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A Lynx to the Past

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A Lynx to the Past – Chapter 1

Harry considered himself excited to hear about the Triwizard Tournament. And for once he thought himself safe, especially with the age limit that the headmaster set. After all, the age limit had been set to the age of seventeen, being of age for the wizarding world. Harry wouldn't turn seventeen for another three years.

The students from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons hadn't yet arrived and wouldn't until the end of October. The Gryffindor was curious if the entire school would be there or if a selection would be chosen to go, while the rest stayed behind. Somehow, he couldn't see himself going up to one of those students and asking. And according to Dumbledore, they would have the champion selection for all three schools on Halloween night. A date that the young Gryffindor wasn't all that fond of, something always happened on Halloween night. First year, Professor Quirrell had set a troll inside the castle; second year, the Chamber of Secrets had been opened and Mrs. Norris was petrified; and third year, Sirius Black had broken into the Gryffindor Common Room. And the fact that both his parents were murdered on Halloween night and sent to the Dursleys. To Harry, Halloween was considered the worst day for him. And there was a strong feeling that something would go wrong again this Halloween.

Harry knew that Ron and Hermione were just as excited as he was. Though, Harry didn't share in Ron's enthusiasm to be the Hogwarts champion. No doubt Ron saw the idea about having fame and glory for winning the tournament. Harry doubted that Ron didn't even think about the challenges in order to get that. The Gryffindor wouldn't be surprised if Hermione lectured Ron about it, honestly. But, for once he just wanted a peaceful year at Hogwarts and to just sit back. Hermione did seem excited, if not a little wary about the tournament. No doubt, she had read up on the Triwizard Tournament and why it hadn't happened in so many years, usually because of the death tolls. And now, the ministry was trying to bring it back and they were successful so far. Probably the reason why the ministry put in the rule about being of age if they wanted to participate.

Harry wasn't sure who was going to try to enter the tournament. He knew that Fred and George had made a huge outrage about the age limit, considering they wouldn't be seventeen until the following April. Somehow, Harry knew that Fred and George would try something to enter. He knew that Angelina Johnson had spoken about entering, considering she had just turned 17. So there was at least one Gryffindor entering. Though he had heard complaints from several Gryffindors that Cassius Warrington, who was a Slytherin, was going to enter. No doubt the complaints were mainly because nobody wanted to have a Slytherin champion. Though there were less complaints about Cedric Diggory, the rival seeker in Hufflepuff. Harry hadn't been too surprised by that, Harry remembered when Diggory tried call for a rematch. He had believed it wasn't a fair match because of the dementors and where Harry had fallen off his broomstick. So, Harry was well aware of Cedric's sense of fair play. And the fact most of the student body would rather have a Hufflepuff champion, instead of a Slytherin one.

It was within the next few days, Harry seemed more tired and almost ill. Even Hermione was worried and suggested that the young Gryffindor go see Madam Pomfrey. That was something that Harry had refused to do, he already spent enough time in the Hospital Wing because of Quidditch, he didn't want to go there for another reason and be stuck there. Especially if the Mediwitch said he needed to stay there and miss out when the schools arrived and the selection. Harry was pretty sure that by now there was a bed with his name on it.

The exhausted feeling seemed to follow him, along with this overwhelmed feeling that he needed to find a place alone and hide. Harry couldn't understand why he would get that urge and he refused to tell Ron or Hermione about it. The feeling was just weird, and he didn't think it was anything worth concerning about. Harry definitely didn't want Hermione to think it was worth mentioning to one of the professors or the headmaster. Harry thought Hermione was an amazing friend, but he still thought she placed too much trust into the professors at times. And Ron had the habit of telling Hermione, somehow this felt much too personal to share. There was a silent hope that this urge would fade away, yet that hope wasn't very strong.

Harry was just thankful that the professors hadn't held any classes that week, they were fully aware that none of the students would be paying attention. Though, fifth years and above had no such luck, considering they were supposed to take their OWLS, prepare for NEWTS or they would be taking their NEWTS that year. Professor McGonagall had tried that with the previous years, and it came down to just dismissing them and having to schedule for classes to convene after the Champion selection. That didn't stop the strict professor from taking points, though. It seemed that she was the harshest on the Gryffindors, though.

Honestly, Harry was grateful for classes being cancelled for the week. Although, Hermione was despaired at the thought. You could say his mood was little irritated, though he tried to not let it show. And there was the doubt that he could probably even make it through the classes in this state. He wasn't sure what state this was, only hoping that it passed soon and quickly at that. There were some moments that it felt like his vision would be blurry and could see without his glasses. Then it was like it had never happened and the glasses were needed once more. That day had made Harry want to shake his head, like he was looking his mind. It felt like maybe he had imagined it or something, or maybe that was his mind telling him that magic probably could fix his eyesight. But yet there was something telling him that his eyesight was too bad to fix. While another thing was telling him the complete opposite. He wasn't sure which of his own thoughts were correct, but he had never bothered checking. Another strange occurrence that Harry had recalled was, one morning he had thought it was still morning. The dorm at seemed bright at the time, since he could see all around him and yet it was pitch dark in reality. The Gryffindor wasn't sure what to think of it. One moment it was all bright in the room and the next it was pitch black.

It had only happened once, so Harry simply pushed the incident out of his mind. Like the mere idea of it was something in his imagination or something he had dreamed up one night. The idea of it being real was too preposterous to think about. It seemed better to just think it had never happened.

The small Gryffindor felt smaller for some reason. It was like his mind was everywhere all at once and these insistent thoughts didn't seem to want to stop or pause. There were a few moments where Harry felt he was hearing something his friends couldn't, a déjà vu from his second year when he could hear the Basilisk in the walls. He honestly didn't want to remember that year, something to do with being considered the Heir of Slytherin, Hermione being petrified, and Ginny almost dying in the chamber.

If Hermione and Ron noticed Harry's continued isolation, they didn't mention it to him. There were moments during the day that the urge to be alone was too hard to ignore. The young Gryffindor didn't understand it much, but sometimes it was like his feet would walk for him.

It would be a few days later that Harry felt like screaming. It would take him several moments to realize he was the one screaming. He knew nobody would hear him, he had followed one of his urges to find somewhere isolated. Harry knew around this time that nobody would be around as he went to one of the abandoned towers. Even if someone passed by, the wind would cover any escaped sounded. Though he had no idea that he would be screaming in pain at the time. It felt like someone was trying to rip his body in half. There was something changing or shifting within him and it hurt…

The small Gryffindor had let out a hiss of pain, his body was hurting all over. The pain was excruciating, and it had to be lasting over an hour. Harry had honestly no track of time for how long it's been since the first stab of pain had hit. His body had balled up in itself, as if it was trying to ease some of the pain. Harry doubted that curling his body helped any, if anything it probably made the pain worse.

The Gryffindor could swear his eyes were playing tricks on him, it was hard to tell as he was still hurting all over. But he could have sworn that he saw claws coming out of his hands. What the bloody hell was happening to him?!

