"A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you."
Battle of Hogwarts, 1998
Voldemort's body disintegrated; ash scattered in the wind of furious duels still being fought around the ruins of the Great Hall. Harry paused for a moment, taking in the devastation surrounding him.
Ron and Hermione had met in the field and were duelling back-to-back. Harry saw Remus and Fred lying motionless amongst the chaos.
As he turned to look back at Ron and Hermione, someone screamed his name, as two bursts of light hit him in the chest. He'd been hit by two spells; one an all-too familiar bright green, the other an unfamiliar spell with a light blue signature. As they hit him, Harry was aware of his body falling to the ground as Ron and Hermione crashed to their knees beside him as he floated away.
As he drifted, colours began to swirl around him; snippets of people and places whizzed past as he was sucked through the strange tunnel, away from his body. Then, a familiar voice, so clear and calm, sounded around him, inside him.
"Harry," a woman spoke… he knew this voice, "Harry," she sounded sure and strong; he felt loved and cared for. "This was the first thing I thought of, I'm sorry." Luna's face appeared in his mind, her soft smile seemed sad. "I've sent you back to before all of this…" And he understood; he accepted that he was no longer needed and that he would have a new life, a new fate, wherever and whenever Luna had sent him. I'm done, he thought.
December 1st, 1945
Abraxas walked down the cobblestone streets of Diagon Alley, browsing the wears in the shop windows. He was the man of Malfoy Manor now, his father having passed away some moths previously. Before the old man had died, he'd been harping his young heir about marriage.
"Your cousin, Walburga, would make an excellent wife," said Lucien Malfoy, filling his pipe by the drawing room fire. "Her elder sister is engaged to a Greengrass, unfortunately." He puffed on the pipe until it was lit properly, before turning his gaze to Abraxas. "You need an heir, son," he said.
That had happened when Abraxas had been in Sixth Year at Hogwarts. His father may have pestered him, but he was mostly a good man. Abraxas hadn't been very fond of him; their personalities seemed to clash more often than not, but he did, in his own way, love the old codger.
Blinking snow from his eyelashes, Abraxas returned to the present and found himself down an unfamiliar street. He'd been down Knockturn Alley, Diagon Alley and Spheric Alley, but he'd never seen this little avenue. He looked up at the sign on the corner leading back to Diagon Alley, wondering where on earth he was. The sign read 'Magick Alley'. He snorted, amused at the ridiculous names of Wizarding Britain's streets.
He allowed his curiosity to lead him through the quaint little street and perused the items on display. There were a lot of expensive-looking tea shops, book shops and jewellers. A few stores offered hand-made robes of the finest quality, while others sold enchanted furniture and other odds and ends.
Mother would have a field day in these stores, he thought. And then, he remembered; his mother's birthday was in a week! Cursing himself a fool, he made his way to a little jeweller, deciding to buy her a little bauble to wear to her Christmas Ball.
Harry looked up as the bell above the shop entrance announced his first customer of the day.
The man that walked in looked vaguely familiar; his sharp blue eyes surveyed the merchandise around him with cool confidence. His dark gold hair was neatly combed in a surprisingly Muggle fashion, accentuating his high cheekbones and slightly aquiline nose, giving him a noble appearance in his immaculate robes.
A Malfoy, his mind supplied, as he noticed the crisp black cloak. Were they all bloody models? He wondered, appreciating the long legs that could not be hidden in the voluminous folds of cloth.
"May I help you, Mister Malfoy?" he finally asked, remembering he had a job to do.
"Perhaps," the man smirked. Harry was surprised to see the expression was a teasing little quirk of the man's lips, rather than a condescending sneer. If he hadn't been so professional, he would have gawked in wonder. "I'm looking for a gift for my mother," he explained as he approached the counter. Harry noticed he seemed rather lost under his mask of cool confidence. He doesn't know what he's looking for! He smirked back at the pureblood.
"Ah, I see. You forgot her birthday," he chuckled at the sheepish look on the young man's face. How did this kid spawn someone like Lucius Malfoy? He wondered.
"Of course not; I simply… misremembered," he sniffed. Harry grinned.
"I see. Well, what do you think she would like? A ring?"
"Heavens, no; I'm not proposing to her!" he laughed. Harry rather liked that sound.
"Alright… what about a pair of earrings?" he suggested, motioning to the rotating display tower next to him. Malfoy seemed to consider the idea for a moment before he nodded.
"What do you suggest? She will be thirty-eight, so nothing too bold."
Harry twirled the display until a pair of silver snowflakes faced his customer. He still found it rather amusing that thirty-eight was considered somewhat old in this decade.
"These came in yesterday. They're one of a kind; made from silver and pure stardust by the Elves in Norway. They were reluctant to part with these," he chuckled. "They drive a hard bargain, too."
"How much?" Malfoy asked, eyeing the snowflakes.
"Well, since it's for your mother's big day… let's say two-hundred galleons."
"One-seventy-five… and I'll gift wrap them; with a bow and everything," he grinned.
"Deal." Malfoy smiled. "Thank you, Mister…"
"Mister Potter. You're a terrible businessman. These are worth quite a lot more than one-hundred and seventy-five galleons."
"Yes; I bought them for five."
"Hm. But the Elves asked for a thousand!" he smiled, pulling out a flat, velvet-lined box.
"How do you keep your store?" Amusement shone through the blonde's slight disdain, making Harry's smile broaden.
"I'm in a generous mood, Mister Malfoy," he winked and added a red ribbon to the little box.
"I could be lying," Malfoy teased.
"So, these are for you then?" Harry quipped, placing the box in a black satin bag.
Abraxas huffed a laugh at Mister Potter's flippant remark, shaking his head. He rather liked this man. He seemed quite genuine.
"Touché, Monsieur," he smiled, handed over a bag of coins and turned to leave, stashing his purchase in his pocket. "You're a man of good form, Potter. Don't be surprised if you have a boom in business," he grinned. "I have a lot of connections, you know."
"Oh, yes. I know," came the soft reply as he set the bag on a scale to count the coins. The measurement revealed Abraxas' generous tip earlier than he would have liked. He hadn't even made it to the door.
"Malfoy! This is –"
"Hm… a job well-done, Potter," he waved his hand nonchalantly as he left, not wanting to make a fuss.
Harry stared at the shop entrance, absolutely lost for words. He looked back at the magic scale telling him that the Lord Malfoy had just tipped him twice the amount he'd paid for the earrings.
The bright red numbers read '1,175G'.
Later, as he closed the shop, Harry thought about Malfoy's generous tip. It had been completely unexpected… I mean, a Malfoy? Being generous? If I didn't know any better, I would say that the end is nigh, he shook his head and dusted the display cases before locking the front door.
As he climbed the stairs to the little apartment above the shop, he lost himself in the memory of how he'd arrived in the 1940s in the first place.
He thought of how he'd been flung through time, and had landed in the spring of 1943, a little ways from Hogsmeade. He'd found a few galleons in his pocket, made his way into the little town and had paid for a room and a newspaper before passing out on the bed. He'd soon found a job at the Three Broomsticks and worked there for a few months before being able to afford his own little apartment.
After a few more months of serving drinks, he'd accepted a position in a jeweller's shop. Augustus Stone had liked his customer service and had taken him under his wing in Magick Alley. When the old man had died, he'd left Harry everything; the shop and his entire life's savings. Soon after, Harry bought the empty flat above the store and had lived there ever since. So, two years on, there he was with a thriving business and his own home.
He shook his head, still marvelling at his ridiculous amount of dumb luck.
December 8th, 1945
"Mother?" Abraxas knocked on his mother's study door.
"Yes, darling," she looked up from her correspondences and smiled.
"Happy birthday," he handed her the satin bag with the earrings he'd bought the week before.
As Vivienne Malfoy opened the little box, her face brightened. Abraxas felt his heart swell at the sight.
"They're exquisite," she beamed, touching the smooth surfaces.
"I thought you could wear them to your ball."
"Oh, absolutely!" She stood and gave him a hug. "Thank you, dear," she kissed his cheek.
Abraxas left her study feeling slightly relieved; he hadn't even known he'd been nervous! That Potter fellow made a rather good choice, he thought, and, before he knew it, he'd donned his cloak and was in the grate to Floo to Magick Alley.
"Mister Potter," a familiar voice called from the front of Harry's shop. He hadn't even heard the bell! He set his cup of tea down and emerged from his office to greet Abraxas Malfoy.
"Nice to see you again, Mister Malfoy," words he'd never thought would pass his lips in the same sentence greeted the other man. "How can I help you today?" He leant a hip against the counter and folded his arms over his chest, observing the man before him. Malfoy was positively beaming. He must be the white sheep in the family, Harry mused.
"I… forgive me; now that I think of it, it's quite absurd," he looked down at his shoes, his cheeks flushed a faint pink.
"Not at all," Harry raised an eyebrow, smirking slightly.
"I, uh, came to express my thanks. The earrings you suggested were received quite well."
"Excellent! Glad to be able to help." He watched, waiting for the blonde to say something. He didn't, but it seemed he didn't want to leave, either. "I was just having a spot of tea… would you care to join me?" Malfoy seemed to hesitate; he glanced to the side before accepting with a nod and a small smile. Harry found the man absolutely charming.
Of all the rare treasures I deal with, I've come across a shy, awkward Malfoy, he grinned and lead the way to his office.
You dull creature, Abraxas scolded himself. He was mortified at his behaviour! You were raised better than this! He's a shopkeep, not a king! He loathed the ease with which his cheeks would colour at even the slightest discomfort. How unbecoming.
"How do you like your tea?" Potter's voice brought him out of his thoughts.
"Hot," he replied automatically. Potter laughed and handed him a cup before sitting down. Abraxas was horrified at his flippancy. You crass beast!
"Sit down, Malfoy."
"Right. Yes. Apologies. Thank you for the tea, Mister Potter," he attempted to regain some form of decorum as he sipped his tea elegantly. This made Potter laugh anew, which, in turn, made his cheeks flush once more.
"Malfoy, don't be so rigid," the bespectacled man laughed, sipping his own tea. "My name's Harry, by the way."
"A pleasure. Please, call me Abraxas," he returned politely. He noticed the other man stifle another laugh. What an oddly cheerful fellow, he thought as he averted his gaze to his saucer.
They shared a moment of silence, each sipping their tea. Harry seemed content to just sit together quietly, but Abraxas felt a little uncomfortable. What am I doing? This is most peculiar, he thought.
"So," Harry seemed to take pity. "Tell me, Abraxas; what brought you here last week? Of all the jewellers along the street, what made you choose mine?" he smiled.
"Well, honestly, I entered the first one I saw. I merely intended to buy my mother a trinket for her birthday." He smiled a little sheepishly.
"So, you forgot her birthday and meant to buy her the first shiny object you saw, in the first jeweller you walked into?" he summed up, sounding amused.
"You make it sound a lot worse than it was…" he sniffed. "Haven't you ever forgotten your mother's birthday?" he raised an eyebrow.
"My parents died when I was very little," Harry replied softly. Abraxas' insides froze.
"Oh. My apologies. I didn't intend –"
"It's alright, really." Abraxas felt his face heating up again. He tried to hide behind his cup of tea.
Another long moment of silence passed between them. Harry still seemed comfortable, but Abraxas felt quite embarrassed. He had no idea why this man affected him so.
"Please excuse me. I really should be going," he stood to leave, only to find that he couldn't move! He turned to look at Harry over his shoulder, and found the man had his wand out, casually twirling it in his fingers.
"What are you –"
"Relax. You're an awkward little thing, aren't you?"
Abraxas felt a little annoyed at that; he wasn't usually so undignified. He was a pureblood gentleman, after all. And he told the man as such.
"I'm usually not so… out of sorts. Please excuse my behaviour; I must be a little under the weather," he said, giving a polite nod as he turned to face his new acquaintance once more.
Harry found himself suddenly, utterly besotted with the endearing young man before him. In all the time he'd been in the 1940s, he hadn't met a person like him. Abraxas Malfoy was nothing like his progeny. Harry was seeing a little of Draco though; if without the venom and arrogance instilled by his father.
He watched as Abraxas gave a little nod of apology and waited to be released from Harry's jinx. But, ridiculously, Harry found that he didn't want to let him go!
"Have dinner with me," he asked suddenly.
"Let me buy you dinner, Abraxas. I rather enjoy your company," he said gently, releasing his jinx.
"Oh. Uh… alright." The blonde's face coloured again.
"Come back tomorrow evening and we'll go out to tea." He sat down again, smiling at the hesitant little nod of acceptance he received as Abraxas left his office.
