vendredi 7 décembre 2012

ExcentrykeMuse - [Enchantment Series -8] Ivy Kissed


Title: Ivy Kissed (Enchantment Series)

Author: ExcentrykeMuse

Pairing: Harry/Viktor

Warnings: Lemon, Het, Gender Confusion, Polyjuice Potion

Summary: The only thing that Harry Potter had in common with pureblood ladies was his father's status as a pureblood. But that was before George Weasley got a female's hair for the Polyjuice so Harry could attend Fleur's wedding. Now, he might look like a pureblood lady, but he still isn't one. That won't last long; Viktor Krum and love are worth any sacrifice.

Ivy Kissed

Eighth in the Enchantment Series

Harry stood in the backyard, looking at the ivy kissed walls of the magical cottage in resignation. He knew that within the hour he would be called and he would have to go in for dinner. It was his seventeenth birthday after all, but after Ginny had called him to her room and kissed him—He shook his head. He couldn't think about it. Ginny just didn't understand. Telling her that they couldn't be together because of Voldemort had been only a pretext. He truly did not want to date her; he'd realized it rather quickly after the first time he had kissed her. The jealousy he had felt at seeing her with Dean, the protectiveness, had been that of an older brother. He had just confused it, had wanted it to be something else. He wanted to be normal in just one way. He had thought if he tried hard enough then he could fancy girls, but he couldn't even with Ginny, even when he had deluded himself that it would actually work.

It wasn't her fault. He knew that; it was his. He should have just been honest with himself and firmer. Stupidly he had believed that telling her they were over would mean that she would accept it. Cho had accepted that they were done back in his fifth year. Of course, Ginny was more headstrong and, well, he doubted that any sane bloke would actually break up with her. She'd broken up with Corner and then Dean. Harry didn't think that she had actually dated Neville during his fourth year, but if she did then she probably had been the one to break it off. Ginny just couldn't accept that they were really over and had pulled him into her room, told him to close his eyes, and then had kissed him deeply.

He had been rather startled and just stood there. Fortunately, Ron had barged in, but that didn't change the fact that Ginny had done it at all. She had still kissed him; she still wanted. He just didn't want her in return.

Harry toed the grass, and sighed. He'd never really wanted anyone, past a flimsy fancy that was over as soon as it had begun. For some reason, he was unable to sustain an attraction to anyone. First Cho, then Ginny. He usually just responded to their interest in him. That's where his mistake lay, he decided. He needed to stop responding, hoping that he could actually want someone back.

"Why me?" Harry asked no one in particular when he heard Mrs. Weasley's call to dinner. He knew there would be cake. At least he had that to look forward to, he thought, but he'd have to avoid Ginny's long looks at him. Ron was also angry with him, claiming that he was leading Ginny on when all he had done was step into a room and innocently close his eyes.

Then there was the wedding the next day and he'd have to drink Polyjuice Potion and look like someone else. At least Ginny wouldn't be staring at him anymore, he thought glumly.

As soon as dinner was over, he went and hid in Ron's room, holding Pigwidgeon and stroking his feathers. He missed Hedwig. She had always been so loyal, had never turned on him or betrayed him once, and he wasn't even able to give her a proper burial.

Pig hooted at him.

"I know," Harry sighed. "I miss her, too."

"Miss who, mate?" Ron asked tiredly from the door, but Harry just ignored him, allowing him to think what he would.

Harry barely slept, instead staring up at the ceiling, wishing life were different, though he knew it was useless. He would always be the Boy-Who-Lived, the Prophecy child, and he seemed to be the only one who could bring down Voldemort. Not even Dumbledore could stand against him in the end, he thought glumly.

The day of the wedding dawned a dull gray, which mirrored Harry's feelings. He watched through the window dispassionately as the sky brightened and when he finally heard people moving about, he managed to pull himself out of bed and down the stairs, determined to avoid Ginny if at all possible. It shouldn't be that difficult; she was a bridesmaid after all. He knew she would look pretty in her gold dress; hopefully, she would catch someone's eye and she could move on from him. If only he was so certain he could move onto the first person he would really fancy.

He sighed. One day perhaps—when all this was over—

A few hours before the ceremony, Mrs. Weasley sent Fred and George (the worst choice, in Harry's opinion, and he was soon proved right) to the village to snatch the hair from some unsuspecting Muggle for the Polyjuice Potion. Harry went back out to the garden, the chickens clacking around him, and stared at the ivy covered walls, imagining them climbing further into the bricks of the magical home. He wouldn't be surprised if there were a magical breed of ivy. Neville would surely know, though he wouldn't be able to ask him for quite some time because he wasn't going back to Hogwarts.

"Hello there, mate," one of the twins greeted, and Harry turned to see George leaning against the doorframe, holding out a vial of potion. It looked disgusting.

"Where's Fred?" Harry asked, his eyes lingering on George's missing ear despite himself.

"Off with some cousin of Fleur's," George answered, shrugging. His eyes gleamed a more intense blue than usual, frightening Harry a little.

"There isn't any—what did you do to that potion?"

"Nothing," George answered immediately, smiling far too easily. "Just stuck a Muggle's hair in it. Redhead. You'll be able to pass for a Weasley or a Prewett really easily."

"Lovely," Harry grimaced, taking the potion and swallowing it, surprised at the passable taste of it. It reminded him of almonds and roses for some strange reason. He waited as his body transformed and he settled into his new skin, noticing that his clothes were now hanging off of him. He stared down at himself for a long moment and then stared accusingly at George.

"Hear me out," George began, taking a bag that Harry hadn't noticed before and Harry glanced into it, noticing a pale blue set of dress robes. "I've realized that Ginny is a bit—enthusiastic, and I thought you could use a day to just relax. She'll never recognize you like this. No one else knows," he promised. "Not even Fred."

Harry swallowed nervously and nodded.

"Promise me this wasn't a cruel prank," he said, glaring at George again and nearly jumping at the sound of his own voice. It was strangely the same timbre but more melodic. He reached up and felt his small hand clasp his thin throat.

"No," George answered. "A bit of a prank, I admit, but I've been keeping my eye on this Muggle for weeks once I heard about—last year. You don't really fancy Ginny at all, do you?"

Harry shook his head, feeling long hair slide against his face.

"I thought not. Consider it a gift. No one will think you're Harry Potter for a day. You can be anyone you want to be—well, any girl," he amended with a slight blush, surprising Harry.

Looking at the ivy-covered wall for several long moments, Harry nodded. "Keep a lookout?" He began toeing off his shoes, noticing just how small his feet were and that he was swimming in his socks.

"Of course," George answered, turning around and peeking around the house. "All clear."

Taking his word for it, Harry slowly began to undress, making a messy pile on the ground of his shoes and other clothes. Glancing into the bag when he was wearing only his t-shirt that now covered him down to the top of his thighs, he noticed that George had been rather thorough. Apart from the light blue robes, there were also panties, a bra that he stared at for far too long trying to figure out just how to put it on, and sandals. Thankfully they were heelless and appeared to be charmed so that his feet wouldn't blister. There was even a small blue hat with a partial veil and small purple flowers on it in a small box. Harry had seen women come in, all wearing outlandish and charmed hats, and appreciated the simplicity of this one.

Adjusting the light robes one more time, he cleared his throat and George turned around, his eyes widening.

"I can't really put on the hat without a mirror," Harry whispered, looking anywhere but at George. He was a little uncomfortable with the way George was looking at him.

"Right. Of course. Er—do you know what you want to be called?"

Harry thought of his mother, Lily, and then glanced back at the wall of the Burrow. "Ivy," he decided quietly, a smile forming on his face. "Ivy—Prewett? Are there enough Prewetts for people not to realize?"

George's face softened when Harry looked back at him. "Of course, Ivy. There are many more Weasleys, but it's easy for a cousin or grandchild to get lost in the crowd, and I'll vouch for you." Blushing for a strange reason, George came forward and shoved Harry's old clothes unceremoniously into the bag, banishing it with a flourish of his wand. "It's back at the shop, and the Polyjuice should last you all day. It's the good stuff."

"Right," Harry answered, stepping forward hesitantly. He wasn't used to the way his new body moved. "Er-how old am I?"

George shrugged. "Eighteen or thereabouts. I'm not really sure. I get your first dance, by the way. You'll be beating wizards back with a stick, Ivy. Best not to use your wand unless you have to, someone might recognize it."

"Right," Harry whispered as George opened the side door for Harry and he walked through, his eyes quickly adjusting. He hadn't needed to wear his glasses, for which he was thankful, but he felt a little undressed without them, and the blue robes didn't help. He knew they were modest for girls his age, but they ended just above his knee and were only three-quarters sleeved. Fortunately, the summer cloak made him feel a little less exposed.

"Just up here," George said as they mounted the stairs. "I'm sure Fleur won't mind letting you use her mirror. Ginny's room is being used for the bridesmaids and, well." His voice trailed off, but Harry was only half-listening. Hermione was at the end of the landing, adjusting her pink robes, her bushy hair barely contained in a loose knot at the base of her neck. Their eyes met for a moment and Hermione looked at him in curiosity before turning back to her own ensemble, startling Harry before remembering he had morphed into a stranger.

George opened a door at the end of the hall, saying something, and Harry hurried forward, the box still in his hand.

"Of course," Fleur's voice said. "I am done and I do not mind 'aving a couseen of Beell's to 'elp."

Harry cautiously walked through the door and took in the bedroom that had been made into a dressing room. Fleur was standing off to the side in a beautiful white dress that seemed to be made of Acromantula silk, a veil resting on a chair in the corner to be put on later, it seemed.

"Ah, 'ere she eez," Fleur exclaimed, a smile brightening her pretty face. "Leave it to me, George. Zees eez women's work."

"Good luck, Ivy," George said and then closed the door, leaving Harry at Fleur's mercy.

"Ivy. What a wonderful name," Fleur remarked, coming forward and circling Harry, her blue eyes looking at him appraisingly. "I am named for flowers, too. We already 'ave sometheeng een common."

"Er, yes," Harry answered politely. He held out the box to Fleur, who plucked it out of his hands, ushering him forward to the vanity which had various brushes and hairclips. He sat down obligingly and after taking a deep breath, raised his eyes to stare at his reflection.

A gasp escaped his lips.

The mirror showed a girl about his age, who was small boned and petite. The girl had an oval shaped face and large green eyes that were much lighter than his own, framed with pale lashes. Light red ringlets framed his face, reaching down his back. He was beautiful and looked nothing like himself and for a moment he thought that he almost looked as beautiful as his mother had.

"Would you like me to put your 'air up?" Fleur asked, setting aside the hatbox and running a brush through Harry's hair. "Eet eez marvelous down, but I can put it into a tweest, eef you would like."

"No, down's fine," Harry answered, unsure if he wanted to deal with pins. He'd heard Parvati once complain that they could become heavy.

"D'accord," Fleur answered, setting the brush aside and picking the hat out of the box. "J'aime l'hortense."

