Harry felt himself drifting in and out of consciousness. He wasn’t sure for how long he slept but when he woke it was in an unfamiliar room and it was almost dark. Either early morning or late evening. He really wasn’t sure. But that was what the light outside his window seemed to indicate.
He moved in the bed with a groan, his body protesting his efforts to sit up. He was surprised to find himself in that same partial form he had been in when he had inadvertently revealed himself to Blaise.
“Stay still, Potter. You’ve suffered quite a lot of magical exhaustion.”
Harry’s head whipped around at the sound of his most combative Professor and he winced reflexively at the movement.
Snape sighed exasperatedly and handed him a potion.
“It’s a pain reliever. You didn’t need much healing after the battle. A few scrapes and bruises but nothing serious considering.”
Harry took the phial and looked at it cautiously. His magic reached out instinctively to check it before he downed it in one go.
“”Considering what? That I finally defeated Voldemort?”
Snape’s face spasmed briefly but he looked at Harry with a raised eyebrow nonetheless. “Yes, quite.”
“How is everyone? Are they okay?”
“They are all well, despite their foolish recklessness to save you from your own idiocy.”
Harry scowled at him.
“I was kidnapped. And I could have gotten out of there on my own. I had a plan at least. I didn’t ask them to come.”
Snape surveyed him for a long moment before he answered. “No. No you did not. But they love you―in their own ways―and so they will follow you into what feats of idiocy you manage to get yourself into. You would do well to remember that.”
Harry frowned. “Is that… some sort of twisted compliment?”
“Not at all. An admonishment if anything.”
“Glad to know you haven’t completely changed then.” Harry muttered as he fiddled with his blankets for a moment.
Silence reigned for a long time before Snape finally spoke again.
“We are at Potter Manor. Miss Lovegood insisted on us being here until we were able to ascertain what happened at Malfoy Manor. What can you tell us?”
Harry sighed and leant back against the headrest.
“Voldemort’s dead. I severed him from all his followers. And I drained his life force. From himself and all the ties he had.”
“Ties?” Snape asked sharply, his body stiffening.
Harry’s eyes narrowed. “Yes, ties. I don’t know how or what he did, but he bound his life to a few objects. Not that it mattered. I was able to find them easily.”
“What exactly is it that you did?” Snape asked.
Harry sighed and looked down at where his tails peeked out from under the covers. “I suppose the kitsune is out of the bag. But I won’t tell you all the details, Snape. All you need to know is that Voldemort is dead and there’s no way he can come back.”
Snape seemed to relax minutely into his chair.
Harry fidgeted with his covers. “Where… Does… Do they all know?” he finally settled on.
Snape nodded. “It seems they knew before they arrived. They’re all here. Draco, Mr Nott, Ms Lovegood and Ms Bulstrode have all been asking after you. Wanting to know when you awoke. Making quite the nuisance of themselves.”
Harry nodded slowly.
“And… erm… Blaise?”
Snape gazed at him perceptively. “Mr Zabini is also here. I will not deign to meddle in your non-existent romantic affairs.”
“Right.” Harry said, swallowing hard, looking down at the sheets that were pulled tight across his lap. “Right. Sorry, sir.”
Snape sighed and shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
“I have spoken with your parents' portrait…” Harry looked back up at him in surprise. “It seems that Sirius Black was not your only legal guardian. There were two others. Alice Longbottom… and… myself.”
Harry gaped at him.
“You… you’re my godfather ?”
Snape dipped his head in an approximation of a nod. “It seems so. Your mother and I… We were very close during our childhood and many of our school years. I never got on with your father, but the fracturing in your mothers and my relationship was staged.”
Harry’s mind raced with the new information. “Staged? So what? You could become a spy?”
Harry’s hand balled into fists. “Did you know? This whole time… Did you know?”
Snape shook his head. “No, no I did not. Though if I had, I cannot say if that would have changed anything between us. I had a role to play while the Dark Lord still lived.”
Harry swallowed down the anger and bile that tried to rise in his throat. What Snape was saying made sense… but he couldn’t rectify it with the knowledge that Snape was someone his mother had trusted his care too.
