Title: Down the Rabbit Hole
Summary: AU HP5, HP6. Their love started out like a whisper—quiet and almost not there. It was the summer before his fifth year and somehow Viktor had found him and chosen to follow him to Privet Drive. Harry/Viktor.
Warnings: AU, underage sexual activity, depression, jealousy, lewis carroll references, character death (canon).
It started out like a whisper—quiet and almost not there. It was the summer before his fifth year and somehow Viktor had found him and chosen to follow him to Privet Drive. Harry had seen him off a few days before on the Durmstrang Ship, had seen Hermione go off with Viktor and thought little of it.
He found it truly startling one evening when he wandered to the park off of Magnolia Crescent and Viktor had been sitting on a swing, waiting for him. Viktor had strangely looked at place in his Muggle clothing that someone must have helped him pick out. They didn’t say a word to each other apart from a nod of the head, and Harry found himself swinging beside an International Quidditch star as if they both weren’t famous, weren’t sought out by wizards and witches alike, as if they had never before met.
Harry had wondered about it for a few days, but had convinced himself it must have been a dream, a symptom of all of his sleepless nights, but about a week later, Viktor was there again, waiting for him on the swing.
“Heard from Hermione?” Harry asked casually, scuffing his uppers against the dry dirt. There was a drought on and everything was suffering—except for Aunt Petunia’s perfect lawn.
Viktor shrugged and Harry took it for a ‘yes.’
Ron and Hermione barely wrote to Harry and told him nothing, which frustrated him, but still Viktor came and visited him, and Harry never asked why, never really truly needing to know.
“Who’s that nice, wealthy looking young man?” Harry heard Aunt Petunia ask Uncle Vernon one evening at breakfast. “The tall, silent one who’s checked into the Empress and has been seen around here?”
Uncle Vernon inhaled some bacon and shrugged his beefy shoulders, showing he didn’t know.
“I think I’ll ask him to coffee. He seems foreign—the best kind, Vernon,” she assured him. “The wealthy kind that probably has a title.”
Dudley continued to eat his breakfast, which was only a portion of a grapefruit as he was still on a diet.
Viktor wasn’t at the swings that day, but when Harry finally made his way home, he found Viktor sitting in Aunt Petunia’s sitting room, eating her special biscuits.
“Hi, Viktor,” Harry greeted casually when he looked in.
“You realize you haff guards on the house, yes?” he answered, ignoring the shocked look on Aunt Petunia’s horse-like face. “Vizards and this vone vitch who can change vot she is looking like.”
Harry paused, despite himself, and found himself hesitating in the doorway. “Really?”
“I thought you did not know.”
“Don’t you have practice?” Harry asked absently, now somehow in the room and stealing the rest of Viktor’s cookie as he was rather hungry from only eating fruit all summer. “The Vultures, right?”
“I am taking international floo vhen I am not visiting you.”
“Oh,” was all Harry could say.
Viktor wasn’t invited to coffee again.
The night before his fifteenth birthday, Harry was surprised when Viktor came to the door and knocked, asking him if he wanted to go to dinner. “You didn’t have to,” Harry insisted, but Viktor said nothing, his hand ghosting over Harry’s wrist.
Words, Harry supposed, weren’t needed between them.
Harry found himself in a deserted alley with Viktor’s arm wrapped securely around his waist, and felt a little light headed.
“This vill be unpleasant,” Viktor warned and Harry sighed before being tugged sickeningly through space only to land in a London alley.
Vitkor steadied him when he couldn’t quite stand and led him to a small Muggle restaurant where no one would know them. Harry found himself staring at Viktor’s lips as they barely spoke, and by the end of the night, Viktor had kissed him sweetly before walking him back to Privet Drive.
“What about Hermione?” Harry found himself asking just before going inside.
“Vot about Her-mo-ninny?” Viktor responded.
“She was what you would miss most—“
“Then perhaps, but it is no longer.”
A wrapped package was pressed into Harry’s hand, a birthday present.
Their eyes met and Harry found himself smiling, not quite certain what to think about the entire situation.
When the Order of the Phoenix arrived, they were not pleased, but Harry was just sitting on his bed, smiling down at the Snitch Viktor had given him. A note that had been included in the box told him it was the one he had caught at the World Cup.
Harry briefly wondered if this was what love felt like before he was whisked off in the dead of night on a broom. He tried to protest, but no one listened, and in the end a witch with bright pink hair packed his trunk and Hedwig was let out of her cage. Harry just had enough presence of mind to grab the Snitch so no one else could touch it, putting it carefully in his pocket.
“Did you break up with Krum?” was the first thing Harry thought to ask when he saw his best friends. He wasn’t angry at their treatment, although he knew he should be, just resigned. Hedwig had yet to arrive and he desperately wanted to write Viktor, to tell him he’d been practically abducted and was now in London and wished he were there as well.
“Did you hear, mate?” Ron was saying. “There were Dementors in Little Whinging and a member of the Order—a Mrs. Figg—died.”
