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pairing: Draco/Harry (1)

The Consort: 10/10

Posted on 2011.12.28 at 21:28
Tags: , , ,
The Consort: Hummingbird Circus
By: gold_snitcher

Chapter Ten: God's Among Men
Word Count: 6,295


Chapter Ten | God's Among Men


There was sunlight, bright and blinding, streaming in from the opening in the ceiling above and down into the temple, illuminating Harry’s world. There was the press of his knees against the velvet soft pillow as he knelt beside Draco, the lulling echo of Augustus Rookwood’s voice as he spoke Draco’s titles, blending in his mind with the shift and whispers of the people who filled the temple; people Harry could barely think of, confronted as he was with the knotted flutter of butterfly wings that filled him up.

Around him were columns, gold-gilt and stretching up to the azure sky, the lushness of the robes he wore, his sheer shimmering cloak stretching out behind him so far it draped the stairs he had climbed to reach this moment. He felt none of it and all of it, filled to brimming and alight with such a buoyant joy that only Draco’s hand that held his lightly, raised up and bridging the distance between them, kept him from drifting up through that space in the ceiling. A heartbeat later Rookwood turned to him, accepting a crown that Harry had never seen before from the cushion that Colin Creevey offered. It was not the consort’s crown that Rookwood reverently held above Harry’s head, but rather one nearly identical to the one that sat on Draco’s head. Bright gleaming emeralds embellished Harry’s crown, complimenting the dark rubies in Draco’s, but for the difference in jewels there was no telling the two crowns apart.

“High Priest of the Divinities,” Rookwood spoke, his voice pulling Harry’s attention back to the ceremony. “Beloved of Aneniel, Divine Consort, Blessed Child of the Gods, Lord of the Seven Waters and the Sacred Hall; Beautiful of Years, Making Hearts to Live. Son of the Sun, Divine Oracle Emerald, Living Forever. First Among Mighty and Honorable Nobles of the Kingdom.” The weight of the crown as Rookwood settled it on Harry’s head felt comforting and familiar, and at the same time, heavy with a sense of responsibility as exhilarating as it was overwhelming. “King,” Rookwood continued, “Of the Edorean Empire.” The rustling and whispers rose in pitch for a moment, but quelled as Rookwood raised his hands. “Rise, united in your bond of matrimony, co-regents of the land and of the people.”

As Draco and Harry rose and shared a chaste kiss the roar of elation from everyone who had filled the temple increased, and faintly, in the back of his head, Harry wondered if it was appropriate conduct for such a ceremony. Draco’s smile was so bright that Harry ceased to care about decorum or propriety, and he grinned back, incapable of holding in the exhilaration and joy he felt. He turned with Draco, their hands still clasped, to face the crowd and to Harry’s surprise the noise quickly silenced and almost as one the entire crowd dropped to their knees and bowed low.

………………..

When Harry blinked open his eyes he was not entirely certain he was not still dreaming. Draco was seated on the bed where he lay, soft grey eyes gazing back at him, and Harry was confident that he had died, or was in the grips of another fever-dream, because the king could not possibly be with him. “I don’t recall giving you permission to get poisoned and nearly die.”

Harry let his eyes fall closed again and he smacked his lips together, wondering if there was a glass of water close at hand before he said, “That’s good. I don’t recall asking for it.”

“Idiot,” Draco said, the insult sounding affectionate in that soft tone, almost fond. Harry scolded himself for imagining things, but was distracted as the king held out a small cup. “Drink some of this. The healer said it was important to have lots of water to clear out the toxins.”

Harry dutifully finished the contents of the small glass. “Are you really here?”

Draco huffed, the corner of his mouth twisting up. “It seems so.”

“Why?”

“Did you miss the part where you got poisoned and nearly died?”

“You’re supposed to be with the soldiers.”

“I have generals to do that,” Draco dismissed; the tone of his voice drifting to that lazy drawl he used when he was bored.

“You have healers too,” Harry pointed out. Silence stretched and Harry thought that it might have felt a bit awkward if he weren’t so preoccupied with the sensation of impossible exhaustion. He was still not entirely convinced he was not dreaming, but the notion of pursuing some kind of test to assess the state of reality seemed like too much effort. Besides, it was a pleasant imagining.

After a moment more he nudged Draco’s side with the cup and the king took it back, standing from the bed in order to fetch the pitcher of water and refill the cup before resettling at Harry’s side. Harry ignored Draco’s gaze as he again drank down the water. “Are you alright?”

