Grazhir :: Crossover :: Kalpa :: 17

12092014-16092014

17

When they went home for the Yule break Harry was unsurprised to see that Snape was practically a fixture at the house. His mother had been saying a little less than usual, but he was more than aware that she and Severus had been dating steadily since the summer. He sidled up to his mother at one point and asked quietly, “Should I be preparing for a wedding?”

She blushed. “I don’t think we’re that far along yet, honey. Though if it does, we may have a fantastic fight about names.”

He arched a brow at her. “What, the name Snape?”

“Oh yes. I remember what his father was like and I can’t stand the idea of even potentially bearing that name. I’m just not sure if he’d kick up a fuss over it,” she said thoughtfully.

He shrugged. “The only reason I can think of for him to be attached to that name is simply because he’s known by it for Potions. But really, he’d probably be better off without it. We’re certainly better off without the name Potter.”

His mother grimaced, which made him curious. “I got a letter from your father,” she said, which explained it. “Why he waited so long I’ve no idea.” Before he could ask she continued, “He made some vaguely apologetic noises about that encounter after the third task, then turned around and started asking questions about this boy I’ve adopted and altered.”

‘Ah, Edward’s accusations coming to the fore,’ he thought.

“I set it aside. I don’t think I’ll bother responding to it. It’s not like I can explain—well, I could, but why would I?—and I don’t owe him one anyway. I suppose it just irks him that there’s some mystery and he doesn’t have a solution for it.”

He shook his head somewhat disbelievingly. “He really just takes whatever Edward says as the truth? I mean—okay, I get that you do with me because I’ve never had any reason to lie to you.”

“Well,” she said, casting an amused look at him, “you did rather demur that day when Tom popped up.”

“But I didn’t lie,” he reminded her. “I just think it’s weird. I wonder if his parents were like that.”

“Ah, well, they had him so late in life that they doted on him. It wouldn’t surprise me if they did take a lot of what he said at face value, but I have no way of knowing. But enough about him. When is Viktor coming?”

“The twenty-ninth. He’s spending the first week with his parents, sister, and grandparents.”

“Okay,” she said with a nod. “I’ll just send the gifts on ahead, then. Petunia and I made up a big basket of baked goods. Food is usually a safe choice.”

By the time Viktor had arrived Harry was done making his present. Taking Tom’s original idea, he had created a new bracelet for his boyfriend, but this one was double “woven” so that with one side down it was much like the one he already wore, with waterbreathing and protection against magic and elements. When flipped, however, it had all the same enchantments plus a full Chameleon effect, Muffle, and various other helpful effects. He had also planned the “weave” carefully to take advantage of the muted colours of the enchanted links and create a pattern of sorts, rather like chevrons, and each side was different.

Even so, he was unhappy with the idea. The bracelet was still stylish and did what he required of it, and would even usually be covered by Viktor’s clothing, so people would be unlikely to try to summon it away from him thinking it was an artifact. However, his crazed fans might try, simply to say they possessed something owned by Krum. He went to Tom with his complaint—and an idea.

“You want to do what?” Tom asked, brows raised.

“Create enchantments that reside in the body,” he replied, then explained his thoughts about the bracelet and his memory of a conversation they’d had ages ago about runic tattoos.

“Well, true, someone might do a thing like that. His earring, as well. As for you,” Tom said, eyeing him, “it would mean not having to rely so much on heavily-enchanted gear.” There was a pause where Tom had that look on his face that told Harry he was swiftly paging through his memory and thinking furiously. “How well do those Restoration spells heal?”

Harry furrowed his brow, not understanding. “As well or better than magic, plus acting like a Blood Replenishing potion.”

Tom shook his head. “Scarring, Harry.”

“Oh! Er, well? I haven’t exactly done a lot of damage to myself to see that.”

Tom made an impatient noise and pulled a knife out of his clothing, then slashed his arm. “Heal it.”

He stared at the bright red blood welling up, then snapped into action, prepping a Restoration spell. Moments later he released it. If there was a scar it was so faint he couldn’t tell from that distance.

