A Single Choice
Chapter Thirteen- The Unexpected
By- IceWind


A/N:
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and everything in its franchise is owned by J.K Rowling and whoever else has rights to the books. I have no claim whatsoever to the characters; the plot is entirely mine though, as is any new characters that I might introduce into the story. Rating is PG-13; though it may turn to R later.

Warnings: Probably slash in later chapters… which for those who do not know what that means, it means boy/boy, yaoi, shounen-ai, or homosexuals if you want to get technical. It's AU (alternate universe) Definitely AU; nobody could mistake it for anything else. I accept constructive criticism, and flames are fine as well just as long as you don't care if I write a reply, most probably sarcastic, unless you actually had a good reason… though that would probably go under the constructive criticism column and I wouldn't do anything but thank you. ^_^

*hums merrily* Long chapter, be happy!

Brittany: Yes, Harry will go to Hogwarts, later on though. ^^;

Das: Erm… not necessarily. First of all, nobody even knows that he's alive except for a handful of people, so how would you expect that there would be even a letter for him? ^^;; Among other things.

Xamona: *shrugs* No idea myself actually. ^^;; lol, break from questions! ^^ *sips lemonade*

Gia: *laughs* You'll find out *winks* But I can tell you that it'll be a combination of the two…

Professor: *gently chides* You're assuming that Harry's the one that left Draco out. Lol, don't worry about the stone, it'll be okay… maybe… *evil grin*

Xirleb70/HPIceAngel/Jalee/ivy/gravity/Siri Kat: Thank you!

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Heavy gasps came from Harry's lips, but his eyes never strayed from Toshi's form. He crouched slightly, ignoring the strain of his muscles, quite used to disregarding pain because of his earlier training. His robes had been discarded a while ago, the man before him having to have claimed that they would restrict his movement.

Ugh, it wasn't as if he wanted to do this in the first place. Harry tried to calm his breathing down, eyes narrowing at Toshi as he shifted his weight to the balls of his feet, ready to spring. He didn't really think that it was fair that Toshi was allowed to carry a stick and hit him with it, while he couldn't use any weapons but his bare hands.

Stupid muggles, Harry thought to himself crossly, he decided that he would dislike the lot of them if they turned out to be as sadistic as this man was.

"Come on, boy!" Toshi looked completely calm, amber colored eyes holding a look of distinct boredom, which made Harry grit his teeth.

He refused to growl like Ayrin did though; he did have some semblance of pride left.

What's wrong with growling?

In that moment of distraction, Harry's eyes strayed from the man and towards the jet-black wolf that was sitting casually on the sidelines. He promptly spat out, "Hell!" when a stick not so lightly wacked his backside, making him sprawl onto the ground.

He peered up blearily towards the man who hovered impatiently over him and moaned out, "Leave me alone!" He gave a vague, slightly wild, wave of his arm to emphasize that fact and inwardly he wondered what the hell he did to this man to make Toshi act like this.

And they were only supposed to be assessing his abilities! Silently he fumed as Toshi prodded him with a stick, which hurt since it was slightly pointy, and rolled onto his back, snarling out, "I thought we were just going to see what I can and cannot do! Sadistic bastard…" He trailed off and winced as the stick dug more firmly into him, this time onto his stomach.

"Stupid brat, that's what I'm doing!" Toshi seemed to give a sigh, muttering something under his breath about kids who didn't know a thing, before growling out in a louder voice, "And so far, you are dismal."

"Of course I'm dismal!" Harry retorted as he carefully propped an arm under him and lifted himself into a sitting position, shooting a dark glare towards Ayrin who was currently chortling in his head. Traitorous wolf. Ayrin just sounded more amused and Harry gave up on the wolf, instead transferring his attention back to the annoyed looking man, "I have never done something like this before! How am I just supposed to attack you and be done with it?"

The man muttered some more under his breath, but his words were too faint for Harry to catch, although he did think that he heard Toshi mutter something about slugs. Slugs? Why slugs? He mused that to himself silently before giving a mental shrug, scrambling back onto his feet tiredly, "Must we continue this?" And then he gave his most helpless look towards the man, it always -well most of the time- worked with Lucius and Narcissa.

