Disclaimer: Harry Potter and anything in the HP universe is not mine, sadly.

AN: Here it is, the next chapter. I don't want to keep you hanging on the cliff for longer.

The response to the last chapter was overwhelming, that you are all so infested in this little fanfiction story of mine is simply astonishing. Thank you all for the support! I wish I could hug you all! *hugs you all*

So, to all of you who reviewed, favoured, and followed, a huge huge thank you!

This chapter is beta'ed by the brilliant a-bit-of-madness, many thanks and hugs to her.

Have fun reading.

On with the story.

Chapter 18: Saving Harry

What he found made him stop abruptly. Despite having seen and been the cause of more bloodshed and dead bodies than he was willing to admit in the moment, the sharp metallic scent of blood made Marvolo's head spin as he tried to take in the scene before him.

The small, sparsely furnished room, the bars in front of the window. The bucket in one corner. The many many parchments filled with drawings on the walls.

The boy leaned against his bed, blood pooled all around him, only a small trickle still coming out of the wounds in his arms. Eyes closed; skin pale. He looked peaceful and didn't breathe.

This was what shocked Marvolo out of his stupor. He rushed to the boy's side, ignoring the red liquid he stepped in and something that looked like a piece of glass in the middle of it. Placing two fingers at the thin throat, he searched for a pulse.

There, faint and unsteady, but still there. Something loosened inside him, something he hadn't even known was in knots.

He cast a stasis spell on the boy immediately. There wasn't anything he could do here and even if - he didn't know any healing spells. He was sure that this was beyond what Narcissa or even his Inner Circle's healer could do. They needed to bring him to St. Mungo's.

Levitating him, Marvolo made his way out of the room, vanishing the blood from his shoes and sealing the room with a spell. Then he made his way down the stairs and out of the house towards the assembled wizards and witches. The wards prevented Apparition inside of it, and Marvolo wasn't sure if they even could apparate the boy in his condition.

He felt highly inadequate dealing with this situation. He hated feeling like that, hated to not be in control, and somehow Potter was always in the middle of things.

All eyes were on the body following him as he stepped through the ward, only for a second, it felt like he was walking through very thick air, like it wanted to prevent him from removing the boy. Then he was through. Ignoring everyone else, he spoke directly to Narcissa and Severus, both who had at least basic knowledge of healing magic and who he trusted.

"He lost a lot of blood and wasn't breathing. I don't know how long. The wounds were still leaking, and the blood was fresh, and he had a weak pulse. I put him under stasis. He needs St. Mungo's."

Around him, shocked intakes of breath followed his clipped statement. Narcissa looked at the body with assessing eyes, while Severus shortly closed his. Then the black eyes focused on him.

"Your stasis charm should be strong enough that it will hold when we apparate. I will take him." Severus stepped up to the body.

"YOU!" An outcry from one of the young ginger teenagers stopped him. "Why would you try to save him! You hate him, you bullied him. Why should we trust you with him?"

Severus didn't turn around, he simply took the body in his arms, his face a careful mask of neutrality. "Because I swore an oath Mr Weasley, and whatever you think of me, I will never stand by and let someone die if I can prevent it, especially a child."

And with that, he spun and apparated away.

Never in his life had Severus occluded as heavily as since his Lord had stepped out of the house, with a body floating behind him. A too thin, too small, lifeless body.

For several excruciating moments all he could think about was that he had failed; failed Lily, failed the boy, failed again as he had done so many years ago.

The moment he arrived in the Apparition room of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, he called for the healers. The first one who registered the lifeless body he held in his arms, called for more.

"Sir, what happened?" Someone asked him, but Severus could only stare at the thin pale face, which didn't look like James Potter at all. The boy had never looked so young and vulnerable.

Someone got Severus to release the grip he had on the body, the boy was lifted out of his arms and was laid on a stretcher, then they rushed him to an Emergency room. Several healers and mediwizards and -witches surrounded him, someone was barking orders. Severus followed them, unwilling to leave the boy alone.

