Not His Day
Severus froze as he heard panting coming from behind him. He slowly stood up and glanced over his shoulder. He just saw two yellow eyes staring at him. He started to withdraw his wand, only to get growled at. That wasn't a werewolf growl. He tried to see into the darkness but all he could see were the two yellow eyes. This was just not his week, nor his month, well; if he was honest this wasn't just his summer holiday either. He began to think of the different animals that were in the Forbidden Forest that might have yellow eyes and would growl. He went to step back and got growled at again. He looked at the eyes. "I don't know what you are, but I will leave you alone if you leave alone."
Before he realized what happened he was laying on his back staring up at the yellow eyes. The animal had its paws on his shoulders and had him pinned to the ground, its hind legs were on either side of his legs. He wasn't going any place. He was staring at the hugest black lion he had ever seen. Well, he thought it was a lion. He couldn't fully see it. He knew he should be able to see it, it wasn't that dark out. "What are you?" He asked. He knew he wasn't the most up to date on his magical creatures but he had never seen anything like this.
That question got him a lick on his face. He couldn't wipe his face as his shoulders were pinned. "Can you let me up if I promise not to go anywhere?" He hoped if he got up he could at least start to bargain his way out of this.
The animal instead moved its paws off of his shoulders and still stood over him. He wasn't sure what to do and really didn't want to spend the night on the forest ground. "He is waiting for you to show your submission." He heard a voice say.
"Bane?" Severus turned his head towards the voice and saw a Centaur's legs but couldn't see the rest of him. He really hoped it was just Bane and not all the Centaurs. He really didn't want anyone to see him in this position.
"Yes, Severus Snape. You will find your new friend won't let you go. He seems to believe he needs to protect you, and he takes the job seriously." Bane said.
"I am not submitting to this beast." Severus told him. Really submitting to what looked like a huge lion with some differences. "What is it exactly?"
"It's something I am not sure you wizards have ever seen. They rarely are. It's a Pteroleon mixed with some Sceadugenga, a Shadow Walker."
"I have heard of Shadow Walkers, but they are usually dead humanoid things." Severus answered.
"That is true. A Pteroleon is a flying lion, he has wings flat against his side, usually they reddish in color. They are air elementals in a way. His coloring comes from his Sceadugenga ancestor."
"Bane, do you think you could help me get him off of me?" Severus asked. He really wanted off of the ground. It was getting worse than embarrassing. He wasn't sure how he was going to explain this.
"I told you how." Bane answered. "He won't let you go otherwise, they can be very stubborn when they find their mates."
"MATE?" Severus looked at the beast staring down at him. He needed to calm down and think about this rationally. He certainly didn't want a mate, and without a doubt, he wasn't going to be the one to submit. He had too many men pulling his strings. "Please tell me you developed a sense of humor." He really thought Bane was taking too much enjoyment in this.
"Did you not know?" Bane asked confusion in his voice.
Centaurs knew who their mates were and never fought against that, Severus realized, so Bane wouldn't know wizards didn't have mates exactly. Bane really had little use for wizards, it took Severus several years to build up a relationship where Bane didn't throw his spear at Severus. "No, is that why he is here?"
"Yes. He has been trailing you for a while. He was the who scared off the werewolf that was thinking of biting you last night."
"He did?" Severus asked. "Do you know if he a wizard or just a magical creature?" He didn't know a werewolf was out here last night. He certainly didn't hear one, but then again, they weren't ones you heard until it was too late, if they were stalking you.
"He is a magical creature who everyone believes is a wizard." Bane answered. Severus wondered if Centaurs ever just gave a simple yes or no answer. "He is a great friend to the Forest same as you. He gets us plenty of potion ingredients."
"I need to submit to get him to stop hovering over me. What happens if I don't?" He wasn't going to submit. There was no way he was going to submit.
"I do not know. No one knows but has they are rare, I don't believe anyone could tell you. You might win, but ask yourself what would you win if you didn't submit?"
"How do I get him to switch back to being human?" Severus really hoped Bane knew the answer to this question. It would make bargaining a lot easier.
"I, again, do not know. I have provided you with what I know about the species."
He was sure Bane would have been a Slytherin if he had gone to Hogwarts. "Do you know who he is?" Severus wasn't expecting an answer, if Bane wanted him to know, he would have told him already.
"Yes." Bane answered. "I will not break that confidence. You will need to learn that information yourself. Good night Severus Snape, do not let your own stubbornness stop you from getting what you need and want, nor make you spend the night on the forest floor."
Bane started to walk away. "Bane, please help. Let someone know." Severus yelled after the retreating form.
"You will be fine, once you do what is needed." Bane said over his shoulder.
Severus stared at the lion looking down at him. "Well, I am wondering who is going to win this battle."
The lion started growling waking Severus up from his nap on the ground. He could hear shouting. "Hagrid, I am over here." He shouted. He looked at the beast still standing over him and he was right, the beast was huge. It had black wings that looked like they were strong and he bet nothing would get through them. The fur was soft, he already felt it during the night. It was the head he could see clearly now and the tail. It had a dragon's tail, and on the head, there were two horns, nice pointy horns. The horns looked vicious.
"Professor what are you doing lying on the ground." Hagrid answered as he came into the clearing. "I see."
"Yes, meet my new friend." Severus retorted. How could anyone ask that question? Really, he was surrounded by dunderheads. "I hope you know how to get him to let me up?"
"No I don't. I thought he was a Manticore at first, but I have never seen the likes of him. Let me see if he will let me move him." Hagrid walked closer and the beast turned its head and snapped his jaws at Hagrid.
"I believe that plan is out of the question." Severus watched Hagrid retreat a bit, and the beast was now back to staring down at him. "Bane said he was a Pteroleon with a bit of a history of a Sceadugenga." Severus answered. "Please go and get Albus." The lion thing was still growling. It clearly didn't want anyone near him. "Relax, Hagrid won't hurt me."
"I think that be best. We have been looking for you most of the night. We didn't think you would be this far into the Forest." Hagrid explained.
"I only come here for the mushrooms that bloom under these trees. The Centaurs don't mind." Severus sighed. He saw Hagrid walk towards him again, with his hand out for the beast to smell, only to be growled at again. "Hagrid, I don't think he likes anyone near me right now."
"That be fine, now I know, I will check here first next time. Let me go and get the Headmaster."
Severus watched Hagrid leave, realizing it was probably the nicest he had ever been to the man. "Well, at least you aren't growling any longer."
He got licked on the face again. "Lion breath." Severus made a face and he could swear the beast was laughing at him. "This isn't funny. Aren't you tired? You have been standing in that same position all night."
The beast turned its head and gave him a funny look. "I am not submitting." Severus said.
They stayed in the same position until Dumbledore arrived with Hagrid, followed by Filius Flitwick and Minerva McGonagall. "Well my boy, when Hagrid said you were in an interesting situation, he certainly didn't understate it."
"He was like that when I found them." Hagrid sighed, clearly perplexed as to why they haven't moved.
"Funny, do you have any idea on how to fix this?" Severus snapped. He really didn't need the old man's jokes at his expense. The beast was growling, again. "Please stay back, he really doesn't like anyone near us."
"Actually I am not even sure what we are looking at." Dumbledore said. "Has he been standing over you all night?"
"Yes." Severus snapped, wanting to ask the old fool if he honestly thought he preferred to spend the night on the floor of the forest. "The beast hasn't let me move out from under him."
"I am afraid I am at a loss also." Minerva said.
"We are looking at a part Pteroleon and a part Sceadugenga. A Pteroleon is a winged Lion creature, with some in Sceadugenga in him. Now a Pteroleon, they have origins in Mesopotamian mythology, legend, and folklore, as well as Christianity and Heraldry. They used to be fierce proctors. They were considered an element, air, wind, sky to be exact. Now a Sceadugenga, that is something from forests of England. It's a shadow walker, a night goer, something that is likened to a shroud of darkness. They were neither living nor dead, they can shape-shift, which I believe also explains the color we are seeing, as most Pteroleons are reddish in color. They are element also, but it's fire and shadow ability, not sure what that entails. The name Sceadugenga comes from Old English sceaduwe (shadow). It makes them hard to find." Filius explained. "They are very fierce warriors." Filius had his normal smile on his face. "I will have to tell my relatives about this. They will be very surprised, one hasn't been seen in centuries, that we know of."
Severus held back the groan as he could clearly hear Filius' joy in this discovery. The beast above him, looked amused again.
"Do you think he will let me keep him?" Hagrid asked.
"He isn't going to be your pet Hagrid." Severus retorted. "How in the world did I find one?" Severus wondered aloud. He thought about Filius reaction and realized that he was part goblin, and as one he would know about fierce warriors, the goblins were ones themselves. "So how do I get him to let me up?" He didn't know why the man knew all that about this beast staring down at him. Granted he heard some of the information from Bane last night, but Filius even knew the word origin. The man was always a puzzle.
"You need to submit." Bane said from the edge of the clearing. "I see you spent the night, despite the warning."
Severus growled this time. He saw the lion move its lips and realized the blasted beast was laughing at him. "You can understand us just fine, so let me up." He got growled at again and another lick on his face. "You need a breath mint."
"I can see if a stunner will work, but I am afraid he might land on you Severus." Dumbledore stated.
At that sentence, the beast decided he wasn't going to take anything from them, opened its mouth and roared. It swished its tail up and over its head in warning. "I believe we should think of other options, Albus." Minerva stated.
"Yes, I agree, not to mention those wings he has, would make it hard for any spell to work." Filius added.
"Severus, you have been out here for over ten hours, I believe you have finally met someone more stubborn than you." Dumbledore informed him.
"Can you try any revealing spells or even a Finite Incantatem?" Severus asked, only to get a low growl from the furry head staring down at him. "No, I am taking that as to mean."
"Severus a spell isn't going to let you up." Filius added.
"Can you meow at him, Minerva? Maybe get him to understand I am not submitting." Severus looked at her.
"I can try." Minerva answered.
"He knows what to do, he is being stubborn." Bane added. "He knew last night. He thinks he can escape his mate." Stepping into Severus' line of sight.
"Mate?" All the wizards asked.
"Let me see what I can find out." Minerva transformed into her tabby form and started to meow at the beast, Severus realized it was going to be useless when the beast just looked at her and his lips twitched and returned to staring at Severus.
"He thinks it's funny." Severus snapped. He was really getting annoyed and when he found out who the wizards who was standing over him, he was going to make them regret that they have done this to him. He started to think of potions that would make the wizard uncomfortable for the rest of his life.
Minerva transformed back into her normal self. "He might, I know he understood me, he just selected to ignore me."
"As he has been ignoring me." Severus smacked the lion in his chest, which earned him getting the two front paws placed on his shoulders. "You weigh a ton, how about we talk about getting you some food?" Hoping that the beast might be hungry.
He got licked again. "I am not your meal." Severus groaned. Why does this stuff happen to him? Honestly, he could officially say this was just not his year. "I have things I need to be doing." He tried again.
"Severus, I am afraid you aren't going to win on this." The old fart told him. Severus wanted to hex the man.
"Wizards." Bane said. "You must make a choice, either submit or you will be staying there until you do." Bane left them again, disappearing into the trees.
"I am in agreement." The rest of the traitorous bunch added. Severus wanted to hex or curse them all. He began to think of the different potions he could gift them with as he and the beast began a staring contest.
"I could try and pick him up and move him." Hagrid finally said after several minutes of silence.
Severus saw the fury that went past the eyes of the beast and watched the tail come around and knock Hagrid to the ground and pinned the half-giant there. "He didn't like that idea." He heard Dumbledore say.
"Really?" Minerva sarcastically retorted. "What gave it away?"
"Hey, I wasn't going to hurt ya." Hagrid said from his place on the ground. "It's really a dragon tail. Hide is tough."
"Let him up." Severus told the beast, only to be growled at again. "Fine but you can't keep both of us pinned down here forever." He glared has the face of the beast reflected his amusement of that statement. Severus realized that the animal would do exactly that.
