Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made.
Warnings: This story has Slash.
Chapter 17 – Missing you
"Crucio." he let the screams of the muggles invade his senses, drowning everything else. His Death Eaters taking several steps back when they felt the overwhelming anger in his magic.
At the moment though he didn't care. He was far to enraged to think clearly, far to infuriated to control his magic. His hand tightened around the letter he had received moments before and his magic swirled around him violently.
"Leave." his voice was no more than a whisper but all the Death Eaters present heard him. They dispersed so fast that it looked as if they had apparated. He ignored the whimpering and drooling muggles on the floor and sank down on his throne.
Logically he knew he was overreacting. But even so he couldn't help it.
Again his thoughts drifted to the contents of the letter. The words were branded in his mind.
'Dear Mr. Nacht,
About my parseltongue ability; yes, I have known for a very long time that I was able to speak to snakes. My very first friend was a small garden snake. Of course the other boys at the orphanage couldn't stand the fact that something made me happy so they killed her. Needless to say that it was one of the last things the person responsible ever did. I can still hear the screams...
Knowing that Voldemort was able to do it just makes me more fond of the gift. Though you were right, many students look at me with fear. It is nothing new to me, however it may hinder some of my plans. I have my court smoothing things out. I will have to do something to reward them. I know they wish for nothing, but loyalty should always be rewarded, do you not think so?
The Slytherins on the other hand... They were loyal before, now they worship me. Of course there had been quite a few that had already been far more loyal than all the others, but now it's all of them. The younger ones especially. They are like little puppies trailing behind the Court, so innocent. It makes me want to taint them. Break them. Make them kneel and beg...
Luckily I have my little dog to entertain me, otherwise I think my court would have suffered the burn of my twisted desires. Though something tells me that even if that had happened they wouldn't have complained. It is invigorating knowing that I own them completely. They have given themselves to me, not holding anything back. They know I own them and they love it.
I wonder; is this what Voldemort felt when he had his Death Eaters on their knees in front of him?
I'm quite happy to know that you enjoyed the show, especially the part after the first task. Tell me Mr. Nacht; did you want to kiss me? Have you been thinking about it? Do the thoughts about kissing me, having me, consume your every waking moment?
Until you can truthfully say that it does, I do not think that you can have me. Even then... for you to have me I would have to find you just as consuming.
Do not be mistaken however... you will never own me.
No one will ever own me.
We will have a Yule Ball, apparently it is tradition. A way for the students of all schools to mingle outside of classes.
As a champion I am obliged to participate. I wonder who will have to pleasure of my company. Either way I'm sure we will have... fun. My very first date, it is bound to be exciting, don't you think?
That... that little tease. First he makes his blood boil and then, almost as if it were an afterthought, he told him about the ball. How could he have forgotten about the ball?
Just thinking about someone else being with Harry made his blood-lust rise. And he knew, with absolute certainty, that that was precisely what Harry wanted. Some could say that Harry was mentioning the ball because he was excited, that there were no other reasons for it, but he knew better. Harry didn't do anything without a reason behind it. Harry didn't leave anything to chance. His little serpent had mentioned the ball, had called it a date, because he wanted a reaction out of him.
The grip on his wand tightened. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
How was it that Harry always got a reaction out of him? How did Harry affect him so when no one else ever had? And he was so young!
At first his fascination with Harry hadn't been anything sexual. He had been eleven and no matter how much of a monster he was there were some lines that even he didn't cross. Still he had found the little King fascinating and only a blind person wouldn't be able to see just how beautiful the child was.
Then he saw Harry again, after two long years. It had been just for a few minutes but it had been enough to captivate him. It still wasn't anything sexual. He had only been thirteen. But his beauty had enthralled him and he could see just how devastating Harry's looks would get as he aged.
Then he had had the brilliant idea of meeting Harry at the World Cup.
That had been all it took. Harry had still been far too young, but he hadn't cared. The moment he had seen those twins with their hands on him, no matter how innocent their intentions had been, he had known that he wouldn't let anyone else have Harry. Harry had grown to be so beautiful, his mind was extraordinary and his magic... there was no other like it.
How could anyone have expected for him to be indifferent to that? He had always been selfish, was it any wonder that he wanted Harry for himself?
Then came the first task. It had been his downfall. It started with the parseltongue. His little King was a parselmouth. He wasn't ashamed to admit that hearing his little serpent talking in the ancient language of the serpents had been highly arousing. It may have been why he had lost control so quickly.
He had suspected that Harry knew that he wanted him, but their little meeting after the task had made it abundantly clear. It had changed their relationship. It had given Harry power. Power that Harry already had. However he hadn't been sure that he had it, now he knew. All because he hadn't been able to control his desires.
His little King had pushed all the right buttons.
Still he didn't regret what he had done. He had been so close to tasting those lips. He had wanted to crucio Nott for interrupting them.
Harry had been quite right in his letter. His thoughts were consumed with his little King. How could they not be when every day there was something about the champions in the papers?
That's how he found out that the Court had expanded again.
That had surprised him. Harry was expanding his Court. Truly expanding. Viktor Krum and Fleur Delacour were the perfect way to branch out of Britain. He just didn't know what Harry was planning. No matter how good Harry was, he didn't have the means to do anything out of Britain. Many would say that he didn't have the means to do anything in Britain either.
Truthfully he wasn't so sure about that. Diggory was already on his way to the Ministry. Jugson was already there. Montague and Pucey would be finished in a year. The Weasley twins as well. They could go into any area that Harry wanted them to.
So he didn't really believe that Harry wouldn't be able to do anything in Britain. He had started doing something with his newspaper. He didn't know what he had planned for the future, but he was sure that Harry wouldn't just sit back and do nothing.
