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He had seen darkness before but this wasn't anything like that. This was the darkness that robbed him of his senses and replaced them with a paralysing fear. In this darkness he sat, muscles cramped and unable to move. He only knew his eyes were still there because he could feel himself blink, still instinctively moisturizing the organs he had no current use for. He couldn't hear anything either. He guessed that he should bring his heart rate down below the level of "rabbit in a snare" but he couldn't. It took him a minute to realize that the darkness was thickening, growing heavier.
He felt like he was drowning and there was no hope of being saved. The blackness of his memories started to spread through his mind, clouding his thoughts and taking him back to places he never wanted to revisit. He pressed his palms to his ears trying to block out the voices, but it doesn't work. They only grow louder and louder. He just wanted them to go away. Was that too much to ask for? Just when he thought all hope was lost he heard his voice calling his name. It was like a ray of light in that thick, syrupy darkness. He felt him take his hands in his, pulling him into his arms like a child. The memories died down and he told him that everything was alright that it was all just a distant memory. He rested his head on his chest. Rabastan was his anchor, and gave him the hope when the darkness fought to overpower him,
Rabastan tightened his hold on him and pressed a kiss to his temple,
"Am I dead?"
Rabastan chuckled softly and the sound made his heart soar,
"No, Harry. Not yet."
Harry took a deep breath and inhaled Rabastan's scent greedily,
"Then what's going on?"
Rabastan's warmth seeped into his skin and he relished it,
"You stopped fighting so your mind conjured me up to give you the courage."
Harry frowned and fisted Rabastan's robes,
"So, you're a figment of my imagination then?"
Rabastan nodded and pressed a kiss to his neck,
"I'm more than a figment of your imagination. I'm a piece of your heart. I am a part of your soul."
Harry couldn't help but hold him tighter and cry out,
"Don't leave me again, Rabi."
Rabastan laughed and moved his fingers through his hair,
"Didn't you hear what I just said? I'm a part of you…I won't leave you as long as you're alive."
Rabastan's fingers trailed over his back and Harry spoke as tears streamed down his cheeks and Rabastan's robes soaked them up,
"I love you… I love you, Rabi."
Harry let his hand slide to the back of Rabastan's neck, run through the soft hair at the base of his head. When he did, Rabastan leaned forward. His lips pressed softly to his. It was a tentative kiss, and as much as Harry wanted to take over, as much as he wanted to push his tongue into Rabastan's mouth and let him see how hungry he was for him, he held off, let Rabastan work himself into it, which he slowly did. It took a moment for him to really loosen up, for his lips to go pliant. And then Rabastan was kissing him harder, deeper. His tongue took over his mouth, and it was sweet and gentle and everything that Harry had missed about Rabastan only somehow it was even more powerful…more intense. The thought made Harry mentally stumble because here he was, feeling things and thinking things he never expected to feel or think again. Rabastan pulled away and whispered in his ear,
"I know. I love you too."
Harry didn't let go…couldn't let go. He felt the need to keep a tight hold on Rabastan because he felt that like water, he was going to slip through his fingers and flow away. He buried his face in the crook of Rabastan's neck and Rabastan ran his fingers over his back,
"Why'd you stop fighting, Harry? You're the most stubborn, most defiant person I have ever met. Harry, I've always told you that I've admired your courage. Seeing you surrendering like this breaks my heart."
Harry kept his face buried in Rabastan's neck and whispered,
"I think I've lost my magic."
Voicing the thought made it all the more real and all the more horrifying. Rabastan kissed the top of his head and asked,
"Is that why you lost your will to live all of a sudden?"
Harry nodded his head,
"Yes, I can't imagine a life without magic. It was the best thing about my life and now it's gone…I can't live like a squib…"
Rabastan was silent for a moment and then he murmured against his hair,
"You think you've lost your magic. You don't even know that for sure yet. Secondly, even if you have lost it, you never needed magic to be intimidating. You haven't cast a single spell in the past two months but everyone at the ministry is still daunted by you and Voldemort is undeniably attracted to you. Which reminds me…You do have another reason to live. I believe you are forgetting the blood pact you made. Would you really doom Voldemort to live without you when you cursed him to be drawn to you and only you?"
Harry cried out on Rabastan's shoulder,
"Voldemort won't feel attracted to me when he realizes that I'm a squib. Besides, if I don't have my magic then I can't gain immortality so I'll probably die in a few days even if I fight to survive today."
Rabastan sighed and stroked his hair,
"You are not a squib, Harry. There is so much to live for. You just asked me not to leave you again and I told you that I'm a part of your being. If you die then I'll die with you again. Will you really throw my sacrifice away? Will you really let death have its way with you?"
Harry just focused on breathing Rabastan in and soaking in his warmth. When he didn't reply, Rabastan pleaded,
"Please don't stop fighting…Please, Harry. You have to fight for my sake, for Voldemort's sake, for your own sake."
Harry pulled away from Rabastan and rested a finger on his lips, effectively silencing him,
"Don't plead, Rabi. I'll live…I'll fight…I'll avenge you. Magic or no magic, I will live. Death will kneel before me."
Rabastan smiled softly and pulled him into a tight embrace,
"I'm always here for you."
Harry rested his head on his shoulder and whispered,
"Stay with me forever, Rabi."
He felt Rabastan turn to vapour in his arms and the darkness returned once again but Rabastan's voice reverberated through it,
"I will, Harry."
Harry smiled and realized that the darkness didn't bother him anymore. It didn't suffocate him anymore. He rose to his feet and there it was. Death standing right in front of him. Its black wings folded around him, its glowing eyes illuminating the dark. He stepped closer to him and death stood still,
"Here to take me?"
Death stood silent and that frustrated him,
"Well, just go away because you're not needed yet…in fact, I'll never be needing you."
The shadow laughed and Harry fought to hold his ground,
"You are a fool to think that you stand a chance against me."
Harry crossed his arms over his chest. Rabastan's warmth and scent clung to him, filling him up with reckless courage and confidence,
"I was a fool when I considered surrendering to you. Right now, I'm as sane as I'll ever be."
The shadow swept closer to him and Harry waggled his finger at him,
"If you think that you can take me as easily as you took Rabastan then you've got another thing coming."
Harry saw the way, the shadow's eyes glowed brighter and the way it flexed its wings and spread them. He took another step closer and without warning, plucked a long black feather from them. The shadow flinched away from him and Harry chuckled darkly as he admired the feather in his hand,
"Mark my words, I will make you bow before me."
He turned his back to the shadow and had taken a few steps forward when he shot over his back,
"Oh, and by the way, I'm keeping this."
The darkness scrambled away from him as he approached, giving way to light. He stroked the feather with his thumb and made his way back into the light with renewed resolve.
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