Grazhir :: Crossover :: Kalpa :: 14

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14

His mother and Mrs Krum chatted away on the walk to the pitch, and seemed to be getting along just fine. They eventually made it to the stands and climbed up into a section more or less reserved for Durmstrang and took seats down near the end of a row. Spread out before them was the maze; it was a dead loss in terms of viewing and, indeed, they would have an exciting time staring at foliage. Harry sighed and rolled his eyes, then looked at where the entrance was.

Viktor was waiting there along with the other champions, watched over by Bagman. Edward, twit that he was, was grinning and waving at the crowd. He couldn’t help but roll his eyes again. He leaned in close to his mother, waited for a lull, and whispered, Look at Edward.

She glanced at him, then down at Edward, and sighed. She shrugged helplessly and went back to speaking with Iskra, who asked, Your husband is not joining us?

His mother laughed lightly, not seeming the least bit bothered by the question. Oh, no. We’re divorced. He and I had . . . irreconcilable differences.

After a startled silence Mrs Krum said, Oh, I am sorry for having brought it up.

Don’t worry about it,Lily assured her. It’s been almost seven years now.

Bagman was saying something to the champions, waving one hand around gaily, but stopped when four adults wearing large, red, luminous stars on their hats (except for the half-giant, Hagrid, who had his on his vest) approached. The woman, Deputy Headmistress McGonagall, started talking, but as he was no good at lip reading, and certainly not at that distance, he had no idea what she was saying. Then the four of them separated and began walking the perimeter of the maze. How interesting that all of them appeared to be connected to Hogwarts, not sharing the duty with any staff from Durmstrang or Beauxbatons.

Bagman brought his wand to his throat, cast, and then boomed out, “Ladies and gentlemen, the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament is about to begin! The first champion to reach the cup gets the full fifty points! Let me remind you how the points currently stand! In first place, with ninety-three points—Mr Viktor Krum, of Durmstrang Institute!” The cheers and applause sent birds from the forest fluttering into the darkening sky. “In second place, with eighty-one points—Mr Cedric Diggory, of Hogwarts School!” There was more applause, just as enthusiastic.

“In third place, with seventy points—Mr Edward Potter, of Hogwarts School!” The applause was decidedly lukewarm, but there was enough of it to pay lip service to politeness. “And in fourth place, with sixty-five points—Miss Fleur Delacour, of Beauxbatons Academy!” More applause, better than for Edward, but still not especially enthusiastic. “So . . . on my whistle, Mr Krum! Three—two—one—” He gave a short blast on his whistle, and Viktor ran into the maze.

Harry sighed and grabbed his mother’s hand; she gave his hand a squeeze. A mere thirty seconds later Bagman blew his whistle again and Diggory dashed inside, followed by Edward and Delacour at thirty second intervals. I thought there’d be more time between,he muttered.

Yeah, not much of a head start,Dudley said quietly. And the only thing we get to see is the light given off by spells, if that much.

So, um, hm. How do you think your exams today went?Harry asked, just to have something to do besides staring blankly at greenery.

Dudley shrugged. They went fine, though Creatures was more than a little strange taking it inside. I hope Viktor did all right on his NEWTs.

He seemed pretty confident,Harry replied. I didn’t detect even a hint of anxiety or nervousness in him.

What do you think happens when whoever it is gets to the cup?

Harry looked at his cousin with a faint frown. You know, that’s an excellent question. Do they get portkeyed out? Does some sort of light show go off? And for that matter—those people patrolling the exterior. I assume they’re there either to catch one of the champions forcing their way out of the maze and back in as a shortcut, or to help if someone needs assistance. But how do they get in if they have to help? Can they leap tall hedges like Superman? Are they hiding brooms somewhere?

Dudley laughed. I’m sure they have some super secret spell that lets them walk right through any of the hedges.

What, à la Kitty Pryde?

Uh, yeah, let’s go with that.Dudley yawned and stared at the hedges apathetically. I hope whoever thought this up gets fined for boring the audience to tears. We don’t even get commentary because it might give too much away to the champions.

Was it this boring for the second task?