Only this man was a sadistic bastard with apparently no soft spot for large dewy eyes. All Toshi did was smirk this rather disturbing smirk and the man whacked him again with the stick, as if he wasn't already aching by now. Harry sighed and cast a rather agitated look towards Ayrin, who had the most superior expression on his face. Stupid wolf.

I am not stupid. You are just too slow, bonded The wolf opened his large jaws in what appeared to be silent laughter, and Harry glowered furiously at the lupine, muttering under his breath about traitors and the tortures one inflicts on them.

"Boy! Stop daydreaming!" Again, Toshi gave him a firm wack on the arm.

Anger swelled within him, one Harry firmly tried to keep in check as he glared at the man, murmuring lowly, "I wasn't daydreaming." He shot Ayrin a murderous glare, one that Toshi apparently caught because the man gave a small grin and spoke lightly.

"Then perhaps you shouldn't be chatting with that animal anymore."

Resisting, and wondering why he was resisting in the first place, to cast a hex on the man, Harry pointedly turned away from him, "I'm tired. Didn't you get an assessment already? Leave me alone!" He refused to show that he was hurting, mentally going over his status. He had a rather large amount of bruises decorating his frame… but silently he hoped that Narcissa would heal them for him.

Suddenly the slightly familiar sound of claws, much larger than Ayrin's by the sound, filled his ears and he tensed, drawing out his wand and whirling around.

~

Toshi watched with faint curiosity as the boy turned around with a stick drawn out, eyes widening slightly in surprise, his right hand automatically going for his handgun. Did the boy finally snap? He didn't know, and he'd rather not turn into stick like the one he held in his hand. Damned wizards, the unknown was what feared -if he could even call the emotion fear- him the most.

And unfortunately for him, wizards were planted most firmly in the unknown.

Inwardly he did acknowledge that he was perhaps being a tiny bit too hard on the boy. But what else could be expected when his employer told him to train the boy the best he could, and if not, a replacement could be easily found. The way Lucius had drawled the last sentence had made him freeze and understand impeccably that he wouldn't be given a second chance. He'd rather not have his body snapped in two, a most ignoble death, as one could imagine.

Besides, the boy was being sort of a brat, he could imagine that Harry had the time of his life in this large manor. Which he was currently going to be living in, even if he did not see his rooms yet. Gods only knows what would go on in the huge house, especially considering he was living with wizards.

Deciding that he was spending too much time stuck on the fact that there were wizards in the world, he gave a cautious glance towards the boy, his hand still wresting on his gun, the stick long ago discarded by his feet. His ears caught the subtle sounds of nails -or claws- clicking against some hard surface, which was probably the walkway just a slight distance away, before it faded, probably the… thing was on the grass.

Then his mind jolted back towards the memory of Lucius saying something in that cultured, better-than-thou, way he had.

"Don't be… surprised if something unexpected happens," Lucius gave a chilled smile towards Toshi, and for a moment, he felt a gleam of dislike for the wizard that he wrestled under control.

He gave a cool smile in return, appearing completely and utterly nonchalant, as if he hadn't a care in the world for what may happen, even if he was feeling the exact opposite, truth be told. "What do you mean, unexpected?" Idly his mind wondered what could be the unexpected. It could be anything from talking chairs, to laser beams designed to kill anything that went to close. Who knew, he certainly wasn't a wizard, something he privately thanked all the gods for even if it would had made his assignments much easier before.

The man who sat across from him gave a strange smile, somehow slightly distant, and Toshi felt cold for a moment before he shrugged off the feeling. He had never met anyone quite like Lucius, a mixture of sophistication with utter coldness, grace and ruthlessness, it was slightly unnerving. Not that he cared; all he cared about was the end result, his name being in the clear.

In fact, he wouldn't even ask how that would even be done. Though truthfully, he didn't really want to learn how that would be done, especially with the amount of people he had killed. None of which he felt any amount of remorse for. Some had deserved to die, many did not, but it was a job and one he did well, why waste time thinking over things like morals when he certainly felt that he didn't have any? That was one thing he had in common with Lucius.

"Things may just attack the boy, I don't want you to interfere." Lucius gave him an assessing look, one which Toshi nearly snorted at.

