Blanks Space

You Belong with Me Redux

Part of the Willow Series

Title: Blank Space: You Belong With Me Redux
Author: ExcentrykeMuse
Pairing: male!Harry/Lucius
Summary: Lucius was never caught at the Department of Mysteries, but a pair of green eyes haunted him.  Determined to have Heir Harrigan Potter, Lucius engages in an archaic courtship with him, only to be thwarted by family and the Dark Lord himself.

Wordcount:

Song Inspiration: “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

Warnings: slash (m/m), EWE, pureblood society, age discrepancy (16/43), no Lucius/Narcissa, no Draco Malfoy

A wizard’s inheritance was the stuff of legend.  Once upon a time, magic was so powerful among purebloods that on their sixteenth birthdays, wizards would wake up with a new skill.  Some would have an elemental power.  Others would be seers.  Still others would have more obscure but still crucial gifts.

Purebloods began to marry each other and forsake half-bloods, Muggles, and Muggle-borns to foster these inheritances.  What happened was that these powers became commonplace.  Mastering the elements became a common skill.  Divination became a course taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  The other skills—well, who knew what they were?  Perhaps they were incorporated.  Perhaps they were lost.

One thing was certain.  Inheritances didn’t happen anymore.  That is, until Lucius Malfoy woke up on his seventeenth birthday and suddenly knew down to the exact minutia the courting rituals of every single pureblood family in not only Britain, but in Europe.  Confused, he went to Spungen’s Guide to Pureblood Dynasties and looked up a family at random.  He knew it word for word.  Of course, he had known the Malfoy family rituals—vaguely.  He was a wizard, after all, and if he wanted to court a witch he would normally have gone to Spungen’s and looked it up.

He had planned on doing exactly that when his then girlfriend, Lady Narcissa Black, turned seventeen.  He was, therefore, surprised when on her sixteenth birthday she kept on checking her watch and on exactly noon tried to kiss him.  This, Lucius knew, meant that they would be betrothed and nothing could come between them until they were bonded, not even infidelity.

Lucius was ever the gentleman and had talked about how cold the castle was instead of letting her kiss him and the next day, carefully and quietly, he broke up with her.

She had cried for weeks.

Now, a confirmed bachelor, Lucius hadn’t wanted to bond with anyone for nearly twenty-five years.  That was when he had gone to the Department of Mysteries with his master, the Dark Lord, and had seen Heir Harrigan Potter.

Lucius had seen him before, when he was twelve years old and simply a scrawny kid in clothes that were too big.  The fool had even cost him his servant.

At that point he had only been Master Harrigan Potter.  Most likely unbeknownst to him, he was the heir of Charlus, Lord Potter’s only son Heir Brandir Potter, who himself was childless, having never had the inclination to marry one of his many male lovers.  Not that he could beget an heir anyway.  Harry, a second cousin, was next in line.  Now that Charlus was dead and Brandir was Lord Potter, Harry was set to be the next Lord Potter unless things drastically changed.

Now, though, now Harry was—entrancing.  He was not beautiful.  He had messy black hair, startling green eyes, and a seeker’s build.  His skin was tanned and his ears had the barest of points to them.

Lucius had never thought of himself as preferring wizards to witches.  However, there was something about Harry Potter that made him want to take notice.  Lucius wanted to possess.  He needed to have him.  Not caring what the Dark Lord said, he determined to make Heir Harrigan Potter his.  He could always beget an heir by paying a witch to carry his seed.  Heir Harrigan Potter could do the same if it was important to him.  Laws might change in time.

It was a wonder that Lord Potter had never considered it.  Perhaps he was too old fashioned.

Surprisingly, it took Lucius an entire three weeks to research where Heir Harrigan lived.  He was in the town of Little Whinging, in a Muggle neighborhood, living, surprisingly, with Muggles.

Going to a Muggle tailor, Lucius purchased a summer suit so as to blend in and made his way to Number Four, Privet Drive.  What he hadn’t been expecting was to see Heir Harrigan gardening in the heat.

