Harry mentally rolled his eyes as he sat waiting for the arrival of the others. After the last meeting, Sirius and Remus had decided that they were coming to the lunch, especially to make sure that James and Lily didn't try and take advantage of the situation to get anything out of him. Also to make sure that the Lestranges didn't take advantage of the situation themselves, they trusted that Harry was good at playing the game, but they didn't want him going in alone either.
Severus was chomping at the bit to come as well, but knew that he couldn't He had been in a slightly bad mood.
This meal was going to be fun, James and Lily were glaring at him because of his clothes, which this time were much more himself, he was wearing neat red trousers, a black blouse that Hermione had given him with red fireworks on it, and black robes red lining. Sirius and Remus were glaring at James and Lily for having digs at Harry, which in turn was making James and Lily more irate.
So much fun!
The Lestranges finally walked in, and this time Rabastan was with them. He was quite different to his older brother, blonde hair and blue eyes seemed to come from Gillian's side of the family, he was stouter than Rodolphus and smaller, but he was strikingly good-looking and had the same intense air that all the Lestranges had.
"Harry," Rodolphus reached out and took his hand to help him to his feet before leaning down and brushing a kiss to Harry's hand, and then standing he leant in and brushed a kiss to his cheek. Rabastan might be strikingly good-looking, but Rodolphus was...something else, he had a pull to him and when he looked at him with bright blue eyes Harry felt himself wanting to sway towards the other man.
Sirius glared faintly at Rodolphus, he was fairly sure Harry wasn't naive enough to miss the heat and passion in Rodolphus' eyes, but perhaps he was naive enough to miss the intensity of it. Sirius was not. Lestranges' only saving grace was what else Sirius could see in the way he looked at Harry, this was going to be an interesting marriage at the very least.
"This is my brother Rabastan," Rodophus introduced.
"Its a pleasure to meet you," Harry smiled holding out his hand.
"It is interesting to meet you," Rabastan said sharply ignoring Harry's hand making the younger man raise his eyebrow.
"Harry it is wonderful to see you again," Gillian said quickly leaning in to kiss his cheeks.
"Wonderful," Renato nodded taking his hand and kissing it while Gillian gave her son a sharp look.
"You are looking a little more comfortable today Harry," Rodolphus smiled at him, pointedly taking in his clothes.
"I am sorry, he is not really dressed appropriately," James said quickly.
"There is nothing to apologise for, I love your style Harry," Gillian smiled reaching out to touch the shoulder of his blouse.
"Thank you," Harry said but still felt a little like a bug on a pin. "This is my godfathers Sirius and Remus,"
"Sirius I remember you from the pureblood circuits, you were quite young last time I saw you," Renato nodded.
"Before the Death Ea..." Sirius grimaced. "Before I left that world yes,"
Rodolphus fought to keep from laughing as he caught Harry lowering his foot back onto the ground, Sirius raising his own to rub a no doubt painful shin. He placed his hand on Harry's back and guided him back to his seat.
"How have you been?" He asked Harry as everyone else took their seats.
"Ok, thank you. I...erm, this is for you," Harry said nervously sliding a neatly wrapped package over to him. Rodolphus looked stunned for a minute before he pulled himself back together and accepted the gift. Unwrapping it slowly he pulled back the wrapping to see a Transfiguration book.
"Harry?" He asked looking up at the other.
"I have had it for a few years, I found it when I was working in Flourish and Blotts a few summers ago tucked away in a corner, I heard that you were interested in Transfiguration, and thought that you might like it," Harry rambled a little.
"I like it, thank you, thank you for thinking of me," Rodolphus was looking at the book a little stunned.
"It's fine, just...wanted to get you something," Harry coughed suddenly feeling embarrassed. Rodolphus leant in a kissed his cheek softly.
"It's wonderful, thank you," Rodolphus said firmly.
"Nice creeping," Rabastan muttered just loudly enough for Harry, Rodolphus and Sirius to hear. Harry jerked back while Sirius and Rodolphus glared at him.
"Rabastan!" Rodolphus hissed at his brother.
"Shall we order?" Renato asked a little tightly
"That sounds good," James nodded.
"Draco sends his best," Renato said eventually.
"I don't get to see him much during the summer, Lucius thinks I am a bad influence on him," Harry nodded.
