Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: One Winged Angel :: 17 :: Returning

17 • Returning

Blaise nodded and stood, Harry standing a heartbeat later. As they walked toward the entrance Blaise said, “Several times?”

“Yes. As a baby, though that memory is understandably fuzzy, and at the end of every year except third.”

“But . . . it was only confirmed that he had returned just recently.”

“It’s a bit of a long story,” Harry said. “If you’d really like to know, I’ll tell you, but not here.”

“Right.”

Harry grinned as they neared the doors and drifted to a stop next to Ron. “Ron, Blaise. Blaise, Ron.”

Ron gave Blaise a speculative look, then said, “All right?”

“Yes. Try not to be late for breakfast. I’d like to compare schedules before class.”

Ron scowled. “Hermione is already going on about revision plans.”

Harry snickered, then turned when Blaise cleared his throat softly.

“Professor Snape always holds a meeting first night,” he said.

“Er, right.”

“Don’t give him any excuses,” Ron said in a low voice, then turned and headed out the doors.

Blaise jerked his head, so Harry nodded and followed him out, trying not to appear as though he knew where they were going. He was slightly startled when Blaise said, “It’s nice that he’s still your friend.” A few steps further and Blaise came to a halt, then pointed at several spots in the hallway. “Those are your clues. There’s no other place down here with this arrangement of sconces.”

Then he walked a bit further and stopped beside a bare stretch of wall that didn’t look any different from the rest. Once Harry was standing beside him he said quietly but clearly, “Heliotrope.” As the wall disappeared he gave Harry a slight smile, then stepped through.

Harry didn’t think much had changed since his last visit, though this time the common room was packed with students. It was far larger than Gryffindor’s, which made it possible for him and Blaise to find seating without much difficulty. He ignored the staring and simply waited, grateful to a degree when Snape finally appeared in a swirl of sable robes.

“Quiet!” he barked. “I don’t care that most of you have heard this before. It bears repeating, especially as some of you have skulls thick enough to require it. You are in Slytherin house, and as such you will do nothing to bring shame on it. Outside these rooms you will never engage in fights amongst yourselves, no matter how much you might despise one of your housemates.”

Snape paused to glare at Harry before continuing. “The same also goes for when you are in here. Barring instructions to the contrary, I had better not hear even a whisper that you’ve disobeyed me. There are no exceptions to this rule. I have more important things to do than break up or mediate childish bickering, and those of you who expect to move on to greater things when you leave Hogwarts would do well to heed my words.”

Harry was given another glare, which he bore stoically. He found it interesting, though, that a caveat had been included, not to mention the other veiled reference to Voldemort.

“You will attend to your studies with due diligence, even those of you with fewer brains than a flobberworm. As always, points are awarded for tutoring housemates who are falling behind. If you must indulge in fighting with members of other houses, for Merlin’s sake don’t get caught! I cannot defend you if you do not have plausible deniability.”

Harry patiently sat through several more minutes of Snape’s instructions, breathing a careful sigh of relief when the man finally finished and swept off. He had half been expecting to be singled out more obviously. He blinked when Blaise tapped his forearm and said, “Come on. I’ll show you where our rooms are.”

Harry nodded and rose, noticing only as they began to walk toward one of the hallways branching off from the room that Malfoy was sitting in the middle of a cluster of his cronies, aiming one of his best death glares at him. Blaise led him away, turning sharply to the left when the corridor branched, then headed all the way to the end.

“There’s nameplates, if you’ve noticed. This one is yours,” he said, pointing to the right. “And apparently, mine is opposite.”

“Do you want to come in? It’s early enough yet, and I don’t particularly feel like staying out there.”

Blaise nodded, so Harry opened his door, idly wondering exactly what Dobby and Tom had done in the way of protections, and entered with Blaise behind him. “Wow,” he breathed. “This is huge.”

“Is it? It seems pretty normal to me,” was Blaise’s comment as he shut the door.

Harry gave a short laugh and turned around. “You’ve never seen my bedroom.” Then he brightened as he saw a familiar object and rushed over to pick up his broom. “I may not be able to play anymore, but I am so glad to have this back.”

“Because you love flying?”

