Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: CIA :: 02 :: Instinct

02 • Instinct

A few seconds passed before Harry’s pupils went slit and his wings burst out, shredding the back of his shirt. “I know it was him,” he said savagely. “Even in death he haunts me. Tell me there’s a way to raise the dead so I can kill him again! That fu—”

Voldemort cut off his mate the best way he knew how, by yanking him close and kissing him passionately. By way of distraction it worked well enough, but when he released Harry several minutes later his mate was still seething, his anger rolling off him in almost tangible waves.

Rialis’s reaction was to appear mildly astonished.

“He has a bit of a temper,” Voldemort said rather casually. “Do you perchance have an unused field within the wards that we could use for a duel? It would be best to work off his anger before something unfortunate happens.”

She blinked a bit stupidly and nodded, then rose, casting a quick glance at the paper, at which point her eyes widened dramatically. She did not comment, however, and instead gestured for them to follow, then led the way to such a place as he had requested.

On arrival Voldemort grasped Harry’s chin in his hand and said softly but firmly, “Duel with me.”

Harry gave a jerky nod and stalked off to the center of the field, so Voldemort looked at Rialis and said, “I would hope that you will keep back any onlookers who might appear. It is not my intent for anyone to come to harm.” Then he followed his mate onto the field and produced his wand, and made ready to fight.

He was getting tired by the time Harry signaled that he was back under control, and by then they had amassed quite a number of spectators, most of whom were standing about gaping at their display. Voldemort approached his mate with a wry smile and said quietly, “We need to do this more often, love. You could probably continue on for quite some time while I stood there gasping for breath. I am woefully out of shape.”

Harry grinned faintly and shook his hair back. “I’m very hungry now, Tom.”

“Then let us see if Rialis is willing to extend her hospitality a bit longer.”

She was, and it was not until noon that they appeared a second time. Voldemort was pleased to see that she provided another meal, though he had to wonder if she was hoping to get rid of them soon given Harry’s volatile temper. Voldemort took the time in between bites of his lunch to reset his signal piece, letting Lucius know that the message had been received.

Rialis, it seemed, was quite a brave soul. She waited until Voldemort was finished eating, then said, “This might mean my life to even broach it, but given what I saw earlier in your aura”—she indicated Harry—“and then saw in the paper. . . .”

Harry sighed and stared at the ceiling.

“You felt betrayed by what you read, so this is either an incredible coincidence, or there really is only one incubus in the UK,” she said.

“All I wanted was a holiday,” Harry whined piteously. “Was that so much to ask for?” He got up and made room for himself on Voldemort’s lap, snuggled in close, then muttered, “That bastard.”

Voldemort’s arms came up automatically to encircle his beloved protectively. “And you shall have one. This news, while distressing, is not enough to make me change my mind.”

Harry pulled back with a hopeful expression, still more or less ignoring the matriarch. “Really?”

“Really,” he said with a decisive nod. “Let the sheep bleat, love. Unless something drastic comes to light, we shall continue on with our plans, and come back here when we’re done. That is, assuming we are still welcome here.”

Rialis immediately smiled and nodded. “Of course. You have not verified, and I won’t push the issue, but it changes nothing with regard to your particular need. However, you must realize that anyone here who knows of your claim of being the sole incubus in the United Kingdom is going to draw certain conclusions. It is true, though, that they will hold their tongues at my command.”

Voldemort gave her an intent look, but was quickly distracted by Harry saying, “This is the first time I’ve been out of the country. I don’t want it to be cut short.”

He gave his beloved an indulgent smile, then turned his head toward Rialis and asked, “Offhand, are you aware of any countries we should avoid?”

She appeared to consider that before saying, “I would stick to Europe. Slavery is common in Middle Eastern countries, especially for humanoid magical creatures, and the laws there support it. Granted, you two are obviously more than capable of taking care of yourselves, but there’s no sense borrowing trouble.”

Then she looked at Harry and caught his attention by calling his assumed name. “I cannot command it as you are not one of my own, but I would strongly recommend that you refrain from attempting to mate until you have returned home.”

Harry narrowed his eyes at her a mite rebelliously, but nodded docilely enough.

