Title: Brave New World
Pairing: Harry/Piers Polkiss. Hufflepuff!Harry.
Summary: The Dursleys leave Harry at a local orphanage when they find him on their doorstep with the magical community none the wiser. Ten years later, Harry appears across the street, watching their house on his eleventh birthday, wishing for a family and finds an unconventional one in Piers Polkiss. Told through the summers.
Challenge: Response to Kamerreon‘s Rare Slash Pairing Alphabet Challenge.
Textual Note: “Brave New World” is a quote from Act V, Scene I of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Miranda, a girl who has grown up on a secluded island with only her father and their slave, speaks of going to a brave new world as she is about the leave the island for the first time with her new husband, a prince whose ship was marooned through her father’s magic on the island.
It also served as the title of Aldous Huxley’s novel. The savage John quotes it when about to enter a society – a dystopian world that ultimately destroys him.
Warnings: Slash. Mentions of Child Abandonment. Pre-Lemon.
…Before the Philosopher’s Stone…
On 31 July, 1991 a small, impeccably dressed boy stood outside of number four, Privet Drive. His bright green eyes shone in the morning fog and he stood there, almost as if time would pass him by, and gazed at the front door. His ruffled black hair fell across his thin rectangular-shaped glasses, his hands shoved within his trouser pockets. He clearly looked like he came from money. Although thin, he had a healthy complexion and looked well-fed.
The door to the house opened and he watched as a woman with a long neck and horse-like face leaned out and picked up the morning milk. She glanced up at him and stared, a haunted look in her eyes, before she quickly shut the door again.
Still, the boy waited barely moving from his position against the brick wall.
Movement flickered behind the windows and the boy only blinked occasionally. He watched as a large boy came bounding into the kitchen and demanded something of the horsy woman. Her response was a bright smile and heaping his plate full of eggs and bacon.
Cars drove past and the boy noticed that another boy was making his way toward him. He had dark brown hair and a rather pointed face, almost rat-like in appearance, and he smiled at the stranger despite himself.
“Hello,” the new boy greeted, following his gaze. “Are you a friend of Dudley’s?”
The boy shook his head. “Who’s Dudley?”
“Dudley Dursley,” he responded, tilting his head toward the house behind him.
“Oh. No. I should have, though.”
“What?” the boy asked.
The boy sighed. “He’s my cousin. They—the Dursleys—decided to leave me at an orphanage when my parents died.”
The other boy’s eyebrows rose into his hairline. “I didn’t know he even had a cousin,” he whispered before turning and looking through the window. Dudley was staring curiously back at them, a hungry look in his eye. He shook his head. “I’m his best friend and I didn’t even know.” He looked curiously at the well-dressed boy. “Piers Polkiss,” he introduced himself, offering his hand. “Dudley’s ex-best friend.”
The boy looked startled but then hesitantly smiled back. Grasping the proffered hand, he whispered, “Harry. Harry Potter.”
Piers smiled again. “Why are you here then?”
“It’s my birthday and I was told to make myself scarce while my friends set up a surprise party for me.”
Piers laughed. “Well, good luck with that—and happy birthday.”
“Thank you,” was the small reply before Harry looked through the window again. He sighed.
“Where do you live, then? Near here?”
“Yes. At Saint Jerome Emiliani’s in Whinging.”
Piers whistled. “Fancy place.”
“Yes,” Harry smiled. “It’s nice. The nuns and priests are kind. I like living there.”
Piers stepped closer and jumped up on the wall, his legs swinging. “Then why are you here then, Harry?”
Harry looked down. “I just wanted a family—just for a day.”
The boys became silent as they both watched the house.
“Where are you going to secondary then?” Piers inquired. “You’re about my age, right? Eleven?”
Harry nodded. “A place up in Scotland. My parents put me down after I was born. I’m going shopping for supplies tomorrow or the next day.”
“Hmm. I’m off to Smeltings. So is Dudley, actually.” He paused. “You don’t need them, Harry. They’re so obsessed with Dudley, that they’d probably forget you were there. You’re much better off elsewhere.”
“Yes, I guess I am,” Harry agreed.
“And anyway, I’ll be your family when we grow up,” Piers promised. “We can get married and we can buy a house.”
Harry looked over at him, startled, and blushed. “Really?”
“Yes, of course,” he answered, nodding.
“But two boys can’t get married,” Harry insisted, his eyebrows furrowed. “Isn’t it wrong? I think Sister Anne said it was wrong when she caught Matthew and Geoff in a closet together. They were punished.”
Piers looked at him, confused. “No, it’s not wrong. Dad has a boyfriend and my parents told me that they love each other very much. He’s nice and everything. I spend my weekends with Dad and Stephen. They’re practically married.”
Harry looked away, blushing even deeper.
“Unless you don’t want to—”
“I didn’t say that,” Harry said quickly, looking down at his hands. “I’ve always wanted a family, someone to marry.” He looked up boldly. “You’re prettier than the girls at the orphanage.”
Piers bit his bottom lip but smiled. “You’re pretty, too.” He reached up and brushed Harry’s fringe away but frowned when he saw the angry scar on Harry’s head. “Did someone hurt you?” he asked, frowning.
Harry looked at him confused. “N-no. Everyone’s nice at the orphanage.”
“Why do you have a scar then?”
“Oh,” Harry said. “I got it in the car crash that killed my parents.”
“Did you mean it?” Harry asked suddenly.
“Of course, I am sorry about your—”
“Not about that—about wanting to marry me when we grow up.”
Piers looked slightly affronted. “I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t mean it. I don’t like divorce.” He shook his head from experience. “It’s messy.”
“We can’t tell the nuns or the brothers,” Harry whispered after a moment.
Piers nodded emphatically. “My lips are sealed. It will be our secret until we get older. I wouldn’t even tell Dudley if we were still friends.”
They both looked at the house and noticed that Dudley was still looking at them through the window. His mother was giving him yet another plate of eggs and toast. Harry briefly wondered how much the boy actually ate. He was huge! He must have got it from his father’s side. Harry, although well fed, was still thin and he was almost certain his mother and Mrs. Dursley were sisters.
