HK05 of 25 files

Part the Fifth—
Can any mortal mixture of earth’s mould breathe such divine enchanting ravishment?
—Milton, “Comus”

Harry was stunned at how beautiful the garden of the Burrow was when he arrived early the day of the wedding with Octavian.  He knew from a note from Fleur that the wedding had almost been moved to another location as Mrs. Weasley was still angry about the fact that it hadn’t been postponed, but it appeared that Mr. Weasley had calmed her down, insisting that Ginny would have wanted it.

Octavian, as Harry had expected, scrunched up his nose when he took in the sight of the Burrow.  “C’est très—“

“Don’t say it,” Harry cut him off lightly as he led him up the path.  He could hear commotion from inside the house as everyone was probably getting ready.

“Know zat I am thinking it, zen.”

Harry smiled lovingly down at him.  “Such a snob,” he teased, kissing Octavian’s neck as they swept inside.  He didn’t bother to knock.  They were expected and Octavian was a bridesman (at least that’s what Harry was calling it; he wasn’t a bridesmaid or a groomsman but somewhere in between).

Je suis un Black et un Prince.”

“—et un Malfoy,” Harry added calmly.

Octavian looked around the kitchen, but Harry pulled him through to a sitting room.  It had a large fireplace and far too many mismatched chairs.  Harry could just read the thoughts subtly flickering through Octavian’s black eyes.

“Where is everyone?”

“Upstairs, I’d imagine,” Harry replied and then took the steps two at a time.  “Fleur?” he called out.  “Fleur, where are you?”

Ginny’s room, Harry noticed, was closed, but the twins’ door was slightly open and light was flooding from it.

He knew they were living in Diagon Alley, so this might be the room.

He knocked once.  “Fleur?”

A beautiful, stately woman opened the door to them, her hair swept up elegantly in a chignon and ice blue robes on her slim frame.  She was clearly Fleur’s mother.  “Oui?  ‘Oo are you?”

“Er-Lord Black. I brought Fleur’s other-er-witness.”

She looked over Harry’s shoulder and her eyes softened.  “’Ee eez perfect!” she said happily and gestured him in.

Harry quickly stepped out of the way and Octavian swept past, squeezing Harry’s hand briefly. 

“My husband, Octavian Nür Black,” Harry introduced.  “Il est français,” he added for good measure and, as soon as the door was closed, he could hear excited French being spoken by at least three people in the room.

He smiled.  Now, he just had several hours to waste before the ceremony finally began.

He wandered back down the stairs, and ended up in the kitchen where he poured himself a glass of pumpkin juice.  The house was eerily quiet apart from the snatches of French from above, almost like the bricks themselves had gone into mourning for Ginny.

Little Ginny.

He let his mind wander back through the years, choosing to remember her as she was a child, with bright brown eyes and ginger hair and an adoring smile on her lips and a flush to her cheeks.  He knew, objectively, that she was quite pretty when she had grown, but then she had been scrawny and awkward.  He’d never really liked her, tolerated her because she was his best friend’s little sister, and he rather loathed that she hero-worshipped him.  That fanatical light had died in her eyes in Harry’s fourth year, or fifth perhaps, but it had always been there, he realized, just hidden.

He played with his glass.

He wasn’t quite certain what he had done to deserve such false affection.  He was just Harry—or Octavian’s Henri Jacques.

There was running on the stairs and, a moment later, the sound of two pops that signaled Apparition.  The twins, he immediately thought.

“Who is Lavender Brown?” one asked.  Fred, Harry instantly identified. 

“Fred, not this again,” George responded, sounding exasperated.  “This isn’t—just—“

“Isn’t what?  Important?  Cheating?  Just—George, leave it.”

More pounding on the stairs.

Harry wanted to slam his head against the table.  He seemed to have a habit recently overhearing conversations the Weasleys were having.

“Who is Lavender Brown?” Fred asked heatedly again, and there was a thump as if someone were backed harshly into a wall.  “Why are you escorting her?”

George entered the kitchen and looked surprised to see Harry there.  He quickly closed the door as Ron began to splutter his answer, muffling the sounds.  “Hi, Harry,” he greeted tiredly and sat down across from him.  “What are you doing here so early?”