Someone touched his arm and held him back before he could enter the room the boy was brought in.

"Sir, please. Do you need help as well? A calming draught perhaps? We need to know what happened." A young trainee held a glass veil out to him, but Severus shook his head.

He coughed and cleared his throat.

"He tried to…" He stopped shortly, trying to make sense of everything. "He did it himself. My… he was found like this. He wasn't breathing, but the cuts were still bleeding, and he had a weak pulse. The one to find him didn't know any healing spells, so he put him under stasis."

The trainee noted everything down on a sheet.

"And your name?"

"Severus Snape."

"The patient's name?"

"Harry Potter."

After Severus' departure everyone had been in shock for a moment. Then nearly everyone started talking at once. Ron simply stared at the point where their hated Potions Professor had disappeared with the lifeless body of his best friend. It had only been brief, but he had seen the horrifying cuts on Harry's arm.

He had done that to himself. Despite everything, it was still unbelievable.

A hand found its way into his own, warm, soothing and grounding as it squeezed his tightly.

"He will survive, and we will help him to see that he still has reasons to live. And we will find another way to handle the Horcrux problem." Hermione sounded determined, but Ron saw the tears swimming in her eyes. He nodded and curled his fingers around hers. Harry was their best friend and he would be damned before he let him go. He would survive, he had to. He was Harry! He had survived so many bad situations already.

But a small voice whispered that this time it was different because this time Harry had done that himself, and he had meant it.

"Enough!" Dumbledore's voice cut through the noise, silencing everyone. "Enough. This doesn't help. I would suggest a party of us follow Severus to the hospital. Harry is in good hands at St Mungo's."

That brought another round of discussion. Who would go?

Ron saw Mrs Malfoy and the man he knew now was You-Know-Who exchange looks then both disapparate.

He glanced at Hermione and knew neither she nor he would go anywhere else than the hospital and it seemed his father knew it too. He and his mother stood before them, sadness but also determination in their eyes, both held their arms out.

"Come, let's go to the hospital. The others can discuss as long as they want." His mother's voice was calm, soothing.

"What of my parents? They will be here shortly?" Hermione asked. Ron saw his Mum squeeze her arm.

"Bill will wait here for them, then he will join us in the hospital. Come now, Harry needs his family."

Hermione nodded and Ron grabbed his father's arm. Then the world spun away.

It took a while to find the right area to wait for news on Harry. The hospital was in utter chaos, apparently someone had accidentally let loose a cloud of poisonous seeds in a crowded area of Diagon Alley. People were everywhere, calling for healers, searching for their relatives.

Hermione had reclaimed his hand the moment they had arrived and hadn't let go the whole way they followed his parents to the reception desk and then through the hallways. Ron remembered the hallways from their visits to his father when he had been bitten by Nagini last Christmas. Harry had been the reason his dad had even had the chance to survive.

Finally, they arrived in the waiting area, where they found Snape sitting, staring at one of the doors leading from the room.

Mrs Weasley hurried over to him. "Is there any news, Severus?"

The man looked up and Ron was hit by the exhaustion he saw in his face. He had never seen the dungeon bat like this. He felt a little guilty about the accusations he had thrown at the man.

Hermione led him to one of the chairs and sat down herself, listening to the short conversation between their teacher and Mrs Weasley.

"They rushed him into the emergency treatment room. A trainee promised to bring news if there is any. So far, he hasn't been back." The man's deep voice sounded rough and tired, and Ron again was struck by the realization that Severus Snape was indeed human and seemed to care at least a little for Harry Potter.

His parents sat beside the Professor. "That's good." They sounded like they needed to convince themselves. "That's good. They know what to do."