Harry looked up and said, “Yes, but mainly because it was a gift from my godfather. He died recently, so. . . .” Harry shrugged and put his Firebolt down, then wandered over to a chair, waving at the other one. Once Blaise had seated himself Harry asked, “I take it you aren’t a supporter of Voldemort?”

Blaise shook his head. “No, my family never saw a reason to align with him. They’ve been able to accomplish their goals just fine without that, and they stand on the liberal side of things. I suppose you could say they’re fairly neutral.”

Harry pursed his lips, then smiled. “Voldemort never died, he just lost his body for a while. He can possess people, and did, like Quirrell. The only reason it took so long to confirm his return is because Fudge is an idiot, and refused to believe until an incident at the Ministry.”

“So that article that appeared in the Quibbler was the unvarnished truth.”

“Yup. Say, are we in any danger of someone bursting in here to give me grief?”

“No. As I understand it, only the room owner can open the door from the outside. It was like that in the dorms as well, though any prefect could walk in. I don’t think that applies to upperclassman rooms.”

:Don’t worry about it, Harry. I made sure that the only people who could open your door were you and Severus.:

Harry nodded, then smiled sheepishly. “I feel kind of awkward. I would really like to take you at face value, but I’m not really sure what to do. A friend here would be nice.”

Blaise gave him a smile that was almost shy and nodded. “Yeah. I have to admit I’m insanely curious about some things, though.”

Harry gave a half shrug, which seemed to be permission enough for Blaise.

“I won’t ask why it happened, but . . . Slytherin?”

“This is where the hat originally wanted me, but it ended up placing me in Gryffindor.”

:You know, Harry, you’d make a fine politician.:

Harry grinned, causing Blaise to give him a slightly suspicious look and say, “Hm?”

Harry shook his head. “Just a stray thought. At least now I have my answer to how Malfoy would react. He was glaring at me quite fiercely earlier. Of course, I can’t decide if that’s simply because I’m still breathing, or because Slytherin rules say he isn’t allowed to pick fights with me any longer. Perhaps both.”

“I’d still be careful around him. I think he only leaves me alone because I’m pure-blood and don’t make waves,” Blaise said, then stifled a yawn. “I think I need to go to bed. Didn’t sleep much last night.”

Harry nodded and smiled. “I’ll see you in the morning?”

Blaise got to his feet, yawned, and nodded, then headed out to his own room.

“Hm.” Harry slouched in his chair and looked around, noticing a nearly invisible door on one wall.

:Facilities, Harry. It’s not much, though. If you want something luxurious, you’d have to sneak into one of the prefect’s bathrooms.:

:Don’t care, so long as it gets me clean. Tom, you said nothing happened the times you snuck in?:

:Nothing was reported to Severus.:

:So what would happen if Dobby were to jump you in here?:

:In theory, nothing. Is that an invitation?:

Harry concentrated for a moment, then smiled when Dobby popped into the room. “Hello, Dobby.”

“Dobby is seeing master again!” the elf exclaimed.

“I’m very happy to see you, too. Do you feel up to helping me with a little test?”

“Of course, master.”

“Can you go to Tom and try to jump him here so he can visit?”

Dobby gave him a toothy smile and disappeared. Thirty seconds later he was back, holding Tom’s hand. Harry clapped in delight and bounced out of his chair.

“Dobby is coming back when master’s friend is ready to go,” announced the elf, then popped out.

Harry closed the distance quickly, then stopped and asked, “Are these rooms soundproof?”

“Yes. Also, I’ll show you how to cast a revealing charm on your door so you can see who’s knocking.”

Harry thought that was a wonderful idea, but he was far more interested in other things. However, he waited until Tom had showed him and he had tried it for himself before moving along to his real goal. “Tom, dreams aren’t real enough.”

Tom tilted his head to the side and gave him a questioning look. “Is that your way of telling me you missed me?”

“Yes,” Harry said softly. “I like that we can talk at almost any time, and that we can dream together, but what you said that one time—well, I suppose I prefer to reserve certain things for when you really are with me.”

Tom placed a hand flat on Harry’s chest and said, “Do you know what’s odd about dreams? No heartbeats. And, where’s the fun in making your heart race if I can’t feel it?”

“I suppose I can understand that,” Harry said with a tiny smile as he raised a hand to place over Tom’s. “But, does your own?”

