I wrote this story at the beginning of this year and published it in Spanish and just thought 'why not try and translate it?' It's good practice and maybe someone will enjoy it. So I hope you like the story and I'll get a few reviews. I really love to know people's opinion on my stories and what I should change to write better.
The Morning After
Hadrian sighed, still not opening his eyes, and snuggled against the warmth that seemed to surround him everywhere.
The beautiful sound of his mates laugh rumbled under his ear and Hadrian sighed again, content.
"Are you not going to open your eyes?"
"To discover everything has been just a dream? No, thanks."
"Why would it be a dream?" Hadrian could practically hear the frown on his voice.
"Isn't every good thing in my life just that?"
The young man felt his mate shift under him to be able to look him to the face without having to let go of him, but he continued with his eyes closed.
"Hadrian, open your eyes." pleaded.
The boy opened them reluctantly, but his complaints were forgotten when his eyes found his lover's.
The rising sun's rays of light that entered through the window gave his skin a golden tinge and he couldn't help but wonder if he might not have been really Miguel Angel's model. A hand caressed his cheek and he leaned into the touch.
"This is no dream, Hadrian. I'm not leaving you."
Hadrian looked away at the intense look of love in Gabriel's face. It was still so hard to believe that he was loved.
"Look me in the eyes, Hadrian." ordered the archangel. "You won't be alone ever again. Not while I'm alive."
Hadrian felt his eyes fill with tears at the honesty of his mate and lifted his head to bring their lips together for a soft and chaste kiss.
"I know. It's just hard to believe that everything's over now…"
"Well, believe it, Hadrian. Everything's over. We're alive and we're together. And this time nothing will part us."
Hadrian relaxed in the arms of his lover and closed his eyes, letting his lips stretch into a small smile and the angel's words take away his doubts.
His smile widened at the memory of the previous night.
The young man known by most as Harry James Potter turned around instantly and the stone he was holding slipped from his hand.
The name left his lips before he could even think it, making the man smile.
"Only you would be able to recognize me after changing of body."
Harry smiled too, forgetting for a moment everything about his mission.
"Why have you changed your appearance?"
"My previous vessel suffered… uh, a… little accident.
"Yeah, I'm okay." answered the angel smiling a little more at his obvious concern.
"Then, why are you here?"
"If I were anyone else I would think you're not happy to see me." commented the angel.
Harry couldn't help but smile slightly. Of course he was happy to see him. If he was going to die, he was the only person he wanted by his side.
"I'm sorry I didn't come sooner." apologized.
"Don't worry." answered the teen after blinking.
The archangel seemed relieved for a moment before closing the distance between them in a few strides and drawing him to his chest, hugging him.
Gabriel's new body was thin, well-defined and of harsher features. And taller. Much taller.
Usually that would have bothered Harry because, although Gabriel had always been a little taller than him, by his side it had never been so clear how really short Harry was.
This time, though, Harry noticed that Gabriel's height made him feel safe.
"Come with me." whispered a voice right next to his ear.
When his brain processed the words, Harry tensed and forced himself to pull away.
"I can't." answered trying not to sound broken and reminding himself he had a mission to complete. "I can't abandon them."
For a moment Gabriel looked confused but it didn't take him long to understand.
"I'm not asking you to abandon them for me, Hadrian. come with me, when everything's over."
Harry looked at him sadly. Should he tell him? Who could he trust if not Gabriel?
"When everything's over… I won't be here anymore, Gabriel."
The angel's gaze sharpened and Harry crouched down to collect the stone he had so carelessly let fall, trying not to look up for us long as possible.
"What do you mean? What are you doing here in the forest, Hadrian?" asked Gabriel for the first time looking around with suspicion.
"The final battle has begun. Hogwarts is besieged. The Hogwarts' Army and the Order of the Phoenix are here. Voldemort has offered me to let them live in exchange of my rendition."
"You can't be serious! You know his word is worth nothing!"
"I know, Gabriel, but I have no other option. I must die so he will die too."
"I won't allow it." said the archangel shaking his head and grabbing him by the arms with strength.
"You cannot intervene." was the young man's simple response.
Harry looked at Gabriel as his shoulders dropped.
"There must be another way. They don't deserve your sacrifice." whispered the angel gazing at his face with desperation.
"Maybe you're right. Maybe the Order of the Phoenix, the Ministry of Magic and all those that refuse to help in this war, to fight for their freedom, don't deserve it. But, what of the children, Gabriel? What about them? What about the innocent children who die every day at the hands of Voldemort and his Death Eaters? What about the families which die to protect them? Don't they deserve an opportunity to live without constant fear that doesn't allow them to enjoy it? And what about all those that have died trying to change this world? Don't they deserve it either? Don't they deserve for their deaths to have some sense?"