Dudley nodded. Unfortunately. Well, it was more exciting because you were down there. I didn’t even have the thrill of seeing Delacour in a swimsuit because she wore her robes into the water for some reason.

Because she was cold? We’re not all strapping specimens of humanity who are honorary members of the Polar Bear Club.

There was a short pause before Dudley said, If I should happen to fall asleep, please say you’ll save me from falling out of the stands and cracking into little pieces when I hit the ground?

Harry gave that some thought, then said, I could attach a bungee cord to you.

His mother turned away from her conversation with Mrs Krum and shot them a look. No, Harry, no bungee jumping off the stands.Then she turned back with a shake of her head to answer Mrs Krum’s question about what bungee jumping was.

Mum says no bungee jumping. Sorry, Dudley,he said with mock sadness. How about a Stay Puft suit with a bouncy charm on it?

His mother snorted in amusement, but stuck to her own conversation.

After a while they were reduced to thumb wrestling, having exhausted most of their conversational options for the time being. Dudley was tired out from exams and dinner had been more elaborate than usual, leading to sleepy people trying to digest a big meal. But finally, after an interminable wait, a light blossomed from the center of the maze and, off to the side, where the judges were stationed, a figure appeared.

Dudley was on his feet a second later cheering madly, but it took a moment for Harry’s loggy brain to catch up to the realization that Viktor was the winner. He was on his feet as soon as it registered cheering as loudly as his cousin. Even his mother was into the spirit of things.

Bagman’s voice boomed out again after another span of seconds. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have our winner, Mr Viktor Krum of Durmstrang Institute!” Red sparks flew up from three places in the maze; the other champions asking for an escort out, he assumed.

It took them some time to manage to get down from the stands because of the amount of people, and more before they managed to get to Viktor. He held back, knowing that Viktor’s parents had every right to be the first to congratulate him, and looked around quickly instead. Delacour was not far away with her family; she may have been crying. Diggory was also nearby with his family; the father looked horribly disappointed. Edward was—‘Oh, hell,’ he thought, jostling his mother’s arm.

What?she asked in confusion.

Two o’clock!he practically hissed.

His mother looked toward the right and cursed under her breath. And I’m not wearing a glamour.

James Potter was headed their way, something of a sneer on his face. When he got close enough he said, “Fancy seeing you here. Why are you here, anyway? What possible reason could you have?”

Lily arched a brow at her ex-husband, expression smooth and calm.

“Well?”

“I don’t answer to you anymore, remember?” she replied evenly. “And why would I bother to? It’s not like you ever listened to me anyway. Please leave.” The only sign of her agitation and anger was the blooming stain of colour high on her cheeks.

James scowled and took another step forward. Viktor swept by at that point, parents preceding him, and grabbed Harry by the arm. Harry caught on quickly and grabbed his mother, and Dudley slid in behind them. As a group they hastened away, but not so quickly as to be thought fleeing in terror.

Once they were far enough away and Dudley had let them know it should be all right again, his mother stopped and exhaled heavily. “Christ almighty. What the hell?” She massaged her forehead with one hand and sighed, then straightened up and found a believable smile for Mr and Mrs Krum. I’m sorry you had to see that.Her gaze switched to Viktor. Thank you, Viktor, for your quick thinking. I admit, I was actually scared there for a moment that—She paused, an expression of disbelief on her face. I guess he was really upset that Edward didn’t win?

Mrs Krum reached out and touched his mother gently on the arm. You’re not responsible for that man.

Lily stared at her for a moment, then smiled. That’s absolutely true.

Harry gave his mother a hug from behind, frowning off into the distance where they had left his father. Her hand came up to cover his and squeeze comfortingly.

Mr Krum stepped forward to give Viktor a manly sort of hug, then inclined his head to Lily, Harry, and Dudley. Mrs Krum also gave Viktor a hug, and said, Well, it is late. We should be going. I had a lovely time talking with you, Lily, and, Harry, you keep an eye on Viktor for us. Dudley, a pleasure.

