Grazhir :: Crossover :: Kalpa :: 24



Harry woke in bed, snuggled up to Viktor. The second he moved Viktor rolled them and gave him a searching look. “How do you feel?” he asked softly.

He blinked a few times and smiled. “Fine. I’m more worried about the argument that was going on. Did the memory help at all?”

Viktor gave him a sweet kiss before answering. “Yes. My father calmed down considerably once he realized or remembered certain truths. We were all rather shaken up by the memory. I can’t say I was very pleased to realize that you’re counted as the champion of a Daedric Lord, though. We shall have to question Valdis more closely on that, perhaps.”

“Yeah,” he said softly. “So your parents are no longer looking to kick us all out?”

“It’s fine,” Viktor reassured him. “Besides, you don’t really think I’d let you get away?”

“I hope not.”

Viktor kissed him again. “Tom left briefly to fetch a pensieve and we all viewed the memory you gave Severus. I think my father was really impressed with you when he wasn’t being busy being shocked. There was a lot of discussion and more than a few other memories shared.” He hesitated, looking worried, then said, “I shared some, and I must apologize for that, as I was unable to ask your permission. My parents needed to understand that you really are the person they know, even though you’re a lot more than they previously knew.”

He digested that for a bit, knowing that Viktor would never have shared anything intimate, and nodded. “That’s all right. On my way back from Apocrypha I got to see what happened after I was taken. Thank you for defending me so strongly, and Tom.”

Viktor smiled in relief. “Well, you seemed to be fully healed even if you wouldn’t wake, and Pelk eventually gave me a hand getting you cleaned up. You’ve been out only a day. Oh, and you came back with an interesting addition.”

His brow furrowed. “That wound was bad enough to scar?”

“That’s not it,” Viktor replied with a shake of his head, then balanced his weight on one arm and reached out with his left to grab Harry’s right hand and bring it up. Apparently he had gained a tattoo on the back of his hand: a winged hourglass. “That tiny dragon returned briefly during the discussion that followed us watching the memory. It claimed you did well passing its test and had pleased it. That is the symbol of Akatosh—or one of them. It sort of makes me wonder if Valdis ended up with one and she just never mentioned it.”

Harry exhaled gustily.

“Your other hand. . . .”

“Oh god,” he whispered and checked that one. It had a half-lidded eye with three jagged “spikes” above it and one below. “Hermaeus Mora, I assume.”

“We assume, yes. I went ahead and collected those things and brought them up here for you to look through, and Tom and Serana broke down the dragon skeleton. Thankfully we are far enough out that none of the muggles noticed much more than something odd in the sky, and we killed the beast quickly enough that the ministry never got involved, not realizing it came here.”

He nodded and looked down as his stomach grumbled at him. Viktor pulled away and rolled off the side of the bed, then came around to give him a hand up, visibly worried about his stability. A quick shower later and dressed they headed downstairs to the kitchen. The elf there must have sensed them coming for it was setting plates on the table when they entered. Harry gratefully sank into a chair and picked up his fork. Part way through the meal the others came in and took seats as well, the elf serving them promptly.

“Harry?” his mother said.

“I’m fine,” he replied, combing the hair back from his face with his left hand. He caught sight of a tattoo again and sighed. “Not sure I’m too happy about being marked like this, though, or that I’m now the champion and servant of a Daedric Lord.”

“They are rather obvious,” she said, wrinkling her nose.

He forked up and ate some more eggs, then said, “So, er, all the arguing is done? Because my nerves are kind of shot right now.”


He looked at Pavel a bit warily.

“It’s fine.”

“Okay.” Then he looked away and asked, “Serana went back?”

“Yes,” Tom answered him. “She returned to update Valdis.”


Viktor snorted and rubbed his face. “Her memory was modified. She’s, ah, sleeping in this morning.”


“What is it, Harry?”

“Can I have new armor for my birthday?”

Lily started giggling, which started a general episode of mirth around the table. “Sure, honey. Petunia and I will whip something up for you. We already did some repairs to what you were wearing that will hold up for the time being. We’ll toss that one once we have a replacement.”

He nodded and returned to working his way through the food on his plate, letting the soft conversation of the others wash over him. Viktor finished his meal first and scooted his chair a bit closer, wrapping an arm around Harry’s shoulders. “I think my brain is a bit fried,” Harry said, shaking his head. “That really happened?”

