Part the Fifteenth—
But earthly happier is the rose distill’d than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn, grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.
—A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I, scene i
Harry woke up, physically and painfully aware of just how much he loved and wanted his young husband. Octavian slept innocently on top of him, his leg pressed in between Harry’s, trapping Harry’s hard member and causing Harry to moan at the intense pleasure that swept over him.
Octavian shifted slightly at the sound before snuggling against Harry’s bare chest again and Harry subconsciously began to arch into the innocent touch.
“No,” he whispered desperately, staring up at the ceiling and willing himself to think of Snape wearing absolutely nothing.
That, though, didn’t work as Snape’s black eyes transformed into Octavian’s beautiful ones in his mind, causing Harry to break out in perspiration. This had to stop. Octavian was too precious, too innocent, he couldn’t and wouldn’t take advantage of him in any way.
Shifting his husband from him, he half-fell, half-slid from the bed, thankful he was wearing boxers for once. Looking down at himself, he saw the evidence of his arousal and gulped audibly. He wasn’t sure he had ever been so hard in his life.
This was absolute torture. Looking around for anything—anything to cover himself with, he finally settled on a pillow that had fallen to the floor before getting up and hobbling to the showers.
The entire dormitory was silent except for the soft snores from a few of the beds, and Harry guessed that it was only about five in the morning.
How had this happened to him? Why was his restraint and will tested so cruelly?
Harry wondered if he should have paid attention on Christmas Eve when the Dursleys had brought him to church in order to “save his soul.” Maybe God would be able to help him with something like this. Anything had to help his resolve.
“Think of Granger, think of Granger,” he muttered to himself as he stepped into a shower cubicle, tossing the pillow aside. He quickly stripped and turned on the water until it was icy cold, before sliding down to a sitting position.
His heated flesh shivered at the contrast in temperature and he closed his eyes wearily, wishing he were warm and dry and back in Octavian’s arms.
No, Harry, he reminded himself, you cannot think of Octavian.
His hands rested on the top of his knees and he forced them not to move lower. Octavian wasn’t something cheap to think about while he jerked himself off. He wouldn’t dishonor his husband in such a way. Octavian was too young, he wasn’t ready, and Harry wouldn’t take advantage of him even in his mind. That was a slippery slope that would lead—somewhere that probably wasn’t good.
He sighed at his thoughts but his member still refused to cooperate. It stood proud and erect, wanting Octavian’s touch, but Harry knew he couldn’t have it yet.
“If only I weren’t so in love,” he murmured to himself before a gust of cold air hit the side of his body.
Opening his eyes quickly, he blinked away the water that was falling into them and looked up at Octavian in horror. He quickly covered himself and bit his lip to swallow the moan that the contact tore out of his throat.
“Octavian!” he squeaked as his eyes raked over his husband’s form. He was dressed only in his flannel pajama bottoms, his long hair falling out of his nighttime ponytail and his face scrunched up adorably in confusion.
“Henri Jacques? It is too early. Come to bed.”
Harry swallowed before looking away, really wishing that his erection wasn’t pulsing in his hands. “In a minute,” he said, his voice far too high.
Octavian shook his head and looked down curiously at Harry, and he licked his lips, causing Harry to stifle another moan at the half-innocent gesture.
“Are you ill?” Octavian suddenly asked before kneeling down beside Harry, not caring that freezing cold water was suddenly spraying on him. “You look flushed.”
Harry grimaced at the sight of Octavian kneeling almost between his legs and tried to mentally recite a list of all the charms he had learned since he was in his first year. “Quite well,” he squeaked, praying that Octavian would just go—anywhere else.
“Non, je ne pense pas de même,” he argued before reaching out and pressing his hand to Harry’s forehead. “Il est chaud, je pense.”
“I’m really quite fine,” Harry tried to argue, secretly reveling in the feel of Octavian’s bare, wet chest pressing so close to his. He had lowered his legs automatically to give his husband access but now his cupped arousal was far too close to Octavian for his comfort.
“You look like you are in pain,” Octavian said as he slid his hand down Harry’s flushed face until it was resting by the side of his neck. “I will take you to Madame Pomfrey, I think.”
He began to pull away, brushing against Harry’s hands, causing him to groan again. “No, I’m fine, really, Octavian, I swear.”
“Henri Jacques,” he scolded. “You are not. Stop lying to me.”
Harry’s expression softened as he took in the disgruntled look on his husband’s face.
“If you are well, tell me what is wrong, Henri Jacques,” Octavian asked quietly though with a soft strength to his voice.
