Chapter 83

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Harry pulled out his glasses from the pocket of his suit jacket and pulled them on. He picked up his sword from the chair and was about to walk away when Voldemort spoke,

"Did I say that you could leave?"

Harry cocked an eyebrow and spoke,

"I wasn't aware that I needed your permission. Besides, you nearly strangled me in front of your death eaters to re-establish your dominance over me and showed them how you still have me under your control."

Harry rubbed a hand over his neck as he ran his gaze around the crowd that was watching them avidly,

"I think you pretty much succeeded in that. They won't question your supremacy anymore and they'll go right back to thinking that I'm your slut."

Voldemort's mouth was set in a stern line and his voice was barely above a growl when he spoke,

"What did I tell you about using that word to describe yourself?"

Harry ran his sheathed sword over the grass and spoke casually,

"You said you'd punish me."

He looked up and found pure rage intermixed with something like fond exasperation on Voldemort's face. Talk about mixed signals,

"Yes, I did."

He looked back down as he traced invisible patterns on the grass with his sword and spoke,

"Punish me then."

Voldemort stepped closer to him and murmured,

"Pain does not affect you anymore, does it?"

Harry looked up and met Voldemort's gaze which was full of remorse and pity…pity…He absolutely hated it and bit out,

"No, it does not."

Voldemort cupped his cheek and stroked a spot underneath his ear,

"You have not mourned Rabastan's death yet."

Harry tipped his head back, away from Voldemort's touch but Voldemort's hand followed his movement and Harry gritted out,

"I was too busy getting tortured by a crazy vampire and then escaping the said vampire."

Voldemort gripped his forearm and Harry was instantly engulfed by the overwhelming sensation of side along apparition. He staggered and the sword dropped from his hand when Voldemort released him and coughed a couple of times before he regained his footing and took in his surroundings. His shattered heart broke into a million more shards when he saw where he was. Voldemort pushed him back on the bed and Harry fell. He turned over on his belly, pulled Rabastan's pillow close to himself and buried his face in it. His scent still lingered there and as Harry held the pillow close to his chest.

He bit his tongue, trying to hold the tears that threatened to leave his eyes.

But as Rabastan's scent overwhelmed his senses and wrapped around him like a protective blanket, he couldn't hold them back. First, one small crystal bead escaped from his right eye. He could feel the warmth, sliding down his cheek, and rolling off his chin. Then another. And another. Until his eyes flooded with them. The dam broke and his tears finally burst forth…uncontrollable and unstoppable…Sobs and whimpers escaped his lips and he didn't care if Voldemort heard them. He cried and cried, dimly aware of Voldemort's hand stroking his hair and rubbing his back. His cries weren't the only sound in the room though…Voldemort was crying too…Why couldn't they just have been happy for once? They'd been perfect…Him, Rabastan and Voldemort. They'd fitted so perfectly together. They'd been so happy that day and now…now it was all gone…all that happiness…all that love...everything felt so terribly cold. He felt so numb. He felt Voldemort's lips on his head and murmured into the pillow,

"We could have been happy."

Voldemort spoke softly,

"Yes, we could have been but happiness is not unattainable."

Harry held the pillow tight and Voldemort pressed another kiss to his head.

"Do you feel him?"

Voldemort's hand halted on his lower back and Harry heard him whisper into his hair,

"Yes, he is present here in between us… right where he belongs…"

Fresh tears streamed down his cheeks and were instantly soaked up by the pillow,

"I loved him…I loved him so much…I wish I had told him that…"

His fingers dug into the pillow and another broken sob escaped him,

"He already knew, Harry. He did not need your proclamation to know that you loved him. He loved you too."

Harry inhaled Rabastan's scent in deeper…inhaled until he was sure that it filled every cell of his body…until he was sure that Rabastan flowed in his blood,

"Did you love him?"

He felt Voldemort's breath stutter at the question and heard the pain his voice when he spoke,

"I loved him because you loved him."

That one statement hit him harder than anything and he screamed into the pillow. Voldemort wrapped an arm around his waist and kissed his nape,

"It shall be alright. Everything shall be alright, Harry."

Harry cried and breathed out,

"You suck at this."

Voldemort laughed softly and held him tighter,

"Bear it, Harry. This is the last time you shall ever need comforting."

Harry turned his head and asked,

"The last time?"

Voldemort's fingers brushed through his hair and he hummed softly,

"The last time. I shall not allow anything or anyone to hurt you ever again."

Harry craned his neck and looked at Voldemort,

"So, I suppose anyone or anything does not include you."

Voldemort removed his hand from his hair and traced the bruises over his neck,

"I am truly sorry for that. Sometimes you tend to get a little too infuriating."

Harry couldn't help but grin at that,

"So, you won't strangle me again?"

Voldemort shook his head. Harry pouted in mock disappointment,

"What if I were into breath play?"

Lust flared up in Voldemort's crimson eyes, bright and absolutely beautiful. He smirked and pressed his thumb over his Adam's apple and Harry's breath instantly hitched in this throat as heat coiled in his stomach,

"I would make an exception in that case."

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