Viktor squeezed him as Tom said dryly, “Yes, Harry, it really happened. And may I say, I am very impressed by your handling of the situation, especially given you had no warning or really much of an idea what to do.”

“Oh, thanks,” he said, smiling faintly.

The remainder of the week was a little strange and awkward and tense. Tom was keeping a very close eye on news from around the world and Iskra, Lily, and Petunia were caught up in making sure everything was perfect for the bonding. Pavel had retreated some into taciturnity, but always had a reassuring smile for Harry, however faint it might be.

Mid-week at lunch a letter arrived for his mother. She glanced at the writing and frowned, and paused to cast a few spells at it before opening it. The frown grew more pronounced as she read. “Your father is being a bastard again,” she said, then covered her mouth in dismay and scanned the table. She relaxed once she saw Bisera was nowhere to be seen; Viktor’s sister was visiting a friend that day.

“I’m almost afraid to ask,” he replied wearily.

“Seems with the breaking of the Secret he’s suddenly twigged to the realization that the strange Durmstrang boy Edward kept complaining about is actually his son, and he’s all bent out of shape to realize you aren’t actually a squib.”

“Like it matters?” he said bitterly. “It wouldn’t have changed anything.” Then a thought occurred to him that caused him some consternation. “He can’t do anything, right? I’m an adult, and almost one in most of the muggle world, too.”

“Not that I’m aware of,” Tom said. “You’re also no longer a citizen of Britain.”


Tom nodded, then shrugged.

“So, the only people who have any idea of the truth of that night are right here,” Pavel said, almost questioningly.

“Yes,” Lily answered. “Harry and Tom always knew, but no one else did until Harry was eight, and that was the same time when I divorced James and took sole custody of Harry. Then we moved to Norway. They’re convinced that Edward is the defeater of Voldemort based on circumstantial evidence.”

“Then unless your ex-husband is completely irrational I cannot see why he would make any particular moves against Harry,” Pavel responded.

“He also,” Lily added, rolling her eyes up toward the ceiling, “seems bent out of shape over Harry having snagged the very famous and talented Viktor Krum.”

Viktor banged his head against the table to the side of his plate, then sat back up and rubbed his face.

“Ha,” Harry said with a teasing smile, “more like Viktor snagged me, charming fellow that he is.”

Viktor leaned sideways and gave him a quick kiss. “Perhaps this is Edward’s jealousy. You remember how he acted back at the beginning of the year at Hogwarts. He can’t have been happy that I cut him down, though I admit he never actually bothered me after that.”

He grimaced at the memory of his brother’s actions. “Any other idiocy in that letter?”

“Only that I’m getting the distinct impression he’s becoming fed up with his French society wife’s general lack of substance and might be missing my, er, competence.”

Dudley rolled his eyes at that and said, “Hardly your fault. Actually, I’m a little surprised that we’ve not heard of any kids out of that. They’ve certainly had enough time. But maybe he didn’t want to divert any attention from Edward.”

Harry grimaced again at the thought, then noticed his mother was looking a bit shifty. “What is it, mum? You’re hiding something,” he accused.

She slumped a little and looked at him apologetically. “We weren’t going to say anything yet—you know, because of the bonding.”

He furrowed his brow and gestured impatiently, not quite getting what she—oh. His brows shot up.

“Yes,” she said, nodding. “Severus and I are expecting. I’m about two months, so perhaps the end of December.”

He grinned, then turned to Viktor. “Should we start book on hair and eye colour?” he murmured. Viktor laughed as he faced his mother again and said, “So a little brother or sister, possibly born on the same day as Tom?”

Tom reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose.

Everyone gave their congratulations and the matter was dropped for the time being, and that of the letter from James. Preparations continued and soon enough it was Saturday. It was a day to sleep in and eat brunch rather than breakfast. And at that they still had over nine hours to fill before the actual bonding started. The ladies, including Bisera and an early arriving Luna, hastened off to see to the details. For a ceremony that they had asked not be fussy the women seemed awfully picky about things.

He just shared a slightly bewildered look with Viktor and shrugged. Guests weren’t due to start arriving until around eight so they had plenty of time to fill. After having been told to keep away from the back yard they instead took over the parlor and started a rousing game of Uno complete with butterbeer and pretzels. Draco showed up early, already dressed in his finery, and joined them when the next game started, but only after removing his outer robes and draping them over the back of a chair.

