“I helped capture Grindelwald once with a swooping evil, you know,” Newt Scamander said a little too casually as they strode down the long pathway between the fields. Lord Voldemort had been kind enough to allow Harry’s mentor to visit, though he might have reconsidered had he known just how irritating the man was.
“Really?” Harry perked up. “You never told me!”
Newt cast a side glance at Tom, hiding his narrowed gaze from Harry. “Yes, back in the states.”
“How fascinating,” Tom managed a smile. Honestly, if Scamander wasn’t Harry’s mentor…
“Would you like to hear the story?” Newt turned, favouring Harry with an indulgent smile. “It’s a story of good versus evil. Perhaps Lord Voldemort would also enjoy it.” His gaze flicked back to the Dark Lord and it was as close to a glare as a smile could be.
He wanted very much to sneer at the mere thought of Newt Scamander standing a chance against him, the greatest Dark Lord to rule Britain.
But then Harry turned his wide, happy eyes towards Tom. “Oh! My Lord, what do you think?”
And really, what could Tom say other than -
“I would be delighted to hear the tale,” his smile was strained and full of teeth.
Tom hid a scowl.
But Harry was beaming at him, so really, that was all that mattered.
“I think he liked you,” Harry said cheerfully as he waved his final goodbye to Newt.
Tom grimaced as the man turned to shoot him one last warning look. “Right.”
Chapter 2: Norbert
In which Hagrid probably still got ahold of a dragon's egg, and somehow Tom suffers the consequences.
Tom didn’t let his expression change even as Harry skidded into the room, cheeks flushed, hair in a disarray, and a sheepish look upon his face.
His Death Eaters looked unfazed at the interruption to the meeting.
“Harry,” Tom said as calmly as he could.
“Hello Love,” Harry said between pants. “Sorry, no time, gotta run - “ Then he was off, sprinting through the door towards the back of the manor.
Tom stared after him.
A shadow passed over the window and Tom sighed. His Death Eaters murmured sympathetically.
Distantly he heard Harry shouting. He resisted the urge to rub his temples. Instead he stood and strode after his husband, determined to prevent whatever disaster Harry had no doubt triggered.
“Norbert! I told you not to fly near the manor - you know how flammable it is! No, don’t - don’t land there!”
There was a loud crash and the sound of shattering stone.
Tom heard Harry sigh just as he stepped out the back door. He glanced at the creature, then at his husband.
“I told you no dragons, Harry.”
Harry fidgeted. “But he has no where else to go.”
“I am sure that there is a dragon reserve that would love to have him.”
“He got kicked out.”
“The Scamander Reservation, then.”
“They don’t have space for another dragon.”
“And we do?”
“But he’s an orphan. He has no one else. I couldn’t just leave him - they’ll kill him if he doesn’t have a home. It’s not fair.” Harry’s eyes were wide and green and his mouth was twisted downwards unhappily.
Tom looked away. “He destroyed the fountain.”
“I’ll fix it,” Harry promised, stepping forward and lacing their fingers together.
Tom cursed internally. “He’s going to set the manor on fire.”
“I’ll train him,” Harry beamed. “Then you can ride him into battle if you need.”
“You can’t ride a dragon, Harry.”
“Er - right,” Harry looked away innocently.
“Well how else was I supposed to get him here? Besides, he’s very friendly. He’s been around humans his whole life. He’s just… mischievous and doesn’t get along with other dragons.”
Tom sighed. “And where do you propose we keep him?”
Harry beamed, and Tom knew he was doomed.
“There’s plenty of forest space. He can burn himself a little clearing if he wants. And there’s more than enough wild game for him to hunt, too.”
“You are responsible for him, Harry. I will not fix your problems when he does get out of hand.”
“Of course, Love. Don’t worry, I’ll take very good care of him! Hear that Norbert? You can stay in the forest but you can’t break anything or set the manor on fire.” He placed his hands on his hips as he peered up at the dragon with a stern expression.
The dragon snorted.
Tom returned to his meeting with his Death Eaters and ignored their knowing looks. Outside there was a crash and Harry yelped and Tom closed his eyes, praying for patience.