When the pain eased up slightly, Harry tried to breathe but it came out more as gasps for breath. It was a hard process to try to center his thoughts. The pain didn't give him much time to adjust before it hit him again. A howl escaped Harry's lips before he could clam his lips shut. His body was literally trembling. It made it hurt to even breathe. Harry's mind frantically thought about if he had just gone to see Madam Pomfrey, maybe he wouldn't be in this mess. And Harry was fully aware that nobody could hear him or know where he was. His scrambled thoughts kept repeating on why he followed that urge in the first place. Somehow, the young Gryffindor knew if he didn't follow that urge, his body would force him to.

Harry then let out a screech of pain, the feeling that something was shifting was not leaving him. Harry never put it together that this pain could be similar to what Remus went through every month. Harry didn't even have time to form any next thoughts, because next thing he knew, he was passing out.

The fourteen-year-old felt disorientated when he came to. He wasn't quite sure what happened, though he recalled feeling a lot of pain. He had to blink a few times to try to clear his jumbled thoughts. What he noticed first was that his vision seemed to be a lot clearer. Harry had never been able to see that well for as long as he remembered. He wasn't quite sure why, though the small Gryffindor hadn't noticed that his glasses were a few feet away on the ground, currently broken. His body still felt really sore from whatever happened. Harry didn't doubt that he would feel pain if he tried to move.

That thought didn't stay in Harry's mind for long. He had finally tried to sit up and felt strangely small. And that was saying something, considering that Harry was a lot smaller than everyone his age. That was when Harry caught a glimpse of his 'tail.' That's when everything made a little more sense, especially catching a glimpse of his paws and claws.

The small Gryffindor freaked out. He didn't even wait to have second thoughts, he darted out of the abandoned tower. Leaving behind the broken glasses and the discarded Gryffindor robe that would no longer fit. Did he have to be considered a freak of nature to turn into a feline? What was Hermione and Ron going to think? What was the school going to think? Would anyone figure out what happened to him? Would his disappearance even be noticed? And how was Harry going to reverse this and get back to being human? Was there was a way to reverse this? Would he wind up being stuck as a feline for the rest of his life?

There were too many thoughts going into Harry's head. And with no solutions to fix any of it. Though, maybe things weren't as bad as they seemed. Although, to the young Gryffindor, everything was a bit grimmer and more frightening. But that was before things had gone from bad to worse, especially with Harry being on the seventh floor.

It almost seemed like good news, but apparently, he caught them off guard. And unlucky for Harry, there was a window right behind him. A stunner was sent straight at Harry and he wasn't fast enough to dodge it. The small feline wasn't even used to this new body yet. Harry didn't even notice that they looked immediately guilty after it happened, he only felt betrayal and hurt as his tiny body slammed into the window and shattered it. And he fell.

Hermione was frantic and it seemed Ron had been tuning her out for the past hour. Unlucky for Ron, the nearest object was a book.

"What the bloody hell!"

The bookworm just huffed in annoyed, "well if you had been listening, I wouldn't have to hit you with a book!"

"Bloody hell that hurt…"

"Quit whining," Hermione rolled her eyes.

There were tiny snickers in the background. Only thing Ron could do was glare at the twins, who started whistling innocently. They clearly found this entire thing amusing.

"What are you on about?" Ron finally asked.

"Well, if you had been paying attention, you might have noticed that Harry's been missing all day," Hermione snapped.

"He'll turn up later on, he always does," Ron brushed off.

"That's not the point, Ronald! He's always at meals and nobody has seen him the entire day! We always see him throughout the day!"

"Maybe he wants some privacy and quiet," even the excuse sounded pathetic to Ron.

Hermione was quiet for a moment, even she had noticed that Harry tended to be more subdued and craved isolation. She wondered if it was because of this tournament or if people were trying to make a big thing about his fame again. She didn't think it would be because Harry wasn't feeling well, though he refused to visit Madam Pomfrey. Hermione wished that Harry would stop by to see what was wrong, though she knew he hated being in the Hospital Wing. Considering the fact that Harry was there more than not, she couldn't hold much blame for her friend for wanting to avoid it like the plague. If the case was that Harry wanted to get away from the attention, she couldn't blame her friend for wanting to be alone for a bit. But it still worried her that Harry was gone this long.

Chapter Text

A Lynx to the Past – Chapter 2

Marcus Flint had been on the Quidditch Pitch for the past few hours. He was already fully aware that Quidditch was cancelled this year because of the tournament. The entire house of Slytherin knew about the tournament before the old coot announced it. The whole thing honestly pissed the 7th year off. Quidditch was his outlet when he got annoyed by idiotic Gryffindor. He already knew he didn't want to play professionally. Despite the fact that this was his last year at Hogwarts. Wood might have been aiming to join England, but he wasn't. Marcus spat into the ground, that was one Gryffindor he was glad that was gone. Even to Marcus, his obsession with Quidditch was over the top. And as much as he hated Gryffindors, he would never tell a teammate to catch the snitch or die trying. The news about what Wood told Potter had been all over the castle last year. As much as Marcus hated that Malfoy was on the team, he wouldn't' have said that to any of his seekers. That decision to replace Terence wasn't up to him, it had been decided by Professor Snape and his protests were ignored. Marcus usually didn't mind his Head of House, it was hard to get on his good side. But apparently since Lucius Malfoy ordered it, it had to happen. Marcus honestly would love the opportunity to curse that Blonde prat.

Terence had the same opinions as Marcus, he was pissed that he had been replaced by a puny 2nd year. A 2nd year that had no luck and only wanted seeker because of his hurt ego. Marcus compromised and had Terence moved up to Chaser. Terence needed to stay on the team for sponsors. The 7th year had gained three of them the prior year. They had even offered positions for both Chaser and Seeker if Higgs wanted it. Turns out there had sponsors keeping a watch for a few years before they offered the Slytherin his 7th year. Terence may not have shown it, but he could see the pride and accomplishment on him. He wasn't going to act like a Gryffindor and jump up and down while shouting. Slytherin had more decency and pride than that.

Marcus had his Firebolt hitched on his shoulder as he made the trek back to the castle. He needed to get back to the castle to see if the dispute about being Headboy was finally decided. Since apparently, all the Heads of Houses had voted that he was most suited for the position, the only opposition was Dumbledore. No doubt the old coot was refusing because he didn't want a Slytherin as Headboy. It didn't matter how talented he was in classes or how well he did as a Prefect the previous two years. It was all because he was a Slytherin and not a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw. Marcus gritted his teeth, he hated the Headmaster with a burning passion. The old man was so prejudice because of what house he came from and the school wasn't no better. Gryffindor was the worst about it, thinking everyone in his house was evil or death eaters. No doubt because of Dumbledore promoting hate for every Slytherin they saw. Compared to belief, not every Slytherin wanted to a Death Eater and nobody in the house was evil.

Marcus blew air harshly out of his nostrils. That was when he stopped dead in his tracks. He heard some type of howling noise, it was high pitch and only pitiful. He glanced up to see something falling fast. Thinking fast, the Slytherin pulled out his wand and muttered, "Arresto Momentum." He knew the spell for years, even the headmaster used it when Potter fell from his broom last year. He watched as the thing slowed down before gently touching the ground. Not caring if someone was watching, though Marcus knew nobody was, he ran over to the lump on the ground.