Tipping his head to the side, Harry fiddled with the empty cup and assessed. “Just tired, really.” His eyes were drooping low. “Will you lie with me? Just for a little while.” There was the rustling sound of the blankets as Draco shifted, and warmth as the king fitted himself carefully around Harry’s lax body, one arm resting along the pillows and the other draping across Harry’s hip.

“Emerald,” Draco murmured, as if he just wanted to say the word aloud. His fingers tangled in Harry’s hair and Harry felt lighter than he had in months, since before prison, and Luna, and that fateful night of Tribute. “Emerald.”

“I’m right here.”

“I know,” Draco said. “I just …” but he let his words trail off. Harry blinked his eyes open again and looked at the sharp slope of the king’s nose, at the pale fan of lashes around smoke-grey eyes; Draco stared back at him.

“What are you thinking?” Harry said, when it was clear that Draco would not continue.

“Would you marry me?”

Harry smiled a little and let his eyes fall closed again. So it was a dream. “I’m already married.”

“Yes, I want you to marry me,” Draco insisted.

Harry sighed, meeting the king’s gaze. “I’m married, Draco. No matter how ridiculous you think it is, it was what I had to do, and it’s done. For all intents and purposes, Aneniel is my husband.”

“Well, if he’s fool enough to leave you alone in your chambers at night, he’s asking to be cuckolded.” Harry snorted a laugh, but Draco persisted. “Take a king for your husband as well, then. One love for heaven, one for earth.”

“Being king is not a license to do as you please. It is a trust.”

The statement hung for a while and Harry wondered if Draco had given up. Just as he began considering sleep the blond spoke again. “Blaise said that the marriage was important. That it was symbolic, because so much of the empire had fractured and my father hadn’t mended it. He said that you strengthened the power of the priests because the people needed stability and unity, and something powerful to believe in. Is that true?”

Harry sighed again. It didn’t quite capture the complexity of the reasons behind his action, but still, “That’s a part of it.”

“What if,” Draco continued, “What if there was an avatar on earth?”

The king had Harry’s full attention. “Aneniel in mortal form?”

“Church and state, in full harmony. Wouldn’t that be even better?”

The idea had solid merit, even if Harry had trouble reconciling himself to the political maneuverings associated with his religious post. Still, “You just want to claim to be a god.”

“Actually,” Draco said, “I’m just trying to find a way to marry you.”

“You’re not serious.” Harry leaned up on his arm so he could more easily meet the king’s eyes.

“I am.” Draco raised his hands, cupping Harry’s face gently as he repeated, “I am serious, Emerald. I can’t think of any other way I can show you how I feel.”

“Show me?” Harry echoed, numb.

“Tell me that you at least understand that I’m in love with you,” Draco said, his voice louder, his tone disbelieving. “I’ve done just about all I can think of to let you know.”

“You’re in love with me?”

Draco sat up abruptly and ruffled his hair in frustration. “Of course!” he said. “Hadn’t you noticed? Everyone else in the whole bloody empire certainly has!”

“…Really?”

“Do I need to post a great big sign for you, Emerald?” Draco scoffed. “Spell it out in nice big letters?”

“You could try saying it.”

“I did!”

“When?” Harry said. “I think I would have remembered you mentioning something like that!”

“I said it just now!” Draco said. “I love you, you massive, idiotic git, and I want to marry you and I don’t care what anyone else has to say about that. I don’t care about any of the rest of it so long as you say yes and be mine. Even if I have to become a god to have you!”

Silence, and then Harry snorted, and then began to snicker, until finally he was collapsed back on the blankets laughing and Draco, red-faced, glared at him with disbelieving indignation in his eyes. “You’re laughing at me!” he said. “I’m the bloody king!” Which only made Harry laugh harder and the twist at the corner of Draco’s mouth hinted that it was likely the exact reaction he had been aiming for.

“Will you say yes?” Draco asked later, when the laughter had died down and Harry was once again drifting inexorably toward sleep.

“I think I’m going to wake up soon.”

Draco nuzzled the side of Harry’s cheek. “Emerald, you can’t wake up if you’re not asleep.” His teeth ghosted gently along Harry’s ear, just sharp enough for Harry to realize that he was lying in bed, wrapped up in Draco’s arms, with the king asking him, “Say yes, please? Say that you’ll be mine.”

And really, there was only one answer Harry could give.

……………………………………………

“We should have eloped,” Draco muttered from where he sat on the elaborate throne set on the dais. Harry tamped down the urge to smile and settled for stretching a hand across the small space between them to rest on the arm of his husband’s chair. “If I knew there was going to be this much fanfare between our marriage and the part where we can just go back to our rooms, then I seriously would have reconsidered this whole process.”

