Pairing: Lucius/Harry, various others
Word Count: ~3,000
Summary: This is
Warning(s): (highlight to read)*Age difference (44/18), (mention of) mpreg, intentional grammatical mistakes*
Author's Note: Companion piece to Once Upon a Time… for the do_me_veela 2012 fest.
Disclaimer: This piece of art or fiction is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made, no copyright or trademark infringement, or offence is intended. All characters depicted in sexual situations are above the age of consent.
My Cousin, Harry Potter
It all started when Harry Potter, a tiny baby, got left on our doorstep. My mum was the only one who could care for him, apparently, and that was weird for me. But she raised him, gave him a room, and mostly remembered to feed him. I grew up tormenting him, and he grew up running from me. I like to think that I helped his athleticism. I probably just terrified him. I was four times his size, and that isn't a joke. "Like a whale," he told me just a month ago as we were celebrating his bonding ceremony.
But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. For the sake of time and length, let's just say that it all started here, at this University. Right in the middle of the café, actually. The small table by the far window nobody liked to sit at because the sun always seemed to shine just a bit too bright. It's where she sat.
Maybe, without everything that happened before, I would have never met her. Maybe I would have been with the other losers of the school, trying to bully my way to good grades. Maybe she would have already had a successful job where she came from. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
For the sake of my sanity, it would have turned out exactly like this no matter what. After all, you always hope that's the truth when you meet your soul mate.
It still took nearly an entire semester for me to get up the courage to talk to her. She looked familiar and maybe that's what drew me closer. After I managed to strike up the courage, we ate lunch together at least once a week. Lunch turned to dinner and dinner turned to dessert at my shabby apartment.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the fact that she was a witch. A few weeks into our dates and we finally realized who we were. She was Hermione Granger, my tormented cousin's best friend. Still is, actually. I, of course, was the early-childhood tormentor (since he had a teenage-tormentor named something weird). Instead of running away screaming, like I thought she would, she accepted my apology. Once my parents found out, though, my stuff was tossed out and I was on my own in a shabby apartment. They never did like magic.
She convinced me to come with her one night to Grimmhold Place, a house my cousin owned. She said Harry was there and wanted to see me, so I reluctantly went. Being welcomed with a hug was not in my expectations, but that's how it happened. A few weeks later, I moved in with him, Hermione, and their best friend Ron. It was fun, I got better grades, and life finally looked up.
They hosted a party every Friday night, though only three others joined us. Ginny (an ex of Harry's) and her girlfriend Luna always showed up early. Neville, now a Herbology professor at their old school, usually showed about an hour after it would start. They took to me well enough that I invited Piers. The bastard's cousins were wizards and he never told me he actually recognized Harry from their descriptions.
It was at one of these parties that Harry's life changed forever. Neville had just come through the fire and Ron was helping him dust the soot off when an owl came through the window. It landed in front of my cousin and stuck out its leg, waiting.
"Every time I see that, it's always so cool," Piers said from his seat beside Hermione. "Do you ever get tired of it?"
Hermione simply patted his arm and handed him another drink. "You'll get used to it eventually."
I reached out to grab her hand. "I doubt it." Her smile always made my heart race, so I looked to Harry. "What is it?"
"Someone's having me on, I think. Listen to this." He cleared his throat. "I herby acknowledge Harry Potter, age eighteen, to be worthy to hold and care for my heart. He is my match and I yearn to give him anything he shall desire, even if it results in my departure from this world. Harry Potter: my mind, my soul, my life, and everything I own is yours for the taking." He laughed and looked up. "That's ridiculous, right?"
The only people who started laughing were Piers and I. We stopped as soon as Hermione elbowed us in the side.
Harry looked horrified at the silence. "Right?"
Ron sat down next to Harry. "Mate, I don't know what to tell you, but that isn't a joke."
"It's an official proposal." Ginny clasped hands with Luna, who just sat there grinning like a loon. "Fleur gave one to Bill."
"Harry has a Veela mate," Luna said and then sighed against Ginny. "It's romantic."
"Unless that mate is a sadistic and jealous male." Neville rubbed his chin. "Not that it happens often. Still, hope for a girl, Harry."
Harry frowned. "Male? I thought Veela were only female."
Piers looked just as confused as I did. "Guys? What's a Veela?"
Thank God for Hermione. "A Veela is a magical creature that uses their beauty to lure in men. They need to find their mate to live a full life, so it's essential that they find them quickly. That is, if it's a female."
"The males are very rare. Not much is known but folklore." Ron patted Harry's back with a smile. "So don't worry."
"When has my life been simple?"
Ron frowned. "Good point. Well, pray it's female."
Hermione got up and sat with them. "The males are usually jealous of their partners. They don't like other men looking at them and they've been known to lock their mate in the house."
"Great, and let me guess. I have no choice?"
Ginny shook her head. "You always have a choice."
"But if you refuse, the Veela dies," Neville said softly.