“Harry James Polkiss,” he mused aloud. “Or would you be Piers Potter?”
“I like Harry Polkiss.” His face scrunched up in thought, making it more rat-like, though Harry found it adorable for some reason. “Stephen didn’t take the name Polkiss though.”
“They’re not really married though, right?” Harry questioned softly.
Piers shook his head. “No. You can’t get married to another boy—not yet.”
Harry’s face fell. “I don’t want to live in sin.”
“It wouldn’t be sin,” Piers corrected, clearly quoting an adult. “Love is not a sin when you’re devoted to your husband. Dad and Stephen go to church and everything. They take me.”
“Saint Jerome’s, actually.”
Harry smiled brightly. “I go there too. I’m in the choir. We’ve probably seen each other without even realizing it.”
“It must be fate,” Piers said importantly.
A door opened and Dudley waddled out the door looking at them. He was large and had blond hair and striking blue eyes. He almost looked the exact opposite of Harry. “Piers?” he called. “Why are you still outside? Mum’s made breakfast and everything.” He looked waspishly at Harry, who only looked away.
“Can’t,” Piers answered. “It’s Harry’s birthday.”
Dudley pulled a face. “Mum said he’s been out here for hours.”
“Free country,” Piers replied insolently.
Harry looked down at his watch. “I should probably get back. Party starts in about an hour. Want to come?” he asked shyly.
Piers smiled brightly. “Yes.”
Without even a wave to his former friend, the two boys left Privet Drive, walking closely beside each other, fingers brushing up against fingers.
…Before the Chamber of Secrets…
Piers leaned against a wall near platform ten at King’s Cross Station, waiting for Harry to appear. It had been almost a year since they had last seen each other, and it had been far too long in Piers’s opinion. Within just the month of August of the previous summer, he had become attached to his fiancé and the two were rarely seen without the other one in tow.
His mother had been worried at first, especially when she saw how closely they would sit next to each other or how they always appeared to be whispering. Piers’s father had smiled at his son when Piers had first pointed Harry out in the choir, and Piers had even secretly told him that they were going to get married one day.
The nuns absolutely adored Piers. He would often bring his mother’s homemade cookies to the orphanage when he visited and became more active in the church—since he knew it was a way to see Harry.
They called Harry their “little minister” and even talked about how he might take orders after he graduated from the “elite school up North.”
When Piers had told his father and Stephen, they had laughed quietly. Piers hadn’t understood what was so funny about the thought of his fiancé having to live with a bunch of other priests.
Harry had soon set him right, however, and they had corresponded often during the school year. Harry actually had a trained owl that would bring him letters and Piers had taken to keeping dog biscuits in his room for whenever Hedwig would visit—usually every Tuesday. He thought it odd that Harry just didn’t send him letters in the post like any other person would, but if Harry wanted to use an owl and heavy paper, then that was fine by him.
“Piers!” a happy voice called out and Piers turned to see Harry rushing toward him, his trunk and caged owl in a trolley he was pushing.
“I didn’t see a train come in,” he muttered, confused.
“It came on a different track, sorry,” Harry quickly said, pulling the other boy into a hug and holding him. “You’ve grown.”
Piers held Harry close and buried his head in Harry’s shoulder. “So have you.” He pulled away and drank in Harry’s form. “Nice tie,” he remarked, flicking the yellow and black length of cloth.
“Thanks,” Harry mumbled. “House colors.”
Piers nodded. “We don’t have houses at Smeltings. Come on, Dad and Stephen are waiting in the car.”
“Alright.” Harry turned the trolley around and began walking out of the station.
“I have a surprise for you,” Piers announced when they finally entered the back seat of the car. Stephen was in the passenger’s seat and he was watching them closely through the rearview mirror. Piers, however, didn’t pay attention.
“Really?” Harry asked, excited.
“Do you want it now?” Piers teased.
Harry nodded enthusiastically and shifted in his seat.
Stephen smiled secretly and handed a small, pale blue-green bag back to Piers. The words ‘Tiffany & Co.’ were written across it in white and Harry’s eyes widened. “He’s been saving up his allowance for a whole year,” Stephen explained and Piers’s father chuckled.
“Never saw a kid so determined in my life.”
“I-isn’t that jewelry?” Harry asked, his voice rising to a squeak.
“Yes,” Piers answered before drawing out two small boxes, each wrapped in a white ribbon. “I should have done this when we got engaged—”
“Piers,” Harry hissed, glancing worriedly at the adults in the front of the car.
“We won’t tell anyone, Harry,” Stephen assured him as he turned to look at the boy that had captured his stepson’s fancy. “Piers only told us because he needed us to take him to Tiffany’s earlier this month. Your secret is safe with us.”
Piers relaxed at the explanation and Harry looked chastened.
“I’m sorry, Piers.”
He smiled. “It’s alright.” They looked intently at each other and Piers reached out and entwined his fingers with Harry’s. “Now, do you want your surprise?”
Harry nodded hesitantly before turning his gaze back to the two boxes.
“Well, normally you get rings when you get engaged, well, the girl does.” He huffed. “Anyway, we’re both boys, so I thought we could both have rings—and the sisters would never know,” he amended when he saw the wary look in Harry’s eyes. He swallowed.
Harry stared at him for a moment before smiling slightly. “Alright.”
Piers let out a breath he didn’t even realize he was holding. “I guessed your size,” he said quietly, “and I hope you don’t mind silver.” He opened the first small box and took out two interlocking silver rings. “I hope you like it.”
Harry’s heart melted and he held out his left hand. “It’s beautiful, Piers,” he breathed.
“You’re beautiful, Harry,” he murmured, low enough so his father and stepfather couldn’t hear him. Harry blushed and watched as Piers slid it onto his middle finger.
“Shouldn’t it be the fourth finger?”
“Normally, yes, but I thought the nuns might get suspicious, so I thought the third might be okay. When we grow they should be the right size for the other fingers. That’s why they’re slightly loose now, too.” He examined Harry’s hand. “Oh good, it fits.”