At a closer inspection, he realized it was a cat. 'What in Merlin' name was a cat doing falling from that height?' It wasn't an originally cat, that much Marcus could tell. It wasn't moving, but he knew it wasn't dead. The feline was breathing slowly, no doubt trying to recover from falling from that height. No matter when Marcus slowed the tiny thing, that height would have killed it. Marcus crouched down to study the long-haired feline, it was mostly golden with specs of white in the fur. There was a tuff of extra hair on the ears, a Lynx trait. You couldn't really call its tail, a tail. It was so short, maybe the length of one of his fingers. The eyes looked to be the color of emeralds with a flash of gold in them, it was very intriguing. It was definitely part Lynx or a full-blooded Lynx, they were rare to come by. They were very territorial creatures and appeared to have some magical ability about them. Some wizards and witches say it was their keen sight where they could see where others cannot. Those cats were strictly carnivores and were notorious hunters that only ate meat.

Marcus wondered why it was way out here and it appeared to be injured. That would explain why the feline wasn't moving. One of the hind legs looked to be twisted and mostly likely broken. The small cat looked to sick or severely underweight. Marcus knew that the Lynx tended to be bigger than most cats. Marcus didn't touch the leg, as the feline was most likely snap his finger off, those creatures had razor sharp teeth. He barely touched the head before he snatched his hand away.

The tiny creature snapped his head towards him and let out a threatening snarl.

Harry was deeply confused, last thing he knew he was falling from the 7th floor. It was after being blasted out of the window. He was screaming or howling in panic and fear. He remembered hitting the outside walls of the castle several times before he felt himself slowing down. So, when Harry touched the soft ground, his body crumpled in pain. He was still hurting from the transformation, but now his leg felt like it was on fire. He didn't dare to try moving it. He already knew that he would instantly regret that action deeply.

The next thing that Harry got confused about is that there was a Slytherin right in front of him. Wasn't he supposed to get cursed by this point, especially considering it was the 'Marcus Flint.' He was more of throw curses first and answer questions later, according to his house anyways. Despite being on opposing teams for Quidditch, he never interacted with the 7th year. The Slytherin didn't even draw his wand again, when did he put it away? He must have had it out to slow him down otherwise he be dead. Even Harry knew from that drop, nobody would have survived that fall. Not even a cat, that rumor had it, had nine lives. Harry felt his body tense up under the intense gaze, but then he realized that was making his leg hurt more. He forced his small body to relax and he felt the tension slack.

Harry wasn't sure where the growl came from, he just felt this primal urge to protect himself and not let anyone near. He instantly felt guilty when he saw Flint jerk his hand back. No doubt the Slytherin was trying to help him, not hurt him. Flint could have easily let him fall and die or just left him there after saving him. That's when he heard Flint's voice, it was soft, almost soothing.

"Easy there, little one. You're very badly hurt. I just want to help you. I won't hurt you," Marcus' eyes were intently on Harry's small form.

Harry let a whimper escape his lips. That primal territorial urge was gone, it was like it knew he was a protector. He let his head butt with Marcus' hand which felt firmer. He even let the Slytherin scratch under his white chin. His fur was mostly golden, except for that one patch of white fur. Harry was surprised at himself when he let out a loud purr of content.

The action shocked Harry, since it was such a cat like reaction. It was this instinct was in him, which was probably true since he apparently was some type of cat now. That didn't mean that Harry liked the fact he had all these thoughts and reactions because of this 'transformation.'

Marcus' hand then curled around Harry's ears and where the tuffs of fur were and scratched. Harry felt his head arch into the Slytherin's hand, the feeling felt good and it was distracting him from the pain.

Marcus let a small smile show on his face. He didn't expect the Lynx to warm up to him so fast. He wondered silently if that meant the small feline trusted him. He knew that Lynx were smart cats and didn't easily let others close. Which is why there weren't many records of there being a Lynx familiar. The Slytherin wondered if that was what was happening. Could there be a chance that this creature was choosing him? There was something familiar about this Lynx and Marcus couldn't figure it out. He slowly withdrew his hand and grasped his wand. He saw the Lynx tense up suddenly.

"I'm just trying to help, I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to bind that leg of yours, so it doesn't get worse," Marcus whispered softly.

The Slytherin watched as the orange feline slowly relaxed. That was when Marcus realized that the small creature didn't like the magic made cast. It started biting and chewing at it immediately. Marcus quickly vanished it and was met with a look of hatred. He couldn't blame the creature; the cast must have felt too tight and constricting. He tried again and when the Lynx bent its head to sniff it, but didn't bit it, Marcus considered that a win.

The Slytherin studied the small cat once more, he knew he was going to have to lift him/her. And he wasn't sure how Lynx cats reacted if they were held. Hopefully it wouldn't claw his eyes out. He slowly cradled the creature firmly to his chest and angled where he didn't touch the leg or its tail. Marcus was well aware that the tail was an extremely sensitive part of a Lynx and their animalistic side would take over. It didn't matter how much that Lynx liked you, it would tear you apart.

Harry remained relaxed and it actually felt nice to be in Marcus' arms. He thought he would try to run, because he knew that Marcus was going to try to pick him up. That the hold would be too constricting, and he wouldn't like it. But it felt nice and let out a loud purr. Harry was slowly getting used to the cat tendencies he was getting. He wondered if the 7th year would take him to his dorms. He had no interest in returning to the Gryffindor dorms, Ron had been the one to cast the stunner that threw him out of the window. And that fact hurt, and he felt betrayed. Then there was this instinct in him that wanted to bite the red-head's head off. The Gryffindor wondered if that was a sign that he wasn't to be trusted.

Marcus slowly walked towards the castle, with the feline in his arms. There were moments where his fingers wandered and would scratch its ears. The cute, orange Lynx seemed to love the attention.

The castle was mainly empty, which was the way that Marcus liked it. He didn't want to be crossed, especially when it was likely someone would try to throw a curse at him. Opposed to belief, the Slytherin didn't throw curses first and then get questions and answers later. It was always a Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff that threw it first and he would just retaliate. Marcus didn't want the small Lynx to get more hurt than he/she already was. Marcus didn't even know if it was a Tom or a she-cat. And he didn't want to risk getting bit for trying to check. He could try to do the charm later, but most magical creatures didn't like wizard's or a witch's magic to be cast on them. So, it was likely he would have to check the muggle way. Or he could just find a day to look since the cat's tail was already so short.

It was once Marcus made it to the dungeons and the Slytherin Common room that he ran into someone. It was someone that Marcus was not pleased to see.

"Flint, what is that thing? Let me see it!" was the demand from a 4th year blonde.

"Fuck off, Malfoy. And stay out of business that doesn't concern your big mouth!" Marcus' retort was harsh and to the point.

The 7th year could see the embarrassed red tint on the blonde's cheeks. That was when the anger set in. "You'll regret that Flint!"

"Or what… you'll send your daddy after me? Grow a fucking pair, Malfoy. And tell someone who cares," Marcus mocked.

The 7th year didn't hear a response, no doubt the 4th year didn't know how to respond. Figures, the blonde didn't know how to do anything but have his father fight his battles. He couldn't wait till he saw the day that elder Malfoy rested in prison or a ditch somewhere. Maybe Draco might wake up from his illusion filled dreams.

