A.N Hey everyone, the move is still going strong. The flat that I am moving into needed a lot more work than I originally thought. I have been typing away in between pack and decorating though, so here we go, not the longest chapter but this seemed the right place to end this chapter. Hope you enjoy and my writing should be at normal pace again from after Monday when I am due to move fully. XD
"You're learning to 'deal' with me huh?" Mikhail raised an eyebrow, his eyes flashing with something that sent a shiver down Harry's spine.
"Mm hm," Harry nodded seriously before laughing after he yelped when Mikhail suddenly lunged to his feet keeping Harry held to his chest. Harry laughed when Mikhail threw him onto the bed making him bounce a little on the mattress before a warm, hard body was covering his.
"How will you deal with me now?" Mikhail growled out with a smirk brushing his lips over the centre of Harry's neck. Harry was able to gasp out before he suddenly started laughing hysterically when Mikhail's fingers attacked his sides, tickling him until Harry was red in the face and weakly thrashing underneath him. Laughing himself Mikhail finally found mercy and flopped down beside Harry, their limbs still entangled, as they tried to get their breaths back.
"Cruel," Harry pouted weakly nudging Mikhail's legs with his foot.
"I thought you could handle me," Mikhail smirked before looking up at Harry stunned when the teen shifted and straddled his hips sensually.
"I have a few ideas up my sleeves," Harry retaliated running his fingernails along Mikhail's chest and down his stomach to the waist line of his trousers slowly and teasingly as he leant forwards until their lips were only a breaths distance away. Mikhail's breathing sped up as he stared into those amazing green eyes that were nearly glowing above him before growling out when Harry quickly kissed his cheek before dodging off the bed and racing for the bathroom, Mikhail quickly on his heels.
Mikhail was barely aware of running passed the stunned students on the hallways, he didn't take in the castle flying by him as he raced up the staircases as fast as he could and then faster still. He had a growing stitch in his side but it was nothing compared to the ache in his heart that had lodged itself there since he had received the patronus from Hermione, it felt like it had stopped beating and was beating too hard at the same time, and as though there was a heavy weight on his chest that just got heavier and heavier as the seconds ticked by.
He just wanted to be with Harry, to see him and hold him and make sure…make sure that he was still…that he was still his. Fear was pounding through his body making his pulse jerk at a furious rhythm like a drum beat and his magic was snapping and writhing around him furiously as he finally turned onto the corridor that led to the Hospital wing. At the end he found Dumbledore standing in front of the doorway looking infuriatingly smug, stopping Remus and who he recognised as Molly Weasley from going into the wing.
"….terrible thing, he needs rest right now, not to be harassed," Dumbledore said, his tone grandfatherly and concerned, but there was no hiding the triumphant flash in his eyes that made Mikhail's heart stutter.
"He needs people he loves with him!" Remus snarled.
"I don't think that would be for the best right now. And after what happened we have to play this very carefully, you have no legal right to Harry," Dumbledore's words again spoke completely differently to his eyes, sympathy was smugness.
"I do, I am courting him, I have every right to see him," Mikhail said finally reaching them. Remus and Molly both shot him concerned looks but he stood straight backed glaring at Dumbledore.
"Considering the events that happened, no you don't," Dumbledore failed considerably at pulling off sympathetic this time, the triumphant look clear to the three of them.
"I don't believe there has been confirmation one way or the other Dumbledore, and its not your place to tell us," Remus grit out looking completely furious.
"I am afraid that confirmation would be…I'm sorry, truly, there is no doubting in any way what happened, you are no longer courting Harry," Dumbledore managed sympathetic this time but Mikhail wasn't able to take in anything but the words as he swayed slightly on the spot, Remus had to reach out quickly to steady him even though he looked about ready to throw up himself.
Mikhail was sure that his heart had decided to stop beating this time, everything around him sounded like white noise, pure white noise as Dumbledore spewed more condolences and apparent reassurances for Harry's best care and assisted recovery from this.
"What…what about his attacker," Mikhail asked numbly.
