Descent into Darkness

BY : Athey1024
Category: Harry Potter AU/AR > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 69307
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.


AN: For those paying attention, I mentioned in the author note at the start of chapter 1 that the real relationship would start on chapter 24. Well, this is chapter 24. ;)


WARNING: This chapter contains a slashy lemon. That means a male x male sexual encounter. If you don't like that sort of thing... why are you reading this story again? Well, you can skim past that part when you reach it.

– –

They were called 'katas', Harry had learned, but it looked like some sort of elaborate choreographed dance. He supposed it was. It was a muggle martial arts thing, or so he had been told. A repetitive set of motions that one practiced over and over again to work out the kinks in their technique. Harry had been stunned to learn that Voldemort had studied under a muggle martial arts master for about a year when he was in his mid twenties.

Apparently the then-future-Dark Lord, had been traveling to the far east in search of a specific magical artifact and had witnessed some martial artists during his search. He had been impressed enough to extend his stay in Japan even when he had determined that the artifact in question wasn't there, and the country was still in a rather pitiful condition because of the war that had only ended four years prior.

Voldemort was, by no means, a master of martial arts, however he prided the skill as it improved his reflexes, balance, and footwork. But hand-to-hand combat was an absolute last resort, and one he highly doubted he would ever have to resort to. Even in the unlikely scenario of being separated from his wand, he was capable of enough wandless magic, as well as his incredible repertoire of parselmagic that also required no wand, that he would likely never be in a situation where he could not fall back on some sort of magical technique.

Still, Harry could tell that the little bit of muggle martial arts that the Dark Lord had learned, was impressive. His movements were mesmerizing. The fact that he was barefoot and in a pair of loose pants, tied at the ankles, and no shirt, wasn't exactly helping matters. Harry couldn't fathom why the hell seeing the other man's bare feet was so mesmerizing, but for some reason it was. Can a person have handsome feet? Harry had never given it any thought before, but he decided that if anyone did, Voldemort did. His eyes weren't stuck on the feet for long though. The man's chest was far more mesmerizing. Harry was so utterly distracted by the scene he was witnessing, that he had utterly abandoned his own exercises that morning.

"Gods, you're beautiful..." The words slipped out of Harry's mouth before he even realized his mouth was open. He'd thought them so many times during the last two weeks; why his brain decided to misfire and speak the words aloud this time, he had no idea, but now that they were out, he couldn't take them back.

He felt his face and the back of his neck instantly grow hot with embarrassment, while the bottom of his stomach dropped out in horror as he feared how his words might get taken.

Voldemort stopped in his choreographed movements, turned, and quirked an amused eyebrow back at the younger wizard.

"I-I'm sorry," Harry said quickly, ducking his head.

Voldemort chuckled. "You compliment me and then apologize? Harry, don't be ridiculous."

"I just... I mean... I'm sorry if it... weirds you out or something."

"What on earth are you going on about, Harry? Why in Merlin's name would it 'weird me out' to receive a compliment from you?"

"Er, I mean, with me being bent and all," Harry mumbled, looking down and fiddling with the drawstring of his jogging pants.

Voldemort narrowed his eyes and looked at Harry for a moment before speaking. "Bent... that's a euphemism they're using these days for being gay, correct?"

Harry blinked. He forgot sometimes that it had been more than a decade since Voldemort had been able to be around other humans, and who knew how distanced he was from that sort of 'slang' even before his first body was destroyed. Still, was 'bent' a recent slang term? Or maybe it just wasn't used much by wizards? He really didn't know.

"Er, yeah, it is."

"Well, I suppose it's better than the things that were tossed around when I was school age," Voldemort mused quietly. "The idiots I attended Hogwarts with preferred to just call me a faggot. But of course, none of them survived much past graduation. In fact, dear Myrtle didn't even make it that far," he mused with a wicked grin.

Harry's jaw dropped and he stared in dumbfounded shock at the Dark Lord opposite him. Had he just...?

"You're gay?" the words fell out of Harry's mouth before he could engage the filter between his brain and his mouth, but once the words were out, he could do nothing but curse himself for his idiocy. What the hell was wrong with his brain-to-mouth filter today?

Voldemort gave him a long piercing look through narrowed eyes before the corners of his mouth turned up into an amused smirk.

