Part the Seventeenth—
By Jupiter, an angel! or, if not, an earthly paragon! Behold divineness no elder than a boy.
—Cymbeline, Act III, scene vi
Madam Pomfrey bustled into the infirmary the next morning and shrieked when she found an empty bed where Harry Potter should have been sleeping. The sheets were rumpled and two head prints rested in the pillow, the smell of arousal and freshly cut grass hanging in the air.
The pack of tarot cards was no longer on the bedside table.
“That’s my boy,” she whispered to no one in particular, before walking out again. Her patient was healthy and where he belonged. She was no longer needed.
Harry awoke for the second time that morning with Octavian in his arms, and he sighed happily. He could feel Octavian’s smooth fingers brushing softly through his hair, playing with the ends near his ear—quiet, gentle, perfect.
“Hmm, don’t stop,” he murmured, leaning into the hand that kept a steady rhythm.
“You are awake,” Octavian responded.
“No. I’m asleep.”
Soft laughter met his ears. “D’accord, mon Henri Jacques.”
Harry pressed his forehead against Octavian’s and sighed happily. “I don’t want you coming back here next year,” he half-mumbled, waking up.
The hand stilled and he opened his eyes fully to see Octavian gazing warily at him.
“What do you mean, Henri Jacques?”
“I mean,” He took a deep breath, “that I don’t want you anywhere near Dumbledore ever again. I want to transfer—both of us. I don’t care if what Dumbledore did was technically legal under British law. I want you far away from the hypocritical wizard and I know, no matter what, at least you can attend Beauxbatons. You would be safe, away, and hopefully Madame Maxime will allow me to attend as well.”
“You won ze tournament,” Octavian whispered. “She will accept you, I think.”
He pulled Octavian to him quickly and gently kissed his lips. “Are we agreed?”
“What about our ‘ouse?” he questioned.
“It’s under the Fidelius Charm. We can Floo to France and back. No one will be able to find you,” Harry promised.
Octavian snaked his hands into Harry’s short hair and kissed him deeply, moaning. Swinging himself until he was on top of his husband, he sighed. “I wish we could leave now. I want you away from ze ‘Eadmaster, Henri Jacques. I want you safe.”
A smirk appeared on Harry’s features. “Yes, I don’t think he’ll be happy.” He sat up and groaned softly as his body protested. He was mostly healed, he knew that. In fact, he should have been healed completely by now—the potions perhaps? He pushed the thought from his mind. He didn’t want to think on those vile concoctions that were shoved down his throat. They kept him confused, knocked him out into a painful sleep when all he could think about was Octavian—his Octavian—and not fully remember.
“Let’s go then, at least for now.”
“What do you mean, Henri Jacques?”
Harry turned to check the calendar that Octavian had on the wall. “It’s Saturday morning. I have an invisibility cloak. Neither of us want to be near Dumbledore and I doubt they’d find us if we disappeared into the Muggle world for the weekend.”
“Muggle?” Octavian asked, horrified.
Harry sighed. “Yes, Muggle. I’ve lived with Muggles my entire life, Octavian.”
“Je sais,” he responded. “But zey are—les meurtriers, Henri Jacques.”
“Not all of them.”
“Zey kill our kind,” he stated firmly, hatred and fear mixing in his black eyes. “Henri Jacques, please. I know what zey did to you because you are un magicien. I ‘ave ze scars on my body zat magic could not ‘eal because of what zey did to me. Why would we wish to go zere?”
Harry pulled him close and buried his face in Octavian’s hair. “You don’t have to be afraid. I’ll protect you.”
A soft sob escaped Octavian’s body. “‘Ow can you protect me? Ze ministry does not allow us to do la magie. ‘Ow can you keep me safe? Je ne peux pas rester près de tu.”
“Octavian,” Harry soothed. “I swear I can keep you safe. I can play their game. I lived among them—only those who knew what I was hurt me. Everyone else just ignored me.”
“Henri.” Octavian pulled away and kissed him softly. “Mon Henri Jacques.”
Harry smiled against his lips. “My Octavian. Trust me.”