"Mr Weasley has been detained, he received some hexes that he is being treated for in a separate room to Harry's," Dumbledore answered.
"Mr…Ron…Ron ra…attacked Harry!" Mikhail choked out, coming back a little to himself at the completely ridiculous suggestion. Looking at Remus and Molly both of them had clearly known because it was only more heartbreak he was seeing in their faces and not shock.
"It is a complete shock to us all I know. Mr Weasley and Harry's friendship has always seemed to steady and trustworthy, for something like this to happen," Dumbledore shook his head sadly. "I assure you that Mr Weasley will be receiving the best help of the mind wizards at St Mungo's for this,"
"I want to see Harry," Mikhail said lowly fighting to try and gain control of his emotions.
"I'm afraid you have no right to I…."
"Until the mediwitch confirms what happened Harry is still my intended! You have no right to stand between us, so I suggest you move or I will use every inch of political power I have to rip you limb from limb Dumbledore. Now, move out of my way!" Mikhail snarled. He could see Dumbledore considering his options before he stepped aside.
"I suppose Harry will want to say goodbye to you," He nodded.
"Even if we can not bond, I am not out of Harry's life by any stretch of the imagination," Mikhail snapped before he stormed forwards into the hospital wing. Unaware even of what he was doing his magic quickly scanned the room and found the familiar glow of Harry's.
Moving quickly he made his way to one of the side rooms and opened the door to a sight that made his heart break completely. Harry was lying on his side facing the door, he was dressed in a ripped pair of trousers and a shirt that was partially shredded. His green eyes were blood shot and swollen from the tears that were still spilling down his face and his breathing was coming in shuddering sobs.
As soon as he saw Mikhail standing in the doorway he let out a loud sob before covering the distance between them and throwing himself into Mikhail arms, pressing his face into his shoulder and holding on tightly. Mikhail tightened his arms around Harry and just held on as the man he loved sobbed into his shoulder, his thin frame trembling and shaking until Mikhail guided them over to the bed and sat down, keeping Harry tightly to him.
"Harry…" Mikhail wasn't even aware that he was crying himself until he spoke and his voice broke.
"I was so scared I was going to lose you! That I would happen and we…" Mikhail jerked at Harry's words and tugged him away from his body so that he could see Harry's face.
"Harry are you saying…that…that he didn't…that you…" Mikhail stammered out.
"No! No! Ron didn't…we managed to break the imperio in time," Harry said quickly.
"Imperio?" Mikhail choked.
"Someone cast the imperio on Ron. It was Ron's turn to play guard. We…we were…we were by a classroom and…and the warning on the charms went off…it was for Ron…he…he grabbed me and shoved me into the classroom and started trying to…I didn't want to hurt him…he…he nearly…my trousers…but…the others came and…" Harry was crying softly as he tried to explain.
"Shush, its alright, its alright," Mikhail pulled Harry back to him as he raised his eyes to the ceiling feeling complete and utter relief washing through him. "I was so scared, Dumbledore said it was just a matter of confirmation. Merlin Harry I nearly lost you, I thought I had," Mikhail kissed Harry's temple but Harry jerked at the contact.
Pulling away to apologise while berating himself for being so careless in his relief he was completely shocked when Harry instead of pulling away raised his head and slammed their lips together in a hungry, desperate kiss. His hands gripped Mikhail's face and held onto him as he kissed him, the need in Harry's body taking on a different feel to what they had experienced before as Harry parted their lips and deepened the kiss. Mikhail only had so much resistance and when Harry climbed into his lap the older man couldn't stop his arm from fastening tightly around his waist and kissing Harry back with an equal frenzy. The fear was almost as tangible as the taste of tears between them, the relief almost a honey taste in comparison.
"Harry, no we can't…" Mikhail forced himself to pull away from Harry when the teen ground down in his lap, rubbing them together in a way that had Mikhail's body agreeing but his mind rebelling.
"Please Mikhail, I need to feel you, I need to know I'm still yours and you're still mine, please, please, I need this, I need you," Harry pleaded, his voice breaking into a desperate sob again.
