The Yule Ball was upon them. Harry was in the Slytherin Common Room, dressed in his dress robes. They were sleek, a dark emerald color fit for the heir of Slytherin and Voldemort with decorative snakes that looked as if they danced and swayed across the robes. The robes were open, revealing a button-down black shirt and pants with a dark-emerald tie that matched his robes perfectly. He was looking around anxiously. The other Slytherins were all dressed, Pansy was in an obnoxious pink dress and pestering Draco, who was in handsome silver robes with a high color that made him look like a vicar or vampire.
Harry stepped to help Draco, but after checking his watch, saw that he should go outside for Viktor. His Bulgarian Prince was waiting for him right outside the stone entrance, dressed in formal Bulgarian dress robes and furs. "Harry, you are looking pretty, my beautiful boy."
"Thank you Viktor, you're looking very handsome," Harry smiled.
"Thank you, Harry," Viktor chuckled. "How was your Christmas? I am sorry I could not give you a present, little boy."
"Don't worry about it Viktor, just being with you is enough," Harry smiled. "Besides, my Daddy and Sirius got me enough presents!"
"What did they get you?" Viktor chuckled as the two began walking through the dungeons towards the stairs to the entrance hall. Harry spent their walk gushing on the presents he got from his friends and family, particularly a pair of jeans and box of chocolates that were his size with a long, long letter of apology from Logan.
The entrance hall was packed with students, all milling around, waiting for eight o'clock, when the doors to the Great Hall would be thrown open. Those people who were meeting partners from different Houses were edging through the crowd trying to find one another. Harry and Viktor were escorted to a small area where the other champions were waiting. Fleur Delacour, looking stunning in robes of silver-gray satin, was accompanied by the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain, Roger Davis, while Cedric was with Cho. They were called by Professor McGonagall, who was wearing dress robes of red tartan and had arranged a rather ugly wreath of thistles around the brim of her hat. The other students went in first, leaving the champions and their dates to one side so they could enter separately.
Once everyone else was settled in the Hall, Professor McGonagall told the champions and their partners to get in line in pairs and to follow her. They did so, and everyone in the Great Hall applauded as they entered and started walking up toward a large round table at the top of the Hall, where the judges were sitting.
The walls of the Hall had all been covered in sparkling silver frost, with hundreds of garlands of mistletoe and ivy crossing the starry black ceiling. The House tables had vanished; instead, there were a hundred smaller, lantern-lit ones, each seating about a dozen people.
Harry concentrated on not tripping over his feet; Viktor looked to be extremely pleased with himself as he escorted his small Slytherin towards the top table. Dumbledore smiled happily as the champions reached the top table, but Karkaroff wore an incredibly disapproving look as Viktor and Harry drew nearer. Ludo Bagman, tonight in robes of bright purple with large yellow stars, was clapping as enthusiastically as any of the students' and Madame Maxime, who had changed her usual uniform of black satin for a flowing gown of lavender silk, was applauding them politely.
The champions seated, Harry looked around at their tables. There was no food on the glittering golden plates, but small menus were lying in front of them. Harry picked his up uncertainly and looked around—there were no waiters. Dumbledore, however, looked cheerfully down at his own menus, then said very clearly to his plate, "Pork chops!"
And pork chops appeared. Getting the idea, the rest of the table placed their orders with their plates too.
"I must say, this is all very nice," Viktor said to Harry, getting the boy's attention. "But Durmstrang looks so much better. It is not as big, and not as comfortable as Hogwarts. We have four floors, and the fires are lit for only magical purposes. But we have grounds larger even than these—though in winter, we have very little daylight, so we are not enjoying them. But in summer, we are flying every day, over the lakes and the mountains—"
"Now, now, Viktor!" Karkaroff said with a forced laugh that did not reach his cold eyes, "don't go giving away anything else, now, or your friend will know exactly where to find us!"
"You do not need to worry about that, Professor Karkaroff," Harry said, looking at the ex-Death Eater, "I know exactly where Durmstrang is located. My father told me, he knew about it for a long time." Harry smiled politely at Professor Karkaroff while Dumbledore eyed the two suspiciously.