But it was a fact that he didn't have the resources to expand out of Britain. He didn't have enough people. The Veela girl and Krum were a good start, but they weren't enough.
A pained moan brought him out of his thoughts and he sneered when he saw that one of the muggles seemed to be waking.
"What can Delly do for Lord Master sir?"
"Could you please take all these muggles to the dungeons?"
"Of course Lord Master sir, Delly be getting rid of nasty muggles."
He chuckled when the elf popped away with the muggles. He didn't understand why some people mistreated the little things. They were loyal, obedient and rather entertaining.
He sighed and leaned back on his throne. He would have to call his Death Eaters again. His little King really made him lose his mind. But before that he had a letter to write. His Harry wanted a reaction... well, he would give him one.
He moaned when he felt those big hands on his body. They were followed by a tongue. His tormentor seemed to want to taste every little bit of skin that he could reach.
A needy little whimper come from his parted lips and he felt those sinful lips stretch into a lazy smirk.
He bit his bottom lip in an effort to keep those noises in, but he knew that it was no use. A dark chuckle showed that his partner thought the same. That skillful tongue was back to mapping out his body, though this time there were teeth present as well.
He gasped, arching off the black silk sheets, when his lover nibbled on his collarbone. He continued on his path upward, kissing, licking and nibbling on every little bit of skin.
Another dark chuckle left his torturer when he arched off the bed, rubbing their erections together.
"Patience my little serpent. I'll make you come soon enough."
Harry abruptly sat up on his bed. He could still feel the hands on him. Those lips tasting every bit of his body they could reach. It took him a second or two to really realize that it had been a dream.
He had been having them for a little over a week. Since he received that damn letter. If he didn't know any better he would say that the letter had been cursed. But it wasn't.
Honestly, a part of him, a really small part of him, would have preferred if the letter had been cursed. Then at least he would have a good excuse for the dreams. Now he had none.
It didn't really surprise him that he had the dreams. He was a fourteen year old boy, it was normal for his hormones to come out to play. He just wasn't very pleased with who was in his dreams. Though it wasn't exactly unexpected. The man was gorgeous, powerful and had a brilliant mind. He had admitted that he found him fascinating and playing with him was exhilarating.
Still, he was sure that if it hadn't been for that damned letter he wouldn't have had those dreams.
Tom's reaction had surprised him a little. He knew he had pushed him, he had wanted to see just how far Tom would go. But the reaction had, by far, exceeded his expectations.
He still couldn't get most of the letter out of his mind.
'… I already told you my little King, if you play with fire you will get burned. Do you wish to know what I did after I read your letter? Do you want to know how many died?...'
It wouldn't really surprise him if Tom had truly killed someone. Tom... he felt like him. Different from other people. Dark, twisted. That was what had attracted him to Tom in the beginning.
'… I thought about giving you time, about waiting until you were older; but I confess that I wanted to push you against the wall and ravish those blood red lips of yours. You would look so beautiful bathed in the blood of your enemies, your creamy skin painted with streaks of red. I can see it now... I don't think I would have been able to control myself. I would take you against the wall. I would make you come screaming my name...'
He wasn't ashamed to admit that the letter had affected him. He could imagine Tom telling him that in his deep, velvety smooth voice. He groaned when a shiver raced down his spin and another passage from the letter jumped into his mind.
'… Imagine, my little serpent, my lips on your skin; worshiping your body. Sweet little moans escaping your sinful mouth. They would be music to my ears. I can see it in my mind. You sprawled out on my bed, black silk sheets contrasting against your peach colored skin. I can almost hear you beg. Beg for me to touch you, to taste you. And I would, my little King...'
He groaned and slumped back down on his bed. Damn Tom and damn that bloody letter.
After a few moments a chuckle escaped him, he hoped Tom liked his letter. He may have been far more affected by it than he had expected but there was no reason to let Tom know that little fact. They were playing a dangerous game and there was no way he would give up the advantage he had. No matter how much he may like Tom, he couldn't afford to give up the upper hand.
"Have you decided who you are going to take to the Yule Ball?" Draco asked him while they were all lounging in the common room.
"I have been thinking about that." Harry replied, capturing the attention of every Court member. "Do the three of you have a date yet?" he asked, looking at his fellow champions.
The three shook their heads.
"In that case, I have a suggestion." he told them, "Why don't we, the champions, go together?"
Their eyes lit up and even the other Court members looked happy with the idea. Harry smiled at them fondly. He knew that they thought that they could hide it from him; however it was quite clear that they were rather possessive of him. He could imagine that they hadn't liked the idea of him going with someone to the ball that wasn't a Court member. Of course they would never say anything against it if he did take someone else, but they wouldn't be pleased.
Though the reason why he had suggested it had nothing to do with it. He just didn't want to be stuck with some ignorant witch, or an incompetent wizard.
No, it would be better to simply go with a member of his Court. At least he was assured that they weren't mindless sheep.
"Who would go with who?" Fleur asked.
"Does it matter?" he answered, "We go together. Though I could have the first dance with Viktor. Afterward we could change partners, so that we have one dance with each. What about all of you?" he asked the other members of his Court.
"We decided to go alone." Theo replied.
"Aside from me." Draco added, "I'll take Luna, otherwise she wouldn't be able to attend."
"We are hoping that since it is a ball no one will find it strange if we interact with all of you." Fred told him.
"Yes, though if we see that people are paying attention to what we are doing we won't stay with all of you." George added.
"Sometimes it really sucks that we can't be members of the Court out in the open." Neville muttered.
"You can be." Harry told them seriously, "I already told you, you don't have to be shadows."
The three shook their heads and sat up straighter.
"We want this." Neville stated.
"We decided years ago that it would be the best way." Fred added.