Harry brought his hand up to his face and stared intently at it.
Piers’s father cleared his throat. “In Roman times, the third finger was used as well. They thought a vein connected it directly to the heart, Harry.”
He smiled. “What does yours look like, Piers?”
“The same,” he said quickly. “I wanted to match.”
He picked up the second box, which had a little ‘P’ written on the side to help him differentiate, but Harry quickly took it from his hand. “Let me. I want to do this right.” He untied the ribbon and handed it to Piers, a small smile playing on his lips, before taking off the lid and lifting the smaller jewelry box. Taking out the ring, he took Piers’s left hand in his and slid it onto his finger.
Piers smiled brightly and leaned his forehead against Harry’s. It had been far too long since they had seen one another. “Love you,” he whispered for the first time, and Harry blushed again.
“I love you, too, Piers,” he responded quietly.
Neither of them noticed two sets of eyes watching them through the rearview mirror.
…Before the Prisoner of Azkaban…
Piers quivered in suppressed rage as he held Harry against him, his fiancé’s back pressed against his chest. Their engagement rings still remained on their hands, dulled slightly as neither had taken them off for an entire year, and their fingers were interlocked.
“That is not an ordinary dog bite, Harry,” he insisted as he traced a scar on Harry’s shoulder. It was a warm Saturday evening and Harry had been permitted to sleep over Piers’s house. They were both dressed in only pajama bottoms, sitting on top of Piers’s bed, although Harry technically was supposed to be using the sleeping bag on the floor.
Harry bit his lip and looked away.
“Harry, answer me. Why didn’t you tell me about it in one of your letters? I know this is relatively new. It’s still healing.”
“What are you, a doctor?” Harry griped quietly and Piers just pulled him closer.
“Stephen’s a nurse at the local hospital, Harry,” he explained.
He let out an aggravated breath.
“How did this dog get on your campus? How could your headmaster allow this? It isn’t safe!”
Harry didn’t answer and made to move away. Piers released him but his eyes never left Harry’s form.
“Please, tell me, Harry. I worry about you—we never get to see each other.”
“I know,” he sighed. “I’m sorry.” He looked away.
Piers’s eyes narrowed. “Is that why you get nightmares?” he asked perceptively, remembering back to the night before when Harry had awakened, screaming into their shared pillow. “Is it because of this dog? Or wolf? Must have been a wolf,” he decided. “A dog doesn’t have that large of a jaw.”
“It wasn’t a wolf,” Harry said, giving up, “or a dog.”
“Then what was it?”
Harry glanced away. “If I told you, Piers, you wouldn’t believe me.”
Piers looked at him piercingly. “Of course I would believe you, Harry. I’d believe you if you told me the Loch Ness Monster did it. That makes more sense than a dog, considering the wound.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “That’s a kelpie, actually.”
“What’s a kelpie?”
Harry paled slightly, realizing what he had said. “Nothing. Never mind.”
“Tell me, Harry, please.”
He still didn’t answer.
“Well, if it didn’t happen at your school, was it that large black dog that sometimes hangs around here? The really dirty one that hasn’t seen a bath in months if not years?”
Harry looked up startled. “The big shaggy one?”
Piers shrugged in agreement. “Yeah. I’ve seen it along Magnolia Crescent once or twice and I swear it was across the street this morning when we were eating breakfast in the kitchen.”
“That’s odd. I could have sworn the same dog has been around the orphanage and the church. I wonder what that’s about.”
Piers looked worried. “Please tell me it’s not what bit you, because if it is we have to tell Dad so he can call the police. That thing could have some sort of disease. Have you had your shots?”
“Of course I have,” Harry said petulantly. “I hate needles, but they give them to me every summer when I get back from school—”
“As they should,” Piers interjected.
“—and it wasn’t that dog.”
“Then what was it?” Piers reached over and cupped Harry’s cheek, causing him to shiver at the contact.
“I can’t tell you,” Harry pleaded with him.
“Is it because you didn’t see it? Isn’t there some dark forest near your school?”
Harry nodded, allowing Piers to take it as confirmation if he wanted. “Yes, the Forbidden Forest—it’s forbidden, obviously.”
“What a strange name.”
“Highly unoriginal as Bones would say.”
“Bones?” Piers inquired, his eyebrows rising slightly.
“Girl in my house. Susan Bones. She’s an orphan like I am.”
Piers felt a twinge of jealousy shoot through him but he pushed it away. Harry was his, he reminded himself. He had nothing to fear as long as Harry was still wearing that ring around his finger.
“At least tell me someone looked at it.”
“Of course. Madam Pomfrey did. It should heal completely over the next few weeks, Piers.”
“Alright,” he grumbled before pulling Harry back toward him. “I want Stephen to look at it, though.”
Harry rolled his eyes and settled back into Piers’s embrace. “Fine. If it will make you stop whinging about it.”
“Can’t promise that,” he half-laughed into Harry’s messy hair.
“That would be too much to hope for.”
“What ever happened to that girl from the other house you wrote about?” he asked as they settled side by side in bed. Piers reached out to turn off the light and gasped as his chest brushed Harry’s moist shoulder. He was suddenly glad that the lights were now off and Harry couldn’t see him blush.
“Which girl? You’re going to have to be more specific, Piers.”
“The one who followed you around and sent you a Valentine.”
Harry rolled his eyes although Piers couldn’t see it. “Oh—her.” He sighed. “She only liked me because I’m fam—just because. Shallow reasons. She thinks because I survived a c-car crash that I’m special or something. It’s weird.”
Piers growled slightly and wrapped his warm arm around Harry’s torso, pulling him close. “That’s sick.”
“It is sick, isn’t it?” Harry asked quietly, his voice suddenly timid.
He pressed his nose into Harry’s shoulder and smiled when he felt Harry cuddle closer to him. “What’s her name again?”
“Ginny Weasley. She’s in another house.”
“Hmm. What happened to her finally?”
“She was,” Harry hesitated and it sounded like he was grasping for words, “really stupid and managed to get into a locked cellar of the school. No one could really get down there but I managed to find a way.”