"Of course not, not if you don't want me to. Though my curiosity rears its head," he smirked slightly, "what may attack the boy?" Funny, Lucius struck him as the type that didn't give a damn about anyone, but did he feel an underlying care around him? For the boy? Perhaps, or maybe he was just imagining things. Firmly he told himself that his job was to teach the boy, not to puzzle him out and anyone else.

But he couldn't help but feel as if he was being drawn into something much, much larger than he was.

The man in front of him just tilted his head back slightly, gray eyes thoughtful as he spoke slowly, "Magical constructs, most are highly lethal. I set them on the boy to improve his fighting abilities… using magic of course. Later I'll tell him that wands won't be allowed," a faint smile appeared on his face, slightly vicious in nature, "Of course, I'm relying on your teaching ability to make sure that the boy won't die." He fixed a particularly strong stare at Toshi, making the man feel momentarily trapped, "I want you to do a good job."

Slowly Toshi nodded his head, speaking stiffly, "I understand," all the while wondering just what the heck these 'magical constructs' were.

He felt a flash of foresight that he really didn't understand and that he didn't want to.

Toshi silently decided that what was coming was one of those magical constructs, due to the stiff way the boy held himself and the way the wolf started to pace, but never interfering. It was strange seeing the amount of control the animal had, creepy in a way.

He wordlessly drew out his gun, studying the boy in front of him and marveling over the fact that the whiny child from before seemed almost nonexistent by the way the boy stood, the closed off expression on his face. It was… enlightening.

Then a bad mood descended on him, and he glowered for a moment. Why was it that the child could sense the thing approaching them, but not seem to be able to dodge most of the stick's strikes that he made? Stupid child. He silently berated Harry in his head, vowing to himself to work the boy harder. Suddenly he started when a streak of green lashed out of the boy.

"Kuso![1]" he swore softly, momentarily forgetting how to speak English in favor of firmly cursing off that thing that had finally struck. His hand automatically disengaged the safety of the gun, raising it up to face the creature, for lack of a better term, before his brain reminded him that he was not to interfere.

But every other instinct was yelling at him to pull the trigger, preferably sending a bullet towards the head… or what looked like a head anyway. The thing seemed to be a cross between a lizard and… well something. It had a chameleon's bulbous eyes, trained in different directions, a long green body that seemed rather leathery in appearance. But it didn't move slowly, rather it was swift with razor sharp teeth that reminded him of komodo dragons and long sharp claws that had a distinct razor edge to them.

Not a real animal.

Distantly his mind made note, so this was what a magical construct looked like!

Silently he wished that he would never find out. For one, he wondered if his bullet would even penetrate the thick looking skin. Shaking his head and discarding such ridiculous thoughts, he focused his gaze on the boy and the… for lack of a better word, thing.

The first strike was something the boy managed to dodge; though just barely, heavily bruised that he was and apparently winded. Toshi felt a prick of trepidation but continued to watch, not moving a muscle to help. He snuck a distracted look towards the wolf, wondering what the animal made of all of this, seeing the animal pace back and forth, snarling softly.

He felt a pang of sympathy for the beast who couldn't help the boy, and returned his gaze towards the fight, noting silently the way the boy moved and just seemed to barely dodge the heavy strikes. Now if that was due to the fatigue the boy was feeling, or if this was just the norm, he didn't know. But he resolved to correct this if -no, when, his mind supplied- the boy got out of this alive.

"Wingardium leviosa!"

Toshi watched with fascination when the boy shouted the words and pointed the stick… at a large rock. Curiosity mixed with slight worry warred in his amber gaze as he watched Harry concentrate and the rock picked up from the ground, flinging itself towards the creature with a flick of the stick -no wand- that the boy carried confidently in his hand.

He couldn't help but wince slightly when the rock slammed itself into the midriff of the creature, knocking it back into a large sprawled tree. About to congratulate the boy for the kill, he froze as the creature picked itself up and seemingly shook whatever hurts it had away. Apparently the thing was tougher than he thought, how… vicious of Lucius.

But the boy seemed to expect this, for another spell was ready on his lips and with a slight wave of the wand, "Confundo!" The creature suddenly seemed confused, eyes crossing and uncrossing, its head slamming into the tree it crashed into.