"Sorry?" Harry asked as the hat was set on his head, slightly to the side and tilting. Fleur pinned it expertly and arranged the veil so that it just covered his eyes.

"'Ortensia. Zee flowers on zee 'at. I love zem."

"Oh," Harry answered carefully as Fleur offered him lip gloss which he gingerly accepted. "Thank you."

A few minutes later and he was once again in the hallway, Fleur pushing him out and telling him to get a seat before they were all taken. Harry felt very confused and just stood for several long moments, playing with a thin silver bracelet Fleur had lent him along with a pair of diamond studs for his ears, which turned out to be pierced. "You can do this," he murmured, his voice still melodic and unrecognizable. He carefully made his way down the stairs, his hand grasping the banister before he went outside into the sunshine.

It was the perfect day for a wedding, he realized.

"Where's Cousin Barny?" he heard Ron ask as he approached the entrance to the tent, waiting to be noticed and escorted to a seat.

"I don't know," Hermione responded, biting her lip. "I better take my seat."

Ron sighed and turned to Harry, his eyes widening when he saw him, but George then took pity on Harry and whisked him away, while Ron was still stuttering a greeting.

"That was strange," Harry murmured to George, who only laughed.

"I get your first dance, remember."

"I can't dance at all," Harry argued when George led him to an empty seat strangely on the bride's side of the aisle.

"Excellent. Lucky for you I can, Cousin Ivy," he replied with a smirk and seated Harry. "I remember you enjoyed Quidditch and as you're here on your own—" he said by way of an explanation before running off, leaving a confused Harry behind him.

Harry turned to see where he had been seated and was rather surprised to see Viktor Krum beside him. "Oh," he began stupidly, blushing. "Quidditch."

Krum blinked once and stared at him, though the usual scowl was absent from his face. Harry noticed that he had begun to grow a goatee, making him appear slightly older than he was.

"Er-sorry. George likes to play pranks and not tell people about them until the last moment. I'm Ivy," he introduced himself, holding out his hand and trying to smile. Krum didn't know him, Harry reminded himself, and George had placed him here with little warning even though he was aware that Harry knew Krum when he wasn't looking like this.

"A pleasure," Krum responded, taking Harry's hand and lifting it just beneath his lips before releasing it.

Harry stared at the odd action and then looked away, blushing. After a few moments when he sensed that Krum was still staring at him, he cleared his throat. "Are you a friend of the bride?"

"Yes. Ve met during Trivizard Tournament," Krum answered succinctly. Harry noticed that he was still staring, his eyes resting on Harry's face though occasionally dropping to his long hair.

Harry nodded, uncertain what to say to that.

"Yourself, Ivy?"

"I'm a cousin of Bill's, but I met Fleur a few minutes ago. She's lovely," he answered. "She helped me with my hat." He felt like hitting himself over the head for saying such a thing.

"It is a fine hat," Krum complimented. "You are being very beautiful."

Harry blushed despite his best efforts not to. "Thank you. I've never had to wear one before. They're rather strange."

"Most that are being vorn are ostentatious," Krum commented, looking around them, "but yours is not being that." Harry noticed Krum's eyes lingering on someone and turned to see Hermione sitting next to Ron, both of them whispering to each other and occasionally glancing behind them.

"Do you know them?" Harry couldn't help but ask, and Krum's attention was immediately back on him, a pensive look in his black eyes.

"Yes," he answered truthfully. "Herm-o-ninny vas vonce my girlfriend. I haff not been seeing her in years. She has not much changed. I vas surprised, that is all, Ivy." He gave Harry a full smile and Harry's breath caught in his throat for some reason.

Before Harry could answer, however, the wedding march began and Harry dutifully rose, watching Ginny walk down the aisle and feeling nothing for his ex-girlfriend. The ceremony was simple and straightforward, and before Harry realized it, it was over, and Krum had offered his arm to him to escort him out.

"Oh," Harry murmured, glancing around and seeing how the nicer dressed witches put their hands on top of their escort's hands, their lower arms pressed together, instead of looping their arms into the crook of the escort's arms. Hesitating, he followed the new example, and was startled when Krum once again smiled at him proudly, as if Harry's action had just told him something he had wanted to know.

Harry was led to a table and he was lowered into a chair, while Krum promised to go and get him a drink and a slice of cake. Unable to help himself, Harry stared after him before shaking himself mentally. His heart fluttered in his chest when Krum turned and smiled at him from the crowd around the refreshments. Glancing down, he blushed slightly and brought a hand up to his cheek, feeling the warmth. Something was wrong with him and he hadn't even had any punch yet.

"Is this seat taken?" a voice Harry recognized asked, and he looked up to see Ginny, who was smiling at him.

Shaking his head, Harry remained silent. Ginny fluidly sat down, taking a sip from her punch.

"I'm Ginny, by the way," she introduced, and Harry nodded.

"I know. You don't recognize me, do you?" he asked, trying to go for some family familiarity.

Ginny looked at Harry harder, her eyes lingering on his red curls and face. "No, should I?"

"Ivy Prewett," Harry introduced, not offering his hand this time. He was half-afraid Ginny would not-kiss it like Krum.

"Oh," Ginny answered, glancing away at Ron who had somehow managed to gain the courage to ask Hermione to dance. "We must be cousins then." She sighed wistfully. "Are you here on your own?"

Harry opened his mouth to answer, but a gruff voice responded instead. "No," Krum said, setting a piece of cake and glass of punch in front of Harry. "I am being sorry for taking so long." He offered Harry a smile and Harry found himself smiling back, but glanced quickly down at the cake. Krum sat down ungracefully in the seat on Harry's other side, and Harry couldn't help but smile to himself. Krum was still duck-footed and round-shouldered and was only graceful in the skies. Some things never changed.

"It's fine," Harry answered and shared another smile with Krum. He hadn't remembered the last time he had smiled this much, and was a little surprised at himself. Perhaps George was right. Perhaps he needed to not be Harry Potter for a little while and just let go.

Taking a bite of his cake, Harry sighed blissfully.

"This is wonderful," he commented, taking another bite and another. He noticed from the corner of his eye that Ginny was staring at him as if she couldn't believe he was actually eating his entire piece of cake, but he ignored it.

George quickly claimed his first dance, leaving Krum disgruntled, and Harry couldn't completely relax with the feel of Krum's eyes leveled so intensely on him when he tried to complete the steps. "Someone has an admirer," George teased, twirling Harry. "Poor Ginny's trying to talk to him, but he just keeps glaring at me for taking you away."

"Don't be ridiculous," Harry responded, blushing.

"If you say so," George answered. "But I did manage to get quite a bit of this girl's hair and might have a stash of Polyjuice if you want to have a repeat performance."

At first, Harry couldn't find an answer to this, causing George to smirk and then lead him back to Krum, claiming that Ivy was all his for the rest of the party. Before he could think, Harry was then in Krum's arms, dancing, trying not to stare at his feet as he was led across the floor. Krum, despite his duck feet, wasn't that bad of a dancer, Harry noticed, and he was once again smiling as he began to master the steps.

"You haff much beauty," Krum complimented as the next song began, and Harry blushed again. "More than I haff seen in a long time."

"You must know hundreds of beautiful witches," Harry responded, his voice lower and more melodic than before, surprising him.

"Yes," Krum agreed. "But it is still being the truth." Several more minutes passed in silence and Harry leaned closer into Krum's embrace. "You haff not a boyfriend?"

Harry couldn't help but laugh. "No."

"Good. I do not think you vould be happy if I cursed him if you did."

"He could be nice," Harry mused, catching sight of Luna and a man who must have been her father.

"He vould haff to be, but I do not think he could surpass my skills in Quidditch," Krum joked, looking into Harry's eyes, causing Harry's stomach to flip with some unknown emotion.

Harry wanted to get closer to Krum and he was unusually aware of Krum's strong hand around his small waist. "I might surpass you even if he couldn't," he answered quietly. "I'm an excellent Seeker."

Krum laughed, pulling Harry closer into his arms. "I am hoping to see that then, Ivy."

A smile blossomed on Harry's face at the thought that Krum had seen him fly years ago, and he was unable to suppress it. Krum twirled him around the floor, making Harry a little dizzy, his long red hair swishing against his back. "Do you like it?" he found himself asking. "Flying?"

"Yes," Krum answered truthfully. "I luff the game. I do not like the press."

Harry laughed openly, feeling a little freer. "I doubt anyone really does."

Krum stilled and his dark gaze caught Harry's, his eyes searching for something. "I think you understand, though I am not knowing why."

Harry shivered and tried to pull away, but Krum held him firmly in place, and he surrendered to the feeling. His heart fluttered into his throat and, without consciously thinking about it, Harry closed his eyes as Krum leaned closer and gently kissed him.

He sighed. Harry had never experienced a kiss like this. It was gentle, as if Harry were precious, and full of promise and unfulfilled hopes, that had Harry weakening at the knees. Krum's strong arms came around him as his legs gave way and Harry arched into the kiss on instinct, his arms reaching up and clutching Krum's robes. He felt wanted for just being himself, and tears sprung to his eyes when he realized that this wasn't real. Harry was just Harry, not a beautiful witch named Ivy. Krum wanted Ivy, the pretty girl he danced with, not the Boy-Who-Lived who had a price on his head.

The kiss finally ended and calloused fingers reached up under Harry's partial veil and brushed his tears away. "Vhy do you cry?" Krum asked and Harry shook his head.

"I'm sorry," he murmured. "I was a little overwhelmed." He glanced away and was startled when Krum kissed his lips gently again, quickly pulling away.

"There is no need to apologize, Ivy. I vas sudden; it is understandable for a young lady off your upbringing."

"Young lady of my—" Harry began to question, but lost all train of thought when he noticed George staring at him and smiling suggestively. "Oh, trust George," he muttered under his breath, blushing heavily and turning back to Krum.

"Your cousin, yes?" Krum asked, glancing at George. "You haff not need off worrying. I vill go and explain my intentions."

"Intentions?" Harry parroted in obvious confusion.

"I vould not haff kissed a pureblood vitch if I did not haff honorable intentions," Krum replied solemnly, his eyes shining. "I am not like the other scoundrels you haff perhaps met."

"I—oh," Harry responded, snapping his mouth shut with an audible click. They had resumed dancing slowly on the dance floor, and Harry rested the side of his head against Krum's shoulder, looking at Fleur and Bill who were happily dancing in each other's arms. Ron was off to the side with Hermione, looking at Harry and Krum with a mixture of confusion and relief, which surprised Harry a little. He knew that Ron fancied Hermione, and with Krum occupied with someone else, there was little chance of Krum trying to rekindle the old romance. Perhaps he simply didn't recognize who Krum was dancing with, Harry mused.

"Er—you shouldn't," Harry said after clearing his throat. "George would probably laugh. He's like that. He plays pranks and sitting me next to you was probably a prank somehow in his mind."

"I vill go to your parents then."