“Now you’re her hero, I bet,” Piers griped.
Harry groaned. “I know. It’s so unfair.”
“Harry James Potter. Saving one soul for our Lord at a time,” Piers teased and he stilled when he felt a soft kiss pressed against his neck. “We all fall in love with you and then follow you back to evensong.”
“Saint Potter,” he corrected sleepily, wrapping his arm around his fiancé’s waist. “She better not start showing up to St. Jerome’s.”
Piers could only smile as they both drifted off to sleep in each other’s arms.
…Before the Goblet of Fire…
“Let’s run away together.” The words hung in the air between them, Harry staring dejectedly out of the orphanage window as Piers sat, stunned, on Harry’s bed.
The room was wide and open, five neat beds with sturdy frames spaced out within it, a nice blue print on the walls although a rather large crucifix ruined the effect in Piers’s mind. He was religious, of course, but he didn’t think he’d want to see a bloodied Christ every time he woke up or went to bed.
Harry found it comforting, though. The summer before Piers had even managed to purchase a large one so Harry could take it to school—he said the place was absolutely godless and there wasn’t even a copy of the Bible in the library.
“What’s wrong?” he whispered to Harry and noticed that the other boy was playing with his engagement ring, which almost perfectly fit his third finger now.
“I can’t tell you,” he replied brokenly, pressing his forehead against the windowpane. The sun was out that morning and it created an odd kind of halo around Harry, making his hunched figure seem angelic or holy in some way.
Piers looked dejectedly at his own hands, his ring resting proudly on his third finger.
“I wish I could,” Harry said, his voice little more than a choked sob. “I wish I could so badly.”
“Come sit with me,” Piers quietly commanded, willing the boy into his arms.
Harry hesitated for a moment but eventually turned, revealing his tear-stained face. He moved across the room and sank down next to Piers, leaning against him for support.
“I love you, Harry, you know that,” Piers murmured as he held Harry to him.
“I know,” he sighed, closing his eyes.
“Why don’t you start at the beginning and tell me what you can. I’m here all afternoon and I’m sure I can kick your roommates out if I need to,” he teased.
Harry laughed softly before quieting again. “My parents didn’t die in a car crash,” he began.
Piers stiffened at the confession but still held Harry closely. “They didn’t?”
He shook his head. “I thought they had but when I went to my school, I found out they hadn’t. They were—they were murdered in our own house.”
Piers dropped a kiss on his head, and remained quiet, allowing Harry to speak.
“You know Sirius Black?”
“The man on the news? The one that murdered thirteen people? Christ, did he kill your parents?”
Harry looked at him accusingly and he blushed before making the sign of the cross.
“Sorry,” he apologized. “I was startled.”
“Don’t let the sisters hear you.”
“They love me.”
“They love me more.”
Piers had no response to that. It was clearly true. “Is he after you too then? Are you safe? I’m sure the nuns will let you stay with us the rest of the summer. I don’t want you out of my sight,” he swore.
Harry smiled despite himself. “They thought he was after me but he wasn’t—isn’t—it’s complicated. I don’t know how to explain.”
Silence settled over them and Piers played with Harry’s fingers contentedly, just marveling at the touch of his fiancé. Harry’s birthday was only a few weeks away and his dad and Stephen were taking them to the seaside for a week to celebrate. It was a surprise, of course, and he couldn’t wait to see Harry’s face, but if Sirius Black was after Harry . . .
He shook himself mentally. Harry said Black wasn’t after him, and he just had to trust him. His fiancé’s time away from Surrey was so wrapped in mystery that all Piers could do was trust him and know that Harry returned to him every summer. It had to be enough, especially as every waking moment Piers fell more and more for Harry.
“He’s my godfather,” Harry finally admitted and Piers pulled away to look into Harry’s face, needing to see the truth.
“Sirius Black is your godfather?” he asked incredulously.
Harry’s green eyes sparkled and he nodded. “He was friends with my dad back in school—almost like brothers. Best man at my parents’ wedding apparently.”
“Your godfather is a murderer,” Piers stated dumbly, his mind still shocked at the revelation.
“He didn’t do it. He says he didn’t and that Pettigrew did—the man who betrayed my parents to the person who killed them.”
Piers gazed down at him and then nodded. “Sounds complicated.”
“It is,” Harry agreed before he lay down, his head resting trustingly in Piers’s lap.
Reaching out, Piers began to run his fingers through Harry’s hair, marveling at its smoothness and just adoring the intimate sensation. “Is that why you’re upset?” he asked finally.
“No,” Harry began. “Yes. I—”
Piers waited, continuing his soothing movements.
“For a few hours it looked like he was going to be acquitted of all charges and he offered to have me come and live with him, since he is my godfather after all,” he admitted, his eyes looking up into Piers’s dark ones. “I just got so angry at him.”
Piers fidgeted slightly in agitation. He didn’t like the idea of an accused murderer—even if he was miraculously innocent and Harry’s godfather—coming and taking his fiancé away from Whinging. “Why were angry?”
“He was my godfather—is my godfather. He didn’t take me in at first; he let me be taken and dropped off at the Dursleys’. Did you know I was left in a basket with a letter? Sister Anne told me when I asked. She never saw the letter but my mother’s sister mentioned it. A basket, Piers! An actual basket! He let someone else take me and put me in a basket on a doorstep in the middle of the night!”
Tears streamed down his face and Piers gently wiped them away before glancing at the door. It was closed, but not locked and he bit his lip in worry. There were no locks on the bedroom doors at St. Jerome’s. They encouraged sinful behavior, probably, he thought to himself. Making a quick decision, Piers leaned down and gently kissing the tear tracks on Harry’s face.
“Shh, Harry,” he murmured. “I’m here.”
“I got so angry,” Harry sobbed, clutching Piers to him. “How could he say such a thing? He also mentioned that he was sure I was happy with my aunt. My aunt, Piers, my aunt! I’ve never met the woman.”