“Remind me,” Harry said, tipping his head a little and keeping his voice low. “Who was it who insisted that ours be the most elaborate and lavish wedding the kingdom had ever seen? That the gifts be the most exotic and expensive ever received, and the celebration bigger and better than anything held before?”

“That’s different,” Draco said, with a slight pout on his face. “It’s tradition, you know. Traditions are important. Who was it who told me that?” He looked like he was endeavoring to remember, and then suddenly turned his head and looked directly at Harry. “Oh yes, I remember now.” Harry could not hold back a slight snicker then, and was forced to offer an apologetic nod to the ambassador who was attempting to show-off his country’s gift, glittering boxes overflowing with jewels and gold. Draco nodded at the man, regal and aloof, gesturing for the offering to be accepted and carried to the back rooms for safekeeping by servants. “Besides, there’s those important changes you wanted to make and apparently the only way to do that is to wait through all this bloody ritual and then make the announcement.”

“For someone who rules an entire empire,” Harry said, his voice thoughtful. “You do permit your advisors to push you around quite a bit.”

“And by advisors, I should think you mean, Blaise, who made me promise not to forgo a single moment of traditional ceremonies because he thought it was about time that we had a good old-fashioned party. Look at him,” Draco jerked his eyes sharply to the column where Harry could see Blaise Zabini, formally and quite expensively attired, leaning or perhaps more accurately, propped. “He’s absolutely slaughtered. Of course, everyone but us gets to toast our good health with proper wine, but the two people who could really use a stiff drink have their goblets watered down. We might as well be drinking from the fountain. I specifically told the servants not to water our wine.”

“You did,” Harry said. “And I specifically told them they had better water it. Draco, it would hardly be appropriate for the two representatives of the empire to be incapable of standing without assistance, we couldn’t refuse a toast lest we accidentally start a war between nations, and I am quite certain you have no wish to make your very important announcement in a slur and punctuate it with a loud belch at the end.”

“Well,” Draco said, nodding to yet another ambassador, all traces of bluster gone from his tone. “It would have certainly been memorable.”

“I think we can stand to have at least one thing about our rise to power be within the norm and entirely compliant with expectation. Let’s not disrupt our people too much, and all at once, yeah?”

Draco’s lips quirked upward and he cast an absurdly joyous and shy glance at his husband. “Our people,” he echoed.

……………………………………………

The throne room was filled with people, their voices hushed as they traded their concerns for the High Priest and whispered their suspicions as to how he had fallen so ill, and why the king had rushed to return to the city and yet had not been seen once since disappearing through to his private chambers.

The hush fell to immediate silence as the double-doors to the room were pushed aside and the king, his heavy green cloak billowing around him as he walked briskly through the swiftly parting crowd and up to the dais. “The High Priest has had a vision!” Draco announced, his voice booming out into the hall. “In this vision, he foresaw a companion to the Divine Oracle. Bound in spirit, this companion was to the Oracle on earth what Valaynor is to Aneniel in the heavens.” Voices rose and fell like a wave, but the king kept his gaze steady. “An avatar of Aneniel, here in this city, in this very palace; before you now.”

Blaise turned with widened eyes to Severus, but the shadowed figure appeared just as bewildered as Blaise himself. When he looked back to Draco, the blond was stepping forward, spreading his arms to hush the people who had begun muttering prayers under their breath. “People of Edorea,” he said. “A grave injustice has been done here, a crime that strikes at the very foundations of this empire, at the very soul of it. Someone has poisoned the high priest, our Divine Oracle, my mate in all but body, and we will root out this evil.”

Into the hush swooped another figure, entering with little remark but, yet as she strode toward the dais, was greeted with dark looks and hisses and muttered curses. “Gods in the heavens, they believe him,” Blaise whispered.

Severus rolled his shoulders back and stood straighter, smirked a little as he said, “Harry laid the groundwork for it. The people love him and he has already made a similar claim, albeit in more ritual terms.”

“High Priests have always been closely affiliated with the deities, hence the title divine oracle. But a king?”

“Unity,” Severus said, but hushed as Pansy reached the dais and knelt at Draco’s feet, her face, when she raised it, hopeful and bright. “More fool she for striking out against what the people want.”

“Hail mighty king,” Pansy said.

“She thinks he’s proposing,” Blaise muttered, smirked as he heard Severus’ dark snort.

“Rise,” Draco said, softly. He waited until she stood before him to continue, with a strong voice that reached the back of the hall with ease, “Concubine Pansy Parkinson, I order your immediate arrest and imprisonment, pending a sentence of death for the attempted murder of the High Priest and Consort to the Crown, the Divine Oracle Emerald.”