"Is that so, boy?" Karkaroff asked, his yellow eyes looking down at Harry.
"Yes, it is," Harry smiled. "You would be surprised at how much my father knows…" Karkaroff looked as though he was about to say something, but Viktor just laughed, and took all of Harry's attention from the man. Huffing, Karkaroff looked away.
When all the food has been consumed, Dumbledore stood up and asked the students to do the same. Then, with a wave of his wand, all the tables zoomed back along the walls leaving the floor clear, then he conjured a raised platform into existence, along the right wall. A set of drums, several guitars, a lute, a cello, and some bagpipes were on it.
The Weird Sisters now trooped up onto the stage to wildly enthusiastic applause; they were all extremely hairy and dressed in black robes that were artfully ripped. They struck up a slow, mournful tune as Harry and Viktor along with the other two champions and their partners began to dance. The staff and other students slowly joined them. Harry looked around the room as Viktor twirled him: he could see that, while everyone was dancing, Draco was sitting by himself looking sour.
Harry felt bad and wanted to go see what Draco was doing, but Viktor insisted that the two kept dancing, and Harry couldn't exactly say no when he was wrapped by the older boy's muscles. He felt safe, relaxed, and had a strange growing need to get closer to them.
Setting his mind to the idea, he debated to himself if it was worth it, if he was ready for it. A need grew in him as he and Viktor danced, it was as if their bodies were forming into one, closer and closer they pressed themselves, even as the tempo increased the distance between them only closed till all that separated them were the fabrics of their clothes. Harry couldn't recall who started it later, but soon their lips were on each other's as they danced. Hands touching possessively, provocatively, until sweat started to shine off their foreheads, and their breaths turned hot.
Lips burning with desire, Harry looked up at Viktor. "I need you," he whispered. That was all the Bulgarian needed to hear. The two took flight, running away from the Great Hall, through the entrance hall, and out into the Christmas night. It was a cloudless night, the moonlight shining down on the snow-covered grounds of Hogwarts as Viktor and Harry made their way to the Durmstrang ship. Viktor was holding Harry in his arms, the small teen kissing and worshiping every body piece he could reach before claiming Viktor's lips for his own. For some reason, they tasted chocolatey.
Viktor's cabin was below deck and minimalistic, only his bed and his broom were in it. Taking off their clothes, Harry was able to see Krum in his full glory. Strong, muscular, he reminded Harry so much of Logan, who he still missed dearly. They came together, Viktor taking lead, he taught Harry everything, told the Slytherin how to handle him. Their bodies pushed against each other, they were the only source of heat in the cold cabin, the boat filling with their breathy moans. Viktor removed Harry's glasses gently and then took his mouth in his own. He tasted so much like Logan, yet he was still Viktor. Harry's eyes became glossy with desire. He mewled and begged for more. When Viktor entered, Harry screamed and, in his mind, saw a flash of Logan over him. It was Logan entering him as Viktor did, Logan moving gently as Viktor gave Harry time to adjust to the surprising size. Viktor leaned down and kissed Harry's ears, kissed his nose, his cheeks, before devouring his mouth. A thick hand grabbed Harry's chest and started kneading the flesh, chuckling and commenting on how "soft and squeezable it is." In Harry's lust-full minds, he did not know who said it. As it was two boys on top of him, two boys inside him, two boys making love with him, though Harry knew that in reality there was only Viktor.
Yet Logan was still there. Logan was mimicking Viktor's actions, Logan was kissing Harry the way the boy wished he would, Logan was whispering in Harry's ear as Viktor whispered, saying things that Harry wished to hear as well as things he was too ashamed to like.
When the pace increased, the two boys began to merge. It was both Logan's and Viktor's hand who touched him, both Logan and Viktor who was inside him, Harry could not blend reality from his fantasies. Yet, he loved it, he loved the way Viktor felt inside him, how Viktor touched him, commanded him, yet he wanted, needed, Logan and his personality, his smell, his everything. Harry hated himself as he found himself extremely aroused, slapping away Viktor's hand when the Bulgarian moved to touch Harry's intimate spot. Harry did not know what was going on, who he was, or what he wanted. All he knew was that he loved what was happening, but he hated himself.
