Chapter: 28 of 35 - Possibilities
Pairings: Asher/Anita/Jean-Claude, Anita/Nathaniel, Harry/Nathaniel/Draco, Harry/Draco, Anita/Micah
Rating: R/15 or NC17/18
Summary: Harry Potter could find trouble in paradise and when Draco sends him to St Louis for a holiday it's not paradise and there's lots of trouble. With dark magic, vampires, lycanthropes and more, who else could sort it out but Anita Blake?
Chapter listing: click here for other parts, publishing schedule and A/N
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling and Laurell K. Hamilton, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, Orbit books, Time Warner Book group, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story is set post Harry Potter and the OotP and post Incubus Dreams and therefore has SPOILERS for all previous books. If you don’t want to know anything that went on in or before HP book five or AB book twelve do not read this story.
Chapter 28 Possibilities
After a few hours it had been unnecessary for Anita to act as facilitator for the power exchange as Harry had unconsciously reached out to take what was offered himself, at which point they had set up a rotation system. The only two who had remained constant were Harry and Draco, neither of whom gave any indication that they were aware of anything around them.
For sixty hours they took turns in making sure that there was enough power around Harry to sustain him. Asher and Damian had subbed in for Jean-Claude when necessary, even going so far as to remain in place when dead for the day; Anita and one of the human witches from the Circus had provided the human element; and the whole pard as well as several of the werewolves, including Richard, Remus and Jason had swapped in and out for the lycanthrope part of whatever magic was being woven.
Feeding of whatever persuasion, be it blood lust, the ardeur or simply food had been handled with pragmatic efficiency, and people ate, slept and helped in seamless rotation.
Harry, and through him Draco, seemed to have been able to absorb anything that was offered, and hours had run into days in a confusion of eating, sleeping and donating magic. They had all been exhausted by the time Harry had finally moved, as every person gave everything they had to save the wizards on the bed.
No one had expected Harry's first move to be latching onto Draco and drinking blood like a drowning man and it had only been Jean-Claude who realised what was going on. If it had not been for him, Anita might have tried to separate the two wizards as they wound around each other like two snakes in a mating dance, but Jean-Claude had stopped anyone interfering when the power woke him early from his day's slumber. The noises that had been coming from Draco had been filled with a deep pleasure that had nothing to do with sex and everything to do with finding exactly where you wanted to be, so Anita found she could not object.
When Draco had bitten Harry the look of reverence on Jean-Claude's face had almost been enough to make her wonder what she was missing in not allowing him to give her the fourth mark. Then the power had hit her and she had had no ability to think at all. That had been four hours ago, and Anita was standing at the end of the bed in a robe, a cup of coffee in her hand, looking at the two wizards still wrapped around each other as if they would never let go.
Members of the pard were still curled around them, but it was more to do with a sense of security than any magical need now. Harry and Draco had given back any power shared with them, with interest, as vampire marks bound them together for eternity. Every vampire and preternatural being had felt it, so much so that all vampires in residence at the Circus had woken hours early and several lycanthropes had shifted and then shifted back with no ill effects.
All those who before the blast had been about to drop were back to their normal selves, or in some cases had even more energy, and it had not been a momentary spike either. Anita felt wide awake and energised is a way she usually felt if she, Jean-Claude and Richard opened the marks.
Jason and Remus had disappeared shortly afterwards, and so had Cherry and Zane, and if what she had been feeling every time she looked at any of her men was anything to go by, she knew what they were up to. The ardeur was being strangely well behaved and she was hoping it would not suddenly try and consume her in the middle of something important. If it had not been for the fact that she felt she could not leave she would probably have taken one, if not all of her men up on the promise she saw in their eyes. After all, the other two couples hadn't come back even four hours later, so Anita thought she could handle several of her boyfriends at least and it never hurt to make sure the ardeur was well fed. Not that everything would be smooth sailing if she had tried, but it was only a fantasy after all.
"They appear so peaceful, do they not, ma petite," Jean-Claude said quietly as he slipped an arm around her waist.
"Unless you look at them without using your eyes," she replied and leaned into him.
Remnants of the power that had filled them all still danced around the two wizards, reaching out to those around every now and then, and Anita could sense every move. Some of it was lycanthrope warmth, some vampire cold, and some the strange tingling power that she had never felt before she met Harry, but it all came from both of them now. She finally knew how odd it must be to see her or Jean-Claude or Richard when they opened the marks between them, or her, Nathaniel and Damian, because it was like sensing three entities in one.