Harry didn’t hear him. Instead he was just looking at Hermione whose brown eyes were wide in wonder.
“Hermione?” he pressed and she shrugged.
“He was going back to Bulgaria.”
“You didn’t answer my question—who broke up with who?” He wasn’t quite certain why it was so important, but it had been only a week between the last time Viktor saw Hermione and when he arrived on Magnolia Crescent.
She bit her lip momentarily. “He broke up with me, just after he asked me to go to Bulgaria, strangely.”
Harry nodded. “I have a letter to write,” he said dismissively when Ginny came to greet him. He found himself in a room with Ron and sat up on his bed all night, just staring at the Snitch that was now on his bedside table.
After the next Order meeting, which Harry couldn’t find it in himself to be interested in, everyone knew that Viktor Krum had been spotted several times near and around Privet Drive and had even taken Harry somewhere before he had been moved.
“That was terribly reckless of you,” Hermione said petulantly, a flash of jealousy in her eyes.
“He’s the son of a Marauder, what do you expect?” Sirius quipped back and Harry found himself smiling.
At night he found himself no longer dreaming of bright green light and death, but of the kiss. It had been soft, gentle, and yet undeniably masculine. Harry loved it and often woke up in the middle of the night having to take a cold shower.
Viktor wrote and told him that he had moved up to a Muggle hotel in London and, a week before term began, Harry found himself sneaking out of Grimmauld Place and calling a Muggle taxi, promising payment as soon as he arrived at his destination as he didn’t have any Muggle money. Viktor met him eagerly, paying the driver and drawing Harry into an unhurried kiss on the street, and Harry felt his heart soar. He wasn’t quite certain what everything meant, but he knew he was happy.
He didn’t go back that night or the next, not caring what everyone thought. They hadn’t asked him if he wanted to leave Privet Drive, after all, and hadn’t even noticed when he slipped out of a party that celebrated the fact that he and Hermione had been made Gryffindor Prefects.
Words weren’t spoken, but Harry saw everything he needed to in Viktor’s eyes and every night they slept chastely in each other’s arms, their days spent traveling about the city. When Viktor was back in Bulgaria, Harry would sit on the balcony with a cup of black coffee and would just watch people move about the street below him.
The day before term started, Harry walked beside Viktor as they made their way back to Grimmauld Place, hand in hand. “Are we—together,” Harry found himself asking insecurely, “despite the fact we’ll be in different countries?”
Harry was wearing some of Viktor’s clothes, his own horrible Muggle clothing having been thrown away the day after he ran away. The slacks had been magically tailored to fit him and the gray shirt made his eyes seem greener.
Viktor squeezed his hand, tracing Harry’s knuckles with his thumb. It was the only answer Harry needed.
They parted with a gentle kiss on the corner of Grimmauld Place and Harry sadly made his way back to Sirius’s family home, a drag in his step. The portrait shrieked as soon as he entered, alerting everyone to his presence, and soon he was surrounded by people asking questions he could barely hear. He didn’t bother to answer any of them and instead rushed up to his room where everything was where he left it.
All during the prefect meeting, Hermione was staring at him but Harry just ignored her, thinking instead of Viktor who had probably returned to Bulgaria by then. Ron hadn’t spoken a word to him since he was the only one of three friends not to be made Prefect, and Harry couldn’t bring himself to mind. He felt separated from Ron and Hermione, their letters so short and vague, and his world had strangely become centered around his boyfriend in such a short amount of time.
He found himself in a compartment with a bunch of first years, not wanting to deal with any more questions from Hermione, Ginny, or even the twins, and spent the entire train ride staring out the window when he wasn’t on patrol, wondering why he felt like he was living in a dream, now that Viktor was gone.
Malfoy, he noticed, was even watching him warily when they passed each other on patrol. Neither of them said a word to each other. Words didn’t seem to be needed for much of anything anymore. Eyes, instead, told the truth.
When Christmas came after long months of torturous detentions and strange dreams of long, winding corridors, Harry refused the invitation to go to the Burrow. Ginny asked him where he was going instead when she saw he hadn’t signed up to stay at the castle, but he only smiled at her wistfully before turning away.
Hermione was now only speaking to him a few times a day, if that. She had wanted Harry to start up a Defense group when Umbridge turned out to be a joke, but Harry had refused, turning back to an essay he was writing.
“Why not?” she had pleaded, but he had merely shrugged. “That’s not an answer,” she huffed.
“Mum and Dad were Head Boy and Girl,” he said quietly. “I need to study.” He left unsaid that if he couldn’t speak to Viktor, he didn’t really want to speak at all.
Viktor told him in his letters that Hermione had been writing to him all term, but that he hadn’t written back. At the beginning of December, Viktor had begun to send the letters back unopened, which caused an argument between Ron and Hermione. Harry watched it impassively as Ginny had, strangely, watched him.