"Because you're a Gryffindor," Rabastan stated, his tone saying exactly what he thought of that himself.
"Actually no, I think the last letter Lucius sent us was something to do with a wall, an explosion and suspicion falling on Draco and Harry," Sirius said proudly, but he finished with a glare at the youngest Lestrange who was starting more and more to make Harry feel quite uncomfortable. It was quite clear that he did not approve of Harry, and it was also clear that Rodolphus loved his brother if he didn't come around this could cause quite a few problems.
"Sorry, what?" He asked suddenly realising everyone was looking at him.
"We asked if you had anything to do with the wall?" Rodolphus asked amused.
"Of course not," He said quickly, summoning the most innocent grin that he could.
"Why do I not believe you, despite you being quite convincing?" Renato chuckled.
"I have no idea what you mean, I am completely and utterly innocent, the aspersions that were cast against me for the destruction of that wall by my very suspicious minded Head of House was quite hurtful," Harry sniffed. There was a paused and then Rodolphus started laughing, it was a deep, rich honest laugh that brought an involuntary smile to Harry's face.
"Will I find out why exactly you exploded a wall?" He asked leaning into Harry's space with his blue eyes glittering.
"I told you, it wasn't me," Harry shrugged.
"I know," Harry found himself bantering back, and some of the tension from before eased from his shoulders. Rodolphus grinned at him, a cheeky flash of teeth and Hary felt heat creeping into his cheeks.
"So Rodolphus, have you started taking over the Lestrange estates?" Sirius asked breaking the moment. Harry rolled his eyes obviously at his godfather for the interruption gaining an unrepentant look back.
"I am yes," Rodolphus nodded.
"He is very good at it," Renato said quickly.
"I have only been taking over for a little, I am not that good and I am still learning," Rodolphus shook his head leaning back in his chair and placing his arm along the back of Harry's chair.
"He knows his craft well though, he will be very good at it," Gillian smiled proudly.
"May I ask you a question?" Harry asked softly once their lunch had been placed in front of them.
"Of course," Renato answered.
"May I ask why you did not move to Gillian's house name when all the trouble hit you and you split from Voldemort?" Harry winced when he saw the Lestranges tensing.
"We did not want to back down, it would have been letting my father win to abandon the name. When we were fighting to get away we agreed that we would repair the name my father's madness had broken. It was not as easy as we had idealised it to be," Renato said dryly.
"I am sorry if I pried," Harry looked over them all.
"He can't help it, he does not really think before he speaks," James laughed awkwardly.
"He is curious and intelligent," Remus said sharply.
"Or nosy," Rabastan muttered.
So much fun.
"I am sorry I asked," Harry grit out.
"No, it is fine," Renato said quickly holding up his hand.
"You can ask whatever you want to ask Harry," Rodolphus said leaning forward, his posture becoming a hell of a lot tighter and suddenly he was the Lord Heir that his position demanded he be.
The silence that fell over them was more than awkward, Harry's temper was bubbling, both with his parents and with the little snipes and snide remarks that Rabastan kept making, never mind the fact that he was already tired of this whole situation. He could not wait to be done with the wedding so he could ship his mother and father off to the Potter mansion and never have to deal with them again.
They all sat silently eating their lunches, none of them seemed able to come up with anything to say to break the awkward silence. But then they would move to the private room that this restaurant offered select clientele that could afford it, and they would have to go through the details of their...arrangement. Which with the way this afternoon was going was going to be...well awful.
The only saving grace of this painful afternoon was Rodolphus, he was still fascinating and interesting, he was still good to Harry and interested in him, he was still fair.
"So Remus, you write books correct?" Gillian broke the silence.
"Yes, I do, Defence books," Remus nodded.
"I think I have read a few of them," Rodolphus hummed, his hand going out to run over the book still sitting in front of him thoughtfully.
"I learnt everything that I know about defence from Remus," Harry said proudly.
"No, that was a good amount of natural talent," Remus shook his head bashfully.
"He's an amazing writer," Harry shook his head.
"Harry is right, and you have a very good way with words. For someone who is quite the scholar you make your books very interesting," Rodolphus smirked.
"I asked him to put pictures in them so I could read them, but he refused," Sirius pouted.
"I summed it up for him though," Harry snickered.
