Disclaimer: I don't own a thing.
A/N: LAST CHAPTER!! Oh my I actually finished my first story. Thanks to all of you who have bared with me and my inability to update more than real life lets me. I hope that you all have enjoyed the story. Thanks to all of the reviewers and the non-reviewers who have stuck with the story. Let me know if you think that there needs to be an epilogue.
Words in Italics are Daylan's telepathy
Chapter 25: The End of the Darkness
It had been almost the end of the school term when Severus and Albus finally made their way back to the abandoned corridor to examine the portrait of the former founder.
Their visit had been enlightening to say the least.
They managed to verify that the portrait was that of Salazar Slytherin and he had been reawakened when Daylan had whispered to the snake in parseltongue.
Salazar's portrait had been in a forced sleep by a headmaster close to four hundred years before.
The long and arduous talk had revealed many of the half truths and misconceptions about Salazar. The most shocking revelation was that Daylan's eye color was distinct to Salazar Slytherin direct line of descendents because of the fey blood that had run through Salazar's wife.
Severus thought that there was more than that to it especially when he asked if Voldemort was one of his direct descendents and Salazar had scoffed at the idea. Salazar took pity on Severus when it was apparent that the man had been concerned that his son was related to the person that had killed his mother. He told the man to stop worrying and explained that Tom Riddle was a descendant of one of his sisters and did not have any fey blood in him, which as Salazar explained meant that he could be killed by normal means. What exactly that meant for them now Severus had no idea but he figured that between Albus and Salazar they would figure something out.
Severus had a feeling that there would be many, many more interesting conversations in the future with the snarky Founder.
His and Jocelyn's relationship had taken off after the night of confessions and there wasn't a day that went by that they weren't seen together and Severus couldn't imagine his and Daylan's life with out her in it. So he and Daylan had decided that they needed to have her there for them permanently and Severus proposed to her on Valentines Day. She had made him and Daylan the happiest wizards in the castle when she accepted.
They had planned for an early summer wedding and much to the happiness of her mother they had decided to expand his quarters in the castle instead of trying to find a house in Hogsmead.
Daylan was still adjusting to life away from the Dursely's and he hadn't anymore major set backs since the incident with the portrait, which for that Severus was grateful.
As for him, well if he could just finish marking these damned essays he would be happy.
Finally after four hours he had finished with all of his marking and now he could go and get something to eat and make sure that Daylan was asleep. Jocelyn had come in earlier and let him know that Daylan had eaten with her and Albus and she had put him to bed. Severus had never pictured himself as a family man but now he didn't think that he could ever go back to what he was before.
Gathering up his papers Severus headed for the door to his office when he suddenly felt in the pit of his stomach that something was horribly wrong. Quickening his pace he headed straight for his quarters.
Daylan was terrified.
A strange man had gotten into his home and had done something to Jocelyn. She wasn't answering him in his head like she usually did and his daddy was too far away. So much had happened so quickly and now he was scared.
He had been asleep and was dreaming about his Daddy marrying Jocelyn when he was jerked awake by a very scared looking Jocelyn. She told him to hide and not come out until either her or his Daddy came and got him. So Daylan had done that one thing that he knew would help keep him hidden. He changed into a puppy and crawled under the desk and then squeezed behind it into his special place. It was his special place that his Daddy had made for him when everything around him was too big and loud.
Daylan curled into a tighter ball when he heard heavy footsteps move into his room and stop just inside. He could smell the bad man as he walked into his room. When the bad man started to talk everything in Daylan froze.
It was him!
The bad man with the scary laugh in his dreams, the one that said that he was going to come after him and his Daddy.
Daylan tried again to talk to his Daddy but he couldn't feel him, there was something that was blocking him.
He wanted his Daddy to come and make the bad man go away.
Just as Severus got to the corridor that led to his quarters his senses were assaulted with the horribly familiar backwash of Voldemort's magical signature. He could feel the wards preventing him from going any farther and Severus knew that the only one in the castle now that could break through these wards was Albus.
Turning around and taking off in a dead run toward the Headmaster's office Severus prayed that they wouldn't be too late.
Making the last turn in a slide Severus screamed out the password to the gargoyle and took three steps at a time until he reached the door. With out waiting to be acknowledged Severus slammed open the door and collapsed onto his hands and knees.
Albus stood up knocking his chair over as he rushed to Severus's side. "What's wrong?!"
Severus gasped and then finally was able to find his voice.
"Voldemort is in the school." He gasped.
"He is in my quarters and has warded off the corridor. I couldn't get in, Jocelyn is in there with Daylan and because of the wards I can't get through to Daylan's mind."
He turned and started back toward the stairs knowing the Albus would be straight behind him.