“Curb your instincts for a little while longer,” she added, “and try to enjoy your holiday for what it is.”

Harry nodded again and gave her a faint smile, then said to Voldemort petulantly, “I’m still angry.”

“Then perhaps we shall have to duel on a daily basis, love. For now, how about we return to the house and get our things, and decide on where we’d like to visit first?”

*

They spent the next two weeks gallivanting around Europe, seemingly without a care in the world, and eventually ended up back at the small village that Rialis held sway over. There had not been much of substance to be found in the papers aside from a rehash of the original article that revealed Harry’s secret so they tended to ignore the issue as much as possible during their journey.

Voldemort privately wondered if Skeeter had left any information in the vault for them to see once they returned, but that speculation would simply have to wait to be satisfied. They were welcomed back by Rialis, as well as Armand and Marius, who seemed rather eager to go on their own little adventure, the intervening time not having dampened their enthusiasm to be helpful.

He made two sets of blood-bonded dog tags for the couple, setting the ‘home’ option to the couple’s own house within the village, and the ‘compound’ option to their front hall. Those coordinates, at least, he could recall from memory. Their guests had two trunks each of clothing and other items, not to mention a healthy selection of medical texts for Armand and associated goods, and it was no trouble for each of them to take a trunk for transport purposes.

After a round of good-byes, the portkeys were activated. Armand and Marius looked around quite curiously once they arrived, but easily suffered to be led to the suite Voldemort had mentally picked out for them so that their trunks could be dropped off, if nothing else.

He then pulled Harry off to one side briefly. “I am going to alter the wards on the house to allow for Lucius, and bring him here for an update, and so that he can meet our guests. I will not be long.”

Harry nodded and gave him a quick kiss before saying, “I’ll help them get settled in and perhaps give them a tour. You can nudge me once you’re back with where to gather.”

“I will,” he said, then swept off toward his office. Along the way he was treated to any number of minions bowing an acknowledgement of his return, and some seemed rather happy to see him back, which made him feel uncharacteristically pleased. Voldemort had barely made it into the building when Lucius appeared at his side and dropped into a deep bow.

“Lucius, splendid. Now I shall not have to waste time on a summons,” he said. “Come with me, for there are things we need to discuss.” Voldemort turned abruptly and headed back out, toward his house, ignoring the fleeting look of faint confusion on the man’s face.

At the front door he paused to adjust the wards, then ushered the man inside and led him to the kitchen, nudging Harry as he went. His beloved appeared with the couple in tow before either of them had a chance to take a seat, and as it was near to time for dinner, he was not surprised to see ‘that look’ appear on Harry’s face.

“Everyone, sit,” Harry ordered as he moved purposefully toward the supply cabinet. “Armand, is there anything in particular you don’t like?” he asked as he began rooting around.

“Anything is fine,” was the muted response.

Harry nodded absently and started tossing things onto the counter, so Voldemort decided to make some introductions. “Lucius, these are Armand and Marius, guests of ours from France. They are to be treated with every courtesy, and I am only revealing their presence because you are my most trusted. Armand, Marius, Lucius is my most valuable and trusted agent within this organization.

“Now, I can either wait until after we have finished eating to get down to business, or you two can agree to an oath of silence when it comes to local matters. Given your purpose here, it might be said that your awareness of this . . . climate . . . may have actual bearing on the assistance you will be rendering.”

Harry slid three salads onto the table, followed by glasses of juice, then said with a slight smile, “To translate, he’s referring to my stress level,” before turning back to his preparations.

Armand, who seemed to be the dominant in much the same way Voldemort was, said simply, “We do not have a problem with an oath of silence.”

“Splendid. Now I suggest those of us who consume food get to it before my mate loses his temper.”

And so they did. Several minutes later Harry slid three more plates onto the table along with a pitcher of juice, then transferred the salad plates into the sink before taking a seat of his own. Voldemort ignored the fact that Lucius seemed to be finding refuge in his unexpected meal, and instead smiled when Harry said, “I’m really quite happy to be home. And that reminds me.”

Harry looked at Lucius for a moment before saying, “Given the present situation, I ought to modify what I did to you. Perhaps it might be wise to loosen the restrictions so that you can speak freely on certain matters, at least here within the house.”

