Chapter 70

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He stared at the crumpled sheets of the bed the following morning, and let his eyes travel over the two figures who lay tangled up in one another. It was just turning seven and the morning was greeting them with the sun slipping between the curtains and spilling over the figures beneath those sheets.

Harry was lying on his side facing him with one hand under the pillow, and the other resting over the top of Rabastan's, which he'd pulled up to cover his heart. The sheet had slipped down to their waists, and Rabastan was curled up close and tight behind Harry, almost as though he was afraid he'd slip away…and he knew exactly how he felt.

He, on the other hand, had been sitting in the chair he'd conjured, so he could watch over the two of them, wondering about everything Harry had said last night...everything that had happened. He could still feel the way Harry's body had trembled and shook in his arms as he had gone through a coughing fit after passing out last night. His fingers moved over the material of his shirt that had grown stiff as the blood had dried on it…Harry's blood…

He felt frustrated with himself…For the past two weeks, ever night, he'd been trying every healing charm…every spell he could get his hands on but nothing…nothing had seemed to work…He had noticed Harry's cough, the first day he had been brought to him, at that time he had found it peculiar but he hadn't paid it much mind. But, ever since Harry had returned after being tortured by Dumbledore, it seemed to have grown worse. He couldn't help but think that Dumbledore had something to do with this. He absolutely hated the fact that none of his efforts were bearing fruit…that none of his efforts were enough to heal Harry.

He closed his eyes. "I don't wanna". Those three bloody words had been playing on repeat ever since he'd heard them. What had Harry been about to say? A thousand words could fit at the end of that sentence…a thousand meanings could be derived from it… Why was Harry so difficult to understand? Why was he so shrouded in mysteries? What would it take to make him trust him? What would make him worthy of Harry's trust?

His gaze settled on Rabastan who had his eyes open now… He had been equally distressed last night when Harry had coughed out blood in his unconsciousness. Rabastan's gaze was fixated on Harry and his tears shone like crystals in the morning light. He was certain that he was wondering exactly what he was wondering.

There was something about Rabastan…something he had overlooked…a gentle attractiveness…a quiet beauty… He should have picked up on it…noticed it in all the years that Rabastan had served him but he hadn't…Instead it had been Harry that had discovered the gem that Rabastan was. He had absolutely scorned him but last night had changed his perspective monumentally. He had claimed that he would lay down the world at Harry's feet and he was perfectly willing to. Denying him Rabastan would have negated his own claim. But this wasn't just about Harry wanting Rabastan anymore. Something inside him wanted Rabastan too...wanted his caring soul…wanted that unconditional love he seemed to have for Harry.

He rose to his feet and Rabastan's gaze moved to him and he looked ready enough to get up as well. He couldn't help but smile. It would be difficult to reassure Rabastan that he was not his servant whilst he shared a bed with them…he would be an equal. He signalled him to relax and sat down beside Harry. Harry's soft features were perfectly relaxed, the sun illuminated his face and gave his beauty an almost ethereal quality. Harry was something out of this world. Slowly, carefully, he stroked his raven black locks. Harry looked so peaceful, so innocent…a direct contradiction…a paradox of what he was when he was awake. Oh, what he wouldn't do to have this sight every morning.

He traced his lips lightly with the tip of his finger. They pouted slightly, and he had such an urge to bite them, to kiss them, to wrap him up in an embrace and listen to his gentle breathing, pull him down under the covers and watch the cotton ripple like skipping stones and share crooked smiles. Harry's lips felt slightly chapped under his feather light touches but he simply could not bring himself to give a damn. He gazed so intently at each divot of that lip, as if it could map out ancient seas and heavenly planes and tell him everything he didn't know…everything he wanted to know…Rabastan spoke in a hushed whisper. So low that he thought that something inside him had spoken out loud,

"You love him."

That morning light lit up something inside the deep dark recesses of his soul and Rabastan's words made it burn brighter.

I'm in love with him.

It made sense. It made perfect sense. Harry never left his mind, he was always there; mentally if not physically. He was pure and utterly beautiful chaos and he so desperately needed him in his life. Harry was the quintessence of love and hate, happiness and bitter rage, caring and heartless, kind and cruel. He loved him so much for that.

I'm in love with him and I can't believe I've only just realized it.

The feeling was so foreign…so strong…so absolutely magical; it stretched throughout his entire body. It was overwhelming, yet made him feel complete. It had no bound nor length nor depth; it was just absolute. It felt as though he was in a dangerous fire, yet completely safe at the same time… as though someone had given him peace… as though his heart was dancing around in his chest; and a void, he had never been aware was there, had been filled. He felt so light like he was on top of the world and owned everything and everyone yet his heart was constricting and it felt as if there was no oxygen in his lungs.

It was strange…frightening even… how he had gone from hating Harry to being completely and absolutely infatuated by them. It made him wonder how it ever was that he was able to live without him, because he sure as hell couldn't imagine being without him now. He knew it was foolish and naïve, but it was true that he had come to love Harry more than he had ever been able to love himself or anyone else.

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