Harry had his wand in his hand in an instant, and Tom had an arm pinned around Harry's throat to hold him as body armor the second after.
The grip squeezed a little too tight so he assumed Tom thought he had something to bloody well do with this. As if he wouldn't have picked a less awkward time if he had something to do with it!
The bedsheets were still rumpled and twisted beneath them. He could feel Tom's chest rising and falling quickly, warm against Harry's bare back. His cheeks burned.
"We both know you're not going to kill him, Mr Riddle," Scrimgeour said. "So you may as well release Potter." He stood with his wand pointed right at them, with Dawlish and several other of Harry's former colleagues behind him. Shacklebolt towered steady as ever in the corner, expression implacable in comparison to the varying expressions of dubious shock on the rest of the Aurors had faced with the rather compromising scene they'd walked in on.
"You knew I would come the second he called," Tom theorized, after a moment.
Scrimgeour tipped his head in agreement with an awful air of triumph.
"I knew you would come for him at some point - however long it took - whether he called you or not."
So they had put a watch on the house. Harry felt he probably should have noticed, but honestly he'd finally let himself relax. To believe he had his privacy, his space. To believe that his colleagues wouldn't do this, even if he could understand the compulsion and obsession to catch Voldemort more than anyone.
And there was no way Tom was getting out of it this time. He was outnumbered once more, and the flashbacks to the Riddle House must have been visceral. Another bed, another unfurling of themselves to reveal the truth anew.
"You seem oddly convinced he won't hurt me," Harry spoke up. "Considering last time he gutted me and left me in physical therapy for over a year." The scar gave a phantom twinge and Harry considered his options.
Dawlish's eyes flicked down to the exposed and puckered scar on Harry's stomach. What felt only a few minutes ago, Tom had been on his knees before Harry as he sat on the bed, leaning in to press the softest of kisses against the white line of ruined flesh.
"You seem to be in fucking bed with him," Scrimgeour snapped back in response. There it was, that look on his face, a seedling at first when Harry had glanced it in the man's office a year ago and now the expression was in full bloom. Disgusted pity. It was the same look he'd sometimes seen new Aurors give Voldemort's crime scenes - blind and presumptive and like 'dead' was the only thing worth noting.
His fingers curled a little tighter around his wand and the Auror's gazes all flicked to it. He realized, then, that they thought he might attack them. That he'd been - he didn't know what they thought had happened. That he had gone so far into Voldemort's head that any distinction between Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter could no longer be made? As if it had ever been that clean cut.
The fury came suddenly, sharply. Acrid beneath his tongue. Because oh they were so eager to turn on him the second that he wasn't what they wanted, weren't they? As if that was any better than the twisted fantasy Voldemort had once tried to enforce with his butterflies.
The stalemate stretched on the brink of violence for a moment, two.
Tom's chest settled against his back, reaching a steadiness, an eerie calm radiating in the corners of his brain.
Harry tilted his head, just slightly, to brush his lips along the line of Tom's jaw.
No more killing, if I come with you. You promised.
No more killing, for me.
Tom exhaled a shaky breath and his arm, still hooked around Harry's throat, loosened before snaking away. Releasing him completely. His hands rose into the air and he let his wand drop to lie harmless among the crisp Gryffindor red sheets. His jaw clenched, expression otherwise carefully closed off.
"Potter, away from him. You against that that wall and Riddle against the opposite one," Scrimgeour ordered. "Best you drop your wand too."
Harry really wished he hadn't done that - that he would at least have done the public courtesy of pretending he didn't think Harry was on Voldemort's side. After everything it seemed a slap in the face.
Moreover, he could practically see Smethwyck's grubby fingers looming in the corner of his vision to stab and scrabble at the small fractions of peace that Harry had managed to collect over his life. Poring over them and rearranging Harry's memories and emotions like they were his own personal collection of jewels on a shelf to flash to visitors like the certificates in his office.
In a split second Harry had cursed. Launching into action as the room exploded in a volley and crash of spells arcing dazzling and dizzying. Tom was at his sides in an instant and between the two of them the Aurors stood no chance.
Harry dropped to his knees next to Scrimgeour, pressing his fingers to the man's neck to find a pulse.