Toshi eyes darted towards the boy who seemed to have a look of relief on his face. Exactly what had happened? Well the creature seemed a bit confused really, probably on account of the spell that the boy had done. A faint whistling sound came near him and he lunged backwards, attention now back towards the creature who had just tried to disembowel him with its claws.

"Shimatta! Nani o suru?![2]" He shot towards the boy who looked remarkably confused… and then he remembered that he was still speaking Japanese. His gun raised to fire on the creature when the boy's voice suddenly cut in.

"Petrificus totalus!" A flash of light sped towards the creature, and it just fell over, stiff.

Toshi glared towards Harry, snarling out, "Stupid boy," before giving the creature's body a good kick and then jumping slightly away when its gaze flickered towards him. It was still alive? About to mutter more choice curses, Harry's voice suddenly cut through.

"I'll take care of it." The boy walked over to the creature and waved his wand, murmuring under his breath. Suddenly the body of the creature just seemed to disintegrate before his eyes, exposing bones before that crumbled and disappeared as well.

Harry gave Toshi a faint grin, looking ready to drop dead at his feet, "Hey? Were you swearing?" Toshi could only stare dumbly at the boy as he rattled on, "I'd love for you to teach them to me, I wouldn't tell 'cissa, really!"

Toshi swore quietly under his breath.

~

Harry sighed as he sank deep into his bed, curling up in the blankets and murmuring a faint heating spell which warmed him up deliciously. He winced faintly when he moved, muscles screaming in protest, occasionally bumping a bruise or two. Narcissa wouldn't heal him because Lucius told her not too, she explained that it was supposed to help teach him stuff.

Rebelliously he thought that getting hurt and not getting healed was not a way to teach someone. At least his sadistic weapons teacher went easier on him after the fight with the construct. Not by much really, but enough that it made him feel a bit more favorable to the cold man.

Silently Ayrin jumped onto his bed, making a small depression as he lay down on its foot, a sleepy mental sigh entering Harry's head.

"Why are you so tired? You didn't do anything." Harry knew that he was sounding a bit… childish, but he couldn't help it, giving his bonded a wry look. He felt, rather than saw, Ayrin's tail wag against the bed and a small smile crept up onto his face unwillingly.

Silly bonded, while you were playing with the man, I was chasing birds. They are rather fast… but I will catch them! Ayrin gave a happy sound, Silly creatures, always flying away… I don't mean to hurt them… much

A faint chuckle came out lowly from Harry's throat, a tired sound as he spoke, "You mean to kill them you silly creature, of course they'll run away. But you could catch them, if you really wanted," he propped himself up on an elbow, ignoring the jolts of pain, "Why don't you?" Curiosity flickered in his emerald green eyes as he waved his wand and muttered, "Nox," effectively extinguishing the light. He lay back down and buried his head into his soft pillow, knowing that Ayrin's voice would come to him clearly.

What's the point? I do not wish to hurt them… truthfully. Unless I was hungry, then I would Ayrin's mental voice was speculative, Why hurt something that does not need to be hurt? Why kill when it isn't needed? That is what I do not understand about you humans

Harry sighed, his voice slightly muffled, but knowing that Ayrin would pick up upon his words, "I dunno, Ayrin. But I have to defeat Voldemort, you know what Lucius and 'cissa say. He killed my parents."

But it is already done… ah, never mind, bonded. I shall stand by your side… and hopefully Tyr and his bonded shall as well

Grief clutched at his chest at Ayrin's words, Harry's right hand stroking the ring that was on his left. On his left side, he knew that the dragon that he had gotten for a present from Lucius, one that matched Draco's gryphon, sat on the desk. He had tried so hard not to think of Draco and their separation, made even worse because he couldn't reach the boy anymore, couldn't since the start of the term.

Ayrin's mind-voice was gentle, slightly wheedling, You must think of it though, bonded. Or else you will become bitter at him and we do not want that to happen

"What if…" Harry's voice trailed off as he clutched his pillow. He went on falteringly when Ayrin gave him a wordless mental prompt, "What if Draco doesn't care anymore? He forgets all about me? Maybe he was the one to block me out!" He shuddered slightly, hand groping out and feeling a soft furry snout thrust into it, "I can't stand not knowing, not speaking to him. We're completely blocked out and I don't even know why!"

