Author: < lj user="irana">
Gift for: beren_writes
Rating: Hard R I suppose
Disclaimer: JKR? The rich, Brit chick? That's not me… I just like making her toys sweaty. I usually wash them before I return them, because I'm good like that.
Warnings: None really
Summary: Harry has always been special. His first taking of a mate reveals just how special he is.
Challenge: hpvamp No Going Back – Conversion Fic/Art Exchange
Archive?: HPVamp Archive, anyone else ask me first
Author's Notes: Thanks go out to Sal, Katie and Julie for looking this over, suggesting corrections, pointing out plot holes and making it so much better than it was. 5,887 words.
Original request: beren_writes wanted "… happy ending, love as well as lust." I hope you like what I did with this. It's a bit of a different take on vampirism, but I wanted to do something completely different for you. Harry undergoes more of a transformation than a conversion, but… well, it works. I wanted there to be more sex, but the boys just weren't having it.
Being free to decide his own fate was a novel feeling for one Harry Potter. Voldemort had been dead for two years and having finished his schooling, Harry was now living at the Romanian Dragon reserve, serving as apprentice under Charlie Weasley. Harry smirked at that thought as he cleaned the muck of draconic childbirth off Charlie's leathers. There was more than one way he wanted to be 'under' Charlie Weasley. All he had to do was figure out how to make it happen.
His thoughts shifted from his waking dreams of Charlie to his nightly dreams and he frowned. The dreaming was not all that unusual; it was the nature of these dreams that confused Harry. The closer he got to twenty-one, the more confusing his dreams became. Harry knew his dreams centered on him, and as there was no longer a worry about these being visions sent from Voldemort, he was at a loss as to what they meant.
No, these dreams were different. In them, he possessed powers – strange powers – none of which seemed dangerous or dark in and of themselves, but they made him into a creature he had no knowledge or recognition of. In these dreams he served something or someone called Inari, had the ability to shift shape from man to fox, held the power to plant himself in the dreams of others and control fire – and not through the use of spell craft.
There were times when he saw himself as a gorgeous silver-gold fox with nine tails and other times when he saw himself as he was, soothing someone who obviously was a lover, eating their nightmares and turning them into items of good luck. It was incredibly confusing. The only similarity in any of the dreams was his obvious loyalty and devotion to whomever he found himself paired with, yet the features of his partner were always obscured.
Finishing Charlie's leathers and realising he had nothing but time until Charlie returned, Harry decided to borrow a page from Hermione's book and do some research. The only starting point he had was Inari, so he hunted through Charlie's collection of books until he found one called Legendary Magical Creatures. Deciding it was as good a place as any to start, he sat down to read.
Charlie looked around in disappointment. There was nothing left for him to do save go home, and he definitely wasn't ready to do that. He waved a half-hearted goodbye to the other handlers and sighed. When he'd agreed to take Harry on as an apprentice, he hadn't realised he'd end up being so attracted to him. At the time, the image of Harry he carried in his head was of the boy who had outsmarted a dragon at the tri-Wizard tournament. He hadn't taken into consideration the difference of Harry then and Harry now. The person he remembered was a boy; the person who apprenticed him was a man.
An extremely fit, attractive and unknowingly seductive man.
It hadn't helped that he'd finally gotten around to reading the contract he'd signed and realised it was one of the older apprenticeship contracts; one that gave him the right to use Harry's body for more than simple drudgery. Harry had signed that bit in red, a colour sure to cause notice. It had made him wonder if Harry had been expecting – been wanting – but he had seen no signs of that being the case. Therefore, he'd decided to keep the attraction he felt for Harry to himself.
Instead of his desire getting easier to ignore, it had gotten harder. Harry had a bright, agile mind, a caring, giving nature and applied himself to whatever task Charlie gave him like a man possessed of the need to do well, to prove to himself and others he'd made the right choice. It was clear to everyone in the camp Harry had.