Well, that was… unusual, he thought, walking down the street. He was unbelievably embarrassed by his conduct. He'd blushed like a bride on her wedding night and had brought up a painful subject, of which he had no right to speak. The man made him feel like a child. And yet, I enjoy his company much more than anyone else's.
His mind was still reeling from being asked to dinner by a perfect stranger. But, Harry being a stranger wasn't what particularly bothered him; it was the fact that he'd never been pursued before. He had always been the one to court the girls and lavish expensive jewels, perfumes and chocolates upon them to win their affections.
But… is that what this is? Does Potter wish to court me? He worried his lower lip with his teeth, analysing the situation from as many sides as possible; but no matter how he looked at it, he came to the conclusion that Harry was asking him to dinner as a romantic gesture. The thought made his heart swell, but… he was painfully aware that he had a duty to his family to produce an heir. As wonderful as magic was, it could not make two men conceive a child together. Adopting was out of the question.
Stop it! Stop it now! He's asked you to dinner and you're planning your future with him! Good heavens, man! He scowled, making his way to Diagon Alley. He reasoned that he may as well run errands and conduct business while he was out.
Abraxas' face had been priceless! Harry grinned and hum to himself for the rest of the day, just from the memory of the shock and utter terror on the pureblood's face.
He's… blimey, he's completely different than I expected. Malfoys aren't supposed to be nice! This guy's a lamb compared to Draco and his old man… he thought for the hundredth time that day.
As he was balancing the till, the doorbell rang, announcing another customer.
"Good afternoon; how may I –" he stopped abruptly upon seeing who'd walked in.
"Good afternoon. I'm looking for an antique. Do you sell them here?"
"Yes. What are you looking for?" He grit out, trying to be as polite as possible.
The man before him was tall and pale with dark hair and eyes. He was painfully handsome and held himself with confidence. Tom Riddle was in his shop.
"Did you hear me?" Riddle sounded annoyed. He waved a hand in Harry's line of sight.
"I'm sorry, no. Would you repeat that?"
"I said, I'm looking for an antique locket. It's gold with a snake engraving. Do you have something like this?" Salazar's locket.
"No, I'm afraid I don't. You might try Elders' down the street. They have –"
"I've been there," Riddle cut him off, sounding more impatient by the minute.
"Oh. Well, is there anything else I could help you with, sir?" He had to force the last word from his mouth.
"No. Thank you," he said before walking out.
Shit. Fuck. Fucking shit! He closed the till and retreated back to his office. I hope he's not a Legilimens, yet. Harry was shaken; he knew he really had no reason to be, but that man had devastated the world, had killed his parents; his friends!
As much as he wished otherwise, he couldn't interfere with history. He'd thought about finding the artefacts before Riddle and hiding or destroying them, but he knew that if he did, the crazy bastard would use something else, and if he didn't use the Founders' possessions or his family ring, he would use things that would be much more difficult for Dumbledore and his past/future self to find. He had to let it all happen again.
After his encounter with Riddle, he ended up closing the store an hour early. That night, he would wander Diagon Alley and allow himself to forget his troubles.
December 9th, 1945
It was just after six; the sun had set and the streets were lit with gas lamps which gave the snow-covered cobblestone streets a picturesque glow. Abraxas knocked on the door to Augustus' Fine Jewels and waited nervously for Harry to answer.
He'd no idea what to wear to dinner with another man, so he'd spent the entire day shopping for a new set of robes. He'd taken over an hour to groom himself before apparating to the closest public point to the shop. He was beyond nervous.
It only took Harry a minute to answer the door, but every second that ticked by felt like an age had passed. Fortunately, his palms weren't sweaty and he seemed to be able to speak properly when greeted.
"Good evening," Potter smiled at him.
"Good evening," he replied.
"You look handsome," the man remarked, holding out his arm for Abraxas to take.
"Thank you. You look quite dashing yourself," he was pleased to find that his smile came easily as his nerves melted away. Harry was calm and certain; it eased Abraxas' mood to know that his date was so sure of the night to come.
They strolled down the street in companionable silence, and, for once, Abraxas didn't feel anxious or as though he needed to fidget. After a while, he gathered enough courage to ask what Harry had planned.
"Well," he began, a little smile pulling at his lips, "I know of a lovely little place just down Merlin Avenue. It's called Pandora's Box; I thought the atmosphere was perfect to get to know each other," he brought his free hand up to cover Abraxas' one on his arm. "Is that agreeable to you?"
"Of course," he found himself replying.
Harry didn't know where his confidence had come from, but he was glad it appeared when Abraxas was around. He really didn't have a lot of experience with dating, but found that he really didn't care. He just wanted to spend time with this awkward young man. He supposed it came from being the older of the two… technically.
In the past two years, he'd been on a few dates with witches and wizards, not really caring one way or another. But, with Abraxas, he was genuinely interested in what the young man had to say.
His experience with customers and with Augustus' teachings had given him a calmer disposition and showed him to be content in the moment as it presented itself. He found that this was also a useful tool to use to break up brawls and disputes. His calm demeanour seemed to soothe those around him.
They entered Pandora's Box and were seated straight away. Their food was ordered and delivered with wonderful service, providing them more opportunity to have a decent conversation.
Harry learned about the young man before him; he was eighteen, his favourite colour was blue; his father had recently passed away and his mother was significantly younger than his father, and he was an investor in small businesses as well as one of the youngest wizards in the reserve bench of the Wizengamut. Harry was amazed at all he'd accomplished in such a short time.
"I do apologise; I've spoken about myself for most of the evening. Tell me about yourself?" Abraxas sipped his wine.
Harry didn't know how to begin… a lot of his life hadn't even happened yet, technically. He told the truth as far as he could; that his parents had died when he was only one, and thus had been raised by Muggles until he was old enough to go to Hogwarts.
This was where he'd had to fudge a few truths and give vague details.
"I don't remember you, I'm afraid," said Abraxas apologetically. "You weren't in Slytherin?" Harry laughed at this.
"No, I was in Gryffindor," his grin broadened at the mock-scandalised look on Abraxas' face.
"You do have some Slytherin qualities, though. Far more than Gryffindor, I though."
"Yes, I do. The Sorting Hat even suggested it, but I felt a little more welcome in the lions' den," he smirked at the even more scandalised look on Abraxas' face.
A Gryffindor? Very interesting…
As the night wore on, Abraxas learned more about Harry, yet… he had a feeling that there was something more to the man. He could practically feel the raw magic emanating from the brunette, and yet, it didn't seem to be of him. Very intriguing.
After dinner, they walked back to Harry's shop; he'd learned that his new friend lived above the little store.
"Would you like to come up?" The question was soft, undemanding and quite unexpected. He didn't know how to answer.
"I…" he hesitated. Why not? I'm a grown man; I can do what I like. "Would like that," he continued with a little smile. Harry grinned back and led them inside and through to the back room. Abraxas was wondering where they were going from there when Harry pulled a set of stairs down from the ceiling. Oh.
Harry felt a little nervous as he waited for a reply. He knew it was probably a little soon to ask Abraxas up to his home, but he only planned on some tea and more conversation. He wanted to see where this would go. He really liked the man.
"I… would like that," and he smiled a charming little smile that made Harry's chest tighten.
He saw the look of confusion on the pureblood's face before he pulled down the little staircase that would lead to his living room and kitchen area.
"How interesting," came an amused murmur. "I've never seen something like this." The poor, sheltered little prince, Harry thought. He chuckled at the mild awe on the blonde's face.
"Come on, I'll put on some tea."
Abraxas followed him up, still looking curious.
"What a lovely little apartment," he smiled, looking around. Harry huffed a laugh, finding the other's manners absolutely precious.
"Thank you. It came furnished, but it had been abandoned for so long that I had to throw everything away," he brought the teapot and saucers over and motioned for his guest to sit as he poured the tea.
Abraxas had expected the tea to be awkward, but was pleased to find that, like the rest of the evening, he felt quite relaxed in Harry's company. He didn't want to leave, but soon realised that time had slipped away from them; it was getting late when their conversation ebbed to another comfortable silence.
"I should go; you need sleep," he stood and turned to go, but paused to say, "I very much enjoyed your company tonight. Perhaps… you would allow me to take you out next time?"
He was being bold, but somehow knew he wouldn't be rejected. Perhaps, you fool, because he was the one to initiate things?
Harry agreed with a smile and walked him down to the shop entrance.
Just as he was about to let himself out, Abraxas felt a warm hand envelope his own and pull him to face Harry once more.
Before he could say anything, however, his lips were taken in a sweet kiss; a hand caressed his cheek and slid into his hair, pulling him close.
The night would not end so boringly if he had anything to do with it! Harry knew their date had been less romantic than companionable, but he didn't regret it. He liked Abraxas far too much to push him… but as the evening wore on, Harry wanted nothing more than to kiss the handsome young lord and completely ravage and debauch him until he melted into a puddle of Malfoy goo. So, he settled for a little good night kiss… against the door of his shop… with his hands running freely over the delightfully-reciprocating man beneath him.
He slipped a hand from the slender wrist and replaced it upon Abraxas' hip, pulling him as close as possible, flush against himself. Eventually, Abraxas' hands found their way to Harry's waist, holding him tightly and fisting his robes.
Harry broke away only to trail little kisses from the blonde's cheek to his throat and along the pale column. If he hadn't been wearing so many layers, Harry would have slipped his hands under the ridiculously expensive clothes and copped a feel. Damn these robes… He huffed in annoyance before pulling away.
"You're wearing too many layers," he gave a wry smile. "Next time, wear something a little… less." He grinned and winked, before placing a comparatively chaste kiss on the deliciously swollen lips before him and allowed his friend to leave.
As the weeks passed, Abraxas found himself visiting Harry's shop more and more. He'd even missed his mother's Christmas Ball to spend the evening with Harry. He usually kept to the office in the back, keeping the older wizard company between the rare customers.
They often ended up with one of them in the other's lap, hands roaming, lips locked and hips grinding until they ran out of breath or a customer decided to ruin their fun.
One day, Abraxas was helping Harry dust the display cases before closing. He'd stolen quick kisses as they tidied and cleaned, and was about to do it again when an unusually late customer entered the shop.
"Tom!" He was surprised to see his old classmate walk in.
"Abraxas," the dark man nodded. "Are you… cleaning?"
"Yes," he refused to feel embarrassed about it. "I'm helping my friend close his shop today," he nodded towards Harry, who had become very quiet and very still. He watched Riddle like a hawk.
"Ah, yes. Just the man I was looking for. Mister…"
"Please, call me Harry," the shopkeep seemed to snap out of whatever trance he'd been in and was his usual self once more.
"Harry," he nodded. "I have something else I'm looking for," he hesitated, looking briefly at Abraxas, who quickly understood that Tom didn't want an audience and excused himself to the office.
Of course, he could hear the conversation quite clearly, but Tom didn't need to know that.
"I'm looking for a diadem," his Housemate's smooth voice wafted through the door.
"Hmm… I have a couple over here. You could try them on if you like," he heard Harry tease. It made him snort softly; if Harry had known Riddle in school, he wouldn't be such a smart aleck! Abraxas chuckled lightly, not wanting to be heard.
"It's not for me," came the annoyed reply. "I need it for a… friend." Abraxas was intrigued. Never once had Tom Riddle shown an interest in anyone at school, and certainly not enough to purchase such a gift! He listened closely.
"I see," Harry's voice held some amusement. "Well, which do you think they'd like?" He heard one of the old display cases creak open. "This one is twenty-four carat gold; diamonds lining the arches –"
"No. I'm looking for a silver diadem with a large sapphire," he sounded even more impatient.
"Like this one?"
There was a brief pause in which Abraxas assumed Riddle was examining the tiara.
"This is the one. How much?" If he didn't know any better, Abraxas would swear he heard a breathlessness to Riddle's voice; nearly… excitement?
"This, sir, is the Lady Ravenclaw's own diadem… it is worth the sun and the moon," he could hear the teasing quality return to Harry's voice. "But, for a friend of Abraxas'… three-hundred galleons… and one Oath." Now, this got Abraxas' attention.
Harry knew it was silly to piss off Voldemort, but he wanted to make sure Abraxas would be okay when the crazy hit the fan.
Riddle's face darkened into a scowl. "An Oath? What would you have me swear?"
Harry looked long and hard at the young man before him. He wanted the future Dark Lord to know how serious this was; he stepped closer and lowered his voice so that Abraxas wouldn't hear him.
"I want you to swear," he paused, making sure he had the other's full attention, "that you will never harm Abraxas Malfoy, or any future generation of Malfoy. I want your Oath that you will keep them out of your business and will allow them long, happy lives – even if I am dead. And," he grimaced, "your word that no one will know of this vow."