Tom took a rather desperate sip of the tea Narcissa set down in front of him.
“Lucius wanted a dragon,” she confided, looking far too understanding. “Not that I’d let him get one.”
Tom raised a brow.
“I allowed him his peacocks instead.” She smiled sympathetically. “It’s a learning curve, My Lord. You’ll get there eventually.”
Tom thought back to Harry’s sparkling eyes and somehow doubted it.
Chapter 3: Questionable
Luna being Luna, Harry being Harry, and Tom...
“You should give me more warning next time,” Harry complained, even as he flopped onto the large bed, wriggling slightly on the soft, silk sheets. “Not that I mind surprise trips,” he reassured hastily at his husband’s raised brow. “It’s just that I had to give Creevey extra shifts.”
“It’s his job,” Tom waved his hand dismissively.
“Luckily Luna was fine replacing me for the week.”
Tom froze. “Luna?”
“She was more than happy. Don’t look so upset.”
“Harry,” he said slowly, “last time Luna was in charge, she decorated the stables with turnips and dirigible plums. And she used permanent sticking charms.”
“She said they keep away the wrackspurts,” Harry defended with a frown.
“There is no such thing as a wrackspurt.”
“She said you’d say that,” Harry said, sitting up. He brightened. “She told me to give this to you if you were upset.” He took a necklace out of his pocket.
It was a horrific thing - not worthy of being called ‘jewelry’. It consisted of old bottlecaps, used twist ties, and a large purple carrot as a centrepiece.
“I’m not wearing that.”
“She made it especially for you, Tom. Don’t be rude.”
“It’s against my religion.”
“Tom, you’re not religious.”
“She was being thoughtful.”
“You wear it, then.”
Harry blinked. “Alright,” he said, lifting it up above his head.
Tom strode forward and snatched it out of his hands. He stuffed it into his pocket. “I will not have my husband walking around wearing this monstrosity.”
Harry laughed. “She said you might not want it. That’s okay though, she also made these.” He pulled out two earrings, adorned with animated origami crabs. Their claws pinched threateningly.
The earrings liked Harry. They trimmed his hair with neat snips of their claws. And they pinched Tom whenever he leaned in for a kiss.
Chapter 4: Preparations
In which Tom must be strong and put his foot down.
“Harry, you can’t have a thestral as your best man.”
“But Serenum really wants to be a part of the wedding.”
“He can’t even give a speech.”
“He can, too!”
… “Not one that anyone else can understand.”
“What about your little Scamander friends?”
“Well, Newt is going to walk me down the aisle, but I could ask Rolf…”
“I would recommend that you do so.”
“Such a spoilsport, Tom.”
“I’m a Dark Lord, Harry. I don’t know what else you were expecting.”
… “Or should I ask Luna?”
“Harry, you may invite one of our creatures to the wedding. One. It is a wedding, not a petting zoo.”
Tom clenched his fist tightly, willing himself to be strong. “I am only bringing Nagini as my familiar, thus it is only fair for you to bring only one, is it not?”
“I suppose,” Harry sighed. “Just one creature, then?”
Harry nodded, a strange gleam in his eyes. Tom felt distinctly worried.
Chapter 5: Purple Polkadots
Luna: *poke poke*
Gurgaraneth requested a scene with Bella and Luna. This is what my brain came up with.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Permanent sticking charms, My Lord. She used permanent sticking charms. How am I supposed to fix her terrible choices when I can’t even remove them?” Bellatrix sobbed as she fell to her knees in front of Lord Voldemort, her hair bursting free of the spell she’d use to affix it that morning.
He raised a brow. Behind her he could see Narcissa laying on one of the chairs looking pale and dazed, a worried house elf fanning her. Every once in a while her eyes would stray to the colourful ribbons and she would twitch violently.
“She chose green and - and purple, My Lord. Purple. Polkadots.” Bellatrix shrieked, eyes wild and hand spasming, as if itching for her wand. “Please, let me curse her. Please, My Lord. Just one hex. A little one. Ickle Harry will never know…”
Lord Voldemort closed his eyes and forced a deep breath. “You are not allowed to touch her or cast any spells on her.”
