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Prince Consort

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Prince Consort

Chapter 1

Every story has a beginning

---0

Godric's Hollow - Halloween

James Potter raised his want to protect his family, from Lord Voldemort. They had always known the danger of joining the Order of the Phoenix. They weren't the first to be hunted down; many Order members had mysteriously disappeared or turned up dead. Like all those who oppose the Dark Lord Voldemort. James could hear his son crying up the stairs, there and then he regretted his decision to join. Most likely he wasn't going to see his son brought up. With renewed anger, he began blasting spells from his wand, vowing today he'd try his best to end this war. So his wife and son could live, to have a world of peace that eluded him and his generation. To bring peace to his son's generation, so they could go to Hogwarts like he had once done without fear or without being forced to join sides. He prayed for forgiveness, wishing he'd kept his precious wife and son well away from the war.

"You won't win Potter," said Voldemort, amused by the wizard’s attempts to stopping him. He was much too powerful to be taken down by the spells Potter was throwing at him.

Still the duel continued, shield's being erected, curses thrown, both of them dodging them. The house was filled with the smell of smoke, and burnt stone as the spells were blasted into the walls. The continuous cries of the little boy rented the air, making James' heart hurt that he couldn't go to him. He felt satisfaction when the Dark Lord fell to the floor, one of his spells catching him in the side.

"I tire of this," sneered Voldemort picking himself up from the ground.

"I agree. Avada Kedavra!" yelled James Potter; he didn't care if he ended up in Azkaban for using an unforgivable, if it meant keeping his son and wife safe.

Voldemort conjured birds from his wand in one swift motion, stopping the curse in its tracks. The conjured animals promptly burst into flames, before falling to the floor naught by ash. He had for a few seconds been impressed with Potter's guts. Nobody had tried to use that spell against him before. Not even Albus Dumbledore, the old fool that he was. Then the rage and fear kicked in, he feared death above all else. He was determined that people would fear him too much to even raise their want to defend themselves. Now more than ever, none shall escape his wrath.

"Avada Kedavra!" hissed Voldemort, almost sounding as if he was speaking in Parseltongue. It was the last thing James Potter ever saw, apart from Voldemort's gleeful sadistic face. His last thoughts were Damn Dumbledore; if he hadn't talked both of them into it none of this would be happening he thought bitterly as death came to claim him.
Another member from Dumbledore's Order was down. Soon people would be too afraid of him to join the blasted old fool. Soon the Wizarding World would be his.

"James!" cried Lily her fear evident as she clutched her son to her chest, she knew what was going to happen now. He was going to come for her; kissing her baby on his forehead she placed him in his cot. Tears rolling down her face as fear rocked her to her very core. Dumbledore had placed Anti-Apparation spells on her home, it stopped people getting in, they never thought about getting out. Standing in front of the cot, stopping her baby boy from seeing the evil wizard. Much like James she was regretting ever joining the Order, she knew this was why they were being targeted, and if they hadn't joined perhaps they may have lived to see their son grow up.

The barricaded door was blasted open, and then all Lily could think was 'Where was Albus?' she had sent him a Patronus as soon as James told her to get Harry and run. What James didn't get was there was nowhere to run too! Voldemort was at the only exit and entrance they had! They couldn't sneak by him. If only James hadn't given Dumbledore his invisibility cloak for some sort of mission she'd have gotten away with her baby. Why, why had they joined the order? She was only twenty one year old she didn't want to die. She wanted to raise her child, Merlin if anything happened to Harry she'd never forgive herself.

"Not Harry, please! Don't hurt my baby, kill me, have mercy!" cried Lily her green eyes filled with fear. She didn't care what happened to her, but she prayed Dumbledore would get here in time to save her precious son. Hopefully Sirius would raise him properly. She knew all she could do now was buy them some time, pray that Dumbledore got here before the sadistic bastard raised his wand against her beautiful baby boy.

"Stand aside!" demanded Voldemort; he wanted her to see the consequences of joining the order first hand. Perhaps he'd let her live, it may even deter people from joining the order further still. The entire world would fall at his feet, fearing him and he would rule. He would be the greatest wizard in the world.

"Never!" cried Lily adamantly, her time was running out, why wasn't anyone coming? Her green eyes were filled with fear as she stared at her little boy. He was the best thing that had ever happened to her. He was so smart for a one year old and he'd started accidental magic really early. She prayed if someone did come Harry wouldn't remember this. Her heart was tugging painfully in her chest, he was still crying. She dared not lift him again. "Please! Let him go, don't hurt him." wishing her magic could save her baby. Nothing saved people from the killing curse, absolutely nothing. Then he raised his wand, she held her breath, one hand clutching her sons on the bars of his cot. Merlin she didn't want to let him go. She closed her eyes as she faced death, refusing to let her tears fall. She prayed someone would could, that Harry would be raised right.

"Avada Kedavra!" shouted Voldemort, watching the curse hit the defenceless woman, feeling nothing but satisfaction. He had sworn to spare her when Severus had joined his side, but that had been null and void when she had joined the Order.

Speak of the devil; Severus Snape bound into the room, to see Lily's dead body hit the floor. Her arms sprawled out, the most noticeable thing; her beautiful green eyes were vacant and empty. She was gone, he had been too late. He had just ran from Malfoy Manor, Apparated, and ran all the way down Godric's Hollow to warn them. He was too late, Severus' eyes flashed darker than the night sky as fury bubbled through him. Voldemort had still not noticed the black clad man, too intent on murdering an innocent baby boy. He didn't realize there was another there, until he heard words of the killing curse spoken.

At the very same time, the curse he had set was being bound back at him. He was frozen on the spot, as both curses hit him illuminating the room as a huge surrounding bang caused the house to shake on its foundations. Severus was flung back as the roof crumbled down around them.

Harry was wailing in agony, curled up in his cot, which was filled with debris and roof tiles. His heart and head hurt like it never had before, he wanted his mummy, but no matter how much he cried for her, she didn't get up.

Severus crawled over to the crying child, healing the wound on his forehead, causing it to disappear. Using a cleaning spell to clean the child up, Lily's son, he at least had survived. It didn't make the agony of the loss any better to deal with. He fell to the floor still clutching the child in his arms, spelling him to sleep. This wasn't a sight he should have to see. The sleepy eyes stared at him as the magic did its work, Severus soothed the babe, letting him rest on his shoulder. "Shhh." soothed Severus, as he fell asleep.

He'd been too late; he had told Lily something like this would happen. Why hadn't she listened to him? He had told her there was a spy in the Order reporting everything and everyone back to Voldemort. There had been hardly any wards on Potter's home, how could he have been so reckless with his wife and child's safety? Breathing deeply, he knew he was being irrational, before he could think on it much more… an inhuman screech tore from Voldemort's dead body, it turned to ash and Voldemort in spirit form fled in fear screaming into the night. Out through the crumbled roof and into the sky.

Albus Dumbledore Apparated near the house, looking up and paling, he knew that voice and understood all too well it was Voldemort. Or what was left of him apparently. He prayed someone was alive; James or Lily, surely one of them had to have survived for Voldemort to have been….banished? Temporarily vanished? He did not know. He stopped at James' body, closing his eyes sadly, another order member gone. The house was ominously silent, the child's room, it's where it had all happened. Quickly running up the stairs, he observed the devastation in front of him.

"Mr. Snape, what are you doing here?" demanded Dumbledore, his twinkle noticeably absent as he stared at the devastation surrounding the room, and Lily's dead body.

Two more supporters were gone. He was breathing heavily, regarding the pile of ashes with wariness; so he was not gone then just temporarily defeated. The bigger question though was how he'd managed to succeed in defying death.
Severus jerked up sneering at Dumbledore, despite the wave of dizziness that dragged through him. "What does it look like?" and it was Master Snape, but he was feeling rather out of sorts to think of correcting him.

"What happened?" asked Dumbledore sounding contrite now; of course Severus and Lily had been friends at school. Perhaps they had become friends once more who knew? He didn't know every detail of James and Lily's life.

"I heard that there was going to be an attack, when I was in Knockturn Alley buying Potion ingredients. I was too late, he'd already killed Lily, and I killed him in retribution." said Severus, gathering his scattered wits. Having no idea of the rebounding spell, having been too busy staring at Lily's body. It would be thirteen long years before the truth would become known to the Potions Master.

Severus wasn't about to admit during a moment of stupidity at joining the Death Eaters. He didn't relish the thought of remaining in Azkaban for the rest of his life. No Dumbledore would just have to keep under the impression that he had overheard about the attack.

Dumbledore picked the child up from Severus' arms, his mind going overdrive on how to deal with the situation. When he turned back to speak Severus, one of his former students he was gone as if he'd never been there. He had more pressing matters to deal with, such as Death Eaters and of course Sirius Black. He had to act quickly, so without more ado; he took Harry from his home, and delivered him to his Aunt and Uncle's house in Surrey. He couldn't afford to lose any more Order members. The war wasn't over just because Voldemort was gone. The Death Eaters were going to go mad when they heard, which meant a lot of innocent people were going to die. He had to alert the order, and the Auror headquarters. Things were going to get tricky.

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Godric's Hollow - Severus

Severus' mind was whirling out of control; he couldn't believe his best friend was dead. She had been the only one to love him unconditionally. His own parents couldn't have cared less about him. His mother hadn't really had a maternal bone in her body. Although she had protected him from his father's wrath. Especially when he did accidental magic, she'd turn his wrath from Severus onto herself. He still as an adult didn't understand why she'd married him or even stayed. His father had died before he'd gained his Potions Mastery, dying of alcohol poisoning, which had only sped up the inevitable really. He had shown advanced stages of cirrhosis of the liver.

Eileen herself hadn't lived much longer; the abuse she'd suffered at the hands of the man ultimately killed her. She had lived to see him pass his Mastery, and for once he could see she was proud of him. He had done what she had wanted to, Eileen loved her potions. It was one of the things they'd bonded over as mother and son. His attention was brought back to the present; he couldn't believe Dumbledore had seen him so vulnerable. He had to stop himself killing the old fool where he stood. Not that it was hard, as a huge bout of crippling pain caused Severus' body to shake uncontrollably. He realised he had to get out of there, now. Apologizing to his best friend once more, he closed his eyes and somehow managed to get up and run from Godric's Hollow despite the pain and Apparate.

Severus fell to the floor, having only enough energy to raise his wand and cast wards on his home. It would stop anyone trying to come in, not that it was needed only a few people knew where he lived. Lucius and Narcissa, and Lily had of course known. Closing his eyes he groaned and writhed on the floor, what the hell was happening to him? He felt as though he was dying. His heart felt as though it was stopping, slowly and he couldn't get enough breath into his lungs. Tears were pouring down his eyes; he's never felt agony quite like this. He'd have preferred the Dark Lord's Cruciatus curse to the unknown ailment coursing through his body. Then as pain wracked through him, wondered...this pain had started when he'd killed the Dark Lord. What if there was a spell on the mark? What if it was killing him? He must have had spells on it stopping others from betraying him.

Abruptly his mind shut down, and his body finally lay still, sprawled on the floor of his childhood home of Spinners End.

-------0

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - Headmaster's Office

"Albus where is my godson!" demanded Sirius barging into the Headmaster's office, he'd just been to Godric's Hollow, or what was left of the home after seeing Wormtail’s place totally trashed. Remus had calmed him down, made him see sense, realizing that everyone would think it him he’d headed to the Ministry; they had put wanted posters out for Peter Pettigrew after getting to the truth of the matter via a pensive.

"Sit down Sirius," murmured Dumbledore looking exhausted, he hadn't slept well at all. As soon as he dropped Harry Potter of at the Dursley's he'd had to disguise himself and search Diagon Alley for the Potions he required, no easy feat. Especially with the suspicion of all newcomers, with the frequent raids by the Aurors in that part of the Alley.

"Where is he?" he demanded again, they all knew what happened, Voldemort was gone, a friend of the family, who wished to remain anonymous had defeated Voldemort, but too late for James and Lily. Whoever it was Sirius was indebted to them, they had saved a boy he loved as a son. It didn't take the hurt of losing James or Lily but it helped ease the pain, he wanted to get his Godson and go to Remus, he needed to be with them.

"Here, sit, Drink." said Dumbledore; he had been expecting Sirius for a while now, so he wasn't surprised by his entrance. Harry was comfortably in Privet Drive, and out of his hair. He wasn't going to let Black discard everything to raise the boy. He was the last male heir of the Black family, he could sway things within the Wizengamot, he had money and the attitude to go far at least he would, as soon as his associate dealt with Orion and Walburga Black who were nothing but a hindrance. He also didn't want to risk Black leaving the Order; they needed everyone they could get. His fearless attitude and willingness to do anything to the Death Eaters made him formidable. He passed over the drugged drink, holding his breath waiting for it.

"Harry is at Lily's sisters, where he will grow up with two loving adult figures and a cousin to play with." said Dumbledore as if he wasn't talking about someone Sirius loved.

"He's mine! My godson! They are not raising him." said Sirius, hurt and anger shining through his blue eyes. How could Dumbledore think he'd leave his godson with them? They hated magic. Worse still why had Dumbledore sent him there? Did he think Sirius wasn't fit enough? It actually hurt to hear Dumbledore say that.

"Is he not better off growing up away from the war? Out of harms way? The Death Eaters are still active. They will blame him, the only survivor and they will want to kill him Sirius..." coaxed Dumbledore, his twinkle coming back, seeing the glazed look on Sirius' face, the potion had worked.

"He will be safe with me," said Sirius. His love for his godson enabled him to fight the single potion Albus Dumbledore had fed him. He had just lost Lily and James, he couldn't lose Harry too. The thought alone was enough to nearly turn him into a wreck itself.

Dumbledore stared at him stumped and surprised, how was he able to fight the potion? Twitching his wand hand under his desk, the specially created compulsion spell hit Sirius next the beauty of that spell was it only showed up on one diagnosis charm, and it was a dark one he had forbidden from use, using his position as chief warlock to accomplish it.

"He stays in Privet Drive Sirius, safe and happy, you want that don't you? Don't try and visit him, let him have a normal, happy childhood." said Dumbledore soothingly. His piercing blue eyes regarding Sirius shrewdly, he didn’t need to wonder if the spell would work - he knew it would this wasn’t his first occasion of using the spell.

"Yes Headmaster," murmured Sirius blankly regarding Dumbledore solemnly. His mind barely remembered his feelings for his godson. He blankly accepted Dumbledore's word for the truth and would go on with his life. Sometimes at night he'd wonder about him, but he'd always lack the motivation to fight for him.

Dumbledore had single handled destroyed Sirius Black. Signed Harry up for a lifetime of abuse at the hands of the Dursley's without care.

"Good, now the best thing you can do for your godson is keep the Order together, round up all Death Eaters so when he comes back to our world...he's safe. It's not just Harry that needs you Sirius, our world does...I do...Remus does." glad his compulsion spells and potions were working, he'd ordered them from Knockturn Alley, not the best place to acquire a potion. One could never be sure they were what they said they were. Then again it was the only place one could buy them, since controlling potions were banned heavily by the Ministry. Not to mention illegal. No doubt he would need to douse Remus and Peter with the same. Neither one had a legal claim over him whatsoever (only Black did), so whether they protested or not didn't matter. "Become an Auror, immerse yourself in politics, the Wizengamot needs you."

"Yes sir," said Sirius getting up and leaving, a small part of the Animagus was left there too.

Albus watched him go feeling a smidgen of guilt, but that was soon swept aside, the world needed him too much for him to slink away and raise Harry Potter. The boy was nothing, Sirius was however very important. He needed all the people he could get to restore his world to its former glory. It was all for the greater good.

-------0

Severus blinked rapidly, opening his eyes, confused and completely disorientated. Looking around his home, confused...he could see things, things he'd never normally see. Biting his lip, he winced as his lip split open. Worse still, he did not experience the horrible coppery taste he always associated with his own blood. No it tasted good, better than good; it was like the nectar from the gods. Severus knew that could only mean one thing, nobody could accuse him of being stupid. Vampire. Was one of the first things he thought, standing up he conjured a mirror.

He gaped at the image in front of him, his nose was no longer deformed, or overly large, instead it seemed to have deflated slightly, more angular to fit his features. His face was mostly the same; his teeth were no longer crooked, or yellow for that matter. They were white, and his incisors were a little longer and sharper than before. Being a vampire, contrary to popular belief wasn't a miracle worker. He did look better, and in time he'd find out how to use his new powers. He finally realised he was a vampire; he closed his eyes in horror and confusion. He began to disrobe and inspect his body, looking for a bite mark. Just as he thought, as he inspected himself...there was no bite mark. So how the hell had he been turned into a vampire? It made no sense. Unless the mark was gone, during the change. According to all the books the claiming mark always remained there for all to see. Vampires were possessive that way not that much would change in that regard. Severus had always been possessive of those he considered his. He had been like that with Lily even after their friendship had ended.

Just then there was an urgent knock at his door, he winced at the loudness of it, Merlin he wasn't sure if he should answer the bloody door! What if he killed whoever was behind it? It was probably Dumbledore, demanding answers; the old fool hated not knowing everything. Yet it couldn't be, there were two people behind the door and their scents were...odd.

They knocked even harder this time; they were obviously not going anywhere. Scowling nastily he put his clothes back on, before walking towards the door. He realised he was still breathing, so he couldn't be a vampire, he was beginning to get increasingly confused now. What had happened to him? And why now of all times he was too old for magic to change him.

Severus flung the door open, his glare shot of his face, replaced with complete shock and incredulity. Severus couldn't believe his eyes, had he been flung into some sort of Alternative Reality? Because he was beginning to this so! Standing in front of him was and older version of his mother and someone that looked like him a little bit. The Prince's, his grandparents, what the hell were they doing here? Why now of all times?

"May we come in?" asked Rose Prince, staring in awe at her grandson, someone she thought she'd never get to meet.

She had tried to approach him once, unfortunately Eileen had cast a spell to stop them, and vampire's in particular approaching her son. Now those spells were null and void, they'd felt him, his pain as he finally went though his inheritance he should have started at the age of seventeen. They had thought it had skipped another generation.

"Please," she begged when it became apparent that Severus was about to slam the door in their faces. Goodness knows what lies Eileen had filled his head with over the years.

"Get in," snapped Severus irritated; perhaps they could shed some light on what had just happened to him. It was no coincidence the second this happened they appeared at his door. That was the only reason he had not slammed it in their faces.

"Thank you," she said extremely relieved, at least he was willing to hear them out. That was a good sign, it meant there was a possibility things might go smoothly.

Once the door was shut and they were in the living room sitting down, Severus just continued to stare at them. He wasn't sure what he should feel, hate? Anger? Disgust? Confusion...well he felt all those deeply.

"Can we know your name?" asked Rose.

Severus raised his eyebrow and replied sardonically, "Severus Snape."

"I'm Rose, this is Glenn, we know you might not want to call us by grandmother or grandfather yet..." Rose trailed off, before quietening down.

"I assume you are wondering why we are here?" said Glenn Prince, his grandson looked a lot like his mother and himself.

"Indeed." stated Severus simply, ignoring how uncomfortable they were by his sarcasm and unwelcoming reception. He wanted them out of his house so he could start researching what he was.

"Did our daughter tell you why she left?" asked Rose, she missed her daughter ever day, but she had been so bitter, and they had been disappointed.

"You disowned her, for marrying a Muggle." snapped Severus.

"No Severus, she was never disowned, she left on her own accord because she was bitter and angry." sighed Glenn sadly, obviously his daughters abandonment was hurting him still after all those years. Indeed it did, the only heir to the Prince family, abandoning all the family stood for. Abandoning all those they had sworn to protect and lead.

"That why you were never around is it?" asked Severus dryly not believing a word of it.

"The reason we were never around is because your mother put a spell on you, stopping us from contacting you. Believe me we tried, but to no avail." said Glenn solemnly.

"There is no such spell," replied Severus his lip curling in disgust did they really think he was stupid.

"There is, one to stop dark creatures, vampires from going near someone, usually it's only applied to houses and schools etcetera." said Rose staring at Severus sadly, she had so badly wanted to know him. To help him growing up, unfortunately she hadn't been able to see him, she'd tried talking but he hadn't heard her. To see him now was an utter miracle. They were confused as to why he had only begun to change now.

"It was null and void yesterday when you began changing," said Glenn bluntly.

"You know what's happening to me?" demanded Severus sitting up straighter, glaring at them demanding answers silently.

"You have come to your inheritance, why only now, we do not know. Every Prince in our family line comes to a vampire inheritance when they reach seventeen years old." explained Glenn.

Severus heart sank; his mother had run away when she was seventeen... "My mother?" asked Severus, basically only asking for confirmation of what he already suspected.

"Didn't, we can only assume she didn't have enough magic to turn." said Rose.

"Vampires so there are more of you around?" asked Severus arching an eyebrow expressing his curiosity openly, Glenn and Rose relaxed slightly; now that Severus believed them it might be a little better now.

"We are not immortal Severus, we aren't turned vampires, and we only receive creature inheritance. We live for thousands years before dying, unless of course we are killed." said Rose quietly.

"We can still be killed, not by the killing curse, as such but by the means the Muggles came up with. Nothing can survive a dagger through the heart, not even vampires, nothing in this world is truly immortal, even Phoenix's die out." explained Glenn, he was a no nonsense kind of man, Severus respected that.

"I see," said Severus, so he had been correct, he was a vampire, with a beating heart. Why had he never heard of this before? "Why is it that I have not found out about this before?"

"Not many people know about the vampire royalty or what we are Severus, and truth be told, the vampire world is in disarray." sighed Rose sadly. They kept themselves apart from the magical world.

"Vampire world? Why would you care about that?" snorted Severus, surely there couldn't be that many vampires in the world to actually call it a vampire world.

"It is your birthright, to take up the seat of power, there is a reason we are called the Prince line...it's not just a name." said Glenn proudly.

"Seat of power?" asked Severus surprised, now what were they talking about?

"It's yours by birthright, you can claim it, when Eileen didn't come to her inheritance and we had to stand down someone else took over the seat. Only those of Prince Blood can claim it back or fight to the death for the seat of ultimate power." said Glenn.

"He didn't care for his subjects, when they came to him wanting help he uses them, they need someone Severus...you could lead them to greatness once more, do the Prince line proud. You and your mate when the time comes for you to meet them. You like reading?" Rose asked, seeing the books, "The books in the Prince Library and vault are extremely rare and valuable. You'll learn things the world has long since forgotten, sometimes I couldn't get your grandfather out of there." she finished sending her husband a look of total adoration. She had been Glenn's mate; he'd courted her for an entire year, before Rose had given in and allowed him to claim her. They'd had Eileen extremely late in life, and by the time she left, they weren't able to have another. The risk would have just been too great, as they'd said they did not live forever. Hopefully Severus would agree, and they'd see the Prince name restored.

"Why didn't you just have another heir? Or keep the seat of power?" Severus asked sceptically.

"I couldn't have another child, and the older generation always stands down when the heir turns seventeen." said Rose. She might not be a Prince by blood, but she knew all the rules and regulations. It was expected of her as the mate of the 'heir' as it was often referred to.

"Will you at least come with us? Let us show you, and you can decide for yourself?" asked Glenn.

"We will also show you how to survive, how to fight, how to protect yourself. If he finds out, that someone can take over his position you might find yourself having to fight." said Rose.

Severus stared at them completely shocked by everything he'd learned; he'd craved power as a youngster. It's why he'd joined Voldemort, he wanted recognition, the fact people wouldn't mess with him was an added bonus. He had learned the hard way; there were always consequences to power. To be fair they had told him up front, but was it something he wanted? Who was he kidding? Ultimate power, true power without killing people was every man's dream. His thoughts trailed to a possible mate, would he find them without knowing more of what and who he was now?

He knew his decision there was no point in delaying really. "Fine, I'll come." he told them, his lips twitching at the sides when their bodies sagged in relief. For vampires they didn't seem to be able to hide a single emotion. Rose was positively smitten, beaming at her grandson as if she'd won the lottery.

"Then let's depart, there's much to do." said Glenn standing up.

"Bring your things with you," said Rose, even if he denied his inheritance, Prince Manor belonged to him. He would have no need to live in this small shabby run down house he currently lived in. Not that she would say that to him, she realised not everyone had money. If only Eileen hadn't been so angry and stubborn, they had repeatedly tried to give her money, knowing there was no way she could have any. They had been returned unopened, hurting her parents repeatedly by her denial of them.

The reason, unbeknown to Severus, he had come to his inheritance was because of the Dark Mark. The mark of ownership had prevented his inheritance. Severus had become a Death Eater just one day before his seventeenth birthday. As it stood it had blocked his vampire inheritance, with the Dark Lord gone, temporarily or not, the spell had weakened enough to allow him to change into his other form. This had caused the mark to disappear completely, since he had actually 'died' even if his heart had restarted after the changes his body had undergone.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 2

So much had happened over the past fifteen years; Sirius Black had gone through Auror training and became one of the best in the ranks. He'd climbed up the ranks quicker than any Auror before him. Mad Eye Moody had stepped down just two years ago, and Sirius had been promoted to Head Auror of the Division. There was only one thing making Sirius rather sad, Remus had broken up with him the night he'd lost his best friends. He had not understood that Harry was better off away from all this, safe from Death Eaters and the war. What Sirius failed to realize was there hadn't been a Death Eater attack in years. Sirius had imprisoned The Lestrange's, he had gotten Franks' call for aid and between the three of them, and they'd overpowered the Death Eaters. Sentencing them to life imprisonment in Azkaban.

There had been peace for thirteen years before Voldemort had come back, using the Tri-Wizard tournament as means to accomplish it. He had chosen Harry as the person he wanted to use to be resurrected. It hadn't been difficult; he was after all he was just a single underage wizard. He had of course underestimated Harry, which resulted in Harry being able to get away. To say they were shocked, when they'd gotten the pensive memory was putting it lightly. They had assumed Peter Pettigrew as dead, they had found a finger and assumed he had been tortured for the information then killed, yet he was there clear as day bringing Voldemort back from the dead.

"Hello Remus," said a pink haired woman, surprising Remus as he turned around, he was currently in Diagon Alley.

"Who are you?" enquired Remus, his amber eyes regarding her suspiciously, keeping his wand very close.

"My name is Tonks, I've been sent by Dumbledore to speak to you," she said, "Is there any way we can speak in private? Please."

She was smiling at him kindly, seemingly happy to see him; Remus just couldn't bring himself to snap at her. He knew what this was about, another lame as attempt at getting him to rejoin the order again. Dumbledore had sent a missive after Voldemort had come back, he'd ignored it. Then the old fool had visited, which he'd told him where to go. He'd even had the nerve to send Sirius to him; he'd broken the man's nose. Now he was sending her, what did he think was going to happen? That he'd break and join for the sake of it? Well they would learn he wasn't going to join. "Fine, we can speak in my home." said Remus, taking a hold of her as he Apparated them there.

He let go of her, as soon as they arrived, "What do you want?" he asked, sitting himself down, he didn‘t care if he was being impolite, he was getting sick of Dumbledore’s interference in his life.

"The Order really needs you Remus, your help could mean the difference between succeeding and losing." said Tonks, regarding Remus with open appreciation, he was good looking. She knew he was a werewolf, everyone in the Order did. Albus had told her the importance of getting Remus on their side.

"Why should I help a world that fears me? That doesn't let me work because of what happens when the moon rises?" snorted Remus his amber eyes flashing in anger. He had changed, he was no longer the man he had been all those years ago upon joining the order with his best friends. In fact it had been the only reason he'd joined. He'd wanted to keep his pack safe, yet look what happened? James and Lily dead, Sirius a whole different person, broken. Pettigrew had betrayed them, he had dare put a hand on his cub, a teenager he considered his son, and use his blood to bring Voldemort back, when they met again only one would live.

Tonks actually couldn't think of a reason for that, in all seriousness he did have a point. The ministry did label him a 'Dark creature' just because he'd been bitten. It wasn't fair, but life unfortunately wasn't fair. "What about Harry? He needs someone to protect him. Harry managed to get away from Voldemort, he probably didn't like that." she could see how attached Harry and Remus were. They were often seen in Diagon Alley together, especially during the summer holidays.

"I can protect him better without the order, it is what killed his parents - Harry would never forgive me even if I contemplated re-joining never mind actually joining." said Remus seriously.

"I see," said Tonks, her shoulders slumping, she wouldn't enjoy going back to Dumbledore and telling him she failed. She had never had to do that before, she always succeeded in her missions. "Is there nothing that could convince you to come back?"

"Nothing," said Remus adamantly.

"Albus can supply you with the Wolfsbane potion, not only that but you, and you alone would be able to convince others like you to stay out of the war. Maybe even supply them with the same potion too." said Tonks in a last ditch attempt.

Remus laughed in bitter amusement that was their big last attempt? "I don't need it." he crossed his arms around his chest, staring at her, too bad she was an order member. He was for the first time since Sirius, sexually attracted to her. He did wonder what she really looked like; he knew she was a Metamorphmagus. Probably what made her so desirable by the Auror's and the Order. He had someone kind enough to brew the potion no strings attached.

"Okay. Thank you for listening at least." said Tonks, she was about to leave when she felt warm lips descend onto hers. Her eyes widened, as she stared at Remus, before she kicked herself into gear and kissed him back just as passionately.

----0

Tonks woke up groggily wondering just where the hell she was, her eyes widened when she remembered. She jerked her head to the side and saw Remus was sleeping on his side; she bit her lip just seeing him in all his naked glory. He was gorgeous, it was rather curious though. She'd heard rumours that he was gay, and had been dating Sirius Black. She grabbed her wand from the bedside and said the spell to let her know the time. She'd stayed the night! Oh no, Dumbledore would know for sure what they'd been up to. She blindly scrambled to pick up her clothes, or what she could find of them dressing herself as she went.

"You know you'd be better off summoning them," replied an amused sounding Remus.

"Not funny," said Tonks glairing half heartedly. Before she did summon her clothes and put the rest on hastily.

"Would you like breakfast before you go?" asked Remus out of courtesy, they had slept together after all.

"I don't have time," said Tonks quietly, staring apologetically at the man she'd just slept with. "I really have to go. Bye."

"Bye." said Remus watching her leave, too bad she was an Order member, he doubted very much that she'd be back. Although the look she gave him as she Apparated, gave him hope. Yes, he had changed, Harry had been able to do what Sirius, Lily and James could not, give him true confidence in who he was and to embrace himself as he should have always done. He stretched out and let himself drift back to sleep.

-----0

Albus Dumbledore stood in a beautiful castle, not that he was admiring it. He was waiting for the Vampire Prince to make an appearance. He had finally been granted an audience with him, after a year of searching. Most of the year he'd actually spent trying to figure out who it was and where he was. The Ministry knew of the vampire Lord, and had a truce with them. As long as they didn't kill, the Ministry wouldn't harm them. Albus was hoping to get a different sort of truce from them. He needed all the help he could get to win this war. If it hadn't been so important he'd have already left. They had agreed to half past, and fifteen minutes had already passed since.

"Where is he?" asked Albus finally cracking, he was Albus Dumbledore, he never had to wait. He felt very insulted by the vampire's actions.

"Our Lord will be here momentarily." said the vampire who was standing at the side of the room. There was more than one, but Albus Dumbledore didn't know that, they were cloaked in the shadows, even their immense power was tightly concealed.

Just then another presence walked into the room, he was cloaked from head to toe. One would have suspected him to have been a Dementor; if not for the fact his feet actually touched the ground. Albus couldn't see his face, but his aura was one of extreme power. One that would have rivalled his own if he had chosen to show it. Something he didn't do, it would destroy his image as genial headmaster if he did. It did raise the hair on his neck, and he had to refrain from displaying his own power at the challenge.

"My Lord," said the vampire who had just spoken, bowing his head in respect.

"You wished to see me?" asked the voice, it was cold, distant and calculating.

"Indeed I did," said Albus nodding his head smiling as if nothing pleased him more than to have this vampire Lord speaking to him. "As you are no doubt aware, there is a war currently ongoing?"

"Indeed." said the vampire lord, "Sit." he demanded as he took his throne, it was grander than the rest at the table. The only light in the room came from three candle chandeliers floating in mid air, with fifteen candles lit on each chandelier.

"Thank you," said Albus, taking his own seat sitting straight and importantly, a little pleasantries went a long way. Hopefully he could begin the negotiations of having the vampires on his side. That's if the vampire Lord was sensible, but Albus was positive he could get his own way, he had never met a situation where he was unable to do so.

"So what is it I can do for you?" asked the Vampire Prince, his hands on the table, his face still obscured by his hood. Nobody knew what he looked like, never mind who he was. It seemed that's the way he liked it, Albus had been lucky enough to find him, he had spent months at the Ministry before trying other means which got him a lot further and inevitably into this meeting.

"As you are aware I am Albus Dumbledore," said the Headmaster, sounding confident and self assured the vampire would help him. "I run an organization called the Order of the Phoenix, we charge ourselves with ridding the world of the Dark Lord Voldemort. We do need all the help we can get, if you are willing, we would gladly accept your help."

"Tell me, what would I gain from this…negotiation." said the Vampire Prince sounding deeply amused. Perhaps at the fact that Dumbledore assumed he'd help or because of his nerve to think they'd help without anything in return.

"When the war is over, I shall make sure that you are recognized for your part. Perhaps it would help paint vampires in a much needed better light. What better way than helping our world and receiving the Order of Merlin first class?" Albus said confidently, he would not leave without having their support. Everyone knew he ‘tried’ to get dark creatures better rights, which on paper and in passing may look to be the truth, but it was so far from reality that it was laughable.

"We have no need for Order of Merlin medals, or to be painted in a better light." replied the Vampire Prince angrily, his voice becoming mocking at certain points of his sentence. He knew Dumbledore's game, he would not allow the old fool to manipulate him or give the appearance of it either. He would lose respect from his subjects and people who admired him if he did such a despicable thing.

"Voldemort won't leave you alone, it is only a matter of time before he too targets you and your people." said Dumbledore, in grave warning.

"We do not have roots here, there is no reason for us to stay should that occur." lied the Vampire Prince outright.

"Surely there is something that could be negotiated between us," said Albus getting desperate now, as always he retained control over his composure. He didn't want the vampire to know just how desperate he was. "Money?" queried Albus. Purebloods were greedy, you could never have enough. No doubt these Vampires were just the same, money could buy you anything.

"Does it look like we need it?" scoffed the Vampire Prince at his attempt. They were really pathetic especially for Albus Dumbledore.

"There has to be something you need or want," said Albus leaning back, looking bored as he steeped his fingers together. Albus had a strange urge to cross his fingers together, in hopes that his statement was correct. He also hoped it was something he was able to get. He had to stop himself from fidgeting as he was stared at, and the silence stretched, he began to think this was all for nothing. If he could have, he would have searched further into it. To find out what they admired above all else, to gain the upper hand. Unfortunately there wasn't much known about them, none of his contacts could tell him.

Severus stared at Albus from under his hood; the old fool didn't know who he was. Apparently he didn't even recognize his voice, then again it had been fourteen years since he'd seen him last. Truth be told, there was something he could get from the old fool. Once acquired Dumbledore wouldn't be able to touch him, he would need to think long and hard about the Vow he'd make him swear. A few people would be furious with him, but he knew he could bring them around to his way of thinking. He enjoyed making the old fool uncomfortable, he was squirming. Oh yes, he couldn't help himself but smirking under his hood. "There is something I'd like to…acquire." said Severus casually, as if he hadn’t accepted this meeting for that exact purpose.

Albus held his breath, hope blooming in his heart; perhaps there was a way to save his world after all. To bring it back to its former glory once more, with him at the helm. "Which is?" he asked his breath still being held, praying it was something he could get.

"Harry Potter." said Severus, none of his true feelings showing though.

Albus blinked in disbelief, his eyes wide and his jaw monetarily dropping open in surprise. Triumph soared through him; he could get the vampire exactly what he wanted. Black was the boy's godfather still, all Black had to do was sign Potter over to him. If that's what it took to have vampires on his side, and inevitably win the war, then so be it. He certainly didn't care about one boy over the wizarding world. Perhaps the boy surviving had been worthwhile after all. "Very well." said Albus, his jaw back in place. "I will see that it's arranged. How long?" wrongfully assuming he just wanted Potter for the night or a week.

"Indefinitely." said Severus his voice becoming colder and more abrasive, surprising him that Dumbledore still didn’t recognize his voice.

"Very well," said Albus said joyfully, "Shall we start the proceedings?"

Black eyes gleamed viciously, his lip curling just a bit at how…cheerful the old fool sounded, he quickly began to lay out the strict terms of their agreement. Which were as the following :He must be willing, brought there uninjured, and that there would be a ceremony on his sixteenth birthday, the day he would come to the castle, a handfasting, which could be easily broken after a time, but when the time was right they would bond, a true permanent mating bond of their kind when Harry accepted his position on his own without his or Dumbledore’s interference. The reason he had stipulated all these was because he knew how tricky Dumbledore could be, and he refused to let anything hurt his mate, this was the best way to ensure it. He knew something Dumbledore did not, but how long that remained thusly he did not know hence he took the action he did.

------------0

"Hey Remus," said Harry Flooing over from Zabini Manor to Remus’ flat, it's where he always went during the summer holiday's, although lately, he'd been spending more time here. As soon as he was old enough, Potter manor would be his home. He couldn't access it until he was seventeen - just one more year then he would be an adult.

"Hey Harry, how are you feeling?" asked Remus in concern. It may have happened over a year ago, but he still worried every single day Harry was at Hogwarts or out of his sight. When he'd read the letter, he had almost passed out at the shock of it. He'd gone straight to Hogwarts; screw what everyone thought he had to see his cub. Thankfully Madam Pomfrey had let him in, and he'd been able to calm himself and his wolf. His cub was alive and relatively unscathed. Ever since then Harry had for most part, bar the full moon been staying with him. He wanted to keep an eye on him, keep him safe. He'd had nightmares about it, not that Remus could blame him really. A fourteen year old confronted with Voldemort, whether he acted like a grown up or not - he really wasn't. Nobody understood why Voldemort had chosen Harry, but popular consensus was that he wanted to finish what he started all those years ago.

"I'm fine," said Harry exasperated shaking his head in amusement. He was almost the same height as Remus now, well nearly. During his first year he'd been the shortest in his class. Then Remus had gotten potions for him, he'd taken them all summer that year and he'd finally started to grow. It had made Harry appreciate potions more, and their capabilities.

"How are the boys?" asked Remus as he passed Harry a Butterbeer. He had given Harry his first one, he'd loved them. He made sure he always had a stock of
them, or to take Harry to Diagon Alley when they could. Although it was a lot less frequent lately, with the war he wasn't taking chances when it came to his sons life.

"Teddy is staying with us, he's avoiding his dad as much as possible." said Harry looking worried, "Teddy thinks he might make him take the Dark Mark." the summer holiday had just started, he'd gone to Zabini manor last night after getting off the train.

"Make sure he knows the choice is his own." said Remus quietly, he really liked Teddy and Blaise, they were great friends to Harry, had been since day one. Harry had always sung their praises; regretfully Harry hadn’t had a friend before them, but Remus understood that, he hadn’t had a single friend before James and Sirius when he got to Hogwarts when he was eleven.

"He does," said Harry, both he and Blaise made sure that he knew they’d support him if he denounced the dark side and his father. "Blaise has a girlfriend though." his nose was screwed up as he announced this.

Remus just laughed in amusement finally relaxing properly now Harry was here. If he had been able, he would have adopted Harry and taken him in properly. He couldn't risk someone exposing him though, it would just mean that Harry could be forced back to the Dursley’s.

Harry just grinned in turn, his mind turning to his first day night at Hogwarts and the letter he'd received that started it all. He didn't know where he'd be without Remus; he meant so much to him. Learnt a lot from him too, not just about his parents but knowledge, wisdom, and compassion.

------------0

-() FLASH BACK ()-

Harry Potter's week had been very odd to say the least, letters kept pouring in from god only knows where. His Aunt and Uncle had been terrified, so worried they'd actually given him Dudley's second bedroom. As the mysterious letters kept coming, his Uncle had quite literally gone mad. First he'd drove to a hotel, staying there only to find the hotel telling them there was a huge bag full of letters for Harry Potter. So without more ado, red in the face anger building Vernon had drove away. He had thought to be safe in the middle of the sea in a little hut. Which is where they were now, and his uncle…well he had truly lost the plot now.

"I'VE HAD IT!" roared Vernon furiously, "LET THE BRAT GO! I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANOTHER BLASTING LETTER!" his eyes were bulging wildly.

"But Vernon," protested Petunia, but it was only half heartedly.

"NO MORE PETUNIA I WANT NO MORE OF THIS FREAKISHNESS! THEY WILL LEAVE US ALONE WHEN HE ANSWERS!" shouted Vernon, he couldn't stand it anymore, those owls were going to drive him insane. He hated the utter freakiness of it; he knew he couldn't outrun the magical world, so he did the only thing he could…let Potter attend.

"Daddy," cried Dudley, somewhere in his spoiled selfish mind he was realizing Harry was getting his way, probably for the first time in his life.

"Potter!" shouted Vernon ignoring his son, knowing his wife would see to him.

"Yes sir?" asked Harry Potter, eleven years old as of two minutes ago, he was staring at the floor cringing hating his uncles attention being on him when he was so angry. Normally it wasn't a good thing for Harry Potter, but his uncle seemed too angry to strike out never mind talk coherently.

"Open the blasted letter!" sneered Vernon, his hands itching to hit the boy, but he had to refrain after all he was about to go to that freakish school of his.
Harry stared dumbstruck, after all the fighting and running he was finally getting to read it? Perhaps his uncle really had gone insane. With shaky fingers he opened the letter, and everything in the world began to make sense. Part of him thought it was a joke, but he realized, it had to be true and that they had known - otherwise why try and keep Harry from knowing? He was a wizard, a real honest to god wizard.

Then booming knocks that shook the door and the foundations of the little hut penetrated the air scaring the Dursley’s witless.

FLASH BACK CONTINUES

Harry accidentally had actually found the entrance or rather gate way to platform nine and three quarters. He was quite thankful really, because he'd gotten strange looks from the men working there he'd asked earlier. They had simply thought he was joking with them; he'd actually fallen through the portal. He had gotten his ticket, with an owl but that was it. He hadn't been able to get his Hogwarts things since the Dursley's hadn't given him money. He was actually worried he'd just be sent back, if that happened Harry didn't know what he'd do. He'd gotten his first taste of freedom and he didn't want it to end. Vernon didn't seem to want him to return there, he had demanded that he stay in the 'freakish' place.

He'd sat on the train, in his baggy clothes and no trunk just a small backpack with what clothes he owned and most importantly no uniform feeling very lonely. The people seemed to take one look at him in sniff in disgust before closing the compartment door once more. Harry had hoped to make a friend but it seemed as if it wasn't meant to happen. It was going to be just like normal school, at least there wasn't a Dudley here who could beat them up, and so he had a small chance. He spent the entire train journey by himself, unable to even buy one sweet from the cart. He had no money; he hoped that the school could give him some books. They'd be second hand he was sure but they would be his to use. It's what his old primary school had done. He would just have to ask a teacher as soon as possible.

When they got off the train Harry realized he stood out like a sore thumb. Every single one of them was in school uniform with cloaks and all. He? Why he was still in his cousins clothes, blending in wasn't an easy task at all. He sat in a boat with two big eleven years old and a red headed one. He noticed the red head himself stood out, he seemed to be wearing old clothes, hand me downs like himself. All thought of friendship with the boy sailed out the boat when he grimaced at him. Really like he had the nerve to grimace at him when he was dressed in second hand clothes too?

"Yeh'll get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec," boomed Hagrid, calling over his shoulders, "Jus' round this bend here."

Harry gaped in awe; he'd never seen a more magnificent sight in his entire life. He really hoped he didn't get sent home, he could get used to living here. The others all had similar reactions, all ooohing at the beautiful sight before them. Even wizards and witches who'd been in the Wizarding world their entire life.
"Head's down!" yelled Hagrid as they neared the cliff and they did, as a curtain of ivy which hid the wide opening in the cliff face. The boat took them down a long dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking them right underneath the castle. They then reached an underground harbour, climbing onto rocks and pebbles.
Harry was still looking around inspecting his new surroundings when something was uttered about a toad and someone's cry of relief. They walked up what seemed endless flights of stairs, until they came face to face with a gigantic oak front door.

"Everyone here?" said Hagrid looking around before he knocked three times on the door. Harry held his tongue, asking if everyone was there was pretty stupid really. After all if they weren't, they could hardly tell him now could they? His thoughts were interrupted by the door opening. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She was very stern looking and reminded Harry greatly of his Aunt Petunia. At least she didn't have a scowl on her face, Harry thought uncharitably.

"The firs'-years, Professor McGonagall," said Hagrid. Talking about stating the obvious, she was bound to know they were first years. He didn't see any other students, which meant they somehow get to Hogwarts another way.

"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here." she pulled the doors open wide as she spoke allowing everyone to pile into the entrance hall. The first thing Harry registered was all the marble, everything and everywhere. The torches were odd, not ones Harry had ever seen. He was finally warming up; he'd been so cold earlier with just a t-shirt and trousers on this dark cold night. He followed the crowd across the flagged stone floor. They were then put into a small empty chamber like room.

"Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall. "The start of term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The sorting is very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be like your family. You will have classes with them, sleep with them and spend free time in your common room."

Harry thought about her words, she made it seem like they couldn't have friends outside this 'house' whatever that meant. That was just stupidness wasn't it? Why would a house dictate who you became friends with? It was as if the teachers wanted it that way.

"The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honour. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours." said McGonagall.

"Who gets the cup?" asked Harry bluntly.

"It resides in the Head of house' office," replied McGonagall crisply trying to figure out which first year had spoken but was unable to do so.

Harry realized it was no honour really, what good did it do them really to win? For the cup to sit in the Head of houses office? They were the one doing all the work; they should at least give each of them a trophy of some sort. Judging by the castle it couldn't be hard to hand out small ones.

"The sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting." said McGonagall her eyes lingering most prominently on Harry, and then moving to a few others.

"I shall return when we are ready for you," she said, "Please, wait quietly." with that she turned and left them in the small chamber room.

Harry's mind whirled, he was really doing this, his stomach twisted nervously, whatever they were doing - he was going to have to do dressed like this, in front of the entire school. Unfortunately it was nothing new to Harry, all his clothes had been second hand. He jumped out of his skin when people began screaming, only to blanch himself. Ghosts this magical school had ghosts? The idea warmed on him immediately, anything that wasn't normal Harry loved. Mostly because he knew it would piss the Dursley's off.

"Move along now," said McGonagall sharply, "The Sorting Ceremony is about to start."

Harry idly wondered why she'd spoken like that; it wasn't as if they'd not been listening to her. Well he knew to stay out of her way if that's how she was on a normal day; he dreaded to think what she'd be like when disturbed by students.

"Now form a line, and follow me." she said in that same sharp tone.

As they walked Harry heard a girl talking "It's bewitched to look like the sky outside, I read about it in Hogwarts: a history." she sounded so smug about what she knew. Harry turned his attention back, finding himself staring at a hat, what did they have to do? Pull a rabbit out of it he thought wryly. Yet no, the hat opened its mouth and began singing. Harry had never seen a more absurd sight in all his life. Harry thought about what the hat said, each house seemed to have good traits…but what was he going to end up in? Perhaps Ravenclaw or Slytherin they suited him best. Harry winced as the Great Hall burst into applause when the hat finished its song.

"When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted," said McGonagall, "Abbott Hannah!"

"HUFFLEPUFF!"

Harry tuned everyone out, he couldn't care less where they went, he just wanted to know if he would be sorted. He hoped so, he didn't want to be sent back home at all. He would have to run away if he did, Vernon didn't want him back. He'd made that clear, and if he did end up back Vernon would kill him. He'd threatened him, actually he'd threatened to do worse but that wasn't the point.

Then finally it got down to the P's and Harry began paying attention waiting eagerly for his turn. Praying he wasn't going to be sent back home on the train tonight.

"POTTER, HARRY!" yelled McGonagall.

Everyone gasped when he went forward; he didn't have his school uniform on. He had disobeyed the rules! None of them wanted him in their house! They'd lose points before term even begun. Harry without looking at anyone sat on the stool, which after a few seconds hesitation was placed over his eyes.

"Hmm," said a voice in his head, "Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage I see. Not a bad mind either. There's talent, oh my goodness, yes - and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that's interesting…so where shall I put you?"

Harry said to the hat "Where I'll fit in, make friends…" there was a hint of loneliness in his voice even as he spoke to the sorting hat.

"Well you will be great, it's all here in your head no doubt about it, well I know…better be "SLYTHERIN!" cried the hat. Harry took off the hat, not wanting to make a spectacle of himself as Neville Longbottom had done by running towards his table with the hat still jammed on his head. As he sat down he noticed that a brightly dressed man had a smirk on his face, trying and failing to hide it behind his goblet. Once the sorting had finished the man got up from his seat, spreading his arms wide as thought nothing pleased him more than to see everyone there.

"Welcome, welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our feast, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!" he said before retaking his seat. Harry stared at him as if he'd lost his mind.

Then the feast came, it was magnificent in all its glory, Harry had never seen such food before in his life. He took small amounts of various things, knowing he wouldn't be able to eat a lot. He never had been able to unfortunately, the Dursley's loved starving him. He heard all the students talking, mostly about some club and their Head of house, Professor Slughorn. Harry wondered who that was; because he had to speak to him he didn't have the required essentials to attend Hogwarts with.

Eventually everyone other than those around him in Slytherin began singing the school song. After that the prefect took them to their dorms. Their dorm was under the school in a dungeon, everything silver and dark green and had snakes etched, carved or stitched into it. He told them were they would be sleeping and before long Harry who was too tired to talk decided to leave everything until tomorrow. He found his room; it was the only bed without a trunk at the bottom making him feel even more depressed.

"Where's your trunk? Has it got lost?" asked a black haired boy curiously.

"I don't have one," Harry told him.

"But you need it don't you have your Hogwarts stuff?" he asked again seemingly shocked. "I'm Blaise Zabini by the way." he said in way of introducing himself.

"Harry, Harry Potter," said Harry he had only found out his first name when he attended primary school, before that all he'd been called was Potter and Freak.
He had stupidly thought Potter was his first name; it had been all he knew. "I don't have my Hogwarts stuff, I lived with my relatives, and they are normal and didn't want me coming here so they refused to pay for anything." he admitted derisively, displaying his contempt for his ‘relatives’.

"That's alright then, good thing you are your own money!" explained Blaise shocked by the fact a Potter had been living with Muggles all his life.

"I do?" Harry asked quite shocked but trying not to display it.

"Sure, your dad was a Potter, the Lord Potter of the Noble and Most Ancient house of Potter." Blaise explained.

"A Lord?" gaped Harry shocked, his mind whirling but he'd been told his father was a drunk…a penniless drunk.

"He was born into it," said Blaise. "Don't you know anything about them?" he seemed really shocked by what he was hearing.

"No," said Harry shaking his head.

"Your parents were the last Witch and Wizard killed by You-Know-Who before someone defeated him." said Theodore Nott joining the conservation.
Harry just stared, they hadn't died in a car crash at all, they had been murdered he wasn't sure how to feel about that at all. Just then a letter appeared on his bedside table, which had a huge jug of water and four glasses next to it. Theodore grabbed it reading the name on the front before passing it to Harry. Harry looked at it blankly. Who the hell could be writing to him? He didn't know anyone.

"Here," said Blaise handing over a set of brand new blue pyjamas. "You can use these until you get to Gringotts."

"Gringotts?" echoed Harry feeling extremely disgruntled he needed to read everything he could get his hands on. He hated not knowing things and everything was very alien to him right now. Yet a part of him warmed, nobody had ever done something like this for him before. Maybe he had found his friends after all; a small grin appeared on his face despite his confusion.

"Wizarding bank," said Theodore in explanation.

"Ah, do any of you know where to find the head of Slytherin?" he asked.

"He will be down to see you first thing in the morning," said Flint entering the dorm room. "Remember to get some sleep, the rules are posted above the fireplace, read them and do Slytherin proud." he was taking his duties as Head boy extremely serious.

"Yes sir," said the three first years solemnly, with that Flint left their room and continued to do his rounds.

Harry got dressed in the borrowed pyjamas and settled into bed, when three more boys joined the room. They introduced themselves, Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. It wasn't long before all first years were sleeping exhausted by the day's events.

Harry stayed up an extra five minutes, staring at the letter, cast in the moonlight he could see it was from someone called Remus Lupin. Unfortunately it was too dark to properly read the missive. So he would have to wait until tomorrow, distrustful of the others he placed the letter under his pillow protecting it.
Harry would get his answers soon.

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FLASHBACK CONTINUES - HOGWARTS

Harry woke up at six o'clock in the morning, everyone was still asleep. He was so used to getting up at this time that it was ingrained into him. Vernon left for work at seven; he was forced up at six to make breakfast, clear up and serve the Dursley's. The pyjamas were so comfortable on, if he had enough money to see him through he wanted to go to a shop and buy some. Since the Dursley's didn't want him back he didn't have to worry about them finding out about his gold. He wanted to leave and find the library but he knew he could never find it. This place was a castle, a real honest to god castle, it would be a maze. He did intend on finding out where it was though, he wanted to know everything about this world. He would need a map; hopefully the teachers would be able to give him one. Harry got up grabbing his letter from under his pillow, shivering at the cold dungeon floor before sneaking towards the Common Room. He noticed the fire blazing and immediately went over to it, pushing one of the chairs towards it. He had been very curious about this letter; Harry was surprised he'd been able to sleep! Although it had been a very tiring day.

With trembling fingers he opened the letter again, who was this Remus Lupin? And why had he written to him? Nobody else in his life had cared about him the slightest. Taking a deep breath he began reading the carefully written missive.

Harry,

I do sincerely hope you get this letter and you are well, the previous letters I have sent have always returned unopened. I am getting a little ahead of myself, I apologize, and it’s just that I have been looking forward to this day for a very long time. I am Remus Lupin; I was a friend of your mother and father. I came to love you as if you were my own blood, a nephew. You used to call me Uncle Moony, you can blame your father for that, your mother tried to get you to call me Remy but you weren't having any of it.

Harry laughed sadly at the letter, he knew nothing of his parents to hear about them spoken so casually in a letter hurt him in ways he found hard to understand. Yet he wanted to know more, he had only learned the truth yesterday. His parents hadn't been drunks at all, but a Witch and Wizard that had been murdered by this 'You-Know-Who’ but Harry had no idea who that was.

I have been looking for you since you were placed with your remaining family. Unfortunately I was unable to find them or you, during my searches over the years. It was almost as you all had faded from the face of the planet. You see, when I found out what happened I went straight to Sirius Black, your fathers best friend and =====

Harry wondered briefly what was written under there, it was all blacked out. He obviously hadn't been able to decide what to put. He couldn't deny he was curious now, so he continued reading the contents of the letter. As he did so he wondered what this man looked like and how he hadn't been able to find him. He knew that Dursley was a very popular name, especially in England. Obviously you couldn't find people with magic and he'd been doing it the normal way.

Sirius Black had been your father's best friend, and was named your godfather.

Harry stopped reading, stunned, if he had a godfather why the hell had he been left with the Dursley's? He might only be eleven but he knew his godfather should have been the one to get him. Which made him wonder how the hell he'd been given to the Dursley's.

Unfortunately when your parents died Sirius had no intentions of taking you in. I am sorry to have to tell you this but I’d rather you find out from me. Sirius and I split up shortly afterwards, not able to deal with the fall out of him abandoning you like he did. I went straight to the Headmaster Albus Dumbledore for help only to be denied. Do not trust him no matter how kind he is - he is a manipulative old ======= fool.

So this man and his godfather had been a couple? He'd never met anyone like that before. The Dursley's were extremely nasty about them, calling them all manner of names. Just because they weren't what the Dursley's qualified as normal. Thankfully Harry hadn't been brought up as one of the family, or he might not have liked it at all. Again there was a line through it, Harry was getting really curious about the blacked out dots. The Headmaster had been the one he'd seen smirking behind his goblet. He didn't find it hard to believe Remus Lupin. He was extremely angry that Dumbledore had kept this man away. What right did he have to decide who visited Harry?! He had to stop himself getting up and throttling the old fool. Unfortunately that would only get him expelled, and he did not want expelled.

I do not know what you've been told regarding your parents, so I will let you know. They were a part of the Order of the Phoenix, a secret organization charging themselves with one task, to bring about the downfall of a Dark evil wizard called Voldemort, but you might know him better as You know who or he who must not be named. If you hear anyone calling him the Dark Lord I suggest you run. The only people to call him the Dark Lord are sympathisers to his cause and Death Eaters, the men directly involved with Voldemort's plans and executing them. It was dangerous joining the Order, there was no doubt about that. Many disappeared, only a few of their bodies were ever found. Your parents were targeted for being part of that order; no one is quite sure what actually happened that Halloween night. What is known though is James died trying to save you and your mother. Unfortunately James was defeated, he went after your mother and she too fell to the dark wizard. This is where it gets tricky, just as he was going to turn his wand on you, someone intervened. Nobody knows who it was, but Voldemort was defeated.

Harry felt tears blurring his vision, for so long he'd thought them drunks. Yet it couldn't be further from the truth, they'd died to save him. This order had taken their life, he would forever blame that. If they'd just stayed out of it they would have been alive. He would have grown up with loving parents. Yet he couldn't find it in his heart to hate them for that. He wondered who had defeated Voldemort, and also why they kept it a secret? He would have had power beyond his imagining for defeating him, the ability to change and shape the world. He shook his thoughts off, before reading the last paragraph written.

If you want to know more, and don't hold the fact I couldn't find you, please get in touch anytime. Any owl you use will find me, they have owls at Hogwarts just ask any teacher to show you the way. I look forward to one day hopefully getting to meet you Harry. Take care of yourself and study hard, do your parents proud.

Remus J Lupin

"Hey Harry, what are you doing up so early?" asked Blaise coming into the common room fully dressed; evidently he had been looking for Harry, if the relief on his young face was anything to go by.

"Just reading my letter," said Harry hastily wiping his eyes as he stood up, not quite meeting Blaise' eyes.

"Come on, you can't be seen outside the common room dressed the way you were yesterday. Slytherin's always look after each other, you can borrow a set of mine, we have breakfast then we can go to Professor Slughorn. We aren't allowed to Diagon Alley until we are thirteen and with permission from a guardian, so the teacher will have to take you." said Blaise as he walked back up the stairs and entered their common room again. Normally there was only five beds to a dorm, but with six students it wasn't fair to one of them to be alone so they'd squashed another bed in.

"Oh, I guess Diagon Alley is the shopping place?" asked Harry as he was handed clothes, the cloak even had a Slytherin emblem sewn on already.

"Of course it is," sneered the blonde, Draco? He was sure he'd said his name was, adding his last name twice as if it was important. Harry made a mental note to ask the others if he was. Not that Harry really cared; he just wanted to know if he had to watch his back or not.

"Don't listen to him, come on I’ll show you the showers," said Blaise rolling his eyes at Draco, the idiot could go too far sometimes. Harry was a Potter, as well as a Slytherin and he deserved respect. Evidently Draco and Harry weren't going to get on; it was a good thing Blaise couldn't stand the blonde then.

"Is his family important?" asked Harry once he slipped into the shower stall, Blaise sat down and turned away to his friend privacy.

"Well, depends on who you ask, his father was a Death Eater, you know who's follower. When he was accused he got off claiming he was under the Imperius curse, and then started to climb the political ladder. They are also rich which means they have people in their pocket too. Nothing to worry about here since the Malfoy family doesn’t have anything to do with Hogwarts much. You'll find he will go on about his father a lot though." explained Blaise.

"Is Diagon Alley the only shopping place?" asked Harry scrubbing all the dirt and grime from his body. He'd never had a warm shower before; it was nice he liked it. He only wished he had some stuff to wash his hair with properly, it was very greasy.

"It's the only decent place, we also have Hogsmeade but that doesn't have many shops." said Blaise.

"Oh right," said Harry, grabbing the towel he dried himself off before grabbing the new clothes and putting them on. He noticed he warmed up almost immediately; they were so soft like the pyjamas and not threadbare and itchy and uncomfortable like his clothes. He grinned in happiness when he realized he could finally get rid of them. He slipped his letter into the borrowed cloak, making a mental note to remember and take it out when he gave them back.

"I'm hungry come on then, lets try and find our way back to the Great Hall," said Blaise, "The Professor will be there, so we can speak to him about getting you your supplies." he found it hard to believe a Potter knew nothing of the Wizarding world. Wizarding children were just not left with Muggles, it just wasn’t done. From what he'd been told the Muggles hadn't wanted Harry to come. It was beyond cruelty to him, to be denied a Hogwarts education.
Opening the portrait they began making their way along with the other Slytherin's, following the older years towards the Great Hall. "So how did you get here if he didn't want you coming?" wondering if Harry had run away.

"My Uncle took me to the train station, he didn't want to pay for my stuff but couldn't wait to get rid of me." said Harry shrugging indifferently, grinning inwardly just remembering his Uncle losing it when the owls continued coming. "Took me an hour to find the entrance though, that was by accident, I leaned against the pillar and fell through it." he flushed red when he admitted this.

"Good job you did, otherwise that's it, the teachers don't go running after students its up to us to get here." said Blaise.

"They sent me the damn ticket with no explanation!" grouched Harry as they entered the Great Hall once more. Harry looked around in amazement, stopping himself snarling at Dumbledore. How dare he? He wanted to fling his juice in his face! And remove that twinkle from his eye.

"Wait a teacher didn't come? And you were living with Muggles?" asked Blaise frowning in confusion.

"A giant called Hagrid came to make sure I got my letter but that’s it." said Harry, sliding into his seat gleeful at the amount of food! He finally felt hungry himself and both boys dug in eager for the day ahead. Harry desperately wanted to find the library and read all he could about magic and the things he might be able to do. He couldn't wait to get his wand, and practise! Hopefully he wouldn't accidentally turn his teacher's hair blue again. "Which ones our Head of House?" Harry asked curiously.

"See the guy in pale green next to the vampire? That's professor Slughorn." said Blaise.

"You mean a real vampire?" asked Harry excitedly, staring at the man curiously.

"Of course, we have loads of vampires, werewolf's…everything you'll learn about them in defence." said Blaise speaking with his mouth full of toast.

"Don't they need to drink…blood?" asked Harry remembering what he'd read in the normal world.

"Yes, he probably drinks it from the blood bank or donor," shrugged Blaise, "They get treated unfairly; they aren't allowed jobs or children. The Ministry is all screwed up, and terribly unfair." apparently Blaise had a strong aversion to how 'Dark creatures' were treated, especially given his family tree.

"If they get blood from a blood bank why are they treated that way? And he has a job." asked Harry perplexed, drinking his pumpkin juice.

"Probably the only vampire with a teaching job, normally they work down in Knockturn Alley, that's right next Diagon Alley," explained Blaise for Harry's benefit.

Harry thought on everything Blaise said, he guessed it was like how criminals were treated once they got out after doing their time in prison. The only problem with that was these people hadn't done anything wrong. It was deeply unfair; unfortunately there was nothing he could do about it.

"Professor, Harry needs to go to Diagon Alley to get his school supplies!" said Blaise as Professor Slughorn gave out their timetables for the upcoming year. Behind the timetable was a map of the school much to Harry's excitement.

"Why, Mr. Potter did you not go and get it during the summer?" asked Slughorn frowning at his new student, he was nevertheless proud of the students for following the rules, Slytherin's protected each other. One of them had to have given Harry something to wear, he was proud of his snakes. He wondered if Harry would have Lily's talent at brewing or if he'd be more like his father - geared instead towards Transfiguration. There was no doubt that Draco Malfoy was exactly like his father and grandfather before him. With an inflated ego and under the illusion their fathers were better, smarter and more important than everyone else. It was going to be a long seven years putting up with Malfoy without adding another prankster Potter added to the list.

"My Uncle didn't want to pay for me to come to this school, Sir," Harry told his teacher the truth, squinting to see him properly, but as always he didn't quite manage it.

Slughorn observed the eleven year old, properly looked at him, he was skinny far too skinny even the clothes he had on were nearly drowning him. Judging by the squinting of his eyes he needed them tested too. He decided to dig more into Harry's life see what he could find out. "Very well, I shall take you to Diagon Alley in twenty minutes, be ready to go and at the Entrance hall, Blaise, I trust you will show him the way?" asked Slughorn knowing both of them were getting on rather well. The child needed to read his books this weekend; otherwise he would have left it to Sunday afternoon when he had more free time. The beginning of the year was always chaotic especially with students getting lost, or some feeling homesick. Thankfully Marcus Flint would help; he'd been a very good Prefect and no doubt would make an outstanding Head boy. He'd had to fight like hell with Albus to get him it.

"Yes, Sir," said both boys before they fled the Great Hall.

Observing them curiously he went back to his task, then to his seat and gratefully sat down once the timetables were given out.

"Trouble already?" guessed Professor Langdon wryly, he taught Defence against the Dark Arts, and since he was already dead the curse did not affect him. It's why Dumbledore had been so eager to have him come on board. If he died then it was all the same after all he was just a vampire. Unbeknown to Dumbledore, Langdon was more than just a vampire; he served under the Severus Prince. Who had been organizing the vampires, for years now. He had well and truly proven himself to each and every vampire. He had fought many who wanted or had claimed the seat of power. Despite being a mere fledging his magic was powerful and his knowledge respectful, making him a formidable opponent. He had yet to lose a fight, and no one dared to challenge him. The name had been dragged through the mud when Eileen Prince didn't come into her own as a vampire. Yet Severus had restored it, and now there was a plan again, a purpose. He had been sent to spy on Dumbledore. His Occlumency was better than anyone else's, so it was an obvious choice for him to be chosen. The others were all given task to do. He missed his brethren, and he'd only been away one night.

"I'm afraid it's only starting," sighed Slughorn shaking his head in amusement. He got on well with the defence teacher; he unlike the other teachers didn't care if Langdon was a vampire. Then again Slughorn has always been an odd character, never letting anything stand in a way of what he wanted to do.

FLASHBACK CONTINUES - HARRY/BLAISE - HOGWARTS

"Who did you write to?" asked Blaise as they ran for the Entrance Hall hoping they'd not been late. He'd allowed Harry to borrow his owl since the school ones were dead slow. His female owl, Ari, had just returned from delivering a letter to and from his mother.

"Remember the letter last night? Well it was from a friend of my fathers, Remus Lupin I want to meet him." said Harry simply.

"Wait up!" yelled Theodore, "I've been trying to catch up with you to for ages! Don't leave me with Malfoy, I beg you." He finished theatrically.

Harry snickered; he found it hard to believe just yesterday he'd been worried about getting sent home or having no friends. The hat had been right; here he was meeting his true friends. "What did he do?" asked Harry, he glanced over at the Gryffindor table and noticed a chubby boy sitting by himself. The boy that left the hat on his head, Neville he looked very lonely. Turning back to his friends he smiled glad he had friends of his own despite his earlier fears.

"Went on about his father the entire time!" sighed Theodore exasperated. His father was going to be shocked he was being taught by a blood vampire, and how his father didn't let him bring his broomstick to school. He wasn't sure what else he'd tuned the boy out although Crabbe and Goyle had grunted every sentence he spoke.

"Told you," said Blaise smugly.

"There he is!" said Harry, pointing towards the teacher quickly making his way from the Dungeons.

"I'll see you later, I'll be in the common room reading," said Blaise, as Harry would come to find Blaise was a quiet eleven year old, who preferred blending into the background. Pretty much how Harry was, it looked as though they would make good friends.

"Alright, bye." said Harry just as Slughorn came within hearing distance.

"Come Mr. Potter, we have much to do and little time to accomplish it." said Slughorn; he was smiling at the eleven year old, almost comfortingly.

"Thank you Professor," said Harry as both student and teacher left the school grounds.

FLASHBACK CONTINUES - FIRST MEET - DIAGON ALLEY

"Hello Mr. Lupin!" said Harry grinning at Remus as if he'd never been happier to meet anyone in his life.

"Hello Harry, its nice to finally see you again after all these years, please call me Remus." said Remus putting his hand out and shaking Harry's hand, it felt extremely odd doing this with someone he considered his cub. Unfortunately he couldn't hug him, after all Harry didn't know him that well yet. He certainly didn't want to scare Harry away.

"Can I go with Remus to get my school things, Professor?" asked Harry politely.

Slughorn looked between them both realizing the little one had set it up. Perhaps he was truly meant for Slytherin after all, which meant if he did prank anyone he wouldn't be obvious about it. He wasn't sure if that should comfort him or not, he decided not very quickly.

"I can have him in the Leaky Cauldron for you at one o'clock? He can have lunch here first? Perhaps take him to get an ice cream?" asked Remus for once in his life taking charge. He didn't want him to say no, so he did the only thing that might prevent it. He didn't own much but he had enough to treat Harry to his first magical ice cream.

"Very well, one o'clock no later," said Professor Slughorn before he disappeared with a crack.

"Do you have your list Harry?" asked Remus his amber eyes were twinkling brightly, a small friendly smile on his face. He was so excited; he'd finally got to see his 'nephew' again after all this time.

"Yeah I do," said Harry bringing it out, "My uncle refused to pay for anything for me to come to this school…he didn't want me going."

Remus' eyes darkened upon hearing that, the reason he'd looked for Harry so much was because he knew Lily's sister didn't like magic. Lily had always made that abundantly clear and she'd always said that Harry would never see them. He could only imagine Lily's reaction to knowing Harry had actually lived there for ten years. He didn't understand why their wills had never been executed. He was pretty sure they had one; anyone with money had wills especially during a bloody war. Unfortunately he would never be able to have custody of Harry, he was a werewolf.

"Yes, I'll bet he didn't." said Remus his smile missing, "Come on then first stop Gringotts, the Wizarding bank it's where they keep the money in the magical world." he told Harry aware that he might not know anything about the Wizarding society. So he pointed out each and every shop on the way there. 'You will get your cauldrons in here' and 'That's where you get your uniform' 'That's where you get your ingredients' 'that's where you get your wand' it continued until they got all the way to the marble building.

"Wow," gaped Harry looking up in awe the building was huge, much bigger than the buildings that surrounded it.

Remus grinned as he continued on, oh yes; things were finally looking for the werewolf.

"It's run by the Goblins, nasty creatures if you try and steal anything. They are very sneaky, so always watch what you do or say around them." said Remus, cautioning Harry as they approached the teller. “Mr. Potter would like to make a withdraw,” he informed the goblin.

"Do you have your key?" was then asked.

"My key?" asked Harry his green eyes wide as he stared at Remus unsurely, once again squinting.

"I'll take that as a no, it's no problem Harry," said Remus actually unsure if it was. Where exactly was Harry's key and why hadn't he received any statements he was the last heir of the Potter line? "We wish to speak to someone regarding the Potter vaults immediately."

What could only be described as relief showed on the goblins face, before it became impassive and barked in its own language. Another teller stepped up, and then Remus and Harry were escorted into a room where another goblin was waiting.

"Welcome to Gringotts Mr. Potter, we have been waiting for this day for a long time." said Griptook. He had an uncanny resemblance to the Goblin Griphook who also worked there.

Harry just stared not sure what to do or say, he'd never interacted with any adult or child much in his life. He was used to being told what to do, so he looked at Remus helplessly lost.

"Why is that?" asked Remus taking a seat, and taking charge, he was unable to deny those pleading green eyes.

"Just hours after Lord and Lady Potter died it was decreed by the Ministry due to extenuating circumstances that the will not be read until Mr. Potter here wills it. The Potter vaults are in disarray, they’ve been in stagnation for ten years." said Griptook.

"I see just how are they in disarray?” asked Remus confused, sitting up straighter.

"For the past eleven years money has continued to go out but no money has been able to be made. All investments were stopped and we could not add more without permission from Heir Potter." said Griptook.

Remus looked aghast, "What money has been taken out?" asked Remus.

"The direct debits were set up by James Potter during the war," said Griptook grabbing files and placing them in front of him.

Remus felt his heart sink, "Where exactly is the money going and how much?" he finally asked dream consuming him.

"One hundred galleons to St. Mungo's, two hundred to the Hogwarts scholarship fund to help children affected because of the war. Two and half thousand to the Order of the phoenix." said Griptook.

"Scholarship fund?" gaped Remus, what the hell was James doing putting so much towards the scholarship fund? Most people just left some in their will they didn't give permission for each and every month! It was utter madness, and it had been going on for ten years. What the hell had convinced James to do that? He had not realized his friend was such an idiot, but a niggling doubt made him wonder if he hadn’t been pressured into it…coerced even.

"Yes," said Griptook.

"How much does Harry have left?" asked Remus he honestly dreaded the answer, he soothed himself with the fact at least Harry had houses. Houses spread all over the continent and if need be he could sell one of them.

"Here is a list of everything he owns," said Griptook handing over the paper.

Remus grabbed it and exhaled in disbelief, "Is there any way to get the money back? I mean from the Order since that was disbanded after James and Lily died. I should know I was a member."

"No sir there isn't," said Griptook.

"Is the money all gone?" asked Harry, how was he going to get his school things if all the money was gone?

"No, Harry, it's not," said Remus, but what he failed to tell him was it wouldn't last him five to ten years out of Hogwarts. He knew he would have to tell the child, Dumbledore had all but doomed him.

"Oh," said Harry relieved.

"But you have to watch what you are doing with it," cautioned Remus, "The Order was run by Dumbledore, but I doubt very much he will give it back. He has to know where the money was coming from, and yet he continued to accept it rather than send it back."

Harry bit back the retort on his lips, he had only been here one day yet he already hated the man with a vengeance.

"Stop them all immediately, start small investments that won't harm what he's got left, some that has a small guarantee for success. If they prove fruitful then make them bigger." said Remus, if it came to it he would get Harry to sell one of his homes too keep himself going. The price of homes had really shot up recently.

"We will do it immediately," said Griptook looking relieved.

"What about the will? Won’t that make me have less money?" asked Harry quietly.

"May we see a copy of Lily and James will?" asked Remus. The paper was passed over and Remus' heart clenched, it was Lily's writing. He looked it over, so he was supposed to have gone to Sirius and him. They'd found a loophole in the law, there was nothing about him being a part time guardian. Of course Lily found something; there was nobody cleverer than her. Unfortunately he was single now, and there was no hope of him getting custody. They'd left a substantial amount for him, and Peter but he was gone so were Alice and Frank really. So he would be the only one benefiting from it, he handed it over to Harry to let him decide. He wasn't going to decide because well…it would be him benefiting after all. "Peter, Alice and Frank are all gone, only I would be getting anything but seeing all you have left I'd prefer it if you didn't.” he found it hard getting a job yes, found it hard getting by yes, but he wasn't about to take money from an eleven year old boy who only had enough money to see him until he was twenty to twenty five years old. It was a good thing his Hogwarts tuition had already been paid.

"He also has his single vault for school purposes, books, sweets, uniform etc…" said Griptook finding yet another piece of paper.

"Brilliant that will last him his seven years, we need the key for that one," said Remus immediately.

Nodding Griptook immediately handed Harry his new key. "This lets you pay for everything in a shop, without having to come to Gringotts every month. Now this is a statement, you will get one each month exactly like it. If the seal has been broken alert us immediately. If you do not receive one next month you write to us about it." he handed over a card and statement.

"Okay, thank you sir," said Harry respectfully.

Griptook's mouth moved it was almost as if the goblin was smiling, but that couldn't be. Remus shook his head and looked at and nope it was blank he definitely had imagined it.

"I want the will executed, I don't need to be there, do I?" asked Harry.

"Sign this Mr. Potter, then this, which means you read the will and accepted what's given. That is what's left of your parents estate." said Griptook, handing over the piece of papers, he was extremely glad Harry had come in. They'd given up all hope when he didn't come in during the summer. They'd been aware that this was his year for attending Hogwarts. Yet nary a sign had been seen; now they could rest easy that the Potter vaults may flourish once more. It would take a long time for it to get to its former glory but they could do it. They'd done it once before, a very long time ago.

Harry signed it and before long Remus signed his too and they were off, no doubt Remus would get a letter with a key to his new vault from James later today. It made him feel extremely guilty, but perhaps he could spend it on Harry, he had many birthdays to make up for.

"Ice cream or school things first Harry?" asked Remus smiling softly, hoping to take the money troubles of the child. He was too young to worry about things like that, he thanked Merlin it wasn't more otherwise Harry would have well and truly been left penniless.

"Get my school things other than the wand then get the ice cream?" suggested Harry grinning widely, his green eyes gleaming with excitement.

"Harry can you see what that shop sign says?" asked Remus pointing towards the Potions shop, Harry squinted almost painfully. He realized his eyes were extremely bad worse than James' had been.

"Er…no," said Harry staring at Remus curiously.

"Nobody has noticed you need glasses?" asked Remus doubtfully, he had noticed and he'd only been in Harry's presence for half an hour if that.

"Yes, the school nurse told my aunt, my cousin destroyed them when beat me up one day they didn’t help anyway, just gave me headaches." said Harry simply shrugging his shoulders.

A feral look came to Remus' eyes Harry would not go back there if he had his say. Even if he had to keep Harry in his flat. Then go as far away as possible during the full moon so no accidents occurred. "Then we will go and see about getting glasses or corrective surgery."

"You can get your eyes fixed here too?" asked Harry.

"Yes," said Remus, he believed it was a recent development copied of course by the Muggles.

"With a laser?" asked Harry he couldn't see it not with all the magic.

"Oh no, it's a potion, costs quite a bit but it might be a worthy investment, that way you wont need to continue buying glasses every few years." said Remus, he would gladly pay for it, his first gift to Harry so to speak.

"Good idea," said Harry nodding enthusiastically, he was all for the treatment.

"Yes it is," agreed Remus, "Now let's get it done before we end up late for Professor Slughorn."

Over the course of the afternoon Remus told him many things about the Wizarding world. About all the subjects he'd learn at Hogwarts, about Hogsmeade, Knockturn Alley, even Diagon Alley and everything he could think of. Harry was an avid listener and a keen questioner. Remus actually enjoyed himself, he also warned Harry away from Dumbledore and the Order members again. He didn't want Harry having anything to do with them, not after what he’d just learnt. Stealing money from an orphan, just how low could Dumbledore get?

-() END FLASH BACK ()-

 

PRESENT TIME - REMUS' FLAT

"Harry? Harry?!" shouted Remus his amber eyes filled with concern.

"What?" asked Harry coming out of his thoughts.

"Are you alright?" asked the werewolf deeply worried.

"Sorry I'm just remembering the first time we met." grinned Harry.

"Ah," smirked Remus wryly, nodding his head, things had been looking up that day. He had worn a hole in the carpet just waiting on Harry replying, he'd felt deflated when he did reply and it was so small. Yet hope had bloomed moments later, as he finally after ten years got to see Harry again. Now it had all come crumbling down around them when Voldemort came back. The world James and Lily had fought and ultimately paid the price with their lives to protect was at stake yet again with another war. The son they'd died to protect was in more danger than ever, but Remus vowed nothing would harm him.

Neither of them were aware of the goings on that would everything, for the better or for the worst they would need to wait and see.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 3

Nymphadora Tonks warily made her way to Grimmauld Place. She’d tried looking for him yesterday but she’d been unable to find him anywhere. She had written a missive, in which he had responded with a Patronus Message informing her he would speak to her at her earliest convenience. Which meant right away and the ‘earliest convenience was merely a politeness.

"Headmaster," said Tonks as she entered the kitchen, the place was so different from when she first saw it. Black, disgusting and run down, it truly lived up to the name ‘grim’ ‘auld’ ‘place’ but once Molly tore into it…she’d wondered if it was truly the same place. Now they rarely thought about how it used to be, at least she rarely thought about it except rare circumstances when she hadn’t been to the place in a while.

"Ah, Tonks, how did it go?" asked Dumbledore, he didn’t hold out much hope that she could convince Remus to join. Especially seeing that Sirius had failed so spectacularly and Sirius was the only one the werewolf listened to. Or had been in the past, the falling out they’d had over Sirius not taking Harry in had been permanent much to his disbelief. Still, he didn’t quite care as much as he had a few days ago; he had the vampires on his side. All it had required was the promise of Harry Potter.

"He refused, I don't think anything we say could win him over," said Tonks seriously, feeling a tremendous amount of guilt that she couldn’t do as he asked. Especially seeing the weight on the Headmaster’s shoulders.

"That is disappointing," said Dumbledore quietly, "Even if you had succeeded I do not think he would have stuck around long." he was very aware of the bond Lupin had with the Potter boy. No doubt he would cause some trouble, but in the end there was nothing he could do. It was all legal and above board, at least it had the appearance of being so.

"What do you mean?" Tonks asked surprised, and then she saw the look of renewed hope on his face.

"The vampire Lord has agreed to join our side," said Albus, his eyes twinkling brightly with triumph. “At long last we now hold sway over the war,”

Tonks jaw dropped, vampires never agreed to join sides, never mind a vampire lord. What the hell had Dumbledore promised them to even begin the negotiations? She couldn't help herself, she was totally impressed, and awe was evident from the look on her face. "How?" she eventually managed to ask wide eyed. Renewed hope beginning to flare, they might just actually be able to successfully end Voldemort’s reign of terror after all.

"I have my means," Albus said with an indulgent smile, he always played his cards close to his chest. No doubt they would be quite upset with the measures he took, despite their faith and loyalty. So, no, they would never know the truth, but he would give a fairytale version of it.

The awe on their faces would just make him feel even more powerful. He loved the hero worship. Always had, right from the very beginning, it begun with his teachers at Hogwarts at the age of eleven. They'd been impressed with his magic, his power and he'd been hooked from then on in. He needed the approval, the acclamation, the adoration. Then he'd been determined to prove the Deathly hallows were real, prove they weren't just a myth as they believed. That had gone to pot when it all went wrong, his sister had died. Then all of a sudden he was known everywhere for defeating the Dark Lord Grindelwald. He had been offered the Minister of magic position, electing to refuse and become Headmaster, revelling in the awe children would give him and the fact he would be the deciding factor in the belief of generations of children. Hand picking certain ones along the way to join his cause.

"I see," said Tonks thoughtfully, he was amazing, he could get anyone on side. It was no wonder Voldemort was scared of him, with his resources and ability to talk anyone into anything. He truly should have become Minister of Magic, but she liked that he never let power get to his head. Speaking of Ministry, she had to get to work; she was going to be late! "I have to go sir; my shift starts in five minutes!"

"Of course, please use the Floo," said Albus graciously, once Tonks left he made his way to Hogwarts, he had a meeting with Sirius in a few hours. He held no fear that the portraits would do or say anything he didn’t directly approve of, they had long ago been spelled with secrecy charms the day he stepped foot in the Headmaster’s office after his appointing.

--------0

Sirius Black Apparated to Hogwarts, a yawn stretching across his face. He'd just done a double shift, he was exhausted. He would have gone straight to bed; unfortunately Albus wanted him for something. The Sirius Black would never have run straight to Dumbledore, unfortunately the undetectable compulsion potions, were still running thickly through his veins. Everyone knew the Auror's were regularly tested for irregularities, potions, and spells the whole nine yards. When someone knew what the Auror's looked for, it was no surprise that they would find ways to beat it. Which was unfortunate for Sirius.

Fifteen minutes later, Sirius knocked on the Headmaster's office door exhaustion thrumming through him.

"Come in Sirius!" said Albus loudly, when the Auror entered he beamed at the man. Sirius had been much more successful than he'd ever dreamed he would be. It just cemented the fact he knew he'd done the right thing. Potter had been insignificant, a nuisance since he'd been born. He'd had to talk the Potter's out of leaving the Order, using their son living in a world of fear to inspire them to stay and fight. To think he'd almost lost Sirius Black to raising Potter, the thought was intolerable. He shook his thoughts off; it was after all in the past. Sirius had become an Auror, took a seat in the Wizengamot after the death of his parents, and always did as he requested. It was a shame he’d been forced to resort to it, he did not regret it.

"Hello Albus, you wanted to see me?" asked Sirius sitting down, smiling Albus like a grandson would a grandfather. Trusting him impeccably without even wondering why, likelihood the original trust had a part to play in why that happened.

"I did indeed, Sirius, I want you to sign these," said Albus handing over three pieces of parchment.

Drugged or not, Sirius didn't just sign it, he read all paperwork that came his way, especially if he had to sign it. It was deeply ingrained into him; pureblood's always taught their children never to sign anything they didn't know. It was probably one of the first things they learned upon being able to read and write. Part of Sirius was horrified at what he was reading; he didn't want to sign them.

"Sign them Sirius," said Albus as if he could sense Sirius' hesitation.

"Why?" Sirius questioned sitting up straight, his face strained as he fought the compulsions upon him.

"Sign them Sirius, we can win the war with this," said Albus, a compulsion charm leaving his wand and hitting Sirius square in the stomach. Sirius doubled over, a small groan leaving his lips, and then he slumped down. His will once again fading into the background, as he signed the papers in front of him. Sealing his godson's fate to Dumbledore's tender mercies.

Dumbledore realized he would need to get his source to brew another batch of the potion, it seemed as though his hold on the Auror was weakening. He couldn't allow that to happen, not just because people would find out. No it's also because he knew Sirius Black would murder him if he snapped out of it, or die trying. He was a Black, and Dumbledore had never forgotten that fact.

"Is that all sir?" asked Sirius docilely.

"That's all, you may go." said Albus, this time he felt no guilt as the Animagus left. He was doing what he had to do for the greater good, this time he knew it was for sure. Standing up he grabbed his Floo powder and exited out at the Ministry. The papers clutched in his hands, feeling extremely pleased with himself.

----------0

After making a grand entrance, Albus made his way through the Ministry, pressing the button to call the elevator to him. Stepping in he pressed the button and held on to the loop atop the lift. Keeping himself securely on his feet as he was zoomed towards the floor he had chosen.

The smugness was rolling off him in waves; he couldn't have suppressed it if he tried. Finally he could have the boy picked up and send to the vampire Lord and complete the negotiations. It had been a tough couple of weeks, just laying low waiting until Harry turned sixteen.

He passed the Aurors stations, small cubicles that held the trainee Auror's, and all the way to the other end of the hall smiling in greeting. The door he entered was a large office, with ten tables smattered around, with the Auror's name written on it. Sirius Black's was the main one, but even he wouldn't force this on Black. He wasn't totally heartless, who was he kidding? No he just didn't want to take the chance he could fight the compulsions he'd placed on him. Not until he acquired another dose of the loyalty potion he had been imbibing the wizard with for many years now.

"Ah Kingsley, glad I caught you," said Albus as he almost collided with the Auror.

"I've been called out," said Shacklebolt, who was just about to leave the room, slightly surprised that Albus was approaching him, he kept a low profile from anyone known to be in the Order of the Phoenix. His job was too important to risk being fired for joining a ‘vigilante cause’ not that it was a concern right now, but it had happened during the last war, and no doubt would come about this time too.

"Have one of the others do it, I need you to pick up Harry Potter," said Albus, "It's vitally important."

Kingsley stopped turning to face Albus, judging his seriousness for a few seconds.

"Smith!" barked the Auror, "New Assignment get to it." giving him over the paperwork, nodding his head abruptly. He was the leader when Black wasn't there, which adamantly was rare. Sirius rarely left the office, its how he’d gotten so high up so quickly. He didn’t have a life; he lived for capturing dark wizards. The death of his friends had broken something in the wizard.

"What do you need Harry Potter for?" asked Shacklebolt, a rare frown on his face, mentally calculating his age. He was what? Sixteen or turning sixteen this summer? Albus didn't normally recruit teenagers into the Order, and he'd never shown an interest in Potter before. Seeing the information he realized it was the boy’s birthday today.

"He is now my ward and responsibility." said Albus without so much as batting his eyelashes.

"Yet you need an Auror to bring him in?" asked Shacklebolt his brown eyes regarding Dumbledore with rising suspicion. The big question was why, why on earth was Dumbledore so keen to get his hands on Harry Potter. He unlike the others wasn’t blindly obedient.

"Yes," said Dumbledore his voice sharp, he did not like getting questioned by one of his own loyal followers.

"Fine," said Shacklebolt, it wasn't as if he had a choice really, if it wasn't him it would be someone else. He wasn't stupid, the reason Dumbledore needed him was because the boy obviously wouldn't come quietly. He didn't feel right about forcing a sixteen-year-old anywhere, unfortunately legally Harry had no choice, nor did he have a leg to stand on. He was still curious about the why though, why was Dumbledore interested in Harry Potter.

"Thank you, bring him straight to Hogwarts." said Albus commanded, patting Shacklebolt on the arm giving him a look that said ‘trust me I have a reason for everything I do’ before he exited the Auror’s office and out of Shacklebolt’s line of sight.

Shacklebolt shook his head, something was up, and he just wished he had time to do a little digging. Staring at the papers again, he realized Black had relinquished his godfather duties, passing all responsibilities to Dumbledore. Black never mentioned Harry, truth be told he'd changed when the Potters' died. Choosing instead to work his way up the ranks.

"Hey Shack, what's up?" asked Tonks as she re-entered the squad room. She had called it that once, and it had stuck. Now everyone called it the squad room. Tonks had been raised in the Muggle world after all, with her pureblood mother and Muggle-born father.

"Just got an order, from Dumbledore." whispered Shacklebolt as he moved around her.

"You too huh?" said Tonks frowning, Dumbledore didn't normally come here; he didn't want anyone to know who the potential members of the orders were. The Headmaster wasn't widely liked in the Ministry, but it was the Death Eaters and spies that made them really leery. "What has he asked you to do?" she asked curiously, it must be important if he had come here.

"Picking up Harry Potter." said Shacklebolt.

"Picking up?" asked Tonks "Why?" what had he done that would warrant an Auror to arrest him? What Dumbledore had told her earlier rang through her mind…'Even if you had succeeded I do not think he would have stuck around long.' oh no what had the Headmaster done?

Shacklebolt showed her the papers, watching her pale completely bewildered by the sick look crossing her features. She had a good idea what Dumbledore had done; she wasn't an Auror for nothing. Yes she was clumsy but she sure as hell wasn't stupid.

"Tonks? What's going on…what do you know?" demanded Shacklebolt.

"You'll find out soon enough," said the normally bubbly girl still sounding completely shocked.

"Tonks," groaned Shacklebolt in frustration.

"I have to go," said Tonks beating a hasty retreat, not allowing Shacklebolt the chance to stop her. She ran as fast as she could, bumping into people, walls and tripping up on her own feet. She didn't let it deter her as she finally burst through the Ministry's doors and Apparated away. She wasn’t one hundred percent sure but she’d rather act if there was even a possibility that she was correct.

----------0

"Thank Merlin you're here!" said Tonks her relief shining like a beacon.

"What's wrong with you?" asked Remus blinking at her sudden reappearance. Was he going to have Auror's bursting in? Why else would she be so relieved to see him? It made no logical sense whatsoever. It didn’t have the social visit vibe to it at all.

"Where's the boy?" asked Tonks urgently.

"The boy?" asked Lupin at loss.

"Harry! Where's Harry!" asked Tonks, wanting to give him warning, she didn't care about the vampires. This wasn't right, signing a sixteen year old over to vampires was sick. The horror she felt made her want to sick up, fortunately for her she'd not had anything to eat since yesterday afternoon. She couldn't believe what Dumbledore had done; she didn't know if that's the organization she wanted to be associated with. She had sworn an oath as an Auror to protect ALL innocents. Harry was an innocent; he didn't deserve what had happened to him. Damn Sirius Black to hell for going through with it! She'd kill him when she got her hands on him.

"Why?" asked Lupin now on the defensive. What the hell did an Auror want with the boy he considered his son?

"Where is he!" yelled Tonks her face filled with hopeless desperation, she only had minutes to warn him, if that Shacklebolt might have already located him.

"He's staying at his friends, he always stays there." said Lupin, in fact he'd told Harry to speak to his friend, Teddy was going through a hard time right now with his fathers persistence insistence that he return home to do his duty otherwise he would be disinherited.

"You have to warn him," said Tonks her eyes wide, "Dumbledore's gotten custody of him."

“Why?” Remus questioned utterly bewildered, Dumbledore had never shown Harry the slightest bit of attention.

“I’m not sure but…he just gained the allegiance of the vampire Lord…now he has custody of Harry…and he said you wouldn’t stick around anyway after I told him you said no…”

She didn't get a chance to finish before Remus was reaching for the Floo Powder, determination written across his body. He wasn't about to let Dumbledore get a finger on his son! He'd run with him for a year if that was the case - he didn't know how but damn it, he wasn't going to let this happen. He shouted in the Floo destination, he whirled through, wishing it would hurry up….then he bounced back - spat out at his own house.

"We're too late," said Tonks horrified, "He's disconnected the Floo Network." which meant the Anti-Apparation wards were already placed up - he had no way of escaping. Damn it why had Shacklebolt not given her more time? Didn't he realize what they were doing? It made them no better than Voldemort.

"NO!" snarled Remus his entire body shaking with rage as his amber eyes conveyed a deep uselessness of the situation.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 4

"Blaise!" yelled Maria Zabini her voice shrill with worry and panic, as she felt the wards flaring up in warning. Something or someone was trying to get into her manor, making it completely impossible for her to leave. Terror filled her, why would the Dark Lord attack them? They'd always been neutral in the war; they'd never joined either side. Were they there for Theodore? She ran for her son, clutching the pendant around her neck. She wouldn't leave without him, he was her everything, the only thing she had from her soul mate, the one man she'd truly loved. He was her baby boy, even if he was all grown up now. She barrelled into them in the hall way, their faces becoming concerned at her appearance.

"Mum! What's wrong?" asked the dark long haired boy, worried by his mother's pale stricken face.

"Come," she said, grabbing all of them as she clutched the pendant around her neck, "Safe heaven!" she cried activating the pendant. She had feared something like this would happen; now it was…she was terrified. She sighed in relief as she felt the Portkey activating, much to her horror it didn't take off. They had put Anti-Apparation and Anti-Portkey wards around the manor, her face pale and clammy; she grabbed them and ran, running towards the panic room which had been installed during the first war by her first husband.

"Get in there and stay there do you hear me?" she said opening the panel which was hidden behind the bookshelves. It was fire resistant, damage resistant, smoke resistant silent and ever other charm Blaise's father had thought off.

"MUM NO! Come with us!" said Blaise grabbing his mother, stopping her from pushing him inside.

"NO! They know I'm here, do not come out do you hear me?" she said, forcefully removing her sons hand and finally getting him inside. "Do not let him out! I love you," she couldn’t let her last words be anything other than those. She flicked her wand sealing the door, tears filling her eyes, but her heart felt at ease her son would be fine. He would survive, taking a shaky breath; she fled the room not wanting to be in there should they connect the dots.

She calmly sat back down in the living room chair, waiting whatever that would come through her door. She had no way out, her Floo had been disconnected, and Anti-Apparation and Anti-Portkey's were in place. She was effectively a sitting duck, her only consolation was the fact her son would be fine. There was food in the panic room to last them a few weeks. Five seconds later, she jumped when her door was blown from its hinges. Swallowing thickly, she stiffened, her eyes widened in astonished disbelief when an Auror stalked into her living room like he belonged there, wand out at the ready.

"How dare you attack my home!" said Maria standing up, the fear she'd been experience had given way to fury. She would sue them for everything they had, the entire department.

"I am Auror Shacklebolt, and I'm here for Harry Potter," said Shacklebolt showing her the paperwork to prove he had legal rights to remove Harry from the premises. As well as his cards proving he was indeed an Auror, it was similar to the ID cards police officers used.

"Last I looked; this was Zabini Manor, not Potter Manor. As soon as you leave I'm going to have you brought up on charges." said Maria her face a mask of utter contempt, she had been terrified for her life because of this man, he should have come to the door! That wasn’t protocol used for retrieving someone! Especially not someone who wasn’t a criminal.

"Word was he is here." said Shacklebolt, an unsure look upon his face. Dumbledore had upon the paper that he stayed in Zabini Manor. If Dumbledore was wrong, there was a chance he could lose his job. None of his worry showed on his face, he stared blankly ahead as if her words had no effect on him.

"You scared me half to death, fearing there was a Death Eater attack, on hearsay?" snarled Maria, truly intimidating. She wasn't about to hand Harry over, she thought of him as a second son. She'd known the boy for six years; Blaise and Harry were like brothers, along with Theodore. If she even thought about giving him up, Blaise would never forgive her either.

"Then you won't mind me using a spell to verify that?" enquired Shacklebolt impassively, small beads of sweat trickling down his head.

"Go ahead, the quicker you get out of my manor the quicker I will be at the Ministry." said Maria crossing her arms, not the least bit worried that he'd find anyone or anything.

Shacklebolt wanted to close his eyes, fidget but he did none of that, instead of used the spell that would tell him if anyone else was in the manor. Sweating worse now, he waited with bated breath, for the results to come to him. Breathing out in disbelief, nobody else was in the manor; his work had been for nothing. Now he was in danger of being suspended or worse still fired. "It seems we were wrong, I do apologize.”

"Now get out of MY HOUSE!" letting her anger show through at the end of her statement.

"Yes, ma’am.” said Shacklebolt, there was truly nothing he could do, nobody else was here. He stalked back out, fixing the door as he went with a flick of his wand. He removed the wards he'd placed and with his tail between his legs Apparated to the Ministry dreading what may come.

Technically speaking, it hadn't been legal; it hadn't been approved by his superiors.

