|snarryhols (snarryhols) wrote in snarry_holidays,|
@ 2007-12-05 08:45:00
My Lord, My Life, My Keeper
Title: My Lord, My Life, My Keeper
Word Count: 4550
Pairing: Severus/Harry, Sirius/Remus
Warnings: AU, Mpreg, bottom!Snape
Disclaimer: None of the recognizable characters are mine and no profit is made from this story.
Summary: The Earl of Banchory receives a marriage proposal.
Notes: Title comes from Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew: "Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, / Thy head, thy sovereign;"
This is an AU in a universe where the Wizarding World never went into hiding, and as such two men (or two women) marrying is not strange.
A note on titles in ML: Because this is a story where titled men can marry other men, I've decided to use 'consort' to designate the lesser husband. For example, in formal address Sirius is the Earl of Stonehaven, and Remus is the Earl Consort of Stonehaven. I've also taken some liberties with other courtesy titles in this story as well.
Harry's first clear memory was that of Sirius coming to retrieve him.
Harry was in the kitchen with Cook and the other servants when the Earl of Stonehaven burst in, Lord Dursley following behind. "I don't know what Perkins meant by that, saying we have such a boy when clearly there is none-"
"Silence!" Sirius cut in. Light grey eyes swept over the servants, who had stopped work to watch the two noblemen. Sirius' gaze honed in on Harry and he stepped forward. "Do you mean to tell me..." He swung around and fixed a heavy glare on Dursley and his wife, who hovered just inside the doorway. "The heir of Banchory, reduced to a mere kitchen boy?"
"How was I to know that?" Dursley protested. "He arrived from Banchory with a note saying little more than that we were to take him in. Why should I think he was anything more than a servant?"
Sirius, who by that time had took hold of Harry and pulled him forward, fixed his glare on Lady Dursley instead. "Lily was your sister. Surely you recognized her eyes staring out of her son's face?"
Lady Dursley looked away for a moment before straightening up and glaring back at Sirius. "Of course I recognized him right away. But we already have a son and I wasn't about to let another boy of higher birth damage his chances for a good match!"
Sirius bristled at that. "Well then, I suppose you'll only have yourself to blame then, as I'll be sure to speak to the king about your treatment of your nephew. If you are fortunate, he'll only strip you of your title and lands." With that, Sirius seated Harry on his hip, though surely Harry was too old and big for that, and carried him out. A carriage stood waiting in front of Dursley's manor and Sirius climbed in, still holding Harry. "I apologize, my boy, for not retrieving you sooner, but I didn't know of your parents' deaths."
Harry studied the man before him before hesitantly speaking. "Forgive me, my Lord, but who are you? And why did you call me the heir of Banchory? My parents were only servants there."
The look Sirius affixed on Harry was part shock, part sorrow and part anger. "I should kill them for what they've done to you," he growled. "You are Master Harry, the only son of Lord James Potter, the sixth Earl of Banchory, making you the seventh Earl. Lady Dursley was your mother's sister, your aunt, and knowing this she kept it all from you. You should have been treated just as well as their son, as is your right by blood." He sighed and rubbed his face. "Your father was a brother to me in all but name. You were to have come to me after their deaths, but I've been away these past years and only just learnt of the tragedy. I came to find you as quickly as I could."
Harry sat back to digest all the information Sirius had just given him. "So I'm to live with you now?"
"Yes, my boy. You'll receive everything you should have, as a young lord of the realm. And I've little doubt that you'll be a fine wizard, as was your father and his father before him."
"A wizard?" Harry gasped. "But Lady Dursley said they were evil Satan worshippers."
"Hogwash. She's still upset that she couldn't use magic when Lily was very talented at it herself."
Harry still felt doubtful, but resolved to ignore it, if it meant he was free of the Dursley home.