Piers brushed his nose against Harry’s cheek lovingly, clasping the smaller boy to him, one hand still buried in his hair.
“I-I-I told him that I didn’t live with my aunt but that I was at an orphanage and that I liked it,” he continued to explain. “I love it here. I love the sisters and Father Drummond. I love being here with you every summer, Piers. I couldn’t let him take me away from you. I love you too much.”
“Shh,” Piers murmured, kissing Harry’s soft lips for the first time. “No one’s taking you away.”
“I hope you’re right,” Harry murmured before kissing him back. “I pray to God you’re right.” He sighed. “What if—what if he somehow gets off and tries to come and take me? What then?”
Piers looked into his eyes, so close to his own, and kissed him again. “Then we’ll run away, Harry, and live happily ever after. A brave new world.”
Harry’s eyebrows furrowed in slightly confusion, trying to place the reference. “Shakespeare?”
“The Tempest. Had to read it this term at Smeltings. Dursley failed the project. It was spectacular!”
Harry smiled. “Promise?”
“I swear,” was the solemn response.
…Before the Order of the Phoenix…
“Come on,” Piers laughed quietly as they rushed through the park at night. Harry had been slightly withdrawn ever since he arrived back from school that summer, and Piers was determined to make him smile. “Just a little bit farther.”
“Where are we going?” Harry asked, gasping for breath.
“It’s a surprise.”
Harry groaned. “Is this a bad surprise like when you stole the communion wine last year?”
“That was a joke,” Piers defended, “and I only moved it.”
“I had a heart attack when Father Drummond asked me where it had gone!” he exclaimed before Piers silenced him with a quick kiss. “Are you sure it’s safe?” he questioned nervously.
A few nights before, old Mrs. Figg had been found near the park in the early hours of the morning. The local news said that she was alive but that she had clearly been attacked and had gone into some sort of shock and couldn’t even recognize English anymore.
“Yes,” Piers responded. “I’ll keep you safe, and we’re almost there,” he breathed against Harry’s lips and Harry forgot to draw air. Piers smiled impishly, secretly pleased with himself.
He had grown a lot over the past years and although his features were still pointed, he didn’t look like a rat, as he had before. Fortunately, he wasn’t quite as scrawny. He’d never look athletic and lean like Harry, his shoulders now being too broad, but he was nothing for Harry to be ashamed of, he thought happily to himself.
They rounded the corner and Piers stopped, gesturing dramatically to the clearing.
Harry blinked. “There’s nothing there,” he stated.
Piers rolled his eyes before grabbing a blanket out of his russack. “We’re meant to stargaze,” he stated importantly. “I thought you take astronomy at school.”
Harry smiled slightly and sat down on the blanket, resting his head back on his arms. “I do.”
Piers lay down next to him and stared at Harry’s profile and not the stars. “Name them for me?” he asked quietly.
Harry turned toward him and smirked. Piers gazed on Harry’s face, his eyes tracing the dark circles that even the darkness couldn’t completely hide. His face was pinched, almost unhealthy looking, though Piers supposed it was because Harry had hit a rather sudden growth spurt over the past month or so, though that didn’t explain why Harry always looked as if he hadn’t slept at all. “Are you going to look at me or at the constellations?”
“Both,” Piers stated confidently and Harry laughed quietly. “Teach me.”
“Well,” Harry began self-importantly, playing along, “the one that looks like a ‘w’ is Cassiopeia. She’s a queen.” He turned to look back at Piers who was clearly looking at him and not where he was pointing. “You are a horrible student,” Harry remarked.
Piers smiled. “I’m not too bad. Get decent marks.”
Harry nodded and dropped his arm, neither of them paying attention to the sky anymore.
“Can I kiss you?” Piers chewed his bottom lip nervously, though his eyes never left Harry’s.
“I thought you already kissed me.”
“No—I mean, yes, I did.” Piers reached out and entwined his fingers in Harry’s long hair. “I meant can I kiss you for real? Like your boyfriend or fiancé.”
“You are my fiancé,” Harry stated as if it were obvious.
Piers grinned in the darkness and nudged closer. “Is that a ‘yes,’ then?”
“Will it hurt?” Harry asked quietly.
Startled, Piers pulled away. “What?”
“It’s just—we had this ball over Christmas. They called it Yule. They’re heathens, all of them, I swear. There isn’t even a church,” he rambled and Piers allowed him. He liked hearing Harry’s voice. “Can you imagine? I tried to get permission first year to go into the village—the only village for miles around—to take the sacrament and there wasn’t one. We don’t even have a chaplain. So wrong. I had to have Father Drummond petition on my behalf to have the Eucharist sent to me. They had to compromise and send someone twice a year to a town ten miles away to give it to me.”
“That’s why you wanted me to send you that book of sermons first year,” he teased.
“I was going into withdrawal,” Harry drawled, his eyes flashing.
“You just missed Sister Anne.” He sobered instantly, thinking on just how pretty Sister Anne actually was.
“Don’t worry, Piers,” Harry murmured, wiggling closer. “I love you.” Harry’s rough fingers ran against his jaw line and Piers inhaled sharply.
“Is that a ‘yes,’ then?”
Harry bit his lip, unconsciously mimicking Piers, before nodding.
Warm lips pressed against his, and Harry pushed himself closer into Piers’s arms. “Hmm, this is nice,” he mumbled before Piers’s grip tightened in his hair, angling his head upward slightly. The kiss was still chaste but it was more than the brief brush of skin that he was used to. Piers’s body was pressed against his own, their legs tangled up with each other. Breaking away, Harry breathed in deeply. “That didn’t hurt.”
“Why would it?” Piers asked, confused.
Harry blushed. “That ball—the heathen one—” he began.
“Did someone kiss you?” Piers asked, aghast. Before Harry could answer, he pressed himself against Harry again and claimed his lips possessively, his tongue snaking out as he teased Harry’s lower lip, begging silently for entrance.
Harry moaned, opening his mouth, and Piers sighed as he felt the warm heat of Harry’s mouth. His body became awash with sensation as he explored Harry’s mouth and Harry’s tongue cautiously met his own, touching it lightly before darting away again.