“Octavian’s the new bridesmaid,” he answered, not wanting to test out the term ‘bridesman’ on anyone.

George paused and then nodded. 

“It’s called cheating!” Fred said angrily, his voice loud and clear despite the closed door. 

Harry glanced toward the living room curiously and George sighed.

“Ignore it.  I do.  I like to pretend it’s just not happening, and I’m much happier.”

“Er-all right.”

There was more thumping and then the sound of something—or someone—falling to the floor, followed by a muffled moan.

George, grimacing and looking uncomfortable, took out his wand and waved it toward the ceiling, but Harry still made out, Fred demanding, “Say my name.  Say my name and not hers.”

They settled into an uncomfortable silence, George drinking straight from a bottle of Firewhiskey that he had pilfered from somewhere, and Harry drinking Pumpkin Juice.

Half an hour later, Ron made his appearance in the kitchen, dressed in respectable looking dress robes and a dark red waistcoat and tie.  His hair was messier than usual and he was running his fingers through it, his cheeks tinted pink in embarrassment over something.

Harry’s eyes narrowed in suspicion, remembering briefly what Remus had said back in the hospital wing.

His stomach sank and he looked away, choosing to ignore what he was nearly certain was happening.

Ron stumbled when he saw Harry in his expensive tailored robes, or it might just have been at his former friend’s presence.

“What are you doing here?” he accused glumly as he sat down next to George.

He summoned a tumbler and elbowed George in the ribs, telling him silently he wanted a glass of Firewhiskey.

“I was invited,” Harry shot back.

“You were invited to Ginny’s funeral, but you didn’t come to that, did you?” Ron said angrily, his face tinting to an unpleasant shade of red.

“Yes, well, Octavian wasn’t and he was still recovering.” 

George stared at the bottle of Firewhiskey, not saying anything.  Harry noticed that George was refusing to look anywhere in Ron’s direction.

Harry didn’t say that Octavian generally needed to rest and sleep as much as possible as his body tried to get accustomed to the fact that it was carrying another life.  Harry had been worried the first two weeks at the Firefly Jar until he’d read a basic book on male pregnancy and realized it was normal and that it was actually good.  It helped the child stabilize so there was less chance of an early miscarriage, which was the last thing Harry and Octavian wanted.

“That shouldn’t have mattered.”

“Well, when you’re married and your wife is slighted, then get back to me.”

Ron’s ears turned pink.  Harry swallowed uncomfortably.

Fortunately, nothing further was said.

“Guests are arriving,” Fred remarked as he walked in.  He appeared annoyed as he glanced out the window and went to stand behind Ron, resting his hand on his younger brother’s shoulder.

Harry saw that Ron almost flinched before relaxing again.

He glanced out the window and saw that it was true.  Witches and wizards were congregating out in the garden, their brightly colored robes sparkling in the August sunlight.  Harry saw a familiar white-blond head and sighed.

“See you later, then,” he remarked to no one in particular and swept out of the room.

As he came into view, he soon found his arms full of a smiling Astoria.  She had her hair in a low bun, ringlets framing her face, and wore pale pink robes with white and gold stitching.

“There you are, Harry,” she said happily and then dragged him over to her sister and Draco.

“I was being tortured,” he placated her.  “We had to arrive early and I didn’t realize that anyone else had arrived.”

“Harry,” Daphne greeted, stepping forward and kissing him on the cheek.  “I see that you are still dressing properly.”

Unlike her sister, her strawberry blonde waves were hanging loose past her shoulders, though she had pinned it back nicely behind her ears, allowing only one small wisp to escape.  Her robes were a deep silver and more formal than Astoria’s.

“I doubt Octavian would have let me out of the house otherwise,” he laughed before offering his hand to Draco.  “Octavian will be glad you’re here.”

He nodded once in recognition, clasping Harry’s hand.

Harry couldn’t help think about how when they were eleven, he had refused Draco’s hand in friendship.  Then again, Draco had been rather rude, insulting Ron, who had been his second friend in his entire life, after Hagrid.

“Who tortured you?” Astoria asked as Draco released Harry’s hand, threading her arm around Draco’s free arm.