"Yes, Harry. I am gay. Obviously, this is not something that is common knowledge, but I did get publicly 'outed' in my fifth year when I was sloppy enough to get caught snogging someone in a broom cupboard, by an extraordinarily nosy Gryffindor. At first he thought he could blackmail me with the information – I'm sure you can imagine that if being 'outed' in the present day was unpleasant for you, being outed fifty years ago was considerably worse. I refused to give into his demands, but at the time I was not in a position to forcefully silence him either. He quickly spread word around the school."

"Wow. I bet his death was painful," Harry deadpanned.

Voldemort's smirk grew wide and wicked. "Oh, it was."

Harry chuckled lightly but quickly found himself imagining the 16-year old Tom Riddle snogging some boy in a dark secluded broom cupboard and instantly found himself growing aroused by the thought. His arousal only shot through the roof as the anonymous, faceless 'other boy' suddenly turned into himself. The sixteen-year old Tom Riddle in his mind slowly morphed into his older visage that Harry had grown so close to in the last two months and Harry almost groaned aloud as his whole body suddenly ached with desire. He quickly tried to stomp the image out of his head. He'd already embarrassed himself beyond reason; the last thing he needed was to be sporting an erection in the Dark Lord's training gym.

Harry glanced up to see Voldemort grinning wickedly down at him with that lopsided smirk, that he sometimes felt the Dark Lord reserved just for him. That smirk that had been sending flutters through his gut for weeks now. Seeing it now, combined with the rest of the Dark Lord's amazing presence, totally did him in. He felt himself getting lost in the other man's glittering blood-red eyes. Falling into them.

Beautiful didn't even begin to describe the Dark Lord. He was a fucking god. His presence, combined with his power, combined with his confidence, combined with his amazing body...

Gods, Harry wanted to touch him! Not just feel the other man's hand in his hair, but to actually touch him. Feel the older wizard's skin beneath the pads of his fingertips... The other man's exposed chest, glistening with a very light sprinkling of sweat, the faintest dusting of hair at the top center, and that teasing line from the base of his naval down to, and disappearing into, his black pants, was taunting Harry and he felt his lids growing heavy with desire as the coil twisted in the pit of his stomach.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Harry closed his eyes and took a deep breath as he turned his head away and ran his hand through his hair roughly.

So what if the other man was gay? It wasn't like that made any difference at all in the end. Voldemort was the most powerful dark wizard in the world. At best, Harry figured the other man might see him as a protégé or an apprentice of some sort. He doubted that Voldemort considered him to be anything more than the scrawny kid who happened to be holding a piece of his soul, and who he was now training to be a better wizard. Harry obviously needed to be able to properly guard the precious piece of Voldemort's soul, and to do that, he needed to be able to defend himself. It only made sense for Voldemort to be training Harry. He had reasoned that this was the most logical reason that the Dark Lord would be willing to spend so much time with him and dedicate so much of his efforts to him. Even beyond all of that, Harry was more than aware of the significant age gap between the two, and doubted that the other man could ever see past it...

He huffed in frustration as he pulled roughly at his own hair and found his eyes drawn back to the Dark Lord's gaze. What on earth had he been thinking, letting his imagination run away with himself like that, anyway? It's not like he could pursue anything with the Dark Lord. What would he do if Voldemort was offended by his interest? What if he told Harry to leave? Refused to allow him stay for the summer? Refused to continue their lessons? Harry didn't think he could face that. His time with the man had become too precious. The idea of not being able to stand by his side, every day, made Harry ache. The man had become so important to him, so quickly. It was more than just familiarity, friendship, or the admiration of a mentor. The draw he felt to the Dark Lord felt magical. Literally. It felt like there was some powerful tug deep inside him, calling him to Voldemort. But just being in the other man's company didn't feel like it was enough anymore. Just like the company of his companion had seemed pale in comparison, after having spent some time in the company of the actual Dark Lord. Once he was exposed to one, the previous incarnation wasn't enough anymore. And now that he had become accustomed to being able to spend time with Voldemort, he knew he could never give it up. But deep inside him, a piece of him desperately wanted something more. Not just time in the other's company; but intimacy.

Harry blinked slowly growing aware of an added pressure in his mind. A gentle, featherlight caress that he realized had been steadily growing over the passing silent seconds.

"That's quite an imagination, you've got there, Harry," Voldemort's voice came out in soft whisper and Harry suddenly startled as he realized that the man had come to stand directly in front of him and his face was only inches from Harry's. "So many thoughts buzzing around in there."

Oh Merlin... he'd seen. He knew... How much? How long was he inside my head? Did he see the fantasy?