Tom brought his arm up to inspect it more closely after wiping the blood away with a cloth and setting the cloth on fire. “Not bad,” he said. The knife went away. “Come on.”

Tom led him to the enchanter, where the man found a strip of silver, which they had found carried enchantments quite well. He cut it to the size he wanted and buffed all the edges, then enchanted it with what looked to be waterbreathing. Tom led him away again, this time to the sepulcher. Serana happened to be there, so Tom said, with some amusement, “If spilling blood might tempt you, I suggest you wander off.”

She smiled and shook her head. “No. What are you going to do?”

“An experiment, prompted by my young friend here.” Tom turned back to Harry and said, “Be ready to heal me when I say.”

He nodded with a touch of uncertainty as Tom brought out his wand and numbed his entire forearm, then used a spell to split his arm open to the bone, exposing the white in a sea of blood and glistening muscle. Harry turned to the side and vomited, unable to help himself, but yet managed to see that Tom was placing that piece of metal against bone and adhering it with a sticking charm.

“Harry,” Tom prompted.

He brought his hands up, aiming despite the heaving of his stomach and the dizziness staggering him, and released. It took several rounds to seal the wound from the inside outward, but it worked. All that remained was a thin white scar that dittany would probably remove. Then he turned and threw up again.

Serana came to tuck back his hair and keep a comforting arm around his shoulders. “It happens to all of us,” she murmured.

He could believe that, especially considering some of the things she had endured. When his stomach finally stopped rebelling he sat back against the wall.

Tom kindly banished the mess and took care of the blood, then flexed his arm thoughtfully. “I can’t feel it, but that was rather the point. Now to test it out.”

“And if this works?” he said a bit weakly.

“Then you’ve thought of something extremely useful,” Tom replied. “I didn’t feel a thing and it’s only a little sore at the moment.” His gaze slid over to Serana, who shook her head.

“I don’t know healing spells,” she replied to the unspoken question. “They would only harm me.”

Tom nodded and eyed Harry up again, making him feel a bit like a prize cow. “All right. I’m going to go test this. Thank you, Harry.”

When Tom did return it was with an anatomical model. Viktor had arrived shortly before and inspected the thing with bemusement. Tom ignored that and nodded to Harry. “It worked just fine,” he informed him, satisfaction evident in his voice.

He summoned up a smile. Despite his less than stellar reaction to seeing something of a person’s insides he was pleased. The smile tried to slide off his face when he realized what more he would have to go through in order to protect himself properly, and Viktor. Tom might be amenable to having it done, but he rather doubted his mother would. Just thinking about that sight made him a bit queasy.

“I’m going to do some enchanting,” Tom continued, his eyes bright. “Why don’t you explain to Viktor what we’ve been up to?”

He nodded and watched as Tom exited with the model in tow, then turned to his boyfriend with a smile. “It’s awfully cold out, but would you like to take a walk anyway?” Shortly thereafter they were bundled up and out on one of the walking trails. “So, I had this idea earlier when I was finishing up your present.” He reached into a pocket and pulled out the bracelet, offering it. When Viktor took it he said, “It’s much like the one Tom made, but this one is double-sided. If you look you’ll see the design is different. If you wear it with the random pattern facing up it’s like the one you’re already wearing. The other way gives you full Chameleon.”

Viktor tucked it away for the moment and nodded. “Thank you, Harry. But what does this have to do with a fake, skinless human?”

He laughed—almost giggled—and shook his head. “My mind was wandering while I was making it and something occurred to me that got me upset. You’ve got all these fans, right? And fans are weird. I started getting worried that one of them might do something awfully cheeky like try to summon away your earring or bracelet, so—”

“Ah,” Viktor said, interrupting him. “Yes.”

“Right. They’d probably steal your underthings if they could get away with it,” he said dryly. “So I had this thought, based in part on a conversation Tom and I had ages ago, and I went to him to discuss it. I wanted to know if it was possible to put the enchantments inside.” He looked over to see a look of dawning realization on his boyfriend’s face. “Yeah. He dragged me off to the enchanter, did one up with waterbreathing, then dragged me off to the sepulcher. He—actually, wait.” He took a careful look around, making sure there would be no witnesses, then shook his wand out and extracted a copy of the event.