“There he is,” a voice interrupted and Piers pulled away, grabbing at his bag and quickly pulling out a crowbar that he had brought to protect them.
“Who’s there?” he demanded as he glanced around.
Harry fumbled for something in his pockets and Piers stared, incredulous, when he brought out a smooth stick.
“A piece of wood?” he murmured to himself before quickly snapping his attention back to the people who were standing around them. Eight strangely dressed people stood around them, all pointing smooth sticks at them and Piers’s eyes widened as he realized that light was coming from them. “Harry?” he questioned.
“Why weren’t you at your aunt’s house, Potter?” a man who looked like he was missing a piece of his nose growled at Harry.
Piers snorted despite the situation. “That bitch. Did you know that her lawns are still green, Harry? We’re in a drought and her lawns are green, goddamn it!”
“Piers!” Harry admonished and Piers quickly crossed himself. “What would Reverend Drummond say if he could hear you?”
Several of the intruders exchanged glances. Harry was ignoring them, his stick-thing lowered and his attention solely on Piers.
“Sister Anne wouldn’t let me associate with you if she heard such language.”
“I’m sorry, Harry,” he murmured, though his eyes never left the eight? nine? people who were looking at them. “I only swear when I think about those people or anyone else who might want to hurt you—like that murdering godfather of yours.”
A few of the eccentric-looking people gasped at his words. Served them right. They should be astonished that Harry’s godfather had very probably murdered thirteen innocent souls!
“Hmmm,” Harry responded, his eyes flashing with some unreadable emotion.
“Why aren’t you at your aunt’s?” another man inquired. His clothes—if you could call them that—were worn and he was going prematurely gray.
“I’ve always lived at an orphanage,” Harry responded coldly.
The man’s eyes widened.
“What did you think would happen? Dumbledore left me in a basket on my aunt’s doorstep,” he spit out.
Piers reached out and entwined their fingers in comfort. “Do you know these people?”
“Some of them,” he said grudgingly. “They’re all godless,” he added. “Professor Lupin taught at my school.”
“Atheism is a trend,” Piers conceded, quoting a recent sermon.
The people continued to exchange glances worriedly. “They’re not atheists, they’re practically pagans. I’m being entirely serious. It’s disturbing.” He looked at the group. “What are you doing here then?”
“Sorry to interrupt your date,” a young woman with bright green hair said nervously. “I’m Tonks, by the way.”
Harry didn’t respond and instead waited for an answer.
She looked at him expectantly and then sighed. “We’re here to escort you to Headquarters.”
Piers snorted and the man glared at him sharply, frightening him slightly. “Sorry. It just sounds like something from a spy film.”
“Bond. James Bond,” Harry agreed quietly.
Piers sniggered. “That trailer was brilliant.”
In a louder voice, Harry stated, “I don’t know what this Headquarters place is and I’m certainly not going.”
“Harry,” the worn looking man who had spoken earlier said, “it’s for your safety.”
“I’m perfectly safe here, thanks,” he responded coldly, contempt in his eyes as he looked at the man. “I doubt Sister Anne or Sister Luke will permit me to leave, especially with strangers that I will not vouch for.”
“Sirius is there,” the man began again, but Piers interrupted this time.
“—Black? The convict on the run who left Harry to be raised in an orphanage?”
The man gulped and several people in the group shifted.
“Potter,” the frightening man growled. “Enough of this. It isn’t safe here.”
“I don’t think the Ministry will look kindly at kidnapping,” he said quietly, coolly, a slice of warning in his voice as he held tightly onto Piers’s hand, “especially since all of you are breaking the Statute of Secrecy by revealing yourselves to a Muggle.”
“He’s got a point,” a new woman said, lowering her stick, which now was no longer shining.
“Of course I have a point,” Harry snapped before getting to his feet. “Come on, Piers. We should go back to your dad’s.”
Piers looked at him, startled, but quickly obeyed, grabbing the blanket and stuffing it back in his bag.
“Harry, please,” the worn-looking man began again, but Harry cut him off.
“You lost all rights to have a say in my life when you allowed me to be left with Muggles, professor. Tell Dumbledore he has no control over my actions at all—no matter how much political power he has. I’m not his tool or plaything.”
He grabbed Piers’s hand possessively and hurried away from them, never looking back. Piers’s mind swam in confusion, but he soon forgot it when he found himself alone in his room with Harry ten minutes later, a firm body pressed against his as Harry hungrily kissed him as if Piers were the only thing separating him from insanity.
…Before the Half-Blood Prince…
Harry and Piers stood outside a large music store in London, their hands clasped. “Do you trust me?” Harry asked quietly, and Piers looked at him with confusion.
“Of course I do, Harry,” he whispered, leaning forward and pressing his lips against Harry’s lovingly.
“I know you’ve had questions over the years—and I couldn’t answer them. There are laws.”
Piers nodded. He had been confused, especially after the previous summer with the torches that were made of wood, but he had forced himself not to think about it. As soon as Harry had walked into his life, the bizarre had followed them, masking itself in the ordinary.
“I looked it up,” Harry admitted quietly. “Last year I looked it up. Although I’m not of age until next summer, I’m old enough to become engaged, and we’re allowed to tell those we marry. So, Piers, I have to know before I tell you anything else—will you marry me? Really?”
Piers’s lips thinned into a line and he looked at Harry intently, reading the emotions on Harry’s face. “You know I will,” he said just as quietly and Harry breathed out a sigh of relief.
“You can’t tell anyone. Not your parents or Stephen. If you wind up on trial—you can’t let anyone know, Piers.” He closed his eyes in pain. “It has to remain safe. Believe it or not, but lives are at stake. All of our lives.”
“Are you in trouble?” he asked worriedly, cradling Harry’s face in his hands.
He smiled slightly and shook his head. “No, not like how you mean. Do you remember those people from last summer? The ones with the magic torches?”
“Hard to forget.”
Harry smiled slightly. “True. They’re wizards, Piers. My parents were wizards—I’m a wizard.”