Once they had departed his mother eyed the direction James was last known to be at a bit warily. Damn. Seriously, what the hell was that? He didn’t give me any trouble at all over the divorce, but today he’s acting like I owe him something? The sooner we all get back to Norway the better.

It’s just as well Aunt Petunia wasn’t here,he said. And I hate to say it, mum, but you should probably head back. We’ll be okay once we’re up in the tower. The only other time you would have to be back would be at the station, and we can just portkey home from there.

You have a little over a week left. Let me think about it,she said. Now, if you don’t mind, escort me to the gates?

Once his mother was safely away—she apparated the moment she was beyond the wards—they returned to the school, thankfully not seeing either Potter, and up to the tower for Durmstrang. Only once they were inside Harry and Dudley’s room did Harry relax properly. I’m kind of hoping she just lets us portkey back. I’d skip the train if I could, but that wouldn’t be very nice to Draco and Luna.

Dudley shrugged. We’ll find out soon enough. But I agree with you. There’s no need for our mothers to come to the station when we can just portkey out. It’d be different if those two were going with us straight away, but they’re not. Anyway, I’m gonna get ready for bed.He turned away and went for his trunk.

Harry arched a questioning brow at Viktor and tilted his head toward his trunk; when Viktor nodded he went to open it at the dressing room. Shortly thereafter they were in his practice room on the sofa. I’m really happy for you, and proud. Was it bad in there?

Viktor just leaned in and kissed him, threading his fingers through Harry’s hair, and deepening the kiss almost immediately. He was so intense that Harry began to have trouble regulating his breathing, and he was soon enough pressed back against the cushions. He lost track for a bit after that, lost in the sensation of kissing Viktor, his hands roaming freely over his boyfriend’s back and up into his hair, and almost yelped in surprise when Viktor’s hips started to grind against his, sliding their cocks against each other through the fabric of their trousers, causing a delicious friction.

He moaned into Viktor’s mouth and slid his hands down to clutch at his boyfriend’s hips. Viktor shoved a hand between the cushion and Harry’s back and dragged it down to just above his tailbone, helping to guide Harry’s movements. In no time at all, when he was pushed into delirium, aching and anxious and dying for it, Viktor moved more roughly and sent him over the edge. Harry’s head snapped back as he cried out harshly, calling his boyfriend’s name. Viktor followed him over the edge, burying his face in Harry’s neck and biting, breath hot and moist.

A few minutes later, after Harry had regained his senses, Viktor loosened his grip and pushed himself up a bit only to dip his head briefly to give Harry a sweet kiss. The look on his face, though. . . .

Viktor,he said tentatively, what happened in that maze?

Viktor swallowed audibly before replying. There was a boggart in there.

Harry’s eyes went wide at the implication. Oh,he said inadequately, feeling a bit ill and more than a little horrified—and deeply touched.

Viktor kissed him again. I’d like to stay tonight, in here. Is that all right?

He nodded and slid his hands back up. Of course. Oh, Viktor,he breathed. Come on, let’s go clean up. Then we’ll go to sleep. Okay?

Viktor nodded and extricated himself from their embrace, grimacing slightly as he did so. Harry could only assume it had a little something to do with the issue of their enthusiastic bout of frottage. A hand came down to help him up and he gladly took it, allowing Viktor to assist him to his feet. He smiled faintly, kissed his boyfriend again, and pulled him into the bedroom and beyond into the bathroom.

You know where everything is. Pelk will clean your things. I’m going to go get a fresh set for myself and take my shower when you’re done.

Viktor shook his head. No. Shower with me. It’s fine.

His brows went up in surprise, but he nevertheless nodded. All right.That boggart must have scared the hell out of Viktor and stomped on his heart. He didn’t even want to imagine exactly what his boyfriend must have seen. He nodded again and started stripping down, setting everything off to the side, then stepped into the shower and started the water, thankful that it was always just the right temperature. A glance down had him blushing and he quickly rinsed away the evidence. He had completely drenched himself and moved back when Viktor stepped in.

He smiled; Viktor really was quite skinny. He found the shampoo and lathered up his hair, then lifted his net sponge off its hook and squirted some bath gel onto it. By then Viktor was soaked, so Harry quickly scrubbed himself down and switched places, handing off the sponge, so he could rinse off. If he happened to covertly eye his boyfriend in all his naked glory, well, who could honestly blame him?