"Let him up and I will think about submitting." Severus bargained only to get a huff out of the beast. Well, that didn't work. "How about you let us up and we can work out something." Another huff. "I am not submitting."
"Severus, I believe, you won't be winning this one." Dumbledore stated. He transformed some rocks into chairs for the three upright witch and wizards.
"I am not submitting." Severus returned to staring into the lion's eyes, thinking of how to best this blasted beast. There had to be a way out of this, there was no way he was giving in. As he said that, his body decided to make its own desires known. He closed his eyes and began to think of ways to not think about those bodily functions.
"Maybe give him some food." Minerva finally said.
That earned her a warning growl, well, Severus thought it was a warning growl. "I think he saw through that." Severus informed them. The beast is too smart for it to be a student, well some students at least, the potion ingredients gathering limited it even further, but he couldn't think of any student that it could possibly be.
"I have to agree." Dumbledore said.
"Do you wish me to see if I can find out more information? Maybe we are missing something." Filius asked.
"That would be good, I will make a port-key to make it faster trip." Dumbledore said. The beast growled at the wand, but it was clearly a warning as it didn't turn its head towards Dumbledore, Severus noticed.
"His tail is really a dragon's tail, the hide is tough." Hagrid said again, awe in his voice, as he ran his hands down the tail. Severus couldn't believe this, they were pinned down by a lion thing and Hagrid is admiring the tail that was holding him down.
They casual chatted while they waited for the return of Filius and hopefully new information. Severus was still staring at the beast above him and neither one was willing to break eye contact. Severus had an idea. "Legilimens." Severus let out a yowl of pain as he slammed into the mental walls. Severus didn't want to open his eyes. His head was pounding.
"I take it that didn't work?" He heard Dumbledore ask.
"No, I like pain." Severus slowly opened his eyes. "Do one of you have a headache potion? If you do, can you spell it into me?"
"I don't." They said.
"Maybe he will let you get your potion pouch out?" Minerva said.
Severus didn't even ask, he moved about as much as he could until he finally wrestled his pouch out. The beast removed his paws from his shoulders again and Severus was able to lift his head and found a headache potion and drank it. "You are enjoying this."
"Interesting." They heard a voice say and they all turned and saw three goblins with Filius. "We haven't seen one of his kind in almost three hundred years, though there have been recorded sightings of them."
"Do you know how to get him off of me?" Severus asked.
"Yes, you need to submit." The goblin answered. "As you were already aware. We can try to get the Pteroleon to release you to allow for negotiations, however, I should warn you, negotiations rarely work."
"Please excuse my cousin, for his lack for introducing himself. His name is Jax, next to him is Silverax and Mixal." Filius introduced them. "They are the ones who know about Pteroleon."
"What are my options?" Severus asked, ignoring everything else, he just wanted off of the ground.
"Other than submitting, none." Mixal answered.
"I am not submitting and I am not mating to this." Severus snapped.
"Is your objection because of the submitting or because he is a Pteroleon?" Silverax asked.
"Submitting." Everyone answered.
"That is going to be an issue." Jax responded.
"However, submitting is not like a wizard's submitting. He is just asking you to acknowledge his claim." Mixal stated.
"Can you explain that?" Dumbledore asked.
"Certainly, as a Pteroleon, they are dominating in nature, very dominate. It was and is what makes them very fierce warriors. They like control, however, they also need mates. Now a mate will be able to ride them, fly into battle or even fly just around for fun." Jax said.
"So I will be able to ride him, like toss a saddle on him and get on his back?" Severus asked. This was new. He looked at the beast and saw it was enjoying this conversation.
"Yes, now when you submit, you are accepting him as the dominant one. The sexual aspect I believe you are worrying about is something you can work out on your own." Silverax informed him.
Severus was back to staring at the beast. "I have a feeling, I am not going to like where that will be heading." Severus muttered, which got him a lick on his face. "Knock that off."
"Anything else you can tell us?" Dumbledore asked.
"A Pteroleon comes from the blood of a Nemean Lion which was gifted with supernatural mystic powers and was virtually undefeatable. They have all the same features of a normal lion but with amplified strength, along with impenetrable skin, which I believe you have noticed since you didn't cast a spell at it. This makes him virtually unstoppable." Jax said.
"Wasn't a Nemean Lion defeated by Hercules?" Minerva asked.
"Yes, a demigod had to kill it. This is one of the descendants." Mixal told them.
Severus turned and looked into the eyes of the lion and he knew the beast was really enjoying all of this. "Well, what happens if I do submit?"
"We don't know." They answered together.
"Whatever happens Severus, I am sure we can deal with it." Dumbledore stated.
"It's not you that will have to deal with this, I will." Severus glared at the beast, who was looking very smug.
"I would like to add, if you noticed that the lion has a lot of scars on it, they are from his human form, before he received his inheritance." Mixal stated.
"How do you know that?" Severus asked.
"His fur." Hagrid answered. "If you look close enough you can see the difference in the color. If he was a true lion, we would actually see the scars themselves."
"What the half-giant says is true." Severus wasn't sure which goblin spoke since he wasn't looking at them.
"No one has come of age that we know of, the only one that has had a birthday this month is Neville Longbottom." Minerva said.
"Harry, if he was still alive." Hagrid said sadly.
Severus was still staring at the beast, he didn't see anything that made him think this could be Potter, but the birthday was still off. "How does someone get this type of inheritance?" Severus never took his eyes off of the beast.
The goblins, including Filius, started speaking among themselves. Severus had a very bad feeling about what they were going to say. He had another staring contest with the lion, so far he had lost six of them. "In order for us to answer that, others will either need to leave or make a vow to not speak of this to anyone else." Silverax stated.
"Filius?" Dumbledore asked.
"It is the only way. They weren't going to provide the information at all." Filius answered.
"Do I need to make the vow?" Severus asked.
"No, you will find you won't be able to repeat what has happened here. The only reason the others know about it is that they found you pinned. Most don't last as long as you have." Jax responded. "Also he seems to be more patient."
"Leave or make a vow, I want to get off of this ground sometime today." Severus told them. He couldn't believe he was actually giving in. He was still staring at the beast, yes, he was back to calling him a beast he realized, was actually starting to win this little contest. If he was honest with himself, the beast won the last six staring contests and that didn't bode well for him.
"I am not sure about making this vow, what does it entail?" Dumbledore asked.
"We will provide you with the how, that is all, you agree not to pass along the information to anyone else." Jax responded.
"Do you know more information?" Minerva asked.
"We do, but we can't share that information." Mixal responded.
"Why not?" Dumbledore asked.
Severus didn't break his staring, as he thought those were good questions and saved him from asking them. "We were entrusted with the information, we won't break that trust." Silverax responded.
"It's part of the Treaties we have signed." Filius explained.
"There is more to it than that." Dumbledore stated.
"We can't provide more information." The goblins stated as one.
"Albus, take the vow, maybe we can figure this out." Severus snapped at the man. The beast had some mirth in his eyes.
"Severus it's not that easy, what if we don't get the information we need or we need more information but can't ask anyone about it?" Dumbledore put his doubts out.
Minerva huffed. "We will deal with that if we need to, let's just find a way for Severus to get up since he is being too stubborn to submit."
"It won't tell you how to get him up, he needs to submit, all we can do is provide you the possible how he came about." Silverax informed them.
"Well, that debate was useless." Severus gave the beast his meanest glare, only to see the lips twitch in amusement. "He finds me funny." Severus broke the staring contest again and looked at the goblins, losing another staring contest and he could swear the beast let out a bit of a laugh. "Go away, if I am going to submit I will do it without an audience. You, let Hagrid up."
The beast had the nerve to tilt his head at Severus and seemed to be thinking about what was said. "Let him up." Severus told him again. The beast licked his face again. Severus groaned. "I don't think I am ever going to be able to wash lion slime out."
The beast released Hagrid, who slowly got up. "Thank you." Hagrid said.
"Now go away." Severus demanded. He looked at the lion and groaned. "You are enjoying this way too much."
The beast shook his head causing its mane to fly around and spread his wings. "Merlin." Severus heard from several of them.
Severus was watching the wings unfurl and he was surprised at how big they were. They looked like they had feathers and some type of membrane. He noticed at the tips had small claws. "I can see why they are fierce warriors." Dumbledore remarked. "Those claws at the tips could kill someone."
"What the horns and his sheer size didn't give that away?" Severus asked, recovering from his own amazement, but he was more in awe by the beauty the beast had. This was power, pure power. He could feel the magic in the air. "Now leave us alone."
"How about we wait down the trail a bit for you?" Dumbledore said.
"I don't care, just leave me alone to do this. I would like to get up off of the ground sometime today." Severus told them. He watched them leave and glaring at the beast. "I can't believe you, you actually won. I submit." He got licked again, but the beast moved away from him and sat down as Severus sat up. He was sore. He routed through his potion pouch and took a potion. After several minutes he stood up. The beast did too. "Well, let's go. I am hungry, tired and need a shower." He also needed the loo but he wasn't going to tell the pest that.
The beast moved next to him, his withers came up to Severus' chest. "What am I to call you?" He asked and started walking.
The beast ignored the question and just walked with him. They saw everyone waiting for them, goblins included after they walked about a hundred feet. "If any of you say a word I will hex you for the next month, and I can guarantee you won't want to eat or drink anything." He warned them.
They heeded his words and it was a quiet walk back to the castle.
Chapter 2: Learning to Live with A Flying Lion
Severus groaned as he moved and realized his new lion was lying next to him with his wing covering him. The wing was warmer than any blanket he had used down here, he also realized he was pressed against the body of his new beast. He inhaled deeply wondering how his life had gotten so weird.
As soon as he got back to his quarters this morning, he took a shower, crawled into bed, he hadn't realized the fuzzball had joined him. "I don't know who invited you into my bed, but you will need to find your own tonight." He remarked. "Now let me up."
Nothing happened, the beast, excuse me thought Severus, the Pteroleon didn't even open its eyes. He turned to face the beast and in his scariest voice, one that sent students running in fear. "Let me up."
He got licked. He glared at the beast, but since the thing wouldn't open his eyes, it was useless. He glanced around the room and realized it was close to dinner time. "If you let me up, we can go and get some food in the Great Hall."
No response. He got an idea. "If you let me up, you can scare the rest of the staff. Since it's the summer holidays there aren't any students here but they will be returning at the end of next month. This will give you a little over a month to terrorize the staff and get to know the castle." Success as he saw the eyes opened and the head lifted up. "If I know Albus, he didn't tell them everything." He knew the man wouldn't. He would expect Severus to keep the beast down in the dungeons.
It worked, he was getting up, and Severus quickly got off of the bed and dashed to the washroom. He needed some time alone. He sat down on the rim of the tub. How was he going to get the stupid beast to leave him alone? He had to find a way around this mess. He knew Albus "I love to meddle" Dumbledore was going to be useless. He had to think of a way to get the Pteroleon to turn into his wizard self. He glanced at the closed door. He was a Slytherin, he grinned, he was a true Slytherin, he would get the beast to turn into a wizard, it would just have to take the right bait. He knew the beast had been abused, so that could factor into it. He needed the beast to trust him, to feel he was safe with him, yes that would work. A plan of attack was worked out and he was hungry. He cleaned up and soon was ready to face the evening.
He opened the door and froze. There was the beast sitting on the floor, its wings fully outstretched blocking him from entering his bedroom again. "What?" Severus asked.
"Master Severus, can you tell pet to let me go?" He heard a voice he recognized as his house elf, Daisy.
"Let my house elf go, she won't hurt me." Severus told the beast, the beast turned his head towards him. "She is here to most likely make sure we get up for dinner in the Great Hall."
"I am, Headmaster wanted me to tell you to leave your pet behind." Daisy told him. Those words got a growl.
"No, you can come. I knew I wouldn't be going anywhere without you." Severus informed him. The wings retreated and he saw Daisy was shaking in fear. "He won't hurt you, I believe as long as you aren't a danger to me."
