A/N: As sad as it is for me to say, we've arrived at the last chapter of We the Kings. Thank you so much for everyone who gave this story a chance and read it to the end. It was a blast to write and even more exciting to read your reviews. You guys rock my world. I hope it was everything you wanted it to be.
I also hope to post a new story sometime in the future. Some of you have asked me what's next on my agenda, and I'm happy to say that I've started planning out the sequel to MHDSR. Hopefully, I can get that one up and running in the not too distant future.
Have a safe and awesome 2012.
We the Kings
When he was a young child, Harry had always dreamed of leading mighty armies, fighting the most evil foes, rescuing the innocent and then coming home to his family once justice had been restored upon the earth once more. It was the dream of every young boy who hoped to become a knight.
Now, as he looked around the town centre of Gryffindor, surveying the carousing celebrations, revelry and drunken bliss of his townsfolk, it was hard to believe he could tick most of his list off. One thing, however, remained. His family.
Draco was currently hidden in Harry's home. As the only Slytherin who had returned to Gryffindor, he was understandably a little reluctant to show himself. During the journey back north, he had covered his hair with a heavy cowl to conceal his recognisable features, and upon arrival, swiftly hidden himself away. Harry had of course wanted to stay with him, but Draco had forced him to go and have fun.
So he found himself standing on the edge of the celebrations, observing the result of their victory today, and feeling deeply satisfied. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a dark polished stick the length of his forearm and stared at it curiously. Earlier, the Professor had given him a wand, with instructions to accustom himself to wielding the instrument. Despite knowing the power of magic, Harry still found it odd to trust your entire life into a thin and easily breakable stick. He lifted his arm, holding the wand aloft and feeling a little silly. He mimicked the spell he had once heard Dumbledore chant, whispered, "Lumos!"
The wand-tip alighted with a bright and unnatural light. The magic fuelling the phenomenon seemed to come from his very bones. There was a rushing energy buzzing inside him, with Harry could only liken to the warmth he felt when drinking alcohol. He stared at his wand, a small smile tugging at his lips. If he was honest with himself, he couldn't wait to learn more.
"One day, my boy," the Professor had told him, "the whole Kingdom will learn magic once again, thanks to you."
Harry had flushed.
He looked up from his wand to see Ron approaching him from a distance. He swiftly whispered, "Nox!" to his wand and watched the light dim to black.
He knew Ron would eventually come to know all about magic, but Harry decided now wasn't the right time. Not when Ron was drunk off his head and walking in a straight line proved to be difficult.
"Harry!" Ron bellowed to him as he finally neared him, a large tankard of beer in each hand. "I can't have you moping around like some depressed Slytherin." He shoved one of the jugs towards Harry; the liquid inside sloshed dangerously, threatening to spill. "Drink! Get drunk! Laugh! Make love! Regret it in the morning!"
Harry laughed and took the proffered alcohol, before placing it on a chair beside him. "No thanks, Ron. I'd prefer to keep sober."
"Why?" Ron asked, screwing his face extraordinarily, as if requesting to remain sober was unapologetically absurd. "The war is over. That bastard Riddle is gone. Have some fun!"
"I am," Harry replied happily. "You can have fun without alcohol, you know."
Ron blinked at him. Clearly, he didn't agree. Harry grinned.
"Whatever," Ron blurted, "If I don't see you dancing and drinking and laughing at some point tonight, I'll … I'll …"
But Ron's gaze had caught on something over Harry's shoulder. "Sweet Merlin … My eyes have seen an angel of heaven," he breathed somewhat dramatically.
Harry spun to see Hermione exiting her tent. In place of her usual royal blue robes, she was wearing an exquisite gown of dark red in honour of Gryffindor's victory. Her cinnamon hair was let down in waves over her shoulders. She looked absolutely incredible. Harry could see why Ron was completely besotted.
"She cleans up nicely," Harry said.