A short time later they were dried off and wearing sleep trousers and under the covers. Viktor pulled him close and sighed. I almost feel as though I took advantage of you.

Harry shook his head. No. Don’t go there. I know I’m about to sound too old for my age again, but there’s nothing wrong with what we just did. We’ve both wanted it, our clothes stayed on so you didn’t break your rule, and I’m pretty sure I understand what prompted it. You did surprise me. You did not take advantage of me. If you need to hear it I’ll say it. I forgive you. I just don’t think there’s anything to forgive. And, Viktor—wow! Just wow.He shifted and twisted so he could see Viktor’s face and was surprised and pleased that his boyfriend was blushing, visible even in the low light. Let’s just sleep.

Viktor nodded, grabbed his wand long enough to extinguish the lights, and pulled him close. Harry wanted to say something about how it was over and he was fine, but depending on what Viktor had seen a statement like that would probably come across as being unfeeling or insensitive. Just because he was fine now was no guarantee that he always would be. He was subject to a prophecy and Viktor knew it, and just because they were the “good” guys did not mean that things would always go their way.

The next morning Viktor seemed less shaken up and they went through the day with relative ease, Harry of necessity skipping the repeat. Classes were a bit of a joke for the following span of days for him and Dudley, mainly consisting of their professors giving them work for the holiday and reminding them of what to expect the following year. Their remaining time passed easily enough, and the majority of anxious feelings came from Draco and Luna, both of them counting down the days until they would never have to return to Hogwarts.

Two days before the train would return them to London Harry got a message on his bracelet from his mother; they were good to use their portkeys from the station. That was a relief; he had been unable to not imagine his father showing up at the station and honing in on his mother, and heaven only knew what might happen under those circumstances, even with two schools worth of students and parents and guardians milling about.

That is good news,Viktor commented with a nod. I will be joining you in two weeks.

He smiled. After you visit with your parents, naturally.

Naturally.Viktor paused, had a casual look around, then leaned in to whisper, And I do not plan to tell that what happened in there.

Harry shook his head; they absolutely did not need to know that, despite it giving quite a bit of insight into the depth of Viktor’s feelings.

I will wait until you and Dudley have departed to leave, just in case. While I would normally say you should just portkey from our compartment, it would be politic to meet Draco’s parents, and Luna’s father first, and that means disembarking. I already have the means of my own departure so I’ll be leaving a mere second after you.

He nodded, somewhat in relief. He did not really think that James Potter would go after Viktor, assuming the man had even properly registered who had initiated the retreat, but the thought of Viktor being there alone made him uneasy. Poliakoff and Bergfalk could be nearby?

Yes. I will ask them. A layered defense that hopefully none of us will need.

The next evening was the Leaving Feast, a cause for relief for Harry, and no doubt many others of Durmstrang. This sojourn in another’s territory was almost over. They would pack up, sleep, consume breakfast, and finally get back on that train. Dudley and Draco and Luna were almost beside themselves in excitement (though it was difficult to tell with Luna). Draco would be leaving behind his two hulking shadows, not to mention the uncertainty of residence as a member of Slytherin, that base lack of anything resembling friendship and trust. Luna would be leaving behind the sneers and contempt and bullying, and a head of house who apparently could not be bothered to defend his charges, nor punish or educate the transgressors.

They repaired to his secret rooms again that night after a walk around the grounds, as it would be their last night together for some time. They got ready for bed, even though Harry had every expectation of having to shower and change again shortly—well, assuming he could coax Viktor into some fun. Once under the covers he snuggled up to his boyfriend and began idly tracing his fingers around on Viktor’s chest, teasingly dipping lower on occasion.

Viktor eventually got tired of it and reached up to capture Harry’s wrist firmly, then flipped him onto his back. He was quickly having the life snogged out of him, and once he was breathless, Viktor slid his mouth off to the side and went for his neck. Harry arched, lifting his hips, seeking that friction. His boyfriend responded by shifting his left hand into position to press Harry’s hip down, preventing him from trying to direct things. Only when he was good and ready did Viktor seek out Harry’s mouth again and begin to grind and thrust against him.