Viktor finished with a roar that more suited a bear than a human, filling Harry just as Logan filled Harry in his fantasies. And Viktor broke Harry's mind. He leaned down gently, still sheathed in Harry, and whispered, his voice full of nothing but devotion, "I love you Harry Riddle."
Harry felt like a monster. He looked up at Viktor and, for a moment, saw Logan before the muggle disappeared before him, revealing a gentle smile on Viktor that Harry has never seen before. He opened his mouth, not knowing what to say. He felt horrible for everything that he has done, everything that he is. "I…I need to go," Harry said, and gathering his clothes and glasses, ran off.
He stumbled in the snow as he hurried to dress himself before the tears finally fell. Viktor was chasing him, but Harry was able to lose him in the darkness. He made it to the entrance hall, he could hear the Yule Ball still going strong just beyond those two great wooden doors, but found that he couldn't open them. He didn't want to go through them, he did not want to see anybody. He was a monster. He deserved no one. Crying heavily now, Harry deeper into the dungeons, unaware that he was being followed.
Harry collapsed against the stone wall just outside the Slytherin common room. He looked up to see the blurry image of Draco.
"Harry, what happened? Why are you crying?" Draco asked.
"I'm a monster," Harry said in a low, depressed sounding voice. "A heartless monster…"
"Harry, what are you talking about?" Draco asked.
Harry could feel his friend sit down next to him. He felt his glasses gently slip off his nose, and Draco's dress robes dabbed against his wet cheeks and eyes. "Harry, did something happened? Did Krum do something to you?"
Harry winced at Viktor's name. His tears renewing, he shook his head and latched onto Draco. Draco was stunned for a moment before wrapping his arms around his friend. "It's ok, cry it out," he shushed, "tell me what happened Harry, I hate seeing you sad."
"I happened," Harry said after some time. "I'm an awful, heartless, terrible person! I don't deserve anyone!"
"I did!" Harry sobbed. "I did… I broke up with Logan, and used Viktor as a stand in." Harry shuttered as he sobbed violently, the actions of his crimes catching up with him. He felt miserable, as though he did not deserve to be anywhere.
"What?" Draco whispered, "I don't understand, using Krum as a stand in? What do you mean?"
"The—the only reason, the only reason I dated Viktor," Harry cried, "is to still be with Logan. They looked so much alike, and… and Viktor liked me for me. He wasn't trying to make me into a girl… he wasn't afraid to kiss me. I knew I was doing something wrong, but I still did it. I led Viktor on, I lied to him, used him… for emotional and sexual needs. I've fooled both of us into thinking that we love each other. I spent every time I could with him, I kept telling myself I am with Viktor, but sometimes I think of Logan… I'm such a horrible, disgusting monster, I don't deserve anything but loneliness!
"Tonight…tonight Viktor and I finally…. We've done it, had sex, and… I loved it. I loved how it felt, I love what he can do, how he just hit my right spots… I didn't need to touch myself once and—and he told me he loved me. Viktor looked at me and says that he loves me and…all the time I just kept blurring him and Logan. I've heard both of them…. I ran away."
Looking emotionless, Harry gave out a long, defeated sigh. Looking absolutely pitiful, Harry frowned and said, "I'm so fucked up."
"No you're not," Draco said.
"But this is all my fault, you can't deny that Draco," Harry sniffled.
Draco was silent for a few moments, contemplating his words carefully. Harry just cried to fill the silent void, wishing he could disappear into it. After a few moments, Draco's voice, which was calm and soothing, broke it.
"This might be your fault… but, you are not a monster. You're just a teenage boy. You're not supposed to know exactly how to react or who you want… your head is messed up because you've had such an awful break up… and went into a relationship with Viktor so soon afterwards. They both were your first everything, it's only natural that you mess up. Don't call yourself a monster, don't think that you're worthless, because you're not Harry. You're far from it." Draco hesitated, as if gathering some unknown strength, and said, "I like you Harry. I care for you so much that it hurts seeing you like this. I want to do everything I can to help you. If it's listen to you, helping you murk through your confusion… and even if it is just to hold your hand. I will do everything I can to help you Harry."