"Which doesn't matter," Hermione said quickly, "because the love of a Veela is the greatest in the world. There's no reason to refuse unless they're too demanding with you, but that goes against their nature."
Harry didn't look happy and he spent the rest of the party reading over the letter.
It wasn't until everyone left that Harry brought it up again. The four of us sat around the dining table, various full and empty cups around us from the party. Hermione forced me into some before-bed tea (it wasn't that bad) while Harry and Ron had some form of pumpkin-something.
Harry looked straight at Hermione. "What do I say?"
"It's a courting ritual," Ron told him. "Your mate starts it by acknowledging you, and then you decide how it goes. Normally, in old times, this is when you get to know her. It can take as long as you want."
"So I just ask questions?"
"That's the idea." Ron stood and stretched. "I think I'm off to bed."
We wished him a good night and it wasn't long before Hermione went upstairs as well. Harry stared at the letter for a long time before pushing the parchment toward me.
"You're the writer."
"I'm only taking a few classes on it." I tried to push it back to him. "It's your secret admirer."
He had the kicked-puppy look down and I couldn't refuse that. "Fine, but what do you want me to say?"
"I don't know. Just ask general questions. Favorite color and food or whatever."
"All right…" It wasn't perfect, but I did write his letter, and the two following that.
The letters became a constant teasing for Harry, but it was one he didn't seem to mind. Ron made kissing noises whenever one came in, while Hermione gave him books on anything from Veela courting habits to how to have sex with another man ("Just in case."). Once, she even slipped him a baby book, telling him that it was rumored that male Veela could carry children. He seemed to relax at that; we all knew he wanted a family and this way he could still have one.
Hermione left the University a month into the letters to take a job at the wizarding ministry. Soon our Fridays included a man named Draco Malfoy (and I would have been jealous of their relationship if he weren't gay). Ron didn't like him at first, but all it took was a game of chess and they were inseparable. The argument no longer caused tension, just eye rolls.
But this is Harry's story. The only reason Draco's arrival was memorable was because it was also the day Harry received his first gift. We crowded around as he opened it, a blush spreading across his face. When the wrapping fell away, his eyes widened. All I saw were two straps, but he held it as if it were gold.
"What is that?" Piers leaned over Harry's chair to get a better look.
"That's a wand holder." Ginny squeezed in next to Harry to stare at it. "Handmade, too! Harry, that's amazing."
"What does that mean?" I asked, feeling stupid.
Hermione took my hand and leaned her head on my shoulder. "It means a few things. Handmade gifts of this quality means that the mate is rich, but willing to take any time necessary to personally see to their mate."
"And I told him I might be an Auror and had a thing about rushing into situations," Harry said, examining the holder. "I didn't expect him to support me."
I glanced to Draco and nodded. "Harry's got a male Veela mate. We're still trying to convince him to reveal his name."
"So far, not so good on that." Hermione shrugged. "We're trying."
"But," Ron continued, "by sending Harry something usually worn in combat, he's acknowledging Harry's strengths and basically giving him permission to pursue whatever he wants. You got lucky, mate."
Harry stroked the gift lovingly before attaching it to his leg. Almost immediately, his want jumped in. "Automatic wand summon. Excuse me, I need to write a letter." He jumped over the couch and ran upstairs.
The thoughts of all of us were summed up nicely by Luna. "I think Harry has a crush."
After that, gifts of every kind came in. Each one was handmade and Harry always seemed to know what they were. Hermione told me it was courtesy for the suitor to announce his gift in case Harry wanted to deny it. I doubted he would at this point, but Hermione told me that it was always a possibility.
Just as we were settling into the new routine, Harry surprised us at breakfast. Well, not completely surprised us, but we pretended to be shocked.
"I'm going to accept," he told us, poking at his eggs. "I've invited him to dinner to tell him, so please be on your best behavior."
Hermione patted his hand. "Don't worry about us. This is your choice, after all. Why should we stop you?"
"I just hope he's at least attractive." Ron dodged Hermione's tossed bacon. "What? I can't hop that my best friend thinks his mate is hot?"
"Just behave." Hermione smiled. "We can't wait to meet him."
Ron managed to round up appropriate-looking dress robes for me so I would look presentable, but I just felt foolish in them. They might be comfortable wearing dresses, but I wasn't.
Hermione watched, more than a little amused, as Harry paced in front of the fireplace. He wore everything the Veela made for him, right down to a rather ridiculous ear cuff. He was also making me really dizzy with the pacing.
Before I could tell him to stop, the fire roared and turned a Ninja-Turtle green (Piers named it, not me). A man emerged and at first I thought it was Draco, but the hair was too long and he was taller. Before I knew what was going on, three wands were out and pointing at the man. He simply raised his arms and offered Harry a smile.
"And this is why I never gave my name. Forgive me, my dear Harry. I did not want to cause you harm, mentally or physically." He looked defeated and I felt bad for him. Obviously this was not a nice man to them before.