The night before he got on the train to return home, he had a strange nightmare. He was once again in the winding corridor, slithering, and strong emotions for the first time in months flooded through him as he attacked Mr. Weasley again and again, leaving him dead on the ground. He awoke in a dead sweat, frightened, and looked over at Ron who was sleeping soundly.
It was only a dream, he reminded himself, feeling his breathing calm as he settled into the familiar feeling of disquiet and a dull throbbing love for Viktor in his chest. Only a dream.
On his patrol of the Hogwarts Express, he was surprised not to see any of the Weasleys, but thought little of it as the train neared London. He quickly changed into Viktor’s clothes he still had from that summer after his last turn around the corridors, and when they finally arrived at King’s Cross, he was among the press of students that surged onto the platform. He looked about hastily and saw a group of Order members near the exit and Viktor scowling nearby.
Words didn’t need to be spoken as their eyes met and with a tilt of his head, Viktor indicated he should walk away from the portal to the Muggle station. Harry found himself weaving against the crowd, his charmed trunk in one hand and Hedwig’s cage in another. A strong arm grabbed him around his waist and, with a tug at his navel, they were gone.
Hedwig was not happy when they landed in a heap in a cold, frozen field somewhere far away from London, but Harry cooed to her and promised her treats when they arrived at their destination. Viktor quickly claimed his trunk and Harry found himself led toward a cottage at the end of the lane that Viktor whispered he had purchased earlier that Autumn.
They were just outside of Sofia and no one could find them there, Viktor promised.
That night Harry sat in the warm kitchen, a smile on his face, as Viktor moved around the room, making them dinner. Every few moments he would look back at Harry and a small smile would brighten his surly face.
In the firelight he almost seemed handsome to Harry.
There was only one small bedroom, but Harry didn’t mind, entwining his limbs with Viktor’s as several quilts hid them from the world. Viktor kissed him deeply, making Harry quietly moan into the night, a warmth flooding into the pit of his stomach and making his toes curl. A slithering need overtook him and he found himself pressing closer, closer, a Cheshire Cat grin on his face when Viktor gripped him almost painfully before he was kissing Viktor again, deeper, deeper, tongues entwining as Harry shivered in ecstasy.
“Sorry,” he whispered when Viktor groaned his own release, biting his lip in worry. Viktor only took out his wand and cleaned them up before pulling Harry closer, kissing him deeply once more.
Every night Harry would find them tangled around each other, hands tentatively stroking necks and pressing against chests and thighs, but never where they most needed it. Skin never quite touched skin, but it was enough for now, and every night Harry would fall asleep contented in Viktor’s arms.
He couldn’t find it in himself to be surprised when he didn’t receive his usual Weasley sweater for Christmas, though Hermione did send him a planner. A hurried letter from Sirius insisted that he come back, that they were worried, that it was dangerous, but Viktor took it and burnt the letter in the fire before laying down Harry on the hearth rug, kissing him passionately, the rest of the presents left unopened until later.
A few days before he had to go back, Harry told Hedwig to fly back to Hogwarts as he was certain she wouldn’t appreciate an international Portkey again.
One morning they went flying in the warded field where Muggles couldn’t see them, and Harry felt truly happy. He remembered a story he had heard once as a child, about falling down a rabbit hole, a little girl lost in a world full of wonder and horror, and he felt truly free in the moment, flying down his own rabbit hole every time he caught Viktor’s dark gaze.
Before they left for England, Viktor pressed his belated Yule present in his hand and Harry had been surprised to see a key to the cottage curled within his fingers.
“I bought it for us,” Viktor calmly explained at the question in Harry’s eyes. “For our future life.”
Harry wanted to ask him if Viktor meant forever, but he saw the answer clearly in Viktor’s shining eyes. They kissed deeply as the Portkey took them away, back to London, before reluctantly separating. Viktor carried Harry’s trunk into King’s Cross and, with a final unspoken farewell, Harry walked onto platform nine and three-quarters, the key still nestled in his hand.
“Where were you?” Hermione demanded as soon as he entered the prefect’s compartment. “Why didn’t you write anyone back?”
Malfoy looked up in undisguised interest.
“Home. I was home.” Harry didn’t need to say anything else.
“Did you know Mr. Weasley died?” she asked once they were on patrol. A flicker of a dream crossed Harry’s mind, but he shrugged it off. “The Ministry’s shameful. He was found in a restricted section and now, even though he’s dead, he’s under investigation.”
When Harry wasn’t practicing Quidditch or patrolling, he found himself in a corner of the library, writing his essays or long letters to Viktor. He kept the key on a strap of leather around his neck. In early January Ginny, who had found his secluded table, asked him about it.
“It’s rather elaborate for a key,” she remarked. It had fallen out of Harry’s unbuttoned shirt, his tie abandoned on the tabletop. It was a solid silver, the key clearly magical and shimmering, several notches in the long stem the only indication that it might, in fact, be a key to something. “What’s it to?”
He didn’t want to answer her at first, but when she persisted, he simply whispered, “my heart.”