Draco, who was fortunately not as pale or gray-skinned as the previous spring, seemed contented at the familiarity.

“Ron Weasley,” he commented lightly, taking a glass of sparkling apple juice off of a floating tray and offering it to Daphne, who graciously accepted it, before grabbing one for himself.  He was pleased to see that Draco was handing Astoria a glass.  “He was upset that I didn’t go to his sister’s funeral.”

Draco scoffed.  “He shouldn’t be surprised—after everything.”

“No.  Well, he was.”

“Why didn’t you go?” Daphne asked delicately.

“I didn’t know about it to be honest.  Octavian handles the invitations.”

Astoria had to stifle her laughter.

Harry smiled at her.  “They didn’t include him though, in it, so I’m assuming that was the reason we didn’t go.  We were also fixing up the house, and trying to avoid certain people.”

“Octavian—is he—?” Draco asked hesitantly, staring down into his half empty flute.

“He’s well and happy.  Lucrece came from France the day before yesterday and is settling in well.”

“Lucrece?” Astoria asked, tightening her hand over Draco’s.

“My mother-in-law.  We invited her to come live with us, return to England after fifteen years or so.”

Draco fiddled a little more with his glass and then glanced to the side where Viktor Krum was scanning the crowd.  “Could you tell him the matter of his cousin is being dealt with?”

“Good,” Harry responded harshly, shocking everyone else.  “It needs to be dealt with.  The sooner the better, in my mind.  Octavian and Lucrece need some closure with the entire issue.”

Daphne regarded him curiously and Draco stared at him hard.

“You know.”

“I was on the top of the tower,” Harry admitted, never removing his eyes from Draco’s silver gaze, “and family takes care of its own.”

“You?” Draco didn’t articulate the question any further.  Harry instantly knew he was talking about Snape being blamed in the press for Dumbledore’s murder.


Draco breathed out and some of the tension in his shoulders seemed to relax.  “Thank you.  Truly—thank you, Potter.”

“Harry,” he corrected.  “I also wasn’t going to let him get away with anything anymore, especially as my mother was inadvertently involved.”

“What happened—after?”

Harry paused and grabbed another glass for himself and replaced Daphne’s and Astoria’s.  Draco was still staring at him knowingly.  “Octavian went into shock, which is to be expected, so I took him to the Hospital Wing.”

“They haven’t published a list of the dead,” Daphne commented casually, although the brothers-in-law were still looking at each other.  “Apart from the Headmaster, of course.”

Astoria looked away, her eyes squinting at someone.

“Daphne, switch places with Harry, but make it look casual—and don’t look at me.”

She smirked lightly at Astoria and when a tray went by again, she stepped neatly next to Harry, switching glasses although hers was only half empty.  Harry lightly stepped into the vacated spot.

“Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger, Zacharias Smith, I believe, Anthony Goldstein, Marietta Edgecomb—“  Harry really didn’t like reciting the dead.

Draco’s jaw set.  “Both the Weaslette and Granger?”

“Yes.  A slashing hex got Hermione and I think the Killing Curse was what finished Ginny off.  I’m not really certain.”

“Our set is well and alive,” Astoria put in lightly, squeezing Draco’s arm.  “That’s what matters.  Our families were safe.”

“‘Our set’?” Draco teased her and Harry had to laugh. 

“We’re a set,” Daphne confirmed, “along with Octavian, according to Astoria.”

“Who will be added to it, I wonder?” Astoria mused.  “Marcus Flint, former Beater and law wizard, or—oh, forgive me, I didn’t see you there.”  She flushed prettily and the rest of them turned to see Viktor Krum standing in the small opening between Harry and Astoria.

Harry tried to repress a smile.  Now he knew why Astoria wanted him to move.

Viktor was still tall, thin, with sallow skin and a large nose.  He’d begun to grow a small beard, which Harry thought didn’t look that bad on him.  His hair had even begun to grow out a bit, framing his thin face and drawing attention away from his bushy eyebrows.

“Forgiff me, I thought I recognized Daphne Greengrass, yes?”

She gave him a small smile.  “Krum, how are you?”

“Vell.  Happy to be back England,” he admitted.

Viktor was now openly staring at Daphne and Harry shared a significant look with Astoria.