There was a long, pregnant pause. Harry allowed Riddle to mull it over and size him up. He knew the Slytherin was probably contemplating just killing him and running, but also knew that Riddle knew he didn't yet have the power to get away with it.
Soon, the littlest Dark Lord nodded his agreement and held out his hand.
"Excellent!" Harry grinned, returning to his cheerful shopkeeper's persona.
They made quick work of the Oath and payment, neither wanting to be in the other's company for long. But, before leaving, Riddle turned to Harry with open curiosity and asked, in almost and awed tone, "Who are you?" to which he received a smile and a wink.
"I'm just Harry."
The moment Tom left the store, Abraxas bombarded Harry with questions.
"Do you know who he is? Why did you make him swear an Oath? What has it got to do with me?" He'd heard his name ad he'd strained his ears to hear to what Riddle had to swear before he was given his purchase.
Harry placed calming hands on Abraxas' shoulders and caught his eye before smiling sadly and giving him a kiss on his cheek.
"I suppose I could tell you… I probably screwed everything up because of it anyway…" He led Abraxas back into the office.
The tale Harry told him was… unbelievable. And yet, Abraxas trusted the man's words completely. He could very much believe the story of Riddle's transformation into Voldemort – the nincompoop had created the silly name in school and would allow the cretins that followed him around to use it. Abraxas almost laughed.
"And – here I am," Harry concluded, looking down at the desk between them before searching Abraxas' face for a reaction.
Abraxas took a moment to mull everything over and connect little pieces of information. He thought about how Harry had described his future son, Lucius, and his grandson, Draco. Then, he remembered Harry offering the man who would kill his parents to try on a tiara. He laughed… and laughed and laughed.
Harry felt no shame as he stared at Abraxas, his mouth only slightly agape as the blonde laughed. For nearly two minutes, the Malfoy had looked pensive and serious as he digested Harry's story… before suddenly breaking into hysterical laughter.
"Are you quite finished?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. At this, Abraxas calmed himself enough to explain his sudden hilarity.
"You knew who he was – is – and asked if he'd try on a diadem," a slight giggle slipped over his lips and made Harry grin, finally able to see the lighter side.
"He has no power yet, so I can get away with it."
"Yes, I can see the Gryffindor in you now," he nodded.
"Do you… believe me?" Harry asked, slightly weary; he knew how far-fetched it was, even in the Wizarding world.
"Of course I do," came the simple reply. At his lover's words, Harry's lips split into a grin and he stood to circle the desk and climb into Abraxas' lap.
He kissed the man slowly, appreciating the taste of his mouth, glorying in the feel of his lips as he poured his love and gratefulness into the kiss.
He soon felt Abraxas' breath hitch as they rocked into each other, quickly becoming aroused.
In the weeks that they had been together, there had been no more than stolen kisses and dry frottage. Harry didn't want to push Abraxas, considering his youth, inexperience and the time in which they were living. The 1940s weren't exactly a golden age for homosexuals. Even in the Wizarding world. But, as Harry moved to pull away, he felt Abraxas pull him close, keeping him in place.
"Where are you going?" he sounded a little breathless, but still rather haughty. Bloody Malfoys… "I'm still in need of service," he teased. "Be a good little shop hand and service me." The roguish smile on his face made Harry's heart leap into his throat; the man was so handsome!
"Of course, sir," he played along, running a hand down his lover's chest, pushing aside the cloak. Since their first kiss, Abraxas' clothes had been more casual and similar to the Muggle style of the day. Harry appreciated the lesser amount; especially in these situations, when he was able to see and feel just how he affected the aristocrat squirming beneath him.
"Good boy," came the haughty reply. Abraxas donned what Harry had learned the boy called his Lord Malfoy face, and smirked down at the brunette sliding down to kneel before him. Harry kind of liked where this was going.
He smirked back up, sliding his hands along the Malfoy's thighs, waiting for instruction.
"Well? What are you waiting for, boy? My jewels need polishing," Abraxas' devious little grin gave away his playful manner, breaking his Lord Malfoy character. Harry nearly laughed, but focused on the task at hand.
He unbuckled the belt and unbuttoned the slacks. He looked back up for permission, earning a little nod and a smirk, before he released the impressive cock. Without waiting for any further instruction, Harry enveloped the length in one smooth motion, humming deep in his throat.
The moan of surprised pleasure sent thrills of arousal and pride down Harry's spine. He liked that he was the one for whom Abraxas made those sounds.
He held the thick cock in his mouth and constricted his throat and hollowed his cheeks, sucking as much as he could; his hands came back to Abraxas' hips to hold him steady in the chair.
When he was sure he wouldn't be impaled, he began to bob his head slowly, building the pace until only the tip was in his mouth. He sucked harshly, sweeping his tongue around the sensitive head while working the rest of the shaft with one hand.
Harry could feel every pulse and jerk of the erection against his tongue; he could taste the salty tang of pre-ejaculate as Abraxas came closer and closer to his peak. He slipped his tongue over the weeping urethra, applying gentle pressure. Abraxas' hips began to buck, and his hands caressed Harry's scalp as he lost himself in the feel of the warm mouth.
Harry moaned around the slick length, loving the feel of it slipping through his lips, sometimes touching the back of his throat.
Above him, Abraxas huffed his approval, and buried his hands into Harry's hair, fisting the follicles tightly.
"F-fuu –" he cut off his own curse with a sharp inhale; suddenly reaching his climax as Harry slid his free hand from the gently-bucking hips, down to the tightening sac. He squeezed gently, encouraging Abraxas' release.
Harry's wicked mouth undid him; he'd never felt such overwhelming pleasure! The slow build-up of pace and pressure was amazing; every inch of his cock was covered and lavished. Every stroke of Harry's tongue along his shaft sent sparks of electricity through his body, ending in his groin. The firm press of those soft lips and sweep of that silver tongue had his hips bucking and his hands fisting in the dark hair before him. Then, then! Those slender hands began to work him so expertly; so perfectly. He couldn't hold back any longer. He thrust up into Harry's mouth, trying to be as gentle as possible, and spilled himself over those plump, bruised lips.
He came down from his high, stroking fingers though Harry's hair. The look of… he didn't know what, but the look on the other's face, in his eyes, took what little breath he still had.
Abraxas pulled the devious little man up and into his lap, lazily kissing him, tasting himself on those sinful lips. He used the kiss as a distraction and slid his hand down into the Muggle slacks Harry insisted on wearing, and stroked teasingly along the prominent arousal. He swallowed a little gasp of surprise, greedily devouring those lips and, without asking for permission, ripped the ridiculous Muggle trousers with his wrist as he brought out his prize.
Harry's cock felt heavy in his hand as he slowly pumped the length, smirking into the kiss.
This would be the first time with another man, and he wanted it to be memorable. He relished the feel of Harry's thick, hard cock in his hand. He revelled in the breathy groan he earned from pulling the foreskin over the tip and squeezing ever-so slightly. The delicious little gasps coming from the man above him made his own member twitch, even after reaching completion not so long ago.
When he left the shaft to fondle the sac, he earned a long, low groan against his throat, where Harry had been sucking. He returned his hand to stroking the erection, using his other to pull down the ruined pants, exposing his lover's rear as he knelt over him on the chair.
He raised his hand to his mouth, coating his middle finger with saliva liberally, and, again, without waiting for consent, slipped it inside the tight little hole.
"Ah!" The pleased little gasp and harsh buck of Harry's hips told him he was doing well. "Fuck, Abraxas," the brunette panted, pushing back onto the finger inside him. "Keep going," the hot little breaths puffed against his ear as Harry held himself on his knees, on the arms of the chair, his hands gripping the blonde's shoulders.
"You're so wanton," Abraxas murmured, using his Lord Malfoy voice. The tone made Harry shiver and his hands tightened briefly. Abraxas circled his finger around the tight little ring before thrusting it in, wriggling it back and forth.
The hand on Harry's prick sped up, squeezing the head and base alternately, sometimes stopping to tease the weeping little slit, barely touching it as his fingertip danced around the crown.
Needy little moans huffed into his ear, urging him to keep going. He could feel his dick swelling, coming back to full arousal as his lover lost himself above him.
Abraxas wriggled his finger furiously and lit the sensitive nerve endings with pleasure as he sought that man's prostate.
Upon finding it, Harry's hips jerked harshly, encouraging him to rub, tease and abuse the nerve as his fist sped up over the slickening cock. He let out his own little grunt as one of Harry's hands left his shoulder and wrapped around his reawakened erection and pumped him furiously.
Harry hadn't expected this. He'd expected a kiss and a bit of a cuddle… but this? Fuck, was all his mind could come up with.
Abraxas took control so easily, using that icy Malfoy tone to arouse him further. Harry had shuddered when Abraxas told him how wanton he was. He could hardly think as that finger fucked him so completely; it rubbed his prostate mercilessly as Abraxas' other hand stroked his cock, building the pressure so fucking magnificently.
He could feel the pre leaking from his urethra; could feel how it lubricated Abraxas' hand, providing a deliciously wet friction. He could feel how droplets escaped his shaft and slid to his balls, tickling him as they cooled in the cool air of his office against his hot skin.
Abraxas was hard again; he could feel the tip nudge against him every time he thrust down against the finger inside him. He reached down to wrap his hand around the insistent cock and fisted it in time with his bucking hips as he rocked between that glorious finger and the hand on his own prick.
One more particularly harsh rub over his prostate and Harry came into Abraxas' hand. His mouth latched onto the blonde's and his hand stuttered in its pumping slightly, until his wits returned. He picked up the pace once more, riding out his orgasm, clenching around the finger to keep it inside him just a little longer.
Even as Harry had climaxed, his hand remained around Abraxas' prick until he came again, and then, with a grunt, he removed himself from his awkward perch and let Abraxas' finger slide from him. He rearranged himself on the lord's lap, sitting back to chest with his head upon Abraxas' shoulder.
Abraxas thought he would gladly remain there for the rest of his life; however, it was not to be.
"That was… amazing," Harry laughed, still quite breathless. "But we should get cleaned up." Even as he said this, he didn't move. Abraxas wrapped an arm around the lithe waist and held him close. He could wait for a shower a little longer.
When they'd finally managed to remove themselves from the office, they retired to Harry's bed and passed out, forgetting to wash at all.
January 7th, 1946
For another week or so, Abraxas found himself incredibly busy. All of a sudden, he was needed for any and every problem under the sun. His business investments needed overseeing, his presence at the Wizengamut meetings became necessary, and as a junior member of the board of governors, he was called to inspect a few classes at Hogwarts.
With each passing day, he missed Harry more. And, as much as he missed his sly little friend… he grew more miffed that he'd sneaked out of telling him about the Oath he'd made with Tom Riddle and just how it included him.
By the time he was able to see Harry again, it was well past the new year, which reminded him of his mother's Christmas Ball… that he'd missed to spend with Harry. He still needed to make it up to his mother.
He let out a frustrated groan as he strutted into his office at the Ministry and checked his agenda before he cleared it for the day and headed out to Magick Alley.
Harry looked up from the repair job he'd been working on all morning when the bell tingled, alerting him to a customer. He sighed, replacing the diamond earring back on his desk and went to greet the inconvenient person.
"Abraxas!" He beamed, pulling the other man into the office for tea. "I was just repairing –"
"Harry! You keep distracting me. You didn't tell me why Tom had to swear an Oath to you! And it is my business because I heard my name. What's going on?" It was unlike Abraxas to cut him off and demand anything of him, so Harry smiled and bade him sit.
"I'm sorry. We got a little distracted, didn't we?" And you've been so busy –"
"Harry." Abraxas sounded as though he were becoming impatient. "Tell me." His face became so earnest that Harry knew he couldn't delay it any longer.
"Alright," he huffed a sigh. "As you know, he's going to… become the next Dark Lord. Your family, especially Lucius," he looked down at the table.
"My son," he prompted.
"Yes. He was – is – will be – a very powerful follower. Riddle intends to use your wealth to fund his regime. Lucius is a key member of his following." Harry hated burdening Abraxas with such information, but he wouldn't lie, and he wouldn't omit any part of the truth either.
"And… this Oath?"
"I made him swear that he would never harm you or your family, or include you in his plans in any way."
"And… that's bad?" He sounded confused.
"I don't know." Harry ran a hand through his hair. "My timeline, as far as I can recall it, doesn't seem to have changed. But, whether I'd be able to notice any changes is another matter.
"Now that Voldemort –"
"His name is Tom."
"Now that Tom won't have your family's money, I don't know what that's impacted. It could be good… or very bad."
"So… you protected my son… who is an avid follower of Tom's in thirty or so years…"
"Yes, I guess so."
