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Step one

Harry sighed quietly as he sat on the windowsill overlooking the expansive terrains of the Krum Estate. The sky was overcast, grey clouds threatening rain and promising yet another vicious storm. Ever since the Fidelius charm or its darker equivalent, of which Harry did not feel the need nor the want to know the particulars, had been cast over the Estate, sudden changes in the weather became common. The spellmaster had explained that the borders erected around the Estate would interact with the natural environment causing large fluctuations in the weather patterns. At least, this was what Harry had managed to glean from the rapid Bulgarian that was being exchanged back and forth between the three spellmasters hired for the task based on his three months dalliance with the language through Viktor.

Viktor – at the thought of the Bulgarian seeker with his tall, broad frame and dark, brooding countenance, Harry's lips quirked into a smile.

It seemed like yesterday that he was being pulled into a dark corner of Knockturn Alley, the moonlight casting violent shadows as his arms and legs flapped about in his attempt to dislodge his attacker, all to be silenced by the husky voice beside his ear, "Ve vill safe."

He had never imagined how much those three words would change the course of his future. Three months later, he now found himself in his current predicament sitting on the Krums' windowsill.

Taking out a silver pocket-watch that pronounced the time to be exactly six in the evening, Harry stood up from the windowsill. He carefully smoothed out his black dress robes, made from the finest silk, which according to Lady Krum had been tailored by a seamstress in I'Orville, the French equivalent of Hogsmead, but exclusively accessible to the continental aristocracy. The robes were lined with a silvery substance, clearly magical from the way it seemed to move on its own accord whenever he moved about. As he left the small alcove that housed his favorite windowsill, a strong wind from the window picked up his robes making them billow with the same dramatic flair reminiscent of a certain Potions Master who hated his very bones. Harry could not help but let out a delighted laugh when he thought of how he had finally discovered the secret to the Slytherin's Head of House's sweeping turns.

The fact that there was a Dark Lord out for his blood and that the British light wizarding world had heralded him their savior against said Dark Lord was a given.

Harry was now walking past more ornate and elaborate rooms that characterized the majority of the Krum Estate. Blazing fires had been kindled by the innumerable house-elves in each room and hallway. He could feel the wild magic of the Estate thrumming in preparation for the event that was about to take place.

The fact that he was marrying into one of the most influential dark families on the continent today before the largest congregation of continental purebloods ever to assemble together at the same place in a millennium was proving just how well political asylum was suiting Harry Potter.

He had reached one of the many doors that led to the main courtyard. Harry stopped and took a deep breath. Once he opened those doors, he would be entering a ceremony, which he had spent months memorizing in order to understand every single painstaking step that had to be taken. Harry's hands trembled slightly. But then he saw the pocket-watch in his hand and a sense of calm rushed over him.

"Marry me." In the small alcove, under the strands of starlight from the charmed stars twinkling above them, those large dark brooding eyes were still so guarded and the accent was still terribly thick and unsure.

Harry grasped the pocket-watch tighter in his hand, holding onto its comforting weight and the promise made by its giver. He pushed the doors open and stepped inside.

In fact, this was the start of what Harry believed was going to give everyone – the whole world included – one very rude awakening.