Later that day, Edward waited patiently for Harry to come to his…their bedroom. He looked over at the moving pictures Harry had put on one of the shelves between his music collection; Harry stood in the middle of one of the pictures surrounded by three boys and three girls, all of them were wearing some uniforms – Quidditch, Harry had called it. They were all smiling brightly; they had probably just won their game.
There was another picture with Harry and three other people, two he did not recognise but knew they were called Luna and Neville, and one he did; Hermione – Harry’s best friend who had turned her back on him. She may have hurt him in the past but that didn’t change the fact that Harry still loved her as a friend, or even a sister.
Edward heard the door open and quickly turned around; he hadn’t heard the wizard come up. Noticing that Harry was nervous, he held out his hand for the boy to take before pulling him towards the bed where they both sat down.
“You have nothing to be nervous about, Harrison,” Edward said softly as he lifted Harry’s head with two fingers under his chin making the soulful green gaze lock with his own. “I only want to talk to you about something.”
Harry licked his dry lips and swallowed the lump in his throat; those words did nothing to calm his nerves. He nodded his head when he saw Edward was waiting for permission to continue, before looking away as he fidgeted nervously with his hands.
“I wanted to apologise for my behaviour these past few weeks,” the vampire began.
Harry’s head shot up at those words, he hadn’t expected that. Then again, he hadn’t known what to expect…
“You must have noticed that I’ve been pulling away from you,” the vampire continued and waited for the hesitant nod his mate gave him. “I have no excuse except that I was trying to protect you.”
“Protect me?” Harry interrupted him, confused.
“Yes,” Edward licked his lips and noticed how Harry’s eyes followed the movement. “It…I mean…I…” Edward shot up from the bed, not knowing how to continue. He started to pace before turning back to face Harry and when he noticed the nervous gaze he dropped to his knees. “I fear this is a little more…difficult than I anticipated,” he confessed, not to mention embarrassing, he mentally added.
“Uhm…maybe you should start at the beginning?” Harry suggested, not knowing what else to say.
Edward gave him a weak smile before he nodded. “You know I’m a vampire,” he figured it would be best to start at the very beginning.
Harry gave him a confused look before nodding. “Yes?”
“Although we have human instincts, we also have animal instincts,” he continued. “When a wild animal finds its mate it’ll lay its claim on him or her so that the other animals know that he or she is off limits. I fear I’m going through a similar process,” he admitted. Seeing the slightly startled look he didn’t hesitate to add: “The predator, the animal, inside me wants to claim you and I’ve been fighting it for these past few weeks.”
“Why?” Came the small question.
“I don’t want to force you,” the vampire admitted. “I’ve never been in this situation before. I mean, I’ve never had any sexual experience; not in my human life and definitely not in my vampire life. Everything that I’ve been feeling for you is completely new and I have to admit that at one point it made me freak out a little.” He took the wizard’s hands in his own as he continued. “I must tell you that this has nothing to do with you. I needed to figure out what was happening with me…with my body and I didn’t want to trouble you.
“You’ve been going through a lot these past few months and didn’t need my problems on top of it. I’ve tried hard to keep this from you, intending to protect you…or at least not trouble you but all that did was hurt you.” The vampire sank down to his knees and raised himself up so that Harry had to look down in order for their eyes to meet.
“It was not my intention to hurt you, Harrison,” he said sincerely as he took the boy’s head between his hands. “Although I could see that you were hurting, I thought it was because of your adoptive parents’ deaths. It didn’t occur to me that I was the one hurting you and I apologise for that. Is there a chance that you’ll forgive this old vampire his mistake?”
“You were trying to protect me from your hormones?” Harry wanted to make sure he knew what the vampire was talking about.
Edward nodded his head. “Yes, well, mostly from the monster inside me that wants to claim you as his own.”
“Why didn’t you tell me any of this?”
“You were already dealing with so many things, I didn’t want to add to your worries and I also wasn’t quite sure what was happening,” Edward admitted and looked away in shame.