Lucius stood and watched as he pulled up weeds and wiped sweat from his brow.  Surely there were servants for this kind of work?

Heir Harrigan caught sight of him.  Immediately he was standing, trowel in hand, being brandished as a weapon, and with a scowl on his face.  “What do you want, Malfoy?” he gritted out.

“Is that any way to treat a guest, Heir Harrigan?” he asked.

When Heir Harrigan didn’t respond, Lucius looked briefly to the sky.  There were no clouds out today.  “You are sixteen a month from today?”

Carefully, Heir Harrigan nodded.

Lucius hummed.  “I realize this is slightly premature, but I wish to offer a courtship to you.”  He held out the package he had brought.  It was wrapped in dark blue and silver paper—the colors of the House of Potter.

“A—a courtship?”  He looked genuinely confused.  “I’m male.  Shouldn’t I be offering a courtship to some pureblood if I felt like it?  And why are you calling me Heir Harrigan?  No one knows my real name.”

Although he was a half-blood and raised in Muggle environs, it seemed that Harry had read up on the situation.  “It is rare, but not entirely unheard of for a wizard to offer for another wizard, Heir Harrigan.  And I’ve done my research.”  Or rather he just knew.  The world might know him as Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, but he was Heir Harrigan Potter.

Heir Harrigan was still in shock.  “Don’t you want an heir?  And why do you keep calling me ‘Heir Harrigan’ instead of just Mr. Potter like you used to?”

“It’s your title now—” ever since old Charlus died, Lucius explained.  “You’re heir to your second cousin, Lord Potter.”

“I have a second cousin who’s a Potter?” he asked in disbelief.  “I think you must be wrong.  All the Potters are dead.”  He deflated a little and took off his gardening gloves and then wiped his forehead again.  He still retained the trowel in his hand, Lucius noticed.

“Who told you that, Dumbledore?”  Lucius laughed.

“And I should believe you, a Death Eater?”

Lucius’s eyes narrowed.  He was afraid that was going to be a problem.  “I’m a pureblood, Heir Harrigan.  I never confuse dynastic relationships.”  He held out the present again.  “Please, Heir Harrigan.”

“I—“ He stared at the package and then deflated.  He carefully reached out for it.  “Not a portkey then,” he murmured.

“No, not a portkey,” Lucius agreed.

Carefully, Heir Harrigan unwrapped the gift, being ever so careful with the paper as if he hadn’t had many presents in his life.  Before even looking at his gift, he folded up the wrapping and put it safely in his pocket.  His jaw dropped as he looked at the gift.  “Louise Glück.”

“She’s a modern American poet.  Muggle,” Lucius supplied.  “I thought you might like something contemporary.”

Heir Harrigan was now thumbing through the pages.  “I—I don’t know what to say.  How did you know how to get it right?  Do you read Spungen’s?”

“I have a copy on my shelves like every other pureblood,” he said, not noting that he didn’t actually need to own a copy.  He had it all memorized in his head.

“There’s a copy in the library at Hogwarts,” Heir Harrigan offered.  “I just—You’re serious.”

Lucius just looked at him.

Carefully, Heir Harrigan put the trowel down.  Lucius knew what came next.  A Potter always answered a gift with a kiss, perhaps on the forehead, perhaps on the cheek.  Still, a kiss was required in a courtship and for Heir Harrigan to ignore it when they both knew he was aware of the tradition would be seen as bad form.  Coming forward, Heir Harrigan put a hand on Lucius’s arm and looked into his eyes.  Heir Harrigan’s gaze was so impossibly green, even if it was hidden by those ridiculous glasses.  Closing his eyes, Harry leaned forward and brushed his lips against Lucius’s, no more than a whisper.  He stood back, blushing.

Reaching out, Lucius tucked a piece of hair behind his ear.  Heavens knew Heir Harrigan’s locks needed to be tamed.

