Twelve. Secret Love.
Henrik’s hands shook slightly as he stood in the hallway of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He didn’t want to be here – didn’t want to do this, but he hadn’t been given a choice. The owl had arrived the week before and his father had stormed out of the room – complaining about English fools who shouldn’t use boys as bait in a dangerous tournament.
They had consulted Obalonsk, of course, how could they not? Bulgaria, unfortunately, had signed an international treaty stating that they would not hinder the tournament in any way, and so, unless the Krums wished to create an international incident, Henrik would have to go to Hogwarts and participate in the Second Task – as that which Viktor would miss the most.
Lucius Malfoy had been all sympathy, of course, when he arrived in Sofia to escort Henrik to Scotland. Henrik hadn’t seen the English wizard since just before Yule when he had left the dinner table before the meal was over with tears in his eyes. He’d then proceeded to create an illegal Portkey, travel internationally without supervision, and didn’t manage to make it back to Sofia until several hours later when he had managed to convince High Master Karkaroff that he could personally see to it that he was dismissed if he did not aid him in returning home without his parents ever knowing where he had gone.
“Draco misses your correspondence,” Lucius said quietly as Henrik continued to stare at the gargoyle, willing himself away from the current situation.
“I’m sorry,” Henrik answered with little emotion. “However, I find that I cannot write to him at present.”
Lucius sighed. “Draco should not be punished for the hasty actions of his elders, Henrik. You are a dear friend to him.”
“That is all I wish to be and all I can ever be. It is better this way.”
Lucius simply inclined his head sadly and stated the password. He had not expected Henrik to react so badly and had assumed that he had been told and had agreed to the match before the signing of the contract. The Krums, however, appeared to have only inquired as to his opinion of Draco at some point and had thought his professed feelings of friendship were enough for a pureblood marriage. In most cases, they would have been correct.
Henrik slowly made his way up the winding stairs with Lucius close behind him and stared in veiled curiosity about him.
“Ah, Mr. Krum,” Headmaster Dumbledore greeted, beckoning him forward. A girl of only eight was sitting primly in a chair in front of the desk as well as a pretty witch who was about Henrik’s age. “Do come in, do come in. Thank you, Lucius, I can take it from here.”
“I fear, Headmaster, that I gave Damyan Krum my word that until Henrik was placed in the Black Lake, he would not leave my sight.” His grey eyes glinted and Dumbledore did not look pleased.
“Of course, of course, if you must.”
Those were the last words Henrik heard before he fell into darkness.
Draco Malfoy waited sullenly for his father the next morning, a green and silver scarf wrapped around his neck and black gloves encasing his pale fingers. Every week diligently he had sent Henrik a letter since the Yule Holiday, but he had received no response in return.
Every missive became more and more desperate, asking Henrik what was wrong, what he had done, if he was unwell. After the third, his owl always returned with them unopened.
Viktor Krum had become unusually distant as well and had refused to answer his questions. He had appeared to become slightly happier after Yule for some reason – Draco had supposed that perhaps a present from Henrik had cheered him up – but his good mood had not extended to Draco. He was always polite and respectful, but nothing more, and sometimes Draco was certain he saw the Durmstrang champion looking at him in dislike when he thought Draco wasn’t looking.
Distressed, he had written to his mother and asked if she knew if something was wrong and what was happening. She had sugarcoated the news, but she told him honestly that it appeared Henrik was not aware of the marriage contract until it was about to be signed, and had not been pleased. The Krums, because of this, had decided to delay it until they could better ascertain Henrik’s objections apart from “I do not want to” which was terribly unspecific.
He had thought that he and Henrik were friends, at the least, and had believed they could become something more before they were married. Now, however, he was beginning to doubt that Henrik would ever willingly speak to him again.
“Father,” he greeted as Lucius Malfoy came into view. “Did he say anything?”
“He –” Lucius began before uncharacteristically pausing. “He has not reconciled himself to the idea for some reason, even after several months. He has, however, admitted that you are a dear friend although he cannot write to you.”
Draco sighed in relief. “There is hope then.” He smiled. “That is all I needed.”
Lucius hesitated. “Henrik most likely fears change, fears coming back to this island or perhaps anything associated with it. Give it time, Draco, and remain persistent yet respectful. It is how I won your mother, after all.”