Upon their return to Sirius' home at Stonehaven Sirius had held a sennight of feasts and parties to celebrate both the restoration of Harry and the arrival of Sirius' betrothed, the youngest son of a French marquis, named Remus. It had been strange to learn that two men could marry, but it was just another idea to adapt to.
Harry had been unsure how to act around the other children visiting for Sirius' parties, as not four days prior he'd been only a servant. And most of them were either just out of swaddling or much older than Harry as well. He instead found himself following Remus about, who felt as out of place as he did, not knowing anyone but Sirius. And despite the twelve year difference in their ages the two grew close.
Soon the three years Harry had spent with the Dursleys were little more than fading memories.
It was less than two months before Harry's sixteenth birthday that things begin to change.
Sirius often received letters and scrolls, but never before had he called Harry in about the contents.
"This letter concerns you," Sirius said when Harry joined him.
"Whatever for?" Harry asked, confused.
"Lord Septimus Snape, the Marquess of Lidensmere, writes on behalf of his second son, Severus, who was recently named the youngest Master of Potions in the realm. Though he realizes as a second son his standing is not as high as his elder brother, he nonetheless wishes to make an offer of marriage to my ward, the earl of Banchory." Sirius set the letter aside. "What do you say to this?"
"I... I don't know. What do you know of them?
"Lord Septimus is a good fellow. He has a son and daughter by his first wife, who are my age, and another son and pair of daughters who are much younger, from his second wife. I can't recall if I ever met his second son, but if the boy is anything like his father, he'd make a good partner."
"Then should I accept?"
"It's up to you, Harry." Sirius took Harry's hand in his. "You're young yet, only fifteen, but your mother was only sixteen when she married your father, and you were born not two years later."
"Can I give you my answer in the morning?"
"Of course, my boy. Perhaps you'd like to talk to Remus about this? After all he and I barely knew each other before he came here for our wedding."
"Yes, I think that might help."
"Good. I'll have your supper sent up along with Remus' then."
"Thank you." Harry gave Sirius a quick nod before hurrying above stairs.
Remus was three months gone with his fourth pregnancy, and the midwife feared if he failed to carry a child to term again, he might not be able to conceive again, even with the help of magic. Remus had been ordered on strict bed rest for the entirety of his pregnancy.
Remus smiled and put a hand out as soon as Harry entered the bedroom. "So I hear you might soon be betrothed."
Harry laughed as he carefully slid onto the bed next to Remus. "How do you know everything as soon as it happens?" he grumbled good-naturedly.
"Ah, but that's one of my secrets, Harry, which I'm not inclined to share," Remus teased.
Harry sighed and ran a hand over Remus' still-flat stomach. "How are you doing today?"
"Better. This whole pregnancy feels better than the last one, but I try not to let my hopes get too high. I'm already further alone than the first two, but the next month and a half will be the real test."
Harry twined his fingers with Remus'. "My every wish is with you."
Remus squeezed Harry's hand tightly before brightening up. "Enough gloom for now. I'd rather talk about your wedding."
"But I haven't said yes yet," Harry protested.
"Ah, but I'm sure you will."
"What if we can't get along? We might not be right for each other, and then I'd have to spend the rest of my life miserable."
"Oh Harry. You know the marriage bond won't form if you aren't even the slightest bit compatible. That's why couples are tested before the marriage ceremony."
"I'd forgotten that," Harry frowned. "But just because our magic is compatible that doesn't mean we'll be happy together."
"The magic in the bond will take care of that. Magic flourishes in happiness."
"So you think I should do it?"
"I think you should embrace the opportunity it presents you, yes."
"Then I suppose I shall."
A fortnight later the Marquess of Lidensmere and his son arrived at Stonehaven.
Harry watched secretly from an upstairs window, eager for a glimpse of his potential husband. Lord Septimus was all laughter and smiles as he climbed from his carriage to greet Sirius, but his son was much more sombre. Dressed from head to foot in black, with long black hair pulled back into a tail and dark eyes, he looked more like a monk than a potions master.