Heir Harrigan looked toward the house, where a woman with a horse shaped face with looking out from the windows.  He sighed.  “That’s my cue.  I better get gardening again.”

“Surely I can have one of my house elves do that for you,” Lucius suggested.

“No,” Heir Harrigan responded.  “No, they want me to suffer—for being magical,” he spat out.  “It’s unnatural apparently.”

Lucius eyed the house.  “We’ll see about that.”

Lucius was true to his word.  He went back to the Manor, changed, and floo’d to Potter Abbey.  The place was bright and full of light, with lush carpets and ancestors hanging on the wall.  It was everything a pureblood seat should be.

He was shown into see Lord Potter immediately.  Lord Malfoy immediately outranked him, and both were outranked by Lord Black, the preeminent nobleman in wizarding Britain.

Lord Potter was a corpulent man with puffy cheeks but the same messy black hair Heir Harrigan had.  “Ah, Lord Malfoy!  What can I do for you?”  His right foot was laid up on a cushion as if he had injured it and hadn’t bothered to fix it with magic.

“It’s about Heir Harrigan Potter, my lord.  You see, he’s staying with his mother’s relatives.”

“Yes, yes.  I know all about that.  Dumbledore came and told Father years ago that those people, whoever they were, were Harrigan’s closest relatives and wanted him badly enough to go to court over it.  Of course, we could have won, but Mother was so distressed at the thought of Harrigan being taken away from people who really loved him, when we ourselves are only distant relatives…”

“I see,” Lucius said, taking a seat.  “Did you know that they are Muggles and that they hate magic?”

“What?” the man bellowed.  “My heir is with magic-hating Muggles?”

“Quite.  I’m sure you can appreciate my concern given the fact that I’ve just initiated a courtship with Heir Harrigan.”

Lord Potter eyed him.  “You want to let two lines die out for your own lust?”

“I have a cousin in France,” Lucius offered, “and I’m sure Heir Harrigan must have some distant relation.”

“Hmm.”  Lord Potter picked up a pipe.  “Well, whatever your motives, the boy must come here.  He must learn our ways, our traditions, and someone must chaperone this love affair of yours.”

Lucius smiled graciously.  “That’s exactly as I would have hoped.”

He received a short note from Lord Potter when Heir Harrigan was safely ensconced at Potter Abbey.  A lawsuit was being put through the Wizengamot and as Heir Harrigan was almost sixteen, it was almost entirely up to him who would have custody of him before his seventeenth birthday.

Without waiting a moment, Lucius penned a letter to Dowager Potter if she would serve as chaperone for tea with Harry that Sunday.  The Dowager, perhaps by request of her son, agreed.

So it was that Lucius was standing at the front door to Malfoy Manor, waiting for the Potters to arrive.  Finally with a pop the regal Dowager Potter and Heir Harrigan appeared on the front lawn, white peacocks scattering away from them.

“Dowager Potter,” Lucius said, picking up her hand and raising it an inch beneath his lips before letting it go.  “A great honor.” 

She just harrumphed at him.  Clearly Dowager Potter was unhappy about the arrangement.

Heir Harrigan was looking about the splendor, an awed look upon his face.  “People other than Lord Potter really live like this?” he asked innocently.  “It all seems part of a fairytale.”

“Where do you think Muggle fairytales comes from, Harrigan?” Dowager Potter chided as they were led inside.  “Sometimes I wonder about the youth of today.”

“We must forgive Heir Harrigan his ignorances,” Lucius purred, trying to ease the situation.  “He was, after all, raised by Muggles.”

“Yes, well at least that has been rectified.  I believe we owe you a debt of gratitude, Lord Malfoy, for making us aware of the degrading situation.”

Heir Harrigan had gone pink at the conversation.

“You are most welcome, Dowager.  Now, this way.”  He led them up a grand marble staircase and off to the left to the library.  The room was large and airy, with several lines of books on various subjects.  There was a little reading table upon which tea was waiting.  On it was a tea set with two teapots, one ivory and gold and the other a pale pink.  Lucius touched the gold teapot. “Earl Grey,” he then gestured to the other one, “Blackcurrant.” 