“I don’t know what to say.” Harry said at last.
“Neither do I.”
It was that comment that made Harry look up to see the honest expression of confusion and anxiety etched into Snape’s sallow face.
“Seeing the traits you displayed as a kitsune, the open acceptance of your Slytherin peers... Perhaps I have made many misjudgements of your character.”
Harry set his jaw and nodded. He could see the olive branch Snape had extended and if what he said was true… perhaps Harry could meet him halfway.
“Being in Slytherin house… Seeing you interact with your students, and seeing the side you showed me when I was hurt and sick… Perhaps I can see too that there is more to you.”
They sat in silence together, weighing the others words against past actions. Until finally Snape spoke.
“We may not have the relationship your mother had once hoped for. But perhaps we can try?”
Harry nodded. “I think… I think I might like that…”
Snape nodded and pulled a second potion from his robes. “Well then, take this. It’s a mild sedative. You still need rest to get over your exhaustion. When you’re properly rested we can discuss a plan to explain your absence and your plans for the future.”
Harry nodded and took the phial from Snape’s outstretched hand. “Thank you, sir.”
Snape stood and swept toward the door. He paused there for a moment and sighed heavily, muttering under his breath before he spoke aloud to Harry. “Mr Zabini has been outside this door since we arrived. He has said nothing to anyone. But I imagine he feels a sense of betrayal and hurt about your secrets.”
Harry smiled wanly at Snape’s back. “I thought you weren’t getting involved, sir?”
Snape shot him a glare over his shoulder and exited the room with a little extra force in his usual flounce.
Harry’s smile dropped as he left and he wondered what it meant that Blaise was worried enough to stand guard at his door but not to see him?
His thoughts going nowhere, he downed the phial and fell back into dreamless sleep.
~*~*~*~*~ 💕 Harry&Blaise 💕 ~*~*~*~*~
When Harry woke next, it was in the late afternoon to see Draco and Theo sitting at his bedside talking quietly amongst themselves.
“He―” he broke off with a cough and then tried again. “Hello. Er― Hi.” he finished lamely.
“You’re awake!” Theo exclaimed. “We brought food. Thought you’d be hungry by now.” he said as he handed Harry a tray filled with fruits and a bowl of oatmeal.
“Thanks,” Harry said quietly as he began to eat, wolfing down the food as his hunger made itself known.
“We thought you were going to sleep yourself into a coma.” Draco griped once he had finished most of the food in front him, though with none of the nastiness Harry was used too.
“Sorry.” He shuffled up the bed again. “I am sorry. I―”
“Lovegood explained.” Draco interjected. “She said you weren’t able to change back, or tell us who you were.”
“No. I mean, that’s right. But… I still lied to you.”
Theo held up a hand and made a seesawing motion. “You did. But not in an unforgivable way. At least… not for us.”
Harry bit his lip and looked away guiltily.
“Blaise.” he said quietly.
“Potter… Harry… Look.” Draco began. “I― Is there anyway you could have told him? I know you must have figured out how he felt about you―”
Harry’s heart dropped at the past tense.
“―is there… do you think you might feel the same way?”
“Does it matter now?” Harry whispered, “he hates me.”
‘I don’t think he hates you, Harry.” Theo began, and Harry snorted. “I think maybe... “
“I don’t need platitudes, Theo.” Harry interjected. “If Blaise doesn’t want to see me then... that’s that. You can tell him I won’t impede on his life anymore.”
Even as his heart ached to say the words, he knew he would stand by them. He wouldn’t inflict anymore pain or hurt on Blaise if he could help it. And if that meant staying away from him then that’s what Harry would do.
“What does that mean? Are you coming back to Hogwarts with us?” Theo asked.
Harry shrugged. “Who knows? It’s not like I need to be there. And I can’t like this at least.” He said gesturing to his tails.
“Can’t you change?” asked Draco.
Harry shrugged again. “I need more control to be fully human.”
“Then why not come back as Raiden?” he persisted.
Harry shook his head. “I― no. I can’t. It… Just no, Draco.”
“Leave it, Draco.” Theo murmured.
Draco scowled and stood. “Fine. I’m going to see Severus, he asked us to let him know when you were awake.”