If he had been in any other state of mind he would have noticed that Albus hadn't been alone and that Minerva was quickly filling in behind Headmaster.
"Wait!" Albus shouted and then turned back toward the large tapestry of Hogwarts that hung behind his desk.
Severus and Minerva both stopped and turned to watch as Albus ran his wand in a circle around the entirety of the castle and whispered "Lockdown"
All around them Severus could hear the sounds of castle going into defense mode as they hurried down the stairs. As soon as they got to the warded corridor Albus immediately started tearing down the wards, muttering long strings of Latin and another language that Severus didn't recognize.
Finally after what seemed to be hours, which Severus knew to only be minutes, the final ward came down in a blaze of light and they were able to make there way to Severus's quarters.
The guarding portrait was destroyed, and the door was wide open.
When they made their way into the living room it looked like a disaster area. Almost nothing looked recognizable and there wasn't a thing that was in its original place. There was no sign of Jocelyn, Daylan or Voldemort.
Minerva's muffled gasp brought Severus's attention to were the book shelf used to stand and he saw immediately what had caused her reaction.
Jocelyn was there on the floor lying so still.
Severus's heart was in his throat.
Please, no. Thought the man who had already lost one love to Voldemort. Please don't let it happen again.
The three of them rushed over to Jocelyn's prone form and Severus immediately cast several diagnostic spells. To his immense relief Jocelyn was still alive, but just barely. She needed to be brought to Poppy as soon as possible.
Albus seeing the results of the scans turned to Minerva. "Take this." He said holding out a small coin. "It's a portkey to the infirmary. Take Jocelyn and we will find Daylan."
Minerva hesitated for a spit second and then grabbed a hold of the coin. Several seconds later they were gone leaving an even more anxious Severus in their wake.
Daylan couldn't stop shaking. The bad man from his dreams was here, just like he said he would be. Daylan was afraid that he was going to take away his Daddy and Jocelyn just like he did his Mommy.
He had never been as scared as he was right then especially when the footsteps stopped in front of the desk.
Daylan could hear the man breathing and then he could hear him talking.
"I know your in here you little brat, and when I find you I'll finish the job I started four years ago." Voldemort hissed.
Daylan curled into a tighter ball and wished that someone would save him. Then before he could react the one thing that he had hoped wouldn't happen did.
The desk went flying through the air and his hiding spot was exposed. The man reached down and violently grabbed Daylan and brought him face to face with the monster that had terrified him for as long as he could remember.
"Did you really think that you could hide forever from Lord Voldemort?" The Dark Lord hissed at the animagus child. "Did you think that I wouldn't be able to find you in this form or even under a new name?!"
Daylan was terrified and did the only think that he could think of. He bit down as hard as he could on one of the arms that were holding him in the air.
Voldemort screamed and threw Daylan.
Daylan was free for a few seconds when he realized that he was going to hit the wall. He hit with a sickening thud and slid to the floor. Daylan was in so much pain he didn't see Voldemort coming toward him and when he did he realized that he couldn't move. He heard the man say something and then a blue light surrounded him making him back into a boy. Watching helplessly as the man walked toward him, Daylan could do nothing but stare.
Voldemort slowly raised his wand at the small child and let it rest were he knew the lighting bolt scar was hidden. "I want to watch as the light fades from your eyes as it should have before. Only this time your mother isn't here to sacrifice herself for you." He sneered at the child who had almost defeated him "Just two little words and you will get to meet your mother, but don't worry I'll be sending your traitorous Daddy to you as well."
Daylan could feel the tears slipping down his cheeks as the hope that someone would save him started to fade away.
Voldemort gripped his wand tighter and began the famous incantation. "Avada Kedavra!"
Severus burst through the door to his son's room just as the sickly green light engulfed his child. "NO!" he started to rush to his son but a huge burst of magical backlash sent him crashing to his knees. He looked up in time to see the killing curse rebound once again and hit the Dark Lord knocking him to the floor. The dark robed man didn't move.
Severus scrambled over to Daylan's still form and scooped him into his arms. Desperately feeling the little boys neck for a heartbeat he couldn't find, Severus then put his ear to his chest and there was nothing.
"No…no…no…" he sobbed. Pulling his son close to his chest Severus rocked back and forth whispering heartbrokenly for Daylan to wake up.
Albus quickly cast a containment ward around Voldemort's body and then rushed to Severus's side. He pulled the rocking man into his arms giving him his strength. And then Albus saw something that amazed him.
"Fear not Severus, I don't believe that it was Daylan's time to leave us."
Before Severus could say something to Albus for being cruel he felt the body in his arms shift and look up at him.
"You came to save me!" Daylan whispered in his mind.
