By the time they climbed on the London Eye, Harry had nearly forgotten the original purpose of his date with Nik.
Charming, handsome, and quite funny, Nik took Harry on the type of adventure he’d always wanted to have, although he couldn’t have articulated it before. If he had been shown a list of Nik’s planned stops, he would’ve imagined the date to be quite boring, but Nik had a way of livening up even the simplest of tourist choices. Although Harry didn’t entirely approve of messing with the minds of Muggles, Nik had spelled his way onto the Eye, and as they rose over the dark and glittering city, in their own private capsule, Harry couldn’t help but wish this was the sort of relationship he could have with Snape - minus the trust issues. Maybe he was plagued to be forever attracted to men he couldn’t trust.
Nik scooted close to Harry on the bench, placing a confident hand on Harry’s upper thigh.
“Don’t forget my sore throat,” Harry warned with a smile. Part of him regretted making up that lie in order to get out of kissing Nik. It had been too long since he’d had a proper snog, and even with their suspicions, a dalliance with another man might help him get over Snape.
“I think it’s worth the risk,” said Nik, his fingers carding through Harry’s hair. It felt good, but not nearly as electric as Snape’s touch had been.
“I’d never forgive myself if you spent the last few days of your holiday coughing.”
“As long as you don’t give it to Potter,” teased Nik.
“You have nothing to worry about,” Harry reassured him. “As I said before, he was under a lot of pressure since he hadn’t dated in some time, and I was the only single gay bloke he trusted to keep his cover. Besides, he’s not my type.”
“Oh?” asked Nik, his eyebrows pricking. “What is your type? Besides straight wizards so enamored by your body, they can’t help themselves.”
Hopefully Snape wasn’t listening in to their conversation. “Tall. Dark.” Harry brushed a stray strand of hair out of Nik’s face. “Handsome.”
“Two out of three. So close,” said Nik in mock dismay.
“You know...” said Nik, his hand sliding higher as his voice deepened. “There are many things we can do that don’t involve your mouth.”
Oh, Merlin. It had been too long if just a bit of randy talk with someone like Nik was getting him this worked up. If Snape had done it... Harry caught his hand. “Not in public. If someone from the Prophet sees me, I’d never hear the end of it.”
“So we’ll get a room,” said Nik, his eyes intense.
Perfect. He didn’t want to suggest the room first, and going back to Nik’s room was too risky. All he had to do was get one of them to say the name of the hotel out loud, and Snape would head there and prepare the trap. “I’m sure we can find one nearby. Shall we order in?”
“Why don’t we get dinner first?” suggested Nik. “Otherwise we might forget.”
“I doubt we’ll forget if we’re spending the night.”
“When I start something,” said Nik, his eyes locked on Harry’s. “I don’t stop until I finish.”
A shiver slid down Harry’s spine. Was that a threat or just foreplay? “As long as I finish as well,” Harry shot back.
Nik brushed his fingers dangerously close to Harry’s groin before he lifted his hand. “I remembered what you said about your favourite partner. I bought a few potions just for you.”
Poor Ron. He’d always been very supportive of Harry, but this conversation was probably making his ears turn pink. As much as Harry wanted to learn about the potions, he needed to steer the conversation another route. He’d already poked at the issues surrounding the Death Eaters without much fruit, and suspected another attempt would alert Nik. “I can’t wait. Where are we getting dinner?”
“Why don’t we pick a direction and walk until we find a place that looks good? We can walk from there to find a hotel.”
Either Nik was aware of their plot or he just wanted to be adventurous. “Sounds good to me,” said Harry. “Although I vote we head back to my place if we don’t find something in a reasonable amount of time. The Auror reports say to avoid certain areas of London after dark, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the details.”
Nik stood, pulling Harry to his feet and circling his arms around him from behind. If Harry had trusted Nik, he wouldn’t have minded as much, but with everything that had happened and his suspicions, his heart raced, and he had to remind himself to relax instead of fight.
“I’m kind of curious to see what sort of place we’ll find,” said Nik in Harry’s ear. His voice wasn’t nearly as sexy as Snape’s.
Trying to accept the embrace rather than fight it, Harry ran his fingers along Nik’s arm. “Probably either a hole in the wall with rats in the bathroom or something so posh, it’ll take a month of our salaries to pay for a night.”
“Both sound fun,” said Nik. He planted a soft kiss on Harry’s left cheek. “Just as long as we have some privacy.”
Gently, Harry pulled away. “We’re almost to the ground.” He glanced around, as if looking for reporters.
“Do you expect to be followed?” asked Nik, his brow in a furrow.
Harry shrugged. “He said that it might happen, but probably not since they published that story so recently.”
Their capsule reached the ground and they left the wheel.
“What do you know? A place to eat!” Nik pointed at street vendor.
“You might need something that gives you a little more stamina,” teased Harry.
“Let’s at least buy a snack,” said Nik, already striding towards it. “I’ve always wanted to try food from a London vendor.”
“To know how awful it is?” Harry followed him anyway.
Nik reached into his pocket and pulled out his Muggle money, which was in a crumpled heap and had a few wizard coins mixed in. As he counted out how much he had left, he knocked a coin off the pile in his hand.
Automatically, Harry reached out to catch the falling bit of gold. As soon as his fingers closed around it, he realised his mistake. Portkey. Nik grabbed his hand to prevent him from dropping it, his eyes harsh.
They landed in a dark grassy field a few feet apart. Harry whipped out his wand and shot off a Stupefy. It hit Nik in the chest and he crumbled.
Voices rang out in the dark and more spells flew to Harry. Dodging as he ran, Harry shot off spells as he blinked rapidly, trying to adjust to the sudden change of light. At least ten cloaked figures. Maybe more. As he rolled out of the way of a Stupefy, he popped open a few capsules for good measure: a refresher on his Polyjuice, a restorative, and a healing one. A electrical tingling burst from his ankle and he fell to the ground, unable to move. Petrificus Totalus. Fuck!
Someone yanked away his wand, while another set of hands ran over his body. He could nothing but lay there, helplessly, as they stripped off his bracelet, and found the potions he’d hidden in his clothes. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Why had he caught the coin? He was a bloody Auror. He was trained to avoid Portkeys! Someone flipped him over and he caught a glimpse of dark green robes as they destroyed the tracking spell Snape had placed in his chest.
“His hair,” said Nik. A spell raced by Harry’s ear. Did Nik plan use Polyjuice? He wouldn’t fool Snape for a second.
A wand tip pressed into Harry’s chest and his consciousness fell away.