Draco nodded before falling into step beside him. “How did he feel about the second task? I can imagine he hated the idea.”
Lucius threw back his head and laughed fully. “That he did, but you’ll be able to at least see him in a little more than an hour.”
Arching back against hands pulling upward.
Air burning through his lungs and then green eyes fluttering up to see the blue sky everywhere around him.
“Viktor?” Henrik whispered desperately before strong yet gentle hands cupped his face and—it’s loud, loud, so loud.
Everyone is screaming.
Why is everyone shouting? Why couldn’t he understand?
Dark circles obscured his vision and he blinked rapidly to dispel the water from his eyes. “Viktor?” he whispered desperately again only to see his adopted brother hunched over him, dark worried eyes gazing into his.
He sighed happily, glad that Viktor was safe – that they were safe – that Viktor was holding him in his arms instead of anybody else.
“Oh Henrik,” Viktor whispered and Henrik couldn’t hear him. His ears were still roaring from being underwater for so long, but he could read Viktor’s lips as they formed the words.
He smiled weakly up at Viktor, willing for this moment to never end.
“My Harry,” Viktor’s silent lips spoke before Henrik’s every wish came true. Soft lips descended onto his in a chaste kiss, but he couldn’t let it stay so innocent – so brotherly.
Viktor was his, he told his confused mind. Viktor always had been, since he looked up into that tree and made the scared boy who had only been known as “Freak” and “Boy” love him just for giving him his first smile.
He opened his mouth and moaned happily, the sound reverberating in his chest although he still could only hear the rush, rush, rushing in his ears, and one kiss became two and then three and then ten, as they took comfort in each other, thankful that they were together and alive.
Viktor pulled away and Henrik mewed in distress, and gasped at what he saw in his beloved’s dark eyes. Love, so deep and intense, bore into Henrik’s soul, but it was mixed with overpowering guilt and a weak plea for forgiveness.
But this could not be wrong, Henrik reminded himself. Not when they both loved each other so much – not when they had belonged to each other for so many years – how could so much love ever be wrong?
Smiling slightly, Henrik pulled Viktor down until his large body was pressing gently against Henrik’s and he claimed the lips above his hungrily, reveling in the gentle passion and comfort as he swept his tongue against Viktor’s lips. “Viktor,” he begged softly, before the lips opened without protest for him.
Henrik shivered as the heat of the kiss swept over him and his hands became tangled in Viktor’s wet hair, tugging him closer, needing the heat that was now burning in the pit of his stomach, wanting more of something he couldn’t understand.
He whimpered as Viktor nipped his lips before sliding his tongue into Henrik’s mouth, exploring it deftly and gently while his hands tenderly cupped the back of Henrik’s neck as they lay on the dock.
Sounds began to filter in and Henrik blushed when he made out the words. “Isn’t that his little brother?” was shouted out angrily, but he couldn’t care. He was safe, warm, loved, and he was never leaving these arms again as long as he could still draw breath.
“Do something!” someone shouted and then Viktor was wrenched from his grasp and he cried out in panic as bright light flooded his vision.
“Hush, Henrik,” the familiar voice of his godfather soothed and he blinked to see the face of the Bulgarian Minister of Magic over him.
“Where’s Viktor?” he demanded, trying to sit up although he still felt sluggish from the lack of oxygen from both the kiss and spending the entire night at the bottom of the Black Lake.
Obalonsk looked worriedly down at him before glancing over his shoulder.
“Where’s Viktor?” he shouted, his perfect English astonishing the spectators that went silent.
“Henrik,” Obalonsk explained quietly yet firmly in English, “incest and child abuse is illegal. Let us protect you.” His words were laced and heavy with meaning and Henrik gasped.
No – this was all wrong. Viktor was his and Viktor kept him safe. It wasn’t incest and Obalonsk knew that – but he wanted Henrik to hide, hide away, and Henrik couldn’t think. There was only the rush, rush, rush of water and blood in his ears as he shut his eyes to protect himself from the painful world.
But that wasn’t important. Nothing mattered except for Viktor.