"Why would you do that? Not that I'm not grateful of course…"
"Abraxas. He's – will be – is – your son. And, in the end, he just wanted to protect his family.
Abraxas nodded, finally satisfied with Harry's answer. But one thing still ate at him.
"Is your name really Harry Potter?"
"Of course it is. Why?"
"You mean… you've gone back in time and are using your real name… a name that is quite famous… and you're demanding things from the next Dark Lord?"
"Are you completely insane?"
"I didn't give him my last name! And besides, my parents aren't even born yet!" he defended himself. Though, Abraxas knew he was right; Harry really needed to take more care.
He'd finally received his answer; now that he had it, he felt a little silly for barging into the shop like he had. It was most undignified.
"I'm sorry," he murmured, dropping his gaze to the floor.
Gentle hands caressed his face, pulling him to look back up into Harry's eyes briefly, before his lips were captured in a soft, deep kiss.
Abraxas had left Harry's shop content with life; he knew what was going on and who, exactly, he was courting.
At that thought, his heart swelled. He was courting. He laughed softly, shaking his head. He'd never really thought he'd be courting someone. He'd just assumed he'd be auctioned off to the woman with the purest blood and the biggest dowry.
He hummed pleasantly to himself as he strolled down the corridor to his mother's office, intending to make plans with her to apologise for missing her Ball.
He knocked on the polished wood and smiled to himself. He couldn't wait to – oh. Oh, no; his good mood disappeared. I can't introduce Harry to Mother. She expects an heir from me… well, I'll have Lucius… but how?
Thoughts of his future family swam around his head, dazing him. He was confused.
He would have a son.
But he had Harry.
He needed an heir.
The door opened, nearly making him fall through when the hand he'd rested on it fell away so suddenly.
"Abraxas? Dear?" His mother's voice snapped him out of his looping thoughts.
"Oh. Yes. I wanted to take you to lunch this week, Mother. I feel guilty about missing your ball." He composed himself quickly, not wishing to worry her.
"Really? Darling, it was just a party. I have one every year!" She sounded amused.
"Mother, just indulge me. Let me make myself feel better," he smiled.
Lady Malfoy agreed and conceded to a lunch date for the following day. She excused herself, however, to meet with someone for business.
"Business, Mother? With whom?" She never does anything to do with business…
"Oh, your friend, Mister Riddle, is starting a little business and asked me to be his financial backer. He's going to –"
"No. I forbid it." The harsh words came from his mouth, surprising them both.
"Excuse me…?" she sounded incredulous. He didn't blame her. He'd never spoken to his mother in such a manner, but he knew things about Riddle now, and wanted no part in it. How has he slithered around the Oath? "Mother, we will not be conducting any business with Mister Riddle. His… conduct is not becoming of an acquaintance to the Malfoy name."
"Abraxas, I really don't think –"
"I'm sorry, but as the Head of this household, I won't allow any business transactions to be made with Tom Riddle. The kind of business he's involved with does not sit well with me." He watched for her reaction and waited for the consequences of his words.
"I see. And personal trans –"
"You're not to give him any money. At all. Ever."
"Very well, I will inform him at lunch."
And that was that. She left, and Abraxas ran to the nearest fireplace to Floo Harry.
"Harry!" At the sound of his name being practically bellowed from his office, Harry dropped the bag of diamonds that had just been delivered, sending them all over the floor and under the counters and displays.
"This better be good," he growled, flicking his wand to retrieve the stones.
"Harry! Let me through!" Abraxas' voice sounded anxious.
"Alright, alright; keep your panties on," he huffed, clearing the blonde to enter the premise. "Calm down and tell me what's so important."
As Abraxas explained what had happened with his mother, Harry felt his face darken.
"Bloody snake," he crossed his arms and started pacing his office. "How'd he get past the Oath?"
They both sat at the desk in silence, wracking their brains for anything that could explain how Riddle had approached Abraxas' mother for a business proposal.
"It doesn't make sense! I made it explicit that he was not to include you or any… future… Fuck!"
"The words of the Oath… they didn't include your mother. The Oath only made him swear to you and future Malfoy generations." He groaned in frustration and rubbed his eyes. He suddenly felt very weary.
"If it makes you feel better, I forbade Mother from giving him any money," Abraxas said quietly.
Harry hid his face in his hands, elbows on the desk. How could I have just… argh!
Abraxas had had no idea that his news would affect Harry so negatively. Sure, he'd anticipated the anger at Tom, but the anger directed inward, at Harry himself? He couldn't watch such a good man blame himself for the evil of others. He moved around the desk and enveloped his lover in an embrace that he hoped would let him know that it wasn't his fault; that Abraxas didn't blame him.
A tired sigh came from within his arms as Harry removed his hands from his face and wrapped his arms around Abraxas' middle.
"I'm sorry; I didn't think it through thoroughly enough before I dove in head-first." Abraxas had to chuckle at that.
"Of course not. You are a Gryffindor," he teased, running his fingers through the unruly hair. Harry huffed in amusement and rested his head upon Abraxas' hip.
They remained in that position for a few minutes, just content to comfort each other with their company.
Until, of course, Harry started rubbing his cheek against Abraxas' crotch, and turned to kiss and lick him through his trousers.
"Harry, it really isn't a good time –" Harry hushed him and brought a firm hand up to rub him over his slacks to join his mouth. Abraxas couldn't bring himself to protest; his prick was soon straining against his trousers, throbbing every time Harry's wicked tongue licked the crown through the material.
The wet patch over his erection just made it feel even better; it teased him with the possibility of a warm mouth, but made him groan in frustration as it cooled when Harry pulled away.
Soon, Abraxas' hands were fisting in Harry's hair as he rubbed himself against the man's cheek and hand. His breathing became heavier as Harry's mouth returned to his erection; warm saliva further dampening his pants as he sucked harshly through the material. His hands rubbed Abraxas' shaft, sometimes softening to a teasing graze of fingertips before caressing his bollocks so deliciously.
He came in his trousers, his hands flexing against Harry's scalp. He rode out his pleasure, feeling each throb as Harry placed little kisses along his fading arousal and gently massaged his sac until he knelt before him, completely spent.
He pulled Harry to the floor with him, kissing him hungrily.
Harry's hand found Abraxas' and led it down to his own arousal, guiding its stroke until he had the correct pace. He didn't have to wait long before he felt the warm, sticky evidence of Harry's climax through his trousers. His lover's heavy breath puffed against his cheek as he gently rubbed himself against Abraxas' hand until he became oversensitive.
Over the following months, Harry and Abraxas grew closer; Abraxas would often stay at Harry's or visit him in the shop when he had an opening in his schedule.
The demand for Abraxas' time did not lessen, and Harry had a sneaking suspicion that he knew why.
Riddle had gone to Lady Malfoy for money; Riddle was the next Dark Lord. Riddle, Riddle, Riddle… Harry knew something was going on; he knew Abraxas shouldn't have been so busy. He was a junior member of the Board of Governors and was a reserve member of the Wizengamut. His investments didn't – shouldn't – need this much attention; his office had been riding him to inspect, oversee and sign things more than usual as well.
Harry knew Riddle had his fingers in many pies, but this? And so early?
Have I really buggered it all up so much?
It was nearly May, and all Harry could think about was how long he'd known Abraxas, how long they'd been together and how they hadn't had sex yet.
He was also worried about Voldemort rising to power earlier than in his own timeline, but… seriously. It's been months!
April 25th, 1946
Harry puttered around his apartment, tidying things out of sheer boredom. Abraxas had sent an owl saying that he had to work at home that night and he wouldn't be over. He'd also said that, as marvellous a distraction as Harry could be, it really wasn't the time.
But Harry understood; he understood that Tom Riddle was a meddling little bastard that held a grudge.
Abraxas rubbed his tired eyes, holding in a groan of frustration. He'd been at his desk in his study for hours, and even before that, he'd been called from place to place to oversee or inspect such-and-such a thing and had been reminded by his assistant that he had three piles of documents to sign. So, being the diligent person he was, he took the paperwork home.
Just as he'd ordered his third pot of tea that evening, an owl pecked at his window.
"Who on earth could be owling so late?" he mumbled, opening the window with a flick of his wand. The tawny flew in and landed gracefully on the desk and held out its leg; a little scroll of parchment about the size of his thumb was tied to it.
What the… As he pulled away, the owl took off, sending the papers on his desk flying.
"You've got to be kidding," he groaned, thumping his head onto the empty desk.
He waved his wand once more, sending the papers on the floor to pile neatly before him in a single stack. He would have to sort them out as he went along. Curse bureaucracy!
As Abraxas organised his fifth paper, his tea arrived, giving him the perfect excuse to take a break and read the odd-looking letter.
It has come to my attention that you have a new business investment without proper documentation or licences. Of course, you will remedy this before proper investigations are needed.
Abraxas squinted at the tiny writing, his scowl deepening until he was downright glaring at the stingy piece of parchment.
He should have guessed McDougal would try and save on costs on stationery. The git was always a cheapskate. And now he was the Minister of Business and Commerce.
Damned pompous little… he threw the letter onto his desk. What business? I've made no investments…
He wracked his brain, trying to think of anything he could have missed, forgotten or lost… but nothing came to mind.
He would have to visit Gringott's and McDougal's office the next day to check his financial records, but that moment, he had a large stack of paper to reorganise and sign.
April 26th, 1946
Abraxas queued for a meeting with a Gringott's goblin as he read the Prophet. Apparently, someone had cursed a necklace to strangle its wearer and it had somehow made its way into a Muggle shop. Other than that, nothing of real importance had happened, so he turned to the stocks page until he was addressed by a grumpy-looking goblin.
"Mister Malfoy. How can I assist you today?" It sounded less than thrilled to be there.
"Yes; I'd like to view my account records, if you please. Both business and personal."
"Follow me," the goblin grumped, hopping down from its stool.
Abraxas was led into a small office and asked to wait for another goblin to bring in his records.
He hated dealing with goblins. Everything was such a long process when it came to money. But then, at least they were completely thorough and up-to-date.
After a few minutes, another less-than-happy-looking goblin came in with three large, leather-bound ledgers bearing the Malfoy family crest emblazoned on the covers. Oh, joy.
"Mister Malfoy," the goblin greeted; it thumped the tomes onto the desk and perched itself on the chair.
"Good morning," he returned.
"Here are your family ledgers," it indicated the two brown leather-bound books, "and your business ledger," it indicated the black one. "How may I assist you?"
"I'd like to view my accounts' activity for the past few months or so. Apparently, I've invested in a business that has not been correctly notarised or registered with the Ministry. I haven't made an investment for over a year, you see."
"Ah. That would be…" the goblin flipped to a page in the black book, "Riddle Industries. Lady Malfoy came in with a young man a few weeks ago and invested," he squinted at the tiny writing, "one-thousand, five-hundred galleons."
"I see." Abraxas was livid. "And how, pray tell, did she have access to the money to make such a large investment?"
"Lady Malfoy had the Family Seal, sir; she used it to finalise the transactions."
"The Family Seal is used only by the Lord Malfoy. Surely the policies regarding such authorities have not changed without the bank – fine, professional, establishment that it is – notifying the appropriate parties concerned?"
"Well, no. We assumed –"
"Oh. I see. You assumed that I would allow free-reign of my family's finances and account authority. I do beg your pardon." He gave a small, cold smile.
"Apologies, Lord Malfoy. I will… need to refer you to an accounts manager; as a teller, I have no authority to remedy this situation."
"By all means," Abraxas nodded genially and folded his hands over his lap.
A short while later, the teller returned with a more senior member of the staff.
"Mister Malfoy," the accounts manager greeted. "I apologise for the inconvenience. Teller Rustaxe has informed me of the mistake made regarding your accounts. Unfortunately, there is little I can do to assist you.
"Our branch manager and head of security will have to join us before anything can be done.
"Is there anything you would like while you wait? Tea?"
"Thank you, no. I'm quite content to wait. As long as necessary." He leant back in the guest chair and made sure the goblins knew he would not be leaving until everything had been resolved.
It took twenty minutes for the ancient-looking branch manager and head of security walked into the little office, followed by two others, who, as far as Abraxas could judge, looked just as miserable as the other goblins he'd met so far.
"Lord Malfoy," the BM addressed him. "Our humblest apologies. Gringott's has not seen a situation such as this in nearly six-hundred years. Before we may begin to… repair our blunder, we must ask for a sample of magic to be provided as a means to ensure the Family Seal was, indeed, not used by yourself." He didn't sound apologetic at all, Abraxas thought, as he gave a small sample, via a simple spell.