Piers gazed at him, his eyes widening in shock. “Those were wands?”
“And you do magic?”
“Light magic, yes, Piers.”
He let out a breath loudly. “Can you show me?”
Harry shook his head. “I can’t, not during the summers. It’s against our laws. You saw proof though last summer.”
Piers gulped. “What bit you—all those years ago?” he asked, fidgeting. “It was—magical, right? I knew it wasn’t a dog. It looked nothing like a dog bite.”
Harry smiled again. “A basilisk. A giant snake—they’re magical. There was one in a hidden chamber at my school, Hogwarts.” He gasped as he felt himself enveloped in warm arms.
“My God,” Peirs murmured into his ear before kissing it tenderly. “Thank all that is holy that God kept you safe.” He ran his hand up Harry’s back and wouldn’t let him go. “Do the nuns know?”
“They can’t. There’s an International Statute of Secrecy. If they found out, their memories would be erased—by magic. I can only tell you because we’re engaged. Only family can be told and, well, usually you’re supposed to wait until you get married.” He pulled away and ran his hand up Piers’s neck, “But I couldn’t do that to you, Piers. I was tired of not answering your questions and you only knowing a small sliver of my life.”
“I love you,” Piers whispered before leaning in and kissing Harry gently in the street. “Always love you.”
Harry rested his forehead against Piers, breathing in deeply. “There’s a war in my world, Piers, and it’s getting worse.”
“Yes. A horrible war. It’s complicated.”
“Everything always is with you.”
Harry huffed. “True.” He pulled away. “Come on. Let’s grab something at The Leaky Cauldron.” At Piers’s confused look, he elaborated, “It’s the entrance to our magical shopping district.”
Piers nodded and allowed Harry to drag him across the street and into a pub that he swore hadn’t been there a moment before.
“Wicked,” he whispered despite himself.
Harry laughed quietly. “Something wicked this way comes.”
“Double, double, toil and trouble—” Piers snickered. “In the immortal words of Queen, ‘It’s a kind of magic.’”
Harry rolled his eyes.
They approached the bar and Harry smiled at the barkeep kindly, who set a newspaper aside. “Could we have two Butterbeers, Tom?”
“‘Course you can,” he said and Piers glanced at the discarded paper before snatching it up quickly.
“H-harry. You’re on the front page,” he said, astonished.
Harry leaned over and looked at it. “Yes. That happens a lot.”
Piers blinked at him in shock. “What do you mean it happens a lot?” He scanned the article. “They say you’re something called ‘The Chosen One’ and that you were in a battle last month!”
The few people scattered about looked at them in curiosity but Piers didn’t notice. He was too busy devouring the article. “Can I have this?” he asked Tom and quickly folded it when the man nodded before turning to Harry. His eyes narrowed. “That story—about that girl who was in love with you because you survived the ‘car crash,’ that’s that whole ‘Chosen One’ thing gone wrong, isn’t it?”
“You know Jesus Christ?” Harry asked in response.
“It wouldn’t be completely wrong to say that they see me as a kind of Christ figure.”
Gasps erupted around them but Harry and Piers were in their own world, staring at each other intently. Tom set their Butterbeers before them and picked up the coins Harry had placed on the counter, humming to himself and looking at the boy who was accompanying the Chosen One.
“They crucified Christ. The Jews had him crucified and the Romans did it for them.”
Harry glanced away not denying it.
“They’ve started already over the past few years, haven’t they?” Piers didn’t fully understand everything he was being told—but he knew one thing: he loved Harry, not in a childlike way as he first had. His adoration had grown over the years and he genuinely wanted to spend the rest of his life with the boy across from him.
Over the years, he knew Harry had been keeping secrets from him, but he trusted Harry and knew that he never lied, which was all that mattered. They never lied to each other and so if Harry said that these—wizards saw him as a savior or the Son of God or gods or whatever, then they strangely did. “Darling,” he whispered, pulling Harry to him and resting his forehead against Harry’s.
Harry relaxed into his touch.
“There’s a good side though,” he said cheekily, looking into Piers’s dark eyes.
“There’s a good side to being a magical Christ and having this—You Know Who wanting you dead?”
“No, there’s no good side to that. Wizards are pagans, actually, if they have a religion,” he shivered.
“You said that last year.”
“I can’t get over it,” he protested. “What would Sister Anne say?”
“She’d call you her little missionary and tell you to go out and convert the hoards.”
Harry snorted, pressing himself closer to Piers. “True.”
“What’s the good side then?”
“We can get legally married here. Muggles—er, non-magical people—wouldn’t recognize it, but it would be legal as long as we’re both seventeen.”
Piers smiled brightly and Harry, not caring about their audience, kissed him gently. “There’s something to say for godlessness,” Piers teased and Harry laughed, releasing the tension.
“Did you know Holy Water works though? That girl I told you about—the one who got herself trapped in that cellar—got herself possessed and I managed to destroy the thing possessing her with actual Holy Water.”
Piers laughed openly, grabbing the chilled bottle of butter-something and taking a swig. “Really?”
“Do I even want to know why you had Holy Water?”
“I asked Sister Anne before I went to school for my second year. Said I wanted to be prepared for anything. I am her favorite, after all.”
…before the Deathly Hallows…
Harry and Piers fell into the honeymoon suite, slamming the door behind them. “I love you,” Piers breathed as he kissed Harry’s mouth, his hands clasping his husband of only thirty minutes to him possessively.
“What would Sister Luke say?” Harry laughed as he quickly undid the tie around Piers’s neck before dropping it hastily on the floor. It wasn’t needed after all.
“What would Dad say if he knew we’d just tied the knot and were in a hotel in Cornwall?”
“We left a note.”
Piers laughed into the kiss before yanking Harry’s shirt out of his trousers. He was wearing some weird robe-cloak-thing. According to Harry these were traditional wizarding dress robes and entirely appropriate for his wedding. Piers thought they were an excuse to wear far too many layers of clothing.
He had worn a tux, which he thought had too many layers, as well, but at least he wasn’t wearing a damn cloak-thing.
