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Harry cried out with gritted teeth,
Rabastan gently spoke,
"Just be still."
Harry lay face down on the bed, shirtless, as Rabastan fussed over his back,
Rabastan ignored him and continued to rub the salve over his back. Harry winced and bit down on the pillow to stop a cry from escaping his lips,
"I'll stop if you change your mind about going to the ministry."
Harry snorted into the pillow,
"Not going to happen."
Rabastan continued with his ministrations and Harry bore them in silence. Ever since, Harry had informed him that he would be returning to the ministry, Rabastan had grown more caring. Harry hadn't even thought that it was possible for Rabastan to care about him anymore than he already did been but he had. Harry knew he had been maddeningly searching for a way to heal his hands. And they had made progress. Harry's bones were healed now but he still couldn't move them. It was like they were paralyzed. He couldn't even feel them. Rabastan had started changing the dressings on his back twice in a day and massaged his hands thrice in an attempt to restore some sensation to them but, so far, they hadn't had any luck and Harry's hands remained infuriatingly useless.
Another louder cry escaped his lips when Rabastan rubbed the salve into one of the deeper cuts,
"I'm so sorry, Harry."
The pain dulled and Harry finally spoke,
"I really hate it when you apologize. You're just taking care of me."
Rabastan didn't reply and started dressing up his back again. Once the bandages were firmly in place, he spoke,
"Harry, I still don't think you should go."
Rabastan helped him up and Harry sat up straight,
"I told you, Rabi. I won't change my mind."
Rabastan rose to his feet and opened the wardrobe,
"So, what are you going to wear?"
Harry rose to his feet carefully and looked through the clothes Rabastan had stocked for him. What would be a fitting attire for today?
"Dress robes. Preferably black and extremely fitted."
Rabastan gaped at him,
"Really? I thought you hated dress robes."
Harry couldn't help but grin,
"Well I'm sure we can make them more distinguishable."
Rabastan sighed and spoke,
"Okay give me five minutes. I'll get you something distinguishable."
Rabastan made him sit down on the edge of the bed and hurried out. Harry looked around the bedroom fondly. He was really going to miss this place. Well there was a chance he might return here but that chance was very slim and he was going to avoid it any cost. He was going miss Rabastan most of all. Even though the man would be there, he would be in his death eater persona. Five minutes turned into ten and then twenty. Harry was just starting to worry when the door opened and Rabastan finally walked in. Harry immediately jumped to his feet and immediately regretted the move as his every nerve in his back sang with pain,
"What took you so long?"
Rabastan dropped the bag in the doorway and made Harry sit back down,
"You need to relax. I wasn't finding anything that would have appealed to you and I didn't want to return empty handed. But I think, you'll love these. I found them in Paris."
Harry gaped at him,
"You went to Paris?"
He pulled the bag to him with a wave of his wand and pulled out a set of jet black dress robes. They were blacker than anything Harry had ever seen. The material looked like liquid darkness. He was tempted to know what the material would feel like between his fingers but banished it instantly. Rabastan rose to his feet and unfolded them. Harry felt the breath leave his body because they were beautiful. They were plain but elegant. Two intricate silver buckles on the chest were the only means to fasten them. The material changed to a dark green when it caught the light differently. Rabastan put them away and pulled something else out of the bag,
"I meant to give these to you later but I guess now's a good time as any."
Harry realized that Rabastan was holding a pair of black silk gloves,
"They've been charmed so they'll act as your fingers when you have them on."
Rabastan took his hands slowly and carefully pulled the gloves onto them. Harry couldn't feel the soft silk gloves on his hands. Well he couldn't even feel his hands,
"Just think about flexing your fingers."
Harry did. He thought hard. For a moment, nothing happened but then his fingers flexed. Harry didn't feel them move but he could see that they were moving. Rabastan's face was radiating joy and Harry pulled him into a hug,
"Thank you, Rabi…...This is just…. It's so…."
Harry couldn't find the words. Rabastan rubbed his back,
"This is nothing, Harry."
He let him go and looked at the watch,
"You have an hour before the Dark Lord officially announces the act, Harry. Would you like for me to help you change? Or do you want to practice with the gloves?"
Harry wanted to savour these last minutes with Rabastan and spoke,
"Help me change, Rabi. I need you close to me for as long as I can have you."
Rabastan pulled Harry close again and Harry felt his tears soak through his T-shirt. He thought about rubbing Rabastan's back and the gloves obliged. Even though Harry couldn't feel Rabastan's warmth underneath his fingers, it was still something. Rabastan pulled away and got to work.
Fifteen minutes later, Harry stood in front of the mirror and admired himself. He was secretly glad, Dumbledore hadn't done anything to his face. He couldn't imagine how difficult that must have been to conceal. Right now, though, right now, he looked like nothing had ever happened to him, that his back hadn't been whipped to shreds and his hands weren't useless. Rabastan fastened the silver buckles around his chest and the robes clung to his body tight down to his waist, after that they flowed freely around his legs. Harry couldn't help but snicker when Rabastan tried to tame his hair and failed miserably. He sat him down and conjured a pair of black dragon hide boots. He was about to touch his feet when Harry pulled them away,
"No, you don't belong there. I'll wear the shoes myself."
Rabastan took them, caressed them with his fingers and then kissed them. Harry groaned out,
Rabastan began pulling the socks over his feet and spoke,
"I have kissed your feet before. That night you coaxed The Dark Lord into having us all kiss your feet."
Harry tried to pull his feet away again but Rabastan held on tight,
"That was different."
Rabastan began pulling the boots up and started lacing them,
"It was an honour for me. It still is."
Once Rabastan was done, he kissed his boots and got up,
"My Lord, you look absolutely gorgeous."
"Now you're just teasing me, Rabi."
Rabastan's smile was absolutely beautiful and Harry was glad he'd seen it before heading to whatever Voldemort would do to him. He looked at the clock and realized he still had half an hour left. Rabastan got dressed up in his death eater robes and pulled on his mask. He conjured a cloak for Harry and fastened it around his shoulders,
"I'll see you at the ministry, I guess. Be careful."
Harry couldn't help but grin,
"Careful is my middle name."
Rabastan's eyes conveyed his doubt perfectly and Harry just decided to reassure him,
"Don't worry, Rabi. I'll be fine."
Rabastan nodded his head,
"The announcement will be taking place in the Atrium. So, you won't have to move far after getting out of the fireplace."
Harry nodded and patted Rabastan on the shoulder,
"Don't worry. I'll make my entrance as dramatic as possible."
"Discreet, Harry. I said discreet not dramatic."
"It sure sounded like dramatic."
Rabastan shook his head and hugged Harry,
"Please be careful."
Harry let his expression grow sombre,
"I will. I'll be fine as long as you keep your word."
Rabastan pulled away from him,
"I'll keep my word, Harry."
He pulled out a flask from inside his robes and handed it to Harry,
"Drink that right before leaving for the ministry."
Harry took it and looked at it,
"It's the antidote to Veritaserum. The Dark Lord might try to interrogate you with it again. Just drink it all. It'll last a couple of hours."
Harry nodded silently but before he could thank Rabastan, the man had already swept out of the room.
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