Surprisingly, Harry had been a natural with the dragons, although Charlie supposed that given the stories he'd heard about Harry and the Hippogryph, he shouldn't have been surprised. The dragons all seemed soothed by his presence, making it easier for the handlers to do their jobs. Watching Harry work was a sight Charlie didn't think he'd ever get tired of. Shaking his head, Charlie made his way slowly back to the cottage he and Harry shared at the edge of the settlement, sore muscles protesting every step of the way.
He pushed open the door and stepped inside to find his leathers stretched over the wooden rack Harry had made to use to dry them, and his apprentice sitting before the fire with his head buried in a book.
"Channeling Hermione, Harry?" Charlie asked, amusement lacing his voice.
Harry looked up with a sheepish smile. "A little," he said before he noticed the stiff way Charlie was walking. "Overdid it again?"
Charlie grinned and tossed Harry's words back at him. "A little."
Harry frowned as Charlie made his way into his bedroom, set down his book and followed him. "Dinner won't take long, just leftovers. Why don't you shower and I'll give you a massage when you're done?" he suggested. Not waiting for Charlie to answer, he turned and disappeared into his room, fetching the eucalyptus and mint oil he put on his skin whenever he was working with the dragons.
Taken slightly aback, but too tired to argue, Charlie stripped out of his clothes and stepped into the shower. It wouldn't be the first time Harry had given him a rubdown and he couldn't find a way to get out of it without Harry knowing something was off. He'd just have to suffer through it. Maybe if he took the edge off in the shower it would be easier to handle having Harry's hands on his skin.
It didn't occur to Harry that this might be an ideal way to let Charlie know he was interested in something more between them until he'd spread the towel on the bed and set the bottle on the nightstand. He shivered once he did and decided just to see what happened. If Charlie wasn't interested, he'd let the entire thing lie and they could just forget it had ever happened. Provided - of course - that something actually happened.
Charlie came out of the washroom, body temporarily sated due to images of Harry on his knees, his lips wrapped around Charlie's cock. He had a towel wrapped around his waist, another rubbing at his head as he attempted to dry his hair. It had gotten long again – long enough to wear in a ponytail – but when he was home, he left it loose. He glanced at Harry sitting patiently on the bed by the spread towel and groaned internally. Ignoring his reaction to Harry for the duration of the massage would be harder than he'd thought if just the sight of Harry on his bed made heat fill his body.
Harry turned his head to give Charlie time to settle on the bed and relax before he turned to pick up the bottle of oil and begin. He rubbed the oil in his hands to warm it, then straddled Charlie's waist, placing his hands flat on the small of Charlie's back and sliding his palms up along his spine, parting them to slide them over his shoulder's and down his sides. He kept the touch light, noting the places where the skin felt slightly distorted by tense muscles, covering Charlie's entire back before moving his hands up to his neck.
He pressed gently with his thumbs along the vertebrae of Charlie's neck, feeling for knotted muscles with light caresses of his fingers. Finding one on the left side of Charlie's neck, he placed his right hand firmly on Charlie's right shoulder and kneaded the trouble spot with his left, smoothing the tight spot into relaxation.
Charlie bit back the moan that wanted to escape his mouth at the first touch of Harry's hands on his skin. He couldn't help the groan of pained relief that came when Harry found the spot in his neck and slowly worked it out, relaxing a little more into the mattress, reminding himself that Harry had done this before and the massage was about preventing him from being sore and not about anything else.
Harry continued his massage, working methodically, Charlie relaxing under his hands like putty. He slid further down the pliant body, hands working the dip in the small of the other man's back, desperate to touch Charlie's arse, to see what it felt like, wondering what it would feel like to have Charlie's hands on him in a sexual way. Harry wasn't even aware that the tenor of his touch changed, that he actually was touching Charlie there; pulled back to reality from the fantasy his mind was living by the very real moan that poured from Charlie's throat.
The strangled sound ripped through Harry and he froze and focused, trying to remember what he'd done to cause that sound. He took in the position of his hands, noted the fingertips poised along the crevice of Charlie's arse over the towel and experimentally flexed his fingers the way he vaguely remembered doing and smiled as the sound came from Charlie again. He likes this, Harry thought delightedly, feeling his cock respond to the sound. He did it once more and reluctantly shifted lower – pushing the towel up slightly – to begin work on Charlie's thighs.