Harry reached out and caressed his mate’s smooth cheek. “I know you’d never force me,” he said and brought their faces closer together. “I forgive you,” he whispered before crashing their lips together now knowing that Edward still wanted him.
Both of them moaned at their first real contact in days, weeks even. The kiss was loving, hungry and desperate; so desperate that Harry had to push the vampire away to catch his breath.
“I apologise again,” Edward said as he move to stand up but was stopped when the wizard pulled him back down and kissed him again. This time the kiss was gentler, curious even.
Breaking the kiss, Harry rested his forehead against his mate’s. “Nothing to forgive,” he breathed. He grabbed a hand full of the vampire’s shirt and tugged him down on the bed, turning, so they were facing each other.
“Why didn’t you talk to me when you realised what was happening?” Harry asked when they’d settled down. “You must have realised that I’ve been through the same thing once.”
Edward chuckled as his mate sent him a mental picture of their son. “Yes, I realised that. I know you’ve been through something similar but you wouldn’t understand what it is to have this predator inside that feels it has the right to claim you. I have this constant need to be with you, to just see you and touch you but the closer I am to you, the longer I touch you, this overwhelming need to claim you comes over me and I fear that when I stop fighting it, I’ll hurt you.”
Harry licked his lips as he thought about the vampire’s words. “I love you, Edward, I really do… I just…I’m not…”
“You’re not ready yet, I know,” the vampire interrupted him. “I know you love me, Harrison, as I love you and I’ve told you, I will not force you, which is the reason I stayed away. I know it was wrong of me but I didn’t know what else to do.”
“Being close to me, brings the predator out of you?” Harry asked, uncertain. “Even now?”
Edward nodded, “Yes, but for now being close to you is enough. I know I’ve hurt you and my first need is to protect you, even from myself. Don’t feel guilty, Harrison, this is not your fault.”
“It is a little,” Harry mumbled.
Edward leaned in and placed a kiss on his lips. “No, this is not your fault. I don’t want our first time to be forced, to be something we need to do. I want it to be special, something we both want, preferably when we’re married.”
“You’re a little sappy sometimes, you know?” Harry asked and was playfully hit on the arm. “You do realise that we are kind of married, right? I mean the bond may not have been completed but it is there…meaning we are married, in a way…”
Edward shook his head. “I had forgotten about that, but none the less, you are not ready. I’m not even sure I am ready.”
“Yet you want to,” Harry pointed out.
“It would be a lie to tell you that I don’t want you, but I think its hormones…seventeen-year old hormones that are ninety years overdue…or something among those lines. I also think the bond is playing havoc with them.”
“What do you mean?” Harry asked, did Edward feel the bond while he didn’t?
“I believe it wants to complete itself and plays on our instincts; the predator wants to claim his mate which is probably why I feel this overwhelming need to claim you. You need comfort and protection that I haven’t given them to you which is probably why you’re unconsciously closing down the bond.” Edward had been reading a few books about magic bond the last time they were in the wizarding world and had found out what had been happening to the bond.
Harry thought about what Edward had said and it seemed to make sense. If the bond was playing havoc with their emotions to complete it, then there was no other way then to consummate it…was there?
“I won’t complete the bond, not yet, Harrison. Not because I don’t want to but because we aren’t ready. There’s another way to calm the predator down,” Edward explained as he took one of Harry’s hands in his own and entwined their fingers.
“What way?” Harry asked.
Edward let the venom pool in his mouth before he took off his wristband. He bit it, letting the venom soak into it; making sure it covered the entire wristband. Then he took hold of Harry’s arm and placed the wristband on it.
Confused, Harry stared down at their entwined hands and the wristband that his mate had placed on his wrist.
“Now, not only do you wear the Cullen symbol but you wear my mark; my venom. Make sure you always wear this because then I’ll be able to smell myself on you and, hopefully, keep the predator at bay for the time being.” He lifted Harry’s head so they were looking at each other again. “I fear it’s only a temporary solution but it should hold for a while, if I keep refreshing the venom, that is.”