"I—they—I don't have parents," Harry answered haltingly, uncertain how to get out of the situation. He didn't want to stop dancing though, that much he knew, and short of walking away he wasn't certain how to convince Krum that he wasn't a pureblood witch like he thought. He wondered about Krum's supposed intentions though. If he didn't know any better, he would have thought that Krum meant to propose marriage or a courtship, but that sort of thing only happened in Aunt Petunia's romance novels, not the wizarding world. If kissing a pureblood witch meant one had to be serious then Ginny must think—he pushed that thought aside. Ginny had kissed Dean Thomas, he reminded himself. It must be something else.

"I am sorry, Ivy," Krum whispered into his ear, kissing the side of Harry's head gently.

A shiver ran through Harry at the tenderness.

"I vill find an uncle or someone later. You are Bill Veasley's cousin?"

"Yes," Harry answered, being unable to deny it. That was his cover, after all.

After a few more dances, Krum offered to get Harry more punch, and he happily accepted, wanting to rest his feet. George came by, smirking, pushing a pouch into Harry's hand. It looked like it could be a purse to match his outfit and glancing inside, Harry was surprised to see quite a bit of pale red hair. It was clearly for more Polyjuice potion. He had more than enough to last several years, he realized, his eyes widening.

He sat down at a partially empty table, tapping his fingers against the tablecloth as he watched Krum move expertly through the crowd, nodding once to Hermione as he passed her before continuing.

A flash of silver caught Harry's eyes and his eyes widened when he saw a lynx Patronus leap into the crowd. Its mouth opened and the voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt sounded out of it. "Scrimgeour has been murdered. The Ministry of Magic has fallen," and then the lynx became nothing but silvery smoke.

Panic seized Harry and a moment later he felt strong arms around his waist, and breathing against his ear. He pulled out his wand, but stilled when he realized it was Krum. Harry turned in Krum's arms and pressed a kiss against his lips. "I have to go," he murmured, his eyes pleading for Krum to understand. "If they find me—"

Krum's eyes darkened in confusion, but he nodded. Screams erupted all around them and Harry could hear Hermione shouting desperately for him in the distance. "I vill find you, Ivy," he vowed, kissing Harry again, before releasing him.

Harry forced himself to turn away and run through the colorful, shouting guests, just as there were several pops of Apparition. His eyes met Hermione's wild ones, but she looked right past him.

"I'm here, Hermione, let's get out of here," he said as he grabbed her hand and showed her his wand.

Her eyes widened and her jaw locked in grim determination before she twisted and turned, the three of them—Hermione, Ron, and Harry in disguise—disappeared with a pop.

A moment later and they were in an alley. "Where are we?" Harry asked, looking away, but Hermione ignored him.

"You kissed Viktor."

Harry's eyes widened. "He technically kissed me. Now's not the time."

"You let him," Hermione chided, but Harry wasn't listening. He walked to the end of the alley and peaked out, recognizing Tottenham Court Road.

"We're conspicuous the way we're dressed," Harry murmured as he stepped out, sensing Ron and Hermione reluctantly following him. They were all wearing robes and, well, cloaks. Most people didn't wear cloaks any more.

"Fancy dress," Hermione suggested when a group of blokes from across the street began to cat whistle at them. Hermione blushed and hurried forward, but the Muggles started calling out to Harry, begging him to come over.

He stilled, uncertain what to do before catching up to Hermione.

It was more than an hour before they finally decided to go to Grimmauld Place, managing to almost get caught by two Death Eaters but escaping just in time. Hermione had managed to pack everything they needed in her handbag, which had several charms on it, including Harry's moleskin pouch which held his most personal possessions.

"George gave it to me," she muttered, not looking at Harry who still had yet to transform back into his normal body. "Said you couldn't wear it. Now I see why."

Harry didn't bother to answer her, instead accepting his belongings and going upstairs, finding the room the twins had once shared, not wanting to room with Ron when he looked like this. He stared in the mirror for several long minutes, sighing, and then turned away, getting ready for bed. Carefully, he folded the light blue dress robes, setting the hat on top, and then turned back to the mirror, looking at himself in pajamas. He could see the curve of his small breasts under the fabric, the flush of his white neck, the pinkness of his lips that Krum had kissed.

Desire curled in his stomach and he shivered. A moment later and his features melted into ones he was more familiar with. He gained several inches in height, his hair shortened and darkened, his eyes shining a darker green, the familiar hated scar burned on his forehead. Still, he caressed his lips and wished that Krum would kiss him again while he looked like this, like Harry, and knowing it would be impossible.

Hermione was cold to him for several days and, eventually, they erupted into a full argument, Ron watching on helplessly. "How could you do it?" Hermione seethed. "You're male."

"I know I'm male," Harry answered, crossing his arms. "I'm very well aware of it."

"Well, then, you shouldn't Polyjuice yourself into a girl and going around kissing boys, then, should you?"

"First," Harry answered heatedly, "George gave me the Polyjuice Potion and I didn't know until I was suddenly shorter and had breasts what he had done. There was little I could do at that point."

"That didn't stop you from kissing him, my—" She stilled, blushing pink, her wild hair flying everywhere.

"Your what?" Harry asked, his voice suddenly cold. He could feel possessiveness swirl within him and squeeze the air out of his lungs. "What, Hermione? You broke up with him fourth year—it's a bit late to be all territorial."

"That's not," she began, shaking her head, biting her lower lip. "That's not what I meant."

"Then what did you mean? Look, I realize it's a bit strange. George shouldn't have turned me into a girl, and—"

"What, you suddenly felt attraction like a girl?" Hermione questioned, her brown eyes as cold as ice, startling Harry. "And now you're back to normal?"

He stilled and thought about it. No, he decided, that's not what had happened. Not really. He dreamed about Krum's kisses and the feeling of want and protection that washed through him as Krum danced with him. It was strange. He didn't understand it. He didn't think he was gay, he'd never fancied a bloke before, but his reactions and desires were still present. "What do you mean 'normal'?" he asked quietly.

Ron squeaked.

Both Harry and Hermione ignored him.

Hermione sighed, playing with a silver necklace around her neck. "What about Ginny?"

"What about her? We broke up."

"You kissed her on your birthday," Hermione responded, her cheeks flooding with color again. "Or don't you remember?"

"She kissed me," Harry immediately defended.

Hermione snorted. "Is that your answer to every time I ask you about who you snog?"

"Well, that's how it always happens," Harry responded, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms. They were sitting in the kitchen, which was sparkling clean. He still couldn't fathom why Kreacher was so happy to have them as masters, even though they had given him Regulus's locket. Part of him thought it had something to do with the admiration in the elf's eyes when he'd walked through the door looking like—looking like Ivy.

Hermione deflated. "So people kiss you and you just—let them?" Her voice was strained and her eyes looked a little hopeful.

"Basically," Harry admitted reluctantly. "It usually catches me by surprise."

"Oh, Harry," she sighed, shaking her head. "What are we going to do with you?"

About a week later the owls began to arrive, and the tentative peace that had formed at Harry's confession was quickly broken. The first owl had gone to Hermione by mistake, and she came into the kitchen one afternoon, her eyebrows disappearing into her bushy brown hair. "This isn't for me," she stated, thrusting it at Harry, and he took the letter strangely, freezing at the opening. My dear Ivy. It was from Krum.

"Oh," he murmured, sinking into a chair and reading it quickly, a blush creeping onto his face with every line he read.

Krum had asked Mr. Weasley of all people for permission to court her—him—her—Ivy, and wished to take Ivy out to tea whenever her schedule would allow.

Harry swallowed nervously. "What does it mean when he wants to court me—er—what does courting mean?"

Ron was sitting at the end of the table, happily eating a scone, and he looked up, a half-confused expression on his face. Clearly he hadn't really been paying attention when Hermione had marched angrily into the room. "Mawage," he answered through a mouthful of food. At Hermione's glare, he swallowed and drained his tea. "Marriage. It's used among purebloods. Intentions have to be honorable, permission asked. A pureblood wizard wouldn't bother if he was dating a half-blood or Muggle-born, but it's serious. Very serious. You can't really even kiss a pureblood witch without stating your intentions, even if you're a Muggle-born. A commitment of some sort, even in dating, is expected." He looked away from Harry, whose stomach sank.

He'd let Ginny kiss him and she was a pureblood. No wonder she wouldn't take their break up seriously. At least Cho had been a half-blood, he thought bitterly.

"Why?" Ron asked, shoving another scone into his mouth.

Hermione sighed and threw a napkin at him, which he caught deftly despite her lack of aim.

"Er—Krum asked your dad for permission to court—er—me. I think he thinks I was a pureblood."

Ron stilled. "What did Dad say? And why would he ask him?"

"I was masquerading as a Weasley cousin. A Prewett actually," he answered, staring at his hand which was clenching into a fist on top of the scrubbed table. "He mentioned asking George when we were dancing, but I convinced him not to, and then he went and asked your father."

Ron blinked several times.

"Mr. Weasley said 'yes,'" Hermione supplied, blushing again. "He didn't quite know who 'Ivy Prewett' was, but when Viktor told him she was an orphaned cousin, he immediately took up responsibility and gave permission, given George's apparent enthusiasm. What is your brother playing at, Ronald?"

Harry swallowed. Hermione only called Ron by his full name when she was especially peeved about something.

"How should I know?" Ron asked. "The twins are barmy. Mad like. You know that."

Harry didn't answer right away, but within a week another owl had arrived, and this time found Harry instead of Hermione, learning from its mistake. It was a beautiful creature and Harry cuddled the large owl close, not reading the letter at first and just wishing that Hedwig were still alive. She wouldn't judge him.

"I don't know what to do," he confessed to the owl, stroking his feathers. "I want—" He wanted Krum to kiss him again. He wanted to feel that squirming sensation in his stomach. He wanted someone to want him without them knowing he was the famous Harry Potter—and Krum—"Viktor. I want Viktor."

The owl nipped his fingers almost as gently as Hedwig had, and he drew some comfort from the action.

He answered the second letter carefully that night, being careful to try to at least write in a passable cursive and not his usual chicken scratch. He didn't promise anything, didn't speak of his own feelings—he was still so confused. Still, he wrote back and asked after the owl's name, mentioning that his own had recently died and he missed having one about to talk to. He didn't sign the letter. It would feel like a lie, he decided, and carefully took one of the small blooms from the hat he had worn to the wedding and slipped it into the letter instead. Viktor should recognize it.

That night he dreamt of Viktor kissing him and awoke gasping, a thin sweat covering his body and a stickiness coating his stomach. He lay in the darkness for several long hours before finally getting up and cleaning himself off, strangely reluctant to do so.

"I need a pot of hortensia," Harry murmured to Kreacher later that day as he sat on the stairs, reading a book. The gnarled house elf had approached him, asking if he could get him anything. "Could you keep it a secret?"

Kreacher looked at him for several seconds, unblinking, and then nodded. "It will be in mistress's room."

Harry stared at the place Kreacher had been standing a moment later, uncertain if the elf meant him or his previous mistress.

