Chapter 71

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A set of warm lips on his temple woke him the following morning, and as his eyes opened, a shard of sunlight found him where his head rested on a pillow, a steady thumping began in his head,

"Good morning, sleepyhead."

Rabastan's low voice sounded like it was playing through a megaphone as Harry struggled to open his eyes. His brain felt like it had swelled beyond the capacity of his skull and his dehydration was too obvious to ignore. He raised his heavy eyelids half way only for them to fall shut. He raised them again and squinted up at Rabastan's blurry face. His vision spun and he closed his eyes again,

"Take it easy, Harry. This is your first hangover, it's bound to be a bit rough."

The aching in his skull ebbed and flowed like a cold tide, yet the pain was always there. He understood at once why they called it a hangover, for it felt as if the blackest of clouds were hanging over his head with no intention of clearing.

Harry forced his eyes open again. His blurry eyesight struggled to cope with the daylight but it felt better once Rabastan perched his glasses over his nose. Harry sat up, and as he did, the room spun a little and he shut his eyes. Rabastan sat down on the side of the mattress and reached out a steadying hand to Harry's arm,

"Easy. Go slow."

Harry became aware of the dehydrated saliva that coated his cracked lips as he attempted to speak. Once on his feet, the room swayed almost causing him to lose balance and he reached out for the wall but Rabastan grabbed him and held him up. The room swirled before becoming stationary. He smacked his lips as he tried to talk again and his stomach turned in an unfriendly way. Rabastan rubbed his back and Harry tried to steady himself. His stomach lurched and gurgled again and contracted so violently that he barely reached the sink in time and threw up. Rabastan was rubbing his back and Harry leaned over the sink drawing in deep breaths. He coughed once, twice, thrice until it turned into a full-on fit and he sank to his knees, bringing Rabastan down with him. His chest and stomach ached like hell and forced him to curl into a fetal position against Rabastan. His throat felt sore from the stomach acid that was layering it and his mouth tasted foul.

When the fit had passed and Harry was leaning heavily against Rabastan's chest, he felt thirsty…so extremely thirsty. A glass of water appeared in front of him and he recognized the long, pale fingers holding it. He grabbed the glass and drank it down. The water felt heavenly running down his throat and he was glad the glass provided him a never-ending supply. He would have drank from it for an eternity but the glass was pulled away from his lips and Harry protested loudly,

"You need to eat something, Harry."

Harry snatched back the glass from Voldemort's hand and drank some more. His stomach turned at the thought of food and a wave of nausea consumed his senses. He almost didn't recognize his voice when he spoke,

"I guess I didn't dream it all up then."

He pushed himself to his feet and managed to stay on them as he faced Voldemort,

"Did Rabastan call you here last night or were you following me?"

Voldemort's lips curled up into a smirk and he spoke,

"I imagined you would be concerned about all the things you said last night rather than worrying about how I came to be here."

Harry laughed and turned to the sink. He rinsed his mouth, pulled off his glasses and splashed water over his face. When he looked up, he saw Voldemort and Rabastan's reflections staring at him in the mirror. He looked away from them and focused on himself. He looked pale… a little too pale…Ignoring that fact, he ran his fingers through his hair and turned his head to examine the bruise on his jaw. It looked good on him. He spoke,

"I was drunk which means that I practically had the license to spout forth nonsense."

He didn't actually remember what he had said last night but he knew for sure that he hadn't revealed anything incriminating. He wondered how Voldemort and Rabastan were getting along. He had a nagging suspicion in his head that he had said something about wanting both of them. Now that he thought about it, if he had said that he wanted both of them then Voldemort should have killed Rabastan by now…Not that he wanted him dead…Even the thought of it made him tremble…He couldn't lose Rabastan…But Voldemort had a reputation for being a possessive bastard and it seemed uncharacteristic of him that he had decided to share him. What was Voldemort up to? Was this another game? He decided to test his theory and turned around to find Voldemort and Rabastan standing in front of him together…Damn, the sight of them standing there like that filled him up with an intense desire to kiss them both senseless. He buried it deep underneath and shook it off,

"Are you waiting for me to talk about last night because I have to tell you that you're waiting in vain. There is absolutely nothing to talk about. I don't even remember what I said. The last solid thing I remember is kissing Rabastan…after that it's all a blur."