"I know that you decided that. Though you never told me why. At first I thought it was because there were no other Court members aside from Slytherins and Luna. Now though we have Cedric and Wayne as well, Hufflepuffs. No one would say anything if you were with us. You know that most of the Gryffindors don't hate me, even though I'm a Slytherin."
His Court members shared a look and he narrowed his eyes.
"We want to keep your options open." Theo said, after he got a few pointed looks from the others.
"What do you mean?"
"The three of us come from very light families." George said, "If people start to say things about you being Dark and all that... well maybe you'll need people with the reputation our families have."
"If we were seen with you, if people suspected we were your Court members it's possible that they wouldn't be as open around us." Fred finished.
"And me... well, even though my grades are excellent people still see me as the cowardly lion. They may say things around me that they wouldn't otherwise."
Harry shook his head. At times it seemed that they thought more about his future than he did. They had so many plans for him, so many hopes. Sometimes he was afraid that he wouldn't live up to it. That was the problem with caring about people. He cared for them, for their opinion. He wouldn't change for them, but he knew that his decisions would be influenced by them, even if only a little.
"You don't have to worry about that." he said, "If something like that does happen then I'll think of something."
"We don't worry because we have to!" Theo sounded exasperated. It wasn't the first time they had a similar argument. They couldn't understand how Harry didn't see just how much they cared for him. It wasn't that Harry didn't know they cared, he just didn't seem to realize what that meant. It was exasperating for all of them.
"We worry because we want to." Adrian told him rather subdued and Harry almost winced. There weren't many things that made Adrian lose his jovial air.
"You mean everything to us, don't you see that?" Graham asked him. There was true curiosity in his eyes, however it was overshadowed by concern.
"I know we have a really close bond." Harry said, not looking at them, he still wasn't all that comfortable with talking about his feelings, "Even those of you that joined us this year... it's as if you were a part of us since the beginning. But... You are mine. All of you. Mine. Mine to cherish. Mine to protect. Mine to hurt. Mine to kill. Mine."
"We know." Cedric whispered after a few moments. "We are yours."
"But you are ours too." Wayne told him.
"Ours to follow." Viktor said.
"Ours to protect." Blaise whispered.
"Ours to worship." Fleur added.
"Ours to love." Draco murmured.
"Ours." all the Court members chorused.
Harry leaned back on his seat and looked at his Court members, really looked at them. For the first time he saw what must have been there for a long time, though he had been to blind to see it. Maybe not blind, maybe he had seen it all along. Maybe he just hadn't recognized it for what it was.
They loved him. All of them. One way or another they loved him. They weren't in love with him, at least he didn't think so, but they loved him deeply.
"Yours." he agreed.
Their faces lit up in joy and he closed his eyes.
It was the least he could do, wasn't it? They had given everything to him, hadn't he said that such a thing should be rewarded? Yes, giving them what they most wanted was the least he could do.
Harry was in his room getting ready for the ball. Though he would be the first to admit that his mind was elsewhere. Tom... Tom hadn't replied to his letter.
There could be several reason for it. Though none of them seemed likely. Well, if he was honest with himself they were all probable, he just didn't want to believe them. He had gotten so attached to the man.
He berated himself in his mind. He wouldn't think about it. He wouldn't think about him. He had his Ouroboros, it was all he needed. What did he care if the man was ignoring him? He didn't need him. He didn't miss him.
He took several deep breaths and composed himself. He needed to have his mind clear for the ball. He had promised his Court that he would do his best to enjoy himself, even if balls weren't really something that he liked.
Looking at the mirror one more time he left his rooms. His court was waiting.
Everyone in the common room stilled when he entered. He felt their eyes on him and glared.
"What?" he snapped.
Every single student in the common room, aside from his Court, knelt in front of him. He hid his surprise well, though he looked at his Court, asking them what was going on. They shrugged discreetly, telling him that they had no idea what was happening. However he could see how pleased they were with the display. He confessed that he liked them on their knees in front of him as well, however he would like it better if he knew why they were doing it.
"My King," Jason Finch said, bowing his head, "You look... beautiful."
A warm chuckle left him making the students lift their heads and look at him. He smiled warmly at them.
"Thank you, Jason."
Finch glowed with pride and he contained the dark chuckle that was threatening to escape. Really, they went down on their knees just to praise him? He hadn't expected his parseltongue abilities to change things so much. He had seen that they were more respectful, that they were more loyal. But he hadn't expected them to kneel. He hadn't asked them too, they did it out of their own free will. It was quite the empowering feeling.
His Court walked towards him, they stood in line in front of him and knelt as well. His magic flowed around them, caressing them.
They rose as one. They stood tall and proud in front of him, and he smiled.
"Finch is right, you look beautiful." Theo told him, kissing his cheek.
"He's beautiful every day. Today he just looks more refined." Luna corrected, hugging him and giving him a kiss as well.
He had gotten used to the way they treated him, though they had never been so demonstrative in front of the others. He let them. He understood what they were doing. He had accepted that he was theirs, if in a different way that they were his, so now they were marking their territory.
They were right, he did look more refined. He had opted to use robes that had some oriental influences, so his robes were a mixture of wizard robes and yukatas. They were made out of the finest silk and of the darkest black. Hundreds of snakes were stitched in emerald green all over the fabric. However it was on the back that was the masterpiece. An Ouroboros occupied his whole back, however instead of the usual snake it was a basilisk biting it's own tail. The design wasn't filled, it was stitched just like the smaller snakes. Though it had a few stitches in silver to give it more depth. All in all he was rather pleased with it.
However the best part about it was that every member of the Court, including the demons and Neville, had the same Ouroboros on their robes, or in some way incorporated in their outfit. It had been a Yule gift from him for all of them. They had been overjoyed when he had gifted it to them.