Voldemort cleared his throat, then nodded. It was not so much that he was giving permission—his mate had created those restrictions of his own volition—but rather signaling his agreement.

“I’ll wait until you’re all done eating.” He then turned to Marius and began a quiet conversation about the places they had visited while on their holiday, and what he liked about them.

Once everyone was done with their meal, Lucius was gracious enough to say, “My lord, this was delicious.”

Harry beamed a smile at him and cleared away the dishes, then came back to take his seat, this time facing the blond. And while Voldemort led the two Frenchmen through an oath that would restrict communication with regard to anything they experienced within the compound, with the exception of being able to speak with their matriarch about pertinent matters, Harry modified the coercions he had previously set on Lucius.

“Now that we are ready,” Voldemort eventually said, “Lucius, report.”

“My lords, things have been running smoothly in your absence, and I have personally overseen all aspects of each division. The only thing of consequence that occurred was that article in the Daily Prophet regarding Harry Potter. The training staff has functioned well within parameters, though I think they are due for an internal review, and the house-elf you brought in has performed, to the best of my knowledge, his duties with regard to your pets.” Lucius glanced briefly at Harry at that.

“Those in espionage have continued to feel out the candidates for minister and I have already compiled a report for you on that score. I also have a report on the reactions of the remaining Order members, and the current tide of thought regarding the death of Albus Dumbledore and the resulting loss of his leadership stranglehold on the supposed forces of Light.” Lucius went on for another several minutes, touching base of every facet of operations, before he subsided.

There was silence for a time, then Harry broke it by saying, “Then have you heard nothing pertinent on precisely who enabled that article to be written?”

Lucius shook his head. “Only speculation, my lord. It is quite common for certain types to hold knowledge in reserve. I would not be surprised if Dumbledore did exactly that, and his death was the catalyst.”

“Harry, you would do well to check the vault to see if Miss Skeeter has left a message.”

His mate nodded absently and said, “Yes, I’ll check tomorrow. If there’s nothing there I will contact her. You’ll check with the portrait?”

Voldemort nodded. “Lucius, I want a list of every last person employed by the Ministry. Ours, both marked and unmarked, those who are leaning toward our cause, and those who are neutral or oppose us. I am presently of a mind to tear that place down and rebuild it, this time with an eye toward something other than rampant nepotism, favoritism, and self-serving schemes. The internal game of eternal one-upmanship will cease. The Ministry should be there to serve the public, not repress it or deliberately mislead it.”

Harry smirked, no doubt thinking about Fudge’s efforts to deny the return of Voldemort, most likely at the urging of Lucius.

“And perhaps I am biased,” Voldemort continued, “but it is clear to me now that the long-standing policies restricting magical creatures must be heavily revised, not to mention the issue of muggle-born socialization. Speaking of which, Lucius, Armand and Marius are here on a purely personal matter, mainly for the benefit of Lord Thanatos.”

“The gist of that article is true, my lord?” Lucius asked rather boldly.

“Yes,” Harry said.

Lucius then ventured a comment. “My lord, your holiday seems to have served you well. You appear to be much more relaxed.”

Harry quirked a brow at the blond and replied, “That’ll happen when you finally get to take one. However, I am within my home, so I feel free to be myself. I’m sure you understand that I remain Lord Thanatos outside these walls.”

“Of course, my lord.”

Then Harry smiled a bit maliciously. “Tell me, are your replacement servants working out well?”

Lucius smirked in response before saying, “They are somewhat recalcitrant, my lord, but my staff has them well in hand.”

“Very nice. Well, I’m going to finish giving that tour,” Harry said as he rose. “I will see you tomorrow, Lucius, to go over your experiences with the training staff.”

Harry gestured his two new friends up as Lucius murmured, “Yes, my lord,” then led them out of the kitchen while asking, “And how much would I have to curtail my activities in the near future?”

Voldemort smiled inwardly and turned his attention back to his minion.

*

Several hours later Voldemort stepped into his sitting room to see his gloriously naked mate sprawled on the sofa reading. Harry looked up directly he arrived and shot him a sultry smile, the book immediately forgotten in favor of other things.