"I have never seen a fourth mark release such power," Jean-Claude whispered in her ear. "It made me wonder what would be released if you were ever to allow the fourth between us."
Once she would have moved from his embrace at such a suggestion, reacted in anger when she had so firmly refused in the past, but Anita found herself moving into Jean-Claude's body even more.
"Me too," she said quietly, being completely honest because she was no longer completely sure she knew what the fourth mark meant.
Jean-Claude did not say anything, but his arm tightened on her slightly. There was a confusion of emotion in him that Anita could sense as Jean-Claude held her close, but his control was too good to allow her to understand much of it. They stood in silence and Anita wondered what Richard would think if she ever said yes to the fourth mark. Would it unbalance the triumvirate, would Richard have to say yes as well? Would it drive them apart again?
It was all too complicated and she banished the thoughts as passing fancy. In the light of a new day the wonder might fade anyway, but for now there existed the tiny glimmer of new possibilities.
Something woke Harry, but he wasn't sure what. He found himself curled over a nice warm chest, which he knew without looking belonged to Draco. Their legs were also tangled together and where he was lying against Draco's thigh he could feel the familiar sensation of a being happy to wake up beside his lover. There was also a nice warm body curled behind him and he was very comfortable, so for a moment he considered waking up properly and then discarded the idea.
"Harry," Draco sounded somewhat disgruntled, "wake up. I've been waiting for at least twenty minutes and I need the loo."
It was not the most romantic way to wake up, but it brought Harry out of the light doze he was falling into. Lifting his head off his breathing pillow he blinked up at Draco.
[Sorry,] he apologised and attempted to move off his lover.
The body behind moved obligingly to give him room and he had managed to untangle his legs from Draco's before he realised what he'd just done.
[I know,] Draco replied in kind, his lips never moving as Harry stared, [we'll have to ask Jean-Claude later. But right now I'm bursting.]
Then his lover was gone, far more quickly than a normal human could move, and Harry was left looking at a grinning Jason. He turned slightly to see Nathaniel leaning up on one elbow behind him. They were very cosy and he could not really fail to notice that Nathaniel had reacted to him moving where they were closely pressed together. He did his best to remember that it was impolite to pay attention to such things in this type of situation, but the memory of him, Draco and Nathaniel was a little too clear for him to be totally successful. Draco must have noticed his distraction because the Slytherin turned on the way to the bathroom.
"Molest him and I kill you," was the simple, clear instruction and then Draco was gone.
That left Harry in bed with two attractive men, a raging hard on and a desire to find out if Draco would mind company in the bathroom. He didn't really feel comfortable now that his lover had left the room and he wasn't exactly sure why. It didn't actually have anything to do with the company, just the absence of Draco.
"Are you okay, Harry?" Nathaniel asked, moving away from him and sitting up.
It was then that he realised he was staring at the door through which Draco had disappeared and frowning. Shaking his head Harry tried to ignore the feeling and sat up to distract himself. The light sheet that had been covering him pooled around his waist and he was very glad it hid his modesty. Now that he was properly awake his memory was beginning to work and it felt somewhat dreamlike, but he remembered his previous awakening.
He knew what he'd done because he'd spoken to Jean-Claude about what the other two vampire marks entailed, but he had been against doing anything and had not wanted to talk about what they would mean. The only thing he was sure of was that he had bound Draco to him forever and the only thing that would separate them was death. It was a daunting thought, but part of him found it strangely comforting as well. What exactly forever was for him no one could tell him, but he and Draco were now in it together.
"I'm not sure," Harry answered Nathaniel's question, feeling just a little lost.
A hand touched his shoulder and he looked around to see his friend gazing at him sympathetically.
"It was beautiful, Harry," Nathaniel said with a small smile. "Whatever you're thinking, remember that; we all felt part of it and it was beautiful."
Nathaniel was a romantic when it came down to it, under all the sub/dom things he had going on, the wereleopard believed in love, so Harry looked to someone who was a little more pragmatic. When he turned his head, Jason's usual grin was gone and there was a fond smile in its place.
"He's right," the werewolf said simply, "it was beautiful, and it made me hornier than a lupa in heat."
That knocked the romantic feelings on the head and Harry felt a smile form on his lips despite himself. It was difficult to stay dark and angsty when Jason was around.
"I thought you were always horny," Draco said from the doorway.