“No,” he said firmly, shaking his head, before forcing himself to his feet. He saw the outraged faces of the Durmstrang students as they glared at Viktor, not knowing that it was all right, that Viktor loved him, that he was his savior.
“No!” he shouted at the uniformed wizards—the Aurors he supposed—who were restraining Viktor and fitting magical cuffs around his wrists.
A flash of platinum blond hair near him revealed the confused and concerned face of Draco, but he pressed forward—away from Obalonsk and High Master Karkaroff.
Everything was eerily quiet and Viktor’s eyes were hooded as he looked down into the depths of the Black Lake.
“It’s not child abuse – it was the first time. I swear on my magic.”
The audience who could hear him gasped at the severity of his vow, and Headmaster Dumbledore looked kindly at him as he turned away from an Auror. “Mr. Krum,” he explained, “it is still incest and is punishable under both Bulgarian and British law – especially since you are only fourteen.”
“It’s not,” he begged. “We’re not related. I swear we’re not related.”
“Henrik,” Karkaroff put in, placing his hand on his shoulder. “Viktor is your brother by blood. We must do our duty –”
“No,” he spat out, “he’s not.”
He looked desperately into Viktor’s eyes. “No, Henrik, don’t,” he quietly commanded, but Henrik couldn’t listen. He could not let this happen. He had been studying law over the summers and he knew that at best Viktor would spend five years in prison, and Viktor didn’t deserve that – not for loving Henrik when that was all Henrik had ever wanted.
“I am adopted and a political refugee in the country of Bulgaria,” he stated solemnly, his eyes never leaving Viktor’s.
I’m doing this for you, his eyes pleaded, willing Viktor to understand, but only seeing resignation and sorrow in return.
The British Aurors looked at him in shock, but Dumbledore gazed at him calculatingly.
“Minister Obalonsk?” he asked. “I was under the impression that Mr. Krum was ‘The Stolen Child’ and the biological son of Damyan and Silva Krum.”
Henrik looked at his godfather imploringly, but Obalonsk’s eyes hardened and he nodded. “That is correct. He vas not recovered until he vas eight years old.”
“Henrik, please,” a soft voice said behind him and Henrik turned, seeing Draco Malfoy standing there, all quiet strength and silent resolve.
“I’m sorry,” he said before pushing forward again when he saw the Aurors forcing Viktor to his feet. One of them was holding his beautiful wand, and Henrik found himself becoming angry that anyone would dare touch what was Viktor’s.
“Henrik,” Draco begged again, grabbing his arm, but Henrik wouldn’t listen, couldn’t listen, not with his heart pounding in his throat and Viktor standing there emotionless, a scowl not even on his face.
“I demand that you stop,” he cried out before lifting his fringe from his forehead.
Draco tried to pull his arm down in horror at what Henrik was doing, but Henrik just couldn’t care.
“Henrik, no!” Obalonsk called out, but it was too late.
Dumbledore and several of the Aurors had already inhaled sharply at the sight of the famous jagged scar on his forehead.
“Now will you listen?” he begged quietly. “It’s not incest and it’s not child abuse. I am the age of consent for being kissed.”
“Harry Potter—” someone breathed near him, but Henrik didn’t listen.
“I’ve studied international and Bulgarian law. If you don’t release him, I will take this to the International Confederation of Wizards, and trust me when I say they will listen to the Boy-Who-Lived, especially when they find out what your godforsaken country did to me as a child.
Draco’s hand had gone limp on his arm and Henrik began to shake, exhausted from the potion and shivering from the cold of the Black Lake.
“My dear boy,” Dumbledore began, taking a step forward, but Henrik immediately pointed his wand at him.
“Release Viktor. Now.”
A haunted look passed over his blue eyes and he nodded solemnly.
“Minister Obalonsk,” Fudge began angrily, but no one was paying attention to him.
As soon as Viktor’s wrists were free, Henrik snatched his wand from the Auror—who had bright purple hair of all things—and pressed it into his hand. “Get us out of here,” he whispered into Viktor’s ear and his adopted brother only nodded.
“Trust me,” he said in return, just loud enough for everyone to hear, before grabbing Henrik around the waist and plunging them head first back into the Black Lake.
Thirteen. Breathe on Me.
Henrik gasped as air rushed back into his lungs, and he clung onto Viktor’s form desperately as he blinked water out of his eyes.