Octavian nodded hesitantly, tears escaping from his eyes that Harry quickly kissed away. “As long as I do not ‘ave to dress as one.”
Harry laughed. “I would never do that to you, Octavian. You are too handsome to wear inferior clothing,” he teased.
“I am glad we are agreed, zen,” Octavian responded solemnly, slipping from the bed. “Where shall we go?”
“I-I don’t know. London?”
Octavian shook his head. “I ‘ave been zere.” He looked at Harry calculatingly, before crawling back onto the bed and kissing his husband’s lips softly. “Could we go—I would like—unless you do not wish to go . . .” He hesitated.
“You would like?” Harry prompted, wrapping an arm around Octavian’s slim waist and pulling him closer.
“If it would not be trouble, I would like to see where you lived.”
Harry stilled and pulled away slightly. “Little Whinging?”
“Oui. I want to know you, Henri Jacques. All of you.”
Harry sighed. “There’s nothing much there.”
“Ce n’est pas important. We can throw around our money and be impeccably dressed and make ze Muggles eat dirt, as you English say.”
He laughed. “Really? Are you sure you don’t want to show me off?”
“Of course I do, Henri Jacques.” He snuggled closer and sighed. “It is up to you, ‘owever. If you do not wish to go, we do not ‘ave to.”
Silence enveloped them and Harry held Octavian close. “All right. I’ll show you Little Whinging,” he agreed. “I should probably go back once more before never stepping foot there again.”
“Where is ze most expensive restaurant?” Octavian inquired after they had checked into the nicest hotel—under the name Lord Black, of course. It had been surprisingly easy to sneak out of Hogwarts. All they had to do was get dressed in their wizard coats, pack a few basic necessities, and sneak out to The Hogs Head, where they used the Floo to get to London. A quick stop at Gringotts ensured that they had a Muggle credit card and then after short ride on the Knight Bus, they stood outside The Empress.
“Er,” Harry began.
“What, Henri Jacques?”
“That would be the hotel restaurant.”
Octavian looked at him perceptively before nodding once. “Lord Black.” He smiled teasingly.
“Mr. Black,” Harry inclined his head before opening the door to the main lobby.
“Lord Black,” the receptionist greeted, smiling brightly at the handsome pair. “Welcome back.”
“Thank you,” he responded, wrapping his arm around Octavian’s waist. He looked resplendent, in Harry’s opinion, in a black turtleneck and a black wizard coat with subtle dark blue and royal purple embroidery. The coat was unbuttoned fully for once, falling in perfect folds over his linen trousers.
“Would it be possible to take ze midday meal at ze restaurant?” Octavian inquired.
She hesitated. “I think they’re booked for Luncheon, but what with having a peer of the realm—” She paused, her eyes glistening.
Harry withheld a sigh. Octavian had insisted that he check them in as the Earl Black. Nothing else would do. Everyone was to know that Harry was now someone of importance and deserved the respect he had never been given before in the Muggle world.
Needless to say, the receptionist and the hotel employees were now bending over backward to help “his lordship” and his guest. Harry was wondering what exactly everyone thought his relationship to Octavian was. He had only referred to him as Octavian Black, so they knew he must be some relation, though as Muggles had yet to permit marriage between two people of the same gender, they probably thought he was a distant cousin that he was ‘friendly’ with.
“I’ll just go check,” she stated before picking up the telephone and speaking into it quietly. After a moment, she smiled and hung up. “If you would go straight through, your lordship, sir,” she preened.
“Merci, Mademoiselle.” Octavian smiled, pulling Harry along with him.
The pair was immediately seated at one of the best tables, which had a reserved sign sitting primly on it, and Octavian smirked. Clearly, the table had been meant for a previous reservation, but The Empress had decided to give it to such noticeable personages instead.
“You’re horrible,” Harry smiled while he reached for his menu.
“Je suis un Prince et un Black,” he responded. “It is my right, Henri Jacques.”
A couple near them, which looked oddly familiar to Harry, turned to look at them discreetly.
“Mon Papa is also un marquis.”
Harry swallowed his water painfully. “Your father’s a Marquis?” he reiterated. “I thought he was a Baron or an Earl.”