All the Slytherins had it on their collar. Cedric and Wayne had it on their cufflinks. Luna had it as an anklet and Fleur as a bracelet. The demons and Neville had it on their belt buckles. And Viktor's was on his breast pocket.
It was officially their crest.
"Ready to go?" he asked them. When he received nods from all of them they walked towards the exit. Before they left Harry turned around and looked at the students still on their knees.
"Rise." he instructed and was immediately obeyed. "Have fun tonight." he said, smiling warmly at them and he could see that they were even more enchanted with him. Every time he smiled at them he made them love him a little more. It was surprising what a few kind words and smiles could do. Though he made sure that they never forgot that he wasn't someone to cross.
As soon as they were out of the common room the twins and Neville cast a few spells and they melted into the shadows. There were to many people roaming the halls for them to go to the Great Hall with the rest of the Court. They would mingle in the Hall, where everyone would be far to busy having fun to care that they were speaking with the Court.
"Mr. Potter! Mr. Diggory! Where have you been? You are both champions, you have to open the ball. Oh, Mr Krum and Miss Delacour are with you as well." McGonagall looked a little flustered and her usually tidy bun was coming undone, "Well, where are your dates?" she asked sharply looking at them.
"Good evening Professor," Harry said politely, "Our dates are already here. We decided to go with each other."
"The champions go together?" she asked, just to make sure that she had heard right.
"Yes, we made sure that it was allowed by the rules of the Tournament. There was nothing against it. Since we are all close friends we thought we would have more fun if we went together."
"I see." Harry was sure that he saw a small smile on her lips... or at least an upturn of the corners of her lips. Which counted as a smile for McGonagall. "Well then, get ready. The rest of you," she said looking at the other Court members, "Into the Great Hall."
His Court left them following McGonagall into the Great Hall.
"You all ready?" he asked his fellow champions and they nodded. "Who's my date then?" he smirked when he saw that they were a little flustered.
"I am." Viktor toke a step forward after a few looks between him and Cedric, while Fleur just watched them looking highly amused.
He smiled and took Viktor's arm, cursing slightly in his head when he noticed that he was almost a head shorter than the Bulgarian.
"Put on a good show." he told them and all of them stood straighter. They knew they were representing Ouroboros, they wouldn't let Harry down.
When the doors opened they glided into the Great Hall. He could feel everyone's eyes on him. The surprise on some people's face was somewhat expected. However the completely devastated looks some girls and boys had when they saw him on Viktor's arm was rather amusing. He knew many had crushes on him, it was rather obvious, though he had no interest whatsoever in any of them. They were so far beneath him that he didn't even think of them as potential partners. The only people at Hogwarts that he would even come close to considering would be someone on his Court. Everyone else just wasn't worth it.
He looked over the people that were seated at the Champions' table and a small smile appeared on his lips when he saw Marcus sitting amongst those present. He had missed him. Unfortunately he couldn't spend as much time as he wanted with Marcus since he was out of Hogwarts. However Marcus always made sure to stay in contact with the Court. He had even sent letters to the new members so that they could get to know each other. They were all rather close to each other and it looked like none of them wanted to lose that bond, even if they were no longer at Hogwarts.
However when he saw the person sitting next to him he had to fight to not let his composure slip.
Tomas Nacht was sitting there, as if it where the most natural thing in the world. Lucius Malfoy was sitting on Marcus' other side and there were a number of other people there, aside from the Headmasters from the three schools. However Harry had eyes for no one else but Tom. What was he doing there?
"Karkaroff told me that Ministry officials were allowed to invite a few guests. Malfoy must have invited him." Viktor told him when he saw at whom he was looking.
"It doesn't matter." Harry replied, looking at Viktor smiling, "He doesn't matter."
Viktor smiled back, though it was obvious that he didn't believe him. Sometimes he truly wished that his Court didn't know him as well as they did.
They walked towards the table and even though he didn't want to he took the seat beside Tom. Viktor sat beside him and Cedric and Fleur took the two seats that were left a little down the table.
Dumbledore stood up as soon as they sat and smiled at everyone in the Great Hall.
"Welcome students and guest. I thank you all for coming and for celebrating such a joyous occasion here at Hogwarts." he smiled at all of them, "Dig in." he said jovially.
Harry chuckled softly. Really, no matter what people said about the man, he knew how to be a host.
Dumbledore sat back down, took the menu that was in front of his plate and said out loud. "Pork chops." And pork chops appeared on his plate. He saw understanding appear in several faces and people picked up the menus in front of their plates and started ordering.
After everyone had ordered small talk started amongst them. Though most people were looking at him discreetly. No doubt wanting for him to join the conversations.
"Mr. Malfoy, Draco didn't tell me you were coming." he finally said, completely ignoring the man sitting next to him. Was he being petty? Yes. Did he care? Not particularly.
It had been almost a month since he had sent his letter and Nacht hadn't replied. It clearly showed that he didn't want anything to do with him anymore. He wouldn't beg for his attention. If Nacht had gotten over whatever it was that had been between them then that was that.
"He didn't know." Malfoy replied, "I wanted for it to be a surprise."
"He'll be happy to see you." Harry told him.
Malfoy smiled and then a witch that was sitting a little down the table turned towards him.
"Do you have friends aside from Slytherins Mr. Potter?"
"Yes, I do... Mrs.?" she looked familiar but he couldn't place her.
"Bones, Amelia Bones. My niece Susan, she's in Hufflepuff, is in the same year as you."
Ah, now he knew why she looked familiar, she had been at Sirius' trial. Besides Susan Bones was one of the people that his network watched.
"Ah, yes. She's particularly gifted in Arithmancy, isn't she? She's one of the few that can keep up with my friends and I."
She looked rather pleased with the compliment to her niece however before he could take advantage from it another person butted into the conversation.