“Almost there,” Viktor soothed, his arm wrapped tightly around Henrik’s waist, clutching him to his chest. Lifting his wand arm into the air, he shouted “Ascendo!” gruffly and Henrik felt them lift up, the water falling from their frames before he fell painfully on top of Viktor’s chest.
“Viktor?” he questioned as he shook from the cold.
Two strong arms held him closely and Viktor kissed his brow. “Come. You are cold. We will be safe here.” He rolled Henrik off of him carefully, and stood, his feet planted firmly apart on the gently swaying deck of the Durmstrang ship. He pulled Henrik up carefully and, seeing that the younger boy could barely stand, he swept him up into his strong arms.
Henrik was now fully shaking, his arms crossed over his chest to hold in the little warmth he possessed, his lips blue, and teeth chattering.
Without a word, Viktor rushed to the private suite he had been given as he was champion and kicked open the door to his tiny shower room. “Trust me,” he whispered desperately as he pulled Henrik’s arms apart and quickly stripped him so that he was wearing nothing. Leaning over to turn on a magical warm spray, he once again took Henrik into his arms and started moving his hands across Henrik’s back, trying to give him any warmth.
“C-c-cold,” Henrik stuttered and Viktor nodded. After checking the water, he gently guided Henrik until he was standing under the falling water and continued to warm him with his hands.
Slowly, Henrik’s shivers became less frequent and he relaxed bonelessly into the steam, not even noticing his nakedness or the fact that Viktor was standing close to him in his sopping wet robes.
When he became aware of his surroundings, he realized Viktor was holding him up in his arms and he nuzzled further into the warmth, lightly kissing a patch of bare skin near the base of Viktor’s neck. “My Viktor,” he whispered quietly.
“Yours. Always yours.”
Henrik sighed in pleasure and didn’t protest when Viktor began to wash the lake water out of his hair.
Viktor laughed quietly. “Do you remember how I used to do this when you were a child of eight?”
Henrik smiled slightly. “Yes. You were so upset Mother wouldn’t let you that sometimes I would get two baths in a day—one from her and one in secret.“
“We spoiled you, my Harry.”
Henrik stilled and large green eyes looked up at him pleadingly. “Do you regret it?” he asked hesitantly.
Viktor took a sponge from a shelf on the wall and lathered it with soap, before gently beginning to clean Henrik’s shoulders. He knew Henrik wasn’t speaking of how they spoiled him—at least not really. Henrik wanted to know if he regretted anything, from when he looked up to the tree to when Henrik revealed himself before the wizarding public as the lost Boy-Who-Lived. He smiled sadly down at the boy who had captured his heart all those years ago. “Never, Henrik. I will never regret anything, except that I can never hope to deserve you.”
A brilliant smile erupted on Henrik’s still pale lips and he hesitantly reached out, cupping Viktor’s cheek in his hand. Slowly, almost as if he were afraid Viktor would reject him, Henrik leaned closer and stood on his toes until his lips carefully brushed against Viktor’s. “I love you so much,” he breathed in English
Viktor smiled down at him before dropping the sponge and wrapping his arms around Henrik. “I haff luffed you for so long.”
“I loved you since you first smiled at me, all those years ago, did you know? I didn’t know what it was at first, but I cried when Mother told me that I would be their new son and you would be my brother.” He stroked Viktor’s cheek lovingly as the water continued to pour over them, cleansing them of their old misunderstandings.
“I did not know that. I thought you cried because you vere so happy.”
“I was, Viktor, but sad.”
Viktor leaned down and pressed his lips against Henrik’s again, groaning in the back of his throat when they parted invitingly for him. Hesitantly and afraid that this was still all a beautiful dream he would soon wake from, he deepened the kiss and claimed Henrik’s mouth gently, delighting in the taste of lake water that reminded him that Henrik was now safe, alive, free, happy in his arms.
Henrik kissed him back softly, pushing forward and up on his toes until his entire body was pressed against Viktor’s clothed form.
They both moaned at the contact and Viktor gripped him tighter, wishing the entire world would just disappear and that he and Henrik could remain like this forever, happy and in love.