Octavian shook his head. “Non. Ze family did not come to l’Angleterre until later, ‘ence the title. Ze Blacks ‘ave been ‘ere much longer, when Earl was ze only title given.”
“Hmm,” Harry responded. “Your brother will one day outrank me then,” he mused.
“It is all ze same in our world. Such distinctions between ze lords matter little, Henri Jacques. We are above ze other pure families in stature, but equal to each other.”
“I guess I still have to do some research,” Harry grumbled to himself.
“Do not worry, mon Henri Jacques.” He leaned forward and took Harry’s hand smoothly in his own. “I love you so much, and it means much zat you would even wish to know zis—for me.”
Harry smiled and squeezed his hand in return. “I’ll do anything for you, Octavian.”
“Je sais. Merci.”
He looked over Octavian’s shoulder and noticed that the woman in the couple was still eyeing him and he frowned slightly.
“What is it?”
“She looks familiar,” he tilted his head in the woman’s direction and Octavian discreetly looked over his shoulder on the pretence of signaling the waiter.
“‘Ow do you think?”
“She’s probably a friend of Aunt Petunia’s or something.” He shrugged.
The woman’s shoulders tensed at the comment and Harry noticed it. That was probably the connection then. Maybe she was Mrs. Polkiss? Lovely.
“Ce n’est pas important,” Octavian stated, gesturing with his hands in a way that made Harry smile. “Elle est une Muggle.”
Harry laughed at the comment. “You are such a traditionalist,” he commented fondly.
“Of course I am, Henri Jacques. Zat is ‘ow you like me.”
The waiter came and took their order, properly fawning over Harry and eyeing Octavian with curiosity.
When he left, Octavian leaned forward. “I ‘eard ze most ‘orrible thing a few weeks ago,” he whispered conspiratorially.
“And what was that?”
Octavian frowned. “Our kind sometimes couchent avec les Muggles—in order to practice. Even purebloods.”
Harry’s eyebrows furrowed. “Really?”
“Oui,” he sighed. “I do not like it. It is wrong—it is—”
Harry’s face softened. “I understand, Octavian.” He reached out and trailed his fingers down Octavian’s cheek. “Such a thing will never happen to our children. It is over now—all of it is over.”
“I was un idiot,” he whispered.
“I—Papa wished to recognize me. To take me into ‘is ‘ousehold, and I would not let ‘im. I could not do zat to Maman. I—my brother was cruel to me zen. ‘Ee accused my mother of ‘orrible things and I thought zat my step-mother would be ze same. So I told Papa ‘non,’ Henri Jacques.”
“Children can be cruel,” Harry stated with feeling. “They do not understand, repeat what adults say or others around them. He is kind to you now?”
“Oui, now zat I am legitimate. It is ironic, non? ‘Ee is everything I would ‘ave wanted when I was un enfant. And you gave me zat. Un frère. I wish you could know ‘im as such.”
“It is not safe,” Harry said in realization.
“Non, it is not safe. Not yet.” Octavian grabbed a roll and started eating it with proper table manners. Harry thought his aunt would be proud.
A commotion at the front of the restaurant drew their attention and Harry’s face completely drained of color. “I demand to speak to your superior immediately,” a large man with a purple face declared. He was dressed smartly in a suit and had another businessman with him. Harry groaned. It appeared that he and Octavian had been given his Uncle Vernon’s reserved table.
Octavian looked over at him in confusion.
“Do you know zat Muggle?”
“My uncle,” he responded.
Octavian looked shocked and turned back to the scene unfolding. “I ‘ope you are not related by blood. Our children will look ‘orrible.”
Harry laughed. “No. He married my mother’s sister.”
“Bon. ‘Ee is rather ugly.”
“Who did you give the table to, then?” Vernon demanded and Harry cringed slightly.
The maitre d’ responded quietly and Vernon’s eyes glinted slightly.
“Did you say Earl Black? We have an earl here in Little Whinging?”
Octavian was laughing quietly and Harry mock-glared at him.
“It’s not funny.”