Pansy gaped for a moment, stepped back unconsciously before she came forward again. “I don’t understand,” she said. “Consort to the crown?”

Draco's face was a dark sneer and satisfaction as he leaned toward her and said, “My consort.”

Her eyes were wide and her expression dazed as she looked out to the people that surrounded her, who dropped as one to their knees and pressed their heads to the ground as they cried, “Hail Mighty Incarnation. Hail, emanation of the Holy One!”

……………………………………………

As a little boy, Severus could remember growing up close to the palace. His parents had been nobles, with titles and wealth, and yet he had never once been invited to accompany them to any of the dinners or parties at the court. On special occasions he would stand amidst the crowd and watch the women glittering with bright fabrics and sparkling jewels, and the men shining with gold, and would hate his father just a little bit for keeping him away from court life. Mostly he coped with his simmering jealousy by reading and studying a great deal.

Much to his father’s chagrin the king, Abraxus Malfoy, had issued an invitation for him to study with the prince, believing that Severus’ studious nature would be a good influence on the restless Lucius. Abraxus Malfoy had been a strict and ruthless king, sparing little time for his son and even less for his own wife. There had been only a handful of years during his reign in which the empire had been at peace and, as Severus learned much later, court life had been corrupt and debauched.

Lucius had been a close friend, and as a king, there was much about the empire that he had improved, and Severus never felt devotion to him the way he felt as he sat in the great hall, at the head table beside the newly ordained king.

Harry’s laugh rang out and Severus dropped his eyes to the table, concentrating on his wine for a moment as he sorted through the tangle of emotions he was experiencing. Not long ago he had stood before his kings and been set free and recognized in a way unlike anything ever before. Even when Lucius had made him Keeper of the Harem, a fairly prestigious post, it had seemed like more of a favor to a friend than a privilege. Though Severus was certain that there had been many who envied him greatly, it had not been the role Severus had been hoping for; for one thing, it barely involved him in regular court life.

“You seem lost in thought, would it be intruding to ask what could be more fascinating than the bawdy limericks that Blaise had been reciting since we sat down?”

“If it were indeed intrusive, Miss Granger, the damage would be done,” Severus said. Beside him, Hermione Granger smiled but looked altogether unfazed. Severus had found he quite enjoyed her, though Harry’s other friend, Ronald Weasley, was a more grating presence than he was used to. “I am ruminating on my new post.”

Hermione’s smile widened and she shifted in her chair to face him more fully. “Do you think Harry will still call you Keeper?”

“Indeed. I imagine he selected the position specifically so that the name might still be applicable.” Hermione laughed and shook her head. He could still close his eyes and see with perfect clarity the bright green eyes that smiled at him as Harry had said, “For my favorite, I have titles”. Severus hadn’t been the only one, Cho Chang and Weasley and Granger had been among a few others that stood with him, but there had been a sort of intimacy in Harry’s tone as he spoke Severus’ new titles for the first time. Maybe he had imagined it, wanting so much for there to be something more, but Harry was well beyond reach, and Severus was satisfied just the same with the touch of soft skin as Harry had touched his hands gently to Severus’ own as he said: “Favorite of the King, Keeper of the Door. I make you overseer of all works of the House of Silver, Chief of the Prophets of Aneniel, Servant of the Temple and the Lord of the Seven Waters, and last of all, revered noble of Edorea.”

He was an advisor, a more political post than he might have wished, but he could not fail to see the message in the titles Harry had selected. Placed in charge of the house of silver, it would be his responsibility to make certain that the wealth of the empire was distributed amongst the lands fairly; it was an extremely prestigious post, made all the more important coming from Harry, who apparently could not resist further tying Severus to him with titles linking him to the divine oracle and the temple. He was attached now, fully and completely, to the dark headed king.

“It might seem strange,” Hermione said. “But I wanted to thank you. For everything you did for him. He doesn’t talk about it, but it couldn’t be more clear that you’re important to him after today.”

“Hm.”

“I probably shouldn’t have said anything but still, thank-you.” She placed her hand gently on his arm, and let the silence breathe for a moment. Then a smile broke out on her face again and her hand fell away. “Everything is changing so quickly. It’s exciting.”

It was. Severus found himself exhilarated by the dawning possibilities. With an upward quirk to his mouth he raised his goblet to his companion and said, “To a new age.”