When the kiss was finally broken Henrik sighed before resting his head on Viktor’s shoulder. “What do you think will happen now?“
Viktor was drawing small circles on Henrik’s back and he stiffened at the question before forcing himself to relax again. “They will come. I have wards that will keep them out until we leave, but I doubt we can stay here more than a night, a day at most.”
He paused, thinking. “It depends on whether this ship counts as Bulgarian land or if, because it is a vessel in a British lake, it will be English.”
“I don’t know,” Henrik confessed, pushing himself closer. “I should know,” he berated himself.
“Shh, I’m certain only the Ministers of both countries know the answer.”
Henrik laughed bitterly. “Father would know.”
“I assume Karkaroff will contact him immediately and he’ll be here with Mother.”
Henrik shuddered at the thought. “How do you think they will react, especially with the contract? What if they think this is incest?”
Viktor pushed Henrik carefully away from him and looked at him in the eye. “This is not incest—or wrong.”
Henrik relaxed but he still looked worried. “I know, but Mother and Father, they see me as their true son. I know they wanted to blood adopt me.”
“I made sure they didn’t,” Viktor growled dangerously.
“Thank you,” he whispered. “I would not have been able to say ‘no’ as a child. I would not have known to. I was—”
“Young and eager to please us all,” Viktor finished, pulling him close once again.
Henrik laughed sadly. “I was so afraid you would send me away. And when you left, I thought Mother and Father wouldn’t want me anymore since you weren’t there to want me.”
They stood under the water until it began to go cold, and Viktor led Henrik from the shower. Grabbing a clean towel, Viktor wrapped it around Henrik’s frame, patting him down.
Henrik padded into the main bedroom and looked around at the sparse furnishings. Viktor’s Firebolt was resting in a corner, most likely secured by magic. A trunk rested at the end of the small bed and a small mirror hung on the wall. There was one small window and a hard wooden bench beneath it, but there wasn’t much else in the room, apart from various moving photographs Viktor had pinned to the walls.
He knelt beside the trunk and opened it, quickly pulling out Viktor’s Bulgarian team jersey. “Don’t look,” he warned when he saw Viktor watching him from the shower room doorway.
“Never,” Viktor vowed before turning around promptly.
Henrik smiled lovingly at him although Viktor couldn’t see before dropping the towel and pulling the overlarge shirt over his head. It came down to about his knees and he shook his head. He would never be as tall as his Viktor. Slipping into the small bed that could only hold one, he snuggled into the pillow before whispering, “Come to bed, Viktor.”
Viktor laughed. “It is only the afternoon,” he teased though he knew they were both weary.
Henrik merely snuggled deeper and closed his eyes and waited. Viktor walked over swiftly and kissed Henrik’s famous scar that was peaking out from behind his hair.
“You’re wet,” Henrik sighed.
“I’ll return, my love.”
Grabbing his own pajamas, he quickly returned to the small shower room where he spelled himself dry and then slipped into his clothes. He stared at his reflection in the small shard of a mirror and took in the features of face. His eyebrows were black and bushy and he had his father’s large, curved nose although it didn’t look handsome on him at all. His black eyes stared back at him, full of emotions that did not transfer to the rest of his face, and he sighed.
How could Henrik ever want him? Yes, he was tall and had the lithe seeker build, but he was almost ugly. He wasn’t graceful on the ground, and his feet were duck-footed. His shoulders were rounded, making him look unattractive.
“Henrik loves me,” he reminded himself, speaking the words aloud. “I must remember that in this moment Henrik loves and wants me—and only me. Nothing else matters but Henrik.”
His sleek hands ran through his tangled hair and he noticed with disgust that he still smelled of the Black Lake. Taking back his wand he quickly charmed the offending odor from his clothes, skin, and hair before nodding to his reflection.
“This is not a dream, not a dream,” he murmured before he opened the door again and stepped out, his eyes instantly landing on Henrik.
He was sleeping and all signs of worry and exhaustion had smoothed from his beautiful face.
Viktor smiled and shook his head affectionately. “My Harry,” he whispered before pulling the covers away from Henrik and slipping in beside the boy who held his heart in his small, perfect hands.
Henrik instantly curled around him in his sleep and murmured, “Viktor,” before snuggling his face against his adopted brother’s chest.