Harry was the first to lower his wand. "You're the Veela?"
He nodded, lowering his arms to give Harry a bow. "I am yours in mind, body, soul, and possessions."
"You had a wife," Harry accused. "Veela can't have two mates."
"Female Veela can't have two mates," Hermione said quietly, lowering her wand as well. "Males can have more than one."
"Only when the mate dies may I find another." The man shifted so he could get down on one knee in front of Harry. "When Narcissa died, I despaired. However, my son convinced me to find another. He still has much to learn about our race considering his own senses are awakening. So I searched." He looked up at Harry. "Did you not feel it? When we touched?"
"I don't remember…"
Ron swore and tucked his own wand away. "The funeral. Damn, you shook his hand. Told me it felt as though he shocked you."
Harry's eyes widened a bit. "Oh yeah."
"Not to interrupt, but who is he?" All three looked to me and I flushed. "Sorry."
"It's fine." Harry motioned between us. "This is Draco's father, Lucius Malfoy. Malfoy, this is my cousin Dudley Dursley."
"Cousin?" Lucius' eyes widened. "Forgive me, Sir Dursley, for not gaining your permission before courting Harry."
"Er… it's okay. I'm fine with it."
Harry shot me a look, then turned it on Lucius. "Wait, who did you ask?"
"Headmistress McGonagall was my decision. She seemed the best choice at the time."
"She never told us," Ron whined.
"Ron!" Hermione frowned at him. "She couldn't have, especially since their relationship was sour before. The Veela has to prove himself."
"And have I proved myself?"
Harry hesitated, looking between the lot of us. "I don't know. I feel like I don't know you anymore."
"Very well." Lucius turned to me. "With your permission, I would like to continue courting your cousin, Harry Potter."
Seeing my cousin with those letters had been the only time I saw him happy. The decision was not hard. "Permission granted."
At least with Lucius, life became interesting. He showed up for dinner every night. Ron said it was tradition to always be in the room with a courting pair, but that made Harry too nervous. We eventually settled to being a room apart with spells to tell us if there was any danger or if certain lines were crossed. Lucius wasn't happy either, but he bowed to Harry's wishes.
The gifts never stopped either. Handmade trinkets soon littered the house. Harry was teased every Friday (the one night Lucius never came), but he could never keep the goofy grin from his face. It was obvious he was in love. Nobody was sure what held him back.
Draco insisted he never knew about his father and the letters, but he suspected. Still, it was him that finally pushed things along. Just when we thought we couldn't take any more of Harry's lovesick self, he told my cousin to just accept the offer by making rings and giving one to Lucius.
A day later, Hermione came home with a pile of books on how to make jewelry. When she wasn't home, I helped read through them, mostly for myself. I did want to marry Hermione one day and maybe Harry would make the rings for us. It seemed better than buying them from a store.
That Friday, Harry stood in the middle of our living room, waiting for Draco and Lucius to arrive. This was it, he would finally ask. He didn't look nervous, but I could practically feel it. We all knew what would happen and we were all behind him.
The fire flared and the two blonds came in. Lucius eyed the room nervously before looking to Harry. He didn't quite smile, but the joy was obvious on his face.
"Hello, Lucius." Harry glanced to Hermione, who simply nodded, and then stepped forward. "I, Harry James Potter, do accept your mind, body, and soul. I do not require you to give up everything for me and I hope you do not expect the same from me."
He held out the rings. I heard Hermione sniffle next to me and I took her hand.
"Please accept me, as I will accept you."
Lucius' answer was to sweep Harry into a kiss. Magic crackled so loud and so bright that even I saw it. The room cheered and, on that day, I like to think that everything really and truly began.
Hermione and I were engaged a month later, the same day Piers received his own Veela courting letter. It was from Draco and the two are doing fine. They announced their own engagement the morning of Harry's bonding ceremony.
I am proud of my cousin and I am happy he found where he belonged in life. And in nine months, I'll be bouncing a niece or nephew on my knee – news came in this morning of Lucius' pregnancy. Who knows, hopefully my Hermione will be expecting soon as well.
* ~ * ~ * ~ *
Dudley looked up and into the faces of his speechless Non-Fiction Writing class. He gave them a smile before taking his seat, dropping his story on his professor's desk as he did so. He noticed the students wouldn't stop staring and he shifted uncomfortably. He had never received this particular reaction before and he didn't think it was promising.
"Mr. Dursley." Professor Mears stood. "While I value creativity in any story, I think you missed the purpose of the assignment and this class. Non-fiction is the writing of true stories, preferably ones you have experienced. You wrote about mythical creatures that don't exist, magic spells, and male pregnancy."
"You will need to rewrite the assignment if you want the grade." He walked over and set Dudley's story on the desk. "I expect it in my office with an apology tomorrow. Are we clear?"
Dudley sighed and put the story away. "Yes, sir."
One thing was for sure: he was never going to listen to Draco Malfoy about his writing assignments again. That bastard.