Eighth in Deadly Herb Series
Written By: Emerald Falcon
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter nor do I have any rights to it or make any money by writing my stories.
Harry was pissed to say the least. Never in his life had he been so alone. Sure he had friends but did he despise them right now! Every last one of them had somebody. Dean was with Seamus, Hermione and Ron, Ginny and Lavender even Draco fucking Malfoy was engaged to marry some professional Quidditch player. What did he have? Absolutely nothing it was his final year in school, Voldemort was dead and he was the only person out of his year who didn't have a someone to share their life with.
Grumbling he pulled his shoulder length into a haphazard ponytail. He had grown it out after the war seemed to tame it more than keeping it short. Throwing on his uniform he grabbed his school bag and was out the door of the common room and off to the Great Hall.
Walking in he ignored the stares and whispers that always followed him it seemed. Taking a seat across from Ron and Hermione he was not surprised to find them completely engrossed with each other. Ron was even going so far as to hand fed Hermione. It almost made him gag at the sickening love filled the air.
Putting food on his plate he continued on with the meal. No one talked to him and he didn't talk to anyone. Looking up as the owls flew in his eyes fell on a beautiful white owl. He couldn't recognize the species ad he was positive her never saw it before. The owl flew over to him and hovered in front of him before landing gracefully on his shoulder. The small thing couldn't be any larger than the palm of his hand. At closer inspection he could see silver edges along the feathers about its chest and neck was strange, silver harness with a beautiful seal along the breast part of the harness. The seal was a tree branch with a snake curling around it. In the snakes mouth was a small stock of Foxglove. Staring at the symbol he gasped in pain when the bird nipped at his ear to get his attention.
Smiling he turned to the bird not minding the stares as he stroked the soft durable feathers. He hadn't seen a white owl since Hedwig had died. Cooing at it gently he gave the owl a few pieces of Bacon. A small throat clearing made him turn his attention to Ron.
The ginger was wide eyed, "Harry what are you doing with a fairy owl?"
Harry frowned, "Fairy Owl?"
Hermione cleared her throat, "They are a special breed of owls used by the fae to carry messages and sometimes they are even bred and raised as mounts while in fairy form. They are very rare to see by wizards. The crest on the harness tells you which family it is owned by and where they sit in society. You should unravel the letter Harry."
Harry turned back to the owl not seeing a note tied to its leg at all. Frowning he inspected the harness and smiled when he saw a small piece of leaf attached to the back. Removing the leaf he turned it over to the side with writing and squinted down at it to try to read the writing. Grumbling he cast an enlarging charm and smiled when it increased to the size of his palm to where he could read it.
I know you do not know me this is a fact, but I wish to remedy that. My heart calls to you and I wish to meet you when next I can. I cannot give you my name for fear this would be intercepted. I know you are smart so you should have already been able to guess what species I am. I have watched you grow over the years. Protected you when I could. You do not know this but also as your childhood friend. I remember when we used to play tag in the woods near the playground when you could get away from your relatives. I remember when you finally heard my name for the first time. I also remember the day I went to see you and you could no longer see me. I was never meant to fall in love with you. I want to see you again and this time you will see me again. The owl I sent to you is named Lark and he is yours. Consider him my first gift of many. I have made up my mind and despite the laws of my people I have decided. If you accept Snowshoe as my first gift of Courtship the crest will change on his harness to yours. If he does not return I will know you have accepted my wish to court you.
Harry stared at the letter and smiled briefly. He remembered vaguely of having an imaginary friend when he was younger. He had called him Foxglove. Smiling gently he stroked the beautiful bird one last before touching the harness gently. He could give love one last try. Softly he whispered, "Courtship accepted."
There was a bright flash of light and Harry winced and shut his eyes along with half the Great Hall. When the light faded Harry glanced at the owl who seemed unfazed save for the crest changing on his harness. Smiling he stood carefully leaf in hand. He could feel every eye on him and the owl on his shoulder. He knew the rarity of the owl and that a good number knew exactly what species it is.
Walking out of the castle and into the bright sun he smiled at the look of spring blooming rapidly around the castle. Smiling he stepped out and held out his hand watching the owl move down onto his hand perched rather happily. Tucking the leaf in his pocket he walked down to the lake and took a seat staring at his reflection. He didn't know how long he sat there staring. It wasn't like him to be so lose in thought.