Harry’s second week back, he found himself called to the Headmaster’s office and sat quietly in the chair before his desk, looking at the sleeping portraits. “We were worried about you this Christmas,” Dumbledore said quietly from his seat.
His tray of sherbet lemons remained untouched.
Harry smiled thinly at him. It didn’t quite reach his eyes.
“Where were you?”
Dumbledore wasn’t quite looking in Harry’s eyes, which might have frightened him if he hadn’t felt the cold key pressed against his chest, reminding him of the cottage back in Bulgaria.
“Mr. Weasley,” the Headmaster began again, “was attacked by an agent of Lord Voldemort. It’s not safe to go wandering about, Harry.”
“I wasn’t wandering.—Have I been neglecting my schoolwork or my Prefect duties?”
“Quite the reverse. Professor McGonagall has informed me of your marked improvement this year in your classes and has cited that it was a wise decision to choose you as Prefect.”
He nodded. When Dumbledore saw he wouldn’t answer any more questions, he dismissed Harry with a sigh, his blue eyes lingering on an old Muggle classic on his desk, a white rabbit running across the cover.
Educational Decree after Educational Decree was posted, but Harry barely noticed. He rarely spoke in Defense Class, musing how pointless the assignments were while drafting letters to Viktor in his head that he would write later that evening by the warm fire. Occasionally he would get owls from Sirius, but he would look at them impassively, answering them and saying he was well, but never revealing where he had gone for Christmas or during that week the previous summer.
He and Ron had drifted apart and Harry found himself often sitting in the presence of Dean Thomas. “I talked to Mum over Christmas,” he said one night in March. “She said that Dad wasn’t my dad. My father was someone else who just walked out on her and then she remarried. I think—from what she said—that he might have been a wizard.”
Harry’s quill stilled and he looked up, staring at his friend. “Did she tell you his name?”
“No,” was the quiet answer. They never spoke of it again.
The twins were up to their usual pranks and one night created a glowing caterpillar that floated above the mantle. Harry stared at it in wonder and wrote to Viktor, who wanted to know what Harry wanted to name the cottage as he was thinking of connecting it to the Bulgarian Floo Network.
Harry suggested “The Rabbit Hole” or “Wonderland” and sent an order to Flourish and Blotts for a copy of the tale, asking them to acquire one from Muggle London if necessary. When it finally arrived, Harry carefully inscribed it at the breakfast table, Hermione staring over his shoulder.
“You write to Viktor?” she breathed in shock, a few heads turning their way.
He didn’t bother answering her and when Hedwig flew in a little while later, he attached the rewrapped package to her foot and whispered to her the destination.
The dreams continued, more and more in detail, Harry always walking down the same corridor and coming to a door that he could never quite open. He found himself drinking black coffee every morning to help him focus and as exams approached he spent more and more time in the library, away from everyone else.
“I think Ron might fail a few O.W.L.s,” Hermione said worriedly when she found him in the library a few weeks before they were due to sit them. Harry had laid out a tarot deck and was attempting to teach himself two year’s worth of the art, constantly looking at either his future or Viktor’s. He turned over the four of wands and smiled. It appeared Viktor’s team might win the match that weekend.
She scoffed as he reshuffled the pack Professor Trelawney had gladly leant him when he asked her for it, saying he wanted to properly prepare.
“Divination’s a woolly subject.”
Harry quickly laid a new, simple spread. Nine of cups reversed, the five of pentacles, two of swords reversed. “You might be right,” he said staring at the cards. “I don’t think he’s going to do well.”
He made a note of it in a small book he’d begun keeping for Divination. The more he’d studied it, the more curious he became as to whether his predictions would come true.
“Cho was looking for you,” Hermione offered, trying to change the topic.
He didn’t bother to answer.
“I think she fancies you.”
His green eyes narrowed at his notes and he pressed his quill a little too hard to his book. “I’d rather she didn’t,” he admitted.
“I thought you fancied her.”
When she didn’t get an answer, she finally took out her own homework, eyeing the thick book on crystal balls that Harry was now perusing.
History of Magic was the hardest exam, Harry found, as he tried to remember all the different Goblin Rebellions he had attempted to relearn. He found he had a headache coming on, and tried to push it away, forcing himself to see only the paper in front of him as he wrote about Uric the Oddball.
His hand was soon shaking as he wrote as quickly as possible, trying to stave off the headache that was soon turning into a migraine and somehow managed to finish the exam half an hour before it would be over. Quickly turning it in, hoping that it would make Viktor proud of him, Harry nearly ran out of the room, hurrying up to Gryffindor Tower where he could collapse for the rest of the day.
When he finally closed his eyes, he found himself rushing down the long corridor until the door opened. There were glowing orbs everywhere, shining brightly in the darkness like cat eyes.
“Sirius,” he gasped when he awoke, vividly remembering how close Sirius was to death.
He made to rush down the stairs, but then hesitated. “It’s just a dream, just a dream,” he assured himself, trying to push the bone-chilling memory from his mind. He’d had strange dreams before.
Standing shakily, he walked back down to the common room and out the portrait hole.