Dowager Potter looked at him in faint approval.  He had just passed another test.  If he had served any other type of tea, his courtship would have been immediately terminated.  She even tutted.

Heir Harrigan was looking about the library, his fingers skimming across various books.  Occasionally he would stop and read a title, mouthing the Latin words, before moving on.

“Do you know Latin, Heir Harrigan?”

“Please don’t call me that,” he begged instead.  “I’m just Harry.”

Lucius raised his eyebrows.  The offering of one’s name was a sign of intimacy of wizarding culture.  It might be different between Muggles, but surely the boy had read—?  “Then you must call me Lucius,” he offered.

Dowager Potter tutted again.  Clearly she was displeased.

“Do you know Latin?  It’s taught to purebloods when they’re children.”

“It’s taught to Muggles, too, but I was never encouraged to learn much of anything.  Uncle Brandir is getting me private tutors, though.”

“And well he should.  We cannot have the next Lord Potter being a disgrace to the name—nor any Potter for that matter.  You’re family, Harrigan.”

He smiled at the old battleaxe.  “Thank you, Aunt Helena.”

Aunt Helena, was it?  How fascinating.

Dowager Potter, although chaperone, played Mother and poured the tea.  She decided that she would like Earl Grey so everyone was going to have it, and Lucius smiled over his teacup conspiratorially with Harry.  Traditionally, he would have been the one to choose.

“Tell me why you never married, Lucius,” Harry began, taking a sip of his Earl Grey and trying not to make a face.  It appeared he would have preferred the Blackcurrant.  “Is it because you’re a Death Eater?  Then again, wouldn’t that make it necessary to have the next Lord Malfoy all lined up?”  His eyes crinkled in laughter.  It was rather a good look on him.

He ignored the Death Eater comment.  “I almost did, once,” he admitted.  “The young lady in question was from an old pureblood family, but she tried to entrap me using family etiquette that would have had us essentially betrothed.  I do not like having my hand forced.”

“No, I don’t think you would,” Harry mused.  “I’ve only dated one girl, and that was only for a few weeks.  It was—unpleasant.”

“I am sorry for your bad experience,” Lucius said, putting down his cup.  For some reason, he didn’t feel like Earl Grey either.  “No leanings the other way then?”

Harry hesitated.  That was answer enough.

“Tell me about your perusal of Spungen’s,” Lucius offered as a topic of conversation.  “Not many young people read it today.”

“My friend, Hermione, was—is—sweet on a pureblood.  So she went to go look up everything about it.  She found Spungen’s and insisted that I read it.  I was rather fascinated by it.  There’s ten whole pages about Potter rituals, a full third of a page dedicated just to this tea.  I naturally bought a copy.”

“Naturally,” Lucius agreed.  “How am I doing so far?”  Of course, he knew how he was doing, and he could measure it by the deepening scowl on Dowager Potter’s face.  She was clearly displeased by the turn of events.

“Get Aunt Helena to pour me a cup of Blackcurrant tea and I’ll tell you.”

“Touché, Harry.  Touché.” 

Lucius had expected the gift of welcome or refusal within the next few days.  If Harry welcomed his courtship, he would send a magical beetle, mounted, to be hung on the wall of his study proudly to show other men that he was thus far prized by the House of Potter.  If he was refused, he would receive back the book of poetry, with all of its pages torn out.

Still, nothing came by post owl.  When three weeks had passed he had given up.  Perhaps nothing was a sign from Harry that he was too beneath his notice.  It flew it the face of tradition, but the message was loud and clear.

He almost chucked his next courting gift into the fire.  Fortunately, he didn’t.

Sitting in his study on the first of August, he was surprised when Lord Potter was announced.  The corpulent man wobbled in and instantly took a seat on a divan near the window.  “You must be confused,” he stated without so much as a greeting.  “I would be in your position.”