A few days later a small masked owl accompanied the black one that had been delivering the letters, and Harry was startled to read that the masked owl was a present from Viktor, to be named at his discretion. Harry had picked up the beautiful bird and stroked her feathers, delighting in the coos that came from her throat. "Spectre," Harry murmured, at the name Viktor had offered as a possibility. It was strangely fitting for his new familiar. "You're a beautiful creature."

Hermione had sniffed at Spectre's appearance on Harry's shoulder, but didn't question it. They were almost not on speaking terms unless it had to deal with horcruxes ever since the first letter had come, and Harry thought she was being a bit childish about it. He still wasn't quite certain why she was so angry, whether it was because Harry had transformed into a woman, kissed a man, or kissed her ex boyfriend. Somehow he also thought that Ginny factored into the equation.

They barely made it out of the Ministry a few weeks later with the locket, and they piled into the house, all breathing heavily, their disguises wearing off. "I'll wear it first," Harry offered, as they had decided to rotate the locket to keep it safe. At seeing Viktor's large owl waiting on the stairs, a letter and a flower clasped in its claw, he smiled and rushed forward, not wanting Hermione to notice immediately, although she called out angrily after him.

The flower was a stargazer lily. Harry had mentioned in a letter that it was his favorite flower—in memory of his mother—and Viktor had sent one to him in a stasis charm to keep it fresh. When can I see you again? Viktor wrote, tearing at Harry's heart.

He bit his lip in thought and looked over at Spectre who was perched in her new cage that Kreacher had picked up. Several pots of hortensia crowded around the open window and Harry smiled. They'd become his signature in his letters. He supposed ivy would have been more fitting, but it reminded him of the wedding, of the hat he had worn and which Viktor had admired.

"Kreacher," he whispered, coming to a decision, and the owl appeared in a starched pillowcase, bowing low.

"Yes, mistress," he murmured. "Kreacher is happy to serve."

"Er—right," Harry said, flushing. "I need Polyjuice. Long lasting and—er—a nice Muggle dress, I think. The same size as the robes I was wearing when I was—when—when we first arrived here after the wedding." It would be safer to meet in the Muggle world, especially with the Muggle-born Registration Act. Harry couldn't prove that as Ivy he was a pureblood. He wouldn't be able to prove that Ivy even existed, apart from people seeing her—him—at the wedding. "And matching shoes."

"It is done, mistress," Kreacher responded and then was gone.

Harry turned to Spectre. "I've lost my mind," he murmured, and Spectre hooted and glided onto his shoulder, nipping the ends of his messy hair.

The dress was laid out on his bed the next day, and Harry stared at it in awe. He would be beautiful in it, he knew. It was a dark forest green and modest. It once again came to just above where his knees would be and while sleeveless, had a covering of green lace that would come up to his neck and down to just past his elbows. A matching pair of ballet flats accompanied the dress and a veil and elaborate black pin. He stared at it for a moment. He supposed it was the pureblood fashion for women who were either not at school or had already graduated. He wasn't really certain.

A few days later he drank the Polyjuice Potion and felt his body transform. He carefully put on the dress, slipping on the shoes as well as a few pieces of jewelry Kreacher had provided. They must have belonged to his previous mistress, Harry realized, and hoped that Sirius wouldn't mind.

His heart clenched at the thought of his godfather, but he pushed it away. He wanted—just to be wanted for a little while. It wasn't too much to ask, he told himself, though his heart quietly ached in his chest. Kreacher popped in a few moments later and began arranging Harry's long red curls into a loose twist. Harry didn't stop him, but instead watched the transformation. The veil was pinned on the top of his head, covering his pale green eyes again, the broach catching the light.

"Its is onyxes, mistress," Kreacher informed him, "and dark rubies."

Harry nodded and accepted a black trench coat Kreacher offered and an umbrella. "Hermione and Ron?" he inquired softly. A black purse was pushed into his hand and he slipped his wand into it as well as a few Muggle notes he had lying around. He would have to somehow get more, he realized.

"In the library, mistress."

Harry walked down the steps carefully and, when he got to the entryway, found Walburga Black staring at him calculatingly. "I've seen you before," she murmured. "You dress like a pureblood lady."

"I—" Harry began to answer, but his throat felt suddenly dry as the crazed eyes of the portrait took him in. He shook his head and with a quiet nod, slipped out the door. A painted gaze followed him.

The Muggle café was small and Harry walked through the door, to see Viktor waiting for him in a table at the window, dressed impressively in a Muggle suit. "Ivy," he greeted, clasping her hand and raising it to just below his lips, never kissing it. "I am being so glad to see you."

"Me, too," Harry responded breathlessly, the now familiar sensation of want coiling deeply within his stomach. "I'm sorry if I'm late."

"Not at all," Viktor replied smoothly, pulling out Harry's chair for him. "A lady is never late."

Harry laughed, surprised at how low and melodic it sounded. His voice as Ivy was different than any female voice he had ever heard, and it was a little startling. "I like that rule," he murmured, his gaze instantly caught in Viktor's dark one. His breath caught in his throat and Harry felt himself blush. "How are you?"

"Vell, now that you are here. Quidditch is ending as it gets too cold, but you are knowing the seasons."

Harry shook his head, a few strands of pale red curls brushing against his cheek. "No. I—I'm an orphan, Viktor."

Viktor nodded and a waitress came by, setting preordered tea and scones in front of them. Harry found himself inexplicably hungry in his nervousness and quickly grabbed one, covering it with clotted cream and taking a bite. He knew it was unladylike though he did see Viktor stare at the turn of his wrist, which seemed more refined than anything Harry ever did in his own body.

Harry took a deep breath and continued. "My father was a pureblood," he admitted, "but my mother wasn't. When they died—I was sent to live with Muggles. I didn't know about Quidditch or magic even until I was eleven." He looked down at his tea, somehow too afraid to look into Viktor's eyes. "It's probably why Uncle Arthur didn't quite know who I was. I'm just the orphan people rarely remember." Except when it suits them, he added mentally.

The sound of chatter around them filled Harry's senses and Viktor didn't respond. Carefully, Harry took another sip of his tea, looking anywhere than at his companion.

"If you want me to leave," Harry began carefully, deciding that Viktor was somehow angry that he wasn't actually a pureblood lady like he had thought, though Viktor still didn't know how right he was in this new discovery.

"Ivy," Viktor responded kindly. "Look at me."

Hesitantly, Harry raised his eyes and gasped at the calm understanding in Viktor's dark brooding gaze.

"I haff not care if your mother vas born from Muggles," he said firmly and carefully. "You are still a pureblood lady as far as I haff concern."

"I'm not," Harry responded quickly. "I didn't even know what courtship was until I asked a friend, or what you meant by intentions. I still don't know why—"

"You speak to me like I am a man. I haff not been experiencing that for a very long time, Ivy. I care not for blood in the extreme. I still vish to haff courtship vith you."

Harry blushed again, glancing away. "Oh."

"Vith your permission, off course. I haff your uncle's but not yours. You haff said nothing in your letters. I thought that perhaps there haff—is—another?" Viktor looked at Harry assessingly, his jaw hard but his eyes full of a hesitant worry.

Shaking his head, Harry smiled. "No," he responded truthfully. "No one."

"Then you vish for my attentions," Viktor stated, pouring Harry another cup of tea when he noticed Harry's cup was almost empty. Harry was rather surprised by the action.

Pausing for a moment and searching himself, Harry quietly nodded. "I don't know how often I can—"

"That does not matter," Krum responded carefully, finally claiming a scone for himself. "I know that it is a time off change in England and must be—frightening. Frightening, yes?"

Harry nodded.

"You vere running vhen the Ministry fell, so you must haff reason for vorry. I do not understand fully, but I vish you to be safe until I can take you to Bulgaria as my vife."

Harry dropped his knife in surprise, and Viktor gave him a smug smile.

"This is being courtship," he responded to Harry's dumfounded gaze. Harry wasn't able to say much after that, but kept on stealing glances at Viktor, his heart fluttering in his chest and his breath catching in his throat when their eyes met. When they finished eating, Viktor paid, forcing Harry to put away his purse, and then pulled out Harry's chair, asking if he wanted to take a walk in Hyde Park.

Despite the overcast weather it didn't rain, and Harry curled against Viktor's side, happy when a strong arm wrapped around his slender waist and pulled him into Viktor's warmth. When it began to drizzle, they ran laughing toward the cover of a tree, and Harry was swept into a deep and longing kiss, and he gave into it, melting against Viktor and losing himself completely.

As time for dinner began to approach, they pulled apart, and Harry gazed longingly into Viktor's dark gaze. "I've never been kissed like that," he murmured, recalling Ginny's attempt on his seventeenth birthday.

"I am glad," Viktor responded, leaning his forehead against Harry's and brushing away some stray curls. "I vould hope that you vould not vish anyvone else to kiss you after today."

Harry smiled shyly at Viktor and arched against him, offering his swollen lips once more. When Harry finally pulled away for the last time, looking sadly at Viktor and opening his umbrella against the elements, Viktor pushed a small wrapped package into his hand. Harry looked at it in confusion, not expecting a present.

"For you vondrous hair," Viktor responded huskily. "I haff hope that you vill think off me vhen you vear them."

Harry leaned back and kissed Viktor gently, smiling, and then ran out into the rain before he lost himself again, glancing back and seeing Viktor staring after him, veiled by the rain.

He barely noticed the hunched figures in front of twelve, Grimmauld Place when he ran up to the entrance, not wanting to Apparate in the elements. He opened the door to the dilapidated property carefully and saw that Walburga was already watching him.

"The others are in the kitchen for dinner," she responded without Harry having to ask. She nodded to package in his hand. "I see you have a courtship gift. I hope he is a pureblood worthy of the House of Black."

"Yes," Harry answered carefully, staring at the small gift that was wrapped in dark blue paper. "He's foreign, but he's a pureblood, Mrs. Black."

When he heard footsteps, he rushed up the stairs and slammed his door behind him, dropping his umbrella to the floor. Spectre hooted at him and Harry smiled at her, unsurprised that the clever little owl had been able to recognize him even under Polyjuice. Carefully, he set the package to the side as he felt his skin beginning to ripple, and stripped out of his dress and kicked off his shoes just before he became himself again. He redressed in a pair of jeans and a long sleeved shirt, towel drying his short black hair, his eyes lingering on the package. Glancing at the door, he picked it up again and carefully unwrapped it to find a beautiful set of silver combs, vines of ivy engraved into it.

He didn't realize until he was descending the stairs to the kitchen that his face was wet with tears and not the evening rain.

Hermione began to watch him more closely after the afternoon he had disappeared without a trace. She never asked him outright, but Harry became angrier with her than usual whenever he wore the locket and longed for Viktor, for his strong arms, for his kisses. Viktor's thoughtful letters continued and Harry grew heartsick at the thought that he was deceiving Viktor. He wasn't really Ivy, Ivy was some Muggle from Ottery St. Catchpole. Viktor didn't really want him, he told himself as he went to sleep at night. Still, he would dream of Viktor, either making love to him as Ivy or himself, or sometimes looking at him at disgust. He would wake up shivering, often covered in sweat and his own seed, and would cry himself back to sleep, Spectre nestled in his arms.