"Yes... Your little group, Ouroboros isn't it?" the wizard asked, "Tell us Mr. Potter is there a reason why you surround yourself with the best and brightest?"
"Reason? What do you mean?" he asked appearing slightly confused. He had no idea who the man was but he had to admit that he seemed to be far more perceptive than all the other sheep. Something that could be dangerous.
"Well I don't mean to offend but the last person who did something like that became the Dark Lord."
Harry raised an eyebrow. Voldemort had a Court? The last Court had been a little over fifty years ago, did that mean that Voldemort had gone to Hogwarts? So he could find out Voldemort's true identity if he found out who the King was at that time. Though the man hadn't come out and said that there was a Court, he could guess that it was the case.
"Ignore Mr. McMillan, Harry." Nacht said and Harry glanced at him, paying him no more attention than he did to an insect.
"You didn't offend me at all Mr. McMillan." Harry smiled charmingly at the man, ignoring the scorching look that Nacht was now throwing him, "I admit that they are my friends mainly because they are so bright. Though there is no hidden meaning behind it. I just like to be challenged, you know? They challenge me and I them." it wasn't the truth, they didn't challenge him, but at the beginning they kept him entertained and that had been all there was to it. Now... now there was more.
"Oh. Yes, yes I see." McMillan said, getting over his offended air, "Yes, yes. You are supposed to be a prodigy correct?" he wasn't quite able to hide the incredulity in his tone.
"There is no suppose about it." Viktor told him, "Harry is brilliant in everything he does. It's incredible what he's able to do with his wand."
"It's true." Cedric added, "Harry is truly brilliant. It's fascinating watching him do magic. It looks as if it's as easy as breathing to him."
Harry smiled at them, blushing slightly. He could see that almost everyone at the table was falling for it.
"You seem to have quite a few fans." Nacht remarked lowly.
"I know." he replied, "Most of the students at Hogwarts are in love with me... well maybe in lust would be the better term."
"Is that so?" he looked at Nacht when he heard the sharp edge in his tone.
"Something the matter?" he whispered.
"Something the matter?" Nacht muttered back, "You show up on the arm of that Quidditch Player and you ask if something is the matter?" there was a deadly glow in Nacht's eyes.
"And why would that matter to you?"
"You are my serpent, you should be on my arm."
"Is that so?" Harry couldn't help but have a slightly sarcastic note to his voice. "Is it your costume to completely ignore the person who you want on your arm?"
"I wasn't ignoring you." Nacht almost snarled, gaining a few looks. Though it was far too low for anyone to really hear what he had said. Aside from Marcus who was glaring at Nacht.
"Apparently we have a different definition of the word ignoring." Harry argued and turned towards Marcus. "How is your work going?" he asked him, though he already knew everything there was to know about Marcus' life.
"It's going well." Marcus replied, tearing his eyes away from Nacht, "The Minister was talking about promoting me to Undersecretary."
"Already?" he was truly surprised, Marcus hadn't told him that yet.
"Yes, apparently he's been really pleased with my work and several Heads of Department spoke positively about me."
"Yes, we are rather pleased with your work." Bones remarked, "After Weasley left we kept a much closer eye on the junior employees at the Ministry."
"Oh? Weasley left?" Harry asked, feigning curiosity.
"Yes." another wizard that was sitting beside Cedric said, "He didn't even have the decency to tell his Department Head in person. He left and then sent a letter, if you can believe that."
"Really? Such irresponsibility." Harry did his best to sound as disapproving as he could. He caught the malicious smirk that briefly appeared on Marcus' lips.
"Yes, it truly was." Bones shook her head, "We had high hopes for him."
"Well at least Marcus isn't like that." he remarked smiling warmly at Marcus.
"You shouldn't smile like that at other people, your date might get jealous." Nacht muttered snidely beside him, capturing the attention of Marcus, Lucius and Viktor, the only ones close enough to hear.
"Are you jealous Viktor?" he asked, his eyes shinning mischievously.
Viktor looked at him and he could see the questions in his eyes. He gave a minuscule nod knowing that Viktor would understand. Every Court member would understand. Viktor smiled at him, leaned in closer and caressed his cheek. Harry could feel the glare that was aimed at him but he ignored it.
"No, I'm not. You made it quite clear that you are mine." Viktor answered, kissing his cheek.
He smiled when he felt the magical pressure around him increase. He could feel the need to hurt, to maim and kill that the magic was projecting.
"Tomas." Lucius hissed and the magic disappeared as if it had never been there to begin with.
He turned around and saw the murderous light in Nacht's eyes and smiled. He didn't think it possible but the glare became even more deadly and he couldn't contain a chuckle.
"Really, what were you expecting?" he whispered, "I told you you would never own me."
"You said that no one would ever own you." was the snarled reply. Fortunately it was low enough not to attract attention.
"That's still true. No one owns me."
"Then how can you be his?" if he didn't know that Nacht couldn't be a parselmouth he would have said that the hiss was borderline parseltongue.
"It's an exchange. I am his, but he is mine." then he turned towards the other people at the table and ignored Nacht for the rest of the meal. He felt his eyes on him, but he payed it no mind. He was done playing with Nacht.
"Well," Dumbledore said after all the plates had disappeared from the tables, "Now let us start the ball. Champions, if you please."
Viktor took his hand and lead him to the dance-floor. Viktor pulled him closer and Harry relaxed for the first time since he saw Nacht at their table.
"Thank you." he whispered into Viktor's ear.
"You're welcome, my King."
Harry smiled. The music started and they glided across the dance-floor. He lost himself to the music and the feel of Viktor's arms around him. Before the dance ended he felt another pair of arms around him and turned to see Cedric holding him. Viktor let go of him and took Fleur. He laughed when he saw the looks they got.
"You did say we would all go together." Cedric whispered against his ear.