Either his lover had been very fast or Harry had been staring after him longer than he had imagined before Nathaniel interrupted him. Draco was completely naked still and the Slytherin walked into the room with complete confidence in a way Harry was sure he wouldn't manage for years. The lycanthrope instincts helped, but he had never been one to show off his body, not like the others seemed quite happy to do. Naked no longer felt vulnerable, but it was still very odd.
"Not that horny," Jason replied with a laugh, "thank god for werewolf healing or thanks to Remus I wouldn't be able to sit down for a week."
Harry made a face; Remus was too close to a father figure for him to be comfortable hearing about his friend's sex life. He would have politely asked Jason not to talk about it, except just as he opened his mouth Draco decided to climb back on the bed, move behind him, sit down with legs either side of him, and pull him close. All he managed was a grunt as power flowed through him in a wonderful wave; it was the most incredible feeling and he could quite easily have lost himself in it.
"Bloody hell," was what he eventually said in a rather absent, breathy voice.
"Hmm," was Draco's reply and Harry thought possibly his lover was having more trouble than he was.
The power was still moving through him and all he wanted to do was touch Draco and never stop. It was consuming and spoke to all of him, and underneath the magic there was a healthy dose of lust. What he wanted to do was turn, push Draco down on the bed and make love to him there and then. From the moan he heard as his lover buried his face in the back of his shoulder and the answering lust that came from Draco, he was pretty sure they were in agreement, but he was not quite far enough gone to forget that they had company.
Looking at Nathaniel, he could see that his friend's eyes were contracted with desire so that almost all of the black was lost in lilac, and glancing at Jason, the werewolf was no better off. Whatever was going through him and Draco was permeating the room, and Harry did not want them to do anything they would regret.
Taking a deep breath he drew in his formidable will and brought his Occlumency shield downs as well as he could. They weren't as sure and as stable as they could have been, but they worked. Some of the tension ran out of Draco and his lover relaxed against his back with a sigh. Whatever was happening between them, neither of them was the sort to relinquish control.
"Oh," Jason said, seemingly coming back to himself, "I think I need to find Remus again."
Nathaniel was just sitting there looking at them, and Harry hoped he had not done something to damage the friendship. He was trying to figure out what to say when the door opened.
"What's going on in here?" Anita's tone was a little off and Harry concluded that maybe their little breach of etiquette had not been confined completely to the bedroom.
"Nothing, more's the pity," was Jason's cheerful reply.
Anita looked to the rest of them for a sensible answer, but Harry wasn't quite ready to give one.
"Draco went to the bathroom," Nathaniel came to all their rescues, "when he came back he sat behind Harry and when they touched power flared. It was an accident."
Harry sent his friend a thank you glance because he wasn't sure he was up to saying much just yet. Occlumency had never come easily to him, although he had trained himself to use it well, and shutting off Draco was more difficult than he cared to admit. He knew it would become easier, when he practiced, Occlumency always did, but right about then what he wanted to do was reopen the marks, drown in the power and shag Draco senseless. It was quite hard not to obey his impulses.
"Are you alright?" Anita asked, looking at Harry now.
He really wasn't sure. He'd felt out of control one way or another since the moment he had woken up chained to the ceiling in someone's black magic ritual, but this was a little worse than that.
"I'd be better if you'd all leave and let me get my hands on Harry," Draco spoke before Harry had a chance and he sounded a little put out.
"I do not believe that would be a particularly good idea, mes enfants" Jean-Claude entered the conversation from where he was standing behind Anita. "The power of the marks is very seductive and if you control it now when it is new, it will be much easier for you later on. It is easy to become addicted to the touch."
Harry had to agree, it would be very easy. It took everything he had to pull away from Draco, and the whimper of disappointment from his lover was almost more than he could resist, but he slowly sat away from Draco and put his feet on the floor.
"How long before it becomes easier?" Harry asked, taking a deep breath and trying to steady himself.
"A few days," Jean-Claude replied with a sympathetic smile, "a week at the most, probablement."
The 'probably' was not particularly settling, but it was better than nothing. Making a quick decision Harry decided he needed some distance for a little while and he knew just the way to get it.
"I need a shower," he declared to the room and stood up.
He was more worried about jumping Draco there and then than his dignity so it barely occurred to him that he was naked and he walked quickly to the bathroom. With a door between him and Draco he might have a chance of holding it together.
End of Chapter 28
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