Ron became more volatile whenever he wore the locket, and Harry sometimes caught Hermione and Ron whispering to each other and then become quiet whenever Harry looked over at them. Seeing no hope for it, Harry began not to respond to Viktor's letters, knowing that it was tearing him apart and could never really be.

On Christmas Eve, Ron disappeared with a huff, and Harry wasn't sad to see him gone.

"Another owl," Hermione said weepily from the stairs where the two of them were sitting, staring at the door through which Ron had stormed a few hours before. "How could you keep accepting them? It's wrong."

"No it's not," Harry defended, letting the black owl settle on his shoulder and took the letter, knowing he should just throw it on the fire and be done with it, but not finding the strength to do it.

It was just one line, and it broke Harry's heart. I love you. Come back to me. Harry felt his throat close, and tears began to splash from his eyes.

The next day he looked at another dress Kreacher had provided. Hermione, Kreacher had said, was crying in her room, researching how to destroy the locket. Harry just nodded. The familiar smell of almond and roses met his nose and he drank the potion and then put on the dark blue dress and black boots, thankful that the dress came down just past his knees so that no skin was exposed. Kreacher had procured a fur-lined coat and muff, and placed the silver combs in Harry's long hair. Harry for once was without a veil, but he didn't ask Kreacher about it. He knew it was of some significance, but he didn't question it.

The café was much as he remembered it, and as soon as he entered it Harry ran into Viktor's waiting arms, crying, feeling the locket press heavily against his chest, urging him to let go, to run, to never be Harry Potter again. Viktor held him lovingly, his large hands running through Harry's light red curls, tracing the combs every few minutes in wonder. "I'm sorry," Harry whispered desperately, pulling away, only to feel Viktor kiss him deeply, sweetly, and Harry felt loved, wanted, which made his heart break a little more. "I can't," he whispered when Viktor pulled away. "I don't want to hurt you—and I will, I am."

"No," Viktor reasoned, guiding Harry to a chair and settling him down into it. "You could never be hurting me."

Harry shook his head. "You're wrong. I—Viktor—I'm in hiding. The government—they—" He brushed his red curls out of his eyes harshly. They were unwieldy from the winter wind.

"Come to Bulgaria, then," Viktor pleaded, his dark eyes serious as he leaned forward and cupped Harry's face in his large, warm hands. "You know I vant you there, as my vife. There vould be no shame."

Harry shook his head again, glancing away from Viktor's earnest gaze. "You don't understand. I was in hiding at the wedding. I—it wasn't—George provided the hair for the Polyjuice potion. I don't—I don't look like this." He looked up briefly and saw Viktor's jaw clenched and a scowl cross his lips. "I'm sorry," he murmured, quickly getting up and walking toward the door, his heart slowly breaking.

Before he could take more than a half dozen steps, strong arms wrapped around his waist and pulled him against Viktor's chest. Gentle lips kissed his earlobe before Viktor buried his face in Harry's mass of wild curls. "I am not caring. I luff you, Ivy—or vhatever you are called. I vant you, not your face."

"But I—" Harry whispered, but he was turned around quickly and Viktor claimed his lips again passionately, and Harry was immediately lost again. Tears streamed from his eyes at the thought of losing this, of losing this—emotion that he couldn't quite name yet. He just wanted Viktor to want him, to see him, and he arched against Viktor's body, the strong arms he adored encircling his waist and pushing them closer together.

"Come to Bulgaria," Viktor repeated. "Come."

Harry shook his head, tears still dripping from his eyes. "I can't—there's too much to do—I—the Dark Lord."

Viktor's dark gaze saddened and Harry reached up and cupped his cheek gently through his glove. "I'm sorry. I want—but I can't—not yet—and I—" He took a deep breath. "I never lied," he reiterated, "except about my name and being a cousin to the Weasleys. It's why Mr. Weasley didn't know who I was, though he does know me."

Viktor nodded and kissed Harry gently again. "How long do ve haff?"

"I doubt anyone will miss me," Harry sighed, closing his eyes and just breathing in Viktor's scent. He smelled of oak and winter winds. It was heavenly.

"Then giff me tonight," Viktor pleaded, leading Harry back to the table. "Let me show you I luff you—as yourself or as Ivy. Vhy Ivy?"

Harry sat gracefully down and allowed Viktor pull the muff from his hands and then his gloves. He blushed when Viktor began to unbutton his coat to allow him to be more comfortable in the warm teashop.

"My mother. Her name was Lily and I—well, when George gave me the potion I was looking at Ivy." He turned his light green gaze to Viktor who was now kissing the palm of his hand in devotion. "My Muggle aunt is named Petunia. I think my grandmother was named Rose."

"It is very suitable I am thinking then," Viktor complimented, taking his own seat that he positioned beside Harry's. "You vere named then for flower really?"

Harry shook his head. "No. I—" He looked at Viktor wearily. "George hid me completely, Viktor. I—I'm not a girl normally. I—" Before he could say anything else, Viktor's lips were once again on his own, licking, tasting, loving him completely. Harry moaned into the kiss, tears of joy springing to his eyes, and he brought up his shaking hands to cup Viktor's face and bring him closer. "Thank God," he murmured as he gasped for air. "Thank God."

Viktor drew him to his chest, and Harry rested his head in contentment, just breathing in Viktor's scent and reveling in the feeling of still being wanted, although Viktor knew he was a boy and didn't even know his real name.

"Tonight," Viktor begged quietly. "Giff me tonight. You can be taking your potion if you must, but giff me tonight to proof vot you mean to me."

Harry nodded against Viktor's chest and just rested there, forgetting the world outside the teashop, the war, the fact that he might die if he couldn't destroy all of Voldemort's horcruxes before he was found.

They wandered the streets together, holding hands, as Harry pointed out various pieces of Muggle culture that seemed to baffle Viktor. "I haff dated a Muggle-born," he admitted, "but she did not teach me as you do." He drew Harry closer and kissed him in front of a Confectioner's that was closed for the holiday.

Harry sighed when the languid kiss ended and looked up at Viktor adoringly. "No," he agreed, censoring himself slightly. "Granger prefers to lecture if anything."

"You are knowing her," Viktor said, surprised, and Harry nodded.

"She just didn't know me the way I was dressed at the wedding. No one did except George."

"He is good friend then," Viktor murmured as they moved on. "I am glad that you haff that. It is important vhen country is in change."

"Yes," Harry agreed, snuggling into Viktor's warmth, closing his eyes momentarily. He had warming charms on his coat and his boots, but he still enjoyed the closeness. They lapsed into silence for a few moments.

"You knew me, then, vhen I vas at Hogvarts all those years ago."

Harry paused momentarily and then nodded, not putting it into words. He could feel Viktor's gaze on him.

"I am sorry then that I did not take you to Yule Ball. I vould haff if I had known I vould fall in luff vith you, Ivy. I never luffed Herm-o-ninny."

Harry shook his head. "I went with a girl in my year. I didn't have much fun, but she was a bit—controlling. I've never—I've had girlfriends—t-two," he stuttered, blushing, "but I never wanted—not until you first kissed me. I still don't know what it all means. I mean, they were pretty, I just didn't—and—" He sighed in frustration, unable to put it into words.

"I haff been most flattered," Viktor murmured, pausing and kissing Harry gently once again. "Your eyes haff much beauty. They say they show a vizard's soul and your eyes show yours."

Harry blushed and kissed Viktor again, thankful for the compliment that stayed away from his physical appearance as Ivy. They made their way to Viktor's hotel soon afterwards, and Harry was surprised when he was led into Diagon Alley and into one of the few prosperous buildings off of a side street. He'd never seen it before, but no one questioned them as Viktor was clearly recognizable. The day had turned even colder, and Harry sighed when Viktor took off his outer layers, rubbing his shoulder and kissing his lips gently once they were in Viktor's suite.

"You are not vearing the veil," Viktor murmured against Harry's hair, touching the two combs gently.

"My house elf didn't give me one," Harry murmured breathlessly as Viktor's hands rested on his hips, squeezing them and then lifting Harry up so that Harry had to grab onto Viktor and wrap his legs around his waist.

"Your elf dressed you before, yes?" Viktor asked, leaving a trail of kisses on Harry's neck.

"Yes," Harry agreed, moaning softly. "He even calls me mistress."

"Hmm," Viktor sighed as he laid Harry down on the large bed, releasing him and trailing his hands over his bare knees and to the black boots he was wearing. "Elfs haff much knowledge and they are knowing more than ve think."

Harry turned his head to the side, watching Viktor as he unzipped his boots and then slowly pulled off his wool socks. He gasped when Viktor trailed kisses down his left calf, a shiver running down his spine and pooling into an uncomfortable squirming warmth between his legs.

A knock on the door interrupted Viktor's attentions and he stood up, helping Harry to his feet and kissing his temple gently. "The drawer," he whispered, tilting his head toward the bedside table. Carefully, Harry walked forward and opened the drawer, finding a small jewelry box. He heard Viktor opening the door behind him and, carefully, opened the box, gasping when he saw an engagement ring. Glancing behind him, he saw Viktor stepping aside, letting in a wizard who was pushing a cart loaded with what looked like their dinner. "My bride vill need a maid for tomorrow morning," Viktor remarked calmly, and Harry's breath caught in his throat. He turned quickly to the ring and with shaking fingers, took out the ring and slipped it onto his left hand, marveling when it resized itself to fit him perfectly.

"Of course, Mr. Krum," the wizard murmured as Harry turned around, glancing curiously at Harry and the large diamond that was now on his hand. "Felicitations."

Viktor nodded and a moment later the wizard was gone.

Harry stood, his hands behind him, pressed against the small table. "Wife?" he questioned, his melodic voice breathless and slightly higher than it usually was.

Viktor nodded, stepping forward with his hand outstretched in invitation. Harry took it and allowed Viktor to lift his bejeweled hand to just beneath his lips before releasing it. "I vould not dishonor you even in your disguise. You are my vife—my spouse," he amended, "although there vas no ceremony. I luff you and vil show you as a husband vould show and it vill not be tainted."

Harry offered Viktor a small smile and allowed himself to be led to the table in front of the fire, sitting down elegantly.

"How many years haff you?" Viktor asked as they finished their meal, his eyes drinking in Harry lovingly. He had watched silently as Harry had taken out a vial of potion and mixed in a sliver of hair to last the night. "You are off age?"

"Yes," Harry agreed, sipping from a glass of wine Viktor had poured from it. He'd already had most of the glass and was finally beginning to relax. "I'm seventeen."

"Seventeen," Viktor repeated, standing and taking Harry's glass. With a fluid movement, Harry was in his arms. Harry was motionless as he was laid on the bed and carefully undressed, only moving to grasp Viktor's wrist when he made to remove the gold locket around his neck.

He shook his head. "I have to wear it," he murmured, begging Viktor to understand with his eyes.