“I’ve been told I should cut loose tonight,” Harry said as he got to his feet and slinked over. “What do you think?”

Voldemort pulled his mate close and up so that he could bite Harry’s neck, then murmured, “Perhaps I should chain you to the bed and make love to you until you’re with child.” He smirked when Harry moaned and added, “Would you like that, my sweet? I could fill you to overflowing with my seed.”

He pulled back some when Harry moaned more loudly to see a decidedly glazed look in his beloved’s then slit-pupiled eyes. That was more than enough encouragement for him, and he loosed his domineering nature a touch and urged his mate to wrap his legs around him so he could carry Harry off to the bedroom.

Once laid down Harry arched his back and neck while letting his legs fall apart. There was obviously something about incubi of Harry’s sort—that is to say, homosexual—that made them sexually submissive to their partners. Voldemort could certainly not imagine his mate opening himself up to anyone else in such a fashion, nor deliberately exposing his throat in that way. However, as much as he might be curious about it, he was not about to seek out Armand or Marius and ask. It was too private a matter in his opinion.

He cursed the time it took him to shed his apparel, wanting nothing more than to cover his mate’s body with his own; he could certainly appreciate Harry’s dislike of clothing in that moment. But, soon enough he was naked with his beloved beneath him, and he was whispering wicked things into that slightly pointed ear in between kisses and carefully controlled bites.

Harry was moaning incessantly and whispering as well, in Parseltongue no less, things like, “Fill me, make me yours,” and, “Ah, there’s that warm liquid feeling again inside me.”

Had Voldemort stopped to think about it he might have realized that he was becoming just as randy as his mate at the idea of impregnation. He let his hands roam at will as he settled himself more comfortably between Harry’s legs, and captured his mate’s mouth in a bruising and demanding kiss. He growled when, during a pause for breath, Harry pleaded with him, and pushed himself up so he could position his cock and sink himself.

His beloved arched again and hissed his pleasure loudly, his feet flat against the bed and used for leverage. Voldemort thrust harder, feeling a bit savage, then rolled them over so that his mate was atop him. Harry immediately assumed control, riding him with abandon as Voldemort encouraged him. “That’s it, love, let go and use me for your pleasure. Make me give you my essence, wrest it from me, take what you need.”

Harry hissed as his wings burst out and hovered over them. And oddly, or perhaps not, his mate’s skin began glowing again seconds prior to him throwing his head back and keening his pleasure as orgasm hit. Voldemort could not hold back at that point and relinquished the last of his control, following his mate into ecstasy.

He lost track of how many times Harry urged him to completion that night, each time with that same odd glow just prior to release, but he was sure that the next day would find him exhausted.

*

Harry nearly bounced on his way to the kitchen that morning, feeling inordinately cheerful and a lot less tired than he had expected to be. The previous evening had been a bit hazy, to be sure, but he was certainly aware that they had made love a number of times once he had given in to his instincts. He was nearly done making breakfast when their guests wandered in. It might have been the smell of food that led them.

“Good morning,” he said, glancing over his shoulder briefly, then fetched tableware and set it out, shortly followed by serving platters. “I’m going to use the mornings to take care of business,” he commented as he took a seat, “but the afternoons I will remain here, unless something urgent comes up. I’ve already showed you the room to be set aside as a small infirmary, so if you wish, you can both set things up in there while I’m out.”

Voldemort entered and took a seat, nodding at everyone before filling a plate for himself.

“That would probably be wise,” Armand said. “You are practically glowing this morning.”

Harry paused a moment, then grinned. “Am I? Dare I hope. . . ?”

Marius smiled and said, “It will be a few weeks before Armand can be certain.”

“Well, you can transform that room into whatever is necessary, and you can certainly get lost in the library if you wish, or use the training room. I should be back for lunch, but if not, please feel free to raid the cupboard. Also, if you want to make a list of anything in particular that you’d like for foodstuffs, please do so and I will go on a shopping trip.”

“I shall investigate,” Armand said before taking another bite and rolling his eyes in appreciation.