Of course, the whole process was long and absolutely a way to give the goblins time to figure out the best way to save their hides; it took another twenty minutes.
"Apologies again, Lord Malfoy. The results confirm that the stamp was used fraudulently… our deepest condolences on your financial loss," the branch manager bowed to him.
Abraxas was nearly to his limit.
"Save your apologies. What are you going to do about it?" He stood from the uncomfortable chair and gave his iciest glare.
"Due to our laws, we are able to carry out justice as we deem fit… however, as this has been at the fault of three of our employees, as well as Lady Malfoy," he paused, seeming a little hesitant about what was to come next. "For the grievous wrong done to you… we will allow you to decide the fate of the parties responsible."
Abraxas repressed the urge to star at the old goblin. This was a very rare occurrence.
"What would you have us do, sir?" one of the goblins from the branch manager's parade asked. "As the official legal aid to Gringott's, I am here to ensure our laws are upheld." The goblin next to him grinned, showing all of his pointed little teeth.
"Aye; what'll it be? Cut off their hands? Remove their tongues? Feed them to the dragon? Lock them in a top security vault for a month? Perhaps you'd appreciate their heads on a plaque?"
"Brimstone is our head of security," the legal aid informed.
"A pleasure," Abraxas grimaced; he felt a little ill at the suggested punishments. "I was thinking the loss of their employment would suffice…" he turned to the lawyer.
"Lord Malfoy, we need to make an example of these incompetent fools! They must suffer the consequences of their actions!"
"Indeed," he pondered, remembering that his mother was one involved with the scandal. What should I do?
Harry was just adding milk to his tea when the bell above the shop entrance announced someone's arrival. Bloody hell. Just as I – oh.
"How may I help you, sir?" he asked, recognising the young man immediately.
The man looked up from a case of diamond rings and smiled politely.
"Good morning! I'm here to browse your engagement rings."
Harry grinned whole-heartedly as his grandfather spoke. His grandfather! The thought made him absurdly happy.
"Of course, sir! Our best merchandise is in the back. I'll be just a moment." He excused himself and went to the safe in his office.
In all the time he'd been in the past, he hadn't considered the possibility of meeting any of his family. This man was a lot younger than the image from the Mirror of Erised, but Harry would recognise him anywhere. Charlus Potter.
Harry retrieved the rings quickly and laid the velvet roll across the counter. Even if he could not be a part of his grandparents' wedding, he hoped he could be involved in some small way.
"Here we go," he smiled as Charlus' eyes lit up. "These are the finest diamond rings we have to offer.
"This one," he picked up a sapphire-lined gold band headed by a pear-cut diamond, "is quite rare; it's been dated back to the sixteenth century, originally made in Germany, for a Baroness. It's an F-grade in colour, weighed at two carats. There are only very slight inclusions in its surface."
Charlus just looked at him.
"It's… not exactly very… aesthetic, though." Harry's smile dimmed a little. He has no idea what I just said. He just wants something pretty! I could sell him a bloody quartz!
"Perhaps this one," he replaced the first ring and picked up one with a smaller diamond. "This is weighed at one-point-five carats and is of a G-grade, but it is slightly more aesthetically pleasing because of the natural pink diamonds lining the band, each weighed at about point-two-zero carats. The band is fourteen-karat gold."
"Hmm… it is quite pretty. But what about this one?" He pointed to a large diamond set into a Celtic knot design gold band. Harry nearly sighed.
"This one is a lower grade, but still quite valuable."
"The blue stones are quite lovely. What are they?"
"They're called blue topaz." This guy… is an idiot.
"Very lovely; how much?" He gave Harry such a content smile, he hadn't the heart to rip him off.
"This one is five-hundred galleons."
"Very well. This is the one!" He smiled and reached for his purse.
Well, that was… disappointing, thought Harry as he put the rings back in the safe. He'd always imagined his family to be… perfect; but meeting his grandfather had shown him the reality. They were still just people. He's probably a good man, but… he's kind of… daft. He sighed, kicking himself for placing people he'd never known on pedestals. I wonder what Abraxas is doing.
Abraxas asked for an audience with both his own lawyer and the bank's. He'd been at Gringott's all morning, waiting for someone or other, and now, he was finally getting somewhere.
"I understand that your culture is a little… different, but I will not be a part of anything that could land me with bad press, Jenkins," he addressed the goblin, whose name was surprisingly… human.
"Lord Malfoy, you need to make an example of them. They made a grave mistake in our eyes. If not death, then they will be seen as escaping justice, and you will be seen as a weak man. We take these matters very seriously."
Abraxas huffed impatiently. Barbarians!
"Rodger, what do you think?" He turned to his own lawyer.
"I suggest a compromise. You will have the small finger cut from each goblin involved, denouncing them as incompetent, and they will never be employable within the finance area again."
"This sounds… acceptable. Jenkins?" He returned his gaze to the goblin.
"Yes… they'll be shamed forever…" he seemed to ponder this decision. "Much better than a nice, quick death…" he mumbled, sounding rather pleased.
"All right… now, about my mother." He had no idea how to handle this.
"She knowingly committed fraud, sir."
"Yes, Rodger, I understand that."
"You need to make a decision before you leave here today."
Abraxas sighed heavily. How am I meant to punish my own mother? She deliberately went against my order as Lord… and used my Seal fraudulently. But… she's my mother.
"I don't know, Rodger. I shan't have my own mother killed or mutilated! She's not of the goblin culture!"
"House arrest?" the older wizard suggested.
"Goodness, no. I couldn't live with her in the manor all the time!"
"You have other estates, sir."
"Where, then? And how would that resolve anything? She would find some way to –"
"Ward off one of the smaller Malfoy estates and place her under house arrest."
"Wards? She's a witch," he was getting even more frustrated.
"I may have a solution," Jenkins spoke up.
"As compensation for your loss, Gringott's will offer a warding service… for free."
"Sir, this is an excellent and most generous offer. Goblin wards are among the most powerful."
Abraxas thought over the proposal. Banishing his mother to one of the smaller estates… it would strip her of her title… and would significantly decrease her ladies' stipend from the family vault. She would be miserable.
But I don't want her to suffer. She wasn't being malicious… she just… thinks I'm still a child, he thought. She must learn.
"All right. Mother will face house arrest in the Brussels estate. Her title will be stripped as a result, and she will not be allowed to leave the estate boundaries. I want the wards to include any incoming and outgoing correspondence, as well as allowing only a select few people into the property.
"She will be allowed a family of House Elves… am I forgetting anything, Rodger?"
"I… can't think of anything, sir."
"Excellent," Jenkins smiled toothily. "We have an agreement."
Wonderful, Abraxas thought, sarcastically.
Abraxas was finally able to leave the building when he'd signed a contract and had witnessed the agreed punishments being dealt to the goblins involved with the blunder. He felt a little queasy after watching the tellers' and account manager's fingers being cut off; there had been a lot more blood than he'd anticipated. And screaming… oh, the screaming.
All he had to do now was deal with the Ministry side of things.
Then, I have to tell Harry everything.
Finally, Harry was able to have his cup of tea. He rather needed it after the morning he'd had. Not only had he met his grandfather, but two more difficult customers had come in as well.
One he'd recognised as Neville's grandmother. She'd dropped off a set of jewellery to be cleaned and repaired – with specific instructions as to how he was to care for them. Even as a young woman, she's formidable…
The second customer after his grandfather had been a young pureblood with more money than wit. He'd been looking for "something pretty" for his new wife… who'd joined him at one point and had been just as dull and conceited as her husband. I made a few hundred galleons, thought, he smirked as he sipped his tea. Idiots.
After his tea, he decided to close up for the day. I'm bloody sick of people!
He decided to wander the streets for a while, thinking he might buy Abraxas a little gift. What to get the wealthiest man in Wizarding Britain? Probably chocolate… with a shrug, he donned his cloak and was on his way.
"Ah, Mister Malfoy," Angus McDougal greeted Abraxas with a large, fake smile. "How may I be of service today? I trust you received my letter last night?"
"Good afternoon, Angus," he replied wearily. "Yes, I received your letter. I'm afraid I didn't know about it at all. My mother made an investment with an individual that I'd expressly asked – told – her not to deal with.
"She has no mind for business and failed to go through the proper procedures. I'm here to make sure my name is removed from the list of investors and affiliates."
"Is that so? You do realise, Abraxas, that there is a fee for that?" Abraxas supposed the tone McDougal used was intended to sound familiar and friendly, trying to save a dear acquaintance some money… but he knew Angus McDougal too well to fall for it. The bastard would try to squeeze every knut that he could from Abraxas.
"I understand… however, as this was an act of fraud, which voids any documentation with my name, I expect it will only be a few galleons for services rendered. Am I correct?" He smiled placidly, and enjoyed watching the greedy minister squirm.
"Yes," McDougal grit his teeth and practically hissed out the response.
"Smashing! Would you be so kind as to retrieve the papers for me? I'm in a little bit of a hurry; appointments, you know," he gave another placid smile as he watched the Minister of Business and Commerce personally retrieve his paperwork. The perks of being a Malfoy are quite satisfying, sometimes, he thought.
McDougal was, to his credit, professional and competent; Abraxas read through each contract and statement that had his name next to Riddle's new business.
He's starting an agency of some sort… dealing in… good heavens! Investment, of all things. That's one way to build wealth… his first business is in antiquities.
Abraxas discovered that Riddle had a few options opening to him in the form of real estate, antique dealing and… and apothecary? All under an umbrella company, Riddle Industries.
What on earth are you up to, you little sneak?
The entire process took just over two hours as he removed his family's name from the documentation and filed a claim to remove himself from the debt collection list.
"That's the last one, Mister Malfoy. It's a shame young Mister Riddle is losing your support. He seemed like such a charming gentleman. Your mother seems rather taken with him." McDougal filed the amended documents away and walked Abraxas to the door.
"Hm… well, good day, Angus."
"Until next time."
Harry strolled leisurely along Diagon Alley. He wasn't looking for anything in particular, but he wanted to get something for Abraxas as a little token of affection.
It had only been a couple of days since he'd last seen Abraxas, but he missed him. Harry had become accustomed to waking up next to a warm body, or to the smell of tea brewing when his lover had to wake up early for business. He smiled wistfully as he thought of his best friend. He really wanted to see him again… soon.
As he walked down the Alley, Harry noticed a new shop-front. The dark green façade had been freshly painted with gold lettering on the wooden sign above the entrance: Riddle's Fine Antiques.
This must be Voldemort's little business, he mused. The next Dark Lord is an antiques dealer! Harry decided that this was something he needed to see.
He walked into the shop, taking note of the few items on display. It reminded him of the shop in Knockturn Alley that he'd ended up in, the first time he'd used the Floo network.
"Good afternoon. How may I – you!" Riddle went from being a friendly clerk to cold and distant in seconds. Harry wasn't surprised.
"Hello, Mister Riddle," he smiled coolly.
"What do you want?" He folded his arms and glared.
"Oh, nothing. I was just walking down this way and saw your shop. I thought I'd pop in and see how you were," he smiled as nicely as possible. Riddle knew Harry knew his plans… to some extent. He also knew there wasn't anything he could do about it until he gained sufficient power.
Harry enjoyed watching the bastard squirm.
"I see. Are you looking for something in particular?"
"Not really. Why don't you show me what you've got?" Riddle's eyes narrowed as he recognised the subtle 'bring it on'.
"Perhaps another time, Mister…"
"Just Harry," he smiled.
"Harry. I'm rather busy, I'm afraid. Perhaps I will… see you later. I promise to show you my neatest little gadgets and what they can do, the next time I see you," he returned Harry's smile with one of his own little smirks.
"I look forward to it," he nodded his head politely and left. He would have to keep an eye on Riddle; he had no intention of finding out what kinds of "neat little gadgets" he wanted to show him. He had a few ideas of what they were already.
As he returned the way he'd come, Harry decided to buy Abraxas some chocolate for the time being, and would look for something more, later.
He turned into a little chocolatier that hadn't been in business when he was growing up. He felt a little pang of sadness knowing that not all of the lovely little businesses would be around in his time.
He bought Abraxas some truffles and headed home, hoping his lover would be able to make it that night.
"Harry?" Abraxas called up to the apartment window above the shop door. The store was obviously closed early, and Harry seemed to be out for the moment. That's odd… He turned around and walked to the apparition point, deciding to try again later. He had a mother to speak to.
"Mother? Are you home?" he called out as soon as he entered the front door.
"Abraxas, darling, don't shout in the house," she chided, descending the stairs to his right.
"I'm not a child, Mother," he frowned. This is the reason she ignored me; to her, I'm still a silly child.