"It is very dark," Viktor murmured as he began to undress himself. His tie had been discarded just before dinner and his shirt unbuttoned near the top, and he was now removing his outer jacket and waistcoat. "I can feel the magic. It is poison, Ivy."

"I know," Harry sighed, looking up and trying not to be embarrassed by his nakedness as Viktor continued to undress before him. "It's dangerous and we share responsibility before it can be destroyed."

"The drawer, then," Viktor asked. "It vill be safe in the drawer."

Harry at first didn't answer as Viktor continued to undress, revealing his muscled chest and his rounded shoulders. Harry reached up and Viktor obligingly climbed onto the bed, and Harry tentatively reached out and caressed Viktor's upper arm, leaning forward and kissing a shoulder gently, the muscles shifting underneath his lips. Viktor moaned, pressing Harry into the mattress as his lips caressed Harry's neck.

"Please," Viktor begged against Harry's ear, a calloused hand coming up and cupping his left breast possessively. "I vish to luff you, not a charred piece of soul."

Harry stilled and he pushed Viktor up so that he could see his dark gaze. "How did you—?"

"I vent to Durmstrang, yes. I know much off dark magic though I haff little use for it." His warm hand left Harry's breast, making Harry sigh in disappointment, and he tentatively touched the chain of the locket. "It vill be safe. I vill vard it and you vill vear it tomorrow if you must."

Carefully, Harry lifted himself on his elbows, feeling his hair fall down his back. "All right," he murmured, locking gazes with Viktor. "It needs to be safe."

Viktor reached forward and kissed Harry's lips gently, teasing them apart only to pull away and have his fingers slide down to lift the locket carefully over Harry's head, brushing his hair away from the strands of gold links. Harry immediately felt a weight lift from him and he moaned in relief. Lying back down, he watched Viktor open the drawer that had held his engagement ring and place the locket inside, warding it quietly. He then stripped out of his trousers, revealing himself fully to Harry.

Harry's throat went dry and he reached out, his fingertips brushing against the swollen cock that hung between Viktor's legs. "It's bigger than—" Harry breathed, before realizing what he said. He blushed and looked away.

Viktor's deep laugh caught his attention and he turned back hesitantly. Viktor leaned forward and kissed him deeply, his hand once again settling on his breast and kneading it, causing Harry's stomach to flutter with butterflies and the same strange heat to pool between his legs. "That is because I am a few years older and I am Bulgarian."

Harry smiled lightly at Viktor, leaning against the pillows and allowing Viktor to settle on top of him again. Viktor's thumb ran across his nipple, which Harry could feel harden, and he gasped at the pleasure that ran through him. "Bulgarian?"

"Ve are excellent lovers and varriors," Viktor whispered, capturing Harry's lips. A hand tangled in his long hair, angling Harry's face up, and he gave into the way his body was being moved, opening his legs to allow Viktor to fully settle between them. The torturous thumb swept back and forth across his nipple and the hand continued to knead his breast, making Harry lose the ability to think rationally.

Harry lost all sense of himself, of his gender, of his identity as Viktor's lips left his and traveled down to his neglected breast, sucking the nipple into moist heat. Harry cried out in pleasure and the hand that was buried in his hair released him, caressing his side and then cupping the back of his thigh, urging his legs to bend upward.

"Ivy," Viktor repeated as a lovesick mantra as his clever fingers left Harry's breast and came to the strange heat between his legs, toying with the moist folds and rubbing lightly. "Ivy, Ivy, my Ivy." Harry didn't care that it wasn't really his name, knowing that Viktor still wanted him as a man, and that he would always want to be called Ivy by Viktor if he whispered it like that.

Tension coiled in his stomach, but Harry barely noticed as he panted, his hands grasping Viktor's shoulders and holding him to his body, never wanting to let go. With one final lick to Harry's abused nipple, Viktor lifted himself up slightly, leveraging himself with his hold on Harry's hip, and his lips gently claimed Harry's, his tongue snaking into Harry's mouth and massaging Harry's tongue lovingly. "Viktor," Harry moaned into Viktor's mouth and Viktor's fingers swirled between his legs one final time and he lost himself, moaning as his body shivered with pleasure, more wetness coursing between his legs and coating Viktor's fingers.

Viktor continued to kiss him gently before pulling away, the hand on Harry's hip coming up to brush Harry's curls away from his moist face. "I luff you," he whispered, nipping at Harry's plump lower lip gently. "So much."

Harry offered a tremulous smile in return, tears coming to his eyes as he realized that he loved Viktor in return.

"Vot is wrong? Did I hurt you? I think this body is off virgin, but I did not think that it vould hurt," Viktor murmured and kissed Harry again, his other hand leaving Harry's folds and coming up to cup Harry's cheek.

A warm, strange smell met Harry's senses, and he realized it was himself, his pleasure coated on Viktor's fingers. "No," Harry whispered, reaching up and kissing Viktor softly. "I just—I realized that I love you, too."

Viktor stared at him for several long minutes and then kissed away his tears, his thumbs moving along the sides of his eyes. "I luff you," he repeated in comfort. Soon, Harry felt the same tightening in his stomach, and he arched up as Viktor's lips worshipped one breast and then the other before coming to his navel. A tongue flicked out and Harry keened at the sensitive tingles running through his body, his legs falling apart as he wanted

"This vill hurt," Viktor whispered as he positioned Harry's legs properly and hovered above Harry.

Harry tentatively reached out and ran his thin fingers along Viktor's clavicle, pausing when his fingertips reached a scar. "How much?" he asked a little tremulously, his skin crawling with desire and a little apprehension.

"I am not knowing," Viktor replied truthfully, settling himself onto his forearms as his face hovered above Harry's. "It is different for each voman."

Harry saw a flash of knowledge in Viktor's eyes and realized that he had done this before, and he glanced away nervously.

"Ivy," Viktor murmured, leaning down and kissing the corner of Harry's mouth. "Look at me, please."

Several agonizing moments passed when Harry just stared at the wall before reluctantly turning to see Viktor's dark gaze.

"I luff you," Viktor coaxed. "I—you haff not been knowing off pureblood vays, do you?"

Harry shook his head in confusion, his eyes wide and begging for some explanation.

"Ve honor our vives by knowing before. Ve—fuck—Muggles and those born off Muggles so that ve vill not hurt our vives. I honored you before I luffed you. They meant nothing, I never spoke vords off love and vorship and marriage to any. Just you. Ivy." He kissed Harry gently and Harry melted a little into the kiss although he didn't surrender completely.

"Hermione?" he asked, pulling away and looking into Viktor's confused and sad gaze.

Viktor sighed and lifted himself onto just one arm, his large hand circling around Harry's left wrist and pulling it up so that they could both see it in the dim light. The platinum ring sparkled, making Harry smile. "Ve do not speak names. Ve are gentlemen," Viktor explained carefully. "This ring means that I marry you vhen I luff you. Let me luff you. Marry you. Please, Ivy. Let me protect you and luff you even if you must stay for now." He gently released Harry's hand, which fell onto Harry's breast.

"You don't know who I am," Harry murmured, his eyes glittering with tears. "I could be anyone."

"You are the vone I luff," Viktor replied simply, kissing Harry deeply again and groaning when Harry finally relaxed, his hands tangling in Viktor's short hair and pulling him closer. He delighted in the feel of Viktor's beard tickling against his face and opened his legs wide, making his decision.

Viktor's strong hands caressed the side of Harry's rib cage, causing him to shiver. A moan escaped his swollen lips and, without thinking, he hooked his right leg over Viktor's hip, pulling him even closer. Viktor sighed into Harry's mouth and pulled away slightly, reaching down to position his hardness between Harry's legs. "I luff you," he swore and then he carefully began to push forward.

The pain ripped through Harry as he felt just how tight and small his body was, and he grasped Viktor to him, closing his eyes as tears began to form in his eyes.

Fingers stroked his hip lovingly and he felt Viktor's lips press lightly against his face as he stilled, allowing Harry to adjust for his girth before pressing forward.

"Do it," Harry gritted out. "Do it all at once to get the pain over with," he begged as he buried his face in the crook of Viktor's shoulders.

"I luff you," Viktor repeated again, grasping Harry's hips and slowly sliding forward.

Harry felt a twinge of sharp pain lace through his body and then it was done. Viktor slid slowly forward and his body shook in protest as it slowly began to adjust. He felt Viktor still when he was fully seated and Viktor's hands left Harry's hips, coming up behind his back and clasping Harry to him closely.

"I am knowing," he murmured reassuringly, his fingers skating over Harry's spine. "I am knowing. It vill soon be over and then I vill make you feel pleasure again. I promise, Ivy."

Slowly, Harry felt his body adjust and he eventually relaxed into Viktor's strong embrace, sighing as he was set lovingly on the pillows again and Viktor's lips claimed his achingly slowly, allowing his body to stir in pleasure again before Viktor began to move. Harry reached up and brushed Viktor's fringe away from his eyes, wanting to see him clearly. "I love you," he whispered. "My husband."

Viktor's dark eyes lit up with joy and then, with one final lingering kiss, he braced himself on his forearms and pulled out, causing a gasp to leave Harry's lips. He stilled, watching Harry anxiously, and with Harry's nod began to move again, never pulling fully out, and controlling his pace until Harry was gasping at the sensation, his body perspiring as pleasure coursed through him and coiled in his stomach. Tentatively, Harry began to meet each gentle thrust, moaning loudly when that strange nub of pleasure was hit with the new angle.

Viktor grunted as a spasm of pleasure rocked through Harry, causing his body to clench momentarily, but Viktor still continued, leaning down and brushing his lips against Harry's when Harry arched his neck toward him.

"Soon, so close," Harry gasped, his arms coming up around Viktor as he arched fully up, kissing the side of Viktor's mouth and tasting his husband's sweat. His husband. The thought, combined with another thrust, caused Harry to shout, "Viktor," as his body spasmed in sheer pleasure. He could feel Viktor still moving above him, groaning, and then a rush of sensation coursed through him as Viktor fell over the edge, each of them clasping the other close, breathing heavily as they rode out their pleasure.

Pulling out of Harry with a moan and a lingering kiss, Harry felt liquid seep out of him and sighed in pleasure, turning toward Viktor's warmth as his husband fell to the side. An arm curled around his hips possessively and Harry smiled, knowing he was loved.

Harry reached up and Viktor kissed him languidly, brushing his curls away from his face and shoulder, even carefully taking out the combs that Kreacher had put in his hair earlier. "Thank you," Harry murmured as he smiled up at Viktor.

"For vot?"

"The combs," Harry whispered, "for being gentle and—still wanting me."

"I vill alvays be vanting you," Viktor assured him, capturing his lips gently. Harry's body hummed in pleasure and his sensitive nipples hardened as he pressed his breasts against Viktor's chest. Viktor's hand gravitated lower, kneading one cheek of his bottom, causing Harry to grind against Viktor, whose body twitched with tired interest.

"I've worn you out," Harry murmured in surprise.