It wasn't till the sun was high in the air did he finally stand and stretch hearing his bones protest strongly against the movement. The owl had went into the woods when he sat down returned rather smoothly to his shoulder holding a single stock of Foxglove in his talon. Harry rolled his eyes and took it gently before walking back into the castle. He wasn't in the mood to eat so he went to the library to look up information. He wanted to know more about fairies.
Looking about he found it empty of most students as it was a weekend. Grumbling under his breath he snatched the first book he saw and propped it open. Running his eyes over the pages he frowned in confusion. None of this sounded right to him. It almost disgusted him to find the 'facts' that where in the book. Throwing the book across the table he stalked back out and up the stairs. Silence rang loudly even as he entered the common room. It was so strange where the hell was everyone? Where they really all still in the Great Hall? Or where they all snogging in hidden rooms?
Shrugging he walked into the boys dorm and froze as his eyes fell to his bed. Several garlands of flowers and bright green vines had been twined about the bed posts and canopy. His mouth opened in awe as his fingers ran along the vines and flowers. The smell was so powerful and intoxicating to him. Smiling he gently moved some of the vines to the side to look into the canopy to find his bed covered in rose petals that where all a deep pink colour. On his pillow was a large bouquet of Foxglove and baby's-breath. Tucked beneath was another leaf note.
This one was larger but had only a short message etched onto the surface, 'Thank you for accepting my courtship. Soon we will meet once more. Forever Yours, Foxglove'.
Tears rose Harry's eyes and he set the note back down sitting on the bed. Moving them to the side of the pillow he laid back on his bed refusing to let the tears fall. He had destroyed Death Eaters and Dark Lords yet this person's actions drove him to tears. He could feel fear and excitement beating in his heart with a very strong feeling of hope. He hadn't known hope since before the war.
Turning to the owl now perched on his bed side lamp he smiled gently this was the most wonderful and frightening moment for him. What if he got hurt? Is this fairy worth the risk of having his heart completely shattered? Sighing he turned to stare at the flowers once more before smiling gently. Just this once… yes just this once he would take the risk.
The next morning he awoke to a bright Sunday morning and was not surprised when he found a few of the boys staring at his flower and vine covered bed in interest.
Dean looked at him, "What's with all the flowers and the Fairy Owl?"
Harry smiled gently, "I am being courted."
Ron gasped and turned to look at him, "You're going through a formal fairy courtship?"
The teen nodded and changed slowly into another set of casual clothes not caring when a few petals fell to the floor. Dressing completely he turned to Snowshoe the owl and stroked the owls feathers gently. Turning he ignored the looks of his fellow dorm mates as the owl hopped up to his shoulder and he strode out of the dorm and then out of the common room. He was finally happy and now his friends where questioning it.
Walking into the Great Hall he found the food served and most people absent save for a few of those early birds. Taking a seat he yawned lightly eating what he could, giving the owl a few pieces here and there. A gentle tap on his shoulder caused him to turn and he came face to face with Draco Malfoy.
Frowning Harry quipped, "What do you want Malfoy?"
Draco cleared his throat, "I would like to congratulate you on your courtship and give you this," the blonde extended his hand and a book was handed to him as the blonde continued, "It is a book on magical creature courtships and is very accurate. I was asked to give it to you by the leader on my family clan. Take care of it."
The Gryffindor looked down at the book and smiled brightly opening it to Fairy Courtships. The book was very simple in explaining the steps of the process and how it went by a day by day system.
Step One (One Day): The courtship is begun by the dominant sending a letter and token of courtship to the submissive. If accepted the courtship begins on that very day and a gift of nature must be given.
Step Two (A day to 6 months): If all has gone well with the first day then the submissive will continue to receive gifts of courtship. Each gift of each day will symbolize something about the dominant to help the submissive get to know his mate without finding out their true identity. This insures the submissive is in love with the dominant and not for physical reasons.
Step Three (One Night): This is the meeting stage. The two have agreed it is time to meet. This is a mutual decision that is felt more than discussed. Both parties will know when this stage must be completed. This begins the 'Dating' process of the relationship.