“Harry!” Ginny called out, following him, and he tried to hold in a sigh. She had been strangely following him about. The further apart he and Ron grew, the closer she tried to become. “Where are you going?”
“Hospital wing,” he answered, thinking only of a dreamless sleep potion that he desperately needed before he could think of functioning again.
“Are you unwell?”
He couldn’t answer her, the vision of his godfather in his mind, although he was quietly thankful his stress hadn’t conjured the vision of Viktor trapped.
Madam Pomfrey bustled around him, looking at him closely before finally agreeing to give him the potion if he promised to spend the night to be monitored. He happily agreed, especially as she shooed Ginny away, and after changing into his pajamas he fell blessedly asleep.
He awoke over twenty-four hours later, finally refreshed, and was surprised at the silence in the common room when he returned. A copy of The Prophet was thrust in his hand with the large headline “You Know Who Returns.” He skimmed it quickly and swallowed. Members of the Order had engaged suspected Death Eaters in the lower levels of the ministry.
Voldemort himself had appeared, hoping to gain a prophecy, although it appeared to have been broken when Dumbledore arrived and dueled with him.
When Dumbledore summoned him to his office a few days later when the full story had finally broken and Harry had been declared The Chosen One, Harry found himself instead walking the familiar steps to the Hospital Wing.
“Still can’t sleep, Mr. Potter?” she tutted and he nodded. He didn’t awaken fully again until the night before they were supposed to leave for the summer. Harry was thankful he had already sent an owl to the Dursleys telling them he had other plans and wouldn’t be bothering them that year.
“Where are you spending your summer?” Dean asked when he settled into a compartment with him and Seamus after his rounds.
“Keep a secret?” Harry smiled, relaxing a little in his seat just at the thought of how soon he would see Viktor. “I’ve been seeing someone and I’m visiting over the summer.”
He knew Viktor wouldn’t be waiting, it would be too risky if the Order saw him again, so Harry instead walked into Muggle London and, after hailing a cab, took it to the Leaky Cauldron. He managed to sneak through the entryway and with a dab of Floo Powder and the whispered words, “The Rabbit Hole,” found himself spinning toward Bulgaria and into Viktor’s waiting arms.
That night he stretched beneath Viktor in their bed, the windows open and letting in the cool summer breeze. He tentatively tugged at the hem of Viktor’s sleep shirt, sliding his hands up the toned expanse of Viktor’s stomach, delighting in the way his muscles flexed and his skin shivered beneath his touch. Viktor claimed his mouth in a powerful kiss, pulling him deeper and deeper in their dream world, safe and hidden away from everyone.
The silent darkness swallowed their moans as shirts were thrown to the floor and limbs entangled with each other. Hands caressed, lips ghosted over shoulder blades, and with the whisper of names, the night brightened briefly into stars before darkening again, Harry snuggling deeper into Viktor’s embrace.
“You are sixteen soon, no?” Viktor asked a few days later as they walked around Muggle Sofia, neither wanting to be recognized.
They had barely spoken, words were still not needed, only quiet touches and long, searching looks in their quiet life as Viktor made them breakfast or Harry worked on his summer school work.
“The end of the month,” Harry responded, glancing into a shop window where Viktor had hesitated. Gold and silver rings were on display and he looked up questioningly at Viktor.
“In Bulgaria, vone can marry vhen vone turns sixteen,” he whispered, coming up behind Harry.
Harry gasped, a small sound and yet it hovered between them.
The question went unasked, and in answer Harry turned and kissed him gently before Viktor led him into the shop, gentle smiles on each of their faces.
A letter from Dumbledore arrived less than a week later when they were sitting out in the Rabbit Field, as Harry had affectionately named it, staring down at the wedding band that they had chosen together. It was nestled in its box, untouched, unworn, but it was only a matter of weeks before a wizard would officiate the ceremony.
He and Viktor had decided to tell no one, invite no one. The officiating wizard had been chosen carefully, paid for his silence and made to take an unbreakable vow that he would never reveal the marriage until either Harry or Viktor gave him permission.
The owl was exhausted from the flight and carefully he took the letter, reading it over in disgust.
“Vot is it?” Viktor asked from beside him. He was wearing his Quidditch practice uniform, having to leave in less than half an hour, but wanting to spend every moment possible with Harry.
“He wants to pick me up from the Dursleys’,” he glanced at the date again, “tomorrow, it seems.”
“You vill not be there.”
“No I won’t.”
His O.W.L. results soon arrived when Viktor’s team was playing another. Harry was sitting in the cozy living room, the Wizarding Wireless tuned to the game although he couldn’t understand the fast Bulgarian the announcer was speaking. Still, he liked hearing the name “Krum” whenever it was mentioned, imagining himself flying high in the skies with his fiancé.
He looked at the official looking envelope and, hesitantly, opened it before gasping. Apart from the Exceeds Expectations in Astronomy, Potions, Herbology, and History of Magic, he’d managed to somehow scrape Outstandings in everything else. He’d received all nine O.W.L.s, nearly as impressive, he knew, as Hermione had probably received as she had taken ten courses.