The 7th year dorms were more like suites and were assigned a roommate. Lucky for Marcus, he got the suite with Terence, someone he knew since he was born. Least until he got word about the Headboy dorms and find out if he could move in there or not.

"Marcus," was the greeting once the door was shut. "Where ever did you manage to find a Lynx," Terence was impressed.

"Found him falling from one of the towers. I couldn't quite get a good look at tower, but it was clear the window was shattered. So, the tiny thing must have been blasted out," was Marcus' gruff voice.

Terence frowned as Marcus sat the feline on the bed. "He's injured?"

"Hit the exterior of the castle. It's definitely a broken leg," Marcus explained as he vanished the cast again.

Harry seemed to perk up at the free feeling on his leg. He knew better to put pressure on it, so he curled up on the soft bed. He saw the other Slytherin when he had walked in, a Slytherin called Terence from what Marcus had said. He seen him around the castle before, maybe it was from Quidditch. He looked vaguely familiar.

"Smart idea," Terence quipped.

"It's not a fan of tight bandages, or bandages in general," Marcus rolled his eyes.

"It wouldn't be. Lynx are like free roamers and very territorial. They're remarkably fast healers, you're lucky to have him as a familiar," Terence remarked as he studied the dark orange Lynx.

Marcus looked interested, "so, it's true. They are magical creatures. He?"

Terence looked amused. "Not many are aware they are. You can tell by the markings on his fur and the tuffs on his ears. Spots are more common for males and the tuffs is thicker than a she-cat. Of course, you can always check behind his tail, that's always a prime indicator."

Marcus glared at his friend, "real funny. Would you like to be ripped to pieces?"

Terence smirked, "but I know someone that would." The Slytherin had a mischievous glint in his eyes.

Marcus grinned, "I bet Malfoy would love to have a scar on his skin."

Terence laughed, "that would knock his superior attitude down a few notches."

Chapter Text

A Lynx to the Past – Chapter 3 (Nosy, Little Lynx)

Marcus took Terence's word that the Lynx was a male. He was still in the Slytherin 7th year dorms, waiting to hear from Professor Snape if there had been a decision made. So, he'd been watching this little lynx heal from his injury. It was fascinating to watch the little one. The first few days, the orange cat stayed strictly off his leg. But these past few days, he had been trying to settle some of his weight on his foot.

Marcus had been worried about it at first, but his diagnostic charms were coming back that it was healing… fast… Marcus still kept a steady eye on the little Lynx, who was extremely curious of everything around him. He knew that it probably needed a name if he was going to keep it around. And the Lynx seemed to like him and be around him. Marcus honestly didn't mind having the little thing around him. It was one of the few things that he would say was adorable.

When Marcus decided on a name, Terence happened to be around.

"Ezio? Huh? It's a strong name for a male feline. Makes sense if you spotted the little one falling from a tower," Terence commented. The lynx was currently preening under his attention. Terence was currently sitting on Marcus' bed while petting the orange feline.

Harry could feel himself purring under the touch of Terence. He grew to like the Slytherins that lived in the dorm. He could still understand both of them perfectly. During the first week, he mainly just curled up on Marcus' bed, still not liking the pain that slightly went through his leg. But the pain started to fade, and he slowly tried to put pressure on his foot. He didn't like being so immobile because of some pain. He wanted to be able to move around freely without hindrance. Harry wanted to be able to follow Marcus around and he couldn't do that unless his leg was healed up. Plus, he was insanely curious on if the other schools have arrived yet. Harry had been hearing about Marcus and Terence talking about Durmstrang, on which students would be chosen to come to their school. Harry didn't realize that the entire school wasn't going to be at Hogwarts, which now made perfect sense.

Harry looked up, feeling the bed go down slightly. Marcus had sat next to his best friend and looking at Harry intently.

Had it been a week ago, Harry would tense up from the stare. He was used to it and was growing more accustomed as a Lynx cat. He liked it, it felt like a weight was off his shoulders. As a cat, he didn't have to worry about a murderer being after him because he happened to survive a killing curse. He might never have to return to the Dursleys and would have someone taking care of him for once. Harry honestly loved the idea of that. Maybe that's why it felt like he was bonding more towards Marcus. Maybe that was the reason that Harry decided to stretch his back and climb onto Marcus' lap. He unsheathed and sheathed his claws before curling up on Marcus' lap. As a cat, he was more tired and loved to sleep. And since he wasn't required to wake up early for classes anymore, it worked. Though he found that he preferred eating meat that Marcus often brought back to the dorm.

If Harry looked up, he might have seen a slight smile on Marcus' face.

"How do you like the name, Ezio, little one?" Marcus asked.

Harry had to think about the name for a moment. He heard Marcus and Terence talking about where it meant 'eagle.' He honestly liked it, it was different than Harry. He wanted the distance of thinking himself as the Boy-Who-Lived, a title that he despised. He left out a content meow. That was another thing that Harry had to get used to, since he was a cat, he had to meow. Considering that he couldn't use words to communicate anymore.

"Guess that means he approves of the name, Marcus," Terence commented as he watched the little feline draft off to sleep.

Marcus snorted, "guess so. Seems to be growing more, though." He carded he fingers through the bright orange fur. The fur was incredible soft to the touch, no doubt Ezio kept himself well groomed.

Terence rolled his eyes. "He might still be kitten size, no doubt because he's actually being fed. The thing looked half-starved when you first brought it here. He's still pretty big for a cat."

Marcus frowned, he had noticed that Ezio looked like it was going to die from starvation. But it seemed to have start putting on some weight, it was relieving. The little thing always seemed hungry though. But he had noticed that he was a little bit bigger than most cats.

"He might be at half maturity… not sure. He's been limping a lot," Terence muttered to himself.

Marcus nodded, "Lynx are big cats. That's only because its healing. Should have taken him up to a month to heal, but he'll wind up being able to walk on it in a week or less. Besides he hates bandages, too constricting for him I'd guess."

Terence looked impressed, "he'll definitely be a keeper."

"Hands off my cat," Marcus growled.

Terence laughed, "your cat, huh?"

"Malfoy hasn't tried to break in here, has he?" Marcus rolled his eyes as he changed the subject.

"Several times, it does make me wonder if he actually has any knowledge of spells. There were poorly casted," Terence remarked.

Marcus laughed at that, "might feel better if I had the little tyke with me. Where I can keep an eye on him."

"Sure, you are up for that task, Marcus?" Terence teased. "I've heard that Lynx cats are notorious for being hyper active. Might not be able to catch up with the little guy."

Marcus shoved at Terence, "even if Malfoy got in here, Ezio, would tear him to shreds. They weren't joking when they said lynx can be very territorial. He's probably big enough to be considered a threat. And I can take care of Ezio just fine, but he's going to be curious of the castle. He's not going to like to be cooped up here all day."

Terence fake glared at Marcus, "have you noticed that Ezio took an immediate dislike to Malfoy?"

"Then, he's got good instincts, doesn't he?" Marcus pointed out.

By the next few days Ezio's leg was fully healed and he was taking full advantage of it. Running all around the spacious dorm and exploring under the bed. Though he loved the heat from the showers, he disliked being sprayed by water though. He might have been a lynx cat, but he still disliked being drenched in water. His favorite place was Marcus' bed, it was very soft and comfy.