"Daisy would not hurt Master." The house elf's voice couldn't keep her own indignation out of her voice.
"I know you wouldn't, he now knows also." Severus replied. "Let me get changed into some clean clothes then we will go and brave the battlefield that is the Great Hall." Severus started to walk to his wardrobe, but Daisy instead fixed his clothing. "Thank you, Daisy."
"You want me to change bed? Fur is all over it." Daisy asked.
"Yes, please and if you can get rid of any of bits of fur around the room, I would appreciate it. Also, find a bed for the thing, put it in a corner." He didn't miss the twitch of the lips from the beast. He decided not to have that battle of wills and headed out of his bedroom and in the main living area, he looked down at the beast who was again walking next to him. "So can I truly ride you and have you fly?"
He got a nod of agreement. Severus grinned, he had an idea but he would save that for later, like the Welcoming Feast. They headed to the Great Hall, and Severus watched the beast, he clearly didn't seem inclined to look around and seemed happy just to be walking next to him. He wondered again who it could be, none of the students in the past or present seemed to have this type of personality. He acknowledged that he honestly didn't know much about his new companion, but what he did know didn't match anyone he could think of.
They entered the Great Hall and Severus noticed how quiet the usual din of noise that came from his co-worker became as they jumped from their seats, and pulled their wands, well three didn't. He watched as many of them had retaken their seats, after realizing the beast was with him and Minerva's "sit down, he won't hurt anyone. Think they never saw a lion before."
He kept his head straight and walked to his chair at the end of the table and took his seat, hoping the beast would sit at the end of the table. The beast, however, had a different idea. Everyone watched as the beast removed the chair to the right of Severus, he dragged it backward, until it was against the wall, leaving an open space that separated him from the rest of the staff. The beast then sat down in that spot. The chair now bore an impressive set of teeth marks. "I believe he found a spot he likes." Minerva said.
"Indeed." Severus replied. He gave the beast a glare only to see the lips twitch in amusement. He should have known. He turned his glare to Dumbledore who had pulled out his wand. "Albus, do not cast on him, he clearly doesn't like it, it will make him grumpy. If I have to put up with a grumpy Pteroleon, I will become grumpy."
"How is that different from the regular Severus Snape?" The new DADA Professor asked, causing several members of the staff to glare at the man.
Severus wanted to ignore the man, he couldn't remember his name, and he honestly didn't think he would last a week here. It had already been two days and the man was moody and surly. "Would you care to find out?" Severus retorted.
"Severus, why is he with you?" Dumbledore asked finally, Severus had been waiting for him to say something.
"You really think I was going to win a battle of wills?" Severus snapped.
"Have you named him?" Minerva asked, changing the subject to a safer one. "Do put that away, we already know it is useless, Albus."
"Wait, you know what that is?" Pomona asked. She asked the question that Severus could see most of the staff wanted to know.
"Yes it's a Pteroleon." Filius answered as if it was an everyday occurrence to see one sitting in the Great Hall. "Isn't he magnificent."
"I was thinking of another word." Poppy replied. "Is he safe?"
"If no one bothers Severus, he will be fine." Filius answered. "He did keep Severus pinned to the ground all night and most of this morning."
"Really?" Aurora asked. "How did that happen?"
Severus glared as Dumbledore, Minerva, and Filius as they told about his night. "Are the legends about them true?" Aurora asked at the end.
"There are legends?" Minerva asked.
Severus glanced over to the beast and pour himself a cup of tea. "Elf, water for the Pteroleon." Severus said and a bowl of water appeared, along with a dish of meat.
"There are several of them, all about how ferocious they are in battle. They can fly like they own the winds." Aurora responded. "There are legends about how they tore through armies on the battlefields."
During this description, Severus noticed the beast was eating but clearly listening and trying not to roll its eyes at the rest of the witches and wizards at the table, which Severus was in agreement with.
"They're air elements." Filius explained. Severus glanced at Filius, he was going to be having a chat with the little half goblin, he had to know more information.
"Severus, I wasn't aware you were bringing him to dinner with you." Dumbledore added, it was clear the man had been trying to think of way to get rid of the Pteroleon, as the beast growled at Dumbledore when his wand was wavered in his direction, again.
"Albus." Minerva warned.
"Albus, I have no idea why you thought that. Do you honestly expect me or anyone to win a battle of wills with him?" Severus indicated the beast.
The beast was clearly getting annoyed as his tail was thumping against the floor. "Albus, I would suggest you not annoy them." Filius stated. "He is going to go where ever Severus goes, he is not going to allow you to stop him either."
"We can't allow it to run around free. We must think of the students. While I agree, we had to do something to allow it to release Severus, he is now free, so we need to get some control over it."
The Pteroleon, clearly annoyed, stepped back and its wings emerged out, reared up, grabbed Severus with his paws and took to the air.
"Let me go." Severus snapped. "No, wait, land first, then release me." Severus was up by the rafters and could see the rest of the staff was watching in amazement. He turned his head and he had to admit the wings were incredible. He would need to get someone's memory to see what they were seeing.
"Severus?" Minerva asked.
"I am fine." Severus wasn't going to let them know it was actually kind of fun, scary in one way but fun. "Land and release me, you know he can't do a thing." He got licked. "Will you stop licking me."
He heard the laughter from the staff at those words. The doors to the Great Hall opened. "No, close the doors." Severus yelled he wasn't about to go flying around like this outside.
"Professor?" Hagrid said from the doorway.
"Close the doors." Severus snapped, as he was getting closer to them.
Hagrid started to close the doors, but he wasn't fast enough and they were soon out of the hall and heading out of the Castle. "Talk about timing." Severus muttered. It clearly was not going to be his year. As soon as they were outside Severus demanded that he be put down, which didn't seem to work. He was enjoying flying around like this but he felt it would be better if he was actually riding the beast. "If you land, I will get on your back after I summon something to hold onto."
He was surprised to find himself gently put down and the beast landed behind him. He turned to face the beast and summoned some rope. "I am not sure how well this will work but it will do for now." Severus said. He quickly wrapped the rope around the withers (shoulders) and wing area. "You are going to have to lay down for me to climb onto you."
The beast did it. Severus grinned, well maybe this won't be as hard as he thought. He climbed onto the beast and summoning some dragon hide gloves, grabbed onto the rope. He didn't even bother with a sticking charm, it would be useless. "Don't go too high or too fast, this isn't the best way to ride. Go easy until I get used to it."
The beast turned his head and glared at him. "Fine, you aren't a dunderhead." Soon they were up in the air, Severus thought it was better than riding on a broom. He was enjoying the view and how smooth it was. He was comfortable and the air was wonderful. Even though it was summer, the air was crisp and cool. He got to see a wonderful view of the Forbidden Forest. He could even see the staff watching him. Some were sitting in the Quidditch stands to watch the beast, who was clearly enjoying the freedom of flight. Severus notice how little energy the beast used in beating his wings, he used the air and wind currents to glide through the air.
"Time to land." Severus told him. The beast glanced over his shoulder. "I don't want to get sore, it's been awhile since I have ridden anything."
The beast headed towards the ground and landed. Severus climbed down and banished the summoned items. "I believe we will need to have the goblins provide me with some riding gear."
The beast nodded his head and sat down. Severus noticed everyone was walking towards him. "Severus that was beautiful." Minerva told him.
"I wonder what he can do in the air?" Filius pondered.
Severus wanted to scream, as he saw the eyes of the beast turn mischievous towards him. His arm was grabbed and he was dragged to the stands, the rest of them followed, once at the stands, using his head, he made Severus take a seat. "Fine, pushy beast."
Once seated, the beast took to the air and for the next hour, they watched in amazement at the dives, swirls, flips and the graceful way the beast moved through the sky. "Where is Albus?" Severus asked after several minutes of silence.
"I believe he is working on finding a way to get rid of your new friend." Minerva quietly answered. "I don't know what is going on, but he was very determined to get us to support you getting rid of him after you flew out."
"Why? He seemed fine earlier." Severus asked. "He didn't seem to care as long as I wasn't laying on the ground any longer."
"I believe it was because he found out that your friend is more of a slightly dark creature." Minerva responded. "It seems the part of him that is a Sceadugenga is along the lines of neutral dark alignment."
"A what alignment?" Severus asked, he never heard of such nonsense.
"It means that while a Sceadugenga is a dark creature, they are neutral. They prefer to ignore what is going on in the magical world." Minerva said.
"How is that important? He is only a part Sceadugenga, even the goblins said that." Severus replied. He was really wondering if there was something in the old fool's lemon drops that was keeping him from being completely senile.
"I know and the rest of us let him know that as long as he wasn't dangerous we didn't see any reason for him to be forced to leave. If anything he seems very protective." Minerva responded.
"Who do you think he is?" Severus asked after a few minutes.
"I am not sure, as I'm sure you have been reviewing our past and present students, I haven't reached a conclusion. I mean the only student we have no idea about is Mr. Potter. He hasn't been seen in several years, so I don't think it's him, why would he turn up now?"
Severus looked up into the sky and saw the beast was actually now chasing something, he thought about Harry. He still felt guilty for those two years he was here. "Is he chasing a snitch?"
"Yes, I released it, and he has already caught it three different times in less than ten minutes." Rolanda answered him.
Severus shook his head. "Wonder if I can get him to play for Slytherin." It be good to keep the cup.
"Severus." Minerva laughed.
Severus watched as he caught the snitch again. The snitch-catching brought his mind back around to Harry Potter, the boy who disappeared after his second year. They found Ginny Weasley in the halls by the front door, unconscious, and unable to tell how she got there. She did relay a strange story about a diary that they never found. Harry was discovered missing that night. "Anyone have more snitches?"
"You want to see if he can catch more than one?" Rolanda asked, but her voice betrayed her desire to see if also.
"Yes." Severus answered.
"I will be right back." She said and went to the Quidditch storage shed and soon three more snitches joined the one already in the air.
They could hear a roar from the beast as he started to chase them. Severus pulled out his watch and started the timer. "How quick?" Minerva leaned toward him.
"Seven minutes and thirty-eight seconds." Severus replied. "I hope he didn't eat them." Again another reminder of Harry Potter, from when Harry caught the snitch in his mouth during his first game.
The beast landed and spit the snitches out, putting his paws on them to keep them from taking off again. He clearly enjoyed that. "Severus, I believe it might be a good idea to buy a lot of snitches for him." Minerva told him.
"We need to do that again, maybe when the students arrive. I am sure they would enjoy it." Poppy said.
The beast butted his head into Severus and glanced down to his paws. "Yes, I will take them. For future reference, watch the horns." Severus told him, showing him a hole in his robe. "I will get them cleaned and return them to you Rolanda."
"You can keep them, they are the older ones, I ordered new ones for the coming year." She told him. "Besides I think he would enjoy them more than if they remained in the storage shed."
"Thank you." Severus told her. He summoned a box. "Lift your big feet and I will get them."
They headed back to Severus's quarters. Severus sat down in his favorite chair and the beast lay down on his feet. "Do you mind?" The beast glanced up and shook his head no and put his head back down. "You do realize I am going to need to know who you are eventually?" He got a shrug of the shoulders. He decided to read his book.
After a few hours of reading, Severus yawned. "Well, do you want to go out and do your duty?" Severus asked before he decided to head to bed. He made a mental note to hit the pet store and pick up some supplies for grooming the beast.
The beast grabbed his arms and walked him to the door. "I thought you were a big boy and could do this on your own?" He earned a slight rumbling of the throat for that remark. Severus sat on the bench as the beast went and did his business. He was looking up to the sky when Dumbledore joined him. "Where is it?"
"He is out doing his business in the Forbidden Forest. Why?" Severus asked. He didn't know why Dumbledore calling the beast it bothered him but it did.
"We need to get rid of it. It is a dark creature." Dumbledore told him.
"What I know is that he is a part dark creature, with neutral tendencies. His color comes from that part. Has he set off the dark creature wards?" Severus knew the answer was no, as Minerva would have felt the warnings too.