"No more killing," Tom said, softly. "That's what you asked me for, is it not?"
The pulse was a little sluggish beneath Harry's touch but it was unmistakably there.
He looked up as Tom's bare feet padded into view. He almost wanted to laugh at the bare feet, the pink toes so exposed and harmless looking considering what exactly the Dark Wizard was capable of. Harry remembered Tom's shoes being tossed aside in a careless heap somewhere on the way to the bedroom, even if the fact that Tom bothered to take his shoes off at all before clambering onto Harry's bed was anything but careless.
Tom's fingers slipped to cup his jaw, the pad of his thumb caressed Harry's lower lip before he nudged his head up so that they were looking at each other. Harry swallowed and Tom's gaze dipped, just as hungry - if not more so - than they had been before the interruption.
"You protected me against your Aurors," he murmured.
"You didn't kill them."
He let Tom tug him up to his feet and reel him into a kiss, breathless and aching and almost even sweet except for the edge of possessiveness. Harry felt dizzy with the force of his want.
"You should go," Harry said, hoarse. "Before they wake up. Leave England."
"You could come with me." Tom's hand moved to cradle the back of his head again, stroking through his hair. "What is there for you here? Them?" He waved a contemptuous hand at the Aurors.
It was a step, something he couldn't take out. But then so was knocking out a room of England's best Aurors alongside a murderous serial killer. He'd miss Hermione though. It hadn't been the same since Ron died. Tom had done terrible things.
"Why did you save me?" Tom asked next, gaze intent.
"Because sending you back to prison would do nothing. Except as a form of torture, perhaps. Prison is for rehabilitation, detainment in dangerous cases, it's supposed to do something to help not just be a place where we send people because we don't know what else to do with them. Either way, it does nothing in your case. You've escaped before. They'd probably try and execute you - send you over to the US on the quiet or something"
"It wouldn't kill me."
"No, but other people would get hurt."
"Yourself included, considering the way they were looking at you."
"I'm tired," Harry confessed.
Tom smiled, then, and leaned into kiss him again.
"Come with me, Harry."
That time, he said yes.
The Ministry tried to find them.
The papers splashed the story lurid across the wizarding communities of Europe and America - have you seen these wizards?
No one had.
Tom took great joy in showing Harry the world, remembering the man's initial desires in their very first sessions to see the world.
Paris, Rome, Venice - he even managed to get Harry to a nice beach hut to splay out in the sun as his tanned skin turned golden and Tom watched the stress lines melt away from his face. It wasn't sustainable. He'd run out of money and they'd need to settle somewhere for that, but for now as they got to know each other in new ways it was good.
A new game. Oh, of course it was still a game. Maybe not breaking his boy down, but he saw Harry flourish under his subtle guidance more and more every day.
He made a game of Harry Potter's happiness.
It wasn't entirely dissimilar to the games they had always played before, to his mind. Harry seemed to like this one more. He never would have, once, before Tom took a chisel to sculpt him with.
He didn't every night in their rooms, when glamours and disguises were no longer necessary, he memorised, he adored, and Harry stole himself snatches of peace because a complete lack of remorse left little room for fretting about the past.
It wouldn't last forever, he thought. He dipped down to kiss Harry's mouth, to catch the desperate pleas and moans he'd once imagined spread out in blood and violence. He trailed his hands along slim hips and scars and rocked Harry against his body until it felt that two separate bodies seemed a technicality only.
Harry's head tilted - studying him, seeing everything, sharp as cut class in the Cuban sunlight. He reached out a hand, tracing the hard edges of Tom's cheeks and the softness of his lips. He consumed and clouded Tom's mind at every waking moment.
But all games ended. Humans died, people got hurt, everyone got a little bored and neither of them were made for peace.
Harry rolled them over to take control of the kiss - to finish what they started.
It wouldn't last forever, but maybe for now it was enough.
A/N: Happy New Year! Out with the old, in with the new. It's nice to see this story finished, it's been one heck of a ride and I hope you guys have enjoyed it too :) I'm glad I grew to like this story again before the end. If you liked the story, obviously I'd love to hear your comments no matter how small or whatever. Also, if you have somehow made it this far without watching NBC'S Hannibal, you should go and do that now.