“Oh yes!” she said, and their glasses chimed brightly as they tapped together. She pursed her lips after she drank a sip and turned worried eyes on him. “Do you think they’ll ask me to give sentence for Pansy? I mean, now that my titles have attached me to the justice of the crown?”

“Favorite of the king though you may be, your newness at the post would, I believe, make it unlikely that you should be involved in any truly complicated matters at present. Besides, I am certain that Miss Parkinson’s fate will require little input from any representatives of the Hand of Justice. Her verdict will be determined by the crown.”

Hermione seemed to slump a little as she sighed. “Harry will probably forgive her. He’s fabulous with strategy but in the end, he has an impossibly soft heart.”

“It is not to Harry that I refer. Draco will, I believe, leave her locked away and fretting for just long enough to get comfortable, and then remove her to some swift and horrible fate. He gets his vindictive streak from his father’s line and it is, I assure you, an impressive inheritance.” He allowed himself to run through a few punishments of his own that he might have delivered, if given the chance, and then pushed the red thoughts away. “I find it difficult to imagine that her fate will even be made public. The people have fallen so quickly into support of their kings that a display hardly seems necessary. If I know Draco at all, it might even be detrimental to the moral of the people, to see what end awaits someone who threatens our king and Oracle.” He tried to pretend that the thought was not as satisfying as it was, but when he looked across at Harry’s friend, he caught a mirror of his dark smile echoes on her face before she hid it behind her goblet.

……………………………………………

Pansy Parkinson stood from the bed as the door to her cell opened. In the time that she had spent confined to her chamber in the prison she had envisioned many scenarios in which she might be set free. In moments of fancy she sometimes imagined that Draco would come to her and kneel at her feet, he would wrap his arms about her legs and plead for her forgiveness, insisting that he had been so very wrong not to see her for all that she was, and he would insist she return immediately to the palace and to his bed.

Smoothing her skirt, she rolled back her shoulders and fixed her gaze on her doorway where two armored guards stood behind a figure whose face and form was obscured by a dark cloak. There was a moment, as she waited, that she almost permitted herself to feel a moment’s hope, but then slender hands rose and pushed the hood back and it was not Draco at all but the Crown Consort and High Priest who stood in her cell.

Around her the world seemed to crumble and disappear and she felt unaccountably ashamed to be seen standing as she was, in a dusty room wearing such plain clothes; in a prison, unwashed and forgotten. Forgotten by all except the man who stood before her. She wanted nothing more than to lunge across the distance, to scream and rail and scratch at his face until she tore his skin from his bone. Yet in that same moment she felt as if there were no longer anything that she could do that would have any effect.

The guards stood, their gazes directed through her to the wall opposite as if she posed no threat at all; that they could allow their High Priest to stand in the gullet of a prison before a murderess and a traitor and not even give her the courtesy of searching her room for concealed weapons. Her hatred and impotent rage outweighed her despair and yet, defeated, she found herself dropping to her knees before the man she had so desperately tried to bring low. “Your Majesty,” she spoke, the traditional greeting of a new consort playing in the back of her mind, and weighing bitter on her tongue. She recalled sitting next to Draco in the Great Hall, helping him and his family greet foreign dignitaries during the festival of Tribute; never again. “Your beauty is more brilliant to behold than the beauty of the stars. My eyes fail, and I cannot look thereon.”

From her position prostrate on the ground she saw the dark robes sway closer. The silence passed and she drew-in a slow breath, her eyes watching as the hem of his robes swayed. “Now,” the Crown Consort commanded, “repeat it”. Her eyes closed as she complied, and then the silence stretched.

She knelt at the feet of one of the most powerful men in the entire empire, High Priest and Crown Consort and wedded to the divine incarnation of the chief god, Aneniel, and she wore no jewels or finery, her clothes were drab and of poor quality. “You may rise.” She rose slowly from her position, wondering at the way her body seemed to ache as it never had before, at the stiffness in her back and legs, at the twinge in her knees. She was barefoot on an uncovered floor, dust crusting on her skin and her hair in knots, and she could hardly bear to meet the other’s eyes, but that last twist of anger burned in her still and it was there that she found the strength to meet the green gaze; and yet as she did so, that anger guttered and then snuffed out. She gazed with all that she was and saw for the first time what she had somehow missed before, and it chilled and warmed her and left her empty and tired as she had never felt. Braced for words that she had longed to never hear but that echoed in her head just the same, she waited, but the Crown Consort merely held her gaze a moment and then turned away; left her standing in the grip of her loss. The door was drawn closed and the key turned in the lock.

……………………………………………

“Shouldn’t you be down there, attempting to enforce some order on that mess?” Harry asked as he crossed to stand beside Severus on the balcony overlooking what was once the Royal Harem.