Maria closed her eyes in relief once she regained control of her wards, she would need to make them stronger if one wizard was able to overcome them. Perhaps it was time to apply blood wards, they were slightly illegal but right now she didn't care. All she cared about was keeping her son safe. From everyone who would see harm coming to him. Once she was sure Shacklebolt was off her property she went to the panic room, no doubt her son was terrified of what might be happening.

"MUM!" cried Blaise in relief upon seeing her unharmed when she finally opened the door. He immediately replaced his wand and hugged her, uncaring that he was crying in front of his friends. It wasn't a very Slytherin move to make, but everyone had some Hufflepuff in them. Their loyalty to those they loved.

"What happened?" asked Theodore, fear written across his face, it was obvious he thought they'd been there for him.

Maria looked deeply uncomfortable but nevertheless she spoke the truth, "Albus Dumbledore gained custody of Harry. An Auror was here looking for him, I'm afraid it will only be a matter of time before they find you." said Maria.

"Why?" yelled Harry his eyes wide, as he stared at the woman in total and utter shock.

"I do not know," said Maria regarding Harry sadly, she didn't understand it any better than he did. Why would Dumbledore want custody of Harry? It made no logical sense whatsoever. He'd been at Hogwarts for five years, starting his sixth this year. He'd never once showed any kind regard for him, in fact Harry said he pretty much ignored him. The same went for all the Slytherins, which was the way they liked it really. "Perhaps I could get in touch with Professor Slughorn and see what I can find out." Slughorn liked Harry a great deal, he'd even checked on him his first summer here. To make sure he was settling in fine, he'd even found out about the Dursley's and as head of house, and guardian during the school year he'd allowed Harry to stay there. She wished she'd taken him in through official channels, so he would not be in this predicament he was in now.

"This makes no sense," said Blaise, "Can you reach him today?"

"Yes, but no doubt we will be watched closely, if not by the Ministry then by Dumbledore and his Order. Harry cannot be seen, otherwise they will be back." Maria cautioned, straightening her back.

"He would get me if I was back at Hogwarts wouldn't he? Which means I can't go." said Harry his heart sinking. Hogwarts was his home, he wanted to finish his education but it looked as though it wasn't going to be possible.

"He wouldn't dare do anything in public; once you are back at Hogwarts you should be safe. Then you would only have to put up with him a month until your birthday. After that you will be free of him, you will be an adult in the eyes of the Wizarding world." Maria informed him, trying to comfort him.

"He wants my money doesn't he?" said Harry his eyes darkening in fury, everyone there knew Dumbledore had been stealing his money for ten years. They knew everything; he trusted them with his life and would defend them with his.

"I can see no other logical explanation for his motives." Maria answered slowly, which was the truth of the matter.

"He will already be getting it right?" sighed Harry, after five years of making money again Dumbledore was going to take it all back. He felt sick, and wished, desperately wished he could scream and yell at the world for the unfairness of it.

"How did he get custody of him?" asked Theodore.

"There is only one way he could have accomplished it," said Maria wincing, she knew Harry was not going to be happy. "Sirius Black must have given up all magical rights to him. Not even the Dursley's would have been able to sign Harry over to him." the Dursley's had rights to him as last living relatives, but Black, Black could control the Potter fortune and Harry, well not anymore. He'd given Harry over to Dumbledore, for reasons they couldn't fathom.

"I HATE HIM!" snarled Harry his hands fisted at his side, as his magic nearly exploded in front of them.

"Harry calm down, if your magic is registered here they will be right back," Maria cautioned, gripping his shoulders, calming the sixteen year old down.

This was the only reason Harry managed to keep his magic calm, the thought of Dumbledore getting his hands on him left him cold and hollow. The four occupants of the study jumped when a sudden yell surrounded the manor.

"HARRY!" yelled a voice they all knew. Remus Lupin. It was filled with desperation and fear, Harry was about to go to him but Maria stopped him. "Don't, it may not be him. It could be a trick." she said suspiciously. "Go back into the room." she said. It was magically sealed, as proved it stopped anyone realizing they were there, Unplottable, undetectable, and magically concealing. It was definitely her husband's best work. How she missed him especially on days like this, he would have thrived with events such as these happening around him.

"What was the first thing you ever said to me?" asked Maria, her wand rose staring at Remus impassively, if it turned out to be a stranger she would kill him.

Remus stared at her blankly before his brain kicked into gear, "I hope you don't mind a werewolf in your manor." yes he'd told her, she would have found out sooner or later. Considering he'd never be around at the time of the full moons. Plus Harry had spoken in regard to how Blaise wasn't prejudice, and how he'd spoken often of Werewolves and Vampires, having such a bad deal. He'd taken a risk and it had paid off thankfully.

Maria lowered her wand, feeling greatly relieved that it truly was Remus Lupin.

"Where is he? Please tell me he's still here." said Remus still on the floor his eyes filled with despair and a small dose of hope.

"He is, for the moment. I do not think Dumbledore will give up." said Maria, expecting Remus to be confused and ask why, but he didn't. Curious, did that mean he already knew? If so why hadn't he done anything?

"Tonks told me," said Remus upon seeing Maria's curiosity.

"The Auror? Why would she say anything? And how would she know?" asked Maria, standing there confused.

“She figured it out,” Remus whispered, beginning to feel the ache in his throat, his shout had stung fiercely; he knew he’d be feeling it for days.

Maria turned around and went back into the study, opening the door once more and letting them out. They weren't so hysterical this time, just gazing at her enquiringly, she nodded that it was truly Remus and then Harry bolted for him.

"Remus!" said Harry running towards him hugging him, he wasn't one for big displays of affection, but right now he obviously needed it. Remus just crushed him into a tight embrace, not wanting to let him go. His racing heart finally slowing down, he was fine, he was safe…for the moment. Both of them knelt on the floor relieved. "Why? Why is he doing this?" he asked his voice muffled by Remus' clothes.

"I don't know cub, I don't know." said Remus just as bewildered as Harry when it came to Dumbledore's motivations. "We'll find out, I promise, if it's the last thing I do - ill find out."

"I think we can all use some coffee don't you?" said Maria, summoning a house elf to do her bidding before sinking down onto her sofa overwrought by today's events. Everyone else did the same thing, Remus sat next to Harry, keeping his son in sight. A few minutes later, the House-Elf returned with coffee and a selection of scones, croissants, cheese, butter jams and of course biscuits to dunk into their brews.

"Please, help your self’s,” said Maria gratefully making her own.

"What are you going to do about Hogwarts?" asked Blaise, what if Harry didn't go back? It wouldn't be the same. It would be as if part of him was missing, he and Harry and Teddy had been side by side for five years. They'd attended the same classes, shared the same dorm, and shared magazines, broomsticks and even clothes on occasion. They were brothers in all but blood.

"I don't know." said Harry his shoulders hunched in defeat.

"You should be fine when you get to Hogwarts, Dumbledore wouldn't pull anything in public, would he Remus?" Maria questioned, asking for the man's opinion.

"If he did, he is very good at getting everyone to believe him. We need to find out why first before we even think of suggesting going back to Hogwarts." said Remus, "You best not leave here Harry, it's the safest place for you. With Maria's permission I will come here to see you when I can. No doubt I'll be closely watched so it might be unsafe for me. I wont be writing so do not open any letters. I won't have you Portkey'd from under my nose."

"This is going to suck!" grumbled Harry, stuck here all summer not able to go out; normally he went to Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade during the summer. He just knew he was going to go insane before the end of the summer holidays.

"I'm going to see Tonks," said Remus, placing his empty cup on the tray, "Thank you." he then said to Maria, for keeping Harry safe, for not giving him up, and a million other reasons.

"It's no problem." Maria insisted she didn’t want to see Harry in Dumbledore’s clutches any more than Remus did.

"Be safe," said Remus clutching Harry's shoulder tightly before reluctantly leaving, he needed answers.

---------0

Remus was spat out into his flat after an uncomfortable ride through the Floo Network; he looked around wondering if Tonks was still there, then he saw her. She was sitting on one of his high back chairs; looking as lost as he felt, did he look like that?

“How sure are you about the vampires and Harry?” Remus questioned her, sitting forward his face calm but betrayed by his eyes which were probing intently.

“Enough to have come here, betray the Order, Dumbledore and everything to do the right thing,” Tonks told Remus, “I hope I’m wrong, I really do, I don’t want to think Dumbledore is capable of something like this. Handing over a kid to be a donor for a vampire Lord? I don’t care if it meant that the Vampire Lord would join the light side…this makes us no better than Voldemort.” her righteous passion laced words holding no deceit.

Remus nodded, agreeing with her, he was grateful she had told him, but he would have already known by this. Harry told him everything, but he wouldn’t have known just what Dumbledore had intended to do - or at least a guess as to what he may have had planned.

“Thank you,” he whispered, staring at her before turning to face the fire, despite it’s warmth he did not feel it. Breathing deeply, he began to mentally calculate how much it would cost for him and Harry to live in the Muggle world for a year until he turned seventeen. They wouldn't be able to live in one of the Potter properties, since Dumbledore would have control of them.

No, they would have to stay in the Muggle world. He'd have to find work, and put the place they would live in under Fidelus Charm. What he had would only buy them half a year if they were lucky, Merlin knows what they'd do during the full moon. He couldn't stay in the same house as Harry; it was out of the question. Fuck things had just gotten highly dangerous and fucked up in a single day. He was safe for now in Zabini Manor, but nowhere was truly safe. Even now he was worried that they'd find Harry.

-------0

"Are you going to go to the Ministry then mum?" asked Blaise, after they finally got the whole story from her, from the second they'd been locked up in the panic room, until the Auror left.

"Under the circumstances I am unsure of what to do," said Maria, "Going might just put unwarranted attention on us."

"They might leave us alone longer or forever if you do complain," said Theodore, the Ministry didn't like messing with the Pureblood's, especially with the amount of money they had. The Ministry didn't like handing out money to those who sue them. No company did come to that.

"I don't want you getting in trouble for me," said Harry, terrified at the repercussions it might lead to for Mrs. Zabini, Blaise and Theodore. "Maybe I should leave?" he could live out in the forests for a year. It could be no different than living with the Dursley's. He'd gone without much food for nearly ten years. He could do it again surely? He didn't want the man he loved like a father to get arrested either. Remus wouldn't survive in Azkaban; if he survived they would know he was a werewolf, which might prolong his stay for failing to notify the Ministry. He'd never felt more useless since learning about magic.

He had always thought he didn't have a Gryffindor bone in his body, but part of him wanted to give himself up to save them. Evidently he had more Gryffindor in himself than he liked to think. Yet a huge part of him, Slytherin part, just wanted to flee, to keep them safe and stay out of Dumbledore's hands until he turned seventeen. He knew he wouldn't survive long without them though; he'd grown to rely on them so much since he was eleven.

"No Harry, you would just be caught out there," said Maria, "Trust me, I think that's what they will expect you to do, its what most sixteen year olds would do. Just stay put, and near that room at all times. If I tell you to run that is where you go do you understand? They won't be able to find you in that room." Her voice becoming stern, the tone she used when she wanted them to obey her immediately.

Harry nodded his head reluctantly; he knew she was right; he was a sitting duck out there.

"Don't worry Harry, maybe Remus will find out what he wants?" suggested Blaise feeling just as useless as everyone else.

"Maybe it's just your money and that's all he wants?" said Theodore, biting his lip, that way it wasn't so bad. At least he wouldn't want Harry for any nefarious purposes.

Harry shrugged his shoulders, "I guess I won't be visiting my parent's grave this summer then." sighed Harry, and Remus always took him to see them during the summer a few times. It had been extremely emotional the first time, knowing they were rotting underneath the earth…unaware of him or anything really. He'd burst into tears, it had been the first time Remus had held him. The first real hug he ever remembered.

-0 Flash Black 0-

Eleven years old Harry held onto Remus, as they Apparated to the Graveyard, Harry was a little apprehensive about it. He'd never visited his parents before, before this year he'd never known a single thing about them. Remus had two bouquets of flowers in his hand as well. They walked up to their plots, Remus watching Harry, making sure he was going to be okay.

"Go then Harry," said Remus handing him a bouquet of white roses, Lily loved them, they had been her favourites beside Lilies. Which was what his second bouquet was, the smelly ones she'd adored.

"Your dad always got your mum Lilies on their anniversaries, counting from the day they started dating in school." explained Remus, there was still so much Harry didn't know about his parents.

Harry stared down at their gravestones, he felt overwhelmed, he didn't know why. Just knowing where they were, that they were under his feet and not with him caused his feet to buck from under him. His green eyes filled with tears, they should be here with him! Not under there! If they hadn't been in the order they would still be alive! A sniffle left Harry's lips. "WHY! Why did they have to join the Order." sobbed Harry.

Remus joined Harry on the grass, taking him into a hug, giving him the comfort he obviously desperately needed.

"THEY SHOULD BE HERE! WITH ME! IT'S NOT FAIR!" yelled Harry punching the grass under him.

"They would want to be Harry, they'd want to be." said Remus rocking Harry back and forth. His amber eyes filled with sadness, ten years it had taken for Harry to see their graves. Ten years of suppressed feelings were coming out.

"THEY AREN’T THOUGH ARE THEY? WHY DID THEY STAY IN THE DAMN ORDER! DIDN'T THEY CARE THEY MIGHT BE KILLED AND LEAVE ME ALL ALONE?" sobbed Harry, all those years of grief finally breaking the dam within him.

"They wanted to make the world a safer place for you Harry, to grow up without the threat of Voldemort. There was once, just after you were born that they wanted to leave. I believe it was just after the attack on the Bones', the little girl was the only one that survived, Susan I believe her name was. She was brought up by her aunt, they wanted to leave but they didn't. They felt they had to do their bit to keep you safe." said Remus feeling useless, there was no way he could make Harry understand. Harry would never understand, because no reason was good enough. "Go on, talk to them, just because they aren't here with you it doesn't mean they can't hear you."

"Do you think they can?" asked Harry sounding impossibly young.

"I like to think they can, if only for my own sake. Its nice being able to come and talk to them." said Remus, he had done it often enough. It took him a year to dare come though, after loosing everyone. Then one night he'd done pretty much what Harry was doing. Screaming at them for leaving, then crying for the loss, before just talking to them it was very cathartic.

"They were only twenty one?" said Harry his breathing still hitching after his bout of crying. It seemed so young; he'd always imagined them a little older.

"Yes," said Remus quietly, "We all were."

"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death?" parroted Harry, reading the inscription engraved on his mother and fathers headstone. Why wasn't there something like beloved mother and father? "Why that and not something else? Like beloved and sorely missed mother and father? Why am I not mentioned?" he felt cheated by that. He didn't fail to notice other tombstones with similar inscriptions.

"I am afraid that Dumbledore had it carved," said Remus wincing just imaging the explosion coming his way. Harry loathed Dumbledore, beyond anything he'd ever seen in an eleven year old. Harry was powerful, extremely so! He'd experienced it first hand.

"Can we not remove it?" asked Harry sullenly, he didn't care if someone thought he was immature, he was allowed to be he was eleven years old.

"I don't think so," said Remus, "Perhaps you should look it up? Add your own inscription?" he would look for information on it too, now that Harry mentioned it, it wasn't fair. Harry had been their reason for living, yet he didn't have a single mention on their gravestone.

"I will." said Harry determination thrumming through him.

"Go on then, talk to them, if you want I can go down there so you can do it privately?" suggested Remus.

"No, stay." said Harry immediately, grabbing onto Remus, he didn't want to be alone.

"Alright," said Remus calming the clingy soon to be teenager.

"Hi mum, dad…I'm at Hogwarts now, I got sorted into Slytherin. I know you would have been disappointed dad; well…maybe you would have changed your mind about Slytherins if you were here right? I know mum wouldn't have minded I know she was best friends with one…" said Harry unsurely, just blabbing on with whatever came to mind. "I'm really good at Charms and Transfiguration like you both and Potions! Professor Slughorn told me you were brilliant at that too mum!"

Remus' heart hurt just listening to Harry talk to his dead parents for an hour. They should have been here for this, hearing Harry just strengthened his hatred for the Order. He was beginning to adopt Harry's stance on the group. If they hadn't joined they would have still been there. He had only joined because he wanted to keep his friends safe. Dumbledore of course had been delighted to have him, why he didn't know. He wasn't an Alpha werewolf, and had no control over any others of his own kind.

Remus wouldn't be able to say he wasn't an Alpha in a few years time.

"I'll be back soon, I promise." said Harry finally placing the Roses on his mother's side of the gravestone. His hands running reverently down the inscribed words, his mothers name. Remus placed the second bouquet on James' grave.

"Goodbye guys," said Remus quietly, as both of them finally got off their knees, he didn't know about Harry but his knees were killing him. Next time he'd bring a cushion or use the cushioning charm. "Ready to go home now?"

"Yes," said Harry breathing deeply, he felt much better now he didn't understand why either. Then again he was only eleven, he'd understand in time. With that Remus Apparated them away from the graveyard and back to his apartment.

-0 End Flashback 0-

"I think I will get in touch with your professor then go to the Ministry," said Maria making up her mind, not doing anything she decided, would make it suspicious. If it was all above board she would give them a complaint they would never forget, but she held her doubts that the Head of the law Enforcement Office would sanction this just to pick up a child.

Of all the days, it had to happen on Harry’s birthday.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 5

To Harry each minute of the day was torture, waiting on pins and needles for someone to fly through the door. Deep down he believed it really was only a matter of time; Dumbledore was one person he knew he couldn't outrun. The old fool was smart, even though it turned his stomach to admit. He was also determined and extremely powerful, more so than him, experience and magical knowledge wise. He had a feeling that if it was just his money he was after, he wouldn't be looking for him so relentlessly.

He would no longer got statements from Gringotts, and he was worried it would be drained dry before his seventeenth birthday. He'd been careful never to overspend, buying only what he needed and perhaps a few other things now and again. Although he was spoiled by Remus, it still irked him that he should have been well off, never having to worry about things like having enough money to get by. Like Blaise and Teddy, they never had to worry.

"Hey!" grinned Blaise as Harry walked into the dining room.

"Hey," said Harry sliding into his seat, subdued like he had been for the past few days. Not even Shacklebolt being giving his temporary marching orders had cheered him up. The Auror had been demoted, suspended for six months without pay, and ordered to compensate Maria Zabini for her emotional breakdown the same day it happened. In such dark times, it was understandable that she'd been shaken by his entrance. It was while she was there that Maria finally learned that the Ministry had not put their seal of approval on his assignment just as she suspected.

Blaise sat down, he felt slightly guilty about going out with his girlfriend when his best friend/brother was constantly on edge and having to stay in the manor. "I know this can't be easy on you," sighed Blaise, "But it will be alright, you know," trying to cheer his brother up.

“I hope so,” Harry murmured quietly as his breakfast appeared for him, he had yet to find his lost appetite yet.

Blaise agreed, his face twitching in concern, it disgusted him, what was happening. Being forced to have Dumbledore as his magical guardian, not sure what he wanted, if his vaults were being drained (legally) which added insult to injury. The Potters were probably spinning in their graves that their hard earned fortune was being stolen.

"At least we managed to enjoy half your birthday, and the presents,” Blaise pointed out.

Harry laughed a little, ruefully shaking his head that was true.

 

-------0

Remus stared at the fire, irritation burning within him, he was being closely monitored, and he’d had two Auror’s following him all morning. He couldn’t let Dumbledore get his hands on Harry, he wished he had given in and bought Harry the snake he’s so desperately desired, it would have been an added protection…but he’d decided later was a more appropriate time to get him it. Oh how he wished those simple days could be returned.

-0 FLASH BACK 0-

"Ah Remus, Harry good to see you both again!" smiled Tom from where he was wiping a rag down the table. Harry and Remus were frequently in the Alley, and had come to know Tom rather well. "The usual?"

"Of course," said Remus smiling kindly at the barkeeper. They always got a Butterbeer before leaving the establishment coming or going.

"There we go," said Tom, as two bottles floated towards them as they took their seats.

They drank their Butterbeer as Harry watched everyone curiously. Remus left the four sickles on the table, as they made their way to the Alley. They had a lot to do today, so they had best get started.

"Where to first?" asked Remus regarding Harry curiously, he didn't know what was on the list of school items Harry had to collect this year.

"Well Hedwig needs some treats so we have to get some, here's the list." said Harry fishing it out of his pocket.

"Bookshop first then," said Remus as he read down the list, Harry hadn't grown at all, so there was no point in him getting a new set of school things. He would need to get in touch with someone who could help. Harry needed something that would help his height before it was too late.

"Remus did you hear about the man who invented the Wolfsbane Potion? He received the Order of Merlin first class…are you going to try it?" asked Harry as they browsed the store, getting each book on his list. They were easy to find, since the shop was divided by each branch of magic. It had been in the Daily Prophet, its how he knew about the Potion.

"Perhaps," said Remus, he knew the likelihood would be slim to none; the potion would be extremely expensive. There was just no point to buying it once, knowing what it could do and not using it again. He wasn't about to use the money he'd gotten from Lily and James on the Potion. No he was going to continue spoiling Harry; he would do as he had always done during the full moon. Stay as far away from humanity as humanly possible.

"I think that's them all," said Harry, counting the books in the basket and then on the list before nodding in satisfaction. He then proceeded to add two more books; he wanted to know more about the subjects.

"Well I don't need to ask which subjects you are taking next year," Remus said wryly, Ancient Runes and Arithmancy were written in big bold letters on the spine of the books.

"Divination sounds stupid, if people could see the future they'd be very rich." said Harry snorting at its stupidity.

Remus laughed out loud in amusement, "That's exactly what your mother said."

Harry beamed up at him; he loved hearing about his parents. What orphan wouldn't? Especially that he was like them, not having known them it was as close as he'd get to them in this life. Next they went to retrieve his ingredients. Remus saw the price of the potion and almost choked. It was a good thing he hadn't held his breath, the potion was more expensive than he'd imagined. Sixteen galleons a potion, that was the equivalent of eighty pounds in Muggle money he'd make working.

"Did she really?" he commented as they left after paying.

"Oh yes, your mother had a rather unique sense of humour," said Remus wryly, "I liked her a lot despite the fact she couldn't stand your father until their seventh year. When he had finally grown up, or as much as James ever did. War would do that to anyone unfortunately." he winced when he realized he shouldn't have said that, sometimes he could forget he was talking to a twelve year old not an adult. War wasn't something he liked talking about, at all.

"I hate Dumbledore, Remus," said Harry his green eyes glittering darkly, "And the Order, I wish my parents had never joined."

"I know Harry, I know." said Remus comforting the child, for that's what he was. "I do too." he had only joined because his friends had, Peter, Sirius, James and Lily. He'd wanted to be able to watch over his 'pack' and look what had happened. Peter was gone, they'd never found his body, just like they hadn't found a lot of the Order's bodies. James and Lily had been attacked and Harry was the sole survivor of an attack by Voldemort only because someone had intervened. Sirius, why that one hurt the most, Sirius had changed that night. The fact Lily and James died must have hurt him immensely for him to push Harry away. Insisting it was better for him to grow up away from the Wizarding world until the Death Eaters were gone. Yet even now Sirius wasn't showing the slightest interest in him. He didn't understand what had happened to Sirius. It was as though their deaths had broken him in a way it hadn't him.

"What about uniform?" asked Harry as they made their way into the animal shop, to get the treats for Hedwig.

"Are they uncomfortable on?" asked Remus.

"No, just curious." shrugged Harry not at all bothered.

"There's no point if they still fit you." said Remus, "If they do start to feel tight I'll show you a spell to make them a little bigger."
Harry nodded as he got a selection of treats for his owl, as the animals hooted and squawked at them. Just as he paid for them, he began to hear speaking, turning curiously, he blinked in astonishment. Snakes could talk in the wizarding world? How curious. "I didn't know snakes could speak English." commented Harry as they exited the shop, or tried to. Remus had stopped in his tracks stunned.

"What did you just say?" he asked, as if he couldn't quite believe his ears.

"What? I only said I didn't know snakes could talk," blinked Harry staring at Remus weirdly.

"Harry, they don't talk English, can you understand what they are saying?" asked Remus dragging Harry over to the snake tanks.

"Of course," said Harry unknowingly hissing in Parseltongue since he was looking right at them. They instantly hissed, staring at Harry all hissing 'A speaker!' with reverence.

"Harry you are what people call a Parselmouth, someone that can talk to snakes, the snake language is called Parseltongue." said Remus. "The last known speaker was Voldemort; he got his ability because he was the heir of Slytherin, a descendant of the first known Parselmouth, Salazar Slytherin. It's considered by light wizards as a dark gift, I suggest you keep it to yourself. At least until you are seventeen and can defend yourself properly."

"Does that mean I'm descendant of Slytherin as well?" asked Harry.

"Perhaps distantly, you would need to request a family tree drawn up at Gringotts to know for sure." said Remus. He personally didn't care about Harry's ability being 'dark' he was considered 'dark' himself. He was more worried about what Dumbledore or the students at Hogwarts would do if they knew. "It seems as if the hat knew this and put you into your appropriate house." he finished wryly.

"That's so cool!" grinned Harry giddily, "Unfortunately I guess it means I can't buy a snake."

"Not yet, but I promise I'll buy you one for your seventeenth birthday." said Remus as he moved them from the shop. "Let's go get an ice cream." he had quite a sweet tooth himself, and never had to make up an excuse with Harry around.

"What would you like?" asked Remus as they waited in the line.

"Mint, fudge, vanilla, with three fudge sticks!" said Harry decisively.

"Alright," said Remus, "Did you get that?" he asked Fortescue.

"Indeed, your usual Remus?" asked Florean curiously.

"Yes," said Remus nodding affirmative. It wasn't long before both boys were sitting down in the sun enjoying the rest of their day.

Remus had scoops of three different chocolates, white, dark, and of course milk chocolate. Remus stiffened his lip curling as he spotted a figure in the distance. Harry noticed it and turned around to see what caused it. Someone in Auror robes walking across the alley, and he wasn't even paying attention to them. "Is that him?" asked Harry quietly, observing the man oblivious to them.

"Yes," admitted Remus inhaling sharply, he hadn't just lost his best friends that night but the man he'd loved. Remus was bisexual, he liked both genders, and people though mistakenly always thought he was gay because he'd never been seen with a woman. The only reason he hadn't been was because he'd only ever been with Sirius. Who knew what he was and didn't care. He didn't want others to find out, life was difficult enough. The last thing he wanted was for the Ministry to find out he was a werewolf.

"He's not what I imagined." said Harry honestly, baby blue eyes, with a dark set of hair all the way down his shoulders and fancy Auror robes on. He knew about Auror's, when you began training you get 700 galleons a month and a regular bed at St. Mungo's. It wasn't for the weak, you had to pass a series of test, to show your nerve, and see how you react to stress and your perseverance. He hated Sirius Black; he had to stop himself punching the man in the nose.

Remus just smiled sadly at Harry. It was hard to believe he'd known the boy for an entire year. One whole year, he was going to be entering his second year after the holidays.

"Come on then let's get out of here," said Remus, avoiding looking in Sirius' direction as they left. Heading back the way they came, Harry and Remus always used the Leaky Cauldron's fireplace to get back to Remus' flat or Zabini Manor.

"Did you take Ancient Runes Remus?" asked Harry, eyeing him as they waited in line for the Floo.

"I did," said Remus smirking in amusement, "And yes you may borrow some of my books, but only one at a time." he didn't want Harry immersing himself in books completely, he had good friends and he should be enjoying himself. Then again he'd enjoyed himself, and he'd for most part done that while reading his text books.

"Thanks," grinned Harry happily, as he finally grabbed some Floo powder leaving a Knut in the payment pot as he used the Floo Network to get back to the flat, Remus as always right behind him.

-0 END FLASH BACK 0-

Merlin he wished he could go back to then, Harry young and not even twelve years old yet. A year at Hogwarts, already planning what he wanted to take during his third year. Harry was and always had been more like Lily who was so studious, serious and fiercely loyal to her friends - Harry was just the same.

Back to before life had gotten so complicated, before Voldemort returned, before Dumbledore suddenly wanted to give him over to Vampire Lords. How he wanted to squeeze the life out of Sirius. How dare he do this to Harry? He didn't understand what on earth the idiot was thinking! It was a miracle he hadn't actually done anything to the man. Although if he caught sight of the Animagus - the man would rue the day he was born.

Harry had better friends, Remus realized, his friends hadn’t abandoned him, he was vividly reminded of what Blaise had said on Harry’s fifteenth birthday. ‘That way you won't forget. You might be a Potter in blood but you'll always be my brother.’ Blaise had said, it had been a Portkey, or rather a leather band with a Portkey imbedded into it. The inscription on the back would bring him to Zabini manor. The inscription was 'Slytherins forever', and they would be. Being a Slytherin meant everything to Harry, for it came with Blaise and Teddy.

Growling ferally, angry beyond belief.

----------0

Albus Dumbledore left the castle, Flooing over to the Leaky Cauldron, spelling his robes free of ash and soot as he did so. The Vampire Lord had refused to have their next meeting at Hogwarts when he had asked. Instead choosing to have it at a neutral location for their next order of business. The location mattered little to him, he just wanted to get this sorted, it was taking a lot longer than he would have liked.

"Hello Tom, how are you this evening?" asked Dumbledore beaming at the barman.

"I'm good, good, would you like a drink?" asked Tom, it wasn't often he had Albus Dumbledore coming into his domain.

"No thank you, I have an important meeting to attend so if you will excuse me," said Albus bidding his farewell, not truly interested in anything Tom had to say. Yet the man was useful, so he always made sure to speak to him. Everyone came through the Leaky cauldron.

"Of course!" said Tom in understanding at Dumbledore's retreating form. It was dark times after all, and Albus was their figurehead.

Albus stalked into the room, as though he owned the place, his mind still trying to figure out how to make this work, causing the vampires to visibly hiss at the wizard's blatant lack of respect for their Lord. All six of them bared their teeth at powerful wizard. All of them surrounding the leader, protecting him from any threat. Not that he needed protecting; he was after all a very accomplished ruler. He'd proven himself without a doubt, the only one deserving of the title.

"How dare you show such disrespect?" hissed one of the vampires. It was bad enough that Dumbledore had purposely dropped three devices when he’d visited Prince Castle, one near the castle itself not quite within the wards. The second had been on the actual grounds, just under a bush with a little earth covering it where it had been hastily concealed. The third he had dropped in the hall he'd been escorted up. The coins had listening devices, locating beacons and one that if activated would tear wards down. They'd deactivated the ward tearing spell, and location beacon and left the other one but made sure not to speak about anything important. The devices would be destroyed once their Lord had Harry Potter safely within Prince castle.

"My apologies," said Albus looking contrite, bowing low in a show of respect, others of their kind might have bought it. Not them, they could smell Dumbledore didn't mean a word coming out of his mouth. The only reason the vampires relaxed and stood up was because they knew they had to deal with him, even if it was only temporarily.

"I suggest we get down to business don't you?" said the voice, still the same cold, calculated and determined as it had been before. His guards were staring straight ahead; they didn't look as though they were paying the slightest bit of attention to their surroundings. Which couldn't be furthest from the truth.

"Yes, yes, Indeed," said Albus nodding in agreement, sitting down opposite the Vampire Lord. Still until to get a glimpse of what he looked like at all. He had a large black cloak on that obscured him from view, from head to toe. "Although I am curious, why Harry Potter?"

"Why not?" answered the vampire Lord cryptically, as if he was going to tell the old fool why he wanted him. He wasn't stupid; it would put the shoe from his foot to Dumbledore's. He was no ones fool; he knew Dumbledore would demand a lot more from him if he knew Harry was his mate.

The surrounding bodyguards tensed ready to jump unnoticeably when Dumbledore moved. Removing from his pocket the documents that would transfer Harry to his care. In turn he would get thirty of the Lord's highly trained, most lethal soldiers/vampires. To guard the vampire Lord, you had to prove your mettle, only the best of the best got to do so. None of the others, who didn't get granted a place were made to feel inferior, nearly all of them had a purpose. He had tried to up the number, but the Vampire Lord had refused to budge.

"Does James Potter have anything to do with your…request?" asked Dumbledore shrewdly, his blue eyes watching the cloaked figure closely. Unfortunately he couldn't tell whether the man had been affected by his words or not, much to his disgruntlement. James Potter had outshined many people at Hogwarts, bullied a lot of others, and also antagonised many dark wizards while he was an Order member. Who knows what he'd done to the vampires to cause them to want Harry Potter. He never for one second thought it anything else other than revenge, otherwise why would he have been needed? They could have approached the boy themselves. It was a logical assumption to make.

"Let me ask you something," asked Severus, his eyes flashing angrily from under his cloak, "Do you really care either way? As long as you get your way in the end?" it took everything Severus had to stop his fury, anger or disgust showing in his voice. His entire body had stiffened at the impudence of Dumbledore for questioning him. For the past fifteen years, his actions had never, ever, been questioned. He wasn't the callowed youth he'd been at Hogwarts.

"Of course I care, Mr. Potter is a student in my school," said Dumbledore, his protest was half heartedly, but still there. "I swear to protect all students that pass through my halls." Perhaps it was just as simple as the Vampire Lord requiring a new donor and bed mate.

"Then shall I have our negotiations withdrawn?" asked Severus, making a show of starting to stand up. He knew he wouldn't have to wait any longer than a few seconds, for the protest that would leave Dumbledore's lips. He was correct, and a wry smirk spread across Severus' lips. The old fool hadn't changed a bit, still purely GRYFFINDOR with a hint of Slytherin steel.

"Of course not, the life of one person isn't worth the entire world, as hard as the decision was to make and how it may sound." protested Dumbledore, his blue eyes shadowing with worry at how this was turning out. "I have the paperwork all drawn up; I am hoping to conclude it tonight."

"You have the boy?" asked Severus, his voice completely impassive.

"I do not, no. I have people searching for him of course, but it is the summer holidays, you know how teenagers are." chuckled Dumbledore as if they were good old friends reminiscing over the past. "Harry and I will discuss it, but I believe he will agree, he’s much like his parents and will do anything to help the war. I will have the negotiations complete by the end of the week," at least he hoped so. He didn’t want to think on the vampires deciding that it was more hassle than it was worth and just discard their agreement.

Severus made a noise of agreement. His mind trailed over to the first time he'd seen Harry, the day he'd realized Harry would be his. No other would ever touch him. Langdon had ensured that, keeping an especially close eye on Harry for the past year.

-0 FLASH BACK 0-

Severus observed the chaos around him, grimacing in distaste, of all the places they had to meet up - it was here. The Quidditch world cup, he was in the processes of joining the Bulgarians and his own covens in an alliance. They'd cut off all ties when his grandparents had stepped down. They had not been willing to deal with an outsider, who had no taste to the finer things in the world.

"Let's move out," said Severus, his voice cutting through the shouting and yelling around them. Nobody paid the slightest bit of attention to them, with the glamour's they were wearing they blended in.

They passed the mass amount of tents, wizards, witches all excited for the match ahead. Severus observed his surroundings, his sharp eyes catching sight of people he knew. He didn't stop to say anything, not just because he had a glamour charm on. He wasn't a sociable person, never had been, plus he liked no one here.

They finally caught sight of the top box, exactly where they'd be sitting for the duration of the match. Much to Severus' disgust, he loathed Quidditch, it was a pointless sport. The others though were much more excited, it was a World Cup match after all. They didn't show it though; they were used to looking impassive to those around them.

The five soldiers that were with Severus froze, when their Lord did. They immediately surrounded him, hiding him from view. Which did garner very curious looks, from people passing by. They thankfully managed to move out of the way; otherwise they would have been cursed.

"My Lord?" questioned one, his long auburn hair tied back, his red eyes staring at Severus in concern, fingering the Portkey, wondering if he should get them out of there.

"I'm fine," said Severus, "Continue." his sharp eyes regarding the boy in front of him. He knew who he was; he'd last seen him as a baby, the night he'd lost his parents. He was with a werewolf, Lupin, go figure. He was also with two known children from Slytherin lines. He did notice Black was absent, curious, he knew the werewolf and Black had been dating the last time he saw any of them. His lip curled, he would need to brew the Wolfsbane potion, and he didn't want Lupin anywhere near HIM without it. It was extremely difficult not to just take the boy. Unfortunately, he was too young; he was barely fourteen years old if that. He may still be thirteen years old, when was the boy born? Sometime in July?

They took their seats; Severus' eyes never left the teenager during the match. "I want Langdon to report to me as soon as we get back, understood?" said Severus, low enough for only his vampires, and the Bulgarians to hear.

They merely nodded seriously in turn; none of them left Severus' side, and wouldn't do until he was back in Prince Castle. They were extremely protective of him if anyone looked at him wrong - Merlin help them because nobody else would.

They couldn't deny they were curious about what was going on.

-0 END FLASHBACK 0-

"Very well," said Severus replied, “But these won’t be signed until after the handfasting ceremony.” he wasn’t stupid.

“I see,” Albus replied, putting the documents away, showing none of his disgruntlement but the others could feel it.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 6

Albus Dumbledore sat in his office, sucking on one of his million lemon drops he had stashed around his office. The bowl of lemon drops he kept on his desk was actually doused with a calming draught. Not for other people, mostly for himself, but he did offer them to all who entered his office. He knew most people didn't like Lemon Drops, in fact there were only a few people that had actually accepted his offered sweets in the entire time he'd been Headmaster of Hogwarts.

His thoughts kept reeling about the meeting he'd had with the vampire. The vampire guards were quick; he had noticed them move when he retrieved the contract. With them they'd win the war, he was absolutely sure of it. He had at least succeeded where Voldemort had failed. He had not managed to get the Vampires on his side, at least not those under the Vampire Lord's protection.
The only real downside to the negotiations was he had to make sure the boy would go through with the handfasting. Which admittedly wouldn’t be easy.

He was now more desperate to find Harry Potter; he couldn't officially complete the negotiations until they had the boy. Only then would he get the twenty vampires to aid in the war. Each day more families were turning up dead, what the Order did was never enough. Just this morning one of his own had died.

Dangerous times were upon them, and they were looking to him to save them. He gladly took up the duty they felt the need to beseech of him. Or had, it was no easy feat, something he had learned during the first war. Tom would not be easily defeated; he had gathered a lot more supporters than he’d anticipated too.

Glancing at the time, he realized he had to get going; he had yet another appointment to keep. He put a few lemon drops into his cloak pocket, and put another in his mouth before grabbing his Floo powder. Entering the fireplace, he threw the powder in yelling out his destination in a clear firm voice. 'Grimmauld Place'. Stepping out gracefully, as if he'd been doing it from the second he was born, he sat down at the head of the table, subdued as the rest of the others. One of the seats was noticeably empty. Nobody would have noticed it right away, if they didn't know anything had happened.

"Before we begin, I'd like us to start by giving two minutes silence to Emmeline Vance," said Albus, bowing his head a picture of grief for the horrible deaths the magical world continued to suffer. Emmeline had been in the Order since Albus had founded it back during the first war. She had been a magnificent fighter, and she would be sorely missed. It just made Albus all the more determined to get Harry Potter in his grasp. He'd be damned before another Witch or Wizard, in his order, would die.

Everyone bowed their head as well, but they'd already been silent before he'd stepped foot into the building. Sirius was pale and drawn, and everyone threw concerned looks the Animagus’ way.

"To Emmeline," said Albus, holding up the goblet before replacing it.

"To Emmeline," said everyone else in Unison.

"Mundungus any news?" asked Albus, unaware of how much he sounded like Voldemort who wanted news from his own followers. The only difference was, if it wasn't enough Dumbledore didn't just 'Crucio' you, no he just stared at you with his eyes filled with disappointment making you feel guilty.

"Well there's been news he's still looking for Potter, he's handing out rewards if someone can find him. He doesn't like to be embarrassed like that does he?" said Mundungus sombrely, his eyes bloodshot as if he'd been drinking. He certainly smelt like he had, but Dumbledore would never get rid of him. He was extremely useful, and also one of his contacts on many things.

Albus sat up, looking slightly alarmed; "There hasn't been talk that he's succeeded is there?" asked Dumbledore his voice intense, demanding an answer. His eyes boring into the brown shaven head man.

"Not that I've heard, still a reward ain’t there." said Mundungus. As if he was stating something the Headmaster should already know and understand.

Tonks stared at Dumbledore impassively, and then she shifted to Black. He was staring at Dumbledore as if they were discussing a stranger. Not his own godson, who he'd given all right away. Black obviously didn't care what he'd just condemned his godson to. She's been reading books on vampires, all she could get her hands on. They used humans or wizards as slaves, drank from them until they outlived their usefulness, sometimes letting them get with another slave to have a child, who would end up with the same life they led. Then they were killed, a few useful ones, ones with magic were turned. She didn't know if they were still like that, or did it, since Slavery had been banned, at least in most countries. She didn't know which vampire clan he'd been dealing with. When she did, she'd have a good idea just how bad it would be. She had to stop herself from flying across the room, and strangling the life out of Black for his callousness. They were supposed to be the light side, it was something she could see Voldemort doing.

"I want you to keep me posted on this," said Dumbledore, intensely. "How is the Minister doing Sirius?"

"Other than running around like a headless chicken?" scoffed Sirius, an old bit of the true Sirius shining through. "He has three Unspeakables guarding him, has given four of us Auror's orders to guard Hogwarts, at least to take the train and get the children safely there. He's been in interviews a lot, with the Minister, the Muggle one."

"He has lasted longer than I expected," said Albus, looking thoughtful. Nobody wanted to go down in history as a war Minister; they weren't looked at too kindly. Mostly because they only cared for their lives not the publics. It was probably for the best; Fudge could throw off the Imperius curse, a family trait. Other Ministers might not be lucky. "Is the Minister not relenting on his decision?" he then asked Sirius. They weren't signing off on the paperwork for them to bring Harry in; he couldn't risk any other Auror losing their job.

"No." said Sirius, shaking his head, everyone stared curiously, but Dumbledore revealed nothing.

Albus strained to keep his look; he was seriously getting pissed off at Fudge. He was refusing to sign off on the paperwork, so the Auror's could pull Harry in. The boy was his; he wasn't going to let Voldemort get him. If word got to the vampires, he feared they would go to Voldemort to get their revenge. He couldn't loose them; he needed the vampires to win his war. It didn't help that he couldn't figure out how Voldemort had survived that night.

"Does anyone else have news?" asked Albus, staring around at his order members, noting Tonks' blank look with worry. She was always bubbly, easy going and loved making everyone laugh. "No? That's fine. Everyone know their patrol areas?"

"Yes Albus," murmured a few half-heartedly. Albus liked to station a few members, in places that Voldemort might strike. He'd lost three Order members by doing it, but they'd saved hundreds of lives. Alice Longbottom had been the first to go, bless the woman's heart; she'd jumped in front of a ten year old Muggle girl. Taking five Cruciatus Curses to the chest, five weeks after she'd been saved by Sirius Black. Frank had gone on revenge mission, bringing in every Death Eater he could, wanting to bring justice for his wife. When Neville was six, he must have picked the wrong Death Eater, because he'd been cursed with a spell they couldn't identify never mind remove. He was in a coma; living in St. Mungo's the same hospital his wife had been in since Neville was two years old. Now Lady Longbottom had full custody of Neville. If only Frank had confided in someone, they would have been able to find out who he'd gone after. Lady Longbottom had been furious, blaming the Order for what happened to her daughter in law and inevitably her son.

"Very well, I think we can end this meeting here, I shall ensure you are all free to go to Emmeline's funeral if you wish to attend." said Albus, his voice soothing yet sad at the same time. "Sirius, Kingsley, please stay behind I have something I wish to discuss with you both."

Everyone immediately got up, Molly Weasley sniffling as she did so. She had been very 'fond' of Emmeline Vance, and it brought to home just how bad this war was going to be. Her worst fears would be to lose her children; she could never bear it if anything happened. She just wished she could go back in time, where all her children were small, innocent and young, no worry about a war hanging over them. They would be targeted for being 'Blood Traitors' by the Death Eaters. Each day she carried her clock around with her. Which was no help at all, since they were all pointed at Mortal peril. Everywhere they were, was lurking with danger, she didn't even have Arthur to reassure her during the day. She was basically always on her own, unable to make sure all her children were safe.

"What's wrong?" asked Shacklebolt, he'd been suspended for half a year, he was already going mad. Cut off from a job he loved, after doing something for Dumbledore off the books. Needless to say Dumbledore wasn't exactly his favourite person right now. Yet he put aside all personal feelings, especially during order meetings. He had joined to save the lives of those weaker than him, innocents, and to put an end to the war.

"I think I have a way for you to get your job back, if you'd be willing to take the risk?" said Albus, staring at the bald man beside him.

"What would I have to do?" asked Shacklebolt narrowing his eyes at Dumbledore; normally he wouldn't have questioned the Headmaster. Since losing his job he'd been questioning a lot of things.

"Mr. Potter has to be in Zabini Manor, I know for a fact it's the only place he goes during the summer holidays. Unless of course he is with Remus Lupin, and Lupin's apartment is not safe enough for the wolf to allow him to stay there during the full moon." said Dumbledore, he just had a feeling, it was a Slytherin thing to do. Stay where you were especially if it's already been checked. Maria Zabini contacting the Ministry had cemented his conviction.

"He wasn't there the last time," said Shacklebolt tense, he was not going to go to Zabini manor again.

"Yes, he was probably unluckily with Lupin during that time." said Dumbledore, confidently.

"If that's the case Mr. Potter will know, that you have custody of him I mean, yet he's not came forward…there must be a reason he doesn't want to." said Shacklebolt cautiously.

"He's just young and in shock," said Dumbledore brushing it aside, he wasn't going to tell them what he planned on doing with the child. Or how he got the Vampires on his side either. "He will come to accept it, its only temporarily after all." misleading them into thinking it was only a year, after all he would be seventeen in a years time, that's as temporarily as it could get.

"Why do you want him?" asked Shacklebolt, staring at Black curiously, why hadn't HE asked all those questions. Maybe looking at Harry was just a daily reminder of what he'd lost? He didn't get it though; he wasn't the only one to have lost someone in the war. Most people would cherish their godchildren, or any child of the family that survived.

"I made a promise to Harry's parents, one I wish to keep." said Albus lying out right to them now. He knew mentioning Lily and James would make Shacklebolt stop questioning him.

"I see," said Shacklebolt in deep consideration, wondering quietly to himself, if Dumbledore was being truthful. He had no reason to be lying did he? After all James and Lily had been close to Dumbledore, just as everyone in the order was. Admittedly James and Lily had been favourites of his. Black too, and Lupin if one thought of it long enough.

"Myself and Sirius are going to retrieve him, we would like it if you came with us." said Dumbledore honestly. "We need help and to be ready, we do not know could be in the manor."

"If he doesn't come willingly?" asked Shacklebolt emotionlessly.

"I will take him by force, explain everything to him at Hogwarts, in time he will come to understand, but as I've said - its only temporarily." said Dumbledore firmly, "Once I've kept my promise then everything will be well." he was very good at spinning the truth evidently.

"When do we go?" asked Sirius blankly, as he always was when Dumbledore was around. The poor man was basically an extension of Dumbledore's will, with no freewill of his own.

"Tonight at one AM, that way everyone will be sleeping and we have more chance of success." said Dumbledore seriously.

"What if Zabini goes to the Ministry again? There's a chance I could lose my job for good." protested Shacklebolt; he couldn't cope with losing his job.

"In doing so she would have to admit Mr. Potter was there, she won't risk it, she probably doesn't have an idea that the Minister hasn't signed off on it." said Dumbledore persuasively.

"If she does?" argued Shacklebolt.

"Then she will be brought before the Wizengamot, which Fudge has no control over, as Head of the Wizengamot I can ensure they see my way, maybe even have your suspension lifted." said Dumbledore, knowing without a doubt this would get Shacklebolt accompanying them.

"Then why haven't you did this before now?" cried Shacklebolt looking enraged.

"Without Harry being found in Zabini Manor, I have no argument to make." said Dumbledore without delay. His blue eyes twinkled brightly, secrets and manipulation, were his two main talents even as a young boy. He had his mother to thank for that, she had weaned him on it since he was a kid.

"Fine, I'll come." said Shacklebolt, hopefully Dumbledore was right and Potter was there. Otherwise he knew without a doubt he'd lose his job completely. Nothing would be able to save him, not even Dumbledore as head of the Wizengamot.

"Thank you, your help is of course, much appreciated." said Dumbledore, "Shall we meet up here at say…twelve forty five?"

"Yes Albus," said Shacklebolt and Black in Unison.

-----------0

Sirius Black was the first one to get to Grimmauld Place for the meeting, for a man who couldn't make even his own best friends wedding on time; it was a miracle putting it lightly. No, not a miracle, it was actually because Dumbledore had demanded it. He loathed Grimmauld Place, fortunately it had proved useful. Especially now, for the Order Headquarters. Sirius stayed in the flat he'd bought for himself, with the money he'd gotten from his Uncle Alphard. Of course the entire Black fortune was now his. There wasn't many Black's left; in fact he was the last male heir. His brother had died in Voldemort's services; his mother and father had died not long after Voldemort’s temporarily demise. No there was only Bellatrix, Narcissa, Andromeda, his cousins, and of course there was Nymphadora, who he saw on a regular basis, they weren't close though. Family had always been something Sirius treasured above all else, it truly wasn't just Harry, Sirius was being denied, but also his very family he would have died for. Andromeda, Nymphadora, Remus, James, Lily and especially Harry had been all Sirius had cared about.

"Hi," said Shacklebolt as he used the Floo Network to get over, wiping the soot from his clothes with a simple spell.

"Hey Shack," said Sirius politely, as Shacklebolt took a seat.

"Do you know what Dumbledore wants with Harry?" asked Shacklebolt sitting down. He hadn't ever gotten to know Sirius before James and Lily died. Sirius had already had his group of friends, and hadn't really spoken to the other order members much other than the occasional hello and asking how they were. Even now they only had mutual respect for one another; they weren't what anyone could call 'Friends'.

"No, not really," said Sirius, a strange look crossing his features, Shacklebolt was quite alarmed by it. For the life of him he couldn't quite describe it, it was as though the Auror was in agony, as if he'd just been told he was being sent to Azkaban to endure the Dementors. He'd seen similar looks cross those being sentenced during his years as an Auror. Blinked and you would have missed it, true enough Sirius was sitting there as if nothing had happened. He stored the information away, vowing to think about it later.

"Harry's your godson right?" asked Shacklebolt, wondering if he could get the look to reappear.

"Yes," said Sirius, tapping his fingers impatiently.

"Why didn't you get custody of him?" asked Shacklebolt, getting nosy now.

Sirius winced, grabbing onto the wooden tabletop, "Help." was all he managed to get out, his face filled with desolate desperation. Then as quick as it was there, it was gone his face once again blank.

Shacklebolt jumped back, "What's wrong?" he asked the Auror, eyeing him as if he was a caged animal. The Auror's had just passed their surprise health checkups, so he wasn't being drugged. He wasn't suffering from the Imperious, his eyes weren't glazed over in the way that particular curse caused. Yet he knew something was wrong, he could feel it down to his very core.

"Nothing," said Sirius blankly, staring at Shacklebolt as if he'd lost his mind. He didn't seem to be able to recall what he had just done. This convinced Shacklebolt that there was something seriously wrong.

"You are both here, good." said Dumbledore as he made his appearance in the fireplace.

Shacklebolt was about to open his mouth, so he could voice his suspicions to the Headmaster. Unfortunately his mind came up with a sudden scenario, one that he didn't like at all. After all it wasn't a coincidence was it? Black being under something and handing Harry Potter over…to Dumbledore. He didn't like to think Dumbledore would do a thing like that. Yet over the past few days he was seeing a whole different side to Dumbledore. He was all for the greater good, nobody could deny that. Yet he had a feeling there was something he was missing, the bigger picture. The question was, was it bigger than Harry? He would have to do some digging. All he could do was what he was told, while he investigated. He prayed he was doing the right thing, so he nodded curtly at Dumbledore.

"Then let's depart," said Albus beaming at them, as the three Apparated to the edge of Zabini Manor, and the wards surrounding it.

"Sirius, Kingsley if you would." telling them without saying a word to render the wards completely useless. Auror's were able to override the owner's wards, and place their own. Thereby rendering them completely defenceless.

Three minutes later, the wards were completely defenceless, and instead of walking towards the Manor as Shacklebolt did, Dumbledore Apparated straight into the Manor. Using a spell that would point him in the direction of Harry Potter. Triumph filled him completely, he'd been right, of course he had, and the boy was here.

Harry jerked awake hearing the alarm, he knew that sound, and it meant Wizards were tearing down the wards. Automatically and in Unison, despite being in different bedrooms, they all got up and ran towards the secret room.

"Hurry up boys!" said Maria, as she ran out of her room, wrapping a robe around her as she did so.

"Coming," said Blaise, making sure Harry was with them. The teenagers bolted ahead of Maria, skidding to a halt in the study where the secret room was located. Teddy yanked the book, hiding the secret room, drawing the panel away, while Blaise opened the door. Blaise and Teddy went in; Harry was just about to follow them when he felt it. His magic was being called; he knew there and then they knew he was here. They were here for him. He stared at Blaise, for a brief second, horror painted itself across Blaise's face; he knew what Harry was going to do. Before he could do anything, Harry pushed Maria in, an apologetic look on his face. He could hear the footsteps getting closer. Without more ado, he locked them in, knowing they'd be safe; a House-Elf would let them out.

Harry couldn't let Blaise's mum take the fall, she was all he had. Blaise had lost his dad before he could remember him, and he'd never take that away from him. It wasn't so much a Slytherin move to make, but Slytherins did protect their own. They had to, because nobody else would. The teachers were all biased; all they had was each other. Maria had loved him as a second son, since he'd started staying there, he couldn't repay her by having her carted of to Azkaban. "Sorry." he said, aware they could hear what was going on. You could hear inside it, but nobody could hear outside of it. That's if Blaise wasn't hammering on the door, which no doubt he was. Harry knew his brother/best friend better than he knew himself sometimes.

"Mr. Potter, you've been extremely difficult to find," said Albus entering the study, where his wand was telling him Potter was. He eyed every corner, wondering where the others were.

"How did you know I'd come back here when the Zabini's went on holiday?" asked Harry, throwing suspicion of them helping him completely off the table. Silently praying it wouldn't be the last time he saw them, but Dumbledore wouldn't be crazy enough to kill him or anything - not after getting custody of him. He held his wand tightly in his hand, just because he wasn't giving the others away, it didn't mean he had any intentions of going quietly or at all if he had his way.

"Follow me Mr. Potter, and do bring your belongings, you will be accompanying me back to Hogwarts." said Dumbledore, his eyes twinkling madly, tonight the vow would be complete. The war would be won, and the world would go back to the way he wanted it. With zero tolerance for the Dark Arts, so no more Grindelwald's or Voldemort's could arise again.

"Why?" asked Harry gritting his teeth, forcing himself to remain calm, he just had to look like he was complying until he had the upper hand.

"You can come with or without your belongings Mr. Potter." said Dumbledore seriously.

"Confringo!" yelled Harry, at the doorway where Dumbledore currently stood, the entire room rumbled and shook with the violence of the spell. Causing wood, stone and a huge part of the ceiling to give way. Harry fell sideways, getting hit with scattering debris. He didn't let this deter him, all those years at the Dursley's he knew how to handle pain and keep going. He crawled over the wood and ceiling pile, yelping in shock when Dumbledore grabbed a hold of his ankle. Twisting slightly, he brought his other foot down painfully against the old wrinkled hand of his Headmaster. With a roar of pain the old man let go, and Harry continued climbing, finally free of the ruins. He stopped for nothing, knowing it would be there when he got back, if he'd ever get back. He ran down the stairs, never once looking back.

"POTTER!" boomed Dumbledore, his voice thick with fury.

"You were stupid if you thought I'd ever go quietly or at all!" snarled Harry; he was a Slytherin for Merlin's sake. The old bastard could get his money, but he'd never have control of him. He yanked open the door, as a curse missed him by an inch. "Expelliarmus!" cursed Harry, not waiting around to see if it had succeeded, he'd be able to outrun the old man, he was young whereas Dumbledore wasn't.

Out in the garden, he wove in and out of the trees and other ornaments that made their home in Zabini gardens. Water fountains, and other statues, he knew the place like the back of his hand. He'd spent nearly all summer out here, either flying or playing with Teddy and Blaise. He stayed quiet, crouching down, cloaked in the shadows not sure if Dumbledore had caught up with him. He knew exactly where the wards ended, he'd felt them often enough. He ran for the wall, which by the way was unfortunately open view. He jumped out of the way of the oncoming spells; it wasn't so easy to hit a moving target. So he continued to go left right and centre, until he got to the wall before jumping over it. He could Apparate, he'd been doing it since he was eleven, well before that but he hadn't realized what it was. He clutched the wrist band against his chest as he climbed the wall. Praying that they were okay, as he finally hoisted himself over breathing erratically.

He saw a Patronus sailing not four feet from him, illuminating two figures. Cursing, he bolted in the opposite direction, he wasn't quite past the wards yet so he couldn't Apparate. To try with them so close would be suicidal, all he could do was run in the opposite direction and pray the wards ended soon. He heard Dumbledore's voice boom to them to get him. Just why the hell was he so desperate to get him? He was getting his money why wasn't that enough? Damn the old fool who seemed intending on making his life a living hell.

Harry ducked another spell, but in doing so didn't see the other, he suddenly found himself going for a flying lesson. His side crashing into the wall, pain exploding like a volcano as more than one of his ribs broke. Harry cried out in agony, clutching his side, as he scrambled to his feet. As the figures got closer, as hard as he tried, he wasn't able to run fast. His entire body flared with agony each and every time he moved. Looking around desperately, he hailed off in the direction of the tree's escaping into the forest.

"Harry you might as well come out," said Albus speaking loudly, "It doesn't do any good to fight it. There's information I need to share with you about your parents."

"What?" asked Sirius sounding disbelieving.

Harry continued on, until he slumped against a tree, breathing harshly, thankfully it was a rather windy night; it carried his laboured breathing away. He knew he would never be able to outrun them, he was delaying the inevitable. Unfortunately he was too Slytherin to just roll over and let them get him. He clutched his wand tightly in his hand, staring at the band. Could he use it? Or would he just be trapping himself in a Manor he might not be able to get himself out of again.

"Harry?" called Dumbledore, Harry closed his eyes, he was getting closer, with renewed determination he took off again. Making the three lit wands fade further into the distance. He was furious though, that Dumbledore would dare mention his parents. He wanted Remus so badly, but he didn't dare go to him. He couldn't drag him into this anymore than he could drag Maria into it. Remus would be furious with him when he saw him again though, he knew that. Only because he'd been worried, he just had to find somewhere to hide. He had to stop soon; otherwise there was a chance his ribs could end up piercing his internal organs.

No matter where he went, he knew they'd be able to track him unless he got somewhere warded. He couldn't think of anywhere that was, apart from Hogwarts. He could hide out there, until the school started up, find Blaise. He didn't think he was in any shape to Apparate; he'd probably end up splinching himself. He wasn't running from Dumbledore to get himself killed, he wouldn't give the old fool that satisfaction. He was already getting his money; he wouldn't entitle the man to his entire estate.

The adrenaline was beginning to fade, the tiredness was setting in, each breath was agony and he was beginning to give up hope. They weren't going to leave him alone; they would continue to follow him. Growling low in his throat, he with a yelp of agony got to his feet again. His entire left side, felt as though it was on fire. Similar to the feeling of being on the receiving end of the Cruciatus curse. Which he had experienced at Voldemort's hand.

"Harry!" yelled a voice, it was filled with concern, but it wasn't a voice he was familiar with. He did wonder who it was, probably one of Dumbledore's stupid Order members. His lip curled just thinking about the idiots; he loathed Dumbledore and the Order almost as much as Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Probably more so, they only tried to kill him, Dumbledore was determined to destroy him financially, emotionally and mentally by the look of things.

Each wheezing breath, caused him to slow down further, their voices were so close. Just then his position was given away by an owl dropping a letter on his lap. His heart sank; he could imagine what it said. He'd probably been expelled from Hogwarts for underage magic. He felt as though his entire world was being brought down around him. With one last ditched effort, he broke into a run, just then someone Apparated in front of him, causing him to run smack into them.

"Calm down," said the voice, "You need medical attention."

The light of the wand sprayed across his face, letting Harry identify exactly who it was. Swallowing the bile in his throat, he snarled out words from the bottom of his heart "I HATE YOU! I WISH YOU WERE DEAD! I'D KILL YOU MYSELF! I WISH YOU WERE NEVER MY GODFATHER! I'D DISOWN YOU MYSELF IF I COULD!" Harry told him, punching him in the face, as he'd wanted to do all those years ago upon his first glimpse of him. Then the pain made itself known again, causing Harry to fall onto the ground, curling up trying to protect his side from more damage. Oh man, it had been very cathartic shouting at him, yet it had just flared the pain more.
Harry saw another, Shacklebolt, if he remembered correctly, kneeling before him. His black eyes were shadowed with genuine and raw concern. He was tapped with his wand, and then the pain eased considerably, as bandages wrapped around his torso. A numbing charm was added, and finally Harry lost consciousness.

"Well done," said Dumbledore, to both men, as he took out a Portkey, and held onto Harry, intending on getting him out of there and to Hogwarts where he could be picked up. Grimacing at his hand and back ached, the boy had hurt him quite badly too. He was almost more trouble than he was worth, he pocketed the boy's wand, he wouldn't need it. Someone might get a use out of it, especially as it was Fawkes feather that was in it. Oh, how he couldn't wait to have this sordid business over with.

Shacklebolt just watched emotionlessly, legally there was nothing he could do. Dumbledore had custody of him, and could take him wherever he wanted. Sirius looked as though he'd aged fifty years since Harry had spoken. He was sitting there a broken man. Then Dumbledore was gone, taking Harry somewhere they weren't following.

"Sirius?" said Shacklebolt, feeling utterly wretched; he'd been a fool to go through with Dumbledore's plan. It had been his spell that had hit Harry badly, causing those injuries. Thankfully though, with Poppy Pomfrey he'd be healed by tomorrow morning. "Sirius?" he repeated more harshly, he wanted to start investigating this, he wanted answers and evidently Dumbledore wasn't going to give them. First things first he had to speak to Tonks, she knew something and he wished he's spoken to her sooner.

"Yes?" asked the dead voice of the dog Animagus.

"Stand the bloody hell up, now do you know what's going on? Why does Dumbledore want Harry?" demanded Shacklebolt, he wasn't going to take no for an answer.

"I have no idea," admitted Sirius.

"Yet you don't care to ask or think?" scoffed Shacklebolt.

Sirius frowned, "I never question Albus, everything he does is for the greater good, you know that." replied Sirius blankly.

Shacklebolt froze, that sounded too much like Dumbledore for comfort. "Stupefy!" snapped the Auror, and Black dropped like a dead fly to the ground. Grabbing a hold of the now stunned man, he Apparated to Tonks apartment. It was time they found out once and for all what was going on.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 7

Tonks was soundly sleeping, but not for long when she felt the wards on her flat going off. She had intruders; in times like this you couldn't be too careful. She immediately grabbed her wand, and for once got up out of bed without tripping over her own feet. She was about to throw a curse, when she heard the familiar voice identifying himself. Proving who he said he saying a piece of a conversation they'd had just the other day. She entered her living room to see her co-worker with another of their co-workers -Sirius Black. He was lying on the floor dead to the world.

Gasping she went over to him, her personal feelings aside she didn't wish him dead. No she just wanted to kick some sense into his stubborn arse. She relaxed when she realized he was only stunned, glancing up confused, why had he brought him here?

"He's fine, at least physically," said Shacklebolt, his voice filled with exhaustion.

"What do you mean by that?" asked Tonks standing back up, "Why haven't you un-stunned him?" she was regarding Shacklebolt cautiously; he seemed really unhinged right now.

"What does Dumbledore want with Potter…and you better tell me right now." said Shacklebolt, his expression determined. He wasn't going to move until he got an answer from Tonks.

"I only have a theory Shack," said Tonks, "I have no idea if I'm right or not." she told Shacklebolt.

"Tell me," said Shacklebolt.

"Dumbledore told me to speak to Remus Lupin; he was desperate to get him in the Order again. Remus is apparently well known in the Werewolf circle; at least he seems to think so. He wanted me to convince him it would be the honourable thing to do to aid the order." explained Tonks taking a seat, Shacklebolt however remained standing focused solely on what she was saying.

"And?" asked Shacklebolt, stiffly, if Remus ever found out what he'd done to Harry…well he mentally shuddered. Werewolf's had absolutely foul tempers, one he didn't want to encounter.

"He refused; he said why should he fight for a world that wouldn't even let him have a job? Although that wasn't his real reason, he said Harry would never forgive him for joining." said Tonks.

"Why would he hate him for joining? Doesn’t he know Remus used to be a member?" asked Shacklebolt staring at Tonks not able to comprehend where this story was going.

"He blames Dumbledore and the Order for his parents being murdered." said Tonks, at least that's the impression she'd gotten from Remus.

"Get to the point," said Shacklebolt getting impatient now.

"I went to Dumbledore to tell him that Remus wouldn't join, he wasn't even disappointed. Instead he said Remus wouldn't have stuck around long anyway." said Tonks in a rush, "Then he changed the subject, telling me the vampires had agreed to join our side."

"What?" gaped Shacklebolt, "y-y-you are kidding aren't you?" his brown eyes large as he stared at her completely speechless.

"No, I think for some reason they want Harry, it's the only explanation I can think of for his…desperation." said Tonks her eyes filled with sadness.

Shacklebolt swallowed thickly, his heart pounding away painfully in his ribs. His actions horrifying him even further, he'd allowed Dumbledore to take a child, a child he was going to hand over to vampires. "Which ones?" he asked his voice hoarse and filled with dread.

"I don't know." said Tonks, "What happened?" she then asked, Shacklebolt was becoming more unhinged.

"I just handed a sixteen year old boy over to Dumbledore, who apparently is probably right now handing him over to a vampire to gain their allegiance." said Shacklebolt his voice filled with bitterness and anger.

"And you won't be able to talk about it, I've already tried. We are silenced, anything to do with the Order even a little bit is bound to us." said Tonks gravely. "Why did you bring Sirius?"

There's something wrong with him," said Shacklebolt immediately, his mind switching gears.

"Like what? He's never cared about Harry if that's what you are on about." said Tonks.

"No, when I mentioned Harry, he looked completely stricken, and then he grabbed the table and cried out for help before appearing normal again. He gave no indication he knew what he'd just done. It was no prank - Black wouldn't have been able to hold in his laughter afterwards." said Shacklebolt adamantly as if he suspected she might argue with him.

"He's just had his medical, we all have." said Tonks, "They would have found something."

"Do you trust me?" asked Shacklebolt his eyes boring into Tonks'.

"Yes," she said immediately.

"Then trust my instincts, there's something seriously wrong with Black." said Shacklebolt, "I think he's being controlled."

"By who?" Tonks asked. "You-Know-Who?"

"I don't know," Shacklebolt lied; he had his fair idea of who it was he just couldn’t bring himself to say it. It was hard enough thinking about it, without sharing it with someone else. "He needs our help."

"Alright, you'll need to get some of his blood, take it to St. Mungo's or the lab in the Ministry see if they find any anomalies, if they do we might know what we are looking at." said Tonks. "I have a spare bedroom he can stay in."

Wandering through, she opened the door; put the light on with a flick of her wand. Looking around she nodded, before giving it a little airing with her wand, freshening the room up a bit. Shacklebolt levitated the stunned Auror onto the bed, and conjured a knife and vial. Once he had enough of his blood, he healed the small wound. Then stuck him to the bed, before binding him there.

"I think I have a Dreamless sleeping potion in my bathroom cabinet, it might be best to let him sleep for now." said Tonks, wandering through; she opened her mirror cabinet, barely recognising herself. She looked worn haggard, and miserable. Being in the Order was supposed to make her feel good about herself, not make her feel as if she had signed up to be a Death Eater. She picked up the vial, which was among a few pain and headache relieves. She always bought a few dreamless sleeping potions, for the nights where she just couldn't sleep. She loved her job, but sometimes it left her with nightmares and insomnia.

She re-entered her spare room five minutes later, handing him the potion. They unfortunately had to cancel the stunning spell for him to drink it. Thankfully Shacklebolt's quick fingers had the potion into his mouth before Sirius realized what was going on. A few seconds later, Sirius finally lost consciousness, his mind clear and free, his body sleeping peacefully under a dreamless sleep aid.

"That will keep him out for twelve hours," said Shacklebolt looking relieved.

"That's if he's not addicted to them, then they will only work for eight." Tonks pointed out.

"Well we will soon see," said Shacklebolt, "Thank you for helping me, I'm going to go to Hogwarts…I have to undo the damage I've done." he had to free Harry even if it cost him his place in the Order.

"You are going to help Harry?" asked Tonks surprised.

"Yes," said Shacklebolt, "I have to."

"Take him to Remus, no wait don't, bring him here, Remus can come and get him." said Tonks.

"If I don't come back you know something has gone wrong, you'll need to deal with Sirius alone." said Shacklebolt.

"I know, be careful, I'll see you in half an hour." said Tonks nodding grimly.

Shacklebolt nodded back before Apparating out of Tonk's apartment. He had a wrong to right, and he'd be damned if he failed.

-----------0

Severus Snape, Vampire Lord, Potions genius, champion dueller sat within his private library. For the first few years, he'd not been able to read for any length of time, he had been too busy battling for his position. Then afterwards way too busy leading the vampires, helping them when they needed it. Many vampires couldn't afford anything, and they came to Severus for help. Which he did to the best of his abilities, mostly giving potions, or offering them jobs to make money. The money the Prince vaults held would put even the Muggle Vatican to shame. The Prince's weren't just major shareholders in nearly all wizarding businesses but also Muggle ones as well.

Just nine months ago, Selvic had come to him for aid; his husband had miraculously gotten pregnant. To be able to do so without a potion, which wasn't widely known about especially in Britain because of the prejudice, was very rare indeed. Severus had brewed the potions for the vampires' mate himself, in doing so he had gained Selvic's devotion. He had vowed to protect him, honour him and his demands and never shame him or the Prince name. Selvic's mate was now taking residence in the many rooms of the property nearby Prince Castle, just for the duration of his pregnancy. Which by the way was coming to its end, no doubt the child would be born pretty soon.

Thinking of Selvic's mate was making Severus' train of thought return to his own mate. He hadn't seen him since he was fourteen years old; his mind conjured up what he would look like now. He was still young, sixteen years old. He knew he was going about things rather oddly; normally mates were wooed so to speak. He wasn't going about things traditionally, which might just blow up in his face. He could remember speaking to Langdon about Harry, after he'd dealt successfully might he add, with the vampires of the Bulgarian region.

-0 Flashback 0-

"My Lord you wished to see me?" asked Langdon appearing at the doorway of Severus Snape's study. With no one there, Severus was not hiding himself from view. He was quite striking, sitting where he was, his face orange from the illuminating embers of the fire.

"Indeed I do, please sit." said Severus, gesturing towards the seat next to him, where two goblets of wine were poured. Which meant it wasn't an official meeting, but one where they could say what they liked. Severus often liked to sit with them and have heated debates and regular conversations. It's perhaps what made him so well liked, nothing they said out of official capacity was held against them.

"Thank you," said Langdon relaxing back into his seat, he trusted Severus impeccably, and did everything the man asked. After helping him out all those years ago, he owed him everything. It's why he worked at Hogwarts; despite the fact he missed his brethren when he was away. He was also curious to know why Severus wanted him. They'd met just after he arrived; he'd given him his report about Hogwarts and Dumbledore. Now here he was again, feeling rather confused.

"What do you know about Harry Potter?" asked Severus sitting back himself, drinking some wine. They would never run out, there was an entire underground full of wine. They also owned multiple vineyards around the world; needless to say, they were never low on good wine.

"Harry Potter?" asked Langdon taken aback, staring at Severus blankly, he hadn't expected that at all. He was so shocked by the suddenness of it he didn't even think to add 'my lord' which he usually did even in an informal setting.

Severus raised a single eyebrow, staring at Langdon without saying anything.

"I apologize, my lord," said Langdon, realizing he was being disrespectful, almost as if he was questioning Severus, which he wasn't. Severus merely nodded, both at his apology and for him to continue.

"Harry Potter is fourteen years old, his birthday is July 31st. He was sorted into Slytherin upon his arrival at Hogwarts…"

"Slytherin?" asked Severus in surprise.

"Yes, he turned up at Hogwarts with clothes on him that were three times too big for him. He let it be known that his Aunt and Uncle hated him, and had refused to pay for his school supplies. He managed to find the gateway to the train on his own, and came aboard with only the clothes on his back. His possessiveness of his friends makes me believe the abuse went further than just neglecting to buy him a decent wardrobe." said Langdon, stopping briefly to take a large drink of wine; he absolutely loved the wine Severus always picked. It was just right, the taste, the texture, when it came to wine Severus was a man after his own heart.

Severus' dark eyes seemed to darken further if it was possible, by the information being revealed to him. Oh he knew all too well who Langdon was speaking about, and couldn't believe Harry had been left with them. He was surprised they hadn't abandoned the child or heaven forbid killed him. Petunia loathed all things magical, and Harry had still been at an age where needed special care, care he was willing to bet Petunia didn't want to give. No, to give a magical child to Petunia was to ensure a lifetime of abuse and neglect, which apparently was what, had happened. His lips tightened in his displeasure, he could've or should've done something, and unfortunately it was too late for anything like that.

To be honest, it was probably for the best, you never knew who your mate was until they were both passed their maturity. If he'd raised Harry, the boy would never have been able to have the kind of relationship he wanted with him. There wasn't a point to 'ifs' and 'buts' the past was exactly that - the past.

"His parents were-" was as far as Langdon got.

"I know about his parents, I attended Hogwarts with them, his mother was one of my dearest friends." said Severus revealing a part of his past to Langdon. "I was also there the night they died."

"So you were the one to defeat the Dark Lord?" asked Langdon, the vampires always referred to him as the Dark Lord. They were well aware the power the name 'Voldemort' held, but refused to be cowardly and call him You-Know-Who. He wondered if Dumbledore knew if so he also wondered why he'd kept it a secret.

"What else do you know about him?" asked Severus, refusing to answer.

"His best friends are Blaise Zabini and Theodore Nott, both Slytherins. They were three of the hardest working, students at Hogwarts, from day one. Competing with Hermione Granger in each class for the top spot. Harry is a natural at Defence; he gets all the spells almost straight away. According to Slughorn he is also good at Potions; admittedly he wasn't happy when Harry turned down his invitation to his Slug Club." Langdon said trying to think of what other information Severus might like to know.

"He turned him down?" asked Severus sounding amused. He certainly wasn't like his father in that regard. Potter had been furious to be left out, when he and Lily had been part of Slughorn's not so secret club.

"Yes, I believe Blaise did as well, it may have something to do with Theodore not being invited. As you are aware Theodore's father was a suspected Death Eater, and Slughorn probably didn't take well to that." said Langdon, he rather liked the Potions teacher, he wasn't prejudice as some of the teachers there. He did care about his Slytherin's but those with power and influences undeniably come first.

"No I believe not," said Severus dryly knowing his old Potions professor all too well.

"I have noticed that Albus Dumbledore does keep an eye on him. Not that Harry likes it, for some reason Harry loathes the Headmaster. I don't think I've ever seen a young boy staring as Albus Dumbledore the way he does. As the saying goes, if looks could kill…he would be six feet under." said Langdon, that had always piqued his curiosity, he'd never seen an indication as to what caused it. Most students that walked Hogwarts halls worshiped the ground Dumbledore walked on. It sickened him, but that's just the way it was.

Severus sat up, looking split between amused and confused himself. James and Lily had loved Dumbledore as a grandfatherly figure. Perhaps because they didn't have a grandfather, or because he'd always been overly friendly with them. Letting James Potter off with murder, not just Potter but Black as well. He couldn't help but wonder why the boy didn't like him. Could it be the other Slytherin's warning him? Hardly any of the Slytherins trusted Dumbledore. Admittedly it was most probably because of their parents. "Curious indeed," said Severus, sitting back, his fingers steeped together as he thought on it more.

"His owl score for defence is the highest I've ever seen, his power levels are impressive for a boy not yet even reached magical maturity," said Langdon, you reached magical maturity at the age of seventeen, during the night on your seventeenth birthday you receive an additional bout of magic…or rather its 'unlocked' when the body is finally able to handle it. At least that's how the wizards explained it.

Severus merely smirked as if he was privy to a secret nobody else knew.

"Is there anything else?" enquired Severus, as he drank the remains of his wine.

"He's short for his age; he enjoys watching the Quidditch matches but doesn't seem interested in playing it. My lord may I enquire as to why you want to know about him?" asked Langdon. Hoping his question wouldn't be seen as prying.

Severus had noticed Harry was on the short side, especially next to Mr. Zabini and Mr. Nott. He was a head shorter than both boys, both his parents had been tall, but it didn't necessarily mean he had to be as well. It may very well be a side affect of malnutrition, he would need to send some to Lupin along with the Wolfsbane potion. He wasn't going to let Harry anywhere near the wolf without getting it. "He is my mate, outside of our group, nobody knows not even family understood?" outside the group meant, spouses, friends, family not vowed to Severus. He did not want to risk anyone finding out.

"Of course my lord," said Langdon his awe evident, it was a time of celebration and happiness when a vampire found their mate. The fact it was the Vampire Lord, it meant the celebration would be a rather large one. It was celebrated because not all of them were lucky enough.

Severus merely nodded, a tight short smile appearing on his face before it disappeared. He wasn't used to smiling, even now after all those years of being free and in seat of power.

-0 End Flashback 0-

There was a sudden knock on the door bringing Severus out of his thoughts. He knew who was behind it without seeing them, every vampire had a unique smell about them, yet with an underlying smell that was purely a vampire smell. "Come in Selvic," said Severus straightening up, staring at the door. Had Selvic's mate gone into labour? He could see no other reason for the interruption.

"My lord, word has arrived from Dumbledore. His phoenix delivered this a few seconds ago." said Selvic handing over the note, which had Selvic's magic on it. Indicating he'd already checked it for all kinds of spells. Nodding satisfaction and a way of thanking him, he opened the letter.

"Gather the team, you’re taking a trip to Hogwarts," said Severus. "It is time." unable to disguise the triumph in his voice even if he'd tried. He was bringing his mate home, where he belonged. Where he would be safe from both Voldemort and Dumbledore.

"At once My Lord," said Selvic bowing once in respect before he went to gather the group. Team might be the word Severus used, but they were his bodyguards. They would protect him always; to have a place within the guard was the highest honour one could accomplish. The fact they were being trusted to bring his mate to him was an even bigger honour.

----------0

Albus gazed down at the unconscious boy, refraining from cursing him for daring to fight him. The worst of it was that the boy had actually gotten the better of him and broken his hand. It was currently on the mend, he had taken a few potions as soon as he got them to his office. Then he had sent a letter to the vampires, letting them know that Harry was here. It was time to complete the contract.

“Enervate,” Albus cast the spell to wake the teenager up, sitting calmly as he pleased on his office chair.

Harry groaned as he came to, the pain in his side felt numb still, but the pain frayed at the edges just waiting to return. The numbing charm the unknown wizard, (he suspected to actually be Shacklebolt, the Auror who originally broke into Zabini Manor) had placed on him was still in effect. Once he paid attention to his surroundings he began to realize where he was.

Nostrils flaring, Harry sat up slowly, just to be sure that the pain wouldn’t flare up, but it seemed the charm was working well. “What do you want? Isn’t stealing my money enough?” he hissed at the old fool like a feral cat.

“It seems Remus has been teaching you his bad habits,” Dumbledore said without emotion, already knowing how to get the boy to agree to the Handfasting.

Harry just curled his lip saying nothing; he wouldn’t give the old man the satisfaction.

“Did you know that Remus almost killed a student while he was at Hogwarts?” Dumbledore continued on, acting as if they were having a pleasant conversation.

Harry wondered what the hell Dumbledore was up to, he bit his tongue to stop himself blurting out that it was ‘Moony’ not Remus who had almost bitten someone. Remus was his father, nothing and nobody would ever be able to sway him away from the werewolf. To Remus he was his cub, and he would always care for him - pack always did - indefinitely. He just stared at the old fool without a single emotion showing on his face or in his eyes despite the fact he felt a whole lot of disgust at Dumbledore’s underhand tactics, that wasn’t very Gryffindor now, was it.

“In fact it was by my request that the incident remain a secret, I assume you know the dangers of what would happen should the Ministry find out? The wizard he almost bit happens to be a very good friend of mine.” Dumbledore blatantly lied, he hadn’t seen Severus for fifteen years but if it got what he wanted he didn’t care.

Harry’s heart sank, he was going to be manipulated, Dumbledore wanted something from him, “What do you want?” concern and fear for Remus squirming like a living thing in his body. Remus was the most important person in his life; he would never let anything happen to him if it was in his capacity to prevent it.

“As you know I gained custody of you, Mr. Potter,” Dumbledore stated, feeling no guilt for what he was doing and about to do. “I have agreed to a handfasting between you and a vampire Lord, in turn for twenty vampire warriors, with them we can and will win this war. If you fail to follow through not only will you lose your magic but I will ensure that the Ministry finds out about Mr. Lupin. I will then sign you over to the Dursley’s care as a squib and contract-breaker you will not be welcomed in our world…not even by your friends.”

Fear burst through Harry as disbelief clouded his eyes, a vampire Lord? He was going to have to choose between marrying a vampire Lord or losing his magic and sentencing his father to death? Why was he doing this? What had he done that was so bad that Dumbledore would torment him so? Would he even see his friends again…Remus again if he went through with this? Closing his eyes, he swallowed thickly, unable to hide his emotions and loathing that Dumbledore would see him weak. “I will find a way to bring you down,” Harry vowed vehemently, green eyes blazing into Dumbledore’s own. He hated him more than he had ever hated anyone in his life, even the hatred he felt for Voldemort could not compare.

“Many have tried before you, Mr. Potter, but they all failed in the end,” Dumbledore said, not even batting an eyelash at the threat.

Dumbledore truly should have worried about the threat.

“Ah, they are here,” Dumbledore said after a few moments of silence. “Perhaps you should get up, Mr. Potter and take a seat.” not that he truly cared.

---------0

Five vampires Apparated to Hogwarts, standing at the gates of the magnificent castle. The five vampires' were spread out in the fashion they usually took upon protecting their Lord, who wasn’t here with them. He was preparing for the handfasting which would take place as soon as they returned. Observing their surroundings, seeing no threat to them.

"It's clear," said Cenric, his name suited him; it was an old English name for bold and power. Something his family had been, unfortunately his family line had died out a long time ago. He was the only one left, and would remain that way unless he found his mate. A lot of family lines had died out, and the same would keep happening if the inbreeding continued.

"Then let’s go get our Lord’s soon-to-be consort.” Corin said, she was one of the two strongest female vampires, part of Severus' guard.

"Let’s," they agreed as one.

They knew exactly where Dumbledore's office was, Langdon had described the school often enough from back to front, each booby trapped step to every cracked crevice. Their Lord also knew the school well and had joined their conversations sometimes, about the secret rooms he’d found over his years at Hogwarts. Due to the letter they also knew the password to Dumbledore’s office. It took them all of thirty seconds to run towards the office, jumping over the staircase instead of waiting for its journey to end.

"Blood pops," said Corin to the gargoyle.

Dalton went first, before the others went up, before long the five vampires were standing in the entrance to Dumbledore’s office.

"Welcome to Hogwarts," said Albus smiling brightly at them, "Shall we finish the negotiations?" the smugness that rolled of the Headmaster was quite sickening to the vampires.

"Our Lord informed you that it would not happen until the handfasting was performed," Storm said scorn dripping off each word.

Harry arched an eyebrow despite how pale he was these vampires didn’t like Dumbledore at all. Perhaps there was hope for him after all; a handfasting would mean that Dumbledore couldn’t take any of his money, or anymore of it. Then again all things considered it looked as though Dumbledore hadn’t cared about his money at all. Just using him as a sacrificial lamb to get twenty vampires to join his pathetic Order. He wished his heart would stop pounding so quickly, he felt on the verge of hyperventilating.

“He has not come?” Dumbledore blinked in surprise, none of them showed their features, once again shrouded by the cloaks they wore.

“No, you are to come with us,” Cenric demanded, “The Portkey will take us,”

“Very well,” Albus said, not too concerned, as long as the terms were set then he was fine with that. Gathering up the contracted agreements, he slid them into his pocket. “I believe we should go, come, my boy,”

Nobody not even Albus failed to hear the painful sound of teeth grinding against one another, as Harry gritted his teeth, said nothing and followed them. His mind thinking of Remus, he couldn’t let anything happen to his dad. This was the only reason he was even contemplating going through this. Handfasting was temporarily, he reminded himself as they left Hogwarts. By the time he got to the gates, the pain was beginning to return slowly, the numbing charm was beginning to wear off.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 8

The vampires plus two wizards appeared by Portkey to Prince Castle, the vampires then continued to walk briskly as if they had never stopped, making sure that both the humans could keep up, all of them conspiratorially glancing at Harry every know and again. He was definitely quite striking, long black hair, which oddly enough was a bit of a mess, grass and dirt clung to his clothes and hair as if he had just gotten into a fight before Dumbledore found him. Quite tall, but not as tall as their Lord, they speculated he’d come up to his chin. His eyes though, they positively glowed with power, and were a lovely shade of green they rarely saw.

“Alfred,” Corin said, unsurprised to see the elder vampire waiting on them at the doors.

“Our Lord is in the Great Hall, everything is ready,” Alfred informed them, not hiding his appearance like the others, Severus did not want Dumbledore to know who he was, hence the title. “Mr. Potter, please follow me,” he said kindly to the teenager, gesturing with his arm for Harry to step beside him. He did not yet have permission to use his first name, so he would remain Mr. Potter or Lord Consort when they married.

Harry stepped away from Dumbledore, his nerves getting the better of him, but he continued his mental mantra, for Remus, for Remus, for Remus as he followed. They did not need to walk for long before they were entering what looked like a guest bedroom. There were probably dozens of guest bedrooms like it in the castle. Was this to be his bedroom?

“May I?” Alfred asked, his wand out, gazing expectantly.

Harry nodded, and then the spell was cast, a cleaning charm, his hair and clothes were now clean and ironed as if they had not been worn for…Harry actually didn’t know how long. He didn't know how long he'd been unconcious, but it was still dark, either only a few hours then or an entire day.

“These are your robes, I will give you some privacy to change,” Alfred informed him, touching the robes that hung on the wardrobe door, and with that Alfred left, he didn’t want to overwhelm the teenager. For he surely was feeling a little overwhelmed, it’s not every day you were asked to a handfasting ceremony a vampire Lord after all.

Harry stared at the white robes for a few moments, before he looked at the window with a wistful pained look upon his face. He wanted nothing more than to open that damn window and flee, to show Dumbledore he wouldn’t go quietly. The threat of Remus being killed by the Ministry stayed his hand. He would find a way to utterly destroy Dumbledore for this, even if it meant his death, if it kept the people he cared about safe then so be it.

Shaking his head, a pang hitting his heart, he began to remove his clothes, grateful for the numbing charm, he couldn’t even apply one himself since he no longer had a wand. Oh, how he longed for Remus to be here, he always had a way of making him feel better. Clenching his right hand into a fist, refraining from punching the wardrobe, he let the anger abate before he dressed in the white robes which had been left out for him, disconcerted by the fact they fitted him almost perfectly.

A handfasting, Harry thought about what he remembered about it, he’d read it somewhere in Zabini library. Handfasting is a historical term for "betrothal" or "wedding". In the Early Modern history of Scotland (16th and 17th centuries), especially in the Hebrides, the term could also refer to a temporary marriage. The verb to handfast in the sense of "to formally promise, to make a contract" is recorded for Late Old English, especially in the context of a contract of marriage. The derived handfasting is for a ceremony of engagement or betrothal is recorded in Early Modern English. It was only a promise of a marriage, it wasn’t a real one, but what did it mean to the vampire Lord? Would he even live long enough to see it broken?
Breathing deeply, he nodded grimly to himself; there was no point to putting it off. He wandered over to the door, nervously wiping his palms on the white robe, which thankfully wasn’t see through. Opening the door, he walked through steeling his nerves not wanting anyone to see him vulnerable.
“Ready?” Alfred queried, smiling trying to convey some form of comfort to the teenager, he had strongly urged Severus not to go about it this way, to at least get in touch with the teenager before today. Unfortunately his Lord had not taken his advice, and he feared that it would come back to bite him.
“Yes,” Harry said his voice soft and quiet.
“Follow me,” Alfred then replied, leading Harry towards the Great Hall, refraining from saying what was on his mind.
A few moments later Alfred nodded to the vampires on duty, who then opened the doors to the Great Hall, which Harry was glad to see wasn’t decorated, there was an arch in the middle of the room, with flowers and herbs intertwined, as was customary for a Handfasting but that was it, the people there were still shrouded in black cloaks, he wouldn’t even see who he was handfasting to, all he knew was it was a man, the ‘Lord’ gave that part away quite clearly. The only person who was visible was the officiant, himself and Dumbledore whose eyes were gleaming; the look on his face turned his stomach. One day he swore to himself, one day he would kill the old fool.
“Lord and Lord Consort, today you are surrounded by friends, all of whom are gathered to witness your exchange of vows and to share in the joy of this occasion. Let this be a statement of what you mean to each other and the commitment of marriage you will make.” the officiant spoke as soon as Harry was in position.
Harry’s eyebrows raised, Lord Consort? Judging by the noise Dumbledore made, he was just as surprised it seemed. He couldn’t help but glance over, taking feral amusement in the look on his face.
“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love and of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in the terror of the ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity, when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, not forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits—islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides of life.” the officiant continued.
Harry frowned, his mind mulling over the words, it was almost as if he was being told that it wasn’t permanent, that in time he would regain his freedom. Was it possible? Or was the vampire Lord just playing with him or perhaps he was just looking too far into it?
“Handfasting is a declaration of intent where the couple clearly states that they are marrying on their own free will. Lord and Lord Consort, know now before you go further that since your lives have crossed in this life, you have formed eternal bonds. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real ideals that give meaning to this ceremony and to the sanctity of marriage. With full awareness, know that within this circle you are declaring your intent before your friends as witnesses.”
“The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union and will cross the years and lives of each soul’s growth. Do you seek to enter this ceremony?”
“Yes,” the vampire Lord said immediately.
“Yes,” Harry answered, anger abruptly leaving him as pain flared in his chest, he was finding it extremely difficut to breathe.
“Please look into each other’s eyes, and join hands,” the officiant vampire stated, waiting until they did so, he placed his wand between their now joined hands.
“Lord Consort, will you share in Lords pain and seek to alleviate it?
“I will,” Harry agreed, wishing this would end, he wanted to go home so badly, Maria, Teddy and Blaise were bound to be so confused…and Remus so worried about him. Would he even be able to write to them?
“Lord will you share in Lord Consort’s pain and seek to alleviate it?”
“I will.” Severus proclaimed seriously.
“And so the binding is made.” a blue ribbon shot out of his wand and intertwined their hands together.
“Will you share in each others life and promise of no lies between you?”
“I will,” Severus said, agreeing with the terms in his heart, while Harry just agreed, not feeling anything other than overwhelming pain.
“And so the binding is made.” he officiant said, another ribbon, green this time, shout out of the officiant’s wand and wound around their hands.
“Will you share the burdens equally so that you may grow and learn?”
“I will,” they echoed, but the vampires sat up taking notice in the odd tone of voice coming from their almost Lord Consort.
“And so the binding is made.” the officiant said, silver ribbon shooting from his wand, wrapping around their hands.
“Will you share in each others dreams and help them achieve their desires?” the officiant questioned.
“I will,” they both said, even the officiant was looking at Harry in concern as he spoke.
“And so the binding is made.” a black ribbon shot out of the wand this time.
“Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?” he then asked, their Lord had requested this one out of all other handfasting rituals in the vaults, no doubt to make it easier on his Lord Consort, it cannot be easy to speak of love as if they did, but that would come later.
“I will,”
“And so the binding is made.” the officiant stated, a white ribbon shooting from his wand.
“Will you honour each other as an equal in this union?” the officiant then asked.
“I will,” they both said, Harry was unable to focus on the words despite hearing them, he was finding it difficult to draw breath, he felt as though there was a fire spreading out through his chest.
“And so the binding is made.” the officiant stated, purple shooting from his wand, glancing briefly at his Lord, who nodded for him to continue, as Severus watched Harry closely, his breathing was ragged, a bit too ragged to be normal, Langdon had not told him that Harry suffered from panic attacks…perhaps he didn’t know?
“As your hands are bound together now, so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. The bond of marriage is not formed by these cords, but rather by the vows you have made. For always you hold in your own hands the fate of this union. Above you are stars and below you is earth. Like stars your love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.”
“May these hands be blessed this day. May they always hold each other. May they have the strength to hang on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. May they remain tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. May they build a relationship founded in love, and rich in caring. May these hands be healer, protector, shelter, and guide for each other.” magic flared between them, marrying them, Severus hoping one day to make it permanent.
As soon as the handfasting was over and the magical ribbons dissolved into their hands, Severus guided the teenager over to one of the vacant seats, spelling a calming draught into him, despite everything he had never stopped carrying Potions with him everywhere he went. Alfred’s words coming back to haunt him, wondering if he had made the wrong decision, it mattered little now, what was done, was done.
“I do believe it’s time to finish the negotiations before I leave you to become acquainted,” Albus said quietly, knowing that the vampires would hear him perfectly. “Congratulations, my boy,” Albus added, patting Harry’s shoulder, adding pressure when the boy attempted to shrug his hand away.
“Indeed,” Severus replied, having to refrain from cursing the old fool for touching Harry. He didn't even want the old fool near him, which was why they'd never meet again if he had anything to say about it.
“Are we going to be formally introduced?” Albus questioned, gesturing towards the vampire’s hood as he withdrew the documents, once again hyperly aware of the vampires in the room watching every move he took, handing them over, only to have one of the others snatch them from him. “We are after all trusted allies.” baffled as to why the vampire Lord would make Harry his Lord Consort, unless he had a habit rewarding those he fed from for the time being. Giving them some measure of power over his servants. If that was the case the vampires surely couldn’t be happy with a teenager giving them orders.
“Another time, perhaps,” Severus said, but he had no plans to ever meet with Albus Dumbledore again. He would send twenty of his people (who were willing) to fight in the war when required, but that was it.
“I see,” Dumbledore replied, his disappointment hidden.
Severus accepted the paperwork once they had been thoroughly inspected. "None of them will be signing this," said Severus immediately, his anger palpable despite the fact his hood was still drawn up.
Harry could see Dumbledore getting agitated, obviously unhappy with these turn of events. His green eyes gleamed in amusement, despite the persistent pain, he gripped the edges of the seat, his breathing shallow unable to take a deep breath.
"Hear this now Dumbledore, they belong to me and me alone, I trust no other with their safety especially not a mortal like you. They will do what is necessary to end this war. Nothing more, nothing less is that understood?"
"The safety of the Order must come first, surely you understand the need for secrecy?" said Dumbledore trying to persuade him. Unfortunately Albus would come to realize, to try and persuade the Vampire Lord would be like trying to get a brick wall to move by itself without the aid of magic.

"They cannot sign it, which part of that do you not understand? They are vowed to me and will continue to be until the day I release them." said Severus, his voice cold and dangerous; being Dumbledore of course he didn't react. Only Severus could make it sound like he had people vowed to him against their will. This couldn't be further from the truth.

The vampires who had witnessed the handfasting had to suppress their amusement at the partially correct statement. Of course Albus Dumbledore would never know they actually could sign it. Not that any of them would tell the old man otherwise, none of them relished the thought of being in the order. Nevertheless they would do it, out of loyalty and need. Somebody had to stop Lord Voldemort, and now that the Prince had resumed his throne it was vital to end the Dark Lord's reign of terror. Sooner or later the war would land on their doorstep, would want to have everyone bowing before him.

"Very well," said Albus knowing he had no choice, "These coins will let them know where and when the next meeting will be held." an ingenious idea he'd got from Hermione Granger, one of his students who was eager to prove her worth to him.

"Very well," said Severus as one of his guards accepted the package. The coins were the same one's he'd charmed and dropped in his castle. As soon as Dumbledore was gone, the entire castle would be searched again.

The suddenness of Harry toppling over unconscious was so sudden that even the vampires failed to react in time. Immediately the vampires surrounded both Severus and Harry, excluding Dumbledore from the circle of protection.

Severus leaned over his extremely pale mate, sniffing him trying to gauge whether he was sick or not. There was no sickly smell associated with illnesses or fever. He could however, smell the scent of old blood pooling around his chest, forming bruises. "He's been injured?" questioned Severus, his voice promising pain of death if he thought of even lying. Why hadn’t he been tended to?

"Indeed, he was injured before I found him," said Albus pokerfaced. He truly didn't think they would care all that much.

Alfred quickly began to cast a diagnosis charm, quite worried about the teenager, they may have only just met but he now Lord Consort. It wasn’t a very good start to his new life here, ending up unconscious without anyone realizing he was injured. They should have realized something was wrong, but they had all assumed it was nerves.