Something must have happened, he would not abandon you like this. Remember, I cannot feel Tyr as well, and he would never do that on purpose. Silly bonded, did you think that you were the only one affected?

Harry gave a slightly startled sound; this was the first time he had ever heard Ayrin say something like that. He peeked out from under the pillow to meet wise dark blue eyes that seemed to glow in the dark, as he admitted slowly, "For a moment… I thought I was. I'm sorry that I forgot about you and Tyr, Ayrin." A sad smile graced his lips, it was true though, so often he was wrapped up in his own little world and studies that he took the Astrali wolf for granted.

And even more sadly, he could not say for sure that he wouldn't do that ever again.

But Ayrin understood, the wolf always understood, squirming upwards on the bed until his snout was resting by Harry's back. The wolf gave a whoof and nuzzled the boy lightly before relaxing once more. Silly bonded, perhaps in the morning you can send Draco a letter? The wolf sounded hopeful, and maybe you can say hi to Tyr for me?

Harry hesitated from answering, knowing very well that Lucius might not let them send a letter out, before finally saying softly, "I'll ask Lucius, and he says no, we can find another way."

~

Draco took slow and measured bites of his breakfast, steadfastly ignoring the way Vince was poking Greg with a fork, trying to provoke the boy into have some sort of fight using the implements. Pansy looked on in vague interest, but mostly boredom, shooting glances towards the Gryffindors as she remarked, "We're going to learn how to ride our brooms today with the Gryffindors, aren't we?"

Looking up from his food, Draco muttered offhandedly, not really caring much about it, "Yes, a bother really, I know perfectly well how to use a broom," he sneered slightly, "Gryffindors probably don't, a pity, wouldn't you say?" A vague smirked played around his lips as he subtly slipped Tyr, who was next to his chair, some of his breakfast, hearing his bonded bolt it down voraciously.

Flying? The wolf wagged his tail, unknowingly knocking it into some nearby people who edged away slightly, still not completely at ease with the presence of a wolf. Ice blue eyes shone in excitement as Tyr's snout peeked out and grabbed a piece of toast from the table, ignoring what cries the people made.

Draco gave a fond smile towards the wolf, ruffling his fur, "Yes, and you shall be on the sidelines." He ignored the looks others gave him, used to it and thinking that they should have gotten used to it by now as well. Stupid people, he thought to himself idly as he speared an egg with his fork, always uneasy about Tyr when it was obvious that the wolf was harmless.

From the corner of his eyes he saw Tyr rear up slightly as the wolf grabbed a piece of bacon from a scared looking Blaise and amended to himself, mostly harmless anyway.

Getting over their nervousness about Tyr rather quickly, they did have some time to get used to it, Pansy spoke up in a condescending voice, "Did you hear about Granger? I heard that she has been scouring all the library's books about Quidditch in order to learn about flying and not make a total fool of herself," she gave a mock sigh, "Too bad it hasn't worked yet."

"Quidditch isn't something you can learn in a book," Draco said easily, pushing around his eggs and ignoring Tyr's mournful look. The wolf was getting too fat anyway. He chuckled softly when Tyr whined and backed off, obviously hearing the thought. He did find it so amusing when Tyr acted differently when there had been no outward sign of a rebuke.

Unfair!

Draco choked down a laugh, hearing the playfulness in the wolf's thoughts, a fond smile gracing his lips as he ruffled Tyr's pristine fur.

"Oh, look, the mail's here. Are you expecting anything from your parents today?" Greg's voice cut through Draco's mirth, the other boy watching a swarm of owls spiraling down.

It was a well-known fact that Draco's parents spoiled him, what others didn't know was the bits of information his father always let slip at times in their letters. Draco looked up at the owls and eyed them for a moment, before he shook his head, "Not today. We still have some sweets from last time, so it doesn't matter." He lifted a shoulder in a slight shrug.

"What a pretty owl!" Pansy's gave a slight wave of her hand towards a snowy owl with distinct black markings, one that Draco found to be extremely familiar.

Hedwig?

His eyes widened slightly as he watched the owl spiral down and land neatly on the table, holding out a leg as she playfully nipped at Tyr's ear and pulling out a few tuffs of fur.