There was definitely a glint of mischief in the way Voldemort was smiling and in contrast to him Rabastan's smile was absolutely warm and full of innocence. The devil and the angel side by side. He wondered what he was supposed to be at that moment. They stepped closer and Harry resisted the urge to step back as the desire burning through him flared brighter, setting him on fire and driving him absolutely insane. Breathe…he willed himself to breathe…

They stepped closer until Harry was pivoted between the two of them, and Rabastan moved in behind him and planted his hands on his hips, holding him steady. Harry felt a blush creep up his cheeks and he couldn't stop the rush of heady pleasure that swept up his spine.

"Are you two going to team up against me now? This is insane."

Voldemort touched his thumb to Harry's lip and whispered softly,

"You look good when you're flustered."

Harry narrowed his eyes a fraction, and Voldemort smirked,

"You disagree?"

Harry grinned cockily and stepped away from them both,

"Yes… I look good with any expression on my face."

Voldemort chuckled and took a step forward. Harry waggled his finger and spoke,

"No. Get out. I'm taking a bath."

This distinctly reminded him of the first time and only time he'd been naked around Voldemort. Voldemort's smirk stayed in place and he had the audacity to raise a questioning eyebrow,

"Which part of get out did you not understand, Lover? Should I spell it out for you?"

Harry watched as Rabastan stepped out of the bathroom but Voldemort looked like he wasn't going to budge. Harry cursed verbally, grabbed his arm and pushed him out of the bathroom before slamming the door closed and running the bath. Harry crossed his arms over his chest and paced the bathroom restlessly. Had he been too harsh? No…he had to stop this before this went too far. Hadn't he decided to try everything before he died. Did he really want to die a virgin? No…definitely not. But he wasn't going to present himself on a platter to Voldemort. When the bathtub was nearly full. Harry turned off the water and poured every scent he could get his hands on in it before stepping in fully clothed. He wouldn't put it past Voldemort to walk in to the bathroom again and he was not going to give him the pleasure of seeing him naked once more.

He rested his head against the edge and observed his hands. They were working. He could feel them again…he could feel with them again. Harry leaned back and let the happiness soak right into his bones. He closed his eyes and savoured the moment. Happiness had always eluded him in one way or another. It terrified him though. His happiness never lasted and what if this didn't last as well. Would Voldemort tire of him? He would. Harry was sure of it. The only reason Voldemort hadn't killed him yet was because he hadn't managed to get him in his bed. Once that was done, it was going to be all over. Somehow, he wasn't terrified of Voldemort killing him…he was afraid of being turned into a possession and being treated as such. And what about Rabastan? Sooner or later, he was bound to hurt Rabastan's feelings again. This was better…He wanted them both but suppressing his desire was the only feasible thing for him to do.

His head pounded with pain and he let it slip down the edge and under the water. Holding his breath for as long as he could, he tried to clear his mind and it worked. The oxygen deprivation made his mind blissfully blank and Harry relished it for a moment before coming back up for air. He inhaled air into his lungs greedily and stepped out of the tub, his clothes dripped all over the tiled floor and clung to his body like a second skin. Getting rid of the soaked waistcoat, he grabbed a towel and attempted to dry himself off but his clothes were a little too wet. He needed fresh clothes desperately. He hoped Voldemort was gone so that he could ask Rabastan for some,

Harry stepped out of the bathroom and found Voldemort seated on an armchair with a copy of the Daily Prophet open in front of him,

"What the hell are you still doing here? Don't you have to be at the ministry?"

Voldemort closed the newspaper and Harry saw a picture of himself straddling the werewolf and beating the living daylight out of him on the front paper. It looked a lot worse than it had seemed or felt. He grabbed the newspaper and read through the article. It surprised him that he hadn't been painted as the villain. The werewolf…Cillian had clarified that he had attempted to accost him and admitted that his behaviour had been contemptuous and inappropriate. Harry felt a little surprised when he saw Deus's name in the article stating that he and several other people present at the occasion had verified that statement. So, the bottom line was that he was practically a hero…standing up for himself and all that garbage. He tossed it back in Voldemort's lap and called out to Rabastan,

"Rabi, I need some dry clothes."

Voldemort rose to his feet and Harry resisted the urge to take a step back,

"Rabastan is preparing breakfast for you. He placed some dry clothes for you on the bed. I suggest you improve your observation skills."

