"The Portkey will activate in five minutes," Rabastan called out to Harry, who was in the bedroom getting dressed. They hadn't left much time for themselves to get ready. He smoothed down the lapels of his robes, surprised to find himself a little anxious. This was their first real date, and it sent his stomach swooping, the desire to make sure everything went right was strong. It was probably better this way, to have a proper date (the Hogsmeade lunch just didn't count in his book even if the restaurant was expensive) before their engagement party.
Glancing down at his hand, the Lestrange bonding band would appear on his finger when they were wed. Until then, a lovely band Harry had chosen for him was housed on his finger. The ring practically screamed that he was taken, that he was off the market. A betrothal ring, Harry had had his own for far longer, since entering into the contract. It was done purely to keep him safe, and to ward off undesirables, especially now. It was a real genuine bonding, not just in name in an attempt to help each other.
No more Azkaban, no more hurt and pain, it was just him and Harry. Although, he was going to have to deal with the Dursley's. He shouldn't have let them off with it too long. Unfortunately, life had proven to be quite hectic between gaining Masteries and recovering fully from the effects of over a decade in Azkaban. The fact Harry never mentions them didn't help matters either.
"Just a second!" Harry called back; his voice slightly muffled.
Rabastan nodded despite nobody being there for him to see. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, sighing softly. His feet ached; they'd been on the move since about six o'clock this morning. They'd sat down for perhaps half an hour of it, to have a coffee and bite to eat. He'd take a potion once they'd eaten something substantial. To take it on an empty stomach wasn't a good idea, that and he had to wait for the other potion he'd taken to soothe his stomach to run its course. It never used to be an issue; it was just since Azkaban that it had been problematic.
"I'm ready!" Harry said, swooping out the bathroom, a bellow of steam following in his wake. He was fully dressed in resplendent black robes, crisp white shirt, with a blue waistcoat with black books dancing up the sides. To finish the look a black cloak that was half closed before flaring out at the hips. Not usual, but Harry had never made any attempts at being normal or going with the flow.
"I have a gift for you," Rabastan said, removing the carefully gift-wrapped package out of his pocket and handing it over.
Harry grinned, "I got you one too," delightedly he rushed over to the brown packaged gifts cutting the string off he unearthed the gift he'd gotten for Rabastan. He'd wanted to gift him something for giving him this day, which had been the most perfect day ever in his opinion. "Here you go!"
"Thank you, love," Rabastan said, standing up, he kissed Harry's cheek chastely, his thumb stroked the red hue that expanded all over Harry's cheeks. He was such a delicate beauty, but he would never underestimate Harry. He was as fierce as any man, and would without a doubt make them regret thinking of him as such.
"You're welcome," Harry said flustered, Rabastan had never called him that before. Such a silly thing to get all flustered about, his stomach felt like it had live butterflies in it. He eagerly but carefully opened his gift, he opened the lid and gasped in amazement. "They're beautiful."
It was a pair of books designed cufflinks, blue diamond's set in 18 carets in platinum. "Wow, they're beautiful," he murmured, "I'm going to wear them!" he declared, "They match my waistcoat!" he added.
"They do," Rabastan agreed, reaching forward, setting his own gift aside, he removed the ones Harry had on, before attaching the new ones. "I still think you're a Slytherin masquerading as a Ravenclaw." He teased, giving a nod of approval, he was having a set with their initials made. HJPL and RLP it was just one of the many items he desired to gift his soon-to-be husband.
"Well, I do spend most of my time with Slytherins," Harry said ruefully, making sure his cloak was buttoned, "Daphne is actually coming here this summer, she's looking forward to being able to go out in public with her betrothed."
"That doesn't surprise me, she likes being the centre of attention." Rabastan replied, "Gives Draco a run for his money."
"All you Slytherin's preen under attention," Harry laughed, giving Rabastan a joyful shove sniggering softly. He now had the strength to actually budge him even if he didn't go far.
"Decidedly not," Rabastan haughtily replied causing Harry to laugh some more, "Come on, open your gift, I don't want to miss the show."