Marcus decided that he was curious if the fact about lynx being hunters were true. And how much of a hunter Ezio was and how much of it was instinct. He knew that he needed to wait till Ezio's hind leg was fully healed before he could find out. By now, majority of Slytherins knew Marcus had a familiar that was a lynx. They had caught several glimpses of the feline, since Ezio had the habit of trailing after him.

That brought to what Marcus was doing now, he had found a rabbit outside on the grounds. He quickly stunned the animal and would rennervate the creature in the dorm. He was expecting that if Ezio did kill it like he thought he would, there were several charms that would clean up the blood if needed.

Nobody paid any mind to Marcus as walked through the Common room. It was possible they knew why Marcus had a rabbit or they just didn't care at the moment. The tournament was coming up fast after all.

Marcus could see Ezio's ears perk up when he entered his dorm. His lynx was aware that someone had come into the dorm. There wasn't a predatory gaze in his eyes, so that meant he recognized who it was. But the feline hadn't smelled the rabbit yet. Marcus sat the white rabbit on the floor and hit it with a rennervate. The creature was suddenly awake and panicking on its new surrounding before sniffing around.

Ezio's gaze was intent on the creature, it had gained its attention. Stretching quietly before leaping off the bed. The rabbit didn't notice it had a visitor and most likely was about to become prey.

Marcus watched as Ezio lowered to the floor, crouching. His short tail stilled as he pushed a paw forward. His claws were currently sheathed. He was sliding forward without a sound and that was when he pounced. His claws were now unsheathed and tackled the creature. It looked like Ezio took a bite towards its neck, most likely killing it. Because the creature hadn't moved since Ezio caught it off guard.

Marcus was amazed by the sight as his thoughts were confirmed. Ezio still had that hunter instinct in him. Honestly, Marcus was going to leave Ezio to finish his food. Ezio might like him, but that didn't mean he wouldn't attack if he thought you were going to steal his dinner from him. With that in mind, he decided to take a shower, since the showers were connected to his room.

By the time Marcus was done with his shower, there was only bones left from the rabbit. Ezio was currently back on his bed, cleaning his fur. Terence was in the dorm as well, just staring at the floor.

"What the fuck!? Why are there bones on the floor?" his voice sounded a little screechy.

Marcus was already back in his Slytherin robes. "Ezio got hungry, so I got him a rabbit."

Terence just stared at Marcus shocked. Like he couldn't believe what he had just told him. "You got Ezio a rabbit… because he was hungry?"

Marcus rolled his eyes, "he didn't even leave any blood, why are you worried? And if he did, I can vanish it."

Terence huffed, "you spoil that cat. Just vanish the fucking bones, alright."

Marcus rolled his eyes before waving his wand, he didn't have to speak a word. But the bones were gone.

"I can't wait till you get your own dorm," Terence grumbled.

Harry felt full and he had the urge to lick himself. He thought it would be weird having a rough tongue and probably getting his hair all over it. But turns out, it didn't bother him that much. Must be another cat instinct or something. Though it was likely he would have a fur ball later. Just like he didn't know what came over him, but he felt so hungry and the moment he saw that rabbit. He knew exactly what to do and it was so much better than the food that he got from Marcus. He was grateful and all for the food that Marcus got him. But something about being able to hunt and eat his prey. And Harry was well aware that he just ate a rabbit and only left the bones behind. He just didn't care. And food that was just freshly killed tasted the best.

Knowing the best way how, he jumped off the bed and curled around Marcus. It was his way of saying thank you. He felt strangely affectionate today.

"See, Ezio appreciates what I did for him…" Marcus pointed out.

Terence rolled his eyes, "of course he does. You just fed him."

"Technically, Ezio fed himself. I just gave him a way to do that."

Terence narrowed his eyes, "fucking smartass."

Terence had been on the lookout, in case he came across any animal bones the next few days. Least he wasn't there when Ezio was eating the rabbit, he wasn't sure he would be able to unsee that. There were things that Terence would rather avoid, though it would be interesting to see how Ezio killed it. Just not when the feline was actually eating what was a live animal.

Apparently Ezio thought today would be a good day to start to follow Marcus around. He was tired of hanging around in Marcus' dorm. He wanted out and to explore the castle a little.

Marcus immediately caught on that Ezio didn't want to stay put.

"Whatever. Just don't wander off. I will put on a binding charm on you if I have to," Marcus threatened. The Slytherin was pretty sure his lynx was being cocky by the way he meowed. "Fucking cat…"

Marcus didn't bother picking up Ezio. There were a lot of times that he didn't want to be held and would scratch and bite until you put him down. So, Marcus didn't feel like guessing if he was going to be bit today, so he let him just follow him out of the dorm.

Marcus wasn't sure if he was unlucky because a lot of the fourth years were downstairs. Cause Malfoy just tried to grab at his cat. He would have been pissed off if he didn't hear the overrate scream.

"He fucking bit me!" the blonde screamed.

Marcus snorted. Apparently when the blonde got too close and tried to grab at Ezio. The orange lynx avoided the grab. Reared back and with claws unsheathed, slashed and bit at Malfoy's leg, hard. And his claws even got part of Malfoy's face. And despite the black robe, there was blood coming through. The claw marks looked deep on the blonde's cheek. Who was still shrieking.

Marcus heard a snort and recognized who it was from.

"Even I know, that you don't mess with another's familiar. Especially if it's a Lynx. Looks like karma is starting to bite you in the ass," was Blaise's amused voice. "Maybe if you knew that, Malfoy… you wouldn't have tried to touch him." His voice was mocking and sarcastic.

Ezio was snarling at the moment and everyone was slowing back away from the pissed off Lynx. Everyone except: Marcus, Blaise, and Terence. Ezio's fur was puffed up and making himself to look bigger. Which was impressive.

There was one thing for sure, it was going to scar in both places. Because Harry didn't want that blonde anywhere near him, nonetheless touching him. He would bite his hand off before that would happen. But he felt satisfied with the damaged he'd done to the fourth year.

Ezio didn't bite Marcus' hand when it got closer to him. But the Slytherin let a hand stroke his fur to sooth the feline. The fur slowly rested, where he didn't look as big. Ezio was still pissed at the blonde and basically threatening him to try that again. He'd give him another scar, but the boy was whining pitifully at the moment. Ezio took that moment to shake his fur a little and wait for Marcus to get back up to his feet. The Slytherin had been crouching to his level when he tried to calm him down. There was no way he was going to be held while he was this agitated.

Marcus shook his head as he got to his feet and made his way to the exit. He didn't have to check if Ezio was following, he wasn't the only one that didn't want to be there.

Marcus looked behind him when he heard snickering and wasn't shocked to see Terence there. No doubt his friend decided he didn't have anything else to do and wanted to follow him. And probably was there to see where Ezio finally attacked the blonde.

Ezio was happily walking beside Marcus, occasionally brushing against his robes.

"Your cat is fucking brilliant and Malfoy can't do a thing about it!" Terence cackled.

"He still might," Marcus pointed out. "It won't work out in their favor this time, though."

"You're not going up to the 7th floor, right?" Terence looked at Marcus with suspicion before glancing down at Ezio.