That night as Harry lay in Viktor’s arms, breathlessly kissing him, his hands entwined in his dark hair, he begged him with his eyes to make love to him.
“You’re not off age,” Viktor protested, his hands skimming down to Harry’s waistband but going no further.
“I want to celebrate,” Harry whined as Viktor’s leg slid between his, putting exquisite pressure on his arousal.
Viktor only kissed him more deeply, trapping Harry beneath him and swallowing every gasp and moan Harry made.
As the day slowly approached, Harry found himself spending more and more time just lying in the green grass of the Rabbit Field, staring as the clouds passed by, wondering at how much had changed in a year.
Whenever letters arrived for him, he would set them aside and they would disappear into rare fires whenever Viktor returned from his practices and games. The ones from his godfather he would patiently read and respond to carefully, never giving any information away.
The last day of July dawned cold and crisp for a summer day, and Harry quietly dressed while Viktor still slept, unable to fall back into restless dreams. The sun calmly rose as he made breakfast, Viktor’s Cheshire cat purring at his feet, bringing a smile to his face.
A pile of birthday gifts sat unwrapped on the table, most of them from people back in England. Harry wasn’t certain he would be opening them.
The ceremony was simple and held in the living room in front of the fire. Viktor and Harry didn’t exchange words, instead using a silver knife to cut their hands, their blood joining as they fed each other from the same pomegranate, binding themselves to each other until they should die. The officiating wizard cast the necessary spells and, once he left, they placed the cool rings on each other’s fingers, which was strictly a Muggle tradition that Viktor had chosen to follow for Harry.
Kisses filled with pomegranate juice led them upstairs, and Harry gasped when he was finally touched, completely loved, and they made love late into the night. The indestructible marriage certificate was secreted away to Viktor’s vault the next morning as Harry slept, too exhausted to awaken until the afternoon when his husband was waiting for him.
“I need to go to London,” Harry whispered against Viktor’s bare shoulder a few evenings later. “To get my books.”
Viktor stirred and looked at him, eyes assessing, before nodding. “I vas afraid off such. You vill be recognized and they vill come.”
Harry flinched. “I know.”
Nothing else needed to be said. Words were unimportant.
They left the Rabbit Hole a few days later, Harry dressed in some of Viktor’s summer robes. He’d insisted that while they were in England Harry would receive a proper wardrobe, and Harry couldn’t find it in himself to protest.
Harry fell, a tangle of arms, out of the international floo into Viktor’s waiting arms, and pulled himself up. People noticed them wherever they went, the two most recognizable and famous wizards of their generation, but they didn’t pay attention, instead laughing as they picked out Harry’s many textbooks and fought good naturedly over colors for Harry’s robes.
“Harry,” Ginny gasped when the Weasleys walked into Madam Malkin’s and he instantly found he had an armful of ginger hair. “Where have you been? We’ve all been worried.”
Ron didn’t look at him, instead pulling Hermione into a corner of the shop where she sent Harry longing and confused looks.
“Dumbledore has been displeased,” Mrs. Weasley chided, but Harry didn’t listen, instead using the opportunity to sneak a blue color sample to Madam Malkin that Viktor thought wouldn’t do him justice.
“Bill’s engaged—to Fleur Delacour,” Ginny tried to whisper in his ear, but he pulled away, wondering what he had ever done to be cursed with Ginny.
A warm, calloused hand enveloped his and Harry looked up into dark smiling eyes. In the end, a guard from the Order arrived and Harry found himself clinging to Viktor as he was trapped in Madam Malkin’s shop with no escape route.
“I love you,” Harry whispered, the words unspoken until then.
“I’ll find you,” Viktor swore against his hair before Harry was led away.
He found himself back at the Dursleys, locking himself in his room, his possessions still in Bulgaria except for the shopping bags from his trip to Diagon Alley. His robes would be sent in the next week. Hedwig found him a few days later and, when he finally managed to elude his Order guard, he found Viktor waiting for him on the old swing set.
His eyebrows were set in his tension and Harry quickly kissed his frown away, not caring who would see. His lips became insistent as he pressed himself closer to his husband, wanting, wanting, needing. “Get your things,” Viktor commanded and, with a backward glance, Harry rushed back to Privet Drive for his things before sneaking back out in the dead of night, to be whisked away to the Rabbit Hole.
Viktor laid him out in front of the fire and made love to him sweetly before the sun rose, causing Harry to gasp and beg for more, loving every moment he spent with Viktor inside of him.
A few days before term started, Harry kissed Viktor lovingly goodbye, promising without words to write, that he would be back for Christmas. Hedwig was sent ahead again and, with his luggage shrunk and secure within his pocket, Harry fell through the fireplace until he landed in his godfather’s kitchen, Kreacher snarling at him as well as a full Order meeting, Weasley twins included.
“Where have you been?” Sirius insisted, hugging him. His face was fuller, healthier, which made Harry smile gently.