"For now," Viktor agreed. "You haff been crying. You should sleep and I vill luff you again in the morning if ve haff time, my darling."

Harry nodded and settled his head against Viktor's chest. "Are we really married? Even if I'm male?"

"Yes," Viktor soothed, running his hands through Harry's hair. "You vere voman vhen I luffed you. Ve are now married even if I do not know your name, Ivy."

And with a smile on his face, Harry drifted off to sleep, Viktor's hand brushing through his hair rhythmically.

There was light and Harry shifted, aware that he was against a strong warmth that was vibrating for some reason. "Who are you?" a harsh voice demanded in a whisper and Harry's eyes fluttered open. He could see a hand in front of him, feminine and small with an engagement ring on it, and he realized it was his own. He smiled and snuggled closer to Viktor, the hand around the top of his back tightening a little.

"I am mistress's elf," the voice of Kreacher responded, and Harry sat up in shock, drawing a sheet around his chest. Blinking rapidly and pushing his wild red hair away from his face, he saw Kreacher bowing before the bed, a garment bag beside him.

"Kreacher?" he asked in confusion. "What are you—?"

"Mistress needs clothes. Kreacher woulds have killed bad wizard but Kreacher sees mistress is married as it should be. Old mistress will be so glad. She says nice new mistress needs proper husband for House of Black. Pureblood husband. The House of Black is pure except for nasty Mudblood—"

"Kreacher," Harry sighed, feeling Viktor pull him against his chest. "What have I said about calling people Mudbloods and blood traitors? I thought you liked—my guest—now?"

"Guest asks question about mistress and new husband that she shoulds not ask. Rifles through mistress's letters, she does, but Kreacher stopped her."

Harry sighed. "Thank you, Kreacher," he responded tiredly, his melodic voice deeper and slightly huskier than usual. "I'll be home later."

With a pop Kreacher was gone and Harry relaxed against Viktor, sighing. "My elf is a bit devoted. And calls me mistress even when I'm not female."

Viktor laughed, kissing Harry's ear gently. "That is not a crime, and he might like having a mistress off the house, Ivy."

"I suppose," Harry sighed, turning in Viktor's embrace and draping his arms around his rounded shoulders. "I like you with a beard," he murmured, leaning forward and kissing him gently.

"I haff gladness," Viktor answered, lowering Harry again and deepening the kiss. Harry noticed that his breath was fresh as was his, and wondered what spellwork Viktor had worked when he was still sleeping. "I vould vish my vife—or husband—to think me handsome."

Harry laughed, arching forward, shivering at Viktor's tender caresses.

The morning was languid and slow. Viktor had carried Harry to the en suite bath and washed him carefully, taking away every ache and kissing his breasts gently and repeatedly, causing Harry to sigh and moan although Harry was too sore to make love again. When they emerged in robes, their breakfast was waiting for them with the morning Prophet, though Harry tossed it aside angrily. A maid then arrived and helped Harry dress in a dusty gold and white dress, complimenting him and calling him "Madam Krum" so many times Harry thought his blush might be permanent. His hair was brushed out and then placed in a complicated style on his head and the silver clips once again placed in his hair instead of a veil.

"No veil again," Harry commented as Viktor took out the locket and placed it gently around Harry's thin neck, kissing the side of it as he carefully slipped it underneath his dress.

"You are married. Vitches who are married do not vhere veil."

"I wasn't wearing one yesterday," Harry commented, startled, as Viktor kissed him deeply, causing his toes to curl into the carpet.

"It vas meaning that you vere engaged and on the cusp off marriage. You haff smart elf, Ivy."

"An annoying one," Harry countered, smiling.

They left the hotel soon after and Harry was surprised when his body didn't shift back to his original form, though he took a final dose of Polyjuice Potion to be certain. The two of them walked into Muggle London, arm in arm, and Harry kissed Viktor goodbye with tears in his eyes a few streets away from Grimmauld Place.

"I vill see you soon," Viktor vowed, and Harry nodded, uncertain if his heart could break anymore than it already had at the thought of leaving Viktor. He walked away, not looking back, and when he finally came to Grimmauld Place, he slipped the ring off and into his pocket in case Hermione saw it, his finger feeling empty and aching almost immediately.

Harry didn't even bother to answer Hermione when the fight erupted over lunch. For some strange reason his body had yet to transform back and he was forced to walk around the house as Ivy. Hermione had glared at him stonily for several long moments and then began to lecture him. "You're being irresponsible. You took the horcrux out with you—and—anything could have happened. Were you seeing him again?"

Harry's silence only seemed to encourage her and Harry lost his appetite, retreating to his room with several books. He changed into his old Quidditch jersey in anticipation of morphing into his own body, but it didn't happen, and he fell asleep in the female body, waves of light red curls covering the tears that fell from his eyes.

He didn't bother to come down for several days, instead allowing Kreacher to bring up his meals and various books he asked for. He had taken off the horcrux and shoved it in a drawer, warding it so that only he could touch it with a Parseltongue password, feeling a lightness around him and his longing to flee England completely lessen just a little bit.

A week later he finally allowed Kreacher to dress him in a dark purple blouse and female jeans and wandered down to the library. His hair was pulled back loosely in a ponytail but some of it still escaped and framed his face, his eyes slightly swollen from crying. He'd received letters full of love and devotion from Viktor and Spectre always curled up with him at night. There were several small gifts, including a Snitch that Krum said he had caught at the last World Cup. Harry had smiled, remembering watching the incredible catch, and looking forward to finally being able to fly with his husband.

"You're still a woman," Hermione noticed tartly, and Harry sighed.

"So it would seem," he agreed. "I think it's a side effect." He entered the library carefully where Hermione was reading and taking notes on all possible horcruxes.

"Yes," Hermione agreed. "Polyjuice Potion isn't supposed to change your gender. How was Viktor?" Her eyes, Harry noticed, were also slightly swollen from crying.

"Fine. Quidditch won't start up for another few months."

Silence settled over them again, and Harry sighed. He wanted to ask Hermione about whether she had ever slept with Viktor, how she could not have told them, though knowing if she had he and Ron probably would have tried to beat Viktor to a pulp at the time—with or without wands. He knew he couldn't ask though. It didn't seem to be done.

A commotion alerted them to someone entering the house and they drew their wands, creeping into the hall and looking down the stairs, where the visage of a wailing Dumbledore was accusing someone of murdering him. There was no one there, but instead only the Sword of Gryffindor, confusing them both completely.

They spent the next week properly warding the door so that only someone with a password could even open it. It was old and dark magic that could only be conducted by the owner of the house, which was fortunately Harry. That would keep the rest of the Order and the traitorous Snape out, though Hermione had run away crying when Harry mentioned trying to make the password something Ron would know.

Unable to stand the house anymore a few days later, he carefully dressed in his warm jeans and another blouse that Kreacher had procured for him. It was black and practically sheer, making Harry blush when he could see the trace of his lacy bra underneath, but Kreacher had assured him that his husband would like it. His hair was left down again but Kreacher dutifully put in a new set of combs Viktor had sent, and Harry sighed, looking at his red rimmed eyes and wishing he were a little prettier. He didn't want to show up with glamours on top of his Polyjuice form.

He walked through the snow toward Diagon Alley, his boots crunching against the thin layer of ice and a scarf wrapped around his face to keep him warm. He smiled when he walked into the Leaky Cauldron and saw Viktor waiting for him, throwing himself in his husband's arms and kissing him deeply. "You haff been crying," Viktor murmured, pulling away.

Harry shook his head. "Just tired, and there's been a malfunction. I've been like this since I left." He bit his lip worriedly and looked up at Viktor. "I have no idea why, but I brought some potion along just in case," he assured Viktor, seeing a flash of worry in his black eyes. "I keep on expecting strange female things to happen to my body, but it hasn't happened yet. Fortunately. I had Kreacher go and buy these pads that are apparently useful just in case."

Viktor looked momentarily pensive, but then kissed Harry a moment later. Pulling away with a smile, he took his hand and pulled him to his feet. "Come. I haff been vanting to kiss every part off you for weeks," he murmured, leading a blushing Harry away.

Two weeks later Harry began to worry when still he had not changed back to his usual body. He sat for several hours in front of the mirror, tracing the lines of his face, the curve of his neck, and the shape of his plump lips that he wished Viktor were there to kiss. He'd been ill the previous morning and hadn't been able to sleep at all the night before, and was beginning to wonder if the horcrux was affecting him even though it was locked away in a drawer. A wave of nausea overtook him and he placed his hands firmly on his vanity, which Kreacher had moved into the room for his use.

The horcrux had to be destroyed, Harry decided desperately. This couldn't go on. Perhaps it was the reason he was still like this?

He pushed the thought from his head. There must be another explanation. After several minutes he slowly got to his feet and pulled on a set of pale pink house robes that Kreacher had acquired. From the labels he knew they were all expensive and assumed that there was a house account that Kreacher was getting the money from. He glanced in the mirror, looking at his tired face. There were light blue circles under his eyes but he strangely seemed to glow. He shook his head and slipped on his ballet flats. He must be imagining things.

Hermione was sitting at the kitchen table, ignoring Harry, which had become the norm. Harry spent almost a third of his nights away in the magical hotel—the Morrigan—in Viktor's arms. He'd asked how Viktor managed to cope with all of the international travel but he had only smirked and kissed Harry languidly, making him forget the question completely.

He sat down gingerly and when Kreacher put a plate of sausages in front of him, he immediately pushed it away and rushed out of the room, a wave of sickness coming over him. When he finally made it back there was only dry toast and tea on the table and he sank into his seat gratefully.

"That's it," Hermione said after watching him for several long seconds. She shoved a book at him. "You had sex in that body, didn't you?"

Harry looked up at her, blushing, slightly confused. "Why?" he asked, munching on his dry toast.

Hermione grimaced. "That's disgusting. First of all, you're not really a girl, you're a boy—and that's not your body. If that were a pureblood's body, you could be imprisoned in Azkaban for rape."

He gagged on his tea. "Azkaban?"

"Yes, Azkaban. It's not a pureblood's, though, I'm assuming. The twins said something about getting a Muggle's hair. Clearly it went wrong or was one of their pranks turned obscene. But how could you, Harry? How could you sleep with someone?"

"I," Harry began, his throat dry, but he didn't have an answer at the look of distress and horror across her features.

"It's still rape," she murmured, which felt like a punch in the gut to Harry. "If whoever slept with you knew it wasn't your body, he's just as guilty."

Silence fell over them and Harry glanced at the book, his eyes widening as his gaze picked up the words "Polyjuice" and "pregnancy." He skimmed the article quickly. He would remain in this body to support his child and—it would have his magic if he was using a Muggle body. No one was certain if the child would be biologically the body's or his original one's. It seemed though that the child was considered to inherit his original blood status, and he would remain in this body because of the chemical changes. His throat went dry and he looked up at Hermione in horror.

"It was Viktor, wasn't it?" she asked quietly. When he didn't answer, she took a deep breath and sighed. "He won't care about you when he's done with you," she informed him, a haunted look crossing her face. "He makes you think he loves you without saying the words. He's so—intense."