Dumbledore didn't answer, providing Severus with his answer. They jumped when the beast roared from behind them. Severus realized the beast heard what was said. "Are you done?" He asked. He wasn't sure who would answer him.
"Severus, it is dangerous." Dumbledore warned.
"How?" Severus asked.
"It's a dark creature."
"Why was it fine for you to allow Lupin to attend here? You allowed him to become a professor when he is a dark creature. One that is a full dark creature and one that the whole race is known for being evil." Severus asked.
"That was different, I know Remus."
"You didn't when he started here, you allowed him to attend knowing what he was." He pointed to the beast. "He only has a part of a dark creature as his inheritance, and you want to have him removed. He is my mate, I submitted or have you forgotten?" Severus asked.
"Severus, you had no choice, you can't accept this."
"You want me to break my word? You want me to lose my honor? I submitted after hours of resisting. We don't even know what will happen if I do break my word, not that I am going to do that. Do you wish my resignation?"
"I don't think that will be necessary." Dumbledore told him. "We just need to get it out of Hogwarts, can't it stay at your house?"
The beast voiced his displeasure at that idea, very clearly. "I believe you have the answer." Severus informed him.
"What about Voldemort?" Dumbledore asked.
That earned Dumbledore another growl as Severus knew the beast saw his reaction to the name being said. "Clearly I will have to deal with that when the times comes."
"Severus, I am just worried about you."
The beast gave a huff, and Severus had to agree. Dumbledore only cared for him as long as he was useful. "I am fine."
"Severus, we need more information on it. I want you to go to the goblins and see what you can learn." Dumbledore told him.
"Albus, if you saw him earlier flying you wouldn't be worried, he was more interested in catching snitches than anything else. He is an overgrown house cat." He got a slight head butt for that but when Severus looked the beast clearly enjoyed that description.
"Please, go to the goblins, it would make me feel better." Dumbledore told him.
"You know already what they are going to say, and I won't be able to share it with you. Now, why don't you give me the real reason you are making this into something else."
"I am worried, we need to find out what happened to Harry. I need you to start looking for him, Voldemort has been too quiet and we need to find Harry. You also need to find out what is going on with Voldemort. You can't do anything like that with it around you."
Severus repressed the desire to snap at the man about mentioning the Dark Lord's name, instead, he said "I can't do anything until he calls me. It's not like I can just show up and question him. The most I can do is speak to Lucius." He paused, inhaled and he knew what he was going to say next would annoy the man. "As for Potter, there isn't anything we can do unless you have more information. We have tried spells and charms."
"We can't give up." Dumbledore told him.
"When you find me new information, I will look for him. Albus, it's been slightly over four years. He would be turning seventeen at the end of the month. Even if I do find him, I can't force him to return." Severus told him.
"We don't know if he left of his own will." Dumbledore told him.
"Albus, you knew he was abused, you admitted to Minerva and I that he asked not to return to those muggles. You know what I learned from them. He ran away after his first two years here so that he wouldn't have to endure those relatives or the treatment he received here, it is understandable. You covered up that he killed Quirrell, I won't even mention the Chamber and that was after enduring months of being called names and picked on. You knew why he was able to speak the snake language and you didn't tell him. You told me to treat him like that, and you knew what he went through at that house." Severus stopped before he went into a full rant. He felt the furry head rub against his hand. He patted the head.
"I am aware of all of that Severus, but we need him." Dumbledore told him.
"Did it ever occur to you to actually be honest in your dealings instead of looking at people as pawns?" Severus snapped.
"I don't look at Harry as a pawn, nor you. I do care about you, but you know why he is important, why we need to find him." Dumbledore told him.
"I will make you a deal, you leave my mate alone and I will look for Harry if you find valid information. Not some guesses or some weird hints you get." Severus told him.
"I will agree if you go to the goblins." Dumbledore told him.
"No. Good luck in finding Harry." Severus stood up and started to head back to Hogwarts.
"Severus. I agree." Dumbledore said before Severus walked ten paces.
"Let me know if you get a valid lead." Severus answered. "Meddlesome old fart." He told the beast quietly.
Severus exited his washroom to find the beast laying on his bed. "Oh no, I am not putting up with lion fur on my bed tonight, get off." The beast just looked at him and closed his eyes. "Fine, you can have the bed." Severus exited the room and transformed his couch into a bed. As soon as he laid down, he felt a bulk climb onto the couch and lay down next to him. "No, no, no." Severus said. "Get off."
The beast again just looked at him, he didn't even lift his head. "If I go to my bed, you are going to follow aren't you?"
"Fine, you win, again." Severus muttered as he got up and headed back to his bed. "This isn't my year." The beast just rubbed along his legs, almost knocking him down. "Don't do that, you aren't a little cat."
Once he laid down, the beast jumped onto the bed and his wings flared and settled over Severus. "Great my own blanket, as if your fur wasn't enough." He got licked again, as he noxed the lights.
Chapter 3: Filius and Harry
Severus looked at his constant companion for the last few weeks and realized he couldn't put off speaking to Filius any longer. While the obnoxiously bearded old fart wasn't bothering him about his beast, the old fart still sent him and his beast looks. He groaned, when did the beast become his, he wondered. Well, he knew the beast was now his, as he was the beasts. That was certainly clear in how he never got to go any place by himself unless he was in his quarters. He decided not to put off speaking to Filius any longer and headed up to the man's office. As he walked he thought about when he took his beast to Magical Menagerie in Diagon Alley.
Severus started walking out of Hogwarts and heading to the apparition spot. "We are going to go to Magical Menagerie, I need to get some supplies for you, like a brush." He was tired of all the lion fur being left all over the place. "I need to see if I can use any of it for potions."
The beast looked at him and shook his head no. "I can't? Interesting." Severus told him. "How about your mane?"
He got a nod of agreement on that. "Good, I will get different brushes for that. How about your claws?"
Again, he got a nod of agreement. "Interesting." He wasn't sure now who this was. Harry Potter wouldn't know potions, and the only others he ever had that would know something where Draco and Granger, who he still couldn't stand. He saw the wings come out. "No, we aren't flying there. It will be interesting when we land to see how many run."
The beast turned his head and Severus knew he was being grinned at. The beast was going to enjoy this. When they reached the end of the wards, Severus thought for a few minutes, he wasn't sure how this was going to work. "Now how to do a side-along?"
The beast laid down. "That will work." He climbed onto the back of his flying lion and cast the spell. They landed and Severus had to grin as they saw witches and wizards scatter. The beast laid back down and he climbed off, watching some of them pull out their wands, finally, he thought, some of them get the idea they can protect themselves. "Put them away, he isn't going to hurt anyone." The beast rose to a sitting position. He was very graceful about it. Again something he didn't associate with Harry Potter. While the boy wasn't clumsy, he wasn't graceful. "Come on, let's go."
He started walking towards Magical Menagerie, and the crowds parted ways for him. He looked down at his companion. "You know how to make sure I get some place."
The beast snorted. They were almost to Magical Menagerie when Aurors showed up. Shacklebolt and Moody were the ones to greet him. "Severus, what is that?"
"A Flying Lion, or Pteroleon. Didn't Albus tell you about him?" Severus wondered exactly Albus told them. He was sure Albus would have told the Order members about his new companion, but he didn't know what he said or implied. Albus was good at implying.
"He mentioned something, but he didn't do any justice to the description." Shacklebolt told him. Severus could tell the tall black man was baffled by his beast. He certainly didn't think he was a threat, however, which was good.
"He certainly doesn't appear to be dangerous and he isn't a dark creature." Moody said. "He isn't reading as one."
Severus didn't respond to that comment. He knew, however, that it would get back to Albus and he wondered what the man would think of his beast now. He looked down at his beast, patted the sides a bit. "Well, I need to go to Magical Menagerie for some brushes and other items. I hope it won't be a problem with my shopping?"
"No, are you going to get him a collar and leash?" Shacklebolt asked.
That commented got a low growl. "I think that was a no." Moody said. "He will stay by your side?"
"He hasn't left it since I had the pleasure of making his acquaintance." Severus answered. "I am sure Albus informed you of what happened."
"He did, but honestly Snape, he didn't provide an accurate description of him." Shacklebolt replied. "He is bigger than I imaged him to be."
Again, Severus didn't reply, there was no need to reply to that comment. He did, again, wonder what the old fart told them. "That is an understatement. I have never seen anything so black. The eyes are almost like a golden yellow." Moody told them. "I do see scars, he was abused, Albus didn't mention the abuse."
"That is what the goblins and Hagrid said. He had to be abused for those scars." Severus answered. He noticed they were gathering quite a crowd now, all of them listening and at the word abuse, shock rang out. He realized now that the ones watching this would spread the word and his beast would now be protected. No one liked abuse in their world and they would protect those that were. "I need to get going, I have some potions I need to make this afternoon."
"Of course." Moody and Shacklebolt replied together. "We will let the others know he isn't a danger."
"I would appreciate that." Severus honestly would. He didn't need Aurors popping up every time he walked around Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. He headed towards the store when he spotted Lucius walking towards him. He held back a groan. This really wasn't his year. He knew Lucius would run to the Dark Lord about his and he would be summoned.
"Severus." Lucius stopped at the growl that came from his beast. "Interesting."
"Good morning Lucius." Severus stated, he didn't see a need to be rude, even if Lucius was.
"Yes, sorry, good morning, Severus. I was a bit surprised in seeing your companion." Lucius honestly was. He didn't expect to see him here.
Severus noticed Lucius didn't seem afraid of his beast, but then again, he must have heard about the beast already, he knew how the gossip in the Alley traveled and how fast it could travel. "We are on our way to Magical Menagerie, I need to pick up some supplies."
"I will join you." Lucius said. As they walked, Severus felt a privacy ward go up. "Have you spoken to our Lord about your new friend?"
"No, I haven't been summoned to him, and Dumbledore has been difficult regarding him." Severus answered. "I was only able to sneak away this morning because he left to go to the Ministry. Most of the staff has been leaving this morning for a bit of a break before summer holiday is over, so he won't notice me leaving."
"When do you leave for your home?" Lucius asked.
"I am not sure. I have more potions to brew and some research I need to get done." Severus answered. They arrived at Magical Menagerie and entered the shop. After the shop keeper's startled yelp, they began to find items Severus needed, including a few toys that the beast added to the basket. "You do realize you have those snitches?" Severus asked the beast.
The beast nodded his head and added the ball to the basket anyways. "I do believe you need to explain the snitches." Lucius told Severus. Severus informed him about the snitch-catching abilities of his beast. He bragged about the flying and how he now needed to buy some riding gear. "I believe I have some in my vault. I had wondered what it was for, but based on his size and the size of the saddle that is in the vault I believe it would fit him."
Severus glanced at the beast who was now sitting by the kittens, licking them, he knew he was listening and answered. "I would love to see the saddle, does it have a bridle?"
"Well it's not really a bridle like the ones we are used it, it looks like it would go around the withers and it does have reins." Lucius answered. "It might take us a bit to figure out exactly how it goes, but I am sure we can do it. Does tomorrow work for you?"
"That is fine, I am sure after Mad-Eye and Shacklebolt report to Dumbledore, he won't be a problem." Severus answered.
Severus paid for the items and as they were exiting the store, the storekeeper rushed forward, handing him a kitten. "He wants this kitten to go with him." The storekeeper said, pointing to the lion.
"I don't need a kitten." Severus said. "He certainly can't take care of it."
Lucius looked at the lion and then the kitten. "I will take it." He said. The lion butted his leg as he rubbed against it.
"I think he agrees." Severus held back his grin at the idea of Lucius Malfoy having a pet kitten. He knew Draco would show up with little beast come September.
"Draco will love it. He has been after me for another pet." Lucius responded, confirming what Severus thought. "I will speak to you later?"
Severus tilted his head in agreement and they parted ways as Severus headed towards the Apothecary. At the entrance, Severus stopped. "You will have to wait outside, I don't believe they want lion fur in the ingredients."