Harry lifted his arm and carefully caressed the wristband. Of course he knew what the symbol looked like, for he had seen it on Edward many times before, but somehow it looked different. He reached over and carefully caressed the vampire’s cheek. “Thank you,” he said, thanking him for the wristband and the solution.
Both leaned in at the same time and pressed their lips together. The kiss was deep, exploring and slow. A moment into the kiss, Harry was breathing heavy and Edward had to pull away. “Forgive me,” the vampire said. “I fear my scent on you is rather intoxicating.”
“Haven’t I always smelled like you or at least since we’ve been going out?” the wizard asked, perplexed and a little breathless.
“Yes, especially when you spend the entire night in my arms, but now…it’s so much stronger. Your normal scent is already amazing to me but now…I cannot explain how good this feels, how intoxicating it is to know that you are mine,” the vampire stopped at those words, he hadn’t meant to say them; at least not yet, not until he had claimed him properly.
Harry blinked at those words. His? The word went straight to his heart, filling it with hope as his entire body grew warm. Did he really belong to someone? Did someone really want him? “Yours,” he agreed smiling brightly.
Edward couldn’t help but growl as he claimed the lips in a desperate kiss. “Are you alright?” The vampire asked when the wizard tensed up and stopped responding to the kiss.
Harry bit his bottom lip and turned on his back. Should he tell his mate what was bothering him? The vampire hadn’t cared before. Still…Edward had opened up to him, telling the wizard what had been happening these past few weeks, letting him know it was nothing Harry had done. Maybe he should trust the vampire as he had before all this had happened.
“I…uhm…” he began, “I don’t understand this…I mean one week I barely see you and now you’re here…” he stopped unable to continued for if he did he knew Edward would turn away from him again.
“Harrison,” he turned the wizard’s face, making him look at him before he continued. “I know these past few days I haven’t exactly show you but I do love you and I desperately want you. My heart, that hasn’t beat in over ninety years, skips whenever I see you. I haven’t been very forthcoming with my affections, I never show them, but since you came into my life I find myself smiling more and much easier. I long to hold you when I see you and I ache when we are not together. There is nothing in this entire world that I wouldn’t do for you and I would move mountains if that would make you happy.
“Nothing can excuse my behaviour over the past few weeks but even if I act like this again you must always remember that I love you and nothing in this world will change that.” Edward never blinked throughout his entire speech, his eyes locked on Harry’s. He wanted the wizard to know he was sincere and make sure he had no reason to doubt him.
“I think I should tell you something that has been recently brought to my attention,” he waited for Harry’s interest to peak before he continued. “It’s been said that I have abandonment issues.”
The wizard’s eyes clouded in confusion. How could Edward have abandonment issues? “You?”
“Yes,” the vampire admitted as he nodded his head.
“But…why? How?” The wizard was clearly confused and that gave Edward ammo to continue. Harry would probably be one of the only ones who would understand what he had been through.
“I believe I told you about Bella and how we…broke up?” At Harry’s nod he continued. “I was brought up in a different time, as you know. It wasn’t proper to lay with a person unless you were married. My mother was a rather open-minded person but when she believed in something, she believed in it wholly. And that was one of her beliefs.
“I wanted to honour her wishes. She always thought I’d grow up and marry a fine young lady who would love me. When I met Bella, I honestly thought she was the one.
“I wanted to get to know her and every free minute I had was spend with her. There were even times when she didn’t know I was there, but I was. Always trying to learn something new about her. When I believed I was in love with her, I wanted to be together and I pursued her.
“In the beginning we were happy and wanted the same things in our relationship. To spend time with each other and just be content in each other’s company. I enjoyed it and it was enough for me. I knew the intimate relationship would come once we were married and, yes, I had thought we were going to get married. I was certain Bella felt the same way.