Charlie swallowed a moan of disappointment when Harry's hands moved; shifting unconsciously to let his legs fall farther apart to allow Harry access. Harry's hands felt so damned good on his body and it took all Charlie's will to keep from begging Harry to put his hands back where they were, only this time under the towel that was preserving what modesty he had left. He'd wondered if Harry was interested – and Harry's hands on his arse seemed a sign that he might be, especially as Harry had never touched him there before – but Charlie didn't want to push, was willing to wait and see what happened.
Charlie closed his eyes and focused on controlling his breathing, doing his best to ignore the fact that his cock was painfully hard and begging for friction. His brain helpfully supplied him with the image of the contract, the part detailing his right to use Harry for sex bright in his mental vision, and he moaned softly at the images that produced. He desperately hoped Harry would put it down to the relaxation of his calf muscles under Harry's hand, uncertain he would be able to resist any more of Harry's shy, uncertain touches.
Harry finished the message and forced himself off the bed, gathering up the oil and smiling slightly. "I'll just reheat dinner and be back in a moment. Or you can come out and join me if you like," he said, backing slowly out of the room, eyes lingering on Charlie's supine form. His voice was husky, and he wanted nothing more than to touch, but he didn't, simply suited actions to words and headed to the kitchen after putting away the oil.
The rest of the evening had passed quietly, the two men sharing the simple meal before both drifted off to bed to wank themselves to sleep with images of the other. Life went on as normal for the next two weeks and both men relaxed into the routine, Charlie careful not to overtax his muscles and Harry watching for any opportunity to touch Charlie once more. His next chance came a week before his twenty-first birthday when he was awakened in the middle of the night by a sound he couldn't identify.
Harry padded quietly from his room, wand drawn despite instincts screaming at him that it wasn't the sort of trouble that required dueling. He made his way into Charlie's room and to see him thrashing on the bed, and had dropped his wand on the bedside table and crawled in behind Charlie before he realised what he was doing. He ran soothing hands down Charlie's side, brushing a barely there kiss to his temple and crooning nonsense words to him, instinctively drawing the nightmare from Charlie's mind and taking it into himself.
He tried not to notice the feel of Charlie under his hands, the way he smelled, the way he felt as Harry snuggled up to him. Instead he focused on the almost palpable fear rolling off Charlie in waves, focused on the dream and taking it from him, changing it.
It wasn't until Charlie settled down and his breathing evened out that Harry left clutching a small white flower, the physical manifestation of the thing Charlie's nightmare had turned into when Harry made the nightmare into something pleasant, an odd sense of being full settling into him as he crawled back into his own bed. The entire experience was out of the ordinary; the fact that Charlie's dream filled with pain and suffering, and how Harry had felt none of it as he absorbed it being the two most notable things. He closed his eyes and relaxed, deciding he'd think about it in the morning.
Charlie woke to the scent of Harry on his pillow and shook his head at himself, certain he was imagining things. He'd dreamt last night, something horrible, but then it had changed to something light and pleasant. Oddly, he couldn't remember either portion of his dream so he shook himself, slid out of bed and prepared for his day.
Harry came awake slowly, body slightly sluggish, feeling as though he had overindulged in his meal the night before, feeling sated in a way he couldn't explain. He looked at his nightstand and picked up the flower there, startled to see that the memories he had of climbing into Charlie's bed, eating his bad dream, hadn't been something he'd dreamed after all. He really had gone into Charlie's room, into his bed, and held him while he dreamed. He set the flower back down, closed his eyes and sighed. What the hell was happening to him?
Throughout the day, the events of the night before preyed on the minds of both men. Charlie – because he couldn't remember – and Harry because he did. Finally, Harry went back to the book, carefully looking up nightmares and sitting back in shock at what he found.