The beast gave him an arched eyebrow and growled lowly. "I know you want to enter with me, but I don't want to be responsible for damage ingredients." The beast sat down by the door but facing the window, clearly letting Severus know he would be watching. "Fine, I won't take long."
Severus felt the eyes of his beast as he moved around the store, he also noticed when, surprisingly enough, Granger and the youngest Weasleys showed up outside of the Apothecary and tried to pet his beast. He heard the low growl that emanated from him and saw the trio back away. The beast never turned his head to face them and he decided he better step in before they went crying to Albus. "Give me a second, Mr. Slugs." Severus laid his items on the counter and stepped outside.
"Ms. Granger, Ms. Weasley, and Mr. Weasley, why are you bothering my lion?" Severus asked.
"We weren't, we were trying to pet him." Ginny Weasley said.
"He is facing into the store, what gave you the illusion that he was wanting you to pet him?" Severus asked.
The beast at this time was now facing the three Gryffindors. He leaned into Severus who was now petting his head. "He was just sitting there and we heard he wasn't dangerous." Granger said.
That was interesting information, he wondered who sent them to check out his mate. "Indeed." Severus glared at them. "Be thankful we are on summer holidays or I would be retracting points from each of you."
"We didn't do anything." Ron whined.
"Did he look like he wanted to be touched? He was facing away from the crowds, looking into the storefront, he isn't some little house cat." Severus informed them. As if he would have a little house cat. "Now leave, I need to finish my shopping."
"Yes, Professor." Granger answered and dragged the Weasleys off.
"Noisy Gryffindors." He felt a nudge on his hands, he didn't realize he had stopped petting his beast. "Yes, yes, but let me finish this transaction than I will brush you when we get back to Hogwarts. Outside, I don't want lion fur all over the place."
Severus was able to finish his business and headed back to Hogwarts the same way they came. He was very aware of the three sets of Gryffindor eyes that followed his every move.
Filius was sitting at his desk, with some books piled around him, the door was opened. "I was wondering when you would seek me out." He indicated for Severus to take a seat. "Please don't chew on one of my chairs." He told the beast. "Have you named him yet?"
Severus took a seat, as his beast sat down next to the desk. "No, since he is a wizard, he has a name, and I don't know if he would want me to name him." The flying lion tilted his head and Severus thought he again saw the twitch of his lips. "Do you want me to name you?"
The lion was clearly thinking about his answer before nodding his agreement, with the added bonus of shrugging his shoulders as if to say it didn't matter to him. "I believe you will be naming him." Filius answered. "I also believe you want more information, the information my relatives couldn't provide you with while around the others."
"Yes, do you want to cast privacy wards or me?" Severus asked since it was Filius' office, he wasn't sure if the half-goblin didn't have some special wards in place.
"I will. I have some wards that will keep a certain fashion tragedy from listening in." Filius answered and began to wave his wand in a complicated pattern without voicing the spells he was using. "Now where would you like to begin?"
"Can you tell me who he is?" Severus asked.
"I believe my relatives know but they won't tell you. It's part of Gringott's privacy guarantee." Filius answered.
Figures, Severus thought. Next line of questions hinged on that answer. So he went a different route. "What can you tell me about flying lions?"
"Actually a lot. They have a large and diverse history. Since a Pteroleon is a descended of a Nemean Lion, they are very hard to kill, as we stated earlier, Hercules had to kill the original. Now, in muggles' history, especially their religions, the winged lion is seen a lot. The Evangelist St. Mark symbol is the winged lion, it is called the Lion of Saint Mark, actually. It was the first beast in the first vision of the Prophet Daniel, it is said to have resembled a winged lion. Their holy book is filled with different symbols as you know, but a winged lion is a key to a few of them." Filius paused, took a sip of water, he gave a book to Severus to look at.
Severus noticed the book was the history of St. Mark. "The Lion of Saint Mark, representing the evangelist St Mark, is pictured in the form of a winged lion holding a Bible, is the symbol of the city of Venice and formerly of the Republic of Venice. It appears also in both merchant and military naval flags of the Italian Republic. The Lion of Saint Mark is also the symbol of the award of the Venice Film Festival, the "Golden Lion" and various other Italian companies. The element of the depictions of the lion has included a halo over its head, so while Albus is trying to say it's a dark creature, it's actually more of a neutral one. I have no idea why they put a halo on their heads but they do. They have some illusions that the halo represents the goodness of the Pteroleon, however, we know they are neutral. The Pteroleon is shown also resting its paw on a book and holding a sword. Hence wisdom and protection are key to their views."
Severus looked confused. "So muggle Christianity views the Pteroleon in a light term?"
"In a way and actually it's not just Christianity, there are older religions that have had that view too, including the Indian and Egyptian religions. They view them as more protectors since most of the time when they rode into battle it was to protect the villages being attacked or even to defend against someone being attacked, they have wiped out hordes of troops before they have reached a battlefield in the name of protection. To earn that protection, it's a dangerous double-edged sword." Filius explained. He pointed to another history book. "There are remaining witnesses that testify to their enormous strength and ability to fight. They were viewed as graceful fliers, unable to be shot down in a battle."
"Can you tell me about that?" Severus asked.
"Yes, but let me finish with the Christian aspect first. St. Mark, represented as a lion is a typical Christian iconography derived from the prophetic visions contained in the verse of the Apocalypse of St John. The lion is one of the four living creatures described in the book as a place around the throne of the Almighty and they are chosen as symbols of the four evangelists. These "beings" were previously described by the prophet Ezekiel." Filius handed Severus a quill and piece of parchment, for Severus to write down what he was saying.
Severus took the parchment and began to write down what he would need to look up. He wrote down the books of the Bible and references Filius had mentioned. After a few minutes, Filius continued "the lion also symbolizes the power of the Evangelist's word, the wings symbolize the spiritual elevation, while the halo is the traditional Christian symbol of holiness. However, the lion symbols express also the significance of majesty and power, usually drawn especially from the upward feline tail, while the book expresses the concepts of wisdom and peace and the halo gives an image of religious piety. There are many symbolic interpretations with the possible combination of sword and book." Filius stood up and went and got one of his books. He flipped through it until he found the page he was looking for. He handed it to Severus.
Severus started reading. "So these symbols have many different meanings?"
"Yes, as it states, the an open book is a symbol of the state's sovereignty (many depictions are of dogs kneeling before such representation; a closed book, however, is considered as a symbol of a delegated sovereignty, and hence the public courts; an open book (and the sword on the ground is not visible) is popularly considered as a symbol of peace for the state of Venice, but this is not corroborated by any historical source; a closed book and a drawn sword are popular but mistakenly considered as a symbol of the state in war; finally, an open book and a sword are considered as a symbol of public justice.
However, these interpretations are not universally accepted as La Serenissima never codified its symbols. Rare, but are presented, are also depictions of the lion without a book or a sword and sometimes without the halo (especially in a representation of a statue). In some depictions the lion rests his front paws on the ground, often in cities with rivers or in ones close to water, indicating the Venetian balanced power on land and sea."
"Do I need to figure out which he is?" Severus asked. "It seems to me that since he is more protective, none of these symbols fit."
"In a way yes they fit and no they don't fit." Filius answered. "He is a symbol, but those symbols come from the past, a past that he is part of. As our past make sure who we are in a way, so does his, but our past doesn't fully make us. We need our own life experiences and adventures as it were."
"The book mentions water, but only as a passing reference, what does it mean?" Severus asked.
"The Venetian lion appears in two distinct forms. One is a winged animal resting on water, to symbolize dominance over the seas, holding St. Mark's Gospel under a front paw. You can see these mighty animals all around the Mediterranean, usually on top of a classical stone column. The other form is known as the lion "in moleca" in the form of a crab. Here the lion is depicted full-faced with its wings circled around the head resembling the claws of a crustacean. It is emerging from the water so that the lion "in moleca" is associated with the lagoon and the city, whereas the standing winged lion is thought to be more associated with Venetian territory around the Mediterranean. This idea comes from the Book of Daniel. It's a very interesting dream he has."
"I will have to find a muggle bible." Severus said. He saw the beast roll his eyes as if to say really you are going to review that. "Filius is any of what you just told me, really important in regards to him?"
"As I said it's the past, it's a very interesting history, but no it's not necessary for you to know your mate. He is different because he is a wizard. I will say this, however, as it's important for you in understanding him. In other older muggle religions, they are viewed royal protectors, later they were added to places like doorways and other entrances for protection against invaders, against stealing, against anything harmful. Your mate is very protective, do not dismiss that aspect of him."
"The legends?" Severus asked, wondering if what he thought was true.
"The legends are all about their prowess in battle. Most have them flying in from the air and wiping out legions of troops, including the Roman army at one time. There are a few that mention how adaptable they are in battle, from night raids to all out blitzes. There are reports of harden warriors running from battle when they saw the Pteroleon flying in. Some commanders and generals automatically waved the white flag of surrender seeing them arrive."
"I have realized he is very protective, I also know how stealth he can be. According to Bane he had followed me the night before and handled a werewolf that was going to attack me. What else can you tell me about him, not his species?" Severus asked. He noticed Filius was impressed by the story of the werewolf.
"I can tell you that he had a very hard life, not one that many in our world would believe. Abuse isn't common with magical people as you know, but it does happen. I can also tell you that he has been well hidden for several years because of the abuse and he needed to recover from it." Filius answered. "Severus, when you learn who he is, you will need to look into your heart and judge him on his past, not what you think you might know."
Severus leaned back in this chair for a moment and glanced at the lion, the only one he could think of that description would apply to, no, he can't be Harry. He looked at Filius and back to the lion. "He's Harry Potter?"
The lion arched its brow and turned its head to Filius. "Show him, I have protection up."
Severus tried not to gasp as his beast turned into Harry Potter. A taller, very muscular, well built Harry Potter. Gone was the messy black mop of hair, instead it was longer, fuller and hung around his face. Gone were the glasses that reminded him of his father, he got to see the green eyes that were the same shade as his mother's. He could see the various scars on him however, he knew they came from those muggle relatives of his.
"Hello." Harry gave him a smile.
Severus turned Filius. "When did you know?" He had disregarded the idea of it being Harry based on what he thought he knew about the boy, but clearly, he was wrong. In a few minutes, his idea changed, and he wasn't sure how to react but he wasn't going to think of Harry as being a mini James, he had stopped that idea when he learned the truth of his home life.
"When I saw him flying." Filius answered. "Harry always could fly, I remembered one of the dives he did in a game, he did it again when he was catching the snitches. I only ever saw Harry do that move."
Severus laughed. "That is very true." Harry could fly, Hogwarts teams lost all the matches they had against Gryffindor when Harry flew against them. He knew the move Filius mentioned, while the lion did other famous moves, daring moves, the one move that was purely Harry was him catching the snitches in his mouth while diving. "When were you going to tell me?"
"When I was sure you wouldn't hate me." Harry answered. He summoned a chair and sat down in it. "No teeth marks." He smirked.
"I never hated you. I had to act that way because of who I was and who you were." Severus answered. "Your mother was my best friend. You have her eyes." He had honestly felt true remorse for how he had treated Harry, he couldn't believe he had believed Albus in that regard, he should have known as soon as he saw Harry that something was wrong.
"I am aware." Harry answered. "Why because of whom you were?"
"Albus made me promise to treat you that way because he wanted you grounded in reality. He didn't want your fame to go to your head he told me. He figured since I already have a reputation for being strict, I needed to to be the one to do it, he also felt it would cement my place in the Dark Lord's service. If I was seen as being demeaning to you while giving my Snakes much leeway, it would enforce that image." He knew the Death Eaters children would tell their parents how he treated Harry and how he treated them. As most of them were spoiled pure-blood children they expected to be treated like they could do no wrong.
"Is it safe to talk about him here?" Harry asked, looking at Filius.
"I am neutral, Harry. I stand with my relatives on this conflict." Filius answered.