A door opened and all heads went up, but it was only the twins, Ginny, Percy and Charlie who entered. They were told what they knew, and everyone found a seat. Charlie wrapped an arm around their sister, who was even paler than usual, her freckles dark on her skin. But she didn't cry, her mouth set in a hard line and it hit Ron that Ginny knew something about the pain Harry was going through. She had been in close contact with a Horcrux for a whole year and knew the desperation a foreign presence in oneself could evoke. The thought made Ron ill.

Silence settled over the room again. The minutes ticked by, feeling like hours.

Ron looked down at his hands, the one in the tight grasp of the girl beside him, the other one in a tight fist to prevent it from shaking. His mind was still reeling.

Harry had done it. Why?

He understood why rationally, it was all in the letters, but emotionally, Ron just couldn't comprehend what had actually happened. His mind simply refused to wrap around the fact.

The door opened again, this time it was You-Know-Who strolling inside, making everyone besides Snape sit up straight in shock.

But the man just scanned their faces and sat down. "I presume there are no news?" Snape was the one to answer with a shake of his head. Nobody dared protest against the man's presence.

Silence again.

Ron snuck a glance at the wizard sitting at the other end of the room. He looked normal enough, just a bloke somewhere around forty perhaps, but his eyes were still creepy, blood-red irises vibrant in the pale face. His expression was blank, and he sat rather stiffly.

The door opened again.

The Headmaster and Professor Lupin rushed in. Ron's parents talked with them in hushed whispers.

Ron continued to stare at his hands.

He didn't know how long they waited, but at some point, a young wizard in pale blue robes entered their little waiting room. He stopped short when he saw the crowd. "You are all here for Mr Potter?"

Everyone nodded.

He frowned uncertain. "I am only allowed to give away information about a patient to his family."

Before anyone else could say something, Dumbledore took charge.

"As I am sure you know young man, Mr Potter has no family anymore. This here is his family, or as close as a family without actual blood bonds could be."

The trainee regarded the Headmaster, then sighed. "I'll get the Healer assigned to Mr Potter's case and we'll see what he decides."

Then he disappeared through the door. Only moments later a healer in lime green robes with purple trim stepped back out of the doors and regarded them all sternly. He had dark warm eyes and very short brown hair, but his expression told them that he was not a man to be crossed and that he was the one to make the decision here.

"My name is Healer Samson. As I understood you are the family of Mr Potter." He looked unconvinced.

"Please, just tell us… will he survive?" Hermione's voice beside him nearly broke at the end. The stern look in the man's eyes softened as his gaze shifted to Ron and Hermione.

"Ah, very well, let's hear you out. It isn't as if I don't know who most of you are and who is laying on my operating table. But what you are doing here is beyond me, Lord Slytherin." He turned to You-Know-Who.

The man shifted slightly, a shockingly human gesture. "I was the one to find Mr Potter in his home, and… there are aspects of the situation linked to me."

Healer Samson raised an eyebrow and gestured for the man to continue, his expression allowing no argument. Lord Slytherin looked troubled for a moment, then he stood, stepped up to the Healer and conversed with him in whispers.

Ron was fairly sure he was somehow explaining the soul-link he and Harry shared due to the Horcrux.

Could the man still feel it? Would he know if his Horcrux was already destroyed and Harry dead?

The Healer nodded to something Slytherin said and the Lord went back to his seat.

Samson looked around the room again and settled on Dumbledore. "You, Professor Dumbledore are only the Headmaster of the boy, why should you be entitled to information on my patient?"

The Headmaster looked shocked for a moment at the tone Samson had used. "Mr Samson -"

"The correct address is Healer Samson." He was interrupted.

Dumbledore inclined his head but looked a little put out. "Healer Samson, Mr Potter is one of my favourite students and I was close with his parents. After their deaths I kept an eye on him…"

The man raised his hand and stopped the Headmaster at this. "Stop right there, Professor Dumbledore. If that were true, we wouldn't have found so many alarming things during the general diagnostic charm." His expression turned dark.