Harry sniffled once again and rubbed his sleeve against his eyes, trying his best to dry out the tears. "Thank you, Draco,… for everything," Harry whispered. "I don't know what I have done to deserve you…"
"It's I who don't deserve you, Harry," Draco said softly. "Here…" He returned Harry's glasses gently on his nose and smiled, "Looking better…"
"Can you stay with me? At least for tonight?" Harry asked. "I don't want to be alone."
"Of course, Harry," Draco smiled. "Come on, the common room should be empty." He helped Harry to his feet and the younger Slytherin leaned on him as the two went inside. As Draco said, the common room was empty, so they curled against each other on a loveseat and Draco started the fire with his wand.
"Can I ask you something?" Harry asked softly, gazing into the fire. "Why weren't you dancing? I saw you sitting by yourself while everyone else was up."
"I came by myself," Draco said, "for you. Parkinson heard that I did not have a date and tried to nag me into being hers, but I went there for you."
"I wanted to make sure that you were happy," Draco said simply. Harry gave a soft noise but smiled to himself, curling tighter around the blond. They sat there together in a comfortable silence, staring at the fire and enjoying each other's presence.
"Can I ask you something?" Draco asked after some time has passed. The fire was starting to die down. "How do you feel? About Logan… and Krum?"
"I…I don't know," Harry frowned. "I've known Logan for so long, and he has changed so much between now and the summer. He… sent me a letter, apologizing for all that he has done. He told me that he spent every minute thinking about us, about our feelings… and our outbursts. He seems more confident now in who he is… including the fact that he likes boys and girls. He wants to talk with me during the next break."
"And will you?" Draco asked softly.
"I want to… I miss my friend," Harry frowned.
"Hmm…" Draco hummed. He looked from the dying fire to Harry. Harry looked tired, both physically and emotionally. His eyes were bagged, deep lines carved in his forehead and there was a sense of loneliness that stuck to him. "I think you should," Draco said softly. "Meet him, I mean. I'll be the first to admit that he seemed like a good friend. Muggle or no. You talk about him damn too much."
Harry gave a sad chuckle and looked up at Draco, "Huh, thanks," he said.
"And the chocolate was good too," Draco added.
"They are," Harry nodded. Both boys looked towards the dying fire. Harry casually took out his wand and flicked it at the fireplace, muttering the fire-making spell. It burned to life again and the two boys continued to stare at it, alone in their own little world.
The rest of the Slytherins started to come back from the Yule Ball. They were sleepy but kept a jovial air around them as they talked about the fun they had. Their noise did not bother Harry and Draco as they just stared at the fireplace, content to be quiet. There were some who tried to get their attention. Blaise Zabini sat down next to them and tried to talk, but that only lasted a couple of minutes before he gave up, deciding to instead go to bed.
The two fourth years stayed there well after midnight where they were the only two left in the room. Draco thought that Harry must have fallen asleep at some point but was surprised when Harry spoke up. "I should break up with Viktor. It's not fair to him… to stay in a relationship with me."
"If that is what you want, then I will support you Harry," Draco said.
"Just be there when I cry, that's all I ask," Harry whispered.
"Of course," Draco nodded. "Come on, you need sleep." Harry just muttered an agreement and leaned on Draco again as they made their way to the fourth-year boy's dormitory.
Harry tried breaking up with Krum first thing in the morning, but he couldn't. Viktor showered him in apologizes for going to fast and saying that he loved Harry that it stomped away Harry's voice. The boy just nodded and muttered "It's okay," before the Bulgarian kissed his cheek. Time went on like this, Harry losing the will to break up with Viktor, and hating himself in the evenings. They had to spend less time together as Krum had to focus all of his attention to the upcoming second task on February 24th.
Harry made up his mind, he was going to talk to Krum after the Second Task. It was hurting his heart too much to lead the poor boy on so much. However, on the day of the Second Task, Harry was awoken early by Professor Snape.