Harry was easily reduced to moaning into Viktor’s mouth. His boyfriend was amazingly strong, commanding, and sure for all that he suspected Viktor was no more experienced than he was. Viktor seemed to know just exactly how to move against him, with that suggestion of roughness that undid him, that dominating yet not overpowering violation of his mouth—his head jerked back as he came, Viktor’s name on his lips again.

Several minutes later Viktor said quietly, You are a tease.

He snickered softly. I would only be a tease if I didn’t follow through. And it is one way to see if you’re in the mood without being obnoxious about my interest.

Viktor responded by nipping gently at his lower lip, then began to move away. We should clean up.

Harry wholeheartedly agreed and almost cast Candlelight; instead he simply readied the spell in one hand. The resulting glow emanating from the cradle of his fingers was more than enough light to see by for the moment without the potentially painful brightness actually casting it would provide after being in the dark for as long as they’d been. A quick shower and a change of sleepwear saw them back in bed, this time to actually sleep.

He dreamed that night of Viktor taking him for real and was subsequently surprised when he woke that it was not to a sticky mess. Breakfast was seasoned with excitement and shortly thereafter they were all situating themselves in compartments on the train. Viktor did not immediately join then, choosing instead to sit with Bergfalk and Poliakoff in the next compartment down for a while.

When the train did begin to slow in preparation of stopping at Platform 9¾ Viktor excused himself again to check in with his friends. Harry and Dudley exchanged a look and got their trunks ready, kicking them to release the wheels and then extending the handles. A slow shuffle ensued down the corridor to the nearest exit and once on the platform they waited for Draco or Luna to find family.

Draco was first, spotting his father, and raised a hand in restrained greeting. Mr Malfoy made his way over to the group, his expression just shy of cold. “Draco,” he greeted his son, reaching out to briefly clasp Draco’s shoulder. “And these are your friends?”

Draco nodded. “Yes, father. Allow me to introduce. . . .”

If Mr Malfoy recognized the name Evans he showed no sign of it, though he did seem faintly pleased that his son could name Viktor Krum a friend. Luna’s father arrived part way through the introductions, causing Draco to restate the names the man had not been in time to hear. After it had been established that portkeys would be delivered in due time for Draco and Luna to visit, the two fathers led their children away to clear spots before transporting them away.

Edward had been seen hovering off at some distance, eyeing the group, but he had made no move to approach. That changed when Mr Malfoy departed, so Viktor nodded to Harry and Dudley. They nodded back and with firm grips on their trunks, activated their portkeys.

*

Harry portkeyed to Hrothgar to spend time with Valdis, his brief ‘lesson’ with her being almost incidental in his mind. Absorbing yet another soul and flying in that blissful sensation caused him to miss that someone else had portkeyed in. When he came down from his high and slid into the customary slight depression he caught movement in his peripheral vision, causing him to pivot warily toward it. He absolutely did not expect there to be a strange female there with dark hair, pale skin, and glowing eyes, decked out in clothing very much like what Valdis had favored.

“Serana, I presume,” he said carefully. It probably did not escape her notice that his hands had twitched much like he was about to ready spells.

She tilted her head and gave him a slow smile. “Yes. You’re obviously Harry. I’m very pleased to meet you. Valdis has said quite a bit.”

He let his hands relax as unobtrusively as possible and nodded. “I have very much looked forward to meeting you. Shall we be seated?”

She nodded and took a spot at one end of the bench, angling so she could see him and Valdis with equal ease. “You look surprisingly like Tom,” she commented.

He shrugged. “Perhaps having absorbed so many of his memories has altered the way I express myself to the outside world. Mannerisms alone can create a resemblance that would not otherwise appear physically.”

Serana smiled again. “So, you are this curious amalgamation of magicka and wizarding magic and the blood of a dragon. How does this affect your life?”