Really his Court was so sneaky. This wasn't exactly what he had planned when he said they would go together. Changing partner before the music was over made a clear statement. Truthfully he didn't care, he had said that they would go together, he just wasn't expecting it.
"Will the others be joining as well?" he asked Cedric.
"Of course." Cedric replied, twirling them around the floor, "I think they would spend hours torturing me if I even thought of keeping you all to myself."
Harry laughed again, ignoring the other pairs that had finally joined the dance-floor and all the looks he was getting.
"That's true. You are all so possessive."
Cedric's smirk was far to feral and Harry shook his head. After everything it didn't surprise him to see that his Court was just as twisted as he was. But he couldn't help but wonder if they had been like that from the beginning or if it was he that had turned them into what they were.
Again he felt a new pair of arms around him and he turned around chuckling.
"My King." Marcus gave a slight bow and Cedric left them.
"I didn't know you would be coming."
"Fudge told me this afternoon. Though I'm glad I came, I wouldn't want to miss dancing with you for anything in the world."
"How is it that you are as affected as they are?" Harry asked curiously, "You haven't been here."
"But I was at the beginning my King," Marcus replied seriously, "Our bond didn't weaken when I left. Your magic... I can always feel it. It's... It's almost bonding us, just like it almost bonds all the other Ouroboros."
"But why does it do that?"
"I'm sorry my King, I can't tell you that."
Harry sighed when he saw the stubborn set of Marcus' jaw. He knew it would do no good to press for answers. Marcus wouldn't lie to him, but he knew that he wouldn't answer.
"Alright, let's enjoy the dance." he relented.
He went from one Ouroboros to another, all of them making it almost impossible for him to be alone. He was rather thankful. He didn't want to be around other people, especially all those Ministry members that were eying him as if he were some juicy steak. Thankfully it didn't seem to be anything sexual.
Usually he wouldn't mind. However, no matter how much he hated to admit it, seeing Nacht had unsettled him a little. He wasn't used to being ignored. Even those that feared him never ignored him. Besides, Nacht had been one of the first people to actual challenge him. An equal almost. Something he had never had. Something he hadn't realized he craved until he had it. And Nacht had just taken it away from him. So it was no wonder that seeing him had affected him. He knew he should use the night to talk with Ministry members, to charm them. However he had seen his Court members working on the Ministry officials so he was content to be in the background, enjoying the night with his Ouroboros.
"Stop avoiding me." a very familiar voice hissed near his ear and he sighed. He knew he shouldn't have sat down, especially since none of his Ouroboros were nearby.
"I am not avoiding you Mr. Nacht." he replied calmly, he contained another sigh when he saw Nacht taking the seat beside him. Not wanting to be rude he turned around to look at the man.
"Oh? Then what would you call it?" Harry felt the silencing and some variation of the notice-me-not charm go up around them and he glared.
"You made it quite clear that you were no longer interested in maintaining correspondence. I am simply complying with your desires."
"Complying with my desires?" there was a touch of incredulity in his tone, "If you were complying with my desires as you claim, you would be sprawled naked on my bed, begging for me to take you." Harry couldn't believe the amount of lust and passion that were in Nacht's eyes.
"Yes, complying with your desires." Harry stated, completely ignoring the rest of what Nacht had said, "You were the one that didn't reply to my letter Mr. Nacht. If that doesn't say that you don't wish to correspond anymore then I don't know what does."
For a moment or two Nacht looked completely stupefied. Then his eyes widened slightly and he leaned closer. His eyes were burning with a new light and the anger that had been in his eyes all night faded completely.
"I did reply to your letter my little serpent." he whispered, even though no one in the Great Hall could hear them. "That letter you sent me... you have no idea what it did to me." his voice was low, and Harry could hear a slight growl in his tone. "I wanted to storm Hogwarts and take you. I didn't even care that you are only fourteen. The thought of having you override everything else."
"You replied?" he asked, putting aside the rest of what Tom had said.
"Yes." Tom answered, and Harry could see no lie in his eyes, "I wanted to come to Hogwarts when I didn't receive a letter from you, but Lucius told me about the invitations to the Yule Ball and I decided to wait. But seeing you on that Quidditch player's arm almost drove me over the edge."
"So what did the letter say?" he asked slyly, "I do deserve to know what was in the letter, since it seems that it was lost before it reached me. Tell me Tom," he whispered against his ear, feeling the shiver that raced through Tom's body, "What did it say? Will you whispered it into my ear? Promising sweet nothings and sinful pleasure."
"Are you trying to break my control?" Tom growled.
"Am I succeeding?"
"You have no idea what you are doing Harry." Tom whispered, his hands coming to rest on his waist, trying to pull him closer even though they were seated. It was the use of his name that sobered him up. It had a desperate note in it that made him look into Tom's eyes.
"You're afraid." Harry stated, his eyes widening slightly at the realization. "What are you afraid of?" he asked curiously.
He felt Tom's hand tighten on his waist and he almost winced, the grip was borderline painful and he saw Tom's expression close off.
"People like us... we can't afford to get close to other people. We can't have weaknesses. You are becoming mine and I don't know if I can allow that." Tom replied, his eyes oddly blank. It was strange for Harry to see the usually expressive orbs completely devoid of any kind of emotion. "I am afraid of the amount of control you have over me. Allowing you to have this amount of power is bordering on suicidal."
And Harry understood. He knew what the price was to allow people to get close. If one of his Court ever decided to turn on him... Well the damage that he or she would be able to cause them would be astronomical. He had taken a chance with them and he knew that he wouldn't regret it. However the biggest difference between him and Tom was that he trusted his Ouroboros.
"Well, you have to ask yourself if you trust me with that kind of power."