Dumbledore sighed, the sound heavy and defeated. "If you refer to the damage done to Mr Potter, beside the self-inflicted wounds, I take the blame completely. He was left with his Muggle relatives from his Mother's side. Lily Potter was an extraordinary witch and Harry survived as a baby mainly because of her love. To ensure his continued survival he had to live with blood family, and I underestimated the resentment her sister still felt for the magical world, while overestimating the love and care I was sure to be found in family by blood."

To hear the words come out of the Headmaster's mouth was a shock to Ron, never had he thought that Dumbledore would concede that he was wrong. He knew the man cared for his best friend, but also knew that Dumbledore looked at the bigger picture and forgot the individuals more often than not. He knew Dumbledore felt guilty, had known it since he stepped into the Burrow's kitchen that morning, it had been written in the deep lines in his face. But to hear him say it…

"The name of Mr Potter's Muggle family?" Healer Samson enquired, in a flat voice.

"Dursley, Vernon and Petunia Dursley."

Samson nodded and jotted the names down on a clipboard he had in hand, then tapped it with his wand and the parchment folded itself and flew out of the room.

"Will they be arrested?" Ron dared to ask. Samson didn't answer but the expression in his eyes was all the answer Ron needed. The Dursleys would be taken care off.


"About time." He heard his mother mutter. She was sitting beside his father, clinging to his arm.

"Now, who are you?" Samson addressed Professor Lupin.

"Remus Lupin, I'm – was very close with James Potter and Lily Potter. I was his Professor for a year, and we stayed in contact. I –" Lupin stumbled, and Ron interrupted him.

"He is his uncle and second godfather." It wasn't a lie, not entirely and Ron wanted this to be over. He understood that the Healer needed to make sure who he was giving sensitive information to. But it took too long.

Samson turned to him. "And you are?"

"Ronald Weasley, I'm his brother and his best friend." The assessing look he got told Ron that Samson knew that Harry wasn't his brother by blood, but after a moment he nodded and pointed with his quill to the rest of the Weasley family and the Grangers.

"Your family, I assume?"

"Yes." The squeeze from Hermione was bordering on painful.

Then Samson turned to Snape. The Professor seemed to be back to his stoic and surly self again as he raised an eyebrow before answering. "You very well know who I am Mr Samson, as I remember your performance in my classroom even after all these years."

Samson sent the man a piercing look, then smirked. "Someone managed to remove the goo in the old classroom?"

The stare he got from Snape should have burned him on the spot.

Samson sighed. "Very well. What is your relationship with Mr Potter?"

If Ron hadn't watched the interaction, he would have missed the expression of anguish and guilt exposed briefly on Snape's face, as it was, he did see it and it caught his breath.

"I was friends with his mother long ago and after her death, I… I swore an oath to protect the boy. As it seems, I didn't do a very good job." He didn't say anything more, but it seemed to be enough for Healer Samson.

His Mum stood up at this point, wringing her hands. "Please, Healer Samson, can you tell us anything?" The worry and impatience in her face was clear.

Samson looked around the room for a moment, then seemed to come to a decision and addressed them all. "Let me tell you the facts so far. Mr Potter has self-inflicted wounds on both of his arms, going from his wrist nearly down to his inner elbow. These kinds of wounds are very difficult to heal. Before we could start treatment, we had to bring him out of the stasis spell - whoever cast that spell may have saved Mr Potter's life." He looked at them, questioning.

Slytherin spoke up. "It was me."

The Healer inclined his head towards him appreciatively before moving on "We've given him a wound-closing Potion, which is the standard treatment for self-inflicted wounds, but as Mr Potter himself is rather powerful for his age, his magic is fighting the healing magic of the Potion and rendering it nearly completely useless. So, we've bandaged the wounds instead, which is reducing the bleeding for the moment, but they are not closing. We've given him the maximum number of Blood-Replenishing potions, which helped stabilizing him to an extent. He is sedated, but is not breathing on his own, thankfully his magic is not fighting the magic keeping his lungs working for him."

Ron listened to the Healer's report holding his breath. Hermione shifted at his side.