“Yes,” Lucius agreed.  “I am.  Your presence does not really clarify the matter.”

“It will, it will,” he stated.  “You see, we were waiting to have Harry tested.  If he came out positive then he would accept your suit, if negative then he would reject it on the grounds that you could never have children together.”

Lucius stood, his body tense and ready for an attack.  “We can never have children together,” he stated tightly.  “That much is obvious.”

“Mother and I,” Lord Potter breezed on, “decided to wait until after Harrigan’s sixteenth birthday, just on the off chance there was an inheritance, and it appears that there might have been.  He’s a bearer, Lord Malfoy.  He can bear your children.  Now, if you sign a document stating that your first born living son will be the next in line for the title of Lord Potter, then the courtship can continue, no matter what Harrigan says about you being a Death Eater.”

“He’s a bearer?”  Lucius gulped.  There hadn’t been a bearer since the time of Marie de France—and that was in Brittany!

“Yes,” Lord Potter paused, “we’d like to keep it under wraps.  We don’t want wizards flocking to him.  He does, after all, have a price on his head what with You-Know-Who and all.  So your discretion would be appreciated.”  Lord Potter stood.  “You can come to the Abbey on Saturday to iron out the details of the contract.  Harrigan will be out at Diagon Alley.  This in no way means that we accept a full betrothal, Lord Malfoy.”  He bowed.  “Good day.”

Harry Potter was a bearer.

It was shocking.

Lucius stayed exactly where he was, unmoving, for a full hour.  It was not until his house elf came and got him for lunch, that he finally moved.  But then, he was only putting one step in front of the other.

The day passed in a haze of nothingness.  He went to bed, barely knowing what he was doing, just going through the motions.

When he woke, however, he had a plan.

Going to the drawing room, he stared at the Malfoy Family Tapestry and saw the long list of Malfoy lords that culminated in him.  He traced his name and then imagined Harry’s beside it.  Then, he imagined children.  What would they call them?  The future Lord Potter would be the first name, and then the subsequent heir would be Heir Malfoy.  Hopefully there would be girls.  If Lucius were honest with himself, he had always hoped that he would have a daughter.

On Saturday he presented himself at Potter Abbey, and he took in its sprawling grounds with a critical eye.  The towers of the building itself rose high like spires, reminding him of the Muggle parliament building. 

A package was laid before him.  Lucius carefully opened it up.  It was a beautiful scarab beetle from Egypt, grown to unnatural proportions because of its inner magic, and glinting from the natural light in the room.  He had been accepted.  “Sign this document and it will all be official,” Lord Potter said.

First though, upon seeing Dowager Potter, he handed over a long box that was wrapped in deep red and gold paper—the colors of Harry’s House at Hogwarts.

She tutted again; Lucius already knew that he’d gotten it right but this was further affirmation.  “I don’t know what you could have possibly gotten him, Lord Malfoy,” she said stiffly, “to accentuate his ‘natural beauty.’  He is a young man after all.”

“Are you saying Harry isn’t beautiful?”

“We both know that he isn’t,” she chided.  “Striking, but I suppose that’s what drew you to him.  You don’t seem to be a man drawn by fame otherwise you actually would be a Death Eater.  But those charges during the first Wizarding War were all dropped.  Nasty thing, the Imperius Curse.  Harrigan, luckily, is immune to it.”

Yes, Lucius remembered that.  It was the end of Harry’s fourth year and he had still been rather scrawny and unimpressive then.  The Dark Lord had tried to make him bow, had succeeded for about a moment, before Harry had astonished everyone by breaking the curse.

The contract was on a large piece of parchment and in Latin.  It was rather self-explanatory.  The eldest living son would bear the name Potter and be heir to the title.  If he should die before his ascension to the title of Lord Potter, no matter his age, the next eldest son would take his place.  That would mean a lot of sons, Lucius thought, instead of the customary one or two in pureblood society.  Finally, there was a clause stating that if the union didn’t produce a male heir within the first ten years, then it would be dissolved.