Harry stared at Draco’s vacant seat as he left the room and he and Theo sat in silence for a long time. Finally, Theo gave a heavy sigh and came to stand at Harry’s side. Prodding Harry gently with his finger he said.
“Move over. I’m serious.”
Harry did as he was told and Theo climbed onto the bed beside him and wrapped an arm around Harry’s shoulders. They sat there like that for a while, and Harry was reminded of just how nice it was to accept physical comfort from someone. He relaxed slowly into Theo’s half hug and rested his head against his shoulder.
“Do you like Blaise?”
“What?!” Harry asked, body tensing suddenly, not ready at all for Theo to ask that of him.
“Do you like Blaise? Could you love him?”
“Yes or no, Harry.”
Harry sighed, “I already do.” he admitted.
“Then tell him. He’ll come around.”
Harry tried to push himself away from Theo but he had a surprisingly strong grip. “I already did. Look, you don’t know what happened…”
“No. I don’t. Why don’t you tell me?”
Harry gave an annoyed exhale through his nose and shoved Theo to the side so he could glare at him properly. “Fine. You want to know? I realised I fell in love with him over Christmas. Then yesterday we were lying in his bed, and he was telling Raiden that he was in love with Harry Potter and telling me all these little reasons why. And then I changed back. All of a sudden, with no warning, I was just lying there on top of him, completely starkers. And to top it off, he accused me of lying to him. Of betraying him. Of trying to find out his secrets. I tried to explain, told him that I loved him. He told me to get out. That he couldn’t forgive me.”
“I guess the legends were true, once a kitsune is revealed, their treachery really can’t be forgiven.”
“ GET OUT!”
“So go on, Theo. Tell me how to fix that.” Harry said, glaring at him. Barely aware of the hot tear rolling down his cheek.
Theo opened his mouth and then closed it again. Clearly at a loss for words.
Harry nodded and looked away, his fears confirmed. “I’m tired. You should go.”
“Please, Theo. There’s nothing you can do, alright?”
Theo sighed and his hand rested momentarily on Harry’s shoulder. “I’m still here for you. You’ve become my friend over these last few months. I don’t want to lose that.”
“You won’t.” Harry said softly. “But you’ll probably have to settle for a penpal.”
Theo sighed again and squeezed his shoulder. “We’ll see, Harry. We’ll see.” he said as he moved off the bed.
Harry’s eyes tracked him to the door and when it opened he was able to see into the hallway beyond.
Into the shining hazel of Blaise’s gaze. He leaned against the wall opposite Harry’s room, his arm in a sling and his gaze stormy.
And then the heavy wooden door closed between them.
~*~*~*~*~ 💕 Harry&Blaise 💕 ~*~*~*~*~
Harry spent hours that afternoon agonising over everything that had happened between him and Blaise. Replaying every moment they had shared over in his mind. A physical ache panged inside him with every fresh thought or remembered memory and when he flipped over on the bed, he felt the weight of the collar Bliase had given him.
The one with the inscription that read “ Love you always, my tesoro, Blaise x”
He had feigned sleep when Luna and Millicent had visited, not wanting to speak to anyone and had finally fallen into a true fitful sleep as the sun began to set with his hand clasped around the pendant.
~*~*~*~*~ 💕 Harry&Blaise 💕 ~*~*~*~*~
Blaise stood outside Harry’s door, unable to push himself over the threshold and into his room even though he knew that Harry had been waking in fits and starts since they had returned. But just as he could not enter the room, he could not walk away. So he remained, leaning impassively against the wall and doing his best to ignore those around him when they tried to urge him to speak to Harry.
He didn’t know what he wanted. Didn’t know how he felt about… anything anymore. His whole perspective had been turned upside and inside out and Blaise didn’t know what emotions he could trust.
Sighing silently to himself for the umpteenth time he stretched out his newly healed arm. Professor Snape had insisted on a sling even though Blaise felt it unnecessary, but a stern look from his Head of House and he had capitulated. Now, he scoured his feelings, utilising every inch of occlumency he had gathered over the years to analyse what exactly it was that he was feeling.