“Shouldn’t you be in the throne room, attempting to rule the empire?”

“I suppose,” Harry said, with a rueful smile, “That we might both be forgiven this small respite from our responsibilities.”

“Indeed.” Below was a riot of color as men and women bustled about, stuffing trunks full with their belongings and, indeed, some of the fineries of the place in which they had stayed for so many years. Undoubtedly there were some among them who held no excitement at the prospect of beginning a new life, especially those who had never known life beyond the harem’s walls. Draco and Harry had endeavored to give as much support as possible each and every one of the catamites and concubines, from financial support to connections. The truth of it was, however, that it would be hard. Most of them had become accustomed to being kept in a lavish lifestyle, and having to do little to come by it.

“We haven’t done them any favors, have we?” Harry wondered.

“The palace harem is a different world from the temple harems,” Severus agreed. “You will find no one here who entertains even remotely humble thoughts. Most are spoiled, rotten children who gnash their teeth at the prospect of being sent from the palace, no matter how much support you might give to them.”

Harry knew it to be true, had wrestled with the idea of moving so quickly to close the royal harem, but Draco had been stubborn and determined. He had not met many inhabitants of the harem who had garnered his respect, but still, “Can you blame them?”

Severus sighed. “I cannot. As fanciful as the idea seems, the practice has always struck me as…overindulgent.”

Harry turned the thought over in his mind. “This is one of those times when you choose a word that greatly diminishes how you actually feel about something, isn’t it?”

“Hm.”

Harry smiled. The idea of having a whole house of people devoted to satisfying his sexual desires was, to him at least, horrifying; but he supposed that was because he was sparing too much thought to pleasing each of those imagined individuals, which was apparently not the point of a harem. “Why did you become the keeper then?”

“It was a position of honor gifted me by the king, Lucius. It was not something I could turn down lightly. Nor was the post entirely a chore as it offered me status without the responsibilities of entertaining and consorting with the nobility, which quickly becomes tedious.”

“I’m glad you were,” Harry said. “Keeper, I mean.” Serverus met the comment with composed silence, and that made Harry’s smile broaden. “And now you’re my advisor. Instead of a whole harem of spoiled children you have now only one to mind.”

“And yet somehow I fear that one will bring me more difficulty than the harem-full.”

“I promise to do my best to cause you all sorts of trouble,” Harry teased, but quickly grew serious. “Does it bother you? The change in post? I wanted it to be something really good, to say ‘thank-you’. It was the highest position I could manage, Draco had to spend a lot of time lecturing me on how I couldn’t go about restructuring everything willy-nilly right from the off, and that some posts are considered for life and it wouldn’t be right to snatch it away prematurely to reward someone else. Even if it was you.” Harry huffed, the politics of the empire were considerably more complex than that of the temple, if only because the decisions were far more public and thus, had to bear close scrutiny. “If there is something else you’d prefer, though, I would be happy to grant it you.”

Severus’ dark eyes caught the sunlight as he looked at Harry, a crooked quirk to his mouth. “Harry,” but then he stopped himself, and looked away a moment. “I am pleased with the post.”

……………………………………………

Harry had been prepared for Ron to overreact at the news, and the perfectly good wine that the redhead spewed across the table shouldn’t have been as startling as it was given that, really, it wasn’t anything less that Harry had been anticipating. Still. “Ron!” Harry scolded, patting his face dry with a napkin as he motioned for the plates to be cleared off.

“Sorry, sorry!” Ron sputtered. “It’s just … king? Really? Not, like, consort or something?”

“King.”

“That’s pretty huge, Harry,” Hermione said, her eyes a little wide like she hadn’t quite finished processing the news.

“You’re telling me,” Harry said. “I thought it was terrifying enough when Draco made be the bloody high priest.”

“Who’s the high priest now?” Ron wondered.

“Still me,” Harry said. “But now I am also king.”

“That’s a lot of responsibility. Are you sure it’s what you want?” Trust Hermione to look at it as if it were a job application.

“We didn’t take this lightly, Hermione,” Harry said. “It’s a lot for the people to accept, but really, we talked it over and it wouldn’t make sense another way. Draco wanted to make it clear that we’re absolute equals in this. I tried to point out that if I’m still the Oracle, we’re not equals, but he figures that his ties with the army sort of balance him out.”

“I’d like to see who wins if you two ever to fight for the empire.”

“Ron!” Hermione said swatting the redhead’s arm and sounding truly shocked.