"Harry this isn't a good idea," Mikhail shook his head weakly.
"I need you, I need your touch, I need to remember you touching me, please," Harry sobbed.
"I can't do this now Harry, I really want to, Merlin I want to make sure my touch covers anyone else's. But that's not what you need right now. I am not leaving your side, and I am not going to stop touching you, but not like that, not today," Mikhail said softly, leaning forwards to kiss Harry gently, a soft brushing of their lips together, his hand gently cupping Harry's face.
He knew he had made the right decision when Harry sighed into his mouth and sagged against him, his hands gripping Mikhail's robes and pulling them closer together but making no move to do anything more than simply soak up his partner's warmth.
Mikhail held tightly onto Harry, dropping his head onto his shoulder and just breathed in his scent and presence, the reality of how close he had been to losing this, to losing Harry, to losing the future that they could have together. After everything he had been through, finally taking the risk at taking a spouse again and it was nearly ripped away from him.
"I'm sorry," Harry said miserably making Mikhail realise that he had been squeezing Harry tightly as he had started trembling.
"Harry, Harry you have nothing to be sorry for! This is not your fault!" Mikhail said sharply as he fought to try and get his body to stop shaking, the both of them were sitting trembling in each other's arms and he needed to be strong for Harry right now. He needed to be strong for them both.
"You were worried something would happen, but I was so sure, we were so sure, we had it all planned out. We didn't plan for someone using one of us to attack me. I should have been more careful, I should have thought…I…I nearly lost you," Harry's trembling picked up as he gripped Mikhail's robes tighter.
"We didn't lose anything, and now you'll be more careful, nothing happened, Harry we're fine, I'm not letting anyone take you from me and I know that you aren't going to let anyone take you from me," Mikhail said firmly.
"Mikhail?" Harry asked confused as Mikhail stood the both of them up.
"Its ok," Mikhail slipped his cloak off and quickly wrapped it around Harry.
"I didn't realise I was cold," Harry blinked sliding his arms into the sleeves.
"I think you might be going into shock. Where is Madame Pomphrey why isn't she checking you out?" Mikhail frowned sitting back on the bed and tugging Harry lightly. Little encouragement was needed and Harry was quickly curled back up on Mikhail's lap cuddling close to him as he pulled Mikhail's robes around him, letting himself be surrounded in Mikhail's scent and his warmth.
"She's working for Dumbledore, she put me in here and then just left me. I doubt she would have even checked before announcing I had been…" Harry couldn't say the word, instead pressing his face into Mikhail's shoulder.
"I'm hiring you a private healer," Mikhail said quietly. "You can have one on the basis of a traumatic event,"
"Let me do this, please," Mikhail grit the words out tightening his arms around Harry's waist. He met green eyes when Harry lifted his head to look at him, peering at him curiously before Harry nodded his head as he reached up to stroke a gentle hand along Mikhail's cheek. "Thank you,"
"Just…stay with me…for now…please," Harry sighed dropping his head back onto Mikhail's shoulder.
Rubbing his hand up and down Harry's back he pressed kisses occasionally to Harry's cheek, suddenly aware of how much smaller and thinner than him Harry was. He had such a strong presence and personality, so much power that Mikhail had never really taken in the good 6 inches between them, or the fact that his broad shouldered form in comparison to Harry's narrow and lithe one was quite different, not even last week when they had slept together for the first time. But now, with Harry still trembling, holding him tightly in his arms, knowing how close they had come to losing this. Suddenly he was aware of the difference.
"I think that this is highly inappropriate, especially considering your previous relationship. I will have to ask you to leave Mikhail, I am sorry," Dumbledore smiled sadly at them, both of their hands tightening in the others robes at his appearance in the doorway.
"Its Lord Zabini Dumbledore, and I have no idea what you mean about previous relationship, there is nothing inappropriate with comforting my intended," Mikhail met Dumbledore's eyes dead on, enjoying the flicker of doubt in them.