“Ah, Harry, if I were not who I am because of you, you wouldn’t need to ask that question, as I’d have made it abundantly clear by now.”

Harry felt slightly confused by that and gave Tom a faintly quizzical look that quickly faded as he made the connection and felt heat flood his cheeks. “Oh,” he said as Tom’s hand slid out from under his, up his chest and back to rest on his neck. A moment later Tom placed a hand at his hip and pulled, Harry unresisting, then drew him into another of those kisses that made the floor threaten to spin out from underneath him.

Several minutes later Harry felt as though he was clinging to Tom for dear life, and the touch of fingers sliding up under his shirt made him moan into Tom’s mouth and sag. “I think my Harry likes that,” came a whisper in his ear, then the sensation of sharp teeth nipping at his neck.

An absent thought flitted through his mind; he was wholeheartedly enjoying their embrace, but wondered just how far Tom planned to take things. Almost immediately Tom lifted his head and said, “Never any further than you want, Harry.”

“That’s not fair,” he said in mild protest, slitting his eyes open.

Tom arched a brow. “I know,” he responded with a quirk of his mouth, then guided Harry backward until his legs hit the bed. “But, this way, I have twice the assurance that I’m not doing anything you aren’t ready for,” he said, then pushed gently, crawling up over Harry as he lay down and initiating another probing kiss.

Harry couldn’t quite argue with that logic and mentally shrugged, letting himself be drawn back to that dizzying state where the rough noises he was making didn’t embarrass him as they might have, and using his own hands to tug and pull at Tom’s shirt until he could slide his fingers against the warmth of Tom’s back.

Another thought broached the haze in his mind, causing his fingers to dig into Tom’s skin and his eyes to open. “Yes, but feeling like this,” he said, “I’m not sure I would resist because I trust you.”

Tom abandoned his neck and shifted to meet his gaze. “Even without love?” he asked softly.

“I’m not sure what that is,” Harry said honestly.

Tom shifted position, almost so that he was lying beside Harry, though one hand remained under his shirt, idly stroking his chest. “I think it’s different for everyone, Harry, and I think it consists of a number of different components.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” he said, watching curiously as Tom’s brow furrowed.

“I don’t know that I understand any better than you do, but perhaps. So here are some questions. If Blaise died tomorrow, would you feel more than sadness, sorrow?”

“I barely know him.”

“What about Ron?”

Harry frowned and narrowed his eyes. “I would be just as torn up as I was over Sirius.”

Tom nodded. “I think you love them, as friends, or family. You enjoy Ron’s company, you’re touched and happy that he’s decided to stand by you, and it would hurt you a great deal if something happened to him. But you don’t look to him for your own happiness, and I would bet that even if you were to end up in one of the communal showers with him, it wouldn’t once cross your mind to look at him any differently than you have.”

Harry shuddered at even the barest possibility of being attracted to Ron and wrinkled his nose in distaste.

Tom chuckled. “Was that a little too incestuous?”

Harry gave him a half-hearted glare, then arched mindlessly as Tom’s fingers found a particularly sensitive spot. “Then how do you know?” he gasped.

“Some claim they just know, as though they woke up one morning and there it was. Some say it’s in the way that person looks at them or treats them. But I think it’s also about how you interact and what you appreciate normally. I look at you and see someone who really is my equal, with a sharp mind and wit, and a number of qualities I realize I admire. I like that even when you’re scared you stay brave, and you accept help from others without thinking that it means you’re weak.”

Harry focused on his face again and said, “What are you trying to say?”

Tom smiled. “Only what I mean. But, I don’t think it would be very hard for anyone to fall in love with you, including me. It’s just a matter of time, or recognition. We trust each other, at least.”

“Yes.” Harry shivered as Tom’s fingers glided over his stomach, then swept back upward. “You mean me, though, and you. Not the Boy Who Lived and the Dark Lord.”

“Of course, Harry. I think those two have almost served their purpose, don’t you? Soon enough it will be just us, two normal people. And a lot of that is thanks to you and your strange mind.” He leaned in for a kiss, then pulled back as Harry squirmed. “What is it?”

“I’m hot.”

“Well, you are still wearing your robes.”