"Come with me," Snape snarled before leaving the dorms. Confused, Harry dressed and followed his Head of House out of the Slytherin Common Rooms. Snape led Harry from the dungeons into the entrance hall, and a small room by the side of the hall. Harry was surprised to see Dumbledore, Madam Maxime, and Professor Karkaroff in the room, along with Cho Chang and a girl with familiar silver-like hair. "Harry, so sorry for the early call," Professor Dumbledore smiled at Harry. "Thank you, Severus, that will be all."
Snape just gave Harry a look as he turned to leave. "I'm sorry Professor," Harry said, "but why am I here?"
"Ahh yes, I was just about to get into that," Professor Dumbledore said. "You three are going to be part of the second task. Now, you all remember the golden egg that each of the three champions received? Well in the egg was a riddle that can only be heard underwater. It goes:
"'Come seek us where our voices sound/We cannot sing about the ground/And while you're searching, ponder this:/We've taken what you'll sorely miss/An hour long you have to look/And to recover what we took/But pass an hour—the prospect's black/Too late, it's gone, it won't come back.'
"A clever little riddle if I do say so myself," Dumbledore chuckled a little, "what it means, essentially, is that the champions have an hour to search the Black Lake for what they will sorely miss, meaning, you three. Now, do not worry, you will not be harmed in the slightest. Professor Karkaroff, Madame Maxime, and myself will put you three into a sort of enchanted sleep that will protect you underwater. Now, Mr. Riddle, Ms. Cho, do you remember what exactly is rumored to live in our lake?"
Harry thought for a moment, "There's the Giant Squid," Cho Chang said.
"Yes that," Professor Dumbledore chuckled, "but there are some more beings who calls our lake home. Mr. Riddle?"
Harry thought some more, "I heard rumors of merfolk living in our lake," he said. Dumbledore smiled and said, "That is exactly it, Harry!"
"The chieftain of our colony, Merchieftainess Murcus has consented with us to hold you three as sort of hostages until your champion comes to save you," Dumbledore continued. "Do not worry, however, if your champion fails to rescue you for whatever reason, you three shall safely be escorted back to the surface by the merpeople themselves, where the charm shall be broken. Of course, it would be easier for all of us if the champions did rescue you all, it would look better too," Dumbledore chuckled. "Now, I will give you all a moment's time to empty your pockets of anything you wish not to become wet, or drift away in the water."
Harry ruffled through his pockets, finding nothing. He looked around to see Madame Maxime talking swiftly with the silver-haired girl in a quick French. When the two were done, Dumbledore smiled at three and took out his wand, "And now for a long sleep," he said, "The next time you wake up, it will be during the Second Task."
He began moving his wand and mutter to himself. Harry instantly found himself growing heavy. His eyelids fought to stay open and the next thing he knew, he found himself falling as he fell asleep.
Cheers woke him up. He was very cold and very, very wet. Gasping for air, Harry was assaulted by a blinding light as he looked around. He was drenched, in the middle of the Black Lake, and in Viktor's arms. "Daddy has you," Viktor smiled as he helped Harry to the lake's edge where a crowd of people were cheering in the stands, the judges sitting in their golden table at the edge of the lake. Madam Pomfrey rushed to the two as Viktor helped Harry out of the water. Harry saw that they were the last to arrive. Cedric and Cho were sitting together, wrapped in thick blankets, while Fleur Delacour looked devastated in hers, she was fighting Madame Maxime to get back into the water. When she saw Viktor and Harry, she screamed, rushing to them. "Gabrielle! Gabrielle! Is she alive? Is she 'urt? Where is she?" she screamed. "Why 'aven't you save 'er too!"
"Not my hostage," Viktor said rather coldly. Fleur looked as though she was about to scream when behind Harry the merfolk appeared, carrying the little girl named Gabrielle after them. Fleur rushed to meet them as Madam Pomfrey gave Viktor and Harry heavy, warm towels to wrap themselves in.
"I am so happy to see you're not hurt, little boy," Viktor smiled. "I was worried when I did not see you this morning."
"Yeah…" Harry sighed. He looked up at Viktor, "We need to talk."
"Of course, I am yours after the scoring my love," Viktor said gently. Harry flinched and looked down, not wanting Viktor to see him sad. He stayed in his seat, staring at his waterlogged shoes. He and Viktor waited until everyone has left. When they were forced to move, Viktor wrapped his arm around Harry's waist and walked the two around the grounds.