Harry smiled at him, brought down the charms around them and left. He wasn't angry at Tom anymore but he wouldn't play with him when it was clear that the man was having such doubts about whatever there was between them.
Besides, Tom was right. He had become attached to the man far too quickly. It was something they couldn't afford. When Voldemort made an appearance again and if he tried to kill him again with whom would Tom side? He wasn't strong enough yet to have such a dangerous connection so close to him. It was the same reason why he kept Lucius at arm's length even though Draco was completely devoted to him. He couldn't risk it. With Tom he had thrown caution to the wind. He hadn't thought about the consequences, he had just followed his desires. Tom was becoming his weakness as well, a weakness he couldn't afford.
No matter how much he wanted it.
"Everything alright Harry?" Theo asked.
Theo. Theo had been the first hadn't he? The first person he had ever opened up to. The first person he had allowed close. His very first weakness.
He raised his hand and caressed Theo's cheek. Marveling at the way he leaned in closer to his touch, at the way he closed his eyes and a soft sight escaped his lips.
He pulled Theo's head closer to his, he felt Theo's sharp intake of breath against his lips. He looked into Theo's wide eyes. There were so many emotions in them, but above all hope and longing. He smiled and sealed their lips in a kiss.
"Are you ready Harry?" Theo asked him, leaning against the door that lead to his bathroom.
Harry turned around and nodded, accepting the hug that Theo gave him.
"Theo..." he hated what he was about to do. The last thing he wanted was to hurt Theo. Theo had been with him from the beginning but he couldn't continue what they had been doing. The fact that it was the morning of the second task and Theo was now beside him, was a clear indication that they shouldn't be together.
"You don't have to say it." Theo whispered, "When I woke up this morning I knew."
"Don't." Theo said fiercely, "Don't say you're sorry. I knew what I was getting into. I wouldn't trade the last two months for anything Harry." Theo looked into his eyes and he could see the truth in them. Theo lowered his head and kissed him. It was tender, sweet; a good-bye. "I love you, my King." Theo whispered against his lips and Harry could do nothing but kiss him again. Trying to say everything with that one kiss. When he pulled away they were both panting.
He pulled Theo against him.
"You were my first weakness Theo." he whispered against his ear, "Thank you for showing me just how good those weaknesses can be." then he pulled away and left Theo in his bathroom, he had a task to complete.
Theo took a deep breath and tried to get his emotions back under control. Just because he knew it wasn't meant to last didn't mean it didn't hurt to let him go.
"Are you alright?"
He looked up and saw Draco by the door.
"Yeah, I'm fine." he replied, smiling at the blond.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah." he whispered, "I already knew it wouldn't last, Luna did warn us. I'm thankful that he was mine for two months."
"You... you looked really happy." Draco muttered.
"I was, no... I am. I'm in love with him Draco. Having him in my arms, being able to kiss him whenever I wanted... it was better than what I imagined. But I am happy that I can still be by his side. Even if it hurts now..." Theo trailed off with a small sad smile.
"I'm kinda happy that I don't love him." Draco said, "Well, I love him, but I'm not in love with him. I see him more as an older brother. Even though he's younger." he ended with a small chuckle.
Theo smiled and shook his head. He understood what Draco meant but he wouldn't change the fact that he was in love with Harry.
"Who's missing?" he asked trying to change the subject.
"Wayne, Luna and Gabrielle."
The names weren't really a surprise. Cedric loved Wayne as a brother, Luna was like a little sister for Viktor and Gabrielle was everything to Fleur. The only other person they would miss more would be Harry and he was a fellow champion.
"There is no one else at Hogwarts missing. Sirius and the Alpha are also accounted for." Draco replied.
"I see." well, he couldn't truthfully say he was surprised. Not after what he had felt at the Yule Ball after that kiss. He knew that the only reason he was still alive was because Harry had been there. He caught Draco's look and shook his head, "I'm fine, or I'll be fine."
"If you're sure..."
"I am. Let's go, they must be waiting for us."
Draco nodded and they left Harry's room. They had to cheer for their fellow Ouroboros and their King.
He woke abruptly. Maybe waking was the wrong word since he wasn't truly asleep. Still he couldn't help the slight flare of panic that surged through him when he felt the water around him. Though it was only for a second. Then he remembered why he was surrounded by water, he remembered where he was and why he was there.
He looked around and saw killing curse green eyes glaring at him and he couldn't stop the smug smirk that appeared on his lips even if he wanted to.
"Don't say a word." Harry growled, pulling him towards the platform.
He almost chuckled. However he refrained, it wouldn't surprise him if Harry tried to drown him.
He still couldn't believe that he was where he was. The night of the Yule Ball was still fresh on his mind.
He had been honest with Harry when he said that he was afraid of the power Harry had over him. He knew Harry understood. During that month that he thought that Harry was ignoring him, he had been consumed with thoughts of him. He could hardly function. He hadn't been focused. He knew that his Death Eaters had noticed, but only Lucius and Teodred seemed to suspect the reason for it.
All the others were especially careful around him, knowing that even breathing wrong would have made him curse them. Truthfully he had wanted to storm Hogwarts and find out why Harry had been so silent. The only reason he hadn't done it was because Lucius had told him he had convinced Fudge to allow Ministry officials to bring guests.
He had been quite proud of himself when he didn't go to the Slytherin common room to look for his little King. However when he saw Harry with Krum it had taken all of his control not to kill the Bulgarian.
Though nothing tested his control more than that kiss.
Nott was alive only because Harry had been there.
He had lost control of his magic. He knew that every Death Eater had felt it. He knew he had almost brought them to their knees from the pain. He had been about to strike Nott when Harry's own magic surged forward. He had felt it circling around Nott protectively. Harry had glared at him. Daring him to harm his Court member.