"He's lying, My Lord,” said Storm, and none of them doubted her word, she was after all able to see Aura’s. Aura's changed colour when someone lied got lighter when they told the truth…for each emotion, or response there was a colour the Aura went. Storm was born with the gift, and it heightened upon her rebirth. Even those with Occlumency barriers such as the old man had did not conceal the truth from her sight.

Albus' face didn't change despite the fact he got angry at being caught out in a lie, not even upon hearing the low growls of the vampires in the room. It did however, fill him with apprehension, they could easily snap his neck without him being aware of their approach.

"He has five broken ribs, one has punctured his lung, My Lord” Alfred informed Severus with urgency, he was beginning to turn bluish, the rapid heartbeat now made sense. They had to take care of him, he needed treatment urgently.

Albus inwardly winced; he hadn’t realized it was that bad, otherwise he would have taken him to the hospital wing to be healed before calling the vampires.

"Five broken ribs?" echoed the vampire Lord sounding furious. "Just how did that happen, Dumbledore?"

"He was hit with a badly aimed spell, he fell against a wall, an accident I assure you." said Albus nobody saw the beads of sweat stating up at Dumbledore's temple, as he was vividly reminded of one of the stipulations of the contract drawn up between himself and the vampire Lord. That he would be brought to them in perfect health, unhurt was the word they had used. They couldn’t blame him for an accident surely, for it had not been him who caused it.

Storm nodded, he was telling the truth but Severus did not see it, his attention was solely focused on his mate, as he should be.

"And why was he even hit with a spell in the first place?" demanded Severus, glaring at Dumbledore ferociously, he had broken his word, he was very tempted to break the contract and throw Dumbledore out on his backside. He wasn’t completely heartless, and there was the fact he also wanted the Dark Lord taken out too. He was a danger to Harry, although if Dumbledore knew the truth he would be as well.

"He refused to come with me," said Albus honestly, knowing he wouldn't be able to lie. One of them were evidently able to tell when he was lying, he'd heard with vampires with the ability to detect lies but never met one. It was just most unfortunate that he had to meet one here and now, for he would have loved to learn more, perhaps even learn of ways to deceive the sight.

"He did not consent?" growled Severus, his anger building monumentally. So much so his magic began to pour off him in waves, putting Dumbledore's to shame. The glimpse he'd seen before was evidently only part of it. He couldn't believe it, he had known Harry didn't like Dumbledore…and vice versa. He, however, hadn't been aware that he was giving Harry over without his consent. Well that loyally screwed things up further. Now he wasn't so sure how things would work out. Damn Albus Dumbledore to hell, he could screw things up in an empty house. He carefully picked up Harry, making sure not to irritate his ribs more than they already were. He had to help him before he stopped breathing; the spell Alfred had used was only a temporary solution.

"I believe Albus Dumbledore, you have violated the terms of our agreement. Therefore you will find it null and void." said Severus, taking great care not to jolt Harry around too much, as the others surrounded both himself and his unconscious mate. “Escort him out.” his tone dark, cold positively seeping with fury that he refused to let out his mate came first.

"Then you give Mr. Potter back," said Albus his own magic flaring as his own anger got the better of him. He couldn't believe it, after all he'd done they had a nerve to back out of their agreement? Just because he was hurt? What did the vampire Lord not want spoiled goods to drink from? He would be healed within a few minutes, what right did he have?

"I think not," chuckled Severus in amusement, "Now!" he added to his people, with that the vampires removed their wands, pointing them straight at Dumbledore's chest. Their faces were emotionless, there was no doubt they'd do it. They would dare cast spells against him, Albus Dumbledore! The hero of the wizarding world. It wounded Albus' pride badly to lower his wand. Not as badly as it would have been if they'd gotten the better of him magically.

Not as badly as his pride was wounded as he was grabbed by the upper arm and quickly frogmarched with force out of Prince Castle, sidelong Apparated away to Hogsmeade and left there too stunned to be angry for the moment.

Severus didn’t waste a moment in thinking about Dumbledore, trusting his people to see that he was as far away from him as possible. As he strode through his home, he couldn’t help but think or believe that Dumbledore had become so unfaithful to his contracts and the oaths he made. They were sacred, and then blatantly lied about it to him, thinking to get away with it. He was very grateful to Storm’s gift now more than ever. She did not normally brazenly declare when someone lied, but if it was against him she would do it in a heartbeat.

Once they got to his quarters only then did Severus remove his hood, and gently place Harry on the bed, grasping the potions bag and begin the process of healing Harry of his wounds all the while examining him. Alfred had followed him, but waited at the door for permission to enter his Lord’s private rooms, for nobody was allowed in without permission. Severus valued his privacy, or what he could get of it, so his rooms were strictly forbidden.

Harry had been taking the potions he had sent, he could tell, he'd grown rather tall in the two years since he'd seen him. Severus had to stop himself leaning into his mate, or brushing the hair from his face. He was stunning; he'd turned into a gorgeous young man. He was his; all his and nobody would ever touch him again. He was a possessive man, he didn't see it as a bad thing, and in time Harry wouldn't either. He would make sure of that. Merlin just looking at him was arousing him like nothing else could. He looked so innocent but he knew he was anything but; no Slytherin remained ‘innocent’ if they were at all. Also a good thing, especially given his new position.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 9

Severus nodded at the ‘My Lord’ his people gave him along with a short bow as he passed them, those who were on guard remained at the end of the corridor, it was as close as he permitted them to his rooms. He had dealt with the urgent duties that were required of him, but no more than that, he did not want Harry to wake up alone - it was going to be quite a confusing time for him. Damn Dumbledore, he should have listened to Alfred and at least written a letter to Harry. Pursing his lips as he sat on the chair beside the bed, observing his mate, he was completely stunning and mesmerizing. There was no doubt he was physically attracted to Harry, considering Severus felt desire for him upon seeing him enter the room in his white robes. He hadn't reacted quite that way when he'd seen Harry last, but why should he have? Harry had been a child, merely thirteen years old. He had wished to meet him, but refrained, quite worried what his enemies would do should they find out.

His fingers moved the long silky strands of hair from Harry's face, there was a superficial resemblance of his father there, but not enough he couldn't identify Harry as his own man. If truth be told, he actually looked more like Lily. He didn't let himself worry about Harry's reaction; he'd deal with it when the time came. He hadn't been surprised when he learned Harry was his mate. Instead he'd just been amused by the irony, yes, he'd loved Lily, she had been the only person in his life, the only pure person, to stick up for him, to love him back (even if it was only platonically), to treat Severus as he'd always wished to be treated - normal. Not as a freak or as if he was shit someone had trod on. There was a reason for everything, and it had hit Severus upon seeing Harry for the first time. He was the reason it would never have worked out. It had been Harry all along who he was supposed to be with. The age difference mattered little to him; in fact he preferred it that way. Harry would always be his; he'd know no other pleasure by someone else's hand. Harry was his to mould into the prefect lover, the perfect mate, willing though he’d never take him against his wishes. It was going to be extremely difficult through. He made such an enticing spectacle, spread out on his bed, covered in his scent, his pale skin shining like a beacon against the dark colours. He was perfection.

“Enter,” Severus called out before a knock sounded the door, doing so quietly not wishing for Harry to wake up before he was ready; it was going to be quite a tiresome day. “Thank you Anne,“ he said as breakfast was placed on the dining table at the side of his room via a levitating charm, a warming spell imbed keeping it at a good temperature for them.

“My Lord,” Anne said, giving a curtsey before closing the door once more, leaving Severus and Harry to their privacy. The rooms were covered in spells, including partial silencing charms, you could hear out but nobody not even his vampires could hear in, he could adjust it so that in emergency his men would hear him.

Standing up, Severus moved over to the dining table and sat down, sighing softly, and thinking once again on the same thing that had plagued him all night. If Harry had not consented, why had he gone through with it? Anyone in their right mind would have protested, made their thoughts clear on the subject. Harry was a Slytherin, perhaps he saw some good come out of it for himself, and did it for power, prestige that came with it. Part of him wished Harry had spoken out against it, this was his mate, and they weren’t exactly getting off to a shining start now were they?

Harry stirred his conscious returning to him, the first thing he noticed was a beautifully decorated ceiling, and not that he was able to admire it overly much as the pain returned. Certainly nowhere near as severe as before, in fact he would say it was pretty damn mild. Clutching at his ribs, he shot up regardless of the pain and began to look around, wondering where he was. The last thing he remembered…Harry gritted his teeth, Dumbledore had blackmailed him; he only hoped the bastard lived long enough for him to rip him to shreds. He would do everything in his power to see that his retribution was fulfilled. Then he noticed the vampire, he scrambled off the bed to the other side, green eyes watching him carefully, grimacing at the thought of being touched or watched while he was unconscious. His hands automatically begun reaching for a wand, worrisomely it was not there. His breathing hitched, he had no wand.

He stared at the vampire, defiantly and with no small amount of fear, “Where is my wand?” he questioned, his breathing a little loud in the otherwise completely silent room. It wasn’t ethical to remove someone’s wand unless they were a criminal and being sentenced, or a danger to themselves and those around them, of which he was neither. Well, he had received a letter from the Ministry of magic for underage use of magic, had they snapped his wand?

"Calm down Harry, breathe deeply, you are only irritating your ribs by panicking." Severus said soothingly, he had been observing the teenager. "You do not have it?" he asked seriously, already knowing the answer but needing confirmation that he hadn‘t missed it in his panicked state.

"No," Harry choked out, he felt very vulnerable and naked without it. Breathing harshly, feeling as though he was back at the Dursley's and utterly defenceless. To make matters worse, he hadn't even seen the Dursley's since he turned eleven, and started at Hogwarts five bloody years ago. He had sworn never to feel that way again and he hated himself for reacting.

"Calm,” Severus said, approaching Harry, plucking the vial from the table as he went, and getting the teen to swallow the concoction his fingers brushing soothingly down the back of his neck. Harry would come to trust him, rely on him, need him but he would need time to build that trust. “Breathe through your nose, that’s it, do you remember where you had it last?” his smooth tone easing Harry’s fears further.

Harry felt nothing but relief coursing through him at the words; it meant that the vampire wasn’t deliberately keeping his wand from him. Closing his eyes, he thought on the last time he had his wand; it came to him pretty quickly. “Dumbledore took it,” the calming draught stopped him getting worked up over Dumbledore, prevented the rage he felt from being displayed.

Severus nodded, guiding the teen back onto the bed before he moved towards his door, opening it he called down the hall to his people, “Go to Hogwarts and get Harry's wand, summon it if you can." They wouldn’t come back without it, nodding at them as they acknowledged their orders, giving a quick curtsey before they were gone.

"Why am I here?" Harry asked after the door closed again, green eyes never wavering from the vampire, who he assumed was the vampire Lord.

"I will explain everything soon, you have my word." replied Severus, inhaling his mates scent mingled with his own, Merlin he could get lost in it for days. "Once you have had something to eat and your wand returned to you." That should ensure that he had Harry’s full attention and the fear should also lessen. He did not blame Harry for his reactions; he too would have felt extremely worried if he had woken up without his wand.

Severus wanted his mate in his arms so badly, for so many years, he'd wanted someone to love him, that person had been Lily for many years. She had been the only one in his life who didn't seem to care he was poor, or scrawny and under weight she had been so pure. From what Langdon had told him of Harry he was like neither of his parents but with some attributes from Lily shining through, his work ethic, his kindness, even for those who did not deserve that kindness. “Join me for breakfast,” he finally said, gesturing towards the meals.

Harry stayed still for a few seconds before his stomach rumbled loudly, he was hungry; he hadn’t eaten for what felt like weeks. In the days since his birthday he’d only eaten small bits here and there, too worried about Dumbledore and what he could want. Go figure nothing he had thought up was anywhere close to the reality, his imagination had truly let him down in that regard. There was so many things he wanted to ask, such as if he could write to his family at least, for they were his family, they’d given him the only joy he’d ever known in sixteen years. Merlin, what was Remus doing? Did he even know? Was he worried about him? Of course, he was worrying about him…but what if Dumbledore lied? What if Dumbledore actually went ahead and turned Remus in? Werewolves and Vampires didn’t get on, if they knew he might never get to see Remus again or write to him.

Both of them sat in silence, Harry paid no attention to anything as his mind ran amok with fears and questions that remained unanswered. The promise to have his wand and the answers eased him enough so that he could actually eat some food though. Truthfully he hadn’t expected this when Dumbledore all but blackmailed him into going through with it. He didn’t need to be in perfect health if the vampire wanted to drink from him…he could see no other reason for his presence here so it was the only logical explanation.

Harry was jerked out of his thoughts by an abrupt “Enter,” from the vampire opposite him; there hadn’t even been a knock at the door. Yet it opened, vampire hearing, he had to remind himself, he would have heard them coming a mile away.

Storm and Corin curtseyed smirks adorning their faces, conveying their success without needing to speak.

"Is Dumbledore still breathing?" Severus asked them, amused.

"Of course, My Lord." said Corin answering Severus' question, holding the wand out but a gesture from Severus led them to handing it to their Lord Consort, who snatched it with a look of relief plainly written across his face, they curtseyed to him as well, not insulted by the way he had taken it, for they would have reacted the same way.

"With a sore back," said Storm with a straight face, "We couldn't summon it, I think he must have had plans for it." as they said, they'd tried summoning it to no avail. They'd had no choice but to confront the Headmaster, and get their Lord's mate his wand back. He'd been stupid enough to leave it in his cloak pocket, then again it didn't matter where he left it, and they could smell Harry's scent on it. They'd have found it anywhere the old fool had placed it.

"Well done," said Severus wryly, "You can go; I won't need you for the rest of the day."

"Yes sir," said Storm speaking for both of them, before giving a curt nod of respect and leaving. They didn't need to be told twice, they were going to spend the rare day off with their significant others.

Severus turned and faced his mate again, just as smug if not more so than the two women, even if he didn’t express it. He had his mate here with him, so why not? He had the right to feel a little smug didn't he? Even if the circumstances that brought him here weren't exactly ideal. His heart lurching when he saw unshed tears in those green eyes. He could have dealt with anger, but tears - even ones of relief just made him feel like a total failure.

"Why am I here? Who are you?" asked Harry in a soft voice that conveyed vulnerability. Who could blame him? He'd been practically kidnapped by Dumbledore in the middle of the night from the only family he'd known. Manipulated and blackmailed into a handfasting, with a vampire. Then woke up in a strange place with only Vampires for company. He might have been considered 'Slytherin' but in the end he was a sixteen year old boy who's life had never been stable, at least until he was twelve years old. When Harry realized that he'd always be welcome in Zabini Manor, and that Remus wasn't just going to up and leave one day.

"You are safe here, at Prince Castle, and I am Severus Snape officially Lord Severus Prince." Severus informed the teenager, mentally preparing himself to tell him everything.

"Severus Snape? The Potions Master? You give my dad his Wolfsbane potion!" Harry cried out in shock, he hadn't known Snape was a Vampire, Remus had never mentioned that. Did that mean he was truly safe here? Snape had given his dad the potion for nothing…surely that was a good thing. He prayed to Merlin it was. Which meant that he knew who Remus was; he’d been giving him it for two years, how long had Snape been planning this?

"Somebody had to," said Severus wryly, he suspected Harry was beginning to understand the full scope of the situation. The one word that stood out was the word 'dad' it made him feel physically sick. Well, it could be worse, it could have been Black his mate was calling dad. There was still time for that, for all he knew Black and Lupin were still together. Who would have thought he'd be wondering about them? He hadn't thought about the idiots in fifteen years or anyone from his schooling years - Lily was the only exception and an understandable one.

"I'm not allowed to go home am I?" asked Harry voicing his worst fears. He wasn't stupid; he knew he was missing a great deal of information still. Nobody went through all this just to let him go back home, no, and he was surrounded by vampires at all sides, he wouldn’t be able to do a thing without Snape knowing. At least it wasn't Dumbledore; he supposed he could live with that, at least he hoped he could. Only time would tell, but right now he was being treated fairly.

"Aren't you more curious as to why you wound up here?" asked Severus avoiding the question, but he knew that wouldn't work with a Slytherin.

Harry's green eyes glared into his, giving Severus very optimistic hope for their future. Way to avoid the question, but avoided or not he knew the answer was no, "Actually I am." he said his voice filled with honesty despite his glare, which was already gone replaced with anxiousness. He desperately wanted answers, he felt adrift at sea with no life vest in sight.

"Very well, but you must promise to listen to everything, and not interrupt…I shall answer any questions you may have in the end is that understood?" said Severus, his voice and face serious. There was nothing he hated more than being constantly interrupted. Especially with conversations like the one he was about to have.

"Yes sir," said Harry subdued staring at the floor reminded once again that he was stuck, and would literally have to do what he was told to survive here. He had survived ten years at the Dursley’s with constantly changing rules just to trip him up; he would do the same thing here if he had to. If he played his cards right, he might just be able to see his family again.

Severus leaned over and lifted Harry's chin, his thumb delicately stroking back and forth, giving him a small measure of comfort. "Do not fear me Harry, I will never harm you." he promised, Harry wasn't one of his subjects and shouldn't be staring at the floor. He wanted to see Harry's beautiful green eyes always, and never filled with anything but love and devotion. That time would come, he'd be patient.

Harry stared at Severus almost blankly; the touch grounded him, and stopped him falling into despair. His thoughts were a dark place to be indeed, even Harry didn't want his own thoughts. For some strange reason, he believed the vampire when he said he wouldn't hurt him. The fact Severus had returned his wand was probably the deciding factor on Harry trusting Severus right now. Harry nodded once, feeling rather bereft when the touch stopped. Severus was a stranger why did he seem to crave his touch? Normally he didn't like people touching him, other than Blaise, Maria, Teddy and Remus.

"Come," said Severus, holding out a hand for Harry to take, he felt great satisfaction when Harry took it without question. He wanted this over with so he could officially start 'courting' his mate. He wouldn't accept no from Harry, he couldn't bear it if that was his answer.

Harry was led to a very spacious sitting room there was a fire roaring in the fireplace, which was surrounded by marble. A large coat of arms was atop the ledge, with expensive engraved candlesticks. The room was done in a royal blue colour, if he'd known who Severus was he would have been greatly amused by it. Taking a seat he watched Severus move over to a corner cabinet and open it, and remove an item. Not just any item, but it looked to be a hand made, personally designed Pensive. It made the ones he had seen in the shop insignificant. He gazed at it in awe; it was truly a beautiful piece of work, exquisite really.

"Harry I must warn you the contents of this memory will be extremely…" Severus tried to think of a word to convey how distressing it would be, so he settled for one he'd just thought. "…heart wrenching for you to watch. If it gets to much just say the word and I will bring us out, do you understand?" he didn’t want to distress his mate, but he also knew there was absolutely no way in this world anyone would believe him if he was to say they survived a killing curse. That it rebound onto the Dark Lord and destroyed his body.

"Yes sir," said Harry staring at it with apprehension, what kind of memory could be in there that would make him scared? His brow was furrowed, nothing was making sense.

"Very well," said Severus, reclaiming Harry's hand he touched the simmering surface that made up a memory. Dragging them both down to the depths, so they were able to see it. Severus kept a tight grip of Harry; he alone knew just how hard this memory would be for him to view. He wondered perhaps if he should have just discussed it with Harry. He shook his thoughts off; they were here now, no point in thinking any further on the subject.

Harry looked around the memory, he saw Severus in it, at least it looked like him, they were the same age sure, but he didn’t have the more aristocratic look he did now. He was running into a small cottage, one that looked oddly familiar but Harry couldn’t place it. He looked around, as he was led in, rather curious as to why he had been invited to see this memory in particular. What would it reveal and what did it mean? Then he saw him lying there.

Harry paled swallowed thickly, feeling as if he could sick up his breakfast. Now he knew why Severus had said it would be bad. It was his father, James Potter laying there dead his eyes glazed and unseeing. Not that he saw it for long; regardless a tear worked its way down his face. Dumbledore had caused that, Voldemort may have said the spell but Dumbledore and his stupid Order was behind it. He was soon led up the stairs by a guiding hand. His hold tightening on Harry when he almost tripped at the same moment he heard his mother call out.

"Not Harry, please! Don't hurt my baby, kill me, have mercy!" even after all the times he had seen it, it still hurt to hear Lily so desperate.

"Stand aside!" they heard another voice demand.

"Never," cried Lily once more, just as the memory Severus made it to the top stair.

"Avada Kedavra," yelled Voldemort.

Severus moved them into a corner where they could see the rest of the conflict taking place. His arms came around Harry giving him some form of comfort, even his own heart clenched upon seeing Lily dead at Voldemort's hand. Harry had tears freely running down his face; he didn't want to see this. He turned to the only person there, refusing to watch it; he had never experienced this kind of pain that was lancing his heart right now.

"Harry, you need to see this, you need to understand," said Severus as he wiped away the tears. He heard Harry taking a deep shuddering breath, before he turned back to what was happening right in front of him. Then he saw Severus casting the curse, it had been him all those years ago who saved his life? Then he saw it…the second killing curse rebounding of him and hitting Voldemort just as Severus' hit his back. He forgot everything as he stared unseeing. What had just happened? How the hell had he survived a damn killing curse? A curse that’s said to kill anything, absolutely anything breathing in its path.

Having seen what Severus had wanted him to see, they found themselves evicted from the pensive. Severus led Harry to the comfortable couch yet again, sitting the stunned sixteen years old down. Giving him time to come to grips with what he'd seen. It wasn't until he'd been turned into a vampire, after that night, had he realized what really happened. He had pretty much the same reaction as Harry.

"H-how is that possible?" asked Harry finally able to speak and think coherently. He could barely believe what he had seen. Yet he knew had known for years things shown inside a pensive couldn’t be faked, not even by the best of Legilimens and Occlumens.

"I do not know," said Severus quietly, regarding his mate contemplatively. "When Langdon told me about Dumbledore keeping a close eye on you, I suspected he may know or suspect, something more than what he was told went on that night." replied Severus ignoring the startled look on Harry's face by the mention of his teacher. He was in no way prepared for the look of pure loathing that crossed Harry's face at the mere mention of Dumbledore. It was rather daunting, especially since Severus recognized the look all too well; Voldemort had supported it when mentioning Dumbledore. There was something going on that he didn't know about.

"When Dumbledore came here, hoping to negotiate for help, I made a decision." said Severus, "I told him in turn for help, I wanted you."

Harry's eyes widened upon hearing that, clutching his wand tightly, feeling very angry again. He had been an idiot to believe he'd be safe here; he'd been traded like bloody cattle between them. His eyes automatically looked for any exit, but this was a castle, and there were others here. They'd gone for his wand, his heart sank, and it was just like the manor with Dumbledore all over again. Only this time he was trapped with Vampires who could move faster than him, not just an old man. Why give him his wand? Harry had never been more confused in his entire life.

"We made a vow, the stipulations were, that you were to be brought here upon your sixteenth birthday, be willing to come, to do the handfasting, and more importantly you were to be uninjured." said Severus seriously, ignoring the fear emanating from Harry. "In turn he would receive twenty of my best trained vampires."

"Your best trained?" asked Harry warily, so Severus Snape was the vampire Lord after all.

"Yes, Harry. I am the Prince Vampire heir, and Lord to my subjects." Severus informed Harry.

"What do you want with me?!" Harry asked, he'd read a book in Zabini Manor about the Prince Vampire line, somewhere down the line the two families had connected via marriage. Then again most families, at least pureblood families, were interconnected. They married their own cousins and such, just to keep their line 'pure' as can be. They had more money than sense, more power than they could use more political power than actual power levels in regards to their magic. Why on earth would Snape want him for Merlin’s sake he was just a sixteen year old teenager, why would he care if he was willing and unharmed?

Severus sighed in exasperation at the worry and fear unconcealed from those green eyes before he spoke, "Harry, I have already promised never to harm you, and I do not break my promises.”

That didn’t comfort Harry in the slightest, he was only getting pieces of the puzzle, the majority was either eluding him or he still hadn’t collected all pieces yet.

"Do you know about vampire mates?" enquired Severus.

"A little," said Harry, not much about mates was discussed outside of vampire covens. Not how they were chosen or what they did to them, or what their traditions were. He did know that vampires all had mates, and could potentially have more than one, but once they chose, they mated for life or immortal life as the case may be. He knew they were revered, coveted, loved, cherished and protected. His dad still hadn’t found his; he would never be complete until he did.

"You are mine," said Severus. It was as if time had stopped, as if it had been waiting for this very moment. It all came down to how his mate would react; all he could do was make Harry believe him. All he needed was time, patience and he would win Harry's heart.

"You went through Dumbledore to get me," said Harry, sounding disgusted, hurt thrumming through him. “Your supposed mate was traded like cattle,”

"Yes, yes I did. I was unaware that you knew nothing; I was prepared for you to be sullen at feeling duty bound to come. Not prepared to have to tell you everything, especially in regards to what Dumbledore has done. He will not get away with his actions, nobody hurts what is mine and gets away with it." said Severus unable to curb his possessiveness, to make matters worse - Severus didn’t know the whole story but he soon would.

Harry's eyes flashed eerily green, in complete agreement with Snape, if he did nothing else but bring Dumbledore down...then he would die happy. Unfortunately, his dire thoughts began circling his mind like a vulture once more not letting him have the satisfaction that Dumbledore would be taken down.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 10

Shacklebolt stared defeated at the space where the vampires had been just moments ago. If he had just come straight here, instead of going to St. Mungo's first, he would have had a chance to undo his stupidity. Cursing silently Shacklebolt Apparated away feeling nothing but defeat and self disgust. He didn't want to see Dumbledore, he felt anger and rage that he could not control, and he feared he would do something he would not regret until he ended up in Azkaban. Hated what he had been party to come to that, for the part he'd had in Harry Potter's abduction.

He headed straight back to Tonk's apartment. He stiffened when he saw they had company, no words were needed Tonks' eyes filled with defeat when she saw he was alone.

"Where is Harry? You said he was bringing Harry here!" said Remus furiously, his usually kind amber eyes flashing with a wrath that promised death. He'd just been contacted by a tearful Maria when Tonks had called through the Floo telling him that Shacklebolt was bringing Harry to her flat. He'd empted his Gringotts vault, turned it to British Muggle money and collected everything he wanted to take with him and come straight here.

"I am sorry, I got there too late," said Shacklebolt his shoulders hunched, a picture of defeat and self hatred. He was as angry as Remus was... who was he kidding? He didn't know Harry that well to be as scared and angry as the werewolf was. He was genuinely surprised he wasn't being cursed to hell and back. Remus obviously didn't know what he'd done yet. He'd best watch his back; a time would probably come when it got out. Remus was a formidable dueller, he'd have been a great Auror if it wasn't for the fact he was a werewolf. Not that he felt the Ministry was right to exclude those who suffered from the lycanthrope curse.

"Where is Harry?" growled Remus grabbing Shacklebolt by the robes, putting them face to face. Shacklebolt couldn't stare at the man, he was just too defeated.

"WHERE THE HELL IS HE?" howled Remus making it obvious just what the hell he turned into once a month.

Kingsley winced sensing how close the werewolf was to coming out, the fact the man was able to actually bloody lift him, a man who was a head taller than him told the tale on its own without the feral look in his Amber eyes.

"Boys enough!" yelled Tonks, "This isn't going to help us!” Merlin she felt like tearing her hair out, she just wished she could sleep now. She was exhausted; she hadn’t slept in two days.

"I apologize," said Remus stiffly, letting go for the Auror his anger still simmering under the surface. He wanted someone to blame, and the Order was the easiest target at the moment. Just then his sensitive ears picked up a faint moan in one of the rooms. Sniffing curiously, the curiosity faded fast through, when he realized who it was. "You have Black here?" he hissed, not sure who he was directing it at, Tonks or Shacklebolt.

"Yes, there's something wrong with him," said Tonks, defensively.

"Yeah, right," said Remus snorting bitterly, he’d long ago given up that belief.

"It's true, we think he's being controlled." said Shacklebolt, he had plans to take a vial of Sirius’ blood to St. Mungo’s for testing, if the Ministry hadn’t caught it then St. Mungo’s would definitely be the place to go to for answers.

"Right," said Remus sarcastically, "I'm not going to stand here and listen to this." with that he Apparated away. He wasn't sure what to do; did he go to Dumbledore and get answers out of the old fool? Or did he try and write to Harry and find out what Dumbledore was doing that way? He was probably at Hogwarts, all he needed to do was find the map in Filch's office and get Harry. Years ago, Remus would have hoped and prayed what they were saying was right. Unfortunately time had gone by; Sirius wasn't the love of his life anymore. He missed what they used to be, but what couple who had split didn't think the same thing? He couldn't allow himself to think about Sirius, he was too worried about his son. He'd never felt so useless in his entire life, Maria was contacting each of her own contacts to see if they could figure it out too.

--------------0

Harry stared at Severus Snape, all the information he'd just had crammed into his mind, was overloading it. He just couldn't put it in any semblance of order; he wanted to badly to scream and shout to curse to the heavens. To tell Snape where to shove his negotiations, preferably where the sun didn't shine. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately he couldn't get the words out. He couldn't stay here, he had to get away from him, to think, to breathe he felt so suffocated. For once in his life, he wanted to be in his cupboard, away from society, where nobody could get him. His hands trembling he got up from the couch, and ran towards the door, opening it, glad it was one to get out of the room. He didn't look back, he wasn't trying to leave the castle, not that he thought for a second he could. He just wanted to be alone; there was a vampire at the other end of the hall who frowned at him.

The Vampire turned around and began walking towards him; Harry ran into the room with an open door and closed it with a resounding bang. Locking it, a flimsy barrier they could get through no doubt.

Severus watched his mate's face fill with anger, sorrow, disgust, fear and just an overwhelming sadness. He wasn't surprised when he got up and bolted, it was too much for him to process no doubt. He was very tempted to follow him, but he knew doing that would be a greater disservice to Harry than anything else so far. Taking a deep breath he wandered over to the open door, watching his mate disappear into his library. He halted Selvic with one point of his finger; Severus didn't have to say anything else. Selvic bowed low before going back down to his station.

Harry leaned back against the door, closing his eyes praying they would leave him alone. Every second that ticked by he relaxed a little more; only fully relaxing when it was obvious nobody was going to come in. A sigh left his lips, then he finally noticed the room, the smell should have alerted him first but he'd been distracted. It smelt of dust, paper, leather and it just had that unique smell of a library. Accompanied by polish, the room obviously got cleaned regularly.

 

There was so many books, some even encased in glass as if they were priceless. Curiosity overcame him; he wandered over, his eyes widened in complete astonishment. He leaned down further as if he couldn't believe his own eyes. He would have stuttered in awe if he'd not had a calming draught in him. It was a scroll from the Library of Alexandria. Latin, a language he knew all too well, he'd become very knowledgeable in that language. Teddy and Blaise had helped him, since they'd been taught it from the age of five. It came more fluently for them for a long time before it did Harry. The Library of Alexandria had been destroyed during Caesar's rule, in 48 BC or so they speculated, unfortunately a proper date had never been established. How did the Prince's have it? This must be worth millions; no actually it was priceless because nobody on the planet had the amount of money for its true worth.

Even if Dumbledore hadn't touched his fortune, he wouldn't have been able to own such a priceless artefact. Had a wizard somehow Apparated in the Library of Alexandria and stolen it? From all records during the Roman times, Wizards were revered, coveted even, although not as much as Apothecary's, brewers. Back then they had not been forced to hide their gifts, but a lot had changed, the world didn't see things they didn't understand as good. No they saw it as bad, freakish, and something to be abhorred, he knew that all too well from living with the Dursley's. He seemed to be thinking of them a lot lately, why was that? For the past five years he barely thought of them, and now he was every half hour? He didn't like it.

Harry felt his heart sink even more, moving away from the scroll, he browsed the room some more. Trying to keep his mind off all the bad things happening to him, but it was getting more and more difficult to do. Stepping in front of a book that caught his attention, these were Muggle books, he recognized that Author, JRR Tolkien, first editions, right next to his published work was another Author he recognized, C.S Lewis, he remembered those books from when he was at school. The teacher had read the books to them at reading time. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe. He'd never heard the end of it, it had been that time he'd Apparated onto the school roof. He'd been thrown in the cupboard for weeks; he still to this day hadn't learnt what happened. The same had happened with Prince Caspian, and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. He had been absent from school a lot, he had been a 'sickly child', and he'd looked it for most part.

Reverently touching the spine of the book as he mused, he'd often compared the cousin of the Pevensie's, Eustace Scrubb to his own cousin Dudley. Those books had helped him escape the reality that was his life, hidden away in his cupboard he'd often imagined himself as a high king of Narnia, battling and saving the world. Then he'd been swept off in a real adventure, learning about magic and having real friends, not figments of his imagination, would he even see them again?

Harry's green eyes dimmed, he gently removed one of the books, the Dawn Treader, and sat down. He made no attempts to open it, just sitting there holding it close, the smell helped take him home. At first it had been Hogwarts that had been his home, then reduced to his second home, his first being with Zabini's, then reduced to third, as Remus' flat and Zabini's had taken first and second place. In no particular order, he loved both places equally. Dumbledore had traded him; he'd gotten custody of him, probably emptied his vaults and traded him like cattle to vampires. He'd done nothing to the old fool, absolutely nothing, yet he'd did this. If he thought he'd hated Dumbledore before, it was nothing on what he felt now. There was no word in any dictionary or language that could describe Harry's feelings for the old man. Nothing ever would Harry couldn't help but think, as he stared at the fragile book.

The conversation surrounded his head once more, and Harry set aside all emotion to think logically. Thinking over everything that had happened in an objective way, as if he wasn't in the centre of it all. Dumbledore had gone to the vampires, wanting them to join his cause. The Slytherin in Snape probably wouldn’t have been able to pass up the opportunity to get his mate. Harry had heard the way Snape had said he was his, possessively as if he was an object. He'd made some sort of contract, one that would apparently to make sure he wasn’t hurt another sign that he was just a possession.

Then Dumbledore got Black to sign over custody of him, begun looking for him, finding and taking him from his home in the middle of then night. He grinned wolfishly, unable to help himself just remembering the ceiling and woodwork falling onto the old fool. Too bad he was probably already healed, maybe if he was lucky the hand he'd crushed with his foot would bother Dumbledore until he dies. He'd eluded them, but only so far, if only his ribs hadn't been broken, he'd have gotten away. Dumbledore had made sure that he would go through with it without a protest. Scoffing in derision, he hated the fact he’d been blackmailed, worse so easily, he was meant to be a Slytherin but he had been played like a Hufflepuff.

His mind whirled to the memory; he had managed to do the impossible as a baby. He had managed to somehow shield himself against the killing curse, not only that but he'd sent it back at Voldemort. Just how the hell was that possible? Hoisting his feet up, the book perching on his knees as he wrapped his arms around his legs, he allowed his chin to rest upon the book on his knees. So what if he had survived the killing curse? It’s not like he’d ever get an answer. He shuddered just imagining Dumbledore's expression if he ever found out. He'd have been used as some sort of guinea pig. They'd have wanted to know just how the hell he'd survived. Dumbledore would have had the ultimate warrior for the war. That's if it hadn't been a fluke, and he'd been killed with the next death curse to hit him. Quite frankly, the notion of Dumbledore having him was terrifying.

If he was Snape's mate, why had he not written to him? Warned him what was going to happen? Got to know him that way? Instead of making Harry feel like a slab of meat to be shipped from pillar to post. He was stuck here against his will, albeit not really Snape’s doing but he was keeping him from his family, Merlin he was essentially bloody married at sixteen.

-------0

Severus paced up and down; he was trying desperately to give Harry the space he evidently needed. He had so many questions he wanted to ask him, and damn it, he wanted to know where such fierce hatred of Dumbledore had come from. When Langdon had said Harry hated Dumbledore he must admit he had imagined a childish hated not the very real disgust he had seen. He had two choices right now, either go to Harry and discuss it further, or give him more space. Which could just put more distance between them, besides the gaping hole that was already there. His grandparents were going to murder him when they found out how he'd gone about it. He knew he'd done what needed to be done, whether anyone else approved. He couldn't risk Dumbledore getting his paws into Harry, ever. Sooner or later the truth would have gotten out. It was inevitable really. The Dark Lord knew what had really gone down, and while he wouldn’t broadcast it, Dumbledore would be smart enough to wonder why the Dark Lord had chosen Harry to return. There would be further attacks down the road, of that he had no doubt, yes, it was inevitable really.

Squaring his shoulders, he walked out of his room, going at a human pace. He stood outside the door, unlocking it without his wand; it was his castle after all. Nobody could keep him out, the wards responded to him first and foremost. He stood there observing his mate, without him noticing. Well, thought Severus to himself, here goes nothing.

He was leaning against the door jamb, his arms crossed on his chest, his black eyes hooded. "Why do you hate Dumbledore?"

Harry jumped in surprise, the book falling with the thump to the floor. Harry kicked his legs out and landed gracefully on his feet, and picked up the book. It was something familiar to hang on to. He may be a Slytherin, but everyone who saw him observed that he was never far away from a book, or buried in one, he’d been determined to learn everything about his new world at the age of eleven. Everyone even his best friends had questioned the hats decision by the time he was twelve, he was just very studious. Although, his best friends had come to learn why, and had supported him, helped him.

Harry stared at Severus as if he had lost his mind.

"I do think it’s just because of this situation," Severus replied when it became apparent his mate wasn't going to speak. "I do find myself curious as to why you went through with the handfasting…Dumbledore made it more than clear you didn’t consent, that you refused to go with him,” and for that he had lost any and all hope of Severus giving him a single one of his people to aid him in the war.

Harry looked away, “He threatened someone…very dear to me,” he finally revealed, sounding so utterly defeated.

“I see,” Severus replied Dumbledore wasn’t above threatening people; he himself had been subtly threatened by the old fool. Nothing too outrageous, just a subtle hint that he would be expelled from Hogwarts should the truth about Lupin’s state ever getting out to the public. Just what had Dumbledore actually threatened Harry with to make him go through with a handfasting? Would there ever be trust between them? Between Dumbledore’s threats and how he’d gone about it…would Harry bond with him when the time came? “I know you do not like how it was handled, but believe me you will understand sooner or later. Have you never wondered why The Dark Lord chose to use you to come back? He wanted your blood for a reason. He thinks you defeated him alone, The Dark Lord did not see me. Sooner or later the Dark Lord will slip up and Dumbledore will realize the truth,” he knew he had to be blunt; the Slytherin in Harry would appreciate that. “Now he has no say in your life, and you are somewhere where I can keep you safe from his machinations.

Harry turned and stared at the Vampire Lord, blinking owlishly, well he had thought of why Voldemort had used him. His dad thought it was because he'd been the only one to survive an attack. He wanted to finish what he started, but with everything he’d learned today, he had actually realized there had been more to it. It made what Voldemort had said make a lot of sense in a way he hadn’t been able to understand before. “Until today I hadn’t,”

"Of course you hadn’t," replied Severus remaining where he was, "No doubt it's come as a shock, surviving something nobody else has. I would have explained it to you, but as a Slytherin I knew you wouldn't believe it as the truth until you had seen it with your own eyes."

"Growing up with my Aunt and Uncle I learned not to judge people on their appearances. My Aunt was so bitter towards her neighbours, but if anything happened she'd be the first one there. Comforting them, and making sure they knew she was there for them. Then there was all the clients my Uncle brought to the house, for his work, he sells drills to big companies. He was always laughing at their jokes, for all appearances he really liked them. When they went away, my aunt and uncle would exclaim their disgust at everything they didn't approve of. Which was mostly everything; I've never seen them taking a genuine shine to anyone that walked through their door." Harry‘s lips curled, he wanted to slap his palm into his forehead, as if he could physically remove the Dursley‘s from his mind, to forget them.

Severus mentally snorted, it seemed as though Petunia hadn’t changed unsurprisingly, although the change in subject did surprise him.

Moving from the door jamb, noticing Harry’s green eyes watching him warily. Ignoring it for now, he sat himself down on the chair across from him. It was very difficult to keep his hands to himself, he wanted Harry badly. He was up for the challenge, but the day Harry submitted to him, would be his greatest wish come true. He was used to everything he wanted coming to him now, he'd had his share of lovers in the past thirteen years. He'd stopped when he found his mate, determined to have him and no other.

“I thought he was mental and harmless to begin with, then when my dad, Remus, wrote to me my first night at Hogwarts it began from there...I had forgotten the lessons my relatives taught me, for however brief a time." Harry continued, his muddled mind still explaining why he hated Dumbledore - as if the reason he had given wasn’t enough.

"You found out he was the one that placed you with the Dursley's." Severus deduced, he was feeling extremely pleased that Dumbledore had broken his word, not that he had wanted Harry to be hurt, but he was pleased nonetheless since it meant he had been able to withdraw from the contract and honourably too. It would have galled him if he’d been forced to send his men to Dumbledore knowing what he did now.

Harry gave Snape another suspicious look; the man seemed to know everything, including the names of the people who'd raised him. He hadn't specified who they were, just calling them aunt and uncle for Snape's benefit. Did he know how they'd treated him? Had he actually gone to see them before accepting Dumbledore’s offer? Although, he did have to admit it was a smart move to make, to find out everything you could about your mate, which just made the anger more palpable that he had drawn up a contract between Dumbledore instead of just meeting with him, telling him the truth and letting him decide his own fate.

"You know I knew your mother," said Severus dryly, "Unfortunately I also knew Petunia." his mate was more suspicious then he had been at that age, which seemed impossible.

Harry nodded grimly, that much he had deduced, he had come to his home and fired of the Killing curse at Voldemort after his mum had died. Harry had also seen the anguish on Severus’ face when he realized what was happening; only a fool would think they were strangers or mere acquaintances. He felt no need to ask any questions, Remus had repeatedly told him everything he knew about his parents, and he had known both of them very well. He may have not grown up with them but at least he felt like he knew them.

"Continue," Severus urged, wishing for Harry to keep going he wanted the full picture.

"Why do you want to know?" Harry scowled, looking away; the last thing he wanted to do under a damn calming draught was talk about Dumbledore where he couldn’t express his anger, frustration and rage. Plus, Severus seemed all too eager to hear everything, and given how possessive he was, it wouldn’t surprise him if he was up to something.

"I want to understand your reaction better," said Severus honestly, so that's where the look had come from. It hadn't been anything to do with Dumbledore or the Dursley's. He was wondering at his motivation for asking, he withheld a smirk, well that was a Slytherin move. It was nice to see Harry's true nature starting to shine through again.

"He stole my money," said Harry bitterly, feeling satisfaction bubbling within him seeing Snape's reaction to his statement. Admittedly he didn't show much, but his eyes had widened in shock for a few seconds before returning to normal. It wasn't a laughing matter, but the fact he'd gotten a vampire to show emotion made him want to snigger. It was supposed to be notoriously difficult, to get a vampire to show any emotions. What they showed, was what they wanted the world to see. Which was mostly an emotionless mask; they weren't controlled by their body's reactions like humans were. Yes, he knew a lot about vampires, just like he knew everything there was to know about werewolves and other interesting people claimed 'Dark' by the Ministry.

"Excuse me?" asked Severus unable to believe his ears.

"My father… he set up accounts, one went to the Order, the second was to the Hogwarts scholarship fund and the third for St. Mungo's." said Harry, why was he telling Snape this? He didn’t have much choice but to trust him, he was stuck here; if he made it easy then perhaps he would get to see his family again.

"They should have been stopped when he died," said Severus, the vaults should have been shut down until the will was read. Then after that nothing going out until Harry approved it when he was seventeen years old. It was the way Gringotts worked, everyone knew that, or at least should.

"My parents wills were never read," Harry said bitterly, "He kept taking the money, now he's going to get whatever's left. I thought that's why he'd got Black to sign over custody." his voice was hollow and filled with defeat. After never touching it, letting the goblins invest in small businesses that would be sure to be at least measurably profitable. It would all be taken from him and used to finance the bloody Order.

"Actually no, he won't." Severus corrected him, barely able to control his disgust. The anger at Dumbledore building yet again at what had done to his mate. No wonder Harry hated Dumbledore, he would have as well. In fact he did, more so than ever before, for the simple fact what he'd done had affected his mate. Stealing from an heir to the house of Potter, the last heir at that, an orphaned boy, was just way below the belt worse than all else he had done. "He has no control over any aspect of your life. We married in a handfast, that declares you legally an adult, and thus you became Lord Potter-Prince, nobody can touch your money anymore.”

Harry felt bitterness crawling its way up his throat; what did it matter anyway? He was stuck here; Snape wasn't going to let him go home, he didn’t know what would become of him. Would Snape even let him leave when he was seventeen? Or was he stuck here until he died? Oh how he wanted to see some familiar faces. His family, he desperately wanted his family. Despair was once again thrumming through him. He clutched at the book, it anchored him, stopped him falling into what felt like hopeless desolation.

Severus as he'd done since Harry had woken up, kept a close eye on the teenager. Harry didn't fully wear his heart on his sleeve, but he didn't know Occlumency, he wasn't reading his mind, but Harry's eyes revealed each and every emotion he felt. He doubted even with Occlumency it would make a difference, he didn't want it to change though so he didn't mind. He liked being able to read Harry, it would mean he would always know how his mate was feeling. It made being in control ten times easier, and that's something Severus strived to always be - in control. It stemmed from his childhood, being controlled by his parents, then Dumbledore even if it was just to stop him telling the world about Lupin. Then Voldemort, it wasn't until he'd become a vampire he'd had any semblance of control over his own life. Even now, he felt the need to control everything and everyone in his life. He couldn’t control Harry the same way he did the others, it wasn’t right, he wanted his mate to come to love being here, with him, not hate it.

Severus knelt beside Harry, lifting his chin, "Give it a chance Harry, I think you may learn to love it here. How about a deal? You stay for a year and allow me to court you, and at the end of the allotted time, if you don't want this life then you can walk away and dissolve the handfasting." failure wasn't an option; he would have to make sure Harry didn't want to leave. He could protect Harry, love him, cherish him, and give him all the things he could imagine and more. If that wasn't enough, well what could he do? No matter what he couldn't force the mating on Harry, it would kill him. His magic would fight the bond, the struggle would continue even when the pain became too much…inevitably he'd die. The thought of his mate rejecting him was rather painful to imagine.

"You'd do that? Let me leave?" Harry was too stunned to feel the elevation he thought he should be feeling right now. The shoe had been put on the other foot, and very quickly his Slytherin nature was coming out to play.

"As much as it would pain me to, yes, I always keep my word." said Severus wryly.

Harry cocked his head to the side, regarding Severus shrewdly, "Even about Dumbledore?"

Severus smirked, he'd had a few plans for Dumbledore, but now he knew what he'd done to Harry well, and his plans had levelled up a few notches. "Yes. Do we have a deal?" deals were much like vows or oaths, there was magic in words.

"On one condition," said Harry, stiffening his resolve.

"Which is?" asked Severus, he was now the one eyeing Harry shrewdly; it seemed as if his Slytherin nature in all its glory was coming out to play. It was rather refreshing, someone not just immediately doing what he wanted. The part that strived for control seemed to be on mute for now. Perhaps it was because he was actually impressed with his guile.

"You let me stay with Blaise or Remus four times a week," said Harry. He knew his first offer would be denied, it was just too long, which meant his second or third request would be granted.

"No, you stay here, where I can keep you safe." Severus dismissed it immediately, and it truly wasn't just to keep an eye on him, the war was going to get worse. He wanted Harry out of harms way, and if it so happened his mate would be with him every night then so be it.

"I thought this was supposed to be a negotiation?" Harry retorted bluntly.

"It is, I am declining." said Severus internally smirking, Harry was young, he'd learn. As it was, he was going to let his mate think he was getting his own way, let him think that he'd won…eventually. No need to make it too easy after all, unless Harry was counting on him being just as sly as he was.

"Alright I want to visit them three days a week," said Harry grudgingly.

"They come here, or not at all, twice a week." Severus conceded sighing in feigned exasperation.

"Five days," Harry tried his luck.

“Two,” he wasn’t going to budge on it.

“Three days?” Harry pressed.

"On the condition we share the same bed," smirked Severus, he couldn't pass it up, he wanted, no needed to be close to his mate. "Nothing will happen until you are ready; you have my word on that."

Harry swallowed thickly; he was beginning to realize that this was an actual marriage; Severus would want to consummate it. Well, they were mates, but he didn’t want to be married, but if it offered him protection against Voldemort and Dumbledore he knew his dad would be urging him to take it. He’d wanted to marry someone out of love, to have someone like Maria’s first husband; the bond she spoke of made him desire exactly that. "Fine." agreed Harry grudgingly, "By day we are talking about more than just one or two hour's right?"

Severus' smirk became more pronounced, "Twelve until five, non negotiable."

"Okay," said Harry smirking widely, which changed to a genuine smile. He couldn’t care less about anything other than the fact that he was going to be able to see his family three days a week. Nothing could ruin his good mood right now, not even the fact he’d be sharing a bed with the vampire crouched down next to him.

It was almost worth it, thought Severus, upon seeing the triumphant smile upon his mates face, and the twinkle in his eyes. It was going to be so easy winning his affections, Severus knew it, and Harry was going to be very easy to please. He looked as though he'd won the lottery; it had been the right decision after all. He made a note to himself to allow Harry to feel like he'd won, just now and again of course. "Then I believe we have an accord." stated Severus holding his hand out.

Harry reluctantly shook it; the magic took hold binding them to their words.

Severus gently took hold of Harry's chin, making Harry look at him, "Just so you know, I don't intend to lose Harry." said Severus his eyes smouldering as he gazed into Harry's suddenly wide ones. "You will want to stay, I can guarantee you that." Harry's eyes fluttered slightly as Severus stroked his thumb up and down the side of his face. Severus' smirk reduced to a genuine smile. He knew there and then he'd won, not just with the deal but Harry too, even if he didn't realize it. Oh yes, Harry would be his, sooner rather than later. Severus couldn't stop the smugness he felt from enveloping him completely.

Unfortunately Harry's stomach growling something fierce broke the spell.

"You are hungry," stated Severus, considering it was nearly lunch time and he’d barely eaten breakfast it didn't surprise him. "Come let's have some lunch and get to know one another." Hoisting Harry out of the chair, letting him place the book aside.

"You can eat?" Harry frowned, remembering the two plates on the table, he hadn’t seen Severus eat anything but it had been there.

"Indeed I can, I prefer my food to be on the raw side, its turned vampires that cannot eat." explained Severus, opening the door and allowing his mate to step out first. A small smirk gracing his lips at the fact Harry wasn’t even the slightest bit perturbed by his preferences, but considering his ‘dad’ probably had a similar diet it was expected.

"I hadn't realized there was a difference between turned vampires and those who receive an inheritance." said Harry, as they walked along back to the room he'd been in before. Assuming that Severus was one of the vampires who changed after receiving a vampire inheritance, quite correctly so.

"There is, you can learn all about it, we have enough books here to sink the titanic." said Severus wryly.

Harry blinked "You know about a Muggle boat?" gaped the Muggle raised Potter in frank astonishment; he so rarely heard any Muggle phrases in the magical world.

"Of course, I am a half blood," said Severus. He wasn't ashamed of it like he used to be, why be ashamed of something that made him as strong and powerful as he was? The old blood was dying out, more squibs were being produced. His mother didn't have enough magic to gain her rightful inheritance. If there was one thing he was glad for, when it came to Tobias Snape - was the new blood that made him magically powerful and he believed it wholeheartedly.

Harry stopped in his tracks, laughing in complete hilarity. "The Half-Blood Prince." and now after all those years, he knew who it was. Pretty ironic, he'd been ever so curious about who it could be since his third year at Hogwarts. Go figure he'd find out, just never in the way he'd imagined.

Severus was eyeing him curiously, but Severus was a smart man, he figured it out on his own all too quickly. "You have come into possession of my book?"

Harry nodded his amusement shining through his unique green eyes; he’d gotten his book one day, so Slughorn had told him to get one from the cupboard. He had taken a copy of the sixth and seventh grade potions books too; the sixth one had been altered.

"I do hope you haven't used any of the spells," said Severus cautiously. If he had known that would be all it took for Harry to look at him…he'd have told him hours ago. Well he knew now, and the fact it was his mate gazing at him that way, well lets just say he was glad he'd left the book where he had. He wondered if he'd ever stop feeling incredibly smug. Opening the door to his rooms and closing it after they entered.

"Teddy and Blaise helped me learn Latin, I knew what they would do." said Harry solemnly. "I did want to use one on Dumbledore though."

"Let me guess 'Sectumsempra'?" he stated as he took a seat. The breakfast tray was already gone; Anne must have already collected them.

"Well it is for enemies," said Harry sitting himself down.

Severus decided not to tell him that he'd actually created it for his father. "Indeed," was all he said as the food appeared before them. Perhaps after Harry went to bed, he'd contact Lupin, there was some things he needed to know, and not from Harry. There was much he was unaware of that he desired answers in regards to, plus his mate wanted to see his ‘dad’ and thus he may as well make arrangements while he was at it.

--------------0

 

Shacklebolt remained in St. Mungo's pacing back and forth; he'd used his job as Head of the Auror division to demand the results as soon as possible. With magic it took them only three to five hours to have all the results from Sirius Black’s blood works. Now blood works were handled with the utmost care and overseen by three different Wizards. Once the results were done, they blood was destroyed, they didn't keep it. As most people knew, blood could be used for many evil purposes, and hence why it was never left lying around. Although most rites or rituals required fresh blood, it wasn't a chance magical people were comfortable with.

Sitting down he sighed in irritation, rolling his head from one shoulder to the next, getting rid of the kinks. He was exhausted, yet he knew he'd never be able to sleep, at least without a Dreamless Sleeping Potion. He'd given Harry to Dumbledore, he'd caused this, and not only that he'd hurt him. He felt extremely guilt about it; he should have questioned why Harry was running so desperately. Yet he hadn't, his trust in Dumbledore had been absolute, even if he had been questioning him. Now though his entire life had been turned on its axis, the rug pulled from under his feet. Now he was wondering at everything he'd done as an Order member.

Fifteen minutes later Kingsley got up, strolling through the doors that opened immediately. Finding the small café, that was open twenty four hours. As far as he knew Muggles didn't work that way, only opening it during the day which was extremely odd. What did the night shift Muggles do to eat? Did they starve their own people? It horrified him at the thought. The cafeteria was quiet, just a few people drinking cups of tea and eating crisps as they waited for news of their loved ones.

"Can I help you?" asked the witch quietly.

"Cup of coffee to take away please," said Shacklebolt, placing a small bar of Honeydukes chocolate on the counter, he'd not eaten in hours and he was starving. Kingsley was sure the witch on the other side of the counter could hear his stomach complaining. He counted it up mentally and passed over the correct amount without her even having to tell him, nodding quietly she placed it in her till. The large mug was placed in front of him, steaming and hot and Kingsley couldn't wait to drink it. It was freezing in the waiting area.

Absently making his way back, sitting back down on the same seat, darkly wondering what was taking them so long, he'd been here eight hours, probably nine by this. Placing the mug on the chair next to him, he ate his chocolate bar waiting for the brew to cool down a little. He preferred his black so he always had to wait; milk just weakened it in his opinion. Placing the used wrapper in his pocket he picked up his coffee and mused some more. He was tempted to demand what was taking so long, but drawing them away from their work would hinder the process on a whole.

"Kingsley Shacklebolt?" called a voice, startling the man, causing him to burn his lip taking a drink of his coffee. Cursing he got up and made his way over.

"Yes?" he said identifying himself.

"If you would follow me." said Professor Helbert Spleen. He was well known he wrote pieces in the Daily Prophet, regarding St. Mungo's.

"Take a seat," said Helbert after passing dozens of offices and doors until he reached his own one. He took his own seat, staring at Shacklebolt grimly, which made the Auror get Goosebumps all over his arms. Shacklebolt sat down back straight and professional despite not wearing his Auror robes at the moment.

"I understand you were concerned?" asked Helbert digging for information.

"Yes," replied Kingsley bluntly, giving nothing away.

"You had every right to be," said the professor the folder open staring at the results. "What did you suspect?"

"He's not been himself, I suspect he may be under some form of control we've yet to see." said Shacklebolt giving just a little bit more information.

The professor nodded again, "You were correct, we almost missed it ourselves," admitted Helbert.

"I figured as much," said Kingsley, unsurprised, he never questioned his instincts.

"Has there been anyone Sirius Black was close to? At all if you know him personally?" asked Helbert.

"Why?" enquired Kingsley.

"Someone performed the anima ligaveris spell on him when he was eleven after he found his soul mate." said Helbert grimly.

Kingsley's eyes widened in shocked horror, to perform that spell was the height of evilness. It essentially boxed in the part of magic that helped identify one's soul mate. To do it afterwards…when the bond had been at the beginning stages, Black will have felt a gaping hole of emptiness that followed him around even into adulthood. "Can you tell who did it?" choked the still disgusted man.

"We tried our best but the magical signature has completely degraded, it's been decades since it was done so it shouldn't come as a total shock." said Helbert. "He may be able to tell us, his memory has also been modified around the same time the spell was performed. We are assuming his mind was wiped of anything he knew regarding the budding soul bond." which at the age of eleven wouldn't have been advanced.

"His mate must be a creature, a magical creature otherwise the bond couldn't possibly have started before the age of sixteen or seventeen year's old." said Shacklebolt swallowing thickly, he had a good idea now who it was. The bond would have helped Remus, given him more control over his wolf, his senses, and in turn given that to Sirius over the bond. It was ironic that they had dated despite the bond being suppressed.

"Indeed," said Helbert nodding in agreement.

"Is the normal potion to flush out anything in the system enough to get rid of it?" asked Kingsley.

"It should be he will need more than one, in my estimation he needs at least three for it to be completely flushed from his system." said Helbert mentally calculating the odds. "It will be very harsh on his body, he will need a few rejuvenating potions, possibly a few nights sleep afterwards. Since we do not know what he's been made do, his mind may also shut down to protect his sanity…he may need a healers care."

"He's strong, hopefully he might be able to handle it." said Shacklebolt stubbornly, "If it comes to it then I will bring him here you have my word." at least he hoped Black was, he might not be, considering he'd ignored his godson his entire life.

"Very well," conceded the professor, evidently not going to fight the Auror on this.

"Can you tell me how long he's had the potion in his system?" asked Kingsley.

"Since 1980," said Helbert.

Kingsley closed his eyes, that year was ingrained in everyone's mind. It's the year peace once again reigned over the magical world. Everyone finally feeling safe after Voldemort's defeat, at the expense of Harry Potter's of course. Then the horror as they let their guard down when the Longbottom's were cursed into insanity. That year would never be forgotten, he knew who had been controlling Sirius without a doubt now.

"Thank you," said Shacklebolt.

"Here is a copy," said Helbert handing over a second folder the Auror hadn't seen.

"I'll set up an appointment for him to come in," said Helbert, "A week should give him a chance to recover. No doubt he will want the spells removed." writing down an appointment in his book, and then on a card for the Auror to give to Black as a reminder.

"Probably," said Shacklebolt, he knew he would. Soul bonds were rare in the magical world, only a few ever truly found them; it was a very sacred thing. It had been around four generations since there was one known about; it had been celebrated as it always should be.

"Wait a moment," said Helbert disappearing through a door. "These are the potions Mr. Black needs to take."

"Thank you," said Shacklebolt; it would make things go faster having them. He also accepted the card, his mind and body exhausted he nodded before leaving the room a quiet goodbye leaving his lips.

Not up to going back to his flat alone, he Apparated back to Tonks' flat, sitting down with an exhausted sigh on the couch.

"Shack?! Shack!" yelled Tonks.

Kingsley jumped his eyes opening in a flash, the room was flooded in light - he couldn't even remember falling asleep.

"What did you find out?" asked Tonks staring at the folder.

"Its bad." said Shacklebolt, handing over the folder; he really didn't want to explain everything that happened.

Tonks took it as the food continued to cook, sitting down on the kitchen seat she began flipping through the pages, her eyes getting impossibly large and her hair changing to a deep red colour. She was no healer, but as an Auror they knew basic scanning spells and the results of it. Her jaw was hanging open by the time she got to the bottom of all the results. Sirius had been controlled for years!

"I have the potions here to purge it." said Shacklebolt still tired. He wasn't sure what time he'd Apparated back here, but it had been late.

"The quicker we do it, the better." she said grimly.

Shacklebolt just nodded in agreement.

"Go do it, I'll finish breakfast," said Tonks making her way into her small kitchen, it was open plan but simple enough for her.

"Alright," grumbled the Auror plucking one of the potions from where he'd left them at the side of the couch, something he didn't even remember doing. Everything was blank after he Apparated in, not surprising really he had been pretty out of it, exhausted to the max. He made his way to Tonks' spare room to find Sirius groggily coming around.

"How are you feeling?" asked Kingsley staring down at the Auror. Wishing he had noticed something sooner, that someone had at least. It couldn't be helped really, the normal scans had detected nothing, and there was no reason to believe otherwise. He wouldn't have if it wasn't for the plea for help coming from somewhere deep inside of Black. He removed the bonds on his upper body, keeping the lower still strapped to the bed.

"Confused, what happened?" asked Sirius sticking his tongue out, he was drier than a bone.

"Drink this," said Kingsley deciding not to tell him, he might put up a fight, or the potion in him might make him anyway.

Sirius' blue eyes flashed in panic very briefly before he accepted the potion without protesting. "ARGH!" groaned Sirius, clutching at his stomach as agony speared through him. The flash of panic turned into real fear as sweat began to course through him.

"What happened?" asked Tonks coming in wand at the ready panicking.

"Its fine, the first of the potions has been administered." said Kingsley placing his hand up soothing the worried witch.

"Is it supposed to do that?" asked Tonks looking at Sirius in cautiousness.

"It must do, it's the first time I've seen its affects." said Kingsley.

"Me too," said Tonks, casting a cleaning charm on him, "I'll need to stay here and watch him, we can't leave him alone…can we even give him any other potions?"

"I'll Floo over and find out," said Kingsley alarmed at the fever Sirius was burning up.

"The Floo Powder is in the box next to the kitchen sink." said Tonks as Shacklebolt left the room.

"Okay." came from the hall as Shacklebolt Floo'ed Helbert.

--------0

"Ah, Kingsley Shacklebolt correct?" asked Helbert, staring into the flames.

"Yes, I need to ask a few questions if you have a minute?" asked the Auror.

"Of course, go ahead, my next appointment isn't for twenty minutes." said the professor happy enough to help.

"Can any other potion be administered with the purging potion? And how often can we give him the purging potion" asked Kingsley patiently.

"Nothing can, it would just be purged the second it was administered. The Potion can be administered every six hours." said Helbert immediately. "Is he gaining a temperature?" he added knowingly.

"Yes," said Kingsley immediately, nodding even through the flames.

"It's perfectly normal, just cast cooling charms and put an ice pack on his forehead. If it gets worse a cold bath might be necessarily. The fever should only last two hours, after that he should be fine, if it doesn't you best call back and I'll come and see him." said Helbert.

"Okay, thanks." said Shacklebolt withdrawing from the fireplace. He made his way back to Tonks' she was already doing what the healer had suggested.

"What did they say?" asked Tonks as soon as he stepped foot in the room.

"No potions, just cooling charms, ice pack and if it gets worse a cold bath." said Shacklebolt giving her the run down in just one sentence. Never let it be said Shacklebolt was one for beating around the bush, at least not with cases like this.

Tonks nodded absently, as she applied a wet rag to his head as he shivered. He seemed incoherent, just blabbing nonsensically, an occasional word she understood leaving Sirius' lips like 'no' and 'cold' sometimes something sounding like 'Harry' would emerge. It shouldn't surprise them; after all he'd fought the potion, which meant he was starting to fight back.

Shacklebolt sighed as he sat down on the edge of the bed, avoiding Sirius' legs as he did so. “You’re going to be late,”

"I sent a message Patronus in to let them knew a few minutes ago." said Tonks, "I’m not going in today."

"We need rest, we will have to take turns," Shacklebolt suggested, exhaustion written across his face.

"Alright," said Tonks, “Go get a few more hours, I‘ll wake you up when its your turn.” she had slept while he was at St. Mungo’s it was only fair that he got to rest for a bit.

"Good," said Shacklebolt, sniffing the air, "I think the food is burning." he commented.

Tonks cursed and jumped out the bedroom and into the kitchen, a record for her since she didn't once trip up over anything. That might be because there was nothing to trip over though. If there was anywhere Tonks knew best, it would be her home after all wouldn't it?

----------0

Half an hour later the Auror's were sitting finishing their breakfast still in the spare room. Tonks had made sure Sirius drank a lot of fluids to help him. He'd need a lot with the fever he was burning up, but since they'd re-applied the cooling charms Sirius had settled down again.

"When can we give him the next dose?" asked Tonks as she banished the dishes to the sink.

"Five hours now, Helbert said it could be administered every six hours." said Shacklebolt.

"Thank Merlin that means it will be over in less than twenty four hours!" said Tonks relieved beyond belief.

Shacklebolt nodded thoughtfully, that hadn't even dawn on him, and it was good news.

Leaning back closing his eyes he spoke again, "Did you see the soul binding spell?" asked Shacklebolt.

"Yes," said Tonks bleakly.

"I'd bet my wages it's Lupin," said Shacklebolt wryly.

Tonks wasn't as surprised as she should have been, nothing would come of their night together she knew that.

"Should we let him know?" wondered Shacklebolt aloud.

"Maybe we should let Sirius be the one to explain." said Tonks, "When he's ready, it’s not going to be easy for them." She added sympathetically.

"You’re right," said Shacklebolt nodding in agreement, it definitely wasn’t going to be easy, Sirius would need to accept what had been done to him first before anything else.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 11

Severus sighed sitting down, grateful for the reprieve, he hadn’t been able to spend the afternoon getting to know Harry as he would have liked. Regretfully after lunch, Selvic's mate had gone into labour, and as the resident Potions Master and healer, along with Alfred they had tended to it. Truthfully, they had been asked to be there for it, given all Selvic and his mate had been through, Severus hadn’t denied them the only request they had ever made after years of faithful service.

Selvic's mate, Adam had given birth relatively easily, to a little boy. He had then wished them luck, and told them he didn't want to see them for at least a week or two. They would of course, continue to be paid, for their loyalty over the years. Severus knew how to ensure peoples loyalties, and it wasn't by making them terrified of you. No, to keep them loyal you had to at first make them respect you, fear your wrath and also make them like you. Hard combination to achieve, but Severus had succeeded but given the state the vampire world had been in with his predecessor it couldn’t have gotten any worse.

To matters worse, as if the day couldn’t get any worse, a few of his people had gone AWOL. They hadn't returned when they said they would; now a few others were now out there looking for them. Severus could only hope they were at the very least safe, he'd asked them to look into what the Dark Lord was doing. Nothing dangerous, just scouring for information, not spying per se, but keeping an ear out down Knockturn Alley and few other places the Death Eaters liked to frequent. He knew exactly where they went; he had after all once been one of them.

Severus gazed over at his bed, a feeling of elation coursed through him. He finally, after all those years, had his mate with him. He would of course, keep his word, there would be nothing happening, not until Harry was one hundred percent willing and sure. Which admittedly might take a bit of time, he wasn't under any illusions everything would be okay yet. He liked to think of it as the calm before the storm, Harry would need time. A lot of time to get over how he was brought here, perhaps with the revenge on Dumbledore might prove some entertainment and revenge for Harry help gain his forgiveness. For Harry to truly realize he'd done the right thing, there was little doubt what he said, would have to happen. The world would have to realize Harry had done something scary yet wonderful. There might even be a chance of the world turning against him; he knew how fickle the world was. If it didn't meet your standards, fit into that little box of expectations or comprehensions then you were discarded, feared for something they didn't understand.

Severus finger scraped against the chair he was currently sitting in, a small wry smile making its way onto his face. His mind coming up with ways to…drive his mate to distraction. Oh yes, he was going to have an amusing time with that. There were many ways to torment someone with need, without being obvious about it. Even if Harry was Slytherin, he wouldn't know what hit him. Severus hissed when he realized the …affect it was having on him. As much as he would have liked to…attend to it, he had more urgent matters to deal with. He had a mangy cur to deal with, one he would have to allow access to his home. One he would have to accept, since he was obviously close to Harry. It made his stomach turn, but he didn't have to like the werewolf, just tolerate him. First things first, the flea bitten mongrel had information he wanted, needs a must. Vacating the now scratched chair, which looked like it had gone three rounds with a cat, he left the bedroom and made way for the small study across the landing. He didn’t want this conflict waking Harry up, for he knew it would turn into one. He had no doubt the wolf hadn’t changed much in the years since they met.

Severus scooped up the powder from the ceramic jar and flung into the fire, shouting the name of Lupin's flat. He doubted the wolf had changed the name; it cost too much to do such a thing. He was not however, prepared to be rebound back through the Floo Network. By sheer will power he managed to remain on his feet when he was ejected from his own fireplace. His nostrils flared, so the wolf wasn't accepting visitors, thankfully one could still visit his fireplace. His lip curling, he knelt down, throwing a new handful into the flames and repeating himself, as he stuck only his head into it.

After a rather dizzying experience, feeling as though his head was being detached from its body as it whizzed on through the network. Severus looked around the flat, and felt rather disconcerted, the flat looked abandoned. Lupin couldn't have been able to afford a different place surely? He didn't want his mate aware he wanted to speak to the wolf. Then his vampire ears were able to pick up subtle breathing. Someone was here, yet why was the place so damn deserted? Surely the man had some furniture? He couldn't be that badly off could he? If Harry called him ‘dad’ surely he lived with him?

"LUPIN!" snarled Severus loudly, his voice reverberating around the desolate room. "GET YOUR FLEA INFESTED SELF DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW." it felt so good to get that off his chest. After treading on egg shells all day, particularly around Harry. He smothered his amusement when he heard a muffled thump from above followed by a curse.

Remus’ hearing picked up the sound of the voice clearly, he knew who that was, and he hadn’t heard that voice in what…fifteen years probably longer. Why the hell was Severus Snape getting in touch with him for? Not like he had been able to sleep, his trip to Hogwarts had proved an utter failure, neither Harry nor Dumbledore had been there. Dumbledore still hadn’t returned by midnight, and so he had decided to go tomorrow morning and get answers, straight from the horse’s mouth. Quickly running down the stairs, he entered his empty living room, "What the…" muttered Remus staring into the fire, almost squinting as if he couldn't believe his eyes. Yes, he'd been aware the man was alive, he'd sent him his Wolfsbane potion but never in a million years had he expected the man to show up in his fireplace of all places. "Snape is that you?"

"Of course it's me, still as idiotic as ever I see?" said Severus rolling his eyes, an eyebrow rose and sneer on his lip - unmistakable. He couldn't find it in himself to be downright vicious though. The wizard looked exhausted, black bags under his eyes, and well simply put despite his surprise he looked utterly wretched. Feeling bad for the wolf didn't mean he had to like him.

"As fun as it is to have you in my fireplace spouting insults, not that its anything original mind you, heard it all before…if there's a purpose to this visit then by all means do tell." said Remus dryly, not rising to the bait. There would have been a time, long ago, he would have gotten furious or hunched his back and took it like a coward having Sirius and James defend him. Not anymore, he was no longer the 'Omega', no; Snape was looking at a proud Alpha. Harry had made him finally accept who he was, what he was. Something even James, Sirius and Lily had not been able to do. The transformations were a lot less painful after he accepted himself, and his wolf. Then he'd started getting the potion, now he barely felt anything, although admittedly he still ached like hell and felt extremely weak, it was nothing on how it used to be. He'd used up to three or four spend days in the infirmary or flat recovering. Then there was the fact he just wanted his son, but he may as well be a million miles away at the moment.

Severus suddenly found a new respect for the wolf, which of course he would deny even upon his death bed. The wizard before him had changed; he wasn't the boy he'd once known. It shouldn't have surprised him really, they had all grown up. "I need a word with you." said Severus deciding to play nice. For the moment.

"Why?" asked the amber eyes man suspiciously, after all these years why would he want a 'word' as he put it with him? They'd been well…enemies, more on Severus' part than him.

"Just indulge me will you, Lupin?" groaned Severus, uncharacteristically.

Remus blinked at the man, wondering what on earth had happened to the old Snape he used to know. "Err…" was all the stunned man was able to utter. Strangely enough it was Severus' eye rolling that brought him back. "Fine, come through I'll reset the network to allow visitors."

"To sit on my backside on the floorboards? I think not." Severus sneered in distaste, “Come through in three minutes, the code to get though is Prince Castle.”

"Then it's a good thing I have Floo Powder then is it not?" said Remus dryly, but Snape was already gone. To say this day had been the longest in his life, and weirdest would be putting it lightly. He was exhausted, mentally, but his body didn't seem to want to relax. He couldn't relax, not with the knowledge his son could be hurt mentally and or physically. The worry and fear was new to him, at least this kind of fear anyway. Maria was just as worried; she'd had to resort to slipping dreamless sleeping potion into Teddy and Blaise's drink to keep them in the manor. From what she'd said they'd been ready to go to Hogwarts and steal Harry back, by any means necessary. Harry had good, true friends; it's the sort of thing he'd have done for James back in the day. As it is, they wouldn't have succeeded any more than he had. Tomorrow he would just have to go see Dumbledore, find out what he could, even if it meant threatening the old fool. He shook off his thoughts, realizing he'd spent too much time thinking. Grabbing the Floo powder he yelled 'Prince Castle' into the flames and before he knew it he was being spat out.

Remus gagged the second he became aware of the horrible smell. A smell he was familiar with, one that made the little hair on the back of his head stand up and his body tense in anticipation. The smell of death surrounded Snape, he was a vampire, but for some reason he didn't smell as bad as others he'd met. After he got used to the smell he found it didn't bother him, which definitely was not normal.

"You don't smell any better trust me," said Severus bluntly, watching the werewolf with hawk eyes. It didn't take a genius to figure out what Lupin was thinking. Actually if he was honest, he wolf only smelt of an extremely wet dog with a feral sense of danger to him. One he had never noticed before, but his senses were enormously heightened with him being a vampire now.

"You're a vampire?" snorted Remus, unable to help himself; his lips were pressed together as he tried to reign in his amusement. Who could blame him? Black had almost turned Snape into a werewolf in their sixth year, now here Severus Snape was - a vampire. It seemed as though he had always meant to be a vampire. He was curious about how it happened. It would explain why the man had not been seen since he was twenty, twenty one years old.

"Indeed," said Severus dryly, not sharing Lupin's amusement on the subject at all.

"What do you want me for?" asked Remus his amusement gone replaced with wariness and a curious sense of guilt. Remus felt very bad for laughing or being amused when his cub, his son was out there somewhere.

As a precautionary measure he locked his study door putting as much magic into as possible, so Lupin's attempts to open it the first few times would be futile. Remus eyed Snape with trepidation; he could sense the magic being done, even if he didn't know what it was exactly. Yet Snape didn't seem to care what he thought, he merely sat down nodding at him to do the same. Remus sat down in the seat opposite the wizard turned vampire. Two goblets of wine appeared before them, it's when he realized that Snape couldn't be a turned vampire, and otherwise he wouldn't be drinking wine. So he'd been mated to a born vampire and turned. He couldn't have had the inheritance himself or he would have come to it on his seventeenth birthday.

Severus wasn't exactly sure where to start, did he tell the man he had Harry or did he get answers first? Would the wolf even tell him anything if he didn't reveal his own history first? Drinking some wine, he waited until Lupin did the same before he began speaking.

"Have you ever wondered who intervened the night the Potters died?" asked Severus replacing his goblet, deciding the start was the best place to begin.

"Yes, nearly every day," said Remus eyeing Severus speculatively.

 

"The events that happened, weren't exactly as they were reported." said Severus, "I got there just as Lily had been brought down…I reached the house as I heard her begging for Harry's life. As I reached the nursery door, I saw her fall; in my fury I cast the killing curse at the Dark Lord's back."

"You?" said Remus his amber eyes filled with tears as he realized what Lily's last words will have been. It didn't surprise him, Lily had loved Harry, she had been so proud of him, and each achievement had been proudly bragged over. Like all mothers with their first child, yet Lily had been exuberant over it. Harry had been her proudest achievement, her N.E.W.T scores paled in significant to her son. Snape had saved Harry's life?

"I thought so," said Severus wryly, "It wasn't until a day after my inheritance did I realize what really happened."

"What really happened?" echoed Remus, Snape wasn't making any sense to him at all.

"The Dark Lord had already cast the killing curse at Harry when I also cast the curse. It hit Harry and rebound upon the Dark Lord, at the same time mines hit him." said Severus swirling the wine around in the goblet.

Remus looked torn between horrified and shocked, he couldn't believe his ears. "Hh-h-how?" stuttered the shocked werewolf.

"I have no idea," said Severus smoothly, "I knew what Dumbledore would do if he realized what Harry could do, so I let the ruse continue. Let him believe it was me alone that had defeated Voldemort that night. With Voldemort back it's only a matter of time before Dumbledore finds out."

Remus paled, looking sick to his stomach, as he thought he finally had the dots connected "I think he already does." he felt even more defeated now.

"No actually he doesn't, at least not yet," smirked Severus his black eyes flashing in satisfaction.

"You don't understand Dumbledore just got custody of him." said Remus choking on the words. What was Dumbledore doing to his son? Oh Merlin, he had to find him, he had to leave and find him quickly. He didn't know what the old fool was capable off, but he didn't want to find his son broken and nothing more than a puppet on strings doing whatever the Order wanted of him.

"How did he gain custody of Harry?" asked Severus, finally getting to the matter at hand. He knew that Dumbledore, to do what he had done, had to have gained magical custody of Harry not family custody given all he’d found out.

"Black," was all Remus could say.

"Black? Why would he give up custody of his own godson?" asked Severus sitting up, taking an interest in what he was saying now. This was the second time today he'd heard someone say Black with as much loathing as he felt.

"He…um when James and Lily died…I thought Sirius would get custody of Harry. He didn't, no matter how much I begged and pleaded him; he just told me that Harry would be safer in the Muggle world. Away from the war, the Death Eaters, using each arrest he made as proof of it. It drove a wedge between us, I had stupidly hoped something was wrong, but when the regular tests at the Ministry showed no tampering I realized he truly felt that way. Nothing I said or did would make any difference; he was always a stubborn, stupid idiot. He spent so much time at work, never joining me for the full moon…soon I hardly ever saw him at all. I could have asked him to choose between his career and me, but I didn't want to it was hardly fair. In the end I left him, it was the hardest thing I've ever done." said Remus drinking the remains of his goblet, and before his eyes it filled up once again. "I went to Dumbledore; I wanted to see Harry even if Sirius didn't."

Severus listened to Remus' tale, feeling complete bafflement, Black had adored Harry. Hell he acted like a bloody mother with their first born, acting as if Harry could already walk on water by the time he was two months old.

"Anyway, Dumbledore refused to tell me where Harry was, all I had to go on was the name. Dursley, thankfully I had listened to Lily even if Black never did. Unfortunately the Dursley's was a very popular name. It took me years to go around them all, but the ones that didn't slam the door on my face told me they didn't have a Harry Potter living with them. Regardless of whether they told me or not I used to watch the house for a few days…to make sure. After a few years, each Dursley family was crossed off; obviously the ones I was looking for weren't in the phone book. I lost hope, but didn't stop looking."

"Go on," said Severus hopefully the alcohol would loosen his tongue, then again with werewolf metabolism - fat chance.

"I even tried sending him letters, and following the owl, but they were never able to deliver them to Harry. There must have been some sort of wards that stopped wizards from getting in touch with him." growled Remus just remembering the feeling or defeat and depression he'd felt when another idea failed. "I knew though when it came time for Hogwarts my letters would get to him. As soon as it was around time for the feast to be over, I wrote a letter and set it off with the mail owl service. He got back in touch the next day, proposing to meet up in Diagon Alley."

"Just how did he manage that?" asked Severus blankly, was the boy more Slytherin than he'd given him credit for? Sneaking out of Hogwarts on his first day there? No, the school for some inane reason, started classes right away the next day unless it was a weekend which only happened once in his seven years there.

"The Dursley's hadn't given him money for his school supplies, even left him find the barrier himself." snarled Remus his amber eyes flashing with his fury at the people who'd neglected his son. "His stupid father didn't help matters either!" Remus took another large gulp of the wine; it was most definitely the finest wine he'd ever tasted. It was so good to be able to rage at the idiotic blunder James had made.

Severus rose his eyebrow in shock, had the world spun on its axis in the past few years that he was unaware of? People were actually aware of how stupid James Potter had always been? It's just a shame it had come to late - the man was dead. At least he had done something honourable, he did try and defend his wife and son, died trying actually.

"Not just James' fault either, I don't know what possessed him. Giving monthly allowances to St. Mungo's, Hogwarts scholarship and the bloody Order." said Remus his voice filled with exasperation, it was obvious he'd thought about it a lot. "James and Lily's will wasn't read, Dumbledore stopped it using one of the old laws - to wait until Harry was old enough for the will to be read. The Potter vaults are in disarray and Harry didn't have much money, would have only seen him a couple of years out of Hogwarts fifteen years if he was extremely careful. Now Dumbledore has control of them again."

"Dumbledore doesn't have control over the vaults, or Harry, come to that. I do, Harry belongs to me, Dumbledore handed him over in exchange for twenty of my best trained fighters." said Severus wryly.

Severus wasn't surprised by the fist that came out to punch him, he automatically ducked, his wand shoved under Remus' chin threateningly. In the space of a second it had gone from a sort of comradeship to enemies.

"I'll kill you Snape, I don't know how but ill figure out a way." swore Remus his entire face full of wrath. Promised retribution for what he had done. To think he'd just spilled his guts to the man who was going to use his son. He felt sick; he felt the wolf coming to the surface, as he bared his teeth in an animalistic manner at Snape before he snapped bodily throwing himself at the vampire.

One minute Remus was lunging at Severus Snape, the next second he was landing with a grunt back to the floor. With a furious Severus Snape glaring down at him. Damn, he'd forgotten about the vampires' quick reflexes. Still Snape shouldn't have been able to bring him down that easily, he wasn't exactly human. He was stronger than humans, since he was a werewolf. Breathing heavily, trying to get his winded lungs to cooperate so he could threaten the man again. How dare he do this to his son? Harry wasn't James! It just wasn't fair at all. Harry didn't deserve this; he'd never said a bad thing about anyone. Okay, maybe one person, but Dumbledore did deserve it. Alright two, Black deserved it as well. He struggled against Snape's iron hold, wanting a chance to hit the man somewhere. Anywhere, just to get rid of the anger he could feel coursing through him right now.

It was such a stupid stunt to pull, if Severus had been doing it to abuse Harry. Remus would have only made matters worse, unfortunately the wizard just wasn't thinking straight. As it stood, Severus wasn't doing it for revenge, and the wizard was about to make that very clear to the werewolf.

"You listen to me wolf, and listen closely.” snarled Severus his voice loud enough to be heard around the castle if not for the silencing spells. He had to stop himself hurting the idiotic wolf; he knew Harry wouldn't forgive him if he did. So for that reason and that alone spared Lupin being hurt. "I have no intentions of hurting MY MATE." he said possessively.

That did it; Remus stilled his amber eyes going wide. "Alright, I'll listen." said Remus in surrender, he'd have put his hands up, but they were currently held in a bruising grip by the vampire. He knew without listening that Harry was safe. Remus knew how sacred mates were. He was a werewolf after all, he hadn't been lucky enough for his creature side to mate with anyone.

Severus got up, removing his hands and knees from where they'd dug into Remus' body. He hadn't got to where he was by letting anyone get the best of him. Thankfully he had cast the silencing spells; no doubt his guards would have gone too far. They were overzealous in their attempts to protect him. Which wouldn't have gone over well with Harry. For some reason the boy thought of Remus as a father figure.

Grimacing Remus sat up, shaking his hands trying to get some feeling back in them. He sat back down on the seat he'd just been sitting in before Snape had purposely wound him up. He wasn't sure what Severus had hoped to gain from it, but he hoped he'd passed whatever test he was playing at. "Harry's your mate? Yet you decided to trade him? Harry won't like that you know." said Remus his disapproval showing.

"I knew he wouldn't, but I had to ensure Dumbledore couldn't touch him afterwards." said Severus seriously, drinking some wine, which had miraculously managed not to tip over in the struggle. "He will find out about Harry's unbelievable feat sooner or later."

"You've been planning this for years," whispered Remus horrified, as he finally put everything together. "You must have realized Harry was your mate during the summer before his fourth year. That's when you started sending me the Wolfsbane Potions!"

"I couldn't let anything happen to him," said Severus impassively. He hadn't done it to win Lupin's approval no matter what the wolf thought.

"Why didn't you write to Harry? Let him in on what you were planning?!" asked Remus.

"He knows Occlumency?" asked Severus arching an eyebrow as if he'd already proved his point.

"Are you under the mistaken impression Harry even looks at Dumbledore? Or knows anyone who would read his mind?" shot Remus right back. "He loathes the old fool Snape, I mean loathes him. Mentioning him causing Harry's wild magic to react explosively."

"Yes, its very extreme, understandably so," said Severus, “Harry was…coerced into this, I had stipulated in the contract that he be willing and unhurt, both terms Dumbledore violated, Dumbledore blackmailed someone he ‘hold’s most dear’ but that is all I got out of him. I was under the impression the hatred was deep before this.”

"Well he was angry at him for the money, probably furious over the blackmail," admitted Remus, "That isn't the clincher that tied Harry’s hatred of him." gulping down his wine, flexing his wrist damn, Snape hadn't half hurt him. Not that he would admit it, the wolf was a prideful animal, and part of the animal had rubbed off on Remus over the years. Whether he showed it or not, Remus was very proud.

"Go on," said Severus. He needed to know everything, especially in regards to his mate.

"He blames Dumbledore for his parent's deaths," said Remus.

"But he didn't have anything to do with it…did he?" asked Severus wondering if there was something else he wasn't aware off.

"They were in the Order, and he believes if they hadn't been they would never have been targeted." replied Remus. "I cannot blame him for that, I mean dozen of the Order members died, and only a few of their bodies were ever found."

"You speak as if you are no longer a member," stated Severus unsure if he should be amused or not.

"I'm not, Harry would never forgive me if I did." said Remus, "Dumbledore had been at me though, mercilessly trying to get me to reconsider.”

"What became of Black?" asked Severus, changing the subject, "After you parted ways."

Remus sorted, only Snape could make something complicated sound so simple. "He rose up the ranks, he shares head duties with Shacklebolt for the entire Auror department. The idiot actually told me there was someone controlling Black the other night."

"It is possible," said Severus, he knew dozens of ways; surely Lupin had thought of them.

"I doubt it, Auror's get checked for tampering," said Remus, it wasn't just for tampering but to make sure they weren't abusing alcohol or taking dangerous or illegal potions equivalent of Muggle drugs. If they were caught with them in their system they'd be sacked on the spot.

Severus snorted at Lupin's naivety, "And you think there's no way people invented Potions to get around the Ministry checks? Or to pay someone to switch the tests to make it look clean?"

"I suppose," said Remus grudgingly, he actually hadn't through of that. Did that mean Sirius might have been controlled all this time? It made no sense, what did anyone gain by controlling Sirius? Even if he was, it would change nothing. He couldn't choose Sirius over Harry, Harry had no one other than him. He would never abandon him, he loved him too much. He didn't think he could love a biological son more than he did Harry. Potion or no potion, he didn't think Harry would ever forgive Sirius. Harry was a rather unforgiving soul, no doubt thanks to those bloody Dursley's. Lose his respect once and that's it, he didn't give you a chance to do it again. It was a rather Slytherin view of the world.

"You won't know until you find out," said Severus, making the wolf realize he'd thought aloud.

"I don't think I want to." said Remus. "What happened to you?" he then asked abruptly changing the subject.

Severus smirked at Lupin, aware of his rather poor attempt at subtly changing the subject. He stared at the wizard, his dark piercing eyes almost judging him, wondering if he should even tell him anything. Werewolves had a natural Occlumency barrier, which would prevent any intrusion. He had gone so long without anyone knowing he was the vampire lord; he didn't want it getting out. The Princes had operated in secrecy, for generations. There were a lot more vampires these days, than there had been back in the day. So it wasn't so easy to keep it a secret, especially with nosy old men like Dumbledore around.

"When the Dark Lord was defeated, I began changing, unknowingly receiving my inheritance from my mothers family." explained Severus, deciding on the truth. The wolf would probably find out from Harry sooner or later anyway.

"How come you didn't know?" asked Remus, families that had inheritances, had to tell the younger generation, it was expected. Otherwise they'd begin changing having no idea what was happening to them. To do so is just unheard of, unless of course the child had been orphaned at a young age. He might not know Severus very well, but he was certain he'd had his parents throughout his Hogwarts years.

"My mother didn't get an inheritance, the gene lay dormant. She left the family when she was seventeen, angry I would assume. I had no idea I may end up a vampire, but my seventeen birthday went without a hitch. I didn't change until I was twenty one." said Severus smoothly.

"She should have told you," said Remus, he was shocked, parents should always tell their child, even if the gene lay dormant in them. Because one day it would come back out, it’s just the way magic worked.

"Yes, she should've." said Severus impassively, he did not like speaking about his parents. Truth be told he had been glad to see the back of them. His father had hated him for having magic, and Severus hated Tobias for drinking. His mother hadn't been the maternal sort; the only thing they'd bonded over was Potions.

"So what happens now?" asked Remus realizing the man didn't want to talk about the past. Which was fine with him, it was time both put the past to bed where it belonged and concentrated on Harry.

"He has agreed to stay here for one year, at the end of it, if he doesn't wish to remain I've sworn not to stop him." said Severus, "With the added clause that he be allowed to see you and his friends three days a week from twelve until five."

"He's already here?" asked Remus his voice strangled as he processed this. He inhaled sharply, but he couldn't smell Harry, the only scents he was picking up were ones that smelt of death, vampires.

"He is," said Severus impassively.

"I want to see him," demanded Remus.

"He's sleeping," said Severus, he would control where and when Lupin saw Harry not the other way around. "He's had a hell of a day, he needs to come to terms with everything." he stated as his excuse for not allowing Remus to see.

"I need to see him, Snape," said Remus desperately; his son had been bloody blackmailed by Dumbledore into a Handfasting! Didn’t Snape realize he needed someone to help him? There weren’t many people who Harry would have willingly did this for, so it was either him or Maria, he would never forgive himself if Harry had done this to protect him.

"I will not change my mind," replied Severus determinedly. When he spoke he meant it, Lupin would come to realize this in time. It wasn't very often Severus changed his mind, to him it was almost like admitting he was wrong when he did so. "You will see him soon enough. For now you will have to be content with the knowledge he will be safe." plus if he wanted Harry to begin relying on him, he couldn't have Lupin here right away.

"How do I know he won't be hurt by the others here?" asked Remus.

Severus smirked, "They know better than that, they know he is my mate and is strictly off limits."

"And you know for a fact they will listen to you?" said Remus doubtfully.

"Considering I am their Vampire Lord yes," said Severus sitting up straighter sweeping aside his robe, showing the coat of arms to the wolf. Giving him proof that he was indeed, what he'd just told him.

Remus gasped, mouth agape staring at the vampire as though he'd never seen him before. Harry was mated to vampire royalty, was the only thought that seemed to circle his mind. Harry was safe, safer than he'd ever be with him. "Does Harry know?"

"Of course," said Severus wryly, feeling amused by the dumbfounded look Lupin wore, not a very attractive sight on the bookish man.

Remus closed his eyes, his body was exhausted, yet his mind was working overdrive. This day had been one big surprise after another, and that wasn't even adding the possibility Black might be drugged. "Are you letting Harry continue his Hogwarts education?" considering the lengths Snape had gone to keep Dumbledore away from him, he suspected he already knew the answer to that question.

"I am undecided," admitted Severus reluctantly, his first instinct was to keep him here, keep him safe and out of Dumbledore and Voldemort's way. He would be educated better within these walls than he would at Hogwarts anyway. Yet on the other hand, he knew it wasn't fair keeping Harry from his friends. There wasn't anyone Harry's age here; he would seek Harry's opinion before deciding. Not that he would decide solely on Harry's decision; he would just have to look at it from all angles before deciding.

Well it was better than an outright decision, poor Harry; maybe it should be poor Snape? Harry wasn't going to enjoy someone making all his decisions for him. He was fiercely independent, had been for the past few years. Once he'd gotten more used to this new world, he had such a thirst to know everything related to the wizarding world. Harry wouldn't take it all lying down, it made Remus suppress his amusement. It was going to be amusing to watch. It was certainly something he was going to do.

"No doubt Harry will be in touch with you soon," said Severus standing up, finishing the meeting without resorting to small talk and ten goodbyes‘.

"I hope so," said Remus realizing Severus wanted him to leave. He was about to walk to the door they'd come in when Severus stopped him.

"Use this fire," said Severus bluntly.

"Thank you," said Remus, "Tell Harry I'll talk to him soon." His tone becoming soft, love and fondness echoing off the words. Admitting temporarily defeat, content that he was safe from Dumbledore and Voldemort he left through the Floo to process everything he’d learnt that night.

"Indeed," said Severus, sighing in relief once he was alone. He may not need any more than one hour sleep, but it wasn't to say he couldn't get exhausted. Which he did, very frequently, without more ado, he immediately removed the wards on the door and exited his study. The feeling of elation he felt, seeing Harry occurred stronger than ever.

Stripping out of his clothes, he put on a pair of silk sleeping shorts, and slid in beside Harry. He was a man of his word; nothing would happen until Harry was ready for it. It didn't mean he had to like it, especially seeing how delectable he was lying sleeping. Perhaps it hadn't been one of his best ideas. Especially if he was the one being teased, with every shred of bare flesh laid before him.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 12

"Harry is safe, he’s alright," said Remus stumbling through the Floo to Zabini Manor, reassuring the trio who were looking at him in concealed fear. He looked worn, haggard even, a little cross but it was nothing on the relief he had displayed. Maria sagged in relief, shakily putting her cup down on the table. Blaise and Teddy were less satisfied, as they both spoke over each other, trying to get additional answers from Remus. He felt bad waiting to tell them, but he had crashed hard when he got back to his flat and had only just woken up. The sleep he had wasn’t enough either, he knew how he looked but thankfully he knew these people wouldn’t hold it against him.

"QUIET!" shouted Maria, "Now boy's you know better than that. A little decorum please." Sighing a little now that her eardrums were no longer being assaulted.

"How is he?" asked Blaise with perfect manners, showing none of his fear and hurt, hiding it behind a mask.

"You shouldn't hide your emotions Blaise; your mum just wanted you to calm down. In times like this suppressing your emotions will just cause your magic to react…and violently." said Remus, and he knew what he was talking about. "I have no idea how he really is, but all things considered it could be worse."

"All things considered?" enquired Maria, "Why don't you start from the beginning?" she demanded, summoning some coffee for her and Remus and hot chocolate with marshmallows for the boys. Normally there were three hot chocolates, the lack of cup emblazoned with ‘H’ was noticeably absent, making her feel slightly lost, she was so used to having Harry around, especially when her son was home.

"Harry was given to a Vampire Lord, by Dumbledore, for some of their warriors, blackmailed I should say, they were married in a handfasting," said Remus bitterly. He was only glad it hadn’t gone in Dumbledore’s favour.

"The vampire Lord?" rasped Maria looking stunned. Why would he want Harry? Unless it was for revenge, she knew how the others had teased him.

Remus nodded, the teens just looked confused.

"The Prince Vampire Lord?" asked Maria, looking for confirmation on who she suspected it to be.

"Yes." said Remus.

"Then we should have hoped Dumbledore had him," said Maria, closing her eyes in despair. "Do you even know who it is?"

"They're mates." said Remus quietly, almost mumbling it.

"Well that changes things," said Maria, relief coursing through her, "He's safe, safer than he would have been here, especially with the entire clan at his beck and call. Especially as long as he remains unclaimed." said Maria. She knew all about them, one of her family had married into the Prince line…vampire Prince Line. It was kept very quiet of course, the only reason she knew was because of her family tree, the diaries and of course some books about vampires, their laws and traditions.

"What are you going on about?" asked Teddy groaning he felt as though he was only getting half the conversation.

"Harry's safe, you'll get to see him a few times a week, he'll be getting in touch soon as he can. He's going to need you so do not dismiss his feelings when he speaks about them. He needs brothers right now, not school mates." said Remus, Harry's body would be undergoing changes, both physically and magically. He would be confused, scared maybe even hurt. Hopefully he would open and up discuss it with either Snape or them.

"Feelings? Why what's going on? And just give us a straight answer!" said Blaise impatiently.

"I'll give you a book to read through, maybe then you might understand what's happening. You can pass them on to Harry when you go and visit him." said Maria.

"I must go, sorry I can't stay." said Remus.

"No problem, I assume you'll get in touch if you hear from Harry?" asked Maria.

"Of course." said Remus agreed, before giving the boys a reassuring smile, Harry was truly alright before he was gone, the coffee lay untouched.

Maria walked out of the living room, making her way to the bedroom, and removing the book and diaries from their shelves. Harry was going to be happy in the future, she supposed that was the main thing. One couldn't resist the call to their soul mate. Snape had gone about it wrongly. Dumbledore giving Harry over as negotiations between the vampire clan didn't surprise her. Yet it shouldn't have happened, Snape should have found a different way. Any mother would have thought the very same thing, just wait, she was going to give him a piece of her mind for the way he had gone about things. She also gathered up a few of Harry’s favourite things as well as his trunk, which was in his bedroom and placed it for safe keeping at the side of her bed, Now she just had to wait until they heard from him.