Harry's mouth fell open to say something, but he realized he had no idea what to say or do. Any words he might have found escaped him utterly when one of Voldemort's long-fingered hands came up and brushed gently along Harry's cheek. A tiny gasp escaped his lips and he felt his eyes falling closed as the gentle caress of the Dark Lord's magic seeped into him from the tiny bit of contact.

"You feel it too, don't you, dear boy?" Voldemort's whispery voice said a moment later. "I think it's caused by the soul and the blood bonds interacting. I'm not really sure, to be perfectly honest. Such magics are always unpredictable."

Harry's eyes opened and he looked up at the other man with confusion. "What...?"

"The pull that exists between us. I'd swear it's growing in strength. Perhaps I've indulged in it too much, but I just can't help it. I've never been much one for denying myself something when I want it."

Realization began to dawn in Harry's eyes and a tiny, but powerful, hope sparked to life inside him.

"Do you want me? The way that I want you?" Harry asked suddenly with a voice that was much more confident and assured than he probably felt. Part of him couldn't believe he was being so blunt, but if his Gryffindor courage wasn't good for much, it was at least worth something here.

Voldemort gave him a long look, but Harry couldn't quite distinguish what the older wizard's blank face meant. Finally Voldemort's hand dropped to his side, abandoning Harry's cheek and leaving him with the sudden feeling of loss.

"It doesn't matter, Harry. You're fourteen years old. You're practically still a child."

"I'm almost fifteen!" Harry suddenly said in a rather desperate tone.

Voldemort snorted and rolled his eyes. "You do realize how juvenile that response was, don't you?"

"Well, who gives a damn how old I am? I don't care how old you are!"

"Do you even realize how old I am?" Voldemort asked with a humorless face and a single raised brow.

"I said I don't care!"

"I'm sixty-nine, Harry. Sixty-nine years old."

"Fine, but you don't look it! You don't look a day over thirty. I don't look fourteen either! Since I finished taking the accellerant potion, I could easily pass for seventeen! Neither one of us has normal bodies. Besides, what the hell does age matter to an immortal Dark Lord? And if you're theory is right, then I'm immortal too! So I don't see any reason why age should factor into this!"

Voldemort sighed and pinched the bride of his nose for a moment before letting his hand fall to his side. "You don't understand, Harry. It is more than just your physical age. Age has a lot to do with mentality too. You simply haven't lived enough days to –"

"But you're always telling me that I act far more mature than a fourteen year old! You're always saying that you forget how old I am because I don't act like it!"

Voldemort growled. "It doesn't matter, Harry!"

"Fine, whatever! But you never answered my first question. Do you want me? Do you want more than just... just... whatever this is that we've been doing? Because I know I do!"

"There is magic at work here, Harry!" Voldemort yelled suddenly. "I don't even understand the nature of what's going on!"

"Yeah, well I don't bloody care!"

"I will not let some ancient magic control my actions and choices!" Voldemort bellowed.

"So it's nothing more than the magic to you? This thing between us – there's nothing more to it? Nothing pulling you to me aside from the soul bond and the blood bond? Nothing?" Harry asked.

Voldemort sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose again.

"Because I know there's more for me," Harry continued in a desperate voice. "I feel the magical connection to you, but I'm also drawn to your mind; your intelligence and genius! To your personality; how you just take control of things. You exude power and confidence and I love it. I love being around you when you just take charge. I love our talks and the time we spend together just doing nothing. Just being in your company makes me feel so much calmer and I can think better, and I know that it's more than just some magical connection! I just know it! I look forward to coming here every day. I look forward to telling you about what's been going on in my life at Hogwarts and every day I look forward to hearing what you've read in the papers and what new spell or ward your working on. Are you saying that you don't feel anything extra about the time we spend together? Nothing extra about me? Are you saying that it's just the magic and nothing more? Because if that's it, say so and I'll never bring it up again. But if it's not... if it's not –"

And suddenly his words were cut off as Voldemort's lips were pressed against his own in a fiery display of completely unexpected passion. Harry was stunned for a moment but quickly began to melt into the other man's embrace. One hand was instantly buried into his hair, but it wasn't just threaded gently into his raven locks, it was fisted in them and pulling, hard. The rough tug shocked Harry, mostly by how much he liked it. How much part of him wanted the other man to pull harder.

Voldemort's other hand wrapped around his waist and pulled Harry flush against the older wizard. Harry moaned out against Voldemort's lips as he felt the entirety of the other man's torso pressed against his own, and his arms came up and wrapped around Voldemort's neck on autopilot.