Marcus rolled his eyes but didn't stop walking, "yeah right… I'm going to go to the same floor from the tower that Ezio fell from. That would be a grand idea…" the sarcasm was thick.

Ezio's ears drooped at the mention of the tower he had been thrown out of. He didn't want to go the 7th floor anytime soon.

"Great job, Terence. You're going to make Ezio attack you next."

"Whatever, mate. I'm just concerned, that's all," Terence defended himself. But he let the topic drop.

"If you're going to worry yourself like a Hufflepuff, don't. I'm going to the Great Hall," Marcus snipped. "In case you have forgotten, we have dinner there and they're supposed to be there today."

Terence lost his irritated mood. "Are the rumors true about Krum still being there?"

"You will find out if he is or not, won't you," Marcus snapped. Truthfully, he knew that he was. One of the perks of going to be Headboy. They still had him carrying out the duties. Even though he didn't have the dorm. Apparently, the Headmistress foresaw this problem. So, his position wouldn't be underdetermined because of some prejudice headmaster. She still wanted him to preform the same duties despite this lapse. So, Marcus was kept in the loop about the schools. And apparently a big secret was that Viktor Krum, the Bulgarian seeker would be at Hogwarts for the tournament. Nobody thought he would be since he was 18.

Thankfully Terence didn't say another word until they got to the Great Hall. That was when they heard the rumors.

Marcus hadn't really been listening, he was watching Ezio to see he would jump on the bench. The orange lynx didn't waste any time on jumping on the seat closest to Marcus. He knew better than to jump on the table itself. Marcus would feed him in a bit, anyways. But he kept his ears perked for anything interesting.

"Marcus, did you hear? Some of the Gryffindors are saying that Potter's gone missing," Terence's voice commented.

Marcus' eyes went wide, "Now what!?"

"Really? And you call me a Hufflepuff. I said that the Gryffindors are all talking about where Potter has gone missing and that there's rumors of him being kidnapped."

That had gotten Harry's attention. Everyone thought he had been kidnapped? And why was it now that someone finally realized he was missing? Maybe when he transformed, it shredded his clothes, his claws had been coming out at the time. It would make some sense. But it seemed like nothing was being done about it. His cat form deflated.

Marcus noticed the change in Ezio immediately. He slowly stroked his fur in a soothing motion. "Potter's missing, huh? This is going to be bad? What about his friends or family? Is nobody doing anything about it?" Marcus' concerns were aimed at Terence. This was bad if a student had gone missing. Marcus thought Potter was interesting ever since he started on the Quidditch team his first year. He didn't seem to hold the hatred for Slytherins as most Gryffindors would. And if Potter was kidnapped, no doubt the wizarding world would go into shock.

The Slytherin shrugged, "as far as I can tell, nobody cares much about it. They're all too concerned about the tournament. Which I would find weird, nobody is caring that their savior is missing. It's sickening." Terence made a disgusting look.

Harry could feel his short tail twitching. He kept his drooped form. Though his form perked up a little that least there were some Slytherins that cared about his human form. It wasn't a reaction he was expecting. It made Harry liked Marcus and Terence more for it. Least they looked like they cared, while none of Gryffindor cared that he vanished out of thin air. Or kidnapped as they so thought. But they didn't care about it all the same. Apparently, a tournament was so much more interesting for the people that he knew for four years. It hurt… maybe it was better that he was currently a lynx cat. Even as a cat, he had two people that cared about him.

Ezio let out a small purr and nudged at Marcus' hand.

"Feeling better?" Marcus asked.

Marcus got a resounding meow out of Ezio.

"I'll take that as a yes. I'm worried about Potter, though. He could be hurt out there and nobody cares enough. I would look for him, but nobody would ever give a Slytherin any details to help find him," Marcus' voice grew annoyed as he scratched under Ezio's ears.

"That's Gryffindors for you, mate. They would think they can handle it. Not that they are… and that we would try to torture or kill him," Terence chipped in.

Marcus huffed, he knew Terence was right. But that didn't mean he liked it. His thoughts were then cut off, because the schools from Bulgaria and France had arrived.

Beauxbatons had chosen Ravenclaw to sit at, while Durmstrang chose Slytherin. That was when Dumbledore had started his speech about the Triwizard Tournament and the rules.

Marcus rolled his eyes, apparently Hogwarts wasn't happy about the age limitation. If they wanted to die in a tournament, they could go ahead. Marcus could care less about that. He didn't have an interest to enter. He would rather watch it, than be in it. Though it would be interesting to have a Slytherin champion for once. No doubt it would be from the other three houses before Slytherin would ever be chosen.

Ezio had then decided he wanted a better view point. So, Marcus let him climb up his robe, so he could sit on his shoulders.

Maybe that was why Marcus was surprised that Bulgarian's own national seeker sat in front of him.

"You have a very interesting familiar," the accent was very thick, difficult to understand.

Marcus got the gist of what the seeker said. Even Ezio looked at him with a slight tilt of his head.

"Thank you."

Krum nodded, "a Lynx if I'm correct. Very instinctive and protective. I believe he has chosen well. Their healing abilities is well known. It is very impressive. They do not trust well." The accent was a bit easier to understand, but not by much.

Marcus nodded, "I've noticed."

"It is nice to meet you—" Krum started to say.

"Marcus. It's an honor to meet you officially, Krum," Marcus commented.

Krum frowned a little, no doubt he didn't enjoy his fame all the time.

"I am not an obsessive fan, don't worry. Just an admirer for your talent," Marcus explained.

Krum slightly untensed, "thank you. I am relieved… fans are not always the kindest."

Marcus sort of understood that. He remembered the type of attention Potter got because of his fame. A fame, that he noticed, the boy despised. "They are not," Marcus agreed.

That was when Krum excused himself, no doubt to speak to his headmaster or something.

Terence eyes went wide, "you just spoke with Krum." His voice was excited.

Marcus rolled his eyes, "don't start acting like a Hufflepuff now on me, Terence. If you haven't noticed, he is not a big fan of fame."

Terence slightly calmed down, "you realize the only reason he may have talked to you is because of Ezio. Maybe having Lynx as familiar is more common in Bulgaria or rare."

"Perhaps," Marcus muttered. He noticed that Ezio was really curious of the seeker. The orange lynx even leaned closer over the table to get a whiff of his scent. That was when he decided he was bored and hopped of Marcus' shoulder and curled against his side once more. Though, Marcus didn't miss that Ezio's ears were still perked up, as if listening around him.

There wasn't much more that was interesting that went around, according to Marcus. It was just more about the dangers of the tournament and to be cautious on who may decide to enter. That just because the age limit was increased, didn't mean that it wasn't dangerous and life threatening. Dumbledore then concluded that the champions had the next few days to put their name into the Goblet of Fire. And on the night of the muggle holiday, Halloween, the champions would be selected.

Chapter Text

A Lynx to the Past – Chapter 4 (Disappearances and Dormitories)

Ezio was currently curled up on Marcus' lap asleep. The Slytherin was threading his fingers through his soft fur. Marcus could swear he could hear Ezio purring in his sleep. The lynx was perfectly content where he was.