"Very well," Rabastan replied, wondering if this was how couples were, or if they were the odd ones out. The gift giving, sure it was something done during the betrothal but did it always continue? Or was it the newness? He loved buying things for Harry. It wasn't as if he had someone who he knew to set as an example. His mother had passed, and it wasn't as if he was around to see their courtship.
Rabastan was a bit less graceful as he ripped on the paper, which was just plain brown and unearthed the box within. He opened it up to find a pendant with runes attached. He had a Masters and knew immediately what it meant, he inhaled sharply, "Thank you, Harry, I love it, and I love you too." The runes spelt out 'I love you' it was one of the most beautiful gifts he'd ever received. The fact he knew Harry loved him for him, weaknesses and strengths and mistakes and all, and still was choosing him when he could have the pick of anyone he wanted.
"One minute! Bastian!" Harry called out, as the portkey glowed blue, indicating that it would activate in exactly sixty seconds.
"Accio!" Rabastan summoned everything he'd need which was in a bag Harry had gifted him on their shopping trip earlier. He rather liked it, it was a shoulder bag, black, by a very prominent wizarding brand. It was for Wizards, something new they were attempting and it was very big in France, they were all wearing them. shouldering the bag, he grasped a hold of the Portkey and his left hand still had his gift. He wasn't going to leave it, he wanted to wear it, and never take it off.
Harry quickly grasped a hold of Rabastan, and the portkey just in the nick of time. Within seconds, they were spinning around and landing at the landing pods the arena had set out for those using Portkey's. There were additional areas for those Apparating or using the Floo network, there were those who were choosing to come via muggle means there was parking for those coming with a car or limo. There was even a spot on the roof for those coming through the air, plane and broomsticks. They had literally every single means covered, France wasn't quite as…restricted by the means they choose to live unlike the pureblood ways in Britain.
That wasn't to say they revealed magic, if anything they were far stricter with revelations…but they used everything to their advantage. They didn't dismiss something merely because it was Muggle made.
"Good evening, welcome to the Palais Garnier, do you have your tickets?" a thin brunette witch asked, she had a black dress with an open sleeveless robe that stopped knee length. The only other thing she had was a set of earrings and her wand holster attached to her left wrist with her wand sheathed.
Rabastan easily and swiftly handed over the box seated tickets – which were the most expensive and sought after – which would ensure a royal treatment. The gold embossed card was inspected and she gave a nod and relaxed fully, smiling far more merrily at them. "Welcome, please follow me to your seats so we can get you comfortable."
"Thank you," Rabastan stated, noticing her glance at their intertwined hands, but she didn't react either way. Not that she'd have this job if she did, no business would risk it, not even if it was a family run business.
"I want to get a drink," Harry informed Rabastan, the brow the woman rose questioned whether he was old enough but wisely she said nothing.
"They will retrieve our drinks for us," Rabastan informed Harry, "If you're hungry we will need to wait until the intermission unless you'd be happy with a pack of nuts?" which was behind the bar and the only thing that's probably available.
"I'm best getting both, I rather enjoyed the one you were drinking earlier." Harry answered, aware that drinking on an empty stomach was unadvisable.
"I'll get you a glass," Rabastan nodded, it was a rather sweet wine, the plum was too predominant for him. Apparently though, it wasn't a total loss since Harry seemed to like it well enough. "Yes, he's sixteen-years-old." Rabastan added seeing the witch about to open her mouth.
"I apologise," she rushed, flushing red, "But I will require proof of age."
Rabastan stepped forward, whispering into her ear, "You are seriously asking Lord Harry James Potter for proof of his age?" subtly shifting Harry's hair, for the merest second, before Harry grumbled and replaced it. He didn't get 'recognized' a lot here, which was why he loved it. Not that anyone was rude enough to bother him, not like they do when he's visiting Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade.
The witch gasped at the sight of it, now if there was a date of birth known…it was for Harry Potter. He was indeed sixteen, in fact, it had been in the newspaper wishing him a happy birthday. That and there was the chocolate frog cards too. Gathering her wits, she nodded firmly, before she led them to their seats, which were prime seats, everyone wanted them. They were snapped up in the first few seconds of tickets going on sale.