“Non, Henri Jacques. Of course not.”
“I demand you introduce me,” Vernon told the maitre d’ and Octavian’s face instantly went blank. “It would be impolite not to.”
Octavian looked horrified. “Zat is not good.”
“I completely agree.”
Fortunately, their meals came at about that moment. “What did you order for me?” Harry asked, completely mystified.
“Mange!” Octavian ordered and Harry gulped. He was beginning to think letting Octavian choose was a bad decision.
“Excuse me, Lord Black?” a quiet voice asked from the side and Harry turned to see the apologetic maitre d’ standing next to his table. Vernon and his guest were behind them and Harry sighed.
“Hello, Uncle Vernon.”
A small hand slid onto his knee in comfort and Harry smiled to himself.
“Boy?” Vernon asked, coming around the maitre d’ and looking frustrated. “What are you doing at my table?”
“I think you will find it is our table,” Octavian answered, his voice cold and his eyes glinting dangerously. “Forgive me, but zis is our preliminary—‘ow do you English say, Henri Jacques?” He turned to Harry and looked at him, smiling. “Notre lune de miel.”
“Er,” he began, “Octavian. They are different from us,” he tried to explain.
“Of course we’re different, we’re normal,” Vernon exclaimed loudly to everyone around.
Harry ignored him and Octavian looked perplexed. “Zere is nothing normal about les Muggles,” he stated. “It is unnatural.”
Harry closed his eyes, wishing he were anywhere but here. “Octavian,” he tried again. “Muggles don’t allow—or acknowledge—our relationship.”
Octavian looked up at him, perplexed, before his expression turned dark. “Pourquoi pas?” he demanded.
“We’re both male,” he whispered to his husband.
Octavian shuttered his eyes and took a deep breath. “So—to zem—I am Octavian Prince and we are ‘aving an affair.”
Harry closed his eyes painfully. “Yes.” He opened them quickly and grabbed his husband’s hand, pressing his fingers reverently against his betrothal and wedding bands. “But it does not matter, Octavian. It does not matter.”
“Il est barbare.”
“You’re more of a freak than I thought you were, boy,” Vernon said cruelly. “You’re a shirt-lifter.”
Harry didn’t even look at him. “Yes, it is barbaric,” he responded, “but we don’t live among them. Never. Never again.”
Octavian smiled and leaned back, projecting a cool confidence before turning to Vernon. “I do not like zis term—shirt-lifter. Do you not lift your wife’s shirt, monsieur?”
Harry stifled a laugh with his hand, as Vernon turned purple.
“Why you little—”
“I would not address my husband in such a manner if I were you,” Harry stated coolly, sobering completely. “He is the younger son of a marquis—and, yes, we are legally married, before you ask.”
Harry turned to the maitre d’. “My husband and I would like to enjoy our meal now.”
The man nodded nervously and herded a still stunned Vernon Dursley and his silent guest away from the table.
Octavian looked lovingly over at Harry, a soft smile playing over his features. “Je t’aime, Henri Jacques,” he whispered before eating a mussel.
“Je t’aime, aussi.”
“Ce soir,” he said quietly, his eyes fixed on Harry’s green ones. “Ce soir.”
Harry looked at him in confusion. “What’s tonight?”
Octavian only smiled mysteriously at him. “Wait and see, mon mari.”
Octavian sat on the large bed—his marriage bed, he thought with a smile—with the small book open on his lap. He had been thinking about it for several weeks, exactly how he wanted this to happen, and had even manage to talk about it somewhat rationally with Aidan.
Caspar had run and hidden when Octavian first mentioned the book. He had actually been acting a little odd, distant even, since the night he and Aidan had helped Octavian seduce Harry, and he didn’t understand why. Aidan had laughed and said he was growing up and couldn’t handle things yet.
Octavian thought both he and Caspar were slightly insane.
The shower turned off from the other room and Octavian forced himself to relax. He was going to do this—tonight was the night.
When Harry had been in the hospital wing, unable to even remember him, his heart had broken. All he could think of was that Harry had never properly made love to him, how if Harry never remembered him again there was no chance for any kind of a future, even embodied in the being of a child.