Harry hurried away as the entered the castle, knowing he'd need to present himself. "Ah, here he is," Sirius was saying as Harry entered the great hall. "Gentleman, may I present Lord Harry Potter, the Earl of Banchory?" Harry gave a brief bow. "Harry, this is Lord Septimus Snape, and his son Severus." The two men returned Harry's bow.
Now that he stood before his, Harry could see that Lord Severus was even taller than he seemed, standing over a head taller than Harry. He wasn't handsome like Sirius, or comely like Remus, but there was an intensity in his eyes that the other two lacked. Harry couldn't help but wonder what a life with him would be like.
"My lord," Severus said in a voice much deeper than Harry anticipated, holding out a hand.
"Lord Severus," Harry replied, taking the offered hand. Severus pressed a kiss to the back of Harry's hand, his dark eyes catching Harry's as he straightened back up.
"Well then," Sirius said, breaking Harry's concentration. "Shall we check on the boys' compatibility before we start making any plans?"
"Of course," Lord Septimus replied. "No sense in doing anything if the bond won't take."
Sirius led them to his day room, where he'd left the scroll with the necessary incantations on his desk. "My boys, if you will," Sirius said, taking out his wand. Harry and Lord Severus stepped up to the table. At Sirius' instruction they joined their right hands and he began casting. It wasn't long before a soft golden glow surrounded their hands, causing the older men to smile. "I do believe this will work then," Sirius said as the glow faded. "Shall we begin the arrangements then?"
"Yes, let's," Lord Septimus said.
"Out you two go, then," Sirius said, leading Harry and Lord Severus to the door. "We'll not be needing you two for some time yet."
"Err, shall I show you about the grounds then, Lord Severus?" Harry asked shyly once the door closed behind them.
"That would be agreeable, my lord," Lord Severus replied. He held his arm out and after a moment's hesitation Harry linked arms with him.
"I'm afraid I don't quite know the appropriate etiquette for such a time," Harry said as they walked through the great hall.
"Do you go to Court at all?"
"I'm too young yet to take my father's seat, so for now Sirius does it for me. Though I had assumed I would start going with him soon, to learn what I need to know before I'm solely responsible for it."
"I see." Lord Severus was quiet as Harry led him out of the castle. Though the grounds at Stonehaven were large, they were mostly wooded. A small town had grown around the nearby church, and it was towards that Harry walked.
The villagers were fond of Harry, who'd played with many of the local boys when he'd first come to Stonehaven, and always eager for news from the castle. Harry introduced Severus to several of the village mothers, shyly admitting to the new betrothal. A number asked after Remus as well, concerned for their lord's frail husband.
"All is going well," Harry assured them, "though he's not at all fond of the confinement. Yesterday he asked Lord Sirius to have a chaise set out in the gardens for him, but my lord wouldn't agree to it."
"The poor dear," said Molly Weasley, one of the mothers that was a favourite of Harry's. "He should speak to his midwife about it. Sunshine and fresh air could do him no harm, after all, as long as someone were there to carry him out and back," she suggested.
"I'll tell him that when I visit him next," Harry replied. "How are all of your children?"
"Quite well, my lord. My youngest son Ron recently secured an apprenticeship in London and he leaves next week."
"That's wonderful. I wish him the best of luck."
"Thank you, my lord. I shall be sure to tell him so."
The chiming of the church bells caught Harry's attention and he turned to Lord Severus. "It's nearly suppertime; we should head back."
"Of course, my lord."
After a moment's hesitation Harry linked his arm through Lord Severus' again and the two turned back up the path to the castle.
After their meal Harry disappeared above stairs while the other three returned to Sirius' day room. "Harry will be sixteen in five weeks time," Sirius said, offering mead to both men. "If it's agreeable with you, I'd like to hold the wedding then."
"I see nothing wrong with that," Lord Severus said softly.
"I've sent instruction ahead to Banchory to begin readying the great house for you."
"How well have the grounds been kept up?" Lord Septimus asked.
"Very well," Sirius replied. I have the full accounting here." Sirius pulled a thick book from a shelf. "Though not all of the fields are in use, the yearly crop is still substantial."
Lord Septimus leafed through the book before nodding. "Yes, they've done quite well. And the income?"
"What is not recycled back into the estate's use has been set aside for Harry's return."
"Very good." Lord Septimus handed the ledger to his son to look over. "You boys will be able to live quite comfortable even if you don't expend out to the dormant fields."
Severus nodded. "And there’s the matter of my potions as well. They'll also provide some income."
Sirius smiled as Lord Severus attempted to stifle a yawn. "The evening grows late, my lords. Shall I show you to your rooms?"
"Yes, I think that would be a fine idea," Lord Septimus answered.
Sirius led the two to a set of rooms prepared for their use before heading to his own suite. Hearing the murmur of voices inside, Sirius carefully pushed the door open and leaned against the frame. Harry was curled up next to Remus, his head resting on Remus' shoulder. "He's rather quiet as well. Though I'm not the most talkative person myself, except around you and Sirius. And he's so tall! I don't even reach his shoulder."
Remus laughed and ran his hand over Harry's head. "You're still growing, my dear. The next four years will see that difference lessen."
"I suppose," Harry frowned. "I just don't like feeling so tiny."
"There might come a day when you actually like feeling smaller than your lover. It can be rather comforting."
Sirius could tell by Harry's shrug that he didn't quite believe that, and decided it was time to make his presence known. "How are my favourite pair of boys?" he asked, pushing off the door frame.
"Quite well, my Lord," Remus replied, holding a hand out to Sirius.
"Good." Sirius took Remus' hand as he sat on the edge of the bed.
"I spoke to Mistress Weasley today," Harry said softly, "and she mentioned that if the midwife has no objections, perhaps Remus might be carried out to a chaise in the gardens."
Remus brightened at that. "Madam Pomfrey is visiting again in two days. I shall be sure to mention it to her."
"I suppose if she allows it," Sirius said hesitantly. "I just don't want anything to happen to you or our child." He ran a gentle hand over Remus' belly.
"I know, my love."
"I think I'll go to bed now," Harry said, blushing as the two continued to stare at each other. "Good night, then," he said softly, sliding off the bed.
"Good night, Harry," Remus replied.
It was a week and a half later that a young man came galloping into the courtyard just as Harry and Lord Severus were returning from a walk to the village. "A most urgent message for the Marquess of Lidensmere," he said breathlessly as he swung down from his horse.
"That's my father; I shall take it to him," Lord Severus said, stepping forward. He took the letter for the squire's outstretched hand. "My lord." He nodded to Harry then disappeared into the castle.
Harry waved a stable hand over. "Will here can take care of your horse, and you can rest and take refreshment in the kitchens. What is your name?"
"Theodore, my lord. Thank you." He handed his reigns over to Will then followed Harry's directions to the kitchens.
Sirius, Lord Septimus and Lord Severus were all in the great hall when Harry entered. Lord Septimus was still reading, though he had a frown on his face.
"I hope this new is not too terrible," Sirius said when he finished reading.
"My eldest son's wife is very ill. They've managed to determine what it is, but they need Severus' expertise to cure it. My son begs for Severus' immediate assistance."
Sirius frowned as well. "Then he must go, as long as he returns in time for Harry's birthday. We can continue the preparations without him for the time being."
"Yes, of course." Lord Septimus turned to his son. "Go and help your brother, my boy, but take care you do not stay there too long."
"I will, Father." Lord Severus bowed his head. "My lords, I take my leave."
An hour later Lord Severus left with Theodore, both on horseback.
"Remus?" Harry poked his head around the door, waiting for the older man to look up. "Can I talk to you about some stuff?
"Of course, Harry. Come right in." Remus patted the bed next to him. "What is it you want to talk about?"
Harry curled up next to Remus, tucking his face into Remus' side. "I, um… I'm a little nervous about some things."
"The wedding?" Remus asked, running a head over Harry's hair.
"That night, actually," Harry admitted shyly. "Won't it, um, hurt?"
"No, not at all, as long as you take care."
"But Lord Severus is still so much bigger than I am."
"That will have no bearing on what you do though." Remus paused for a moment. "Wait now. You do understand that he will be your consort? That age and size aren't the, err… deciding factor?"
Harry looked up at Remus. "But…"
"Perhaps we should call Sirius up for this discussion." After a motion from Remus a house elf appeared. "Please ask my lord to join us at his earliest convenience." The elf nodded and disappeared.
"I don't understand."
"You're an earl, Harry. Severus is just a second son. He's marrying into a higher rank, so he can't be the... well, dominant partner in the marriage. He'll be expected to defer to you, and he's the one that will bear your children."
"Does he know that? Am I the only one that didn't?"
"Yes, he'll be aware of that."
"Oh." Harry slid back down into Remus' side.
The door opened and Sirius poked his head in. "You asked for me?"
"Yes," Remus smiled. "I'm afraid Harry wasn't fully aware of how everything in his marriage would work. Perhaps you could sit down and discuss it all with him?"
"Of course." Sirius eased himself onto the foot of the bed. "I suppose I should have done this a while back, but better late than never, I suppose." Sirius smiled. "This might take some time."
"What if he doesn't return in time?"
"I'm sure he'll be here," Remus replied, smoothing Harry's hair back.
"But the wedding is in two days."
"If he doesn't arrive tonight my lord can send out someone to fetch him. Don't worry about it."
"I... You will write, won't you? I want to know everything that's happening here. Especially..." Harry ran a gentle hand over the bump that was growing in Remus' stomach.
"Of course," Remus answered, covering Harry's hand with his. "I'll make sure that you receive the first birth announcement."
"Thank you. I'm going to miss you all so much."
"And we'll miss you as well, my boy. But you won't be so far away that visits will be impossible."
Harry looked up. "Did you ever want to visit your family in France?"
"To be perfectly honest, no. I told you that my siblings were all much older than I was, didn't I? None of theme ever had time for me. I was the odd one out and meeting my lord was the best thing that ever happened to me."
"I'll never want to not visit."
"I know. And you'll always be welcome to come back to us."
Late that night shouting woke Harry. He pulled a robe on over his nightgown and snuck down to the gallery over the great hall. Lord Severus sat at the long table, head down, practically asleep. Harry smiled and slipped back up to bed.
Harry was up before the dawn. Nerves wouldn't let him sleep longer. By that time the next morning he'd be a married man.
A peak into the kitchen revealed Sirius speaking with Cook, so he went back upstairs to see Remus.
"Hello, dear," Remus whispered sleepily as Harry slid onto the bed. "You're up rather early."
"I couldn't sleep," Harry whispered back.
"It's only natural," Remus said as he smoothed back Harry's hair. "I was nervous myself."
"Yes, but as soon as we were married I knew everything would be just fine. And I know everything will work out for you as well."
Remus rolled onto his side to look at Harry. "Now come and try to sleep a little more, alright? You have a long day ahead of you."
"I'll try." Harry snuggled down, managing to sleep for a few more hours.
When he next awoke it was midday, and a house elf was bringing his wedding robes in. "Time to get ready," Remus said, brushing Harry's hair back.
"Right." Harry tugged his robes on. He and Lord Severus would both be wearing shades of green as tradition dictated. "I wish you could be there," Harry said, taking hold of Remus' hand. "What if the bond doesn't take?"
"Oh Harry." Remus tugged Harry down to sit on the bed. "Sirius did the spells to check for compatibility. You'll be just fine. There's nothing to worry about anymore."
"I can come see you tomorrow before we leave, right?"
"Of course you can."
"I'll be sure to visit one your child is born as well."
"I know." Remus smiled and squeezed Harry's hand. "Now get going. It must be time by now."
"Right. Goodbye." Harry kissed Remus' cheek before hurrying out.
Sirius was waiting outside the great hall for Harry. "It has been an honour to raise you these past years. You're as dear to me as my own son will be. I wish you parents were still alive to see you today, but I know they're proud of you, wherever they are."
"I wish you all the best with Lord Severus. Now come, it's time."
The ceremony was simple, with the town's high wizard travelling up to officiate. Barely an hour later Harry and Lord Severus were married and sitting down for their wedding feast. The two of them were seated at the centre of the high table for a feast that lasted the rest of the day.
When night-time arrived Harry and Lord Severus were lead off in different directions. A servant helped Harry take off his robes and ready for bed. Sirius was waiting for him again afterward. "You'll be fine, my boy. Remember everything we talked about." Sirius put his hands on Harry's shoulders and led him into the bed chamber. "I'll see you in the morning."
"Thanks," Harry said softly. Harry looked over the room that wasn't his usual bedroom. Emerging from another door was his husband.
"My lord," Severus said, inclining his head.
"Hello." They approached the bed slowly, standing on opposite sides. Lord Severus wore a thin linen shift, a match to the one Harry wore.
Lord Severus turned up his side of the bed and slipped in. "My lord, I am yours to use as you please."
"Err, right." Harry slid into the bed as well. "As I'm sure you've realized, I've never done this before. So you have to tell me if anything hurts or feels uncomfortable."
The next morning Harry slid out of bed before Lord Severus woke up. Sirius was waiting in the great hall for him. "I'll miss you, my boy," he said.
"Me too." Harry sat at the table and started picking at the plate before him.
"Is Lord Severus still abed?"
"After you eat you'll be leaving."
"It'll take you several hours to get there."
Sirius and Harry looked up as Lord Severus entered the great hall. "Good morning, my lords," he said, taking a seat. "Will we be leaving soon?"
"Once you finish eating," Sirius answered.
"I'm going to say goodbye to Remus," Harry said, standing up.
"Of course," Lord Severus replied.
Harry hurried upstairs. Remus was sitting up in bed, waiting for him. "Ready for the next part of your life?" he asked, smiling.
"I hope so. Sirius said my steward will be waiting, and there'll be a matron to run the great house, so I don't need to know everything right away."
"Don't worry, it'll all work out." Remus gave Harry's hand a squeeze.
"Thanks. I'll miss you."
"You'll see me soon enough, dear. Now get going, you've a long trip ahead of you."
"Right. Goodbye." After a moment's hesitation Harry leaned forward and hugged Remus gently.
"Goodbye, Harry. Take care of yourself, and your husband as well."
"I will. And you need to take care too. And please let me know whatever happens."
"I will. Now get!" Remus smiled as he pushed Harry off the bed.
"Bye." Harry waved as he left the room.
Sirius was standing at the base of the stairs. "I knew you'd leave Stonehaven one day, but I don't think it's quite sunk in yet," he said. "I guess I thought I'd have you here longer."
"I… I don't think I ever thanked you for saving me from the Dursleys."
"It was one of the best things I ever did," Sirius smiled, pulling Harry into a hug. "The best of luck to you. Lord Severus is waiting outside for you."
Sirius kissed the top of Harry's head and pushed him towards the door.
Outside a carriage waited with Banchory's seal on the side. Lord Severus stood waiting for Harry. "My lord," he said, holding out a hand to Harry. Harry took it and let Lord Severus help him into the carriage. It was time for the next part of his life to start.
Author's post story note: There are a few more scenes to this story, some of which just didn't want to work in well in the time I had. So, once the swap is over and everything is revealed, look for a remix extended version of this story!