"Nonsense! You're my child!" She smiled, wrinkling her pointed little nose and tweaked his own.
"Stop. Stop it now," he held up his hand and batted hers away. "Mother, you went against a direct order of mine and gave Tom Riddle a lot of money. I explicitly told you that you were not to conduct business with him or give him any money at all… and you still went to the bank, used the Family Seal – fraudulently – and used money that wasn't yours to give. What do you have to say for yourself?" He frowned, hoping she'd claim to have been under a spell or something.
"Abraxas! Your friend is so charming! He had nothing but nice things to say about you. How could I –"
"He is not my friend. You had no right to give him any money from the main vault."
"Abraxas, I am the Lady Malfoy! That is my money as well!"
"No. It isn't. You are a widowed Malfoy wife. This means you have an account from which you may withdraw money given to you as a stipend. I am the Head of the House. I am Lord Malfoy; you are of no authority over the family vault.
"For your actions, you will be stripped of your title and will be placed under house arrest in the Brussels châteaux, with a family of House Elves to ensure your comfort. There will be goblin wards around the property to keep unwanted persons out, and to ensure you remain within the grounds."
"What! You can't do this! I'm your mother!" she was absolutely enraged. Abraxas had never seen his mother so angry. "Abraxas! Please! I was only –"
"No. You have no idea of the consequences of your actions! I am an adult, and I know what I'm doing. If I tell you that Tom Riddle is a man with whom I want no acquaintance, there is good reason! I should not have to explain myself."
"But…. Darling… I… how will I survive?"
"I've told you; you will have a family of House Elves to ensure you are fed and looked after. They will perform all of their usual duties and will shop for you. If you mistreat them, they will be removed from the chateaux, and you will do the chores yourself."
"I-I… no! You can't do this! I'm your mother! I love you! How could you?" Tears began streaming down her face as she begged him, but Abraxas would not back down.
"If you think this is unfair, Mother, you should see what happened to the goblins who served you," he frowned and walked further into the manor. "You should have your things packed; you will be escorted to Brussels tomorrow afternoon, after the goblins have completed their wards."
"How am I to pay for anything?" she sounded resigned.
"You will still receive a stipend as a widowed Malfoy wife, but it is considerably less that you would receive as the Lady Malfoy." And he left her; he walked directly to his study and forced himself to focus on the rest of the documents he had to organise, sign and file.
The previous night, he'd worked quite late and, with the aid of several pots of tea, had managed to get through three quarters of the pile. As soon as this is done, I'll try Harry again.
By the time Harry had returned home, he was a little stressed. Rather than apparating or using the Floo, he'd decided to walk and give himself some time to think.
He's going to come after me. Again. The same thoughts swam around his mind, making him more and more upset. I just need a shower… maybe some tea… and an early night – a very early night! It's only five! He let himself inside, just as someone called his name.
"Harry!" Abraxas called again, picking up his pace to walk inside with his friend. "Are you all right, love? You look awful." He smoothed the messy hair away from the man's face, taking note of how pale he was.
"I'm fine. I just need a cup of tea," he smiled unconvincingly. "Come on, I have a present for you, too."
"Well, when you put it like that…" Abraxas grinned and wrapped and arm around Harry's shoulders, walking him inside.
He'd managed to finish his paperwork in only a couple of hours, giving himself enough time to drop them into this office for his assistant to file. She hadn't been pleased – she'd been just about to leave early when he arrived.
He smirked, enjoying the memory of the rare opportunity; it wasn't often he was able to feel like her boss – Gladice was much older than him and often made sure he knew exactly what he should be doing. He loved giving her work to do. He wasn't usually so happy to see other people suffer, but the old bat was an exception.
"So, how was your day?" Harry broke him out of his thoughts as they ascended. "Did you finish your paperwork?"
"Yes, but… I have something to tell you."
"So do I. You go first while I boil the kettle."
So, Abraxas told Harry about the late-night owl he'd received, about his ridiculously long morning in Gringott's and the various businesses he'd had to remove his name from.
"After I finished at the Ministry, I came here, but you were out, so I went to talk to my mother and finish my forms… Where did you disappear to?" He sat his empty cup down and moved to sit closer to Harry, one arm behind him, along the back of the couch.
Motherfucker. He's got money for his goddamned regime again! Harry listened to Abraxas' story, a sinking feeling appearing in his stomach. He hadn't expected Riddle to have such a large head start with Lady Malfoy's help.
"Well, I had a couple of difficult customers. One of whom was my grandfather."
"How delightful!" the arm behind him came down to his shoulders and Abraxas squeezed lovingly. "How did it… oh. Difficult, huh?"
"Heh. Yeah. He… well, he's an idiot. I mean, I was explaining how rare or valuable the bloody rings are – I'm guessing he was going to propose to my grandmother – and he had no idea what I was talking about! He just… wanted something pretty. Even if it was of lower quality and value."
"Perhaps he was thinking of what your grandmother likes? And… I'm sure he's not a complete imbecile. Just because he didn't know what you meant about the rings doesn't mean he's an idiot."
"I know. But… he just seemed so simple. He just… smiled and nodded and said the topazes were pretty."
"Extremely. I always imagined my family to be… well…" he trailed off, feeling embarrassed about his naïveté.
"Perfect?" Abraxas finished for him.
"Well… yes. I thought he'd be strong and witty and have some kind of understanding of the world… but he seemed so… vapid." He leaned into Abraxas, putting his cup down on the coffee table.
"What about the rest of your day?"
Harry appreciated Abraxas trying to comfort him over something that was so unusual… and probably really silly. He loved the feeling over the man's arms around him as they lay back on the couch, Abraxas' arms wrapped around him while he talked about his day.
"I saw Riddle's antiques shop. I… went in to say hello." He knew Abraxas wouldn't like it, but he wouldn't keep it from him.
"And… what happened?"
"Not a lot… he wasn't happy to see me. We made little threats; you know, the usual dialogue between nemeses," he chuckled wryly. Abraxas didn't seem to find it amusing.
"Harry, he's a dangerous man. You of all people should know this. You know he's the kind of person to eliminate anything in his way. You need to be more careful. Promise me you won't go looking for trouble. Please?"
Harry sighed, knowing Abraxas was right. He rubbed the man's knuckles with his thumb before answering.
"I know; I do. But… I have a feeling it's too late. I know what he's capable of… and I'm certain he's going to come after me." He felt a little better in confiding that to someone.
"Harry," Abraxas sighed, squeezing his arms around him gently. "If he tries anything, I will make sure he faces the consequences. I can protect you."
"Don't be daft. If he tries anything, it will be when he knows he'll be successful. He knows where I work, where I live… who I care about." At this, he turned to lay facing Abraxas, bringing their hands up, over their heads so they were stretched out over the lounge. "Be careful. He can't hurt you directly because of the Oath, but he will find a way around it.
"He's making Horcruxes; he maybe be willing to die to get around the Oath – if he thinks I'm a big enough threat to his plans." He traced little kisses from Abraxas' lips to his throat and back again, and brought a hand down to cup his cheek. "I don't want anything to happen to you, Abraxas," he all-but murmured, refusing to let his voice tremble.
He was worried; he knew he shouldn't have told Riddle that he knew who he was! Now the sneaky bastard would probably do anything to get rid of him…
He huffed a frustrated sigh and rolled back over, and settled into Abraxas' arms once more.
Abraxas enveloped Harry in his arms and bent his knees to encase his lover more completely.
"It's going to be all right," he assured, even as he swallowed his own worry.
April 27th, 1946
"Please, Abraxas! Think about what you're doing! Stop this madness!" Vivienne Malfoy begged her son for mercy as goblins arrived to escort them to the Brussels estate. Abraxas would not give in to her; she had to be punished, and this was the most humane option he had.
During the meeting, before they'd signed the contract, the goblin legal advisor had suggested that she also have her finger cut off and be left without money. But, thankfully, as it was up to Abraxas and he refused to use goblin methods of punishment (for legal reasons, of course), he was able to stow her away in their smallest chateaux.
Now that he had the goblins present, he just had to formally abjure her.
"Vivienne Malfoy, for disobeying direct orders from your Head of House, your lord, I hereby strip you of your title and privileges. You will live your days under house arrest."
A light breeze whirled around them as his magic enforced her punishment and removed the title she had gained in marriage.
Before she could even sob, the goblins escorted her to the little estate where she would remain until she died. Her only visitors would be House Elves and Abraxas himself, unless he later added others into the wards.
Harry sighed heavily as he waited for word from Abraxas. He knew it must be difficult for him to practically banish his own mother. But, now, he knew his lover was doing the best he could. The goblins expected him to punish her accordingly, and if he didn't, the nasty little creatures would likely find a way to do it themselves and/or make his life a living hell in any way they could.
The clock in his office chimed four o'clock, making him huff impatiently. Surely it doesn't take an hour to do this kind of thing? He idly polished the glass counter for lack of anything else to do. I suppose I could get to Mrs Longbottom's jewellery, he thought. Nah, that'll take two seconds… it's better I do it closer to the pickup date… I could order more stock. I'm running low on silvers, sapphires and jewellery boxes… his thoughts wandered to doing a mental stocktake, and he made note on whom to call for what.
Just as he was listing all of his remaining repair jobs, Abraxas walked inside.
"Finally!" he greeted, rushing over to the blonde. "I was expecting an owl, but this is good too," he grinned, wrapping his arms around Abraxas' waist.
"Yes, well, I'm an important man – I don't have to do anything so I decided to just pop in between doing nothing and having lunch," he winked, draping his arms over Harry's shoulders.
"How did it go?" Harry asked a little more seriously. He could tell Abraxas was a little upset and needed some kind of comfort.
"She cried and begged, but I'd signed a contract, so she had to go. I keep trying to justify her punishment in my head, but… it doesn't seem fair," he left out a soft sigh and pulled Harry closer. "It's an archaic society we live in… we need to progress, Harry.
"Tell me we get better?" He leant his forehead on Harry's.
"It gets better… but not by much," he admitted. "Don't worry, Abraxas. Your mother will be safe, at least." He tilted his head up, giving the blonde a chaste little kiss.
"Thank you, Harry," he murmured.
They held each other just inside the door for a while, each lost in their own thoughts. Harry was glad his business never really saw so many customers; it was nice to be able to have moments like this with Abraxas and not have to worry about being interrupted.
"Come on," he pulled back a little, and laced his fingers with Abraxas'. "Why don't we call it a day? I'll close up and we can go upstairs for a while. I still haven't given you that gift…" he gave a little smile, hoping Abraxas would agree.
"I don't know… I may actually have to go to work at some point this week," he teased, allowing himself to be pulled along.
It was moments like these that made Abraxas feel most content. He relished the warmth of Harry wrapped around him, and the comfort his best friend provided with touch alone.
As Harry led him upstairs, Abraxas took the time to study him. He watched as he casually flicked his wand to lock the door and stowed it away, up his sleeve, once more. He watched Harry pull the staircase down with ease; watched how he moved so gracefully. It was as though everything he did had a purpose; he made no unnecessary movement.
And then he fell up the stairs, landing on his face, in his living room, with a loud thump!
"Uuugh! My face!" He rolled onto his back, his legs still on the stairs, frowning piteously. Abraxas could barely keep his laughter at bay. Giggling, he asked if the poor man was okay. "Yes, I'm fine. Obviously, or you wouldn't be laughing," he accepted Abraxas' hand and let himself be hauled up.
"You're just so… graceful!" he laughed, earning a glare. "I'm sorry, love… but it was absolutely funny and you can't deny it," he grinned cheekily.
"Yeah, well, you can make the tea while I rest my poor face," he grumbled, flopping down on the couch.
"Fair enough, princess," he laughed, dodging a throw pillow.
As he made the tea, Abraxas thought about where things were going with Harry. He missed him whenever he had to work – as much as he'd joked earlier, he had become quite busy in the recent weeks – and when he was around, time seemed to fly and left him wanting more. He wanted to hold onto his little shop keeper and never let go. He loved the way he felt around Harry; loved being able to touch him, kiss him, make him make the most delicious sounds in bed… in the office… on the couch… the floor… against the kitchen bench.
He just… loved Harry.
Harry rubbed his nose and checked for blood. He'd been caught up in wicked thoughts, planning what he'd do to Abraxas when he cornered him in the living room… and then he'd missed a step and went crashing face-first into his apartment.
The calming aroma of tea wafted over from the kitchen and relaxed him; he sunk into the lounge, feeling better just from the sweet smell.
It had been about five months, a little longer, since they'd become romantically involved. Five! Five bloody months! He nearly groaned out loud. Surely hat was a long time for a couple to wait? Yes, they'd been performing oral sex and using their hands… but Harry wanted to take things further. He wanted more; he wanted all of Abraxas.