He needed a physical reminder that Harry loved him, that he would never leave him, that he would never be taken away—even if it was just in the soreness of his body.
Tonight it would happen—tonight they were away and in this bizarre Muggle hotel, they could just be themselves without any outside influence.
Just himself and Henri Jacques.
The door to the bathroom opened and Harry walked out in his sleeping pants and he stopped in surprise when he saw that Octavian was still fully dressed, sitting on the bed.
His eyes searched Octavian’s frame and saw the tension in it before landing on the book in his hands.
“Oh, Octavian,” he sighed, stepping closer before kneeling down in front of his husband. “We don’t have to.”
“I want to,” Octavian whispered. “You were almost taken from me.”
“I’m right here.”
Black eyes met green. “For ‘ow long before someone takes you from me again?”
Harry sighed and kissed Octavian softly, moaning when Octavian caught his lower lip between his teeth. “I love you,” he whispered and Octavian nodded.
Octavian pulled away and glanced down at the book in his hands. “Zis one,” he said quietly.
Harry got up and sat down beside Octavian, looking over his shoulder. His eyes widened slightly at Octavian’s decision.
“Don’t you think—shouldn’t we—it would be more comfortable if we did it another way,” he said haltingly. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I want control as Maman did not ‘ave it,” he stated solemnly and Harry nodded.
Gently he took the book out of Octavian’s hands and after looking briefly at the moving diagrams, he shut it and put it aside. He noticed that Octavian’s hands were shaking slightly, and simply rested his hand against one. “Je t’aime, Octavian,” he murmured before kissing him softly. “I love you so much.”
Octavian leaned into the kiss and sighed.
Harry pulled away and shucked off his pants. He threw them carelessly to the floor and propped up the pillows against the headboard before settling his back against them, his knees bent upward. Octavian could only stare at him, curiosity in his expression, causing Harry to smile. “Make love to me, Octavian,” he whispered before turning off the light by the bedside, causing the room to fall into a half-light.
“Would you like me to undress for you?” Octavian asked softly, standing.
Harry smiled. “Oui.”
Octavian hesitated. “I do not know ‘ow to make it—attractive,” he confessed.
“Octavian,” Harry sighed, leaning forward and clasping Octavian’s hips gently. “Everything you do is attractive. I love you so much.” He kissed his husband gently, almost chastely, before pushing off Octavian’s wizard coat until it fell into a heap on the floor. “Relax,” he soothed, willing his own heartbeat to slow down.
Smiling against Harry’s lips, Octavian stepped closer, allowing Harry’s hands to roam over his body.
“Is it all right if I take off your shirt?” he murmured and Octavian nodded in the darkness.
Harry’s hands lingered briefly on the hem before gently pulling it up, kissing Octavian before he pulled it over his husband’s head. “You’re so beautiful,” he said reverently. “My husband.”
Octavian moved back into Harry’s embrace and quickly kicked off his shoes. “Un moment,” he said before pulling away again and, taking a deep breath, he pulled off his trousers and boxers, leaving him only in his socks.
Harry laughed softly, taking in his husband’s nearly naked form. “Beautiful,” he whispered before drawing Octavian into a hungry kiss, showing him physically just how much he meant to him.
“Mon Henri Jacques,” Octavian moaned into Harry’s mouth before he reached down and stripped off his socks. He refused to make love to his husband while wearing socks. Harry could pull it off, but he wouldn’t even try. “Je t’adore.”
“I,” Harry began softly. “I need to prepare you.”
Octavian blushed before nodding quietly. He quickly crawled onto the bed and settled himself in Harry’s lap, not wanting to be anywhere else. “No magic,” he instructed softly and Harry looked up at him in astonishment. “When it is us, je ne veux pas employer la magie.”
“All right, Octavian.” Harry looked about, trying to find something—anything to use as lubrication. He did not want to hurt his husband at all and magic was the only way he could ensure that this would be only marginally uncomfortable. The fact that Octavian wanted to do this naturally, be with him so completely, made his heart melt and yearn for Octavian’s love and touch even more. “Er—is hand lotion okay?” he finally asked after locating a small complimentary bottle on the nightstand.