Hurt. Anger and betrayal as well. But mostly hurt. He was hurt that Harry Raiden hadn’t felt that he could be trusted with his secret. After everything they had shared together… He had trusted Lovegood. But not him. And they were supposed to be familiars…
His eyes widened fractionally, even the Goblin King had worked it out, and even then Raiden had sworn him to secrecy. His heart ached and his anger flared again. Breathing deeply, he recentered himself and continued his self-appointed exercise.
It hurt that in all the ways Raiden had learned to communicate, he had still not told, or even tried to tell him, not even that he was Harry Potter… but human?
He was hurt that the person his family’s curse declared to be his only true love could not trust him.
Anger at himself for Raiden’s kidnapping. Anger at Raiden for being the reason for their fight in the first place. Anguish for the way it had been revealed. Anger toward himself for not noticing the clues and putting them together like Lucius Malfoy had.
But all in all, he still felt love for Harry Potter. And he still loved Raiden. But he was having trouble melding those two views together. To see Raiden as Harry… To know Harry was Raiden…
With his thoughts so inconclusive and continually swirling in his mind with no end in sight, he decided there really was only one thing to do.
He was going to have to talk to him.
Pushing open the door in front of him, he stilled momentarily. The moonlight that filtered through the open window gave off enough light that Blaise could see him as he slept.
His brow furrowed at intervals, and his limbs would kick and jolt. But through all his movements, his hand never let go of the pendant he wore around his neck.
A fluttering feeling swelled in Blaise, but he pushed it aside. Unwilling to muddy his thoughts further, Blaise closed the door behind him and leant against the door. Waiting as patiently as he could for Harry to wake.
~*~*~*~*~ 💕 Harry&Blaise 💕 ~*~*~*~*~
Harry woke to true nightfall. It was dark outside, and he could see the stars in the sky as he had neglected to draw the curtains before he fell asleep. He stretched slowly and knew he was far too awake to fall asleep again. Perhaps he could get up and see about finding some more food.
He moved to sit up, his fingers releasing their tight grip of his pendant to brush it lightly into place as he leant back against the headboard. His eyes drew up to look around the room and he froze in place as he saw Blaise standing in his room.
His arm was still in the same sling he had seen earlier and his face was still set in that same unreadable expression and Harry felt himself swallow reflexively.
Neither of them spoke, both seemingly afraid to break the silence between them. Instead, it grew heavier with each passing moment.
Finally, Blaise spoke.
“I reacted instinctively the other morning. I’m prepared to hear you out now.”
Harry blinked at the curt words, and then his anger rose and he found himself ripping back the blankets so he could stand freely and ball his fists together.
“Oh, you will, will you?” he snarled. “What. Now that you’ve had people in your ear all day? Or is it that you think you owe to yourself? Why now and not when it mattered?”
“This isn’t easy for me you know!” Blaise snapped.
“Well, it sure isn’t easy for me either!” Harry yelled back. “Do you really think any of this has been easy for me?”
“I think that being carried everywhere and having your every need attended too certainly isn’t a hardship!”
Harry heard the low, rumbling, warning growl in his throat and from the way Blaise’s eyes sharpened, he did too.
“What else was I supposed to do, huh? In case you forgot, I was injured to the point of being unable to walk that first month or so! Everyone thought I was your familiar! I couldn’t just up and leave!”
“You could have. Once you got better, you could have left. You didn’t have to drag this out!”
“Would you have let me?” Harry retorted. “As much as I wanted to stay, you didn’t want me to go either.”
“You could have told me.”
“How? How could I have told you? I didn’t even know I could project images until Luna brought me here to meet my parents for the first time. And what would those images have looked like? Trying to explain something as complex as ‘I got stuck in a kitsune form and I don’t know how to change back, oh by the way I’m Harry bloody Potter, please don’t hex me’?” Harry panted out. He sucked in a breath and tried to regain his temper. “I didn’t know I could project my voice until that morning. I haven’t known half of the things I can do until I’ve already done them! In case it failed to escape your notice, I have no bloody idea what I’m doing! ”
“That doesn’t mean you didn’t violate my trust! I told you things in confidence…”
“And so did I! I gave you all my secrets, Blaise. All of them except my name. I told you things I―things I haven’t spoken about to anyone. ”
“I told you that I was… that I loved you!”