“Home,” was the only answer he would give.
“Where is that, then?” Tonks inquired.
Harry left the room.
He wasn’t surprised when, his first week back at Hogwarts, he was called into Dumbledore’s office. The headmaster looked tired, worn, his hand singed an ugly charcoal, but Harry didn’t bother to ask about it. He had a full course schedule, nine NEWT-level classes as well as Prefect duty. Ron had huffed when Hermione had exclaimed over Harry’s schedule—as full as hers as she’d decided to drop Care of Magical Creatures, though Professor Kettleburn had returned fortunately. Ron was only taking four and focusing on trying out for the Quidditch team. Harry had been made Captain that year.
“Harry, I need to show you something—a prophecy,” Dumbledore began with a grim look on his face. “It is imperative that you understand.”
“Does it concern me?” Harry asked after a long moment.
Dumbledore inclined his head.
“Then, with all due respect, sir, I would rather not know. The future is fluid and there have been studies conducted that have shown that prophecies, once heard, can lock the participants into a certain future. I’m far too busy.”
“You cannot continually disappear, Harry, and you must be prepared.”
“Does this have to do with my curriculum, or my duties as Prefect or Quidditch Captain?” He could see the answer on Dumbledore’s face. “Goodnight, then, sir.”
Girls seemed to follow him wherever he went, a Romilda Vane in particular, and he found himself hiding whenever he had a spare moment, more often than not. McLaggen turned out to be an unlikely ally in that, as he would let Harry do his homework in the seventh year dorms. They had met at the new Potions Professor’s luncheon on the Hogwarts Express, where Slughorn had wanted to know everything there was to know about them. It had been quite disconcerting to Harry, especially as Ginny was sitting across from him.
Potions proved difficult, but he found himself suffering through it, trying to outdo Hermione just for the simple enjoyment of seeing her not always getting her way. He knew it was petty, but soon he found that Malfoy was trying to do the same, and they worked out a system so that they could always surprise her at the last moment.
At one of Slughorn’s many soirées, Hermione was the one to first notice the smooth silver band on his finger. He’d chosen it because it matched the key that still hung around his neck. “Harry,” she said, interrupting the meal. “Is that—I can’t believe I didn’t notice—but are you wearing a wedding band?”
Silverware clattered around them, but Harry continued to eat his roasted partridge.
“Wedding band?” Slughorn asked in curiosity.
“Muggles—and Muggle-borns, I assume—exchange rings when they’re married and, er, Harry seems to be wearing one.”
Ginny swallowed loudly.
“Well, Harry,” Slughorn was now saying. “My congratulations if it’s the truth.”
“Thank you, sir,” was all he said for the rest of the meal.
When Christmas approached again, Harry found himself hiding more than usual as speculation rose as to whom he would take to Slughorn’s Christmas Party. He knew he could just not go, but he found himself missing Viktor and wanting to fill the otherwise empty hours.
“You need to take someone,” Hermione insisted as they walked by Ron snogging Lavender—again.
“No, I don’t,”—and he didn’t.
Halfway through the party he found himself conversing with a vampire, Sanguini, about the properties of vampire blood.
“Fascinating,” Sanguini whispered as he took out the key from around Harry’s neck. “I haven’t seen a magical key like this in centuries.”
“I didn’t realize it was special.”
“It’s bound with blood. Only if you possess the blood on this key, either in your veins or with this object can you see or enter the house. Very dark, very vampiric.”
Harry smiled and quickly tucked the key away.
The snow was falling in London when he arrived, only to be snatched up before he completely exited the train and escorted to Twelve, Grimmauld Place. The entire Weasley clan was in residence, except for Percy, and Harry confined himself to his room, dreaming of Viktor.
“Harry,” Sirius said the first—and only—night he was there. “Hermione said that you might be married.”
He didn’t answer and continued to look out at the falling snow.
“James married early,” Sirius continued, sitting down on the mattress. “We had only graduated the summer before and just before his eighteenth birthday he married Lily. You’re only sixteen.”
“It’s legal in places other than England,” Harry finally offered, his eyes meeting Sirius’s in the candlelight.
When everyone was asleep, he slipped down the stairs and Flooed back to Bulgaria. Viktor was sitting sleeplessly in a chair and was instantly on his feet, pulling Harry roughly to him, kissing his lips desperately. They made love in the chair, Harry rocking against Viktor as he moaned desperately, teeth scraping against his collarbone. They were still wrapped around each other when the sun rose a few hours later.
They didn’t speak about it, words were unneeded, and instead went about their quiet life, taking tea every evening. Harry thought them like little tea parties, both he and Viktor mad in their own way, but happy to just be together in the quiet winter, down the rabbit hole.
“There’s suspicion that I’m married,” Harry mentioned the night before he was to return. He was lying across Viktor’s naked chest, kissing the toned muscles softly, his hands tracing up his strong arms.
“No vone can do anything,” Viktor whispered before making love to him again as the moon rose in the Bulgarian sky.