"Nicely?" Ron echoed incredulously. "Harry, have you seen her? She's a goddess!"
Harry laughed and slapped his friend on the shoulder.
Ron proceeded to rhapsodise about Hermione's beauty; everything from her hair to her toes. This made Harry wonder when Ron had seen Hermione's toes, and then swiftly shook his head to relieve himself of the thought. He didn't want to know what Ron and Hermione did when no one was watching.
"I don't deserve her," Ron said at the end of his speech with a loud sigh. "Look at her. She's a Princess. And what am I? Just a stupid Hufflepuff knight."
"No you're not," Harry corrected. "You're a Gryffindor noble."
Ron shook his head and frowned at him. "I beg your pardon?"
Harry shrugged. "Since I'm the King, I figured I get to choose who my noblemen are to be, and I choose you, Lord Weasley."
Ron looked sceptical. "That sounds odd."
"It won't to her father, though," Harry said, placing an arm around Ron's shoulder and speaking in his ear while they both looked at Hermione in the distance. "Think about how much more the King of Ravenclaw will agree to a union between his daughter and you, if you were a noble in the Gryffindor Court." Harry grinned. "Which you are, as of right now."
Ron's face changed. His eyes slowly opened wider. "Really?" he asked, all joking aside, realising a relationship with Hermione could actually be a possibility.
"Of course. Hermione doesn't need to marry a Prince or a King, just as long as the one she's betrothed to has noble blood."
"But I don't have noble bl—"
"Kneel," Harry said with a large grin.
Ron did a double take. "What?"
Harry chuckled. "Kneel, you fool."
Ron gave him a dry look. "Harry."
"Do you or do you not want to have noble blood?"
"Waving your stupid Sword around my shoulders isn't going to give me noble blood," Ron reasoned.
Harry shrugged, deciding that was true. "Let's just pretend we did it, yeah? That way you can tell everyone that you were knighted into the Gryffindor Court by the King. That sounds plausible."
Ron thought for a moment, then nodded. "Thanks."
Harry smiled. "No problem. That had to be the worst knighting ceremony in the history of the world."
Ron snorted. "Probably."
"But now you have a chance with your goddess," Harry reminded him with a wink.
Ron turned to look at Hermione once more, who was standing at the edge of the town square, laughing at the merriment before her. "I suppose I do," he muttered.
"Go to her," Harry advised wisely to friend. "Go get your Princess."
Ron hit Harry on the shoulder and nodded. "Thanks, mate." Then, eyes glued on Hermione, he moseyed off to her.
Harry smiled happily as he watched Ron walk away to his beloved, and pondered of his own relationship with Draco. A thought occurred to him. If the possibility of Ron and Hermione's relationship could be made public, Harry decided it was time to let others know about his secret too.
Spurred on by a sudden bolt of courage, he cupped his hands around his mouth and called, "Hey, Ron!"
Ron turned. "Yeah?"
Harry opened his mouth to call his friend back towards him, ready to spill his secret. But then saw the look in Ron's eyes. It was a look of excitement, love and hope. Here was a man who appeared to have discovered all the treasures of the earth in Hermione and he couldn't wait to go and be with her, the one person in the world he loved most.
Harry smiled. Perhaps now wasn't the best time anyway. "Never mind. Go have fun!"
Ron grinned and waved. "Will do, Harry!" Turning back, he continued towards Hermione.
There would be enough time later on to tell him, Harry decided wisely. Ron could spend one more night in ignorant bliss. What's more, there was also the matter of Ron finding out about his and Ginny's separation. Yes, Harry thought, a small measure of dread making him wince, postponing the news was definitely the right course of action for now.
Harry looked backward in the general direction of his house and decided he desperately wanted to go to Draco. He had stayed away for long enough.
"I believe congratulations are in order," the voice of Remus came from behind Harry.
He turned to see his mentor and Sirius approaching him, both with proud smiles on their faces.
Harry returned them with his own smile. "Hope you're both having a good time."