“Forgive me,” she said after a moment.  “You remember Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter, now Lord Black.” 

Krum sized up Harry and nodded once.

“Thank you for the letter,” he said.  “No one else thought to inform me.”

“Er-you’re welcome.  Sorry about that.  I don’t think the Grangers know how to use owl post.”

He nodded.

“And my younger sister, Astoria,” Daphne finished the introductions.

Viktor picked up Astoria’s hand and let it hover just below his lips before releasing it again.  “A pleasure.”

She nodded to him in recognition.

“Do you think they’ll have dancing?” Astoria said a moment later to Draco when Viktor continued to stare at Daphne while trying to make small talk.

“Dancing,” repeated Harry in horror.  “How does one dance with—oh no.  They didn’t cover this in the books.”

“You haven’t gotten that far,” Daphne said unhelpfully.  “I’m certain Octavian will be happy to show you if he’s inclined to dance, which I’d imagine he is.”

“It’s simple,” Astoria clarified, releasing Draco’s arm.  “Let me demonstrate.”  She stepped up to Harry and placed her left hand in Harry’s, pulling them up to a classical dance position.  “Now, all we have to do is put our other hands on each other’s waists.”  Harry slipped his around her waist and she did the same.  “Whoever is using their right hand—which would be you—leads.  It’s quite simple.  The steps are the same, except for a few variations on specific dances.  Let Octavian lead, I’d imagine he’s a competent dancer,” she teased before releasing him.

“Very funny, Astoria.”

She flashed him a smile before retaking her place on Draco’s arm.

“Weasley’s with Brown again,” she commented absently once they had all taken their seats for the ceremony.  Harry found himself on the end with Astoria beside him.  Viktor had escorted Daphne and was now sitting beside her.  He wondered what Fleur would say when she noticed.

He looked around at all of the flowers and was very glad that his wedding hadn’t been remotely like this—it had been exactly the opposite in fact.  He and Octavian had been in bed and recited their vows in the darkness, witnesses unneeded as they were formally betrothed.

Charlie was standing at the altar with Bill, serving as best man, and Harry noticed that another wizard he didn’t recognize was another groomsman.  He must have been a friend or a colleague of Bill’s.

When the music began, Octavian was the first to enter and Harry had to catch his breath.  Octavian was a vision in gold silk robes, his hair tied back in a ponytail, the ends of his white shirt sticking out with gold cufflinks.  The robes must have cost a fortune, and he had never seen Octavian look more handsome, his eyes glittering in delight, and his hands clasped behind his back as he wasn’t carrying a bouquet as a bridesmaid normally would. 

He couldn’t take his eyes away from his husband even when Gabrielle entered and he barely glanced at Fleur in her white gown.

His eyes remained riveted on Octavian throughout the service.  When Octavian walked back down the aisle, Harry was one of the first out of his seat, congratulating a beautiful Fleur and an elated Bill before he found Octavian and swept him into his arms.  “It’s a crime for anyone else to wear gold,” he murmured into his ear, kissing him gently a moment later. 

“Do not allow Gabrielle to ‘ear you,” he chastised before kissing Harry a moment later, a smile on his face.  “She might not forgive you.”

“Oh?” Harry teased, pulling Octavian closer, not caring that other guests were streaming out into the tent where they were now standing. 

Oui.  She was so upset to learn zat you are married,” he confessed, wrapping his arms around Harry’s waist.  “Mais, tu es mon mari.”

Ton mari,” Harry agreed.  Gently, he took Octavian’s hand and led him to the table where Astoria and Draco were sitting.

Astoria smirked at them.  Harry glared fondly at her.  Draco really was going to have his hands full with her. 

Octavian leaned down and hugged his brother firmly, not letting go for several moments.  “Draco, ça va?”

Oui, ça va bien,” he responded, running his hand affectionately over Octavian’s hair, being careful not to disrupt it.  “And you?”

Octavian settled into the seat next to him and discreetly took Draco’s hand and placed it on his still flat abdomen.  “We’re both well, Draco.”

Draco gasped and he glanced at Harry, a slight accusation in his eyes, before turning back to Octavian.  “How long?”

“Two months.”

Draco slid his hand away and nodded.