"Why is his magic fighting the healing Potion? Why isn't it healing him? Shouldn't it want to keep him alive?" The question stumbled out of her before somebody else could say anything. Healer Samson didn't seem to mind and just looked at her shortly before answering.

"All magic goes back to intent. He made those wounds himself, therefore he doesn't want them to be closed, therefore his magic keeps them open." He explained calmly.

"We can't give him anymore Blood-Replenishing potions for at least an hour, which shouldn't be a problem if the bleeding stays at the small amount he is losing now. The crucial point is to wait till Mr Potter's magic is depleted enough not to fight the Potion's healing magic anymore, so that the wounds can be closed permanently. All the while keeping an eye on his core, so that it doesn't deplete too much. The problem is his overall health condition. His body is weak from malnourishment, which is affecting his organs, and his immune system is compromised."

The Healer looked at them with a hard expression. "If his magic doesn't stop fighting us and the wounds stay open, he will bleed out. If his magic depletes too much, his core will be damaged, and a damaged core will damage the body, damage his body can't handle, his organs will stop functioning. Complete depletion will destroy his core beyond repair. We are witches and wizards; without a magical core our bodies don't survive. The problem is that his magic is too focused and depleting too fast."

"What do you mean?" Hermione asked.

"It's like I said, magic is linked to intent. From the wounds alone, I conclude that Mr Potter knew exactly what he was doing and wanted to do it. The mindset is very important in healing. If he doesn't want to live, his magic will react accordingly and with time his body simply will die. As I said, we tried to get him to breathe on his own but couldn't. A spell is working his lungs for now, but the more his magic fights against us, the faster it will be depleted, and we need to catch the exact moment between enough loss that the Potion's magic can work, and still enough that the core isn't damaged. He…"

An alarm interrupted Healer Samson, and without another word he rushed out of the room, leaving everyone to stare at the white door which had closed behind him.

Somewhere behind that door, his best friend was dying. Or so it had sounded.

Ron went back to stare at his hands.

At one-point Lupin left and came back with a tray full of lukewarm tea and coffee, and Bill and the Grangers following him into the waiting room. Hermione had patted Ron's hand and then rushed to her parents, explaining to them in whispers what they knew so far.

Ron had found his Gryffindor bravery then and had approached the man previously known as Lord Voldemort. The man had stared at him with an unreadable expression as Ron stood before him, his mouth dry.

"Is the connection to Harry still intact?" It came out as a whisper, but suddenly the silence behind him in the room felt heavier. He tried not to shudder from the stare out of those eerie red eyes.

"Yes, it is. Frayed and weak, but still intact."

The wave of relief that went through the room was nearly visible, whispered conversations broke out. Ron nodded and returned to his seat.

It felt like hours before the door opened again and Healer Samson entered. Ron remembered the fear he had felt when his father had been attacked and they didn't know if he would make it, but then he hadn't seen how his father had looked when they had found him. He had only heard what happened, now… the long, red, angry looking gashes on Harry's pale arms haunted him - it probably would for the rest of his life.

The Healer looked exhausted and not as composed as before. There were hard lines now visible around his eyes.

Everyone went silent.

Marvolo didn't know why he had answered the Weasley boy, but something in his expression had compelled him. He felt slightly uncomfortable in the present company and he wasn't sure if they thought he didn't see the glances they sent in his direction, or simply didn't care.

He wasn't even sure why he was still here. Yes, he owed the Potter boy a debt and yes, he was certainly invested in the well-being of his Horcrux, but why was he sitting here in a hospital waiting room like he was family, like he cared for the boy?

He hadn't any answers to that question and he was still too new to emotions, besides anger, to try and decipher them.

When the Healer stepped in again, he knew immediately that he didn't have good news.

"I have bad news and good news."

Sombre silence filled the room.