Casting a quiet Nox, Viktor slipped his wand under their shared pillow before allowing himself to drift off into a peaceful slumber.
Viktor moaned as he felt callused hands stroking his cheek in the darkness. It felt heavenly, divine, and he knew he didn’t want to wake. Pulling the small form in his arms closer to him—Henrik, a quiet voice in his head told him, you’re dreaming of holding Henrik—he drifted back into sleep as he sighed deeply.
The soft laugh of an angel ghosted against his skin and he smiled to himself.
If only Henrik were here in Scotland, or better, if he were back at Durmstrang and Henrik had snuck into his bed as he occasionally did, he sleepily pondered. Then this might be real.
The pads of fingers traced his left eyebrow, dipping down to lightly caress the curve of his nose before snaking down and teasing his relaxed lips. A second hand joined, moving softly through his hair before it stroked across his exposed ear and back down to the bottom of his chin with the other fingers.
Breath moved against his thin lips and then there was the soft pressure of a gentle kiss in the darkened cabin.
A small nose brushed against his and Viktor became aware of a bare calf threaded between his legs.
The lips pulled away briefly before a second kiss was brushed against his waiting lips and he opened his mouth sighing “Henrik” before the dream lips claimed his in a gentle and loving kiss.
“I love you so much,” the angel voice promised and he breathed out in contentment.
One hand hovered over his skin as it traveled down his neck.
“Love you so much,” the heavenly words spoke to him before the nose brushed against the tip of his in a childish show of affection. “So very, very much.”
Viktor snuggled closer to the warmth and breathed in the unique scent of Henrik, not willing to let this beautiful dream end.
“Sleep,” the voice commanded gently, no louder than a gentle breeze. “Sleep, my love,” and with the feel of the fluttering of eyelashes against his cheek, Viktor did as his beloved asked, and fell back into a happier slumber.
Epilogue. Jai Ho.
Henrik Ivan Gavrail Krum woke up with a smile on his face. Today was the day—he would finally be free from everything. Today he was legally seventeen years old, an adult.
The past three years had been one form of hell after another. Sometimes he thought the wizarding world had a secret contest to find new ways to torture him. As soon as he had left Viktor’s cabin all those years ago, an international delegation was waiting for him and he was taken into “protective custody” – in other words, a ramshackle old house in London where everyone called him ‘Harry’ and tried to convert him to their way of thinking.
They expected him to be Harry James Potter, “The Boy-Who-Lived.”
He had never been the Boy-Who-Lived in his mind. The scar on his forehead was from a car crash that his parents died in. It was the only way he could sleep at night. He liked that lie; it kept him safe and happy.
Henrik was disgusted to learn that he had a Godfather who had never really wanted him and instead ended up in Azkaban and was now an escaped convict. He was the embodiment of a blood traitor, a Muggle lover who had told him in what Henrik supposed was a fatherly tone, that the Krums should have left him with his loving Muggle family where he belonged.
Henrik refused to speak a word to him after that.
The Weasleys were almost worse and Henrik just withdrew into himself before the courts finally ruled, after examining the Krums’ memories and half-lost reports from Henrik’s earliest childhood in Surrey, that he was in fact a political refugee and was to be returned to Bulgaria.
There was uproar in the British press, but Henrik was glad—except when he learned that his parents had disowned Viktor.
They didn’t blame Henrik—they didn’t say it was his fault, only his beloved Viktor’s. He was unnatural for wanting the boy who was his brother, for ‘forcing’ his perversions on him.
Henrik had to swallow bile whenever he thought about it. He became more withdrawn and only spoke to his parents formally when he was home for the holidays from Durmstrang.
Draco was his one salvation. He understood that Henrik adored Viktor and would even invite him to France for several weeks over the summer, and they would sneak back into Bulgaria for Quidditch matches. A few shared words, a couple of stolen kisses over the years, and longing looks when they had to part—it was all Henrik had to live on.
The Krums tried to push the marriage contract with the Malfoys, but Draco chose to decline it. Henrik knew that Draco was still in love with him, and he did everything he could to try and lessen the shadow in Draco’s eyes, but they never spoke of it.