“I’m just saying…”

“Well, it’s not going to come to that,” Harry said, with confidence. “Mostly he just wanted to make sure I was comfortable, I guess because it took as so long to get to this point, and it was just a mess, that he wanted to make certain we were sort of, on the same page, I guess. That I didn’t think that coming back to the palace was returning to a submissive post or something.”

“I guess, after his mum…” Hermione trailed off.

“Anyway,” Harry said, cutting through the awkward silence that mention of Narcissa Malfoy inevitably led to. “I just … I wanted to tell you. I wondered … well, I wondered what you thought.”

“Oh Harry!” Hermione launched herself across the table and pulled him into a tight hug. “Of course I’m happy for you! It’s been obvious that you love him for so long, and it broke my heart that you weren’t together. It all sounds wonderful, like a fairytale.”

“I still think he’s a git,” Ron said. “For what he did to Brucandis”

“—That was his dad, technically,” Harry corrected.

“And for throwing me in prison.”

“—which was also his dad.”

“And for throwing you in prison and trying to kill you there.”

“—and that was Pansy with a little help from Draco’s parents, but we’ve talked about it.”

“Not to mention making you a catamite, I mean, really….”

“Well,” Harry shrugged, certain that he was blushing and hating it. “To be honest, I sort of encouraged that.”

Hermione’s eyes jerked upwards. “Really?”

“A little, yeah. I mean, we were on the boat, and I caught him looking, and at first it was just a tease. But then I thought, if I could talk to him, if maybe he could start to like me, I might be able to get you two set free. By the time we went before the king, I was pretty confident that Draco had asked for me.” Both his friends were looking more than a little shocked, and Harry shrugged helplessly. “I’m just saying, I don’t hold that against him.”

“I’m with you to the absolute end, Harry, you know that,” Ron said. “I’m just going to say though, mate, that sometimes, you’re scary. Brilliant, but scary.” He turned back to the table to refill his wine glass and then held it aloft, “Long live the bloody king!” and then, somewhat grudgingly added, “Both of them.”

……………………………………………

Their room. Their bed. The thought was pure elation and it didn’t stop circling Harry’s head as Draco kissed him, pulled his robes open and pushed them aside. Draco’s warm hands and soft lips and wet tongue traveling over his skin and it felt like returning to a place he loved but had never thought to see again; like returning home, and yet nothing like it. He’d been a farmer and then a rebel; he’d been made a catamite and then an oracle. He’d married a god and then a king. “When I first met you,” Harry whispered, his fingers ghosting up his husband’s naked back, “I didn’t think I’d ever love you.” Draco’s bright grey eyes met his for a moment and then dropped away, and Harry raised his hands to frame his lover’s face. “And then I thought, I couldn’t ever stop.” He kissed Draco’s lips, and then curve of his cheekbone. “I still think that. I don’t think I can ever stop loving you.”

“Then don’t,” Draco answered, dropping his mouth to Harry’s and kissing him deeply. “Don’t ever stop.”

“I won’t,” Harry promised, arching into Draco’s touch and then flexing his muscles, rolling them over so he could press his husband down into the bed and lick a path up the pale neck Draco exposed for him. “Not ever,” Harry said. “My king.”

“My King,” Draco echoed. “My Harry.”


______________________________________
|<< The End. |
Masterpost

Comments:


Kaleidoscope Heart
viridescence at 2011-12-29 04:45 (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations on finishing this! \o/ I can't wait to re-read it all now. *goes back to chapter 1*
Gold-Snitcher
gold_snitcher at 2011-12-29 04:47 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much!! I hope you enjoy it all!
ura_hd
ura_hd at 2011-12-29 05:27 (UTC) (Link)
I love this story! I am so happy and at the same time kind of sad to read its last chapter. You created a beautiful universe with interesting and special Harry and Draco. I loved following their journey and so happy that they found their happiness in each other and were able to make it work.

Thanks for writing and sharing this story! It is truly wonderful!!!
Gold-Snitcher
gold_snitcher at 2011-12-29 14:27 (UTC) (Link)
To be honest, part of the delay in this post was that I was also sad to see it go. I'm so pleased you liked the fic because I loved writing it!
aussieleabea
aussieleabea at 2011-12-29 21:47 (UTC) (Link)
A brilliant Story finished.
I'm glad and sad it has ended!
Gold-Snitcher
gold_snitcher at 2011-12-30 18:30 (UTC) (Link)
Me too! Glad you enjoyed, though!
Michelle
ma_chelle at 2011-12-30 17:40 (UTC) (Link)
First of all, I must congratulate you on finishing this wonderful tale. I was up half the night reading it; I completely lost track of time, unable to put it down.