Now to explain everything to the boys so they knew how to act upon meeting the Vampire Lord, not that they were oblivious, they wouldn’t let her down.

“Mum? What’s going on?” Blaise asked of his mother, he knew about Vampire Lords, the Prince family were known to be the head of it, at least at one point. It wasn’t something you learned about in History of Magic while you were at Hogwarts. So it came as no surprise that Blaise actually didn’t know much about it.

Teddy was watching her with concerned eyes as well.

“Alright boys,” Maria said, sitting down, drawing her robes around her as she sat up tall and straight, and with that she began to explain the history between her family (their family for Blaise) and the Vampire Lord, about Severus Snape, about Eileen Prince, about the seat of ultimate power, the truce they had with the Ministry. That somehow Dumbledore had blackmailed Harry into going through with a handfasting. She didn’t need to explain about mates, for that was self explanatory. Saying that was why Remus had said Harry needed them, not only was he mated to Vampire but he had been blackmailed into marrying him.

By the time she had talked herself hoarse for over two hours, Blaise and Theodore understood, their relief was a sight to behold; they were very pleased to know that Harry, who they both thought of as a brother, was truly safe. That they would see him soon enough and probably hear from him sooner still.

--------0

Shacklebolt and Tonks took shifts on keeping an eye on Sirius while the other got some much needed rest. The purging potion was at long last finally removed from his system, and Sirius had been put into a Dreamless Sleep, most unwillingly, they‘d shoved the potion down his throat. They had also avoided the Order meeting that Dumbledore had last night, if they saw Dumbledore there was no knowing what they would do. They were under no illusions anyone else could have gotten Sirius Black to drink anything without checking it. They all had trusted him with their lives, a mistake that had cost the Animagus greatly. With the war beginning this really had been the last thing they needed.

"Coffee?" asked Tonks as Shacklebolt emerged from her spare bedroom, steam still pouring from the small Ensuite bathroom he'd used.

"Yes please," said Shacklebolt giving her a relieved smile as he sat down on one of her chairs. It was odd being here, yet comfortable in a way he didn't quite expect. He wasn't used to company, when he went home it was to sleep then get up to go to work again. "Thanks." he murmured quietly when a mug was handed over with the brew, warming his cold hands.

"No problem," replied Tonks relaxing back feeling better after the chaotic past few days.

"Shouldn't he be awake yet?" mused Shacklebolt.

"No, at least if he isn't a regular user anyway," said Tonks.

"Want me to go to the Leaky Cauldron and order some breakfast to go? It's the least I can do after the past few days." asked Shacklebolt.

"Actually, yes, I don't have anything in, I should have been shopping yesterday." said Tonks gratefully, all she had in was some biscuits and other bits and pieces not appropriate for breakfast. Normally she usually went to breakfast at the Ministry café or took in a cereal bar to eat at her desk.

"Alright, I'll be right back." said Shacklebolt, before standing and disappearing from the living room.

--------0

"Hello Tom," said Kingsley smiling at the owner of the small homely Leaky Cauldron.

"Auror Shacklebolt, how can I help you? Business or here for a drink?" enquired Tom as he continued to serve those here before the Auror.

"How many times do I have to say it? Just call me Kingsley or Shack," said Shacklebolt shaking his head in amusement. No matter how many times he'd asked the innkeeper kept using his official title. "I'm here for breakfast, three of them to take away, full English if its still going." he wasn't sure of the time, they had sort of lost sight of time the past few days. He said nothing of the fact he was technically not an Auror right now, he had been suspended.

"Of course, I'll have it done right away," said Tom, leaving the bar and into the kitchen for a moment before emerging again. "Three minutes." he added to Shacklebolt. Before moving on to the next customer, he didn't just serve magical folk but Muggles as well who had a magical child or spouse.

"Three breakfasts?" asked a Witch coming out the kitchen, speaking to Tom, wondering who the delivery was for.

Shacklebolt raised his index finger to indicate himself, just as Tom silently pointed towards him filling up a tankard of Butterbeer. Which Shacklebolt drooled at, it looked absolutely divine, and to bad you couldn't really get drunk on it. Well, you could, if you were a House-Elf.

"Add a case of Butterbeer please," said Shacklebolt as the Witch approached him.

Six glass bottles floated towards him settling itself on the counter. They were added to the brown paper carrier bag that held the food, warming charms in the containers, keeping it hot while it was transported.

"Two Galleons," said Tom coming around to the Auror again.

"Thanks Tom," said Shacklebolt handing three galleons over before Apparating back to the flat.

"He's awake," said Tonks looking strained.

"How is he?" asked Shacklebolt immediately.

"In bad shape," said Tonks, and in her opinion he didn't know the worst of it yet, he would soon though. Only then would they have to make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. If anything they would make sure he went through legal means to get revenge.

"Where is he?" he enquired looking around.

"In the shower," replied Tonks, "He'll be out in a few minutes."

"Here," he said giving it over, "I got some Butterbeer as well while I was at it."

"Brilliant!" said Tonks her entire face lightning up, it seemed he wasn't the only one in the mood for a drink no matter how mild. She plated out the food, and opened her Butterbeer gratefully, drinking it in one go.

"Good job I got more than one," chuckled Shacklebolt as he took his own seat looking forward to eating, he was actually starving. Although Tonks had kept him well fed, they'd been through so much it was no surprise they were hungry.

"Nothing beats food you haven't cooked yourself." said Tonks as she dug into her breakfast.

"I agree," said Shacklebolt.

"Sirius you have to come out at some point!" shouted Tonks so the Animagus could hear her.

"I know," replied Sirius coming out, both Auror's looked away from him. He looked like hell, added to the fact his eyes were rimmed red - he'd been crying. They'd never seen Sirius like that before; he hadn't even had the chance to grieve for his best friends before the potion had been given to him. Now he realized he'd lost all that time with his godson…and what he did remember was probably not good. They really didn't want to have to tell him what else he'd lost out on. In fact they were going to let the healer do that, at least then they could sedate him if he well…went berserk. Merlin, Sirius must be in a very dark place right now, it was little wonder he would want to go under his covers and never emerge.

"Where's my godson?" demanded Sirius sitting down on the only available chair feeling weak and weary. The potion had taken a lot out of him, he was exhausted already and all he'd done was shower and walk around ten steps to get here. Sweat coated his forehead, and his heartbeat was faster than what was normal for him.

"Just eat first," said Tonks watching as Shacklebolt cringed and made himself small, as if trying to make himself less a target. He blamed himself for what happened, but Tonks knew no matter what Dumbledore would have gotten his way. She believed that he felt guiltier about accidentally hurting him.

"I want to know where he is!" shouted Sirius panting in exertion by the end of the sentence.

"Eat." said Tonks, "Working yourself into a state helps no one. You have an appointment at St. Mungo's in half an hour. Then you will get all your questions answered."

Sirius narrowed his eyes, he was her superior in the Auror department, and he wasn't used to her laying down the law. In all honesty he didn't like it, he wanted answers and the only reason he wasn't strangling her to get them was because he didn't have the strength. A plate was shoved into his lap, he grudgingly began eating.

After a tense breakfast, none of them talking much they Floo'ed over to St. Mungo's. Sirius was being immature and insisting he didn't need 'Side Long Apparated' anywhere. So they had no other option, it seemed with the potions removal his immature side Shacklebolt had forgotten about had come back. He had wrongfully assumed back then that his best friend's deaths had changed him. It would change anyone, but more fool them for being suckered in.

"We have an appointment to see Professor Helbert," said Shacklebolt to the assistant healer as they made their way to the appropriate floor. Both Tonks and he were there for moral support when the news finally got out. Professor Helbert wasn't just a professor but also a healer.

"He's free, go straight on." said Healer Cranston smiling at them warmly.

"Thank you," said Shacklebolt, who then began leading them to Helbert's office.

A knock on the door and a reply of 'Enter' met their ears five seconds later.

"Ah, Auror Shacklebolt, good to see you again…this is Sirius Black?" asked Helbert, staring at the Animagus in unconcealed pity, which put Sirius on edge.

"What the hell is going on?" demanded Sirius feeling and looking extremely cornered.

"You have not told him?" asked Helbert looking shocked.

"He's only just recovered from one shock, we weren't sure how he might take this." said Tonks crossing her arms not liking the fact this Helbert was judging her.

"Take what?" growled Sirius in warning starting to get really pissed off now.

"Sit down please," said Helbert.

"Tell me," said Sirius sitting down immediately, his blue eyes regarding the brown ones of the healer in anxiousness. What could be worse than knowing he'd missed out on fifteen nearly sixteen years of his godson's life? Dumbledore would pay for that, with his life if he had any say in it, just as soon as he recovered.

"Just don't do anything stupid Sirius, if we have to - we will commit you here." said Shacklebolt in warning.

What the fuck? Thought Sirius, his heart sinking further at the pronouncement. Were they going to commit him to keep what Dumbledore did a secret? No, it can't be that, otherwise he would have woken up here or been drugged with the potion again…no they were on his side. The alternative just didn't bear thinking about.

"Mr. Black do you know what the Anima Ligaveris spell does?" asked Helbert professionally.

Sirius blinked and his alarm triple folded, it was as if a light suddenly went off in his head. His eyes closed in horror; yes he knew what the spell did. He also realized why he hadn't really settled down, just filtering from partner to partner during his Hogwarts years. The spell or no, he had yearned for his mate, and none of his sexual encounters had truly satisfied him. "Tell me it wasn't James." said Sirius looking quite sick.

"Sirius, to feel the bond at eleven…whoever your soul mate was…had to have been a creature or creature inheritance." said Shacklebolt in sympathy.

"Remus," croaked Sirius.

"It's who I thought of," added Shacklebolt.

"I'm going to kill him," snarled Sirius furiously, he had truly destroyed his life.

"You know who did it?" enquired Helbert.

"Doesn't take a genius to figure it out." hissed Sirius through clenched teeth. Getting up from the chair, intending on hunting the old bastard down and ending his life with two little worlds.

"Sirius please don't!" said Tonks in a rush, hoping to get through to the stubborn man. "Just calm down, hurt him where it will cause the most pain. His reputation, his freedom,
His sanity."

"If you try and kill him…how will you make it up to Harry from Azkaban?" said Shacklebolt saying the only thing that might make Sirius think before acting. Although Sirius would need to find Harry first…if he was even still alive this left him hollow inside. If he wanted to kill Dumbledore what would he want to do to him when word got out? He'd be lucky if he didn't end up in Azkaban himself beside Dumbledore.

Sirius stiffened just inches from the door his back ramrod straight.

"Give me the results," said Sirius coldly.

"Mr. Black, if you wish to do this, you are best with the memory uncovered, a pensive testimony will ensure he is arrested without bail." said Professor Helbert cautiously.

Taking a deep breath, his head resting against the cool door, almost reduced to tears again. His poor godson…all those years, Sirius was barely able to swallow the lump in his throat. Fine, he'd do it the proper way, it's the only way he could see Harry in his life…he had to save Harry from the old fool. Before whatever plan he had concocted came to pass.

"Fine." agreed Sirius; he'd do anything, absolutely anything for Harry. Better still he knew just who to give it to, to ensure that it was done swiftly as possible.

-----------0

Sirius Black Apparated to the Ministry of Magic later that evening after giving in all the evidence he had, along with his resignation. Hopefully she would have caught whoever had duped everyone into believing he was fine. Part of him wanted to find out who he was and kill him for his actions; he would just have to contend with him in Azkaban. Looking around the Atrium noticing it was quiet, he walked passed the desks, doors and people paying no mind to them. To think he had walked these halls for years as an Auror just an extension of Dumbledore’s will, as a member of the Wizengamot as well. Under the potion everything felt murky; in fact it was how you would explain the effects of the Imperius curse.

“HEY SIRI!” called one of the Junior Auror’s that Sirius genuinely couldn’t remember. “I heard you quit! Is it true?” he asked, talking in a rush as if it was all a great big secret.

Sirius stared at him rolling his eyes; he could have tried to sound at least less enthusiastic about it. No doubt he assumed he would get promoted quicker. More fool him; it wouldn’t happen until more than just the Head Auror believed them to be ready. He could apply as often as he wanted; he chuckled at the thought before replying. “Yes.” nothing remained a secret for long in the Ministry of Magic. So the news of his ‘retirement’ had gotten around the Auror department already, then again they would need to have replaced him. With that Sirius made a hasty retreat, making his way to the Law Enforcement Office - a place where he frequented often as an Auror, more as Head Auror having to take a lot of paperwork up to be signed.

Sirius knocked on the door, waiting patiently for an answer, but nothing was heard from within.

“Ah, Sirius, I didn’t expect you so soon,” said Amelia, walking hastily to her door and flicking her wand, opening it for them.

“I just…want answers.” Sirius said sounding slightly lost.

“We found out who was doing it, the paperwork for the person on duty testing your blood for compulsions is the same,” Amelia revealed grimly, sitting down and silently gesturing for him to do the same.

“Who was it?” asked Sirius, he knew who they all were, got on with all of them, so either way it was going to hurt.

“Evan Doge,” said Amelia grimly. “We strongly suspect Elphias Doge knew, but we have no evidence to even question him yet, but it’s early still,” it hadn’t even been twenty-four hours since she’d been given the case.

Sirius gasped, his face contorting in hurt, it was one thing for someone he knew but for it to be a fellow order member and his son hurt deeply. “Has he been arrested?” he asked through clanged teeth.

Amelia sighed softly as she sat down rubbing her eyes tiredly, “Evan Doge has been arrested yes, his father is unaware of it at this moment, but he will not be oblivious for long.”

“Good,” muttered Sirius darkly, at least his arrest stopped him from hunting the bastard down and killing him.

“We will keep an eye on Elphias Doge, any doubt and we will bring him in as well,” said Amelia firmly.

“Thank you,” said Sirius softly. “Do you have any idea where Harry is?”

“No, since Dumbledore didn’t do anything wrong, in the legal sense, we cannot even question him on it.” replied Amelia. “Your best bet is Harry getting in touch himself.”

“But you are bringing him up on charges for what he did to me right?” Sirius asked extremely worried that Dumbledore was going to get away with it because of who he was.

“Of course, the warrant for his arrest has already been issued, we want to avoid a large confrontation so we will do it in the evening, probably tomorrow evening,” said Amelia, if they wanted to keep things quiet they would need to move cautiously and carefully, which hindered them doing things quickly. Although they had already taken Helbert’s statement, and the oath that everything as true had Sirius’ statement, the warrant had been signed by Cornelius Fudge who had sworn to keep it quiet until they brought Dumbledore in. Two Unspeakables had been told of their upcoming duty.

“Right,” said Sirius nodding bleakly. “I’m going to leave.”

“Good luck, Mr. Black.” said Amelia, officially, nodding her head watching the wizard leave without a word. She felt for him, he had been hurt deeply by what happened. She knew Doge was an Order member, she wasn’t stupid, she was unsure if the others knew but she wasn’t about to spread it. Her own family had been Order members, but she refused to join or let her niece. A lot of her family had died and she partly believed it was because they had been Order members. She would come down hard on them if they broke the law regardless, nobody was above it not even vigilantes who tried to bring peace to the world.

She couldn’t believe what Albus Dumbledore had done; his depravity knew no bounds, Obliviating an eleven year old pureblood under his care, after casting a spell to stop the budding bond he had with his soul mate, causing him immeasurable pain. Then proceed to keep him under his control for fifteen years, she still didn’t quite understand his motivations for that - for any of it. It didn’t matter what his motivations were, he was to be arrested for so heinously breaking the law. A soul bond was one of the most sacred things in their world next to children itself.

Grimacing in disgust, especially considering her niece was at Hogwarts, in close contact with a depraved Headmaster.

A sudden bout of urgent knocking on her door brought her out of her dark thoughts. “ENTER!” she called out curtly, wondering what on earth was going on.

A Junior Auror burst in, out of breath and wide eyed in fear, “Ma’am, there’s been an attack! The Dark Mark hangs in the sky! There are many Muggles! Both at the scene and three dead.”

“Where?” Bones asked standing up, of all the days they had to be understaffed. Between Shacklebolt being suspected, Tonks coming down with the Flu and Sirius resigning, well ‘retired’ really, he had wanted to resign, but she’d convinced him to retire, he had worked so hard for years, he deserved the benefits, even if he had been controlled into it.

“Privet Drive, number four Privet Drive, Surrey,” he managed to say, still wheezing.

Bones nodded, “Let’s gather the others,” there had to be someone in management to accompany the Aurors on cases, and that was her today.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 13

Albus gazed out of the window, surveying the ground of Hogwarts with unseeing eyes; the sound of the animals which usually brought comfort did not. His mind was in turmoil and things were happening in which he hadn’t predicted, causing concern. He didn’t like when things didn’t go his way. Grimmauld Place had locked itself up and he couldn’t get into it. Not by going by Floo or by going to its physical location, it’s as if the Fidelus Charm had been redacted. Then something else most powerful replaced it. It must have been an incredibly powerful charm, since he couldn’t even sense the townhouse. Sirius Black couldn’t have done it, and unless he had died and it automatically reverted back to the Black Estate which just simply wasn’t the case. This he knew to be true since he had Fawkes send him a letter demanding his presence, he should have returned to Hogwarts immediately. He shouldn’t have been able to fight the potion; he had just been given another dose.

This had been over forty-eight hours ago and he was irritated and concerned. The potion he gave Black couldn’t have been found out by the Ministry, he had just paid Evan handsomely for purposely screwing up the results to make it seem as though Sirius was in perfect health and drug free.

He would just get Fawkes take him to Black, it was risky but he wasn’t in the mood for subtlety especially without Grimmauld Place open to him. Turning around and looking at the grandfather clock, he sighed in exasperation, he couldn’t do it right now. The Order members would be arriving shortly; hopefully Black would appear eliminating his need to go into a risky situation. After this meeting, if Black was still not here, he was going to search out Lupin, fear that the potion had been discovered licked up his spine, it’s who Black would go to if he regained his senses. He would have to take care of the problem and be done with it, even if it was distasteful, Black was useful after all.

He had to host the Order meeting in his office, something that he hadn’t done before, and did not wish to do again due to all the Portraits and no doubt those who spied on Hogwarts from both the Dark side and the Ministry. Not everyone was happy that a vigilante group was trying to stop Voldemort. Especially those who believe it should be left to the professionals. It defeated the point when people became aware of who was in his organization. The last war they hadn’t been careful enough and he had lost a lot of good people. The urge to cancel the meeting was strong, but he needed information.

“Albus why are we meeting here?” questioned Minerva entering the office having received the call (through the coin at a godly hour) she was the only other at Hogwarts who was an order member except Albus.

Albus did not include Hagrid in this, for he could do nothing, he did admittedly have his uses, right now he was away trying to gain the allegiance of the giants. The Giant colony, they were uncivilised beasts, it was a waste of time, he didn’t think they would join his side but at least he hoped to get Hagrid to convince them to stay out of the war. They were very destructive and the last thing he needed was them coming to Hogsmeade and wreaking havoc on the small village. That and he did not like Hagrid at the meetings, he was a liability with information, a few drinks and he was blabbing his voice also carried.

“A moment, Minerva,” Albus sighed, making his way over to his desk, and taking his seat, his customary twinkle was absent, and gaze vacant as he continued to ponder his latest fears and failures. “If you will, be patient and wait for the others to arrive.” he added, a vision of calm, prosperity and goodness,

Not even five seconds later, five others joined the room, asking the very same question, as the office expanded to fit them all. The large table and chairs were already set for each Order member, and Albus sincerely hoped all of them would be filled tonight, he didn’t like this, he wanted to verify if Black had found out, heaven forbid. He asked the others for patience from him so he did not need to explain more than once.

Albus beaming at them as they entered, despite the early morning, as if he was greatly pleased to see them all.

“Albus, does the meeting have anything to do with the vampires joining?” Doge asked, eager for more information.

“Later,” said Albus more curtly than he intended, unfortunately he’d opened a raw nerve. He had requested another meeting with the Vampire Lord to try and smooth things over and see if he could get him to relent on his decision to break the contract. He would have to apologise and it turned his stomach, but if it got him what he wanted then so be it. He hadn’t been the one to injure the Potter boy, and he truthfully hadn’t realized the extent of it otherwise he wouldn’t have called them, not so soon. It wouldn’t be a lie either, so that bloody vampire wouldn’t be able to accuse him of lying yet again. That night had happened so fast he was still unable to comprehend it.

Doge blinked at his harsh word, before sitting down completely baffled by his changing mood. Now he wasn’t so sure it was something good they were here to hear. Not that they had much good news to begin with, they were trying their best to bring down Voldemort. Unfortunately they weren’t succeeding; more and more just seemed to pop out of nowhere. Soon Voldemort would have everyone he needed to sweep in and take complete control of the magical world. If that happened the world would never recover, it would descend to darkness, torture and pain until all things good was gone, perished. As old as he was, it wouldn’t affect him…but it would the younger generation, his son, and his grandchildren. Coming out of his thoughts, he saw the majority of the Order members had arrived, a few were quite dauntingly empty.

“It seems as if they aren’t coming, we may as well proceed? Don’t you agree, Albus?” Minerva urged the Headmaster to begin the meeting without them. Shacklebolt, Tonks, Sirius and Dung still weren’t there, everyone else had arrived on time, and the Aurors weren’t usually late, Dung however, was unpredictable and rarely showed up. Too content to pilfer and sell items instead of helping their cause, she still didn’t understand why Albus had asked him to join in the first place; he was a waste of space.

“Maybe they are held up at work?” suggested Hestia Jones to the quiet, contemplative room.

“Perhaps,” said Albus, they could be out on an assignment, which would explain Black not returning when he’d asked. If anything the compulsion to work as an Auror was stronger than anything else because he’d made him that way. It would explain why Tonks had not appeared, it must be something big through for both high up Auror’s to attend to it. Hopefully they would be arresting or rather in this case re-arresting the Death Eaters, which would help in the long run, fewer innocents to lose. The innocents in all this were wizards and witches who weren’t pureblood’s, those easier to mould to his image and carry it on to the next generation. Which had been working splendidly for the past three generations, four if you include the generation currently being born.

“Why are we here though? It’s drawing unwarranted attention if someone is watching the school…watching you.” Podmore pointed out the obvious. The Minister were keeping an eye on him, he was scared that Dumbledore was after his job. To set the meeting at Hogwarts to him was at the height of stupidity, he’d almost decided not to come.

“I am afraid…Grimmauld Place is no longer open to us,” said Albus, sighing softly, his posture screamed defeated.

“What?” boomed Moody his eyes narrowed, “What does that mean?”

“A few possibilities, none good. Either we have been betrayed and the Death Eaters have taken over the house, or Sirius is no longer with us.” said Albus, his blue eyes filled with worry, he couldn’t tell them the truth, in fact Black was better of dead than the truth being revealed to the world. “Have you seen Sirius lately?”

“It’s been at least three days for me,” said Doge thoughtfully.

“He was at work three days ago,” said Moody, “Tonks is off with the wizarding Flu; I wouldn’t be surprised if Black ended up with it as well. Others might end up sick, so if you display any symptoms get them checked out….as for other…” wizarding flu was a bad thing to get, it infected the magical core, could reduce wizards to squibs. So the solution was no magic, bed rest and a gazillion potions to get better, ignore it then on your own magic/head be it.

“He would still get in touch,” said Albus interrupting Moody, feeling a little petulant, it was how the potion worked. No, this was something worse than catching Wizarding Flu he could feel it.

“Haven’t you had the wizarding Flu? I couldn’t get out of bed for a fortnight!” said Hestia agog at the Headmaster’s words.

“I see,” Albus said, pretending to concede to her ‘expert knowledge’.

“Maybe that’s why he’s locked down Grimmauld Place? To stop us from ending up sick too?” suggested Molly Weasley. She didn’t like the thought of anything happening to anyone in the Order. They were all good friends, and to lose more would just devastate her completely. Nothing could cause her as much devastation as when she found out her brothers were gone; that she was the last of the Prewitt’s and the family name wouldn’t continue on. She’d tried very hard to make her family proud, and hopefully when she was reunited with them, not any time soon with any luck, they would be proud.

“Perhaps,” said Albus, “If you hear from him, do let me know, and let him know I am asking for him.” that would hopefully throw any suspicion of him if he had to resort to…drastic measures.

“As for the other news, Sirius has retired from being an Auror, I was asked to come in, with Tonks, Shacklebolt and Sirius out they needed someone with experience,” Moody barked, annoyed that he had been interrupted and talked over.

“Excuse me?” Albus gaped at Alastor unable to believe it. “Are you sure?” he demanded of the Ex-Auror…or rather Auror now if he had returned to his old duties. He definitely must find Sirius Black now with all due haste, he had most definitely found a way to fight off the potion or someone had found out about it and cleared it from his system. He had much to do to ensure this didn’t become a scandal. His earlier speculations seemed to be the truth, he would need to make due haste to Lupin’s flat.

“I am,” Moody barked, annoyed that he was being doubted even for a moment. By Albus of all people, they had been close for many years now; he should always take his word as truth.

“Thank you, Alastor,” Albus said, eyes shadowed with worry that he couldn’t fully conceal. “What were you asked to deal with that required someone experienced?” it could only be a Death Eater raid, that much carnage they caused.

Just then the Floo network flared, spitting out an out of breath Mundungus Fletcher.

“You-Know-Who attacked a Muggle street, he’s becoming more brazen!” he rasped, coughing violently, slumping to the chair, blood coated his hand where it clutched at his side, the Death Eaters had found him hiding, listening to him and attacked him.

“A Muggle street?” Moody frowned, “You mean Privet Drive?” he had been called to the scene last night; he hadn’t seen anything like it since Alice Longbottom. His magical eye observing Albus calling the resident Medi-witch to his office to heal Mundungus through the Floo.

“Why?” “What is he looking for?” “He hasn’t attacked the Muggles yet, why now?” the Order all called out.

“He’s after Harry Potter,” Mundungus said.

“He’s just a child, why?” Molly gasped in horror, he was the same age as her youngest son, hadn’t he been through enough?

Albus stared at Mundungus intently, also wishing to know why he would be after Harry Potter, especially waiting so long; it had been two years since Voldemort had been brought back using Harry’s blood.

“They said…well they were discussing…speculating how Harry Potter had survived the attack, talking like he’d taken a killing curse and it had rebound back onto their ‘Lord’,” Mundungus explained, sighing in relief as the Healer made her entrance, moving over to him and beginning to heal him. “He’s to be captured, unhurt, nobody is allowed to kill him, and the ‘pleasure’ is for You-Know-Who himself.”

Dumbledore paled drastically, staring at Mundungus as if he had grown two additional heads in the past few moments.

“We have to keep him safe,” Molly urged, eyes filled with tears that didn’t fall, quite honestly she just wanted to hug him, let him know everything was going to be alright.

“The attack happened at Privet Drive, they killed Harry’s relatives, probably trying to torture information out of them, find out where he is,” Mundungus revealed, breathing out in relief, the pain was already vanishing rapidly, he gladly accepted and swallowed the potions the healer gave him after gasping in shock at the news.

“Torture is putting it lightly,” Moody grimaced, “I’ve never seen anything like it since Alice.”

Everyone paled remembering what happened to the Auror, she had jumped in front of a young girl to save her, taking many Cruciatus Curses simultaneously. She had been in St. Mungo’s ever since, later her husband had joined her, but not in the same ward, he had been cursed with something unknown and was in a coma, he had been there since little Neville was six years old, ten years ago now.

“By Merlin,” Minerva murmured, clutching her hand over her mouth in shocked disgust.

Silence reigned in the room for a long while after, as people just sat there, not sure what to say or do in the face of such a horrific attack.
“There, take it easy, don’t do to much,” Poppy explained to the wizard, giving Albus a quick nod, leaving the room quickly, Mundungus stank something fierce and she felt the need to wash the stink away.

“What happened to you?” Hestia asked he looked as if he’d gone and lost a fight with a Hippogriff.

“They found out I was listening in,” Mundungus grimaced, “Got a few curses off, few of theirs hit me before I Apparated away, used the Floo Network at the Leaky Cauldron to get here.” his head was pounding as well, he just wanted to go home, have a bath then have a few drinks and not necessarily in that order.

“So they didn’t find Harry? He wasn’t there?” Arthur questioned, relieved at that, failing to realize a teenager the same age as Harry had died in the attack. His cousin, a one Dudley Dursley, just passed his sixteenth birthday. Surely they wouldn’t have been discussing it in some run down filth place in Knockturn Alley.

“Evidently not, if anyone knows where Harry is, I believe it will be Remus,” Minerva said, she knew through Slughorn that Harry and Remus had a close relationship. “Perhaps they should be notified and brought here for safety?” which house Harry was in didn’t matter, she had a duty of care to all those who come through Hogwarts, not just her Gryffindors. “Just until they find somewhere more secure.” they couldn’t just invite everyone to Hogwarts, it just wasn’t done, but surely for a few days it can’t hurt.

“I shall write to him as soon as the meeting is over with,” Albus said, even surer of his path now, today was turning out to be one of the most urgent days he’d had to date, and he’d been through two wars. Was it possible? Had Harry managed to reflect the killing curse onto Voldemort? Had Severus lied? He must find the wizard no matter how long it took and demand answers. Remus, Sirius, Vampire Lord then Severus Snape, he was beginning to feel very overwhelmed with the demands sitting on his shoulder. If Potter had successfully managed to evade Voldemort’s attack what did it mean? What did it mean? It may actually answer some of the questions on why he had chosen the boy to aid his return to a body.

“Did they say anything else?” Moody asked, both eyes fixed on Mundungus, was it pure luck that he’d over heard that or did the Death Eaters want it to get out? It wouldn’t be the first time, best way to find someone let others do all the hard work and swoop in at the last minute, something he would do. Voldemort was a tricky wizard, smart, manipulative and dangerous.

“Nothing, that’s it,” Mundungus said, fully healed but still covered in blood, he didn’t even notice that the healer had left, without so much as receiving a thank you.

“I think given the circumstances we should postpone the meeting,” Albus said abruptly, his tone off, he quickly did some damage control, “I must warn Remus, Mr. Potter is in very serious danger.”

Moody grunted in agreement, he didn’t know the kid but he certainly wouldn’t wish his fate on anyone if Voldemort ever found him.

“Perhaps you’re right, Albus,” Minerva agreed, still worried.

“If they need somewhere to stay, our home is warded,” Molly bravely offered up her home.

“I shall let them know,” Albus said, smiling in thanks to the woman.

Doge remained in his seat as the Order members either used the Floo Network in Albus’ office or left through the Headmaster’s office to go the long way. It was mostly the younger generation like Podmore who left the office instead of using the Floo.

“Albus, what happened with the vampires?” Doge queried again, watching his best friend closely.

“We are still in negotiations,” Albus explained patiently, lying through his teeth of course.

“But it looks good?” Doge asked eyes alight with hope. He thought Albus was ingenious, when he had first proposed it he had a moments doubt, but willingly helped whenever he could. Then when Albus told him he’d found the Vampire Lord and had a meeting with him awe and amazement shot through him. To have a meeting with the Vampire Lord was a miracle, maybe it meant good things would come there way. They’d had multiple meetings, he didn’t know the ins and outs, or what the exchange was, but he’d do just about anything to see it work out. They needed all the help they could get and with vampires on their side they could not lose - the Death Eaters wouldn’t know what hit them, literally wouldn’t know what hit them. The amount of innocent people they would save…it was quite overwhelming.

“It does,” Albus nodded firmly, leaving no room to question him. “Now if you’ll excuse me old friend, I have a few letters to write,” a concerned look passing over his face.

“Of course!” Doge said reverently, “I’ll leave you to it, if you need my help, you know where to find me,” as always offering his support.

“I know, Elphias, thank you,” Albus said a grateful smile on his face that conveyed a happiness that he could always rely on his old friend. As soon as he was alone the smile dropped from his face as a perplexed look took over. Regardless he did write a letter to Remus, warning him of the danger, even though he had no intentions of sending it out via owl. Steeling himself, he would find out through the werewolf where Sirius Black was and get him back under control. Do some damage control with the vampires and do all he could to solve the mystery of what happened that Halloween.
--------0
Harry yawned, burrowing further into the warmth, feeling curiously well rested and warmer than normal. Blinking sleepily, he stretched out with a contented groan. After everything he had earned the thing that stuck in his mind the most, was his mum, falling to the floor dead. Ever since he'd learned they'd died for him, particularly his mother, leaving behind a 'protection' he'd felt even closer to her. It wasn't just his mum after all, now was it? Snape had saved his life too. He continued to lie there, thinking on everything, it was difficult being angry at someone, especially when they were treating you well, and protecting you. Everyone had their own way of doing things, especially Slytherins. They chose to take what they wanted, when they wanted it, by whatever means necessarily. They also took care of their own, whether they wanted it or not. That was only because nobody else would. Looking around he saw he was alone; his clothes he'd been caught in were washed and dried at the bottom of his bed. Severus was always up well before him and he never heard him coming to bed. He would have thought he didn’t have a bed companion if not for the fact he had woken up during the night last night.

Removing himself from the duvet on the large queen size bed, he grabbed his clothes and got dressed. Compared to how immaculate everything else was, he looked like a ragamuffin. Slight exaggeration he supposed, now that the blood, sweat, cement, wood and dirt had been removed properly in ways that the spell couldn’t. Even the holes in the knees of his trousers had been stitched up, rather expertly too, must have been a House-Elf.

It was too late for breakfast, and he didn’t want someone going out of their way for him, he opened the door and walked out into the hall. As he walked down the hall, he noticed the portraits for the first time, inside a large room with an arch revealing even more portraits in the room. Harry got curious and stepped inside, cocking his head, they looked very similar to Severus; he must have gotten most of his looks from the Prince side of the family line. There was something wrong with them; they were still, not magical portraits. It was strange, since being here all portraits Harry had encountered were animated. Touching it, he could feel the brushstrokes, they were deep, and each portrait had been painted with a thick layer, no doubt probably done by an expert and at high cost. The gold plaque at the bottom of the one he was touching had Artemis Prince written across it along with the dates - he assumed were his time of succession. He'd never met a male with that name before.

The portraits at Hogwarts felt like water paints, cheap and hastily put together compared to these ones, the attention to detail was quite exquisite. These must all be the Vampire Lords, he had not realized just how long the line had been going, Artemis was the only one who did not have a portrait taken with his significant other, all he noticed were women, seated or standing next to them. He wondered if any of them had male partners. He couldn’t see any from where he stood, so he curiously began to inspect each of them, memorising their faces, names, and the dates.

He pondered on whether they were just too early for magical portraits, perhaps there was another room filled with magical ones? Shrugging his shoulders as he finished inspecting the last one having circled the room, he made his way out, it would take forever to get a hang of this place, and this was only a single wing.

He passed the library again and grinned, he could get himself lost in there for weeks at a time. Which was a good thing really; he didn’t have much else to do. His grin softened to a smile, as he picked up a book, remembering his friends always teasing him. They'd told him constantly he'd been sorted into the wrong house. Harry wouldn't have fitted into Ravenclaw though, he wasn't reading books to get best grades, and he was doing it to fit in, to survive in the magical world. His good grades just reflected his need for that really.

"What do you want?" asked Harry irritated as he turned around.

"You heard me?" asked Storm her face showing her surprise. Nobody had been able to hear her, she'd never, ever, encountered a human who was able to detect her presence.

"I could hear you the door squeaks when you open it fully, and there is a loose floorboard under my feet. The only way it would creak, is if
someone else was on it." said Harry bluntly. "You are also wearing new shoes; they scuffed before you even entered the room."

"You are good," said Storm impressed. He might be young, but he was sharp, smart he certainly wasn't stupid. Lord Snape liked smart, it didn't hurt that his mate was absolutely stunning. If he hadn't already been spoken for, she would have made a move on him.

"Why are you here?" asked Harry staring at her his face impassive.

Storm just smiled at him kindly, "You like books?"

Harry rolled his eyes; he was having him bloody watched? What did Snape think he was going to do? They had a deal, it's not like he was going to back out of it. Grunting in frustration he left the room, and began searching for Snape. The entire time the vampire followed him, raising Harry's ire even further.

"Where is he?!" demanded Harry spinning around, glaring at her.

"He's at a meeting." said Storm immediately as if it would explain everything.

"Not what I asked." snapped Harry his nostrils flaring at his anger.

"He is at a meeting." repeated Storm.

"Fine, I'll bloody find him myself." said Harry stomping off in the direction where two guards had stood yesterday. Only to find the woman once again in front of him, stopping him from getting any further.

"Stop." said Storm, she couldn't let Harry past.

"What are you going to do if I don't? Hit me?" snapped Harry, his green eyes flashing in fury.

"No," protested Storm violently, they'd be killed if they even thought of harming the mate of their Lord.

"I want to see him, if you don't take me to him I'll go myself." said Harry crossing his arms over his chest, challenging the vampire, his eyes never once looking away from hers.

"What part of meetings don't you understand?" cried Storm exasperated! It appeared as if Lord Severus' mate was just as stubborn, maybe more so. She certainly didn't want to have to guard him again anyway.

"Any of it," said Harry "He's the one that demanded me here! Not the other way around now get him here now or tell him the deals off!"

"Really?" asked a smooth voice from behind Storm, sounding more amused than upset or even angry.

"Why are you having me followed? I said I'd stay!" snapped Harry.

"Storm," said Severus, not needing to say anything else, she simply nodded before leaving. When you worked for someone long enough, you understood their needs without having to be ordered.

"She wasn't here to keep an eye on you, she was here to keep you safe." said Severus bluntly.

"Safe?" echoed Harry, his heart sinking into the pit of his stomach. What the hell did that mean? This place was huge, the contents priceless, surely there was more wards than humanly possible on this building? Unless he was meaning Dumbledore, it was the only possible explanation. Who else seemed insistent on making his life as miserable as possible.

"Indeed." replied Severus sardonically. Seeing his mate was not comforted at all by his words, he continued on. "Albus Dumbledore is currently down in the Great Hall, he's rather…shall we say, put out. Since I did not uphold my end of the bargain or so he says."

"Why didn't you?" asked Harry bitterly.

Arching an eyebrow, had the information from yesterday not sank in? Or was he deliberately goading him.

"What? It would be easier to spy on him wouldn't it?" snapped Harry defensively.

"Yes," said Severus, "Yes it would, but I already have someone much closer than anyone I could send now."

"Ha, Langdon?" asked Harry shrewdly. "He has your coat of arms on a pendant I saw around his neck once."

“Sometimes the others get rather…overzealous in protecting me and it will be the same for you." he made a mental note to make sure Langdon was more careful. He had a very valuable position, now that Dumbledore had been around; he'd probably investigated the signs. More than ever, he needed Langdon to keep a sharp eye on Hogwarts and on Dumbledore.

The last heir, he didn't like the sound of that…no he wasn't going to think on it, he refused. He'd spent his allotted amount of time, then he was gone, he was done. He wanted a family but with someone who cared who he would see more than a couple of times a day.

"Would you like to attend the meeting?" asked Severus out of the blue.

"Yes," said Harry immediately, what can he say? He didn't often get to see Dumbledore shot down. He wanted front seat tickets to the show.

"Put this on," said Severus, handing over a cloak, "He does not know who I am so please refrain from using names."

"Alright," said Harry eagerly, placing the cloak on himself, but he didn't see the point - he was sure Dumbledore would realize who he was immediately. He didn't really care, obviously Snape didn't either, and he knew the vampire wasn't stupid, he'd have thought the same thing.

"Let's go," said Severus, nodding in approval.

---------0

Harry felt completely ridiculous obscured completely by the robes, if he looked anything like Severus - then he probably looked like a Dementor but he had to admit it was a good look. He followed Severus though the halls, withholding a giggle feeling extremely daft. He tried to keep up with the twists and turns, wanting to memorise them. The place was enormous; huge just didn't cut it at all. Then he finally went through a door that had someone within. Not just someone, but Albus Dumbledore who looked extremely irritated.

"I apologise for the delay," said Severus his sarcasm obvious, yet his tone was much darker than Harry had ever heard it. It made shivers dance across his skin, his stomach tightened, made him feel funny deep inside. He'd never felt like that before, it drew him in like a moth to the flame. Harry had a feeling he was going to end up scorched.

"May we continue?" asked Dumbledore, with forced patience. To be nice to this vampire left a sour taste in his mouth. Unfortunately he needed vampires on his side. He hadn't expected it to be so hard, especially with all the latest restrictions on all 'dark creatures' these days. They should have been jumping at the chance for redemption of their species.

Harry sat down as he was directed, watching Dumbledore with hidden glee, everything was hidden actually. Since he still had the cloak on, there was no recognition in Dumbledore's' eyes, no dawning understanding he was too intent on staring at Snape. No not Snape, the Vampire Lord. It was so gleeful to watch Dumbledore speak in such a humbled way.

"Of course," said Severus wickedly, he never thought he'd see the day where Dumbledore was so desperate for something from him.

"We had a bargain," said Dumbledore for the tenth time that night, he wasn't getting through to the vampire. "You will lose your magic if you do not obey."

"So you've said, yet despite your words, I still have my magic and I'm still alive, so to speak." said Severus.

"I demand you give me what you promised!" snapped Dumbledore loosing his composure standing up, his magic swirling out around him. Nobody had denied him this way before, and truth be told he didn't know how to deal with it other than to intimidate.

"You broke your promise," hissed Severus furiously. Never leaving his seat, as he spewed such hatred at Dumbledore. He'd always loathed the wizard, he'd ignored all Slytherin's and encouraged the Gryffindor's to do whatever they liked, getting them out of trouble when it suited him. He'd waited so long to get one over the infallible wizard and now nothing would compare to this. He certainly would put it in a pensive to view later.

Harry shifted feeling completely embarrassed at his rather…extreme reactions. He didn't know why he was suddenly feeling this way all the time. Like all boys his age, he'd jerked off in the dorms behind silencing spells and curtains. Been given the most horrific 'talk' in his young life at the age of thirteen. He hadn't quite managed to look at Remus for at least a week after him talking about sex. He had to read up on vampires, see if it was Snape that was causing it. Vampires were extremely sexual creatures, but did they actually affect you without trying? He wished Remus was here; at least it was someone to talk to about things. He was much more comfortable talking about that kind of thing, well compared to how he had been at the age of thirteen.

"I handed Mr. Potter over in perfect health." said Dumbledore sitting back down, breathing deeply; he'd get through to this vampire if it killed him. "You must obey the vow."

Severus' hand found Harry's knee, as if sensing Harry was about to get seriously angry. Harry had been about to open his mouth and give the old man a piece of his mind. Harry bit his lip, withholding as gasp. Merlin he was beginning to feel fourteen again, unable to control his body. Severus' thumb sent tingling sensations as it tantalizingly stroked back and forth across his leg.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but Mr. Potter had to be healed when he fell unconscious - after you captured him without informing him what was happening." said Severus emotionlessly, he could smell Harry's furling arousal, and Harry’s magic was reacting to his. They were soul mates he and Harry. They were meant to be together, and the budding bond was proof of that. He could sense it much more deeply than Harry, since human's senses were dulled compared to vampires. "Cracked ribs, punctured lung and extensive bruising."

"He continued to run, we need to win this war, I do not know why you care, after all you went this length to get him…its obvious he wouldn't have come willingly for you." said Dumbledore his eyes narrowed in distaste, unable to stop his true nature showing through.

"As always Dumbledore, you assume you know best." sneered Severus, utterly disgusted. "Do not presume to know what I do or how I think."

"I want the boy returned to my custody," said Dumbledore standing up, he'd had enough. "Otherwise I will have no choice but to make your life extremely uncomfortable."

"Please do," said Severus chuckling wryly. "Truth be known, I think it's your life that will become…shall we say uncomfortable?"

"Do not say I didn't warn you." said Dumbledore angrily.

"I shan't," said Severus. "Corin, Storm…please show the Headmaster out. Make sure he doesn't accidentally drop anything either, do a sweep of the building afterwards." without saying anything telling the old fool he knew what he'd done.

"Damn you, you are condemning millions of innocents to death!" snarled Dumbledore as the female vampires took a tight hold of him.

"No Dumbledore, you did by not acting in the first place." said Severus, causing Dumbledore to pale and turn slightly green around the gills. Fear flashed through Dumbledore's eyes as he stared at the unknown vampire in front of him. While it looked like a million things were going on under the old fool's head, there wasn't, just one - what did he know?

"Take him away." said Severus after a few seconds of stunned silence.

Harry was stunned; he'd never, ever seen Dumbledore act that way. Never in all his years as a student, instead of being amused, he was worried and maybe a little curious. "What did you mean?" asked Harry.

"Exactly as I said," replied Severus relaxing, he removed his hand from Harry's leg as he felt his wards, checking for when Dumbledore was out of his castle.

"That doesn't explain anything!" argued Harry, "How did he not act?"

"Do you really want to know?" enquired Severus, turning to face his mate. "No matter the consequences?"

"What does that mean?" asked Harry shrewdly. A sinking feeling began to worm its way down into the very pit of his stomach. Perhaps his blaming Dumbledore for his parent's deaths hadn't been far off its mark.

Severus just tilted his head sideways for a moment, as if to say 'You already know or suspect'. Nevertheless, he realised he couldn't get to know his mate, or garner his trust without speaking. "Know your enemy Harry; it's the most important thing of all, especially when you are dealing with them."

"You knew what he'd do? That he'd fail in the vow?" Harry questioned, unsure of how to feel about that. On one hand it was completely sneaky and so very Slytherin, on the other hand he didn’t like being played.

"No, I'd never put you at risk." said Severus his voice solemn and serious. No he had been prepared to ask a few of his men to fight the war, so he could secure his mates' well-being. Now there was no need, and he did get a lot of satisfaction from it, it couldn't be helped. It didn't mean that he hadn't want Harry brought here securely and safely as possible. "Ask Harry; do not feel the need to manipulate the conversation. I will answer all questions as honestly as possible." aware that Harry was asking them to force him to elaborate on the subject. He was good for his age, he'd give him that much.

Harry flushed in embarrassment, his pale cheeks taking on a rosy hue. "What do you know?" he asked, feeling slightly…Gryffindor. When you needed to dig for answers, especially in Slytherin you had to take the long way round. Sometimes even with Blaise and Teddy, it's just the way things were. He'd learned over the years, and now it was next to impossible to pry information out of him that he didn't want revealed. His weakness was his temper, and Blaise and Teddy exploited it like any real friend would. There was never much need to either, since Harry had told them everything. They were more than just friends; they were his best friends, his brothers.

"Around six decades ago, Albus Dumbledore was Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts. He was there when the chamber of secrets was opened; the legend said it could only be opened to Salazar Slytherin's heir. What does that tell you?" said Severus calmly.

"Voldemort," said Harry, "So Dumbledore knew who opened the chamber?"

"Indeed, he definitely ensured the young boy blamed for it stayed at Hogwarts, although it was a great disservice, keeping him there, letting him see everyone graduate when it's the one thing he couldn't do." said Severus his voice filled with scorn. "Yes, Harry he knew, until this moment I didn't have definitive proof. His reaction spoke louder than any of his words since coming here."

Harry nodded quietly; there really was no denying that one, since he'd seen Dumbledore's stunned muteness for himself. He was responsible for both wars, the last one and the one currently brewing. All because he hadn't acted, he'd swept it under the rug and let Voldemort away with it. Starting of a chain reaction of events, giving the evil wizard the impression he didn't have to pay for his crimes. That he could kill, maim and hurt people without care. He was responsible for the death of his parents by his inactions.

"When can my friends and dad visit?" asked Harry.

"Straight down to business I take it?" asked Severus wryly, yet his gut twisted at the fact Harry wanted them so desperately. If he'd done things right, Harry wouldn't be saying those things. Unfortunately doing what's right or easy didn't deter him. He had to keep Harry safe, out of the war, it's why Severus acted when he did, and why he'd made sure Dumbledore couldn't touch him. The wand, the fact he survived Voldemort, it all added up. He wasn't about to let Harry become anyone's little hero, Harry was his and he'd be damned if he let anyone else touch him.

"I just want them to know I'm okay." said Harry, "For the past six years… they've been everything. Growing up with the Dursley's made sure I knew how to appreciate anyone in my life." a dark look crossing his features, he hadn't seen them since he'd accepted his place at Hogwarts. If he ever did see them it would be too soon.

"I can understand that…write to everyone, invite them to come tomorrow, inform them that someone will pick them up and bring them here. I do ask that you accompany me in a stroll around the castle and some lunch after you are done," said Severus.

Grinning he nodded his head; exuberance flowing through him, he couldn’t wait.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 14

The walk around the Castle grounds was quite peaceful; for once they didn’t have permanent shadows behind them. Then again there were probably others watching closely from the roof, windows and where the vampires were naturally on duty. Harry didn’t see any evidence of his suspicions and thoughts, but he most certainly wouldn’t have been surprised by them. They were as Severus had put it, very overzealous in protecting him. Him too, apparently, but he didn’t want the invasion of privacy that came with it. He changed in the bathroom out of fear that they would bloody burst into the room, despite Severus’ reassurances that his rooms and the adjourning rooms were off limits.

Then true to Severus’ request, they were having lunch outside, on a picnic bench, there was more food than Harry ate in a week laid out. “Are there many vampires here who can actually eat?”

“Yes, a great many of them went through an inheritance, one day you will meet them all,” Severus promised, he would never admit this, but he was feeling at a loss. He wasn’t sure what to talk to Harry about, when he asked him questions about his life he gave him curt answers, evidently not wishing to discuss it. Speaking of Dumbledore and the Order just made him sullen or extremely angry depending on the topic. He didn’t want this distance between them to remain; he didn’t want Harry just counting down the days until he could leave. He supposed it was the downside to having such a young mate, or perhaps it truly was the way he had gone about it.

“By great many, how many are we talking about?” Harry asked, as always a thirst for knowledge rearing its head. “I’ve always been under the belief that there weren’t many vampires here. Not that I blame them, the Ministry is…despicable in regards to magical creatures, both human and not. Should have them all leave, see how quickly everything falls apart when they cannot get the potions they desire, or how quickly the population of the magical world begins to diminish or having to get up off their arses and clean themselves instead of using House-elves.”

Severus’ lips twitched, “Hundreds here, overall thousands in any given country, culminating to millions overall.” he informed the teen surprise written across his face, “That is a very…unusual outlook, especially for someone Muggle-raised.”

“Is it?” Harry asked after swallowing his bite to eat, looking puzzled, “A Gryffindor at Hogwarts constantly complains about the way ‘we’ treat House-elves. In fact, she had the entire Gryffindor house mad as hell at her for months when the House-elves stopped cleaning Gryffindor tower because she had been leaving knitted things for them to find as if that would free them.” rolling his eyes just thinking about Granger. Only their Master could free them, which was more than likely Dumbledore.

“It shows just how ignorant she really is regarding the matter,” Severus replied, “But that is Gryffindors for you, they rush into situations that they don’t fully understand.”

Harry snorted around the rim of his cup, “I can’t stand any of them,” he admitted in distaste, “No matter what they did they just got away with it, and if it involved Slytherin’s then we would be blamed for it.”

“Mmm, nothing has changed regarding the matter since I attended Hogwarts then,” Severus said, “Perhaps one-day things might change.” especially once he had dealt with Dumbledore. His sensitive hearing picked up the sound of a bird in the distance, his sharp eyes glancing around, spotting the brown barn owl.

“That’s Ginger!” Harry exclaimed having looked in the direction Severus was in curiosity. “It’s Blaise’s owl,”

“I see,” Severus replied, dispersing with the owl redirecting spell for one day.

The owl swooped down on the bird bath, hooting at Harry for him to go to the owl so he didn’t need to fly again. Harry laughed at the owl's antics, with a fond smile he hopped off the bench and made his way over, stroking the owl, smiling sweetly yet bitterly, he missed Hedwig, hopefully, though Maria would bring her with them when they visited. Taking the letter he let the owl be for the time being. He was slightly surprised that Blaise’s owl managed to get to him before Remus’, Remus was closer if his geography was correct by quite a few miles.

“My Lord?” Alfred said demurely, giving a deep curtsey, silently apologising for interrupting his time with his mate.

“Yes, Alfred?” Severus inquired, none of his irritation and annoyance showing. It was difficult as it was to get any sort of conversation with Harry, without being interrupted when they did manage to talk.

“I believe you may wish to see the newspaper today,” Alfred informed him, he had already double checked to make sure that it was right so he wasn’t interrupting his Lord for nothing.

“Raymond is here also,” Alfred added.

“Very well,” Severus replied, knowing Alfred wouldn’t have interrupted unless he truly thought it was important. “Please take Harry to our rooms and remain there, have Storm and Corin escort him out once he’s done.”

“Done…with…what?” Harry asked he didn’t like the sound of that at all.

“Raymond is our tailor,” Severus explained, “My apologies; I had meant to inform you before this,”

Harry merely nodded, not happy in the slightest, he had no need for a tailor.

“I shall see you later,” Severus added, cupping Harry’s cheek only to have the teen lean away from the touch, he said nothing in regards to it.

Harry didn’t like to be touched, and worse he hated the fact that his body and magic seemed to enjoy the touches bestowed upon him. Quickly standing up, he made his way over to Alfred, anything to get away from the uncomfortable feeling of rightness he felt with Severus.

------0

“Now what was so important?” Severus demanded of Storm who was nearby, and likely knew everything, just as soon as Alfred and Harry were out of sight and earshot (well Harry anyway not Alfred). He continued walking, Storm followed keeping up with his long strides.

“The Dursley’s were attacked sometime yesterday evening,” Storm explained, “Very severely tortured and left to die, which they were by the time the authorities got on the scene. The Dark Mark was shot into the sky, the Ministry had a terrible time covering it up considering how many people had seen the attack or were victims of a few stray curses and hexes.” remaining in the doorway to his office until she was given permission to enter.

“Was the Dark Lord present?” Severus demanded, sitting at his seat, snatching the paper from his pile of correspondence, his eyes quickly reading the information released by the Daily Prophet which was practically useless, it didn’t tell you much at all.

“Reports state that it was his magic that put up the Dark Mark,” Storm explained, “Jackson, Simon and Dalton are back safe, they confirmed it.”

“He’s recovered from his rebirth fully then, and feels confident enough to begin his reign of terror once more,” Severus stated grimly, “No doubt he is looking for Harry,” he growled low in his throat, discarding the newspaper.

“I believe that is the case,” Storm agreed with her Lord, “We will step up our defence of the castle.”

“Do that,” Severus stated, “Recall the warders if you must.” the castle was as secure as he could make it, but for his own peace of mind, he would rather know that there was no holes that could be exploited. It had been a few years since they were inspected after all; much could go wrong in that time.

“I’ll summon Henry and Mary immediately,” Storm agreed, they were the best warders in the world, and luckily had sworn their oath of allegiance just as she had to their Lord.

“Good, alert the others,” Severus ordered, Harry was safe at the moment, with Alfred with him; Alfred was one of his most trusted. Turning his chair back around, he decided while Harry was busy getting fitted that he would get some of this tiresome mail out of the way. He blinked at the sight of Dumbledore’s handwriting…with his name on it, Severus Snape, not Vampire Lord. Curious indeed, what on earth did the old man want with him.

Plucking his letter opener from its holder, he opened the missive, spread it out on the desk and began to read. His heart sinking and realisation set in, Dumbledore ‘wished’ to see him to ‘rectify’ his actions from fifteen years ago, by omitting his name from the newspapers, instead saying ‘a friend of the family’. In other words, Dumbledore either suspected or knew what happened that night already. He hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly. Thank Merlin he had taken the actions he had, when he had, the alternative didn’t bear thinking about.

Growling low in his throat, he scrunched up the letter and flung it with all his might at the fireplace, within seconds the letter was reduced to ash. Dumbledore truly was just too smart for his own good sometimes, just one attack on the Dursley’s and he was suddenly questioning what happened that night? It should have taken just a bit longer for suspicion to form…unless the Dark Lord had said something…which he very much doubted. He wouldn’t risk the truth getting out and Harry ending up protected at all costs.

Standing up, he made his way to their bedroom, where Harry was at the moment, or should be, he hadn’t been busy that long. He would need to tell him everything, not only so Harry was aware, but he didn’t want Harry to think he was ever keeping information from him.

The door was open much to his approval, with the two guards at the end of the hall and Alfred standing guard at the door making sure nothing happened. He had used Raymond many times in the past, and also did background checks, but it never hurt to be careful. Harry was standing on a stool looking irritated beyond belief, as more and more measurements were taken and coloured fabric was placed on him, as if the man was trying to figure out which colour suited Harry best.

"Finished?" Severus said; it wasn't a question however, but a statement.

"Yes, My Lord," said the tailor nodding bowing low in respect as he hastily began to pack everything back up. "I shall have them delivered by tomorrow morning."

"Do not bother, I shall have someone collect it." said Severus brushing it aside.

"Yes sir," he replied before he was escorted out by Alfred.

"There's nothing wrong with my own clothes," Harry said, extremely uncomfortable with all the wealth surrounding him. With an exception of the books, he could read them all day. He felt cheap as though he was being bought, and it didn't sit well with him, he'd been so independent all his life he felt a little claustrophobic here. At least Snape wasn't demanding to spend time with him all day every day yet. The strength and intensity of feelings the man evoked by just standing near him scared Harry enough as it was. He'd never felt like that before, in fact he'd never been interested in anyone before.

"You have one set of clothes,” Severus pointed out dryly, “They aren’t just every day clothing, but dress robes as well, there will be many celebrations in the coming months.”

"Oh,” Harry said uncomfortably, well if it would prevent him from feeing like an idiot with everyone dressed classy around him then he was grateful. “Thank you,” he offered politely.

Severus nodded, inclining his head, his lips pursed.

“What’s wrong?” Harry asked, wondering at the look on Severus’ face, it wasn’t one he had seen yet.

“I am afraid there was an attack,” Severus started, “The Dursley’s were attacked by the Death Eaters and the Dark Lord, and Dumbledore has somehow guessed, believe me even I am surprised by the swiftness of it.”

“How could he have guessed by just that one attack?” Harry asked, his heart sinking, so it was true, what Severus had said would happen…had come to pass.

“I am uncertain as of yet,” Severus admitted distastefully.

Harry just nodded his eyes closing, before they snapped opened with a gasp, his dad! He hadn’t replied yet, and that wasn’t like him, he always replied straight away. What if he had been attacked? Harry didn’t think, he just blindly ran, his heart pounding like a drum. He didn’t see the guards watching after him confused and concerned, didn’t hear Severus telling them not to go after him that he had it in hand as he ran towards the teen.

“Harry, stop!” Severus demanded, giving Harry a chance at least. What on earth was the teen thinking? Why the hell would he want to leave Prince Castle knowing what he did?

Harry didn’t stop, instead he pushed open the doors and down the steps, not that he got far after that, since Severus had, had enough and wrapped his arms around the teen, trapping him in place.

“LET ME GO!” Harry hissed, kicking and smacking at the arms around him, and Severus’ legs but nothing would budge the vampire. “LET ME GO!” he ended up howling, grunting as his knees came into contact with the pathway. His breathing ragged as Severus went with him, hugging him close.

“Easy, Harry,” Severus said soothingly, “Calm down.”

“Please just let me go!” Harry whispered in defeat, already knowing he wouldn’t be able to.

“Why? Harry you are safe here, why on earth would you want to go out these gates to be found?” Severus questioned Harry, it wasn’t a Slytherin move to make that was for damn certain.

“Just because I am doesn’t mean my family is!” Harry protested, still trying to squirm out of Severus’ hold. “Remus hasn’t written back yet and he always writes right away! Something’s happened to him I just know it!” he’d felt it even before he heard what happened to the Dursley’s.

“Alright, alright, Harry stop struggling, think, if he hasn’t written back it might be a trap, for you, let me send a few of my people to fetch him and the Zabini’s, they can remain here, if that’s what it takes to stop you running off and doing something…stupid, then so be it.” Severus told him, sighing when he stopped trying to fight him.

Harry nodded desperately.

“Cenric, Storm, Zarek, Jackson, come here,” Severus demanded, and within seconds the four were curtseying and murmuring “My Lord,”

“Go to Lupin’s flat, fetch him and the Zabini’s, Storm has their addresses, go be quick,” Severus demanded of them, thank Merlin he’d given Storm the addresses already.

“Sir,” they said, before they Apparated on the spot.

“Come, let’s wait for news inside,” Severus said, letting go of his mate, but ready to grab him if he was going to try anything. Harry wasn’t yet keyed into the Apparation barriers so he couldn’t unlike the others Apparate from the property, he would have had to get to the end of the property to do so.

Swallowing thickly, Harry glanced once more to the gates before he reluctantly made his way back inside.

------------0

Upon feeling Storm Apparate into the infirmary Severus immediately began to make his way there. Storm began to scan Remus, needing to know how bad it was. Dalton, who had been in the infirmary, immediately began to help, removing the tattered robes from the werewolf. She couldn't use a spell, it wouldn't remove it fast enough, he was injured enough as it was. She had no choice, she was going to have to suck it out, as disgusting as it would be, at least she wouldn't want to drink him. Werewolf blood was utterly disgusting, nobody, not even a starving Vampire would willingly drink it.

"Stand back, you might want to erect a silencing spell." Storm said grimly, it was about to get extremely loud.

Then Remus screamed in agony as the vampire began to remove the silver that had been inserted into his wound.

"REMUS!" yelled Harry entering the room, freezing in horror at the sight before him, his dad looked really bad.

Dalton cast the spell but too late.

"STOP IT!" screamed Harry running at the vampire, getting the wrong impression.

Severus immediately picked up his mate, removing him from the room as he continued to scream and fight against him. As soon as they were out of the room, silence descended upon the hallway, ominously so.

"What have you done?" choked Harry still fighting against him.

"Calm down, he has silver in his wound, this is the only chance he has of survival, we are not hurting him." said Severus before repeating himself two more times until Harry had stopped fighting him. He couldn't lie to Harry and tell him everything was going to be alright. Because he didn't know if that was true himself, he belated realized this was as close as he had gotten to Harry since his arrival. "They are doing everything they can, Harry. I promise you that much." said Severus rubbing Harry's back as he continued to tremble violently in his arms.

Harry continued to tremble and cry into Severus' chest, terror with the likes he'd never known consumed him whole. Gripping onto the potions master, since there was nothing else to hold onto. He couldn't lose his dad, not now not ever, six years wasn't enough time.

--------0

Harry had refused to move from the spot at the door, for the first time outright defying Severus’ orders. He didn't care about getting along with him at that moment, his fear and worry was just too much at the forefront of his mind. He couldn't lose his dad, not now, Merlin he was terrified. The minutes seemed to tick by excruciatingly slowly; each tick seemed to drive Harry mad. Sitting on the floor, his backside going numb but he didn't want to move, he wanted to know how his dad was. Tears had continued to fall, even after three hours the vampires in the room hadn't emerged yet and Harry was scared Remus wouldn't survive.

"Here," said Severus returning and handing Harry a bottle of Butterbeer, he'd added a calming draught to it so Harry would at least calm down. He could hear his heartbeat thumping painfully three floors down, he was terrified. It shouldn't have shocked him, but it did, it became apparent that Harry truly loved Remus and would be lost without him.

"Thank you," said Harry hoarsely accepting the bottle and drinking from it. He felt himself calming down immediately; he couldn't bring himself to be angry that Severus had drugged him. It didn't take all his fears away, but it helped him think clearly and rationally.

“Dalton and Storm are the best healers we have, and have been practised in healing magic for over five hundred years. If anyone can save him…it is them." said Severus soothingly, sitting down on the floor next to him. He'd never felt more useless than he did right now, he couldn't make this problem just go away, or pay for it to be so or duel. He couldn't predict the outcome either; he prayed for his mate’s sake that he recovered fully.

He was surprised when Harry willingly initiated contact with him; especially given he had moved away from his touch just earlier that day. He didn’t dwell on it, merely pulled him closer, giving him the comfort he so desperately sought and needed.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 15

Maria felt the wards give way, allowing people onto her property, no alarms went off, so there was nothing being put up in place to trap them in the Manor. The only problem was she wasn’t familiar with whoever was coming; their magic wasn’t familiar to her. The knock so soon after passing through her wands did surprise her though, as she stood up and hastily made her way to her door, were they using brooms? Was it some sort of emergency? Something to do with Harry?

“Can I help you?” Maria asked, blinking at the sight of the three vampires in front of her. This most definitely must have something to do with Harry then, but they weren’t due to come until tomorrow - arrangements had already been made.

“Maria Zabini?” Zarek questioned, as the others with him guarded his back on the offensive.

“Yes, I am she,” Maria nodded, confirming it.

“We are here to escort you to Prince Castle immediately,” Zarek informed her, “Bring everything you will need, we believe there is a threat to your life.” in other words the manor might not be standing by the time all was said and done.

“Just how reliable is your source?” Maria asked, paling at the thought of being attacked.

“Very,” Jackson spoke this time, “Make haste,” he added when she didn’t move.

Maria nodded, “I’ll just be a moment,” she informed them before she called for her House-Elves flicking her wand and began packing everything she could.

“Blaise! Theodore!” Maria called loudly for the boys, not pausing in her task, “Pack everything in the wings immediately, including your own quarters, we are leaving.” she told the House-Elves, they had served her faithfully she wasn’t going to leave them here.

“Mum, what are you doing?” Blaise asked her as he entered the living room to see everything flying around packing neatly into cardboard boxes.

“We are leaving, the House-Elves are gathering all your belongings, make sure everything you want to take is brought with you, we aren’t coming back…not for a long while.” Maria informed them, “We are going to Prince Castle, oh, and make sure they pack Harry’s things as well!” having completed the living room she made her way to the library, she definitely wasn’t leaving that behind.

“Lady Zabini, the kitchen, bedrooms and everything have been packed,” Tila informed her.

“Thank you, Tila, take these boxes and the ones in the living room and go to Prince Castle, I will call on you when I have a moment,” Maria commanded, each moment she was still here made her feel decidedly more on edge. She had to her son and Theodore out of here; she didn’t even want to imagine what kind of attack was on the books that the vampires had come to her and said they were to leave immediately.

Nodding after the boxes were gone, she made her way back to the entrance hall, "Boys!" she shouted loudly, she was done, they weren’t staying here a moment longer.

"Coming!" yelled Blaise, both Theo and Blaise ran towards her, looking concerned but resolved.

"We will leave via Portkey,” Zarek informed them once it was obvious they were ready to leave. “Please hold on.” it had been created by their Lord himself, so it would lead them straight into the castle. Not for this purpose of course, but he knew that their Lord would not mind, the family they were getting to safety were close to their Lord’s consort, judging by the sheer terror on his face when he realized that the people he knew were being targeted.

"Let's go." Blaise said impatiently, quickly placing his finger on the pendant, one he observed had the Prince coat of arms. He wanted to see Harry and make sure his brother was alright. Harry was the mate of a Prince Vampire, Vampire lord, they were like royalty, were royalty, but also had a strong sense of morale, unlike other vampire clans. So he knew Harry would be treated well.

Theodore and Maria also held on, and with one last wistful look from Maria she commanded the wards to close down the manor, it wouldn’t make it impenetrable, but by Merlin’s grace, anyone that wanted to step foot into her now emptied home would have a hell of a time doing so. Then the Portkey activated, whirling them away from the home Maria had lived in since she was seventeen years old, and Blaise since he was born. No, the manor didn’t matter; they could settle anywhere, as long as they were alive and safe.

"Is Remus to come as well?” Maria asked, once they were in Prince Castle, given the grandness of the room she would say it was the Great Hall.

"He is here,” Zarek informed them, nothing giving away any cause for concern.

"Where is Harry?" Theodore questioned, having no fear of the vampires.

"Currently indisposed." said Corin.

"Why?" asked Blaise suspiciously, "I thought we were getting to see him!" he added indignantly.

"You will," said Storm soothingly.

"We better," scowled Theodore, crossing his arms petulantly.

“Indisposed you say?” Maria questioned speculatively. “What has happened?” she demanded, a sinking realisation that something must have happened to Remus for Harry not to greet them, if both of them were well, they would have both been here.

A burst of respect shot from Dalton at this wouldn’t shrewd nature, she was smart, and to him there was nothing more alluring than a woman who understood how the world worked. “We, ourselves aren’t privy to answers, ma’am, not yet, but we will send someone to answer any question you have later.”

“But for now, follow me; we will get you settled in to one of the available guest quarters.” Jackson explained turning around he began to exit the Great Hall in human pace so the three could keep up. It was a long walk, and Jackson half wanted to pick them up and go at his own pace - something he could very easily do. They weren’t keyed into the wards so he wasn’t able to Apparate with them.

Blaise and Theodore shared a look of worry, as they scrambled after the vampire. Remus was part of their little family, as hodgepodge as it was, Remus had been around ever since they were eleven, they thought of him like an Uncle, he was always there to give advice and make sure they were well. That and if anything happened to Remus, Harry would be inconsolable, he’d blame himself for not being there and then would tear everything apart to get revenge. Draco had ended up in the Hospital wing for weeks after being cursed in what they believed was an ‘unknown assailant’ after suggesting Blaise’s mother was nothing but a typical near squib witch who poisoned her husbands for their fortune. If Remus died…they would show no pity for the fools who did it.

The rest of the silent walk was spend with Maria, Blaise and Theodore trying to memorise the way they were going so they would be able to get back to the main Castle. It was a futile exercise, for they lost count within three turns. Just when it began to feel as though they wouldn’t ever reach their destination, the vampire stopped, and opened the door, gesturing for them to enter, without doing so himself.

Just like the rest of the manor, the rooms were stunningly breathtaking, the quarters housed two bedrooms and a bathroom along with the open living room/dining area as well as a small office at the left hand corner beside an open window, the room had been freshly aired by the smell of it. “Please thank our host for his generosity, and I hope to thank him myself at some point.” after she gave him a piece of her mind for what he had done to a child she considered a second son.

“I will be sure to,” Jackson said dipping his head in understanding, “Food will be brought up to you momentarily, and I’m sure you will have your answers soon enough.” with that Jackson closed the door and left the family to investigate their new surroundings.

----------0

“How is he?” Harry asked scrambling to his feet as storm exited the room.

“He was hit with the silver mist curse,” Storm explained, showing no emotion. “Using the extracting charm wouldn’t have been quick enough; we had to remove it by sucking out the poison. He lost a lot of blood while we did it this way, but it was the only means of his survival.”

“Silver?” Harry gasped, his terror igniting further, silver was lethal to werewolves, and it killed them if it prolonged contact…but the silver mist spell? How on earth was Remus going to survive that?

"Yes, he is still alive; we got it all out in time." Storm was quick to reassure him despite the fact she was informing Harry without as much as a gleam of sympathy in her gaze, being professional, a bit too professional.

"Is he going to be okay?" Harry asked, he knew just because she said he was alive…he might not be out of danger yet.

"The wounds aren't healing as well as we would like…but he is stable for now." Storm explained, before turning back into the infirmary.

Harry made to follow her but Severus stopped him.

"There is nothing that can be done for him tonight, sleep Harry. I swear on my honour as a wizard I will let you know immediately if there is any change.” Severus promised, it might not be time for sleeping, but after the day Harry had…sleep was the best thing for him right now.

"I won't be able to sleep," said Harry shaking his head, "Please just let me go to him, please." begged Harry tiredly; he had to stay nearby even if he couldn't do anything. He needed Remus to know he was there, and make sure he came back to him, he had to make Remus get better.

"Very well," sighed Severus unable to deny his mate, if he wanted Harry to care for him, he would have to let Harry get his way occasionally. It was extremely difficult to allow Harry to do what he wanted instead of taking care of him, but he did it.
"Thank you," whispered Harry, following Severus to the medic wing.

Severus just shook his head, biting down on the urge to force Harry to sleep; he couldn't control Harry if he wanted a relationship with him. Harry was very independent, but he screamed for someone to look after him. He would have to take this slowly, show Harry he cared about him, and bit by bit let him get used to being taken care of.

"Who would do this to him?" said Harry horrified by the state of Remus as he got the first glimpse of his father. He was so pale, more so than he'd ever seen him before in his life. He looked as if he'd suffered through ten full moons simultaneously, swallowing thickly, he stepped forward feeling sick to his stomach. "I'll kill them, whoever it was, I'm going to make sure they regret the day they were born." vowed Harry viciously, his voice dark and cold, his magic reacting to his threat and emotions causing a few instruments to explode.

Severus inhaled sharply; the feel of Harry's magic was powerful, thrilling and titillating it was awesome in its glory. He couldn't help but be drawn to it, wrapping his arms around Harry feeling bathed in it; of course given that Harry was his mate, he had to be powerful. Soul mates or mates as he called it were equals in all ways especially magically.

"Calm down," said Severus soothingly, wrapping his magic around the order as much as he liked the feel of the magic, he didn't want the medic wing to be damaged especially with Remus Lupin in it. While it wouldn't bother him, he didn't care much for the wolf, Harry did. "You may hurt Remus, you don't want that do you?" the stiff body relaxed against him.

"Who did it?" whispered Harry.

"The general public do not know that Lupin is a werewolf. Only the Death Eaters, others of his kind, and the Order know, and to have handled silver, it couldn't have been a fellow werewolf. Death Eaters would have killed him; they would not have left him alive. Given the new revelations, I would have thought it was Death Eaters, but there are no familiar magical signatures on him." said Severus massaging Harry's neck and shoulders soothingly. Feeling the teenager relax further, moaning softly, if he hadn't been a vampire he wouldn't have heard it.

Sitting on the couch, he brought Harry down with him continuing his administrations. Harry had been sitting outside the room for four hours, darkness was beginning to descend. He had begun to think Lupin wouldn't pull through with how long his people had been working on him. As much as he wished it hadn't happened, he was slightly glad it had, this was the first chance he'd had to touch Harry, show him what it was like to have a partner.

"Do you think you could eat something?" asked Severus quietly, not wanting to ruin the moment but knowing Harry needed to eat. Dinner time had come and gone, and he could hear Harry's stomach grumbling lightly, but not overwhelmingly so.
Harry shook his head.

"Remus would want you to eat, Harry, how would he react if he finds out you are starving yourself and depriving yourself of sleep?" said Severus using emotional blackmail.

"I won't care if he shouts at me, at least he will still be here." murmured Harry from where his face was buried in Severus' side. Enjoying the feel of Severus' massaging his cold aching bones, added with the calming draught he was almost drifting to sleep. He shouldn't be letting him touch him, not after the way he'd gone about getting him, but he didn't want it to stop. After all the recent upheaval, he owed Severus everything…perhaps even the chance to give this mating thing a try.

"Very well," said Severus, well so much for that he thought wryly.

Severus continued his administrations, urging his magic through his hand coaxing Harry to relax fully and with a bit of luck lull his mate to sleep. He had much to do, he was through playing around, and it was becoming glaringly obvious he couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer. Not with Voldemort after his mate.

He smirked at his success, when he felt Harry's breathing even out and his heartbeat return to normal. Summoning a dreamless sleeping potion, he magicked it into Harry, waiting a few moments before he placed a pillow under his head and flung a comforter over his body. Kneeling beside him, he removed his hair from his face, sighing softly. He deeply regretted how he started things; if he could go back he'd probably do it differently.

"He will be okay, Harry, I promise, even if I have to break every law in the magical world." swore Severus, and he would do it, he would do anything for Harry. He might not know it yet, but it was true, he wouldn’t find anyone else more willing to change everything for him.

-----0

Harry yawned, blinking sleepily, staring around confused, still as always amazed at how perfect his vision was. Remus had been right when he was eleven; it had been a good investment correcting his vision. Remus! Thought Harry sitting up abruptly as memories of last night slammed into him. He fell off the couch, tangled in the cover that must have been thrown over him at some point. He couldn’t remember falling asleep, cursing himself silently, scrambling up, he sat on the chair beside Remus, worrying his bottom lip. He didn’t look any better to him; his wounds were still open, judging by the blood oozing from the bandages covering his chest. Silver who would do such a thing? They hadn’t just wanted to kill him; they wanted him to die in excruciating agony. He still might die, and that hurt Harry more than anything else he’d endured in his life. Hell he’d rather go back to the Dursley’s than see anything happen to Remus. What had Snape said? Oh yes, it wasn’t public knowledge, other werewolves, the Order and the Death Eaters were the only ones who knew.

Remus didn’t have enemies, he was the gentlest man Harry knew, and a tear ran down his face. Why would the Death Eaters harm him now? He’d been in his own home, not many knew where he lived…or could get through the wards he had up without alerting him to the fact. Groaning Harry rubbed at his forehead feeling a great big headache coming on.

“Lord Consort,” Storm curtseyed as she began to tend to Remus.

“How is he?” asked Harry, jumping when the vampire appeared out of nowhere, they didn’t normally do that when he was around. They had a habit of remaining ‘human’ pace as if they didn’t want to upset him. He hadn’t even seen Snape do anything remotely ‘vampire’ like. He was tending to Remus, changing his bandages. Harry didn’t look away at the sight of the injuries.

“He’s recovering; the wounds have closed marginally, which is a good thing.” Storm reassured her Lord Consort. If the wound hadn’t even begun to heal, the wizard wouldn’t have survived. They’d been giving him blood Replenish potions all night, their Lord had brewed them himself, with them being vampires, there hadn’t been many blood replenishing potions around. That’s to say, they had run out half way through the night, but their Lord had thankfully foreseen their need for them.

“How long will it take for them to close?” Harry asked, swallowing thickly.

“With the slowness it’s healing, it may be a week, long enough for him to have fully recovered before the full moon.” Storm reassured him.

“Why isn’t he healing properly?” asked Harry, wounds could be healed immediately, the silver was gone…so why was it happening? Was there a chance he could still lose Remus? He wanted to close his eyes and despair, but he was a Slytherin and wasn’t about to let it happen, Remus would survive, he just had to.

“What do you know about werewolves?” Storm asked finishing her work with Remus, reassured her patient would survive. Dear Merlin, he stank like hell, but thankfully being around vampires as he was right now, the smell was dulling somewhat. Once that was done, she moved off towards their Lord’s mate and took a seat, not wanting to make the human uncomfortable.

“I’ve read all about them,” said Harry, frowning wondering what the vampire meant. “Not that it gave an impartial side to it, I learned most from Remus.

“Do you understand fully what silver does to them?” Storm nodded, well it was to be expected, and living with a werewolf was the best way to understand them.

“Poisons them, kills them,” said Harry, staring at him cautiously.

“In essence yes, but it also affects how quickly he heals, that’s why silver is so dangerous to werewolves. It also breaks down their bodies natural defences, nobody sick can be allowed near him until he’s recovered.” Storm explained. She left out how touch and go it was until the wound closed. The slightest infection and that’s him, there would be nothing they can do for him. Its not like they could turn him, he was a werewolf, their venom was poisonous.

“I’ll be back to check him in an hour.” Storm told Harry, giving him some measure of privacy with Remus, giving another curtsey she disappearing without another word. Plus she sensed her Lord coming, and knew she’d be asked to leave.

“I trust you slept well?” Severus asked from the doorway.

Harry turned around, finally understanding why Storm had just left the way she had. “Yes,” admitted Harry quietly, which he didn’t fully understand. He had been so worried…maybe the emotional upheaval he’d gone through had left him exhausted.

“Here, eat, you need sustenance.” Severus told him, levitating a plate through the room, placing the tray on the couch Harry had been sleeping in.

“I’m not hungry,” Harry insisted shaking his head, this was proven false when his stomach growled fiercely in hunger.

“No? That indicates otherwise.” Severus stated calmly, pointing towards his mates’ stomach. “You need to eat.”

“I don’t want to,” Harry argued, feeling petulant, but he was sixteen years old, still a teenager he was entitled.

“Harry, do not make me do this,” Severus warned, his voice grave and serious.

“And what would you do?” Harry goaded crossing his arms glaring at Snape angrily.

“Do you really want to find out?” enquired Severus, raising a sculptured eyebrow. “I should just put you over my knee then make you go to your room. The way you are acting, it certainly seems fitting don’t you think?”

Harry flushed red, scowling at Snape before staring at the floor, his hands clenched into fists, he could go from liking him to hating him in a matter of seconds. He wasn’t sure how this mate thing was supposed to go, but he sure as hell didn’t like it right now.

Severus bit his tongue; the urge to do as he promised was very strong. Unfortunately he kept forgetting how young his mate actually was, both a curse and a blessing for him. It meant he was innocent, untouched, and ripe for the picking and the vampire in him loved it. Being so young, he was determined and sullen, he would be hard work. It was really too bad he couldn’t turn him into a vampire right away; it would have been less strife. Staring at the teen, he had known for years Harry was his; all good things were worth waiting for. He could do this; he just had to rein in his possessive tendencies, as if it were that easy. Even adults stopped eating when someone they loved was in danger, hurt or missing, it’s just how they were.

Walking over, he sat down on the couch, placing the food on the table, as he thought how best to rectify his hasty words. Leaning over, he took hold of Harry’s hands, removing the fists he’d created in his anger, and curling them together. Ignoring the fact Harry was meekly trying to yank them back.

“Do you intend to starve yourself for a week?” asked Severus, going about it logically; he had heard Storm inform Harry that it was the likely timeline.

“No,” said Harry, uncomfortably, he hated being hungry, the most he went without eating was a day or two. That had only occurred after Voldemort came back. That was only because his friends had put an end to it, Blaise and Teddy had been extremely worried. It’s for that reason he’d started eating again, for Remus too, he’d been so anxious, he’d got two letters a day at Hogwarts and spend nearing all his summer with him afterwards other than the full moon.

“Then please eat, you need sustenance, you need energy.” said Severus, he himself had spent his childhood constantly hungry. He didn’t want that for Harry, not even a single day, although admittedly it was part of his need to look after him rising to the forefront. The need to control the environment around him, which had been nurtured by the fact he was the Lord. It didn’t mean he wanted nothing but the best for Harry, to keep him safe, happy, well fed and his body functioning fully. “I can give you something that will settle your stomach should you feel unwell.”

Harry felt two inches tall, he wasn’t used to being spoken to like a child. Remus never said anything like that, if he was in a mood Remus would just leave him alone until he came out of it. Then he would go on as if nothing had happened, it did happen often. Harry had been forced to control all his emotions during the time with the Dursley’s, other than misery of course. He hadn’t been used to it, being allowed to express his anger, or cry at the unfairness of life. With Remus he had been able to, sometimes he just felt moody as if he’d ‘gotten up on the wrong side of the bed’ as Remus would say. Would his biological father have put him over his knee if he’d misbehaved and acted immature? According to Remus no, he didn’t take anything seriously but he’d only been twenty one when he died, he hadn’t really had time to grow up.

Realizing he hadn’t even answered, Harry nodded without saying anything further. He didn’t want to risk Snape actually making him leave Remus’ side. A potion was handed to him, and he reluctantly swallowed it, almost immediately his stomach settled, the sight of Remus didn’t make him want to vomit nor did the smell of the food.

Severus relaxed when Harry finally began eating, slowly but surely he was getting there with him. Hopefully a time would come when he didn’t have to negotiate with him about things such as simple as eating.

“There is a meeting I’d like you to attend tomorrow afternoon, with the entire clan, are you amendable to the idea?” asked Severus, as Harry ate.

“Why?” asked Harry curiously, swallowing the last of his bacon.

“The war is inevitable, especially now the news is out about you, I’d rather take preventative measures and ensure it’s fought on my own terms.” said Severus.

Harry gave him a pointed look, a smirk on his face; “Like you’d have it any other way.” the man seemed to strive on controlling nearly everything around him. Why would it be any other way than him making sure he started things the way he wanted them? If the vampire through he’d just mould he had another thing coming, thought Harry grinning widely, he’d give him a chance but he sure as hell wasn’t going to change for anyone.

Of course Harry underestimated the power of love and the power of the bond…even more so he underestimated the pull of freedom, without having to worry about a single thing and just let someone take care of him.

Severus just smirked in return, but it was quickly wiped off his face, when Remus Lupin groaned. The first sound he’d made since he stopped screaming once the silver had been removed from his body. Harry stood up abruptly holding onto Remus’ hand, breathing deeply he watched him intently praying he woke up.
------------0

Sirius sighed sadly, all spells were coming up at a dead end, and he couldn’t for the life of him find Remus. Sirius swallowed thickly, trying to gain control over himself, a tear ran down his face. He’d said so many things to Remus, dismissed him when he spoke of his fears. Remus had begged him to go and get Harry and he’d just muttered about bloody making the world safer for him. Fisting his hand he growled low in his throat, anger was better…safer than feeling this all consuming sadness. He’d missed so much, so much of Harry’s life, watching him grow up and for what? Why had Dumbledore betrayed him so? To what end? Why take Remus and Harry from him? He was just so confused, hurt and angry at everything. He had around twenty vials of calming draught upon his person, the healer had said he would need to take them for months, until they calmed down and his emotions settled. Sirius didn’t think they ever truly would, he would never get over what that disgusting wizard had done to him.

He’d trusted him, spoke about him with reverence and intelligence and defended him against the likes of Malfoy who stated he was a manipulative old fool. How stupid had he been? Dumbledore was everything Malfoy claimed him to be and worse. Breathing in a trembling breath, reminding himself that all evidence had been collected and given to Madam Bones, the old fool was going to be arrested tonight. He would end up in Azkaban for his crimes, but it wouldn’t give him all the time he had missed out on, wouldn’t make him feel better about what had happened with his mate and his godson.

“No luck?” Shacklebolt questioned as he Apparated into Tonks flat. He had a lot of time on his hands, and honestly, he didn’t know what to do with it. He badly wanted his job back, but he knew that wasn’t going to happen. Something catastrophic would need to happen for him to be called in. A state of emergency.

“No,” murmured Sirius, hastily wiping the tear away, not wanting Shacklebolt to see him emotional again.

“Have you tried searching for him through the bond?” Shacklebolt wondered curiously.

“We didn’t bond,” Sirius replied bitterly, and who did he have to thank for that? Oh yes, Dumbledore like he could bloody forget.

“No but you are still soul mates, if you dig into the potential bond you might have more luck finding him.” Shacklebolt pointed out honestly. “Haven’t you read the book?”

“What book?” Sirius asked baffled.

“Bonding and Soul Mates, and its power.” Shacklebolt recited, he had read it when he was just a boy, long before he had attended Hogwarts.

“No, I was more interested in defence spells,” admitted Sirius, although he wished he had now. He may have known something was wrong, but what’s the point of wishing? It changed nothing.

“Of course you were,” said Shacklebolt wryly.

“So the bond…are you sure it will work?” Sirius desperate to find Remus, together both of them might be able to find Harry.

“He’s your mate, bonded or not there’s a part of you that wants him…even if it’s just your magic right now.” answered the Auror seriously.

“It can’t hurt, everything else I’ve tried has failed…he moved from our flat…there’s nothing there whatsoever.” Sirius confessed.

“Could he have gone to Potter Manor? Or to look for Harry?” Tonks suggested entering the room hearing their conversation and contributing.

“Why didn’t I think of that?” muttered Sirius groaning in frustration, he could be in Potter manor. Well when/if Remus wasn’t looking for Harry…its maybe why his spells wouldn’t work. If he didn’t stay in one place long enough the spell wouldn’t hold, it was a logical explanation. Maybe if he looked for Harry then he would find Remus there too, but vampires and werewolves didn’t mix. His heart sank…could Remus have gotten himself killed looking for Harry? Please no, thought Sirius, Merlin, no he couldn’t lose him…he didn’t even want to think on how Harry would be feeling if it was true. He had to find them, why was he wasting time sleeping when he could be out there? Sleep was overrated anyway! He swore to himself blindly, that he wouldn’t stop looking.

“Excuse me,” she said suddenly, clasping her hand over her mouth bolting for the bathroom.

“Think she’s poisoned herself with her food?” grinned Shacklebolt, hiding his concern.

“We would all be sick,” said Sirius, not in the mood for any jokes.

“True, I’ll be right back.” said Shacklebolt, moving off towards the bathroom and observing her worriedly.

“Go away!” she moaned in embarrassment.

“Are you coming down with the Flu?” asked Shacklebolt, stepping further in, doing a scan on her, if she was sick then she couldn’t go to work, magic would make her sicker. Removing his wand, he cast a diagnosis, just to be sure; the wizarding flu was an awful thing to have.

“No, I don’t think so I feel like…other than being sick I mean.” said Tonks resting her head on the toilet, letting Shacklebolt do what he wanted.

“Oh,” squeaked Shacklebolt staring wide eyed at the results, well it looked as if she wasn’t going to be working anyway. At least not on active duty, she was in no fit state for that to happen.

“What’s wrong with me?” asked Tonks becoming alarmed.

“Well…err…nothing…that is to say….your pregnant.” said Shacklebolt.

“WHAT?!” shrieked Tonks wide eyed, before vomiting once more, in what looked to be morning sickness.

“Calm down,” soothed Shacklebolt, rubbing her back trying to comfort her in a way that would be acceptable. Obviously he didn’t have a chance with the witch; he hadn’t even realized she was in a relationship.

“What am I going to do?” Tonks said mournfully, leaning back against the bathtub and flushing her toilet.

“What do you mean?” queried Shacklebolt.

“I can’t be with the father…it was a one night thing, he’s got a mate of his own.” she confessed

“You don’t mean who I think you mean,” said the Auror quite frankly stunned, it timed out perfectly. It was the down to the day where she’d supposed to have tried to convince Remus to come back. Now with the fact he had a mate, and her reluctance to say a name it made sense.

Tonks nodded without saying a word, her hand automatically clutching at her stomach. Nobody usually aborted foetus’, especially those with magic, not only did it screw with the magical core it was dangerous - they may not be able to have another child because of it. Biting her lip, realized she was in a crossroads in her own life, no man would want to raise another man’s child. Especially not a wizard, who normally wanted an heir of their own and didn’t want to bother raising one not their own, what was she going to do? Rubbing her eyes tiredly she knew she couldn’t use the spell to get rid of the child…she would just have to accept the role she now had. Now she wasn’t the only one hoping Remus was alright, he had the right to know he was going to be a father. He was already one to Harry; he loved the child as his own…and no doubt would love this one.

“You will always have people willing to help,” said Shacklebolt, pausing briefly before admitting, “Even me.”

Tonks stared at him across the room, a small smile worming its way onto her face, perhaps not all wizards were the same. “Thank you.” she said softly.

“Although I think you should keep it quiet…at least until they can talk to each other.” said Shacklebolt.

“Do you think we will ever find him?” asked Tonks tiredly.

“We have to,” replied Shacklebolt desperately, he couldn’t live with the guilt that he’d essentially helped Dumbledore hand Harry over to the vampires. He would do all he could to rectify that, now that he wasn’t an active Auror he had all the time in the world to search for Harry and Remus and undo his stupid mistake.

“Alright, I need to get to work,” said Tonks, pulling herself up spelling her mouth clean and rejoining Sirius in the living room. “Sirius, you can remain in the spare room if you need it.”

“I have to focus on my family, no matter how long it takes,” said Sirius his eyes going glassy. Harry and Remus probably didn’t think of him as family, and he couldn’t blame them, but he would spend the rest of his life making it up to them. “I’m not going to stop until I find them.”

.
------------------0
“Do you know what’s going on out there?” Slughorn questioned, seeing the commotion from where he had just come out from the dungeons.

“What do you mean?” Minerva asked, curious, “Out where?”

“There are Ministry workers at Hogwarts,” Slughorn pointed the Deputy Headmistress in the right direction. He recognized Amelia Bones immediately. She may not have been a Slytherin but her potions work had been exemplary, he’d known she would go places; in fact, she had even been a member of his club at one point.

“Ministry workers?” Minerva questioned baffled, turning around and true to Slughorn’s word, there were many Ministry officials at Hogwarts. She hadn’t even felt the wards alert her to the fact there were visitors to the school, which normally happened.

“Amelia?” Minerva called, surprised to see the woman there. She was the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Why would she be here at Hogwarts? She certainly hadn’t made an appearance at the school before well not on official business of course. Minerva swiftly made her way over curiosity and concern written across her face. “It isn’t the students is it?”

Slughorn watched what was happening from a distance, he had a feeling something was wrong and it wasn’t going to be good. He listened to the conversation, and the fact Bones was so stern and tense, she wasn’t here for old time sake. It wasn’t him, obviously not Minerva which left only Filius or Albus, both were unlikely, but nonetheless obviously wanted…which one he wondered to himself.

“Minerva, it is nice to see you,” Amelia said curtly, much of Minerva’s character was also present in Amelia; both were powerful respected witches, and both extremely professional. “And no, it’s not the students.” soothing the witches fears.

“What can I help you with then?” Minerva questioned, feeling a little more confused.

“I’m here on official business, I need to speak to Albus,” said Amelia, not what she really wanted to call him, but she wouldn’t lose her calm here.

“Of course, follow me, he’s in his office at this time of night,” said Minerva, a small smile gracing her lips. Amelia wasn’t alone; there were over five others with her, nobody that she was familiar with.

“I see,” said Amelia, trying to smile but it came out more of a grimace. It wasn’t directed at Minerva, or because of her words, she was just finding it difficult to believe she was here arresting Albus Dumbledore of all people. Her and Fudge had spoken about it all night, and realized they would need to do it with an open court, instead of a closed one. Otherwise there would be constant rioting that they couldn’t contain, with Voldemort on the rise, they couldn’t deal with the potential mess it would create.

“Is everything alright?” Minerva asked, sensing the unease around the witch. As they climbed the stairs, she was might worried about what could have happened. Slughorn walked with them as well, but stayed at a respectable distance.

“Is anything these days?” Amelia told her, sighing softly, beating around the bush - she wasn’t going to tell her what was happening.

“Too true,” Minerva agreed grimly.

The rest of the quick walk towards Albus Dumbledore’s office was spent in silence. It didn’t escape Minerva’s notice that Amelia had not answered her question.

“Sugar Quills,” Minerva intoned the password.

Everyone made their way up stairs, only Slughorn noticed how tense the others with Amelia were, he actually suspected they were Unspeakables.

“How can I help you, Madam Bones?” enquired Albus standing up, his eyes twinkling brightly, as if he was happy to see an old student of his.

“Albus Dumbledore you are under arrest, you do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questions something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.” droned Amelia, she could say the words in her sleep, and she was that used to them. Admittedly not so much these days, she usually just dealt with the paperwork.

“What?” cried Minerva shocked to the core, why was he being arrested? She didn’t understand at all.

Slughorn pursed his lips, Albus wasn’t surprised he was cautious, which meant he may have committed a crime. There was one way for him to find out; he was friendly with many Aurors who could let him know what was going on. Making a decision he slipped out of the Headmaster’s, and descending into the dungeons - having every intention of writing a letter to Bryce.

“Very well,” said Albus gracefully, his mind whirling a mile a minute. There was utterly no evidence that he had committed any wrongdoings. Unless they’d found evidence that he’d murdered Remus Lupin? Had he left something there that indicated that it was him? Had he slipped up? No, he knew he hadn’t he was always careful.

The Aurors surrounded him, their wands out but Albus didn’t put up a fight, outwardly he didn’t even been perturbed. He looked the very vision of an indulgent old man who knows he’d be back home in a few hours. Amelia Bones walked in front of them, her heels clicking off the floor as she set a fast pace. She didn’t know how quickly word would spread that Dumbledore was arrested, but she’d bet her fortune it wouldn’t be long.

“Albus?” said Minerva slightly lost.

“Just remain here and look after the school, I’ll be fine.” said Albus firmly as his arms were bound together. His wand was removed from his possession which did irk him. He was Albus Dumbledore, he had more decorum than the usual idiots, he wasn’t about to try and cast spells at Aurors and prove his guilt.

“Very well,” agreed Minerva, watching him leave. She would have to alert the other teachers and get them to come in early.

Minerva pursed her lips in worry, how long would it take for Albus to be cleared of whatever charges they had trumped-up him up on? This wasn’t a good time either, but a niggling thought in the back of her mind refused to leave. The ministry knew Dumbledore was their best defence against Voldemort…they wouldn’t be arresting him if they didn’t have ample evidence of his wrongdoings. She refused to believe that, she’d known him a long, long time. She would have known if he was breaking the law, he was the most honourable man she’d ever met - there was no way.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 16

Harry couldn’t keep his happiness contained, he was over the moon, his dad had woken up, and the wound was healing quicker than they’d expected. That’s not to say the wound had fully healed, it had not, and they still had to be extremely careful. Yet, Harry was just so happy that Remus was awake, he hadn’t asked who was responsible yet but definitely planned on it.

“Do you need more water?” Harry asked, tugging the covers more firmly over Remus. It was a routine he was used to, every full moon he was able to get to Remus, he did. He would help his dad for the first day after, then he was alright on his own, or rather sick of Harry’s fussing.

“I’m fine, Harry, honestly,” Remus said, weakly patting at Harry’s hand, trying to soothe the teen, to get him to stop worrying so much. “I should be asking how you are, and what happened.”

Harry snorted, “I’m not the one in the hospital,” Harry pointed out, shaking his head in amusement.

Remus just gave Harry a pointed look, this hadn’t been what he’d had planned for when he met up with Harry again.