“I most strongly object to this clause,” Lucius stated, pointing out the final provision.  “This is not present in most marriage contacts.”

“Well most pureblood brides don’t care about the Houses they marry into, not really,” Dowager Potter explained.  “They don’t have a stake in it for their own House.”

“I highly doubt that Harry would agree to such a clause,” Lucius argued, cane in hand.

“Harrigan thinks you’re a Death Eater for some unknown reason that he has yet to satisfactorily explain,” Lord Potter offered.  “I’m sure he’ll be glad to be rid of you.”

Lucius took the parchment.  “I want my law wizards to look over this.”

“Of course, of course,” Lord Potter said, squeezing out from behind his desk.  “But your present won’t be delivered to Harrigan until you do.”  Well, that was certainly incentive enough.

His law wizards found nothing strange about the document except for that one clause.  Lucius returned to Potter Abbey after dinner and asked to speak to Lord Potter.  He found him with Harry in the library.

Harry was holding open a tome of Geoffrey of Monmouth and was carefully reading a sentence in Latin before trying to translate it into English.  His face was screwed up in concentration and he was fumbling over his words. 

“That’s the ablative case,” Lord Potter murmured.  “I want you to go back to your Latin primer and review the cases in the third person masculine.”

“Yes, Uncle Brandir,” Harry said, closing the book.  He looked over Lord Potter’s shoulder and saw Lucius.  He immediately stood up, blushing.  “Are you here to see Uncle Brandir?  Perhaps I should just go to the school room.”

“You know how I don’t like you in there, Harrigan.  You’re a little too old for it.”

“Yes, but there are large tables for me to spread out my books, and a chalk board so I can write things out for myself,” Harry explained.

“I’d like to talk with both of you, if I may, about this clause in the contract.  If Harry agrees to marry me, then I think he has a right to know that the marriage can be dissolved without his permission.”

Harry’s eyes snapped to Lord Potter.  “What is he saying?”

“Only that if you don’t produce any male heirs within ten years, the marriage will be dissolved.  That is ample enough time, Harrigan.”

Shrugging, Harry looked between the two of them.  “I don’t quite understand this whole ‘Lord’ thing except that it’s important, and if this somehow protects that, then I don’t see the harm.”

“There we are, Lord Malfoy—Harrigan does not object,” Lord Potter stated.  “Either sign the parchment or this courtship is at an end.”

“You realize this is emotional blackmail,” he said, going to a table and laying out the contract.

“That assumes your emotions and not some scheme of the Dark Lord’s is involved,” Harry said sweetly.  “I’m still trying to figure out his angle.  Does he want me for an ally?”

“I’ll be sure to ask him next time I see him, considering the fact that I am not a Death Eater.”

Harry only hummed. 

Signing the contract with a flourish, Lucius put down his quill.  “Now, my gift to Heir Harrigan,” he stated formally. 

“Ah yes.”  He called a house elf who appeared with the present. 

Harry’s eyes widened.  He took the package and carefully unwrapped it, once again folding up the paper carefully and putting it in his robe pocket.  The present revealed a long rectangular box, which he opened to reveal an oak cane with a lion’s head fastened in gold at the top.  “To enhance my beauty,” he whispered, before looking up at Lucius.  “Thank you.  It’s beautiful.”

“You are almost a man and the Heir to a House.  I thought it was time you had a gentleman’s cane.”  He twirled his own to make a point.  “They won’t allow it at Hogwarts, but you can take it out to Diagon Alley or use it around the Abbey or on social calls.”

“Yes, we’re having Heir Neville around for luncheon the day after next,” Lord Potter put in.  “It will be a fine time to practice.” 

Harry looked a little scared.

“It is your birthright,” Lucius tried to sooth.  “You will soon get the hang of it.”

Running his hand along the cane, Harry murmured, “I still know you’re a Death Eater.”