"Hadrian…" muttered the angel looking at him with pain. Gabriel closed his eyes an instant and, when he opened them again, his face showed confidence. "It's been centuries since I last was in Heaven and I don't know your destiny. But I believe, I know, that it's still not your time. I can feel it, his power, running through your blood."
Voldemort? Could he feel his power? Could he see the taint that it had left on his soul after seventeen years? Harry didn't understand and Gabriel didn't comment it again.
"I only want you to answer me one question." whispered hugging him again. "Would you come with me? If you were still alive when everything ended. Would you be able to leave the wizarding world behind and come with me?"
Harry closed his eyes, feeling them fill with tears against his wishes. Deciding to allow himself to dream a little more, he opened his eyes and looked directly at Gabriel.
"If I were still alive I would follow you to Hell itself, Gabriel. As soon as Voldemort were dead, I would look for you and I would leave with you without looking back even once.
"And you would spend the rest of your life with me?" whispered the man with a passionate look.
"Till the last of my days. We could look for a little house where none of your brothers or from the wizarding world could find us, or you could show me that supernatural world in America you have told me so much about. Anything as long as we're together."
Gabriel closed his eyes with a small smile and brought their foreheads together.
"That's all I needed to hear."
A second later, his lips fell over the wizard's and Harry felt his insides melt.
The kiss was slow and soft at the same time as full of passion and so… Gabriel. The young man felt his heart ache when thinking that this would be his first and last kiss.
After all the talks shared at midnight, the caresses and hugs in empty rooms, after all that time between sweet words waiting for the right time it all came down to this.
A single farewell kiss.
A lonely tear slipped down his cheek and Gabriel cleaned it with a kiss that then used to trace the line of his jaw.
None of the two said a word and, shortly after, with a pain so deep that it was nearly physical, Harry forced himself to pull away from the archangel once more.
Looking at the stone he was still holding and that he had been thinking of using to call his family one last time, he realized he didn't need it. he would soon see his family once more.
The only person he wanted by his side in that time was Gabriel, but that was something he couldn't ask of his angel. It seemed it wouldn't be needed as Gabriel refused to leave him alone.
Without giving another thought to it, he put on the ring with the Resurrection Stone on a finger of his left hand and placed the Invisibility Cloak over his shoulders.
Harry walked by the forest till the clearing in which Voldemort waited with the calming and invisible presence of his angel surrounding him.
What happened after that was so fast that Harry only remembered snippets: Gabriel with tear filled eyes and determined face while a familiar green light reached him, King's Cross station and meeting there Death's Horseman, awakening in a clearing still surrounded by Gabriel's presence, pretending being dead, McGonagall's shout, the chaos of the battle, duelling Voldemort, the Elder Wand, his enemy's lifeless body falling to the ground…
And, then, Gabriel.
His angel appeared just in front of him, smiling, and everyone present that had been about to start shouting in happiness fell silent, overwhelmed by that being's presence.
Harry smiled, a real and truly beautiful smile that until then only Gabriel had ever seen, and let himself be hugged by his archangel.
"Your answer from before is still standing?" asked the archangel pulling away just enough to look him in the eyes.
Without even glancing at the people around them, Harry lifted his arms and encircled Gabriel's neck with them.
The wizard didn't have to repeat it and suddenly they were in a bedroom, and he could have sworn he could hear Hermione saying that it was impossible to apparate in Hogwarts.
For a moment, he could feel nothing but relief. Harry Potter didn't exist anymore. Hadrian had been taking his place since, at the end of his first year, Gabriel had given him that name.
Harry Potter had been created, moulded with well-placed tests and a hard childhood. Gabriel had given an opportunity to the real Harry, an opportunity to be his own person, and a name with which finally leave behind Harry's past.
All his thoughts of the wizarding world or the bedroom they were in were forgotten in the instant that Gabriel's lips fell over his for the second time that day.
This time, though, Harry was aware of the warmth of his mate's lips against his, of his smell of dry pine needles and sugar creek and the softness of the hands on his face.
That kiss was filled of passion, desperation and love and Harry didn't know how long they were like that, simply kissing. There was nothing to say in that moment, nothing to do but to hold onto each other.
The angel moved one of the hands from his face to his waist and the other to the small of his back. Harry let himself be led back till his knees bumped against the bed.
Gabriel lowered him onto the mattress and carefully laid over him, joining their bodies and kissing him again with desperation.
That night nothing mattered except to get lost in the other's body.
Still smiling at the fresh memory, Hadrian opened his eyes again to see his angel looking at him with fondness.