“I was in the Manor, the wards began to break down, Maria tried to get us to the panic room, but I felt a tugging on my magic. I knew I was too late…they knew I was there. I couldn’t let them be arrested, not for protecting me. So I locked them inside the panic room, and Dumbledore tried to get me to go with him, I cast a blasting curse at the door jamb and the ceiling and doorway collapsed on him. I tried to run but he caught my ankle, I stomped on his foot and managed to get onto the grounds, but I was blasted into a wall, my ribs were broken and I couldn’t get out of the wards to get away. I fell unconscious after shouting at Black that I hated him.” swallowing thickly. "Do you know if I'm expelled from Hogwarts?" Harry added resignedly.

"I don't know son, I'll find out as soon as I can, I promise." said Remus anything to make him feel better.

Harry nodded tiredly, “I woke up in Dumbledore’s office, he was telling me that you had nearly bitten someone while you were at Hogwarts.” anger brewing when he saw the ashamed look on Remus’ face. “He said he would tell the Ministry if I didn’t go through with the handfasting. He said he was good friends with whomever it was that nearly got bitten…I couldn’t let it happen, dad, I’m sorry but I couldn’t.”

Guilt and shame wrapped around Remus like a cloak, “I’m so sorry,” he whispered shamefully.

“Don’t be, it wasn’t your fault, I don’t know what happened but it was Moony, not you.” Harry said softly, he didn’t want his dad to feel bad about it. “It hasn’t been too bad.” he volunteered.

"How are you really feeling?" Remus asked, this wasn’t about him and he refused to be sidetracked.

"I would have loved it here if he hadn't made me stay," said Harry wryly, "The library is amazing, and there are even scrolls from the Library of Alexandria!"

Remus nodded his amber eyes gleaming with the thought of just seeing such a priceless treasure. Perhaps the bond hadn't begun yet, he didn't seem overly emotional.

"He's just spent a fortune on a new wardrobe for me," said Harry his face conveying how uncomfortable it was for him to accept money even in the guise of clothes.

"It's making you feel ashamed?" stated Remus, as a werewolf he understood that part all to well.

"Uncomfortable," corrected Harry.

"If anyone deserves the best of everything Harry, it’s you. You wouldn't feel like this if you hadn't been brought up by those despicable Dursley's." said Remus spitting the name with disgust. "Have you ever read books about courting?"

"Why?" asked Harry blankly what did courting have to do with this?

"Its part of the process, he's trying to prove he can provide for you, take care of you and give you everything you want. It's an old tradition, one he no doubt learned about soon after becoming a vampire. Rituals are an important part of a vampires life, everything had to be done properly for them to accept him as the Vampire Lord." explained Remus. "I know this isn't how you would have wanted it, but my suggestion is don't fight it too much, just enjoy it."

"Dad!" scowled Harry, "I'm not something to be traded around or bought."

"I admit he did go about it wrong, but he truly did only have your best interests at heart, and he did think you had consented. I am glad you are safe, and that Dumbledore cannot touch you…especially with what was recently learned." said Remus gravely. “What he did to me…there is no lengths he will not go to in order to get what he wants.”

Harry swallowed thickly; “So he did it?”

"Dumbledore would do whatever it took to end this war Harry," said Remus his amber eyes filled with aguish, "Including using you to do it. The thoughts that went through my mind when the news reached me…I thought I had lost you." Then of course, Severus told him Harry was safe in Prince Castle.

"He was the cause of it!" snapped Harry remembering what he'd learned during the meeting.

"Excuse me?" asked Remus taken aback by his son's statement.

"He knew…well that Voldemort was dangerous at Hogwarts, he opened the chamber of secrets and someone died…he let Hagrid take the blame. If he'd spoken up or acted I wouldn't have lost my parents." said Harry his green eyes flashing in fury.

Remus sat there stunned to the core, sicker than he'd ever felt before in his life.

"Dad is soul mates and mates the same thing?" Harry asked very quietly, not wanting anyone else to overhear his stupid question. He was pretty sure it was the same thing, but he wanted confirmation.

"Yes, it means you're compatible, the full term for it is soul mates, soul, magic, and life you were meant to be together." said Remus his voice hoarse and far away, he'd though him and Sirius were for a while, but he'd been wrong. They had still gotten together but something had been missing. To this day he still wasn't sure what it was, and taking about them was bringing it all back up. "Not everyone is lucky enough to meet theirs, in fact only one or two every few generations do find them. Mostly because we never leave the British Magical world, sticking to our small world reduces your chances significantly. The fact you found yours is a big thing Harry, it's a sacred thing to find your soul intended. Those with creature blood find their mates earlier than two wizards who are soul mates can."

"Sacred? Forgive me if I'm wrong but that's another word for special and blessed isn't it? Well I've not been made to feel that way." said Harry scowling, if he had been special Severus would have come to him and explained everything.

"What's really eating at you Harry?" asked Remus shrewdly, sensing there was another reason for his protests.

Harry's mouth closed with a snap cursing the fact that his dad could see right through him.

"Harry?" questioned Remus seriously, his amber eyes beseeching Harry to tell him, wanting so badly to help with his burden.

"I don't like how he makes me feel!" snapped Harry looking away hastily, his cheeks heating up.

Remus bit the inside of his cheek to stop himself laughing out loud; Harry had also been so distant and reserved from everyone. Not trusting them, not wanting to be touched by anyone (other than those he trusted) no doubt a reflection of the abuse he'd suffered. Now he wasn't getting a choice to stay distant, which probably made everything he was feeling much more intense. "Oh Harry," said Remus shaking his head as he squeezed his hand in comfort unable to do anything else. "Its part of growing up, Theo and Blaise has already experienced this…but your distrust in others has stopped you in the past. Even I had a boyfriend by this age. Admittedly it is different; this bond is different since your mate is a vampire."

Harry merely nodded his head not speaking.

"Go and spend some time with Blaise and Theo," Remus suggested, it might help him feel a bit more normal again.

“Are you sure?” Harry asked in surprise, he didn’t want to leave his dad.

“Yes, I need some sleep, I’ll feel better knowing you are with them,” Remus said, some of his tiredness seeping into his voice.

“Alright, I’ll be back later, okay?” Harry said determinedly.

Remus just smiled at him, his amber eyes watching him leave with a sigh.

"I'd like to talk to Severus when he has a moment, I would go to him but I’m afraid I cannot move," Lupin called out, knowing the vampires would hear him.

It was the last thing Remus remembered before sleep claimed him.

----------0
"What do you want?" Severus asked observing the werewolf, he smelt of guilt and worry. Not an appealing combination added with his lycanthrope to the mix. He wasn't in the best of moods right now, Lupin had the worst timing. Then again he always had, at least in his opinion. His wand sliding back into its holster, having just put a silencing spell around the room.

Remus’ eyes sprang open, groggily staring at Severus for a moment, until he remembered asking for him. How long ago that was he had no idea. He strengthened resolve, weakly forcing his body into a sitting position. He felt awful for what he was about to do, felt bad, like he was betraying Harry in the worst way. Wasn't it in a parent's prerogative to help when and where he could? Especially when it came to their child's happiness. He may not be Harry's father biologically, but he'd taken up the mantle when Harry was eleven. A bit old admittedly, but Harry had needed a stable adult in his life. He was a werewolf and not completely stable, but enough for Harry and he called him dad, it was enough for him. He couldn't love any biological child more than he loved Harry.

"I know…what its like to want your other half, your soul mate. The possessiveness that comes with it, particularly those of our kinds." said Remus; his eyes taking on a glassy look, as he remembered his brief time as a student and thinking he'd had his. "How we want to square them away, keep them safe so nobody can hurt them. Even wanting to be the sole focus of their affection."

Severus just continued to stare at Remus blankly.

"Look I'm just going to speak frankly, you are going about it the wrong way." said Remus, ignoring the flashing furious black eyes. "Harry was abused at the Dursley's, badly; they wouldn't have let him come to Hogwarts. Fortunately the letters continue coming until one is opened by the one who it's for. It drove his uncle insane, eventually he just gave in and let Harry open it. He very nearly didn't make it onto the train. Nobody had explained to him that the platform was magically hidden. He came to Hogwarts in close ten sizes to big for him, belonging to his cousin. He'd never had anything of his own, not until then."

Severus stared mutinously at the wizard.

"Other than me, Blaise, Theo and Maria, Harry has never so much as looked at anyone else. He doesn't trust anyone Snape, not ever. He's spent the six years trying to prove himself, reading absolutely everything he could just to fit in. So if someone came up to him and asked him something he'd know what the hell they were talking about. He'd never been shy and letting someone know what he thinks. In one fell swoop you've taken him from the only home and family he's ever had. Not only is he angry at you for that, the bond is scaring the hell out of him." said Remus in warning.

"The bond?" repeated Severus surprised, other than the brief time when Dumbledore had been in the hall, he'd felt nothing from Harry to indicate the bond was even active.

"Snape, Harry hasn't been interested in that kind of thing, I think he's terrified of letting anyone in and ending up hurt. He closed all thoughts of to that, never letting himself feel even the remotely bit attracted to another. This bond is forcing him, added to everything he's going through because of this…situation its turning into anger and distrust…its never going to work. You need to fix it and quickly, let Harry's part of the bond flourish as it should."

"What do you suggest I do?" sneered Severus coldly.

"Let him live his life, you can't keep him here you know that, against his will he's counting down the days till get can get away." said Remus grimly.

"With The Dark Lord and Dumbledore after him?" hissed Severus infuriated.

"Look I'm just telling you what's going to happen, how Harry feels, what you do with it is up to you. Forcing Harry into anything is a stupid move to make. Harry can be fiercely independent; he's had to be to survive the Dursley's treatment of him. Another part of Harry does want to be looked after, cherished; he just doesn't let anyone see it. Give him time, room and a chance to get used to things. He needs to read the book on courting, he feels deeply uncomfortable with everything you are trying to buy for him. You cannot buy his affections Snape, it is doing the opposite." said Remus.

Severus said nothing, staring at Remus as if seeing him in a new light.

"Just try and see it from Harry's point of view, if you can put yourself in his shoes." Remus begged of him, sweating and panting, the conversation had taken a lot out of him, and he could feel himself tiring.

"How bad was it at the Dursley's?" Severus questioned.

"Bad enough, haven't you seen the scars?" Remus murmured almost slurring the words before unconsciousness claimed him once more.

Severus stared at the wizard stunned, scars? That had been something he most definitely did not know. He had promised Harry nothing would happen until he was ready, which meant giving him space, the one time he had still been in the room when Harry woke up and picked up his clothes, he had went into the bathroom. He hadn’t thought much of it, now he had to see it in a new light. He had known they weren’t the best of…relatives, but to have touched him and left scars? His fists clenched angrily, the damn Dursley’s had better be glad they were dead, if only he had found out a few days earlier…he would have killed them and made what the Death Eaters had done child’s play.

An urge to check on Harry overcame him.

----------0

"So? Are you Okay?" asked Blaise concerned, as the teenagers set the chess board up.

"I'm alright; honestly they've been very kind to me." Harry said, grinning sheepishly. “I’m more worried about Remus,”

“Well, at least here he’s getting really good treatment, the idiots at St. Mungo’s might not have helped him as much…” Theodore pointed out.

“Good point,” Harry admitted shuddering at the prospect of his dad not being helped just because he was a werewolf, it was so wrong; the magical world was disgusting and depraved.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Blaise said in a comical voice.

Harry's eyes gleamed as if he was ready to tear up in amusement, and it made him miss them all the more, "I miss you all." admitted Harry.

"We miss you too!" the teens admitted, they weren’t used to being parted for long, except when Harry was at Remus’.

"Are you coming to Hogwarts?" Blaise asked.

"I…I don't know. I promised to stay here for one year," said Harry; the choice wasn’t his. “I don’t know if it’s even his decision, I mean I used magic outside of school.”

Theo and Blaise looked crushed, “You’d have received a letter by this,” Blaise said thoughtfully.

Harry just looked at them completely helpless, shrugging his shoulders, he hadn’t received anything.

"We brought your trunk by the way!" said Blaise in an attempt to change the subject seeing Harry so devastated. It made him feel like a dickhead for bringing it up, Harry wasn't happy and he so badly wanted to make it all go away. "I put everything in it, even a share of our stash of sweets." Something he wouldn’t have said if his mum was around.

Harry grinned in happiness, “Thank you!”

"Pawn to C5," Blaise said making the first move.

"Hum, Pawn to C3," said Harry in turn. "Have you done any of your homework?" he asked Theo, who was watching them play grinning at their attempts.

"Yeah, nothing more to do really," Theo said shrugging, “We felt like we were going out of our minds.”

“Yeah,” Harry agreed, he felt like he was going out of his, was there any point to him doing his homework? Would he even be returning to Hogwarts? Then he remembered Blaise’s girlfriend. "What about Daphne?" asked Harry while he was waiting on Blaise taking his turn.

"She has her friends over all the time," said Blaise scowling, doing girly things it was the last thing he wanted to do. He didn't care if Daphne was his girlfriend; he preferred to spend time alone with her. Not with all her friends gigging every few minutes.

Harry sniggered in amusement, feeling normal for what felt like the first time in weeks.

"It's not funny," groused Blaise but a smile sneaked upon his face glad he’d made Harry at least laugh.

"Pawn to A3," said Blaise.

"Pawn to B3," replied Harry.

For the next hour they sat around the chess set, watching Harry beat Blaise, a few years ago it wouldn't have happened. Harry had come to the magical world unable to play chess, so Theo and Blaise had constantly beaten him at it. Over the years with their coaching he had become quite proficient at playing chess. He was no means an expert but there was time for that.

Harry sensed Severus’ presence before he saw him, when he did, he promptly said, "Thanks for bringing my trunk guys, I’ll see you later alright?” standing up, leaving Blaise to have a match with Theodore.

“Yeah, definitely,” Theodore said immediately, while Blaise nodded.

“Bye!” Harry added, before walking towards Severus. “Is Remus alright?” unable to conceal his worry.

“He’s asleep at the moment, but I’ve been told he’s doing well,” Severus informed him, “Come with me, it’s time for lunch.”

“Did Remus tell you who hurt him?” Harry queried.

“No, he hasn’t had the opportunity,” Severus informed him, glancing at Harry, he had a feeling the teenager knew.

“It was Dumbledore,” the name was spat as if it was something foul and disgusting.

Severus’ eyes blazed him again, he was causing his mate all sorts of upheavals and it was unacceptable. “I see,” his tone curt.

“My Lord?” Robert said, giving a curtsey, “Lord Consort,” he added, bowing yet again.

“Yes?” Severus asked exasperated, giving him a nod to continue despite the fact Harry was there.

“Dumbledore has been arrested, Minerva is calling in the other teachers to Hogwarts,” Robert informed Severus, the letter still in his hand.

“If you wish to return to Hogwarts, then feel free to go.” said Severus, he wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t want to go back, Langdon didn’t like most of the teachers and a lot of the students were disrespectful or terrified of him because he was a vampire. It was mostly the Muggle-Borns that was terrified of him, thanks to the stupid version Muggles had published about vampires. Insipid squibs who had started it all, trying to make themselves a little money.

“I don’t want to but then again I don’t want to miss all the fun,” chuckled Langdon deviously.

Severus snorted in amusement, “I wouldn’t either, very well, go on, I’ll get in touch if it’s required, otherwise I’ll hear from you when you have pertinent information.”

“Yes My Lord,” said Langdon respectfully, bowing low,

“Thank you, Robert; your words are greatly appreciated. You will be summoned for the party; you will not be missing out on it.” Severus informed him.

Langdon smiled softly but by the time he stood up his face was once again impassive; he nodded strongly before he took his leave.

“Well, I must say that was not expected,” Severus said wryly, as Robert disappeared from view.

“But why?” Harry asked blankly, “Why would they arrest him? He obviously didn’t get caught hurting Remus…did you pressed charges on his behalf?” he asked his mate curiously.

“I have not,” Severus replied, “No doubt the newspaper will prove to be most informative.” he really needed to start reading the newspaper and his mail in the morning again. He had just put things off wishing to spend as much time with Harry as possible, not that it really worked. He was either interrupted or Harry wasn’t one for talking, preferring the library. Watching Harry sleep was quickly becoming his favourite time of the day…or should he say night?

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 17

"Mrs Maria Zabini," Corin informed her Lord, bowing in respect.

Severus made a gesture for her to be granted entrance to his office, putting his mail down on the desk as he turned his seat around. It was very early morning and he didn’t know what she could possibly want.

"Welcome to Prince Castle, I hope your stay here has been pleasant, have a seat." Severus asked, staring at her in silent query.

“It has been, my Lord, you are most gracious and kind, as a host,” Maria informed him, claiming her seat, her robes being settled around her tall delicate frame.

Severus arched an eyebrow that had been a dig, for what he wasn’t sure. “You wished to see me?”

"How dare you do this to your own mate!" snarled Maria unable to keep silent, her eyes flashing with wrath she didn't dare let lose. Clenching her fists the overwhelming urge to slap him was still there. She couldn’t risk doing such a thing, not when her family was at risk. "Not only have you made a mockery of the sacredness of the bond but Harry deserves better than you!"

Severus' eyes flashed in fury at her words, his face looking as though it was carved from stone so cold was his stare. Maria didn't back down, she just straightened her spine and glared back, making no attempt to disguise her disgust. She didn't care that he'd done it in Harry's so called best interest, a boy she loved like a son had been traded like cattle, Merlin only knows how he really felt about that. If any of her husbands had done that with her she really would have done what she was accused off! Bloody murdered them. Least they had been wizards and fair game, not a vampire with better everything at his beck and call, magic, people, and then there was the bond trying to start up.

"If you wish to remain I suggest you never speak to me in that manner again," Severus retorted sharply, beyond infuriated with her words. How dare she say that Harry deserved better. He would ensure Harry never wanted for anything; he could give him the world on a platter if he should desire it. Nobody had spoken to him in such a manner for fifteen years, and he was not about to tolerate it now.

A small part of him felt respect, she reminded him fiercely of Lily, although if it was Lily he had been face to face with, he would have un-doubtfully been cursed for his actions to her baby. For there was greater love between a mother and son, especially where Lily was concerned.

“My apologies, my Lord,” Maria said, without an ounce of remorse, “Harry is like a second son to me, what Dumbledore has done is disgusting, I understand it isn’t fully your fault, but the way that it was done…” she had no words to convey the depth of her disgust and the depravity of the situation.

Severus sighed; he had been hearing that all too often these days, even Alfred had commented on it just an hour ago.

-------0 Flash back 0------

Severus stood there brooding amongst the unmoving portraits of his ancestors, if there was ever a time he wished for the portraits to be active it would be now. He wanted someone to talk to, since he was so conflicted himself right now, he could use someone not invested in the union between Harry and himself.

"Do you know what your great grandfather’s deepest regret was?" asked Alfred stepping forward beside the current Lord Prince, Alfred didn't look a day over seventeen years old. Most would be astounded to learn his real age, which nobody actually knew, but he was one of the oldest vampires in the United Kingdom. He had been advisors to the Prince's for generations, his wisdom knew no bounds.

"No," replied Severus, Alfred had returned to the United Kingdom when Severus had come forward with the intention of claiming his rightful place. It had been he who taught Severus everything he needed to know about his inheritance. Although most of it was how to talk, convince people, and their ways, since Severus was very good at duelling there hadn't been able much Alfred could teach him in that regard.

Alfred stepped up to Artemis' portrait, gazing at the man with exasperated fondness and sadness. "He did pretty much the same thing you've done with Harry. Zara Zabini parents were ecstatic at the thought of furthering their status, back then they weren't known very well. Plus they only had a girl; they weren't able to get pregnant again to have an heir. I think part of Zara Prince had loved Artemis. Unfortunately being forced into marriage isn't always the way to go about it, having a child so young surely didn't help either. I think Artemis got the shock of his life when Zara refused to become a vampire and fully bond with him. They remained together until Zara was thirty one; she stayed mostly for her son I think. She left shortly after his seventeenth birthday using the Goblins to annul their marriage. Artemis had me watch over her, to ensure no harm befell her. He tried often to woo her, but she grasped onto her freedom and continued to deny him. She re-married ten years afterwards, and had a girl and a boy."

Severus gazed stoically at the portrait feeling even more conflicted.

"Of course what I speak of was the norm back in the day, parents giving the rights of marriage to a prospective suitor. Of course vampires weren't looked too kindly upon back then, not that they are widely accepted now. It's the Prince name that's enabled the line to continue." said Alfred.

"What are you saying? I should let Harry go and have him killed by the Dark Lord?" Severus stated, he believed with all his heart that’s was exactly what would happen.

"Here I was thinking you were smart Severus," said Alfred wryly, "There is more than one way to skin a cat."

"What do you suggest?" asked Severus quietly.

Alfred stared at Severus, really seeing him since they begun their conversation. He could see the concern and fear in his eyes, he'd never seen the man vulnerable. The vampire had been stoic ever since he'd been called in by his grandparents to help him adjust to his new life. He was a fast learner; never let emotions rule him, a hell of a fighter and not someone even he wanted to mess with. He normally thought things through and when decided he usually stuck to his guns.

"Why not speak to your grandparents?" asked Alfred leaning against the wall.

"I'd rather not," said Severus honestly.

"I am not surprised," said Alfred, no doubt they would disapprove with the way Severus had chosen to go about things.

Severus threw Alfred a droll glare, he knew without saying anything further Alfred knew why he was reluctant. His relationship with his grandparents had been stiff at first, little wonder his parents hadn't exactly been hands on, or rather even pretended to give a shit. His grandparents were polar opposites of his parents, they were affectionate, asked him things about his life, exam grades, made sure he knew they were sorry for not being in his life. In other words they were trying to make up for the past eighteen years of absence.

"You know Harry better than I do." said Alfred, “Surely there is some way to make this situation more tolerable.”

"Unfortunately I don't," Severus admitted tiredly, he didn’t know much at all, and they didn’t get a chance to talk all that often. "I can't say I blame him really, the happiest I’ve seen him is when he was with his friends." much to his consternation, it had taken everything to stop him demanding they leave. Like Remus had said, he understood Severus' need to be near his mate, and be his sole focus of his attention.

"Then give him both, his family and his mate." said Alfred. "It's not as if there isn't room enough for both in ones heart."

Severus grimaced, there was, but he feared that Harry would just count down the days until he left, just like Remus had stated.

"He is definitely the youngest mate I've encountered," confessed Alfred, at least most of the others had been officially adults in the magical world. "Not to forget only the second male who had been crowned Prince Consort.

"He is," agreed Severus, having Lupin here would be a good thing even if he disliked the idea. It would give Harry someone to talk to about the bond since according to Lupin it was scaring him. What kind of sixteen-year-old boy hadn't experimented by that age? Only he could be mated to a boy who was more stubborn than him.

“But most certainly has a very striking presence,” Alfred commented.

Alfred chortled a little at the look Severus threw him; it was not wise to torment an un-bonded vampire, especially where his mate was concerned. “You know I have no interest in your mate,” he added, his tone becoming clearly a little scolding. Any vampire that showed any interest in Harry would find themselves without a head then their bodies burnt as traitors.

Severus merely nodded, he had the utmost trust in Alfred, but to hear anyone say anything about his mate made him feel defensive, especially being so near him and unable to touch him intimately.

---------0

“I am pleased that Harry has those in his life who would speak up for him, against any and all odds.” Severus uttered truthfully, “Tell me, was he always so stubborn?” if he couldn’t get answers out of Harry, perhaps he’d have more success with Maria and Lupin.

Maria was genuinely taken aback by the question, Severus had a look on his face, and it was pain mingled with hope. She had seen that on her first husband's face when it became apparent he wouldn’t live to see his child brought up to adulthood. She smiled softly, lost in her own thought, “I was surprised when my son began writing to me about Harry, although I had no idea it was Harry Potter until Christmas time, not all I heard was good, especially about his relatives. Blaise wished to have his friends over for Christmas, and I granted his wish. Harry completely devoured my library, Blaise and Theodore constantly had to pull him away.” vividly remembering his countenance, “He was very cautious at first, confused even, by my son and I, how we interacted, it makes me wonder just what he had lived through. What a day was like at those detestable Dursleys.”

“I see,” Severus replied, he had come to terms with the fact the Dursley’s had been abusive, and he honestly wasn’t sure he wanted to know the extent of it. “It is good then, that they are dead, no?”

“They suffered, for that I am grateful, but I imagine should they still be alive…that you would have personally taken care of it,” Maria said, as always the shrewd woman could see everything that was not said.

“Indeed,” Severus replied, his tone darkening considerably, they wouldn’t have just suffered for that short time no they would have suffered the tortures of the damned locked up here in the castle until they regretted every single infraction against his mate. Even then he suspected he wouldn’t give them the mercy of death. This was his thoughts without knowing the damage done to his mate.

“So, no, he wasn’t always quite so stubborn, he was once unsure of his place in the magical world, but over the last six years he has become confident, happy, less reserved.” Maria finally answering Severus’ question. Harry hadn’t gotten over what happened to him though; he still distrusted people so quickly. Especially if they were overly kind, he didn’t seem to believe her that some people were genuinely like that.

“Has he ever spoken of the Dursley’s?” Severus questioned, dark eyes gleaming frostily.

“To me? No, he has only ever confided in Remus, but do not ask for details, for Harry will see that as a bigger betrayal than you can fathom,” Maria warned seriously.

Severus nodded curtly, understandably, for he would be furious if someone he confided in decided to spill all. Glancing at the time, he realised that Harry would be awake; he seemed to rouse at the same time every morning. “Regretfully I have somewhere to be, Mrs. Zabini, so if you will excuse me,” he said gesturing for her to leave.

“My Lord,” Maria said, giving a short curtsey before leaving, it hadn’t gone at all how she expected it, but it had been a relief to get some of her concerns off her chest. She wandered back to her living quarters, unaware of the respect she had garnered from yet another vampire (besides Dalton) for her straightforward nature.

-------0

Severus entered his rooms, a gentle sniff of the air let him know Harry was in the bathroom. He had informed the others that he wasn’t to be interrupted unless it was a dire emergency, all else could wait. It was time he and Harry had an honest conversation, no skittering about, or avoiding the issue. They didn’t have all day to do so, only until lunch, after lunch he was holding a meeting in which Harry was going to attend. He moved over and sat on the couch to wait on Harry finishing up, which should be any moment, given the fact the shower had turned off and he was currently getting dressed for the day.

When he emerged, Severus spoke, “Come, sit with me.” he asked of his mate.

Harry blinked, but nonetheless made his way over and sat down, “Is Remus okay?” he had actually planned on going straight to the infirmary.

“He is fine, he’s recovering very well, he should be up and about very soon, but Remus is not the reason I am here,” Severus explained, strengthening his resolve, he wasn’t one for delving into the past, but he knew he must here and now.

“Oh,” Harry exclaimed softly, as the silence stretched, his brow wrinkled, “Is everything alright?”

"I realize I did it all wrong Harry…unfortunately I…do not know how to show people I care other than taking care of them. My parents couldn't have cared less about me; the only one that liked me was your mother…who could somehow see past my masks to see the lonely little boy I really was inside. I had hoped you would as well; I do not want you to have to choose between your family and me…it finally dawned on me that I would lose. It was a knock to my pride, I had underestimated the hold family can have. I cannot deny I want you to myself…both the creature side and the bond wants it that way…to allow it to truly form." confessed Severus warily.

Harry stared at Severus, for the first time realizing that the man probably had feelings too but was just hiding them.

"I am a very possessive man, growing up I had very little to call my own, what I did have was second hand…even my robes were and I was bullied because of it. After I left Hogwarts I got an apprenticeship and passed in just one year six months. Then my entire life changed, I lost my best friend and came into an inheritance I wasn't expecting. For the first time in my life, I was free from the burden and strain of finding money from somewhere." said Severus having to be honest, he didn't want to lose Harry.

Harry's mind whirled, he hadn’t been expecting this, or the fact they were more alike than he could have conceived. He understood how Severus felt; he too had been under the same strain for years. He had been bullied his entire life, especially because of his clothes being six sizes too big for him. Thanks to his dad James and the will not being read…he had to watch what he was doing with what was left of his inheritance. Although he had gone from having nothing to something, so he hadn't been too bothered. He'd just been relieved he had money to last him through Hogwarts years and a few years afterwards.

"Me too," admitted Harry quietly, "I didn't have any friends until I came to Hogwarts. My cousin used to beat me up and anyone who came near me got the same treatment. Everyone learned to give me a wide berth, when I finally got to Hogwarts I was scared I wouldn't find anyone who wanted to be friends with me. I begged the hat to put me somewhere I'd make friends and fit in. I made friends with Blaise and Theo right away; to me they are like my brothers.”

"How bad was the abuse?” Severus came right out and asked.

Harry sighed softly, part of him wished life hadn't become so complicated, but he'd never regret his time in the magical world. Not even if he died tonight, it was worth it all, even here and now…life had never been easy and Harry didn't give in quickly or at all. It wasn't in his nature; maybe Remus was right…perhaps he should give Snape a chance. If I wasn't for him…he might have already lost his father. “They thought they were kindness and generosity itself, as I was often reminded they had taken me in and put a roof over my head.” Harry said, “My uncle,” Harry grimaced at the word, “Vernon, had a temper, and it was easily roused, even by the mere sight of me. They hated the fact they had something abnormal in their lives, in their home. Constantly going on about how they should have dropped me off at an orphanage, not sure why they didn’t my life certainly wouldn’t have gotten any worse.”

Severus listened to his mate speak, his anger mounting each word he spoke matter of factly, but there was also a great deal of surprise that Harry had chosen to speak so freely and frankly.

“The Dursley’s strove for everyone to see they were normal, every day social climbers too, constantly desiring the newest things. Cars, holidays, decorating the house every year, putting on a good show for everyone who came through their door. Lying through their teeth, taking praise for things they didn’t even do. From a young age I cleaned, cooked and did the gardening for the Dursley’s. For which Petunia took all the praise for, she was more into emotional abuse than hitting me, although when she did it bloody hurt.” unconsciously rubbing his head. “She picked up the things nearest to her, spatulas, prongs, the heaviest thing she’s hit me with was a frying pan filled with hot oil.”

“And Vernon?” Severus asked, his lips pursed, did he even want to know?

Harry shook his head, “I haven’t seen them for six years, I have thought of them more this past week than in all that time. I want to forget about it and move on…is that too much to ask?” a vulnerable note to his voice.

“No, but regretfully that is not how it works,” Severus admitted, the urge to comfort his mate was very strong, but he refrained. “Talking about it helps, the way you speak of it is concerning, there is no anger, no disgust, you are speaking of it as matter of fact, as if part of you believes you deserved what happened to you.” even as he spoke he was hoping that Harry would vehemently deny it, for he wasn’t sure how he would feel if those were Harry’s true thoughts on the subject. As the silence stretched he felt his worst fears realised.

“I did believe that for many years, why else would everyone just turn a blind eye to my suffering?” Harry admitted after a few moments silence, not sure whether he actually wanted to lay his soul bare to this vampire. Mate or not, but he knew he had to give it a chance; surely it would be easier here amongst his family? Knowing they were safe, well quite frankly he’d do anything, even make this relationship work.

“Everyone?” Severus regarded Harry solemnly; perhaps it wasn’t just the Dursleys after all who could do with punishing.

“The people who looked after me when the Dursleys were on vacation, they usually went on holidays twice a year, sometimes three. Often time it was Marge Dursley, other times it was old women from the street in Privet Drive. But when everyone believes you are an incurable criminal boy who would honesty give you the time of day?” Harry admitted this time disgust and bitterness was evident. “It was alright if it was just the old women, I actually got three meals a day and a bed to sleep in, Marge on the other hand was a vindictive bitch, got great amusement out of sending her dogs after me…I slept in the barn while the dogs lived inside with her. It was bigger than the cupboard I had at Privet drive, warmer too,” with the thick straw acting as an insulation.

Severus realized it was a very bad idea to be hearing this after all. His hands were clenched into fists and his anger…he had never lost control of his anger in fifteen years. Yet he was dangerously close to blowing that record right now. Sitting so close to a fire…it was an extremely bad idea to let it happen. So with iron will he did not know he possessed, he forced his raging magic down. “I am sorry for what you’ve been through, Harry,” Severus said sincerely, making a mental note on this Marge Dursley, he couldn’t get the other Dursley’s but he sure as hell would get her.

Harry could see that Severus meant it, he also had an understanding air around him, which eased some of the concern he felt at bringing up his past. “It’s over with, I will never let it happen again,” Harry said, and he would never let anyone control him, not for all the promises in the world.

“Indeed not,” Severus dipped his head in agreement, like he would let that happen, he would kill anyone who even looked at Harry the wrong way. “The meeting starts after lunch, I’ll put the robes on the bed.”

Robes? Harry thought why would he need to wear different robes? He already had clothes on that the tailor had made for him. It was much too extravagant for his taste, but Blaise and Theodore said he looked very regal in them. He’d’ been wearing green ones, much of what he had been given was in green, the tailor insisted it brought out the colour of his eyes.

----------0

“Why do I have to get dressed in this?” asked Harry, as he stared at the robes that were lying on his bed, flat out so they didn’t end up crushed. They were so soft, it was caressing silk, no doubt they’d cost a fortune too. He wasn’t used to this….this extravagance being thrown his way. When he was younger he hadn’t received a penny for anything, not even lunch money to take to school. Then he’d entered this new world, told his father had money and that he had to pay for his Hogwarts robes, books and other items required to attend the school. Of course he then learnt most of it had gone to Dumbledore, and he wasn’t in a sharing mood. Remus had always insisted he didn’t understand why James (his dad) had been so idiotic with his fortune. That his grandparents would have been furious if they knew, since they’d worked hard to make sure they always had plenty of money.

“It’s an official meeting, Harry.” said Severus putting his book down to regard his mate from the couch. Severus wondered if he had another fight on his hands. Part of him was through waiting for Harry to adjust, and wanted to show his mate what he was missing…what he was denying himself by being stubborn. He tried to see it from Harry’s view, he really did but he was beyond caring he just wanted his mate. For the others to know he was taken, his, all his. He was finding it extremely hard to ignore the urges, he was a dominant, Harry whether he liked it or not was a submissive. He craved being taken care off, but he was shutting that part of himself out. After what he’d been through it was understandable but no less annoying.

“What does that mean?” asked Harry quietly, sitting down overwhelmed. Other than Blaise, Teddy, a woman he loved as a mother, and Remus who he loved like a father nobody had paid him the slightest bit of attention. Not even his so called Godfather, who he’d never even met, just saw from a distance once. Now he had all these vampires looking at him, when they thought he couldn’t sense it.

“If you do not wish to attend, there is no reason for you to do so, nothing is official.” stated Severus, standing up, his book forgotten as he stared at his mate. Just imagining him in those robes was driving him insane; thankfully the meeting was important otherwise he would have been tempted by Harry. He knew that without even seeing him in the robes, imagining it was enough for him.

“Official?” echoed Harry.

“Indeed, you aren’t sworn in as Prince’s consort yet,” Severus informed him; regardless he was given the title.

“Why not?” enquired Harry, not sure if he felt relieved or indignant over it. On one hand this wasn’t what Harry had wanted, he’d been handed over like cattle. On the other if it hadn’t been for them he’d have lost his dad, and to top it off his family was brought here, to safety. He was doing more than anyone else had done for him before, he couldn’t help it but it was sort of warming on him. Did that mean he actually wanted to be as Severus called it ‘The Prince consort?’ he had no idea, but he really did have to think long and hard on it.

Severus withheld a smirk, the look in Harry’s eyes revealed more than reading his mind or hearing his voice. “You haven’t consented to being the Prince consort for one, the second you must be turned before being officially sworn in as such. They will respect you nonetheless, and recognize you as a consort. No celebration will be hosted until you have gone through the change.” replied Severus.

“Sworn in? There’s some sort of initiation?” asked Harry interested.

“It’s more of an announcement really, a party.” stated Severus, “All that is required from you is a commitment to keeping true to the Prince line, and to do your best as a leader.” Harry really was warming to the idea, these questions were a dead give away.

“True to the Prince line?” asked Harry removing his Dragon Hide boots, trousers and top. Then began to dress in the very expensive looking robes, which by the way hadn’t been part of his new wardrobe.

“Yes, being…unfaithful is looked upon as traitorous, extremely so.” Severus explained especially if it happened around the time as the new heir being conceived. In the old days such actions were punishable by death, or imprisonment, under the castle until you breathed your last. Yes, surprisingly it had happened although not very often.

“That goes only for the consort right?” Harry snorted even Vernon hadn’t been faithful to Petunia something he had learned first hand much to his everlasting horror. He also remembered his history lessons and the books he’d read while he’d actually attended primary school.

Severus arched an eyebrow, surprised by his words. “Such ignorance of my kind is very unbecoming; I must admit I’m deeply disappointed for your disregard of vampires.”

Harry shifted awkwardly, flushing red embarrassed feeling all kinds of foolish.

Severus stood up and walked over to Harry, who was still half dressed, not even taking delight in the fact that Harry felt comfortable enough to dress in his presence now. He had however, made sure never to let him see his back, very telling that. Grasping his chin, ignoring the flinch which did cause his heart to jerk because of the abuse his mate had suffered. “For your information, vampires are extremely possessive of their mates, they’d never conceive taking on…concubines or lovers especially when they’ve met their significant other. Not only is it frowned on, and also bad behaviour but they would be able to smell it. Save yourself future embarrassment by actually reading the books on Vampire Lords and their traditions.” letting his chin go he left their bedroom. By Merlin, Harry was stubborn and infuriating sometimes, where had he gotten the impression that soul mates cheated on one another?

Harry bit his lip, staring at the door inwardly wondering if he was even welcome to attend the meeting anymore. Stiffening his resolve, he quickly finished getting dressed. He made a mental note to read the damn books; he hadn’t because there were just so many other tempting books on offer.

Was he beginning to change? Or was it all part of growing up? Wondered Harry as he opened the bedroom door looking around, finding Severus standing at the end of the corridor. His eyebrow rose in enquiry, and oddly enough, Harry understood that sight without needing words. He was silently asking him if he was still coming. Harry nodded, as he wandered down, Severus waited and together they entered the meeting hall. He recognized it having been there before where he had watched Albus Dumbledore squirming for the first time in his life. Something he relished now. He would get to see it again at his trial, Dumbledore had been arrested for more than one reason, but whatever those reasons were they were tightly wrapped up so nobody found out - even Severus with all his contacts hadn’t been able to figure it out.

“Ready?” enquired Severus, his fingers brushing Harry’s letting him decide.

Harry held onto his hand, as the nerves began to get the better of him, he had no idea what awaited him through that door. Staring down at the hand, wondering what the hell had gotten into him. He should be fighting this, not giving him an easier time.

“Don’t fight it, just accept it.” whispered Severus his voice extremely seductive.

Harry swallowed thickly, his mind whirling. He knew what Remus would be saying though, give it a chance. Both of them hadn’t had the best childhoods, maybe that understanding would lead to more?

------0

“Stupefy!” “Stupefy!” “Petrificus Totalus!” “Confundo!” shouted Sirius, trying to hit his targets but it was impossible, they moved too fast for him. It was the last thing he could remember, other than inwardly cursing, before he was met with darkness, and he knew no more.

“Isn’t that Sirius Black?” one Vampire asked, leaning over the unconscious wizard.

“Yes,” said the other in agreement. “I suggest we put him in the dungeons, our Lord will need to know immediately after he is finished with the meeting.”

“Alright,” was said, and then Sirius Black was hoisted over his back as if he was nothing but a small sack of potatoes, and carried into Prince Castle.

------0

“What’s wrong? Is it Remus?” asked Harry, his green eyes shadowed with worry, he’d seen Severus stiffen and nod to two vampires who immediately Apparated away.

“No, there is no change in Remus,” Severus said soothing him.

“Then what was it?” inquired Harry, curious now instead of worried.

“The intruder alert ward went off,” said Severus, “They are going to take care of whoever it is.”

“Oh,” Harry murmured, well it couldn’t be Dumbledore, who else would be crazy enough to enter a vampires domain? Death Eaters?

“We will find out soon enough,” Severus added, nodding firmly.

“We?” asked Harry, slightly surprised.

Severus’ lips twitched and he arched his eyebrow. “We,” he stated sharply, his hand still in Harry’s, unconsciously stroking it softly, and Harry had yet to move it despite the fact they were sitting down.

“Sir?” called Selvic entering the room, despite the fact he wasn’t on ‘duty’ anymore, he should be spending time with his mate and newborn child. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to unwind; he was so used to working, that not doing it was like being missing one of his limbs. Thankfully his mate understood, but he made sure to spend a lot of time with them.

“Yes, Selvic?” asked Severus frowning, “Is everything alright?” he could sense the worry bleeding off the vampire in waves.

“Um, the newspaper…have you seen a copy?” asked Selvic.

“No, why?” Severus demanded, having a feeling deep in his bones exactly what would be revealed.

“Here,” said Selvic handing over the lunch edition of the Daily Prophet.

Severus accepted the paper but did not read it; he didn’t want Harry to see it in front of all the others. “Thank you,” said Severus nodding curly.

Selvic bowed low in respect before he joined the others, just as he did Storm and Cenric appeared and sat down ready to start the meeting.

“Everything rectified?” asked Severus, reading their surface thoughts, Sirius Black? Well, that was unexpected. “One of you go back down and keep an eye on him, at all times.” he didn’t want to risk Black getting his hands on Harry; nobody was taking him away, or hurting him.

“Yes sir,” said Storm before the disappeared once more, deciding she would do it.

“Go and spend time with your family, Selvic.” said Severus seriously.

He nodded in agreement before he walked out of the room at vampire speed.

Harry opened his mouth a dozen questions on the tip of his tongue, what was on the paper? Who was the ‘he’ they were talking about? Why was he so dangerous that Severus thought a vampire had to stay with him? Why keep him in the castle? Was it a Death Eater?

“Later,” Severus promised his black eyes grim.

“Alright.” Harry conceded, reluctantly nodding.

“The first on the list has to be Lucius Malfoy,” Severus demanded, all vampires listened intently no sign of movement or life. They did very good impressions of statues and Harry did find it intimidating as hell. “He along with the Lestranges are the most dangerous and supply most of the funds for the war.” they were the most dangerous of the Death Eaters, and the best connected. Take them away and you took a great deal of the Dark Lords money, and resources.

“Do the Lestranges still have their money? They’re wanted wizards, hasn’t access to their Gringotts been cut off?” Harry asked, perplexed.

“Gringotts has different rules from the Ministry; it is why there have been many wars over the controlling of the wizarding bank. While the Ministry like to pretend that the law breakers cannot access their vaults, the truth is that they can and do so quite frequently.” Severus leaned over to explain to Harry, and doing so with patience he afforded no other. “There are a few books on Gringotts etiquette and rules in the library, if you wish to know more. Not many copies survived, but we are lucky enough to have two here in the Castle.” Severus was unsurprised to see those green eyes light up with delight; he didn’t think he’d seen anyone with such a thirst for information like Harry.

“Thaddeus Nott is quite high up as well, both in the Ministry as a Wizengamot member, but as a pureblood with wealth, unlike the Lestranges and Malfoys they do not boast about their fortune, which is considerably more due to the fact it’s just been him and his son for many years.” Zarek pointed out thoughtfully.

“Not quite,” Harry said, shaking his head, “He’s spent a lot of the Nott fortune using private investigators to search for Voldemort. Theodore said they were best friends back while they were at Hogwarts, that he was the only original ’Knight of the Walpurgis’ to survive to this day.” Yes, Theodore’s father was old enough to his grandfather, he hadn’t settled down like the others, and had married very late in life and longer still before they were able to have an heir.

The others stared at him startled, whether it was because he had spoken and felt he shouldn’t, or perhaps surprised he knew anything to do with the subject matter at all. Severus, however, felt his lips twitching in pride, yes; he would fit into his life without a problem if he wished.

“What? Theodore is my best friend,” Harry pointed out at the looks he was receiving, he rather hoped they weren’t old fashioned and believed the ‘Prince Consort’ should be seen and not heard. He was definitely going to get into the politics if he was to stay here. “Malfoy spent a lot of his fortune to stay out of Azkaban, even now he constantly bribes people, and if anyone is funding the war it will be those who went to Azkaban…with their fortunes lying untouched for fifteen years the interest alone is probably immense. Could see the war through for a couple of years before they had to move onto the rest. He has an inner circle right?”

“Indeed, he does,” Severus replied, “Most were imprisoned, depending on who the Dark Lord used in the raids, they might have recovered from their stay in Azkaban…or as recovered as one could get surrounded by Dementors for fifteen years.”

“Many more of them died,” Corin added, “The Order of the Phoenix did get their share of body count, just as much as their losses.”

“The Prewitt brothers,” Harry said with a savage grin, he had read all about that and he was in awe of them. It was too bad their bravery and smarts had not paid off in his classmate, Ronald Weasley, the prejudice lazy lout that he was.

“I read about that,” Dalton said reverently, “I would have dearly liked to have seen it, what a battle it would have been.”

Eventually, they got back to their original topic, plots, and plans on taking out the key members of the Dark Lord’s army. Which wasn’t as easy as it seemed, between not knowing where their base was, to the wards that would surely be surrounding the Dark Lord. To catch them unawares would take a great deal of strategic planning.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 18

Harry sat in the library, reading the book that Severus had suggested he read, about Vampire Lord’s and their customs, consorts and he did admit he found it very educational, it wasn’t anything like he’d read about vampires in the past. Not that he had truly believed everything he read on creatures, since he had taken umbrage over the portrayal of werewolves. He knew that the werewolves had been made to sound more rabid and disease and more animal like than they truly were. Remus (his dad) was the most kind and gentle man he knew, to see the creatures so badly portrayed was unfair and he was extremely angry over the unfairness of it.

A whole week had gone by since he had been brought here, just a single week, seven days, it most certainly didn’t feel that way. Quite honestly it felt more like a month. So much had happened in that short space of time, not only for him, but over all. Dumbledore had been arrested, Remus had been attacked, his family had been brought here to safety, and Sirius Black had tried to get find Prince Castle. He had succeed, he was told, and it was why he had been put into the cells below, they wanted to find out how he had found it and why. As of yet, Sirius hadn’t been spoken to, they were leaving him to strew in his own fear and sweat. If it had been anyone else he would have felt a little sorry for them.

Hearing footsteps, yet again, he asked “What is it now?” his exasperation obvious as he turned around, blinking in surprise to see Alfred - at least he was ninety percent sure that’s what Severus called him. There were so many vampires he didn’t know each of them yet, but he was slowly getting there, especially with those who interacted with Severus daily, which Alfred did, as well as his main protectors - not that they did much protecting around the Castle. He nodded when Alfred curtseyed, he was still getting used to them all doing that whenever he was near.

“Feeling cooped up?” Alfred asked the teen, a smile of understanding on his face as he straightened back up.

“A little,” Harry admitted, placing the bookmark on the last few pages he had left to read inside the book, he closed it and turned properly.

“Yes, Rose was like that,” Alfred nodded solemnly.

“Rose?” Harry queried, wondering if it was maybe the last Prince Consort.

“Severus’ Grandmother and Lady Prince, Consort to the previous Lord Prince,” Alfred explained.

“They are alive?” Harry asked surprised, “But Severus said he was the last…never mind,” he shook his head for being so silly, Severus was the last heir to the Prince family, when Glenn passed the baton so to speak, Severus became Lord of the family, that usually only happened when the family member passed, but with vampires it was done differently. “How come I’ve never met them? Do they not stay here?”

"They remain at Prince Manor, the Castle is used as a base, where vampires come if they are threatened, wishing to join the coven, to go on missions and protect the current Lord. Since they are no longer in power, they don't have to, and to be honest I think they were glad to be able to have some privacy." responded Alfred smirking in amusement.

"I can understand that," snorted Harry, grinning widely, he rather liked Alfred, it was nice to have someone to talk to from here.

"It's always a shock, the lack of privacy, even Severus hated it at the beginning." replied Alfred.

"He did?" Harry murmured in surprise.

"Yes, he hexed them a few times, but they kept coming back, it wasn't until he was attacked that he realized the dangers of being Lord Prince." answered Alfred gravely. "Severus is a hell of a dueller but even wouldn't stand a chance against four fully fledged vampires."

"What happened?" Harry asked, surprised by the depth of his concern.

"To be honest, he was actually doing not bad fighting the four of them off, but there's no doubt he would have lost should the fight have continued. Corin, Storm and Langdon and myself, if I remember correctly came to his aid." said Alfred. "I know its difficult now, but in time I truly believe you will grow to love it here."

“Maybe,” Harry said, he was beginning to like it here, the first few days had been difficult, but all the emotional upheaval and uncertainty was the main factor in that. Having his family here and safe…being able to talk to them whenever he wanted, yes, he was beginning to like it.

"I am sorry, how remiss of me, my name is Alfred Murphy. It's nice to meet you, Harry." Alfred said, belatedly realizing he had never formally introduced himself holding his hand out.

"I know," Harry admitted, shaking the vampires hand he smiled, none of them had actually formally introduced themselves yet.
"I am going to Diagon Alley to pick up a few things, would you like to accompany me?" Alfred asked the teenager.

"Can I go?” Harry asked, giving Alfred a confused look, not sure whether Severus would allow him to leave the Castle. “Will he let me?”

“His name is Severus, not he, please do not disrespect him, especially not in front of us,” Alfred cautioned him, he had the utmost respect for Severus as his Lord, and he didn’t want to hear any disrespect.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it,” Harry said, genuinely taken aback by the comment from Alfred.

"You shouldn't be, one day if you accept this life, you will be ruling by Severus' side. Which means you can do anything you like without having to apologise. We are your subjects Harry, not the other way around, never let anyone make you feel inferior without your consent." said Alfred seriously, relaxing when he realized he had perhaps overshot the mark, it hadn’t been a sign of disrespect, he had forgotten that his Lord Consort was just a young boy.

"Eleanor Roosevelt," said Harry his lips twitching, it wasn't something he expected anyone to know in the magical world. With the exception of Remus, who actually spent a lot of his time in the Muggle world looking for him when he was younger.

"I'm impressed," Alfred admitted, not many knew the reference. "Shall we go?"

"Are we?" Harry muttered in surprised.

"Of course, Corin and Storm have already informed Severus, they will of course be coming with us." Alfred informed Harry.

"Alright," said Harry, standing up, “Give me a moment,” he added, wandering away from the library and to his room, he placed the book on the nightstand to read the last few pages tonight. He also grabbed his key from his trunk, which was tied around a black necklace for safe keeping. He put it around his neck, making a mental note to go to Gringotts and check if his money had been touched. He unhooked his cloak that Severus had given him for the meeting with Dumbledore.

Once he had donned it, he made his way back the way he came, meeting Storm, Corin and Alfred, he knew Storm well enough, so Corin must be the other female, she’d been at the meeting and had been quiet, the few times she’d spoken up they’d been filled with wisdom. He nodded after they bowed to him, eager to get to the Alley and check. He wasn’t due another statement for eight days, and it was a long time to wait and see whether Dumbledore had removed every penny he had, after gaining custody of him however, temporarily the situation had been.

Storm and Corin Apparated away first, leaving Alfred to Side-Long Apparate him once they left the stringent wards of Prince Castle.

“Is there anywhere you wish to go, Lord Consort?” Alfred asked, as Harry regained his footing moments after being Apparated.

“Gringotts,” Harry answered immediately, conscious of all eyes on him, he added, “Please call me Harry, at least when we are out here.”

The three nodded in understanding, Alfred remained at his side while Storm and Corin took the back and front of him, keeping some sort of formation going. The walk towards Gringotts took no time at all, since they had all Apparated nearby the marble encased bank, that was seen in all directions of the Alley.

Harry didn’t even bother telling them not to follow him, for he knew there was no way they’d let him out of their sight let alone in a different room. So instead he merely waited in line, ignoring the looks everyone gave him, well, not him, they were just wondering who he was no doubt, since he was covered from head to toe in a black cloak which afforded him anonymity that he found quite thrilling. Stepping forward each time a wizard or witch was dealt with and the line got steadily smaller.

“Yes?” the goblin asked, as it came to Harry’s turn, however, when Alfred stepped up with him, the pendant with the Prince coat of arms proudly displayed the Goblin’s eyes widened and he seemed to exude awe and hero-worship. “How can I help…” his tone completely different and most welcoming.

“I’d like a statement of the contents of my vaults, please,” Harry informed the goblin curtly, his lip curling in disgust, now the goblin knew who they were he was willing to play nice, those sorts of things disgusted him to the bone, especially after seeing the Dursley’s doing it for so long. He knew most Slytherins would do whatever it took, including wearing any mask necessarily, to get what they want. Harry wasn’t one of them, he had asked to go to a house that would give him his greatest desire, real friends, and that had been Slytherin. That’s not to say he hadn’t picked up the subtleties and employed them himself, but it was tiresome and he rarely bothered with it. He’d rather just say what was on his mind regardless of the consequences. It wasn’t something he would be able to do now, he would need to watch what he said. He handed over his key, as proof of who he was, and his vault.
“Lord Potter-Prince,” the goblin said reverently, “A statement will be made momentarily.” they had been informed of the Vampire Lord’s marriage to Harry Potter.

“Thank you,” Harry replied, waiting impatiently for the statement to be handed to him, which it was a minute later. When he caught glimpse of the amount in his vault his eyes widened, then began to roam over the page looking for answers. Gaping slightly, a million galleons had been added to his vault by Severus without him saying anything. Remembering his words from days ago, how he felt the need to take care of someone he cared for. But that amount of money? It was astronomical! It was more than had been in his vaults in a long time, his father had been too frivolous with the estate. Dumbledore surprisingly hadn’t touched his fortune, the last amount taken out had been his own doing.

“Is there anything else Gringotts can help you with, Lord Potter-Prince?” the goblin asked a few moments later.

Harry numbly shook his head, no, he folded up the parchment and put it in the inside of his cloak pocket. Completely forgetting to take any money out in his shock. Instead Harry followed Alfred, Storm and Corin, as Alfred gathered up dozens of potion ingredients in the apothecary, requesting the freshest ingredients they had regardless of the price. Corin was gathering cauldrons, stirrer sets, vials and other things Harry didn’t manage to see before they were boxed up.

Storm momentarily left the apothecary and went to the bookstore on Alfred’s orders to gather up the books Severus had obviously requested. The whole thing took less than ten minutes, they were very efficient in time-keeping, they were either on a schedule or they always worked this way.

"Is there anything you'd like Harry?" Alfred asked as they finished their errands.

"I wouldn't mind some ice cream." Harry said, “And some Butterbeer,” those things were his favourite things in the world.

"Then lets go," Alfred said, making way to the ice cream parlour first, due to its closeness.

"I didn't bring any money," Harry groaned when he realized he hadn’t taken anything out of Gringotts.

"Don't worry, it's on Severus," Alfred said, waving it off.

"I'd rather not," Harry said, the amount already given over was just too much.

"You believe he's trying to buy your affection?" Alfred guessed, opening the door and letting Harry enter after Storm who cautiously looked around, eye out for any and all dangers.

"No, it’s just too much,” Harry shook his head, although it had crossed his mind with the clothes, but he understood Severus better now. He wasn’t so much as trying to buy his affection, he just didn’t know how else to show he cared, something Harry did understand to some extent. He thanked Merlin that it was a very short line they stepped into.

"Yes, perhaps it seems so, its part of the tradition of courting, and tradition is very important to us," Alfred nodded, stepping forward as the line moved.

"I know, still…I could never spend that in a single lifetime.” Harry mused thoughtfully, before he gave his order to Fortescue, informing him that he was taking it away not sitting in.

"You must be the first mate that didn't take full advantage of the Prince fortune to get whatever your heart desires during the courting process." Alfred commented wryly, once Harry had stopped speaking.

"I've never cared about money, not having it growing up does that to you." Harry informed him quietly.

"I can understand that," Alfred solemnly, revealing a little about himself, "I too grew up without money. I assume you do not want the broomstick Severus asked to get you?" teasing a little. Handing over the amount Fortescue asked for and accepting the ice cream, spelled to stay chilled with a simple spell.

"A broomstick?" Harry questioned perking up, he’d never played Quidditch at school, but he had loved the flying lessons in first year and flew with Blaise and Theodore during the summer holidays when he actually had his nose out a book.

"I'll take that as a yes?" Alfred asked smirking wryly at the teenager, as once again the door was opened.

"I…" murmured Harry, groaning "Yes." He knew if he tried to buy it himself he would find Alfred wouldn’t budge and he would pay for it. He normally just played on Blaise’s old broomstick, or rather one of them anyway. He’d never had a broomstick of his own, he saw no need for it, especially being on a strict budget.

Alfred chuckled and the four made the way to Quality Quidditch Supplies, their last stop before they returned to Prince Castle.

-----------0

“Hello, Black.” stated Severus coldly, finally visiting the one that had successfully found his home, the only one who ever had. He wasn’t happy, and he had to make sure that nobody else knew where he had been going. He would not risk the Order finding and taking Harry. Not that it mattered, he would just summon his people and well…let’s just say Dumbledore would live to regret it. Nobody took what was his from him, and Harry was his.

“You.” Sirius cried out in shock, jerking back as his eyes widened unable to believe his eyes. He hadn’t seen the man since Hogwarts…he was a vampire, he could see it, he didn’t even need any light to tell. Knowing who it was just left him even more confused than before, why would Snape want him? Revenge for everything he did?

“We can do this the easy way or the hard way,” said Severus coolly, “You can answer the questions truthfully or I will torture them out of you. The hard way will result in your death afterwards, so really, the choice is yours.”

“Fuck you,” snarled Sirius, all the old hatred he had for the wizard turned vampire flashing through him. What questions could Snape have for him?

“No thank you, I prefer doing the fucking.” replied Severus, vulgarly. Removing his wand, caressing it softly before pointing it at Sirius through the bars. “Really, Black, you should just take the easy way; it will save me a lot of time.” surprisingly he felt no desire to torture Black, not for all he had done to him anyway, he hadn’t thought on the wizard since his schooling.

“Piss off,” Sirius hissed, his blue eyes flashing in defiance. Ignoring the hisses of anger that seemed to come from all sides. He would have accused Snape of being a Death Eater, unfortunately it wasn’t possible. Both of his arms were showing, through a rolled up white shirt sleeves. There was no sign of the Dark Mark…although that didn’t mean he wasn’t on his side. It was the only conceivable reason he understood for him to be here.

“I would watch how you speak, one word from Lord Prince you will be dead before you touch the ground!” a voice hissed derisively, angrily from the shadows, causing Sirius to shudder. Prince Lord? Vampire Prince Lord? Dear Merlin, he hadn’t realized…how was he still alive? They had more influence than anyone in the world, even the Ministry of magic, although they would deny it. He’d almost killed the boy as a teenager why hadn’t they taken their revenge? He was almost too bloody shocked and speechless to open his mouth again. For the first time he actually feared for his life…these people wouldn’t just kill him…they would break him first. Their passion and dedication to the Vampire Lord was always…vast.

Harry and Remus flashed through his mind, as his heart sank in fear. Would he ever get a chance to make up for the wrongs he’d committed? Drugged or not, to him he should have been able to beat them, Harry was his godson he loved him more than his own life. Surely that could have beaten the potion if nothing else? What did it matter? He was stuck here…by the sounds of it he might not get out alive.
“How did you find my home?” demanded Severus, inhaling in the fear he could feel emanating from the figure on the floor.

“I didn’t,” rasped Sirius, he had been here for three days he reckoned. Well if the window in the corridor showed the real weather, since that was all he had to go on. He may be one of the best Auror’s in the division thanks to the fucking potion Dumbledore had made him drink, but right here he felt a bone deep fear. The urge to get away was still as strong, yet part of him felt at peace, as if he was where he was meant to be. He’d felt it that day on the train going to Hogwarts…then it disappeared thanks to Dumbledore suppressing his budding bond with his mate. With Remus, who he had loved above all else and he’d gone…left him alone. If Snape was telling the truth about the easy way letting him live, and he could get out of here, then he had to do whatever he had to do. His pride be damned, which wasn’t hard, all the bravado had drained from him at the knowledge he could be tortured and killed. These vampires would be merciless, he had harmed their Vampire Lord whether he was a vampire at the time or not his creature inheritance will have lain dormant.

Sirius hastened on quickly speaking, “I mean it, I wasn’t even looking for you…I promise.” swore Sirius.

“Nobody just wanders over my property!” hissed Severus, his wand raising again, “Confringo!” not putting all his power behind it, otherwise Black would have been splattered all over the wall. Instead all it did was blast him off his arse and into the wall, nearly rendering him unconscious. He did not relish in the scream that left Black’s lips as he would have done as a teenager. He wanted answers; to get them he couldn’t kill the wizard not yet. He could not allow anyone to come for Harry, the young man was his whether he liked it or not. His need to ensure his mates safety came before any revenge he wanted.

“Fuck!” panted Sirius, winded and bruised, wincing in agony as he curled up trying to stop the pain and was wholly unsuccessful.

“Believe me, Black, I am being extremely lenient and if you do not start talking…I have a hundred other more painful and powerful spells at my arsenal.” said Severus smoothly, and he did. Thanks to the books in Prince Vault, long forgotten, rare, classics and honestly priceless and precious books too.

“I told you the truth,” said Sirius, licking his lips, trying to wet them but unfortunately he was drier than a mummy’s tomb. “I was using my b-bond with Remus to find him.” bearing the word bond was still so foreign to him. He so badly wanted to kill Dumbledore, yet to find Harry and Remus simultaneously it was actually tearing him apart inside.

“He is your mate?” stated Severus, unsurprised by that revelation, what did surprise him was the fact Black had been able to pull away from it. His mind went to Harry and his hands clenched together, just imagining the bond being cut between them.

“You left your own mate?” muttered one of the vampires that hid in the shadows, his disgust clear as day.

“N-no,” stuttered Sirius, tears entering his eyes, feeling really emotional all of a sudden, but he had woken with his pockets empty, the calming draughts were gone. The urge to lash out at everyone and find his mate called to him on a primal level he couldn’t ignore. Yet there was no way out of the cell he was in, he was effectively trapped, even if he got out, there were Vampires on all sides. “It just opened when I was eleven, when I met him but Dumbledore took me to his office and he used a spell that suppressed it before wiping my memory.” he croaked, his mind filled with the memories. It didn’t help that he felt as though they were just happening; to him they may as well be since he had been Obliviated.

Severus watched him with pity for the first time, it was little wonder he’d been the way he was in Hogwarts. He would have felt the pain of loss and not understood it. With such a bleak hole in his heart…he would have done everything and anything to feel better. Continuously lashing out at everyone as if they were to blame. Not that he was forgiving the wizard, but it had been a long time and he wasn’t seventeen years old anymore. Wasn’t embittered at the world, his needs and wants were simple; he wanted a mate, a family.

Black’s bond to Lupin would solidify under the night of the full moon, changing Black in the process, giving him the ability to bear young. Although their ages would probably prevent any successful pregnancies, the ripe breeding age for wolfs and their mates was around sixteen to twenty-two. The full moon was ironically enough tonight…and Lupin hadn’t had any Wolfsbane Potion, not that wolves hurt their mates. They were incapable of it, especially considering it was their only chance to mate, and produce children. Something that no werewolf could ignore, wouldn’t want to either. It was the one thing that bled into their human conscience, although perhaps a few had been cautious but the need eventually wore that down. Remus already saw Harry as a cub, so he probably wasn’t in any rush for another. The beauty of werewolves, they didn’t need their own pups, they were possessive and territorial creatures just like vampires. They keep what they claim as their own, and would protect it/her/him to the death.

“I really wasn’t looking for you, I swear… I was looking for Remus.” whispered Sirius his voice tinged with desperation. “I don’t know why it kept pointing me here…unless…did you hurt him?” his voice was breathless with panic, gushing out the sentence not even trying to disguise his fear. Was this where Remus had breathed his last? Had he caught up with vampires he thought had Harry and been killed? His breathing began to labour as he found it nearly impossible to calm down. Sirius uncurled from his position, as the pain diminished slightly, staring over at Snape desperately waiting for an answer.

“He is here, and he is fine.” stated Severus, sensing the truth in his words, as well as almost choking with the desolate despair wafting from the mutt. He wasn’t evil enough to keep the fact his mate was alive from anyone, nobody deserved to go through that torture. Lupin had probably had it worse than Black, able to feel an open ended bond but never been able to find or discover his mate. It was little wonder he had been grotesquely disfigured (for a wolf that is) the time he saw the man as a werewolf while he was at Hogwarts. “Does anyone know where you were heading?”

Sirius rapidly shook his head, “Shack, Tonks and Moody know I was looking for him, but I never told them were I was going.” he stated brusquely. The only reason he could think of Remus being here and staying…meant that his godson was here too. Or could be Remus might just want help to find those that do. He forced himself not to jump to conclusions, the question remained though was would they let him go? “D-does he know? That I am h-here I mean?” that thought hurt more than anything else had at this point, including the blasting hex from Snape. Which he knew hadn’t been at his full power, it had been a warning but it still bloody hurt like hell.

“He will soon enough,” Severus stated before he turned and walked away, leaving Sirius Black in the cell, he needed to figure out what to do with him, which required informing Harry of what had occurred down here.

-----0

“Did you read the book about vampire mating rituals?” Remus asked, both of them sitting on the bed, two empty cartons of ice cream lay discarded at the bottom.

“Yes,” Harry sounding subdued, his thoughts obviously elsewhere.

“What’s the matter?” Remus probed, stretching out with a relived groan, he was very relieved he had recovered before the full moon, even if only just.

“Did you know vampires claim their mates by biting them? You know…before they turn them.” Harry told him, as always eager to discuss what he had learned. He had never spoken too much about werewolf mating for fear of upsetting his dad, since he hadn’t yet met his mate.

“It’s a practice that both vampires and werewolves adopt. They’re marking their claim, we are very…possessive creatures, the only difficulty is that both creatures have venomous bites..” stated Remus quietly. “You would find no greater protector.”

“Is that why you want me to accept Severus?” Harry asked.

“A little,” acknowledged Remus, his voice softer as if his concentration wasn’t solely here. “The love that humans share…is nothing to what bonded magical being experience. Everything is much more intense, intimate, and that love never fades or dies, what you feel at the beginning when you change for them will remain there until the day you die. If you don’t bond to your mate…there’s always a hollow ache in your chest that can never be tamed or removed by any amount of love. You can love someone…but not as dearly as that other someone you should have. You would have the protection of the entire Prince clan behind you, with Voldemort after you…I can close my eyes and sleep knowing you are safe here.”

“It says both get bitten, but isn’t vampire skin impenetrable?” Harry queried, staring at the bed, unable to meet Remus’ eyes. He would have done anything to help Remus get his mate, but there was nothing he could do.

“He has to bite you first Harry, then you will exhibit some vampire-ish traits. Strength, speed and stamina will increase, once he has proven himself you bite him back ending the courting period. Once the bonding pair are bitten, they will be mated forever.” explained Remus. “You will also receive a thirst for blood.”

“Blood?” Harry echoed, screwing up his face not sure he liked that idea much.

“You will find it…enjoyable.” said Remus, pausing to find the right word. The rumours he’d heard well, it wouldn’t just be enjoyable but he would leave Harry to find out if he chose to go through with it. “The bite will give you a different appetite; you’ll like things to be a little more on raw side like me.” Harry made the best rare nearly raw steaks, he didn’t know how he did it but the food he always cooked for him was exquisite.

“If they get bitten at the start of the courting…why hasn’t he bitten me?” asked Harry in curiosity, shouldn’t he be happy that the vampire was giving him a choice? Or was it? The part of him that grew up with the Dursleys and still felt unworthy began to wonder if it was him. What if his mate didn’t want him? Not really? But doing it because he was his mate and not his choice? It wasn’t really was it?

Remus stared at Harry curiously, was it just him or did Harry sound upset about the fact Severus wasn’t moving fast? “He probably would have asked if he didn’t find out you were not willing, plus this has to be your choice, the start of the courting isn’t always when you get bitten, the courting is the deciding factor for the mating.”

“How long does a courting general last? It never says in the book,” Harry then asked.

“The courting is however long you both decide, so a year, but just remember how difficult it is, Severus probably has to restrain himself to a great degree to stop himself mating with you. He’s waiting on you making the first move, he will be able to tell you haven’t had sex.” said Remus, rolling his eyes when Harry flushed red in mortification. Oh, Severus was going to have some fun with Harry, his stomach rolled at that thought - not something he wanted on his mind. Harry was his son after all, Merlin he wanted to Oblivate himself.

“You can tell that?” Harry asked, “How?”

“You’re scent, it’s pure and has a hint of a smell that really cannot be placed we just call it the smell of innocence.” said Remus smirking almost wolfishly at Harry. “The scent changes almost straight away afterwards, and the fact you are pure probably makes Severus ten times more protective, he won’t want anyone else getting to you before he can.”

Harry still red in the face nodded, now that was humiliating, all of them knowing he was a bloody virgin. They would also know if he and Severus…bloody hell.

“Um…by the way, you will need to go down to the dungeons tonight.” Harry said softly, remembering to tell Remus.

Remus nodded, he was very much aware that the full moon was tonight, he had asked Storm for the date when he’d woken.

A sharp knock at the door was their only warning before Severus, stalked in.

“Why is he here?” Remus asked with deceptive mildness.

“Who?” asked Harry, then he remembered, “Oh,” raw hatred flash across his green eyes. He was talking about Sirius Black, Remus had not been told about him yet.

“Where exactly is he?” Remus wanted to know, looking up at Severus.

“The dungeons, where you need to be within a few hours. Exactly half an hour after you’ve transformed a deer will been transported into the cell with you. It should satisfy your craving for blood and feed your wolf without biting and clawing at yourself all night.” Severus informed bluntly. It may also keep the wolf occupied until the moon came up, so he didn’t barrel at the cell trying to get out.

“Thank you,” said Remus, his amber eyes filled with surprise and appreciation. Every month since he was a child he’d been locked up to keep him inside and away from normal people. Biting and clawing at himself when the need to taste blood grew too great or he was so hungry that he’d eat at himself. It didn’t help that as a wolf he wanted freedom and to see the night sky, for a few brief years that had come to fusion when his friends discovered what he was and joined him on his monthly romps. He maybe never had anything to eat but those had been the most carefree existence of his life. Nobody had thought to actually feed his wolf, he wondered briefly if it would make any difference. Apparently he would soon find out.

Severus just nodded curtly, before turning and walking out again throwing over his shoulder. “Warren will show you the way when you are ready.” unable to help glancing briefly at his mate before he was gone.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 19

Sirius’ head snapped up, hearing and sensing something coming his way. It wasn’t a vampire; it was a werewolf…no his mate was coming. Swallowing thickly, trying to push down the happiness, he had no idea if his mate even wanted him. He had left him after all; nothing could make Remus forgive that, even if he had been a pawn to an old fool. He’d never felt this kind of fear and anxiety before, he’d always felt best when he was with Remus.

Sirius remembered the last time he’d seen him, well, the night he’d walked out until able to take any more of his cold behaviour. He hadn’t paid any attention to him that last year, other than sex at night. He’d become to focused at work, that he rarely spoke to him, and when Remus did speak it was constantly about Harry and Sirius didn’t want to talk about him. Remus then swore if they didn’t talk, he would leave, Sirius hadn’t believed him. After all he didn’t have a home of his own, no job, nothing, yet when he got home that night it was silent and still. Everything of Remus’ had vanished from the flat, taking everything of Lily and James’ with him that he’d saved of his best friends. Like James Auror badge, his cufflinks, and Lily’s charm bracelet that she never removed until he had taken it off…even the charmed origami napkins Lily had created when she was pregnant. She’d made them without magic, but preserved them to stay that way and move with magic - she had been brilliant at charms so it hadn’t surprised them.

“Can I have a moment, please?” Remus asked to the shadowed vampires.

“Sorry, no. Strict orders never to leave him alone.” the vampire replied, not moving from his position.

“Don’t be, I suspected as much, thought I would ask regardless.” said Remus, waving away the apology. Despite the dim lights he could see perfectly well, as could the vampire no doubt. The only light in the room was the single window that was too far up for anyone to climb out of. Not that they could, since it was much too small, even a five year old would have trouble getting out of it.

Taking a deep breath Remus faced his mate for the first time, and he was his mate he could feel the bond. The urge to go somewhere was no longer pulling at him. It must have been the bond trying to urge him towards Sirius, to complete it. What had happened to the bond? Why would Sirius close it off? He didn’t understand it; they’d dated for years after all.

“What do you want?” asked Remus, trying to remain impassive. It was difficult to do with the bond open, the urge to complete it so close to the full moon as well. Let’s just say he didn’t have as much control as he would like to have. Damn his wolf, Harry would never forgive him if he did anything, his little cub…just as suddenly as the urges were there…they were gone. As important as mates were…it was apparent cubs had a very special reserved place in a wolf’s heart. They were the heart of the pack, the bond that glued them together so it shouldn’t be so much as a surprise.

“I’m so sorry, I swore I’d never abandon you, but I did…I’m sorry,” whispered Sirius, he wasn’t even angry that Remus had left. Hadn’t tried to get answers, after how his childhood had been spent and teenager years he was so insecure. He was used to people abandoning him, especially when they found out what he was. His mother and father had kept him secluded as a child. He’d never had friends, didn’t know how to interact with others. In fact the first person he’d really seen and spoke to since becoming a werewolf had been Dumbledore. Who had convinced Hope and Lyall Lupin to let him attend Hogwarts. His mother had been a Muggle, but had loved her son regardless of his infliction. Her death had come as a big shock to Remus, Lyall as well, unfortunately Muggles died a lot quicker than wizards did - it’s the way of life. They’d let him go, overjoyed to see he could attend wizarding school and harness his magic. Remus had been terrified, as happy as he had been to make friends, he’d always been overshadowed with fear his entire life. A fear of being abandoned, fear of being found out, part of that was down to his parents, who made it abundantly clear nobody could find out.

“Right,” said Remus, staring blankly at Sirius as if his apology wasn’t heard or accepted. The years after leaving Sirius had been difficult for him. There had been times when he’d been tempted to crawl back. Anything just for some form of human comfort. Yet he refused, instead getting jobs in the Muggle world, with flexible schedules that afforded him time to get better after the full moons and his searches for Harry. He’d saved money and got himself a flat, the very same one he’d been attacked in. Never buying anything he didn’t need, he had quite a nice size nest egg while he chased down any leads looking for Harry. He’d quit both jobs when he found Harry, instead working when Harry was at Hogwarts and leaving that job when summer came. He hadn’t done that after Voldemort came back, he didn’t have to worry about money. With his own job stash and the money from Lily and James, he would need for nothing as long as he lived. It still irked him that James and been so stupid to leave his affairs in such dire straits! Hell it should have been the first thing he sorted out before going under the Fidelus Charm. Yes, if they hadn’t had a traitor in their mist they would have lived, they were supposed to be safe under it, he got that, but still and he should have taken the necessary precautions like Lily had. Lily mustn’t have known she wouldn’t have left it like that if she had.

“Remus?” muttered Sirius, with quiet wariness. He’d never seen that kind of look on him before, he couldn’t even dream of deciphering it. Why wasn’t he shouting? Demanding answers? Raging at him? The calmness was quite frankly scaring him more than anything else had until this point. Remus was for most part always calm, until he was extremely pissed off. He had expected Remus to be bordering pissed off, maniacal actually…since it was so close to the full moon.

“What?” answered the werewolf, shaking of his thoughts not wanting to dwell on them too much. His amber eyes latched back onto wary blue ones. Normally it would hurt to have Sirius look at him like that, but he wasn’t the same man he’d been eleven years ago. He’d learned to look after himself, Harry had taught him not to be so forgiving, to stand up for himself. Probably had something to do with the Slytherin in Harry, before Hogwarts he hadn’t acted like that. Blaise and Theo had helped Harry more than they probably realized, they were more than friends…but brothers. There was never a day that went by when they didn’t think about one another, it had made him so happy, despite the fact his heart ached. Not everyone was lucky enough to form such close bonds and attachments, but he had, until it had all been blown away in a single night.

Sirius bit his lip, it seemed as if Remus was distracted, it hurt more that he didn’t want to be here. Had he met someone new? Was he in a relationship? He had no idea - he hadn’t seen or heard from him in so many years. He was in no position to ask him such personal questions either…maybe they could find medium ground.

“Is…is Ha--Harry here?” asked Sirius, tripping over his godsons name, it still felt odd saying it. “How is he?

“Yes,” replied Remus, tightly.

“Doesn’t he want to be here?” Sirius asked, his face giving a little spasm of pain.

“What do you think?” snapped Remus tersely.

“I don’t blame him…he just doesn’t understand…” whispered Sirius, closing his eyes against the bitter swell of tears.

“That you abandoned him? Of course he does.” hissed Remus, panting against the urge to wrap his fingers around Sirius’ throat. Not to kill him, but to shake him until he saw sense or passed out - whichever that would occur first. Probably passing out knowing Sirius, he doubted the idiot had changed in the past years.

“It wasn’t what I wanted! Dumbledore called me up to his office just after Lily and James were killed. I thought he would have Harry with him, but he didn’t. Instead he tricked me; I’ve been under a damn controlling potion for the past fifteen years!” Sirius yelled angrily, finally letting the burden he’d been under go a little.

“The Auror office checks every few months and surprise inspections,” Remus pointed out, finding himself confused but a burst of hope sprang like a rising inferno he couldn’t control.

“He was in on it,” croaked Sirius, “Doge’s son, he knew, he covered it up…he’s been fired and arrested so has Dumbledore. If you don’t believe me, ask Amelia Bones, or my healer at St. Mungo’s.”

“Why? Why would he go into all that trouble to control you?” asked Remus, his heart breaking. Yet a fiercer hatred of Dumbledore burned in his gut. He had a feeling it probably rivalled Harry’s hatred now, next moon he was going to take the Wolfsbane potion and track the bastard down and bite him.

“I don’t know!” cried Sirius, gripping his hair painfully; it was obviously something that had been playing over and over again in his mind. “The only things I really remember him saying were to keep in the Order, to get all the Death Eaters off the street to become an Auror and Wizengamot member. The last thing Madam Bones told me was that Dumbledore was being brought in for questioning quietly, so he didn’t cause a fuss or summon is bloody chicken to help him out of trouble. He sealed our bond, Remus, I was eleven, he Obliviated me!”

Remus had no idea what to say.

“It was obviously something he was planning, since I was eleven. He closed our bond…Remy,” whined Sirius, sounding like a wounded animal rather than a grown adult. It had to be half his instincts eating away at him, there was no other explanation. “I was eleven! Why me? I don’t understand it how am I supposed to get you or Harry to understand? He will never forgive me.” moaned the wizard in utter misery and despair.

Remus winced with the truth of that assessment. Potion or not, he didn’t think Harry would be able to bring himself to look at Sirius with anything other than condemnation and scorn. Snape might help Harry understand Sirius didn’t really have a choice; he was the Potions expert after all. Although the chance of Snape doing anything remotely nice for Sirius was um…extremely low.

“I’ve been asked to remind you…its time.” Cameron stated from the corner, magically opening the cell door.

“Thank you,” said Remus; he had been distracted which was odd. He normally felt extremely shaky towards the moons appearance. Yes, it was something new he wasn’t used to this…calmness, which made him wonder, was it to do with the bond or the fact he hadn’t taken the Wolfsbane Potion?

Remus stood calmly in the middle of the cell, not jumping when it closed with a bang. He was used to this; it had been his life since he was four years old. These days though he was at peace with himself, Harry had helped him so much since coming into his life. Harry would say it was him, who had helped the teenager, but it was lies, his life was complete with Harry in it. Then he felt it, but it wasn’t the shaky feeling he was used to, no, he was in full anticipation of the moon rising. Excitement began to thrum through him, purely from his wolf counterpart. It was looking forward to coming out, too bad it would be stuck in this cell.

Sitting down cross legged, he relaxed his shoulders and closed his eyes, nearly gasping in awe. He could almost taste the length of time until the moon went up. Normally Remus took his clothes off, no point to wasting clothes when they would just rip to shreds. Today he just had on a large blue t-shirt that went down to his knees.

“SIRIUS!” hissed Remus, his eyes bursting open feeling something wet sniffing his nose. “Get back in your own cell!” didn’t he realize what would happen? He didn’t want it happening! Well he did, part of him did, but not all of it Harry would never forgive him if he did this right now. He needed to come to terms with what had happened to Sirius first before Remus could help him.

Padfoot just yipped playfully, his blue eyes filled with sadness.

“Get back into your own cell, I don’t want to do this without Harry un---” was all the werewolf got to say before he was cut off and a howl was ripping from his throat as he changed. Falling to the floor on his side, his crossed legs falling away and his hind and forelegs made an appearance before the rest of him changed. With one big difference, which caused Sirius to gasp in dog form. Remus wasn’t some grotesque’s half-human half-werewolf - he looked like an actual wolf with maybe a shorter snout but larger body height wise. Sirius hadn’t seen Remus’ form in fifteen years so he wouldn’t have known Moony had changed.

Moony stood up, facing his mate not knowing the struggle of his human or the struggle to understand human emotions. Animals did what they wanted without fear or consequences.

The vampire found himself a fascinating spot on the ceiling to watch, casting the Muffliato spell on himself so he didn’t have to endure the racket. Cursing randomly for ending up the one on bloody babysitting duty with Sirius Bloody Black tonight of all nights.

-------0

“Don’t you ever get bored?” Harry asked, looking like a lunatic talking to himself, as he wandered back to the infirmary having spent a few hours with Blaise and Theodore. Maria was busy with her tapestry, she liked to make them herself, and proudly boasting about each tapestry she had in her manor, done by her own hand. Her ’blood sweat and tears’ had gone into making the perfect specimens they all were. The House-Elves had taken them all down when emptying the manor knowing how much they meant to their Mistress.

“When you are immortal you learn to embrace boredom and be productive about it.” Cenric spoke, chuckling in amusement. If he chose to become of them then Harry would see what he meant.

“Like what? Crossword puzzles in your head?” Harry asked sarcastically.

“Yes,” agreed Cenric.

“You’re lying,” Harry commented surprised.

“Through my fangs,” Cenric confessed smirking ferally.

Harry snorted in merriment before shaking his head, as he finished off his apple, the infirmary was in sight. Flinging the apple into the bin as he passed, which it went into without hitting the sides or causing it to topple.

“Nice,” commented Cenric, “You’d make one hell of a chaser.”

“I don’t know I prefer being the Seeker in friendly games.” said Harry, scratching his head absently.

“You definitely don’t have the Seeker build, but neither does Viktor Krum.” Cenric pointed out, you didn’t need to be a Quidditch fanatic to know that.

“Doesn’t really matter, I’ve always preferred learning to Quidditch,” said Harry, “Remus had been astonished to hear me say that when we first met. He gaped at me for ages, before acting like nothing had happened. Apparently it wasn’t something he’d expected of me, but he quickly learned that I was nothing like my father.” Harry wasn’t successful in smothering his sniggers.

“It is clever, one cannot play Quidditch forever,” stated Cenric.

“This coming from a vampire? Who hasn’t aged in how long?” Harry commented throwing a smirk over his shoulder before it turned into a wide grin.

“Touché.” murmured Cenric loud enough for the human to hear.

“Where’s Severus?” he asked once he was at the door, ready to go into the infirmary.

“Busy,” Cenric told him, the same as he always did.

“I hate when you all do that,” Harry groused, before entering the infirmary. He was undeniably curious about what Severus was doing when they told him he was busy. Making a face at the thought of all the meetings he probably held, yes, he got his answer and it was probably very boring. Still the thought of it not being meetings had him nosy all over again.

“Harry!” Remus said, smiling in welcome, even if Remus was a little tense.

“Are you alright?” asked Harry, sighing softly.

“I’ll be fine, we werewolves are stronger than the average wizard.” said Remus, patting his head.

“Says you,” Harry grinned, “I could run a marathon; you couldn’t run to the end of the corridor,”

“How are you and Severus getting along?” Remus changing the subject.

“We’re getting alone fine, but I’m confused.” Harry admitted after a few seconds of silence.

“Why?” enquired Remus softly, brushing his hand over Harry’s hair.

“I want him to touch me,” said Harry, his entire face blushing a furious red at his admission.

Remus suppressed his smile; at long last Harry was beginning to feel what other teenagers had been feeling for years. At least he knew in his heart, Severus would never rush him, that Harry’s first time would be a memorable one not filled with pain in a half hearted attempt to have them both enjoying it. He remembered his first time, and it was nothing really worthy of remembrance. “That’s completely natural, Harry. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, we all feel these things. Anyone who says different is a liar.”

“I just…don’t know…you…know what to do.” said Harry his entire head was cherry red. “This is far from normal…dad,”

“If you take the first step and approach him, then he can show you, its much more educational than a book.” said Remus teasing him, he just couldn’t help him.

“Remus!” said Harry mortified, slapping his leg half-heartedly.

“Ah, ah, so I’m Remus when I embarrass you am I?” teased Remus quietly.

“Yes,” said Harry without any bite.

“Typical,” said Remus with the same lightness, knowing he didn’t mean it.

“I just don’t know what to do,” Harry sighed, he was having dreams and wakening up utterly mortified, then there was the time he felt, the tingling when Severus touched him that day when Dumbledore was there. It had only been a week, he rarely saw Severus yet he wanted him, what sense did that make?

Remus had to bite the inside of his lip to stop himself laughing; he knew his son would take it the wrong way. That’s what happened when you were a late bloomer; you came into everything late, and didn’t really understand the way the adult world worked. It wasn’t just that either, the bond was opening further the more accepting Harry became.

“Why don’t you try kissing him?” suggested Remus, seriously.

“What if he wants to go the whole way?” Harry asked embarrassed. Unable to even say the world sex, the talk he’d had with his dad had been the single most humiliating experience of his life. Yet here he was, and it was only because his dad didn’t laugh that he was saying anything. “Isn’t that usually what happens if you make a move?”

“Tell him you aren’t ready for that yet, he is courting you Harry, the rules are yours to make.” Remus told him firmly.

“I…okay, I’ll try that.” said Harry nodding, he’d seen plenty of people kissing it looked pleasurable enough…maybe it wouldn’t be too bad.

“Just tell him you would prefer it to be kept above the waist he will understand.” Remus added thoughtfully.

Harry just nodded once more, remaining where he was, just relishing the fact his dad was still here. He didn’t know if he would ever get up the guts to actually kiss him. Once he was actually over his embarrassment he looked at his dad and saw that there was something wrong.

“What’s wrong with you?” Harry asked, was it a bad full moon?

“What do you mean?” Remus asked, stiffening tightly as he sat down on the chair.

“You feel guilty,” pointed out Harry, “That nervous tick gives you away, dad, you really should know better by now.” a grin on his face.

“I can’t keep anything from you can I?” grouched Remus, shaking his head, but his heart was sinking despite his pretend-grouch words.

“Is everything alright?” asked Harry concerned, “Has something happened…?” he was getting worked up, and surely Severus would have told him if something had happened last night.

“Everyone is fine, I promise.” said Remus firmly, he always got worried about his friends and him - he understood why of course, since they were all Harry had.

“Then what is it?” Harry asked, pushing for an answer. “You’re getting me worried, dad.”

Remus pursed his lips, he hated when Harry played the dad card, and he felt as though he was going to be sick. What if Harry couldn’t forgive him for this? His heart was being torn in two, he loved Sirius, but he loved Harry more, but Sirius was his mate…and Harry was his son. If he was forced to choose, he didn’t know what he would do. Closing his eyes, he breathed deeply before opening his mouth…he had to tell Harry the truth and he prayed the teenager took it well.
“I found my mate,” Remus revealed, his eyes filled with anguish, dear Merlin he was being torn in two and it was agony at its finest. Both as a man and a werewolf, for once they were one being even if his wolf only came out once a full moon - that was what finding a mate did, made you whole in ways that being a single werewolf could not. He knew without saying anything that he would have to chose between his mate and his cub, mates might be sacred but cubs… well cubs were revered; protected; cherished and most importantly of all as both a man and wolf he would die for Harry, who would always be his cub no matter how old he got or who else claimed him.

“That’s brilliant, Remus!” Harry crowed beaming in happiness, not the least bit threatened by the fact his dad would have someone in his life. If it had happened earlier, he freely admitted he would have been. Now though he didn’t have to worry about his dad so much. “Did he accept it?” he added expectantly, “Or do I need to hunt someone down and kill them?”

Remus chuckled in amusement, but he didn’t really feel it. He knew that’s exactly what Harry would want to do - and not because his mate couldn’t accept his werewolf status. He only had himself to blame, if he hadn’t mentioned Sirius…Harry wouldn’t have been aware, wouldn’t have known and spent the past many years hating him. There would have been hope for them to be a family. If only he had enquired further…had some trust in Sirius that something was wrong. Unfortunately, he knew Sirius too well; he would have stayed away from Harry if he felt he was a danger to him, its just how much Sirius had loved Harry when he was a baby.

“Well?” Harry asked expectantly, gazing at Remus in query. Whoever it was had better not hurt his dad, or he would cause them so much pain that they would wish they were dead. Or if they reacted with repulsion with the fact he was a werewolf he would do the same thing - he’d never had a problem with it and he hated when people did react negatively.

“He’s fine with it,” Remus reassured Harry, his body tense he really didn’t want to say anything.

“Dad,” Harry whined.

“I’ve known him a long time; our bond was cut off when we were eleven years old before we even realized what it was. That’s the reason why the full moon has always been so difficult for me, this moon…was so different and I don’t think it was solely to do with the fact I did not take the Wolfsbane potion.” Remus confessed still slightly awed - for the first time in a very, very long time he did not fear the looming lure that was the full moon.

“You were poisoning yourself, of course you’d feel better without it,” Harry said, shaking his head in agitation. “You haven’t said who it is; if they knew you and went to Hogwarts they obviously knew my parents…”

“He did,” Remus admitted a croak in his voice. He had hoped Harry would ask more about why the bond was cut off. Unfortunately that was too much of a reprieve to ask for; oh he wished he could delay the inevitable. “I found out that Dumbledore was responsible for closing off the bond.” jumping and cringing when Harry’s magic whipped around the room reacting to his fury a growl of pure unadulterated hatred emerged from Harry’s mouth. “Calm down, Harry don’t let your magic control you.” he reprimanded, bloody hell it was hot extremely hot in here now - sizzling with magical energy.

“Everything alright?” asked Corin in the middle of the room before Remus knew it, wand in hand crouched defensively. As if she was ready to fight off an invisible attacker, but she eased out of her crouch quickly when she noticed nothing was happening. “Are you alright, Harry?”

“I’m fine, sorry,” Harry would have blushed if he wasn’t so concerned about Remus and himself. He had been ordered not to use magic, if he had another outburst he knew Severus would be in here before he could say it was just a momentarily lapse in judgement.

“Alright,” Corin said, “You know where I am if you need me.” with that she exited the room quickly.

Remus sighed in temporarily relief, his magic had grown either that or he was more pissed off than he’d ever been before. He always did get carried away when it came to Dumbledore; he was feeling it even more nowadays too. Dumbledore had taken his mate away from him, his bloody mate, and when he was only eleven as well. He was used to anger, but this kind of anger? He was exhausted of it, his body just didn’t know how to cope with so much anger it was draining.

“Did he know? Or was he Obliviated?” Harry enquired coldly, his green eyes gleaming with rage. His hatred for Dumbledore truly knew no bounds.

“Obliviated,” Remus nodded, his heart was thumping so loudly.

“Well, that’s…” Harry paused not sure how to put it, at least the wizard or whoever it was hadn’t gone along with it and hurt his dad. It was just another nail in Dumbledore’s coffin as well, when they met again, only one of them would leave alive - he would make sure he knew all he needed to do the old fool in. “Something at least.” he finished tiredly. Merlin he felt drained again, maybe they were right he shouldn’t be using magic. His ‘death’ had made the Horcrux or whatever it was act up - since he’d never felt like this before. “You’re being very secretive about who he is though, are you afraid I wont like him?” he joked.

“You won’t,” Remus told him bluntly, sighing tiredly, running his hand through his hair.

Harry frowned deeply; perplexed by his dad’s suddenly drained face, if anything he should feel like that. Who could it be that Remus thought he would hate him? His heart began to sink as he finally figured it out, his mouth dropped open as he stared at Remus comprehension taking hold as he stared in horror. “NO!”

“Harry, please calm down, please,” Remus said, he was very volatile due to his just being changed his emotions were bound to be all over the place. He didn’t dare approach him, he didn’t want Harry to lash out then regret it, because he would when he calmed down.

“Anyone but him!” Harry snapped, unable to keep quiet, clenching his teeth and fists unable to move fearing if he did, even just a muscle he would explode.

“Then it’s over, I won’t see him again, I promise, please just calm down, cub.” Remus said desperately, unable to stand the distance between them he brought Harry into a hug. “You come first; you’ll always come first no matter what.” Remus choked out.

Just like that Harry deflated against Remus, his energy spent, feeling like a total arsehole. He hated Sirius, he always would nothing could ever change that. He would never, ever keep his dads mate from him - he couldn’t do that even though it’s apparent that his Remus would choose him. “No, you can’t do that.” Harry told him grimly. “Just don’t expect me to like him, or even want to spend time with him. You need your mate, dad; I want you around for a long time,”

“We can discuss it later,” Remus told him, soothingly.

“Is he here?” Harry asked. There was no need to elaborate on the ‘he’.

“He‘s in the dungeons.” Remus told him, before he pushed on, “Sirius was drugged with a controlling potion, and Dumbledore has been feeding it to him since the night your parents died. Sirius thought he was going for you at Hogwarts only to be drugged…he had no hope of defeating it. He’s the one who pressed charges against Dumbledore; he has proof, a healer at St. Mungo’s and Madam Bones who is handling his case.”

Harry blinked staring at Remus stunned, swallowing thickly, not sure what to make of these recent turn of events.

“The potion he was given, it’s basically like a liquid Imperius Curse, only there is no chance of fighting it off even for a second, it wraps around your mind and magic, turns you into a drone of another persons will. It’s more subtle than the curse too, a lot harder to detect, and all the times he was checked at the Ministry…there was someone on the inside altering the results to make it seem as if Sirius was alright….I’m so sorry, Harry,” Remus said heartbroken, “If I had just listened to my instincts and not trusted the Ministry results and taken him to St. Mungo’s you wouldn’t have grown up with the Dursley’s…if anyone is to blame its me.” he said in anguish.

Harry nodded, “I…um, don’t blame you, dad, ever…I um, I’m going to go…I’ll see you later,” he said numbly, he needed to get away, needed to think, and the only place he wasn’t disturbed was his rooms, so without thinking he fled there as if the grim was on his heels.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 20

“You did not attend dinner,” Severus said, sounding concerned, leaning against the doorway, watching Harry closely, “I must admit I am curious as to why you chose to come here of all places,” Harry was sitting on the floor in the middle of the bare room looking a hundred miles away.

“I just wanted to be alone,” Harry admitted, “Nobody comes this far up, why are these rooms not used?” every other nook and cranny of the Castle was used; he had yet to see an unused room here until now that is.

“These rooms have not been used permanently since my Great-Great-Grandmothers day as Lady Consort,” Severus told him, “In the old practice, they had their own quarters, most even after they were married, and they shared a bed but slept apart. My Grandmother who’s courting was very brief stayed in these rooms for three months. Originally I had intended to give you these rooms when I heard you hadn’t consented to the handfasting, but I couldn’t quite go through with it, I wanted you close, the thought of being so far away from you at night was…unacceptable.” the rooms while completely bare, were cleaned regularly, by the House-Elves.

“I noticed the portraits, they’re all male and female,” Harry said, “Has there ever been a same-sex relationship in the Prince family line?”

“Just the one,” Severus revealed honestly, “Six generations ago, I believe.”

“The potion didn’t exist then,” Harry said, looking up at Severus, feeling nervous again, the urge to kiss him was strong, there was no doubt he was attracted to him, especially given how his body reacted to his touch.

“No, it did not,” Severus said wryly, “The Prince Consort agreed to use a surrogate to give the Lord Vampire an heir; the consort stipulated that it be of his blood. They chose his sister; she gave birth to a boy.”

“Why isn’t there a portrait of them up?” Harry queried.

“There is,” Severus informed him sounding amused. “He much like yourself had long hair, you’d need to look very closely to spot him.” he had been very short and lithe. “He had a very androgynous look.” he too hadn’t spotted it first, but after he learned more of his vast heritage he had gone looking again. There was evidently something on Harry’s mind, he was doing his best to change the subject, and unfortunately he could tell that whatever he was thinking had a greater grip than his curiosity. Fortunately for him he knew what Harry was thinking so heavily about.

“Has Remus told you?” Harry asked quietly, after a few moments of silence.

“I knew before Remus turned back into human form, my…our people heard the conversation between them. Regardless, he did inform me once he was conscious.” Severus revealed, moving away from the doorway, he sat down in the middle of the room next to Harry.

“Is there really a potion that can do that?” Harry asked his stomach lurching at the thought. “To the extent that they would just ignore someone’s existence just because they were told?” he knew it was true he just didn’t want it to be.

“That and much worse,” Severus didn’t hesitate, “Like magic, potions are capable of the most precious of things, putting a stopper in death, creating life, but it can also end life and destroy people. Yes, there are many potions out there, illegally made, that can and will rob someone of their own free will. As much as I dislike Black, not even he deserved that, although my vampire side is still reeling over the fact he had his bond mate torn so callously from him.” he couldn’t conceive how it must feel and wasn’t going to pretend he could.