“So where are you two going?” Draco asked as he played his card.

‘Not Asia,’ he thought, smiling to himself.

“Egypt,” Viktor replied. “Perhaps Germany. Depends on whether or not Egypt turns out to be boring.”

“You’re going for muggle accommodations, right?” Dudley asked. “Heaven only knows how bad it would get in the magical sectors if someone decided to talk.”

“Mm,” Harry hummed in agreement. “No, actually. My elf is handling the accommodations under the name Evans. That way we never have to deal with reception and we’ll be able to apparate in and out. But we arranged for the equivalent of a muggle credit card for Viktor and plan to eat in muggle establishments. We can use glamours to avoid being recognized in magical areas.” He neglected to mention that Tom had been proactive on their behalf and already provided a number of portkeys for their use, mainly to ensure that any they used to get to various attractions were guaranteed safe.

He had considered a two week cruise with various ports of call at one point, but additional thought on the matter nixed the idea simply because if something happened and they were needed it would be much harder to get back from a position on the ocean. Still, it was a nice thought for a holiday some other time.

When Harry reached out to play a card Draco did a double-take and stared openly at his hand, finally noticing one of the tattoos. “That’s new.”

“Not up for discussion,” he said flatly. “Sorry.” Experimentation had proven that the marks resisted being covered, even with muggle makeup. Even after a week he still occasionally got upset over bearing them.

“Okay,” Draco said slowly, then looked at Dudley and said, “So when’s your try-out?”

“Mid-August,” Dudley said, grinning. He had been scouted as a possible reserve for one of the Norwegian teams and Harry was amazed his cousin even managed to dress himself properly each day given how excited he was about the upcoming chance.

Some time later Tom wandered in trailed by Severus, Lucius, and Pavel. Pavel aimed slightly wary looks at Lucius every so often, but did not verbalize any of his thoughts. Uno was eventually packed away in favor of Cluedo, and there was a lot of laughter as the suggestions got more colourful. Dudley had them in various degrees of mirth when he said, “I suggest it was Miss Scarlet, having been caught in the midst of a rather risqué affaire d’amour with a candlestick in the billiard room and threatened with blackmail.”

Unfortunately, they never did find out the ultimate answer, as they had spent so much time talking while playing both games that it was time to get ready before anyone felt comfortable making an accusation. Draco retrieved his outer robes and remained in the parlor as most of the others left to get ready.

Harry laughed to himself as he and Viktor got ready. It was a bit difficult to pander to any of the usual “customs” when you shared a room. A look out one of the windows revealed that everything appeared to be ready. Tall wrought iron holders supported Bisera’s candles and did a static march down either side of an aisle, as well as to both sides of the seating. Some of the trees were strung with faerie lights, twinkling blue and green.

But aside from the table set back from the head of the aisle intended to hold the certificate the whole setup was fairly understated, just as they wanted. Once the ceremony itself was done and the certificate dealt with things would shift to tables and food and dancing. Nothing fancy, nothing crazy, and allowing people to sit in their own little groupings if they weren’t dancing or mingling.

When they were dressed—complete with fully-stocked enchanted pockets, because you just never knew—but for their over-robes, Viktor backed him up against a wall and placed a hand to either side of his head. Harry smiled and tilted his head back, saying, “Yes, Viktor? Are you angling for a quickie before the ceremony?”

Viktor’s brow furrowed, then he laughed. “No. I want a real kiss from you now, because I won’t be able to kiss you as I’d like then.”

“Oh, by all means,” he replied, then welcomed the feel of his almost-husband’s lips on his. They were still at it when a knock came at the door, breaking them apart. He went for his robes as Viktor went for the door.

Severus stepped in, rolled his eyes on getting a good look at them, and said, “It’s time.”

Viktor nodded and shrugged into his outer robes, then quit the room. Harry smiled at Severus and went to go look out the window again. It wasn’t until he saw Viktor emerge into the yard that he turned and nodded. “Let’s go.”