"Lord Zabini you know the laws of courting, you and Harry can't be bonded now. I think you are being unfair to him to do this, it would be better if you leave now," Dumbledore said softly.
"Except I wasn't raped and Mikhail and I can still be bonded. I want to be with Mikhail right now," Harry said sharply. Dumbledore opened his mouth to answer only to make a disgruntled noise when he was shoved out the way and Remus hurried over to them.
"Harry? Are you ok? Is what Mikhail said true?" Remus asked concerned.
"I'm fine Remus, whoever imperioed Ron didn't manage to get what they were after," Harry shook his head.
"Harry my boy, I know that Ron is your friend, but trying to make excuses for his behaviour won't help the problem. He will be taken to the Ministry holding cells for this," Dumbledore said gently, clearly scrapling to try and gain something out of this situation.
"He was imperioed," Harry frowned.
"Now my boy,"
"Dumbledore I will appreciate it if you did not speak to my intended, the Lord Potter-Black-Moran-Peverell so familiarly," Mikhail said sharply. "And it is no matter, as soon as Molly gives her permission I will arrange for Ron to be taken to the Ministry to Dante and give his statement on what happened, the new laws concerning veritiserum will make this a fairly quick case on Ron's innocence on what happened,"
"Sure…surely there is no need to involve Dante in this," Dumbeldore choked out weakly.
"One of your students was put under the imperio and almost forced to rape my intended, which is rape in itself, while under the protection of this school, not to mention the fact that Dante is friend to both myself and Harry and will want to make sure that this is thoroughly dealt with," Mikhail's grey eyes flashed with anger as he glared at Dumbeldore.
"I, of course, this needs to be sorted out as soon as possible, I would just rather deal with this myself with as little stress to the students and questions being raised about my personal guests to visit me, you understand my bo…Harry?" Dumbledore looked intently at Harry who wanted to roll his eyes at Dumbledore's reference to the Order, now it just sounded like he was doing something even more dodgy.
"Even if I didn't want to make sure that this was dealt with properly, Dante would seize control of the situation as soon as he becomes aware of it. Mikhail, Remus I want to go home," Harry said quietly turning to them.
"Come, we'll go and I'll floo Dante from the house," Mikhail stood slowly but kept his arms tightly around Harry, Remus carried on running his fingers through Harry's hair as though he needed the contact.
"Ron?" Harry asked quietly.
"Don't worry I'll make sure he's ok," Mikhail assured him.
The walk through the castle between the two of them Harry barely took in, he remembered feeling the cold as they hurried outside through the snow but the heating charm around Mikhail's cloak protected him from the gentle blizzard. As soon as they were out the gates Mikhail wrapped his arms around Harry fully and apparated out the to muttered coordinations Remus whispered in his ear.
He vaguely heard Sirius's worried voice and felt Bill's hands cupping his face, but everything was starting to feel a little foggy. Finally someone pressed a vial to his lips and the last thing he saw was worried grey eyes before everything went black.
Waking up he quickly remembered everything that had happened, and realised that the vial had been a dreamless sleep potion from the heavy, thick feeling to his body and the feeling of waking in a manner that was like wading through mud. Groaning a little he managed to lever himself up onto one arm and looked around the room he recognised as his own room, the darkness telling him it was still the middle of the night but considering it couldn't have been passed two when he was given the potion this wasn't a surprise.
Turning his head he met Mikhail's grey eyes in the darkness where Mikhail was lying, mostly clothed, on top of the covers. Harry wasn't even sure that he had been to sleep looking closer at him. In the darkness they just lay watching each other for Merlin knew how many minutes, it could have been fifteen it could have been an hour. Neither of them said anything, neither of them moved to break the silence between them.
Finally something in Mikhail's eyes shifted, something Harry couldn't bear to see there, it was almost like loss, fear and a healthy dose of shock. He was moving before his mind caught up with himself, wriggling out from underneath his covers which had been meticulously tucked in around his - he recognised Sirius's work - and as Mikhail opened his mouth to protest, reaching for him, Harry laid himself against Mikhail, resting his ear over Mikhail's heart and wrapping his arm tightly around his lover's waist.