“I found out when Henri Jacques took me to ze infirmary zat night, zough I suspected.”

“You’re so young.”  Draco’s voice ached with tenderness and Harry found himself startled.  He knew that Draco cared for Octavian, but he’d never seen—or rather heard—such definitive proof.

J’ai choisi.  Moi, Draco, pas Henri Jacques.

Draco searched Octavian’s eyes before nodding again.  “All right.  I won’t kill him.”

Harry dropped his knife, hearing the slight warning in Draco’s tone.  He decided right then and there he never wanted to get on his brother-in-law’s bad side.  He’d already seen him murder Dumbledore, and he was urged to do it through love of his family.  The same could easily apply if Draco took offense and decided to kill him.

Daphne and Viktor never made it to their table, and after about two hours, Astoria, Harry noticed, stopped glancing over at them.  Fleur had a smirk on her face as well when she regarded them.

Harry discovered that he could actually dance if he wasn’t leading, and managed not to step on Octavian’s toes.  Octavian was very skilled and even made it look like Harry was leading, though how he did it, Harry was still uncertain.

When Octavian finally said he was tired, Harry watched him as he slipped back into the Burrow to get his original robes, before they Flooed back to the Firefly Jar.

After a few minutes though, when Octavian hadn’t come back, he got up and made his way to the Burrow, Draco following him as he said he wanted to say goodbye.

“Who would have thought?” Harry mentioned as they entered the kitchen.  “Six years ago when we met, who would have thought we would have ended up like this?”

“Who indeed?” he drawled back, bringing a smile to Harry’s lips.  Draco could be hilarious when he chose to be.

“If you see your father, tell him we’re using the middle name Lux in his honor.”

Draco paused and Harry turned to him, only to see the startled expression on his face.  “Lux?”

“Yes.  Romola Lux Black.”

Draco swallowed and then he smiled.  “A fine name for a Malfoy.”

“I thought so,” Harry agreed and then took the steps two at a time.

As he made it to the landing, he saw the twins’ room was open and reached for the handle, when he heard it.

“No,” he heard Ron breathe out, gasping in pleasure.  “No—I—please.”

There was the sound of a brief shuffle, and Harry exchanged a glance with Draco, seeing his own confusion mirrored back at him.

“Is it because you think it’s wrong or you don’t want to?” someone answered Ron—the voice was familiar, too familiar, someone he had known at Hogwarts, some boy he had known at Hogwarts, but he couldn’t place it more than that.  He wouldn’t place it.

“It’s wrong,” Ron insisted.

“And you just answered my question for me,” the boy—or perhaps a man—whispered before there was silence once again.

Harry heard a moan and his eyes widened again.  “Is that—are they—?” Harry whispered, paling.

Draco’s face had taken on a rather inquisitive expression as if he were trying to decide on something.

“Say it,” the not-quite-unknown wizard-boy-man demanded from within the room.  “Say it, Ron.”

“Please,” Ron panted, pleading, and there was more shuffling.  “Please.”  To Harry, it sounded like Ron was begging for something else entirely.

“Then say it.”  There was a teasing quality to the voice, but it was still husky.

Harry couldn’t bring himself to move.  He knew he shouldn’t be listening, but—if what was happening was what he thought it was—then—He repressed a groan.  This was so wrong, they were—and given Ron’s rather assertive statements that Harry was not gay, it didn’t make any sense.

“Sh-she,” Ron stuttered and then gasped, possibly in pain.  “L-lavender means n-nothing.  J-just a date.  I swear.  Just a date.  I want you.  Only you.”

“So long,” the voice Harry now recognized said and then there was a swallowing sound.  “I’ve wanted you for so long—but you were a child—and we couldn’t.  But we’re not children any more.”

Ron made a strangled cry of pleasure and then there was the sound of thumping, as if Ron had fallen back against a wall in exhaustion.  “Sp-spider,” Ron breathed out, his voice husky and breathless.  “You turned my teddy bear—“

“How else could I get you to notice me?” Fred asked and Harry could hear the sound of lips smacking together in a sloppy kiss.

His stomach turned at the very thought.

There was a creak on the stairs and Harry turned with Draco and was horrified to see Lavender Brown in light green robes.  Quickly, he took the door handle and slammed it shut.