Severus walked with him down to the ground floor and opened the back door to take a verifying look, then pulled it open fully and walked through. Once he had taken his seat Harry stepped out, biting the inside of his cheek to keep the stupid grin trying to form off his face, and wondered if that was why his mother’s smile coming out the door was so odd back at her wedding. As he walked forward his gaze stayed steady on Viktor, and he drifted to a stop at his side, turning slightly toward him.

Viktor was not smiling, but he had that look in his eyes again, the one Harry had come to associate with an overflow of emotion. He smiled and reached out to take Viktor’s hand, then looked forward.

“Let’s begin the ceremony. It was Mara that first gave birth to all of creation and pledged to watch over us as her children,” began the official, and Harry was shocked at what he was hearing. Had Tom or Serana arranged for this?

“It is from her love of us that we first learned to love one another. It is from this love that we learn that a life lived alone is no life at all. We gather here today, under Mara’s loving gaze, to bear witness to the union of two souls in eternal companionship. May they journey forth together in this life and the next, in prosperity and poverty, and in joy and hardship.”

The official—priest?—turned to Viktor. “Do you, Viktor Pavel, agree to be bound together, in love, now and forever?”

Viktor took a moment to respond, also a bit thrown by the changes, then said, “I do. Now and forever.”

The priest then asked Harry, “Do you, Hadrian Wyn, agree to be bound together, in love, now and forever?”

“I do. Now and forever.”

“Under the authority of Mara, the Divine of Love, I declare this couple to be wed. I present the two of you with these matching rings, blessed by Mara’s divine grace. May they protect each of you in your new life together.”

They each accepted a ring and quickly slipped them on each other; Harry would have to check to see exactly what they did later. They shared a fairly quick kiss and nodded when the priest gestured toward the paperwork. The remaining copies after signing were shoved into a pocket for the moment and he and Viktor turned to accept congratulations from their guests.

The yard transformed at the hands of unseen house-elves to the expected and Viktor was shortly leading him onto the floor to dance. As they swept around Harry whispered, “I have to keep biting the inside of my cheek not to grin like an idiot. It’s like the day you proposed, except I’ve figured out how to stop it happening.”

Viktor chuckled silently. “Well, I am sure if this condition persists over the following days strangers may simply assume that you are really, really excited at seeing the wonders of Egypt. But forgive me if I think I can make your mouth do much more interesting things than grin stupidly.”

He could not help but smirk at the assertion. “Well, it’ll be a while before we leave what with the number of people probably lining up to spin around the floor with each of us. Thank heavens for Pelk.”

“When you’re ready to leave you say the word, assuming I haven’t already stolen you away,” Viktor replied.

He danced with his mother and Iskra, and then he was stolen away by Tom, surprisingly. “Now,” Tom said, “if anything should happen while you two are away, bad enough for me to think we should regroup, I will send a message, either through your bracelet or by patronus. The point being, just because you may notice something in the local papers don’t automatically assume you need to rush back early. All right?”

He nodded. “All right. Would it really annoy you if mum had her baby on your birthday?”

Tom sighed faintly. “I think it would be incredibly coincidental and strange. People should have their own birthdays, and names even, which is why I was pleased your mother changed yours. Not as much the middle one, as that is a common enough practice, but your first.”

He could certainly understand that with the memories he held. Tom must hate like poison to share his father’s first name and it was a wonder he seemed so comfortable letting all of them use it. He could also understand why the man didn’t use his middle name, as members of the Gaunt family were all pretty much batshit insane and that reminder was to be avoided. “Well, I think it would be adorable, though I can understand your reasoning. But I can hope against the twenty-fifth because that’s a lifetime of losing out on the second set of presents.”

Tom rolled his eyes. “I don’t need to say this, but stay on your guard.”

“I will, I promise,” he said seriously. “Same with Viktor. Won’t stop me from hoping the trip will be as carefree as my holiday in Bulgaria last year.”

He danced with Bergfalk, Poliakoff, and Levski before Viktor got annoyed and reclaimed him and found a free table. Instead of leaving him there to prepare plates for them Viktor called Pelk and asked him to take care of it. As they ate he watched the floor, seeing Dudley and Luna enjoying themselves, and Draco and Petra. He also let Viktor know what Tom had said.

“Yes, he said much the same to me,” Viktor replied. “Are you ready?”

He looked up from the last bite of his cheesecake and nodded. “Time to run off.”