Baku ("dream eaters") are spirits found in Chinese and Japanese mythology. They are generally pictured as chimeras, either with the head of an elephant and the body of a lion or with the head of a lion, the body of a horse, the tail of a cow, and the legs and feet of a tiger. In cases where Baku blood and spirit flow in one with magical origins, the form of the taken is generally that of the witch or wizard that possesses the blood and spirit of the Baku.
Baku are generally benign creatures who aid human beings by eating nightmares or the evil spirits that cause such dreams. Sometimes they do this unbidden – for people they know and care for and sometimes even for complete strangers – but other legends require a nightmare sufferer to awaken and call upon a Baku to eat his dreams. According to some beliefs, Baku can change eaten dreams to good luck.
Harry sat in stunned silence, unable even to feel wry amusement at further proof that he was even more of an abnormality than he'd ever suspected. He wondered briefly if this had something to do with his magical strength and then sighed. He couldn't actively dislike an aspect of himself that had allowed him to defeat Voldemort, if indeed this had something to do with the strength of his magic, and in a sense it fit the Prophecy perfectly. No one had known what Harry's undisclosed strength had been, not even Harry.
It would seem he'd found the answer, or part of it. At least he was a good sort of vampire – according to the text anyway – and not the sort people were going to want to kill outright. He wondered about the flower, and if it would really bring Charlie good luck or if it was just something pretty he'd made out of something ugly. Even so, nothing he had read explained why he saw himself as a fox with nine tails.
Harry stood, shaking himself. It was mid-afternoon, and he had work to do, things to accomplish before Charlie returned. He spared a brief thought of gratefulness that he needn't be around the dragons today, and headed off to do what needed to be done, leaving the book sitting on the table, open to the spot he'd been reading.
Charlie walked home deep in thought. He hadn't been able to get the previous night out of his mind, and he had decided he'd just ask Harry about it. He had to know, one way or another. He pushed open the door to the tantalizing scent of roasted chicken and something else, some incredibly rich sauce he couldn't quite identify. He walked into the kitchen to find Harry futzing with several post and smiled.
He liked this, liked the way coming home to Harry making dinner reeked of domesticity and thought perhaps he'd ask Harry about that other thing as well. He had liked the way Harry's hands felt on his arse weeks ago, liked the tentative and careful touches, the strength in the fingers that touched him. He wanted more, and he found he only wanted it with Harry.
Another one of the handlers – a sexy blond with a nice cock he'd slept with before – had approached him earlier in the week about some 'stress relief'. Charlie had been surprised to find himself completely uninterested before realising it was because he had Harry at home, even if he'd never actually had him. The blond had given him a knowing smirk and moved off, probably to find someone who was willing. Charlie doubted he'd have trouble.
Now, watching Harry, Charlie decided that he needed to know what Harry wanted. Maybe then he'd be able to tell Harry what he wanted, and it wasn't a quick tumble. He wasn't sure when it had happened, but at some point in the last year with Harry he'd fallen in love with him. He'd take sex if that were all he could have of Harry, but he'd finally admitted to himself that wasn't all he wanted. If there came an opportunity, he'd tell Harry tonight. Charlie was no longer willing to wait, not about this. He could wait on the sex indefinitely, but not the knowledge of how his apprentice felt for him.
He turned and made his way back to the living room, pulling off his leathers and leaving on the short shirt he wore under them and the thin trousers he preferred when he was at home. Charlie sank down into the sofa and noticed the book, picking it up and looking over the article in front of him. He set the book back down and nodded, more determined than ever to talk over last night with Harry. He wanted to know what had happened.
He started slightly as a hand appeared in front of him holding a shot of fire whiskey.
"I think we need to talk," Harry said quietly as he sat down. He was nervous as hell and not at all looking forward to this, hoping that nothing would change between them but certain everything would.
"We can start with what happened last night," Charlie replied, seeing no need to waste time on pleasantries.