But… what if he doesn't? What if he's only interested in oral? He knows he has a son in the future, so he pr—
"Harry?" Abraxas' voice cut his thoughts off, thankfully. Harry hated second-guessing himself. "Harry, are you all right? You have that look on your face." Abraxas sat the tea set on the table before sitting next to Harry and cupping his cheek.
"What look?" He held the hand on his cheek in place as he turned to give the palm a little kiss.
"You look like you're over-thinking something and it's worrying you." He rubbed soothing circles over Harry's temple with his thumb. "What's wrong?"
Should I tell him? What if I'm just being stupid? What if I'm not and he doesn't really want that? What if he's saving himself for marriage? Shit. I should tell him. It'll save the trouble of fucking it all up later, I suppose…
"Why haven't we had sex yet?" he blurted it out more directly than he'd intended, not giving himself time to think of a more delicate way of expressing his concerns.
"Uh… I…" Abraxas seemed lost for words. His cheeks flushed pink and he looked down at his knees. Harry found him unbelievably endearing when he became flustered, so he explained a little more delicately.
"We've been together for over five months… and we haven't taken things very far. I just… well, to be honest, I want to… but do you? Do you want that from me, or… is this not… I mean, you have a son in the future, so I just wondered…" he trailed off, not really knowing how to phrase his question after all. He looked down at his own knees and felt himself flush just as much as Abraxas had.
A warm pair of hands brought his face up to look Abraxas in the eye.
Abraxas just looked at Harry for a while, unable to form words. He hadn't really thought about that in too much detail, to be honest. He enjoyed what they had, and had been quite busy, but… now that Harry had brought it up, he realised he'd been wanting to move on in their relationship as well. He wanted sex; not just sex, but… he wanted to make love to Harry – with Harry.
"You dullard," he huffed a chuckle. "Of course I want to. In case you haven't realised, we've been busy… and I…" he paused, hesitant to admit the next part of his reasoning. If Harry can be honest, so can I.
"Well, I've never… taken things so far in a courtship before. I've… well, not that far, anyway… so I guess… I didn't think to ask or pursue because it isn't something I'm… used to." How eloquent, you oaf.
Had he heard that correctly? Harry's heart leapt into his throat as he studied Abraxas' somewhat abashed face. He's so young… Harry smirked, realising what this meant. Abraxas is all mine!
"You idiot," he laughed and shook his head. "I guess that clears that, then!" He splayed his hand on Abraxas' chest and pushed his blushing blonde back into the couch and reached over to the cooling tea.
"Ruffian," Abraxas sniffed and retrieved his own cup. Harry snorted and patted his lover's head as he held his cup with his left hand. Abraxas narrowed his eyes and batted the hand away.
They sat in a more comfortable silence after getting things out in the open. Abraxas marvelled at how honest their relationship was… and it seemed so natural; telling Harry everything never really made him pause – well, not to think of a suitable lie, but mostly in embarrassment. It was refreshing to have such a person in his life.
He leaned back against Harry when they'd finished their tea and simply enjoyed an evening of peaceful companionship; Harry ran his fingers through Abraxas' hair, massaging lightly as the blonde dozed.
"It's getting late," Harry's voice woke him from his half-sleep.
"Do you want dinner?" He leant over Abraxas' face, cupping both cheeks in his hands. His cheeky little grin made Abraxas a little worried… that look usually meant that Harry was planning something.
"I suppose… what are you looking at me like that for?"
"No reason," he teased and leant down for an upside-down kiss. "What do you want to eat?" Abraxas could think of one thing… but kept his mouth shut and simply smiled. "Heh, okay, I'll choose…" Harry's devious little smile returned as he leant down for another kiss.
As they sat there in silence, Harry's mind wandered as he stroked Abraxas' hair. He now knew that Abraxas wanted the same thing he did. That knowledge gave him back some confidence. And, as he kissed that delicious little pout, a wicked idea came to him.
He still hadn't given Abraxas the truffles he'd bought. They were on his bedside table, just waiting to be eaten. And Harry knew the best way to eat chocolate.
That smirk meant something… Abraxas just knew it. He sat up and narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
"What do you have in mind?" At his question, he was pushed down against the sofa, his lips captured in a hungry kiss once more. Just as he began to return the fervent kissing, Harry pulled away and stood up. He received no reply, except a cheeky wink, before Harry disappeared into his bedroom.
A moment later, he returned, holding a little box; it was wrapped in rich brown, glossy paper with a golden ribbon. He had no idea what could be inside.
"This is your present," Harry smirked, handing it over.
"Thank you…" he shook it cautiously, not really trusting that it couldn't somehow bit him.
Upon opening the little package, however, Abraxas felt an absurdly pleased grin claim his lips.
"You little scoundrel! Here I was thinking you'd done something terrible!" He laughed, picking up one of the little chocolates and held it to Harry's lips; his breath caught in his throat as those lips enveloped the truffle and the tips of his thumb and forefinger, sucking them into the wet warmth, Harry's tongue flicking over his digits teasingly.
Harry released him, smirking.
"I know the best way to eat chocolate," he practically purred. "Do you want me to show you?" Abraxas could only nod.
Teasing Abraxas was just too much fun! Harry knew he probably shouldn't be enjoying it as much as he was, but he couldn't bring himself to really care at that point! The look on his lover's face was priceless.
Abraxas looked so young and innocent… so hopeful and kind of nervous.
Harry almost felt bad… but not quite.
He took the chocolates back and headed to the kitchen, nearly laughing at the look of confusion on Abraxas' handsome face.
"Are you coming?" he looked coyly over his shoulder, waiting for the blonde to follow.
When Abraxas was next to him, he led the way into the little kitchen and sat the box on the counter. He knelt before the cupboard underneath, opened the door, and rummaged around.
When he finally found what he was looking for, Harry sat it on the counter, next to the truffles and went to the fridge.
"Are you serious?" Abraxas' voice was somewhat amused, but mostly incredulous. "Fondue?" Harry laughed and grabbed some blueberries, strawberries and a peach to cut up.
"Of course! The only way to enjoy chocolate properly is to melt it and dip berries and pieces of fruit into it! What did you think I meant?" he teased, laughing at the expression of mock-rage on Abraxas' face.
"You're a monster!"
All right, so fondue was definitely a good idea. Even if Harry had completely misled him into believing he was going to have some fun in the kitchen.
He didn't mind; it was fun to feed Harry the little berries and pieces of fruit. They playfully wiped the melted chocolate on each other's noses and cheeks, only to lick it off and end up making out like teenagers.
Technically, Abraxas was a teenager, he supposed. But he didn't care. Harry made him feel… well, 'mature' might have sounded silly at that moment, but it fit; Harry treated him like an equal. He never talked down to Abraxas or told him he was too young for anything. He supposed that was one of the main reasons he enjoyed Harry's company so much.
When the chocolate was all gone, Abraxas took the liberty of climbing into Harry's lap and wrapping his arms around his neck and kissing him thoroughly.
He rutted against the man beneath him, hoping his message was clear.
"Now?" Harry sounded breathless. Abraxas hummed in response and latched his lips on the pale throat before him. "On the floor? In the living room?" Abraxas huffed a laugh and pulled away to answer.
"Yes! I don't care where we are." Really, he didn't. He just wanted Harry.
Abraxas pulled at Harry's shirt, untucking it from the work slacks he always wore. He slid his hands under the Muggle-style button-up and smoothed his hands over the firm torso. Each little nuance of Harry's musculature made him want the other even more; every arch into his touch, a thrill of arousal shot down his spine, landing strait in his crotch.
He pulled the shirt up, over Harry's head, and flung it away in his haste to attach himself at the lips to the newly exposed flesh.
As he licked his way down, Abraxas could still taste the lingering hints of chocolate on his lips, could smell the faint soapy musk from Harry's morning shower. He lingered over the junction of Harry's neck and shoulder, sucking the flesh into his mouth harshly, leaving a love bite.
Harry moaned softly and brought his hands to Abraxas' backside, kneading the cheeks and pulling him closer, urging him to keep going.
The naughty hands soon found their way inside Abraxas' trousers, squeezing him firmly, fingers only slightly gripping his crack, spreading him open as much as the boundary of his ridiculous Muggle-style pants would allow.
One of the hands snuck back to his crotch and released the heavy length, stroking slowly as he continued his path down Harry's body; he pushed the shop keeper back until he was sprawled on the floor, knees bent around Abraxas' hips.
Abraxas released Harry's cock slowly, teasingly. He mimicked his lover's actions and stroked the length slowly, thumbing the rosy head, smearing little pearls of pre-ejaculate to provide a wet friction.
Harry squirmed at his touch, and his own hands found their way back to Abraxas' arse, squeezing harshly through the material.
Abraxas tasted of chocolate and peaches as he devoured Harry's mouth; he ground his hips just so, teasing them both to arousal with the movement alone.
Harry made short work of the button and zipper, practically ripping the fabric as he reached in and around to grip those firm cheeks.
He could feel the heat radiating from Abraxas' most intimate place; he could feel the muscles contracting slightly as the little hole winked at the unfamiliar sensation of being so exposed.
His knuckles brushed against each other as he squeezed and kneaded; he could feel just how tight it would be.
He resisted the urge to just slide his fingers into that tight little pucker and finger-fuck the man above him into a quivering lump of Malfoy. Instead, he reached back into the front of the high-waisted, forties-style slacks and guided the thick erection out, giving it a few pumps to encourage Abraxas along.
When Abraxas pushed him down again, Harry's hands went straight back to that firm arse and gripped tightly. And, fuck; those hands! Abraxas imitated Harry and brought his cock out, rubbing pre over the head with his thumb.
Harry bucked harshly when Abraxas' thumb pressed firmly, just over the glans. Abraxas teased the head of Harry's erection and completely neglected the shaft, making his balls ache for his touch.
He whined shamelessly, deliberately pushing his hips up, into that warm hand, and wordlessly begged for more.
Soon, Abraxas removed himself from Harry's lap and stood, offering a hand to pull him up, but, before he could question, he was pushed back onto the couch with Abraxas knelt before him with a sly little smirk playing upon his lips.
Abraxas could smell the soft tang of Harry's arousal as he leant forward and licked the little bead of pre from the crown. He loved the slightly bitter taste of Harry's seed; he loved the feel of the thick head resting on his tongue when he oh-so-slowly sucked it into his mouth.
Harry's sharp inhale and quick hands in his hair made him smirk, pulling his lips tight around the head.
"Shit, Abraxas…" Harry cursed breathlessly, clenching and un-clenching his fingers in Abraxas' hair as he obviously held himself back from bucking too hard.
Abraxas slid down on the length, only a little, sucking gently enough to tease.
He could feel Harry's pulse throbbing against his tongue; could taste even more pre as it slid from the twitching little slit and onto his tongue.
Harry was close, so Abraxas pulled away.
It was the shortest, most frustrating blowjob Harry had ever had! But, he knew it was because he'd been too close to coming.
He slid a hand down to the base of his cock and squeezed firmly; he pumped himself slowly to ease himself away from the pending orgasm.
Abraxas' eyes focused on Harry's hand as it stoked up and down, as it squeezed slightly. Harry gave a lazy smirk and pulled the pureblood up, off his knees, and between his own.
Harry removed his hand from himself and used both to pull Abraxas' slacks partway down, revealing only his read.
"Kneel over me," he murmured, pulling his own pants down to his ankles and kicked them off.
Abraxas settled himself over Harry; one knee on either side of his hips. He was grateful for the soft cushions after kneeling on the floor.
As he knelt, he braced himself on the back of the lounge, anticipating what Harry was going to do.
He felt the couch dip a little as his lover slunk down further, lining his face with Abraxas' cock.
Hot little puffs of breath teased his aching sac, making him squeeze his eyes closed and breathe in shakily. A warm, wet little thing nudged his balls, and made him twitch suddenly. It grew braver, firmer, as it explored his sac, licking them as it hung heavily between his thighs.
Soon, Harry had sucked as much of Abraxas' scrotum as he could, into his mouth. The firm pressure and wet heat was so exquisite, so achingly divine, that Abraxas thought he'd come from that alone. But Harry pulled away.
He felt the couch shift again as Harry wriggled down further, and brought his hands up to Abraxas' backside once more, pushing him towards the back of the couch a little more. Then, those hands spread him wide, squeezed his cheeks and made way for Harry's devious little tongue.
The sensation was unlike anything he'd ever felt; the warm, wet little muscle gave teasing little laps at his entrance, as though testing its give, before it gave several long, firm licks along his perineum and up, over his anus.