Viktor looked confused for a few moments, then produced his wand and looped the silvery strand around his own and touched it to his temple. Thankfully, Viktor didn’t say a word about Harry’s moments of weakness and instead focused on the import of the test. “Oh my,” he breathed. “That is a novel solution. And—and you want to do this to yourself. And me.”

“That was the general idea, yes. It scared me when Karkaroff came for me that night. When I was unconscious all those hours. He could have done anything he wanted to me, taken anything he wanted. And then as I said, your fans could steal your protections. The portkeys wouldn’t work for them, but still.”

Viktor exhaled heavily, his breath forming a misty cloud in front of them. “I assume then that Tom went to test it, based on what he said. He’s capable of breathing underwater with no problems from that addition.”

“Mm-hm. Though, I think if I go ahead with this, I’ll need some potions to stop me from getting sick again.”

Viktor snorted, sending out another cloud of mist. “And he just went off with that model so he can better decide how to shape the pieces against the bones. And possibly how to cut so as to avoid doing more damage than necessary to the muscles.”

He nodded; that was what he assumed as well. “If we go ahead with this I can just give you a simpler bracelet with only Chameleon on it. Or to go someplace people won’t normally see so they wouldn’t think to steal it.”

Viktor shook his head. “They never would see it, silly, not unless you did it as a double weave like the one you just gave me.”

Harry rolled his eyes; of course they wouldn’t. Viktor would never wear it unless it was required. “Okay. An unenchanted bracelet like the one you already have, because I like how it looks on you. And then one for Chameleon to save you having to use a spell for it. Everything else is pretty much a given—the standard stuff, anyway. I could see putting enchantments into the Chameleon bracelet for things to hide your heat signature and scent, because you wouldn’t normally care about them being concealed.”

As they reached the halfway point on the trail he changed the subject to Snape and his mother, and that carried them back the remainder of the way. “I’m thinking by summer, maybe.”

“He has been treating you well,” Viktor remarked.

“Yes. He’s surprisingly good one-on-one when it comes to Potions. Doing his damnedest to make sure I am the absolute best I can be at them.”

“That and he doesn’t automatically assume you’re an idiot,” Viktor pointed out.

“True.” He was pleased a bit later to be back in the warmth of the house. His enchantments helped quite a bit, but there was nothing like the real thing. Viktor kissed his reddened nose before helping him out of his heavy cloak and the two of them went to wash up before lunch.

His mother gave him a hard look once they were seated, but it was nothing compared to the look she aimed at Tom. Lunch was the stew his mother and aunt had worked so hard on perfecting with more of that wonderful crusty bread. The butter was nicely soft and easy to spread and the traces of it in his stew from dipping the bread added a little something special.

It wasn’t until after the meal was cleared away and Mary was handling the dishes that Lily pinned to two of them with a look. Viktor was included only incidentally. “So what’s this I hear about an experiment?”

Harry turned to Tom and stage whispered, “How do they always know?”

“Harry,” she said sharply, sparing him a glance. “Now, Tom, what’s this all about?”

Tom pretended to be cowed, but Harry could see the gleam of amusement in the man’s eyes. He explained Harry’s idea and what they had done to test it. After a very long silence his mother spoke again. “I see. Harry is still underage, though.”

He went to protest but she cut him off.

“I won’t even allow his boyfriend to ‘insert’ himself into Harry so why do you think I’d allow this just yet?”

Harry went bright red and Viktor wasn’t much better. Tom just laughed and laughed some more. “Fair enough,” Tom said. “So we wait until Harry is a bit older.”

He fled the room as soon as he could, Viktor in tow. Once they were alone Viktor said, “She got us both this time.”

Harry palmed his face.

*

By the time exams were over Harry was exhausted and thrilled to realize they would be going home soon. He had given his all to get through his OWLs, especially the portions of wand classes where he actually had to demonstrate his knowledge and ability. The examiners had been a bit taken aback at his inability to use the customary and expected wand movements, but seemed fine once he showed that he did, in fact, know them. One of them had actually nodded a few times and commented, “It just gives you a leg up for the future, young man, much like already not needing to say the incantations. Point-casting is something not many manage.”