“How do you stop the hate?” Harry asked, his tone forlorn, he hated being dragged down by so much hatred, he hated that it was hurting the people he loved most. Remus would have chosen him in a heartbeat, even if it meant never being with his soul mate. He hadn’t contemplated letting him, not even for a second, but he was tired, tired of the anger, the hatred, the rage he kept locked up inside of him until he couldn’t control it anymore.

“For Black or Dumbledore?” Severus asked, wondering if it was actually both he was referring to, shifting slightly, wishing his mate had found somewhere more comfortable. If he was uncomfortable he didn’t want to imagine how painful this was for Harry as human as he was at the moment.

“I’m just so tired of it,” Harry said, shaking his head slowly as if to emphasis his exhaustion. “Of Dumbledore, of Black, Dumbledore’s schemes, being angry all the time, now I find that my anger at Black was misplaced, I’m still angry with him though…even if I know the truth…”

“That anger won’t disappear overnight,” Severus sighed softly, unable to help himself, he reached over his fingers trailing down Harry’s face, placing his hair behind his ear. “You’ve carried it with you for such a long time; you need to let it out, every single little thing you’ve held onto at him for six years. Then talk, about everything, anything, I do believe that will help with your feelings towards Black.”

Harry closed his eyes and pressed his face against the touch, somehow having Severus to talk to was helping. Or maybe it was just having someone not emotional invested in it giving him advice. Either way, he found himself grateful, maybe that was part of having a mate?

“As for Dumbledore,” Severus chuckled smoothly, “I do believe attending his trial and seeing his downfall is all the closure you will need.” testing the waters, Severus moved closer to his mate, wishing that he could touch him when he wasn’t clearly distressed to some point. Although, perhaps this way was good, Harry would realize he had someone he could rely on in both good and bad times.

Harry grinned savagely before it became almost sheepish as he nodded, yes, seeing Dumbledore’s downfall would definitely be the highlight of his year. “I believe that too.” letting his head fall against Severus’ chest, the touches were different from his dad, werewolves were really hot while vampires were cool. He felt nothing but calmness from Severus whenever they did touch, was it his lack of heartbeat or did he just have that sort of presence with everyone? Perhaps it was the bond or magic itself?

“I know it’s hard, but just remember that thinking of them, getting emotional over them…bluntly put they win. Drain the anger away, store what’s happened as experience and live your life, do not let them win.” Severus said, “I was given the same sort of advice just after I went through the change. It was quite an emotional phrase, especially seen as I should have already gone through it four years prior.” Severus revealed another bit of information about himself.

“Alfred?” Harry guessed, a small fond smile appearing on his face, what could he say, he was growing on him, it was quite a good thing that Severus couldn’t see him at the moment for he would have felt very possessive and jealous that Alfred could pull such a smile from Harry.

“Indeed,” Severus replied wryly, he continued to touch Harry, surprised he was allowed to even after it was obviously he had calmed down immensely after his suggestion.
“Being put in Azkaban isn’t enough, he deserves so much worse,” Harry said his lips curling in disgust.

“Dumbledore is being hit where it hurts the most; he has spent eight decades building up the perfect image of himself. Champions of the Muggle-born’s, the creatures, a genial older man who fought for the greater good of the magical world by risking it all to face Grindelwald. He did everything to project the image of a hero, he was extremely vain about his titles, each time he wrote missives, legislation and such he always used his full title, they will all be stripped away. He will be considered person non grata and forgotten over time.” Severus said his tone smug and amused. “Killing him would be a mercy compared to stewing in Azkaban knowing his old life…everything he worked for was gone, forgotten.”

“It almost sounds as if you hate Dumbledore just as much as I do...maybe even more,” Harry murmured from where he was still burrowed in Severus, relishing in the contact between them. Eventually he looked up to finish his sentence. “It’s surely not solely because of the handfasting, you didn’t like him before, you treated him with barely concealed distain.” they were so close Harry realized as Severus looked down to see him properly, all it would have taken was a infinitesimal move for their lips to touch. Gathering his courage he had just made up his mind when Severus began moving.

“Come, this is a long story, and I would rather do it somewhere where you will be comfortable, and where it’s warm.” Severus informed him after standing up, his hand out to encourage Harry to come with him. Once Harry took his hand, he hoisted the teen up, completely missing the pout and irritation at yet another missed opportunity.

Severus guided Harry back towards their living quarters, feeling extremely tense and anxious. What he was going to have to tell him wasn’t good. He just hoped that Harry would not be disgusted with him enough that he wouldn’t give the bonding a thought. “Take a seat, I’ll be back momentarily,” and just like that Severus was gone, using vampire speed for the first time.

Harry sat down, wondering just what he was going to be told that was a ‘long story’ it wouldn’t surprise him if it wasn’t just Remus, Black and himself who had been victims to Dumbledore’s schemes. Though, surely, Severus would never have trusted Dumbledore with him even for a moment if it was something…bad? Or perhaps it was just information he had compiled that was damaging but not alarming?

“Would you like some wine?” Severus asked, as he made his re-entrance, closing the door behind him so that their conversation would be completely private. He knew Harry preferred Butterbeer but the rate he was going through them they’d soon hit a drought. He’d gotten through a crate of sixty bottles, which had all been consumed in the past week, unless his friends had been helping him. He had ordered them when he heard Harry was so fond of the drink. No matter, the House-elves had been informed to get more, and to keep them topped up. “For your first try of wine, you’ll find it a very pleasing taste.” pouring his goblet full, waiting for Harry to answer, to his surprise Harry agreed. Filling the second goblet up he passed it over his own lips pursed as he stared at the fire wondering where the hell to start.

“You were correct; my dealings with Dumbledore were done with barely concealed scorn.” Severus admitted, sipping his wine. “Has Remus told you everything about your father? More specifically how he was during his school years?” if Harry wasn’t his mate…he would have had no problem telling Harry just what his father had been like, but he was his mate…it made everything different.

“You mean if I know he was a bully? Then yes, I know, Remus never said much, just that he grew up a little when my mum got pregnant…but he still had some more growing up to do.” Harry answered, “That is obvious considering the way the estate was left.” he was often reminded that James and Lily hadn’t intended to die for a long time, going into hiding should have kept them safe, if not for Peter Pettigrew. He should have made contingencies but they had thought it was full proof.

“I was one of their frequent victims when it came to their bullying ways, that is not to say I considered myself a victim, I gave as good as I got for most part.” Severus explained,
“No matter how extreme it got, Dumbledore brushed away their actions as a ‘little bit of fun’ even the one that shaped the man I would become.”

Harry listened and drank the wine, which was as Severus said very pleasant, it made him feel warm and relaxed. It reminded him of the effects of a calming draught. “Extreme?” Harry grimaced, wondering if he even wanted to hear this, knowing how immature his father was…it would be different to hear of it.

“The moment my life took a dark turn, I was in my sixth year at Hogwarts. Mostly it was Black to blame; your father did not have anything to do with it, nor your dad.” Severus explained, “Black convinced me to go to the Shrieking Shack one night, unbeknown to me, it was the full moon.”

Harry gasped, closing his eyes as realisation dawned on him. Fuck Dumbledore! The bastard, good friends his ass.

“I was searching for something that would make them back off, to hold over them,” Severus told Harry honestly, staring into the fire.

“Ever the Slytherin,” Harry said wryly.

Severus continued on as if Harry hadn’t spoken, “So like a thoughtless fool I went, having my doubts at the last minute, for good reason. I watched horror splash across Lupin’s face as I opened the door, he was trying to tell me something, presumably get the hell out, but he was already transforming. Then the wolf advanced, I thought for sure I was about to be torn to pieces, it was close enough that I could see its razor-sharp teeth, smell the stench of its breath against my face. To my shame I was frozen in fear, I could barely think let alone act, then someone barrelled passed me, transforming into a stag, and was shoving the wolf back.”

Harry winced, just imagining the entire scenario, “And from that moment on, regardless of whether my father intended to save your life or not, which was not, he just wanted to protect his friend, you owed him a life debt.” he could just imagine Draco saving his life (not that the blonde would not even to save a friend he was a coward) and being indebted to him. It made him shiver in revulsion.

“I did,” Severus agreed, “That night we were all secluded in the hospital wing for the night, Dumbledore came down before Lupin returned, awarded your father points for his bravery, then sent him back to Gryffindor tower, he then turned his attention onto me, and subtly threatened to see me removed from Hogwarts, expelled, and ensure I would find it difficult to get a job or apprenticeship if word got out about what happened that night.” and Dumbledore would have done it too.

“Then used that incident to make sure I fell into his party line,” Harry hissed through gritted teeth.

Severus turned to face Harry for the first time since he started talking, his eyes gleaming malevolently. “So it was Remus he threatened to get you to go through with the handfasting,” he had his suspicions when he first heard; to have them confirmed did little to tame the fire burning in his heart.

Harry nodded, hearing no surprise in Severus’ tone just anger.

“Dumbledore’s threats and his blatant favouritism…and the loss of my friendship with your mother, led me down a very dark path.” Severus continued, knowing if he didn’t say these things now he might never do so. He couldn’t let Harry go through with the bonding and end up finding out…unfavourable things about him that would put the bond in jeopardy. “I became a Death Eater.”

Harry snorted; “Voldemort was killed by one of his Death Eaters and a one year old kid?” the irony was just utterly amusing to him.

“I believed in many of the Dark Lord’s aims, my father was a Muggle and he was a revolting one at that. I suspected that my father and your Un…Vernon would have gotten on splendidly in their bids to make us normal.” Severus stated, revealing his past to someone other than his grandparents and Alfred, all of which had taken place fifteen years ago.

“Muggles should not know about magic, wizards and witches should not be left with Muggles whether they are relatives or not. In the end the things I did agree about the dark side didn’t add up to the list of things I most definitely didn’t agree with.”

“You don’t have the dark mark,” Harry pointed out, “Did you find a way to remove it? It mustn’t have been easy…I’m sure there were many Death Eaters who tried to after Voldemort’s first downfall out of fear of being found out.”

“Is that all you have to say on the matter?” Severus questioned, as if he was questioning Harry’s sanity.

“You shot out a killing curse at Voldemort to try and save my life; you weren’t to know his curse would rebound.” Harry said, shrugging his shoulders, “I don’t care what you were, what you are counts, you treat your people very fairly, you’re a good man, you’ve never doubted my word, and you saved my dad, took in my family…you could have been the devil himself and I’d have still been grateful. Experiences shape us into who we are, who we will become, who knows what you would have been like if you hadn’t been a Death Eater at one point?”

“That is very…succinctly put.” Severus replied, made him sound more exciting than he actually was. “Also extremely well worded,” he would make a very good consort indeed. He glanced at the goblet in Harry’s hand wondering if the alcohol had anything to do with Harry’s agreeable mood or if it was truly how he felt.

“It’s true, I would do anything for my family,” Harry said, before changing the subject altogether. “Has there been any word on Dumbledore?”

“Nothing, but I am unsurprised, his trial will not be for at least a month yet,” Severus allowed the change of subject with great relief, quite honestly he hadn’t been sure how Harry would react, but he had believed it would not be in his favour. “Perhaps even two; in the mean time he will be confined to Azkaban, where it will be next to impossible for anyone to see him.”

“Will there be new crimes uncovered as they investigate him or will they just investigate the crimes in front of them?” Harry asked, his own gaze meeting the flames in the fireplace. Oh, he wanted Dumbledore’s entire life to crumble upon him.

“Exactly what are you suggesting?” Severus questioned, his gaze shrewd, yes; this was a Slytherin if there ever was one. Subtly suggesting that they should look into Dumbledore’s life, see if there were any other potential crimes to uncover and ensure Dumbledore’s maximum exposure.

“Me?” Harry asked turning to stare at Severus the picture of innocence, “I don’t know what you mean.”

“Of course not,” Severus replied wryly, Slytherin indeed, only the upturning of Harry’s lips gave him away, but Severus believed he allowed it. “I do not believe it is a bad idea,”
It became an outright shark grin, very pleased with himself.

“He messed with the wrong people,” Harry said, he hoped they found something, because he really wanted to give Dumbledore the middle finger for daring to hurt his dad, for daring to meddle with his parents and manipulate them into joining his Order. For threatening Severus, for manipulating him, this was all a culmination of events that would see him utterly destroyed.

“Indeed,” Severus replied, tipping his goblet to the side before drinking the remnants. “Another?” he questioned, extremely pleased with the fact he had been able to actually have a full conversation with Harry without being interrupted or the teen being quiet.

“Only if I can get something to eat,” Harry said, his stomach rumbled in complaint.

“You need never ask,” Severus said seriously, Harry had made allusions to the fact he had been starved his entire childhood, and his height had gave support to that testament, not that he had doubted him. “You know how to call the House-Elves, they will be more than happy to help you. In fact tomorrow you may choose one to take on as your personal House-Elf, who will gladly see to your needs.”

So it was Severus called a House-elf to bring some food to them, while he refilled their goblets, and their conversation turned to something more pleasant. They got to know each other better; Dumbledore, The Dursley’s James Potter, and Sirius Black were not mentioned again for the rest of the night.

Slowly but surely Harry was beginning to heal, Severus was accomplishing something that Maria and Remus hadn’t been able to. Regardless, Remus and Maria couldn’t give Harry what Severus would, they were merely parental figures, they helped guide him when they could, but Severus was going to bring out Harry’s Slytherin side in all its glory and heal him of past wounds so that the anger no longer festered in his heart.

That is not to say it would be an easy journey, who can say whether it would be worth it, but it’s one they would traverse together despite their shaky start.
Dumbledore may have given Harry over uncaring about what harm befell the teenager, but it was not Harry’s fate he should have disregarded so easily, but his own, for they had been intertwined since that moment where Dumbledore took law and fate into his own hands and placed Harry with magic hating relatives. He had been doomed long before he signed Harry over.

Harry would be thankfully for it, while Dumbledore would continue to curse Harry’s existence until the day he died. Which he was already doing so from his cell within Azkaban prison, along with Sirius Black, Severus Snape, Amelia Bones, and Evan Doge as well as Fawkes who had not came to him when called.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 21

“He doesn’t want to be disturbed,” Storm commented, as Cenric made his way towards her, where she was standing guard at the end of the corridor. They never approached the door unless it was important, even then they didn’t like doing it. Their Lord had made it more than clear he didn’t want them in his chambers.

“His grandparents are here, they’re demanding his presence.” Cenric informed her; to say he felt awkward would be putting it lightly. He had served under Glenn so the urge to do what he asked was strong, even if it meant going against Severus. Glenn’s reign had been quiet compared to Severus’ who had to fight for his position. Which did make Cenric have a great deal of respect for him, who wouldn’t? His Lord was one of the best duellers he’d ever seen.

“I’ll see if he will come,” Storm said, knocking on the door, the silencing spells were still up, but she hoped he would realize he was needed - she certainly didn’t want to enter the room without first being asked.

“I’ll do it,” Cenric volunteered, moving towards the door freezing when he felt magic shimmering.

“Enter.” Severus commanded sharply, he did not sound pleased at all.

Cenric opened the door and entered, staring straight ahead, out of the window, “My Lord, I apologise for disturbing you, but your grandparents are here, they’re demanding you see them immediately.”

“I see,” Severus replied, grumbling under his breath, the others pretended not to hear it. “Inform them that I will be there as soon as I can, and to get comfortable in my office.”

“Yes Sir,” Cenric answered in agreement, retreating from the room, giving a small nod to Storm he made his way back to the entrance hall where the pair was waiting.

“Is he unavailable?” Rose questioned, confused as to why Cenric was returning to the hall alone without her grandson. She knew how busy they could get, so wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. He was always available to see them when they came though; regardless of how busy he may be this was a first.

“He will be with you as soon as he can, you’ve to make yourselves comfortable, and can I get you anything while you wait?” Cenric revealed, gesturing for them to follow him, he led them to Severus office.

“I would love a coffee,” asked Rose, sitting herself down comfortably, no matter how many times she’d come here to see Severus, she found it extremely odd being back. It hadn’t changed at all in all the years, when she and Glenn had stepped down, Prince Castle ended up unused, the House-Elves continued looking after it of course, with minimal care until Severus took up his position. Glenn had been so pleased when Severus came to his inheritance, he had despaired that the Prince line would die with him, and he came from a long proud line. She had seen his disappointment that they’d had a girl; don’t get him wrong, he’d loved Eileen fiercely, especially considering she was the first female born in the family. They had tried for another, but their luck wouldn’t have it, then Eileen had turned from them, seemingly unable to forgive them for something they couldn’t control any more than she could. She hadn’t come to a vampire inheritance; they had assumed her son hadn’t either. Glenn had so much energy now, and he was a lot happier, it reminded her of the years where her family was happy.

“Anything for you, Sir?” Cenric bowed staring promptly at Glenn.

“No thank you,” Glenn shook his head, feeling nostalgic thrumming through him, just like every time he was here. He loved Prince Manor, but there was just something about this castle…all his favourite memories were here. He’d been at his best here as well, he wasn’t exactly young anymore, hadn’t been for over twenty years. He was almost envious of his grandson. Severus might have the last name Snape but he was one hundred percent Prince, especially with the looks, he honestly couldn’t look anymore ‘Prince’ if he tried.

Cenric left immediately to alert Damien that coffee was required; Damien was in charge of all the food and drink that came from the kitchen. He wasn’t a House-Elf, but he watched over them with eagle eye, especially when they were making their Lord’s food and of course his consort now. It wouldn’t be the first time something had happened due to something sinister being put in the food. Powerful people always had enemies, and Severus had a great deal of them, since he had usurped the previous leader, who wanted his ‘throne’ back. It was why he was guarded so viciously by him and the others; they wouldn’t let anything happen to him.

“Coffee as requested,” Damien told them cheerfully entering the office not even two minutes later, placing the cup and saucer on the table in front of Rose.

“Thank you,” Rose said smiling at him to convey the sincerity of her thanks.

“It’s my pleasure.” Damien curtseyed before he quietly left the room, now that his services were no longer requested.

“I wonder what’s keeping him,” Glenn wondered, Severus was always here to greet them in the entrance hall, no matter whether they turned up unexpectedly or not. There had been times when he wasn’t at the castle, of course, it was expected, but Severus was obviously here, but they were told he wasn’t at home and left returning a few hours later or sometimes the next day.

“So impatient,” Rose chided him amused, he always had been but after so long of someone doing everything the second you asked - even after all this time he would be.

“Indeed,” Severus entered the room, agreeing with Rose.

“Severus!” Rose called in surprise, refraining from getting up to hug him; Severus wasn’t a…affectionate person. He did not do hugs or kisses, he barely shook people’s hands, and they couldn’t believe their daughter had turned so cold or put her son through so much. It wasn’t how they had raised her at all, they’d raised her proud, confident and respectfully. From the information they’d gotten from their grandson she was complete opposite from what they thought they knew about her. “How are you?” she hadn’t even heard him approaching, as a vampire it was a surprise.

“I am well, in fact I have something to tell you both,” Severus answered her, he hadn’t told them yet.

“Oh?” Glenn enquired curiously, could it have something to do with the scent they could smell on him? Considering he rarely let anyone touch him…he couldn’t help but be curious about it.

“I’ve begun courting,” Severus stated, watching their wide eyed astonished looks with no small amount of amusement. He knew it had taken them both a long time to get pregnant with his mother. Longer still before Glenn had found his mate.

“You found your mate?” Glenn gasped, wide eyed with wonder and astonishment. This was the first they were hearing about it? He didn’t know whether to be overjoyed that Severus had found someone or crawl in a hole and be bitterly disappointed at the fact he hadn’t got to meet his partner before they begun the process.

“When?” Rose exclaimed happily, oh this was fantastic, weddings, courting and babies always brought families closer together.

“When what?” Severus asked as he claimed his seat, staring at Rose in query.

“When did you find her?” Rose probed for information.

“Him, he’s been here nearing a fortnight now,” revealed Severus.

“And when did the Courting begin?” Glenn demanded, this was very sudden, too sudden, he wasn’t sure this was good for Severus.

“We were married in handfasting, we are courting,” replied Severus, arching an eyebrow at his tone of voice, not sure he liked it at all.

“Isn’t that a bit sudden, Severus?” Glenn asked cautiously.

“What I chose to do is my business,” Severus told him curtly.

“Severus, he’s just worried about you,” Rose explained quickly, putting a hand on Glenn’s arm, knowing that their grandson was getting the wrong end of the stick. “The courting doesn’t happen straight away, they usually get to know one another first. Let your feelings dictate you - not expectations, it does no good to be in a loveless relationship.” it never went well when there was no love for one another. It had happened in the past, and they just ended up alone, filled with misery and regret.

“I’ll be fine, Rose,” Severus said, his eyes softening just a tad, he wasn’t used to people worrying about him.

“How did you both meet?” Rose questioned happily, grateful that the tenseness dissipated.

“I first met him when he was a toddler, just before my inheritance struck, so I had no idea that he was my mate. I first realized when I saw him again when he was fourteen years old, at the Quidditch World Cup. It was only recently that I brought him here and told him everything.” revealed Severus.

“Sixteen years old? Dear Merlin, that’s young,” said Glenn surprised, he prayed history did not repeat itself. “Does he realize what he’s getting himself into by agreeing to the courting?”

Rose nodded, wishing that question answered as well. She knew how overwhelmed she had been at first, before she realized Glenn really loved her and it was all she’d wanted. Someone to love her and be able to provide for her, so she had agreed to the courting, and had ended the courting by biting him back within a year. She wanted to speak to this young man, see what he was like for herself. Maybe she could convince at least him to call her grandmother, Severus never had, and it hurt hearing him call her Rose, but did consider herself lucky that he wanted anything to do with her given what his life had been like.

“Of course he does,” grunted Severus, well, that wasn‘t strictly true, but Harry wasn’t a fool nor stupid, after a fortnight here, he must have some sort of understanding.

“May I meet him?” Rose asked ever so hopeful.

“There is a few things you should know before you do,” Severus said reluctantly.

Glenn glanced at him shrewdly, they sensed Severus’ unease, and wondered what was going on.

“Which is what? Is he still finding the change difficult?” Rose asked, smiling in familiar sympathy. She knew how daunting it was to go through the change, to accept vampire venom into you.

“He has not started the change yet, I have not bitten him, I will wait for him to come to me,” Severus told them firmly yet honestly.

“Was that what you wanted to tell us?” asked Glenn, having a funny feeling he already knew the answer to his question.

“No,” stated Severus curtly. “The night I met him, was the night I lost my best friend to the Dark Lord Voldemort, in my fury I cast the killing curse at him, unaware at that moment the killing curse had rebound from him and back at Voldemort. It wasn’t until I began to change I realized it hadn’t went down as I thought. I knew that if Dumbledore realized the truth…Harry wouldn’t have a normal life, so I kept quiet about what I knew. It was all for nothing, since Harry didn’t have the best life until he came to the magical world at the age of eleven. I wanted to make sure that when it did come out Dumbledore couldn’t do anything, so I made a deal with him, in exchange for Harry I would allow some of my best vampires to join his Order to help bring an end to the war.”

“In exchange?” asked Rose, she did not like the sound of where Severus was going with this. “He did not consent to this did he?” she dreaded the answer, she honestly did. Had Severus no idea of his own self worth that he would force this life onto someone? Oh she should have visited him more often, perhaps then this wouldn’t be happening.

“To begin with no, he was understandably upset with how things had gone down, but I wasn’t about to let Dumbledore or Voldemort get their hands on him.” said Severus possessively. “I had no idea he hadn’t consented until after the handfasting, Dumbledore had blackmailed him into it. It is why he hasn’t been bitten or changed.”

Glenn’s eyes glinted in understanding, he understood the possessive urges Severus had, and all his ancestors would. He had felt the same with Rose, but he hadn’t gone about getting her that way. Severus had gone about things wrong, but when your instincts drove you so fiercely, there was really nothing you could to do stop it. He doubted anyone that hadn’t gone through it could understand, especially someone human.

“Who took him in when he got to the magical world? Or did he just scare his…family?” enquired Rose frostily, it was one thing she could not stand, abuse of any kind especially against children. She was so disgusted by her daughter’s actions, standing back and allowing her son to be abused, by a Muggle no less. She loved and hated her, in equal measures and hated that she hated her own daughter, it was well and truly messed up.

“Technically he stayed with the Zabini’s, but he considers Remus Lupin, a werewolf, as a father.” replied Severus, “The Zabini’s are staying here along with Harry’s other best friend Theodore Nott for safety reasons.”

“Is the war getting that bad?” Glenn questioned, he only read the newspapers occasionally.

“It’s not as bad as it was last time, but it will get there fast - but I already have a plan of action to take care of it.” Severus told him grimly.

“May we see Harry?” Rose asked Severus, again.

“You can,” Severus agreed. “He’s flying at the moment with his friends, why don’t you go down and introduce yourselves?”

“You aren’t coming?” Rose queried in surprise.

“I’m afraid not, I have meetings all day,” Severus sighed, he didn’t like it but needs a must, he would much rather spend time with Harry. “And I do believe that he has just arrived.”

Glenn gave his grandson a sympathetic look, knowing the struggle all too well, worse that Severus had yet to properly claim his mate. It would make it much more difficult for him to be parted from the teenager.

---------0

Theodore, Blaise and Harry continued to play ‘catch the snitch’ in the air for half an hour after the two vampires made themselves known and just watched them. What they were saying though was anyone’s guess, they didn’t have vampire hearing. It did become obvious they were conversing with some of the other vampires in the area since they were nodding in the general vicinity of the guards. It was him they began to watch and quite frankly it was freaking him out.

“I’m going down,” Harry said, glancing apologetically at his friends. “You can stay and play, I’ve had that snitch for five years, it was a gift from my dad don’t lose it!” he told them, making sure they would do as they really wanted to do - keep playing and not follow him down out of loyalty. Remus had bought him it when Blaise complained of not being able to find his own snitch during the summer holidays. Harry gave Cenric a look, the vampire was probably the one he was closest to out of them all, except Severus and Alfred of course. He was amusing to be around, and made him laugh.

Cenric bowed, “My Lord consort, may I introduce you to Lord Prince and his wife, Lady Consort,”

“Severus’ grandparents?” Harry spoke, but still gazed at Cenric for confirmation, which was quickly given in the form of a nod once, he had straightened back up. Well that explained the looks he’d been getting from both of them.

“Please call me Rose or grandmother if you wish,” Rose said positively beaming in delight, he was absolutely breathtaking, and his eyes, they were just mesmerising. Oh, Severus was very lucky indeed, he would make a magnificent consort. “This is my husband Glenn,” she added, she was smiling so much her cheek bones were beginning to hurt.

“It’s nice meet you both,” Harry said, unsure whether he should be bowing to them or not, the book didn’t touch upon those who had been Vampire Lord’s just the one currently on the ‘throne’ so to speak.

“Come, walk with me,” Rose demanded, but it certainly didn’t sound like a demand, her voice was much too soft for that. She could see how unsure Harry was, and wanted to find out the extent of his un-sureness.

Harry blinked, but allowed her to guide him away, Glenn seemed unsurprised by his wife’s actions, if anything he seemed amused - evidently quite content to sit and wait.

“How are you really finding it here at Prince Castle?” Rose asked, her arm still linked with Harry’s, but she let it go when she sensed just how deeply uncomfortable Harry was. They nevertheless continued walking as they spoke.

“This illusion of privacy stopped working two days into me coming here,” Harry snorted wryly, everyone could hear their conversation, even Glenn. Rose laughed in amusement at his words, “The Castle is just amazing, I still don’t know my way around it entirely yet. Mostly our rooms, the kitchen and the library.”

“Ah, the library, now that brings back memories,” Rose said sweetly, “I spent a lot time in that room, Glenn was often busy, oh, I resented him something rotten in the beginning.” she added conspiratorially to Harry.

Harry nodded, he understood that.

“Oh, don’t get me wrong, I soon realized just how much he had to do, with a duty of care to so many people it’s time consuming,” Rose explained. “With an all out war looming on the horizon it can’t be easy for my grandson either.”

“No, it can’t,” Harry replied, wondering what she was building up to, or if she was in her own way subtly trying to tell him to have patience, that it isn’t easy for Severus.

“How is your courting going?” Rose then asked the teenager, keeping a close eye on his reactions.

Now she was just making him feel extremely uncomfortable, she seemed lovely enough, but she wasn’t Remus, Maria or his friends, he had no wish to discuss the courting with her. Especially since she would be definitely in Severus’ corner, as she rightfully should be. “Its fine,” he murmured clearly uncomfortable, hoping this would act as a deterrent and stop her from questioning him.

“I see…oh, it looks as though Glenn wishes to return to the manor,” Rose said, glancing at her husband disgruntled, she wanted to ask Harry a few more questions. “You’ll have to forgive me, Harry, we shall talk soon!” she promised before giving a nod, Harry blinked and she was gone, it was odd knowing they were Severus’ grandparents but didn’t look a day over eighteen.

Sighing in relief that it was over, Harry ambled back over to his friends who had long since caught the snitch. His mind wandering, he had tried many times to show Severus that he wanted a more…intimate relationship, but each time he was interrupted. Either by Severus having to leave for a meeting or the other vampires. It was very frustrating and it was beginning to wear on him.

 

--------0

Harry sat in bed lips pursed, staring at the book in his lap that was opened and unread. It had been an exceedingly long day and he hadn’t seen Severus other than at lunch and dinner for barely half an hour. He was usually here by this; he was already beginning to feel his nerves slipping. Grunting in frustration, enough was enough, sliding out of bed, uncaring of his undressed state, he opened the door and made his way down the corridor to who was on duty.

“Lord Consort,” Cenric said, bowing low in a show of respect.

“Where is he? And don’t tell me another meeting! It’s passed ten o’clock!” Harry demanded exasperated, staring at the vampire his eyes narrowed in frustration. His pyjama bottoms were riding low on his hips, they were green silk like he was used to, but these were much pricier than the ones he’d bought in the past. He’d been waiting all day to start his stupid plan. He shouldn’t have listened to Remus, it would never work. What had he been thinking in the first place? He was beginning to get cold, and wished he’d put a top on. He shoved those thoughts aside, as he stood there, arms on his hips his green eyes filled with fire.

“Go to bed then,” Cenric said dryly.

“Who do you think I am? Wee Willy Winkie?!” asked Harry taken aback by the fact he was being ordered around. “Did you just order me about?”

“No,” Cenric stated cautiously, refraining from showing his amusement at Harry’s words.

“Was it Severus?” Harry asked, wondering if Severus had actually ordered them to say that to him.

“No,” Cenric emphatically stated.

“Is the meeting important?” Harry asked changing direction; he was getting tired of the run around every time he asked for Severus. “Just give me a truthful answer for once.” he was tired of being shut out.

“All meetings are important, Harry.” Cenric explained taking pity on the frustrated teen. “Although this meeting was supposed to have ended twenty minutes ago.”

“Is he in his office or the Great Hall?” Harry asked absently, well if this didn’t get Severus’ attention he didn’t know what would. Although if it didn’t go according to plan, he was living and sleeping in the library or Remus’ rooms - he didn’t care about the damn agreement. Not that Severus would care! If he turned him down it would be more than obvious he didn’t want him.

“His office,” Cenric replied without thought, before giving the teenager a calculating look. Harry was known for his wit and sarcasm he had no problem keeping up with any of them. His ‘Wee Willy Winkie’ for example, although he was surprised the child knew such a tale - it was Scottish children’s tale. No doubt it had been converted to many other written words. The others all liked him as well, and hoped for the best between the two.

Then Harry breezed past him, glad his office was only a few doors down from where he stood.

“Don’t go in there,” Cenric called out, not daring to touch Harry to prevent him. Not only did they know about the abuse or some of it anyway. They wanted him to feel at home here, and Storm had told them what he had said bitterly one day ‘Or what are you going to hit me?!’ oh no, Severus had made it clear they were to keep their hands off his mate. They didn’t blame him; if it had been their mates they would have done the same. The only thing was he didn’t think the Dursley’s had suffered enough for the ten years of hell they put an innocent child through. The Death Eaters would have done worse to the despicable pigs.

Harry just threw him a shit eating grin that came from years in Slytherin before he opened Severus’ office door. Cenric cursed, not sure how this would all play out. His Lord didn’t suffer fools gladly, nor did he like people interrupting him, it was his biggest pet peeves. Well at least things weren’t boringly dull he thought to himself as he remained standing where he was. Harry was already in the office now; there was not much to be done about that.

Harry barely gave the wizard any attention as he stalked over to Severus. Although the look on his face was amusing to say the least. Shocked, then he’d looked at Severus expecting something only to be stunned into silence when there was no diatribe forthcoming.

Pressing his hands onto each of Severus’ armrests, he stared him straight in the eye with just two words to say. “Bite me.” blinking he found Severus’ hand wrapped around his neck, stroking at the pulse point his face just inches from his own.

“Do not ask for something you aren’t ready for yet, because believe me, if I start I will never stop, never let you go whether you hate me or not.” growled Severus possessively, coming alive just feeling his mate so close. Never once did he show how pleased he was when Harry didn’t so much as flinch, gulp or try and get out of his hold. He seemed to have forgotten all about the wizard that was still in his office gaping at them. It was little wonder; Harry was dressed in only a pair of pyjama bottoms that clung to him in all the right places. He was as Severus thought completely delectable, he could have happily taken him right here and now.

“Bite me,” repeated Harry breathlessly, his lips just inches from Severus’.

Severus stared back into those ethereal glowing green eyes, he meant it, and he was finally ready to begin the true courting. If he thought the feelings he had right now were strong…it would be nothing on how they were after he was bitten. It’s why he had refrained from doing so after getting him here, although it had taken a great deal of willpower not to mark his mate but knowing he hadn‘t been willing was the deciding factor. Why…now he was being given permission from his own vixen’s lips…who was he to refuse?

“Cenric deal with this,” Severus snapped, grabbing his mate he was gone, Apparating them both to their bedrooms for privacy. Where nobody would bother them, the only exception was if they were being attacked.
“Of all the insolent things!” stuttered the wizard, wide eyed. He hadn’t even been half way through his speech when they’d been so rudely interrupted by a practically naked teenager no less. The fact that Lord Prince had done nothing made it even worse, it irked him something rotten that he’d been dismissed as if he didn’t matter. Not something he was used to, with his money and connections he had everyone around him eating out of the palm of his hand. It made him feel like a teenager again, he wasn’t someone to be so dismissed easily. He had a mind to withdraw the negotiations, but he knew he never would. With Lord Prince onside he would be virtually indestructible, and that was something he wished for more than anything.

“Follow me,” Cenric stated gesturing for the wizard to do just that. He could smell the anger and lust pouring off him in waves. He had to stop the possessive growl from tearing out of his throat. He had no right to have any desire for Harry whatsoever, especially not when he belonged to his Lord Prince. He had no doubt if Severus smelt it that any negotiating between the pair would come to an abrupt halt, not that having him onside would make that much of a difference. It was just ideal to have wizards willing to help, especially those with a network of their own.

Stiffening, the wizard stood up still indignant at being dismissed so easily but refused to show it at least on his face. “Someone should really take control of that boy! Especially before he causes damage nobody can repair.” he said, as he left the room, stalking down the corridor with the vampire able to keep up with his fast and furious strides. Muttering distastefully about concubines and prostitutes being bad influences on business.

“Have care what you say,” growled Cenric, this time not hiding his reactions. “That is Lord Prince’s consort.” and he was officially now, if his words were anything to go by. For the next few days he knew their Lord wouldn’t be doing much of anything. Humans found the changes after the bite a little too much, and it was up to the partner to ease it, as part of the courting they had to prove they could care, love, protect and cherish. He was happy for them, they both deserved happiness in their life, they’d been through years of misery and neglect, but somehow coming out on top of it better than the families would have liked.

The wizard paled drastically, all false bravado leaving him shaken; his eyes looked around nervously as if expecting the Prince Lord to come drain him dry. He righted himself after stumbling upon hearing the announcement, barely able to believe it but knowing better than to think they lied about such things. Having been dealing with creatures for a long time, he knew as much about them as he could, obviously they had secrets they didn’t tell outsiders, but he tried to know everything. It served him well, hopefully he hadn’t just screwed up with negotiation, and the thought of losing such a big backer didn’t sit well with him.

Cenric remained silent, letting the wizard stew in his own sweat, nerves and fear. Using non-verbal magic he opened the doors with a bang, getting perverse pleasure in the wizard’s spike of terror and the way he jumped. Nobody said things about his Lord’s Consort like that especially not a wizard who thought he was so superior to them and his Lord. It had gotten dark which added to the wizard’s apprehension, as he almost ran towards the gates eager to get out of their company. Different from the wizard who had stepped in so sure and smug, treating them as if they were nothing but glorified servants. Not that he had been the one to escort him in. The news did get around fast; they could hear everything that wasn’t under silencing spells after all.

Standing near the gate, not going further merely watching the wizard who had almost peed his pants exit the wards and Apparate. Staring thoughtfully at nothing for a few minutes, he turned around and wandered to his rooms. He was no longer needed after all; since they were together Storm would be keeping an eye out at the end of the corridor. He was only needed to guard Harry when he wasn’t in Severus’ presence, which until lately had been quite often.

------0

Severus was harder than he had ever been in his life, those words…he’d never expected to hear from Harry’s mouth. He had put it down to Harry not reading the books, a futile hope, nothing more. Unfortunately that excuse had been useless once he knew his mate had read them, and still nothing forthcoming. He had readily begun regretting not biting him as soon as he had him under his roof, in his control. Unfortunately his conscience hadn’t allowed him to; he’d already taken a great deal of choices away from him he didn’t want to take that as well. He had still courted him in the traditional manner, without the bite, but even that hadn’t been going well either. He’d assumed Harry was just counting down the days until he could get away.

It wasn’t something Severus had been able to deal with, since he had wanted nothing more than to physically show his mate how much he desired and wanted him. A frown appeared on his face when he noticed Harry getting nervous; he wanted to sigh in exasperation. Controlling himself, he stepped back from his mate, putting distance between them watching the nerves remain on Harry’s face. Harry really needed to learn to make up his mind, he wasn’t about to be made a fool off, not in his own home. He had warned Harry he wouldn’t let him go, and he wouldn’t, not now.

“Alright, Harry this is getting ridiculous,” said Severus, his frustration showing through his perfected impassive masks. He was a mass of contradictions, one second he was a seductive siren the next he was a jumpy mess. “Why ask for something you are clearly not ready for?”

“It’s not that,” said Harry, anxiously, why was it so hard to talk about this? He wasn’t used to feeling tongue-tied or nervous like this not since he was eleven. Gathering his scattered wits, his Slytherin self preservation and cunning, as well as his confidence he knew he had. “I don’t want to…you know,” the flush was back, encompassing his entire face, and trailing half way down his chest, making him feel too hot. He was wanted! Severus wanted him; he was more relieved than he could have possibly thought.

Severus couldn’t help but stare blatantly at his Harry, hiding none of what he wanted to do to him. Causing Harry to blush impossibly more, dear Merlin, a siren he really was. He was painfully aroused, and he hadn’t even touched his mate, he could have come at the sight his mate presented at the moment. Just how innocent was Harry? Oh how he longed to find out, he knew he was a virgin but there were other things they could do - especially by themselves. An inaudible groan left his lips, wandering over to Harry; standing so their entire bodies were touching one another. Letting him feel exactly what he did to the normally impassive vampire Lord. Leaning over, he pressed his lips to Harry’s ear listening to his breath hitch, a smug smirk made its way onto his face. He wasn’t even touching him yet he could feel the build up of arousal coming from him. Inhaling the intoxicating aroma, so pure, so his, all his and damned if he couldn’t have him. “And what is it that you do not want to do?” whispered Severus, his voice honeyed, pure chocolate, and Harry felt himself twitching cursing the fact he hadn’t wore any underwear. Needless to say it left nothing to the imagination, although Severus wasn’t looking thank Merlin.

“I can smell how… excited you are, Harry.” whispered Severus deviously, giving the shell of his ear a little lick causing Harry to squeak in surprise and dear Merlin, squirm deliciously against him. Such innocence, it was arousing him further just knowing when he finally did take Harry, no other would ever experience or see him in any state of undress or see his writhing form lost in ecstasy. “Are you sure you don’t want it?”

Harry just stood there panting, trying to stop himself from leaning into Severus and relieving the slow yet powerful ache building inside him. He could barely remember what he wanted anymore, no he did…thought Harry trying to bring himself back from the precipice. It wasn’t possible, which wasn’t surprising, Harry had denied himself and his body release for years. Never indulging in things normal boys did at the age of eleven (sometimes later or earlier) onwards. There was no way he could have at the Dursley’s, not only had he never really had privacy, he had always been too busy to do anything never mind investigate his own body. He would never have dared to do it anyway; he had no idea why, he didn’t consciously have a reason. Then there was also the fact he’d had to clean up his cousins sheets (and everything else in the packed bedroom)…well that would scar people for life. Biting his lip, his hands twitched as if they were dying to relieve the aching in him themselves.

“What don’t you want, Harry?” asked Severus, pressing himself further into the teen until he fell backwards onto the bed. Severus didn’t even miss a beat before joining him, laying himself out on top of Harry. Feeling elated and smug that he was getting to finally touch what was his, even as his teeth ached to bite into that willing neck. The next few days were about to get interesting, as Harry gave himself fully to being a vampire, the feelings that came with it too. Pressing their foreheads together, listening to Harry’s desperate raspy breath as he tried to control himself. His silly little mate, he’d never had any control, only what he gave him.

Harry squirmed once again, gasping at the feeling of the hardness above him, grinding it with his own erect hardness. Swallowing thickly, he tried to regain his bearings, even just enough to say something, tell Severus what he’d been determined to tell him earlier. Yet his traitorous mind couldn’t help but wonder if this felt good…just how good would it feel to have it inside him? His mind drifted towards the book and the feelings it said it enticed and the picture along with it causing him to whine piteously.

Severus laughed at the sound, before he let himself ease off Harry a bit, but still on top of him just not lying on him. Not to torture him, or so he insisted to himself. He would deserve it after all; he had been teasing him mercilessly since he came here. Admittedly it wasn’t entirely his doing, it seemed as though Harry had no idea just how enticing he was. No, he couldn’t push Harry too far; he didn’t want to ruin that. His long pale fingers, stroked across Harry’s face and down his neck soothingly, possessively. His black eyes smugly bore down on glazed green ones. He was all too easy to arouse, it was completely endearing.

“Not everything,” murmured Harry, blinking rapidly, trying to concentrate on Severus. “Not the whole way.”

Severus stared down at Harry, trying to make sense of what he was trying to say. He understood the second part of his statement all too well. Groaning in despair, but that quickly washed away; there was a lot he could do to Harry that didn’t involve penetration. He could make his mate feel good, make him forget his own name as he writhed under him pleading and begging for release. Which he reckoned wouldn’t take much at all. “You have my word,” said Severus softly, watching as Harry relaxed completely into the bed.

“That’s it, Harry,” whispered Severus, “Relax, give in to me; I will make you feel things you have only imagined.” Severus moved them both to the centre of the bed; to left so Harry’s head to relax on the pillows determined to show Harry he could look after him…cherish him in a way he hadn’t experienced before. He just didn’t know whether to bite him first or have his wicked ways with him. The hardness pressed against him made his decision for him. He’d never had to work so hard for the one he wanted, his reputation and his position did it for him.

Harry watched Severus through hooded eyes, why had he fought this? These feelings were so alien to him yet somehow comforting despite the fact he felt as though they were driving him crazy. Perhaps it was because he could actually feel something pleasant, not just the burning anger at the world, at Black, at Dumbledore. The only time he ever really felt happy was with his friends and dad. Feeling hands on his chest brought him back to the present; he gasped then arched into him when they twisted on his nubs he’d never thought to feel like this! The smooth silk all around him on the bed and his trousers and the light petting touches from Severus made him feel as though he was floating in bliss.

“Just tell me if you don’t want something,” murmured Severus against Harry’s stomach right at the waist band of his pyjama bottoms. Looking up he almost came undone, Harry’s head was up, and staring down at him, his eyes wide mouth open his body tense as if he feared moving would cause too much pleasure. Not wanting to disturb him, eager to see what Severus had in store for him. He chuckled deviously; he didn’t think Harry would be doing much talking after all.

Pressing his nose against Harry’s stomach he inhaled once again, Merlin he could get drunk on his scent alone. Severus nuzzled into Harry’s belly button before licking him, biting down leaving a trail of bite marks up and down his chest, causing Harry to wiggle and moan. His breathing hitched feeling Harry’s hardness rutting against his arm. Unable to help himself his hand trailed down that length, feeling it through the silky material, cupping him, massaging those globes between his fingers listening to the sweet cries his little mate made. Even though the material he could feel how close Harry was to losing control and coming undone. He wanted to see his face as he came, he had imagined it often enough…but wanted to really see it. Would his siren look as he imagined or would the real thing be so much better? So much more?

Setting himself in position, so he could stare down at that gorgeous face, keeping his hand where it had been, but not touching causing Harry to whine again. Dear Merlin he was lost to the sensations Severus was laying claim to his body, and he loved it. “Open your eyes for me, Harry, and I’ll let you come.” Severus said strongly causing Harry’s eyes to pop open to glare at him. He may be the ‘submissive’ in this relationship but there was nothing submissive about him. He loved that, he shouldn’t, but he did.

The glare melted off his face when Severus touched him tantalisingly again, teasing and taunting touches allowing Severus to watch as Harry became irate and began to whine lowly again. It wasn’t something a human would probably here, but to Severus it was clear as day. Harry truly was a rare delight, and he was all his. He revelled in it as he curled his only free hand around his neck, drawing him in for a breathtaking kiss. Drawing back remembering his little human needed air, his lips were now red and puffy, perfect.

“Mine,” growled Severus, unable to hold back, Harry would learn one way or another that he was his. He was surprised when Harry whimpered needily instead of getting offended. Perhaps Harry actually did unconsciously desire to be looked after, taken care of despite the looks to the contrary. He’d had to look after himself for so long; well he would make sure his mate knew he could rely on him forever and always. “I’ll take care of you, everything you need, want or desire, trust me.” he wondered if Harry was too far gone, but the gleam in those eyes told him he’d heard and understood just fine.

Rubbing the head of that swollen organ, Severus felt it pulse through the fabric in his hand; he was ready for Harry to arch up stiffening completely. Before a guttered moan tore out of that throat, as his pyjamas became wet but Severus didn’t even think on that too enraptured watching those green eyes that face lost in the throes of passion. It was more than he’d ever imagined, he stared at him imprinting everything his greedy eyes could get and storing it in his mind.

“Turn your head to the side, submit to me, little one,” murmured Severus, groaning as his mate immediately did as ordered. Merlin, his perfect mate, what had he done to deserve him? Nuzzling Harry’s neck, he chose a spot where the mark would always be visible, at least if he wore t-shirts with collars and the like. Sucking and nibbling at the spot, feeling Harry quickly becoming aroused again, the joys of youth. He would remain young, the blood, his blood would slow the aging for a very long time. Severus continued sucking and nibbling at Harry’s throat for a while, distracting him from what would come. Mate or not, it hurt the first time the fangs pierced the skin, it was inevitable, but would quickly turn to pleasure.

Half way through listening to Harry moan, he slid his fangs carefully into Harry’s vulnerable neck. His venom wouldn’t turn Harry, couldn’t turn anyone, since he had inherited his vampire nature his venom was non lethal. It would however, prevent the mark he’d just given Harry from ever fading. A moan of pure bliss was pulled from Severus, as he tasted Harry’s blood; it was more potent than anything he’d ever had before. He couldn’t help himself but dragging a few gulps of the sweet nectar from his neck as he came hard untouched between their bodies. Then swiftly he licked over the mark, sealing it closed leaving the bright red mark there for all to see. Not even potions would truly heal it, his, forever.

Severus removed his wand from his pocket he flicked it removing the mess, afterwards he bit into his wrist, sliding into a better position; Severus offered his wrist for Harry to take. This part was probably the most unpleasant thing of bonding, at least until the changes began, and then the blood would have a much more appealing taste. Sliding both of them together, nestling his mate into him, as he reluctantly consumed the blood that would turn him into a vampire, or rather half-vampire like himself. Leaning on his elbow watching him just take pleasure in in the sudden closeness. His eyes however, drifted to the mark from time to time, unable to help how satisfied and smug he felt. Even the gentle sucking stopped, and Harry drifted to sleep.

He did have a few questions on his mind, but they could wait.

-------0

Harry slowly came to, his body felt like jelly, he was really too content to move much if at all. Yawning tiredly, his head peeked up and he looked around. He came face to face with Severus, who looked completely relaxed and asleep. Just remembering what they’d done earlier caused him to flush bright red again.

“How are you feeling?” said Severus, causing Harry to jump, obviously he wasn’t asleep.

“Good,” murmured Harry, sleepily.

“What made you decide?” asked Severus, brushing the tresses of hair that fell in front of his face and neck. He wanted the mark bared for him to look at; he wanted everyone to see that Harry had chosen him.

“I decided days ago,” said Harry honestly, “I tried to get your attention…but it didn’t work.” here he blushed again.

Severus arched an eyebrow, thinking back on the past few days only to draw blank. Harry hadn’t been giving out any signals he could decipher. He decided against saying anything, he had won him now anyway, and he would never let him go.

“I thought maybe you didn’t really want me,” added Harry, in a rush, seeing a look he couldn’t understand crossing Severus face.

“Why would you think that?” demanded Severus, had he given his mate the impression he didn’t want him? That was impossible; he’d done everything he could think of to get Harry’s attention. Although he had admittedly been in a lot of meetings…he hadn’t realized Harry would think he didn’t want him. “Do not tell me you did this because you thought I’d send you away or ask you to leave.” Severus despaired the answer, he really did. He thought he was finally getting somewhere with Harry…only for this to happen.

“No,” said Harry shaking his head, “I…when I first came into the Magical world, when I met Remus, after a few weeks I sort of did what I did to you.” whispered Harry sounding ashamed.

Severus frowned, waiting patiently to let his mate get whatever was on his chest out.

“I got used to people who cared stop caring after a while, like my teachers, the nurse at school, anyone who became my friend but I couldn’t really blame them. They were bullied by my cousin, beaten up just for being friends with me. Nobody really cared, I had no help getting to Hogwarts - I had to find my own way to the platform I had no idea existed.” revealed Harry quietly, not so tired anymore. “Then suddenly I had an adult talking to me, caring enough to help me understand the magical world and friends who were doing the same thing. When it sunk in that my own godfather even didn’t care about me I avoided them for a while, it would have been better that way, less painful than them realizing they didn’t want to be friends with a freak like me.”

Severus was alarmed by that, Harry seemed miles away, he was obviously talking about how he felt then. He still didn’t like it, but nonetheless listened carefully as he always did when his mate spoke.

“They kept trying though, didn’t give in, kept including me and I began to hope maybe things would be different. They were, Blaise his mum, Theo and my dad didn’t go anywhere. They were the first people I ever loved; I would do anything for them. You took me away from them, I felt as though I was eleven all over again. I was really angry, but I couldn’t for long, you were right about Dumbledore and the rest of it. The fact that everyone is here…made the anger go away, they’re all safe from both Dumbledore and Voldemort. You letting them come here let me realize you did care, and then you were away all the time, nothing I did got your attention. I spoke to Remus and he made me realize I’d been stupid. I put a plan into action but you screwed it up by not showing up,” explained Harry, scowling the last part irritated. “I was determined though, it was easier to say them in my head than it was out loud.” blushing a little.

Severus chuckled dryly, “It normally is.” he stated amused.

“Despite the start I still think we could be good together, don’t you?” Severus questioned.

“I think so,” said Harry, his face once again red remembering what they’d done.

“Good.” stated Severus satisfied, “Get some sleep, its best if you sleep through the changes.” It wasn’t going to be easy, especially with the change; his emotions were going to be higher than normal. He knew just a way to calm him down, and he had no doubt that Harry would be back for more. That concern will have to wait for tomorrow.

Scratch that he would want more, his little siren was irresistible, now that he’d had a taste…well he wanted more, he couldn’t wait until Harry gave himself completely to him. Harry turned to face him on his side, before falling back asleep, his hands bunched up in his top. The mark was no longer visible; he had to stop the urge to mark the other side, just so he could see a mark on his mate’s skin. His. All his.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 22

Harry moaned in agony, his entire body felt as though it was weighed down with cement. He couldn’t even think about raising an arm never mind his upper body. He was finding it difficult to breathe, what the hell was wrong with him? The book had said he’d feel odd…not bloody dying. He was on fire; he didn’t get sick, he’d never been sick in years, not since he was eleven.

Open his bleary eyes; he blinked a few times, until he could see properly, even if it looked as though the room was spinning. Coolness against his head made him groan in appreciation, pressing against the coolness, never wanting it to fade. Oh it felt so good; a grateful sigh left his lips, if that coolness could be all over him he would be in heaven. His eyes had closed again, but he opened them and a pitiful whine left his throat when the coldness left him. He desperately wanted to grab it back but he just couldn’t scrape up the energy to do it.

“Easy,” said Severus softly, as he placed the spelled cold rag across Harry’s forehead. He had been expecting this, but not to the extent that Harry couldn’t move. Every human reacted different to the vampire blood, as proved by the different documentation about the change from his various predecessors/family members. It also lasted different lengths of times; four days seemed to be the longest it’s ever lasted.

“Hurts,” murmured Harry, his tongue even felt thick and heavy. It didn’t help that he was dryer than he’d ever felt in his entire life. Almost as if Severus was reading his mind, cold water was pressed at his lips, and Harry couldn’t help but guzzle it down greedily, sighing in relief, now that felt even better than the cold rag.

“Drink this, it will make you feel better,” said Severus, pouring some of the potion from the vial into his throat. Once Harry swallowed it he repeated the process three times, until the vial was emptied. Banishing it without a second thought, sitting back on the bed, Harry on his lap, he picked up a book and began reading. He had been well prepared for this, and Harry wouldn’t suffer anymore than he had to.

“How long?” murmured Harry, sounding a little more coherent, but Severus knew it wouldn’t last, the potion would make him extremely groggy and he’d probably sleep for a great deal of the day.

“It’s different for everybody,” said Severus honestly, carding his hand through Harry’s hair, easing him some more. “Sleep, the worst of it will pass today.”

He absently carded his hand though Harry’s hair, avoiding listening to everyone’s conversations but immersing himself in his book.

“Come in,” said Severus too lowly, not wanting to disturb or wake Harry if he was sleeping but his breathing had evened out.

“My Lord do you require some food?” Storm asked through the door, knowing her Lord and Lord’s consort needed to eat. She didn’t want to disturb them so remained waiting on an answer from where she stood.

“Nothing until lunch, I shall have a goblet of blood instead of my usual,” stated Severus calmly, heard even through the thick door. “I do not want disturbed until then.” he had to give Harry his blood continuously for twenty-four hours for the transformation to be complete.

“Yes Sir.” said Storm in understanding.

She felt magic wash over the room, indicating her Lord had placed silencing spells on the room.

Severus watched over Harry, he unlike his mate did not need as much asleep, although once he was through with the change Harry would notice he didn’t need as much sleep anymore. The venom and blood (which couldn’t turn anyone just give them an extra long life due to his inheritance) would ensure that he had more characteristics of a vampire - be more like him. His little vixen continued to surprise him, he couldn’t stop dwelling on the fact Harry had asked him to bite him. He had looked so heated and determined, it was a new agony to keep himself from pouncing on Harry and having his way with the delectable morsel that he was.

Severus’ long fingers brushed through Harry’s hair, sure and possessive, he would have taken the pain from him if he had been able. Even his transformation had not been overly painful or long. Then again he had fallen unconscious as his body had so suddenly been thrust into the change.

It didn’t take long for Harry to begin stirring, pressing his head against the small pressure Severus was delivering to his head as he ran his fingers through his hair and scalp. “How are you feeling, my own?” murmured Severus softly, Harry’s hearing would get very advanced as per normal. Needless to say he was going to have quite a raging headache for days, until he got used to it.

“A little better,” Harry replied, still a little groggy.

“Good,” replied Severus, continuing his administrations. “You still hold no regrets?”

“No,” Harry murmured, not able to shake his head for emphasis.

“It’s been only a fortnight since you came here, yet you wanted to go through the change, why?” Severus questioned, he wanted a logical answer, one that didn’t see him putting the needs of his family over his own. He wanted to be sure that it was something Harry actually desired for himself. Sure, the bond will have awoken but it didn’t cause them to blindly desire the other. He really should have asked these questions first and gotten a real answer but his own desires had awoken.

“You know, Remus told me that I wouldn’t find a greater love here that wizards and witches didn’t love as fiercely as creatures do. Except for any children they have, Remus would have chosen me over his own mate…I couldn’t let that happen,” Harry said tiredly, “It’s all I’ve ever wanted, to be loved, I know we aren’t that to each other…at least not yet, but we wont be if we don’t try.”

“You speak with wisdom greater than your young age,” Severus said, pride filling him. He would do everything in his power to make sure that Harry knew he was wanted, and while it was true they didn’t love each other yet, he did want that for them.

“I need a bath,” said Harry grimacing slightly, how could Severus stand the smell?

“Once the chance is complete your body wont produce sweat, so it will no longer be a problem, unfortunately those around you will, and you end up accustomed to the smell - surprisingly.” explained Severus, “It’s only so bad due to your body adapting, your body is producing sweat due to a low fever and the pain.” he had gotten used to it being around humans as he was. It was worse then they feared him, which was nearly everyone he came into contact with - and they had every right to fear him. He could kill them quicker than looking at them, his strength alone could crush their skull with his bare hands.

“Oh,” was all Harry had to say about that particular conversation. Wincing, Harry moved so he was able to look at Severus, wishing to speak while the pain was manageable. “Did you have trouble with you know…strength?” asked Harry cautiously, he didn’t want to accidentally hurt his friends, Remus wouldn’t be hurt he was much stronger than his best friends and Maria.

“No, but after I was turned I wasn’t around humans for a while, I spent a long time training, learning everything I needed to be able to defend myself and reclaim my inheritance.” Severus explained, moving slightly so Harry‘s head could be comfortable on his arm, seeing him struggling to keep his head off the bed.

“How many people did you duel altogether?” his curious green eyes gleaming, glazed slightly with the sign of fever.

“The number is up to fifty-eight.” Severus admitted, his tone filled with pride and fire, he had beaten every single one of them, and he didn’t include the ones his people had dealt with.

“You had to fight all those people just to get…be the Prince Vampire lord?” Harry gaped his eyes wide, he certainly underestimated it then, he’d assumed he’d had to fight maybe the old leader…and a few others when they tried to fight him for the right to the ‘throne’ not fifty-eight vampires for Merlin’s sake.

“Over the years yes, once I defeated the one who had claimed the throne after my grandparents stepped down, others demanded their own duel. They thought I would be easy pickings since I did not grow up aware of my inheritance.” answered Severus. “They soon learned just how wrong they were, they saw how much I achieved and still insisted on fighting me.”

“They knew about that and still came at you?” Harry asked incredulously, they would have been Gryffindors at Hogwarts - doing that…there was absolutely nothing Slytherin about it.

“The news of my mother not coming to an inheritance apparently spread quicker than lightening, and per tradition Glenn and Rose had to stand down, the Castle was abandoned and fighting started out for the so called throne. Without money he ruled with an iron fist, killing those that didn’t agree with him wholeheartedly. So when I came along most were relieved, but he did have his loyal coven, the original coven he had before becoming Lord. They were favored, and quite frankly were furious when he was killed, all of them chose to fight and all of them died for a cause they believed in.” Severus told him.

“You sound like you respect them,” Harry pointed out in confusion.

“They died for a cause they believed in, in avenging someone they obviously cared deeply about - only a fool doesn’t respect what his enemy is capable off.” Severus stated seriously.

Harry frowned thoughtfully, did he respect his enemies? Like Voldemort, no he didn’t, did that make him a fool? How could he possibly respect a wizard who had taken his parents from him? Although they hadn’t exactly been innocent he knew that, they’d joined the damn Order, it was mostly Dumbledore’s fault. He’d painted targets on people’s backs by getting them to fight for him. That included his parents, he hated the fact they hadn’t thought of him, left the war behind and raised him as they should have.

“It’s not respecting the person they are, but more of what they could do, their magical powers.” Severus informed him, understanding all too well what or rather who was on Harry’s mind. “Sleep, it will be over soon.”

“I want a bath when I wake up,” Harry murmured sleepily, before he was out for the count, the pain relief draught getting the better of him.

-----------0

“May I see Harry please?” Remus asked, standing before Dalton, who was on duty at the end of the corridor to the Lord and Lord Consort’s chambers.

“I’m sorry but My Lord informed us they are not to be disturbed,” Dalton informed him, blocking the way as always.

“Quite frankly, I don’t care right now, Harry is my son, and I wish to see him.” Remus said his tone polite despite his words. It had been an entire day since he saw him, since Harry had declared he needed time to think and left. Soon it would be two days since it transpired, and he was worried that Harry felt abandoned, he would choose Harry over Sirius, even if it hurt.

“I am sorry,” Dalton said, he could smell the distress coming off the werewolf, but there was nothing he could do. He was following his Lord’s orders, and as it was, Harry wasn’t in any state to talk to anyone.

The door abruptly opening caused both of them to jump, Remus’ more comical than Dalton; it went to show just how well the silencing spells around Severus’ quarters were. “My office,” Severus stated sharply, annoyance pouring off him in waves, hence Remus didn’t argue, he didn’t want to push his luck. He was beginning to worry that Harry was hurt, but surely not, not here, perhaps he was just sick?

As soon as both of them were ensconced in the very room that Remus had learned of Harry’s safety after being soundly beaten, Remus quickly spoke with urgency. “Where is Harry? Is he alright?”
“He’s going through the change,” Severus informed Remus, deciding to show favour to the werewolf; it had been his words that had convinced Harry to give himself fully to the mating.

Remus gaped, blinking in surprised disbelief, “And it was his choice?” he asked, but he already knew the answer, Severus wouldn’t have forced the matter he was trying to get Harry onside.

“Yes,” Severus snapped out in annoyance at daring to be questioned especially regarding his honour.

“How was he before he asked?” Remus questioned, worry shining through his amber eyes.

“If you worry about how he feels for Black, and then desist, it is between them, Harry will always regard you as a father figure,” Severus said, eyeing Remus as if he were a particular specimen he hadn’t encountered before.

Remus sighed, sitting down looking tired beyond words, “Harry hates Sirius so much how can there be anything other than animosity between them? It’s my fault, if I had just avoided taking about Sirius then Harry wouldn’t hate him.”

Severus snorted, “That would have probably backfired on you,” Severus said sardonically. “He would have found out from someone, somewhere and eventually.” he remained standing; the only reason he was here was because Harry was sound asleep and Harry would have wanted him to do this. Plus he didn’t want Remus coming to his rooms continuously; he wanted to be left alone to care for his mate.

“Yes, I imagine it would have,” Remus said, conceding that Severus was correct. “How long has he been going through the change?”

“He begun last night, in two hours it will be a day, most changes take two days, the longest four days, but that was just one amongst the many of my ancestors - Merlin’s willing tomorrow will be the last day.” Severus informed him.

Remus nodded, he hoped for that too, Harry had been through enough.

“Inform the others, I do not wish to be disturbed by constant interruptions,” Severus demanded of Remus.

“Of course,” Remus replied immediately, Maria would want to know about this, and the boys would need to know Harry wouldn’t be around for a few days and not to worry over it.

“Good,” Severus said curtly, giving Remus a nod he exited his office trusting the werewolf to know to leave as he made his way back to Harry.

----------0

“So, what brings you here, Remus?” Maria asked, sitting calmly stirring her tea her House-Elf had given her. “I trust all is well with you?”

Remus’ lips twitched, it was well seen that Maria was feeling better now the storm had passed; she was resorting to her normal pureblood speech. Which she knew very well she didn’t need to do with him, but sometimes she just forgot, having used it all her life it was truly not surprising. “I am fine, but I do have something to tell you,”

“Oh?” Maria queried as she took a sip of her Darjeeling tea.

“Harry’s going through the change,” Remus told her, the rattling of the cup showed her surprise.

“So soon? My ancestor was here for weeks alone before they began courting, months still before the change occurred,” Maria explained, dabbing her mouth and the saucer with a napkin.

“You are related to the Prince’s?” Remus blurted out amber eyes wide.

“It’s a mere technicality, I do not have any Prince blood running through me, Zara Zabini was married to Artemis Prince, she had a son with him but left following their sons coming of age. She went on to marry another and have two children, a boy and a girl,” Maria informed him; she had Zara Zabini’s journals, which went into detail about her life.

“She did not become a vampire?” Remus queried.

“No, no she did not, she never consented to it, and it’s probably the only thing that enabled her to leave, for if she had been bound to him, she wouldn’t have been able to take on another.” Maria stated, placing the napkin aside and once more drinking her tea.

Remus winced, to have your mate so close for so many years only for them to deny the bond and leave was just horrific. He knew the feeling all too well, even more so now that he had bonded and Sirius was still in the dungeons, evidently Severus didn’t know what to do with him. He would more than likely let him leave when the time came for Dumbledore’s trial.

“Yes, it was an unfortunate situation,” Maria agreed, seeing the look on Remus’ face.

“Will you let the boys know what’s happening and what it means if they don’t already?” Remus asked of her. “I fear he’s getting annoyed with the constant interruptions, with Harry in pain he will be more impatient than normal.”

“Of course,” Maria answered right away, “How about your own bonding?” Maria gave him a look, yes she knew about it.

“He was a bloody idiot,” Remus grumbled in annoyance, “I told him to back to his own cell, but he wasn’t having any of it, I told him that I didn’t want to bond without first telling Harry. Yet he went headlong anyway, and my wolf took over, it didn’t understand the worries that plague me, he does whatever he wants, and it wanted Sirius, the bond was complete when I came to, I remember most of the night which is unusual.”
“How did Harry take it?” Maria shook her head, she vaguely remembered Sirius Black, but she had been in her seventh year along with Lucius Malfoy and many others, when Black, Potter, Pettigrew and Remus had come to school. He had been very distracting, a menace to society, a terrible person to those around him except the three he had bonded most strongly with. She had heard so many rumours over what they had been like, but reserved judgement she knew how teenagers liked to exaggerate their woes.

“He was understandably upset,” Remus sighed, rubbing his eyes tiredly, “More so when he learned what had been stolen from him, how much Dumbledore had taken,” Maria knew about the potions Dumbledore had used and also about the bonding she was a close friend, he spoke to her often about things he wouldn’t to others.

“It will be difficult at first, but I am sure in time Harry and Sirius will get on,” Maria assured him, Harry was very intelligent, he would understand Sirius had been robbed of everything as well. “Perhaps not as close as they could have been, but regretfully there is nothing to be done about it.”

“I pray that is so,” Remus smiled half-heartedly.

“How is Sirius?” Maria then asked she could see Remus desperately needed to talk some more about what had happened lately, he was weighted down with it. Plus she missed adult company; her friends couldn’t come here, so letters would be their only line of communication until the war was over.

“I have no idea, I haven’t seen him since the full moon,” Remus admitted, scratching the bristles appearing on his face, he needed to shave. “I feel so much guilt over what happened; I should have realized there was more going on. Instead of just stupidly relying on the Ministry’s tests, if I had only listened to my gut.”

“Do you want my advice?” Maria asked, sitting forward placing her cup and saucer down, staring intently at Remus.

“You know I do,” Remus replied, smiling at her, he always took her advice on board.

“Do not dwell on the past,” Maria, “Time is one thing we cannot get back, Dumbledore will get his due, so claim back what has been lost and treasure each moment for how precious it is. If there was one thing I could have it would be Blaise’s father, he was the love of my life, my soul mate, he died too young, Merlin bless his soul, I do not regret any of that time, I tried time and time again to find a husband whom I loved like him, but it was futile, I am content now, just to watch my son grow, to tell him everything about his much loved father. Who would have done anything in this world to survive, to see his son brought up.” her eyes sad but determined, “Do not waste time on things that can’t be changed.”

“You’re right,” Remus said, strength coursing through him at her words, “You’re absolutely right.”

“Of course I am,” Maria teased, and with that done, they got onto more pleasant topics, leaving Dumbledore and Sirius out of the conversation they had for the rest of the night.

-----------------0

The Next Day - Late at night

“Remus!” Sirius called out, surprised to see him there, he swallowed thickly he suspected Remus was extremely angry at him. “I’m sorry,” he offered up, “I…er…didn’t think…is Harry alright with it? He doesn’t blame you does he?” if Harry did it would make everything ten times worse he knew that.

Remus wanted to say bitterly ‘do you really care’ but Maria’s words were echoing in his mind. “Are you hungry?”

“Yes,” Sirius admitted, he didn’t like being in this damn cell but it bet the alternative, being killed. He was being fed though, nothing lavish, but it was far from the worst food he’d had. His own attempts at cooking had been utterly ridiculous, burnt and crispy.

Remus nodded before he unlocked the cell door, stepped in and locked it again behind him. Giving the vampire who had moved at his actions a look, calling a House-Elf, ordering some food as he transfigured a sturdy table for them to eat at along with two chairs, nothing fancy but it gave them something to sit on while they conversed. “Harry’s fine,” Remus said breathing deeply, “I am sorry that I didn’t dig further, this is the only apology you are going to get, I can’t keep dwelling on the past, Sirius, if we want a future we must stop looking to the past and think on a future we want.”

“I…” Sirius swallowed closing his eyes; he kept shifting from utter despair then anger then back again. Without the calming draughts he was being forced to endure it and it was killing him. “You aren’t to blame…Dumbledore is, but how can I look to the future, Remy? The last time I saw my godson he was just a baby in his fathers arms.” a bitter sob choked him.

“And now he’s a grown teenager, bonded himself now, I have lots of pictures of him…if you’d like to see them?” Remus asked, smiling in thanks to the Zabini House-Elves when they put delicious smelling food on the table for them.

“I should have been there! I should have raised him!” Sirius shouted, biting his lip so savagely to stop himself blurting out more that he caused it to bleed.

“But you didn’t, listen to me, Sirius; focus on the future, not the past,” Remus said, “If you whine like that to Harry he’ll just turn right back out and leave IF he even comes down.”

Sirius’ breathing hitched, “You think he might?” his tone hopeful.

“He might,” Remus said lying through his teeth; he honestly didn’t know what would happen. He certainly hoped he knew what would happen.

“I thought…you wouldn’t come back,” Sirius said, standing up and joining Remus on the seat, before tearing into the food with relish.

“You ignored my wishes,” Remus reprimanded him, shivering in the cold. “Completely, I wanted to tell Harry everything before we bonded!”

“I know, but I couldn’t…the thought…I felt so alive for the first time in decades, the hole in my chest…it was gone,” Sirius explained, his food temporarily forgotten. “I could feel the moon rising, the anticipation thrumming through me, by Merlin…I didn’t want to let that feeling go and I instinctively knew you were the cause of it.” to think they could have had that since they were eleven. It made him wonder though how Dumbledore had known.

Remus blinked, was that how the bond felt for Harry? He wouldn’t know he was a creature, he always felt things more deeply. Severus will have since he was transformed as well. Were they truly helpless in the face of the bond? No, it must have been because it was cut off and Sirius’ emotions were bound to be all over the place. “I see,” he murmured in contemplation.

“Excuse me?” a vampire interrupted them, “Our Lord has said that Mr. Black is to be installed in either your rooms or the rooms next door to yours.” the door to the cell was opened. “If you try to leave without informing Our Lord you will be put back here.” he added solely to Black.

“Thank you,” relief poured through Sirius, he was grateful, it was freezing down here.

The vampire nodded curtly before going back to his position; at least until Black got up, since he was the reason he was there in the first place.

----------0

Three days later

“Are you sure you’re feeling up to?” Severus asked concern lacing his voice, five days, nearing six Harry had been in immense pain going through the change. He had been elated at being able to take care of Harry, show that he would always be there for him, and have a real excuse to stay with him at all times. In the five days he hadn’t been interrupted more than just a few times. All the while he helped Harry get onto his feet, which were extremely steady, he was no longer human.

“Yes,” Harry said with a relieved grin, he had loved having Sev read to him, and having him all to himself for days but he didn’t want to remain in bed when he no longer needed to. He made his way to the ensuite bathroom, he might not be able to sweat anymore, but he needed to bathe, the sweat clung to him.

Severus got up once Harry was in the bathroom and made his way towards the bedroom door and opened it. He found Corin on duty; she straightened up when she saw him and bowed in greeting. “Send the invites out, its time. Send up Alfred in twenty minutes, I need him to look Harry over.” time to introduce Harry to everyone as his consort - the Lord Prince consort.

Corin perked up, a grin appearing on her face. “Yes My Lord.” she added respectfully before she was gone.

Severus shook his head, they were more excited about it than he was, and then again they would be getting to see each other properly, under one roof without duties interfering. She would get to see her man, Simon, he remembered who was currently abroad trying to expand the business so more money came in and convincing other who didn’t have a coven to join them. Perhaps he would send Rachel this time, she didn’t have a partner and she was quite frankly very good at convincing others to do her bidding. He had a feeling use unknowingly used her magic to accomplish her goals. It helped that she was utterly stunning, from an impassive point of view to him, since he didn’t care for women in that way.

Severus walked towards the bathroom, sliding in, his lips twitched when Harry turned to him - he could hear him coming now. No more surprises, unless of course he silenced himself, turned himself invisible, but even at that he wasn’t sure it would work. They were bonded, in a basic sense Harry may very well be able to sense him from a distance no matter what he did to conceal himself. Stripping off Severus slid into the warm bath behind him, wrapping his arms tightly around his mate, keeping him as close as possible. Surprisingly Harry leaned back into him; he had expected his shyness to return after he got better.

“What invites?” asked Harry, loving that he could hear now but he did get massive headaches.

“It’s like a coming out party, as my consort, officially celebrating your new status and the continuation of our traditions and perhaps even the Prince Line.” said Severus, not assuming Harry would want children. The potion would enable them to have their own blood; there was also a potion that could adopt a child to his and Harry’s blood. “It’s a chance to meet everyone.”

“Haven’t I met them already?” asked Harry confused, wriggling his foot and turning the tap on with it, it wasn’t warm enough for him yet.

“No, that was only a small collection of our vampires from the area,” chuckled Severus wryly, as he began to rub at Harry’s shoulders, causing Harry to give out an almost silent groan of appreciation.

‘Our’ thought Harry, a warm feeling flooding through him, he had Maria, she had been very good to him, and Blaise had sort of shared his mum with him. He often called her our mum or just mum as if he really was part of the family. Never having been part of one, it had overwhelmed him and made him so incredibly happy. At the same time he had Remus, a male influence in his life, one he had come to call dad. At first Remus had been the one overawed, but eventually he’d come to realize he wasn’t disrespecting James by being Harry’s father figure. If anything he realized that James would have been happy for him, glad that his son had someone in his life especially considering her couldn’t be. He never thought he’d have any of that, but he did, now he had a third family or maybe second since he thought of Remus and Maria as well as Teddy and Blaise as one big family. He could have both, it would happen sooner or later to Blaise and Teddy too, they would find man or women to love, but that didn’t mean they meant any less…why had he fought having someone care for him? Oh yes, the way it had been done, but he couldn’t hold that against Severus.

“Don’t stop,” murmured Harry quietly when Severus’ hands stopped. Using his foot to turn the tap off, it was getting too warm now; there was never a happy medium.

“Hmmm,” was the only noise Severus made as he continued, just being close to him, hearing the noises he was making was having an affect on the vampire, causing a certain part of his anatomy to stand at attention. In turn Severus just brought the teenager even closer to him, making Harry feel what he was doing to him by just being there. His breath hitched as Harry squirmed into him, did the teen have no idea just how provocative he was?

“Are Teddy, Blaise, Remus and Maria allowed to come?” asked Harry, his chin resting on Severus arms from where they were still wrapped around him.

“Of course, why wouldn’t they be?” enquired Severus, moving Harry’s hair out of the way before he kissed his neck, causing him to squirm again.

“They’re not vampires,” said Harry, arching his neck up, silently demanding more attention.

“That does not matter,” replied Severus before he latched onto Harry’s neck, sucking particularly hard on his mating bite. Wanting everyone know to see it, and they would, until the redness of the hickey left, then he would repeat the process all over again. By the look of things, Harry would be allowing this contact between them. “Do you feel what you do to me?” Severus said straight into Harry’s ear.

“When is the party?” asked Harry, finding it difficult to keep talking, as he desperately grabbed Severus’ hand and placed it on his swollen erection. He wasn’t used to the intensity of these feelings, and he could swear it was ten times more…just so much more than it had felt the first time. It was as if being a vampire had somehow made him ten times easier to arouse and horny at the same time.

“Two days from now,” replied Severus, stroking teasingly, causing Harry to grasp his hand and tighten his hold.

“Please,” whined Harry, he couldn’t take it, his body felt as if he would forever be trapped on the precipice - strung taut like a bow.

Severus took pity on him, tugging on him in firm sure strokes, it didn’t take long - not that he expected it, he came his body twitching sporadically as his body lay like jelly against his own. Feeling Harry coming undone caused his own orgasm to shoot all over Harry’s back marking him as Severus’ much to the vampires secret delight. Although it was quickly washed away by the bathwater, the scent was still clung to Harry.

Harry’s body was still getting used to its…heightened senses, he would be very easily aroused at the slightest touch by him, and he was going to look forward to teasing him - especially as he got used to the feelings. It would be so much more satisfying to tease someone who wouldn’t come at the slightest provocation. That’s not to say he didn’t enjoy being able to manipulate his mates body so easily.

“Alfred is coming up to see you, to make sure you are alright,” said Severus, after a few seconds, banishing the mess they’d made. It crusted up something awful and he didn’t want that on their skin.

“Why?” Harry asked in surprise, he was so tired he actually wanted to go back to sleep - but he refused to give into that feeling. He’d been cooped up for ages; he wanted to see his friends and Remus.

“I want to make sure everything is healed.” said Severus, his chin resting on Harry’s shoulders; he took a deep breath before he continued.

“How long has it been?” Harry queried as he took the plug from the bath, letting the water run out. Only when Severus’ arms let go of him did he stand up and get out of the bath. Grabbing a towel as he went, absently handing one to Severus as he dried himself off.

“Six days nearly,” Severus told him.

“That long?” gasped Harry; he hadn’t expected it to be that amount of time.

“Yes, I think you broke every record in existence when it comes to the change,” he said grimly, he had been bloody worried for days after that.

Harry grinned sheepishly, as he tied the towel around his waist as he left the bathroom heading straight for his cupboard. The clothes he felt were still too flashy, even the less dressy ones, if that was even remotely possible. “Do you have Pepper-Up Potions? I’m so exhausted but I don’t want to stay in that bed anymore.” especially now considering how long he’d actually been in it.

Severus got dressed before opening the chest at the bottom of his bed, bringing out the potions bag he had, which held all his personally brewed potions. Plucking the one particular potion Harry was asking for before replacing everything and closing the chest with a thump. “Here, take it after Alfred has done his check-up. Speaking of the devil, he is here.” he added thoughtfully, making sure Harry was fully dressed he moved towards the door and opened it. He still had silencing spells up preventing them from hearing - so calling out for them to enter was useless.

“You wished to see me, Severus?” the elder vampire said.

“I need you to do a check-up on Harry,” replied Severus, six days was just alarming, he couldn’t help but think something was wrong - he would like to be reassured everything was. He didn’t say anything in case he ended up worrying Harry.

Harry came first; he was his mate, his everything without him he was nothing.

Alfred gave Severus a probing look, sensing his worry even if Harry didn’t but he knew Severus better, had known him longer he knew all his ticks. “Of course, please sit down Harry,” said Alfred, respectfully.
Severus moved to the side of both Alfred and Harry, keeping them both with his sight - he trusted Alfred with his life he had been with him since the beginning. Quite frankly the other wizard had previously had amble opportunity to end him before he even took up the mantel of Lord Prince. He had been chosen by Glenn, his grandfather to teach him everything he needed to know to survive to see a year past his new inheritance. They’d kept it extremely quiet, choosing very carefully who received the news that Severus was a vampire. For if the vampire community had found out - there was little doubt there would have been those who would have ensured his early demise. He was one of the best duellers and also the best healer, hence his decision to have him checking Harry over.

“Just relax, it’s a non evasive diagnosis charm,” Alfred said, Harry looked well he couldn’t quite describe the look on his face. Harry didn’t look worried per se, but he definitely wasn’t relaxed or happy about it to say the least. Flicking his wand left, right, up and down and swirling it around in a circular motion, pressing all his magic into it causing Harry to shiver feeling the strange magic coursing through him then it stopped altogether. After a few seconds, parchment furled out of Alfred’s wand.

Severus kept an eye on him, his eyes narrowed as he tried to read the results but failed as Alfred began to read them himself slightly obscuring him from the view of the writing. He couldn’t tell by Alfred’s reactions if anything was wrong of his own imagination. Alfred was very good at keeping his face closed of any emotion when he wanted to be, much like himself in fact. Probably something he had picked up when he was human and a healer, something he had continued on with as a vampire.

Alfred read the results, and re-read them a second time perplexed by what he was reading. “Are you exhausted?” he enquired seeing the Pepper-up Potion still clutched in Harry’s hand.

“Yeah,” admitted Harry giving him a weird look.

“I see,” said Alfred, well he wasn’t surprised by that, no wonder Severus had called him up here. There was no way Harry should still be exhausted which means the foreign entity was having an affect on Harry’s body - his immortal body. He wasn’t immortal per se but he would live ten times longer than Dumbledore had that is to say many centuries too many people he would seem immortal.

“What is it?” demanded Severus, not in the mood to put up with theatrics - not when it came to his mate.

“Severus you say you were there the night the Dark Lord Voldemort attacked…what exactly did you see?” wondered, “And yes, it has to do with this particular conversation - I am not asking on a whim.”

“I entered the room just as Voldemort cast the killing curse on Harry; I fired my own at his back his own killing curse rebound back onto him. It destroyed his body and his spirit fled the scene, and of course not long after Dumbledore made an appearance. At the time I had no idea about Voldemort’s rebounding curse, it wasn’t until much later when I began to receive my inheritance did I realize exactly what had gone down that night.” said Severus, his eyes still narrowed on Alfred.

“You saw nothing else?” enquired Alfred.

“No, until he was de-bodied I only ever saw Voldemort’s back. Why?” demanded Severus, his tone booking no more questions - he wanted an answer right now.

“Because there is a shard of his soul imbedded in Harry, it’s affecting him and it’s the reason he is so tired…it may well be why it took so long for him to complete the transformation.” said Alfred cautiously, wincing at the feral look that came across Severus’ face. He wanted to leave the room, he did not want to be on the receiving end of a possessive vampires rage with the knowledge his mate was being affected by something.

“He created Horcruxes,” growled Severus furiously, there were many books in the vault regarding them.

“Indeed,” nodded Alfred in agreement, it was the only reason why his soul would rip apart just by casting a killing curse. Feeling slightly relieved that Severus was able to stop himself from reacting violently by what he’d just found out - he didn’t think he would have had it in him to do the same.

“What’s a Horcrux?” Harry wanted to know, feeling very wary, sliding further up the bed gazing at them cautiously. Did he even want to know judging by Severus’ reaction and Alfred’s grimness.

“It explains Voldemort’s ability to have survived that night,” Severus told his mate slowly, as if he didn’t want to overwhelm Harry with too much information. “A Horcrux is one of the foulest pieces of magic created; it’s a ritual that requires sacrifice of human life. In the process it rips your soul allowing it to be placed in an object for safe keeping. It could be anything from a box or jewellery of some kind, an often overlooked innocuous item. The fact he did not do a ritual and his soul split regardless shows that there is more than two or three out there. I would need to read the other books to get a greater understanding of them.” he had only read one of the books, the others he had discarded he liked the Dark Arts but not to the extent of ripping his soul to shreds - he had no need for it since he was a vampire and would live an extremely elongated life.

“And I have it inside of me?” whispered Harry, utterly horrified. He had a piece of Voldemort in him? What did it mean for him?

“Not for long,” hissed Severus, the longer it was in Harry the more damage it was doing - which he wouldn’t tolerate.

“I will look into the medical texts,” said Alfred, knowing the urgency. “Try not to use too much magic, Harry, we do not know the affect it’s having on you.”

“What about potions?” asked Harry, his stomach a mass of quivering panic right now.

“I wouldn’t suggest it,” said Alfred.

“Come with me,” said Severus, grabbing a hold of his mate, getting him up he held tightly as he moved him from the room barking at the others he was going to the vault and they were not to be disturbed unless it was extremely urgent. Which meant someone had better be dying if he was disturbed, this was the most important thing to him right now - they had to figure a way to get the Horcrux out of his mate.

“Stop dragging me I can move myself,” said Harry, continuously wincing as Severus’ hand was wrapped tightly around his upper arm in a bruising grasp. He sighed in relief when the grip lessened but Severus didn’t let go, he also stopped moving so quickly. His way of apologizing probably, there was no way he would actually apologise. He gazed around, he was in part of the castle he hadn’t been in before - not that it was hard to be true - he hadn’t seen everywhere.

When they called it a vault, Harry hadn’t realized they were talking about an actual vault, hermetically sealed so no damage could come to the books. It was a good job he was a vampire, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to stay in there long. They must be under the castle; there wasn’t a single window down here. Harry watched Severus mutter in a language he didn’t understand and a blue dome shimmered down. Only then did Severus open the door and allow both himself and Alfred to enter before he closed it behind him.

Harry looked around in awe, completely overwhelmed, the books were in pristine condition, and the scrolls were bound with ribbons placed delicately in their own glass cases, with a small piece of paper at the side revealing what that particular scroll was about. Severus had said his grandmother had read every book in the castle…did he mean she’d gotten through all these books too? Where had she had the time? Had Glenn been so busy that Rose had nothing better to do than read the books? Would it be the same for him too? Would he even get to see Severus or would he always have to wait until he was finished…that was actually quite a depressing thought. His own feelings were confusing the life out of him, but what he did know was that he was developing strong feelings for Severus and he didn’t want to stop them.

“Are you alright?” asked Severus, turning his mate around so he could see him. The look on his face worried him, he wasn’t used to quiet Harry anymore, and he was always asking questions left right and centre. Obviously this new news would worry him but Severus was determined that by tonight the soul shard would no longer be present in his mate. The thought of Voldemort being inside his mate, any part of him infuriated him.

“Just wondering how Rose was able to read all these books…there are so many,” confessed Harry, there wasn’t an available space anywhere other than two tables and chairs in the middle of the room between from floor to ceiling bookshelves.

“It took her over three decades,” said Severus, understanding what Harry was talking about without the teenager actually saying anything. “During the day she would come down and read a book or two while he was dealing with business since she had no desire to be there. She didn’t care for the business side that came with being Glenn’s wife.” it was not because Glenn was too busy at all times of the day and she never got to see him.

Harry nodded his understanding.

Severus seeing that Harry would be fine, he moved over to the books healing with Horcruxes and pulled the five books from the shelves. These were just the oldest ones, the newer ones with less detail about them, one in fact called them unmentionable, they were in the library up the stairs - seeing they were not rare. Alfred was already deeply immersed in scrolls, as vampires they wouldn’t take long to read the books so with a bit of luck they’d have a solution quickly.

Half an hour later, Harry was finished looking around the vault, he didn’t want to think on what he’d just learned. Yet now that he didn’t have anything to do he realized he was thinking on it more. He had always been good at not thinking on stuff he didn’t want to. “Can I go see Remus?” asked Harry, not sure if he could get out without Sev or not.

“Very well,” sighed Severus, “Make sure that Corin goes with you.” he was more firm with that statement.

“Still?” groaned Harry, he was still going to have to have people following his every move even now that he was a vampire?

“Yes,” Severus replied, he was the Prince Lord’s Consort, and very vulnerable to attack so Harry would always have others following him. Watching Harry nod his head in acquiescing to his demands caused him to relax. Then he was gone, the vault door closed leaving just Alfred with him.

Harry was a very determined young man…vampire now. He was always determined to get his own way, as proven by the fact he’d gone and interrupted Severus during one of his meetings. It’s exactly the kind of person Severus needed, one to challenge him and keep him on his toes. Harry may very well actually want to rule beside Severus instead of attending a few meetings then slinking away once he got used to his new position.

Alfred had no idea how right he was.

-----0

Harry sighed inwardly when he saw Corin waiting on him, giving him a bow, from outside the door leaving the vault. He was tired of being followed around, more so than usual but what could he do? He knew it was for his own safety, but this was a castle, he doubted very much anyone could get in here.

“Not happy to see me?” teased Corin wryly.

“As happy as someone who likes people stuck to them like Velcro,” Harry snorted in amusement.

“Stop thinking of us as bodyguards and think of us as friends,” Corin advised.

“I’m not used to it,” grumbled Harry, “It’s like having someone looking over your shoulder every minute of the day. In other words annoying.” although he would try and take Corin’s advise.

“Slow down,” said Corin, having to speed up to keep up with him, managing not to lose sight of him as they ran up the stairs onto the next level of the castle. If that had happened then that would be equal to kissing this assignment goodbye, their lord wouldn’t tolerate any slacking.

Harry grinned going faster he was beginning to love his new speed, it was awesome. “I didn’t think I’d get used to it so quickly…it seems to come naturally.”

“That’s because it is natural for you now,” explained Corin, “Although you might find with humans it’s a little different.”

“I hope not too different,” admitted Harry, concerned about his friends.

“You’ll do fine,” said Corin assuring the teen as they turned yet another corner and on the floor Remus Lupin’s room was on. Corin was very excited for the party, invites were already being sent out, and they had already been made just waiting on the dates being added. Although something had gotten them worked up, Alfred and their Lord had looked extremely tense when they came out of their Lord’s chambers.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 23

“Harry!” Remus called out, a relieved look covering his face, “How are you feeling?” he asked as his son entered his bedroom, well his and Sirius’. He didn’t look like he had changed all that much, but he could smell Harry had gone through the change, his heartbeat was completely different and his scent was mingled with the stench of death. He paid no attention to it, he was surprisingly used to the smell now, and after only three weeks too.

“Bloody hell, you stink!” Harry grimaced, breathing out.

Remus laughed in amusement, “The same could be said for you as well,” Remus said dryly, taking no offence, Harry would get used to his new senses. He could remember when everything smelt different for him too, he may have only been four but he did have small recollections of that time. He wasn’t sure whether it was because he was a werewolf, or if it was merely just because of the traumatic time surrounding his memories. “How are you though?” he then asked again.

“Tired, but I’ll be fine,” Harry said with a smile, not sure whether to tell Remus about the Horcruxes or not. “Where is he?” he could smell Sirius in the room. He still wasn’t sure what to make of it all, you’d think he’d have had plenty of time to think stuck in bed for six days, but the truth of the matter was he had hurt too much to think coherently, when he wasn’t in pain he slipped to sleep.

“He was asked to take a walk I suspect the vampires knew you were coming,” Remus explained, well more than knew. With Harry’s emotions going to be all over the place for the next few days, he agreed wholeheartedly with the decision they made to keep Sirius away from Harry until it passed. Sirius wouldn’t be able to cope with Harry being angry at him, even if he knew that Harry was just emotional due to the change and the intensity he would now feel things.

“Ah,” Harry said grinning widely; he would need to thank them someway for that.

“How are you feeling in regards to the bond?” Remus queried, as Harry made his way over and sat on his bed.

“I don’t feel anything different,” Harry explained giving Remus a curious look.

Remus nodded unsurprised, with Harry being as powerful as he was, and Severus too, he had already been feeling things through the bond. He summarised it would truly flare up when they first slept with one another. Not something he wanted to think about, thank you very much. Worse still he would know, just as he knew they hadn’t yet, he could smell it on Harry.

“Do you know what a Horcrux is?” seeing Remus stiffen he realized that yes, he evidently did know. “You do, don’t you?”

“Why do you want to know about something like that?” Remus asked his own voice filled with warning. What was Harry reading? He knew he was a Ravenclaw but really? Reading about Horcruxes? There were so few books that discussed them, hell they’re mentioned only in passing as unmentionables never actually outright called Horcruxes in most books. Had he been reading more books from his vault? But as far as he knew Harry hadn’t taken anything else from the Potter vaults.

“Harry?!” Remus stated sharply, “I want an answer!”

“I’m one,” Harry said quietly, his fears showing on his face.

“WHAT?!” Remus barked, incredulity wafting from him - he could scarcely believe what he’d heard, he was tempted to think he had misheard him.

Harry winced in agony, clamping his fingers over his ears as they rung ferociously, and an immediate headache began to form. He glared at Remus in irritation; did he really have to shout so loudly?

“Sorry, how did you find out?” Remus asked, his heart pounding, as panic and fear coursed through him. How the hell was he a Horcrux it never said anything about a human container. He didn’t ask who because quite frankly the answer was obvious - Voldemort. If he hadn’t been a concern as it was, they were now dealing with a wizard who had apparently split his soul which would make him even more impossible to kill.

“Severus knew there was something wrong,” Harry explained, “I was exhausted when I woke up, I think he realized something then and asked for a healer. Alfred found out, Remus I have a piece of that filthy bastard in me.” green eyes wide with disgust and fear.

“Harry, don’t panic, not yet, there might be a simple solution.” Remus said his voice soft and soothing, “What are they doing about it?” knowing without a doubt that they were doing something about it. Getting Harry focused on something would hopefully take the edge of his panic and fear. He didn’t like to see Harry so fearful, it had happened only one time (when he was kidnapped) and his wolf and him had gone ballistic about it.

“What you want to do,” Harry snorted in amusement.

“Research?” Remus nodded, wondering if they needed help, he was very good at research if nothing else.

“Yeah,” Harry replied, relaxing slightly, they would get this thing out of him, and he would panic if there wasn’t an alternative found.

“You do look tired,” Remus told him concerned, his amber eyes filled with worry.

“I am,” Harry admitted he had to remain calm if he used any more magic it might be even more detrimental to his health.

“Where is he? I’d like to help,” Remus asked, standing up, his son was in danger so damn right he was going to help. Although he couldn’t read as fast as the vampire, he would be able to help and that was all that mattered to him right now.

“He’s in the vault, I don’t think people are allowed in there,” Harry revealed plainly. “It’s hermetically sealed, you wouldn’t be able to be down there long.” he doubted even a bubblehead charm would let you last longer, you’d eventually start suffocating. Although if he was honest he wasn’t sure, it had been his first time in there.

“No,” Remus grumbled grudgingly, “No, they don’t allow those that aren’t in the Coven, it’s hermetically sealed more than normal, since vampires don’t need to breathe so I wouldn’t last ten minutes.” they wouldn’t remove the books for him to read either, they were very delicate. “This is good though, we’re in the right place, I doubt there is anywhere in Britain with more books, more knowledge, which is exactly what we need.”

“I guess,” Harry nodded thoughtfully, he prayed they were right.

Remus smiled reassuringly at his son. “Oh, I got an invitation for the party.” he added remembering it, to say it was fancy would be putting it lightly, they were obviously sparing no expense even for the paper - which he found utterly ridiculous but they did have money to burn, or maybe more money than sense. “I think your friends received one as well.” at least Harry would never have to worry about money problems again, James had been such an idiot, he didn’t know why his best friend had done such a stupid thing. Harry would have been content enough to make it do him, get a job after Hogwarts - he was smart enough to get one. Obviously plans had changed now, but that was beside the point.

“But Severus just asked them to do it like an hour!” Harry gaped, surprised.

“They probably already had them written out,” Remus grinned wryly.

Harry laughed and amusedly shook his head, not exactly surprised by that. Then he remembered what had happened before his change…then afterwards. “Remus, my accepting him…does that mean the courting process is over?” he had read the customs book, but there was nothing definitively clear that said yes or no. He suspected the answer was no, that it wasn’t over, but he just wanted to be sure.

“Technically the courting process is however long you both agreed, no matter what steps you’ve taken - unless you marry - not the handfasting process which is not the same as a marriage bonding ceremony - which of course nulls the courting process naturally.” Remus told him thoughtfully.

Harry nodded, “I suspected as much,” it was nice to be proven right.

“Wh--” Remus started only to be cut off by a knock on the door. His heart began pounding, praying that it wasn’t Sirius returning already. “Come in!” relief flooded through him when he saw it was just a vampire that walked through the door. It wasn’t one he was familiar with either.

“Sir,” squeaked the vampire nervously at Harry before facing Remus, “Mail came for you,” he added, his lips twisting slightly as if he was offended at having to play an owl for the werewolf - or perhaps it was just because he had to deliver it full stop.

“Thank you,” Remus answered sincerely, as he took the letter from the odd vampire. Who disappeared in a blink of an eye without as much as another word.

Remus looked at the letter, it was familiar he had seen it somewhere and quite recently. Sniffing it, he knew immediately why it was familiar - Tonks. Rolling his eyes heavenward wondering what she was wanting with him now. He wasn’t going to join the order; surely she realized this after last time? Although it had been a rather pleasurable evening if he remembered correctly. Smirking in devious amusement he opened the letter ready to get amusement out of the Order’s pathetic attempts to recruit him - although why they’d do that when Dumbledore was in so much trouble he did not know.

Unfortunately it wasn’t, no instead he felt himself paling drastically as his eyes nearly popped out of his head. What the fuck! How could the woman be so careless! She was an Auror for Merlin’s sake she should have made sure she used the spell afterwards to make sure nothing came of their night. How could he have been so careless? He should have made sure she used that damn spell. Fuck, he was a werewolf for Merlin’s sake! The kid could take on his condition.