When Draco came to him on the night of his sixteenth birthday with a small package in his hand and a whispered message, “from Viktor,” Henrik knew that Draco had finally given up his hopes. The gift was a simple platinum betrothal band—a promise for the future, and from that moment on, Henrik refused to remove it from his hand.
His father questioned him on it, but he would only smile or shrug, refusing to give a verbal answer. For a few months Silva Krum believed it was from Draco, but then it was announced in the British papers that Draco was betrothed to Astoria Greengrass.
Henrik never spoke of Viktor to his parents, so they believed he had forgotten, but he never could.
He was everything they would want for a pureblood heir. He was top in his class at Durmstrang, slated to take the greatest number of final exams offered at the end of his seventh year, and wished to enter politics. Damyan had tried to curve his political beliefs, but it ended in nothing but sighs. After Henrik’s brief stay at Grimmauld Place, he had become even more devoted to the belief that magical children shouldn’t be exposed to any Muggle influences.
The Eastern European and even French papers heralded him as a visionary for the future of wizard kind and its secrecy from the greater world.
England fell into civil war and Henrik looked at the reports with a detached interest. Albus Dumbledore as well as the new British Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, owled him at least once a week asking for assistance in their endeavors to defeat the Dark Lord, but Henrik ignored their pleas. He would never step foot on English soil again, especially for their petty dispute.
Henrik was surprised when shortly after his fifth year ended and rumors of the Dark Lord’s resurrection began to spread, he received a missive from Lord Voldemort. It was elegantly written and on expensive paper. Voldemort spoke of Henrik’s international reputation as well as his sadness for the harm done to him by Muggles. He stated that whatever past history they might have, that should Henrik remain neutral in the current conflict in Britain, he would lend any form of support Henrik might wish for his later political endeavors. “We magical orphans who have suffered at the hands of Muggles, no matter our differences of approach to a common problem, should not be against one another.”
Henrik completely agreed.
He never told his father about the letter, but he kept it in a private box that held newspaper clippings that involved any mention of his Viktor.
Viktor. Despite the backlash their brief romance had caused as well as the scandal of the Krums disowning him, Viktor was still the premier seeker in the international league. He could not be ignored and soon the papers began calling their love affair “a true modern romance” and began to speculate on what the future might bring.
Silva would always watch Henrik closely when such an article was published, trying to gauge his reaction, but Henrik always acted as if he hadn’t seen it.
Today, however, was the day. He knew his mother had planned a small party with the Malfoys even though he had asked her not to, but he wasn’t planning on staying any longer in the fortress. Viktor was waiting for him; he could feel it in the very core of his being, and he wouldn’t keep Viktor waiting.
With a flick of his wand he had his trunk open and he moved about the room quickly as he packed his most precious possessions with magic. When he finally came to Snitch, he picked up the plush lovingly and gently packed it as well. He didn’t know when his parents would allow him to come back, whether or not he would be disowned—but it didn’t matter. All that mattered was Viktor. His Viktor. And today he was finally going home.
He quickly shrank his trunk and turned to look at himself in the mirror. His dark hair was pulled back in the pureblood fashion and fortunately his long fringe still covered up the scar on his forehead. Henrik hated it—except when Viktor would kiss it gently at night before they went to sleep, but they hadn’t seen each other for more than a few moments in several years.
Henrik was casually dressed in dark blue wizard robes. Although they were made of the finest material and were of a good cut, they did not loudly proclaim his wealth. They were meant for comfort—for traveling even, and not for a birthday party.
He’d grown in the last few years, he noted, and he worried his bottom lip. He prayed to the old gods that Viktor still wanted him, still loved him, that Viktor wouldn’t mind that he had grown up.
Henrik remembered that night, so many years ago, when Viktor begged him to never grow up and always remain with him. He had kissed away Viktor’s tears and promised him solemnly—a childish promise and one he could never have kept.
Sighing, he left the room and made his way downstairs to where he knew his parents were having breakfast.
“Happy Birthday, my son,” Silva greeted when he entered the breakfast room where everything was laid out neatly. She looked puzzled at his choice of robes, but didn’t comment.
“Good morning, Mother.”
Damyan ruffled his paper as he closed it to look at his youngest. “Well, sit down, Henrik. We have all your favorites.”