Viktor smiled and stood, extended a hand and helped him up, then quietly led him back to the house. Harry noticed a sideboard he hadn’t earlier, heaped with gifts. In their room he called Pelk to gather them up and put them in the work room, and verified that their accommodations were ready.

Minutes later they were standing in the sitting room of a suite and the grin he’d been fighting all evening erupted on his face. Viktor noticed and smiled, then asked Pelk to do a quick round of the suite to ensure nothing was amiss (paranoia was something of a way of life for a celebrity). He approached Harry with that smile still showing and pulled him close. “So, Harry,” Viktor said huskily, “what would like to do with what little remains of our evening?”

Pelk skittered in long enough to give the okay, so Harry said, “Well, we could investigate all those presents.”

A brow went up. “We could. There’s one gift in particular I would like to open.”

He smiled for a second and replied, “Oh? From whom?”

Viktor leaned in to kiss him, taking his time, then said, “Oh yes. From you, actually.”

He furrowed his brow in mild confusion.

“The gift of my husband,” Viktor elaborated.

It took him a moment to register the double meaning. He smiled and glanced down, then entreated another kiss. Viktor took him up on it, gathering Harry in his arms tightly enough to pick him up, then walked them into the bedroom. Wide windows were covered with pale green and white gauze, but Harry was far more interested in the absolutely huge bed waiting for them.

They woke late and enjoyed a meal at a table by one of the windows in the sitting room, sharing a local paper. After verifying that they were ready for the day they set off to explore all the usual touristy spots in Egypt. It was on a Friday, just days before they were due back, that Harry’s bracelet twitched and alerted him to a message even before they sat down to breakfast.

“Check the paper,” was what it said. He frowned at the strip and cleared it.

“What’s wrong?” Viktor asked, hand at his back to make sure he didn’t stumble into anything while distracted.

“Something’s happened. He said to check the paper is all, but nothing about us returning early.”

It was front page news, above the fold. Viktor went pale on seeing the picture taking up half the page and made a choking sound. Harry dropped the paper and reached out to his husband in concern, but Viktor just gestured toward the story, so Harry spread it out between them.

Gellert Grindelwald had somehow managed to not only escape Nurmengard, but also attack a sitting of the International Confederation of Wizards. Albus Dumbledore was allegedly the main target and escaped the confrontation, though the paper did not give details as to his health. According to eyewitness reports Grindelwald had taunted Dumbledore, laughing at him for having believed all this time that it was Voldemort’s forces causing so much mayhem of late.

Harry looked up. “He must be behind the attack on Durmstrang.”

“He was expelled,” Viktor remarked. “A single expression of his lasting grudge?”

“And that means he’s been free for years! How the hell did anyone at the prison not notice?” He lifted his wrist and traced a quick message to Tom acknowledging receipt and sent it.

Viktor shrugged, still a bit pale. “He built that prison himself. He would know its secrets better than anyone. Why he would wait so long, though?” After a moment of thoughtful silence he added, “The attack on Durmstrang happened not long after the World Cup, when actual minions of Voldemort caused trouble. Maybe that prompted him to act? This does say he mentioned Voldemort, and it’s reasonable to assume that was part of the decision.”

Harry nodded. “I can’t decide if Tom will be upset or laughing about that.”

The report also mentioned that Grindelwald had been accompanied by a group of minions, except that none of them were alive. Harry squeezed his eyes shut for a moment and wrinkled his nose, then kept reading. They sounded exactly like Valdis and Serana’s descriptions of draugr; and one wore what sounded like a Dragon Priest mask.

“Where the hell did he dig up draugr?” he whispered.

“Harry,” Viktor said, “I’d like to stick close to the hotel today. Perhaps visit the bazaar and do some shopping.”

“What?” he said. “Oh. All right. I was getting a little burned out on traipsing through various sites anyway. I’ve seen enough of Egypt to last me for a while, it seems.”

That evening a special edition of the paper was delivered to their room with a rehash of the attack plus additional information. Dumbledore had suffered heart damage greatly resistant to healing and the reporter was speculating on whether or not this would cause the man to drop most of his positions in response. Images of the scene had been obtained by taking photopgraphs inside a pensieve, so Harry and Viktor were able to see Grindelwald and his minions.