Harry squirmed again, then sat up as Tom shifted entirely off him, and shrugged the robes off his shoulders. After a moment of hesitation, and a swift bout of awkward shyness, he grasped the hem of his shirt and pulled that off, flinging it to the side, then relaxed back against the bed and tilted his head toward Tom.

“Very nice,” Tom said in a hushed tone, his brows flirting up for a second, “and very tempting.” A moment later he was back as he had been, half covering Harry’s body with his own, and one hand sliding over Harry’s chest in an almost possessive manner.

Harry’s eyes fluttered shut as Tom’s lips began to caress his collarbone, and arched again without thought, feeling Tom’s obvious arousal fitted against him. He felt an almost irresistible urge to lay himself bare, but resisted it, even as his hips moved without conscious direction. He did not, however, resist when Tom guided his arms back over his head, then covered his body more fully and captured his mouth, teasing him into another kiss that threatened to suffocate him until he consciously remembered to breathe.

The hand that kept his own pinned out of the way both excited and scared him, but his excitement intensified as a hand was placed firmly on his hip, causing him to strain upward, a hand that guided his movements into a steady rhythm of mutual friction even as his mouth was plundered and explored. Harry knew he was flushed and moaning, but didn’t care, so intent on submerging himself into the upwardly spiraling jolts of pleasurable electricity that coursed through his body.

He did not think it was strange, though he might have had he been able to think coherently, that he was rubbing himself against Tom like some animal. Every movement intensified the sensations he was feeling. Every movement of Tom’s tongue in his mouth made him want to devour the man whole. And then, Tom captured his tongue and began suckling it, and grinding his hips more forcefully, and Harry completely lost control as his world exploded.

He vaguely heard a soft voice murmuring in his ear at some point, and gentle hands shifting his body, but that was all until he awoke the next morning, tucked under the covers and quite alone.

*

Harry felt a wave of heat sweep through his body and sat up abruptly, the covers falling back to let cooler air caress him. He could only vaguely recall what happened after he had lost all sense of time and place, but assumed it must have been Tom who had put him to bed. He found it reassuring that he was still wearing his jeans, though his shoes had been removed and were presently on the floor next to the bed.

He slipped out of bed and padded into the attached room, shedding his remaining clothing, and had a shower, then brushed his teeth after only a cursory attempt at taming his hair. He had barely finished dressing when a knock came at his door, which turned out to be Blaise, so he opened it and stepped back so that Blaise could enter.

“I hate first days. You never know what classes you’re going to be in, so you have to wonder if you should bring everything, or cut breakfast short so you can go back to your room and get only what you need,” Harry remarked.

Blaise nodded and smiled, obviously in agreement, then gave a backward tap to the rucksack he had slung over one shoulder.

“I only have five classes, so I’ll just bring all of them,” Harry said, then went to his trunk and opened it, pulling out his rucksack. Having already put his books into it before he left headquarters, he simply slung it over his shoulder and closed the trunk. “I guess I’m ready, then.”

Harry sat at the extreme end of the table again, back to the wall, and Blaise took the seat next to him. He again felt a bit out of place, though it was more due to the first years sitting at his end of the table, giving him and Blaise odd looks. He shrugged it off as he had the evening before and ate, making only intermittent conversation with Blaise. He did wonder, though, how much trouble Blaise was going to come in for with their housemates for having rather obviously attached himself to Harry.

Some time later a shadow fell across their end of the table. Snape was looming, holding a stack of parchment. “First years,” he said, then handed a set to the child opposite Harry. “Potter. Zabini.” Two sheets were thrust out and taken, then Snape continued on down the table. Harry watched for a minute, noticing that once he got past the groups of younger years Snape simply dropped the remainder of the stack on the table and kept walking.

He glanced at his own schedule, then did a double take, staring in a kind of bewildered horror at the notation for the first class on Mondays—Potions. “What!?” he breathed, causing Blaise to bump his shoulder as he tried to see.

“What’s wrong?”

Harry stabbed a finger at the paper, then flicked his eyes to the top of the page to make sure it really did have his name on it. “I don’t understand,” he said in a hushed voice. He leaned forward and looked down the table, but Snape was already exiting the hall. Harry frowned and swung his head around to the head table. After whispering, “I’ll be right back,” to Blaise, Harry rose and walked over to stand before the headmaster.