Harry became even quieter the second term. He noticed that Malfoy was preoccupied and his skin was a sickly gray tone, and even ran into him talking to Moaning Myrtle when he was trying to escape Romilda Vane yet again.
“Hello, Harry,” Myrtle greeted with a sniff. “You haven’t visited me in ages.”
“Sorry, Myrtle,” he apologized, running his hand through his hair, his ring glistening in the dull light.
“Oh, are you married?” she said excitedly, rushing up to him, her cold hands clasping his, or trying to.
Malfoy stared at him in wonder and Harry nodded. “Yes. It’s been difficult as no one really knows.—I doubt anyone would approve.”
Days turned into weeks, which in turn became months. A few times Dumbledore tried to summon him, but Harry decided to take the matter up with Professor McGonagall. “He never wishes to speak about Hogwarts or my place here. I think it’s inappropriate, especially as he has no say in my life outside of Hogwarts, Professor.”
She poured him a cup of tea, her witches hat straight on her head. Another impromptu tea party. They were each wearing their wizard caps.
“One might argue that you’re a rather special case, Mr. Potter,” she tried to reason, but he shook his head.
“I’m a student like any other, and I need boundaries set. He keeps on having me kidnapped and brought places during the holidays when I have my family’s permission to be elsewhere.”
She looked startled, but nodded. “I’ll see what I can do, Mr. Potter. You should know that your name is being considered for Head Boy,” she added after a pause and Harry truly smiled for the first time in months.
Spring came and Harry began to focus on Quidditch, remembering what it was like to fly with his beloved Viktor back in Bulgaria. His faithful Firebolt was often on his shoulder on a Saturday morning when he took a break from studying.
After winning a Quidditch game, there was a large party in Gryffindor and, much to his surprise, Ginny kissed him. He pushed her away, a look of horror on his face, and demanded to know why she had done that.
“I like you,” she whispered in the hushed silence, so many eyes staring at them as if he’d just proclaimed, “Off with her head!”
“I’m married—you know I’m married,” he shot back, still in shock.
Ginny left in tears, Hermione rushing quickly after her.
If Ron wasn’t really speaking to him before, now he was glaring at Harry every chance he got. Fortunately there were no more matches to be played that season, as Ginny would start sniffling whenever she was near him, and she was his best chaser. He groaned at the thought of having to work with her for another year.
Harry was sitting at the window of his dormitory when he saw the Dark Mark flare above the Astronomy tower. He hadn’t been able to sleep, dreaming of Viktor and the few short days that separated them being together.
Grabbing his wand, he rushed out of the tower. Death Eaters were everywhere, fighting students and teachers alike, and Harry found himself hurling hexes and dodging, hoping he wouldn’t die before seeing Viktor again.
When the battle was over, he collapsed on a bed in the infirmary, his arm aching from a bone crushing hex. The bones would have to be regrown painfully overnight, but he had survived. People were whispering around him—Dumbledore was dead—and he set his jaw at the thought.
McGonagall, with a quiet apology, didn’t allow Harry to ride the Hogwarts Express, but instead had him personally escorted back to Privet Drive with his belongings. He watched as impressive wards were cast on the small house at night and when he tried to leave, to get to Viktor, he found that he could not.
The Order finally arrived the day before his birthday, and he found himself flying through the sky, six other people spelled to look like him. He watched as Hedwig was murdered and silent tears fell down his face.
He wouldn’t stay here, couldn’t stay here—not where there was such death and all of his choices were taken from him. Harry didn’t speak a word when he arrived at the Burrow, and instead locked himself up in Ron’s room, quietly arranging his things. On his birthday he refused to come out, waiting for Fleur’s wedding the next day when he knew that Viktor would be arriving. He’d managed to convince Pigwidgeon to take a letter to Bulgaria for him, asking for Viktor to have him transferred to Durmstrang or Beauxbatons—anywhere away from England.
He now hated his own name, and was glad that he’d thought of himself as Harry Krum since Viktor had first made love to him a year before.
“Where’s your wife?” Ginny quietly asked him the night of his birthday, when he came out briefly to find food. “Why haven’t we seen her?”
Harry wouldn’t answer, aware that Mrs. Weasley and Hermione were watching him closely as he moved expertly around the kitchen, taking comfort in the familiar action.
“Does she kiss you like I did?”
Harry had to physically restrain himself from striking Ginny.
Her one kiss could never hope to compare to the intensity and gentle love of Viktor’s. Every night he dreamed of them, his body yearning the touch of his husband, and he had been trapped for over a month, first with the Dursleys and now here.
He was forced to attend the wedding as Cousin Barny, but Viktor still recognized him, pulling Harry forcefully against him in the middle of the crowd and kissing him desperately.
“Do you haff your trunk?” he demanded hotly and Harry nodded.
A moment later and they were rushing toward the house, laughing and smiling, and with a pinch of Floo Powder Viktor had brought, spinning away from the Burrow, down, down, down the Rabbit Hole, never to return.