“You saw ‘me’ in the Department of Mysteries, am I correct?  At night?  When it was dark and you were running for your life?  How can you be sure?”

“I recognized you from Second Year.”

“Three years is an awful long time,” Lucius murmured, waiting for his kiss.

Harry looked at his begrudgingly.  Carefully, he reached out and took Lucius’s hand in his and kissed the back of it.  The place where Harry kissed his hand was warm to the touch and tingled after Harry released his grasp.  “Thank you, Lord Malfoy.”

“Lucius, please.”

“Lucius then.”

They smiled at each other.

Hogwarts grounds were strictly off limits during the Summer Holidays.  It was with heavy heart, then, that Lucius waited until the second of September to take Harry on a picnic on the grounds, as per Potter tradition.  The meal was carefully planned.  Minced pies, cider, treacle tarts.  All were options on the Potter approved menu.  He also thought Harry would approve them given the fact that he grew up with common Muggles and not on the fine cuisine of Potter Abbey.

“I won Felix Felicis today in Potions,” Harry mentioned.  “Not sure what I’m going to use it on yet.”

“Save it for a rainy day,” Lucius advised.  “It’s all any of us can do.”

“True,” Harry said, snapping up another mince pie.  “Is Snape a Death Eater?”

Lucius was surprised by the question.  “How should I know?”

“Let’s stop all the pretense,” Harry said.  “If you have any hope of marrying me, you’re going to have to be honest.  Now, is Snape a Death Eater?  I’ve suspected as much since First Year.”

“You’re very perceptive.  All I can say was he was never incarcerated for it.”

Harry looked over at him.  “But he was a Death Eater.” 

Lucius looked over at him pointedly, but with unhidden fondness in his eyes.  He loved just how stubborn Harry was.  It made visions of Harry, sprawled on his bed, come unbidden to his mind.

“Yes, he is in the Dark Lord’s service,” Lucius confirmed.

Harry nodded, looking out over the Black Lake.  “He jinxed me today in Defense Against the Dark Arts.  I got a detention for defending myself—again.  I’m always getting detentions from him.”

“There was a rumor,” Lucius offered, “among the Dark Lord’s followers that I caught wind of, that he knew your mother since before they went to Hogwarts.  That he was even in love with her and begged for her life and the right to, well, possess her.”

Harry scrunched up his nose.  “That’s just wrong.  I—I don’t know what to say to that.”  He then turned to Lucius.  “And you won’t say how you know Snape is a Death Eater or how you know this rumor.”

“I was Imperiused.  After a time, you begin to remember and understand what is happening around you even if you can’t control it.”

“And you’re not under the Imperius Curse now,” Harry said skeptically.

“I swear to you that I’m not.”

Harry hummed.  “Do something for me?” he asked sweetly, too sweetly for him to be up to any good.

“Name it,” Lucius said, wanting to prove his devotion.

“Tell Lord Voldemort about our courtship, then tell me what he says.”  His green eyes glittered behind his horn-rimmed glasses. 

“You ask the nearly impossible.”

“Nearly, but not entirely,” Harry pointed out.  He got up and brushed the crumbs off his robes.  Leaning forward his kissed the side of Lucius’s mouth.  It was not entirely necessary given that this was a meal and not a gift, and yet still Harry had kissed him.  Perhaps, just perhaps, he was growing fond of him?  “Goodbye, Lucius.”

The Dark Lord had taken up residence at Malfoy Manor since the tea with Harry and Dowager Potter.  He’d taken over an entire wing, including Lucius’s study and library, leaving Lucius with only the women’s rooms as places of refuge.  He knocked on the study door and squared his shoulders.  Lucius was expecting to be hit with the Cruciatus Curse.

“Come in,” the high-pitched voice of the Dark Lord said, and Lucius entered.  He bowed deeply.  “What is it, Lucius?”

“I merely came to inform you that I’ve entered into a courtship.”