"Thank you." whispered.
"For staying with me, for returning, for… for the best night of my life." answered blushing a bit.
"Mmm… the best night, uh? Why don't we turn it into the best morning? And maybe later we'll be able to work on turning it into the best afternoon." muttered Gabriel rolling so Harry was under him.
"That sounds good." laughed Hadrian letting himself be kissed.
"Perfect." muttered the angel against his lips.
"I love you." sighed when they parted.
"I love you too." whispered the angel closing his eyes and resting his forehead on his.
Shortly after, Gabriel grabbed him and rolled once more so he was on his back with Hadrian on top of him.
The boy hid his face on the crook between his neck and his shoulder and breathed deeply that sweet scent of pine that made him feel so safe, missing the weight of the archangel over him.
"I have to call Death so he can explain to me what exactly means being his Master." muttered Hadrian.
"Did you know? Did you know that by dying after having claimed the Three Deathly Hollows I would became his Master?" asked Hadrian biting on his lower lip.
"I suspected so." answered Gabriel cautiously. After a few seconds of silence in which none of them said anything, the archangel asked: "Are you angry?"
After that, none of them knew how long they were that way, without saying anything until Hadrian finally broke the silence.
"What happened to you?"
"Last time we met you promised we would meet that night, but I haven't seen you in more than two weeks. And yesterday you said your previous vessel had suffered an 'accident'."
Gabriel sighed and raised a hand to Hadrian's head so he could play with his hair.
"Do you remember everything I told you about the Apocalypse?" Hadrian nodded. "I tried to stop Lucifer. He killed many pagan gods and goddesses and I tried to stop it. I created an illusion of myself to distract him talking and I approached from his back. I forgot that it was him that had taught me that trick. Lucifer…"
Sensing something strange in his voice, Hadrian raised his head and rested it on his chest so he could see his face.
"Lucifer stabbed me in the stomach with my own knife."
Hadrian's eyes widened and he was left without knowing what to say. The pain that his brother's betrayal had caused Gabriel was clear on his face.
"I don't understand how Lucifer can hate humans so much that he's ready to betray his own brothers. To kill his little brother." continued the angel. "He taught me how to fly, you know? He taught me everything I needed to know to be a good archangel.
"I'm sorry." whispered Hadrian not knowing what else to say.
Gabriel looked at him and tried to smile, but the gesture didn't reach his eyes and he decided to go on with the story.
"Luckily I hadn't been trying to kill him. If I had used my Archangel Sword I wouldn't be alive right now." Hadrian had to repress a shiver at the mere idea. "The sword I used was, in truth, of my own creation. It was similar enough to my sword that Lucifer didn't notice the difference, but it was designed to expel an angel's Grace from his vessel and force it to remain inactive for some time. I suppose I still have to perfect it as my Grace was inactive only for a week. Anyway, when it expelled my Grace the knife destroyed my previous body and, when I awoke, I spent the rest of the week looking for the right vessel. I knew you would be angry at me if I took the life of a faithful so let me tell you that I found this body in a hospital suffering from brain death.
Hadrian couldn't help but smile at knowing how important his opinion was to Gabriel and drew nearer to place a short kiss on the tip of his nose, managing to make the angel smile a little.
"Why did you choose this body?"
"In the beginning I thought about looking for one more similar to the previous one, but soon after an image of you in the arms of a taller me, safe, popped in my mind and I decided that being tall has its charm."
"You don't need to be tall to protect me." pointed out the younger one with a pout, secretly quiet happy with the safety that body made him feel.
"Mmm… I would offer to change my vessel but I enjoy too much seeing you like this, so small and delicate at my side.
Hadrian laughed and poked his chest in false reprimand, receiving a false grunt of pain in return.
"I thought something had happened to you." admitted suddenly serious. "That some of your brothers had found you and forced you back to Heaven. Or…"
"Or that I had abandoned you." finished Gabriel in a low voice.
"I was so worried… never before had you failed to show up when you had promised to come." sighed lowering his gaze to the angel's chest.
"I'm sorry." said the man softly.
"It was out of your hands."
"Not for that, Hadrian. For having made you doubt. For not having left you clear that I will never leave you. Ever, Hadrian."
"I know. I should never have doubted you." said before pausing. "I'm glad it wasn't your true sword." whispered finally.
"Me too, Hadrian. Me too." agreed the angel before grinning with mischief. "I couldn't bear the thought of dying without doing this."
Gabriel rolled on top of him again, holding his arms with a hand over his head and devouring his lips while with his other hand he held his waist against the mattress. Hadrian moaned, every previous thoughts or words forgotten, and let the feelings flood him until the only things left in his world were him and Gabriel.