Harry had taken that as a good sign and felt a tiny bit better about the whole thing. Either way he felt confident he had at least obtained Exceeds Expectations for those OWLs, and probably Outstandings for everything else. He and Dudley had agreed between them to take the Muggle Studies OWL, despite never having bothered to sign up for the class or even crack a book regarding the subject until just days before it came up on the schedule. It was an extremely unpopular class under Karkaroff’s reign, but they had managed to track down a few people who took it to get some idea of what to study.

The fifth years had even more free time than usual on their hands once they were over, as there was nothing in the way of work meant to be done over the break. He wished they could just leave early; what harm was there in letting OWL and NEWT students take off once their last exam had been taken? Dudley was feeling pretty confident about his results, as was Draco. Luna had only the normal exams, but she was also pleased with her efforts, and had, over the course of the year, made friends with more than just Vasilka, often sitting in on mentoring sessions.

Sitting there at dinner, Viktor at his side, he couldn’t help but think ahead. Not necessarily to sex, though he did look forward to that, but more to the increased intimacy. And, of course, to the big experiment. He looked up at a question from Draco and nodded. “I don’t see why not. You could come for the last week again.” He already knew Viktor would be spending time with his family until mid-July before coming to stay with him until mid-August.

His time with Valdis from hereon out would just be time to be friends. She had taught him every Shout she knew, every word of power, and transferred the dragon souls to back them up and make them more powerful. His practice with bows had brought him to the point where he expected he could begin using hers. Maybe it was a bit crazy for someone living in the wizarding world to be so pleased by that, but she had always made sense, and he was no Gryffindor to go charging into the thick of things like some cheerfully laughing Nord warrior.

Or Barak. Or Mandorallen. He was a bit more like Silk or Velvet. For Viktor’s birthday he had gotten him a boxed set of books: The Belgariad. If he liked them well enough Harry planned to get him the second set for Yule. Well, assuming Viktor didn’t go out and track them down himself.

Thankfully, a few days later they were given the go-ahead and Harry was able to portkey home. Tom latched onto him before he was even able to unpack and dragged him off to the sepulcher, revealing a small table there with a bunch of enchanted metal pieces on it. “Huh? But I’m not even officially sixteen yet!”

Tom shrugged. “I eventually talked your mother into doing it a little early. Now, I also have a calming potion for you, and. . . .” He paused to sketch something in the air and make a jabbing motion at it. “So, we can . . . install . . . pieces in your legs and arms, spread them out a bit. One limb at a time.”

“What about the non-resistance ones?” he asked. He could see putting the ones against damage into each of the four places. While he could never achieve full protection—something about magicka and resistance enchanting refused to be used that way—he could get that percentage quite high. But the others? Did it matter?

Tom shrugged again. “Doesn’t matter. The waterbreathing enchantment worked just fine being in my arm. So did all the others.”

“Others? You mean you did the full deal? But—”

Severus arrived at that point, just in time for Tom to say, “Yes, all of them. Severus was there to heal me. And he’s here now as backup.”

“Oh. . . . Okay.” In truth, the idea of cutting himself open, or being cut open, was making his stomach rebel again. Perhaps it showed on his face because Tom gave him something of a sympathetic look.

“All right. Let’s go to your work room,” Tom said, and gathered everything up. A short time later they were inside his trunk, with Severus looking around in interest. Tom fetched a potion out of a pocket and said, “It’ll knock you out.”

He exhaled in relief and accepted it, then drank it down without really thinking. Before he lost consciousness he saw Tom rolling his eyes and heard him say, “Catch him, will you?” When he woke up he was on his bed in the trunk and groggy as hell. He was also almost naked, he realized, tucked under the covers. ‘Oh hell,’ he thought, covering his eyes with one hand. ‘That must have been fun for them, me passing out on them and making them have to undress me.’