"Mr Potter has lost too much blood and his magic is still fighting us, despite being depleted to a nearly damaging level. With standard treatments we can't do anything for him anymore. We are not sure how long his body will hold out, how long till his organs will shut down because of the blood loss, which we can't do anything about because of his magic. We are fighting a two-front war." Samson continued.

The horrible truth went out like a shock wave through the gathered people.

"You said," It was the young brown-haired witch again, who tried to find her voice. "You said, you can't do anything with standard treatments anymore."

Healer Samson nodded. "Yes, and that's the good news. Healer Quentin, a specialist for magical core damage and myself, we have come up with an alternative treatment."

"And that would be?" The matriarch of the ginger family spoke, a Prewett if Marvolo remembered correctly from what Lucius had told him.

"Mr Potter needs blood to stabilize his body, which we can't give him with the typical Potions anymore. Therefore, I suggest a Muggle blood transfusion, adjusted to magical means obviously. This will take care of the body and prevent any more damage to his organs."

"Muggle treatment?!" The Weasley woman sounded scandalized. Marvolo could only agree, but then had to concede that his knowledge of Muggle Medicine was stuck on what was standard during the second world war.

"There is nothing wrong with Muggle treatment, Mrs Weasley." The young witch - Marvolo remembered now she was a Muggleborn - cut in. The pair beside her, obviously her parents, nodded and sent some rather angry glares towards the older witch.

Before any discussion could start, Healer Samson spoke. "Muggle treatment is the only way here and their way to handle blood loss with a blood transfusion gave us the idea of how to handle Mr Potter's diminishing magic."

All eyes were on him again.

"In some cases, the inert magic of the patient stands between them and their treatment, we normally use a potion to cut off their core from their body for a short time and a spell to reduce the magic lingering in the body. Then the body can be healed before body and core are connected again." The Healer explained.

"We can't do this for Mr Potter, as the shock would certainly kill him, but if his body is stabilized through blood transfusion, we can try to deplete his core further with a similar spell and in the moment that his magic is on the lowest level before damage to his core can occur, we will try a Magic transfusion. The foreign magic, which would carry the intent of the donor, would not only allow the wound-closing Potion to close the wounds on his arms, but also help the body to heal itself. And it would stabilize Mr Potter's core."

"That sounds rather… easy." One of the redheaded wizards said.

"The treatment we are suggesting is definitely anything but easy. First of all, we need to find a compatible blood donor, secondly the Healers need to be in perfect timing for the depleting and magic transfusion and third is to find a compatible magic donor, which certainly will be the hardest part."

"Why?" The Muggleborn witch asked.

Marvolo was fairly sure he heard Samson mutter something like "What do they teach nowadays at that school", then the man sighed and started to elaborate.

"Our magic is inclined to light, grey or dark from the moment of our birth. This doesn't mean that someone who is light can't use dark magic and it also doesn't mean that dark magic equals the Dark Arts or evil. Magic is just magic." He sent an irritating look towards Dumbledore, who hadn't said anything for a while, only listened and observed. Marvolo promised himself to keep an eye on the Healer, someone who wasn't completely taken by Dumbledore and wasn't negatively inclined to grey and dark magic was worthwhile to keep in mind.

"It just means that certain spells are easier to perform if your magical core is inclined in the corresponding aspect. But our magical cores, and therefore our magic is not stagnant. It grows alongside the witch and wizard, it changes and develops over our life and is influenced by how we grow up, what we experience and what spells we use. Therefore, someone born with a mostly light magical core can have a mostly dark core after years, or the other way around. Now, all these experiences that shape our magic also give it what we call the magical signature. Even if two individuals start with the exact same magical core and live an identical life, the magical signature will still be slightly different." The Healer's eyes briefly flickered to the two identical ginger wizards at the other end of the room.