"You had a nightmare," Harry said baldly after taking a deep breath. "I'm still not sure what woke me – or how I knew, but I did – and I got into bed with you and held you through it. I… I took the nightmare from you somehow, almost like… it felt almost like I ate it and then spat it out as something nicer." He tried not to let his anxiety spill over into his voice. He had invaded Charlie's privacy, and Charlie would be well within his contractual rights to punish him.
"What was I dreaming?" Charlie asked.
"You don't remember?" Harry asked immediately, surprised. At the shake of Charlie's head, he went on. "One of the dragons went into heat unexpectedly. She fried one of the smaller males and several of the handlers who tried to get to her." He flushed as he added the next part. "You were one of the ones the flames caught," he added softly. "I… your dream was… it was awful. So I… I took your dream and well, gave you another one. One where the dragons were fine and all in good health, and we'd found another one and brought it back to the reserve safely."
Harry fell silent and Charlie glanced at the open book on the coffee table. "So… you think you're Baku?" Charlie asked after a while, taking a drink from the glass of whiskey.
Harry shrugged, slightly uncomfortable with this topic, but knowing it needed discussion. "I think I might be, but I don't think that's all I am," he said softly, wondering what Charlie would do, how he would take the knowledge that he was living and working with a man who was something other than human.
Charlie gave him a wry smile and finished his drink. "Well, you've never been like anyone else, even without the Baku bits and whatever else so…"
Harry smiled tentatively back, glad that at least Charlie seemed to be taking this so well. He couldn't help but wonder what it would be like when the other thing kicked it and Charlie realised what a freak Harry really was. Something of his worry must have shown in his face however, because the next thing he knew Charlie was reaching for him, putting his arms around him and holding him.
"It'll be fine, Harry," Charlie said. "You'll see."
Harry clung to him, feeling young and vulnerable and scared out of him mind. Why did these things always happen to him? He relaxed as Charlie just held him, finally daring to believe that Charlie didn't feel oddly about having someone so strange in his house and he pulled away with a small smile. "Dinner's ready."
Charlie let his arms fall and nodded. "Remember Harry, even without this, you've always been more than normal. This doesn't change anything, it doesn't change who you are as a person, just who you might be as a wizard. You'll always be Harry, never forget that," he said softly as Harry stood to fetch them their meal.
Smiling, Harry nodded. He could have kissed Charlie for that; it was just what he'd needed to hear. Instead he let his eyes warm before he headed off to get their meal.
Charlie watched him go and sighed, running a hand through his hair, distracted and just a little overwhelmed. He'd broach the other topic another time. They both had too much to think about tonight.
Five nights later – the night before Harry's birthday – Charlie dreamed again. This time, it was his screaming that brought Harry into his bed. Harry curled himself around Charlie, hoping that his presence would help, but this was a nightmare that gripped Charlie completely, and even his trying to draw the dream from Charlie wasn't working. So he closed his eyes and slipped into sleep, searching Charlie out until he slid into his dream.
He wasn't as surprised as he should have been to see himself appear in Charlie's dream as the fox even though he was horribly surprised to see what Charlie was dreaming. In Charlie's dream, Voldemort had won. Charlie, his entire family and Harry were all being held prisoner and Charlie was being made to watch Harry as Death Eaters tortured him. His voice was raw with pain as he cried out for them to stop, only to be ignored as the death Eaters took their pleasure with Harry however they pleased while Voldemort watched in satisfaction.
Ginny and Ron lay motionless on the ground next to Charlie, Molly and Arthur shaking and crying. The twins were unconscious and Percy was the only one conscious to witness Charlie's despair. Bill hung from a hangman's noose, his body bloody and lifeless. Harry strode up to Charlie, licking softly at his tears until he got the other man's attention. Once he was certain Charlie was focused on him, he turned to Voldemort, fur glowing, eyes bright as he opened his mouth and exhaled a gust of flame like any enraged dragon.
The flame seared Voldemort clean through, engulfing his body, the Death Eaters and the chains that held everyone in place. He turned and gave Charlie a measured look before he went over to where his dream body lay and pawed at it until it crumbled to dust. As though that were the spark that held everything together, everything faded away until the only things left were Harry and Charlie. Harry padded up to a distraught Charlie and wrapped himself around him, fur warm and comforting, tongue licking gently as tears leaked down Charlie's face.