“Are you okay?” Harry asked staring at Remus worried.

“I um…don’t know.” Remus replied automatically still dazed.

“What does it say?” Harry demanded becoming concerned, ready to teach out for the letter.

“Tonks is pregnant.” Remus told him, causing Harry to stop in mid-stretch and freeze. “Harry?”

“You’re going to be a dad?” Harry gaped, two sides warring within him, part of him was ecstatic for Remus, the other more insecure part of him felt as though he was going to die, feared being abandoned above all else.

“You will always be my son, my first cub,” Remus stated vehemently. Grasping a hold of Harry, he squeezed gently “Believe me, Harry; I never wanted this to happen…if the child is infected…I’ll never forgive her for being so stupid!”

Harry gazed at Remus, the amber eyes were sincere and the scent was truthful. He felt extremely undeserving of Remus’ loyalty that he would choose him over Sirius and him over his own child. What had he done to deserve it? He just hoped one day that he could repay Remus for the love he had given him. For choosing him. “The baby could not have a better dad, you’ll be great, I just know it.” he said, smiling at him, before hugging him, silently thanking him for his words and congratulating him.

Another knock at the door had Remus cursing “What now?” he thought beyond irritated as he reluctantly withdrew from his son, how did he make Harry realize that nothing would change? That he would always be his son? Merlin he could kill the Dursley’s right now, despite the fact he’d stayed with him for years, what the Dursley’s had done hadn’t been magically wiped away - he was still insecure whether he showed it or not. “Come in!”

Corin bowed to Harry in respect before stating, “My Lord would like to see you both,”

“Where?” Harry asked, standing up hope brewing in him had a solution been found already? Could it really have been that easy to find?

“Your private quarters,” Corin informed them.

“Okay, we will be right there.” Harry said, already moving out of the room, going at a human pace - which he found extremely difficult but trying to stay in line with Remus made it easier.
The walk up to Harry and Severus’ private quarters was silent to say the least, Remus still in shock by what he had just learned. Harry began to worry about what the news would be when they got there. Perhaps it wasn’t even about the Horcrux, after all Remus had been asked to come.

Harry quickly reached for the door before Corin could, he hated the fact they tried to do everything even open and close doors behind him. He hadn’t grown up having everything done for him, and wasn’t used to it, everyone else here was and he prayed he didn’t - he didn’t want to lose himself to this grandness. He certainly would try his best to keep himself from becoming overwhelmed or worse converting to a person that assumed they’d do everything for him. He found both Alfred and Severus in the room, both looked grim but determined - this must be about the Horcruxes after all.

“Is everything alright?” Harry asked keeping his apprehension to himself. “Did you find something already?”

“There are two ways to remove it,” Severus explained, he didn’t like either way very much.

“How do you remove it then?” Harry asked.

“If I may?” Alfred enquired, asking his Lord for permission, as soon as Severus nodded curtly, he began speaking once more. “The first is the only way forward; it’s a basic transferral spell, which of course will transfer the soul piece from you into a container of our choosing. I am not going to lie, Harry, it will be extremely painful, it has been part of you for such a long time, there’s even a chance that part of your magic might go with it.”

“Part?” Remus rasped out, eyes wide with horror.

“Just the magic that has imbued in the Horcrux, it attached itself to him, to his magic, depending on how big the soul piece is…it might not be significant but I cannot make that promise and keep it.” Alfred told Harry an apologetic note in his tone.

“And the second?” Harry muttered sitting down on the bed, not even glancing when he felt Remus’ hand fall to his shoulder offering him comfort. The thought of ending up a squib, which might not have been said - it was certainly implied - they didn’t know what the hell would happen, well he felt sick. Squibs weren’t thought of much in magical society, they were pariahs, outcast from magical society the second they found out. If it happened to him…he would be alone, swallowing thickly thinking of everyone in his life, closing his eyes, as much as he desired to be selfish, he could never do that to his family. Just how the hell had he ended up in Slytherin?

Alfred reluctantly answered Harry’s question, “To get it out of you without the transferral spell would be death.” which of course would never happen, his Lord would never allow it - to allow his mate to be killed was suicide, not just in vampire society but suicide on its own.

“So why didn’t it self destruct when Harry was changed?” Remus was perplexed.

“It didn’t self destruct, if anything it became a bigger threat,” Alfred admitted, “This has to be dealt with immediately.”

“A threat?” Harry yelped, eyes wide, “How?” he didn’t even want to consider the implications of that statement.

“There is a possibility of possession, or the soul activating, which will fight with yours until one wins,” Alfred answered tensely.

“It’s only a little piece! Surely it couldn’t possible overwhelm a full soul?” Remus cried out anxiously, glancing at Snape to find him staring out of the window his arms crossed over his chest. Harry seemed in pretty much the same state, only he was staring at the floor his eyes glazed. He wouldn’t lose his son, not like this, he absolutely refused. He would rather love Harry as a normal son than a dead one. He didn’t care whether Harry had magic or not, he wasn’t like the other wizards who only cared about preserving the magic in their damn pureblood lines.

“That’s what Severus thought;” Alfred sighed sadly, “Unfortunately the evidence is irrefutable,”

“Evidence? What evidence there’s only one person who’s ever done anything like this and he didn’t do it against a person!” Remus argued.

“That’s probably what the Ministry wants you to think,” Harry couldn’t help but snort derisively. “That and Dumbledore, do you know how many books he’s had pulled from the library during his tenure of Headmaster?”

“Forty-five and counting,” Severus answered drolly turning around; it was times like this he was forcefully reminded of where exactly his mate had been placed - in Slytherin. It was always quite the argument in Slytherin about the books being taken out; it had been going on for generations.

Harry nodded not able to smirk or smile - the effort I would require was too much for him. He felt defeated and dispirited, after all the fighting; his hard work…had it all come down to his? Why? He just wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out, stay in a permanent state of hibernation. Dropping his head into his palms, what was he going to do? Even as he thought it he knew what he had to - he just didn’t want to. The thought of losing his magic was terrifying, he’d only known about magic for six years but it was a lifetime to him.

“Leave,” Severus demanded, barely glancing at either of his ‘guests’ his focus was on Harry who was trying to make himself as small as possible on the bed.

Remus was about to protest before Alfred shook his head and guided the werewolf from the room. “Let’s go, I’m sure they have a lot to discuss.” he spoke with conviction and kindness. He could only imagine what he was going through hearing this, especially seeing as he considered Harry a son.

Once the door clicked shut, Severus went over to Harry and placed his hand under his chin forcing his mate to look at him. His eyes were glazed, defeated they practically screamed ‘why him’ a question that he himself was asking. “The choice is up to you, Harry, I will stick by whatever you choose to do.” as any mate would. He wanted to get the damn Horcrux out of him, the urge to order it was very strong. He didn’t like the fact that there was any part of Voldemort in his mate, yet he knew if he did this Harry would never forgive it. So he was taking a step back and allowing Harry to choose himself, he hadn’t realized how difficult it would be until Alfred began speaking.

“But…my magic,” Harry whispered half terrified-half horrified. It wasn’t something he would wish on his worst enemy, it was part of you; to lose it was to lose your identity.

“I know,” Severus said quietly, “I know.” he repeated himself, wishing that he could somehow sweep this under a rug and forget about it, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible. He had been in control of his life for so long, that he found the unknown quite frankly worrisome. He so badly wanted to tell Harry that everything would be alright, but he would never do his mate the disservice of potentially lying to him. It seemed though that he was contemplating the first idea, not that he would let him consider the second one. Looking down when Harry leaned against him he began to card his fingers through Harry’s hair. This wasn’t a decision that could be made lightly, yet the depressing thing was that there was really no alternative.

Harry closed his eyes and pressed himself further into Severus, “Do it.” he said shakily, if he lost his magic…becoming a vampire would quickly become his biggest mistake - it wasn’t easy to kill a vampire or yourself if you were one. Living an extremely elongated life knowing what he was missing? It would be the worst torture ever. He felt shaky a sick but he refused to budge from his decision.

“Are you sure?” Severus asked calmly, he would search high and low if he truly thought there was any other way go to. Yet he knew if there was no other answer in Prince Vault, there wouldn’t be one anywhere, the vaults held the earliest documents on record perfectly preserved. Nowhere in the world other than perhaps Egypt and Rome held documents this old, but they were in museums.

“No,” Harry chuckled without humour.

Severus remained silent, knowing sometimes that it was best to let them digest everything without empty platitudes.

“What would you do?” Harry asked, his voice slightly muffled, but Severus’ hearing was better than any humans so he had no trouble whatsoever in hearing exactly what Harry said.

“Me?” Severus mused thoughtfully, “I would go through with it, in my own way spiting Voldemort, that and the thought of anyone controlling me is repugnant. I would rather do things on my own terms, like you though I wouldn’t hope for the best, but think the worst.”

“How painful will it be?” Harry whispered, he knew pain, intimately, from a very young age hell he’d been self diagnosing himself when he was hurt, whether it was a sprain, strain, or a broken bone. He had just gone through six says of immense pain to be changed into a vampire.

“Truthfully? I cannot say with any certainty, it wasn’t a diary or journal we were reading, it was a book, it didn’t describe how bad it could be.” Severus answered honestly. “All it said was that to extract it is a painful experience.”

“Great,” Harry replied glumly, very grateful for Severus’ presence right now, somehow just having him there was making him feel better, no empty platitudes or promises that everything would work out.

“I will do everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t take your magic,” Severus vowed vehemently.

“What do you mean you will?” Harry asked moving away to stare at Severus.

“We are bonded, Harry, not just on a physical level but a magical one as well, there’s a part of you in me now.” Severus explained. “Not like being married, that is a whole other bond.”

“So you can feel the Horcrux?” Harry asked perplexed his forehead scrunched up as he thought on it, it didn’t sound right otherwise he wouldn’t have needed Alfred. This morning seemed so long ago; he wondered when he would stop taking body blows and be able to feel again.

“No, but with this spell I will be able to, I will be removing it, Alfred will be helping, it will take both of us to say the spells.” Severus explained, it would probably be the hardest thing he’d ever have to do - but he would do it. Stepping back giving Harry some room, Merlin this wasn’t what he wanted to be doing after the change had occurred.

Harry nodded pensively.

Severus reached down and brought Harry’s face up again, “If you want to wait a while until you’re sure it is what you want I will not stand in your way.” his tone was soothing.

Harry vehemently shook his head, “No, I want this over with before I change my mind and run.” his green eyes glinted in a way that made Severus realize that he was serious. If he didn’t do this there was no doubt he would run, he wouldn’t put his family in danger…and despite how things had started…he would never put the vampires in danger, they had done nothing but protect him - even if it exasperated him - no, he couldn’t let anyone be harmed.

Severus arched an eyebrow in surprise by the determination and resolution that poured from Harry. Run, well he hadn’t contemplated Harry wishing to do that. From what he had seen so far, by his words and watching him his family meant everything…which was probably precisely why he’d do what he would. Well, it was time to get that Horcrux out, he wasn’t about to let his mate go out there on his own, not without someone to protect him. He would do whatever it took to keep his mate safe, as would his people. It wouldn’t take long for them to warm to Harry, just seeing him made those that had met him so far want to protect him against everything - and they found it impossible to stay annoyed at him - too impressed with him to be annoyed more like Severus thought in wry amusement.

“I cannot give you anything until the ritual has been completed, do you understand?” Severus warned him, “I sincerely wish it wasn’t the case, but we need you awake and aware as well as alert.”

“I figured as much,” Harry said nodding grudgingly.

“Would you like Remus here? It won’t interfere with the ritual,” Severus asked, he hated the thought of Remus helping his mate - it was his job, his duty and right. He would rather Harry was hurt less and someone helping than him suffering on his own and flailing everywhere potentially hurting himself further. Sure it wasn’t easy to hurt a vampire, but they still felt pain like everyone else.

“He’s going to be a dad,” Harry said impassively.

Arching an eyebrow in surprise, it couldn’t possibly be Black not even a werewolf would be able to tell so soon…which meant it was someone else. “And you are worried things will change between you?” Severus stated, already knowing the answer.

“Wont it?” Harry said, at least partly it would, but he would never grudge his dad the prospect of another child.

“People have more than one child; it doesn’t mean they love one child more than the other. You aren’t just Remus’ son; you are his cub, not even another child, even his own will lessen the bond between both of you. Wolves have more than one cub, and they protect them all and would do so to their death. There’s nothing more important to them, and whether you or he choose to believe it or not - Remus will always think like a wolf. Not even denying that part of himself will help.” Severus told Harry firmly, hoping to ease at least some of Harry’s worries, he might not display it but he suspected part of Harry was worried things would change.

Something loosened in Harry’s chest, something he hadn’t even realized that was required, “Thank you,” he had needed that after a day like this.

“It’s the truth,” Severus said, his mate was very easy to pacify, at least he was talking to him about his worries, it gave him a sense of accomplishment that he’d been able to help him.

A shaky sigh left Harry’s lips, he prayed to a Merlin he didn’t believe in to let him keep his magic, he would rather be dead than lose it. "Let's do it."

Severus stalked back over to the door, his face completely impenetrable; the only thing that gave away the building fury in his veins was his eyes. He loathed what he was about to do, having to do, even if it meant saving him and preventing Harry from being destroyed by the Dark Lord’s soul somewhere down the road. Harry’s consent meant a lot to him; it didn’t suddenly make everything suddenly easier. “Get in.” he stated tersely.

Alfred said nothing as he walked passed; he knew this wasn’t the right time for anything like that. He knew Severus all too well, ever since he had become a fledgling, he’d quickly surpassed all he had expected of him. He was inordinately proud of him; there is no doubt about that. Although in all honesty, he could be a little calmer with his emotions. He didn’t think he’d seen Severus so angry before, not even through all the trials he had endured to reach the top and reclaim his rightful place. Then again he was being forced to hurt his mate, potentially turn him into a squib or at least less magically powerful…it was bound to be the hardest thing he’d ever do in his life.

“You cannot touch Harry until we give you permission to do so,” Alfred informed Remus, seeing him clutching Harry’s hand in some sort of comfort. “If there’s any contact it will screw up the ritual…in ways we don’t even want to comprehend.” his tone guarded and serious.

 

Remus closed his eyes, slumping resignedly, he squeezed Harry’s hand harder and said “I’ll be right over there, I promise, I’m not going anywhere.” dropping it feeling utterly destroyed, praying to whatever deity that looked over them that they take his own magic not Harry’s. That he would do anything they wanted if they would just save his son, to allow him to keep his magic.

“Try and stay in the middle of the bed,” Severus informed Harry, his terse tone softening as he regarded his mate with pride and barely concealed worry. Flicking his finger, the soft glow surrounding the bed gave Severus the knowledge that his magic had worked. Harry was going to be in agony, he wasn’t going to have him falling off the bed as well - not that he would break bones but anything to make this easier. Thank Merlin they’d found this when he was a vampire, it meant he would heal quicker - hopefully.

Harry said nothing his mind a panicked chaotic mess as he warred within himself, part of him wanted to run and run far than lose his magic. The other part wanted to protect his family and get this over with regardless of the consequences. One could say his Slytherin side was competing with his Hufflepuff side.

“Try and relax,” Alfred soothed, hopefully it would make it infinitesimally easier.

Harry choked a ludicrous sarcastic laugh out as he moved up the bed, using his feet to propel himself, relax? He might bloody lose his magic! There was no way in hell he could bloody relax.

Alfred moved and placed a cheap trinket (a worthless locket) on the bed beside Harry to direct the Horcrux into once they got it from him.

“We are going to start now,” Severus warned, before raising his wand, feeling his stomach tightening in knots, he almost wanted to leave the room rather than do this - or worse witnesses it. He stiffened his resolve; he’d rather have this than the Dark Lord using Harry’s body, powers and looks to further his cause. Harry would be blamed for it all; they wouldn’t even blink at the insinuation since he was a ‘Slytherin’. Nobody deserved that to happen to them, least of all his mate. The thought of him being lost to the Dark Lord’s soul was enough.

“Prehendo alveus concarnatio fragmen excerptum extraho dismoveo!” pouring all the power into it, watching as it slammed into Harry, not even a second later, the scream he let out was deafening, this was way beyond just ‘excruciating pain’. Severus grunted, almost brought to his knees as he felt a backlash of the pain.

“Prehendo alveus concarnatio fragmen excerptum extraho dismoveo!” Alfred chanted, also pouring all he had into it, helping Severus remove the Horcrux from his mate. His spell hit the young vampire, and he too could feel a backlash of pain but he overcame it, determined to remove the soul piece.

The door burst open; apparently Harry’s screaming was heard even over the silencing spells.

 

“DON’T!” Remus shouted his arms spread out stopping the vampires from doing anything. “They’re trying to help him! They’re helping him!” breathing raggedly, he repeated himself again. “He’s going to fine, they’re trying to remove something dangerous.” not that he thought they would hurt Severus - he was their Lord and leader, but he didn’t want to take the chance of them acting first thinking later. He believed Alfred when he said if anything went wrong well…it wouldn’t be good.

Corin backed out immediately, knowing that her Lord would not be hurting his mate unless there was a good reason. She made sure that the others went with her, she didn’t want to risk them screwing up whatever was going on.

Remus sighed slumping against the door, wincing in agony, rubbing at his temples. It was horrifying that he couldn’t go and comfort his cub; at least his wolf wasn’t going mad inside him. It must understand the importance of this, pressing his hand over his ears, trying to mute the sound, as hopelessness consumed him, causing tears of frustration to leak out of his eyes. Forcing himself to move back over to the chair, despite the noise, he wanted to comfort his cub just as soon as he was given the all clear to do so.

Gasping in terror when a green glow began to emit from Harry all over from head to toe, glancing up at the two wizards - they weren’t overly concerned so maybe it was supposed to happen? He didn’t know, but he prayed and prayed for a favourable outcome.

Harry’s back was arched like a human bridge, continuing to scream his agony to the heavens. Golden magic began to fight with the green, easily taking over it, before two additional colours of gold - well one was more yellowish in colour came into it helping to beat back the green until the sickly colour was gone. As soon as it was Harry went completely lax, his screams cut off and he just lay there his chest unmoving.

“HARRY NO!” Remus shouted, lurching forward, “Breath, god damn you! BREATHE!” not even thinking of using magic, too terrified that he was losing Harry, and he couldn’t lose him, not like this.

“Perpurgo!” Alfred chanted clearing Harry’s airways magically giving him a nudge to breathe solely to calm the werewolf down - not sure how much of him was actually there right now. “Do remember he is a vampire, he doesn’t need to breathe.” he added trying to calm the half insane wizard, get him to react rationally.

The red colour Remus went at that proclamation answered Alfred’s worries, it appeared as if the wizard had kept very good control over his wolf. He merely nodded; not wanting to make too much noise, his gaze never wavered from his cubs face.

Severus sat down on the other side after dismantling the wards he’d set up, his black eyes filled with worry. So many things could have gone wrong, but he had felt the soul piece being ejected, and they’d fought to get it into the locket. Brushing his hair out of the way of his face, allowing one of his hands to clutch at Harry’s. “Harry? Please squeeze my hand,” he commanded soothingly.

Harry after a few tense moments squeezed his soul mates hand.

Opening the drawer Severus took out the potion, yanking out the stopper with his teeth, he pressed the vial against Harry’s lips. Harry opened his mouth and drank the pain relief. Any remaining tenseness in his body disappeared. “Rest for a while,” Severus murmured soothing him.

Harry gave one short nod, not even opening his eyes worn beyond endurance. What might have only been a few minutes to them, felt like hours to Harry.

Now it was to the three others to worry about Harry’s magic or the possibility of it being the lack of it while Harry was blissfully unaware of the struggles and strife the unknown was bringing them.

“Now we wait,” Severus said grimly remaining where he was. “I would much appreciate it if you left me alone with my mate.” actually asking instead of demanding, it was how badly shaken he was with what had occurred.

Alfred immediately left the room, with one last worried glance back before the door clicked closed behind him. Remus however, looked deeply conflicted, he understood the urge for a newly mated pair, especially if one was hurt to wish to remain together alone. On the other hand he was also a creature, this was his cub. “You’ll let me know when he wakes?” it was more of a plea than question.

“Yes,” Severus agreed, although he felt somewhat reluctant about it.

Remus closed his eyes in relief, “Thank you,” he whispered, knowing it was completely Severus’ choice; no amount of begging would have changed his mind if he truly didn’t want to do it.

“Now, please, go.” Severus said his face still impassive but there were cracks beginning to show - showing that he was affected more than Remus could even fathom.

Remus bowed his head before getting off the bed, hearing a clunk he looked down and absently picked up the locket and placed it on the nightstand. He could feel the presence of dark magic in the locket, the Horcrux had been successfully removed - hopefully Harry would still have his magic. Some was better than none at all, even if he preferred him not to be even remotely affected by it. He closed the door behind him and lost sight of Harry completely.

“I am sorrier than you’ll ever know,” Severus whispered, stroking Harry’s face with his index finger. He swore he would never become his father, or have a relationship as volatile as his parents. Yet he’d hurt his mate, Merlin the backlash he’d felt had nearly brought him to his knees, he couldn’t begin to imagine what the full brunt had been like. He looked so peaceful, unburdened of the worries that his magic could be gone. He prayed it wasn’t for both their sakes, if Harry didn’t have magic he was going to end up even more territorial than ever. He knew it even just thinking it for a moment, and Harry would resent him for it but he wouldn’t be able to stop himself. So yes, for both their sakes, unfortunately they wouldn’t know until his core replenished - if it ever did. He’d used it all to help both himself and Alfred remove the Horcrux.

Standing up he moved to the other side of the bed and lay down with his mate, he didn’t care about the other things he had to do - he had been doing his duty for the past however many years, he can afford to take one day to just spend with his mate nothing else was more important. Wrapping his arm around Harry, bringing them impossibly closer, he closed his eyes and just listened to his breathing.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 24

Severus hadn’t slept the entire time that Harry remained unconscious. He just kept Harry securely in his arms, and prayed to Merlin that his mate would wake up rested and with magic. Just the prospect of his mate not having magic was flaring up his protective tendencies, he had snarled and hissed at Alfred when he had entered the room to deliver the newspapers and massive bundle of letters to go through. Alfred had bowed in silent apology and backed out with the paper and letters, deciding to see to everything himself. Severus, his Lord, had more important things to deal with, and thus he would deal with the day to day ins and outs of what being a Lord meant. It wasn’t the first time he had taken on Severus’ duties, it was always only for a day or two.

Severus went back and forth on what was worrying him the most, Harry most definitely had his concern but the Horcruxes were also another pushing concern. He would need his peoples help to track the rest of them down as soon as possible. With the shard from Harry in the locket he hoped they could come up with someone to find the rest without scouring the entire British Isles. No threat to his mate would go free, all would perish. Personally he hadn’t cared what the Dark Lord did, it wasn’t as if he had threatened his position, but he knew the Dark Lord well, he would come for Harry for the sole reason that he had survived he would feel the need to prove himself the better wizard.

The one time Severus had gotten up, the lack of presence around the Castle told him that the celebratory party had been cancelled; he would need to thank whoever had the foresight to do so. He hadn’t thought about it, but the party should have been held tonight. Unfortunately Harry was in no shape to attend, he had been asleep for two days, while his body, mind and magic recuperated - at least he hoped his magic was recuperating. He hadn’t felt anything yet, but Harry was completely drained. He and Alfred had taken a replenisher potion, and were almost back to normal.

Severus began to sit up when he heard a low barely discernable groan leave Harry’s lips. Would blood help him in this instance? He wasn’t physically injured; vampires drank more after being physically harmed, naturally by another vampire.

“Harry?” Severus said quietly, brushing his hand through his hair, letting him know he wasn’t alone. “Can you hear me?”

“I can,” Harry murmured his voice sounded raspy and broken, he made no attempt to move or open his eyes even.

“Are you in pain?” Severus asked, moving just slightly to grab a hold of the pitcher of water with ice cubes still tinkling inside of it, they stayed that way until magic deteriorated, which was usually twelve to fifteen hours. He poured it into a glass until it was near the brim but not quite, he didn’t want to get it down Harry’s front he’d had enough of a shock as it was.

“Drink this,” Severus said after a few seconds, holding the glass to his mouth and letting a small gulps worth filter into his mouth, then another when he drank it until half the glass was gone. “Harry?” why wasn’t he saying anything?

“I feel empty,” Harry choked out, completely terrified and sounding it, “Empty,” he practically mewed, evidently not completely himself.

“Easy, do not despair,” Severus told him, moving his arm under Harry’s neck and lifting him into sitting position and circling his arms around him. Giving him the comfort he obviously so desperately needed as he revealed more information. “You emptied your magical core to remove the Horcrux; it took three of us to accomplish it that is why I also used Alfred to aid us. You will feel empty, would you drink a magical replenisher potion?” he felt Harry curl into his embrace and relax slightly at this new information his face pressing against him.

“Why wouldn’t I take it?” Harry asked confused, opening his green eyes to stare up at Severus slightly baffled by the way the question had been asked.

“Let’s just say it’s not approved in polite society,” Severus couldn’t curb his sneer no matter how hard he tried.

“Polite society,” Harry muttered rolling his eyes, “I’m a Slytherin too, Sev, do you think I’m a light wizard? That I’ve never dabbled in the Dark Arts? Do you think I let myself be unprotected especially against housemates who knew Dark Arts before they could walk properly? Not all Slytherin’s liked the fact that a Potter got sorted into their house you know; I faced a lot of prejudice. With Teddy and Blaise by my side I proved my worth, gained their respect.” well not all of them, but enough that his existence in Slytherin hadn’t been an utter nightmare.

“It would have been worse should they have realized you had defeated the Dark Lord, no doubt the public would have revered you and the suspicion would have been exponentially worse.” Severus mused, not sure why he was surprised that his mate had dabbled in the Dark Arts. Of course he would have had to prove himself to his house. Harry shuddered in his arms at the thought of what his life would have been like if anyone had known.

“Dumbledore would have been worse,” Harry said, “I’m glad nobody knew. Would you have told him the truth if you had known?” he ventured, already suspecting the answer.

“I don’t know,” Severus replied honestly, “I was caught of guard by his appearance, I did lie to him about why and how I was there, so perhaps I may have but there is little point to wondering what would have happened. What has happened has, and there is no point to dwelling in the past.” glad he had successfully got Harry’s mind of the fact he might not have magic - just a short reprieve but one nonetheless. He made a move to retrieve the potion for Harry, only to be taken in a tight grasp.

“I’ll be right back,” Severus informed him, but he didn’t move, if Harry was actively seeking his comfort he wasn’t about to break his trust by leaving when he needed him the most. “Would you prefer if I asked someone to retrieve it?”

Harry only nodded once, he felt very vulnerable, he didn’t want to be alone, didn’t want to find out if his magic was gone - on the other hand he had to know - Merlin he didn’t even want to think of the prospect of a life without magic. He’d be ripe for the picking; Dumbledore would be able to do whatever he liked if he got his hands on him. He wasn’t sure why Severus was the one he trusted the most, perhaps because they’re bonded? It was difficult to rationalise but he just didn’t want to let him go even a foot from him. He instinctively knew that Severus would always protect him from any and all harm.

Waving his hand, Severus removed the silencing spell surrounding the room, “Storm?” demanded Severus, his tone making it clear he didn’t want any delay.

“Yes, Sir?” she asked entering immediately, bowing in respect and straightening, waiting her orders. She could tell by her Lord’s voice he had something he wanted done.

“Bring me up a magic replenishing potion,” Severus didn’t bother to add right away she would know he’d requested it for a reason. He didn’t need to tell her more either, since he did not hide his less than…legal potions. He had no need to the castle was the most secure building he could make it. The Ministry would never dare break the truce between them by trying any sort of raid.

Storm was gone before he even finished his sentence, making her way to his personal potions lab.

“It’s so weird being able to hear everything,” Harry admitted, he could hear and feel every step she took every creak of the floorboards, the doors opening and even the sound of everything being picked up. “Is the silencing spell two ways? I didn’t hear it while it was up.”

“I created it,” Severus confessed, “I like to have optimal privacy in here, which means not being able to hear everything all over the castle.”

“That’s brilliant,” Harry said in awe, “You’ll have to teach me it.” silencing spells stopped noise getting out, but to not hear anything coming it was disconcerting but brilliant as he said. “If I can…” his mood dropping as he remembered his current situation. He’d never felt so empty before, it was a god awful experience and he never wished to endure it again. A part of him was missing, he hated it.

“The potion you required,” Storm said, handing it out to Severus, giving him a respectful bow before departing. Once again taking up her post at the end of the corridor, where they always remained this corridor was mostly off-limits unless of emergency or if they were called to their Lord.

“I will gather everyone and explain shortly,” Storm head him say before the wards shimmered back up, she shivered at the feel of his strong and powerful magic.

“Do you feel the thirst?” Severus asked, turning to Harry now that he had the potion.

Harry shook his head after momentarily being stupefied by the question before his brain kicked into gear. “No,” he hadn’t felt any sort of hunger yet, he’d really only been around Remus but he stank so much that he didn’t even think of drinking his blood.

“Drink this, it takes up to a minute to work you’ll feel it, it can be described as the feeling of holding your wand again for the first time. The magical surge and rush that accompanies it.” Severus explained, after removing the stopper and placing the vial in Harry’s hands.

“And if nothing happens?” Harry asked pensively.

Severus didn’t reply, merely reminded him to… “Drink up, all of it.”

“That’s what I thought,” Harry muttered morosely, before pursing his lips for a second before he downed the potion praying that it would work, that he’d feel magic rushing through his veins.

Severus and Harry both held their breath as the seconds ticked back, each second felt like hours to them as nothing happened. Severus wanted to grunt in frustration, curse and hex everything and everyone near him. If Harry had lost his magic he had every right to blame him! He had been the idiot that allowed this to happen to his ma-- his thoughts cut off as he heard Harry gasp, magic began to pour of him for a few seconds before it dimmed.

Harry gave a disbelieving laugh of delight, “Oh, Merlin, I’m fine, I’m alright.” slumping against Severus again relief pouring off him in droves. Thank Merlin, oh, he was very overwhelmed he didn’t know what to think or say, he was just so glad. The feel of that immense weight coming off his shoulders left him feeling weak and shaky.

“Good,” Severus informed him, tightening his hold, his own body relaxing, they had gotten rid of the Horcrux and Harry still had his magic he’d tuck that in the win column. They would find out later whether his core had grown or gotten smaller, but judging by the fact he still had his magic, having a small amount shaved off seemed quite a good price to pay all things considered.

“Do you still feel tired?” Severus asked after over twenty minutes of them sitting in the same position.

“Couldn’t move if my life depended on it,” Harry murmured, his tone filled with sleepiness.

Severus chuckled in amusement, shaking his head as he remained where he was, not having the heart to move Harry especially when he wanted them there. “I am going to inform everyone what has happened when you are asleep, will you be alright with that?” he then asked.

Harry nodded, he had his magic back, and he didn’t feel quite so vulnerable anymore.

It didn’t surprise Severus that Harry ended up sleeping again within an hour, he still had a long way to go before his core was fully replenished, although with the potion it was reduced significantly. He would say by tomorrow morning, Harry should be fully recovered. He would wait and see the results of that recovery before he even thought of sending out another round of invites.

Reluctantly laying Harry down on the bed properly, he flung the cover over him, giving him one last look before he warded the room tighter, nothing and nobody would get through the wards and at his defenceless sleeping mate. Closing the door behind him, watching the two guards, who had obviously changed now that Jackson and Simon were standing at the end of the corridor?

He gave them a firm nod before he stalked passed them as they bowed in greeting; heading straight for the Great Hall where he knew everyone would be gathered within moments knowing he wished to speak.

Severus stalked into the Great Hall; the others were all there waiting patiently for him, seated on the large ornate oak table, absently drinking their goblets of animal blood. He headed straight for his chair at the head of the table and claimed his seat. Sitting with his left arm propped on his knees and his right hand absently rubbing his chin as he thought about what he wanted. Who he wanted to use for this task. Alfred sat to his right, his eyes alright with worry, as were Storm and Corin they knew something had happened they just didn’t know what, and Severus would need to reveal that piece of information along with all other suspicions.

Zarek and Kieran stood up and began to weave wards around the room, more out of habit than actual need. Since they were all vampires and if anyone came nearby they would be able to hear them before they could approach the door. Although these days there were many ways in which to spy on someone. Hence the wards, they would even stop any recording devices or listening charms from working until they were taken down. One could never be too careful, especially when they’d be discussing strategy and tactics. They nodded to their Lord they reclaimed their seat and waited once more.

“Something rather concerning has come to my attention,” Severus started cautiously.

“That’s putting it lightly,” Alfred said his tone remarkably grim for a vampire who was usually always quite cheerful and loved giving out advice to those who needed it. He noticed the looks of quiet concern and alarm he was getting from the others, and felt a little guilty at worrying them so, but they should be. It made his skin crawl at what the Dark Lord Voldemort had done, Horcruxes…the most disgusting and evil of magicks. Some things shouldn’t be touched or remembered, and Horcruxes was one of them. His face smoothed over, he had every trust and confidence in Severus that he would have this sorted one way or another.

“What does that mean? Does it have anything to do with little Lord?” Storm asked, slipping on Harry’s true title.

“The information I gathered is directly tied to Harry, yes,” Severus confirmed her thoughts, his lips twitching just slightly, wondering what Harry would think of Storms nickname for him. He would probably feel offended, he wasn’t as tall as he should be, but not as short as he should thanks to the potions he had been sending him.

“He’s going to be alright, isn’t he?” Corin asked, the others listened intently, worried as well.

“Yes, he’s going to make a full recovery,” Severus informed them, glad they had taken to Harry as well, since he wanted to trust them with Harry’s life.

“Full?” Alfred questioned, his relief only had hearted, at least until he got confirmation.

“Indeed,” Severus nodded sombrely, letting Alfred know that Harry’s magical core was just fine.

Alfred sighed in relief, thank Merlin for small mercies, although that wasn’t a small one, it was a big one. Losing your magic was just about the worst thing that can happen to anyone in the magical world. In fact he would best that ninety-five percent of wizards and witches would prefer death over losing their magic. The last five percent he left for those who were magically weak and honestly wouldn’t miss it overly much. For someone like Harry, who was extremely powerful, almost level with Severus, and who knew what he’d be like once his education was complete and his magical core fully developed?

“Why the need for clarification? Is there something we don’t know?” Corin asked, and during these meetings they were allowed to ask without consequence. Not that there ever was, although if they were disrespectful or discourteous then they would be given the most mind numbing tedious tasks that nobody wanted and it took a lot of hard work to get back to where you were, learning respect along the way.

“That is all tied into the information I wish to reveal today,” Severus informed them, bringing the conversation back on what he wanted revealed. He didn’t want to waste too much of his time here, he wanted to be back with Harry. “You all know the truth that Harry was the one to actually defeat the Dark Lord all those years ago, and we’ve often asked ourselves how it is that he survived. Many assuming that the backlash of the spell wasn’t enough to defeat him. Those speculations were wrong, it seems the Dark Lord’s talk of going further than any other to gain immortality wasn’t all talk…” Severus stated they all knew he had at one point been in the service of the Dark Lord before deflecting before he became Lord Prince. They did not hold it against him, especially considering they had all dabbled in the Dark Arts themselves, they weren’t exactly law abiding citizens at least by the Ministry’s standing on the word.

Severus removed the cheap trinket they’d used to transfer the Horcrux into a container that wasn’t his mate. He threw it on the table, his cloak no longer masking it. Many of the vampires leapt from their seats hissing at the pendant, feeling the dark magic emanating from it and it got their hackles raised so to speak, the few that remained seated sat further back than necessary staring at it with bloody intention in their eyes, the desire to destroy it was strong. It was foul, loathsome magic and they were frankly disgusted by it.

“He created a Horcrux?” Zarek hissed out still rankled by the appearance of it.

“No, not just one,” Selvic denied suspiciously, beginning to realize how big this was, “What does this Horcrux have to do with Harry?”

“Alfred and I, with the aid of Harry’s magic just removed it from him to that container,” Severus said, pointing to it with a dark look on his face. “It almost cost him his magic, but the thought of hurting anyone close to him made him adamant about removing it. It was no easy feat to allow it to happen, but his magical core did eventually replenish itself, so it’s safe to say my mate will make a complete recovery.”

“That was in him?” Zarek gaped incredulously at his Lord, “But none of us felt it,” they would have surely felt it?

“I suspect Harry’s own magic had long ago adapted to it, perhaps even hid it,” Severus informed them.

“How many do you suspect he has?” Selvic asked.

“What do you mean by how many?” Corin rasped out, staring at the new father who had just returned to duty, in shock.

“Think about it, Harry must have become a Horcrux that night, the night the killing curse failed, to have happened he must have had at least one before it. It’s a matter of whether it was intentional or accidental.” Selvic informed her.

“Nobody would intentionally put a shard of their soul into a child! It’s never been done, it would have been too risky surely?!” Storm argued.

“You’re thinking it through rationally, the Dark Lord Voldemort isn’t rational.” Severus added before Selvic could speak, the vampire nodded in agreement as if to say ‘that’s my thoughts exactly’.

“Let’s say for the sake of the argument it was accidental then, since the rumours are he’s after Harry now…now that he has become aware that Harry defeated him, if he knew he was a Horcrux then he would have taken him and protected him. Not in a way anyone would want to be protected I know, but the Dark Lord probably wouldn’t have cared about anything other than his Horcrux…did it chip off or had he planned on creating one with his death?” Zarek imputed.

“Chipped, there was no ritual performed,” Severus explained.

“I think I can come up with a rune that will act like a point me spell to the rest of the pieces?” Adam suggested from beside his husband Selvic, they had Tansy watching their child. He knew more runes than anyone alive; everyone came to him regarding the subject of Ancient Runes.

“There’s hardly any information on them, I shall dig up what I can,” Corin added, wanting to know as much as possible.

“There’s also the pressing matter of not knowing how to destroy this,” Alfred said, stretching over and holding the Horcrux in his hand with a grimace - the only way that showed Alfred was affected by the dark presence.

“Have you tried?” Kieran asked perking up, while he wouldn’t like working with it, he loved puzzles.

“We’ve not had the time to try.” Severus informed him.

“Do the scrolls and books have any known way of destroying them?” Corin asked, refusing to even look at the Horcrux in Alfred’s hands. The thing was still giving her the creeps, the dark magic saturating the room leaving her feeling utterly unclean. The Ministry had the gall to say vampires were dark creatures? That they were inhuman? When there was a wizard going about destroying his soul? Destroying the very nature of magic and of the world at the same time? At least they had full souls, they would never die unless they were destroyed, but the Ministry should look closer at home. They couldn’t even control their own people, it was truly pathetic.

“I wasn’t looking for information on how to destroy them; I was more concerned about transferring it from my mate.” Severus replied immediately, and everyone here would do the same damn thing.

“Of course,” Corin replied apologetically, dipping her head. “May I look at ways to destroy them?”

Kieran joined in, “I too would like to help, two sets of eyes are better than one,”

“Then both of you look for a solution, but the Horcrux remains with me.” Severus stated he wasn’t risking it being out of his hands. Alfred handed it back over at that statement, and Severus slid it back into his pocket allowing the vampires to relax for the first time, as the presence of the darkened soul shard was cloaked. “If you come up with one alert me immediately no matter what day or time it is.” he knew they would look for answers until they exhausted all avenues.

“Yes Sir,” both Corin and Kieran replied dipping their head in respect to the orders.

“As for you, Adam, create the rune,” Severus demanded, and he knew he would pull it off; he had yet to disappoint him.

“I’ll gather all known information on the Dark Lord Voldemort, perhaps there will be clues to where we can find the locations to where he’s keeping them.” Alfred informed Severus.

“I will give you what information I do have after this meeting,” Severus nodded pleased with how the meeting was going. Alfred wouldn’t get the information he needed if he was unaware of the Dark Lord’s real name.

“He won’t have them kept together, there is no way,” Zarek shook his head, “Maybe one of them, but it’s stupid to go to all those measures and keep them all together…if anyone found out they’d be sitting ducks. He obviously told the Death Eaters something, if our Lord has the information.” Zarek nodded to Severus, “That rune will definitely be necessary in finding them.” Zarek couldn’t help but wonder if their leader had the slightest intention of letting Harry fight, considering how protective vampires got when they found their mates, he knew it wasn’t possible, he wouldn’t allow it, just like Zarek wouldn’t allow Kieran to fight when he first found him. He wasn’t so overwhelming protective now but his mate like his leaders had been human to begin with.

“Indeed,” Severus said agreeing with him one hundred percent, and it had also been what he was thinking.

“Then I will get to work right away,” Adam told them firmly, he wasn’t about to let his Lord down.

“Good, now are the preparations for the party still going on?” Severus added it was a very important party, almost as important as a wedding ceremony, while he didn’t care for festivities it was a bonding moment for the entire clan and a chance to show off his mate. He was definitely worth showing off that was for certain.

“We can have Raymond come after lunch today…would Harry be available?” Greg questioned, he was sitting across from Alfred. Sitting at Severus’ other side.

“Harry has not changed in a fortnight, he has the measurements, I will trust him to do our robes,” Severus informed Greg wryly.

“All the food and drink preparations are done, under stasis charms, we’ll probably have a lot of leftovers,” Damien informed him, he was after all in charge of the kitchen. By drinks it was mostly blood but they had a variety of drinks for those who were attending that were human.

“The House-elves have the decorations they’ll be going up once the date and time has been confirmed,” Storm added to the conversation.

“Excellent,” Severus stated, “Robert, how are things at Hogwarts?”

“Panic and chaos, My Lord,” Robert admitted with a vindictive smirk, he should probably feel bad about getting amusement out of his colleagues shock and horror, but he couldn’t help himself. Filius was the only one he truly liked if he was honest, and would miss him when he left Hogwarts for good. “They’re quite up the creek without a paddle; they do not seem able to cope without Dumbledore.”

“Have they been tested for potions?” Severus asked shrewdly.

“I am not aware if they have or not,” Robert confessed.

“Then perhaps I should write to the Ministry anonymously and suggest the idea,” Severus was the one thinking out loud now.

“Minerva McGonagall especially refuses to believe the charges, she’s searching for Black right now in fact, to try and sort this whole mess, she’s under the impression that Sirius Black would clear it up and things would return to normal.” Robert said, a grimace on his face, it was truly disturbing how their lives revolved around the Headmaster. Now that his Lord had mentioned it, perhaps being imbibed with a potion wasn’t that far off.

“Speaking of Black, where is he?” Severus asked he knew Black had left the Castle, being followed by one of his vampires.

“Antony isn’t back yet, so they’re still out there,” Damien replied, Antony had been asked to trail Black just to be on the safe side, he was their chance of getting rid of Dumbledore for good, so of course, they would invest in keeping the idiotic Auror safe from doing something incredibly stupid or getting killed.

“I would like to be informed when they return,” Severus informed him, “Remind Antony to report to me as soon as possible.”

“I’ll let him know,” Cenric spoke for the first time, his mind was still reeling from the fact Harry had been a Horcrux and he hadn’t even noticed. He had certainly felt its presence when it was in that cheap gaudy pendant they were using to ‘host’ the soul after removing it from Harry. It was his turn to be on duty in two hours, so he’d more than likely be the one to inform him.

“Good,” Severus stated, “That will be all, thank you for attending,” giving them a small thanks never failed to hurt, he had learned what not to do when you were a leader after watching the Dark Lord for a few years. Letting them feel appreciated was definitely on the top, but not too appreciated, otherwise they wouldn’t go all out to impress. Standing up he was the first to leave, sweeping out of the room, Alfred hot on his heels, remembering his earlier orders.

He swept past those on duty and up to his side of the wing where nobody ever ventured. Nodding to Jackson and Simon, “You may go,” he informed them, “The others will fill you in on what transpired.” he added opening his door, and deactivating all the wards keeping his rooms secure, Alfred stood outside patiently.

“Come in, Alfred, do a diagnosis on Harry while you wait,” Severus asked, more like demanded, as he sat down and began to write everything he knew down so Alfred could do the rest of the research. The wards on the sealed vault pinged alerting him to the fact Corin and Kieran were already searching for answers.

After running the diagnosis and reading the results, Alfred spoke, “His magic is going to be stronger than before, and I don’t believe it has anything to do with the magic replenisher, I believe the soul shard may have been affecting his magic, perhaps even siphoning it off to thrive?” It was guesswork of course. “He’s a little exhausted, he’ll ache for a while but other than that he has a clean bill of health.” drinking blood would help him recover faster but he was sure Severus already knew that.

Severus unconsciously relaxed upon hearing that, “Good,” Severus said relieved. “This is everything I knew about him, the rest I leave in your capable hands.” he handed over the parchment the ink had still to dry.

“I’ll have all information I can find by the end of the week,” Alfred promised.

“I have no doubt,” Severus replied, Alfred was very good at compiling information for him.

“Do you know what colours you wish to wear at the party? My Lord?” Alfred asked suddenly, but it was moot seen as Severus had heard as well. Raymond would do better knowing which colours were preferred otherwise he’d be a mess. Raymond would never have the guts to come out right and ask Severus so he was doing it.

“Green,” Severus stated immediately, “With either blue or silver trim, my mate is a Slytherin after all,” and he was proud of that fact.

“That he is,” Alfred agreed, nodding curtly he left Severus’ rooms closing the door before he outstayed his welcome.

Severus sighed, bringing forth a blank piece of parchment that wasn’t in any way associated with the Princes or his coven. It wouldn’t be anonymous if he did use his normal parchment after all. Dipping his quill into the ink once more, he began to write out an appropriate letter, trying not to sound condescending but more concerned, something that was increasingly difficult considering who he was writing to - the Ministry was just an embarrassment to everyone. He also couldn’t sound too educated, just a concerned citizen. He had just finished it and spelled it dry when he heard Harry murmuring quietly half way between still asleep and being conscious.

“How do you feel?” Severus asked after a few moments, still watching his mate intently for any sign of discomfort.

“M’fine,” Harry said, still groggy, sitting up, surprised that Severus was here. “Don’t you have meetings?”

“I have only just returned from the meeting, but you will always come first,” Severus said honestly, and Harry needed that more than anything else. Someone who put him first, someone he knew would always care. Seeing the shy grin on his face strengthened his resolve to make sure Harry knew how much he was wanted more often. He wasn’t going to be like his grandparents, his grandmother had only seen Glenn at night for a few hours before sleep. They had worked hard, but maybe a bit too hard, he didn’t want that life for Harry otherwise what was the point of having a mate? “Raymond will drop of the robes for our party, probably in green colours I hope that doesn’t disappoint you.”

“I…I have more than enough clothes in the cupboard,” Harry argued.

“It is a very official celebration, normal robes just won’t quite cut it,” Severus informed him. He rather hoped Harry wasn’t going to make too much of a fuss over it. He realized why, he wasn’t used to being spoiled, while Remus had been a very good father and there for Harry emotionally, Harry hadn’t been able to get even a quarter of the things he deserved. “Your friends will be receiving the same treatment.”

Harry grinned just imagining their faces, they hated going to Madam Malkin’s when they grew out of their robes.

“Black isn’t coming is he?” Harry asked his eyes darkening, reminded of him, he honestly didn’t know what to do when it came to Sirius Black. Maybe doing what Severus suggested would be for the best. Just saying everything he’d felt, thought, and the anger he was feeling at being so cheated, his renewed and furthered anger at Dumbledore for everything he’d done.

“No,” Severus replied immediately not even needing to think about it. “Definitely not,” he was willing to protect Remus’ mate, just because Remus had taken care of his own mate, but that was as far as it extended, Sirius Black would not be attending this party.

“Good,” Harry replied, he didn’t want the first time he saw Sirius Black be at a party.

“You do understand that the potions he was under…he had zero chance of fighting them?” Severus said sombrely. “Black is many things, I dislike him utterly, but he did love you, Harry, more than anything else. I suspect if you went to see him you would deduce that for yourself.”

“I’ve hated him for so long, never mind seeing him face to face and I don’t want to hurt him…only because he’s my dads mate and he doesn‘t really deserve it.” Harry confessed, rubbing his face self consciously.

“That hatred won’t dissolve overnight,” Severus admitted (yet again) nodding, “But it will not budge unless you admit to yourself perhaps he isn’t to be blamed for what happened all along. This has all been some sick twisted macabre game to Dumbledore. I’m sure we will get an explanation from the old fool at the hearing. To never forgive Black, as sick as this is to admit, Dumbledore will win. All you will be doing is making Dumbledore’s game stick and destroying what’s left of Black after the betrayal he’s currently been through. He trusted Dumbledore impeccably, more than anyone else, even his own family, this betrayal probably affected him more than anyone can fathom, Black probably won’t be the same person he used to be, and the new bond he has with your dad is probably the only thing stopping him from bursting at the seams.”

“It is easier to hate,” Harry whispered, already agreeing with Severus. “And I know he’s not to blame, and Merlin I hate Dumbledore so much.”

“It is, believe me I know, but it takes you places nobody wants to be, not really,” Severus confessed, and he should know he had spent his teens in this hate filled black hole before he dredged himself out of it and realized what the hell he was doing not only to himself but to the others around him.

“I’ll think about going to see him,” Harry sighed; it was the best he could offer anyone right now. “But after the party,”

“This decision has to be yours completely, I do not want you to begin to resent me, Harry,” Severus pointed out, and he would if he felt pressured.

“I won’t, I promise,” Harry said earnestly, “So what are you doing anyway?” greatly desiring a change in conversation, he’d had enough conversation about Black to last him a lifetime right now.

“Just a little pre-emptive action,” Severus answered honestly.

“Against?” Harry asked curiously, green eyes alight, as he moved the covers aside and slid out of bed, padding over to his mate, trying to read the letter upside down.

“Dumbledore, its’ believed he may have imbibed more people than we realized with potions, this will be a way of finding out.” Severus explained if he couldn’t trust his mate with everything who could he trust?

“Do you really believe that?” Harry asked as Severus brought him down beside him.

“I don’t believe it really matters either way,” Severus replied, and it didn’t affect them after all.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 25

“Harry!” Theodore called out, relief and happiness spreading across his face, as Maria let Harry into the ‘apartment’ they were sharing. Or rather Maria had one bedroom, while Blaise and he shared another. The letter clutched in his hand quickly forgotten, “How are you feeling?” he asked him as Harry made his way over to the couch to sit next to him. “Blaise will be back in a few seconds.” no doubt Harry could smell Blaise in here anyway so telling him was probably unneeded.

“Shhh,” Harry said, wincing at the loudness of Theodore’s voice, “Talk quiet, I’m still getting used to this whole hearing thing,” he got headaches very easily.

“Sorry, but how are you?” Theodore asked his voice lower, it had been days since they saw him. He and Blaise had just been doing the rest of their summer homework, playing chess, exploding snap or just reading and conversing.

“I’m doing a lot better,” Harry informed him with a genuine smile, they didn’t know about the Horcruxes, and Harry didn’t want to tell them. It could endanger their lives if they ended up caught, especially Theodore…his father was relentless, and judging by the letter balled up in Theodore’s fist he knew that his dad had been at him again. He was very familiar with the look Theo got on his face after his dad wrote to him. “Your dad?”

Theodore scowled down at the letter, “Yeah, another threat to cut me off, says he means it this time though.” his father could be ruthless when he wanted to be, but he’d never lifted a hand to him. He did have a lot of expectations for him, expectations that he definitely didn’t want to live up to. He didn’t want to lose his best friends, they say that wouldn’t happen, but Theodore wasn’t stupid, they’d keep secrets from him and slowly they would distance themselves, he would be a Death Eater, on the dark side, while they were neutral. He could guess how many other Slytherins would or already had taken the mark, and he quite frankly couldn’t stand any of them. Voldemort had already lost once, the chances were he’d lose again, and he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life in Azkaban.

“Did you move your trust vault like Blaise suggested?” Harry asked, concerned, listening to the toilet flush and the door open before Blaise wandered in, not surprised to see Harry since he’d heard Theodore calling out a few minutes ago.

“Yeah, it’s in my own name, I have the only key, I did it well before all this happened,” Theodore admitted, “I don’t think my father has found out though, I think he’d be writing to me a lot more pissed than he is now.”

“I’d imagine so,” Blaise said snorting wryly. “So what’s it like, mate?” sitting down next to Theodore, his mum began her stitching again, he wondered what this tapestry would look like when she was done.

“Honestly? There’s not that much different, except it’s exhausting to keep up the pretence of breathing,” Harry said sniggering in amusement.

“Have you tasted blood yet?” Blaise asked in morbid curiosity.

Maria cleared her throat loudly, giving her son a disproving look.

“No, I want to hunt first, the book makes it sound…” Harry trailed off licking his lips, almost purring as the words he’d read wrote out in his minds eye, he’d never forget anything. Yes, the thought of hunting with Severus was quite thrilling, he’d told him as much but they hadn’t been able to talk about it since he had left the room to come here, feeling quite smug about it.

Blaise and Theo screwed their noses up in disgust, as Blaise regretted asking in the first place, while his mum! His MUM! Stifled her laughter behind the cloth she was using to do her tapestry.

“So…the party tonight?” Blaise said hastily, not very Slytherin but right now he didn’t care overly much other than ensuring the subject got changed.

“Very subtle,” Harry said drolly, “Everyone’s all over the place today, and people are coming in, well, vampires’ really; I’ve never seen them so I think they’re there for the party,”

“Probably are, those with an international Portkey have to come when its set to go, those closer will more than likely just show up when its time.” Theodore commented, unsurprisingly his friends nodded, very much aware of that. He and Blaise had worked hard to make sure Harry understood absolutely everything from a pureblood standard, only because Harry asked. It was either that or have Harry with his nose buried in more books honesty!

“Have you received your robes yet?” Harry queried, genuinely curious, his and Severus’ hadn’t come yet, and he knew his dad’s hadn’t either.

“No, not yet,” Maria was the one who commented, and she sounded very excited, Raymond was very exclusive, he had a certain clientele, and those she knew would have cut their own arms off to have one of his designs, no matter their money and offers they had given the wizard, he had declined very gracefully. She hadn’t asked she refused to embarrass herself by practically begging someone. She never imagined in a million years she’d get a dress from him here of all places. “They will be here by this afternoon, most certainly.”

“Yeah,” Harry said thoughtfully, he couldn’t imagine how many he was making for this party, six he knew for certain, but probably a lot more. He must have worked day and night to get them all done; he must be getting paid quite a lot too. It wouldn’t surprise if him Severus was paying top galleon for decent robes, the amount he’d transferred over to his bank account was bloody enormous.

“Do you know what’s going to happen, Harry?” Maria asked, just wishing to be on the safe side.

“Er…what do you mean?” Harry asked turning back to face her, his face set in an enquiring look.

“Has nobody told you what you need to say while you are sworn in as Lord Consort?” Maria asked her lips pursed in dissatisfaction.

“That’s going to happen?” Harry asked gaping in stunned disbelief, why hadn’t Sev told him?

“Come over here and we shall read one of Zara Zabini’s journals, this will tell us everything, and if it doesn’t occur then we can just relax can’t we?” Maria said, summoning Zara’s journals to her with a flick of her wand. Waiting patiently for Harry to join her, and as always, she explained things to him in a way he would memorise.

“Come on, might as well play a game of chess,” Blaise said sniggering; they’d be there all afternoon.

--------------0

Prince castle was becoming extremely overcrowded to say the least, but exceedingly beautifully decorated inside and out. Gorgeous white table and chairs were spread out as far as the eye could see around one section of the gardens, with umbrellas that were for now white, but would soon become translucent as night darkened allowing it to appear as if everyone was gazing at the night sky. Bobbing weaves of magical lanterns that were for the moment unlit, were spread out more so around the large pool to prevent anyone from toppling in presumably. The inside was impossibly even more impressive, there truly had been no expense spared for this spread they were putting on. No not spread, celebration, one of the most important ones, none more important than a wedding or birth of a child who would continue the Prince line. Everyone was brimming with excitement, the entire clan was going to be under one roof for the entire night, so friends, partners what have you, were all going to be able to spend time together, something they didn’t get to do at times, especially with them being so busy these days. Every human there had been vetted and sworn not to reveal anything, Severus was extremely cautious these days, it was his mate after all and he knew how fickle humans were. It had been a vow or nothing; it would see them die before they could form the words that would betray him.

There was only one other person who wasn’t as enthusiastic as everyone else for the upcoming festivities, well perhaps two, but Sirius Black had been confined to his room for the evening forbidden from showing his face. Harry felt very conflicted, while he was somewhat happy he’d actually get to spend some time with his friends…he also felt as though he was just going to be put on a pedestal for show. To be pranced around like a play thing, something that had been won while everyone celebrated. He didn’t like to think things like that, he wasn’t sure if it was the truth, a jaded part of him or panic and fear talking.

He’d gone his entire childhood ignored, stuffed under a cupboard until they wanted something done for them. Even school had been a tough time for him, Muggle school worse than Hogwarts admittedly, since he had the most wonderful friends, Teddy and Blaise were great, they’d stuck by him through thick and thin when they could have saved themselves the bother of siding with him - a Potter in Slytherin, the other Slytherin’s hadn’t been happy with his placement to say the least. Nor had a few of the teachers, who acted like spoiled toddlers and made him feel as though he was some sort of traitor because of where a scrap of cloth had shouted out where he was supposed to go. Not that he regretted that, the hat had said he’d find his true friends there, and he had. Perhaps it was fear causing him to question things, he knew Severus cared, even though he’d gone about it the wrong way.

Harry swallowed thickly, no, he wasn’t going to let his self-doubt bring him down, he always did this, sabotaged everything good in his life because he didn’t think he was worth it. He always gave everyone a hard time, because he was so used to everyone just walking away or stabbing him in the back. When he was eleven if they had given up it would have only been his own fault for doing what he did, same with his dad, he’d already made Severus work harder than he should for his mate…and by Merlin he knew how to make him feel alive, to feel happy like he’d never felt for anyone else. He always made sure that he knew he was important, that he came first…he would never find anyone else like that, he knew it deep down. He couldn’t continue questioning everything that made him happy, it was time to put the Dursley’s memories to rest, stop them from interfering with his new life, get rid of the anger, Sev had been right, it was taking him places he never wanted to be.

Having made up his mind, Harry moved over to the cupboard where the robes hung for tonight, they were unlike anything he’d ever worn, resplendent and they were so soft and fine that Harry feared ripping it. He wondered momentarily what it was made from, Acromantula silk? He didn’t think so, Acromantula silk was very rare and very expensive…then again this was the Princes they were talking about here, they could afford whatever they liked, the Princes vaults were probably quad-triple the amount of even the Malfoy’s who were quite high up with monetary wealth. Maria Zabini, the woman Harry thought of as a mother figure was directly under Malfoy in terms of wealth, although Harry summarised it wouldn’t remain that way for long, Malfoy was probably giving it up in a bid to aid the war with his Lord.

The sound of the other vampires and those who were coming to the castle was muted; the rooms here were very steeped in privacy spells. Harry slowly began to change, he still wasn’t one hundred percent capable of reining in his vampire strength, and he definitely didn’t want to rip the robes, they were a lovely shade of green, that reminded Harry of trees and made him think of a forest, blue and silver were woven in intricately, blue and silver were the colours of the Princes, had been for centuries, he was slowing learning everything he could about them, about this new world he was in. It didn’t go beyond his notice that most ‘mates’ didn’t bother with the politics, they were perfectly content to leave it to their husbands, being nothing more than a parent and wife or husband, they didn’t take active parts in it. Harry didn’t want to be like them, he wanted to take part in it, give his opinion, make it known, another reason he was actually paying more attention to the books these days about their ways.

The robes once on, Harry realized they were the most comfortable thing he’d ever worn; they felt like a second skin. Moving over to the mirror, he gazed at himself, but the robes brought out the colour of his eyes, one of the few things he actually liked about himself. He decided upon using the Prince Hair clasp, he wanted to wear his hair up and out of his face, giving his thick tresses a quick brush; he clipped the hair piece into place, there. He was ready, well except one thing, he was hardly going to go bare foot, he moved to the wall beside the door, where the shoes were kept, and slid his feet into his welsh green dragon hide boots.

Harry quickly shoved his hand out when the door began to open suddenly; he knew it could only be Severus since nobody else would just walk in; in fact the guards rarely entered their rooms. Severus valued what privacy he was able to achieve, he also made sure the other vampires whether they were guard or not, had privacy in their own rooms, the wings were smothered in spells in moderation, spelled to be lifted at the first sign of trouble, something he had done himself which impressed him to no end. He was absolutely brilliant, and Harry often time wondered what the hell he saw in him, he was not smart like Severus. He once again forced those thoughts away, he was young still, and he could and would prove himself. He was determined to.

“Are you ready?” Severus asked, not quite able to see Harry until he walked in, when he did get to see his mate in the robes they were matching in, his breath caught in his throat. He was breathtaking, and by Merlin he would do everything to keep him, Harry was his, and he’d make that abundantly clear to absolutely everyone tonight.

“Yes,” Harry replied, flushing a little at the heated look on Severus’ face, he wasn’t used to people looking at him like that either. “You look amazing,” he told Severus, watching surprise flicker through his eyes, Severus it seemed was just as damaged as him in some ways. Had nobody ever complimented him before? Or was it just something rare or maybe it was the fact it was him saying it and not the others…Sev might just think they were saying it for the sake of it, or to suck up.

“Thank you,” Severus said quietly, stepping forward, his fingers sweeping along Harry’s jaw and into his hair, those green eyes would be the death of him, “And you my delectable mate, are just breathtaking, tonight will be extremely hard,” Harry flushed completely at the words, understanding the innuendo behind it, oh he loved making Harry flush just so, it was extremely endearing to say the least, but as teasing as he was being, it was nothing but the truth, as much as he was going to enjoy showing him off, the night was going to be a long one.

Severus leaned down and pressed his head against Harry’s, “If it gets too much for you, just let me know,” he told him as his fingers rubbed soothingly and absently against his head. “I know you’ve not been looking forward to this overly much.”

Harry leaned into the caress, surprised that Severus had noticed his hesitation, better still that he would leave the party if it did get too overwhelming for him. “I’m not used to people staring,” Harry replied, sharing part of the reason, “Not after being mostly ignored all the time,” but after what Sev had just said, he would do his best to grin and bear it all night.

“You don’t deserve to be ignored, you are an intelligent wizard, beautiful and can hold your own, and I have every belief in you, Harry.” Severus said solemnly, meaning every word. If he had his way Harry would never be ignored again, and he would always put him first as long as he was able. He pressed his lips to Harry’s in a brief chaste kiss, even just a chaste kiss Severus found it very difficult to pull away, especially seeing as Harry had a grip of his arm and clothed hip, he wanted Harry very badly, but he had promised him to go at his pace and it was Harry’s pace they would go. Severus chuckled at the pout Harry displayed at the short kiss. He had been such a fool to think himself happy before he got his mate here.

Unable to deny his mate, Severus gripped Harry tightly, bringing him flush against him and kissing him much more ardently than before. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately for the pair, they were interrupted by a knock on the door. Giving Harry’s pouting lip a nibble, he reluctantly withdrew, thinking of all the slimiest things he could, in an effort to calm his rapidly swelling erection, just seeing Harry was enough to get his attention never mind being so close to him.

“Yes?” Severus snapped a little more curtly than normal, annoyed at being interrupted, he only had a short time as it was with his mate.

“It’s time, Sir,” Corin said.

“Very well,” Severus said his voice just slightly calmer. “I believe it’s time for us to depart,” with that he stepped back and offered his hand to his mate, which was gladly and immediately accepted. Severus lips twitched, he was unbelievably proud of Harry, he couldn’t wait to show him off and see everyone, but he did hope the celebrations went by very quickly; these things usually did though so he wasn’t too worried. “Is there anything you wish to ask? Need to know?” he asked his hand on the door, ready to open it but not doing so quite yet.

“I’ve read all about it, enter together, introductions, you talk, introduce me then more talking to the higher up in the circle before doing whatever we want,” Harry said, he had read the journal with Maria extensively, it was better than any other book when it came to understanding the ins and outs of daily life here at the castle. It also showed how depressed she was, how secluded she felt and how torn she was since she’d loved Artemis but didn’t want the life that came with it, but knowing how much Artemis valued family and responsibility she knew he would never walk away from it, not when he was the only heir, and so she’d done what she had to.

Severus’ lips twitched once more, if only it were that simple to get it over with, Harry obviously didn’t realize just how many vampires and people he held in high regard. He was about to find out, he thought to himself wryly, and with that he opened the door and Corin gazed at them wide eyed, Harry was normally just dressed in Muggle clothes although he had worn his new clothes a few times, but they were nothing on these robes he was wearing tonight, so to see him so finely dressed was probably quite shocking despite knowing he would be.

“My Lords,” she said with a touch of reverence, “You both look resplendent tonight,”

“Thank you,” Harry and Severus both said, delivering their thanks, something they knew they would be doing more than their fair share of tonight. At the same time Severus tightened his hold and brought Harry closer to him, not liking even Corin looking at Harry that way, yes, tonight was going to be a long ardours task indeed.

“Let’s proceed,” Severus added, and with that they began to walk down the corridor, making their way to the Great Hall where everyone would be. Thankfully the Great Hall was extremely large and would fit everyone that was invited, but it would definitely be crowded though.

---------0

“Remus!” called Teddy and Blaise running towards him.

“Theodore, Blaise, how are you both?” Remus asked, patting them on the back as they hugged him.

“We’re fine, have you seen Harry?” Theo asked, craning his neck and looking around barely seeing the beauty in front of him more interested in seeing his best friend, who he had just seen this morning.

“He won’t arrive until everyone is here, boys,” Maria scolded as she finally caught up to them, she never lowered herself to running, but her son could do whatever he liked unless it was his parties then she expected proper decorum. “Which should be round about now,” she added noticing the guards moving towards the door, ready to open them and allow the Lord’s to make their grand entrance.

“You won’t be able to talk to him right away,” Remus commented, gazing at the doors himself now, having looked when Maria spoke. “He must be introduced to Sev---Lord Prince’s court.” he had to use official titles tonight, the last thing he wanted was irate vampires on him for not showing their Lord’s their proper respect and they were very big on that.

“Remus is correct, it will be at least half an hour before you boys can do whatever you like,” Maria nodded, knowing the ways of the vampires.

Theo and Blaise didn’t really mind, they just couldn’t wait to spend some time with Harry, he’d been so busy of late they’d hardly seen each other. Well compared to how they usually were, the three were inseparable, spent nearly every waken moment together. Except when Theodore had to go home and Harry was with Remus of course. It was never longer than a few days before they spent the day together.

Remus watched the doors open and he had only eyes for his son as he walked in, he was dressed in the finest material money could buy. He deserved every single bit of it; he still couldn’t believe James had been so stupid as to let the Potter estate fall into such a state of disrepair. It meant that Harry wasn’t able to splurge on himself. Harry hadn’t minded though, but he wasn’t sure Harry realized just how considerable the Potter wealth had been. It mattered little now; Harry would be given everything he could ever hope to receive, a family, attention, more importantly the things he himself couldn’t give Harry. He loved him, cared for him, given him all the attention he could, but he still felt lacking and saddened he hadn’t been able to give him all the things he should - all the things he would have had growing up. He couldn’t solely blame James, Dumbledore had continued taking the money despite the fact the Order was no longer working, and it wasn’t as if the old fool wouldn’t know since Gringotts gave out monthly statements.

He looked…a little awkward but his eyes were sparkling, he wondered what had caused it, something Severus had said or something he was thinking? The fact he would get to spend time with his friends? It was rather rare seeing such a sparkle in Harry’s eyes, in that brief moment, Lily shone through brightly. Merlin Harry looked unburdened, he’d just seen him a day ago what could have happened in such a sort time to see this drastic affect? Maybe Severus was a much more positive influence on Harry than he thought he would be.

“…Lord Prince and his consort Harry James Potter-Prince,” Remus was swiftly brought out of his thoughts and clapped politely wincing at the thunderous applause, Harry doing pretty much the same thing, he was new to this life, and wasn’t quite able to tolerate the loudness as the others obviously were. The vampires noticed and immediately slowed the vigour in their cheering, to a minimal level but still showing how excited they were by the new generation that was coming. They hadn’t had to wait quite as long for Rose and Glenn their previous Lord and Lady, but it was still a very exciting time for them.

Harry gazed around curiously, actually having to bite his tongue; he wasn’t sure why they were so insistent on celebrating tonight. Sure finding your soul mate was a big thing, especially to a vampire, or half vampire as he and Severus were. They weren’t really celebrating him though, they were celebrating the continuation of the Prince line, and he couldn’t help but wonder if they expected him to take a back seat to everything they planned just like the others. Did they think the only time they’d have to protect him was when they were attacked or when he went out shopping? Oh, no, that wasn’t him and he would make that abundantly clear to the others…to everyone. A slow smirk spread across his face, igniting the curiosity of many.

“Oh no, Harry’s up to something,” Blaise said, gazing at the smirk, he rarely had that look unless he planned on ripping someone to shreds or doing it in that subtle way that nobody ever found out it was him. Nothing like a prank, more of a degrading humiliation or curses, he doubted Harry’s dad even knew a quarter of the things Harry had gotten up to in school.

Theodore sniggered, trying to contain himself as he thought of all those times he’d made a big fool of Marcus Flint and the others who’d tried to make Harry’s life hell. After seeing him do it once, there had been no doubt about his placement in Slytherin. Hopefully Harry wouldn’t pull any of those things here in a party that was just for him. As Slytherin as he was, there was no way he’d get away with it and he’d only embarrass himself and his partner, it wasn’t something that would be forgiven.

Severus glanced at his mate, his eyes narrowing shrewdly, sincerely hoping that Harry wouldn’t start anything tonight, not of all nights. He supposed it was one of the downsides to having such a young mate, and he was very young, which had been pointed out to him very frequently, both subtle and not so subtle. He watched with pride as Harry was sworn in as Prince consort, promising to aid Severus and be a fair leader to all those under his care. Harry had an odd look on his face when he was asked to say that part; it was part incredulous part boredom. He definitely wanted to ask him what it was all about.

“Harry, may I introduce you to Glenn and Rose…my grandparents, again,” Severus said slowly.

“Congratulations on your bonding, may you have many years of happiness and they be blessed,” Glenn said, his tone professional.

Harry just blinked at him, nodding just slightly, he had sounded bored and as if he felt it was his duty to say it…like he didn’t really want to be there or say it at all.

“Harry! It’s lovely to see you again, how are you feeling?” Rose said, smiling at him barely refraining from hugging him, she didn’t know him well enough for that. She wasn’t even sure he would want to talk to them he couldn’t have gotten away sooner the last time they spoke. “I am sorry we didn’t get the chance to speak more thoroughly last time.”

“Well I hope circumstances in the future change so you can spend more time here, I have a lot of questions I’d like to ask you.” Harry said, shaking her hand, returning her smile. He certainly liked Rose better than Glenn at the moment. Twice he had met him and he almost just looked through him.

“About the change?” Rose queried, accepting the glass of blood that was given to her, despite the fact they were no longer ‘Lord and Lady’ they were still afforded a lot of respect in the vampire community.

“No thank you,” Harry said, declining the drink, the blood was enticing, it smelt like heaven, but he wanted to wait until he was shown how to hunt, even if it was only once. “And no, not just about the change, although there’s not really much to talk about now that its done.” he noticed that Severus and Glenn were talking quietly as was everyone else actually. Still standing in the same position though, but Harry knew they wouldn’t start enjoying their night until he’d spoken to everyone that Severus had in his most trusted within his court. He could hear everyone’s conversations, but he successfully blocked them out by staring at Rose and listening.

“Oh there will be many questions still regarding the change, I would have liked if there was someone whom I could speak to when I first went through it,” Rose confessed sweetly, “They told me the change would be difficult but I was unprepared for how tough it would be.”

“There wasn’t?” Harry was surprised.

“Oh no, unfortunately not, but I had Glenn who helped make it a little easier for me,” Rose admitted, her love shining clear as day for the wizard/vampire.

“How long did it take for you to complete the change?” Harry asked, beginning to like Rose a lot, she was warm and loving, she reminded Harry of the softer side of Maria Zabini, and how she treated them when she was with them in private.

“Three days,” Rose replied, “The third day wasn’t so bad, I was largely just recovering.” she didn’t ask about his, she knew it had taken over five days for him to recover from his bite, she couldn’t imagine how bad it was, fortunately it was over now and he could continue his life, a few days of pain was nothing on an elongated life with the one you love.
Harry just grinned; “He wouldn’t let you up would he?” his green eyes sparkling with mirth, it had been that way for him too.

Rose’s lips twitched, if anyone understood being human and having a vampire mate it would be Harry, admittedly he was no longer fully human of course. “Oh, he learned I could take care of myself,” she said eyes bright, Harry was a wonderful consort for Severus, hopefully he would be able to bring her grandson out of his shell a little more. She noticed he hadn’t taken his eyes off Harry, despite the fact nobody other than her was near him. Part of her wondered if it was that he didn’t trust her, but she knew deep down he was just protective and Harry was absolutely stunning. She knew a lot of people wouldn’t be able to keep their eyes off him.

“Come, let’s meet the others, they’re very eager to meet you properly,” Severus informed his mate, wrapping his arm possessively around Harry’s middle, feeling smug when Harry leaned against him contently. To think a few weeks ago he assumed this would never happen, more fool him, and he shouldn’t have let those thoughts fester for a second.

“I believe you’ve already met Robert Langdon,” Severus said, introducing him to his Hogwarts teacher, only this time the tables had turned, Langdon was in no way in charge of Harry here the dynamics were different.

“My Lords,” Langdon said bowing to Harry in deference.

“Hey, professor,” Harry said grinning, unsurprised to see him since he already knew.

“Robert, please, you don’t seem surprised to see me here,” Robert said, “Nor where you the last time.” he realized curiously.

“I’m not,” Harry said feeling more at ease, Langdon was one of his favourite professors, admittedly they’d never quite conversed like this, but just talking to someone from his old life was fun. “I knew from the moment I looked at the Prince coat of arms and what it meant.”

Robert blinked, “I don’t quite understand,” he admitted, frowning in contemplation as if he could somehow unravel the meaning.

“The pendant, I assume it’s a Portkey right?” Harry pointed out to his shirt where the pendant was located.

Robert’s hand automatically went to the pendant, his eyes wide; he couldn’t believe he had been as stupid as to let anyone see it. The whole point of him being a spy was to keep quiet and he had obviously screwed up at one point. If Harry knew…what if others did? No, the teachers couldn’t possibly know, it was impossible, if they did, Dumbledore would have came after him of that he had no doubt. “When?” he asked, Harry had been more observant even as a human than he’d given him credit for.

“My fifth year,” Harry commented, “I don’t think anyone else noticed, certainly not Blaise or he would have said something,” Blaise knew every single coat of arms, his mum; Maria had made sure of that. Theodore had been taught as well, just not as much as Blaise; Maria had wanted to ensure Blaise knew everyone in the magical world so he wouldn’t be caught unawares.

Robert glanced at Severus briefly, wondering if he knew, but his Lord gave nothing away. He still wanted to kick himself for such a rookie mistake to make; there was nothing to be done now he would just have to be more careful in future. “And will I be having you as a student in my class this year?” he asked, curious about the answer.

“No,” Harry replied shaking his head before Severus could so much as open his mouth to say what he wanted, which also had been a resounding no. it was much too dangerous to return to Hogwarts, he wasn’t going to risk his friends lives.

“You still wish to take defence mastery?” Robert queried.

Severus’ eyebrow quirked just slightly, that was news to him, but as much as it pained him he didn’t know everything about Harry yet, but he would. He did unconsciously tighten his hold on Harry, while he wanted Harry to be happy here, the familiarity in which they were speaking wound him up the wrong way despite the fact he knew he had nothing to fear.

“That or healing,” Harry informed him.

“Both wonderful choices, you would do any of those careers proud,” Robert said, once again dipping his head in respect.

“Thanks,” Harry said, and with that he was moved along before he could even say goodbye.

“This is Adam and Selvic,” Severus said, introducing the two vampires that Harry was unfamiliar with mostly.

“You just had a child right?” Harry asked, already knowing the answer, he remembered hearing about it when he first came here.

“We did, a son, he’s over a month old,” Adam said proudly, surprised that he would be interested.

“Congratulations,” Harry said sincerely, “Hopefully I’ll get to meet him one day,”

“You will, my Lord,” Selvic said, bowing, well he was showing an interest in their lives that was a good thing.

And so it continued until Harry had met them all, Storm and Jackson, Corin and Simon, Dalton, Cenric, Zarek and Kieran a lot of them were couples that were usually split up doing different tasks all day. Quite a few of them he knew, they had been ‘keeping him safe’ and trailing him ever since he got here. Harry made an effort to talk to them about things he knew they liked, finding it much easier as they went along, and Severus never once left his side.

When that particular task was over he hadn’t waited even five minutes before launching himself at his friend’s direction.

“Hey guys! You look great!” Harry proclaimed, even the Yule ball had paled into insignificance.

Maria surprised him by abruptly hugging him, “You’ve grown into such a handsome man, Harry,” she said as she let him go, she had been unable to catch her breath when she saw him. He had always been a good looking boy, but the moment he stepped into that room, it was like seeing a duckling magically transformed into a swan, there was no other word for it.

Harry flushed bright red at her words, “Thank you,” he murmured quietly abashed. “Shut it you two!” Harry said, giving them a gimlet glare when they began to snigger at him, which only made them worse when he pouted at them.

“How was it?” Blaise asked curiously, they were right next to the buffet which had human food piled up high, Theodore was already helping himself to it, and Blaise despite his discussion began to eagerly dig in too.

“Wasn‘t as bad as I feared,” Harry admitted, shrugging his shoulders, “Are you okay, Dad?” he was awfully quiet.

“I’m fine,” Remus informed him, his amber eyes brighter than normal, “I’m just very proud of you,” of how far he’d come. He grunted when Harry barrelled into him hugging him again.

“Have you heard back from Tonks yet?” Harry queried.

“Not yet, but hopefully soon,” Remus sighed, that was one thing he wasn’t looking forward to. He had yet to tell Sirius now that was going to be a hell of a conversation.

“Can you convince him to let you come to Hogwarts?” Theodore whispered, looking hopeful. Glancing up when he saw movement, to see that Maria and Remus had moved off to the side, having a quiet conversation - and presumably to let them three have some time together. The room was emptying actually, most of them must be going outside, and he knew vampires could get a little claustrophobic so he wasn’t too surprised.

“Actually it’s me that doesn’t really want to go back, I’m going to take my N.E.W.T’s at the Ministry,” Harry replied, Hogwarts had never been ‘home’ for him, nor had it been easy, constantly defending himself, Teddy and Blaise were the only things that made it worthwhile. It was only one more year and then Teddy and Blaise would start working on their own desired fields and gain their own masteries or degrees.

“You’ll pass with flying colours,” Blaise admitted, saddened that Harry wouldn’t be there but understanding nonetheless, especially if Dumbledore got away with what he did, it wouldn’t be safe, that and Voldemort would expect Harry there…making it ten times more dangerous for him…even more so in Slytherin.

“You’ll be safer there without me,” Harry admitted, “It’s going to be really dangerous as it is…I mean the wannabe Death Eaters or the actual ones who’ve been marked…I’m good but not enough to fight them all off…I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you guys,”

“This is your decision isn’t it?” Theodore whispered, eyes concerned, solely for his friend and his happiness.

“Yes, most definitely, we haven’t discussed it at all,” Harry pointed out, but even he knew Severus wouldn’t want him to go. “You’ll be coming here during the breaks right?”

“Of course, mum will be here anyway and it’s just too dangerous for Theo to go home…mum asked Lord Prince if Theo could get a Portkey just in case…it will bring him here if things get worse…” Blaise explained quickly.

“Did you get a howler again?” Harry winced; Theo was one step away from being ‘disowned’ for being an embarrassment to the Nott name.

“Just letters, none since this morning,” Nott said shaking his head, “Should we join everyone else outside?” changing the subject, “Everyone else is gone and we are the only ones left.” he added smoothly succeeding in his ability to change the subject, or so he thought, Harry just grinned at him and the trio of friends left the building all of them had plates filled with mountains of food.

“Whoa,” Harry said gazing around in awe; he hadn’t seen the outside before now. His and Severus’ living quarters faced the opposite direction.

“Wow,” Blaise murmured in complete agreement with Harry, “I’ve been to a lot of pureblood parties, but this one…this one goes to the top of the list.”

“Definitely,” Theodore agreed, “Come on let’s find a seat,”

A magical bubble suddenly domed around them, causing them to looking around and relax when it was only Remus, “Do not stay with them all night, this is both yours and Severus’ night tonight, you’re supposed to spend time as a couple.” Remus informed him, patting Harry’s shoulder coming from absolutely nowhere. “You can talk and spend time with Blaise and Theo any other time.”

“Remus’ is right, you’re both hosts and should be doing this together,” Blaise agreed reluctantly.

“Meet up at ours tomorrow?” Nott suggested seeing Harry conflicted.

“Alright,” Harry agreed, on one hand he didn’t really want to leave his friends…on the other hand he had admitted even only to himself he wanted to take part in the politics, to be more than just a consort that gives the next Prince heir. Which he wouldn’t be doing for a very long time yet. “Do you know where he is?” nodding and smiling briefly at the vampire who bowed to him, he didn’t know who he was.

“Severus is over there,” Remus pointed him out, he was on by far the biggest table outside, it was rectangular instead of circular, and he was seated at the head of the table, as Lord of course it was his place. With that he flicked his wand and made the silencing bubble disappear easily enough.

Harry said a quick goodbye to his friends, before he began to make his way through the thong of people, everyone moved out of his way so it wasn’t as if it was a hard thing to do. While that happened, he noticed he was being tailed, which caused him to sigh resignedly that was one thing he knew he wouldn’t be able to change. The table was absolutely full, there wasn’t a single seat unclaimed, when they noticed him everyone stood up, with the obvious exception of Severus. He did notice the vampire at the end, Cenric gesturing for him to take the seat at the end, customary but Harry didn’t care for that sort of thing, instead he just shook his head and gestured for Cenric to sit back down. If this was his party then surely he could do whatever he liked?

He moved over to the empty table to his left and picked up one of the seats and moved back over, then he plopped the chair down right next to Severus’ and sat down, giving a little smirk at the looks he was getting, he doubted he’d ever get used to that, he rather hoped it would stay amusing. He glanced impishly at Severus, hoping that he wasn’t doing something really; really stupid or insulting to him because it truly was the last thing Harry wanted to do.

Severus lips only twitched just a little before intertwining Harry’s fingers with his own. Truly grateful that Harry had returned, he had assumed he would spend the night with his friends and father. It presented them in an even more firm light; it showed that despite his age that Harry cared about the people. Which he had proven tonight without a doubt, he remembered details from before he was turned with startling clarity that left him impressed. “Do you want a drink?” Severus asked his mate, eyes warming just for him.

“No, I’m fine,” Harry said repeating his earlier words, giving him a smile. His uncle had put him off drinking, at least anything in ways of hard liquor. Blood he didn’t want his first time to be from a goblet, he wanted to experience a hunt. The only thing he drank was Butterbeer but that wasn’t exactly alcohol really drinking lots of that would only make you need to pee. Instead as the conversations started back up, he just squeezed their chairs together as much as possible, and leaned against Severus listening to the conversations around him. Nothing was catching his interest as of yet, but he was sure hopeful that something would.

Oddly enough after a while, Harry realized there was nowhere else he wanted to be, not even with his friends right now. He was very much content.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 26

Severus woke up to the sound of the door opening and closing, stretching languidly, he sat up, wondering what time it was, it felt early, and while Harry wasn’t one for sleeping in, he didn’t think Harry had gotten up so early before then again he had been human, Harry would no longer feel the need to sleep so much.

Yesterday had been a surprise to say the least, he wasn’t sure what he had expected, but it definitely hadn’t been what occurred. He shouldn’t have underestimated Harry, as a Slytherin as well, he felt like kicking himself for not thinking of it sooner, or at all really. Harry had everyone eating out of the palm of his hand, even Selvic and Adam, who found it difficult to trust people, and they weren’t merely tolerating Harry as their Lord’s consort, they genuinely liked him, and had sat for an entire half hour talking and listening to them, even getting the new parents to show him a few pictures of their son. Harry had cooed over the pictures, absolutely smitten with the baby, and Severus actually wanted to know whether it was put on or if Harry did want children in future. It didn’t matter right now, Harry was far too young, and he had a lot of living to do before he even thought of having a child, that’s if they could be blessed with one. Male pregnancies were rare and risky, only six couples had given birth to a child in the past couple of decades, not only rare, but it was exceedingly rare for the pregnancy to last more than a single month. Your magic was used to magically hold the baby in question, and more often than not, it failed, there was no reason as to why, they had never found common denominators to explain it.

Vehemently shaking off those thoughts, but his traitorous mind conjured up an image of what a child of his and Harry would look like. How he would like the baby to look at least, and if he ever had one, he would prefer it to look like Harry, the inbreeding had done a number on the Prince line, while Glenn and Rose were able to hold their own; there was no denying that magic had been declining in the Prince family for generations. His mother had magic, but she wasn’t able to cast much in the way of spells, she’d barely graduated Hogwarts. Her written work had been one hundred percent, but the practical work had left a lot to be desired, except potions and the subjects she’d taken that did not require a wand. For the longest time he had assumed that was why she’d left, to think it was something as inane as the fact she didn’t come to her creatures inheritance, and denied him the knowledge of his birthright, which would have made his schooling infinitely easier. It was his belief that his mother marrying and producing a child with a Muggle had led to his extraordinary magical powers, he was probably the fourth or fifth powerful wizard in the magical world and he wasn’t boasting, he was a Slytherin, he kept the true extent of his powers hidden, except when he had no other choice but to use it.

Shoving the covers off himself, he stretched again before heading to the bathroom to complete his normal morning ablutions. Fifteen minutes later, he exited the bathroom, paying no attention to the smoke billowing out behind him, before getting dressed in his usual robes. The robes they’d had on last night had already been cleaned and placed on the wardrobe door to hang, Harry had looked stunning in those robes, and he hoped he got to see him wearing something like that or even them again soon, he had looked very regal, honestly it was hard to believe it was the same boy who prefers lounging around in his Muggle clothes.

He was literally just adjusting his collar when a knock on the door startled him, he knew it was Alfred, he knew all his people by smell, and had memorised them a long time ago. “Enter,” he called out, taking the seat beside his desk, early start or not, he still had work to do, and it couldn’t go undone, the joy of being a leader he thought with sarcasm.

“Your mail, Severus,” Alfred said, wandering over and placing the newspaper and letters side by side and the parcels at the top left hand corner.

“Thank you,” Severus replied he would reluctantly have to get through everything; he didn’t like delegating tasks like this, especially when it came to being information from all his people. A few times he had, Alfred had taken copious amount of notes, didn’t leave anything out that he felt was important, but Severus still preferred knowing what was going on himself. Even if it did take over an hour, and that was with him being a vampire and able to read extremely quickly.

“It seems I may have been premature in my comments that Harry is just a little too young,” Alfred commented, never afraid to admit when he was wrong, but rather just learn from it, he was too old to feel such reckless pride.

Severus’ lips twitched, “He may be young in years, especially compared to you, but Harry was never able to be just a child, in that sort of environment he had to grow up quickly, to survive which believe me wasn’t easy,” by the end his brow was furrowed as he thought on the Dursley’s. When Remus had told him about the scars he had sneakily went about getting evidence for his own eyes, which had practically sent him into a rage at the fact his mate had been hurt. That Harry had been hurt. Although the change had made them less obvious, he and all other creatures would always see them, humans however, would be ignorant to anything being there, their eyesight were just so weak.

“He seems to have taken a shine to Adam and Selvic, and vice versa,” Alfred commented, flicking his wand and sitting on a seat he summoned from the far side of the room. He didn’t always sit down and have a discussion with Severus, but today they definitely had something worth discussing.

“Indeed,” Severus said wryly, he was pretty sure everyone had noticed it and would be discussing it at great length. Dipping his quill into his ink, he began to write on a clean piece of parchment, replying to the first of many letters he had to read.

“It seems he has political aspirations…” Alfred questioned his tone unsure, “It’s not something you learn at Hogwarts…and I must admit I haven’t seen him with a book on it…yet, have you been teaching him all he needs to know?”

“You forget who his best friends are,” Severus pointed out, continuing to write, he knew Alfred wouldn’t take offence with his actions, Alfred was probably one of the few who knew just how much work being Lord Prince actually was. “Blaise and Theodore I’m sure took it upon themselves to teach Harry what he needed to know, to survive in Slytherin and within the social circles. I must admit I am pleased they had the forethought to do so, it will make this adjustment much easier.” signing his name, Severus placed the letter to the side to let it dry, turning to face Alfred again.

“I had not considered that,” Alfred mused thoughtfully, nodding almost sheepishly for not having thought of it earlier. “Adjustment easier? I assume that your consort will be taking his exams? And lessons to help along the way?” now that he had creature blood rushing through his veins, it would be very easy for him to fly through the exams with flying colours.

“He will,” Severus replied, “I plan on interviewing three potentials, whether they are the right fit or not remains to be seen. I will send out requests today,” Harry had made it clear he wasn’t returning to Hogwarts without him even bringing up the subject. He would have tried to convince Harry to study independently, but now there was no need.

“Why not use us?” Alfred probed, rather curiously, or more surprised really, Severus was paranoid about safety, he had a whole castle full of people who had sworn their loyalty to him, yet he wanted to bring in strangers to teach his mate and consort? No doubt they would be made to swear all manners of oaths themselves before they were allowed in the same room as Harry alone, but he was still undeniably curious, why use teachers when they themselves would love nothing more than to teach their Lord’s consort.

“I won’t overwork everyone; between your normal duties and our plans for the Death Eaters, the Horcruxes…it would be highly unfair to ask more of anyone.” Severus replied firmly, they had lives of their own, they deserved personal time, he had always been fair to them, although those in his court worked longer hours and remained in the castle with him at all times unless he gave them leave, they were the primary protection that Severus and Harry received from any threat that could come at any second.

“It would be my pleasure to teach Harry whatever he needs to pass his exams,” Alfred said honestly, “As you know I am merely an advisor of sorts, I have no further duties, and I think I can keep a handle on both tasks without a problem.” he didn’t like the thought of more outsiders being brought in. His Lord already had many humans on his pay role; he honestly would feel better if no more humans were granted entrance to the castle. It always made him on edge, not just him but others as well, there were ways in which one can betray you, and there was the chance they could be tagged with a tracking charm. Sure they checked them, but there was always new magic, always new ways of trickery and treachery. He would prefer knowing that his Lord and his Lord’s consort were safe.

Surprise flittered over Severus’ face, eyes sharpening, he gazed shrewdly at Alfred, judging his sincerity, “I believe you told me you wouldn’t do it again if you were asked.” Severus pointed out wryly, his lips twitching in remembrance.

“Yes, you wanted me to train seven newborn vampires,” Alfred said dryly, “They didn’t have one ounce of civility in them. Quite frankly that task felt more like a punishment.”

Severus snorted, “They owe you everything, it wasn’t all bad,” Severus replied amused.

“Towards the end? No, it wasn’t, and heaven forbid, I also know it wasn’t their fault, it was solely their creator that was to blame.” Alfred grimaced; he had hunted the vampire down himself and killed him. Tarek had turned over ten people, kept them strung up, caged, feeding them only a little to survive, they were wild, two had managed to get free and the others had been freed. It was then Severus got involved, they had only been able to save seven. Four had died, three by the Auror’s and Severus had been forced to deal with the other, he was completely broken, he had been the oldest of the captives by far, putting him out of his misery had been the hardest thing to do, but it was the humane thing to do, the right thing. Alfred had hunted Tarek down until he found the vampire and laid waste to him, ripped him to pieces and burnt him. Nobody else would ever be hurt by the vampire, who had been trying to build up his own vampire army, to take over the Ministry of magic of all things. Ten years had passed since then, and those vampires? They had proven themselves beyond a shadow of a doubt and were welcomed with open arms once they settled into vampire life. In fact two of the group had become Severus’ most trusted, members of his court, Adam and Selvic.

“Yes, it certainly was.” Severus replied he’d just taken over himself when all that had occurred. He was glad it had, Adam and Selvic had his complete and total trust. He was godfather to their newborn son; neither man had any family, so they had immediately made arrangements for their son just in case anything happened. Including their combined assets at Gringotts written into a will, making sure that whoever got their child was only able to take so much out, ensuring that the majority of the money would still be there upon their child’s seventeenth birthday. Which was why he was still so surprised that Adam and Selvic had surprised him by actually relaxing and having a good time with Harry.

“Are you sure?” it certainly wouldn’t be a harder task than the one they’d just discussed - albeit not in detail - not that there was any need. In fact it was never discussed, out of respect for both Adam and Selvic and the others, truthfully none of the vampires wanted their past thrown in their faces, and they just wanted to move on.

“I am,” Alfred stated seriously, “I can have a timetable written up with the hours I can work, Lord Harry to fill the rest of it in with the subjects he wishes to take and we will take it from there.”

“That would be appreciated,” Severus nodded thoughtfully, it was one less thing for him to do, he could now discard the plan to write the three letters to send out to the best tutors he felt worthy of tutoring Harry.

“I’ll get to it now,” Alfred said standing up, giving a small bow of respect before banishing the chair back to its original position before leaving Severus to himself.

Without any distractions Severus was able to write the beginnings of truces between two of the French and his vampires, the French and UK vampires (not the Prince clan) had been at each others throats for as long as they could remember. He was pretty sure the original reason was probably lost in time too, it was more out of tradition than any real desire to fight at least he assumed so. The more support he had, the better it would be for all concerned, especially with his plans.

Opening the packages, he found the first one was a large box containing the potion ingredients he’d ordered from America five days ago, all properly preserved, which pleased him greatly. The second box was filled with books, scrolls and pages of hieroglyphics, all yellow faded and well extremely brittle. Each book, scroll or page had their own individual sleeve that had a mountain of spells on it for protection and preservation. The urge to abandon everything and just read was very strong, but the quicker they were put into the vault the better. Placing the box aside for a moment he opened the last one and found it was the items he’d ordered for Harry.

Opening his bottom drawer, he placed it inside, before taking both the books and the potion ingredients and leaving the wing. If it had been anything else other than delicate and rare books and potion ingredients he would have handed them off to the others to deal with, but they were and he wanted to see it done himself. Nobody else got to touch his potion ingredients, especially not these ones; they weren’t grown in Britain, although Sam was going to try apparently.

“My Lord,” Corin said, bowing but remaining seated when Severus entered the huge hermetically sealed vault.

“My Lord,” Kieran said curiously, remaining seated as well, both of them had been until then going over very delicate scrolls. They had set up a new section, soul magic it said on the plaque. Anything to do with soul magic would be added there overtime, or rather anything not sectioned would be placed there.

“How are you both doing?” Severus asked, genuinely curious, he began to remove the books, scrolls and paperwork taking it to the brand new section of the vault, which was solely his, everyone knew not to remove anything from there, but they were free to read it as long as they put it back how it was. The hieroglyphics paper went straight under the glass case, before it was closed tightly, it wouldn’t be opened again, and anyone wishing to read it would either have to copy it or read it from the glass. Severus unfortunately wasn’t familiar with Egyptian hieroglyphics it’s something he’d need to learn or ask someone who knows the language to translate it for him.

“Uh, we’ve not had much luck, anything that mentions soul pieces don’t actually call them Horcruxes, maybe it was before they were named…it barely tells you what it does, and I’ve not seen anything that explains the process or how to remove it.” Kieran admitted, a small hint of frustration bleeding into his voice.

“Fourth book along will tell you how they’re created, none Alfred or I looked at before gave much away either, the further back you go the more chance you have of finding something. It seems to me that the Ministry don’t want anyone remembering such magic, not that I can blame them seeing as the act of creating a Horcrux is rather…horrifying I must admit.” Severus pointed to the book he was talking about, recognizing the spine as one he had read previously on his search for answers. “I assume you’re staying away from books that have both our scent on them? There is no point to going through them twice, and the scent will be recent obviously.” he added rather redundantly.

“The feel of it is wrong, never mind knowing how they’re created,” Corin said through slightly clenched teeth.

“Indeed,” Severus replied, “Do not overdo it, remember to feed, the most urgent part is over with.” he warned them.

“Of course,” Corin said, slightly insulted he wasn’t a newborn, not that he actually let that feeling show through either his eyes or tone.

“My Lord,” Kieran bowed, he had served under a different vampire sire back in the day, and he knew and understood that Severus cared unlike the others who had just used them for their own ends. He closed his eyes and shook off his thoughts, not wishing to think on them, no, he wanted to find out how to destroy the Horcruxes. When he opened them again he noticed their Lord was gone, and Corin had returned back to the scroll with renewed determination.

Nodding thoughtfully he stiffened his spine and returned to his reading, delicately winding the scroll one way after he had read all he possibly could before starting from the top again.

--------0

Just as Severus had stepped into the dungeons he felt his mate enter the castle again, followed by his guards a few moments later. Harry had gotten used to being shadowed a lot quicker than he had, he’d noticed them last night and rather than getting angry he’d just rolled his eyes and sighed a little in what Severus presumed was exasperation. He felt himself unconsciously relaxing, and it wasn’t due to the fact he was in the potions lab - it was the knowledge his mate was here and safe.