Harry swallowed again and looked away, focusing on the feel of the cold water droplets trickling down his neck. “I want you,” he admitted, but Octavian just looked confused.
“I am ‘ere, Henri Jacques.”
“I know,” Harry smiled before sighing. “I just—I love you, Octavian.”
“Of course. Je t’aime aussi,” he whispered back before pressing a soft kiss to Harry’s cold lips. “Il fait froid,” he muttered to himself before his hand slid slightly lower to Harry’s chest, feeling the cold on the rest of Harry’s body. “What is ze problem, zen?”
“I—I am aroused and trying not to be.”
Octavian’s eyebrows furrowed. “Je ne comprends pas.”
Harry sighed in exasperation and wished that he spoke French fluently. How did one say aroused in French?
“You know I would never hurt you, never do anything you don’t want,” he said quietly, scrunching his eyes closed not wanting to do what he was about to, but Octavian needed to understand.
“Of course. You are my ‘usband, and you care for me.”
“More than you will ever know,” Harry vowed before taking a deep breath and removing his hands.
Octavian’s eyes followed the movement and then they widened comically.
“I am aroused and trying not to be,” Harry repeated. “Cold water is supposed to help.”
Octavian bit his nip nervously, causing Harry’s cock to twitch in appreciation. He quickly covered it again, but not before Octavian saw and fully understood. “I do zat to you?”
Harry nodded, his eyes never leaving Octavian’s face.
Harry looked down, unable to answer and Octavian breathed out nervously. “Je suis désolé.”
“I wouldn’t change anything,” Harry murmured, glancing back at his husband.
Octavian blushed and looked away. “I know nothing of such things,” he admitted quietly, gesturing toward Harry’s now covered erection.
Harry’s face softened. “I—if you want, Mr. Weasley gave me a book, and you can look at it. It’s um, illustrated, but it’s—”
Octavian turned back toward him. “It will ‘elp me? Tell me?”
He looked relieved. “Merci, Henri Jacques,” he murmured before slowly getting to his feet.
“It’s in my trunk, on the left, under my wizard coats.”
“D’accord.” He turned to go before he quickly looked back. “You are beautiful, mon mari,” he complimented shyly before leaving a happy—though still painfully aroused—Harry behind him.
Harry found that the book was not replaced in his trunk but had instead taken up an almost permanent residence under Octavian’s pillow. Octavian never spoke about What Every Young Wand-Loving Wizard Should Know and Harry didn’t ask, but he found that Octavian was watching him more closely and even would occasionally let his hands almost brush against him at night when they were snogging each other before they went to sleep.
Ginny’s apology had made the front page of the Daily Prophet and Harry found himself once again called to the Headmaster’s office. McGonagall was standing stiffly next to a kind looking Professor Sprout, Dumbledore sitting wearily in his chair. When he went to take the seat offered to him, he noticed that Ginny was sitting there, a frightened look on her face.
“Mr. Potter,” Dumbledore began tiredly. “I’m sure you know why you’re here.”
“Sorry, sir, but I do not,” he answered quietly.
He sighed. “It appears that there was a private matter that made it into the papers.”
Harry stared at him steadily.
“Instead of being handled internally, Miss Weasley was forced to send the Prophet a public apology for an allegation that had no other witnesses.”
“There were three witnesses, including myself, if you’re referring to her slander.”
“So you do know, Mr. Potter,” McGonagall responded.
Harry, however, ignored her. “This is a dynasty related matter, not a school related one. I am the head of my household and had the right to request that she make this formal apology. Personally, I wanted to drag it through the courts, but Malfoy convinced me otherwise.”
“Mr. Malfoy?” Sprout inserted, finally entering the conversation. “Was he one of the other witnesses?”
“Yes, and Granger.”
“Be that as it may, one of my students was coerced to send a degrading apology to a national paper,” Dumbledore said sternly.
“I think you’ll find, Headmaster, she was not coerced into anything. She had the option to refuse and, clearly, she didn’t.” He looked piercingly at Ginny. “Just how was this matter brought to your attention, anyway?”
“The Daily Prophet,” McGonagall supplied.
“So Weasley hasn’t actually made a complaint?” he verified.
Sprout looked at him approvingly. “Quite right. I, myself, was totally against the idea, Mr. Potter.”
McGonagall stared at her venomously.
“How is your dear husband?” she continued. “Haven’t seen him since our last class.”
Harry smiled. “Quite well. Probably working on Divination.”
“Hmm. I remember interviewing him his first year and he actually did a spread for me. Told me my ‘plant of the devil’ would crumble, and he was right, of course. Extremely talented student. One of the best to come through here in many decades.”