“No you bloody well didn’t! Not once did you ever say my name, I would have remembered that!” Harry snapped back. “Up until the moment I changed back I thought you were in love with Neville!”
Blaise looked at him incredulously. “Neville? As in Longbottom? Where in Morgana’s silken underwear drawer did you get that idea from?”
Harry threw up his hands, “I don’t know. Maybe it was when you avoided eye contact with Neville and focused on giving me those pain drops. Or when you ran away from him in the library!”
“I didn’t… I ran away from you! Well, Lovegood as it turns out.”
Harry tugged fruitlessly at his hair. “I didn’t ask her to do that. Just as I didn’t ask her to go to Dumbledore and adjust my timetable. She did that to draw suspicion away from the fact ‘Harry Potter’,” he said spitting his name with a small degree of venom, “was missing and a black-haired, green-eyed kitsune had showed up.”
Blaise was silent and Harry didn’t know what else there was to say. His tails twitched agitatedly until he sighed and sank sideways onto the bed. He leant over, bracing his elbows on his knees and resting his forehead against his hands.
“I’m sorry. I hated lying to you. Every minute of it. But I just didn’t know what else to do and then… then I realised I’d fallen in love with you and that was just a whole new depth of despair. I never imagined you would feel that way about me and I thought I could be content to just spend the rest of my life as your kitsune.”
Soul-baring words were so much easier spoken when he was looking at his knees he thought.
“That morning… I still didn’t know what triggered it. But suddenly you were saying all these wonderful things about me. About how I am as a human and then.” he waved hand indicating the madness that had ensued. “I understand if all of this means you never want to see me again. If that’s what you want, I can do it. Probably.”
Harry didn’t dare look up as Blaise’s footsteps drew nearer. He could see the tips of Blaise’s shoes from between the inner edges of his thighs.
“I don’t… I don’t want that.” Blaise said quietly, and suddenly Harry could hear his heart beating twice as loud in his ears. “I’m sorry too. You blindsided me when I was exposed and I felt like I had to protect myself. I didn’t want you to hurt me… So... I lashed out at you… and I ended up hurting both of us.”
Harry tentatively looked up and his eyes met Blaise’s, searching them for whatever meaning Blaise was getting at.
“Harr― Raid―” Blaise huffed, “I don’t even know what to call you…” he admitted quietly.
Harry swallowed around the nerves that had risen in his throat and he stood up. With Blaise this close to the bed, the were almost touching, the space between them so small as to be negligible.
“I like it when you call me yours.” he whispered.
Blaise inhaled sharply and a sudden hungry look developed in his eyes, with movements almost too fast to track, he had one hand delving into Harry’s hair, and uncaring of his sling moved to grab Harry’s waist and pull him into a fierce kiss.
Harry went willingly, using Blaise’s momentum to wrap his arms around his neck. Holding himself tightly to Blaise, unbelieving that this was really happening. At the press of Blaise’s tongue against the seam of his lips he moaned into the kiss. They moved in sync with one another until Harry pulled back, panting slightly.
Blaise let his head drop so their foreheads rested together as their breathing evened out.
“So,” Blaise said, “Longbottom? Really?”
Harry flushed and made to draw back from Blaise, punching him gently in the shoulder. “Prat.”
Blaise smirked and reeled him back in. Kissing him again.
A soft rumble emanated from Harr’s throat and he felt Blaise smile against his lips.
“Are you purring?”
“Am I not allowed to be happy?” Harry asked. “Voldemort’s dead, I’m somewhat human again, and apparently... in love.”
Blaise hummed happily. “That makes two of us.”
“Really? You’re only somewhat human?” Harry asked.
Quick as snake, Blaise’s hand shot out and smacked Harry lightly on the bum.
“I meant that I’m in love too.”
Harry felt his eyes sparkling, and a grin stretched across his face. “With Neville, right?”
Blaise nodded seriously. “Yes, with Neville.”