The kiss continued and deepened. Harry almost gasped when he felt the older man's tongue slip out and brush against his lips, demanding access. Harry's mind was a whirl with confusion, lust, need, desire for more, but also the fear that he had absolutely no idea what he was doing. This was his first ever kiss, and he wanted to do it right. He didn't want to disappoint Voldemort. He parted his lips and felt the man's tongue come in and probe about. It was strange and yet indescribably erotic. He felt his whole body reacting to their interactions, and he could feel Voldemort's body reacting too.

Instinctively, his hips gyrated and he ground himself against the other man experimentally. Voldemort growled into his mouth and deepened the kiss while tightening his grip on Harry's hair. Harry cried out in pleasure and shock and thrust himself against the other man again.

It was just so good. He could feel their magic swirling around and through them like a hurricane. Things in the room were shaking and falling about from the torrents of accidental magic flying off them.

Voldemort broke away from Harry's lips and the younger wizard almost whimpered in disappointment. He didn't want it to end yet. He wanted more. More. The whimper was, however, cut off when Voldemort instead latched onto Harry's neck and began to trail his lips and teeth along his long pale column and then began to bite and nibble along his jaw.

"Oh gods," Harry moaned and gasped as Voldemort gave another rough tug of his hair, pulling his head back and exposing more of his neck.

"Are you sure, Harry?" Voldemort's voice came out in a husky pant. "Sure that you want this?"

"I want it! I want it! Oh, please... please!"

"I won't let you change your mind, Harry. If you really agree to this, you're mine. No one else can have you. No one else can touch you."

"Yours. Only yours!" Harry panted and eagerly nodded his head as much as he could with the older wizard's hand still fisted in his hair.

Voldemort tugged Harry's hair, exposing the other side of his neck and trailed his tongue up it until he came to Harry's ear and pulled it between his teeth. By this point, Harry was quite literally writhing against the other man and panting heavily. He'd never felt anything so amazing in all his life. He could feel their magic twining together in some strange new way he'd never experienced before and it only seemed to heighten the feeling from the onslaught of physical stimuli. He could feel the most powerful coiling pressure he'd ever experienced building up in his gut, and had absolutely no hope of stopping his body from thrusting against the other man. Not that he needed to, since Voldemort actually began to grind right back against him in the most delicious and erotic dance of Harry's life. It was incredible and indescribable and he couldn't believe it was all happening so fast.

"Oh gods, oh gods, oh gods," Harry chanted with his quick shallow pants as the two bodies writhed against each other in rhythm.

"My name," Voldemort panted into Harry's ear.


"Say my name, Harry."

"Wh... T-Tom?" Harry asked, in surprise.

"Yessss," Voldemort hissed.

"Tom...Tom. Yes..." Harry said, experimentally testing out the name on his panted breaths.

There was another insistent tug in his hair and the pain only seemed to exaggerate the extreme pleasure he was experiencing everywhere else. It felt commanding and controlling and for some reason he found it turned him on all that much more. At some point during all of this, Harry's hand had begun a desperate exploration of the other man's exposed chest, and it was like the palms of his hands and the pads of his fingers were on fire with that melded magical energy. Every touch set him alight and he couldn't get enough.

"Only you, Harry," Tom said, gripping a tight hold on Harry's rear and pressing them together harder in rhythm. "Only you can ever say it."

Harry moaned out as he was filled with a rush of some foreign emotion he couldn't quite place.

"Oh Tom... ahh... oh.. oh, I – I... I'm going to... oh fuck..."

"Yessss, Harry. Cum for me, Harry. Only for me," Tom growled out and Harry felt the other man's magic tighten around him as if latching onto him and pulling on something deep inside it. It was insane and intense and everything happened at once.

"Yes, Tom! Only... oh gods... only you. Only ever you. Oh Tom!"

Harry called out as his world exploded and he began to convulse erratically against the other man. It was so much more intense than anything he had ever self-induced. The best wank in the world couldn't hold a candle to what was happening in that moment. He'd never even imagined he could feel this good. His clouded, lust-filled mind only just barely recognized the fact that the other man was jerking and convulsing and moaning right back in the same way, and the thought that he had done that to the Dark Lord filled him with a surge of pride and even more powerful euphoria.

Tom grunted as he reached his own completion and his grip tightened in Harry's hair to the point of almost pulling a good chunk out, but a second later the hold loosened and slipped into a gentle threading through Harry's black locks.