Terence was over on his bed doing homework that McGonagall has assigned earlier today. Marcus had already finished it and was wasting time until it was time to go to the Great Hall for dinner. Within a few days would be when the Goblet of Fire would choose the three champions for the tournament. The 7th year was curious on who would be chosen. He knew that Warrington and Terence had entered. But no doubt it would either be a Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Gryffindor. There was no way people would be okay with having a Slytherin champion. It made Marcus want to clench his teeth. The prejudice against Slytherin pissed him off, but he had gotten used to it over the years. This year was a prime example, concerning about his Headboy position.

Marcus looked up when he heard the door open. He felt Ezio twitch in his lap, no doubt it had woken the feline up. Ezio still didn't move, but his ears were perked up as if listening.

It was Professor Snape and the man did a double take at the cat in his student's lap. The man frowned before focusing his attention on the 7th year.

"Mr. Flint, I'm here to let you know that your Headboy dorm is ready. Professor McGonagall wishes to send her apologies for the long wait."

Marcus' eyes narrowed before letting out a harsh breath through his nostrils. "Thank you, Professor." He knew that Professor McGonagall would be apologetic about the wait, she had been the one to make sure he was still Headboy. Even though he didn't have the dorm to come along with it. But the woman made sure that his position wasn't underdetermined because of one prejudice old man.

Marcus didn't need to look to know that Professor Snape had already left the dorm. There was no other reason for the professor to remain otherwise. But his eyes did look at Ezio suspiciously. The Slytherin wasn't sure what the man was thinking. No doubt he didn't realize that he had gained a familiar recently.

Terence took that opportunity to sit besides Marcus. "Wonder if the old coot finally realized that he can't fight against his own faculty."

"He still tried," Marcus pointed out. The Slytherin still smiled, he had been afraid that the Headboy position would be taken from him. The headmaster did not like Slytherins and no doubt he didn't want a Slytherin in a position of power. But it seems like the old man had been outvoted. As it would be a joint decision for choosing Headboy, not solely the Headmaster's. Otherwise, he would never been told that he had the position in the first place.

"I still demand that I'm allowed in your new dorm," Terence commented.

Marcus rolled his eyes, "you'd wind up finding a way without me letting you."

"Someone's got to watch out for the furball. You'd wind up letting him get away with anything," Terence smirked.

"Whatever Higgs," Marcus remarked. But he never denied that statement. "Are they still searching for Potter?"

Ezio actually shifted for that, but he didn't move from Marcus' lap.

Terence shrugged, "don't know. His absence should be noted by now. But nobody is talking about it."

Marcus looked to be lost in thought for a moment. "There's not much we can do, then. I'll ask Professor McGonagall to see if she has heard anything. If anything has happened to a Gryffindor, she would know."

Terence didn't like the sound of it, but there wasn't much they could do. Despite the fact they were seventh years, but they still were responsible for looking after the younger years.

Professor McGonagall had actually been very tight lip about it at first. The woman had softened a little when Marcus had mentioned Potter's name. No doubt the professor had a soft spot for the raven-haired Gryffindor. She did look slightly impressed that Marcus had asked her about it, it seemed to give her the idea that she made the right choice for the Headboy.

Marcus was positive that Professor McGonagall wouldn't have given him any details if he hadn't been Headboy. He was aware that he was responsible for all the students in the school, as was the Headgirl. So, noting that a younger student was missing was part of that. Apparently, Potter had gone missing a week or two ago. Some of the students in the boy's year had noticed that his bed had been untouched for a few days. And nobody had seen him in classes, it was worrying. Though, someone had found an abandoned Gryffindor robe that was shredded. It gave the impression that there had been a fight and that the Boy-Who-Lived had been kidnapped. His glasses had even been shattered, it was an easy repair. But the fact remained, Harry Potter was nowhere to be seen.

When Marcus inquired about his belongings. The Deputy Headmistress admitted that a house elf that Potter had befriended had magically sealed his trunk. And that she currently had it stored in away in her office until Potter had been found. Marcus assumed that she had Potter's owl in the Owlery. She gave Marcus orders if he found any information about Potter, go straight to her.

It was after Marcus left Professor McGonagall's office, he wondered what would have made a loyal house elf magical seal Potter's trunk. Did that mean that one of Potter's supposed friends, wasn't a friend after all? Marcus didn't really know the Gryffindor all that well. So, he didn't know Potter's friends either. He knew that Malfoy ranted enough that a mudblood and blood traitor were friends with Potter. He could tell who would be the 'blood traitor' that Malfoy was referring to. Obviously, it was one of the Weasleys. The feud between Malfoy and Weasley was legendary. Marcus knew it wasn't the twins, most likely their youngest brother. But the school was filled with Muggleborns, narrowing it down to a single student would be impossible.

Marcus didn't bring Ezio with him when he had spoke with Professor McGonagall. The feline was more concerned with exploring the new dorm. There was a door that led into the kitchen, but that was currently closed. Marcus didn't want Ezio getting into anything he shouldn't, so he hoped that exploring his bedroom would keep the feline occupied for a few hours. Marcus smiled, Ezio tended to thrive on attention, though.

That seemed to surprise Marcus, he had thought Lynx would be isolated creatures. That they would prefer to be on their lonesome, not always surrounded by someone. But Ezio was the complete opposite of his expectations. Ezio preferred to have least someone he trusted around. That was usually either Terence or himself. So, maybe the rumor that they were prideful creatures was right. He was definitely an affectionate cat. Marcus wanted to say that he started earning some of Ezio's trust is when he found him and saved the feline. And it seemed to grow even more, especially after giving Ezio the rabbit. That lynx could be savage when he wanted to be, that was for sure. The memory of what Ezio did to Malfoy Jr. was stuck firmly in Marcus' mind. While the prat certainly deserved it, it made the 7th year slightly wince in sympathy. Those claws tended to be razor sharp and could deal some damage if Ezio wanted to.

With that in mind, Marcus headed towards the entrance to his new dorm. He honestly thought the magic was ingenious. It looked to be a concrete grey wall and had a hand placement to where a door knob would be. Marcus slowly placed his hand there and felt a slight prickle rush over his hand. He knew that it was verifying his magic and core in order to allow him entrance. That way, nobody could just walk into the Head dorms. Unless you were a professor, but that usually was Professor McGonagall. Considering one of her responsibilities was working with the Headboy and Headgirl. The door also had a sensor when the Headboy or Headgirl's familiar wanted to go in or out. For now, it would look sealed and shut until it recognized them.

The Slytherin watched as the wall fell away to both sides like the brick wall did in Diagon Alley. It created an entrance that immediately sealed itself back once Marcus walked through. The room in the main entrance was well lit. It had a tan or crème colored walls with banners of each house spread throughout the room. There were several working tables and couches that could be seen from the entrance. This was the room that Marcus usually worked alongside the Headgirl. But she usually kept to her own dorm to the left, it was N.E.W.T. year after all. There was a fireplace in the far corner that the house elves tended to. To the side room, there was a smaller version of the Hogwarts library. And to the far right, was the entrance to Marcus' personal kitchen that the house elves kept supplied. And further past his kitchen was the door to his room and personal bathroom.