Harry smiled warmly at her, and was secretly thankful Granger wasn’t in the room to hear the comment.
Ginny was looking quietly at her folded hands.
“Miss Weasley,” McGonagall tried. “Do you have anything to say?”
She looked at her with large brown eyes. “Yes, actually. Two things. The first is that I have already apologized in print—and I won’t take it back.” She swallowed nervously before turning to Harry. “But I can’t be sorry for falling in love with you and wanting to be with you, even though you’re married. If there were any option other than becoming like his mother, I would do it in a heartbeat, Harry.”
Harry set his jaw in irritation but continued to stare at her. “Why are you telling me this?”
She blushed slightly before leaning forward. “Because, in the Muggle world, you can get a divorce and according to their laws we can get married. It won’t be recognized here, but our children could be Muggle-borns, if we do it right.”
Harry ground his teeth. “Are you completely insane?” he asked quietly.
“Of course not, Harry. You can’t be—you’re not—”
Poor Professor Sprout looked completely confused about the current turn in the argument.
“No, you’re not, you’re just confused.”
“I’m not confused. I am gay. I find your breasts repulsive.”
“In fact, I don’t even want to think about breasts, thanks. Does that answer your question? I’m married for life, we’ve never been together, and you trying to force yourself into my bedroom in the middle of the night wasn’t going to change that.” He turned back to the waiting professors. “Is there anything else?”
“It is inappropriate to speak to a witch thus,” McGonagall stated.
“I am a married man and she just told me I should go to the Muggle world with her and have children. It’s disgusting. Or, tell me, does your hatred of the illegitimate and their mothers only apply to those not in your house, Professor?”
“I think we can all agree,” Dumbledore put in, “that despite your recent marriage, your connection is not the most—desirable,” he said carefully. “Mr. Black’s father is in Azkaban for being a Death Eater, one of Voldemort’s favorites, in fact.”
“Hmm,” Harry said noncommittally.
“Mr. Potter?” Sprout questioned.
“Well, if he’s Voldemort’s favorite, clearly he’s talented in some way. Just trying to figure out where Octavian got his brilliance from.”
Sprout smiled brightly at his casual defense.
“I think under different circumstances I would have liked the wizard,” Harry added conversationally. “Talented, well educated, most likely charming, if he looks anything like Octavian then he is handsome, he adores his family—yes, I think I would like him.”
Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Ginny looked absolutely horrified. He smiled brightly before standing up. “One more thing, my boy,” Dumbledore called out and Harry hesitated near the door. Instead of looking back at the Headmaster, he gazed at Phineas Nigellus.
“It’s about that—object I needed you to retrieve.”
Harry set his jaw. “I remember quite clearly, sir. I believe I told you my answer already.”
Dumbledore sighed. “Harry, it is imperative that you are able to retrieve it.”
“So you can add it to your collection?” He lifted his eyebrow. “You asked for it, and the owner refused. What in the name of the old gods, do you want me to do? It’s not mine, and if it were, I would not hand it over to you.”
Ginny sat in her chair, her hands crossed over her chest, and she looked utterly bewildered.
“Stealing,” Harry pushed, “is not a virtue. Goodnight, sir.”
“Operation Vampire is now underway,” Caspar announced self importantly to his two best friends, causing Octavian to blush.
“That has got to be the worst name for the operation,” Aidan remarked. “It has nothing to do with vampires.”
“Nothing to do with vampires? Nothing to do with vampires?” he asked incredulously. “What doesn’t it have to do with vampires?”
“Je ne comprends pas,” Octavian admitted. “Zere is nothing with les vampires. We are les magiciens, Caspar.”
The Metamorphmagus rolled his eyes. “Fine, don’t see the brilliant logic to it. The point is—that the operation is happening. Now. How much time do we have?”
Octavian shrugged. The three of them were sitting on his and Harry’s bed and ‘the book of all knowledge I didn’t want to know,’ as Caspar called it, was open in front of them. “Une demi-heure?” he suggested.
Aidan bit his lip. “Not much time then.” He thought. “Candles. We need candles.”
“Whatever for?” Caspar asked.
“Trust me. It will set the mood. I heard my older sister talking about it once. Said it was romantic.”
“Is Harry romantic?” A look of horror passed over his face. “Don’t answer that. I don’t need to know. Get the candles,” he ordered Aidan, and he quickly got up and left the makeshift room.
Octavian sighed. “Why is zis so difficult?” he asked aloud.