Mikhail lay stifly for a few beats before his arms wound slowly around Harry's waist as though he was scared Harry would disappear like ash on the wind if he moved too quickly or held him too tightly too quickly. But Harry just lay in his arms listening to the soothing muffled thump of Mikhail's heart, sighing contently when Mikhail's arms held him.
"You went into shock," Mikhail told him softly.
"You have nothing to apologise for," Mikhail snorted, but there was something in his voice, there was something off about it.
"Mikhail?" Harry lifted his head to meet Mikhail's grey eyes again.
"Blaise is here as well, he heard what happened and walked out of school down to the Three Broomsticks and fire called Dante, Ron has been interviewed and freed of all charges and Dante and Amelia are leading the investigation into who imperioed him. Lucius Malfoy also fire called Dante to inquire after you," Mikhail avoided answering.
"Is Blaise ok?" Harry frowned.
"He's concerned for you, and he was a little wary of Sirius but he, Remus and Bill made him more than welcome and made a room for him down the hallway. How are you feeling?" Mikhail asked running his fingers through Harry's hair.
"Tired still, I'm glad you're here," he sighed lowering his head back onto Mikhail's chest.
"I'm not going anywheree. Go back to sleep," Mikhail said soothingly.
Harry sighed when he and Mikhail walked into the living room together and he was faced with Remus, Bill, Sirius, Blaise and Dante all looking at him like they thought he was going to fall apart at any second. Mikhail was refusing to leave his side, he had looked so anxious when Harry had made to get a shower that he had left the bathroom door open. He reckoned Mikhail had likely got about an hours sleep from the look of his eyes.
And the rest of them weren' looking any better. As soon as he saw Harry Sirius stood and hurried over to him, throwing his arms tightly around Harry until the teenager could barely breathe.
"Oh Merlin Harry, I was so worried, when you came in, are you ok?" Sirius rambled a little.
"I'm ok Sirius. Honestly, I'm ok," Harry assured them seeing the doubtful looks that he was being shot.
"Remus honestly, look I know it's a bad thing but things like this happening, getting attacked, being in danger they aren't anything new to me, I'm not sure whether it's a good things or a bad thing but I have learnt to cope with them, and quickly," Harry sighed rubbing his eyes.
"Harry…" Sirius said quietly looking completely lost as to what to say.
"Don't look at me like that Sirius. I need to deal with this my way, the best way I can. It happened, we plan deeper, I need to speak to Ron and make sure he's ok, and we need to start making some more safety measures," Harry sighed.
"You know that's not a healthy way for you to deal with this Harry," Bill said quietly.
"But it's the only way that I know how, and it's the only way that I can do it right now," Harry shook his head.
"What do you mean right now?" Dante frowned.
"We're playing a political game right now, a very important one. This is going to affect that, Dumbledore was close to a win, he managed to do it with one of the people closest to me as well. If he had managed to succeed in his plans it would have completely weakened my side as Ron is an extremely visible, trusted party on my side," Harry explained.
"Your first concern should be what nearly happened, not how it will affect your political place," Remus winced.
"But I do, and I have to consider it now," Harry said softly. "I'm ok,"
"I'm staying with you," Mikhail said firmly. Turning Harry met his eyes and saw that he wasn't going to take any other answer, his jaw was set and his grey eyes firm.
"I only need to meet with the Goblins," Harry nodded.
"Do you mind me asking why you need to meet with the Goblins?" Dante asked.
"They are going to place more wards around our charms, the others were alerted to the fact something was wrong with me, and that there was something wrong with Ron as a sort of a backwash through the link. The Goblins have said that they will increase the wards around them," Harry explained as he finally sat down.
"Can you afford to do something like that Harry? I can give you access to my accounts and I will pay for it," Sirius frowned.
"We'll all chip in for it," Mikhail added.
"Myself as well," Dante nodded.