A short time later Harry thoroughly kissed his mate in the front hall and headed off to Gringotts. And before he headed down to the vault he stopped in to speak with his account manager regarding that article and the possible repercussions it could have on his holdings.

Nitpuff was able to point out that the current laws favored the ‘owner’ of an incubus, and then suggested, with the appropriate prompting, transferring all funds and deeds to Harry’s other persona. After all, Justus Bane was not under suspicion for being a magical creature of the controlled kind.

“It figures,” Harry muttered in disgust. “All right, please go ahead and begin the transfer. I’ll authorize five thousand galleons to you for your hardship in this matter. When will you need me to return in order to receive the new keys and information?”

“Two days,” the goblin said promptly. “And by then, should anyone get around to checking out your holdings, it will be far too late. Thus far, no one has, but it is better to be proactive.”

“I agree, and had I been in the country when that article came out, I’d have taken care of it then.”

Nitpuff gave him a considering look, then said, “Not that I particularly care, but I must assume you believe this is necessary, which leads me to believe that article had a kernel of truth in it.”

Harry sighed and shook back his hair. “It doesn’t really matter. The first person to spy Harry Potter would at least think about trying to haul him in for examination, if not attempt to claim ownership should it be true. And besides, I haven’t been seen in public for years. People are going to be curious no matter what, and with the amount of falsehoods printed about me in the past, it’s been made very clear that people will believe what they wish, truth be damned.”

Nitpuff revealed a sharply toothy smile. “True. However, as I said, it doesn’t particularly matter to me. I deal in money, so I don’t care if you are one or not. You don’t pay me to worry about such things, except where it might impact your accounts here. Rumor has it that anyone with an interest in this has spent the past two weeks arguing over who might possibly be able to lay claim in the absence of Albus Dumbledore.”

Harry snarled at the idea of nameless and faceless people squabbling over him like he was some trophy to be displayed or vault to be bled. Shortly after finalizing a few more details he headed down to the vault to check for anything from Skeeter; there was nothing.

On that note he returned to the compound and repaired to his office, waiting to summon Lucius until after he had dashed off a note to his pet reporter and sent it. As it was, a summons wasn’t necessary given that the blond was sitting in Voldemort’s office next door. Harry simply waited until it sounded as though his lover was wrapping things up, then slinked in to make his presence known, stealing Lucius away a minute or so later.

“Now,” he said once settled in his chair again, “expound on my training staff’s performance during my absence.”

Lucius allowed as how there was no bickering or fighting, and he saw absolutely no evidence that any of the staff was slacking off. “I do think that Melkanson has been handling things well in your absence, my lord. Still, I would fail to be surprised if a personal review from you re-energized their purpose.”

Harry tilted his head to one side and considered, then said, “It sounds to me as though you’re trying to tell me they missed me.”

“To some degree, my lord. As I have said, I think that Melkanson has been doing well, but in my opinion he is the sort that feels more secure having his lord nearby.”

“Well, Lucius, there is a reason you are Lord Voldemort’s most trusted and valuable. I will take your impressions into consideration. You have my leave to go.”

Lucius rose gracefully and bowed, then left quietly, so Harry slipped back into the next office and perched on the edge of the desk. “Are you happy to be back?”

Voldemort smiled at him and nodded. “It is nearing lunch, love. Would you like me to return to the house for that?”

He bit his lip, then gave his own nod. “Yes. For the moment I think I’ll go find Melkanson and alert him to a meeting tomorrow morning, first for him alone, then the entire staff. I think you and I should work out a time for our exercise as well. I would truly dislike having to go back to sparring with mere golems after the past fortnight.”

“I agree, and I will think about it. I will also see you in a short while for lunch.”

Harry leaned over to grace his lover with a kiss, then slipped off the desk to prowl after his lieutenant. Once that conversation was dealt with he returned to their home and wandered off to begin preparing a meal. Part way through his preparations their guests appeared and took seats, with Harry flashing them a smile of greeting. And then something was said that made him wish he could turn back time.

“This is probably not the sort of question we should be asking,” Armand said in his somewhat accented voice, “but we stumbled over your back garden. Is there any particular reason why you keep two naked men out there as virtual slaves?”