Step Four (one day to 6 months): The dating process. This is when they get to know each other face to face. They will come to know one another at an even deeper level.
Step Five: When first kiss is given the two have begun to bond on such a deep level that the dominant and submissive will feel it is time to declare engagement.
Step Six: This is when the marriage and mating is completed and the two are bound for eternity.
Nodding in understanding he looked up to see three more Fairy Owls come through the window and lay a wrapped package in front of him before flying out the window. Unwrapping it his mouth fell open to find a beautiful set of dress robes. They were the deepest shade of green he had ever seen and the material was so fine and soft beneath his fingers. Tucked in the folds of the garment was a small note, "My favourite colour is green. Forever Yours."
The gifts continued on for several weeks and exam time was quickly approaching. Everything from jewellery to trinkets to things as simple as flowers and ribbons where sent one after the other. Including Harry's favourite gift of all, a small wooden chest that had beautiful carvings and silver leafing about it. He had used it to stash the leaf notes and the smaller trinkets.
Harry had been having this deep ache in his chest for the past few days. It was growing worse and worse by the day and the only thing that ever lessoned it was clutching the letters to his chest and thinking of the person who was making him feel this way. Finally it came to one night of the full moon that he couldn't take it any longer and slid out side and out to the lake where he always went to think. Staring in its depths always helped him to think.
A soft hand landed on his shoulder and Harry whirled around his eyes meeting a solid pair of pupiless purple eyes, there wasn't even any white in the eye. It was like a vast deep purple void. His eyes trailed from the eyes and across the high arched cheek bones and flawless glowing white skin. To the long white hair that was spotted with light brown spots. The man was tall and thin yet muscled. It was like looking at an impossible creature. He blinked in fascination when his eyes caught the translucent wings on the man's back. The wings where long and graceful and the same purple as his eyes but see-through and peppered with the same brown spots as what was in his white hair. What shocked Harry the most was the loose jeans and tank that covered him. Never in his life would he have thought to see a fairy male dressed in muggle clothing.
Harry gasped as he was gathered against the chest of the male and even more unnerved when he felt the man taking in a deep breath of his scent. Pulling away he looked back up into the man's eyes, "Foxglove?"
The man smiled and nodded at him, "Yes," his voice soft no louder than a whisper.
The Gryffindor smiled brightly before leaning forward and kissing the male firmly on the lips. He could feel the fae stiffen before melting into the kiss as well. A pale hand came up to cup Harry's cheek and the kiss deepened until somehow Harry found himself on his back in the wet grass but only reacted by tangling his fingers into the taller man's white hair.
The two tangled together the kissing unending and loving. Finally the older male pulled away forcefully trying to breath properly before murmuring, "No, please no. I want a formal engagement. I don't know how we already got to this stage. But you deserve a formal engagement."
Harry smiled at the male gently and nodded in understanding. His hand was picked up and the fae slid a silver ring onto his finger. It was a thin band with a round cut diamond stone in the centre with two large leaf shaped emeralds on the sides, the two kissed once more before the fae vanished in a shower of sparks that sent Harry's mind whirling in fascination.
The next morning he was shocked to find several of the pureblood families coming to him and giving him small wrapped gifts congratulating him on his engagement. Even Draco Malfoy was found walking up to him with a gift to give him. He was so confused why where they all so intent and happy about his engagement and yet Ron and Hermione hadn't even acknowledged the ring on his finger or the other gifts and congratulations.
It wasn't till Dinner that night did Minerva stand and flourish her arms with a wide smile, "Hogwarts would like to welcome Prince Digitalis Purpurea of the Unseelie Court and his fiancé Hadrian James Potter."
Harry stood and turned to the door to find Foxglove standing at the door in flowing white robes and a silver circlet upon his head. He strode gracefully up to Harry and extended his arm. Taking it Harry stood and walked the rest of the way up to the table and chairs that had appeared in the front of the Great Hall. Every eye was turning and staring as the two sat gracefully in the chairs and the Prince raised the Gryffindor's hand to show of the engagement ring proudly.
Never before had the orphan felt so happy in his life and for some reason he felt like here sitting next to his future mate that everything would be fine. That his life was finally starting to make sense and that finally he had a life to call his own. Even if he was about to share it with the Prince of the Unseelie Court.