Serenade

Title: Serenade
Author: ExcentrykeMuse
Fandom(s): A Harry Potter/Ouran High School Host Club Crossover
Pairing(s): Harry/Tamaki, (one sided) Harry/Ginny

Summary: Who said there wasn’t an upside to an arranged marriage?

Warning(s): arranged marriage, slash, unrepentant fluff

“This, Harry, is completely ridiculous,” Ginny huffed angrily as she followed him toward the Headmaster’s office.  “This must be a joke—a sick joke.”

He shook his head.  “It’s not a joke.—And how did you even find out?” he asked, turning toward her.  “Why are you here?”

She crossed her arms.  “I’m your friend, Harry, and Hermione told me.”

Of course.  Hermione told her.  It appeared that Hermione told Ginny absolutely everything, including the supposed snog she had with Krum.  Sometimes he wished that the two weren’t so close.  If Hermione hadn’t told Ginny, she wouldn’t have yelled at Ron, and Harry wouldn’t be stuck hearing about Lavender all the time.  She was a nice girl, but soon he’d have to draw the line somewhere.

He shrugged. “Well, there’s nothing to be done,” he said.  “And why aren’t you off with Dean?  It’s Valentine’s Day after all.”

Ginny sighed, pushing her hair behind her shoulder before taking her hand in his.  He glanced down at their interlaced fingers and then quickly pulled away.  It wasn’t right.  It didn’t matter how pretty he found Ginny—or, rather, how pretty he had found her.  He couldn’t really find her pretty any more or want to snog her; it would be unfair to him.  He told himself that again and again in his mind, knowing that he had once found her pretty, before he had met someone else, someone his heart belonged to, someone that now he could never quite see again, not that way. 

They didn’t even know each other’s names, he thought sadly to himself.  It had happened so quickly over Christmas.  He was waiting outside of platform nine and three-quarters and Harry had run into him, all blond hair and blue eyes and shameless compliments that couldn’t help but make Harry blush.  Ron had tried to pull him away, saying that his mum would be around there somewhere, but Harry found himself saying that he’d be along soon, by dinner at least, yes, he had enough money before allowing the stranger to pull him away and into London.

It had been a whirlwind few hours, the stranger was only in London changing planes, and Harry found himself laughing at simple Muggle games that pleased this strange blue-eyed boy, who would present him with roses as if he would die if he were refused, but then kissed him softly before boarding his plane to somewhere else.

No, it was best not to remember that now, despite the scribbled address that was pressed in his hand.  He just pretended that it did not happen, that it was all a dream, that Ginny was who he always wanted.  It was easier to bear the heartbreak.

She had Dean, her boyfriend, who she was probably in love with given their extracurricular activities—and he—Well, Harry had René Tamaki Richard de Grandtaine, even though he hadn’t met him yet.

He could feel his shoulders tense just at the thought. 

Life, he had decided long ago, was truly unfair.  He’d never even heard of de Grandtaine until a smartly dressed lawyer had turned up at the Burrow over Christmas and insisted that she speak to him immediately on a matter of Potter business.  She’d given him her smart looking business card, led him into the kitchen, then fully warded it before she took out a marriage contract that it appeared his father had signed just after he was born.

What was even more startling was that Harry was to marry another boy, and the contract stipulated the marriage would take place the month after Harry turned seventeen.  A joining of dynasties, really.  The de Grandtaines were a wealthy and powerful wizarding family in France, and although René was the half-blood son of the patriarch’s daughter and apparently lived life as a Muggle now with his father, he still was the only eligible child for the marriage.  Where René’s mother had nothing because of her shame at having a liaison with some wealthy Japanese Muggle outside of wedlock, René was set to inherit everything on his twenty-first birthday, and Harry was now not only the heir of the Potter family but the Blacks as well. 

On paper it was a match made in heaven.

In real life Harry was absolutely terrified.

“Why do you have to meet him anyway?” Ginny asked quietly, her eyes trained on Harry’s free hand that she had recently been holding.  “Wouldn’t it be better to just—forget about it?”

“How can I forget about it?” he asked her angrily, annoyed at her interference, no matter how kindly it was meant.  “I am marrying René de Grandtaine in August and I would like to know my fiancé a bit before that happens.”

They’d come across the entrance to Dumbledore’s office, and Harry whispered the password, stepping up onto the revolving stairs.  Ginny, unfortunately, followed him.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” she persisted and Harry just wished she would go away and snog Dean like she usually did.  “Your father married a Muggle-born, so why would he sign a marriage contract?”

He shrugged dispassionately.  “Unfortunately, I can’t ask him as he’s been dead for fifteen years, and I can’t ask my godfather as he’s also dead.”  His voice was laced with acid, and fortunately his words shut her up.

Silence at last.

As the stairs opened up at Dumbledore’s office, Ginny grabbed his hand and looked imploringly up at him with large brown eyes.  Harry couldn’t stop wishing that they were blue.

“It should have been me,” she murmured, and Harry didn’t understand.

It should have been the strange boy who had captured his heart, who loved seeing children play with yoyos as he said he’d never had one himself and then spent an extravagant amount of money buying every item on the menu at McDonald’s as he wanted to try them all.

Harry released his hand and shook his head.  “Go enjoy Valentine’s Day with Dean,” he said with finality.

“But—“

“Ginny,” he said reasonably.  “You’re confused.  Your boyfriend is waiting for you.”

She nodded her head and turned, the door shutting behind her.  Harry knew what waited for him in the room.  Dumbledore was lending him the office for the afternoon so de Grandtaine and he could meet and get to know one another without the pressures of lawyers or family members.  Just him and this other boy who had both been given away as children with the scrawl of a signature.

“You didn’t write,” a voice echoed behind him.  It was careful, the words clearly pronounced and accented, and hauntingly familiar. 

Turning, Harry gasped when he saw the sight before him.  The stranger sat in a high armchair, his blond hair falling to his eyes, a half smile on his lips.  He was still wearing the same uniform from some private academy Harry didn’t know.

“You,” Harry murmured.  “You’re René de Grandtaine.”

“Suoh Tamaki,” he corrected.  “I live with my Muggle father, as a Muggle.  I hope this does not bother you.”

Dumbly, Harry shook his head before stumbling forward.  Tentatively he reached out and stroked the side of the stranger’s face—Tamaki, he reminded himself mentally—and smiled when the mischievous grin he had dreamt so often about played on Tamaki’s lips.

“I cried for you when the lawyer told me,” Harry whispered.  “It’s why I didn’t write.”  He shrugged.  “That and I couldn’t read the Japanese your address was in.”

Tamaki smiled sadly.  “I quit the Host Club at school,” he whispered, leaning forward.  “I couldn’t woo or serenade anyone when I knew I couldn’t serenade you.”

Harry leaned back, confused.  “Host Club?”

He found that the kiss he was given instead of the answer was all he needed to know.

The End.

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