When Charlie fell unconscious in the dream, Harry pulled himself out of it and woke, body still wrapped around Charlie's, one hand still sliding soothingly down his side, nose and lips nuzzling Charlie's neck. He knew he should probably stop, but he couldn't seem to make himself, couldn't shake the notion that Charlie needed this – would need it – when he finally awoke.
Charlie came awake slowly, a feeling of deep despair wedged in his throat. It took him several minutes to realise he wasn't alone, that there was a warm body in his bed, a hand sliding slowly over his side, lips nuzzling his neck.
He stiffened slightly and Harry exhaled slowly, breath flowing over Charlie's ear. "It's alright Charlie," Harry murmured. "I'm here. It wasn't real."
Charlie turned over to face Harry and looked searchingly at him. He blinked slowly as it occurred to him Harry really was in his bed, had been touching him and kissing him and he didn't think, he just leaned forward and fastened his mouth over Harry's needing the contact and the reassurance.
Harry met his lips eagerly, his tongue sliding out to trace the contours of Charlie's lips, groaning when Charlie opened his mouth and sucked Harry's tongue inside. Harry felt himself rolled onto his back and it was good, so good, so much better than Harry had imagined.
They kissed for what felt to Harry like hours but which was in reality likely only a few minutes. Long, slow kisses, deep and thorough. Nipping and biting and sucking kisses, mouths roaming chins and necks. Harry moaned and pressed himself up against Charlie, reveling in the feel of hard muscle and smooth skin and the hot length of Charlie's cock pressing into him.
"Please," Harry begged when they broke for air. "Please, don't stop."
Charlie looked at him; eyes searching his face for what Harry had no clue, but smiled when he found whatever it was he was looking for. "Have you ever done this before Harry?"
Harry shook his head and then kissed Charlie once more. "But I want to. I really, really want to."
Nodding his head, Charlie leaned forward and claimed Harry's lips once more, hands roaming every square inch of flesh he could find, unable to believe he was doing this, that they were doing this, that Harry seemed to want this as much as he did.
As he touched Harry, Charlie realised just how hungry for touch Harry was. The way he arched into every caress, every stroke, every lick, sang of his sheer need to be touched. He was overwhelmed with emotion as he watched, wondering why he'd never seen this, never realised just how much they'd both wanted it.
Harry was lost, drowning in sensation, in the feel of Charlie's hands and lips and teeth and tongue exploring his body, mapping every dip and curve, seemingly memorizing it with everything he did. By the time Charlie slid inside his body, he was mindless, existing only on sensation, entire body one throbbing nerve, and he passed out from the strength of his orgasm, pulling Charlie's from him in the process.
Charlie watched Harry for a long time before he slept, only daring to sleep once Harry's breathing indicated deep sleep and not unconsciousness. His lips were curved into a contented smile as he joined Harry in the arms of Morpheus.
Harry puttered about on the day of his birthday, pleasantly sore, smiling at each twinge on his body as he remembered exactly how he got the bruises that teased at him under his clothing. Charlie had given him the day off as part of his birthday gift and Harry had handed him the flower he'd made of Charlie's first nightmare. He'd decided to spend the day figuring out what else he was and had just settled down with a cup of tea and the same book that had proved so helpful before. His search for 'fox' in the index led him to 'kitsune' and it was there he began to read.
In Japanese folklore, these animals are believed to possess great intelligence, long life, and magical powers. Foremost among these is the ability to shapeshift into human form. Other powers commonly attributed to the kitsune include possession, the ability to generate fire from their tails or to breathe fire, the power to manifest in dreams, and the ability to create illusions so elaborate as to be almost indistinguishable from reality. Some tales go further still, speaking of kitsune with the ability to bend time and space, to drive people mad, or to take such nonhuman and fantastic shapes as a tree of incredible height or a second moon in the sky.