Well, she certainly didn’t waste time when it came to asking about what was on her mind. “Oddly,” he said honestly. “I am, like Valdis, very much annoyed by the Greybeards and their bizarre outlook on life and their power. As such, aside from the odd practice session, I have been unable to do much with it. Magicka is amazing, though limited in comparison to wizarding magic. But for that. . . . I came very close to breaking down when I learned I was so disadvantaged. I will never be the equal of even an average wizard, but I do have certain advantages, obviously, so I suppose it evens out.” He huffed a laugh after a moment and added, “Offensively I suppose I can be quite deadly.”

Serana grinned, showing off her deadly canines. “A little Chain Lightning to get people’s attention?”

He laughed. “Maybe. But I have a lot of work to do with Destruction and Conjuration. I’ve been unable to practice them properly except during the summer months. Tom takes me on hunting trips. My mother doesn’t really want to see me laying waste to the local wildlife so she stays out of it. It would be easier if I had the opportunities you and Valdis had,” he said, casting an amused look at Valdis, “to go tomb raiding and have any number of draugr to test my skills against. Or have innumerable Thalmor to sneak up on and shiv in the kidneys.”

Valdis laughed. “I admit, it was often fun. There is something wickedly satisfying about creeping around in the shadows and dealing death with such swift precision, or even in just robbing someone blind.”

“I know I never minded dealing with those who thought the only good vampire was a dead one,” Serana said, “or the innumerable bandits who thought they would intimidate us out of our wealth.”

Harry laughed along with them, then sobered. “I remember what you said all those years ago, Valdis. I know that the first time I have to take someone’s life I will probably be violently ill, maybe even for more than that. It was hard enough as it was to take down my first deer. But I know that there is some confrontation out there waiting for me.”

“I will help you,” Serana said quietly. “When the time comes I’ll be there, guarding your back.”

Harry felt his eyes inexplicably go wet; he swallowed against the sensation and blinked a few times.

Serana just nodded slightly and promptly said something to Valdis, allowing Harry time to compose himself. The three of them spent the next several hours talking, though Harry spent a lot of that listening. Valdis was even more loquacious with Serana there to add her own thoughts or perspective on any given event. He thought, during the short ride back home, that it would be very easy to like Serana.

The next few weeks were a blur of practice, and he was still repeating days, determined to get as much done as he could. Viktor showed up on a sunny Saturday just after breakfast, a smile brightening his face when he saw Harry.

“I can stay for a month,” Viktor informed him. “But the mastery program starts up mid-August. I’m afraid I’ll have to get settled back at Durmstrang then.”

Harry nodded, happy and disappointed at the same time, then angled his face up in the hopes of a kiss, which Viktor promptly gave him. In deference to the rest of the family sitting there finishing off their morning tea a quick kiss was all it was. Viktor greeted everyone and took a seat, accepting a cup of tea for himself.

“You’re sure you don’t mind me staying for so long?” Viktor asked Lily.

She rolled her eyes. “I don’t mind and neither does my sister. You’ve been a friend of the family for years now, even if it’s only been recently that we’ve become closer. You are very welcome here. Now stop asking such silly questions.” She and the others left shortly thereafter, Mary trotting by to take care of the dishes piled into the sink.

“I finally met Serana,” he said. “She’s really nice and just as amazing as Valdis. She told me that, when the time comes, she’ll be there. I kind of lost it for some reason.” He shrugged lightly. “She took it in stride, though. Didn’t make a big deal out of it.”

“. . .I look forward to meeting her. I missed you.”

He smiled widely. “I missed you a ton. Letters are never the same. And hey, now that you’re here, we can do things like see films and visit places! All the stuff we could never do at school. Speaking of which, do you have your scores back yet?”

“Yes. Straight Outstandings,” Viktor replied with restrained pride.

Harry beamed. “I never doubted you’d do well. I suppose your parents already made a big fuss?”

Viktor rolled his eyes a little. “Yes. All my favorite foods. Bisera was a little put out by it all, but I suppose she was just doing what little sisters do: be a pest.”

Harry smirked at the idea. “Oh! The latest gossip. . . . Well, actually, let’s get you settled first, then we could take a walk and I’ll fill you in.”