Rabastan ordered them drinks and a bowl of nuts, while Harry sat down, Rabastan soon joined him, their omnioculars were perched in a pouch awaiting use.
"You truly love these don't you?" Rabastan asked Harry with a look of reverential awe. "You really didn't do it to impress father." Harry was almost vibrating in excitement, clearly looking forward to the show.
"No, it's amazing," Harry's tone became reverential now. he didn't even blink at the question. Rabastan had asked him this in the past, while in Azkaban. Harry wasn't going to remind of that. "Watching them flying without a broomstick, it takes years and dedication and determination…it's fascinating! They are just…mesmerising to watch…haven't you seen them?"
Rabastan wished he could see the world through Harry's eyes. Get a feel of his passion, his dedication. "Which one was that again? Starduet?"
Harry enthusiastically nodded his head, "The play was just…out of this world. The chorography was breathtakingly beautiful. I'll need to take you to see it, I believe they're in Indonesia right now."
"You keep track of where they are playing?" Rabastan asked, genuinely taken aback.
"Oh, yes, they were here in the UK for only a week but unfortunately it was during school year so I couldn't go." Harry spoke enthused. "The next time they're going to be in the UK it will be during the summer holidays, which means I'll get to see them again."
"Your drinks, Sirs," the witch put the tray down, and backed right away, giving them their privacy. The patrons knew how to get their attentions, red sparks did the trick, without disrupting anything.
"Thank you," Harry said, giving her a second of his consideration, before turning back to the view as the music from the instruments started up. The booklet with details of the intermissions as well as information on whom was performing from the music players to the actors and actresses, sat on the table between them.
The place darkened entirely, and Harry and Rabastan watched Don Quichotte.
A tale of a man Don Quichotte attempted to serenade Dulcinee. With Dulcinee all but rejecting the castle and more importantly his devotion. Instead Dulcinee prevailed upon him to seek out a pearl necklace of hers that had been previously stolen.
In the second act, Sancho delivers a grand tirade against Dulcinee. About their expedition, about women in general and especially Dulcinee. Believing them to be troublesome 'hussies' the second act finishes with Don Quichotte being hoisted into the air by one of the wind mills sails.
Act three begins in the mountains, whereupon Don stands guard and lets Sancho sleep. In doing so, Don was captured by the bandits while Sancho escaped. The bandits were surprised by the defiance of the older man beat him while intending on killing him. however, his prayers move the chief bandit whom gives mercy (and the trinket once his mission was explained) with nothing asked in turn except a blessing from the older knight. This was the only scenes in the entire play that were spoken.
Act four was far more sobering, melancholy as Dulcinee wondered why the time of love had gone by. It begun in Dulcinee's garden, as her and her friends parted and danced. Then parted for dinner, that was when Don and Sancho made their appearance. Don universally handed the stolen pearl necklace to Dulcinee and asked her to marry him.
Harry solemnly watched as everyone laughed at Don Quichotte, Dulcinee ordered them away, having taken pity. She apologies and explains, her way of life was vastly different from his own and kisses him on the forehead. After Dulcinee's departure, the others returned, they made fun of him, as if a young woman would tire herself to an old man.
Sancho glared at them, as he led Don Quichotte away, as the curtains fell once more.
The last act was in an ancient forest surrounding a mountain pass. Don Quichotte was a dying man, the stars clearer than they'd ever been. Remembered that he had once offered Sancho an isle for his help. His last words to Sancho were to take the isle of dreams, nearing death still, he stared up at the sky, and heard his Dulcinee call him to another world. As Don Quichotte took his last breath, Sancho sobbed over his dead body the music in the background causing goosebumps to appear while they cried in empathetic pain for the older man's plight.
The applause was pious as everyone stood and gave the actors, singers and musical players the standing ovation they deserved. It had been a well told tale, and there wasn't a single falter or off key note.