Kitsune – often called the celestial fox – were the messengers of Inari, and as such are always considered benevolent. The physical attribute kitsune are most noted for is their tails — a fox may possess as many as nine of them. Some sources say that a fox will only grow additional tails after they have lived for a thousand years. After that period of time, the number increases based on age and wisdom. When a kitsune gains nine tails, its fur becomes silver, white, or gold. These kyūbi no kitsune ("nine-tailed foxes") gain the power of infinite vision.
Harry sat back, his now cold tea going unheeded as he digested this information. Given his situation with Charlie, he could definitely see the Kitsune as being loyal and faithful, could even imagine them choosing their mate and bonding with them through dreams. Knwoing who the Inari were was also helpful, as was knowing that Kitsune were by nature benevolent. He wasn't certain he was wise enough to have nine tails in fox form, but then, wisdom was gained by experience, and Merlin knew he'd experienced more than most people his age.
He flipped pages aimlessly until he came to an entry on Chimera, and read only the first definition before stopping and closing the book, knowing in his soul he'd found the answer he was looking for.
Cryptozoology defines a Chimera is a single animal organism with genetically distinct cells from two different zygotes. A magical chimera may have as many as five, but no less than three. In most cases, the base zygote is Human, but there have been rare cases of chimera with the base organism being some other form.
Chimera. He was a magical Chimera.
He looked back at the book, reading further to discover that Chimera in most cases began their transformation during the last three months before their twenty-first cycle, or twenty-first year if human based.
All this explained what had been happening to him; the dreams, the sense of fullness when feeding on Charlie's nightmares, the need to protect, the love and lust he felt for the other man. It all made so much sense. He wondered how in Merlin's name he was meant to explain all this to Charlie, how Charlie would feel once it had been explained, and sighed. There was only one way to find out and he would need to do it soon.
They'd already made love; there was no going back for Harry. He would remain the chimeric blend of benevolent Japanese vampire and fox spirit, regardless of the choice Charlie made. He could only hope that Charlie felt the same.
Charlie decided to keep the news that the flower Harry had given him was a rare type of plant that aided the draconic digestive system. The reserve herbologists wanted to attempt growing it, and he didn't want to get Harry's hopes up until they knew for certain they could manage it. His mood was good when he pushed open the door and found Harry setting the table with dinner, relaxing into the light chatter they often shared over their meals.
Harry waited until after they'd eaten to bring up what was on his mind. Nervously, he licked his lips and fidgeted before finally picking up the book and opening it to the bit about the Kitsune. When Charlie had finished reading that, he turned to the first definition of chimera and sat back to wait.
Charlie set the book down carefully and turned to Harry. "So… Chimera huh?" he asked, not sure what else to say. He was trying desperately not to get his hopes up, had been since he first kissed Harry the night before. But he wanted this, wanted more with Harry, wanted everything Harry was capable of giving him, even if it wasn't his love. But… well, the bit on Kitsune almost seemed to say he had that from Harry, only he needed to hear it.
Harry nodded. Taking a breath and gathering his courage he asked, "Charlie, do you love me?" he winced slightly as he said it. That wasn't what he'd meant to ask at all.
Charlie blinked at Harry for a moment, surprised by the directness of the question, then slowly nodded. He watched as every muscle in Harry's body relaxed and a beautiful smile spread across his face. "Does that mean you love me too?" he asked softly.
"If I didn't I don't think I could ever have entered your dream the way I did. I'm still not sure how all this works but… you're all right with this? With me not being fully human?" this was important to Harry; he needed to know, despite the fact that it hadn't seemed to bother Charlie before.
Charlie shifted on the chair and pulled Harry toward him. "I don't care. I don't care what you are, only about who you are, and I doubt that will ever change. I'm in love with Harry; bright, generous, brilliant with the dragons, excellent at taking care of me, fantastic in bed Harry. NOT the man who killed Voldemort, or the Baku or the Kitsune, but Harry."
Harry smiled. "Good. Take me to bed so I can show you how good this is."
Charlie grinned and happily obliged. He was looking forward to every moment of the rest of their lives.