The two sighed and panted against each other as they came down from their entirely unexpected activities. Harry buried his head in Tom's neck and smiled.


It felt like it was some incredibly special honor and it was only his. Only Harry could call Voldemort by his real name. It would be weird to start thinking of the man as Tom after thinking of him as Voldemort for so long, but he somehow didn't think he'd have much trouble making the shift. Helooked like a Tom. This man who Harry had become so utterly attached to. Who Harry had grown to cherish and adore beyond reason. This man didn't feel like Voldemort to him. He felt like Tom. It felt right to call him that. But most of all, it felt glorious that the man had granted him permission to do so.

It truly seemed that this gesture had to have some deeper meaning to it. It had to have some greater significance that the Dark Lord was willing to allow Harry to use his given name. Harry didn't know what that meaning was, but he was sure it was important.

"Are you still sure this is what you want?" Voldemort... no Tom's voice came out quietly in an extremely rare display of insecurity. Harry felt his grip on the other man tighten protectively.

"I'm sure," Harry said in a muffled voice into the older wizard's shoulder with strong conviction. "I won't change my mind. And I... I hope you won't either," he finished with a far more weaker, and equally insecure voice.

Tom was silent for a moment while his hand threaded gently through Harry's hair and gently massaged the scalp that he had so recently abused.

"No, Harry, I won't change my mind. You're mine now."

Harry grinned widely and gave Tom another squeeze, relishing in the fact that he was holding the other man. That he was completely wrapped up in his arms and that it felt even more amazing than he had imagined. "Yours."

Tom seemed to be enjoying the embrace as well, but finally he pulled away and sighed quietly. His face was strangely soft and his eyes were filled with some deeper emotion that Harry couldn't quite place, but it was suddenly replaced with his normal mask.

"Come, Harry. We're both a mess and I highly doubt that either of us will be getting anymore work done in here this morning."

He turned and walked over to the hooks on the wall near the door where he had a loose outer robe hanging. He slipped it on and Harry sighed longingly at the loss of the older wizard's beautifully exposed torso.

Tom looked over his shoulder and smirked leeringly at Harry, causing him to grin and duck his head in mild embarrassment. Tom led him up the stairs to the second floor and to the door of the bathroom he usually used there. He instructed Harry to get 'cleaned up', while motioning to the shower, and to then join him in the study when he was done. The next moment Tom had closed the door and was gone.

Harry stood there in the marble and porcelain bathroom feeling as if he were still in a state of mild shock. What had just happened was slowly seeping in and he couldn't wipe the smile off his face.

His hand came up and he lightly brushed his fingertips over his still-swollen lips and actually giggled lightly. He rolled his eyes at his idiotic reactions and quickly stripped down and stepped into the shower.

It wasn't until after he got out that he realized he didn't have a change of clothes. Nor, in fact, did he have the soiled clothes he had come in with. They had vanished from the floor where he had left them. Best he could figure was that Mixey had popped in and grabbed them.

Over-eager house elves, Harry grumbled to himself as he wrapped one of the fluffy deep navy towels around his waist, and slung another over his shoulders. He didn't even have his wands since they were both in his bag back in the study. Otherwise he would have transfigured one of the towels into a bathrobe.

He stepped cautiously out of the bathroom and looked both ways down the long hallway. He felt exceedingly exposed wandering through the manor in nothing but a pair of towels and could only imagine how utterly embarrassed he would be to walk into the study in such a state. Part of him hoped that he would beat Tom back to the study and be able to change into his school robes before the other got there, but a bigger part of him doubted he'd be that lucky.

He hurried down the hall and slowly pushed the door to the study open and peered inside. Tom was there, just as he'd known he would be. Harry grumbled against his always-shitty luck and slipped inside.

Tom turned his head and his brows slowly climbed into his damp black hairline at the sight of Harry wrapped in nothing but a pair of fluffy blue towels. The corner of his mouth curled up into an amused smirk.

"Mixey made off with my clothes," Harry muttered. His face grew hot and pink as he saw Tom's eyes trailing over his exposed body hungrily. Finally Tom chuckled and turned his attention back to the newspaper in his hand.

Harry hurried over and picked up his bag, pulling out his cypress wand and his change of clothes. He hesitated, looking unsure for a brief moment before he began to head back out towards the door.

"You can change in here, Harry. It's not like I haven't already seen it," Tom said, and Harry could hear the amusement in his voice. Harry's face went red and he froze, debating his options.