"Smart little shit aren't you," Rabastan sneered. The whole table went quiet as Harry closed his eyes for a few beats before opening them.
"Harry," Sirius gripped his arm when he saw the look in those green eyes. They didn't get to see it very often, but when they did it was never pretty.
"Look I have no idea what your problem is..."
"My problem is that you are taking advantage of my brother for your own gain," Rabastan snapped, anger written across his face.
"Rabastan..." Gillian started to say but Harry spoke over her.
"Oh grow up you child!" The whole table went still and gawped at him. "It is no secret that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement, I mean come on! I am taking advantage of your brother, of course, I am, this is an arranged marriage for equal gain, there has never been any secret about that. I know that, your brother knows that, your parents and my parents know that, hell the whole wizarding community knows that. He is using me just as much as I am using him, we both need something out of this marriage, and we are both gaining from it. He, my name and fame, me his money. Do not be so naive as to think that I am pretending that this is any different, Rodolphus is perfectly aware of why I am here. But we have also agreed that we do not want this to be a loveless marriage, and I am going to try my best to hold up my part of our agreement and try and make this a real marriage," Harry said lowly.
"Harry," Remus said softly.
"I will be waiting in the room, I have lost my appetite," He said standing and making his way to the host. He was quickly directed to the private room that the Lestranges had requested and walked over to the leather sofa seated in front of the fireplace, dropping onto it with a small groan.
He shouldn't have lost his temper like that, and he should not have spoken out like that. Aside from the state of the bank accounts that he would bring with him, it was a well-known fact that he couldn't hold his tongue and had a habit of speaking his mind, not something that was particularly attractive to potential husbands of the type he needed to restore the Potter accounts.
He was just lucky that the Lestranges needed his name as much as they did.
He started when a hand brushed over his forehead, opening shocked eyes to see Rodolphus leaning over the back of the sofa, his fingers gently moving Harry's fringe out of his eyes.
"This isn't exactly protocol, no chaperones," Harry raised his eyebrow without lifting his head from the back of the sofa, looking up into blue eyes.
"Well, as you pointed out quite clearly, this deal is something both families need, calling into question honourable intent between the two of us isn't something that they are going to raise," Rodolphus snorted. He straightened and walked over to the piano sitting in the corner, sitting gracefully down at it he started tapping gently at the keys, a soft melody making Harry smile involuntarily.
"You play?" He asked.
"A little," Rodolphus nodded glancing over his shoulder to see Harry lifting his head from the sofa, instead laying his arm on the back of the sofa and resting his head on it so that he could watch the older man.
"Play something, please?" Harry requested. Rodolphus considered for a moment before a cheeky smile crossed his face. He concentrated and started playing out a bright tune that had Harry smiling as he let the music wash over him, and then, to his surprise, Rodolphus' rich voice started singing along to the music.
"We're all alone,
Can get our number," Startled Harry laughed before he could stop himself, a flash of bright blue eyes flicked onto him as he covered his mouth still chuckling.
"The world's in slumber,
There's something wild
About you, child,
That's so contagious,
Let's be outrageous,
When Adam won Eve's hand,
He wouldn't stand
He didn't care about
Those apples out of season!
They say the Spring
Means just one thing
To little lovebirds;
We're not above birds,
Harry clapped as he laughed at Rodolphus' choice of song. He really was cheeky and mischievous, with a bright and fun side to match the darkness and power in him. Scoundrel he reckoned Percy would call him, and it would match perfectly.
"What do you think?" Rodolphus asked standing and making his way back over to flop onto the sofa next to Harry, once again in that casual sprawl. Harry turned in his seat so he was facing the older man, curling his legs underneath himself.
"I think that about 100 of the old fuddy duddys of the Wizarding world would have a heart attack if they heard you singing that song to me before we had even settled the terms of the betrothal," Harry laughed.
"And you what do you think?" Rodolphus tilted his head curiously.
"I liked it," Harry smiled.
"Good," Rodolphus suddenly leant forward and gripped Harry's chin. Harry felt a flash of fear as he wondered if Rodolphus was angry at the way he had spoken to his brother, he had a brief moment of fear that he was going to hurt him. "Never, ever, think that I want you to be anyone but yourself. We agreed that we would both give this a try, we can't do that if we aren't completely honest with each other,"
"I still should not have spoken to your brother like that," Harry sighed.