Harry thought for a few minutes. "There is a lot you don't know Severus. Stuff that should be told to everyone." Harry started. "Things that will change the ideals of this upcoming war and how the war will be viewed. One thing that is very important for you to know is, that Dumbledore did some blood magic at my parents' house, in my room to be exact."
"Blood magic, like the wards at your relative's house?" Severus sneered at the word relatives. "Not that I would call them protection." He had looked at the wards, they weren't true blood wards, as there was no love towards Harry there, there were some interesting ones that he knew Albus had to have added, ones that would make it harder for Harry to leave there.
"I agree, however, that blood magic allowed for the wards to come into existence. You see, everyone knows any parent would give up their life for their child."
"I agree." Filius and Severus replied.
"So when Dumbledore laid down the blood magic, he set it up so that when my mother refused to step away three times after He asked her to, it allowed the blood magic to happen."
"Wait, he asked her three times?" He didn't know that. That meant that the Dark Lord tried to honor his word to Severus, he wasn't ignored like he thought he was.
"Yes, he did. You see, I remember it. It is one of the only clear memories I have of her. Even then it's fuzzy about them, but I do remember him asking three times, I had wondered about that for years." Harry wasn't going to mention why he remembered or how he remembered as of yet.
"Three is also a magical number, it would allow a stronger bond to form also." Filius added. "So it would make sense that the blood magic would react stronger because of that."
"Very true. So when she was killed, it formed the protection that allowed the killing curse to deflect. I didn't do anything, it was all my mother based on Dumbledore setting them up." Harry answered.
"Set them up?" Filius and Severus exchanged a look, this was new information to them. Granted so was the ward information but it did explain what happened instead of Dumbledore's vague answer of it was love.
"Yes, the Longbottoms and my parents. When the prophecy was delivered, Alice Longbottom and my mother were already pregnant. So he knew that two babies were going to be born at the end of July." Harry told them. "Where was the prophecy delivered? In the strangest of places, a pub, his own brother's pub to be exact. A place he had never done an interview at or since. A ditsy drunk of a woman delivers the one prophecy she ever had and has now been protected at Hogwarts since. When anyone who knows seers, knows they don't remember giving them, so why protect her? He would know he can't get any information out of her, as he is interested in divination, so why?"
Severus and Filius exchange another look and Severus felt his anger build up. "He used me, he set me up to deliver that to the Dark Lord and get your parents killed."
"Yes." Harry wasn't going to go further but knew he had to finish at least this part. "He needed to get Severus alone to hear the prophecy and for him to provide the Dark Lord for the next bit of information."
Severus paced for a few minutes trying to gain control over his emotions. He slammed the shields down, resisting the urge to go and kill the obnoxiously bearded fashion blunder of a headmaster. "Is that why you haven't returned? Because of this information?"
"Partly." Harry inhaled. "Partly because I wasn't going to do any more of his trials and I refused to return to my relatives wonderful care. Another part was because I got tired of his lying to me and I got tired of Weasley, the younger ones, and Granger always hounding me." Harry told him.
"They knew about the abuse?" Filius asked. He wasn't sure but he did feel that they did.
"Yes, in the summer before my second year, Ron and the Twins arrived at my house. My uncle had put bars over the window in my cousin's second bedroom. They pulled them away to get me out. After a few days at the Weasley family home, I realized they weren't going to do a thing about it. Ron ignored it. The Twins and I kept trying to get someone to do something about it, but we got ignored. I knew I had to get away, so after I got Ginny out of the Chamber, I left." Harry informed them.
"No one listens to the twins, sadly, including their parents." Severus replied. "I saw the bars in Arthur's shed, he told me they were from your house. He said Albus claimed they were put on all the windows for protection."
"No, only my window received that treatment." Harry informed him. "I found he was great at giving excuses for how I was treated."
Severus didn't say anything to the bitterness he heard in Harry's voice. He knew it was the truth, and while he couldn't change how Harry was treated, he wasn't going to try and defend a man who ignored his own abuse when he had repeatedly asked not to go home too. He knew how Harry felt. "We can't let him know it's me. No one can at Hogwarts." Harry told them.
"I do agree with that." Filius answered. "He won't like it."
"Indeed." Severus answered but before they could say anything else he felt his mark flare up. He grabbed his arm. He knew Lucius would run to his Lord but he didn't think it would be that fast. "I need to go." Severus watched Harry transform back into his beast and stand by the door.
"Good luck." They exited the office and headed for the apparition point.
Chapter 4: Lion, Snakes and Goat, Oh My!
Severus landed in Slytherin Castle and looked at his beast who didn't seem at all upset about where they were. "Please don't do anything stupid." He wasn't sure how the Dark Lord was going to take to him bring his beast with him. He wasn't sure how his beast was going to react to how the Dark Lord usually treated people. The man in question was different than he was during the end of the first war, but he still was in charge. He was still his master.
The beast just looked at him and started walking towards the door. Severus started to follow, wondering how his beast knew where to go, but since there was only the one door exiting the room, opposite the one they landed in front of, he let it go. He found the Dark Lord in his study, the door was opened, so he entered and bowed as he said, "Master, you summoned me."
"Severus, take a seat." The Dark Lord was clearly working on something, as he was bent over writing on some parchment with some books opened in front of him.
"Yes, Master." Severus moved to one of the chairs in front of the desk, he almost fainted when his beast moved to the Dark Lord and rubbed his head against him. He started to panic, he wasn't sure how the Dark Lord would take to having a lion rub fur all over him, much less a lion in the room in general.
"So you did tell him, Harry, I thought it would take longer." The Dark Lord commented petting Harry's head, he didn't miss the expression that crossed Severus' face at his words and smirked at Harry.
Severus couldn't control his surprise, he certainly wasn't expecting anything like this. In the last few years, the man had never given anything away regarding the fact that he knew where Harry Potter was. He hadn't had his Death Eaters searching for him, nor had he been attacking muggles, but Severus thought it was because he wanted to keep quiet about his return. He watched as Harry transformed into himself. "Yes, Filius outed me in a way. He doesn't know the full truth, however, just about the prophecy and my parents."
"Lucius mentioned seeing you, and getting a kitten in the process. Said kitten is upstairs, with Nagini. Draco is allergic to cats it seems. Nagini has decided to adopt it since you gave it to Lucius."
"I actually didn't, the kitten wanted a new home, I might have informed the little one that I knew of someone who would love it, besides Dad, even if I arranged for it to be here, you would have taken it anyway." Harry grinned at the Dark Lord, faced Severus. "I knew Draco was allergic, he sneezes every time he came near me."
Severus was shocked as he watched the Dark Lord hug Harry. He knew if he tried to speak now, nothing would come out, he made sure his mouth wasn't hanging open. He also recognized rather quickly that they knew it. Severus started to gather his shields in place but he was still trying to recover from seeing a sane Dark Lord and Harry Potter in the same room and not trying to kill each other, never mind seeing him hugging the boy who was to kill him.
"Yes, my little monster, I would have." The Dark Lord sighed, affection for the boy clear in his voice as he let Harry go. "Severus, I called you here because of that new DADA Professor, he spoke to Lucius about wanting to join, and said he would be able to spy on Dumbledore for me since he was the new DADA professor, and how inept you were."
"He did?" Severus seethed. How dare that idiot say that. He watched the Dark Lord as he processed what his words meant, he could see the man actually cared about Harry Potter. His mind snapped back to the comment about him being inept, he was going to make sure that Dumbledore and the idiot got a few potions in their food.
"Yes, it seems Dumbledore sent him to spy on me. The man can't block his mind at all. I don't know why he was sent. Dumbledore had to have known that. Did he tell you about him?" The Dark Lord pointed to something on his desk, Harry, Severus noticed, picked it up. It was a book and Harry grinned and nodded.
"He did it as a way to show people you were back. He was expecting you to kill the man." Harry explained, holding the book in his hand still. "Nixi."
A smartly dressed house elf popped into the room. "Master Harry, what can Nixi get for you?" Clearly excited at seeing Harry.
"Can you get us some tea and I think Severus needs a Calming Draught, he looks like he is in shock." Harry told the elf. "I will read this later." He put the book back down on the desk.
"No, I am fine, I admit I am trying to understand everything, but I am not in shock." He really thought he was going to be cursed showing up with his beast but instead found himself in the Dark Lord's office with Harry Potter as a human, and the boy calling the Dark Lord, Dad. "How? Why? Dad?" He finally asked. Yes, it was official not his year. His mate was with the Dark Lord, calling him Dad, he was spying on this man and now he couldn't form a sensible sentence.
Harry laughed. "You owe me that book now. I told you he would ask those questions, after saying he was fine."
"You did." The Dark Lord rose and headed to one of the black Italian leather couches in the room. "Come and sit, we will have tea as Harry explains the how, why and the Dad comment."
No one spoke as tea was served, time in which Severus used to gather his thoughts and process what he had learned so far. It wasn't until after Harry took his first sip that he finally spoke. "I don't know who found Ginny at the front door, don't really care, she is lucky I left her alive. You see, I found out that Dumbledore knew about the diary in the school and actually had Ginny watched. When Jocelyn, she is a basilisk, started to petrify students, Dumbledore knew the Chamber of Secrets had been opened. He used the wards to find out who had Dad's diary and after that, Ginny would go to him after each "episode" and tell him about what happened and what was said. She, however, always brought the diary with her. She and Dumbledore made a very big mistake, as the diary version of Dad, could hear what was happening. Shortly after the new year started, Ginny got scared and tossed the diary into the girl's toilet. I found it." He took a sip of tea.
"Dumbledore didn't do anything?" Severus remembered that year, all the staff were wondering what was going on and how to stop the students from being petrified and hoping no one got killed. "I have a bad feeling about your first year too, based on this, but do continue."
"I wrote in the diary. At first, the diary version of Tom tried to warn me, but I didn't believe him. Dumbledore was my mentor, he got me away from my relatives. Things changed when I was getting lead around to different clues, despite me telling Granger and Weasley it was a basilisk. I was told I was wrong when I went to Dumbledore and Granger about it being a basilisk after another student was petrified. They kept insisting that they were all deceased and something else was going on. March was when I began to believe the diary. We spoke about what was happening. One day I went to speak to the diary but my trunk had been broken into, and it was gone. You know what happened after that."
"Miss Granger got petrified. So how did Miss Weasley end up at the front door to Hogwarts?" Severus asked, he pushed back his anger and slammed his shields in place.
"Weasley lead me around on more clue-chasing, including those spiders. Almost got me killed, following Weasley like that, but the diary was right, I had to keep playing along or they might use potions and spells on me."
"The one spider almost killed you." The Dark Lord growled. He had tried to protect Harry but there wasn't much he could do at the time.
"Yes, Hagrid's friend. I swear that man needs to buy a clue on what is dangerous for students versus him. Dumbledore doesn't help it either. Anyway, you saw the message about her body, Weasley knew it was his sister and freaked out. Now if I didn't believe the diary before that, Weasley knowing it was his sister should have clued me in that something was off. No matter how many times, I said to get you, he kept on insisting on that moron Lockhart, none of the other staff members ever listened to me, and I just wanted to get the diary, so I agreed. This is where it gets interesting. Once we down in the Chamber, Lockhart took Weasley's wand, we had already disarmed him in his own classroom as he was packing and he told us how he was going to use this adventure to make himself even more famous. He had used others adventures to create those books. All of his books were true stories but other people's victories. He memory charmed them and wrote about them. After he finished telling us about this, he tried to cast an Obliviate with Weasley's broken wand and instead of us getting hit, he caused part of the ceiling to cave in as the charm missed us, hit the ceiling and reflected back onto him."
"That is why he is at the nut house because he used a broken wand and obliviated himself." Severus laughed. "I knew he was an idiot, I just didn't think he was that much of one." He stopped laughing as he realized who was in the room with him. He looked at the Dark Lord, he didn't want the man to curse him. He really needed to get in control of himself.
"Severus, you are almost my son-in-law, you can relax, I am not going to curse you. Harry would prank me for the next year if I did." The Dark Lord looked at Harry to confirm what he said was true.