He removed the ingredients from their containers and placed the in ones of his own, which no doubt had better preservation charms on them since it wouldn’t do well to have the containers spelled preserved for years, it meant less business, he knew how it worked he had worked in a few potion shops while gaining his mastery. In his immaculate scrawl he wrote out the ingredient on the label before attaching it to the glass container before replacing the glass lid then repeated the process a dozen times until all ingredients were shelved for later use.

Sighing softly, he didn’t get to spend anywhere near as much time in his lab anymore; it was disheartening to say the least. Potions were not only his chosen profession, of sorts, but his passion too. One day, he thought to himself as he left the dungeons, closing the door behind him, one day he would brew until his heart was content, until then he would just make do with the hour or so (either collectively or together) he managed to squeeze in at time. He moved quickly and met Harry just as he was about to go up the stairs to their bedroom (he presumed)

“Hey,” Harry said giving him a wide smile, green eyes gleaming.

“Did you eat breakfast?” Severus questioned concerned, he knew it was a needless one, but he liked Harry knowing he cared about him.

“I did,” Harry admitted, as he walked with Severus. Smirking amused when the door was held open for him, wandering in he felt the simmer of silencing spells.

“Alfred would like to be your tutor,” Severus commented, it was nearly lunch time; they both would have nothing to do until after lunch.

“My tutor in what?” Harry queried puzzled.

“Everything you need to learn to take your exams,” Severus informed him. "But the choice is most definitely yours."

“I could easily enough pass all my exams,” Harry informed him, shaking his head, “I always read ahead at least a year or two, I missed a lot not knowing about the magical world growing up, and I hated that everyone knew the basics, plus dad had all the books from when he was at school, I was able to read them during the summer holidays. He started hiding them when I was reading too much, but when I asked he couldn’t say no.” a smug grin on his face as he revealed that titbit of information. He was a Slytherin, and the hat had said he had a thirst to prove himself and he sure as hell had.

“I see,” Severus said, giving Harry a thoughtful look, wondering if he really could actually take his NEWTS earlier, truthfully though he wouldn’t be surprised if that were true. Harry liked to read quite a lot, he was always in the library with one book or another. Quite advanced books too, and now with him being a creature of the night, his memory was sharper, he would be able to retain information much easier. “Is that what you would prefer to do? Take your exams early?” instead of a tutor was certainly implied.

“A little studying for my NEWTS would be required before I take them, just to be on the safe side,” Harry said slowly, thinking on it. “Especially for subjects that I need to brush up on,” the ones he didn’t care much for but wanted to pass all exams with flying colours. He didn’t want to be just another average student from Hogwarts, he wanted more out of life, and a job that would one, be something he really enjoyed, and two, and bring in some money. It had always been his aspirations, his biological father had completely screwed up, the Potter finances had been left in disarray and Dumbledore had ended up with the majority of his parent’s money - his money. Growing up with second hand clothes had led to him wanting to be able to buy nice things. It wasn’t needed now, but Harry wasn’t going to rely on Sev, he wanted a job or at least a Mastery and nothing would stop him.

“Then speak to Alfred about the subjects you wish to brush upon, and he will set a schedule,” Severus commented.

“If I agree to this, I want something in turn,” Harry said, gazing at Severus’ his lips twitching just so.

Severus inwardly groaned, well, he should have expected it, Harry was after all a Slytherin, and showing it more and more each day. “And that would be?” not sure what to expect, probably demands to visit his friends at Hogwarts during the trips to Hogsmeade or something. He was very loyal to his friends, and Severus silently commended him on it. Severus took a seat, turning the chair around to properly see Harry.

“I want you to teach me potions,” Harry said seriously, he was the youngest Potions Master, who better to learn from? He knew Severus was busy and it probably wasn’t right to ask him and take advantage of the fact Severus wouldn’t want to say no to him, but quite frankly any opportunity to spend time with him would be great. He rarely got to see him and that wasn’t the life Harry wanted out of a partnership, relationship, and he would need to tell Severus that too. He’d gone the first ten years of his life being ignored, and while Severus didn’t ignore him per se, he still felt as everything else was more important. Who would want to live like that? Perhaps those who cared more about the position they gained from being at ‘Lord Prince’s’ side but Harry wasn’t one of them. Sure there was plenty of money, but Harry would rather earn it than live the way things were.

Surprised filtered through Severus’ dark eyes, well that he hadn’t expected. “I am not a patient man when it comes to teaching Potions, Harry, I do not believe it would be…a good idea.”

“Why is that?” Harry asked seriously, sitting on the chest at the bottom of the bed.

“Potions are my passion, I knew up to the seventh year curriculum by the time I entered Hogwarts. I find it very annoying when people do not live up to my standards, hence why I’ve never considered taking on an apprentice, despite the fact I had many, many people begging or bragging to take them on. It simply wouldn’t be fair to them, I know I don’t have what it takes to teach, and there are many who do teach that cant, and I won’t add to the number.” Severus explained, crossing his legs, wondering at his response and hoping that Harry would let the matter rest.

“Since my second year I’ve received outstanding in all my tests and I received an Outstanding on my OWLS exam for both my written and practical participation in potions.” Harry pointed out, “If that’s not good enough I’m not sure what else could be.” completely misunderstanding the point Severus was trying to make.

“I am not implying that I think you are incompetent at Potions, Harry,” Severus said dryly, “I mean that I would not be a suitable teacher for you. I am impatient and demanding, and quite frankly I won’t risk you coming to detest me for my attitude in a teaching setting.”

“Fine, three lessons then, if I don’t like your attitude you can get someone else to teach me, deal?” Harry said, green eyes gleaming determinedly.

Severus’ lips twitched, persistent little thing he was, when compared him he was little, “Very well, three lessons it is,” he conceded to Harry’s demands which were to be fair - very ideal and fair.

“Can we brew today?” Harry asked, a hint of hopefulness spreading across his face.

“I don’t…” Severus was about to say he didn’t have the time, he had meetings back to back in less than twenty minutes for the rest of the day. Unfortunately for him, he just happened to have a mate who was not only a Slytherin, but quite adept at underhand manipulation.

“Last night was the first time we’ve actually spent more than an hour together!” Harry exclaimed impatiently. “Is this how it’s always going to be? Am I always going to be the least important thing to you?”

“You know that is not true, and that blatant attempt at manipulation is not alright, Harry.” Severus stated sharply, unimpressed.

“Not all of it,” Harry argued right back, “You wanted me here, yet most of the time I hardly see you,” he would have probably have been better off returning to Hogwarts…although that was impossible now thanks the news getting out about him defeating Voldemort.

Severus pinched the bridge of his nose, things had gotten tense extremely quick, and the joys of having a partner that was so much younger than you. Although young or not, it didn’t mean Harry didn’t have a point. “I will try and make more time for you,” Severus promised, after a few minutes of thought. “I am doing my best here.” he knew Harry was as well.

Harry stood up and turned away from Severus, facing the window as he looked out at the beautiful grounds, which had already been put back to normal from last night. “I know you do, I’m not trying to be ungrateful…I just…” Harry huffed unable to articulate his own feelings properly.

Severus stood up as well, try as he may to be annoyed or angry that Harry was trying to manipulate him, he couldn’t be. Not when it was clear that all Harry wanted was to spend more time with him. Which meant there was a big chance that after the time was up Harry wouldn’t want to leave. He obviously had feelings for him, whether Harry understood those feelings or not remained to be seen. Walking up to Harry, he wrapped his arms around him, laying his chin on his head. “How about you and I go on a hunt today? I’ll teach you what you need to know to feed, then perhaps afterwards we can do something else…something you’d enjoy, anywhere you want, you just name it.” Severus said. They didn’t need a lot of blood due to the fact it was an inheritance, but the desire was there, just weakened, that and they could consume normal food. Still it was something of a tradition to be taught how to hunt; Alfred had taught him after his turning, just like he’d taught him everything else. “Just the two of us.”

Harry sniggered, “You think you can convince the others to back off?”

“They will do as I ask, however reluctant they might be,” Severus said wryly. “And probably try and shadow us a few miles.”

“That’s more like it,” Harry said, amused, “I’m sorry about earlier…”

“Are you?” Severus said thoughtfully.

“I know how busy you are, it was really great being able to talk to you for more than just half an hour at dinner, and being able to talk to the others too. I just don’t like being on my own, reminds me too much of the Dursley’s.” Harry admitted, trying to shrug his shoulders but unable to do it due to the fact Severus held him tightly against his chest.

Severus sighed as he pressed his mouth against the side of Harry’s neck where the claiming mark was. Kissing it absently, as he tried to see it from Harry’s point of view, which wasn’t all that difficult. He would just need to prioritise his work, cut down on the interviews either that or get Alfred to pick up the slack when it was needed. He couldn’t become his…grandfather, seeing Harry only at dinner then at bedtime definitely wasn’t something he wanted. Evidently it wasn’t what Harry wanted either, so yes, compromise was needed here. He absolutely refused to lose him, not like his ancestor Artemis had lost his mate. “Do not wait and let it build up, when you feel this way, tell me.” Severus stated, “Promise me.”

Harry relaxed back against Severus, “I promise.” he said sincerely, he was definitely excited for tomorrow though, to actually get to spend time with Severus alone? It was more than he’d hoped for, considering he hadn’t started this with anything in mind…well it was great.

Severus himself relaxed, just enjoying holding Harry close, which he didn’t get to do much. His mind thought of all the meetings he had the ones he could delegate. Since both of them were leaving without planning in advanced so they should be safe. Despite the fact he wanted to go alone the others would come but keep their distance to give them the appearance of privacy. “For the past fourteen years I’ve built this up, it wasn’t easy, and I never once held any regrets, despite the fact I would have loved to take more time to brew and invent potions…until you came along. I would put aside everything to give you what you want, but it isn’t just me I have to factor in…our history isn’t good, a lot of bad things happened when my grandparents stepped down. The ones who took charge did not care for those under their charge; it is why so many are loyal to our clan.”

Guilt began to squirm inside of Harry at his selfishness, “I don’t want you to stop, I never want that.” he declared vehemently.

“I did not mean to imply that you do or did,” Severus explained quietly, “I am trying to tell you that you are the most important thing to me.”

“Have you ever tried to change the laws?” Harry asked, suddenly.

“Excuse me?” Severus enquired, blinking, slightly off put by the suddenness of the change of subject.

“The laws, can they be changed?” Harry asked thoughtfully.

“They can,” Severus said cautiously, not sure where Harry was going with this. “Majority rules. Although no rule has been changed in the past, many of the people here are set in their ways.” what was his little mate up to now?

“But how?” Harry queried.

“By gathering everyone to formal meeting, all those that had been sworn in would come to attend, one could compare it to a Wizengamot meeting, the proposal would be put forth and an argument made as to why the law should be changed then there would be those who would argue against it. At the end of the meeting…unless they need time to think a decision would be made to whether accept or decline the proposal.” Severus explained, he’d held formal meetings, but never changed a law, proposed new ones for sure, yes but never change. “What are you up to?” he finally asked his sneaky little Slytherin.

“I don’t know yet, are the laws written down somewhere?” Harry asked they were obviously not the same as real laws in the magical world, but rather their own system, their own hierarchy.

“They’re bound in book form in the vault,” Severus said dryly, already knowing where Harry would be heading soon enough. Which was a good thing really; since he did have a meeting he could NOT miss it was one he had been trying to get with the French vampire leader for the past year. “Kieran and Corin will help you find it; they’re both currently down there doing research.”

“Research? For what?” Harry asked perking up, turning around green eyes blazing curiously.

“On how to destroy Horcruxes,” Severus revealed the truth; if he couldn’t trust his mate then who could he trust? Young or not, Harry had a good head on his shoulders, he would know better than to blab about it, although truthfully he wouldn’t get near enough to people who didn’t know to say anything. Not without them knowing at any rate, their hearing is impeccable. Feeling the wards give a little, he realized that the vampire had arrived for the meeting via Portkey of course. “I have to attend this meeting, and speak to Alfred about your decision on your education so that he doesn’t waste his time coming up with a timetable. After the meeting we can leave.”

Harry nodded his head, closing his eyes to enjoy the last few seconds; Severus tightened his hold briefly before letting go altogether.

“I’ll see you soon,” Severus murmured quietly, before he moved out of the bedroom, giving a stern look to the two on guard. There were strangers in their home, their priority was keeping Harry safe, and he had others attending it with him so he would be safe.

They understood his meaning all too well, and gave serious nods in turn; they would protect Harry with their lives. With that he turned and walked down to the entrance hall, his game face already on, ready to greet them.

Harry however, stayed staring at the window, Severus’ words circling around his mind like a bird circling his prey. Ever since Severus had explained what happened when his grandparents had stepped down as tradition dictates when the heir turns seventeen, or rather once they finished their education, meaning nearly eighteen by that point they took over. Eileen, Severus’ mum hadn’t been able to take over, and it had caused a lot of problems for the people who had sworn their allegiance to the Prince clan.

He had to do something about that, to stop it happening again, and truthfully, it wasn’t fair that any teenager would be forced into this…the pressure alone to take over had to be awful, he’d been forced into it but he wasn’t exactly the same thing as being brought up being told it was going to be there’s. Even Sev hadn’t had that sort of burden placed upon them, part of him felt for Eileen, not only those expectations but not coming to her inheritance? It was little wonder she fled, no wonder she’d kept it from her son, after having it all heaped on her…it certainly isn’t something he’d want for any child of his.

He’d always wanted a big family, and a big family always meant more than one child. As a young boy he hadn’t exactly imagined himself giving birth, but the magical world had changed all that for him. He wanted at least two, not right now, he wanted to live a little first, if he could do such a thing now, and he wasn’t sure what his future held.

If he could get that law changed…not only would he be protecting everyone here and now, but he’d also be protecting any child he had in future. It felt wrong to put that burden on a child, so he was going to demand the change in the law, so that their firstborn son, or oldest daughter (if they only had daughters) wouldn’t need to take over when they were seventeen and it wouldn’t need to be the first born either. Admittedly Severus’ admission could mean they wouldn’t approve, but when he got an idea…he would see it through to the end.

He needed something to keep him occupied for a while anyway, stiffening his shoulders determinedly, he gave himself a nod and turned around and made his way out of the bedroom, giving a smile to the two guards before making his way to the vault, he needed to read the laws before he could even think of getting their attention.

“My Lord,” both men stood as he entered, dipping their heads in respect.

“Hi,” Harry said, feeling a little awkward but not letting it show, he still wasn’t used to being spoken to this way. “Can you tell me where the books or book on the laws for the clan are?”

“They’re the third row down, about half way along,” it was Corin who answered.

“Thank you, please don’t let me disturb you,” Harry said, moving away. Passing two rows before going down the third, his eyes trailing from book to book as he looked for the one he wanted. After a few more minutes of searching he found it, removing it with a sense of satisfaction. He couldn’t help but overhear the conversation between the two of them, both discussing possible ways to destroy the Horcruxes.

“Ever thought you’re thinking too much about it?” Harry questioned as he wandered back towards them, ready to leave the vault and dig into the laws of this world. “I know you’re leery of fire…but nothing can survive a Fiendfyre, it says a soul can’t survive without a container right? So if the containers destroyed in essence the soul piece is destroyed too?”

“Well yes,” Kieran said slowly, a thoughtful look appearing on his face.

“Other than remorse anyway, the books all say you have to feel genuine remorse, but that puts your soul back into the host, not kill it.” Corin explained, quickly getting over his surprise.

Harry laughed sardonically, “I somehow doubt he will ever feel remorse, not from the things I’ve heard in Slytherin about him.” mostly from Blaise and Theo though, the others wouldn’t talk about stuff like that in front of anyone they knew wouldn’t join the ’Dark Lord’.

“I agree remorse is definitely not in his repertoire.” Kieran replied sitting back, stretching out a little. They’d been at this for days, going through every available piece of information but they weren’t getting much to work with.

“We can’t destroy it right now anyway, but it is a good idea to test the theory when it’s possible.” Corin admitted they would need to talk to Lord Prince and see what he said about it.

“Why not?” Harry asked both curious and confused. Wasn’t that what they were trying to do? Destroy the Horcruxes?

Corin and Kieran shared a look, not sure whether they should reveal everything, they hadn’t explicitly been forbidden to do so…but the fact Harry didn’t know…did it mean that their Lord did not wish for his Consort to know? He already apparently knew about the Horcruxes though and well, he was their Lord as well, or would be when they married right now the technical term was Consort Potter-Prince but they were referring to him as Lord Consort, or Lord Potter-Prince both could be applied.

In the end there was only one option, their Lord’s consort had asked a question, they would answer it. “We’re trying to find a way to use the piece we have as a way to find the rest of them.”

“Oh, that makes sense, it’s quite sneaky as well, and it’s a bit like the Marauders map my father and dad made when they were at school. You should either talk to my dad about it or tell whoever is in charge of that task.” Harry pointed out, if it worked out it was quite an ingenious idea. “My dad might have a few ideas or point them in a direction that would prove beneficial. Not that I’m saying you guys can’t do it.”

“We know,” Corin said smirking wryly.

“I’ll leave you to it,” Harry said, hoisting the book further into his chest, before he turned and made his way out, “Bye!” he called over his shoulder before the vault closed and sealed behind him.
-----------0
Remus paused in his conversation with Sirius when he heard footsteps, since there were no other occupants in the area near them; he knew without a doubt that they were coming here to this room. Mere seconds after thinking it there was three hard raps on the door, Remus stood up and made his way curiously to the door. Sirius knew about Tonks being pregnant and had taken it rather well, just some shouting, had they bothered the vampires?

“Yes?” Remus inquired curiously, opening the door to see two vampires he wasn’t overly familiar with, he knew each one in Severus’ main court, or at least most of them since they were in charge of keeping his son safe.

“Harry said we could come to you if we had questions,” Kieran told the werewolf, seeing the surprise and confusion on his face he began to elaborate. “He said you created a marauders map,”

“We’d like to know more about it so we can understand why he suggested we talk to you about it.” Corin added they’d do anything to get it done as quickly as possible.

“Come in,” Remus said kindly, but he went outside his room, flicking out his wand before summoning this ‘map’ they were talking about. Considering this was his room, they could only come to the conclusion that Harry was in possession of the map. The two vampires took a seat and waited patiently, ignoring how uncomfortable Sirius Black was with their presence in the room.

“Are you planning on making a map of the castle?” Remus queried as he stood at the desk, the map spread out in front of him. “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” he murmured, tapping his wand on the paper, and immediately afterwards ink began to spread forth, making shapes as well as writing names the vampires observed.

“Not quite,” Corin said, avidly scanning the map with suppressed glee, this could be exactly what they were looking for after all.

“What was the process that went into making this?” Kieran questioned leaning forward gazing at Remus with intent.

“What age were you when you made this? You had to have been at Hogwarts surely…” Corin murmured, awed over the creation of this map.

“Fifteen, we all were, me, James and Sirius created it together combined effort.” Remus explained, answering Corin’s question first as he sat down.

“No wonder Harry’s such a smart teen, growing up with you and having James Potter as a father,” Corin mused.

“Don’t let Severus hear you say that,” Remus said seriously, no hint of amusement, “Smart he may have been, but James had the capacity to be quite cruel.” giving Sirius a glare to cut him off, already knowing he would come to James defence. “So why are you so curious about it if you have no intentions of creating a map of the castle?”

“We’re intending on using part of the idea to find certain things, we only want to imbue one magical signature into it,” Kieran was the once to respond, impatient to know more but not showing it.

“What things?” Sirius asked bluntly.

“I am not at the liberty to say,” Kieran informed Sirius, he wasn’t in on the know so he definitely wasn’t going to reveal an important piece of information to the wizard.

Remus’ amber eyes glimmered in realization; he suspected heavily exactly what the map was going to be used for. How they intended on getting the magical signature he had no idea. So without further stalling, Remus began to tell the two vampires the entire process that had gone into creating the map, the charms, the potions and more importantly the spells to activate it - and he wasn’t meaning the password either.

“And you did all this at fifteen?” Kieran blurted out once Remus had finished explaining the process, Corin was busy scribbling everything down despite the fact they had perfect recall. Sixteen spells had gone into making the map into what it was, and at that age it was absolutely amazing.

“It’s not that impressive,” Remus replied, and he wasn’t being modest he didn’t see what he had done as something amazing. Truthfully though, most of the work had been done by him, at least all the research, but it had been James’ initial idea he’d worked off. “I would very much like to help you, I’ll ask Severus when he and Harry return.” knowing better than to think they’d tell him anything without Severus’ approval.

“Until then, we’ll bid you goodbye, let you get back to what you were doing before we interrupted you.” Corin said, “Thank you for the help.”

“No problem, its Harry you should thank really,” Remus answered, as always deflecting any praise that came his way.

Both of them nodded in acknowledgement before departing, closing the door behind them.

“How can you say that about James?!” Sirius asked, still feeling shocked and angry about it.

“Because it’s the truth, he grew out of it yes, but Severus didn’t get to see that, you were worse,” Remus stated, with Harry in his life he had changed. Somehow Harry had made him feel unashamed of his status as a werewolf, given him the strength to have a backbone, before Harry came into his life he would never have considered saying such a thing out loud. He did feel a little bad when Sirius flinched as if he had been greatly pained by it, but he refused to take it back. Sirius’ thoughtless actions had almost resulted in him biting someone, his greatest fear! If he had done so there would have been no sweeping it under the rug, the Ministry would have found out and he would have been arrested and ‘put down’ or worse placed in Azkaban.

“Come on, we weren’t that bad,” Sirius mumbled half defensively.

“I’m not going to get into this, I shouldn’t have brought it up, we both promised to put the past aside and try anew.” Remus informed the dog Animagus.

“Tell that to Harry,” Sirius said morosely. He may be living under the same roof as Harry yet he only ever saw him from afar, the vampires intervened if he went anywhere near the area Harry was in telling him to leave. It wasn’t his fault, he had been duped by Dumbledore, and it wasn’t fair that he had to pay the price.

“I’ve told you, just give him time, he’ll come around when he’s had a chance to think it through properly,” Remus replied calmly, Harry was extremely smart, he would inevitable go with his head rather than his heart when it came to Sirius. They’d never be what Sirius would wish them to be though, he wasn’t stupid enough to think that but he’d at least be on friendly terms with him.

“How much longer will I have to wait? I want to get to know my godson!” Sirius grumbled, his anger at Dumbledore growing exponentially. He had done this; he had taken away his chance of watching his godson grow up.

“You could ask me,” Remus pointed out, he knew everything about his son, which probably irked Sirius more, but at the same time relieved some of the guilt. At least one of them had been there for him, and made sure he didn’t end up returning to those disgusting, despicable Muggles again.

“What was he like when you first saw him?” Sirius asked a note of desperation and deep aching sadness in his voice.

“I first met Harry in Diagon Alley; he wrote to me and told me he would be going there that morning after he entered Hogwarts. I was admittedly confused, wondering why he would need to be going there, but the chance of meeting him was motivating so I immediately made my way there. He was with his Head of House, Professor Slughorn, I was admittedly surprised that he was a Slytherin but I didn’t care, I was just really glad to see him.” Remus began his tale, his tone thoughtful. “I learned later he was wearing clothes from his friend, a fellow first year because he hadn’t gotten his school things, his uncle refused to buy them…he was obviously unaware of Harry’s wealth, and Harry was too until we went to Gringotts. If wealth is the right word for what was left really.”

Sirius cocked his head to the side, listening intently trying to envision the scene, oddly enough he felt as though a memory was trying to work its way to the surface.

“While we were at Gringotts we found out that James had set up monthly payments to come from the vault, one hundred galleons to St. Mungo’s, two hundred to the Hogwarts scholarship fund and two and a half thousand to the Order.” Remus told him grimly, an appalled gasp of horror met his ears, “We stopped them immediately and I told them to begin smaller investments to try and bring some money in for the first time in a decade. After that I took him to get his eyes correct when I noticed him squinting at things, it didn’t help that the Dursley’s had given him glasses that were not the correct prescription.”

“Just like James then,” Sirius said ruefully, he had missed out on so much, the gentle teasing and ribbing.

“It’s just about the only thing you could use to compare James and Harry,” Remus nodded in agreement, “If he had grown up with his father then he might have been more like him but he isn’t. You should have seen his face when he entered the bookstore, he lit up, Merlin each summer he would plough through all my books and even got ahead of his year…and it wasn’t just me teaching him either, his friends helped him learn about the law and such. I could never get him to stop, even hiding the books didn’t help, and he’s one of the biggest bookworms I’ve ever seen.”

Sirius groaned, “Not another one,” he said.

“He was woefully unprepared for the magical world; nobody can fault him for wanting to learn absolutely everything he could. He was the top of his classes come his second year, he is driven, methodical and just brilliant.” Remus told him honestly. He was so proud of Harry; he didn’t think he could be prouder even if he had been his biological son.

“I can understand that,” Sirius nodded grudgingly.

“Everything was normal, then Voldemort had to come back,” Remus said bitterly, “He took Harry from Hogwarts and used his blood in his resurrection thankfully Harry was smart enough to get away. Voldemort has a single minded determination to kill Harry, for surviving that night now, as if he wasn’t already after him because he’d been embarrassed by a fourteen year old.”

Sirius winced, just thinking about it.

“If that was bad what Dumbledore decided to do was worse, but thankfully it worked in Harry’s favour.” Remus finished, and it had worked in Harry’s favour. Harry was becoming to love Severus, he could see that clear as day, the start of their relationship didn’t matter; it helped by the fact Severus obviously hadn’t pushed Harry. Now they were leaving for romantic getaways, and Remus didn’t need to worry, Harry was well protected short of being caught unawares by Voldemort’s entire army they could protect themselves.

Sirius nodded, sighing softly, Harry would never need him the way he wanted to be needed - not now anyway. Anything he needed it would be Snape who helped him. It was funny though, he’d never really been interested in having kids, neither had Remus, he’d not wanted any for fear of passing on his ‘disease’ as he called it often in the past. Harry was different, he was their godson (only him officially of course) and he didn’t run the risk of inheriting anything. Here and now, Remus didn’t seem to care about that particular fear, he just wanted to be part of the baby’s life, to make sure Tonks got what she needed to be comfortable during the duration of her pregnancy.

In other words the world had changed since Dumbledore had decided to play with him and he was struggling to play catch up.

“Maybe one day things will be good,” Sirius said quietly, so unsure about everything but he did know he wanted Remus and his godson, so he would persevere until something good came out of this situation.

“It will be,” Remus replied with an air of determined authority, his sense of smell let him know that Alfred was approaching no doubt with the mail and newspapers, not that there was a lot of mail for them, in fact since coming here only two or three letters on a whole had come. Standing back up he opened the door before Alfred could knock, giving him a kind smile, which was returned. “Thank you, Alfred.”

“No problem, have a good day,” Alfred said before moving on, it was time to visit Maria Zabini with her post now. All post was directed to a single location to ensure nothing was cursed hexed or worse tracked.

“There’s post for you, Sirius, from the Ministry,” Remus said thoughtfully handing the official letter over.

“The trial, it’s…its set, they need me to testify.” Sirius said shakily, he honestly didn’t know if he could face Dumbledore - not without losing complete control.

“When is the date?” Remus asked, sitting back down, reading the missive carefully.

“Two months time, they’re going to need me there early, I don’t know why they still do that,” Sirius sighed, “The constant waiting, I probably won’t be called up for at least three hours.” his stomach was churning now, he could only imagine what it would be like when the time came. The whole court process took nearly a day to deliberate but the public were only there for half of it. Sirius closed his eyes, clenching his hands into fists and gritted his teeth loudly. He couldn’t wait until the trial was over and Dumbledore was rotting in Azkaban.

“You aren’t the only one,” Remus pointed out, “I think Harry will be attending the court date along with Severus and some of the others.”

“Really?” Sirius said surprised, “Well I suppose he would want to see the old fool go down.”

“Yes, it will be amusing to see Dumbledore’s face when he finds out the man he did deals with was Severus.” Remus said with dark amusement.

“Wait, are you telling me Dumbledore did negotiations with Snape but didn’t know who it was?” Sirius practically squawked the words out.

“He did negotiations with the Lord of the vampires, Prince of the vampires I suppose,” Remus corrected. “He has no idea about Severus having taken up his rightful position. He assumed Prince was just a term not the actual name you know how they are about secrecy.” Sirius had been here long enough to realise it surely.

“Bloody hell,” Sirius muttered shocked, until a smirk made its way onto his face, just imagining the look on the old fools face when he found out about it and the fact he was going to end up in Azkaban, there was no way to get out of it.

“We’ll definitely need to let Harry and Severus know about the trial date and time when they return,” Remus pointed out thoughtfully.

“Doesn’t he have contacts? He probably already knows,” Sirius scoffed, as much as it made him sick to think about it, Snape held a great deal of power in his hands, and it wasn’t just vampires either. Which had come as a shock to him, that night the entire castle had been swarming in vampires and wizards and witches alike. He would say there had been over a hundred people there that night, but the real total was lost on him, he’d only been able to see them from the window.

“Perhaps,” Remus said thoughtfully, “It still doesn’t hurt to let him know just in case, I’d be telling Harry anyway, this information he will definitely need and want to know.”

Sirius nodded, agreeing with him, “Is there anything you need to do today?” Sirius added as he filled his plate, knowing that when Remus spent time with Harry, he had to leave.

“Nothing until Harry gets back I want to hear about his first hunt,” Remus said honestly, Harry had told him with smug satisfacton what had gone down earlier that day.

“Hunt?” Sirius froze fork half way to his mouth, wide eyed. “Hunt?” he repeated squeaking it out.

Remus sighed in exasperation, “They don’t kill people, Sirius, so don’t be so dramatic!” rolling his eyes he filled his own plate and began to eat, waiting on Sirius to realize he was still gaping like an idiot.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 27

Severus led Harry through the rough terrain, both of them being guided through the smell of human blood pumping through someone's body. Along the way, Severus explained some things, that they never fed from children, mostly because they weren't filling enough and if they took too much to feed then they were risking the child dying on them if they did. So they stuck to fully grown adults, males usually, and they stuck to secluded areas that gave them the time to feed without anyone happening to stumble upon them. "When we feed our guard is down to a certain extent, it's the only way anyone would ever get the drop on us." Severus added.

Harry nodded as he continued moving, wondering whether the vampires tended to kill first think later or if they just Obliviated them.

"We don't feel the urge to drink from humans the same way as turned vampires do," Severus continued to explain, dazzled by the excitement and curiosity bleeding through those green eyes that listened intently to everything he said. Perhaps it wouldn't be a hardship to teach him potions after all. "Due to the fact we still have some of our…humanity people would say, that we don't have many of the vampire's weaknesses. We won't die without the blood but it does weaken us to an extent."

"But not magically?" Harry asked, quietly alarmed by that. The thought of being weak quite frankly disgusted him; he'd worked so hard to be better than everyone else.

"Eventually it probably would," Severus revealed, "It would affect everything in the long run." nobody in their right mind let it go that far. Severus jumped down off the rocks to the uneven path below, the smell of human blood was closer than ever, probably a couple of hikers. Harry joined him not as steady on his feet but nonetheless straightened up easily enough, he'd get used to finding his balance with time. The human instinct was to panic falling from heights, and Harry did have human instincts still (they both did) but he had been one much longer than Harry had.

"We all need sustenance no matter what we are," Harry said thoughtfully gazing around, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking, he could smell sand and salt and water, crisp and fresh, they must be near a beach and the water. The smell of trees and freshly cut grass was the smell he could scent out from the other side.

"Very aptly put," Severus replied, amused and a little impressed, but given that Harry had been brought up by Remus Lupin a known werewolf since he was eleven it shouldn't surprise him that Harry would have sympathy and care for those who were considered 'Dark Creatures' it probably also had something to do with Harry's easy decision on becoming one himself.

"Ready to climb?" Harry asked grinning widely as he changed the subject, finding their path cut off by a hill.

"Very well," Severus sighed resignedly, it was not dignified to climb about like a child; he hadn't done such a thing since before he was eight years old. He had always been old before his time, but given the life he'd endured in Spinners End, it had to be expected. Unfortunately, he knew having a younger mate he would have to do a lot that he wouldn't do otherwise. His thoughts abruptly cut off when Harry began to climb expertly, looking as if he had done it a million times before. Never one to back down from a challenge, Severus quickly began to follow.

When they couldn't find anything to grip, it was a simple matter of lurching forward, using the weight on their foot to propel them upwards, much to Harry's consternation it didn't last as long as he would have liked. They were at the top before they knew it, gazing out at the view that would probably take Muggle hours to complete, probably longer depending on how experienced a climber they were. They could have Apparated up, and he suspected Severus would have preferred it and wondered why he hadn't just done it. He didn't dwell on it, he was just enjoying the fact he actually had Severus all to himself.

You'd think he would be more excited at the thrill of hunting, but honestly, Harry had learned to appreciate a lot of things, who wouldn't have spent ten years in a cupboard only getting out to do chores. Even afterwards he hadn't really gone on holiday, just to Blaise's and his dad's flat, Remus just didn't have the money to take them abroad, he didn't grudge him that. His dad had done his best by him, and that was enough for him.

Severus watched Harry, quite content to; he was beginning to realize just how unhappy Harry was constantly cooped up in the castle. The genuine smile, the excitement, and exuberance that vibrated from every pore in Harry's body. Shaking his head, refusing to think on it, he would do so later, he wanted to enjoy his time with his mate without any burdens getting in the way. He simply wrapped his arms around Harry, gazing out at the scenery.

"It's beautiful," Harry said in awe, admiring the lush landscape in front of him.

"It is," Severus agreed, but it was nothing compared to the beauty of his mate, he could get lost in his mate's green eyes for eternity, while this scenery was lovely, it was just…inconsequential when compared to Harry. "But you are even more so," sniffing unobtrusively the air blowing in their direction, carrying the scent of his people to him. They were closer than they had promised to be, but too far away so they were given the illusion of privacy. He didn't tell Harry, he honestly didn't want to ruin it for him if he hadn't already caught on as well. Plus they'd be on the move soon enough again, which would put them further away, probably not for long.

Harry felt his heart squeeze at those words, before being blackmailed into marrying Severus he hadn't really been interested in having a relationship, sure he had wanted a family in some sort of abstract way, but he hadn't seriously considered anyone in any way. Theo and Blaise's weren't betrothed to anyone, although they'd had their share of being asked - or rather their parents were asked - but Blaise's mum didn't even consider it for a second, surprisingly neither did Theo's father. Probably because the bride price wasn't all that much, most families loath to give too much to the females when marrying them off, well the purebloods anyway, but they were the only ones who upheld the rigid old fashioned ways. Blaise had a girlfriend, but whether he would marry her or not remained to be seen.

Their hearing picked up footsteps of at least five people coming down below, human they immediately deduced by the pounding erratic heartbeats they'd obviously been walking for hours to gather up such a sweat as well. It was quite a repugnant scent, they took it as the time to leave, so as soon as Severus unwound his arms from Harry they took off, their pace a mere amble, they were in no rush.

"How did you feel when you first learned about your…inheritance?" Harry decided to call it, he wanted to know Severus better, and what better way than to ask questions.

"Which one?" Severus asked for clarification as he moved to avoid the large boulder directly in front of him, while Harry jumped over it.

"Both I guess," Harry replied, he had forgotten Severus had technically gone through two inheritances, one that had given him his Vampire heritage and the other that made him the heir to the Prince seat, the Lord of all vampires who were under the Lord Prince protection.

"It wasn't as painful or as long as it was for you," Severus replied softly, as they continued to walk side by side, enjoying just getting out and Severus was surprised by how content he was, it was much more relaxing and fun than he'd expected. "In fact, it was very intense, it began the moment the Dark Lord's own curse rebound on him, I was barely able to stay coherent and speak to Dumbledore. In the end, I managed to get away from him and Apparate home, the pain grew so intense so suddenly that it rendered me unconscious when I woke I had changed completely, it didn't even take twenty-four hours."

"Luckily you managed to get home," Harry commented, otherwise it would have been a matter of public record that Severus had come into a vampire inheritance. Not that it would have affected his position he supposed since the Ministry couldn't take it away from him.

"It is indeed," Severus agreed, "It was not long after I awoke disorientated and confused that Rose and Glenn came knocking, I was informed of just how important the Prince's had been, and it most certainly wasn't what was written in the books, their heritage was always kept secret."

"I don't know how that works, even Blaise's mum knew about it," Harry said sounding amused.

"She did," Severus agreed, "She's as close to an ancestor to myself as can be, she's just as bold and strong as Artemis' mate was said to be." and by Merlin he didn't want to happen to him what had happened to Artemis. He didn't want his mate leaving him if he had known Artemis' story he wasn't sure he would have gone down the road he had. Yet there was nothing to be done, the past is the past, all he could do was show Harry how much he cared, that he'd put him first as often as he could, love him. If that wasn't enough then he honestly didn't know what would be.

"She copied Zara Zabini's journals for me, ones relevant to her life at the Castle," Harry said fondly, she was as close to a mother figure than he would ever get. There was no doubt he was more fond of Remus, but that didn't lessen what he felt for Maria.

"She certainly made that clear," Severus said wryly, Maria Zabini was not afraid to say what she thought.

"She's very different from most other pureblood females I've heard about or interacted with," Harry admitted, wondering what Maria had done or said to Severus to get that reaction from him.

"Unfortunately it isn't completely their fault," Severus mused thoughtfully, thinking of his own mother, which he didn't like to do. "Most pureblood's don not see a use for a daughter other than to marry them off into a respectable family. They realise from a young age that they don't matter, some manage to break free of the hold their parents have on them…some, however, cannot contemplate the idea of being disowned or worse not having access to their inheritance."

"And if you…we had a daughter?" Harry queried, jumping down and with more grace than before landing firmly, he was getting used to it.

Severus followed him, "She certainly wouldn't receive our upbringing," Severus stated sharply, just thinking on what they had both been through, he hoped Harry would realize it wasn't aimed at him. "I did not grow up with the same belief's most people in the magical world do, and part of me is grateful for that." stepping over the dog's dirt with a wrinkle to the nose. "We're close, are you ready?"

"What exactly are you going to do to them?" Harry asked, running alongside Severus, both of them stopping at the tree line invisible to all, gazing at the jogger who had gone passed a few moments prior. "Attack them and Obliviate them afterwards?"

"No, that will cause unnecessary suffering on their part, as you know despite being Obliviated…the scare will remain ingrained and they'll find themselves terrified of certain reminders, and could potentially not wish to go outside for fear…fear of something they don't remember or understand," Severus informed him, removing his wand, sometimes people fell through the net, it was how vampires and even werewolves had become known in the Muggle world, many believing them to be works of fiction but there were those out there aware of the supernatural.

Harry watched Severus aim his wand at the jogger, and with accuracy, the beam of red light left his wand and hit the Muggle in the back. He didn't even comprehend what happened; he was out like a light. Giving the area another sniff, listening intently for any sounds or people, when it became clear that it was safe and nothing was coming, so Severus left the safety of the trees and made his way over to the unconscious six-foot male.

Severus turned him over once they got there; removing a pocket knife he sliced neatly across his arm. Their eyes flared at the scent of fresh blood in the air, a desire to gorge themselves on the blood was present but not overwhelmingly so. Their canine teeth did not become elongated like that of fully fledged vampires, although they were strong enough to bite down and get the sustenance they desired, it would take longer than the had to heal the wound so the unsuspected person who had become their meal did not notice. "We don't gain fangs, so using a knife is the better option; our venom prevents the wound from healing even with the aid of magic," Severus explained seeing the look on Harry's face.

"Oh," Harry said his mouth opened in a perfect 'O' as he understood, his attention was going towards the open wound, wondering how it would taste. Before he'd chosen to become a vampire blood had tasted copperish and disgusting. The blood in the meat he ate was just…delicious. If that was how old blood tasted…how good would it taste directly from the source? He probably should have felt a little disgusted but it wasn't as though he was killing someone. And humans killed their food sources so it could have been worse.

"Go on," Severus said, watching him closely, vividly remembering his own first hunt, Alfred had taken him, it was a tradition he had insisted that shouldn't be forgotten, whether they were turned or not, they all had the same urges, they were all creatures of the night. He rarely hunted, he saw no need for it, but he did want to take Harry to hunt, to experience this with him. Not that was why they were here; Harry had made it more than clear he was to be taken on a hunt. So he had suggested it.

Licking his lips, Harry inhaled the scent before lapping up the blood that had fallen already before sucking the wound, drawing out the blood and greedily gulping it down. A moan tearing itself from his throat, he honestly couldn't think of anything he'd rather do again than this.

"Harry," Severus stated sharply, picking up a few scents that hadn't been in his vicinity for a long time, but ones he wouldn't be likely to forget in a hurry. They were coming from the opposite direction from his own people, which meant they probably wouldn't pick up on it. If they were far enough away, then they wouldn't know anything was happening.

"Harry!" Severus hissed out, fully tense and alert, casting a Patronus charm, watching his doe sail off, he wasn't taking any chances of trying to take them on not with his mate beside him. Perhaps indulging in Harry's desires hadn't been the best of ideas, but truthfully it had been his idea so he couldn't blame anyone other than himself.

Harry snapped out of his pleasure induced haze, gazing sharply up at Severus, coming back to himself and down off his high realizing something was seriously wrong. Blinking owlishly at Severus, he cleared his throat and wiped his mouth, "What is it?" he asked confused, his green eyes glancing around intently. Then he saw them, vampires, fully-fledged, they had no heartbeat, and they did not look friendly. "Never mind," he added, standing up himself now. There were four vampires, all of them dressed in clothes that had seen better days, covered in copious amounts of old blood stains. They all had dark hair, similar chiselled features, and Harry wondered if they were related or if it was just a coincidence.

"Never thought I'd see the day you went anywhere without your lapdogs," the closest one spoke, the three remained one step behind him. "Especially with your mate snapping at your heels, bad move that." his tone was cold and harsh, his eyes gleamed with vindictive satisfaction, with murderous intentions clear as day.

"If you remember correctly, I've never needed them," Severus sneered black eyes gleaming in warning.

"Today, you will pay," one of the others spoke with fury, flinching and looking contrite, going quiet when the one who had spoken before glanced at him; there was clear intent in that gaze but what it said Harry wasn't sure.

"Leave, now," Severus stated sharply, removing his wand when he noticed that the others had as well, he was just about to yank Harry behind him when the four attacked ferociously, causing him to have to fight. His stance becoming even more intense when he noticed one of them had Harry by the neck, lifting him off the ground.

Harry waited until the vampire and he was face to face, ignoring the fourth vampire who seemed to be just egging the vampire who was choking him on. Vampires weren't easy to choke, he didn't need to breathe, but when he felt the second hand come up, obviously intending on twisting his head clean of his body, it was how vampires fought and killed each other - so it wasn't any stretch to figure it out.

"Wand!" the fourth vampire warned - but too late - Harry had stuck it in the vampire's mouth and non-verbally cast a 'Bombarda maxima' on the vampire, vampire or not, against magic nothing really survived depending on the spell. Harry who was no longer behind held up fell back onto his feet, surrounded by bone, flesh, muscle, and blood, half of which was on him due to his close proximity. He'd just killed his first vampire and with such finesse as well.

Shrieking in rage, the other vampire went for him, causing him to be thrown to the ground with such force he bellowed out in agony, ignoring the punches to his face, Harry struck out, kicking the vampire in the stomach, causing him to lurch back giving Harry the time to stand up. His green eyes flashing furiously, but the fight picked right back up, both of them smashing each other into boulders, the ground, into the air, punching, kicking and biting viciously, neither letting the other near their neck.

His delicate hearing heard the starting of the 'Fiendfyre' spell, a spell that most certainly would kill anything in its path. His gaze traveled to the side, the spell would consume all of them, and they obviously didn't care for the vampire who was fighting right now. "NO!" Harry yelled out, only to be shoved to the ground once more.

This time the vampire managed to get his hands around Harry's neck, without pause Harry smashed his hands into the vampire's wrists, causing him to screech in pain, standing them both up so abruptly, Harry grasped the vampires upper arm and bodily flung him at the vampire using the 'Fiendfyre' spell, scrambling for his wand, only to hear Severus protecting them both with the Aguamenti, even with it the heat of the spell went through both of them, alerting them to the fact they were not immortal, reminding them of how close they came to death.

The unknown vampire screamed in pain, having lost control of the spell, it had consumed his wand and burnt his hand beyond repair. Knowing he was defeated, that three of his brothers were gone, he turned to run away, only for Severus to hit him in the back with a "Sectumsempra," but unlike the times he'd used the spell as a teenager, it didn't just cause lots of cuts to appear on the body but it had removed the arms and legs, as well as the head Harry, observed as it wobbled on the top of his neck before landing with a splat on the ground.

But then of course, only then, did the guards appear taking in the grotesque scene in front of them. Glancing at Harry in awe, they had definitely underestimated him again; he had definitely taken one of those vampires out himself, and in quite an ugly fashion too. His head was blasted off, lying in pieces on the floor and Harry himself, there was only Harry's magic and scent on it, Severus hadn't been near.

"Bloody hell," Corin said, "I knew we shouldn't have been so far away," cursing himself for being talked into it.

Harry grimaced in pain, which was becoming more prominent now that the adrenaline was beginning to wear off now that he was safe and the danger was destroyed. Grunting softly, he stood on shaky legs, the attack had been so sudden and unexpected, despite the number of times the others had told him of the attacks on Severus he hadn't really understood until now. His legs weren't the only part of him shaking he noticed as leaned down to his wand, abruptly sticking it back up into his holster. Well so much for a fun day out, he thought with disgust.

"Let me see you," Severus stated, ignoring his guards for the moment, as he moved over to inspect his mate, wincing at the livid bruises that covered both sides of his face. The worst thing was he didn't even seem to be bothered by them even though Severus knew they had to be extremely painful. Gritting his teeth as anger renewed coursed through him, he felt pride, and guilt and anger consume him. Pride that Harry had been so successful in being able to protect himself against two assailants without an ounce of training, guilt that he hadn't been able to protect him fully and anger seeing the evidence of it. He knew there would be more under his clothes.

"I'll be fine," Harry stated, reassuring Severus sensing the bubbling anger, especially if his teeth gritting had anything to go on. The blood had already stopped oozing, and without a potion it would take all of a day or two for the bruises to disappear. Less time for the pain to stop bothering him if the books were accurate, considering how long it took for his transformation maybe relying on books wasn't the best of ideas. "I guess we're going back?" he murmured resignedly.

"Yes," Severus stated immediately, he wanted to get Harry checked over, he was definitely not going to let something like this happen again. Harry was far too important; he couldn't risk his life, seeing him being choked in the air and unable to do anything as he fended off the attack from both the vampires after him. "Take care of them, heal the Muggle and make sure nothing is out of place,"

"I'll do it, the rest of you go, I'll catch up," Corin offered immediately, not wishing for any of the others to be out of their Lord and his Consort's path.

"Nobody goes anywhere alone," Severus stated sharply, he wasn't going to risk anyone, especially if there were more of them around, which there could be, and they would come if the others didn't return. They would need to cover their tracks, he didn't need to say anything to know that the others would be doing their best to do just that until they got far enough away then they'd Apparate. "Simon, you stay with her," he demanded, knowing Simon would prefer it that way, they were mates after all.

Harry winced, "Keep it down," he said, refraining from rubbing his temples as they throbbed painfully, even the slightest sound was making it ten times worse, even the air and the sound of the trees, he was just glad he wasn't moving, he was feeling slightly disorientated.

"Head back with the Portkey, we'll cover the tracks," Storm suggested, giving their Lord's Consort a concerned glance.

Severus nodded without saying anything, grasping the necklace Portkey, much like the ones he'd made for Theodore and Blaise wrapping it around both their necks, before very quietly murmuring the password as to not make Harry's headache worse - at least that's what he assumed it was - but he wouldn't know until they got back.

"I've got the human," Simon told them as he effortlessly gathered the human over his shoulder as if he was a sack of meat and moving to the side to let the others do there thing.

"That's one hell of a blasting curse," Corin said in admiration, for a teenager he was quite impressive.

"I can't believe we missed the fight," Cenric grouched, he always missed the fun.

"Should be glad our Lord didn't lose his mate, I don't think any of us would be standing here still if he had," Simon informed them grimly, even though they were only doing their job, or rather what they had been told. Losing your mate was the worst thing that could happen to a vampire. Watching them pile the vampire's bodies in a heap in the middle, before Corin set fire to them, watching them be reduced to ash, and only then did they banish the ash as well as the mess Harry's blasting curse had made.

"Alright set him down and let's get out of here," Cenric stated, wishing to get back to the castle as soon as possible, just in case this attack wasn't the only one for today. This might have just been a distraction, although the others would definitely protect Severus and Harry.

Simon replaced the Muggle on the floor, face down, having a good idea what had gone down - that he had been stunned in the back - it would take at least another half hour before he would rouse. He didn't even glance back, just joined the others, and all of them began to run. Corin continued to cover their tracks since she was the best at it, it would be extremely difficult to pick up her tracks as subtle as they were. Once they had run for miles, they waited for Corin to catch up before Apparating away.

-----------------0

 

Severus and Harry landed in the entrance hall; the smell of blood drew the closest vampires to the area. None of them approached, but they did become very defensive and alert. Checking the immediate area to ensure that everything was secure. Alfred must have been notified, as one of the healers, it was to be expected.

"What on earth happened?" Alfred asked, trying to look Severus over, only to be batted away.

"We were attacked, Harry needs you more than I do," Severus told him sharply, before guiding Harry away from the entrance hall, taking him to their bedroom. Alfred unsurprisingly followed them, wand already out, by this time the others also made an appearance as the wards gave way allowing them entrance onto the grounds.

"Not even a week old and had your first fight," Alfred sighed, shaking his head as he performed a diagnosis charm on the fledgling half-vampire. "I have a funny feeling you'll be more of a trouble magnet than Severus."

"Could have told you that ages ago," Harry said sarcastically.

Alfred chuckled humouredly, "Is that so?" he replied as he read the results, most wounds were very minor, barely need looking at. "Well, you'll be pleased to know that by tomorrow all your wounds will be healed," vampire healing was extremely handy, "How is your head?" that would take the longest, and perhaps it was best to give Harry a potion while it healed, no doubt his Lord would demand it.

"Feels like it took a bowling ball to the head," Harry answered honestly, still speaking very slowly and quietly, having no desire for it to pound away like a drum.

"A Mild pain relief potion would perhaps be best, otherwise your head will be pounding for hours, you took quite a beating," Alfred said, his body was beaten and bruised, nothing severe, but he was a vampire nothing was going to be too severe. "Your head several knocks if I'm not mistaken." he could see the handprint around Harry's throat, he winced internally just imagining how Severus had reacted to that - or if he hadn't seen it yet how he would.

"You should have seen the other one," Harry grinned savagely. He had proven he could take care of himself, that he didn't need the constant shadowing or Severus' worry. He knew he would regardless, but he was hoping that Severus would relax a little knowing he could fight.

"Oh?" Alfred queried, glancing at Severus briefly before taking a potion with a smile of gratitude from Storm who had heard and gone to retrieve one despite the fact Severus had the basic first aid potions here in his rooms. "Do I want to know?" he asked, genuinely curious, making his way back over to Harry, "Drink this, you'll be right as rain soon enough!"

"Thanks," Harry said, accepting the potion and quickly guzzling it down, sighing in relief as some of the pressure disappeared.

"How about a drink? That will also help you recover much more quickly than even a potion," Alfred questioned, so far Harry had always said no when he was offered anything to drink, it was quite odd, but he said nothing, sure that Harry had a reason for it. Perhaps this hunt had a lot to do with it.

"I just drank," Harry said, shaking his head, at least he'd gotten so enjoyment out of the day before it was wrenched away.

"Did any survive?" Alfred questioned if they did it meant Harry may be in even more danger.

"No," Severus said smirking ferally, and his mate had personally seen to one of their demises, he was very proficient for a fledgling. "Thank you, Alfred, that will be all," he added, wishing to be alone with his mate, he would never admit it to anyone but he'd been bloody terrified earlier.

"Your meeting?" Alfred asked, ready to make his way out of the room to give them their desired privacy.

"You may sit in my stead," Severus stated, he trusted Alfred to see it through. Plus it wasn't all that important in the grand scheme of things.

"Of course," Alfred said, bowing to his Lords' before vacating the room.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 28

The next few days after the attack was quiet, as both Severus and Harry spent the majority of them alone, but Harry had been unaware of the fact that it was the calm before the storm. Metaphorically of course, his summer was about to become increasingly busy, between training, potion lessons and keeping up with his general knowledge as well as spending time with his friends.

"Is there any way in particular you want your lessons to go?" Alfred asked Harry, sitting down with a huge bundle of paperwork in his hands.

"Hmm?" Harry asked Alfred glancing up from his book, he loved Runes. "I'm sorry what?"

"Your lessons, any particular way you'd like them to be?" Alfred repeated it, smiling patiently; he must have been utterly immersed in the book to completely block him out. He didn't see it happen very often, it conveyed utter conviction of safety, Harry felt safe here enough so that even his vampire side dozed so to speak.

Harry placed the book aside, "If possible I would like as much to be done at night, at least until Hogwarts starts back up, I want to spend time with my friends." he explained thoughtfully, "I can study on my own later at night, my training I'd like done after dinner and potions whenever Sev can do it." he couldn't make demands on Sev's time, he knew Sev would make whatever changes he had to in order to make him happy…a few weeks ago he would have done just that, but it wasn't fair, he was beginning to see just how hard he worked constantly all for his people. Once his training was done, he intended to take half the duties, or be with him and take some of the strain off him. He wasn't just going to stick around in the background and be the 'dutiful mate' screw that.

Alfred nodded unsurprised by Harry's answers; he could have predicted them himself. "I'll see what I can do," he informed the teenager. "I see you've been looking up the laws even the older ones," gesturing towards the large pile of books at his bedside.

"Yeah," Harry confirmed, giving a nod.

"I am well read in that subject matter, any questions you have, feel free to ask," Alfred told him honestly, stuck around the castle he always tried to keep himself occupied, which worked very well nearly every day. He didn't regret it, he was quite content with his lot in life and so very proud of the Lord Severus had become.

"Wellll," Harry said giving him a look, Alfred seemed genuine, "How often do you have full council court meetings?" yes, he'd learned the proper title for those meetings. Severus' statement that it was much like the Wizengamot was entirely accurate.

"Not very often, perhaps once or twice a year," Alfred informed him, surprised.

"And could I set one up?" Harry then proceeded to enquire.

"Yes, you are a leader, Our Lord's consort, we will listen to you and do as you demand," Alfred stated grimly, "You have to get used to your new status."

"You keep saying that then I'll just stop asking you things," Harry retorted, getting annoyed with Alfred always saying that to him. "I know you mean well," he sighed seeing Alfred's stricken took. "I don't need reminded about my new status, I'm very much aware as one could get in life, but it helps talking about it, and does it surprise you that I'm not yet one hundred percent confident on what I can and cannot do? All those damn books always, always refer to the Lord setting them up, not the Lord Consort, in fact they're barely mentioned, and I realise its because they aren't expected to do anything other than sit pretty and produce kids to continue to the Prince line."

"My apologised, I hadn't stopped to consider that," Alfred admitted, his tone apologetic, not above admitting when he was wrong.

"It doesn't matter, I do want to set one up, but I'm not sure if now is the right time," Harry waved off the matter as finished, there was just no point to dwelling on it.

"I see your concern," Alfred nodded, after an attack having them all under one roof was dangerous. Then there was Dumbledore's trial, Harry's training along with their normal duties and Severus' busting schedule. "Is the meeting you wish to call forth crucially important?"

"To me, yes," Harry answered immediately, "On a whole not so much," in the grand scheme of things he knew it could wait, and it would have to.

"If it's important to you, Harry, then you should do it," Alfred said kindly. He had put himself last so many times in the past; he'd agreed to a handfasting to save the man he considered his dad for Merlin's sake. Nobody would begrudge his need or desire to put himself first, everyone knew what had happened, and it spread like wildfire. So it made them respect Harry even further just by the fact he chose to make the best of it. Then there was the fact he wasn't taking advantage of Severus, his position or the people here to do whatever he liked. In the past they'd protect the Lord Consort but normally they weren't liked overall, Rose was one of the first they'd fiercely protested and actually cared for. Harry on the other hand was going to surpass Rose when it came to the coven caring and respecting him of that he had no doubt.

"Maybe in a few months," Harry decided firmly, "It might be important but its not something that needs addressing immediately," he was going to do it, if he was to have a child, boy or girl, they were not going to be forced into this at seventeen. No, they were going to go out, experience life without the dangers that came with ruling. It had been too much for Maria's great grandmother, it was too much for him, for Merlin's sake, but he was making do, the upside won out, his family was safe and he had a partner who was trying to put him first and made him feel things he hadn't felt before.

"Very well," Alfred agreed, not badgering him for further information despite the fact he was very curious indeed.

Closing his eyes, he breathed deeply despite not needing to, it helped centre his emotions, "Where's Sirius Black?"

Alfred blinked at the abrupt change of subject, but it didn't stop him from automatically answering. "He's currently in the swimming pool with your dad out on the grounds."

Harry nodded, his dad liked to do some sort of exercises to keep himself fit, healthy, especially a week or so after the full moon once he's recovered. Then he continued that routine until the next transformation when he was bedridden. He'd probably find himself with a lot more energy without the Wolfsbane contaminating his system. It was time he spoke to Black, the advice Sev gave him circling his mind, he had only a few hours before he was having his first potions lesson with his mate anyway to see what it was like before a decision was made. Given the way Severus spoke of it, he wasn't sure whether he should be looking forward to it or not.

"Thanks," Harry said, leaving the book and standing up, "I'll see you later,"

Alfred stood and bowed to Harry before exiting the room, "Our Lord consort intends to speak to Mr. Black, give them some privacy," he warned them, it was bad enough they heard everything without witnessing what was about to take place.

"I heard that," Harry called out, the silencing spells weren't up, Sev hadn't replaced them earlier when he'd been woken up by Corin. Nonetheless he was very happy that they were trying to hard to give him what privacy they were able to - but there wasn't much to be had, he was surrounded by vampires, and one himself come to that.

Sighing softly, mentally preparing himself to deal with this, he couldn't let Dumbledore win, he had to deal with the anger and hatred he felt for Black at least, since he really didn't deserve it. He may as well have been under the Imperius Curse, with no will of his own for the past many years. He was glad someone had told him the anger was normal, that it wouldn't just automatically fade away; it made him see that this was…expected; maybe that's why Remus wasn't pushing for them to get on.

So before he could chicken out, he swiftly made his way out of the castle, towards the gigantic pool that he hadn't actually seen used…until now.

"Harry!" Remus called out in surprise as he surfaced from the cool water. Glancing in what could only be nervously between Sirius and Harry. Normally the vampires made sure both of them were never in the same area, for Harry's comfort of course, he felt quite anxious, Sirius was still human after all. Not that he believed Harry would kill Sirius, but he could cause a lot of damage. "How are you feeling?" he knew about the attack, had known half an hour after the fact.

"Can you give us some time?" Harry asked gesturing towards Black, "I'm fine, you need to stop worrying so much," he added with a grin, knowing his dad would never stop worrying.

Remus just shook his head wryly, smiling at his son; he would never stop worrying about Harry, no matter what age he was. It was the life of a parent to always constantly worry about their child. Lily and James had done the same thing for the brief time they were parents, and they were the best parents in the world…except James when it came to financial reasons. Unfortunately his friend had thought they were safe, behind the best wards, with their friend's protection, a presumption that had cost them greatly. All of them greatly. Could this be the start of his son healing? He was willing approaching Sirius now, he desired to stay but he also knew they needed this.

Remus swam towards the ladders and climbed out, grabbing the towel and wrapping it around himself. Making his way over to Harry, he hugged him, "Don't be too hard on him, he's still emotional, he might say things in a way that doesn't mean what he wanted to say." he told his son in the merest whisper, and it was true, Sirius was on constant calming draughts, the ones Severus made much stronger than the ones from the apothecary and much more successful.

"We are going to say things we don't mean," Harry sighed, letting Remus know that he might be saying his share of unforgivable things.

Remus sighed resignedly, nodded in defeat before walking away from the two most important people in his life without another word.

Sirius who had long ago gotten out of the water, stared at Harry with wide eyes, utterly terrified of what could come out of his mouth. He wanted so badly to know his godson, to have the relationship that Dumbledore had so utterly destroyed. He stared at him, taking in the differences since he saw him last, which was a great many, Harry had been a baby after all. He was tall, but not as tall as either Lily or James, given what he'd been told about the abuse he couldn't say he was surprised. His eyes were green, but they weren't alight with passion and love the same way Lily's always were. He had James strong aristocratic features or the Potter lines anyway, especially around the jaw, chin and cheeks. He'd avoided the cursed head of messy hair, it was tied up today, and he was a man, not a teenager in need of a godfather…even if he was able to forgive him. "H-h-harry," he murmured, anxiety thrumming through him, he'd envisioned so many ways this meeting could go - when it eventually did happen. Knowing it might didn't stop the shock and terror that it had come to pass. "Er...do you...want to...maybe...er...go somewhere else? I...er...hear you like the...er...library." the composed Auror was nowhere to be seen, but he'd never been that composed Auror. Not really.

"I've thought about this moment for years, went over all the things I wanted to say to you," Harry said derisively, "A million times, I went over everything, I utterly despised you."

Sirius flinched at the words, but words flowed out of his mouth without conscious thought, "Then say them, let them out," clear the air and maybe, just maybe they could start over again.

Harry balled his hands into fists, "I can't," he spat, "What would be the point?! It wasn't your fault!" and he hated that it wasn't Black's fault.

"Yes, yes it is!" Sirius shouted, "I was the one who convinced your dad to change secret keepers! I killed your parents! I trusted Dumbledore like a fucking fool! It is my fault regardless of what Dumbledore did!" spitting the word Dumbledore as if it was something filthy and disgusting. Shivering slightly, he certainly hadn't imagined he'd be having this conversation while he was in a pair of swimsuits and absolutely freezing cold. "So have at it! Let it all out do what the hell you want!" a squeak left his lips as he was hoisted into the air, until he was face to face with his godson who was furious, perhaps he shouldn't have said that not to a vampire, especially a youngling.

"Don't tempt me!" Harry hissed, green eyes gleaming, "I will make what I did before look like child's play," the day he had told Black he hated him with all the loathing he felt.

"Harry…" Sirius grasped Harry's hands, glad it wasn't his neck Harry had a hold off, "If it makes you feel better…I'd do anything, even let you kick the shit out of me, I love you, I've always loved you, you're my godson, it kills me that I missed out on so much of your life." he choked, tears building up in his eyes. "I just want to be part of your life, anything you can give me…I swear." a tormented tear running down his cheek.

Harry lowered Black down, letting go once he regained his footing, looking away from him. Unable to cope with the genuine emotions he could feel coming from him.

"I wanted to kill Dumbledore once I regained my sense of self, man, I was just about out the door…but Tonks and Shacklebolt, two of the Aurors, they warned me that I'd end up in Azkaban…and I'd never get to see you…" Sirius continued, the tears flowing steadily down both his cheeks, his legs were shaking, his throat and nose was clogging up but he couldn't stop speaking. "My emotions were all over the place, I kept from anger to devastation in a matter of seconds, I couldn't…I didn't want to end up in Azkaban and not see you, I couldn't do that, so I did the only other thing possible, I went to Madam Bones and reported everything. I want answers! I want to know why he did this to me!"

"How and when were you found to be drugged?" Harry asked, still unable to look at the wizard, he could smell the salty tears that were obviously still running down his face. For the first time he began to feel pity for him, seeing this…it was making some or the anger and rage he felt disappear, for how could he continue to be furious at him when he was so devastated by what had happened? He was blaming himself for what had gone down. He had enough self-hatred without him adding more.

"It took Dumbledore using the potion and a powerful obedience spell to get me to sign over custody," Sirius explained, standing there trembling, "I don't know if it was the situation or me getting used to the potion or not…but I was terrified of what was going to happen, to you, since there was a plan in place to get you from Zabini Manor, I fought through it…for only a second, to beg for Shacklebolt's help, to get him to realize there was something seriously wrong. My faith in him wasn't misplaced at least."

Harry slowly turned around, struck by the miserable sight Black made, shivering in the cool breeze, with barely anything on, at least his tears had dried up but it didn't make him any less a pathetic mess. He felt so conflicted, the hatred was a little easier to bear though he noticed. Harry sighed, grabbing the second towel and handing it over without a word.

Sirius looked at the towel then Harry, trying to gauge his mood, which was impossible to do. As cold as he was, he took the towel and wrapped it around his body; sighing in relief, as he felt himself beginning to warm - thanking whoever put the warming charm on the towel - he continued to gaze at his godson. He wasn't sure how long they stood there in silence, it could have been seconds or minutes but Sirius truly didn't care. This was something, something more than he'd hoped and he didn't care about anything else. "I'm so sorry, Harry," he said quietly, his tone filled with nothing but regret.

"I know," Harry grumbled caught between annoyance and acceptance. If he hadn't been a vampire and able to read Black's sincerity maybe he could have just pretended they were mere empty words.

Sirius let out a bark of laughter, "Yeah, I know, kid, you feel cheated," he said solemnly, "Seriously though, let it all out if you want…don't hold back, I've probably imagined every word you've thought myself being spat at me, the nightmares are quite tough." his jaw snapped shut after he admitted that, feeling like an utter fool, he hadn't meant to say that at all. Well the nightmare bit, it was bad enough that Remus knew - thank Merlin for the silencing charms - even the vampires were oblivious at least he hoped so.

"This doesn't mean we're just going to be all buddy-buddy," Harry warned him, somehow the cheeky grin and twinkling eyes didn't anger him.

"Not yet," Sirius said impishly, "But I'll tell you this, I'll spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to you, to give us the relationship we should have always had." he felt ready to collapse upon himself, the weight he had been carrying was slowly but steadily easing from his shoulders.

Harry scoffed, "Awfully confident you'll be given a chance, eh?"

"Not confident, no, just hopeful," Sirius said sincerely, hope showing through his eyes.

Harry rolled his eyes, damn it, the bloody arse was making him like him without even trying.

"Come on, lets go back in, I have potions to brew," Harry muttered, feeling uncomfortable with the new feelings.

"You like to brew?" Sirius queried, it wasn't something he had learned from Remus. Tugging the towel around him more firmly, he continued to walk with Harry unable to believe he was actually talking to him! It was more process than he'd ever thought would come to pass.

"It's enjoyable, but it's not for fun today," Harry stated, as he walked back to the castle, noticing all eyes on him. The guys had been deeply impressed with how he had handled the vampires; he'd had so many asking for the juicy details when Sev wasn't around. They didn't dare to bring it up; Sev had become even more possessive after the attack.

"Lessons to make sure you pass your N.E.W.T's this year?"

"Yes," Harry told him, "Best go let my dad know I haven't murdered you," with that he walked away from Sirius not up to much more social interactions with him while he was still feeling off kilter.

Sirius stood there gaping, he knew Remus had raised Harry, but it was the first time hearing 'my dad' leaving his lips and it felt extremely weird. He didn't mind though, he had known Remus would make a great dad, and was about to be a dad again, with Tonks of all people. He would have felt betrayed if it wasn't for the fact he wasn't particularly close to Tonks and that Remus hadn't been alone for so long because he had abandoned him. Blinking dazedly, he walked back to his and Remus' room on cloud nine, true enough when he got into the room Remus was pacing back and forth.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 29

“Right on time,” Severus commented as Harry made his way through the lab door, what also surprised Severus was the fact Harry looked quite happy, excited really, while he enjoyed brewing himself, he hadn’t been excited about potions for a long time now. He had set everything up for their lesson, well, except from the ingredients he wanted to test Harry and see just how good he actually was. He was also very pleased that Harry was taking this seriously; he knew Slughorn tended to be less strict and honestly didn’t care much unless he felt they were going places. Admittedly Harry had been asked to attend, but he had refused due to the fact his friend Theodore hadn’t been invited.

“So, what are we brewing?” Harry asked, peering up at Severus curiously, feeling a bit cautious, Severus’ warning ringing in his ears, but he was also determined to prove that he was good at potions brewing.

“I have decided upon brewing Veritaserum, no doubt you know about it, but for the sake of the conversation, tell me what you know,” Severus stated, seeing the way Harry straightened up he realized his consort had taken it as a challenge.

“It’s a truth potion, one of the strongest ones known to Wizardkind, no matter how powerful you are you’ll end up spilling your guts after consuming it. To make it even harder…its damn near impossible to detect. It’s not only colourless but odourless…it’s practically water. It’s supposed to be ‘strictly regulated’ by the Ministry of magic,” Harry rolled his eyes here, showing just what he thought of the Ministry itself. “It’s difficult to brew, requiring an advanced level of competence; the potion takes one lunar phase to complete though, which is twenty-eight days.”

Severus nodded, giving Harry a look for him to continue, very grateful that Harry was not repeating the words directly from a book but giving his own clear concise answers.

Harry blinked in surprise before continuing on what he knew about the potion, “Veritaserum was used by the Ministry during court cases, but not so much anymore since people can fight the potion, which sort of defeats the purpose and people thought it was unfair. Now the wizards in the Wizengamot don’t really trust its effects anymore. Then there is the fact that people can only repeat the truth as they know it, between memory altercation, their own belief, and many other ways…its not one hundred percent effective.”

“And you believe that?” Severus asked genuinely curious to know what he believed.

“for the most part yes, but I do think that if they had someone who could ask the right questions…an expert in interrogation the results might prove very conclusive.” Harry answered grinning wryly. “Unless it's information hidden under the Fidelius Charm, now that sort of information cannot be coerced out of someone.”

Severus couldn’t say he was surprised by that, there was little doubt in his mind that Harry had searched high and low or all information whenever Remus had told him the truth. “When did Remus tell you about it?”

“You mean the Fidelius Charm?” Harry queried, “When I met him,” it was a good job he did; Harry wouldn’t have forgiven Remus for keeping it a secret. He had been quite untrusting then as it was, but young enough to desire something more than he had - even if he had tried to test them, push them away in a bid to protect his fragile heart from further heartache when they finally left him.

Severus nodded, giving a few respectful seconds of silence due to the subject matter, before turning the conversation back to its original purpose, “Do you know the ingredients in the potion by heart?”

“Um…maybe?” Harry said it sounded more of a question than an answer. “I’m not 100% sure,” he wasn’t going to say yes and embarrass himself by being unable to do it.

Severus nodded, “Very well then,” he told Harry, never having to speak more than a whisper. “Go and retrieve the ingredients you think belong in the potion,” it wasn’t as if this was a wasted exercise, you did have to memorise every single ingredient that goes into each potion correctly during exams. Sitting on the stool, finding himself surprisingly at ease, perhaps his worries of being a bit overwhelming to his consort were for naught. Only time would tell though since it was early in the lesson.

Harry returned five minutes later with vials and spread them out, mentally calculating if he was right before he glanced at Severus in expectation, wondering if he had gotten it right or not. Two red vials of Ptolemy (one per potion), powdered moonstone, Adders Fork, Jobberknoll feathers, and of course sopophorous beans.

“Well done,” Severus murmured impressed, he had remembered everything.

Harry grinned almost preening in delight at having Severus’ praise, especially considering it was definitely earned.

“Right, first things first, be very cautious, this potion is very delicate, the slightest mistake will cause an explosion,” Severus warned, although it would do nothing but deafen them for a few hours and maybe a few aches and pains as they’re blasted off their feet, nothing serious. It wouldn’t have caused any more danger even if they were human.

“Why did you choose this one instead of Wolfsbane potion?” Harry asked him, knowing it had been one of the potions he was contemplating.

“You do want Remus to stop taking it don’t you?” Severus asked dryly, giving him a pointed look as he poured water into the iron cauldron, before lighting a flame under it, absently dividing the ingredients out until they both had exactly the right amount each while he waited on the cauldrons to begin simmering.

“I’d prefer if all werewolves stopped taking it, it decreases their life expectancy by half!” Harry admitted darkly, he was so grateful that it was difficult to brew so that not as many people could get their hands on it. He feared though that attempts were being made with the potion incorrectly brewed causing more damage with a more potent version of the Wolfsbane (in the plant) being accidentally created in the potion.

Severus disagreed with that, accidents happen, and werewolves should take precautions, especially if they were near children or other humans. It was why he was so adamant about sending it to Remus when he realized who his mate was and where he spent his time. If they were secured properly, then he was all for them not taking the potion due to the side effects as Harry said. They were creatures, they had a right to be proud of their heritage and lives, not forced to live according to the Ministry’s regulations. He certainly would loathe if someone insisted he had to consume potions to ‘keep his blood lust in check’ so to speak.

In silence, they worked together, or rather Severus was ahead by a few minutes; Harry watched and copied his movements exactly. Pouring in the Ptolemy in an anti-clockwise motion and allowed it to simmer for ten minutes. Once that was done, they began to slowly add ten ounces of powdered moonstone putting in a spoonful and waiting until it dissolved thoroughly before adding another - Severus quietly informing Harry of this stage since he couldn’t just copy it like the Ptolemy vial. To his immense satisfaction so far Harry was doing exceedingly well.

Harry carefully sliced the Adder Fork tongue in half as Severus had done before dropping them into the cauldron. As soon as they did that, the heat was then turned up so that the potion could begin properly boiling. “Drop the feathers into the cauldron, stirring clockwise between each feather, do not wait to long between each drop.” he told Harry, he could get used to this, spending time with Harry without anyone around, and just doing an activity they both liked without needing to talk about things constantly. He’d never been very good a conversationalist but he was persevering.

Harry nodded, beginning to add the Jobberknoll feathers into the potion, stirring clockwise one single time before repeating the process eleven more times until all twelve feathers had dissolved into the potion. “As soon as it starts boiling, remove the cauldron from the flames. Then quickly crush the beans with the flat of your silver knife and add them to the cauldron.”

If Harry hadn’t been aware of the benefit of crushing the beans as opposed to cutting he would have asked why crush them, but he knew it made a more potent potion in the long run. Not just in Veritaserum either but all potions that require Sopophorous beans. The Half-Blood Prince (Severus’ book) had been the reason he had gotten so good at potions, it leads him to question the ingredients and the way he could make his potions better instead of just going with the recipe. He was so glad he constantly read ahead, he’d had the book for ages.

Harry glanced between both potions nodded in confirmation that he’d done well, he was glad, the last thing he wanted to do was embarrass himself after telling Severus he was good.

“Now all that is required is for it to cool down, then strain it and leave it until the full moon before exposing it to moon light,” Severus said in satisfaction.

“And if it’s cloudy then the potions efficiency will suffer to a certain degree,” Harry finished with an accomplished smirk.

“Indeed,” Severus murmured his agreement.

The feeling of the door being knocked on washed over them, despite not hearing a single thing due to the wards surrounding the area.

Severus groaned and sighed resignedly, flicking his wand and opening the door, “Yes?” he asked, wondering what Alfred wanted that couldn’t wait.

“You have received word, the clan wishes to meet you on their territory,” Alfred informed Severus sombrely.

“Excuse me?” Severus asked his eyes narrowed in contemplation and a heavy dose of suspicion.

“They say due to political upheaval they cannot risk leaving their territory,” Alfred elaborated further, “They need to make alliances fast, lest they risk those from Spain and France encroaching on their territory,” and they had absolutely nobody else to help them, they were quite boxed in by both France and Spain, Portugal had a decent sized coven but nothing on both France and Spain’s creature royalty.

“Who are you talking about?” Harry asked curiously, glancing between both of them.

“Portugal, a clan called Santos, they’re the equivalent of the Prince clan, royalty, we already have alliances with France and Spain,” Alfred explained, as he always did for Harry when something came up he knew nothing about.

“So why the caution and suspicion?” Harry asked shrewdly.

“They’ve very…brazen, take risks that most other clans do not dare, they’ve been at war with the Garcia clan for generations, now that the Durand clan and Garcia clan made their peace, I believe they fear being taken over and are willing to admit defeat to remain seated on the seat of power.” Alfred explained, Durand clan was from France of course, and the Garcia clan were from Spain. “They are proposing a marriage between leaders; evidently news of your own marriage has yet to hit them.”

Harry froze, anger and insecurity hitting him like a ton of bricks, anger at the call of anyone trying to marry Severus, and he was his! Yet the knowledge that the handfasting was only temporarily made him fear and wonder…what if being mates wasn’t enough? What if Severus felt the need to do it to keep the alliance going? What would happen to him? He couldn’t even summon up the will to let out a little “Oh,” of surprise or understanding, so completely lost in his own miserable thoughts. He didn’t want to lose Severus, he really liked him, and he knew he could love him…part of him already did in a way he just didn’t want to acknowledge.

Severus scoffed at the very idea of himself marrying merely out of obligation, even without his mate that most assuredly would not have happened. He would never be able to fully trust them, not to stick a knife in his back and kill him to take over both clans. No, he had no desire to even let them think that for a moment. He did however, notice Harry’s reaction to their conversation, Alfred did as well. The only problem he had regarding all this was leaving Harry on his own; he wasn’t going to bring him into a fraught situation. Not when it could get violent, and these vampires were different from what Harry knew here, he wanted to hide him from the violence despite knowing he could look after himself. He felt extraordinary proud that his mate could defend himself, every time he heard his men talking about it he felt like strutting around like a proud peacock but it wasn’t in his nature.

“What would you like to do? Deny their request? Meet in a more neutral ground?” Alfred questioned, knowing that his Lord would consider this urgent news and a reply would be required immediately.

Severus tapped his finger against his chin absently, he would meet with them on their territory, it would show them he was confident, which he was, considering he had an alliance with the other neighboring countries, they were friends and allies. If they tried anything well, they would find themselves utterly decimated…no annihilated utterly. “No, tell them I will meet with them, but some of my own people will be coming along with the heads of the Garcia and Durand clan.”

“I will write out a reply immediately,” Alfred answered, glancing at Harry in quiet concern before he bowed to both of them and left the room.

“Harry?” Severus said, clearing his throat loudly to get his attention.

Harry shook himself out of his thoughts, looking up at Severus, an impenetrable mask falling into place, “Yes?” he answered, his tone confident.

“Listen to my heartbeat. You are my mate; you are the only one I want.” Severus said openly and honestly, “I would never marry another, especially not for an alliance,” he knew his heart didn’t miss a beat; hopefully, it would be enough to reassure him.

“I never thought otherwise,” Harry said, his heart, however, did miss a beat revealing his insecurity.

Severus stepped around the workstation and embraced Harry, “You are mine, there will never be another.” he insisted, something in him relaxing when Harry melted against him, he had known of course that Harry wasn’t as confident and secure in this relationship, mostly due to his upbringing, the damn Dursley’s had done a number on him.

“How long will it take for a meeting to be set?” Harry asked his voice slightly muffled from where it was pressed against Severus' chest.

“Anywhere from forty-eight hours to a fortnight,” Severus revealed, but he didn’t think this would take long at all.

“You’re not going to let me come are you?” Harry deduced petulantly.

“No,” Severus replied without pause, his mate was very smart and aware. “Definitely not, perhaps when the meeting won’t be fraught with tension, how about we take a trip sometime to the Garcia clan they will welcome us,” in fact, they’d be more than welcome, he got on rather well with the head of the clan.

“I guess,” Harry sighed resignedly, “Do they speak English?” he then enquired determinedly.

Severus’ lips twitched, “They are fluent in many languages,” he explained, “Just as I am,”

“You are? Of course, you are,” Harry said wryly shaking his head as he reluctantly stepped out of Severus’ arms. “Although how you found the time to do that is a complete mystery!”

Severus chuckled, “I had a few years between learning and becoming a leader, it was suggested I learn a few languages to show others that I respect them enough to learn their languages,”

“Yup sounds like something Alfred would do,” Harry sniggered in amusement, making a mental note to learn Spanish as soon as possible, especially if he was going to get to meet them. He’d never been anywhere so the prospect of going to Spain was an exciting one.

“How are you feeling?” Severus asked after a few moments of comfortable silence, “I heard that you were going to see Black,” he was curious how it went, his people listened to Alfred so the probability of anyone knowing what was happening was slim, still he couldn’t help but wonder what had occurred. Harry hadn’t seemed even remotely tense upon entering the potions lab.

Harry groaned, “I hate how understanding he was,” grumbling under his breath, “He told me just to shout at him, tell him every single thing I thought of him over the years, said it was nothing he hadn’t imagined himself already, that he has nightmares. I just couldn’t do it, I think it’s helped to shift the blame completely where it should have gone…” he was glad for that really, he didn’t want to be angry anymore, he wanted to live his life, with Sev and the others.

“Perhaps the calming draughts are working,” Severus mused, restoring his emotional balance, he’d still be required to take them for a further few months, even then he’d need to take at least one a day, it didn’t help that before it all happened Black had been overly emotional, easily angered. To go so many years forced to conform to Dumbledore’s will his emotions had been tapered down and almost as manipulated as his mind.

“Still, of all the people my dad had to mate to it had to be him,” Harry sighed, sounding more bitterly amused than angry.

“For those who knew both of them…it’s definitely not a surprise,” Severus informed him calmly, as he turned back to his workstation, offering Harry a sieve with a bowl attached to save the potion after it had been sieved. “No matter what Black did, Remus forgave him, it was as though he could never stay mad at him, even if Black put him in danger, that should have rung a bell that there was something not quite there.” the bond bound as it was, influenced them on an instinctive level, at least Remus, who would be able to sense it whereas Black wouldn’t.

Harry listened to Severus but found he had nothing to say, so he continued to press as much of the remains of the potion through the sieve. Leaving behind the beans and feathers coating it. Once it had been utterly drained, the sieve was removed slowly and set aside on a silver tray. Six vials were then sat in front of him and they slowly poured the Veritaserum from the bowl and into the containers, grasping six corks and working them into the vials sealing it closed for now.

“Set them aside, preferably over there,” Severus gestured, where he usually kept the Veritaserum, not that he would ever mistake it for anything else, he was just a creature of habit - literally a creature of habit.

“Okay,” Harry agreed, carefully taking hold of both of the wooden vial crate and set them aside exactly where Severus had suggested. “So, what do you think?” he teased, smiling impishly.

Severus chuckled at the look, “You did very well,”

“Does that mean you’ll continue the lessons?” Harry queried as he walked back over, unable to completely hide the hopeful look on his face. Other than the interruption from Alfred they’d been alone, secluded, doing something together. He liked it, sure he didn’t like potions as much as Sev, he had no plans on being a potions master but what he did want to do required a lot of knowledge on potions and Herbology.

“Definitely,” Severus agreed without pause, he didn’t care if it took up more of his time, he’d enjoyed this past hour with his mate, and Harry had displayed a strong desire to please him - it wasn’t anything he’d seen from Harry before - he was either becoming more comfortable or he was unaware of his desires to please his mate…it could even be the creature side of him wanting to prove himself a good mate. The fact that he hadn’t felt the need to correct Harry even once was refreshing, he was good at it, and that was an added incentive to see how far he could push him in the art of potion brewing.

Harry grinned very pleased with the outcome, he had known he’d be a good student, he was glad he had encouraged Severus to at least try. “I think you would have made an excellent teacher.”

“Hardly,” Severus muttered, knowing his own strengths and weaknesses, teaching students would be an utter nightmare, hell he’d been frustrated with his classmates when he was a student with their inadequacy, the constant need to follow recipes completely, to their inability to properly prepare the ingredients. He had done everything himself not even letting his lab partner contribute.

Harry cocked his head to the side, Severus would know best whether he would or not he supposed. “Will you tell me more about the Santos vampires?”

“Later, perhaps, your friends are waiting for you I believe,” Severus said, sensing them as he did with all his other people within the radius of the wards he had up to protect his home.

“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that,” Harry exclaimed sheepishly, “I’ll see you at dinner?”

“You will,” Severus promised.

“Alright, bye!” with that Harry quickly left the lab behind, ready to spend time with his friends, he wasn’t looking forward to them leaving to return to Hogwarts. He was going to miss spending nearly every single day with them, he knew he was also going to worry about them endlessly, regardless of the fact they had Portkey’s on them just to be on the safe side. At least Dumbledore was pretty much out of the way and couldn’t try to use them to get to him, it was just Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Blaise would have been neutral if not for the fact he was friends with him, Theodore would have ended up a Death Eater though, he freely admitted it, but since both of his friends were neutral he decided he wanted to be as well. The Dark side didn’t see it that way anymore, despite the fact Harry would never, ever, willingly work with the light side - not after what happened in the past.

“Blaise! Theo!” Harry called, causing both of them to startle at the blur that was their best friend.

“Hey, what you been up to?” Blaise asked grinning in amusement at his best friend.

And with that, the three friends quickly began to catch up on everything that had happened since they were parted.

Chapter Text

Prince Consort

Chapter 30

"Hey, dad," Harry said, as he stepped into the conference room, nodding to both Kieran and Corin who were sat with him, surrounded by paper at their end of the table. He didn't hesitate in moving towards them, peering curiously at what they were doing, he already suspected, of course, he wasn't stupid. He had told them to involve his dad in their plans; he was brilliant at things like that. The knowledge he held was utterly wasted just because he was a werewolf and couldn't gain employment anywhere decent. It horrified Harry to know that smart mind was just wasting away doing nothing productive, nothing to show for it except the map and mirrors. Maybe now everyone here would see just what a brilliant wizard he was, and maybe ask for his help more often.

"Theo and Blaise away to school?" Remus asked, glancing at his watch, a gift from Harry since his old one had been pretty worn and not to forget cheap. Not that this watch was anything expensive, but Remus loved it, it was a gift from his son so of course, he did.

"Yeah, I'm going to miss them," Harry admitted as he took his seat, this September the school started on a Saturday, which meant he didn't have as many tutoring lessons to attend. The weekends were originally meant to be just for him, but he had asked for his lessons to be spread out - wishing to spend more time with his friends - and mostly at night too.

"They'll be back in a few months," Remus comforted his son, they had never been parted for more than a few days at a time, it would be difficult for Harry this he knew. "In time for Christmas." and just after Dumbledore's trial, he thought viciously, he couldn't wait to see the old fool actually go down. He was relieved the old fool was currently in Azkaban, it meant less chance of escape or heaven forbids someone trying to help him.

"So, how is it going?" Harry asked sitting up straighter, changing the subject, not wishing to dwell on the feeling of loss, it was almost like his wand arm had been cut off. He wasn't used to being without them, his only consolation was the fact they were safe, or as safe as they could be, with Portkey's and such if anything, absolutely anything happened they'd come here.

"We only have one component left to think of," it was Corin who spoke, sounded exceedingly buoyant, she loved this despite the fact they failed a few times just trying new magic - which for her was truly new - was extremely fun. It wasn't often that feeling was aroused within her, after all, she had lived a very long time, not much surprised her when it came to magic, but this…this design was intricate.

"May I?" Harry asked hand pointed towards the list of 'components' to the spell they already had.

"Sure," Kieran nodded, handing over the document like they would ever deny their Lord's Consort anything he wanted. They weren't suicidal thank you very much, but Harry was smart, a fast thinker, brutal in the face of an attack, willing to do anything to survive a fight and that…that was the kind of vampire you wanted on your side for damn certain.

Harry accepted the paper and immersed himself in it while the conversation around him continued.

"I wonder why it won't work, especially if the map did…" Corin pursed her lips, "What could we be missing?"

"Perhaps the radius is too big?" Remus mused thoughtfully, "While Hogwarts is large, and it is nothing when compared to the entire British Isles."

"I suppose it could be," Kieran nodded slowly, "I wonder if we could alter the spell to see if that is what the problem is…but even with the radius it should give us at least one of the Horcruxes." even just saying the word made him shudder, Horcruxes were just despicable pieces of magic.

"Yes, I agree," Corin conceded, "Perhaps the magic in the Horcrux is too old?"

"I've never heard of that being a problem before, the magical residue is not something easily erased, especially dark magic." Remus pointed out, rubbing his stubble on his chin. He would need to shave soon; he absently made a mental note to so do.

"You're all forgetting one fundamental element to all this," Harry spoke for the first time since reading the spells.

"Which is?" Remus questioned, staring expectantly at his son.

"He's smart," Harry stated, "Extremely smart, there will be safeguards on those things, depending on when he started…how many were made, they might get more vicious as time goes on. He may have found a way to warp the spell so nobody could use it…that or it was in me so long that there is none of his residue within me…maybe you need to look for something else that will have his magic on it."

"Of course, we'll be getting a combination of Alfred, our Lord, our Lord's consort and the Dark Lord's magic combined, it will be making the damn spell scramble." Corin groaned at her own stupidity, why hadn't they thought of this earlier?

Kieran inwardly cursed, feeling utterly foolish.

"It's good that you know a place that has been perfectly preserved," Harry pointed out, his face impassive, "A whole home that suffered in the backlash."

The three others in the room stiffened at the implications behind that statement.

Godric's Hollow.

The place where Harry had lost his parents and where Remus Lupin had lost his best friends.

"Well…" Corin cleared her throat, "With your permission as long as you're alright with it…we would like to give it a try?" treating it as a delicate subject, but to Harry, it wasn't.

"I honestly don't care," Harry answered, "But dad…are you alright with it?" he knew that Remus hadn't been inside the house, just seeing it was enough to send his dad into a deep depression.

Corin and Kieran glanced at each other, wondering if the kid was for real, before turning to face Remus.

Remus paled, his hands fisting, "I…I don't think I can go in there," he admitted, he'd never been able to venture in. The closest he went to the home was when he visited the graveyard, you could actually see the house from there, but he usually avoided staring in that direction. "You know everything anyway, I won't be required for the spell to be cast," and it was true if he had no other choice…he knew he would do it, do anything for Harry even face that broken down place that was often in his nightmares, although they were considerably lessened by Harry's presence in his life.

"That's fine, we can go alone, we will treat the situation with the respect it deserves," Corin said solemnly, still keeping an eye out on Harry just to ensure he wasn't putting on a brave front.

"My nursery will probably be the best place to go to do the spell, the door and the ceiling and roof are probably saturated in his magic." Harry informed them, "Would you do me a favor?"

"My Lord?" Kieran straightened up.

"Take out anything…personal, what's left anyway, books, trinkets, anything but their clothes…or my baby clothes and you know, stuff like that, I don't have many pictures, so if you find any…" he trailed off, he wasn't sure why he wanted that done, but the books would definitely be the most valuable to him. Having some of their belongings may help Remus and Sirius move on though.

"Of course, my Lord," Corin said immediately, aghast at the thought of Harry forcing himself to continue, he didn't look or smell anguished, more uncomfortable.

"You have my permission as Lord of the Potter estate to enter Godric's Hollow," Harry stated sharply, magic glowing within the room.

"So mote it be," Corin and Kieran replied solemnly. They had forgotten the preservation charms would have been cast by the goblins on behalf of the wizards, and thus nobody would have been able to gain entrance except the owners.

"Don't expect much to be left," Remus croaked, "I…there were many people both Muggle and magical kind pilfering from the house before the authorities showed up. Especially magical kind, they all wanted a souvenir."

"Just be careful you don't get Severus' magic mixed in too," Harry suggested, patting Remus' shoulder, "His will be mostly centered where the ashes would be…"

"We will," Corin reassured him, "We should only be gone half an hour,"

"I will inform our Lord," Kieran stated, as he swiftly exited the room, as Corin began to take what they'd need for the spell to be performed before giving her own goodbyes and leaving to catch up with Kieran. They needed to return the Horcrux to their Lord before they left since it wasn't useful to them, it could potentially be destroyed, it was a matter of finding out first whether the spell would work with the remains of the Dark Lord's magic.

"Are you alright?" Harry asked his tone quiet, soft even after a good few minutes.

"I'm fine," Remus insisted, he shouldn't still get so emotional about it, it made him feel so childish, especially when compared to how Harry reacted to the house that used to be his home - his childhood home - or should he say babyhood home? Harry hadn't had the luxury of having a childhood, not until he was essentially a teenager. No, he should be stronger than this, he was stronger than this. It just sometimes caught him off guard.

"Alright," Harry replied, knowing it was a lie, but there was honestly nothing he could do. Grief didn't just go away, you just had stages you went through and lived with it, along the way it got less intense. With his parents being his dad's pack he had no doubt it was more difficult for him than a normal wizard.

Both remained sitting there for a while, just enjoying each others company, one trying to refrain from dwelling on the past…the other worried about his friends and other things beyond his control.

-----------------0

Despite their words, it took Corin and Kieran much longer than just half an hour to return from Godric's Hollow.

"Is our Lord up to receiving our update?" Corin asked Alfred, who was the go-to vampire when it came to Severus' schedule. Some would say he was the second in command, although Alfred would deny it. He was the one who took over if Severus was busy, received any reports while he was busy and kept everyone informed of their duties. If that wasn't second in command she didn't know what it was.

"Our Lords are in his office," Alfred replied barely blinking at the question, giving a nod, they could go up, yes. "Was it successful?" he knew Corin, Adam, and Kieran had worked night and day nearly for ages now in a bid to keep their word to Severus and create something that would enable them to destroy the Horcruxes.

Kieran's eyes gleamed with satisfaction, feeling utterly smug, "It did," they owed Harry a great deal, without him they probably would have been still floundering trying to find something.

Alfred let out a relieved sigh, with a wordless gesture for them to proceed, he continued his rounds.

Not even three minutes later the two vampires were outside the door, but before they could knock, a voice -their Lord - beckoned them to come in, "Enter," indicating that there weren't any silencing spells on the room for a change, which meant Severus already knew that they had succeeded in finding the riddle to proceed with hunting down the Horcruxes.

Severus and Harry sat on the sofa; Harry snuggled into his chest, reading a book, not even bothering to move when the vampires entered, he was used to the constant intruding for the most part.

"My Lords," Kieran and Corin murmured respectfully inclining their heads in deference to their status.

"I heard you were successful," Severus said, "Very well done."

Both vampires felt exceedingly smug and happy to receive that praise, it was always welcoming when they knew they were doing a good job. They owed Severus a lot, he had taken them in, kept them safe, happy and given them everything they ever wanted. So of course, they wished to repay that by doing the best job they could, and they had.

"Did you encounter any problems?" Severus questioned them seriously.

"Nobody observed us going in or out," Corin was the one who spoke up, "We had Lord Harry's permission to enter the premises we had no problem gaining entrance."

"I am pleased with your efforts, take the rest of today off," Severus replied honestly, getting the Horcruxes out of the way and Voldemort defeated was one of his main priorities, the longer he was out there, the bigger the threat he was to his mate. Harry was his everything, and always would be, so to keep him safe he would fight until the end of time if that came to it.

"Thank you," Kieran said, removing the box - that had been so obviously miniaturized - and passing it over to Harry, "This is everything we thought you might like."

Severus glanced curiously at the box, before turning his attention back to his vampires only to observe them nodding in respect once more before vacating the room. They weren't going to waste any more time dallying when they actually had the rest of the day to themselves. Especially when they had to make sure someone else knew to take over their duties.

"From Godric's Hollow?" Severus asked, already knowing the answer, he vividly remembered the smell of the place. Honestly, who could blame him? He had begun his initial change there, he may not have been consciously aware of it, but his sense of smell and sight had gotten better before he Apparated away from Dumbledore.

"Yeah," Harry replied giving Severus a smile to show he was fine; it was more out of curiosity than anything else.

"Do you wish to be alone?" Severus questioned the teenager, he didn't smell upset, and it was hard to miss something you never had really. Still, it must be the first time he'd seen or gotten anything from Godric's Hollow. It told him that Harry hadn't even been in the house since that night.

"I'm not going through it yet," Harry answered, shaking his head, plopping the box down beside his chair and happily immersed himself once again in his book leaning against Severus once more. If they were going to Spain, Harry was determined to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the language. He also didn't want them to think he was being disrespectful, he didn't want to embarrass Severus, they may not have had the most ideal of beginnings but Harry was becoming increasingly aware of how much his feelings were changing as the days went by. He wouldn't call it love yet, but he was deeply in like with him.

"If you ever wish to visit…let me know," Severus told him, his tone gentle, he needed to keep Harry safe, and Godric's Hollow wasn't safe. It was the sort of sentimental thing that Voldemort would assume Harry would make, even if Severus suspected Harry actually had no desire to visit. Just in case he was wrong, he wanted to ensure that Harry came to him.

"I will," Harry murmured absently, inhaling Severus' scent before getting himself more comfortable, determined to enjoy what time he had with his mate before he was inevitably pulled away for work.

"Good," Severus replied, his fingers absently rubbing back and forth on Harry's neck.

They were able to actually sit there for over an hour before Severus sighed resignedly and reluctantly moved to get to work.

Harry wasn't quite so upset about it, he understood really, just as long as he actually got to see him, and not just before bed. Severus had kept his promise, to spend more time with him. It made Harry's heart soar just knowing he was being listened to and that his mate was not only listening but acting on his thoughts and feeling.

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"Come in," Harry grinned wryly, his senses were much better than Remus' now, so his dad couldn't catch him off guard.

"Have the others returned yet?" Remus asked him as he entered the room and took a seat, Storm was at the end of the corridor and she'd refused to answer any of his questions, which was typical of them.

"Hours ago," Harry sniggered as he moved to give his dad more room.

"How did it go?" Remus questioned amber eyes wide and hopeful, his brow furrowing slightly as he inhaled sharply trying to get a whiff of