"Yes, you should have, he was being a dick," Harry blinked at him a little stunned for how blunt he was being.
"He was concerned,"
"Needlessly, as you pointed out neither of us is unaware of what is going on, neither of us is foolish enough to think that this is anything but what it is,"
"But it doesn't mean that it is all we have to be, right?" Harry asked softly, allowing some of his nerves and worry to show on his face.
Rodolphus smiled softly, honestly, before leaning forward. Harry was stunned to realise he was about to kiss him, and he considered pulling away but found himself leaning forward and allowing Rodolphus to brush their lips together.
It was gentle and chaste, a light brushing of lips. But he felt a spark of...something in his chest. He pressed back gently, keeping his eyes closed for a few moments when Rodolphus pulled back. When he opened his eyes he found Rodolphus looking at him intently.
"I like how fiery you are, and that you aren't scared to speak your mind. Please, never apologise for that," Rodolphus shook his head.
"Thank you," Harry smiled.
"I am really liking what you're wearing today by the way," Harry was a little distracted from the comment however by the fact Rodolphus had leant back on the sofa again in his comfy sprawl and revealed by the sprawl was the book Harry had given him tucked into the inside pocket of his robes. He had snatched it up before chasing after Harry.
"What... oh thank you. This is much more me," Harry admitted.
"I like it. I had Draco and the others I could get hold of describe you to me, and part of what all of them said was your clothes. I was a little disappointed when we showed up the other day and you were sitting looking uncomfortable and all buttoned up," Rodolphus admitted.
"I hate wearing clothes like that," Harry grimaced.
"So, how much of a fight did you have to put up to be allowed to wear this?"
"Not much, I spend most of my time at Sirius, Remus or Percy's homes, we met them here and I just ignored them till you arrived," Harry grinned.
"Percy Weasley, you're quite close to him right?" Rodolphus eyed him.
"Yes I am," Harry answered shortly and raised his eyebrow in question as to whether he would push it.
"Fine, I will ask, have you slept with him?" Rodolphus sighed.
"Are you jealous?" Harry teased.
"Incredibly, I like you, and you fascinate me already, and do more so with every moment that I spend with you. I would be jealous to know that you had been with others, and I would be jealous if they were still such a big part of your life as Mr Weasley appears to be," Rodolphus answered honestly.
"Oh," Harry murmured before a blush exploded across his cheeks making Rodolphus smirk at him. Damn his pale skin. "Oh shut up," He huffed covering his cheeks.
"Sorry," Came the completely unrepentant response.
"In answer, no I have not slept with Percy. We are just friends, and he is very straight and with a lovely girl he met in school called Penelope Clearwater," Harry answered while trying to will the blush away.
"Will you tell me more about your friendship with him, please?" Rodolphus asked curiously, no sign of jealousy now, but there was some flash of relief.
"Well, I think I was about three when we met. Mum and dad insisted that I should only be friends with light families - or muggleborns - and of course, the Weasleys were an obvious choice. I think they hoped that I would become good friends with the youngest Weasley Ron, but we're quite different. We went round to visit and I sort of wandered off. I found Percy in his room reading. He was a little annoyed that I just walked in, but then I started asking about what he was reading and showed an interest. The next thing our parents flew in frantic with worry an hour later to find me sitting listening to him read to me. Afer that I just sort of, latched onto him. I followed him around like a chick to be completely honest. Along the way we became good friends. Between Remus and Percy I didn't stand a chance to not be a bookworm," Harry laughed.
"I look forward to meeting him," Rodolphus smiled.
"Can I ask you something?" Harry said unsurely.
"Anything," Rodolphus nodded looking curious.
"Did you want to be an Heir Lord?" Harry asked.
"Sorry?" Rodolphus looked confused.
"When you were younger, did you want to be Heir Lord?" Harry expanded.
"I always knew that I would be," Rodolphus shrugged.
"Yes, but what did you want to be?" Harry pressed.
"It's silly," Rodolphus shook his head actually looking a little flustered. Harry was relieved that he hadn't outright lied to him, it was a good start. And it made him more curious.
"I won't laugh," Harry promised.