"That is true, I would." Harry informed him, as he picked up a biscuit. "Severus, he knew the night before you first saw me. It's also why he didn't call you sooner, he knew you needed time to adjust to my creature form."
Severus looked at them, sitting next to each other on the couch and he realized Harry looked at a lot like the Dark Lord. He looked at their faces and coloring and leaned back in surprise. "He is your real father, isn't he?"
"Yes, but we can get to that in a bit, let Harry finish with this story." The Dark Lord told him.
"Yes, one thing at a time. Lockhart being an idiot is where we left off." Severus was still feeling a bit weird, but at least he wasn't getting cursed.
"I agree he is an idiot. I still think about that duel you two had, and laugh." Harry grinned at the memory. "Back to the story. After we make a small hole in the rubble, I continued on. I told Weasley, with a broken wand, he would cause more problems and we also didn't need Lockhart running around. I made my way further into the Chamber and found a sixteen-year-old version of Dad with an unconscious Weaslette. The diary version and I spoke about what Dumbledore had done all year. He made a promise that if I would help get his body back, he would make sure I was taken care of. We formed a plan and I set out to fulfill it. The plan was a memory charm on Lockhart and Weasley. So I dragged Ginny with the diary back to where Weasley and Lockhart were. I look through the hole and I saw Weasley was sitting on the floor, while Lockhart was playing with some rocks, asking weird questions, which Weasley was ignoring. I cast stunners on them, dragged Weaslette to them, and started memory charming them. After I sent Weasley and Lockhart off on their way, I waited for a bit and tossed my cloak over Weaslette and walked her to the front doors, I planted her body there and hid in one of the supply closets, until she was discovered. Once she was, she was carted off to the Infirmary, along with most of the staff and the students, of course, were ordered to their houses. I followed some Gryffindors up into Gryffindor and made my way to my dorm, packed quietly while everyone was down in the common room talking about what they saw and trying to figure out what happened. Once packed, I hide under my cloak until one of the prefects left the dorm, and just walked out of Hogwarts." Harry dunked his biscuit in his tea and took a bite.
"The diary told him how to get in touch with Lucius. The diary instructed them on what was needed to return me, and together Lucius and Harry worked on getting me back." The Dark Lord said. "After I returned to my body, speaking to the diary and Harry, we went to Gringotts."
"Do I want to know this information or should we cover the first year before I go into a mental overload?" Severus asked, trying for a joking tone but he knew he failed.
"First year was basically as it was, except I asked not to return to my relatives, Dumbledore turned me down. I also wasn't happy with how he stole the cup from the Slytherins. I didn't mind the points but he did it in such a way to make sure we won. Giving Neville ten points for standing up to friends was over the top." Harry grumbled. "That cup belonged to Slytherin House, even if Weasley and the others felt it wasn't fair considering all the points you take off of Gryffindor."
"I remove them from my Slytherins too, when I catch them breaking the rules, usually I do it in our house, they also get a lot of detentions, Draco spent the same amount of time in detention as you did." Severus informed him, he enjoyed seeing the brief glimmer of a surprise pass over Harry's face.
"He knows the rules of Slytherin House, he was actually to be a snake but he already met Draco. This was after spending time with Hagrid. Hagrid was the one who took him shopping and told him about me and how James and Lily died. He met Draco in Madam Malkin's, while Hagrid went and got a drink." The disgust was clear on his face at the idea of leaving a first-year along in the Alley while going to get a drink in the pub. "Draco was being a Malfoy." The Dark Lord poured himself another cup of tea and refilled Severus and Harry's cups.
As if that explained what happened, and in a way it did, Severus thought. Severus knew what his godson was like and how he could act. Draco relied on his name to get what he wanted and didn't like being denied. He loved to use his father's influence when he didn't get his way. "Draco didn't help it either by his actions on the train after Harry had met the Weasley family. I still think that was a setup." The Dark Lord
"Setup?" Severus asked he sat up straighter, he wondered what Dumbledore arranged with the Weasley family. The Weasley family blindly followed the man, he, at times, wondered if they ever did anything without asking for Dumbledore's advice.
"Yes, Hagrid gave me my ticket but didn't tell me how to get to the train, I heard the Weasley family on the Muggle side of the platform and asked how to get to the train." Harry explained. He leaned against his father, seeking some comfort from what they were discussing.
"What were they saying?" Severus asked, leaning a bit forward now. He thought it might be a set up also. Hagrid shouldn't have been the one to take Harry shopping. It was one of the duties assigned to the head of houses.
"They were talking about all the muggles being around the station. Mrs. Weasley was talking about finding the platform, she even mentioned the platform number." Harry shrugged as if it was a normal occurrence to have wizards speaking about muggles and their world in the muggle world.
"It was a setup, they have older kids who went to Hogwarts and already graduated. There would have been no need for them mentioning the platform or the number. All of them would have just gone directly to the barrier." Severus told him. "If anything, they could have apparated to the platform itself, or even flooed. Most of the people who go through the barrier are ones who are muggle-born or half-blood. There is no need if you have a floo or can apparate to be on that side." Severus explained. "You saw how crowded the platform can get, can you imagine how crowded it would be on the Muggle side, if everyone in the wizarding world used the barrier, with all the muggles mixed into the crowd?"
"Great, I was hoping it wasn't a complete con job." Harry muttered quietly, but they still heard him.
Severus watched as the Dark Lord gave Harry's hand a quick squeeze in comfort, something he would have never associated with the Dark Lord, or even him being able to provide comfort. "I am sorry Harry. My actions in your years there weren't good. Dumbledore wanted me to make sure that I was viewed as hating you so that if the Dark Lord came back, I could take up the role of spy again." He needed a plan, to show Harry he was indeed sorry for his words and actions during his two years at Hogwarts.
Harry nodded his understanding. "Apology accepted. Now Gringotts." Harry inhaled. "This is a bit confusing. Why don't you explain it, Dad."
"It's not that confusing. It was only confusing because we didn't know how he did it." The Dark Lord reassured Harry. "Severus, you remember Dorea Black?"
"Wasn't she James Potter's mother?" Severus asked. He began to think about the Potters, and could never remember anyone mentioning exactly what James' parents were named.
"No, Dorea married Charlus Potter, who was actually me, we created Charles together as a way to protect her. I have no idea how they got Dorea and I mixed up with Cassiopeia Black and Douglas Potter but they did." The Dark Lord told him, he looked at Harry. "Harry was a very pleasant surprise for us. We were told that Dorea couldn't have children." The smile on the Dark Lord's face threw Severus for a few minutes. If he had any doubts about the man really caring or loving Harry, they were tossed out the window now.
"How did Harry end up with James and Lily?" Severus asked, has he tried to figure out this new puzzle. He had always believed that James' was a light wizard and why would the Dark Lord's son be with James and Lily? "Did it have something to do with the prophecy?"
"Dorea got very sick even before she got pregnant with Harry. St. Mungo's couldn't figure out what was wrong with her, it was like her life was fading away and no one knew why having Harry seemed to extend her life. It gave her another reason to keep on fighting. When I was away for a few days looking for an ancient text, Harry was about three weeks old. He was born at the beginning of July, the fifth to be exact. Dorea had a follow-up doctor's appointment and asked Cassiopeia to watch Harry, which wasn't anything new. When I got back, Dorea was dead and Harry was missing, it looked like she died trying to protect Harry." The Dark Lord voice choked as he was speaking. "I went to Cassiopeia and Douglas but they didn't know what happened, they didn't even know about Harry. It wasn't until Harry and I visited Gringotts, that we discovered what we think happened."
"Why do I have a feeling that Dumbledore is involved in this?" Severus asked. He didn't remember seeing Lily pregnant, but he wasn't really friends with her any longer. She never accepted his apology after fifth-year, no matter how hard he tried. Some bitterness in regards to that still lingered.
"You would be correct. Alice Longbottom had already given birth to Neville. Lily and James had Harry, now according to the goblins, the original Harry was stillborn. My son took his place. It seems Dumbledore had paid a visit to the Longbottom family the day before and tested Neville and found him very weak magically, this was before the original Harry was born. I don't know how he got my son, but he did."
"The Standard Wizarding Core Test?" Severus asked surprised, that test was usually only done by Healers if a baby was sickly and they weren't sure if the baby's magic could heal him or her.
"Yes. I think he didn't realize that just because he did the test, doesn't mean it doesn't get filed in the wizard's information." The Dark Lord responded. "Neville tested slightly below average. Harry tested in the top one percent. They believe that Dumbledore, when Harry was born as stillborn, went and got my son, and replaced him after he did the Standard because we found it in his file."
Severus wasn't surprised by that information. Nothing about Neville Longbottom was above average, except his love of plants. The boy was very talented when it came to plants. "As to how he might have gotten Harry, I know he was friends with the Potter family. I remember James being at meetings and mentioned talking to his father about what was going on, and he said he was trying to recruit him and his cousin." Severus eyes' bulged. "You were the cousin?"
"Yes, it's one reason why Douglas never joined, he knew the truth, but he couldn't tell James, because no matter how many times he approached the subject, James would turn fanatical about Dumbledore and the light." The Dark Lord sighed. "I tried to speak to James about it too. If I had thought about it at the time, I would have tested him for potions and spells."
"He was fanatical." Severus' voice held his scorn of James Potter he knew but he didn't care. "Dumbledore could have visited during that time frame and found Harry with Cassiopeia, Dorea, and Douglas. The man is good with memory charms." Severus looked at them, knowing they already thought that, but the Dark Lord was correct, it was a bit confusing, and he wondered who had to help Dumbledore do it. "I do understand how it can be confusing, I am trying to figure it out, and so many different things could have happened, but I do believe some memory charms were involved along with some deaths. Douglas died shortly after the death of James, but Cassiopeia died during Harry's second year." Severus explained, "James could have been involved."
"Wait, technically I had a grandmother alive and he put me with those Muggles?" Harry asked, holding up his hand.
Severus leaned back and thought for a few minutes. "You are right, you should have gone to your grandparents first before the Muggles, Douglas was still alive, so was Cassiopeia. He had to have wanted you at the Muggles for more than the prophecy." Severus remarked.
They were quiet as they thought about what that could mean, each hurting a bit about what they were discussing. "He did it for one or two reasons, one is to make sure you saw him as your savior and mentor. I know abuse children look at the ones who got them away in that light. Two would be so that people wouldn't see you and therefore when you returned, would automatically think you looked like James and no one would wonder why you didn't. He certainly pushed it with the glasses and hair charms he had you." The Dark Lord finally said. "Between the blood adoption by James and Sirius, with Dorea's Black blood in there, no one would think of you as anything but James' child."
"I know I did. It wasn't until I saw you sitting together that I realized you weren't." Severus remarked. "The missing glasses really does make it clearer that you are his son and not James'."
"I would still like to know exactly what happened." Harry commented. "I also think you are right about James knowing. There was a lot to do that night and Dumbledore had to have help doing it. So many things could and should have gone wrong but he managed to replace a stillborn baby with me."
"How does this affect the prophecy?" Severus finally asked, wondering what they were going to do about it.
"The prophecy has been declared null and void after it was found to be a fake in a way. According to the goblins, since Dumbledore forced it to change, forced me to mark my son, instead of whoever I was meant to mark, we believe it was meant to be Neville Longbottom, it voided it out. Now their seers don't believe it was a true prophecy based off of what happened at the pub and by the fact that Dumbledore and the goblins are able to understand it." He paused, took a sip of his tea. "True prophecies aren't that easy to "mold" into reality, nor are they a basic set up to what was to come. The interesting part of this mess is that while I did mark Harry, it was because he is my son and heir to the Slytherin title that I failed to kill him that night. He was able to defeat me in that regard because Lords can't try to kill their heirs in the Slytherin line. The goblins also said the according to their seers, the prophecy was fulfilled that night, I was defeated and vanquished by Harry."