This is more than a simple story about a consort; it's the journey of two young men rising to greatness, each in their own way. Harry's was especially complex; that poor rebel farm boy finds a way to help his people in the end, but he never does it underhandedly. He comes across it honestly and it's never easy, which makes him all the more deserving of the happiness & good fortune that he finds.

Happily, you've managed to stay away from the stereotypes that I often find in this type of story. Draco was always kind to Harry, and even though it took Harry until the very end to figure out how much Draco loved him, it was always obvious to everyone else. He loved & trusted Harry enough to set him free, allowing him to flourish on his own. And Harry loves him right back--he never sets out to deceive Draco, nor did I feel he ever used him. He was always loyal & a trusted advisor, looking out for kingdom & the royal family.

The span of time never felt rushed or unrealistic; I especially liked that Harry had a couple of months to heal after his near death experience. I love Severus and Blaise. I loved the sensual feeling from Harry & Dean dancing. The love scenes were erotic yet tasteful. You gave me just enough description regarding the palace & it's occupants to let my imagination fill in the rest, so I wasn't distracted by needless details. And Pansy was so wicked! She had the patience to sit back and wait for a moment of attack, each time taking me by surprise.

Might I suggest one little thing? Add the link to chapter 10 from ch 9. I nearly had a heart attack when it wasn't there, lol Fortunately I was able to access from the masterpost. :)

Harry was a man who people loved & admired, simply by being himself. And I loved him, too. <3

Gold-Snitcher
gold_snitcher at 2011-12-30 19:10 (UTC) (Link)
Firstly, wow. Thank-you so very much for taking the time to give feedback. I always love getting reviews, but I especially appreciate people who take the time to write-out something a little more in-depth.

Also, thanks for pointing out that I hadn't put-in the link from chapter nine. Oops. I got an e-mail earlier today from someone reminding me I hadn't marked the story as 'finished' at another site. I'm a little scatter-brained!!

When I started writing this fic I wasn't sure how it would be received because everything about it seemed so far removed from HP canon. Hearing that you enjoyed the characters and relationships was really great. I was extremely happy to read your comment! Thanks so much for it. Also, for the reminder; I promise I added the link ^_^;;;
Dacia
paikan at 2012-01-02 01:12 (UTC) (Link)
I don't read much in the HP fandom anymore. It's not that I don't enjoy it, it's just that I've read in the fandom for so long and all the new fics, as good as they might be, seem to be retelling the same story. It's really quite rare for me to find something totally new, something worth taking the time to read, something intricate and not at all what I was expecting. And your fic? Bloody BRILLIANT. *grins and applauds wholeheartedly*
Gold-Snitcher
gold_snitcher at 2012-01-02 15:21 (UTC) (Link)
Thank-you very much!!! I'm glad you took a chance on it and enjoyed it!
thrnbrooke
thrnbrooke at 2012-01-04 01:36 (UTC) (Link)
Wow!!!! You blew me away!!! The ending was everything i could have ever asked for!!!
Gold-Snitcher
gold_snitcher at 2012-01-04 02:57 (UTC) (Link)
Thank-you!
micx04
micx04 at 2012-01-04 14:40 (UTC) (Link)
Wow this is absolutely amazing. I have always loved this beautiful creation of yours and glad (and sad too) that I know how it ended.

thank you for sharing this with us.

<3
Gold-Snitcher
gold_snitcher at 2012-01-06 04:35 (UTC) (Link)
It's been hard for me now that this fic is done because the world was so different from anything I've written before, but I'm happy to have finished it because, well, it was long-passed time, and it's pushed me into my other stories, which also have some intriguing aspects as well!

I was happy to share every bit of it! Glad you enjoyed it!
xxfergiexx
xxfergiexx at 2012-04-18 23:15 (UTC) (Link)
Just discovered this story. Really, truly amazing! You are fantastic writer! So eloquent. Harry was just lovely here! Loved everything about this, especially what a perfect and alluring catamite Harry made! Thank you for your hard work in writing this, now I'm really curious to read your other stories. :D

Edited at 2012-04-18 11:15 pm (UTC)
Gold-Snitcher
gold_snitcher at 2012-04-18 23:36 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much!
Akeyla Battles at 2015-01-01 03:34 (UTC) (Link)

Wonderful

This was absolutely beautiful. it was just perfect. although one question pops up and it's when harry told Draco his name? it doesn't necessarily need to be answered cause i got it in the end. but perfection. the entire thing. can't wait to read it all over again someday!!
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