Henrik glanced down nervously before looking his father in the eye. He loved this man with all his heart; Damyan Krum had raised him, taught him everything he knew, And yet, Henrik was about to break his and his mother’s hearts, and all because they believed that any love between him and his adopted brother was wrong.
“I’m sorry, Father,” he began quietly, “Mother, but I’m going to breakfast with my fiancé.”
Silva looked astonished. “Fiancé, darling? I did not know you were engaged or—interested in anyone.” She looked quickly at Damyan who shrugged. “Who is it? Do we know him or her?”
Henrik’s lips pressed into a thin line. “Yes, mother. You know him.”
Both looked at him expectantly and Henrik took a deep breath. “You’ve known him well for years.”
Silva looked confused. Turning to her husband she asked quietly, “Didn’t the Malfoy boy become betrothed to someone back in England?”
Henrik shook his head sadly. “It’s not Draco, Mother. I was never in love with him. I’ve only ever been in love with one person—and now I’m seventeen.”
Damyan’s face began to darken as he heard what Henrik wasn’t saying. “Henrik, my son, it is not done.”
“It is done,” he replied harshly. “We are not related by blood. There is nothing to stop us but an old law about blood relations.”
“Henrik, darling, you can’t,” his mother pleaded, tears forming in her beautiful eyes. “It’s a sin—”
“Sin is a Muggle concept, Mother.” He looked away, unable to see the pain in either of their eyes. “Know that I will always love you and be your son, if you still want me.”
He turned and walked out of the door and then through the rest of his childhood home, wondering if he would ever be permitted to step foot in it again.
Henrik ignored the odd looks he got as he walked into Muggle Sofia. Neither of his parents had rushed after him, which had pained him, but there was nothing to be done. He would look to the future, to the love he had felt for nine long years.
Making his way to what looked like a hotel, he stepped into the lobby and walked confidently up to the reception area. “Excuse me,” he said in perfect English, the words feeling wrong on his tongue, “I was wondering if you had a phone book I could take a look at. I’m supposed to meet an old friend and have gotten a bit lost.”
The woman smiled at him and nodded her head. “Off course, sir,” she said in accented English. “Gif me vone moment please.”
Soon the phone book was in front of him and Henrik took a deep breath. He knew that Viktor wasn’t listed in any sort of wizard publication. He was too famous for that, but he was hoping Viktor would have remembered his love for Muggle music and had himself listed in such a way so that Henrik—and only Henrik—could find him. He flipped through the Ks and scanned down through them but found nothing. Henrik stared and then looked them over more closely. Krum, Anastas; Krum, Andon; Krum, B; Krum, Danail; Krum, Henrik; Krum, Ioan—
His eyes snapped back up.
He smiled brightly and quickly jotted down the address. It was only a few blocks from the shopping district they always snuck off to when Henrik was younger.
Viktor remembered, Viktor still wanted him, his heart sang, and he caressed the ring on his finger reverently.
“Thank you,” he said to the receptionist before walking out again.
The street was narrow and cobbled, part of the old city, and Henrik instantly adored it. The houses along it were made of stone and several centuries old, each having character and well kept.
He smiled. Glancing down at the piece of paper, he read the number and then scanned the houses. He finally spotted it.
Rushing up to it he stood for a moment, hesitant. It was now eleven in the morning. Should he wait? Come back later? Would Viktor even be here? he wondered desperately.
Steeling his courage, he knocked and prepared himself to be disappointed. Within a few moments the door was swung open hastily and he was met with the sight of a smiling Viktor. “You came,” he breathed before he pulled Henrik gently to him. “You really came, Harry.”
A large hand gently rested against his cheek and Henrik closed his eyes, willing the tears of happiness to disappear. “Of course I came, Viktor,” he said before opening his eyes again. He adored the feeling of Viktor’s arms wrapped around his waist, of the feel of Viktor’s beating heart pressed against his chest. “I could never keep away.”
Viktor leaned down and kissed his scar gently. “Are you here to stay?” he inquired, his voice thick with emotion.
Henrik bit his lower lip and reached out hesitantly until his fingers were brushing Viktor’s cheekbones. “As long as you’ll have me.”
With those quiet words they were both in paradise, and Henrik wouldn’t let anyone take him away from it again. He was finally home.