“What do I care for your love life?” he spat, his red slits of eyes focusing on Lucius and making him cringe.  “Who is it?”

“H-Heir Harrigan Potter.”

The Dark Lord paused.  “Harry Potter,” he asked in disbelief.  He rested in the back of his chair.

Lucius nodded.

“Are you defecting, Lucius?” he hissed in anger, getting up from his seat.  “Remember whose brand you wear.  Crucio!

Gripped by searing pain, Lucius began to spasm and hit his head on the back of a chair as he fell to the ground.  Screams erupted from his lips but the curse was soon over.

The Dark Lord paced around him, kicking his robes over his prone form.  Lucius didn’t dare move for fear of angering his lord and master.  “You will cease and desist, Lucius.”

Hesitantly rising, Lucius looked at the Dark Lord’s retreating form.  “He could be useful to us, my lord.  If he is bound to the dark, then he could be neutralized.”

“Or he could have unfettered access to my plans.  No, Lucius.  You will end this, at once.  Otherwise his death will be even more terrible than a simple Killing Curse.”

It was with heavy heart that Lucius packaged up his final courting gift, a copy of the Muggle Bible.  It was the ultimate insult to a pureblood who followed the Old Ways, and effectively ended a courtship.  He wrapped it in plain brown paper, another insult, and sent it off with his owl.

He did not receive a response, not that he was expecting one, from any of the Potters.

The next time he saw Harry was at the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.  The two looked at each other, before Harry glanced away and then ran from him.  Lucius didn’t have the heart to curse him.

Next there was the Battle of Hogwarts when the Dark Lord fell.  As Harry walked among the dead, he came across Lucius, huddled against a wall.  His face set in a line of determination, Harry placed his hand on Lucius’s shoulder.  Lucius looked up at those impossible green eyes and words failed him.

He was surprised when Heir Harrigan spoke for him at his trial, saying that he was a spy for the Order of the Phoenix.  Lucius was released and his name cleared.

It was two years later that he read in the papers that Harry was engaged to Miss Ginevra Weasley.  The news was like a kick to the gut, but he set the paper away and let it be recycled like every other copy of The Daily Prophet.  Later, he wished that he had saved a copy of it just to see Harry’s smiling face, although the smile did not reach his eyes.

He was in the garden, his fingers tracing the petal of a cherry blossom when he felt a presence behind him.  Lucius was surprised because his house elf had not announced a guest.  Turning, he saw an older Heir Harrigan Potter.  “Harry,” he whispered.  “It’s been a long time.”

“I’m getting married tomorrow,” Harry whispered.  “Tell me you broke it off because Voldemort made you.  Tell me you didn’t want to, that it was because I pushed you too far.  Tell me, Lucius.”

Lucius could only turn away.  “It’s over, Harry.  It’s been over for four years.”

“That’s not an answer,” Harry answered hotly, grabbing his arm.  “All it takes is one kiss from you on the eve of my wedding, and you’ll take my bride’s place.  Tell me it was Voldemort’s fault.  Did he Imperius you?  Crucio you?  My life was already threatened, so that couldn’t be it.”

Reaching out, Lucius lightly touched Harry’s rumpled hair. He yearned to tangle his fingers through it and draw Harry into a heated kiss, but he couldn’t, he couldn’t, and yet—

“I was ordered to and he tortured me,” Lucius responded quietly.  “He threatened to make your death painful.”

Harry swallowed.  “Then you did care for me, even if just a little,” he murmured.  “Don’t you know that I loved you?  I couldn’t bear to fight you that night on the Astronomy Tower, couldn’t bear to see you behind bars.”  He leaned forward.  “Kiss me, Lucius.  Please, just kiss me.  The choice is yours.”

Then Lucius took Harry’s face in his hands and wiped away the tears that had fallen there.  Hesitantly, he reached forward and kissed him.  Harry moaned and pushed forward, deepening the kiss and Lucius felt it, this was right, this was home, and tomorrow he and Harry would be joined as one.

The End.

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