his hips from side to side as Harry watched him with dreamy eyes.
No missing when Harry started to come; his eyes suddenly snapped wide and he gasped, his hips pumping back. Draco felt the wetness spreading across his stomach and sighed, nuzzling into Harry's hair. It smelled like him, he thought. Dark, sweat-soaked, wild.
Harry lay back against the pillow and breathed for endless moments, his hands running up and down Draco's back. Draco felt the coolness of the ring against his skin and smiled.
"I—was that real?" Harry asked. "I mean, I know it was, but it doesn't feel like it was."
"I know," Draco whispered, and kissed him.
"Why did we go so fast?" Harry asked, when he pulled back from the kiss. He blinked at Draco and then at the ceiling, as if he thought it might have answers for him. "I mean—what? We'll have the rest of our lives to be together."
The rest of our lives. Draco thought he found the answer in that simple statement. He bowed his head and ran his tongue up the center of Harry's breastbone. Harry's breath caught and choked.
"We will," Draco whispered. "Which means that we have the time for hurried lovemaking as well as long and slow."
Harry stared at him, and then smiled. His ring shone as he reached out and laid the backs of his fingers against Draco's cheek. Draco turned his head and kissed the fingers.
From behind Harry's shoulder, he watched the winter sunlight shine in. Spring was coming fast on its heels, life stirring up and struggling up, beating its wings and sending its shoots. Draco's hand tightened on Harry's hip, and then he reached down for his wand and lit the candles in the room with a flick of his wrist.
Harry blinked at him. "It's still daylight," he said. "Why'd you do that?"
"I want to see you by all the different kinds of light," Draco said, drawing back so that he could admire the patterns the candles sent through the sweat on Harry's skin. They darted and glimmered and flashed, and he sighed in admiration and reawakening desire. "By years of different light," he added, and bent his head to kiss Harry.
"Yes," Harry breathed, before their mouths met.
Affirmation surged through Draco, crested, and shone like light, as steady and inevitable as the turning of the earth.