"It's not like that," Harry snapped at her, his eyes flashing.

"Of course it is, Harry," she sighed, a hint of condescension in her voice. "What did he do? Invite you to Bulgaria as well? Promised that everything would be fine? He's just like all the other purebloods in the end. He'll make you get rid of it when he finds out. He can't have any illegitimate heirs running about." She paused and gasped. "You're not even sorry, are you? You essentially raped a Muggle and you don't care!" She slammed her hands down and stood. "That's it. That's just it. It's—disgusting. Using Polyjuice and kissing him, not caring and just—" She shook her head, pushing her bushy hair from her face. "I'll go to Australia," she muttered. "It'll be easy." The door closed behind her and Harry felt tears form in his eyes.

Resting his hand on his flat stomach, he closed his eyes, trying to focus on his body and feel the child he now knew was within him. Comfort rolled over him and he opened his eyes, smiling at the thought.

Hermione was gone within two days, Harry not bothering to say goodbye as silence ruled over the house. He felt crushed at her continued judgment, his heart aching a little, but he couldn't care, he decided. When she had finally gone, he changed the password to the door and, dressing carefully in a white wool dress that Kreacher insisted he would be beautiful in, he quietly left the house, wondering if he would ever return.

Harry walked through the streets, the horcrux around his neck, and watched as Muggles hurried past him. He didn't feel the cold, though, having been wrapped up too warmly against it. He walked into the Leaky Cauldron, surprised when he recognized a few faces, but quickly passed on, clutching his stomach as a wave of sickness washed over him. "Not now," he murmured to himself. He made it as far as Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes before stopping, clutching his stomach as the world tilted slightly.

"Hey, there," a familiar voice sounded in his ear and an arm wrapped around his waist, balancing him.

"George," he murmured, leaning against his friend's body. He glanced up and saw the familiar laughing blue eyes, tinted with worry, and the scarred missing ear.

"Ivy?" George breathed in disbelief. "What are you—?" He picked Harry up in one swift movement and carried him into the warm shop. "Are you injured?"

"No," Harry whispered, shaking his head. "Morning sickness." His pale green eyes hesitantly met George's.

"Morning—? The bastard! Who did it to you?" George asked, setting him down lightly behind the counter. The store was quite busy even for such a dreary day and Harry was glad to see it.

"My husband, Viktor. You set us up," Harry whispered, searching George's face for any sign of disapproval. The feel of his engagement ring on his left hand brought him comfort, and he twisted it with the pad of his thumb. "You said I should escape and gave me that bag."

Warm hands cupped both sides of Harry's face and he looked up to see George smiling down at him. George kissed his forehead affectionately, and pulled away, wiping away the tears forming in Harry's eyes. "Are you happy?"

"Very," Harry breathed.

George nodded. "Well, that husband shouldn't let you out on your own. It's ridiculous in your condition."

Harry couldn't help but laugh. "He doesn't know yet. I just found out two days ago and, well, had a row with the friend I was staying with. She finally left so I'm going to the hotel where Viktor stays. I can't figure out if he's living there or not but since my cousin left months ago, there's no reason to stay away anymore, or even in the country."

"She left you?" George said, his mouth hanging open. "I knew about your cousin. Came back with his tail between his legs and tried to stay with me and Fred, but I kicked him out. I think he's with Bill and Fleur of all places."

"Oh," Harry breathed. "That's nice."

George's warm hand came up to Harry's cheek again, and Harry smiled to himself. "You're far better than that prat." He sat down across from him and Harry saw Fred from the corner of his eye, looking at the two of them suspiciously. "Never told us why he'd left. Just said he was angry and it was unnatural."

"That would be me," Harry sighed. "She said the same thing, too—and that it was rape." He looked at George anxiously. "It's not, is it? I mean, I can't change back now with the baby. I've been like this for weeks, not that Viktor seemed to mind," he added with a smile.

"No, it's not," George stated emphatically. "Listen, Ivy, you're my favorite cousin."

Harry snorted.

"No. Really, I've considered you a little—sister—since you were about eleven or twelve, and you're far pleasanter than Ginny at times. She's obsessed with Harry Potter for no reason at all from what I can tell. It was a clean break."

"It was," Harry agreed solemnly. "She kissed—him—on his birthday. He had nothing to do with it."

George grinned at him mischievously. "It's not rape at all. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. This is you. Ivy Krum. You belong like this and deserve this happiness. Grab it and run before anyone—the old crowd especially—can take it from you." His blue eyes shone earnestly, startling Harry.

"George?" he asked.

"It's not your fight," George whispered. "It's everyone's who thought that you should be the one to do it. They're the cowards and you—you, Ivy—are the brave one to put up with it for so long. Run and be happy. Your parents wanted you to be happy and loved, and no one's loved you properly except your husband. I know that's what they wanted."

He was immediately engulfed in a warm hug and Harry nestled his face against George.

"You, Ivy, will always be my cousin and I'm here for you if you need anything."

"I don't suppose you'll walk me to the Morrigan?" Harry asked hopefully, and George chuckled.

"Of course," he agreed, getting up and helping Harry to his feet. "How are you feeling?"

"Better. Less nauseous. How did your mum do this six times?"

"She was mad," George laughed, signaling to Fred and leading Harry out of the door. "She wanted a daughter more than the rest of us, so she had me and Fred, then Ron, and then finally Ginny."

"I'd be happy with either," Harry said, grinning. "If I have a girl I want to name her Lily—for Mum. All the girls in the family are named after flowers."

"Lily Krum," George mused as he led Harry through the streets and toward the Morrigan. "It has a certain ring to it."

George gallantly opened the door for Harry and he walked in, tripping slightly but catching himself against the doorframe. A few patrons looked up at him, staring as they clearly recognized him as the witch who was always with Viktor. Harry had seen a few headlines about Viktor and his continued presence in England, speculating whether or not he supported the new government or if he was hoping to be naturalized and play for England in the next World Cup.

Harry walked up to the desk and asked if Viktor was still staying there and received an affirmative. Smiling, he hugged George goodbye, making him promise to keep everything a secret and to of course write. He ascended in the lift and coming out the correct hall, knocked quietly at the door.

"Vone minute," he heard Viktor call, and smiled to himself. A moment later and the door was pulled open and he was enveloped in strong arms, being swung around the hall and then kissed deeply for anyone who might be passing to see.

"You do live here," Harry teased, reaching up and stroking the side of Viktor's face lovingly. "I was wondering if I would have to track you down in Bulgaria of all places."

"Hardly," Viktor smiled, leaning down and kissing Harry again. "I cannot bear to be too far from my vife."

"Good," Harry murmured, allowing Krum to sweep him into his strong arms and carry him into their room. "Hermione left and—well—I'm ready to go to Bulgaria."

"Herm-o-ninny?" Viktor asked curiously. "I haff not been knowing you vere friends."

"Yes," Harry sighed as Viktor's large hands began to unbutton his coat and pull it gently off of him. "We've been hiding from the Ministry under the Fidelius. We're both Undesirables."

Viktor stilled and looked at Harry deeply. "Harry Potter," he murmured and, at Harry's nod, kissed Harry deeply, his hands roving into Harry's hair, pulling it from its loose bindings, devouring his mouth hungrily. "I luff you," he promised as his hand came up and pulled the locket off gently, tossing it into the drawer, which had been permanently warded. "I luff you so much, Harry."

"Ivy," Harry gasped, and Viktor pulled way, confusion in his dark eyes. "I'm—I'm stuck like this. Forever. I'm—pregnant, Viktor." He bit his lip nervously. "I want to be with you, go with you to Bulgaria, forget about everything before we saw each other again at Bill's wedding. Please."

Viktor slowly nodded, his eyes hazy with lust and love, his strong hands coming up to Harry's stomach and stroking it affectionately. "You're certain?"

"Nearly," Harry responded. "Hermione did research, of course, and found the answer. My body—my first body wouldn't be able to sustain the pregnancy so until the baby is born I'd be like this, and with all the hormonal changes—I would always be like this. I'll even age apparently. I haven't had my cycle and I've been sick for days in the morning. Kreacher's also been humming and going on about a Nursery, but I thought at the time he just wanted to renovate the old heap of bricks for whatever reason. You're not mad, are you?"

"Never," Viktor swore, leaning down and capturing Harry's lips once again. "I could never be mad that you haff my child in you. Our child."

"Our child," Harry agreed, grinning. He sighed as Viktor's clever hands found the side fastenings to his dress and carefully undressed him, kissing every inch of his revealed skin. He shivered as his sensitive breasts were caressed and kissed, as Viktor worshipped his stomach and spoke softly to the child in Bulgarian, and finally entered him, their gasps and moans joining one another until finally Harry plunged over the edge, safe in his husband's arms.


There was a drawer in the house in the main bedroom that was always warded. Harry—Ivy—would sometimes sit on his bed and stare at it, remembering what was locked within it, away from prying hands and eyes. He didn't know if anyone else had ever discovered the other horcruxes, but it hardly mattered. The war didn't touch here, Bulgaria, and never would. The Slavic countries already had a pro-pureblood policy. Only purebloods could attend Durmstrang, and fortunately all of Ivy's children were purebloods, all four of their grandparents having been magical humans.

He sighed at the memories of his past life, and unfolded himself from the bed, his hand caressing the coverlet. It had been a gift from Viktor on their tenth wedding anniversary, having been spun from Acromantula silk and pure decadence. Harry loved it.

"Mother," a soft voice called in Bulgarian, and Harry turned toward the door with a smile. "Mother!"

"In here," he called, picking up his book. It was a novel written by the Australian H. J. Granger about three friends in a magical school. He always smiled sadly as he read the dedication: To Ron—who remained true.

Footsteps sounded on the hall and a boy with bright green eyes and black hair bounded into the room. He had small glasses perched on his nose, and Viktor's relatives always wondered at his poor eyesight. Harry, though, of course knew. His own eyes had always been horrible as had his father's. It was a family trait.

"James," he greeted happily, setting down the book as quickly as he had picked it up, and lifted the smiling nine-year-old into his arms. "You're growing. Soon I won't be strong enough to pick you up."

"I'll be strong just like Father," James told Harry proudly.

"I can see that. What can I do for you, my sorcerer?"

James immediately became quiet and turned his large green eyes on Harry. "Could we perhaps go flying in the park and then surprise Father when he walks home from the stadium?"

"I don't see why not," Harry laughed. "Go get your broom and I'll be down in a minute. I just need to change into something other than a house robe."

James nodded and squirmed out of Harry's arms, kissing his mother on the cheek before running from the room. Harry could only laugh his deep melodic laugh at the sight. Looking around the room, he walked to the closet and picked out one of Viktor's old Jerseys and a pair of jeans. When he finished dressing, putting his mass of red hair into a loose ponytail, his eyes lingered on the drawer.

It wasn't opened now and was nearly forgotten.

He walked out of the room with a lightness to his step and a smile on his face, hurrying after his son.

The End.

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