"Thanks to you," Remus added. "But something tells me you're not."
Harry chuckled. "Just because I'm not drunk doesn't mean I'm not having a good time."
Sirius snorted while Remus replied, "Trust me, I'm not Ron, I know that."
Smiling, Harry shook his head casually and shrugged. "I'm just thinking, and enjoying watching all this." He made a vague pointing gesture to the carousing crowds before them.
"Of course," Remus said vaguely. He nodded and looked around. After twenty years of living with him, Harry could tell Remus had something he wanted to say. Harry could almost see his mind ticking away. Remus pursed his lips.
Harry almost wanted to roll his eyes amusedly. He knew what Remus wanted to say. Deciding to save Remus from his own hesitance, Harry said, "He's at my house."
Remus and Sirius looked at Harry sharply. "He is?" Remus asked.
Harry nodded. "I'm assuming you told Sirius," Harry guessed.
"Yeah … I hope that's okay," Sirius said.
"Sooner or later, everyone's going to know. I'm glad you already do. Keeping him a secret is one of the hardest things I have to do … And considering what happened today, that's saying something."
"Why aren't you with him?" Sirius asked.
Harry laughed. "He forced me to leave and have fun with everyone." He shook his head fondly. "I think he's worried he's keeping me away from all my friends. I don't think he realises there's nowhere else I'd rather be than with him."
Remus smiled encouragingly. "Well, when he's ready, tell him that it would be an honour to meet him."
Harry thought for a brief second and said impulsively, "Why don't you come meet him now?"
"Now?" Remus echoed. Sirius raised his eyebrows.
Harry nodded. "It'd be good. And since you already know about us, there's very little risk of someone having a heart attack." He frowned. "Except maybe Draco," he added as an afterthought. "I'd really like people to start to get to know him. And who better than you two?"
Sirius and Remus shared a glance. "If you're sure," Remus said slowly.
He led them to his house, tucked away on one edge of the town and safely away from the celebrations. A light was lit inside the small abode.
Harry knocked twice. "Draco?"
"Harry?" came his voice, sounding hopeful.
Harry smiled. "Draco, don't be scared … but I've got two of my close friends here with me."
Silence met him. Harry could almost see Draco frozen with his grey eyes widened comically, wondering what on earth Harry was thinking.
When Harry knew Draco wouldn't say anything, he added, "Don't worry. They know."
Harry, Remus and Sirius shared a look.
After a long while, Draco said softly, "Oh, okay … come in."
Harry slowly opened the door and saw Draco standing by the table, looking petrified. "Hey," he greeted with a smile. "You okay?"
Draco nodded stiffly.
Harry turned to gesture to the two men. "Draco, this is Remus and Sirius, my late father's two closest friends. Remus, Sirius, this is Draco."
"It's a pleasure to meet you," Remus spoke.
Draco licked his lips. "Pleasure to meet you too." His eyes turned to Harry and then back to Remus quickly. "Harry didn't tell me anyone knew."
"We only just found out today."
Harry interrupted. "You didn't really give me a chance to tell you," he told Draco with a grin. "You forced me out."
"I wanted you to have fun," Draco explained.
"I know," Harry said, looking at Draco with warmth and affection.
A silence bordering on awkward settled in the room. Harry was relieved when Remus broke it a handful of seconds later.
"So, will you stay? In Gryffindor?" Remus asked.
Draco looked back at Remus. "I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do. I just … After the war finished, I didn't really want to return to Slytherin. But I supposed I'll have to eventually."
"We're glad you're here now," Sirius said.
Draco smiled hesitantly and released a breath. "I'm afraid not many others will be so welcoming," he responded, a hint of fear in his voice. "A lot of people won't take to the news lightly."
Remus gave Sirius a look and Sirius nodded in silent reply a second later. Remus turned to Draco. "The two of us, of all people, understand the most."
Draco's eyebrows dipped. "How so?"