“Because you’re trying to seduce your husband,” Caspar answered for him, although it was obvious. “It’s not as if he doesn’t devour you with his eyes every second of every day.”
Octavian looked stricken. “You do not think ‘e devours me?” His voice was high and unnatural, and he began breaking into a cold sweat.
Caspar glanced up guiltily, quickly shutting What Every Young Wand-Loving Wizard Should Know. “Sorry, Octavian. That was sarcasm. He does devour you with his eyes.”
If possible, he looked even more nervous. “Is zat a good thing?”
“Yes, a very good thing.” He jumped up and quickly surveyed the room. “All right, clothes off.”
“You heard me, clothes off. Now.”
“Pourquoi?” Octavian asked desperately, clutching his Hufflepuff tie.
“It’s been how long since he gave you this book?” Caspar asked, dimming the lights slightly.
“And he hasn’t tried anything major since then?”
“Oui. Nothing ‘as worked.” He thought back to just a few nights before when he had wiggled suggestively, trying to let Harry know that he wanted to be touched, to be tasted, but it had only caused Harry to moan guiltily before pulling away—and then slipping out of bed half an hour later when he thought Octavian was asleep to take what sounded like a very long—and a very cold—shower.
“So, without actually telling him, you have to be obvious.”
“By taking off my clothes?” Black eyes met bright pink ones.
“Yes, Octavian, by taking off your clothes and lying naked on that bed for when he comes in.”
“Trust me, if I walked into my room to find a girl—naked—on my bed, I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off her, even if she were a Muggle.”
Octavian scrunched up his face in disgust. “You would coucherais avec une Muggle?”
“If she were naked and on my bed—and decently hot, then yes. Definitely yes.”
“What if zere were les enfants?”
“There are spells,” Caspar responded casually.
“She is a Muggle. You cannot perform zem on ‘er.”
“Well, then, those Muggle things that aren’t spells but work as spells, then.”
“Idiot. C’est une Muggle.”
Caspar smiled at him playfully. “I’ve heard the upper years talk. How do you think wizards learn how to make love to a witch?”
Octavian looked at him wide-eyed, his face showing his horror.
“They’re easy to pick up. Buy ‘em a drink, sweet talk ‘em, then Obliviate them. It’s like it never happened.”
“Thank ze gods Henri Jacques never did zat.”
“Hmm,” Caspar agreed. “Now. Clothes off.” He turned away and Octavian sighed.
Carefully he stood and began to systematically undress, feeling rather exposed.
“Throw your clothes to me. I’ll put them away for you,” Caspar offered and quickly a shoe was lodged at the back of his head. “Omph. Ouch,” he complained, but was only met by Octavian’s quiet snickers. “Ready?” he asked once he put everything away.
“Je suis nu.”
“Hold on,” was the quick and embarrassed response before a crimson silk robe was thrown toward Octavian. “Are you on the bed?”
Caspar turned and, despite himself, his breath caught in his throat. Swallowing in embarrassment, he looked away again. “Excellent. Just—er—fix your hair. Take it out of the ribbon and mess it up a bit.”
Caspar sighed. “Because it’s sexy.”
He could hear rustling behind him, but still didn’t look.
He let out a pent up breath. “Okay then. Er—okay.” Caspar turned. “When he comes in, make sure the robe is somewhere else, and put your hands behind your head.”
Octavian complied. “Like zis?” he asked, his dark eyes looking trustingly at Caspar.
“Yes, like that but have one knee bent. Yes, like that. Slightly more apart. Perfect.” He gulped again.
“‘Ee will like zis?”
“Yes,” Caspar promised, voice sounding too high, “he will.”
“Got it!” a voice called and a few moments later, a flushed Aidan entered. “Got them from Bones. Zeller’s serving as lookout,” he explained before his eyes alighted on Octavian. “Wow. He won’t know what hit him.”
“Yes,” Caspar agreed before he took the four candles and started placing them around the little room. One was on the bedside table and he quickly lit it with his wand, another he put on the windowsill next to a jar of fireflies, and the other two he placed on the top of Octavian’s trunk, which was up against a wall. “Nox,” he whispered and the room was plunged into darkness, the flickering candlelight and jars of lightning bugs casting only a little illumination of Octavian’s form. “That’s it then. Good luck, knock him dead,” he said before hurrying out of the room, leaving a perplexed Octavian behind him.
“What is wrong?” he asked Aidan, who had a silly smile on his face.
“Nothing, nothing, don’t worry about it.” He swallowed. “One more thing, though. Er—do you mind if I take the robe. Trust me on this,” he added hastily when he noticed Octavian fidgeting.