He tried not to push back onto it too much, but the feeling of Harry's amazing little muscle laving at his hole made it oh-so-hard.
He reached down and stroked himself leisurely, trying to alleviate the slight tingling sensation of neglect. His left hand clawed into the back of the couch, squeezing the cushion as he jerked himself; his anus being completely ravaged.
Abraxas' cock stood proudly between his legs, a couple of shades darker than his usual pallor, in its arousal. Harry could see it twitching above him as he slipped down enough to taste that heavy sac. Abraxas' unique musk made his mouth water as he leant up to lick the sensitive area.
When he spread those cheeks again, Harry took a moment to appreciate the delicate little star winking at him in anticipation; it was a clean, dusky pink. He teasingly licked at first, not wanting Abraxas to jump too much. Soon though, the blonde was gently pushing back as Harry gave long, firm strokes over his anus, encouraging it to relax.
There was no real taste, just a hint of soap and skin. It wasn't as bad as he'd first thought – he'd never done this with any of his previous lovers.
Soon, he wriggled back up, resting his back against the couch, and watched as Abraxas continued to stroke himself slowly.
Later, Harry would get him to do this for him, but at that moment, he needed him to stop.
"Don't come just yet," he teased, running a hand along the thigh next to him and led Abraxas' hand away.
Harry retrieved his wand from the cushion beside him, and accioed some lubricant.
Abraxas groaned, long and low, as the first finger teased his hole before it slipped inside him completely. It wasn't a new sensation, but it had been a while since Harry had fingered him.
The appendage was warm and slick, just small enough to not hurt, while being big enough to make him feel stretched just to the edge of comfort. Then, it wriggled.
He gave another low moan as the sensation shot up his spine and back down to his prick. He clenched around the finger, and tried to get used to its size before another was added.
With each finger, Abraxas squirmed a little more, pushing himself down and marvelling at the feeling of being so full, yet longing for more.
When Harry scissored his fingers in just that way, Abraxas' moan came longer and lower, ending in a short, sharp gasp. He pushed back and clenched around Harry's fingers, holding them inside, as he adjusted to the girth.
"Fuck, Abraxas…" Harry's voice trembled with arousal, his breath puffed against Abraxas' arm as he leant his forehead on it. "Just one more," he said softly, and used his free hand to stroke and massage a cheek. "Touch yourself for me," he groaned, wriggling his thumb inside the slick little hole. "You feel amazing; I can't wait to be inside you."
Harry circled his fingers inside Abraxas, around the loosening passage, trying to make the process as pleasurable as possible.
When he thought he'd stretched enough, he removed all but his middle finger and circled it, relaxing the ring further, before rubbing it against Abraxas' prostate mercilessly.
Above him, Abraxas cried out, his hand flying over his cock, stroking rapidly until Harry pulled both their hands away.
Harry pat Abraxas' flank gently, making him move off to the side, allowing him to stand.
"Okay, kneel on the couch, touching the back… lean forward…" he placed a firm hand on the small of Abraxas' back, rubbing soothing circles as he guided him down. "Good. Now, knees together a little more," he held Abraxas' hips as the blonde shifted. "Perfect."
Harry knelt up on the couch, balanced just behind Abraxas, over his long legs. He guided the head of his cock to line up with the slick, gaping hole; the sight of it so open and inviting sent throb of arousal straight through his prick, urging him to pump one, long, slow stroke before pushing the tip inside.
The head of Harry's cock stretched him so much further than he'd imagined. It stung, but the lubricant helped to ease it to only a minor feeling. He groaned and pushed back, trying to impale himself on that thick, long dick.
"Just do it," he ordered breathlessly.
After a moment, Harry conceded, gripped his hips and slid completely inside with a snap of his hips and a sharp intake of breath.
It hurt. Oh, it hurt. But Abraxas ignored it as much as possible, and tried to focus on the feeling of complete fullness instead. He rocked back and forth, clenching and squeezing himself to get used to the intrusion. A low growl of a curse reminded him that he wasn't the only one in need of release.
As Harry buried himself in that warm, wet passage, he took a sharp breath, nearly overcome with sensation. He nearly came undone when Abraxas' insides constricted around him, squeezing and adjusting to his presence.
Abraxas squirmed a little, shifting his knees on the couch, changing the angle slightly.
Harry slipped a hand around to Abraxas' belly and rubbed a soothing circle, pulling him closer.
"Yes," his voice sounded rough; slightly pained. He clenched once more before pushing back slightly, and arching his back. Harry took this as a signal to move.
Slowly, he pulled away and brought his hands to the slender waist before him. The movement tore a groan from both their throats as their nerve endings lit up with the sensation. Harry pushed back inside, still relishing the warmth, the pressure surrounding him never letting up.
The feeling of being so full amazed Abraxas; he'd never imagined bedding (or couching) another man like this. Never had the implications of such a union really entered his mind.
Having Harry inside him… he moaned as that thought truly hit him; he pushed back and met his lover's thrusts as best he could. The feel of Harry sliding in and out made his own arousal throb as it hung between his thighs, the ache of neglect driving him to curl his fingers around the base and stave off his impending climax.
Soon, their pace quickened; the sound of flesh slapping against flesh echoed off the bare walls, mingling with the sharp breaths and needy groans. He could feel Harry's balls slapping against his thigh; he could feel the muscles in the other's abdomen tensing against his back as he fucked him like an animal. All he could do was moan and curse unintelligibly as he fucked himself back onto that delicious cock, remembering all the times he'd had it in his hands, his mouth, feeling the pulse quicken as he teased the weeping slit.
"Fuck! Abraxas!" Harry groaned his name, speeding up, gripping his hips tighter and shifted his knees just. So.
"There!" he managed only one word as Harry abused his prostate, fucking into him with abandon.
The breathless little noises coming from Abraxas were driving him insane! The way the blonde pushed against him, trying to deepen his reach… Harry's hips snapped and thrust as hard and fast as possible, his hands tightened around Abraxas' hips as he pulled him back onto his dick. He watched the muscles in Abraxas' back ripple under the skin with every movement; his shoulder jerking slightly as he took his prick in hand.
He was so close; with every thrust, every squeeze, every gasp and moan, his pleasure pooled in his belly, nearly overwhelming him.
He could hear Abraxas' hand fapping, the furious pace rocking his hips even more as he fucked himself back on Harry's cock and up, into his own hand.
Harry forced himself to slow his pace, bringing his climax to a halt. He used long, slow thrusts again, enjoying the feel of his swollen member rubbing along the walls of Abraxas' insides.
He wanted to see Abraxas come undone; he wanted to watch his face when he came.
Abraxas was almost there; he could feel the pleasure building and building. Then, Harry slowed his thrusts and teased himself along Abraxas' passage, infuriatingly slowly.
Just as he was about to voice his protest, he found himself being left empty and gaping for a moment, only to suddenly be laid on his back, along the couch with Harry upon him.
"Wanted to watch you," was the simple explanation. The blonde gave an amused little smirk and pulled his lover down for a kiss.
Harry hummed into the kiss, reaching down between them to stroke Abraxas a few times before guiding himself back inside. The angle was much different, but no less pleasurable, he found.
He pushed up, and wrapped his legs around Harry's waist; he bucked up to meet every thrust, even as their kiss broke and they could only give shallow little pecks in their pleasure.
Abraxas could feel his erection slapping his belly as they moved, bouncing between them as their pace increased. Harry brought a hand to wrap around it once more; pumping as well as he could while balancing on the other. Soon, though, Abraxas took over as Harry lost his ability to concentrate, as his orgasm enveloped his senses.
Abraxas came soon after; his release coated his hand in sticky warmth. As their breathing calmed, he clenched around Harry's waning erection, marvelling at the feel of its heavy throbbing inside him.
Harry watched as Abraxas succumbed to the pleasure, his face contorting; his mouth slackened a little as he rode out the pleasure. It was the most beautiful thing Harry had ever seen.
He leant down and kissed those rosy, swollen lips, slowly, sweetly, and rested his forehead upon Abraxas', bringing a hand up to caress a flushed cheek.
They lay there together for a while, basking in the afterglow and sharing kisses until the stickiness urged them to move.
Harry slipped out, wincing as his oversensitive member was met with cool air. Abraxas groaned in protest, making Harry chuckle.
"We need a shower. Get up," he rolled over top Abraxas, pausing to give him a slow, deep kiss, before continuing over and standing. He offered the dozing blonde a hand.
"I don't think I can move," Abraxas whined. Harry just laughed and hauled him to his feet.
May 7th, 1946
Harry hummed softly as he organised the new stock. It had been a busy couple of weeks since he and Abraxas had finally consummated (Abraxas' term, not Harry's!) their relationship. Harry hadn't seen him for three days; he was spending a couple of nights at Hogwarts to inspect a few classes. Harry missed him. They'd hardly separated after that night, and to be without him for three days (and two nights!) was more of a hardship than he'd thought it would be.
So, he ordered stock, repaired Mrs Longbottom's jewellery, and tidied his shop… and restocked his tea supply… twice.
I miss Abraxas.
Another class ended, signalling the end of the school day. Abraxas almost collapsed with relief as the ridiculous class of fourth years cleared out.
He knew the House rivalry thing should have ended when he graduated… but good lord, he hated Hufflepuffs! They annoyed him no end, and now, as an adult watching fourteen-year-old adolescents with the type of irritating personalities he found so jarring, it was nigh unbearable. But, after giving his report to Headmaster Dippet and his superiors on the Board, he would be free to go. He missed Harry.
The doorbell chimed, announcing a late customer. Just when I want to close, too, he thought, grumpily.
"One moment please," he called from the office.
"Take your time." The sound of that voice stopped him in his tracks. Riddle.
For a long minute, Harry just stood there, his mind blank. Riddle had come to visit. At the end of a business day. While he was alone. Nothing to worry about, he tried to assure himself and plastered on a smile and greeted his customer.
"How are you, Mister Riddle?" He nodded politely as he came to stand behind the counter, hands splayed upon the surface.
"Well, thank you." A cold little smile quirked Riddle's pale lips. "I've come to show you something." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a familiar ring. Harry's pulse thudded in his ears.
"What a lovely ring. Where did you find such a treasure?" he tried to keep the tremble from his voice.
"Oh, it was my grandfather's," he answered pleasantly; there was a dangerous glint in his eyes as he stepped closer to the counter. "Would you like to see it?" He held it out, palm up.
Harry didn't know what to do. This is obviously a trap. Shit. Shit. So, he smiled and accepted the ring.
As he gave it a cursory examination, he kept most of his attention on Riddle.
"This is lovely; fine craftsmanship. You're very lucky." He held the ring out for Riddle to take, but saw the man had suddenly drawn his wand. Harry swallowed; he knew he wouldn't be able to draw his own in time.
"Tell me, Harry," Riddle twirled his wand in his hands, his cold little smirk widened. "Do you know what a Horcrux is?"
Abraxas hurried along the street, eager to see Harry after a long day. It was nearly eight o'clock by the time he got to the shop, but he saw the light was still on. He must be waiting for me. He grinned happily, anticipating a warm welcome and the usual offer of tea.
As he pushed the door open, however, his grin faded.
He walked inside to find Harry eerily still, slumped over the front counter.
Abraxas' heart pounded and his breathing became shallow as he reached out and touched Harry's cooled hand.
Abraxas married a young pureblood whose name often escaped him. They had a son, of course.
When Lucius was born, Abraxas wept with joy; Harry had known his son, had been connected to the man he would become. He remembered the way Harry had hoped his family would be, and strived to provide that for his own.
He wanted to ensure his lover would have allies within his family, even if he was no longer there.
Abraxas was proud to watch Lucius grow into a good man; a man he knew Harry would respect. When his grandson was born, he wept just the same as with his own child – he knew it was only a matter of weeks before his best friend and lover would be born.
The Malfoys became a fierce ally to the Order of the Phoenix and funded their cause, aiding Dumbledore wherever possible; however, on October 31st, 1981, the story of The Boy Who Lived still spread through Wizarding Britain like wildfire, just as Abraxas knew it would. He knew what that meant for Harry, and, try as he might, Abraxas could not prevent Dumbledore from leaving the boy to the Muggles.
For months, he fought for custody of his friend, but before any chance of success, he contracted and succumbed to the Dragon Pox.
As Abraxas felt himself leaving his body, he smiled in contentment. Finally, he would return to Harry's warm welcome, and maybe a pot of tea.
AN: This mother of a fanfiction is dedicated to Werewolf Groupie This was supposed to be a Christmas present… and then it just didn't stop. A huge thanks to Aithan_Isaacs for her beta job is also needed!
For those of you interested, the title is from this quote:
"There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment." ― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever