Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape/Remus Lupin, other pairings to followGenre:
this chapter – R (for language)Warnings:
M/M relationship, character death, OOC, descriptive sexual acts between persons of the same sexSummary:
Summary is long, see full story notes for details.Disclaimer:
All recognizable characters and plots from the Harry Potterverse belong to JK Rowling and various publishing companies and movie studios. I am not making any money from this. I am simply doing this for the fun of it. Any plot devices and original characters belong to me alone and are simply a figment of my imagination.Author's Note for this chapter:
Is this the end?
- - -Chapter 18
Over the next few weeks, as wedding preparations moved ahead, Draco and Harry spent every waking moment together. And the longer they were together, the more in love with each other they became.
But something so perfect, was bound to fall apart sooner or later.
- - -
Ron had been after Harry constantly to tell Draco the truth before he found out some other way. Harry knew Ron was right but he was so afraid Draco would hate him. But he knew the lies had to stop.
He tried over the next couple of days to find the words to explain, but there was never an opportune moment, something or someone always interrupted their conversation. Between wedding preparations and disturbing rumors of assassination attempts on both Draco and Harry, Harry was growing frustrated. By the time he found the chance, it was too late. The wedding day was upon him...
- - -
Draco stared at himself in the mirror, taking in his pale face and too bright eyes.
"I'm getting married today." he mumbled to himself. "And I hate it."
"Talking to yourself?" Remus's reflection appeared in the mirror behind him.
"Remus. I can't do this." Draco sighed.
"This." Draco said, waving his hand at his wedding apparel. "Get married."
"Draco." Remus groaned.
"Remus. I can't marry someone I don't love. I just can't."
"We went over this, some months ago if I recall."
"Things are different now. So different." Draco moved away from the mirror to sit on his bed.
"What's wrong, Your Highness?" Remus wondered.
"How can everyone expect me to marry this unseen Prince, when I'm in love with Harry? It's not fair – to any of us."
"You have a duty -"
"Fuck my duties!" Draco exploded, jumping to his feet to pace, "I'm sick of my duties! Why can't I do what I want for once in my goddamn life?"
"Because you were born with responsibilities and expectations inherent to your station in life. I'm sorry but that's just the way it is." Remus told him. Draco hung his head in defeat.
"Can I at least get a chance to say goodbye to him?" Draco whispered. Remus felt his heart break at the desolate look on his young charge's face. He hated to hurt the young man further but he needed to.
"I'm sorry, Draco. Harry's not in the palace. He was sent on a mission by the king early this morning."
"I'm sorry, my Prince."
"I'd like to be alone, if I may."
"Sure. Would you like me to send up some tea or something?"
"No." Draco turned away to stare out of the window. Remus squeezed his shoulder in sympathy before making his departure. Only when he was sure he was alone did Draco fall to his knees and cry.
- - -
Draco stood outside the closed doors of the main hall, waiting for his cue to move. His mother stood on one side, fussing over his hair and robes, brushing out imaginary wrinkles and removing imaginary specks of dirt. His father stood on his other side, a pillar of silent strength. Out of the corner of his eye, Lucius noticed Draco's earlier attempts at trying to remove the redness from his eyes and nose. He felt the need to say something to comfort his only son.
"Don't, Dad. Please? I don't think I can handle it right now." Draco whispered. Lucius couldn't help the small smile that curved his lips.
"You haven't called me 'dad' since you were four." Draco looked at his father, and couldn't help the smile that graced his own face.
"It's what you are, isn't it?" Draco asked.
"Always." Lucius nodded, placing a hand on his son's shoulder. Narcissa quickly brushed the hand off.
"You'll wrinkle him, Lucius!"
"Stop fussing, woman! He looks fine!" Lucius snorted. Narcissa glared at him and crossed her arms with a huff. Draco stared at his parents and began to chuckle. He couldn't help it. Lucius smirked and even Narcissa emitted a small giggle.
"Feel better now, sweetheart?" she asked.
"Yes, Mother. Thank you."
The doors to the hall opened and a page announced their presence to all assembled.
"Presenting, Her Majesty, Queen Narcissa, His Royal Highness, King Lucius, and His Highness, Prince Draco – The Royal Family of Slytherin!"
As one, the three Malfoys moved forward into the room.
- - -
Draco kept his eyes trained on the officials at the front of the room. He saw Ron and Blaise standing next to the James and Lily and wondered what Harry was doing at that moment. He faltered for a moment, causing everyone in the room to gasp, but he quickly regained his footing and continued to the front. The three of them stopped at the exact same time and there was a pause in the music. Draco wondered what was going on. Where was the prince?
At the back of the room, the doors opened once again and the page made a second announcement.
"All rise! Presenting Harold James Xavier Marcus Evans Potter, Heir Prince of Gryffindor! Long may he reign!"
As the crowd echoed the chant, Draco whirled around in shock. There was his Harry, walking up the aisle in full royal regalia. There was look of trepidation on Harry's face that Draco had never seen before, and he suddenly realized what Harry had been keeping from him since Day 1.
Harry stopped before Draco, looking him in the eye. Draco could only breathe one word.
"Because I wanted you to love me for me. Not the Prince of Gryffindor. Not with all the bells and whistles and the fancy formal dinners and outfits. Just Harry. The crazy space jockey who likes to play tag with asteroids." Harry gave him a small smile and a shrug.
"And the whole time we were together? Was that a lie too?" Draco snapped, uncaring of the audience.
"No. It meant more to me than you could possibly imagine. I hated lying to you and I hope like hell you'll forgive me."
"I don't know what to think. You could be lying still!" Draco exclaimed. Harry grabbed his hand and kissed his knuckles.
"All that I am, all that I have...is yours. If you'll still have me." Harry's eyes were pleading with Draco to understand, but all Draco could see where the big fat lies. He shook his head, backing away slowly.
"I-I don't know if I can." He watched Harry's face fall, before a hard look replaced it. He grabbed Draco by the wrist at the same time he brought up his other hand. Draco saw his hand begin to glow and his eyes widened in shock.
"What the-" he managed to exclaim. Harry yanked him forward, causing Draco to lose his balance and fall to the floor, bruising his knees. Above him, Harry cried out in pain just as light exploded from his hand. People began screaming and running as Harry fell to his knees, clutching at a dart protruding from his chest, near his heart.
"Harry!" Draco exclaimed, catching Harry before he could fall over completely. He pulled Harry's head into his lap. Harry began to cough up blood as he tried to speak to Draco. He reached up with a shaky hand to touch Draco's cheek.
"Draco." Harry whispered.
"Why did you do that?" Draco whispered, tears blurring his vision.
"And who's supposed to protect you, you brave fool?"
"To hell with your job! What about me? You can't leave me, you big dummy! I love you!"
"Always...love...you..." Harry's arm went limp and his eyes closed on a sigh.
"No! Dammit, wake up, Harry! You can't leave me!" Draco shouted. He had to be pulled away by both Remus and Lucius so Severus could attend to them. He gave Draco a mild sedative before the guards took both Princes to their rooms.TBC...
Next chapter...It must be the end!