“You won’t look?”
“Promise,” he swore before quickly taking the robe and draping it over the banister. Decidedly not looking at his friend, he pointed his wand at him and whispered, “Rosao,” causing a stream of rose petals to fly from the end of his wand. Scattering them across Octavian’s body and the sheets around him, he looked, unattached, at the scene before him. “Perfect,” he smiled and Octavian grinned back at him.
“Anytime—for you,” he answered before stepping out again. “Harry Potter really isn’t going to know what hit him,” he whispered so lowly that Octavian barely caught it.
Somehow, the words made him even more nervous and excited than before.
Harry was startled when he entered the fourth-year dormitory and found it completely empty. Usually at least one of his new roommates could be found messing about with chocolate frog cards or even doing homework, but tonight the large room was cast in shadow and all of the beds were neatly made, completely untouched.
Shrugging his shoulders, he made his way to his makeshift room, tugging at his tie that he really did not want to wear at the moment. His mind turned to Ginny and he shuddered. Did she really think that he would ever run off to the Muggle world with her and actually procreate?
The thought disgusted him. They would probably have the prerequisite two children—no, make that three. Three little terrors. A girl and two boys, probably, and at least two of them would have her flaming red hair, unlike his mother’s softer dark red tones that he sometimes dreamt about at night.
Little monsters. She’d probably dress them up like witches on Halloween or worse—clowns. Three little harlequins to give him nightmares, with hollow voices and empty faces.
He shivered as he pulled the tie completely off before moving the brocade curtain that served as the door to the sound proofed bedchamber.
“Octavian?” he whispered, his eyes lighting on the candles and fireflies on the windowsill. He squinted in the half-light and noticed that there were several more points of light before a rustling drew his eyes to the figure on the bed.
His husband lay stretched out among scarlet and pale pink rose petals, his hair falling softly to his shoulders, and his dark eyes looked apprehensively up at Harry. “Aimes-tu ton cadeau, Henri Jacques?” he asked, his voice quaking slightly, and Harry’s heart completely melted.
Dropping his bag on the floor before quickly kicking off his shoes, he crawled onto the bed. “Octavian,” he whispered in reverence, reaching out and stroking the side of his cheek before kissing his lips gently. “Of course I do.” He drew away and looked down into Octavian’s dark eyes. “Is this what you want?”
“I-I am not ready,” he admitted and Harry sighed slightly, wondering how he was going to sleep tonight with his raging erection, but still adoring the gesture his husband had given him. “Mais,” he paused, biting his lower lip, “je veux que tu me goûtes.” He reached up and pressed his lips against Harry’s again, drawing him into a deep and sensuous kiss. “Je t’adore. Je te veux, Henri Jacques.”
Reaching up, Octavian slowly began to unbutton Harry’s shirt, his fingers gently stroking the exposed skin until Harry’s bare chest pressed against his own.
“I love you,” Harry swore into the firefly and candlelight, “so much.”
“Je sais,” Octavian moaned, pushing the shirt from his husband’s shoulders and throwing it haphazardly onto the floor.
Harry lifted himself up and quickly undid his belt and trousers, throwing them on top of the shirt and barely caring that his socks were still on. “Octavian,” he murmured again, before laying his form down on the smaller body, kissing Octavian’s neck until he was panting in want. “Tell me if you want me to stop.”
“Non. Jamais,” Octavian vowed and he groaned as clumsy fingers skated over his hardened nipples, kisses being trailed down his chest. “You’re mine,” he repeated the marriage vow.
“Yours,” Harry agreed, grinning, before his wet mouth enveloped his husband in one go.
“Mine,” Octavian moaned, before he was lost to all but sensation.
French to English Translation.
Non, je ne pense pas de même. No, I don’t think so.
Il est chaud, je pense. It is hot, I think.
Je t’aime aussi. I love you, too.
Il fait froid. It is cold.
Je ne comprends pas. I do not understand.
Je suis desolé. I am sorry.
D’accord. All right.
Mon mari. My husband.
Une demi-heure. Half an hour.
[You would] coucherais avec une Muggle? You would sleep with a Muggle?
Les enfants. Children.
Idiot. C’est une Muggle. Idiot. It is a Muggle.
Je suis nu. I am naked.
D’accord. All right.
Aimes-tu ton cadeau, Henri Jacques? Do you like your present, Henri Jacques?
Mais je veux que tu me goûtes. But I want you to taste me.
Je t’adore. Je te veux, Henri Jacques. I adore you. I want you, Henri Jacques.
Je sais. I know.
Non. Jamais. No. Never.