He rolled over and fell back to sleep, waking up again at around four in the morning. He took a shower and dressed, then settled into the chair in his proper bedroom with a book, and when six o’clock rolled around he kept reading. At least now when he bought new clothes he wouldn’t have to enchant them as he did every other time he grew enough. Well, fire resistance, perhaps, but of the sort to protect cloth and leather from burning. The last thing he needed was some crazed enemy trying to make him into a wicker man.

After breakfast he was hauled off by Tom and dropped into a lake without warning. It took him a minute of shocked sputtering to realize he was not, in fact, drowning, though his clothes. . . . ‘I swear.’ He was returned to the house dripping wet, much to his mother’s amusement, though Petunia was making upset noises about water all over the floor and up the stairs. It was not until he was in the shower that he thought to check for scarring; there was none. Severus must be really good at healing because he couldn’t even tell where they’d cut him open.

That made him feel a lot better, especially when Viktor arrived. He showed up after breakfast again and was stolen away for a walk after he had greeted everyone. Harry told him all about his rather embarrassing actions on that day, laughing at himself.

“But it works just fine.”

“Yeah. Tom dumped me in the middle of a lake the next morning, the bastard. But, now all I have to do with any clothing really is fireproof them. There aren’t any scars, either, so unless I end up going through some kind of muggle scanner I don’t imagine anyone will ever realize.” He paused. “Well, I don’t really know what medical scans show, now that I think about it. If they only show injuries or also abnormalities.”

Viktor shook his head. “I don’t know, either, actually.”

Harry looked over and smiled. “Yeah, you who never seems to get hurt.”

“I fly well,” Viktor replied.

“And dodge well. Guess we can ask Severus.”

“And speaking of him,” Viktor said, “you haven’t said anything in your letters about potential recent developments.”

“Oh, well, no one has said anything yet, and it’s not like I’ve caught them up to anything.” He shrugged. “Do you want to go through with it?”

“Sure,” Viktor said easily. “I’ve had plenty of time to think about it and you have some valid concerns. Even now there are times when fans manage to get into the stadium during practices. I swear they get more clever as time goes by. It must take a lot of dedication to be stalker.”

Harry shuddered. “Idiots probably think that whole brooding thing you have going on is dead sexy or something and all you need is the right woman to make you smile.”

Viktor simply shrugged. “I’m sure they’ll figure it out at some point. Do you want to go to the World Cup final this year?”

Harry looked at him funny. “Bulgaria isn’t even in it this year. Why would I bother? I wouldn’t get to see you play. I think Dudley may be trying, though, with Draco. It’s in Spain this year, right?”

“Yes. Spain and Germany. Well, come on. Let’s go do this.”

The insertion went well, and Harry even managed to stay conscious through it and not lose his stomach. His sixteenth birthday rolled around with little fanfare, though many of his favorites ended up on the table again during meals. He felt a little bad for Dudley given that his cousin’s birthday fell during the school year, but a care package always winged its way to the blond with favored sweets.

Viktor gave him some scented candles. “Now, I could say these are brilliant for meditation and your Occlumency and were chosen very carefully for that, but the truth would be that Bisera has taken up a hobby.”

“Your sister made these?” he asked, greatly surprised.

Viktor nodded, smiling. “I sort of wonder, assuming she keeps on with it, if she actually could make ones to help with things like that, or have effects like a calming potion—things of that nature. Anyway, I liked them very much so I bought some from her for you. I did request specific colours, of course.”

They were quite handsome, dipped in layers and carved and twisted. He wouldn’t be surprised if she had used magic for that part, to keep everything so smooth and flowing. “Well if she keeps making them I may start buying them myself. Seems to me each layer could have a slightly different effect. Or a mingling of scents.”

“I will let her know,” Viktor promised. “Perhaps she will show a little more interest in Herbology and Potions, then.”

Harry snickered. Bisera was one of those girls who thought dirt and ingredients were “icky” and tried to push the work off on a partner. “Well, perhaps I’ll ask Severus what effect it would have to burn a potion, or even certain herbs. I know sage is all right. It’s not really the kind of thing that gets covered in class.”

Viktor nodded, and, on seeing Severus as he entered the house, hailed the man and asked.