Harry laughed delightedly and drew Blaise back down for a kiss. Quite content to never stop.
~*~*~*~*~ 💕 Harry&Blaise 💕 ~*~*~*~*~
By unspoken agreement, Harry and Blaise had migrated to the bed and now they lay there quietly in one another’s arms.
“So, this is different,” Blaise said, as he trailed his fingertips over the exposed flesh of Harry’s arm.
“Yeah. Tell me about it.”
Blaise huffed quietly in amusement and a slow smile spread across his face. The one Harry had only ever seen when it was just the two of them. His heart fluttered in his chest and he shifted minutely in the bed, inadvertently pressing himself closer to Blaise. His eyes drifted over the planes of Blaise’s face, trying to catalogue if there were any differences seeing him with new eyes.
Raising his hand, he gently stroked a finger across Blaise’s cheek. Blaise captured his hand and pressed a kiss to his palm. A slow smile spread across Harry’s face and he lifted himself up into a better position for a kiss.
The kiss was slow and lazy. A soft glide of tongues. A passing brush of lips. Harry’s world narrowed to that room. That bed. That kiss. Blaise’s hand slid down his back and his fingers thread through the tails Harry had yet learned to command.
A low, shuddering groan resonated from deep within him and Harry felt his bones turn to liquid as he melted beneath Blaise’s touch.
“Feel good?” Blaise murmured against his mouth.
“S’good.” Harry managed to say, though his words were more slurred than usual.
Blaise rolled them slightly so that Harry was sprawled over him and then ran both hands through his tails. Harry groaned and buried his face into the crease of Blaise’s neck. He could feel arousal stirring within him. Knew that if Blaise continued…
“Stop.” Harry gasped, “You need to stop.”
Immediately Blaise’s hands lifted to settle on his waist instead.
“Why? Was I hurting you? Are you alright?” his voice took on a distinctively worried tone as he went on.
“No, it’s fine. Good. More than. And that’s― well.” Harry lifted himself onto his elbows, bracing them against Blaise’s firm chest. “That’s kind of the problem. If you keep going… we might find ourselves somewhere we aren’t ready to be yet.”
“Oh, oh. ” Blaise said, his eyes lighting up as he understood what Harry was saying. He smirked. “Well, I’ll have to file that away for later.”
Harry felt his face flush and he ducked his head briefly. One of Blaise’s hands rubbed soothingly against his back and Harry relaxed back into his touch, feeling pensive as he did so.
“Something on your mind?” Blaise asked quietly.
Harry felt one of his ears twitch and knew he had given himself away somewhat.
“It’s nothing. Well, not nothing, but it can wait.”
“Tesoro,” Blaise murmured, “you can ask me anything.”
He cocked his at Harry then, and Harry assumed it was in response to the blazing smile he felt stretching across his face.
“You called me ‘tesoro’. I just… I wasn’t sure if you still would.”
Blaise hummed. “Well, despite our tiff―”
“Tiff?” Harry asked with a raised eyebrow.
Blaise carried on as if he didn’t hear him. “―I still think of you that way. You are the treasure that lights up my life.”
“Blaise, I―I feel the same way. Without you… I don’t think I would have been able to find the meaning in my life, or the strength to fight. I don’t want to envision the rest of my life without you.” he finished quietly.
“Neither do I. How about we agree to never find out?”
Harry smiled, a soft, slowly curling smile that tucked itself into the corners of his mouth. “Yeah. Let’s do that.”
Blaise’s response was to kiss him. Long drawn out kisses that seemed to last past the stars themselves burning out. When they finally drew apart. Blaise asked him.
“So what was on your mind?” Blaise asked as he reached up to brush some of Harry’s hair away from his face. Trailing his fingers through Harry’s hair and scratching gently at the base of his ears.
Harry snorted softly, absently leaning into Blaise’s hand as it worked its pleasant magic. “Seems silly now. But I wanted to know where we stood. Officially, I mean. What we are to each other. I didn’t know how to ask without sounding like some fourth-year Hufflepuff.”
Blaise laughed. “It’s an easy thing to answer. I’m yours”
“And I’m yours,” Harry replied as Blaise drew him down toward him again.