“D’Accord,” Octavian responded before moving forward and clasping himself to Harry tightly. He lifted his hips gently and moaned softly as their erections pressed against one another.
“Octavian,” Harry gasped, completely forgetting about the glob of lotion he’d just poured onto his fingers.
Octavian buried his head in Harry’s shoulder and kissed him softly. “Aime-moi, Henri. S’il te plaît.”
Harry clasped Octavian to him tightly with one arm before searching with his free hand for Octavian’s entrance. Gods, he hoped he was doing this correctly. He had only ever read about it—and only briefly. He had assumed that Octavian would allow him to use a few charms like the manual had recommended. Now he was doing it the Muggle way. It was absolutely terrifying.
This, though, was Octavian in his arms he reminded himself. He adored Octavian with his entire being and would never willingly hurt him—and Octavian trusted him and had confidence in him.
He, Harry James Potter, could do this—or at least he hoped he could.
Harry slowly pushed one finger into Octavian up to the knuckle and winced at the gasp Octavian emitted.
“Is that all right?” he asked softly, planting a quick kiss on Octavian’s bare shoulder.
“Oui, je pense.”
“I love you,” Harry vowed and Octavian whimpered in response.
As Harry pushed in the finger fully, Octavian held onto Harry tighter, his trimmed nails marking Harry’s skin. Harry moved his finger in and out of Octavian gently, supporting Octavian against him and continuing to kiss the shoulder before him repeatedly and lovingly.
A second finger was added and soon Octavian was gasping in discomfort as Harry scissored them within him. “Don’t stop,” Octavian ordered before biting down gently on Harry’s neck. “Just do it,” he begged.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” Harry confessed, stilling his actions.
“It is supposed to ‘urt; I want it to ‘urt; I want you to love me, Henri Jacques. Adore-moi, Aime-moi.” He pulled away and kissed Harry hungrily, taking in his essence and pressing himself closer against Harry’s exposed body. “D’accord,” he finally declared, pulling back slightly. “Je suis prêt.”
He grabbed the discarded lotion and poured it into his hand before touching his husband, who gasped at the intense sensation.
“Yes,” Harry hissed in Parseltongue, causing Octavian’s body to stir in excitement. “Just like that.”
Then he was moving himself downward, Harry’s hands placed on his hips, and swallowing his cry of discomfort. But it didn’t matter as he forced himself to relax and then finally began to move slowly, watching the entranced look on his husband’s face.
All that mattered was this moment in this strange Muggle hotel. They were together, moving, loving, and despite what his rational mind told him with all his heart, he wished for a physical creation of their love—and with a cry closely following one of Harry’s, his world focused into a myriad of colors—green, red, blue, purple and the firefly-like gold.
French to English Translations.
Les meurtriers, Henri Jacques. Murderers, Henri Jacques.
La magie. Magic.
Je ne peux pas rester près de tu. I can’t remain close to you.
Ce n’est pas important. It is not important.
Merci, Mademoiselle. Thank you, Madamoiselle.
Je suis un Prince et un Black. I am a Prince and a Black.
Un marquis. A marquis.
Je sais. Merci. I know. Thank you.
Ce n’est pas important. It is not important.
Elle est une Muggle. She is a Muggle.
Couchent avec les Muggles. Sleep with Muggles.
Un idiot. An idiot.
Un enfant. A child.
Un frère. A brother.
Notre lune de miel. Our honeymoon.
Pourquoi pas? Why not?
Il est barbare. It is barbaric.
Je t’aime, Henri Jacques. I love you, Henri Jacques.
Je t’aime aussi. I love you too.
Ce soir. Ce soir. Tonight. Tonight.
Mon mari. My husband.
Un moment. One moment.
Je ne veux pas employer la magie. I do not want to use magic.
D’accord. All right.
Aime-moi, Henri. S’il te plaît. Love me, Henri. Please.
Oui, je pense. Yes, I think.
Adore-moi, aime-moi. Adore me, love me.
D’accord. All right.
Je suis prêt. I am ready.