Remus smiled and took Sirius' hand in his own warmly. Draco looked down at their joined palms and understanding crossed his face. Harry came over to stand beside Draco and smiled tenderly at him. "See? We're not so alone."
Draco turned his gaze to Harry and Harry was pleased to see his face had relaxed a little. "You could have told me," Draco said.
Harry grinned. "Where's the fun in that? You know I love surprises."
Draco nudged him playfully.
Harry laughed before taking a deep breath and sighing loudly. "Well! That's two down," Harry announced. "Just got figure out a way to tell the rest of the Kingdom."
Remus and Sirius chuckled. "Not to mention Ron."
Harry groaned and ran a hand through his hair. "Don't remind me. I was about to, you know. Earlier on."
"And?" Remus asked.
Harry waved one hand off vaguely and chuckled. "I wasn't really in the mood to risk his wrath. Tomorrow, maybe. Tonight we should celebrate." Harry turned and grinned at Draco.
Sirius piped up. "Well in that case, come on then." He opened the door. "The party awaits us!"
"You two go," Harry said. "I think I've had enough of people trying to force me to drink alcohol."
Remus laughed, giving Harry a warm look, and moved to the door. "Goodnight then."
"Goodnight," Harry and Draco said.
The two men left and closed the door behind them.
As soon as they were alone, Draco slapped Harry.
"Ow!" Harry yelped.
"You could have told me they were coming!" Draco accused.
"I did! Before I came in I warned you—"
"That's not a warning! That was just announcing your arrival!" he hissed.
"But it didn't go so bad, did it?" Harry tried to placate.
"I wasn't ready! You gave me no time to prepare what to say!"
"You said everything fine."
"I look terrible!"
"No, you don't."
"And you are a slob; look at this place."
"It's an absolute mess—!"
Harry kissed him, lifting a hand to hold Draco's neck and nape. Draco's words died in his throat. Harry couldn't help but smile into the kiss, playfully caressing Draco's soft hair. Draco's hands held onto Harry's arms and moaned softly. Pleased at his reaction, Harry kissed harder, sliding his tongue forward and tasting Draco.
Just when Harry's lower regions were stirring, Draco pulled his mouth away. "How are you going to tell everyone else?"
"Tell them what?" Harry kissed Draco's neck.
"Dunno." Harry pulled Draco closer and sucked at the skin near his pulse point.
"Harry, focus. When are you going to tell them?"
"Harry," Draco hissed, "we need to discuss—"
"The only thing we need to discuss right now," Harry interrupted, wrapping his solid arms around Draco's waist, "is bedroom or couch?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "We're not doing this. Not when all your family and friends are two steps away from us."
"First, they're a lot further away than two steps to hear us, and second, they're far too busy having fun to care. Now, if you don't mind, I'd really like to have my own kind of fun with you." Harry nipped Draco's ear and licked it, pleased when he felt Draco shiver.
"We still shouldn't do this …" Draco warned.
"I'm the bloody King of this place," Harry growled. "And, unless I'm mistaken, you're practically the King of Slytherin. Who's to stop us?"
Draco paused, thinking. Harry straightened his neck to see Draco pondering what Harry had just said. A slow grin formed on the blond's face.
"Two Kings, huh?" Draco said.
Harry returned the grin. "Who would have thought?"
Draco licked his lips and stepped closer to Harry. "Well, as Gryffindor and Slytherin are such hostile enemies, I think it's up to their Kings to discuss some … diplomatic negotiations."
Harry's grin lengthened wolfishly. "I couldn't agree more."
"We need to come to some sort of agreement," Draco said, almost in a whisper, nipping Harry on his lips lightly.
"You know what," Harry said, smiling down at Draco and backing him into his bedroom, "Something tells me Gryffindor and Slytherin are going to get on just fine."
At the doorway into his room, Harry swept Draco up in his arms. Draco laughed lightly as Harry took him inside.
[Date finished: Monday, December 5 2011]