Snape seemed a bit surprised by the question, but quickly turned thoughtful. “Yes, it might work,” he finally said. “I’ll get you a list. And do some experimentation.”

“Well,” Harry said, mostly to Viktor, “even if your sister isn’t interested in the long run, I might be.” He thanked Severus and started gathering up his gift. “I think I’ll keep them in my work room,” he muttered. Viktor immediately gave him a hand as he offered his own thanks to Snape, and the two of them wandered upstairs and into his room, Harry setting aside his burden long enough to open the trunk.

As soon as they were inside the dressing room he set his burden back down and turned to face his boyfriend. Viktor quickly divested himself of his supply of candles and stepped closer, snaking one of his hands into the hair at the nape of Harry’s neck, leaning in for a kiss. Harry was thorough in his response, not to mention ardent, eventually breaking away to say a bit breathlessly, “Thank you—for the candles. I like them, and I like the colours you picked. You realize, of course, that I’m getting a lot more out of you on repeat.”

Viktor nodded, a slow smile forming. “As much as I let you,” he countered.

Harry narrowed his eyes.

The next evening, on repeat, they showered before bed, then slipped under the covers. Viktor was chuckling to himself for some reason and it was annoying the hell out of Harry. That being so, he said and did nothing once the normal lights were extinguished except snuggle up to his boyfriend and prepare to sleep. Yes, he would like to start plucking the hairs from Viktor’s chest one by one to express his irritation, but that would be childish.

Ten minutes later, as he was just in that twilight stage between waking and sleeping, Viktor flipped him over onto his back and loomed over him. “Hm?” he said sleepily.

“Okay. I deserve you ignoring me,” Viktor said.

“You deserve me plucking out your chest hairs one by one,” Harry replied, giving voice to his earlier inclination, “but I refrained. So why were you so amused?”

“Because I was finding it to be somewhat absurd, the idea of us making love in your mother’s house.”

He stared up, trying to see better in the almost complete darkness. “Why? We’re in the trunk. It’s not like anyone is going to hear anything. Besides, if you don’t actually mind, I’d rather wait until after we return to Durmstrang.”

“Oh?” Viktor laid back down, pulling Harry to him in their usual position.

“Yes. Because—well, as fun as it can be to tease and to have her be part of it, I’d actually prefer not to here so that if it comes up I can say with all honesty we haven’t yet,” he replied, idly playing with Viktor’s chest, tracing meaningless patterns.

“That . . . makes a certain kind of sense.” There was a pause, then, “So how far is your limit at this point?”

He grinned in the darkness and slid his hand down, teasing his fingers under the waistband of Viktor’s sleepwear. “These can come off.”

Viktor chuckled again and changed position, carefully rolling Harry to the side, then pushed the covers back and skinned the sleep trousers down his legs. He then shifted onto his side and reached out to assist Harry with his own.

Once they were both naked Harry slid his hand down Viktor’s chest again and, for the first time, skimmed his hand over his boyfriend’s cock. Viktor twitched and let out an odd noise that interested him greatly. It also interested him greatly that the skin beneath his hand was velvety soft, a contrast to the somewhat wiry texture of the nest of hair. “Close your eyes for a minute,” he whispered. “I’m going to light a candle.”

“Okay.”

Harry sat up and readied Candlelight, then slipped off the bed and fetched one of the candles using its glow to guide him, then returned and set it up and lit it. He shook the spell away and got back into bed, putting his hand back on Viktor, gliding his fingers over the skin. Viktor twitched again and Harry made the logical conclusion that the things he liked to do to himself were probably going to be things that his boyfriend also appreciated. However. . . .

He scooted down the bed a bit and leaned over, purposely exhaling, and smiled when Viktor made that odd noise again. A quick look offside showed that his boyfriend’s visible hand was trying to clutch the sheet. It was so strange, watching his boyfriend’s cock slowly thicken and lengthen, the foreskin “disappearing” as it happened. He suddenly bent lower and ran his tongue along its length. Viktor made a strangled sound.

The next thing he knew Harry was on his back. “You’re killing me,” Viktor whispered.