"I was young," Rodolphus groaned. "I wanted to be a pirate,"
"A pirate?" Harry smiled.
"See you find it funny!" Rodolphus frowned.
"No, I don't. Rodolphus, thank you for telling me. Why a pirate?" Harry asked curiously.
"I don't know, I guess the freedom that they have. Sailing the world and seeing it, no responsibilities or duties, doing what they like, when they like, as they like. I've never been able to travel out of the country, I have never been able to see different places, places I have wanted to go. Being a pirate seemed to be the way to do that," He responded.
"A pirate's life huh?" Harry laughed.
"What?" Rodolphus looked at him confused.
"It's something from books I used to read, with pirates in them,"
"What books?" Rodolphus asked curiously.
"Oh, I don't know, Peter Pan?" Harry said trying to remember the books he had read.
"I haven't heard of it," Rodolphus frowned.
"I'm not shocked it is a muggle book," Harry laughed.
"What is it about?" Rodolphus asked curiously.
When the other five of their party walked into the room Rodolphus was listening enraptured as Harry was telling the story of Peter Pan. Rodolphus sighed when he realised that he wasn't going to get to hear the end of the story, though everyone looked a little relieved to see that they had clearly been getting on.
"I hope you have apologised!" Lily hissed at Harry. "You have no idea how embarrassing you are!"
"Coming from someone who managed to clean out the vaults of one of the oldest wizarding families in this country, that is quite impressive," Rodolphus drawled. Everyone paused in taking seats around the room to stare at him.
"Rodo!" Renato said stunned.
"No, you do not get to talk to him like that, do you understand?" Rodolphus frowned at Lily and James who were gawping at him stunned.
"You don't get to speak to us like that, we are his parents we could..."
"What? Refuse to let him marry me?" Harry asked amused as he interrupted.
"Doesn't really solve your situation, as Harry pointed out quite truthfully we are all more than aware of the reasons of this marriage. People were hardly banging down your door to try and repair your bankruptcy," Rodolphus said dryly. "So, you will think before you speak to Harry,"
"I'm liking him a little more," Sirius hummed.
"Definitely," Remus smirked.
"Shall we sort out the contract?" Harry asked.
"Sounds good," Gillian coughed, though Harry noted there was a flash of pride in her eyes as she looked at her oldest son.
"Shall we start?" Sirius asked.
"Oh, are you speaking on behalf of Harry?" Renato asked, not looking wholly surprised.
"It was agreed that it would be better," Remus said, diplomatic as ever as Sirius flashed a look to a clearly furious James and Lily.
"Very well, please you first," Renato nodded.
"1) The marriage takes place within 3 months, Harry does not particularly want a flashy ceremony, however, he does understand that this marriage is the repair your name, so he will be willing to do a few paper interviews, but the ceremony itself if covered will be tasteful and discrete. He wants an official old magic bonding as was discussed in your last meeting.
2) Harry would like 2 or more children.
3) They will decide on a main house of their own separate to the Lestrange manor for their home until a time that they both decide that they are ready to move into the manor.
4) There will be no mistresses in your marriage, he expects fidelity..."
"Sirius! That was not part of my agreements!" Harry hissed glaring at his godfather.
"Well, it should be!" Sirius glared. "You will be expected to make a fidelity oath! So should he!"
"Sirius, it's an arranged marriage he can..."
"I will take the oath," Rodolphus interrupted making Harry throw up his hands.
"You don't have to!" He exclaimed.
"But I want to. I was the one that asked you that we try our best to make this a real marriage, that I don't want the cold, meaningly arranged marriage. Part of that is you not having to worry that every time I go out am I sleeping around with someone. Fidelity is something I will absolutely expect of you, and you should be able to expect the same of me," Rodolphus said sharply.
Harry bit the corner of his lip and looked at Rodolphus for a few beats before nodding and turned back to Sirius. "Keep to the list for the rest of it!" He warned. Sirius just gave him a triumphant smirk.
"5) Your monies will repair the damage that has been done to the Potter accounts," He finished with a sharp look to James and Lily who were sitting steaming.
"Acceptable I believe?" Renato glanced at his son who nodded. "Wonderful, now us,"
"A few of our points match quite close to yours so I will skip them.
1) Harry will agree to attend regular balls and galas, parties with Rodolphus to be seen together to try and raise the family name.
