Chapter 99

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Harry stared vacantly up at the ceiling as he clutched Rabastan's pillow close to his chest. Voldemort wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled him closer,

"You need to rest."

Harry turned on his side so that the pillow was between them and spoke,

"I can't sleep."

Voldemort opened his eyes and pulled him to his chest. Harry buried his face in the soft material of Voldemort's shirt and focused on breathing in his exquisite scent and soaking in his warmth. Deus had been feeding him dreamless sleep draughts every night for the past one week since Voldemort had been gone and tonight was the first night, he hadn't taken one. He had expected that having Voldemort next to him would finally bring him peace, but it hadn't…well it had but…he was just disturbed by that fear of dying in his sleep…he couldn't get rid of it no matter how hard he tried. Voldemort pulled the pillow away from between them, stroked his hair gently and held him tighter and Harry sought solace and security in that hold,

"Harry, I promised to protect you. Do you not trust me?"

Harry nodded silently against his shoulder and murmured,

"I do."

Voldemort kissed the top of his head,

"Go to sleep then."

Harry closed his eyes and allowed sleep to envelope him as Voldemort continued to stroke his hair and soothe him with his kisses.

Harry's frail form felt so precariously delicate in his arms and it shredded his heart. A week of searching and he'd found nothing…not a single bloody thing…He felt so useless. He felt like a failure. Harry was fading away in his arms and he was unable to do anything about it. Harry's irregular breathing was the only sound in the room and it only served to remind him of his helplessness. He'd told him that he could trust him but what if he couldn't keep Harry's trust…what if he couldn't stop death from taking him? No…No…He would not think like that. There had to be a way. There had to be something that would keep Harry with him forever. Harry coughed in his sleep and his entire frame trembled with the force of it. The life sustenance potion he'd concocted for him using unicorn blood only worked during the day when Harry himself was fighting to breathe but during the night, when Harry's conscious will faded, even the potion couldn't achieve much.

Harry coughed again, and he clutched him harder. His uneven breathing grew more uneven and he whispered,

"Breathe, Love…You need to breathe for me…"

Finally, Harry's breathing began to stabilize, and his coughing subsided. He felt the breaths return to his own body and he murmured softly,

"Just a little more…I promise I'll save you."

Darkness turned to light signalling the end of night and the start of a new day and new hope. Harry stirred in his arms and he closed his eyes, pretending to be asleep because he didn't want Harry to worry needlessly. He was used to going without sleep for days. In fact, he had never needed it much. He felt Harry's lips brush against his and parted his lips to give him better access. Harry hummed appreciatively and kissed him languidly, taking his time to explore his mouth with his tongue and running his hands over the length of his body. A muffled groan escaped his lips when Harry pinched his nipple through his shirt and a zing of pleasure rushed straight to his groin,

"I missed you, Lover."

Harry trailed kisses down his neck,

"Missed your body…"

Harry's kisses turned into gentle nips and he cursed verbally as pleasure coiled tight in his stomach and his skin burned pleasantly under the caress of his lips. Harry straddled him and he finally opened his eyes to see his emerald one's twinkling with mischief and life…precious life… Harry bent over him and rested his forehead against his,

"You didn't sleep last night, did you?"

He was about to say no when Harry cupped his face,


He kissed his lips and murmured against them,

"You can lie to everyone else in the world but not to me…never to me…Do you understand that, Lover."

He could only nod and Harry kissed his lips again,

"I love you more than anything else in the world…more than life itself."

He wrapped his arms around Harry's shoulder and gently rubbed his nose against his,

"I love you too, Harry."

Harry laughed and hugged him tight,

"I love it when you say that to me. It makes me feel more alive. It makes it easier for me to breathe… to fight…"

He held him over himself and murmured,

"Then I shall say it a million times...a billion times..."

Harry's beautiful lively laughter filled the room and all his exhaustion vanished. Harry pressed one last kiss on his lips before getting up from over him. He was about to sit up straight when Harry rested a hand on his chest,

"Don't you dare move. You're catching up on your sleep today."

Harry cocked up an eyebrow in a challenging gesture and he knew that there was no way he was going to win this argument against him. He could bargain though,

"I shall stay in bed if you provide me with your company."

Harry shook his head,

"Nope. The ministry won't run itself and I've been playing Minister since you've been gone. I rather enjoy it… In fact, I enjoy it too much…"

He could imagine that. Harry had an air of absolute authority about him and it was incredibly sensual and the magic he had seen Harry perform last night was something he wanted to discuss with him, but it seemed now wasn't the right time. Harry was picking out clothes from the wardrobe when he spoke,

"Potion, Harry."

Harry turned around and wrinkled his nose,

"I know you put unicorn blood in that potion."

He faked an expression of mock innocence and Harry shook his head before turning his attention back to wardrobe,

"I'll drink it after the shower."

After Harry was content with his selection, he disappeared into the bathroom and emerged fifteen minutes later, bathing the room in his exquisite scent. He wanted nothing more than to pull Harry into bed with him, breathe him in and lick the water from his skin before claiming him. Harry eyed him with a cocked eyebrow and spoke,

"I know exactly what you're thinking, and I might let you do all that when I return tonight but…but it will only happen if you get your rest."

He pouted, and Harry laughed before dressing up in the skin tight black jeans he had picked out earlier, along with a burgundy silk button up, a black and white striped tie and a black vest. He looked utterly delectable. He felt a slight twinge of jealousy that other people would be ogling him all day but the fact that Harry belonged to him gave him comfort.

Harry turned around the spot and spread his arms out,

"How do I look?"

He licked his lips and growled,

"I could just eat you up."

Harry grinned and stepped closer to him,

"Eat me up when I get back tonight."

He picked up the flask from the side table and downed it in one. He didn't miss the way Harry shuddered or the slight tremor in his hand as he put the flask down. When that was done, he bent over him and pressed a kiss to his lips,

"Get your sleep. I'll have breakfast at the ministry. Deus will make sure that I take the afternoon dose along with lunch so don't worry about anything and just focus on resting. We'll have dinner together and then you can have me for dessert."

He couldn't help but pull Harry down for another greedy, rough kiss and spoke softly,

"I shall be looking forward to that."

Harry pulled away and snapped his fingers, for a moment nothing happened but then a dark portal appeared next to the window and he could only stare at it in awe. Harry flashed him a wicked grin and blew him a kiss before disappearing inside it,

"I'll see you tonight, Love."