He glanced at the decor that was being strung up by a dancing Luna Lovegood. He couldn’t help but cringe. “However, I will talk to Harry about… this.” He waved a hand in a vague motion.
Trembling hands grasped at the hem of his robe. “Thank you, My Lord. Thank you, thank you…”
Lord Voldemort cast a wary look at the singing blonde girl, and decided that he should probably find Harry… now.
“I still think the purple looked better,” Harry eyed the gold ribbon. It matched beautifully with the green, but - “gold isn’t exactly my colour.” He wrinkled his nose. “I’m not a Gryffindor, you know.”
Tom looked away from the endearing sight of Harry’s pout. “Even you cannot deny that the colours work well together.”
Harry sighed, then nodded. “I suppose.” Then he brightened. “Can we still have polkadots?”
Tom woke to find his bed void of any Harry. He scowled as he dressed and strode out the door in search of his errant fiancé. It was nothing new, of course, so he knew where to look.
Sure enough he found Harry fast asleep in the field, surrounded by thestrals. A few hippogriffs lingered along the fence, and he thought he spotted a unicorn in the distance, but that might have just been the sunlight.
“Harry,” he sighed as he stroked the hair from his beloved’s face, fingers gentle despite his displeasure.
The young man stirred, blinking sleepily as he gazed up at Tom. Then he smiled. “G’morning.”
Tom fought to keep the scowl on his face. It would do no good to loose his disapproval so early on in the conversation, after all. “Shall I find you here every night, bereft of the company of my future husband, even after we are wed?” He felt something more than a little ugly flare in his heart at the thought. He wondered if it reflected upon his face, because Harry looked down as he spoke.
“Of course not. I don’t - I’m not - I just - “ Harry flushed and trailed off.
Tom fought the urge to sweep Harry up into his arms and away from the pained conversation. “Harry, we are to be married. You are to be mine. Mine to care for, mine to protect, mine to - “ he pursed his lips. Love. A word he had disdained for most of his life.
Harry glanced up guiltily. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to worry you.” He raised his hand to cover Tom’s. “It’s just… when I - when I first went to Hogwarts, I had no one. My relatives didn’t want me and I had a difficult time making friends at the beginning. I used to spend a lot of time on the grounds, and the thestrals… they liked me. They kept me company. Comforted me when I was sad. They were… they became family. And Serenum…” Harry patted the thestral he’d been leaning on. “He was just a colt when I first arrived. And he has followed me this whole time. To the states, and then back here. He and his herd…” Harry fidgeted, cheeks flushing a little. “They’re like family. I - I know thestrals have a bad reputation,” he continued in a rush, “of being bad omens and such. But they’re intelligent and kind and loving. And they were the first family I ever had.” He ended in almost a whisper.
And Tom felt his heart break, just a little. His heart that he had protected so carefully in a cage of ice. His heart that he had thought long dead. “I would never take your family from you,” he said finally. The words hurt to say, for he wanted nothing more than to secret Harry away, somewhere safe and distant where they could stay, the two of them, with no one else to interfere. But - “I would never keep you from the ones you love.”
Harry gave Tom a breathtaking smile and reached up with his arms.
Tom obliged, lifting Harry to his feet. Then he pulled him close, wrapping his arms around the slighter man and gripping him close. “But do not forget about me.”
He felt Harry nod against his shoulder, arms wrapping around his torso just as tightly. “Never,” came the mumbled reply.
Tom glanced around surreptitiously, but Harry was off grooming the hippogriffs, well out of sight. He eyed the thestral, then crossed his arms. He leaned closer and spoke quietly. “I don’t suppose you would happen to know where his relatives live?”
The thestral snorted.
Chapter 7: Winding Paths
In which their paths crossed, even if they didn't realize it.
Set before the series.
“I am most grateful for your recommendation. The magizoologist is most skilled. Our first batch of albino chicks just hatched, thanks to him.” Lucius strode next to Lord Voldemort, shoulders back and head held high, as proud as the flamboyant birds that strolled the Malfoy manor grounds.