2) He will not speak badly of any member of the Lestrange family to the public or in anyway that it could get out.
3) He and Rodolphus will try and share a bedroom for a year, if at the end of that year he does not feel comfortable doing so, separate bedrooms will then become acceptable.
4) He will allow his picture in at least 3 articles a year for the next ten years, and he will be photographed with Rodolphus.
5) We are not happy with the exposure that you do currently have in the papers, the press have access to publishing any part of your life, and there is no control over that, we would like you to move your affairs to our solicitor and she will keep a tight control over what the press print about you.
6) And obviously, we would request the fidelity oath," Gillian listed before looking straight to Harry.
"That's acceptable," He nodded after a moment. He had not been expecting the one about the bedroom and that had thrown him for a moment, but it tied in with them trying to make this a real marriage.
"Wonderful," Renato leant forward and took Sirius' list, tapping it with his wand and then tapping the blank ceremonial parchment that lay waiting for them, once their requests were added he quickly did the same with their own list. Sirius checked it over for Harry before nodding happy that nothing had been added that had not been discussed.
Leaning forward he picked up the pen, his heart pounding as he looked at the line he was about to sign his life away on. This was it, he could change his mind and let the Potter name go to ruin, Sirus and Severus would let him live with them. Or, he could sign the contract, marry Rodolphus and save the family name.
He glanced to Rodolphus where the man was sitting in his lazy sprawl, but there was a tenseness to his body. This was Rodolphus' chance to repair his own family name, probably his only chance, the likelihood of a marriage like this coming along int he future was not very likely for the Lestrange Heir.
He met sparkling, mischievous blue eyes and took a deep breath before turning and signing the contract.
Somehow after only 2 meetings, it did not feel as though this marriage would be the end of his freedom as he had feared when he had made this choice. Instead, perhaps, it could be the start of his life. Marriage with Rodolphus was going to be interesting, that was very sure, however, that was not necessarily a bad thing he realised.
"May I speak to you alone please?" Rabastan requested as they all stood to leave the room. Rodolphus had signed quickly, and they had finished up matters fairly swiftly. Renato had a limited amount of time to get the document to his solicitor and to have the document filed.
Rodolphus narrowed his eyes a little at his brother who grinned and held his hands up, trying to look innocent. With a huff he left the room, Sirius and Remus glaring faintly before also stepping out the room. James and Lily had swept away, clearly furious as soon as Rodolphus' signature had been placed onto the document.
"How may I help you?" Harry asked cautiously looking at who was now officially going to be his brother in law.
"I wished to apologise and ask for a fresh start. I am a little hot-headed and made a prejudgement of you before I even gave you a chance and that was incredibly wrong of me," Rabastan said shocking Harry.
"I would like that, I don't particularly want any bad feeling between us, this is a complicated enough situation as it is," Harry sighed.
"I thought you were taking advantage of the desperation our family was in," Rabastan admitted.
"I kind of am. But then you are taking advantage of the desperation of the situation we are in," Harry shrugged startling a laugh out of the youngest Lestrange.
"You are refreshingly honest," Rabastan snorted. "I thought your demands were going to be weighed against my brother, after all, it is clear our options are a little more limited than yours. You did not, however, and I appreciate that. You are trying to do this fairly, and seem to really want to make an effort," He said perching on the arm of the sofa.
"I do, I have no more interest in a loveless marriage than he," Harry hesitated before carrying on. "I was terrified of that to be honest when I made this decision, but I could not allow my parents to ruin our house when I could do something,"
"I saw how he was with Bellatrix...the thought of the marriage with her...that is not something I want to ever see in him again. Treat him right and you and I shall be good friends," Rabastan held out his hand. Harry shook it and smiled, as the older man went to leave however he could after him.
"Rabastan, you're protective of him and clearly love him, I can't hold that against you. I'm glad you're giving me a chance though," The blonde paused before smiling and it was the same smirky/cheeky smile Rodolphus had.
"Are you ok?" Rodolphus demanded as the two of them stepped out the room.
"No I hexed him black and blue, you just missed the screams," Rabastan said dryly. "I avoided his face, I know you like them pretty,"
"Bastan!" Rodolphus growled as Harry went bright red.