“He and Stephen will think it’s a joke.”
“It was hastily written,” Harry conceded as he pushed Piers’s jacket off his shoulders. It got stuck around his elbows, forcing Piers to release his grasp on his husband and awkwardly pull it off himself, leaving it in a crumpled pile on the floor.
“I thought it was inspired,” he whispered huskily in Harry’s ear, causing him to shiver.
“Er—right,” Harry gasped, trying to think as hands touched his bare skin under his shirt. “‘Ran off to get married. Be back Friday after marathon sex’ could have been worded more appropriately.”
“It got all of the important information across. And they have my mobile number.” Piers was tired of the robe and tugged it off of Harry quickly, leaving it somewhere where it was sure to get crushed. They still hadn’t quite made it to the bed yet.
“Mobile!” Harry screeched as if he just remembered it. “Turn that thing off, Piers.”
He laughed quietly and made short work of Harry’s white tie. It was a little too pristine and virginal in Piers’s opinion—like Harry. He would soon change that. “It’s already off, love, for the service.”
Harry sighed in relief. “I’ve waited too long for this to have some Muggle device interrupt us.”
Piers laughed against Harry’s clothed shoulder, his hands working on the buttons that were keeping him from Harry’s chest. “How long do we have?”
“The wedding’s at three,” he gasped back as Piers began to suck on a spot beneath Harry’s right ear.
“Plenty of time then.” His fingers ran into Harry’s messy hair, two rings glinting in the light—one a dulled sterling silver, the other a shining white gold torque ring. They both sat on his fourth finger. “Who stole our date again?”
“Fleur Delacour,” Harry moaned, his hands running along Piers’s shoulder blades, “and one of the Weasleys.”
Piers smirked. “What will the youngest—Weasley, was it?—say when you turn up with your new husband of only a few hours?”
“Cry probably,” Harry laughed, shifting under Piers’s caresses.
“Who’s this Fleur girl then?” He smiled mischievously as he kissed the side of Harry’s slightly exposed neck, delighting in the gentle gasps he was eliciting from his husband.
“Met her—fourth year—we were ch-champions together—right there!” He breathed in harshly before kissing Piers hungrily, their tongues entwining clumsily in their passion. “I love you so much,” Harry swore as he kicked off his shoes and, getting impatient, took off his trousers and boxers in one movement, leaving himself completely naked except for his socks.
Piers stilled, taking in the sight before him. Harry was absolutely beautiful to him.
Harry bit his lip. “Piers?” he asked softly and Piers snapped out of his thoughts and kissed Harry deeply.
“What did I ever do to deserve you?” he wondered aloud as they fell across the bed, Piers quickly pulling his shirt and trousers off.
They gasped as they settled next to each other on the bed, their naked bodies pressed against each other for the first time.
“I’m beginning to think abstinence was a bad thing,” Harry mewled as he arched into the sensation. “This is too—much.”
Piers breathed harshly as his hands ran down Harry’s back and cupped his backside so that they were even closer together. “You never would have,” Piers sighed as he kissed Harry gently. “You wouldn’t be the man I love if you weren’t so obscenely moral and religious.”
Harry smiled against his mouth. “You wouldn’t be the man I love if you didn’t support it completely, even though I’ve been driving you crazy all month.”
Piers chuckled at the memories of the past weeks. They had had to establish a pillow barrier for whenever Harry slept over and even then Piers found himself having to remove himself to the living room couch because Harry had just been too tempting, sleeping trustingly next to him. Stephen had, of course, laughed when he had found him, going on about “young love” and “devout orphans” while making them breakfast.
He had barely slept the past month, especially since Harry had come back one day from London with a copy of his Living Will and Testament, in case he didn’t come out of the conflict in the wizarding world. Piers had held him closely all night, silent tears running down both of their faces as they kissed softly—but he wouldn’t think about that now, he couldn’t.
“Did you read that book I got you?” he asked, pulling away slightly before reaching over the side of the bed for his bag, which had lubricant and condoms in it.
“The one I had to hide from the sisters and all my friends?” Harry asked. “Course I read it. I wasn’t going to go into this completely ignorant.”
Piers smiled and kissed the tip of his nose. “Alright—how do you want to—we can do whatever and only whatever you want, Harry,” he said nervously and Harry smiled lovingly up at him.
Taking the box of condoms, he stared at them before chucking them over his shoulder. “I trust you, Piers. I know you’ve never been with anyone,” he whispered softly before pulling his husband down for a hungry kiss. “Just make love to me,” he requested as he purposefully thrust against his husband. “Make it so I can feel you, my love.”
…Twenty Years Later…
Harry James Polkiss smiled as he got out of the car, his bright emerald eyes looking around King’s Cross as memories assailed him.
“Weird to be back?” a strong voice asked close behind him, and he turned and saw his husband standing behind him with a trolley holding a trunk.
“Yes,” he admitted quietly before turning back to the car. “Come on, Felicity,” he called. “You can hold your kitten if she won’t go back into her cage.”
A small “meep” emitted from the automobile and, a few moments later, a girl with black hair and blue eyes came out, a smile on her face. “Thanks, Daddy,” she whispered before handing Harry the empty carrier.
Piers smiled at the pair happily. They looked so much alike, and he had never regretted his decision to have a child with his husband using artificial insemination and a birth mother. A Muggle-born witch had actually been the carrier—a fan of Harry’s who had happily signed away all rights and several privacy contracts just for a chance to say ‘thank you’ to the wizard who had saved the wizarding world. Harry was born to be a loving and doting father, and Piers was glad that he had given Harry the family he had one promised when they were eleven.
“Do you have your Holy Water?” Piers teased his daughter and Felicity’s eyes brightened.
“Of course I do. I am Sister Anne’s favorite, after all,” she stated proudly as they made their way to the magical barrier.
“True, you are,” Piers responded though he looked into Harry’s eyes. “Ready?” he inquired softly.
“As long as you’re here,” he murmured back, the truth of his words clearly written on his face and with a deep breath, the family stepped into the magical world.