Stupid owl… But Tyr tolerated her, his nose nudging out and giving her a friendly nuzzle, ignoring the people around them that seemed to think that he was going to eat her.

As if he would eat Harry's owl, Draco mused to himself as he reached out mechanically and withdrew the letter from Hedwig. He glanced up briefly and met the obsidian gaze of Severus who was watching with something akin to curiosity, well, if one knew the potions master well enough to spot the signs. Another slight shrug of his shoulders, very slight, and the man turned away. Draco knew that they would probably talk later.

About to open it, his hand at the seal, Pansy's voice suddenly sounded, "Who's it from? That isn't Archimedes[3] or any one of the regular eagle owls that your parents use, Draco."

His hands stilled as Draco suddenly decided to open it privately, where there weren't a hundred eyes watching him. Sure, he was probably exaggerating, but he didn't think that his father would like it if everyone knew the contents of his letter. Instead, he put on a bland smile and stuffed the letter into his robes as he stood up, "Don't worry about it, it's still from home, just a new owl I wager. Mother was looking for a pretty one."

He swiped a piece of toast off of a nearby plate -ignoring the indignant noise, he was a Malfoy after all and nobody was going to rebuke him- and tossed it towards Hedwig who snapped her beak around it and took off into the air, probably going back towards Harry. Done with that, his silver eyes slid downwards towards Tyr who was trying to be 'friendly' and have one of the students give him a piece of their breakfast. He would have smiled, if it weren't for the fact that he could feel the letter weigh heavily in his robes, "Tyr, come on now."

He started to walk away to find a secluded place where he could open the letter, when his gaze flickered over towards the Gryffindor table where apparently Neville Longbottom had received a package from home. Curiosity piqued slightly, plus he needed for his exit to look natural knowing that he had left his table rather quickly, he moved over towards the Gryffindor table, sensing, rather than seeing, Vince and Greg follow him.

Apparently a barn owl brought Longbottom a small package from his grandmother. The boy opened it excitedly and showed his table mates a glass ball the size of a large marble, which seemed to be full of white smoke.

Snatches of the conversation reached Draco's ears as he drew closer.

"It's a Remembrall!" Longbottom explained. "Gran knows I forget things -- this tells you if there's something you've forgotten to do. Look, you hold it tight like this and if it turns red -- oh…"

Draco smirked slightly, for Longbottom's face had fallen because the Remembrall had suddenly glowed scarlet.

"…you've forgotten something…"

He refused to laugh, really, even though it was really quite amusing how Longbottom seemed to always get into predicaments like this… and being a pureblood as well! He shook his head slightly and quickly grabbed the Remembrall out of the pondering boy's hand, eyeing it curiously.

From the corner of his eyes he saw Weasley, the youngest male (gods… they bred like rabbits, didn't they?), jump out of his seat, probably wanting to pick a fight.

Tyr immediately growled, but Professor McGonagall, who could spot trouble quicker than any teacher in this school, was there in a flash, asking, "What's going on?"

"Malfoy's got my Remembrall, Professor."

Ignoring the impulse to roll his eyes, Draco just scowled and he quickly dropped the Remembrall back onto the table, idly wondering to himself why he always had the habit of taking things from other people… something to look into later. He drawled out calmly, "Just looking," before walking away with Tyr loping after him, Vince and Greg back a couple of steps.

He duck into the nearest secluded corridor and with his hands shaking slightly, and him having no idea why he felt like this, he took out the letter, startling slightly when Vince and Greg showed up soon after him. "What in bloody…" he trailed off and shook his head, "You two, I really don't need some kind of escort, you know."

Ignoring the caustic sound in Draco's voice, Greg spoke up wonderingly, "So who's it from?"

His eyes narrowed and before he spoke scathingly, he reigned in his temper, reminding himself fiercely that they were his friends and that one didn't bawl out their friends for asking a simple question… most of the time anyway. Instead, Draco just sighed and waved them off, "Can't tell, I just have to read it. Leave me alone…" he paused, then spoke on in a slightly pained voice, "please?"

Malfoy's do not say please… his mind reminded him, but apparently Vince caught the severity of the situation for he tugged on Greg's arm and smiled slightly at Draco, "Okay then, we'll be in the common room when you're done."