The Dark Lord merely dipped his head in acknowledgement. In truth, he had very little interest in such creatures - in most creatures, really - but Lucius had been so very distraught over the idea of his precious pets dying out for a lack of breeding. It had gotten so bad that Narcissa had finally come to request a temporary contract with a foreign worker - one of the Scamander magizoologists. And while Lord Voldemort would have preferred to hire a domestic expert, he had caved once Lucius started moping about the ministry with a dark cloud that dogged his every step and left puddles in his office.
He glanced to the right when he heard the sound of a house elf wailing. He noted a young man staring bemusedly at the little being, a sheet of parchment held loosely in his hand. He was not someone that Lord Voldemort recognized, so he was probably the Scamander boy sent to aide the Malfoy family.
Lord Voldemort’s gaze lingered curiously on bright green eyes before turning back to the Malfoy Lord, nodding in polite magnanimity when thanked again. After all, was he not a merciful and kind Lord?
They continued further into the gardens and as Lucius continued to boast, The Dark Lord’s eyes flicked back to the young man. The boy was smiling, and Tom had a strange fleeting thought that his smile looked rather like sunshine.
“M-Master Harry Potter Sir bes remembering Dobby’s name. Master Harry Potter bes most nicest of wizards!”
Harry frowned unsurely. “Well, you remembered mine… it’s only fair… right?”
Dobby wailed. “S-such a kind wizard he be!”
Holding out the piece of parchment containing feeding instructions for the newly hatched chicks, Harry hoped he could settle the loud elf before it disturbed the Malfoy lord and his guest. “Um, thank you? Uh… everything is written here, but you can ask me if you have any questions…”
The house elf launched itself forward, hugging Harry’s ankle and drenching his trousers with tears. Harry bent down and patted the elf’s head, a hopeless and gentle smile overcoming his features.
Chapter 8: Dark and Love
In which there is jealousy, and there is love.
Tom’s eyes narrowed as he watched Harry throw his arms around the stranger - a handsome young man who returned the hug enthusiastically. His fingers twitched, itching for his wand. Harry was talking excitedly, arms waving. The stranger was smiling. Something dark and ugly squirmed its way into his heart and the Dark Lord suppressed a scowl.
“Harry,” he said as he strolled up behind his fiancé, reaching out and pulling him to his side, away from the other wizard. Green eyes peered up at him. “Hello, love,” Harry smiled and it was beautiful. Then he lifted himself onto his toes and pressed a kiss to Tom’s cheek.
The Dark Lord felt the darkness fade, melting away under Harry’s sweet touch. He kept his arm around Harry’s waist, though. It was quite comfortable where it was.
“Won’t you introduce me?” He glanced up at the stranger, who watched him bemusedly.
“Oh! Of course, this is Rolf. Rolf Scamander. Newt’s grandson. He’s going to be my best man. Rolf, meet the Dark Lord!”
“A pleasure,” Tom drawled.
“Likewise,” Rolf eyed him shrewdly.
“I was just telling Rolf that you let me choose a - um, one creature to invite to the wedding,” Harry beamed.
Rolf coughed, lips twitching. “Yes, very generous of you.”
Tom narrowed his eyes as they both glanced up at him, eyes wide and too-innocent. He just knew Harry was planning something...
Harry peered up at him. “You know I love you, right?” He said.
Tom frowned. “Of course.”
Harry stared at him for a moment longer, then smiled. “Good.”
Chapter 9: Meeting
In which Harry plays matchmaker
“Luna! Meet Rolf, Newt’s grandson.” Harry smiled as he pulled the reticent Scamander to meet his assistant. “He’s going to be my best man and he needs help with his robes.” Next to him, Tom twitched slightly but said nothing.
Luna turned, her blond hair swinging in its braid, her radish earrings flapping from her ears. She fluttered a hello, her brightly coloured beaded bracelets clacking upon her wrists.
Rolf’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped. He stumbled slightly as he stuttered a greeting, cheeks flushing and eyes filling with stars.
Harry grinned as he stepped back. He glanced up at Tom who was watching the scene, looking a little disturbed.
“What have you done now, Harry?” Tom said.
“If they get married and have kids, do you think they’d name us godparents?” Harry asked, smiling hugely.
Tom stared at him in horror.