"Magic transfusion and Blood transfusion have the same limitations, the blood and magic needs to be compatible to Mr Potter. In the case of the blood a simple spell can reveal if that is the case, and even non-magical blood can be used. But for the Magic, we need to find someone with a similar enough magical signature, which means someone who went through comparable life experiences, especially in the formative years of childhood, and therefore has a magic that Mr Potter's core will not reject. There is a spell to reveal magical signatures but no spell to compare two with each other. But Healer Quentin is rather proficient in reading and interpreting magical signatures and therefore will be the one to compare the Donor's to Mr Potter's and decide if we try the donation."

He didn't need to say that finding a compatible magical donor was especially hard, given what they knew about how the Potter boy grew up and what he experienced in Hogwarts.

"Now, will we first see if we can find a blood donor for Mr Potter. For this we will test all of you, which will only take a few seconds, and with luck we won't need to search outside of this group of people. If someone of you doesn't want to be tested, just stand to the side." The proposition was sensible and would prevent anyone beside the people who already knew from finding out that the boy who lived was in the hospital.

Behind Healer Samson the door opened, and three trainees entered. "Please just stay seated while we conduct the test."

They started with the ginger family and the Muggles and their daughter. But apparently none of them was compatible. When the trainees reached his side of the room, Marvolo stood and instantly all eyes were on him.

"This will not be needed. I'm certain my blood will be compatible."

"Why, Lord Slytherin?" Samson asked.

"During the resurrection ritual Mr Potter's blood was used to construct this body." He gestured down on himself, the Healer instantly stood before him. How had he moved that fast?

"What else, beside Mr Potter's blood?"

"Flesh from a servant, and bones from my father."

Samson scribbled on his clipboard, then pointed his wand at Marvolo and performed the compatibility spell himself, before Marvolo could protest or even react.

The man eyed him like he wanted to dissect him. Marvolo was sure as a formally Dark Lord he shouldn't feel intimidated by a Healer.

"Oh, yes, very compatible, nearly identical. If I didn't know it, I would say you are blood-related based on the compatibility."

Everyone in the room cringed at the statement.

"Perfect. Trainee Haversford please go and start to prepare Mr Potter for the blood transfusion. Even if we don't find someone for the Magic transfusion right now, we will perform the Blood transfusion. It will certainly help and buy us time." One of the trainees hurried away at the healer's orders.

"Now, if any of you have a suggestion for someone who could possibly have a suitable magical signature, it would help. If not, we will have to search in the whole British magical community and that would take a while, and if we don't find somebody here…" Samson trailed off, but everybody knew what he had left unsaid. Searching worldwide would take time, time Potter didn't have. Immediately quiet discussion began.

"Can the donor for blood and magic be the same?" Marvolo heard himself ask.

Samson shook his head. "It would be too much of a strain to the donor. If you think that your magical signature could be compatible, we could test it and if this is the case search instead for another blood donor."

Marvolo thought about what the healer had said. Could their magical signature be similar? They both certainly had childhoods which had been far from happy and had also been overshadowed by violence, Potter's due to the death of his parents and Marvolo's because of the second world war and the wizarding war against Grindelwald. But it had been completely different times. And once he had been in Hogwarts, he certainly hadn't the extreme experiences the boy apparently had during his school years. The only similar event had been the opening of the Chamber of Secrets.

"Is the age of the donor important?" Severus' voice sounded over the hushed discussions in the room. Marvolo looked at the Potions Master, who was frowning in thought.

"Normally we would say yes, as an older donor certainly had more experiences and more time for his magic to grow, but in Mr Potter's case… I've heard stories, and his magic doesn't act or feel like the magic of the typical teenager." Samson glanced at Severus. "Why?"

Severus sighed. "I would be willing to let myself be tested for magical compatibility."

AN: Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think.

Theoretically the next chapter shouldn't take long (it's already in the editing process). But as someone threatened me with bodily harm if the next chapter ends in a cliffy, too (yes, you know who I am taking about, aren't you?) and I think most will count this also as a cliff-hanger I will go into hiding now. Wish me luck in running away from a pitchfork. So, see you, if I survive! *Runs away*

First published: 29th of September 2019