"Yeah, but we weren't exactly... together or anything back then," Harry mumbled, and Tom only snickered more.

"Do you honestly think I didn't take a good look while I had the chance?" Tom asked humorously and Harry felt his blush increase dramatically, while he also felt a surge of delight at the thought that Tom had been checking him out, even that early on. It had been quite a while since the ritual in the big bathtub to remove Harry's trace, after all.

Finally he huffed, annoyed by the intensity of his embarrassment and just dropped the towels. He was facing the wall, with his backside exposed to the Dark Lord. He could feel the other man's eyes on him, but tried not to fumble too much to show his nervousness as he quickly pulled on his trousers and a light undershirt. He would wait to pull on his outer school robes until he left.

He ran his hand through his hair in a rough, nervous gesture and heard Tom chuckling from behind him. He turned around and scowled at the other man, but he couldn't hold onto any malice and quickly found himself grinning again. He was just too happy. He often joked about what piss-poor luck he had, but at the moment, he honestly felt like the luckiest man alive. Of course, he knew that few would agree with that sentiment, but that was just because they didn't really know Tom. No one else knew him the way Harry did. Or at least, that's the way he felt. He knew he still had so much to learn about the other man, but he realized that there was nothing he wanted more than to spend every waking hour finding out. He wanted to know this man's every nuance. His every experience, and his every desire. And he wanted to fulfill those desires. He wanted to be the one to make Tom smile. He wanted to be the one – the only one – to make Tom make that wonderful keening noise from the back of his throat as they writhed against each other.

He looked over at the older wizard, perched regally in his leather and wood office chair, with that devilish smirk on his lips, and had the most ridiculous urge to go sit in the other man's lap but Tom stood up, saving Harry from his own impulses.

"Come here, Harry," Tom said, motioning with his hand. Harry took only two long strides to get to the older wizard and came to an awkward stop a foot from him, wanting desperately to get closer, but unsure if it was okay. He felt so confused and unsure. He was excited and elated by the direction things were heading in, but he was also terrified that he'd do something stupid to screw it up. He knew he needed to try and work on his confidence or he'd just start to annoy Tom, but he was still too overwhelmed and confused to get himself sorted out yet.

Tom saved him the confusion by closing the distance between the two and lacing the fingers of one hand behind Harry's neck and into the messy hair there.

"Was that your first kiss, Harry?" Tom asked with a deep, smooth voice. Harry hadn't expected that question and floundered for a moment.

He ducked his head and shrugged before he shook himself, trying to force his way past the nerves. "Yea. It was. And my first... all the rest of it, too." Harry ducked his head and grinned, widely.

Tom made a pleased humming sound in his throat and Harry looked up to see the older wizard looking down at him with those hungry eyes and a wide, thin-lipped, smile.

"Good," he said before pulling Harry's head up and pressing his lips to his again. The movement was fast and unexpected, but Harry reacted much quicker this time, returning the kiss and wrapping his arms around Tom's waist and fisting his hands in the fine material of the man's shirt.

Tom pulled back and Harry was left panting and looking up at the older wizard with heavy lids and lusty eyes. Tom ground against his already straining erection and Harry groaned out.

Tom chuckled. "Ah... the joys of having a young lover. You recover so quickly. I imagine I'm going to enjoy showing you all the different ways in which two men can enjoy each other's company," he whispered in a husky voice before leaning in and pecking Harry on the lips again. Harry moaned out as a powerful jolt of lust shot through him at the implications of the other man's words.

"But now is not the time," Tom said, pulling away and earning another whimper from Harry. Tom grinned and ran his hand over Harry's cheek, looking down at him with eyes filled with that uncharacteristic, unidentified, emotion that seemed so foreign on the older man's face. "It is about time that you returned to the school. You need your breakfast. Come back after lunch. I suspect I'll complete the transformation tomorrow – assuming we don't get distracted," he gave Harry a pointed glare and Harry grinned sheepishly.

Harry almost literally dragged his feet as he made his way to the first floor corridor outside the time-turner room. Tom had escorted him down there and as the two came to a stop in front of the door, Harry was relieved when Tom once again initiated the one thing that Harry wanted more than anything else – another kiss, and another lingering embrace.

Feeling Tom's body against his own was an experience Harry couldn't explain. The strange magic was clearly playing some role in it because Harry could feel swells of magic coursing around and through them the closer they got. But he also knew it was more than just the magic. Every part of him ached for Tom. He wanted to hold on and never let go. The idea of returning to Hogwarts was practically depressing. He just wanted to stay at the manor and never leave Tom's side.