It hadn't escaped his notice that all of the Court members had formed a loose circle around them, all of them with their wands in hand.
He had to admit that he was impressed with how fast they had been able to cast notice-me-not charms around them. Aside from that they had been rather strong since they had stopped Dumbledore from noticing that something was wrong.
After that Lucius had practically dragged him from Hogwarts. Of course he had suffered for it, even if he understood why he had done it. He was the Dark Lord Voldemort, no one dragged him away from anywhere.
The following months had been far harder than he thought possible. Just thinking about Nott with Harry... At least he knew they hadn't gone further than kissing. He thought that he would lose the last bit of sanity he had if Harry and Nott had slept together. The little Malfoy had been useful in that at least, sure he hadn't said it out right but the letter to his mother had been clear enough without it having to be said. Not that he had any doubt that he had only shared that knowledge because Harry allowed him to. Though he did wonder why his serpent allowed it.
He doubted that Harry had started going out with Nott to make him jealous or something like it. Harry didn't seem to be that type. Still, there must have been a reason why he had decided to do that right after they had talked. After they had gotten over the misunderstanding. Had it been his admittance that he was afraid? He didn't know and he had been far too worked up over the whole thing to think about it. He knew it shouldn't have been like that but that was the problem when one didn't have their complete sanity. Logic sometimes flew out the window. Unfortunately that had been one of those occasions. He was beginning to realize that everything pertaining to Harry became one of those occasions.
However the previous night he had received a summons from Dumbledore. Not he, Voldemort, but Tomas Nacht.
The first thing he had done was call Lucius and ask him if he had any idea what was going on. Lucius hadn't known, so he decided to take Lucius with him, just in case. Casting the necessary glamor charms in parseltongue they left for Hogwarts.
When Dumbledore had told him he had been summoned because the Goblet had chosen him as the person that Harry would miss the most he had been shocked. However that shock had been completely overshadowed by smugness. Out of everyone he knew Harry missed him most. Not his godfather and his Wolf. Not his Ouroboros. Not his little boyfriend. Him. Harry would miss him the most he were to disappear.
In that moment in time it was as if the last two months hadn't happened. What did it matter if Harry had a boyfriend when it was him that he missed? It didn't matter. He had always gotten whatever he wanted, even if he had to take it from someone else, his little King was no different.
"Stop looking so smug." Harry snarled, breaking him out of his thoughts.
"If I didn't know any better I wouldn't say that you aren't happy to see me." he remarked, starting to swim as well so that they could reach the platform faster.
"I'm not." Harry replied, glaring at him.
"The fact that I'm here disproves that." he couldn't help but sound smug. Everyone would sound smug if they were in his situation.
Harry snarled looking away from him and pulled him the last few inches that separated them from the platform. As soon as they were on it, the medi-witch was on them. Giving them towels and pepper-ups, muttering about crazy tasks. They were ushered towards a secluded area and told to sit put and wait for the other champions.
Harry was clearly unhappy about the situation but he complied.
As soon as the medi-witch was gone he had Harry against the wall.
"What are you doing?" Harry's voice was calm, deadly and he felt Harry's magic surging forward. It wasn't doing anything yet, but it was ready should Harry call on it.
"I'm sorry." he whispered, the first time he had used that word and actually meant it. It was enough to make Harry's magic retreat slightly so he continued, "When I said that I was afraid of the power you had over me, I didn't mean to imply that I didn't trust you. I do trust you, which is foolish and bordering on suicidal, but even so... even knowing what I know... I do trust you." he truly did. He shouldn't. He shouldn't even consider it, but he did. Even knowing part of that damned prophecy. "I would rather have you be my weakness, than lose you and have no weaknesses at all."
Harry was looking at him now, an almost heartbroken look in his eyes, and Tom couldn't for the life of him figure out what he had said to make it appear.
"I can't." Harry whispered, "I'm not strong enough to allow you to be my weakness. Even if I want it."
And Tom almost staggered back. Harry was so much like him, how could he not have thought about the possibility that Harry would see the situation the same way as he did. How could he not have thought that Harry saw him the same way? Having someone so close was always a danger, one way or another. They could betray them, or they could be used against them. It was only logical to not have someone in that position. He understood that, he believed that, he had lived like that. But when it came to Harry he couldn't accept it.
"What about Nott?" he hissed.
"Theo belongs to me. He would kill for me. Die for me. He's mine." Harry told him, "You... you aren't."
There was an explosion of cheers and Harry broke the hold he had on him and walked towards the exit, where he was greeted by some of his Ouroboros, Diggory and Hopkins if he wasn't mistaken. He saw the smile that lit Harry's face when he saw them and felt jealousy course through him.
"I could be..." he sighed, sitting on the makeshift bed and closing his eyes.
A.N.: I know it's shorter than the previous chapters. But I think this good place to stop. Next chapter is the third task. Fourth year is almost done :D
I hope you enjoy this one, even though it is shorter. I liked it. It shows a bit more about Tom and how he feels about Harry and what's happening to them.
I had a reviewer that remarked about the lack of opposition Harry has and that Dumbledore isn't really doing anything against him. Well, to be honest, the war hasn't started yet. Even Voldemort hasn't made any move aside from meeting with a few Death Eaters. Dumbledore knows Voldemort is back, but there has been nothing going on that actually proves it. When the war starts and when he sees that Harry sides with Tom Dumbledore will act. He did defeat a Dark Lord before and Voldemort respects the power he has even though he hates the man. Dumbledore won't be a push-over and the Order will be just as skilled as the Death Eaters. But we aren't in that part of the story yet and at the moment Dumbledore truly sees Harry as someone who is really similar to Tom but that hasn't walked down that path yet. The main reason why he thinks that is because of how Harry treats his Court.
Hope that clears it up for those who where wondering the same thing.