“Lavender,” he said loudly.  “Have you seen Octavian?”

A decided lack of movement was apparent in the room behind him and Harry settled himself against the door.

“No,” she looked curiously between Harry and Draco.  “Have you seen Won-Won?”

Draco rolled his eyes at the nickname.  Apparently he hadn’t heard it before.  “We haven’t,” he drawled arrogantly, “though I thought I saw him around the back, come to think of it.”

“The back?”  Her eyes were alight.

“Of the house,” Draco supplied.  “He looked like he’d had a bit too much champagne.”

Harry restrained himself from kicking Draco.  That was a little too much, he thought.

“All right,” Lavender agreed.  “Thank you, Malfoy.—He wasn’t crying about Granger, was he?” she asked Harry worriedly.


“It’s just, he’s been different since she died—and Ginny, too, of course.  I was hoping to get back together with him.”

“Right,” Harry supplied.  “You know, I think he was.  He might have fancied her more than I originally thought,” he added loudly so that Ron and his—friend—could hear him and know the story they were going with.  “I didn’t see it.”

“How couldn’t you see the Mudblood fancied him for some strange reason?” Draco asked ironically and Harry glared at him.

“Then why—?”

“Give him time, Brown,” Draco said.  “Space.  He needs it.  He doesn’t need to be smothered, I’d imagine.”

She bit her lip.  “Right.  I guess I’ll just go back to the tent.”

Harry breathed out a sigh of relief once she left.

“Did we just help the Weasel?” Draco questioned and Harry laughed breathlessly.

“Don’t call him that.”

Draco shrugged and then rapped smartly on the door.  “All clear,” he called out before going up another flight of stairs.  “Octavian must be here somewhere,” he commented absently to himself.  “Who would have thought—the Weasel and someone who weaseled him into that?  So much weasling.”

Harry gulped, not liking the connotations.  “Maybe it wasn’t—“

“How do you know?  A few blokes set off to this—house—a few minutes before we did.  Including one of the twins.  The less handsome one.”

“Bloody hell.”  It was really the only thing he could say.  Ron—and someone who hopefully was not another Weasley, given that he’d seen Fred wander toward the house.  Together.  “Is that—normal?  If it were one of his—brothers.”  At Draco’s blank look, he added.  “In the wizarding world.  Pureblood society.  Is it?”

“Hardly.  It is frowned upon because given blood purity, consanguinity can already be a problem.  The Blacks, for instance, are known for marrying cousins and it can sometimes produce individuals like Great Aunt Walburga.  Any children from such an incestuous relationship would be drowned traditionally.  Not that there will be any—at least I assume so.”


“Yes, traditionally.”

A loud bang was heard from outside and Harry turned reflexively.  They were standing near a window, and he peered out to see a large wolf Patronus.  “What?” he gasped.  He couldn’t hear the message but given the panicked reactions to the guests, he knew it couldn’t have been the best news.  “Octavian.”

Not bothering to see if Draco followed him, he ran up the stairs and started throwing open rooms until he came across the one where Octavian was.  He had already changed out of his dress robes and was wearing the casual ones he had put on that morning, but had curled up on a bed, clearly tired. 

Harry’s heart softened momentarily before he rushed over.  Shaking Octavian’s shoulder, he whispered.  “Octavian, wake up.  Something’s wrong.  We have to go.  Now.”

Quoi?” Octavian murmured, still half asleep. 

“Death Eaters!” Draco shouted from the floor below and, in panic, Octavian sat up and, pushing a small stone into Harry’s hand that must have been in one of his pockets, Harry felt the familiar pull of a Portkey before he landed, alone, in the foyer of twelve Grimmauld Place.

French to English.

C’est très— It’s very—

Je suis un Black et un Prince.  I am a Black and a Prince.

—et un Malfoy. —and a Malfoy.

Il est français.  He is French.

Mais, tu es mon mari.  But you are my husband.

Draco, ça va? Draco, how are you?

Oui, ça va bien.  Yes, I am well.

J’ai choisi.  Moi, Draco, pas Henri Jacques.  I chose.  Me, Draco, not Henri Jacques.

Quoi? What?

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