“After Bella was attacked by a vampire from a foreign coven, she started to change. She wanted me to change her into a vampire so she wouldn’t feel as helpless as she did when James attacked her. She was certain I would do it but it was never my intention. If I wanted to turn her I’d have let James’ venom do the trick; but I could never force this existence on someone else, especially, if I can prevent it.
“But she kept hinting, even talking about what she would do if she was immortal, how much the world would have changed in a hundred years. I think part of it was because of the slight trace of venom still in her system – there’s always a slight residue left in the blood stream. I believe it found her longing and played on it. Increasing it and making her want it more and more.
“When I told her that I wouldn’t change her into a monster, she started asking my family what they thought. They were against it as well, at least until she turned twenty, so that gave us a few years, but not getting her way changed her.
“She wanted more, initiated more and more contact.” The vampire sat up, slightly embarrassed. “At first I thought it was a mistake but she kept advancing and I felt she was moving too fast. I was still fighting this monster inside me, the one that wanted to taste her sweet smelling blood, and didn’t know what would happen should I unleash it. When I kept pushing her away she got mad at me.
“Although her blood stilled smelled sweet to me, it had an underlying scent. Part of it was from James’ venom and another was from the dogs. I thought it was just my imagination so I let it slide.
“One evening she advanced again and again I pushed her away; she got mad and started yelling that I didn’t want her. I tried to tell her that I was fighting hard to keep the monster at bay but she wouldn’t listen. She told me to leave so I went hunting with my family for a few hours, hoping that a few hours away from her would calm the raging monster inside of me down so that I wouldn’t kill her.
“Later when I returned, I climbed into her bedroom through her window as I always did, hoping to have a chance to talk to her and explain myself. I had convinced myself that I wanted what she wanted and was ready to…well you know.” The vampire would have blushed had he been able to but instead he averted his eyes, which were now taking in the full moon outside.
“This is when you found her with another man?” Harry asked.
Edward nodded before standing up and walking to the window. “Yes, I found her with Jacob Black and that’s when I realised why she smelled like dog.”
Harry took a moment to think about what Edward had told him. Slowly he stood up and walked to the vampire. “And now you fear that I will either leave you or drive you away because your body is reacting to me and my closeness?”
Edward turned around when he felt a touch on his shoulder. His topaz coloured eyes met bright green ones before he nodded.
“I’ve been told that what your body’s going through is perfectly normal. Every teenager goes through it, even a ninety year old vampire in a seventeen year old form. The experience is new and sometimes overwhelming but it’s completely normal and I will not judge you for it. I’m not going to leave you because of your…urges, let’s say. In fact, I’m honoured, flattered, that you feel this way about me.” He reached up to caress his mate’s smooth cheek. “I’m not going to leave you over this, if I had my way I’m not going to leave you at all.”
Edward reached out and hugged his mate close. “In my heart I know that,” he whispered into his mate’s shoulder.
“Having abandonment issues sucks,” Harry joked, trying to lighten the mood. “There’s nothing I can say to make you believe me one hundred percent, I know that for I feel the same way, but I will tell you that I love you and I promise that I won’t leave you by choice.”
Edward nodded; nothing could make him believe Harry would stay with him, just as nothing would make Harry believe he would stay with the wizard. “And I promise you the same thing,” he said and gently leaned in to place a kiss on the wizard’s lips.
Both, Harry and Edward, were slightly reassured by their promise. They knew that no words could fill the small holes in their hearts or erase all their doubts; only actions and time could heal that. But both were going to do their best to keep their promise. They would do anything to assure the other, they weren’t leaving.
“That’s all we can hope for,” Harry said, sadly but with a slight smile. “Just promise me something.”
“Anything,” the vampire was quick to reply.
“Don’t turn away from me again,” Harry asked. “I mean, I’m not ready yet too…but I need to know what’s happening. I can’t not know…” His fifth year at Hogwarts came back to him; the not knowing and how much it had upset him. He couldn’t bear going through that again.