The sight that greeted Marcus when he closed the door back in his room was amusing. The Slytherin let out a small snort. Apparently Ezio had not heard the small noise. Since the feline was too busy snarling at Terence. Who incidentally, was laying on one of the beds, on his back, laughing.

Marcus honestly found the sight amusing. Usually it wasn't a laughing matter if Ezio was snarling at something. But you could tell that the feline's fur was soaking wet with water. Marcus couldn't tell if Ezio had tried shaking the water out of his fur.

"Terence, would you like to explain why Ezio is soaking wet and you're laughing," Marcus' voice was low. He was trying to act serious and not laugh.

Terence took the bait and immediately stopped laughing. He sat up and looked at Marcus alarmed.

It almost made Marcus want to start laughing. But he didn't want Terence to realize he was messing with him yet.

"I totally didn't drench your cat! He did it on his own!" Terence rambled.

Marcus frowned and glanced at Ezio, who had stopped snarling at Terence and hid behind Marcus' leg.

"Then you might want to explain why he's wet…"

"Well… I guess Ezio got curious. And since the showers are run on magic. They came on when Ezio was snooping in the showers. And he got soaked…."

Ezio let out a sharp hiss as if disagreeing with what Terence said.

"Looks like Ezio disagrees with you there, Terence," Marcus commented lightly.

Terence rolled his eyes, "course he's going to disagree. He got wet and even lynx cats hate water."

Marcus snorted and slowly sat on the floor, "come here, little one."

Ezio walked slowly towards Marcus' soft voice. It made Marcus wonder if Ezio could actually understand him. He was definitely intelligent for a feline.

"He's going to get you wet," Terence warned.

Marcus rolled his eyes, "like I care."

Marcus watched as Ezio jumped into his lap. Terence was right, his trousers immediately got soaked. He didn't really care and brought out his wand. Ezio never stiffened like he used to when Marcus brought out his wand. Without hesitation, did Marcus cast a heating charm that dried Ezio's fur and his trousers.

Both Slytherins could hear the purring that came from Ezio soon after. The feline wasn't as mad now that his fur wasn't wet. Ezio shook his coat out and it made his fur look softer. Marcus smiled as Ezio nudged his head against Marcus' chest. He was practically preening for attention. Marcus scratched underneath Ezio's head as the feline leaned into Marcus' hand.

"How you forgot to cast a heating charm is beyond me," Marcus mocked.

Terence threw his hands up, "like he would let me near him now. He was furious and thought it was my fault he got wet."

Marcus let out a snicker. "Maybe it was your fault and he knew this. Guess that shows you who he prefers more, then."

"Whatever, man… Course he prefers you, you spoil him."

Marcus didn't respond, he knew it was true. But he let his fingers stray to stroke Ezio's fur.

Terence didn't dare to try to touch Ezio, afraid that his fingers might get bitten off.

Marcus had decided to bring Ezio with him to the Champion's Selection on October 31st. He would have left the feline in his dorm, but Ezio was not having that. Terence thought it was hilarious that he was arguing with a cat. A very feisty, lynx cat. No doubt Ezio would find a way around it and would follow Marcus anyway. That or Terence would bring Ezio with him.

Marcus rolled his eyes as he walked towards the Slytherin table, Ezio at his heels. Terence was snickering to himself as he walked beside Marcus.

"Only you would argue with a lynx cat and lose," Terence teased.

"Maybe next time I'll let Ezio take his wrath out on you…" Marcus threatened.

Terence laughed. "He would do no such thing."

Marcus raised an eyebrow, "I seem to recall a time when you were afraid to touch him. Afraid that he may claw your eyes out… hmm?"

Terence slightly blushed in embarrassment, "shut it!"

There wasn't need for any further words as the two 7th years sat at the Slytherin table. The entire Hogwarts student body was present, as was Durmstrang and Beauxbatons.

The entire hall was silent as Albus Dumbledore had started to speak. It was basically a refresher of everything he already knew.

Marcus was watching the Goblet of Fire, it was glowing a faint blue color. No doubt the flame would grow stronger as each champion was chosen. It did seem that Ezio started to grow curious and wanted a better look and climbed his shoulder to get a better look. The feline slightly flinched back when the goblet grew more active and the blue flames spread out more around the artifact. But Ezio remained on Marcus' shoulder, gazing almost as intently as the Slytherin.

The selection was almost boring to Marcus as he listened to each champion being selected. Krum had been picked for Durmstrang, some French witch from Beauxbatons, and one of their own prefects, Cedric Diggory. Marcus didn't really mind Cedric all that much, he was one of the few that didn't mind to have a Slytherin as Headboy. He was one of the prefects that he didn't mind working with. He wouldn't be surprised if Amos had pressured his son into doing so. He had met the man a few times and he wasn't impressed with him.

Marcus wasn't really paying much attention at that point until he felt Ezio jump off his shoulder and try to hide in his robe. Marcus just barely had enough time to duck his head and miss the red fire blast from the goblet. Marcus shared a stunned look with Terence, what the hell was happening. That was when he saw another parchment shoot into the sky. Marcus wasn't sure what was going on, but something was wrong. He was sure he probably shared the shocked look with everyone when Dumbledore announced that Harry Potter's name came out of the goblet.

That was when shouts of outrage started to go around.

Marcus placed a gentle hand where Ezio was hiding, the feline was slightly shaking. No doubt from the shock that just happened with the goblet. That was when he slightly peeked his head out from his hiding place. Marcus' robe still covered majority of Ezio's body.

"Potter is still missing though?" Terence whispered to Marcus. "How in the bloody hell could he enter?"

Marcus frowned, "someone is trying to force him into the tournament. Think Terence, why else would they try to enter him?"

"You really think it could be a plot to kill him?" Terence asked.

Marcus rolled his eyes, "do you really think a 14-year-old would willingly participate, despite the age limit? Not counting the fact that he hasn't been seen in several weeks. He's been missing before they let anyone put their name in the goblet."

Terence frowned as he watched Professor McGonagall whisper a few words into the Headmaster's ear. His frown deepened when Dumbledore didn't explain why the entire hall was suddenly being dismissed to their dorms and guest rooms. Why wasn't the Headmaster going to try to correct the accusations and explain that Potter was missing?

Marcus lifted Ezio into his arms, who rested contently in the Slytherin's hold. Apparently, Ezio wasn't in the mood to walk or he would be squirming to get out of his hold.

"Why do you think the old coot never mentioned Potter's disappearance?" Terence was following Marcus to the Headboy's dorm.

"Maybe to prevent a further outcry and so he won't have to do any damage control," Marcus bit out.

"It's going to be obvious when he never shows up during the tasks. There's no way Dumbledore can slither out of this. He's going to have to do damage control eventually. The only reason the Daily Prophet hasn't found out is because only Gryffindor knows," Terence pointed out.

"True. I'm more worried about the houses reactions to Potter's name coming out. No doubt if Potter was here, he would be under their mercy. And nobody deserves that. I'll definitely be speaking to the prefects and Professor McGonagall about this. But it is very likely that he's not going to be found if the rumors are to be true."

Terence frowned, it made sense but that didn't mean he liked it. It reminded him too strongly of events two years prior when the houses had turned against the Gryffindor. Only this time, the Gryffindor wasn't able to protest his innocence.