But what use to the man would he be if he did that? Tom didn't just want a house-boy. If Harry kept up his golden-boy persona at the school, he would leave himself in the prefect position to help the Dark Lord's cause when it came time to take the school, or get rid of Dumbledore.

He sighed into Tom's shoulder before taking in a deep, long breath of the other man's scent. It was delicious, and so intense this close up. Spices and musk and traces of whatever shampoo or body wash he had used in his shower.

Finally Harry pulled away, but not before Tom had given him another peck on the lips and smirked at him. Harry slipped into the time-turner room, and moments later he was two hours earlier, at 7:25am. His earlier self would have arrived at the manor a few minutes earlier and was currently in the 2nd floor bathroom changing for his morning workout in the gym.

Harry almost laughed aloud at the thought of what his earlier self was in for in the coming hours. Harry could still hardly believe it all himself.

He went out into the entry hall, activated the port-key and returned to Hogwarts with a secret smile on his lips.

It was Wednesday, so he had a free period in first block, and Charms in second. Ron never bothered to get up for breakfast on Wednesdays – opting instead to take advantage of the free morning period to sleep in.

Hermione also had the period free, then Charms, and then ancient runes later that afternoon after lunch – but she, unlike Ron, got up on time and still attended breakfast, so Harry knew he'd still be seeing her that morning.

He came through the portrait hole into Gryffindor Tower and made his way over to one of the couches in a dreamy haze before collapsing down into the overstuffed seat with a big dopey grin on his face.

"Where have you been?" a voice sounded and Harry sat up and blinked in surprise. Hermione and Ginny were both sitting on the couch opposite him with books and parchment all around then. He hadn't even realized they were there.

"Uh..." Harry floundered. His head was still to busy buzzing with thoughts of gentle caresses, rough grips, tugging hair, and the sensation of having Tom's teeth tongue trail along his jaw.

Ginny suddenly gasped and Harry turned his blank face to her.

"Is that a hickey!" she hissed with curiosity and mirth in her eyes.

Harry could feel his face go red and his hand instantly shot up to his neck. But he suddenly realized he had no idea which side of his neck a hickey might be on, since Tom had assaulted both sides.

Oh shit, what if there's more than –

"Several hickeys!" Ginny continued. "And are those teeth marks?"

"Oh bollocks!" Harry moaned as he quickly stood up, intent on racing out of the common room. It was still pretty unoccupied and his quick look around told him that no one else down there seemed to have overheard their conversation.

"Oh, Harry, sit down! Stop panicking. Hang on just a second," Ginny said, still grinning while she rolled her eyes at him. "One of my roommates knows some really good glamors for covering those sorts of things up. I'll just run up and ask her." And with that Ginny was up, out of her seat, and racing up the stairs.

Harry stared after her, gaping and confused as he slowly sunk back down into his previous seat. His eyes glanced up hesitantly to Hermione, who looked both shocked, and... amused. Harry rolled his eyes.

Hermione began to dig around in her bookbag and after what seemed like deep exploration, she came out with a small compact mirror. Harry was mildly surprised that Hermione even owned such a thing and apparently his expression showed this.

"I started carrying it around since the dance," she said defensively, and not meeting his eyes.

Harry grinned. "How are things going with you and Viktor? You two still meeting up in the library?"

Hermione blushed and ducked her head before looking back up and scowling playfully at him. She thrust the compact at him and as he took it, she whipped out her wand, tapped it, and cast a quick engorgio charm on it. It enlarged to the size of a dinner plate and Harry quickly began to examine his appearance as discreetly as he could manage in the public setting. He was just grateful that few Gryffindors were morning people.

His neck was littered with dark red and purplish marks, and a number of red teeth marks. His jaw also featured a number of red marks. At the sight he wasn't sure which emotion would win out – the urge to be deeply embarrassed, or the sudden rush of arousal that the reminder of the events that created the marks, caused.

He realized suddenly he was grinning and ducked his head, sheepishly before closing the enlarged compact, and canceling the enlargement charm.

He cleared his throat and handed the compact back. "Er... thanks."

Hermione rose a single questioning eyebrow and sent him a look that clearly said 'you will be explaining this.'

Ginny reappeared on the stairs to the girls dorms just then and quickly made her way over to them. A couple minutes and several fairly simple healing and glamor charms later, and Harry looked normal again.