"Sorry, sorry, will you assure him that you are fine before he curses me. See you soon little bro," Rabastan waved over his shoulder as he strolled away leaving Harry and Rodolphus staring after him.
"He was referring to me then wasn't he?" Harry asked.
"Well as I am his older brother, I would say yes," Rodolphus smirked. Harry glared and smacked him on the arm in reflex before flushing and started stammering apologies. He felt relaxed enough around the other man that he had just done it without thinking. "It is fine Harry!" Rodolphus assured him smiling.
"Sorry," He muttered. "Well, that went better than I thought it might,"
"In what way?" Rodolphus asked offering his arm to Harry.
"Sirius was reading the list, anything could have happened," Harry snorted slipping his arm through Rodolphus' as they made their way slowly to the door.
"I remember hearing stories about him, they were interesting," Rodolphus admitted.
"You're being generous," Harry laughed.
"Do you mind if I ask you something?" Rodolphus asked. Harry blinked a little shocked at him.
"You have never asked before, of course, you can,"
"You hesitated in signing the contract," Rodolphus stopped in a quiet area of the cafe, turning to look seriously at Harry. "If you are having doubts or there is something that you are worried about, I would rather you speak to me about it,"
"It wasn't...I realised that this was my last chance to back out, even though I had already more than made my mind up about it, it just sort of hit me that it was the last chance to change my mind. And it hit me that I perhaps didn't want to, that this...well it's definitely not as bad as I thought it would be," He tried to explain.
"I will take that as a compliment," Rodolphus chuckled.
"It is," Harry assured him. "Thank you, as well, for sticking up for me with my dad and mum. Not many people have done that," He said softly.
"You're my fiance, officially now, no one gets to speak to you like that, no one, I don't care who they are. They have gotten you into this mess, and though it is my good luck, they need to stop speaking to you the way they do when you are dragging their arses out of the fire," Rodolphus growled.
"Thank you," Harry smiled softly trying to fight down his blush. No one bar Sirius and Remus had really stuck up for him against Lily and James.
"Tonight...where are you staying, they seemed quite...angry at the way I spoke to them," Rodolphus' face flashed with concern as his eyes scanned over Harry.
"I will be staying with Tonks and Remi, don't worry, I spend very little time in their house," Harry assured him.
"Good. If you need me, just call or write, or use this," Harry blinked at the necklace Rodolphus held out to him. The chain metal was black and the pendant was a simple red glass teardrop.
"What is it?" Harry asked curiously as he took the necklace and felt the magic around the necklace.
"It will allow you passed the wards around the house until you bear the Lestrange name. It will also bring you to me, wherever either of are. Hold the pendant and think of me, and just apparate. It will guide you to the right place,"
"Thank you," Harry felt oddly touched by the gift, quickly sliding the chain around his neck. Rodolphus offered his arm again and they made their way towards where Remus and Sirius were waiting for Harry.
"Will you go out with me Friday evening?" Rodolphus suddenly asked. "There is a concert I have been wanting to attend, it would be nice not to go alone,"
Harry stared at him before smiling brightly. The older man was trying to share his life with him, and more importantly, wanted to!
"I would love to. Collect me from Sirius'?"
"Of course, 1900?"
"Sounds good," Harry nodded.
"What sounds good? Why are you collecting him from mines?" Sirius demanded.
"I will see you then," Harry bit his lip before standing on tip toes and kissed his fiance's cheek.
"What is happening?!" Sirius growled as Harry linked his arms through his and Remus'.
"I'm going on a date," Harry answered cheerfully just as Remus apparated them out. the last thing Rodolphus saw was Harry's cheeky grin and the look of horror on Sirius' face.
"He's not so bad," Rabastan drawled throwing his arm over his older brother's shoulders.
"You were a dick,"
"Yes I was, but we kissed and made up, not literally of course. He will definetly liven things up," Rabastan laughed before apparating them away.
Rodolphus blinked when an unfamiliar owl landed on his desk. The snowy owl was beautiful and regal as she looked at him pointedly.
Reaching out he took the package attached to the owl's leg before digging out some treats he kept in the top desk of the draw. While she was happily nibbling away at the treats he opened the slightly messily wrapped package. The minute that he pulled aside the wrappings he knew who the gift was from, and he could not stop smiling.
Peter Pan lay on the desk.