Harry noticed the jeans and the t-shirt laid out on the bed, grabbed them and stormed back into the bathroom. It didn't take him long to get changed. He absolutely hated how Voldemort managed to get on his nerves and attract him at the same time. Once he was dressed in the faded denim jeans and the dark purple t-shirt and he had retrieved his pouch from his discarded pants, he stepped back out and walked right past Voldemort towards the kitchen where he found Rabastan extremely focused on whatever he was cooking. It smelled delicious. Too bad he wasn't going to be staying. He came up behind him as silently as possible and wrapped his arms around his waist. After pressing a kiss to the nape of his neck, he spoke,

"Thanks for the clothes, Rabi…and for everything you did for me last night."

Rabastan exuded warmth and affection and Harry pressed another kiss to his neck,

"I can't stay for breakfast. I told Deus that he could come visit me today at the ministry and I promised him a job. He must be waiting for me."

Harry pulled away his arms and Rabastan turned around and spoke,

"It's Saturday, Harry."

Harry eyes widened in shock and he smacked himself on the forehead,

"Damn it. Deus must be thinking that I was messing with him."

Rabastan pulled away his hand from his forehead, kissed his knuckles and then his forehead and spoke softly,

"Why don't you invite him to the ball tonight?"

Harry frowned,

"I don't know where he lives."

Rabastan smoothed the creases on his forehead with his thumb,

"The club owner will know. I'll find out and invite him."

Harry smiled and hugged him tightly,

"You're amazing, Rabi. Somehow you always know how to solve my problems."

Rabastan turned back to the stove and spoke,

"Go and sit down. Breakfast is just about ready."

Harry nodded despite the fact that he didn't really feel hungry and settled down on the couch. He turned on the TV and tuned into a channel that was broadcasting some show he had seen a bit of the last time he'd been here. He had no real interest in it though. Something about Voldemort's presence here was making him feel restless and keeping him from relaxing. He wanted to get up and leave but Rabastan was working so hard on the breakfast and he didn't want to disappoint him.

A few minutes later, Harry had managed to forget Voldemort's presence for a moment and had allowed himself to be engrossed by the show playing on the screen. Rabastan placed a tray laden with a plate full of pancakes infront of him,

"Seriously, Rabi. You made pancakes for me?"

He pulled him down beside him and hugged him tight,

"What did I ever do to deserve you? It must have been something extremely noble."

Rabastan smiled and handed him the knife and fork. Harry felt another wave of joy course through him as he felt the metal between his fingers. He leaned closer to Rabastan and whispered in his ear,

"What is he doing in there?"

Rabastan shrugged and rose to his feet. Harry watched as he returned to the kitchen and eyed his plate of pancakes. Somehow he was sure he wouldn't be able to eat so he rose to his feet and strode back to the bedroom where he found Voldemort with his nose buried in the newspaper again. Harry pulled the newspaper away from him and tossed it on the bed. Voldemort raised an eyebrow and Harry placed the plate in his lap and started pacing the room furiously,

"What are you doing here? What do you want from me? What are you expecting?"

Voldemort opened his mouth to speak when Harry raised a finger in warning,

"Don't you dare bloody say that you were reading the newspaper. You could have read it at Malfoy Manor or at that lake. Is this another game?"

In the blink of an eye, Harry found himself on the bed and felt the solid length of Voldemort's body pressed against his. Harry thrashed and attempted to shove him away but Voldemort didn't budge,

"This is not another game, Harry. I want you. It is as simple as that. I believe I have made that clear on several occasions."

Harry stilled himself and bit out,

"You don't want me. You want the ultimate victory by getting me in your bed and claiming me. You want me to be your greatest conquest and I am not going to let that happen."

Voldemort released him as suddenly as he had grabbed him and Harry sat up straight on the bed,

"Why did you drag Rabastan into this?"

Voldemort chuckled humourlessly,

"I dragged him?"

Harry nodded furiously and scooted over until his back was pressed against the headboard. Voldemort sat down on the edge of the bed,

"You said you wanted him. I merely gave him to you."

Harry's jaw dropped and he couldn't quite hide his surprise. Something about that statement made his heart flutter in his chest. Lie. It had to be a lie. Voldemort couldn't be that generous. Voldemort couldn't be that perfect. Harry corrected his expressions and scowled,

"You're lying."

Voldemort smiled sadly and rose to his feet,

"I told you I would lay the world down at your feet. You wanted Rabastan so I gave you Rabastan. If you want something else then you need only express it."

Harry pulled his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. He didn't like sadness in those crimson eyes. He didn't like it one bit,

"Right now, I want you to feed me breakfast."

The joy that illuminated those crimson orbs was enough to ease Harry's guilt and smiled,

"Well get on with it unless you're planning on starving me."

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