“Yes, Harry?”

He hopped onto the dais and passed over his schedule. “Sir, is this right? I don’t understand why I have Potions. I know Professor Snape only takes Outstandings.”

Dumbledore unleashed one of those gentle smiles and said, “Ah, Harry, five classes is really too few. I thought it would be best to ensure your inclusion in that class, especially given your goal of becoming an auror.”

As Harry took back the schedule he said, “But—”

“I have also taken the liberty of securing the supplies you will be needing, so do not worry on that account,” Dumbledore continued as though he had not heard, then gave him a vaguely expectant look.

Harry bit his lip, then remembered what he was supposed to be playing at and lowered his gaze. “Yes, sir, of course. I’ll do my best not to disappoint you. Thank you for the opportunity.”

“You run along now, Harry.”

Harry looked up and produced a timorous smile, then nodded and stepped off the dais to return to Blaise. Inwardly he was seething, and wondering if this was another attempt on Dumbledore’s part to force him to cooperate with Snape. He also wondered if Snape had even been told, and if his little act had come across as blindly trusting the guidance of the headmaster, or as a little too submissive.

“What was that all about?” Blaise whispered.

“I wasn’t expecting to be in Potions, that’s all.” Harry blinked and bit his lip. “I never did the holiday work,” he whispered. “Professor Snape is going to kill me.”

Ron met them at the doors and gave a faint nod to Blaise before shoving his schedule in front of Harry’s face. Harry made a quick comparison to his own. “We have them the same.”

“Then how about a game of chess?”

Harry sighed and showed Ron his schedule, then said, “There’s still fifteen minutes before class starts. I’m sorry, but I better go now and tell Professor Snape I never did the holiday work. Get it over with. I’ll explain later, all right?”

Ron scowled heavily. “Yeah. Tell me this afternoon.”

Harry gave him an apologetic look and headed for the dungeons, arriving well before anyone else (aside from Blaise, who slipped into a seat at the back). Snape looked up and glared as Harry approached him.

“Sir, I, er, just now found out that I’ve been put in Potions. I didn’t do the holiday work you assigned and. . . .” Having got that far, Harry realized he had no idea what to say.

Snape turned up the intensity of his glare and said, “How terribly remiss of you to neglect that particular pleasure, Potter. You will stay behind after class. Now get out of my sight.”

Harry nodded and stepped back, then turned and headed straight for Blaise, taking the seat next to him. After a deep breath he pulled supplies from his bag and arranged them, then fiddled with his quill as other students began to filter in and take seats. Hermione was one of those students. She stopped dead when she saw him, raised her brows, then took a seat half way back next to a girl Harry vaguely recognized as being in Ravenclaw.

After suffering through a lengthy lecture on advanced healing potions, prefaced by pointed threats of being dropped from the class for those too stupid to keep up, Harry reluctantly put away his supplies and got to his feet, then turned at a touch on his arm.

“Would you like me to wait for you?” Blaise asked quietly.

Harry gave him a grateful smile and nodded, then took a deep breath and approached the professor’s desk; Snape ignored him until the room cleared out.

“Mr Potter, I expect that you will have that work done and turned in by the next class. If you do not, you can expect to spend a week in detention, and I promise you that it will not be pleasant. Now, hand over your schedule.”

Harry reminded himself repeatedly to not react and fished his schedule out, placing it on the desk where Snape could reach it without straining. The professor flipped it around, studied it for a moment, then scrawled some notes on the bottom and pushed it back.

“You will present yourself to me on those two nights, each week, without fail. You will also be on time, Mr Potter, or face detention. Am I understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then kindly take yourself from my sight,” Snape said in clipped tones, almost as though he were biting off each word.

Harry scooped up the schedule and turned, forcing himself to walk, not run, out the door and into the relative safety of the hall. Blaise was waiting, pushing away from the wall he had been leaning against as soon as he saw Harry. “Where were you planning on heading?”

Harry shoved the schedule back in his bag and rubbed his forehead. “I don’t have anything until after lunch. You?”

Blaise shook his head. “The same. I have Ancient Runes then.”

“My room? Or yours?”

Blaise smiled and said, “Sure.”