As he examined his appearance in the mirror again, he was almost sad that he'd had to remove the evidence of his and Tom's activities. Having physical proof just made it that much more real.

"Thanks you two, for helping. I really appreciate it," Harry said as he hunched over in his seat on the edge of the couch.

"Well?" Hermione's voice came out impatiently.

Harry looked up and gave them his most innocent and bewildered look. "Well, what?"

Ginny guffawed and Hermione growled.

"No way, Harry Potter!" Hermione began. "You're not getting out of this without an explanation! What happened? How... who was responsible for – for – that?"

Harry's eyes darted between the two girls with a mild sense of panic in his gut. He knew he couldn't dodge this bullet, but he needed to give them something convincing, while not revealing any indication of anything even remotely close to the truth. A story popped into his head, and he could only hope it would be sufficient.

He twisted around, checking the other occupants of the common room before standing up and moving over to sit on the same couch as the two girls. He pulled out his phoenix feather wand and cast a quick privacy spell around them.

"I may be seeing someone," He said in a low voice, still looking around as if he were extremely paranoid of being overheard.

"Really!" Ginny almost squealed. "Who?"

"I can't tell you. He's... he's not out. To anyone. That includes his family, alright?"

"We would never tell anyone, Harry!" Hermione insisted suddenly, and she looked visibly hurt at the insinuation that he couldn't trust them.

"It's not that I don't trust you two, I just can't risk this. It's not my secret to tell. Besides, I trusted both you and Fleur with my secret and I know that neither of you told anyone, but it still got out. I still have no idea how Skeeter found out, but that doesn't change the fact that she did."

"But Skeeter's been missing for months. It's been all over the Prophet. No one has any idea what's happened to her," Ginny said.

"True, but I'm not willing to risk that whatever method she used to spy on us isn't still available to someone else. Like I said, it's not my secret to tell. If his family opened up the Daily Prophet one morning and found out that their son was being outed to the whole bloody world and that he was being accused of dating the Boy-Who-Lived... it would... it would be bad. I just can't do that to him. You understand, don't you?" Harry said with the most sincere, pleading face he could muster.

"Oh Harry," Hermione said with her most sympathetic face. "Of course. We can help you, you know. We're your friends, we'll do whatever we can to help."

Ginny nodded her head enthusiastically.

"Thanks you guys. It really means a lot to me," Harry said with a small shy smile, while grinning internally. This could work to his advantage.

"So how long has this been going on!" Ginny asked in a hushed but excited voice.

"It's sort of been building up for a bit, but this morning was the first time we really... did anything," Harry admitted, grinning at the memory.

"That must have been a pretty hot and heavy snogging session to leave you looking like that." Ginny said, with a wicked smirk.

Harry blushed but his grin only grew wider.

"It was my first real kiss, too," He admitted, truthfully. Happy that he actually had the opportunity to tell someone about this monumental event, even if it was being sugar-coated in lies.

"Really?" Ginny exclaimed with a big grin. "That's so great, Harry. Was it good?"

Harry barked out a laugh. "Good? It was bloody brilliant. It was... it was amazing. All of it was just so far beyond anything I ever could have hoped for or imagined! I... Merlin I think I..." he cut off, stunned by what he was about to say.

"Think you what?" Hermione prodded.

"I think I love him," Harry finished in a near-whisper. Did he? Did he even know what love was? He took on a determined look and nodded his head to himself. If anything was love, this was.

"I mean... it's early and all. We really only just admitted to each other how we feel, but we've been dancing around it for months now. I really... I really do think I love him."

"Wow..." Ginny said in a hushed whisper.

Hermione just looked stunned. Finally she spoke, "you two have been meeting for months?"

Harry ducked his head and made himself look ashamed, "Yeah... I'm sorry I kept it secret from you, but you already know why. I knew I couldn't do anything that would risk him being exposed. It really has nothing to do with me not trusting you guys, I just didn't want to do anything that could risk it. It's not my secret to risk. Not my secret to tell."

Hermione looked a bit disappointed but nodded her head. "I understand, Harry. I'm hurt, I won't lie about that, but I understand. Just, please, don't feel like you have to hide these things from us. We're your friends. You can rely on us! We'll help you."

Harry grinned and looked up at them through his eyelashes. "Thank you. Both of you. I really do appreciate it. And honestly... it's kind of nice to have someone to talk to about it. Even if I can't give any specifics.

– –

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