The dark lord looked surprisingly young for his age. He did a quick mental calculation and estimated that Grindelwald was one hundred fifteen or so, give or take a year. His hair was still blond, though it was shot through with a great deal of silver, and his eyes were a startling blue. There was an impishness to his expression that Harry found mildly disturbing. The minions didn’t look anything like the inferi from memory, but the ones he had were mostly of freshly made ones. No, it was the subtle hint of the minions wearing ancient Nord armor that screamed draugr, that and how the undead-in-charge had glowing blue eyes.

He sat back and paged through his memory files. Viktor was right that Grindelwald created Nurmengard, to serve as his power base. His memories suggested that while there may have been guards at one point—dementors, perhaps—the fortress turned prison had most likely been automated in some way, which would explain how it was the man could disappear from his cell and not have it be noticed. And if he had converted it back to a power base he would have more than enough room to house minions.

Dumbledore had not confronted Grindelwald at Nurmengard, so odds were that the only reason anyone was able to convert it to a prison was simply that Grindelwald was unable to personally prevent it. But with him back in control? A different story entirely.

The paper the next morning was horrifying. Front page, above the fold was a picture of muggles rioting. Around the world power plants had been blown or caused to melt down. Nuclear, hydroelectric, fossil fuels, solar—any and all kinds. Muggles were rioting, dying, and dragons were being sighted, though the dragons were primarily in Europe.

“Er, I know Tom hasn’t said anything yet, but I’d really like to go home early,” Harry said.

Viktor stared at the paper for several long moments before responding. “Pelk,” he called. “We’re leaving a day early,” he told the elf.

Half an hour later they had portkeyed back to the house and headed on inside. Viktor left the trunk in the hallway and they headed to the kitchen, not having eaten after they got caught up in the news. Given that Egypt was two hours ahead of Norway the room was empty, but Mary wandered in immediately to scare up breakfast for them.

They were just finishing up when most of the household straggled in. Tom and Severus looked particularly haggard and both were sporting dark circles under their eyes. Tom eyed them blearily as he sat down, then said, “I suppose I’m not surprised you’re back early.”

“Why do you look like hell?” he asked bluntly.

“We’ve been reworking the ward schema here, to prevent muggles from coming anywhere near the place,” Tom said and nodded a thanks at Mary when she slid a plate in front of him.

And given all the rioting the paper reported that only made sense. Tom must have been warned far in advance of the general public and had likely been at it all night. Viktor had pulled out some parchment and a fountain pen and was writing a letter; he assumed it was for his husband’s family.

He sat there sipping another cup of tea and absently nibbling on a piece of buttered toast from the rack, feeling a bit numb. In the space of one day the world had gone crazy, all because of one man nobody was watching over, who woke up one day and decided, “I think those plans for world domination are back on again.”

“I hate to ask, but, what about the apothecary?”

Severus merely grunted. His mother said, “That’s next, assuming it doesn’t get burned down today.”

Viktor folded up the parchment and called for Pelk, asking him to deliver it to his parents. The elf popped away a moment later and Viktor fixed himself another cup of tea, then said, “Just a guess, but I suppose Grindelwald could have implanted instructions into any number of people the world round in order to effect this result, getting the muggles to do the actual dirty work of destroying their power sources.”

Tom nodded, pushing a piece of toast through the yolk of his eggs. “And I’m sure some of his old followers have flocked back to him, or will. If he’s been out since 1994 I can only assume he has command of Nurmengard again.” The toast went into his mouth.

“Should we go clean the place out today, just in case?” he asked.

Severus paused in his eating, mulling that over, and glanced at Lily. Her expression did not change, but Severus obviously got some kind of answer for he next glanced at Tom, who nodded. “Please. But return the second danger approaches, should it do so. I shouldn’t need to tell you that your lives are more important than things. Harry, the wards will already accept you even though the shop is closed up. You will have to ‘invite’ Viktor in.”

That was fine, he thought, except for the fact that—‘Never mind. We can always use the Chameleon bracelets if it looks bad out there.’ “Understood.” What, precisely, they were going to pack everything into. . . . ‘Eh, Viktor can probably transfigure boxes and I can pack. Pelk can come shift them to the house—or the sepulcher, maybe. Best case is they get shifted back again a day later. Worst case is we never even make it to the shop and everything there is lost.’

He and Viktor exchanged a look, then got up.