He sighed in relief and glanced down towards Tyr who was faithfully standing by his feet, "Sense anyone near?"

Nope! came the near instant reply and the wolf nudged closer to him, Read! It is from Ayrin's bonded! I can smell his scent all over the paper! Please?

Draco smiled wryly as his fingers ripped through the seal and opened the letter, pausing for a moment while doing so to view the rather impressive wards that were on the thing. Apparently the only person who could open it, without triggering the wards, was himself only. Idly he wondered whether his father or Harry himself had done the magic… if it was Harry, then the boy was much farther than he was in their studies.

Open now!

Jolting out of his thoughts, Draco gave a wry look towards the eager wolf and smoothed the letter, reading it silently. Tyr could pick it from his mind easily, so he didn't have to read it out loud.

Drake and Tyr,

Throughout the weeks I've been wondering if I had done something
wrong. And then Ayrin went and started pestering me to ask you
and to see if I really did. I can't feel you in my mind anymore…
You blocked me… didn't you? What else could it be? I don't know
why though! But I shouldn't jump to conclusions, that's what
Lucius said. Don't worry, I didn't tell him about the connection
that we have, it's just something that he says constantly when I start
asking questions. Insufferable man, to quote 'cissa.

I ought to stop being gloomy, Ayrin says that I'm not as fun to be around
with if I'm gloomy. Silly wolf, right? Did you know that at first I didn't
think that I'd be able to contact you at all? I had to beg Lucius for
at least twenty minutes… and you know how impatient I am.
Anyway, I suppose if you're reading this, then you got through the
wards. No, I'm not the one who did them. They're too advanced
for me, besides, Lucius says that I might mess them up and someone
else may read the letter. That would be horrible…

The point of all of this is that if you even bother to answer me
back then you ought to try to put as many wards as you can on the
letter, and to address it to Lucius himself, then he would give it to me.
He even promised not to read them… surprising, isn't it? Ah well…

I have a new teacher, weapons instructor as Lucius calls him. He's
a strange man, a muggle of all things! His name is Toshi and he seems
to be rather fond of hitting me with a stick when I fail to dodge
something adequately. I guess he's okay… though I've only known
him for a day. Somehow Lucius got him through the wards, and he
isn't allowed to go out, a lot like me actually. I'm not sure how Lucius
did it though… I didn't think that the manor would permit such
tampering. Maybe it knows something that we do not? I wouldn't
be surprised anyway.

Things are brewing around here about some mystical item… Lucius and
'cissa talk about it all the time, and Hogwarts comes into the
conversation a lot. What do you think it all means? Something is
happening, but Lucius says that I shouldn't worry about it, since I
can't do anything about it. Infuriating… I want to know though! But
I bet that it has something to do with Voldemort, it always has
something to do with that man. Wish I could kill him off for real
this time…

Is Sev giving you extra studies like he had before? He comes over
still, but not as often as before, and he won't give me any information
about that object. It seems that he and Lucius are of like minds on this
thing. I'm sure I can make him slip some information… But I usually only
seem him on the weekends, with him being busy teaching potions at Hogwarts
and all… How is he as a teacher? I would suspect that he's horribly
sarcastic, am I right? I adore him in those kinds of moods, it's highly
amusing really.

This is getting long… I miss you… and Ayrin tells me to say hello to Tyr as
well. I hope that you are well have having a great time at that school,
I sorely wish I could go. Perhaps next year? Anyway, au revoir. (A new
phrase that I've picked up from 'cissa, interesting, isn't it?)

--Harry and Ayrin

Draco finished reading the letter slowly, eyes thoughtful as he let it go, watching it curled up into a ball of flame in midair and disappear. The wards that were on the parchment really were impressive, he reflected to himself absentmindedly, mind still whirring with thoughts.

Silly boy

Flinching slightly at the sudden voice in his head, Draco's eyes automatically fell onto Tyr, finally asking, "Why are you calling him silly?" He didn't say Harry's name out loud, deciding that even if Tyr said that there was no one around, that didn't warrant the risk of speaking his name… even if it was only his first. People were not to know about Harry's existence at all, and he didn't want to be the one who finally let the cat out of the bag.