"Are you ready to head to our dinner reservations?" Rabastan asked once Harry stopped applauding. Harry's delight and heartache written plainly across his face. Other people were already vacating their boxes, either to head home or mingle and talk about the highlight of the play. "Unless you'd like to stick around?" he knew his name enough would ensure their emittance regardless of lateness. However, it was very rude to be late, but Rabastan found himself incredibly weak to his fiancé's whims.
"Please, no, Corvus did once, it was so boring," Harry confessed, "It felt more like a pissing contest than just talking about the play we'd just seen."
Rabastan laughed, "It likely was," he conceded, as he stood, opening the curtain for Harry to go through. "Some people just can't help themselves; they just have to brag about their wealth, especially after a drink or two."
"What I liked best was the fact nobody knew who I was," Harry said delightedly, as they walked around the area to get to the exit. "I honestly think they thought I was Corvus' grandson." That Rodolphus or Rabastan had, had a child.
Rabastan grimaced, appropriately grossed out over the idea. "Thank Merlin that's not the case."
Harry grinned, "Isn't it just?" sniggering at the look on Rabastan's face. "I've had a really good day, Bastian, thank you." leaning against him, smiling contently.
Rabastan gazed down at Harry, smiling fondly, Harry didn't use his nickname often. It was a nickname only he used; his own brother called him Rab never Bastian. He must confess he was growing increasingly frond of it. "Me too," he murmured kissing him on the forehead, "However, if you have any desire to return, you're going on your own." He teased; his feet ached like blazes.
"Eiffel tower or the Louvre?" Harry asked, sniggering.
"Can't believe we saw so little paintings," Rabastan stated, he wasn't as into art as Harry was. It had been a little boring, but worth just being able to spend time together before they were parted again.
Harry shook his head fondly, "The Louvre needs more than just a few hours to see all the paintings." He told Rabastan with fond amusement written across his face and in his voice. "it's said you'd take two hundred days and still not see everything in the museum. Which is said to be looking at the pieces for thirty seconds each. There are thirty-five thousand pieces of work on display, its deceptively big."
"Ah, so it's our Art Collective," Rabastan nodded, understanding a bit more, now it would take double that to see everything in the Art Collective Museum. If people weren't so greedy it would have far more in it too. Unfortunately, purebloods hoarded their art, showed it off in their properties or stowed them in their vault.
"Yes, but for Muggles," Harry nodded, "I wonder if I could convince Aurelius to let us all go visit the Art Collective Museum for a trip. Muggles like to go to farms and such for day trips, it would be easier with us, we have Portkey's."
"You could convince him of anything," Rabastan said dryly, honestly, he was pretty sure Harry could convince a dragon to give up its only egg. "Reservation for Lestrange." And soon enough, Harry would be a Lestrange too. Well, Potter-Lestrange if you wanted to get all technical.
"Not really," Harry commented, "I'll need to buy myself a new photo album," he added as they were guided towards their seat. The menu's set out in front of them after they sat down. It was quiet, with the gentle hum of music playing in the background. The harp if Harry wasn't very much mistaken and a glance around did confirm his suspicions. A redheaded witch was playing the harp gently as if to serenade the customers.
"No more buying until after the engagement party, you promised," Rabastan stated, giving him a pointed look. He'd had to put a ban on buying books for Harry, so likely he'd end up with a lot of vouchers for Flourish and Blots.
"After that then," Harry agreed, "I need the toilet, be right back." standing up, he made a beeline for the toilets, he didn't notice himself being watched.
Rabastan didn't notice Harry being followed.
"If you marry Lestrange…you'll die with them." the cold calculating voice insisted darkly. "Consider this your only warning." And with that the door clicked closed before Harry could get out of the stall to find out who had said it.
It left Harry feeling a little shaken, if he was honest with himself.
A/N – as I said in my other author note, I'm sorry you'll be getting smaller chapters until I finish decorating (its way too expensive to get someone in to do it) my free time has gone from marginal to nearly nothing! I'm not even half way yet, but that's only because we're getting stuff still delivered 😊 shouldn't take any more than a week or so once everything comes
And now we're finally in the last arc of the story! Who has just threatened Harry? Well, you'll figure it out 😉 in time, maybe lol R&R please