"I'm breaking up with you," Harry said. "I don't love you. You shouldn't talk to me anymore. I've used you this entire time. I'm sorry."
"Goodbye Viktor… I'm sorry," Harry said. He began to walk away but Viktor grabbed his hand.
"Why? Why are you doing this Harry? Tell me," Krum demanded.
"Viktor please!" Harry said, tears filling his eyes. "I'm sorry! I—I don't love you!"
"But I love you!" Viktor cried out. Harry turned to see Krum crying, tears falling down his masculine face. "I love you Harry, more than I have loved anyone."
"There will be other people," Harry said. "I'm a monster. I've used you to replace Logan. Please, don't make this hurt more than it does."
"But it is hurting me Harry, it is hurting me so much," Viktor cried out. "I love you Harry…"
"I'm sorry," Harry whispered. He yanked his hand out of Viktor's arm, a bug falling off it, and ran away. Viktor fell to his knees in anguish and cried, sounding like a mournful animal who has lost the love of his life.
Eyes full of tears, Harry ran away looking for Draco. He found the Slytherin walking towards the Great Hall for lunch. Wordlessly, the two looked for a quiet place where Harry cried his heart out as Draco held him.
"I heard you are writing an article about my son," Mr. Riddle said. He was in the Daily Prophet's main building, standing in the office of Rita Skeeter.
"Ahh Mr. Riddle," she smiled, "I hoped to catch you. How would you like to add your opinion as a concerned parent? Do you believe that Victor Rum was using your son for his own sexually exotic needs?"
"My only concern, Miss Skeeter, is that your story does not reach the print… or else," Mr. Riddle challenged.
"Or what, Mr. Riddle?"
"You know my connections Miss Skeeter, it would not be wise to mess with me," Mr. Riddle said. He looked around at the office and saw the manuscript of the article about Harry, the headline reading "BULGARIAN CHAMPION USES ROMANCE TO CHEAT: HARRY POTTER'S HEART BROKEN!" along with several self-writing quills. "May I ask why you have so many self-writing quills?"
"Why, it is because I get so invested in my interviews and documentations that I tend to forget important details," Skeeter said. "They are a must in the journalism field."
"I see," Mr. Riddle said, and without waiting he whipped out his wand and pressed it against the manuscript, which instantly caught on fire. "Pray that I do not see you penning another article about my son, or else the paper will not be the only thing to burn." And with his warning hanging in the air, Mr. Riddle left, feeling accomplished about himself.
"Was that really necessary?" Sirius asked just outside the office.
"Well at least put that thing away! I don't want you setting something on fire during dinner," Sirius said.
"Funny," Mr. Riddle chuckled, "you were very happy about my wand last night."
"You are despicable Tom," Sirius huffed. "Can't believe that I'm with the bloody Dark Lord."
Mr. Riddle just laughed and wrapped an arm around Sirius, "At least Harry will be happy."
"Hmm… now can we hurry up? The reservation is for six."
The Triwizard Tournament was over. Cedric has won. Ever since their breakup, Viktor walked around listlessly, as though his heart was sucked out of him. Harry felt guilty but knew that it was for the best for both of them. They did not talk, during meals Viktor made it a point to avoid Harry at all costs, even going to the opposite end of the Slytherin table. But none of that mattered as Harry watched Cedric Diggory take the Triwizard Cup and prize total of one thousand galleons. He clapped along with the rest of the Hogwarts students and felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to Draco and shared a smile with him. The blond held out his hand and Harry looked at it. Hesitating, he laid his hand on Draco's their fingers intertwined.
Draco lifted their hands and looked at Harry, wordlessly asking for permission. Harry nodded, and Draco lightly pressed his lips against Harry's hand. "That is all I will do, until you're ready," Draco whispered. "Even if it takes ten years."
Harry smiled and raised their hands again, this time kissing Draco's hand. "Thank you," he whispered.
Years passed, and the two never let go of each other. They've suffered the same hardships, and got through the trials and tribulations until, on their twenty-first birthdays, their relationship climaxed into a beautiful wedding.
And all was well.