Tyr flicked his ears towards Draco, tongue lolling out slightly as he thrust his head into Draco's hand, quite obviously demanding that the boy should pet him, which Draco did. I don't understand why you both thought that the other blocked you off. Sillies. Packs do not keep secrets from one another if it is going to be hurtful, it is detrimental to the pack Changing tactics slightly, Tyr snuffled into one of Draco's pockets, finding a piece of bread and gulping it down, Besides, Ayrin would not block me off without telling me. Did you forget about us?

Draco refrained from flinching as big, mournful pale blue eyes stared at him, and he cracked a smile, hand softly petting Tyr's head. "Of course not," he winced inwardly and replied more truthfully at Tyr's reproachful look, sometimes it wasn't better to have someone know everything that went on inside your head, "Well… I suppose I was a bit wrapped up in the fact that Harry seemed to block me off. But…" he hesitated, hand curling and grasping some of the soft fur, "What else could it be?"

I don't know… maybe this place?

"What do you mean?" He looked at Tyr curiously.

The wolf answered back easily, backing away slightly with a playful look, Because you weren't able to contact him, nor could I contact my brother, since the first time we stepped foot in this big place. Perhaps we shall go home?

Suddenly Draco's eyes were drawn towards where the letter had brunt, mind whirring with thoughts as he said slowly, "Wards."

Tyr ignored him, happily snuffling around the corridor.

He went on to himself softly, "Of course. Like the manor, perhaps Hogwarts have wards that could block connections like the one Harry and I have." He tilted his head to the side, wisps of blond hair falling down to shadow his eyes… apparently he forgot to do the spell to slick his hair back this morning. Ah well, he'll do it before classes start.

Draco smiled faintly at himself, amused that he got sidetracked because he was thinking about his hair, before shaking his head and focusing himself on the current situation. He mused to himself that the wards were probably the reason, and that he really should do more studying on the castle… perhaps even read Hogwarts, A History, it was something to look into.

About the letter… well, he'll send off a reply in a day or two, when he had some conclusive evidence, or at least more than just idle speculation. He gently pushed Tyr's head, "Come on, a quick pass at the Common Room, then we have flying lessons…" he gave himself a smug smirk, feeling better than he had since he had first arrived, "We'll teach those Gryffindors how to really fly."

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[1] "Kuso!"- Japanese swear word, means 'shit'.

[2] "Shimatta! Nani o suru?!"- Shimatta is another swear word in Japanese, kind of like "damn it!", heh. Nani o suru means "What are you doing?!"

[3] Archimedes- What I've decided to name Draco's eagle owl. Yes, kinda… muggle-ish ^^; but I couldn't come up with anything else. (In other words: I was too lazy :P)

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*twitch* Okay, so I lied and I can't seem to wrap up the first year in one chapter .;; Never really expected myself to be able to though *sighs* But has anyone noticed how long this chapter was? ^^;;; I realized that I had so much stuff to still go over so… yeah. Actually, this was only a portion of what I wanted to fit in for this chapter, but I didn't want to go on too long without another update, so I'll do everything else in the next chapter I suppose.

Erm, everything else that I'm thinking about, I'm still not going to end the first year yet. I know, boo hoo and all of that. *thwaps herself* So this is shaping up to be much longer than anticipated… oh boy. And here I thought I was taking up a simple little project .;; How long do I think the first year will take me to complete? I have nooo idea… Probably several more chapters, and hopefully the next year will go quicker so I can get to what I really want to write *winks*

Ugh, I decided that I ramble too much in these latter parts… So yeah, I'll keep this shorter ^.~ Anyway, don't you think that Toshi has a colorful vocabulary? ^^; He is Japanese anyway. Okay, so I don't know if 'Nani o suru' is completely correct, but I tried, I don't know Japanese. I tend to try to stay away from mixing languages if I don't know them.

If you still want an e-mail update, review and umm.. tell me. Don't forget your e-mail addy ^^;;;;


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My e-mail address is flyby311@hotmail.com and put Single Choice or fanfic or Harry Potter or something similar to that, so I know what the e-mail is about. Anything you want to add/criticize/comment/whatever you guys just review it… please?