“I promise,” the vampire replied.
After a moment of silence, Edward reached up flicking some stray hairs behind the wizard’s ears. “Your hair has grown long,” he remarked, following the stray with his hand.
“Yes, Esme’s been bugging me to let her cut it,” Harry smiled up at the vampire. “But I was thinking of letting it grow even longer.” He had let his hair grow longer over these past months; it went all the way to his shoulders.
“Are you going for a rebellious look?” Edward smirked, a slight gleam in his eyes.
“Maybe,” Harry replied. “Would you like it?”
“I like everything about you,” Edward answered as he leaned down to place a peck on the lips.
“Sometimes you sound like a character from a romance novel, you do realise that, do you not?” Harry smirked up at the vampire, raising his eyebrow in question.
“Yes, having lived as long as I, you do tend to get bored enough to read a romance novel once or twice,” Edward replied, joking.
“A day?” Harry raised his other eyebrow in question and stuck out his tongue when he saw the vampire’s face constrict as if he was in pain. Then he pushed him away and made for the bed with a playful smile.
Edward shook his head and chuckled before chasing after the wizard. Trapping him in a corner, he was able to catch him. Taking hold of the wizard’s waist he directed him towards the bed where both of them fell down. Trapping Harry below him, he smiled down at him. “I believe I have caught you,” he breathed against the fair skin.
“Now that you have, what are you going to do with me?” Harry replied in the same husky voice. His hands that were trapped by Edward’s were itching to run over the vampire’s back, to touch his skin.
Edward cocked his head as he thought how to answer. For the first time in a few weeks, the mind-reader was able to pick up some of Harry’s thoughts and it made him almost sigh in relief. He released one of the wizard’s hands, which immediately ran over his back and he had to bite back a moan. “It’s good to hear your thoughts again,” he confessed instead of answering the question.
“You enjoy hearing my thoughts?” The wizard asked confused.
"Yes," he admitted. “You have so many thoughts in your head; I find it comforting to listen to them. Especially when you are not near me.”
“You are a strange being, Edward Cullen.”
“Yes, and I'm yours.”
The wizard licked his dry lips. “Mine,” he breathed before reaching up to kiss those luscious lips.
Edward turned them, so they were lying on their sides facing each other. “There was something else I wished to talk to you about,” the vampire began. “I’ve been talking to Jasper about C.J. and his ability.”
“Is something wrong?” Harry’s head shot up, worry clouding his eyes.
“Don’t worry, he’s fine. I apologise for not mentioning that. We are just worried,” he began. “For these past weeks our emotions have been running high. As you know, he’s able to pick up our emotions. We fear that, once he starts picking up the other’s emotions – it’ll be too overwhelming for him. We fear…” Edward stopped.
“You fear it’ll drive him insane,” Harry finished. At Edward’s nod he knew he was right.
“We hoped you would know a spell or potion that’ll repress either his ability or our emotions, until he’s old enough to learn how to control it,” Edward told him.
“There are potions that’ll repress our emotions,” Harry answered thoughtfully. “I was afraid this was going to happen,” he sighed as he settled back down. “I shall talk to Jack about this, I’m sure he’ll know more about it. What are we going to do in the mean time?” Jack, the old headmaster of his school in the magical community, had helped him before maybe he would be able to help him with this too.
“Jasper will continue to read him, and make sure the emotions don’t overwhelm him. If they do, he’ll make sure to calm him down. For now he’s safe.”
“Thank you,” Harry replied before kissing Edward in gratitude.
“Sleep, now,” Edward noticed the fatigue and made Harry lay back in his arms.
“Goodnight, Edward” the wizard mumbled as he settled down and fell asleep, his head resting on the vampire’s shoulder.
Edward smiled down at the sleeping figure. He was glad he had talked with his mate. They could now work on their problems and hopefully solve them. One thing he knew for certain; he was going to try his hardest not to hurt his mate again!