"Thank you, all of you it means a lot, but the Goblins aren't charging me for it," Harry smiled warmly at them, Dante had surprised him a little.
"For free? Goblins?" Bill blinked at him.
"I have respect for them, they have respect for me. And they have heard word of mouth of the fact that I am pushing for creature and being rights, they are showing their support of my ideas without doing it publicly," Harry explained.
"Only you," Remus smiled warmly at him.
"Where is Ron?" Harry asked.
"He went right home, Molly Weasley took him from the Ministry," Dante answered.
"Is he ok?" Harry asked worriedly.
"He had to be given dreamless sleep as well, Molly called this morning to check on you and said that he was badly shaken. Mikhail's healer will be going to see him in the next hour," Sirius smiled weakly at him.
"Its not his fault, I know that," Harry said pouring himself a glass of juice.
"Its really creepy when you read me like that," Sirius winced.
"Ron was imperioed, he's as much of a victim in this as me. I know that. Someone, likely Dumbledore, decided to target as close to myself as possible. The act was made to destroy myself and Mikhail's relationship and to try and…break me. Ron doing the act would increase that feeling. Dumbledore is hoping to drive me back to him, the same way that I looked to him when I first came into the wizarding world," Harry said tightly, his back automatically straightening.
"And we aren't going to do anything about him, there are ways to get proof that he did this," Dante frowned.
"No proof that will stand. Dumbledore's popularity is at its height, after the matrydom that we were forced into last year, sticking by our word and then being proved right people are looking towards him now more than anyone else, myself second. If Dumbledore and I start going against each other, especially publicly the way in which a charge like this would hit the public its going to destroy public moral not to mention that it could destroy my own standing, the only reason I have so much flexibility right now is because I am almost as much in the public favour as Dumbledore - he can't afford to publicly shake the boat any more than I can. And any proof that we can gather right now will be destroyed in the face of Dumbledore popularity and the public need for him," Harry shook his head.
"He can't get away with this!" Bill grit out.
"Do you think I plan to let him!" Harry snapped standing up and running his hand through his hair.
"Harry," Mikhail reached out for him but Harry jerked away stepping away from the table.
"He just tried to frame my best friend for raping me, he tried to destroy my relationship and chances of a future, do you all really believe I am just going to step back and ignore this! I will destroy him for this, but I can't do it now,"
"Harry, calm down," Mikhail stood and wrapped his arms around Harry just as he felt panic overwhelming him. He went to tug away but Mikhail's eyes caught his and he dropped into Mikhail's arms, pressing his face into his older lover's shoulder and wrapped his arms around his waist. "Its ok,"
Mikhail pressed his face into Harry's hair, holding him tightly to his body, feeling the trembling in Harry's body as he held him. As Harry relaxed more into him Mikhail looked up and glared sharply at the other men seeing them already looking guilty. Blaise was looking completely lost as to what he was supposed to but when he met his father's eyes he smiled weakly and nodded.
"We're sorry Harry, we want to help but we're doing the opposite. We want to help you, we just don't know how," Remus said quietly.
"I just need for you not to treat me like I am about to break apart at any second," Harry sighed into Mikhail's shoulder.
"We want to help," Sirius sighed.
"And you can, just don't try and do it by smothering me in cotton wool or by suggesting that I am letting this go," Harry lifted his head enough to be able to turn to see the others.
"We're going to do our best, we just…" Sirius scowled at his hands. Leaning up Harry pressed a kiss to Mikhail's jaw before letting him go and making his way over to Sirius. The older man sighed as he wrapped his arms around his godson and held him tightly.
"I understand, I do, but I need to deal with this my way, and this is how I deal with it," Harry said slightly pleadingly.
"We follow your lead, in all of this," Bill nodded wrapping his arms around Harry and half of Sirius and squeezing.
"I don't like that Dumbledore isn't being punished for this right now, and neither do the others. But we're going to follow your lead as well. And when you are ready you will have the full force of our group behind you," Dante nodded from his seat at the table, his face stony, his black eyes were sharper than stone as they met Harry's.