Severus couldn't believe what he was seeing. His son was alive after being hit with the killing curse, again. "Of course I came, I would go to the end of the world to make sure that you were safe." He replied as tears filled his eyes.
Daylan frowned. "I can't hear you, Daddy."
Severus frowned as well. "Maybe your implant was damaged. We will get Poppy to look at it when we get you to the infirmary."
It was then that Daylan remembered Jocelyn. "Is Jocelyn ok, did that bad man hurt her?" his face scrunched up as he tried to keep from crying.
Severus stood with Daylan still in his arms. "Yes she did get hurt by she is with Poppy now so I imagine that she is probably anxious to see if we are alright." He then turned to Albus.
"What happens now?"
Albus knew what exactly Severus feared. "I will take care of everything. Daylan's role will not be mentioned. If it comes down to it I will claim responsibility for what has happened, but I think that it would be best if what happened today was never brought to the light of the public. They have lived with out the fear of Voldemort for the last four years, let them keep that." Albus knew that there was only one person that he could count on to take care of this and to keep it under wraps. "I will contact the head of the Unspeakables and have him come and take care of the loose ends."
Severus smiled. Only Albus could refer to the dead body of the Dark Lord as a loose end. "I am going to take him to Poppy and see how Jocelyn is. Then I am going to floo Lucius and tell him what has happened." Glancing back down at Daylan who was still wrapped tightly around his waist he headed toward the door.
As soon as he opened the door to the infirmary Minerva and Poppy both rushed him and questions started flying. Holding a hand up to stall the tidal wave of inquiries, Severus walked to the bed was Jocelyn was lying. Her eyes were closed but her cheeks were flushed with a healthy glow. Severus let out a relieved breath. He laid Daylan down on the bed next to her and Poppy rushed over.
"Poppy look at me," Severus made sure he had the matron's full attention. "Daylan was hit with the killing curse again and for about four minutes he was gone, but somehow he came back to us and started breathing on his own. He told me that he can't hear again and I fear that the backlash has disrupted the implant or worse damaged his ears further causing the implants to not work at all."
Poppy felt faint. "He survived it again?" how in the world this child was still alive after everything that he had been through in his few short years absolutely astounded her. "I'll run the diagnostics." She saw the world-weariness in Severus's eyes and felt that the poor man needed some good news.
"Jocelyn will be fine after she wakes up. Just a few cuts and bruises along with magical exhaustion, but nothing that a good night sleep won't cure."
Severus smiled, "That's good to hear. I need to go and make a floo call. I will return as soon as I can."
Poppy nodded and turned back to Daylan. "That's fine dear, I'll be right here to see what is going on with our special boy." She heard Severus close the door to her office and the floo flare to life.
Running her wand up and down over Daylan's body she saw that he had massive amounts of bruising on his back and right shoulder. Luckily she could see no damage to his spine and no broken bones. Now just to figure out what was going on with his hearing.
After several minutes of scans and examining the implant Poppy feared the worse.
Severus came back into the infirmary with Lucius Malfoy following closely behind. Lucius made a bee line for Jocelyn and Minerva and Severus headed back to Poppy.
"Well, how is he?" Severus asked as he ran his hands through Daylan's soft black hair. He could see that his son was valiantly trying to stay awake. "Go to sleep little one and when you wake Jocelyn will be awake and waiting for you. I won't leave your side."
Daylan yawned. "Stay with me all night Daddy."
Severus nodded his head and watched as Daylan closed his eyes and he fell into a much needed sleep. He turned his attention back to Poppy who was sitting next to Daylan's bed. He could see the tension in her eyes and he knew.
"It's permanent now isn't it?"
Severus knew that Daylan would be heartbroken to learn that his hearing loss wasn't something that they could fix this time, but at least he still was able to speak to a select few in their minds. "How is he other than that?"
Poppy ran through the diagnostic charm and told him that there were no other complications from getting hit with the curse again. She left the man to come to terms with everything that had happened this evening and she her self was going to go and get a good night sleep.
Lucius came over to sit next to Severus. "Is it really over for good this time?"
Severus nodded his head and it was then that it truly sank in on how close he came to losing everything that he held close to his heart to Voldemort once again. "Now I suppose we can step out of the shadows and live life how we have always wanted to." He sighed and reached with a trembling hand to brush Daylan's hair out of his eyes. He looked up at the one person who has always been there for him. "You still are going to stand in as my Best Man, right?"
Lucius smiled. "I wouldn't miss it for the world, my friend. I don't think that I could get out of it either way between you and Jocelyn."
Severus chuckled. He thought that for the first time in over a decade he finally felt free. He was going to be able to look forward to the future without having to look over his shoulder at the past. Life would finally be worth living and he would make sure that he would live it to the best that he could, and no matter what obstacles stood in their way his family would get through it together.