Severus blinked a few seconds. He didn't want to comment since his thoughts would be very unsuitable language. Instead, he got up and paced for a few minutes, working on his Occlumency. He inhaled, deeply, as he again thought that this just wasn't his year. Everything he had believed for almost two decades was a lie. He exhaled, he sat back down and poured himself another cup of tea. "I have been listening to that man for almost twenty years, plot and base his decisions on that prophecy, and it's been fulfilled in one way, and void in another."
"Yes and he knows it, he just wants to keep using it. Severus before you speak I should tell you I know you sided with Dumbledore after I was defeated. I know it was because I killed Lily after you asked me to spare her, but I did ask her to move aside three times, I can provide you with the memory if you desire." The Dark Lord told him, he wanted Severus back with him. He honestly liked the man. He found him to be talented, witty if you enjoyed a dry wit and sarcasm.
At those words, Severus' started to panic, he put his teacup and saucer down as he could hear them rattling. He was going to be killed, that had to be why they were telling him this information not that he was going to share it with Dumbledore. He was actually tired of listening to Dumbledore's words of wisdom, of following him blindly, of listening to his commands, of being sent on dangerous missions without being given all the facts.
"Severus, you're fine. I am not angry. If you are still with him, I will understand and because you are Harry's mate, I will allow you to return to Hogwarts and see you on the battlefield." The Dark Lord told him. "I would, however, rather you were with us."
Severus closed his eyes. After all this information, the Dark Lord was going to let him walk away. "My Lord?" He questioned cautiously, wondering if this was some game.
"Severus, I am not going to hurt my son or his mate. It's up to you to decide." The Dark Lord responded.
Severus leaned back into the couch, he was surprised, but he already knew his answer. "I am not Dumbledore's man. I won't and can't support someone who allows child abuse and is manipulating our world into his view of what is acceptable magic and what we can read. He has stopped so many of our holidays." He stopped himself from starting on a rant that he usually kept to himself. He closed his eyes and focused on his shields, he forced his emotions behind a wall.
"Severus?" Harry asked, trying not to worry.
Severus opened his eyes and saw the concern on Harry's face. "Harry, I appreciate your concern, but I am fine, it's just a lot of process."
Harry nodded his understanding as the Dark Lord said, "Harry, why don't you go and see Nagini and that kitten. I need to speak to Severus alone."
Harry looked between the two of them for a few seconds. He was battling his instincts to stay with Severus, they could see the mental battle happening but neither spoke. Harry got up, walked to Severus and looked down at him. "I don't feel good about leaving you alone, but I do trust the both of you." He gave Severus a kiss on the top of his head and headed out of the office. Once the doors were closed and the Dark Lord double checked the wards, he spoke again.
"I am going to say this, and I hope you understand. Harry is a lot older because of what happened, but he is also very young in a lot of ways too. He is your dominant and he won't abuse that, but you will need to help him."
"I am aware he is dominant, but I thought our relationship was something that we would be able to work out." Severus told him.
"Severus, the reason he is a creature is that those relatives killed him before he got to Hogwarts. When he turned sixteen he was able to access the abilities of his creature inheritance. He got the Sceadugenga from me. Dorea was part Pteroleon. She never was able to access the abilities because she was never killed, before her magical maturity. My being a Sceadugenga is what has allowed me to return after Harry defeated me. Dumbledore, I know, would like to believe it was for other reasons. I am not sure which theory he has decided on, or even if he has picked one."
"His relatives killed him, despite those pathetic wards that Dumbledore set up there?" Severus froze at the very thought of what they could have happened to Harry that killed him. His blood turned cold at what Harry had endured. He knew from speaking to them what they were like and he saw some of their thoughts, but to kill a child, if Death Eaters had to kill a child, they did it painlessly and quickly and usually when they had no choice. The "dead" children from raids, were golems, the real children were placed with loving families in the dark faction. He went back to the creature aspect of their talk. He didn't know creature inheritances could be received that way. He always believed when you hit your magical majority if you had a creature inheritance, you would receive it was in force.
"Yes, now to continue, Harry is mature in a lot of ways because of his upbringing. He is your dominant and a lot like me in so many ways. Now because of his nature, I am going to offer you a chance for me to change your mark."
Severus wasn't sure where this was leading but if his mark was going to be changed, he was willing to discuss this topic. The Dark Lord continued "I can't remove it because Dumbledore will expect you to still be marked. I want to change your mark to reflect that you now belong to Harry. I will still be able to summon you, but you will find it pleasant."
Severus wanted to scream that he didn't belong to Harry. He wanted to scream that he wasn't his dominant, but he knew that was a lie. He wanted to scream in joy because his mark was going to be changed. He realized the Dark Lord was waiting for a response and finally managed to speak. "You're correct, he would expect me to still be marked. My Lord, I will continue to be your spy, I am sure Harry will be attending the Order meetings as well. Right now Dumbledore is doing recruitment, but he isn't having much luck and he has started to search for Harry, again."
"He was at Gringotts, trying to get control over Harry's vaults and be made his magical guardian until he is twenty-one. It failed, he wasn't told why." The Dark Lord told him.
"How many people know who Harry is?" Severus wondered.
"You, Lucius, Filius and me. Lucius and I have been tutoring him, he passed his OWLs and NEWTs already and did better than I did. I was hoping you might want to take him on as an apprentice in Potions and Defense." The Dark Lord said. "It is your choice, I won't force you."
"He is that good?" Severus asked.
"Yes, he already invented a few spells and has some ideas on potions. He has been wanting to renew your acquaintance for a while. He didn't know you were his mate until about a month before school got out, he was in the Forbidden Forest looking for potion ingredients and smelled you."
"The last full moon, looking for red covered mushroom, night grass, and green moss." Severus smiled. "I would want to see his potion journal and test him in defense before I answer."
The Dark Lord grinned. "He can beat me in a duel. Lucius taught him how to fight with a sword and staff too."
Severus leaned back in surprise. He didn't think anyone but maybe Dumbledore would be able to beat the Dark Lord in a duel. He gasped as he realized what that could have meant. "Dumbledore wouldn't have trained him. He didn't even try in the two years he was there. Look at the professors he hired. Quirrmort, as Harry called Quirrell with me possessing him and Lockhart. He also hid a lot of information from him, including the reason why he could be a parselmouth. It is in the Black family and Potter family as they come from the Peverell line, which comes from the Slytherin line. Dorea was one too."
Severus didn't respond for a few minutes and finally ask, "may I ask you a question?"
"I will try to answer if it I can." The Dark Lord replied.
"Why aren't you like you were before? I mean you weren't exactly this calm and accepting before."
"No, I wasn't. Part of it was because I was slightly insane. Turns out the old fart had some really strong compulsion spells on me, even some potions. I am not sure how he got the potions to stay strong but they were in my system." The Dark Lord informed him. "I can only think it had to be whenever we engaged in a duel, he would cast the compulsions, I am not sure exactly how he did it with the potions."
"House elf." Severus informed him. "After you disappeared, three house elves were found dead."
The Dark Lord started cursing, causing Severus to flinch a bit. When he calmed down, he said "I found two corpses here, all I can think of he used the Imperius Curse on them. There is no other way. They were Potter family ones, so he had access to them, especially if James was working with him."
"Do you think he knows Harry is your son and you were Charlus Potter?" Severus asked, fearfully. He didn't want Harry in danger.
"No, but he knows elves can go almost anywhere and I bet he relied on them being accepted at other manors without question."
"My Lord, returning to a previous topic, you said I will get a new mark, can you explain?" Severus asked.
"Yes, your new mark will be similar, he won't see a difference, but it will be tied to Harry also. He will be able to track you with it, so if you are in danger, he will be able to find you. He doesn't want it to be anything like my mark and I understand that." The Dark Lord informed him. "How much time do you have before you have to return?"
Severus cast a quick tempus. He hadn't realized he had been here for a few hours. "We need to get back soon. If we don't show up for dinner, he will come looking for us. He finally accepted my beast after Mad-Eye informed him that he wasn't a dark creature."
"I can do your mark next time you arrive. I don't want to give the old man any reason to become concerned about you." The Dark Lord waved his hand and at Severus puzzled look he added "I just called to Harry. He will be back in a few minutes."
"What spell did you use?" Severus asked. He wanted to learn it.
"One Harry made up as part of his NEWT testing, he will teach it to you I am sure." The Dark Lord informed him.
"Teach him what?" Harry said from behind Severus, causing the man to jump out of his seat and pull out his wand. "Good reflexes."
"Merlin, Harry, I almost cursed you." Severus said. "We need to head back. We aren't taking the furball, one furball is enough."
Harry held the kitten up, nuzzling into the kitten. "He really wants to go home with us."
Severus heard the Dark Lord snort, as he glared at Harry. "I am the one who will have to clean up after it, not you."
"Actually, now that you know, I can be me, in our quarters." Harry held up the small black kitten with a white dot on its nose. "He said his name is Noir."
"No, there is no way I am taking in a cat named after the Mutt."
"Mutt?" The Dark Lord and Harry exchanged confused looks.
"You don't know." Severus realized that they wouldn't. "Sirius Black is an Animagus, his form is a grim. He is your godfather."
"You mean that jerk that thinks because someone is dark they are evil? The same jerk who ran out of the house to go after Peter Pettigrew instead of taking his godson to safety?" Harry's fury spilled out with each word. "The same man who went to Azkaban, who when he was released from Azkaban after Dumbledore finally got him a trial, went to the goblins with Dumbledore and instead of asking for custody of me, agreed to transfer to the Headmaster? The same man who was willing to leave me at my relatives house on the word of that man?"
Severus wasn't sure what to say, he agreed with Harry's words and understood why Harry wasn't happy with Sirius Black. "I believe we will be speaking again about the Mutt, but at a later date." The Dark Lord told Harry.
"You can keep the kitten." Severus told him. "However, we are changing his name." Harry handed the kitten to Severus, nodded his head in agreement and changed back into his beast. "How does Potion Ingredient sound?" His beast gave a slight wobbling sound. "Potion Ingredient it is. We will call him Potion for short."
The Dark Lord laughed. "Hold on for a second before you leave." He walked to his desk and opened a drawer. "Here take this, I have the matching one here." He held out a piece of parchment. "It's charmed so that only we can see what is written. It will be a good way for us to chat without me summoning you here. Also the book I know he wants to read. Now, that being said, I am hoping you can come over on Saturday for dinner."
"I can arrange it. I will just tell him I am going to be looking for potion ingredients." Severus replied. His beast rubbed his head against his hip. "Watch those horns, you put holes in two of my robes so far."
"Just two?" The Dark Lord smirked. "Go, I will see you on Saturday, if you need me before then use the parchment and I can summon you via the mark."
"Good night, my Lord." Severus responded.
"Severus, please call me Marvolo." The Dark Lord grinned at the look of surprise that showed up on Severus' face. He had enjoyed watching the normally emotionally controlled Potion Master losing control of his emotions numerous times today.
Harry butted Severus towards the door. "Pushy furball." Severus muttered but obeyed.
Notes: In the books, James' parents are never given any names. They are just described as having him late in life and lived a long time.
Chapter 5: Hogwarts- Harry-not in his creature form, The Beast or Félin -creature form
Severus was sitting in the Great Hall watching all the students returning. The past few weeks had been trying, learning and processing everything, from what he thought was the truth to realizing what was the actual truth. He had researched all the information Filius had given him and spent hours talking to Harry about his creature inheritance, what he knew about his relatives and how they treated him.
The biggest thing he learned, however, was that Harry Potter wasn't a Gryffindor. He was a Slytherin. They talked about his first two years at Hogwarts, enabling Severus to learn what really happened since Dumbledore always brushed the information under the table.
Severus tested Harry on his knowledge and agreed to a contract to get Harry his masters. They created a contract, filed with the goblins for Harry to be his apprentice, however, Severus realized rather quickly that Harry was going to get dual masters degrees about the same age as he did. He enjoyed experimenting with the potions that Harry had created already and was looking forward to working with him.
The new DADA professor, however, was a different story. He kept trying to convince Severus to allow him to borrow his beast for a few lessons, he got a growl and a shake of the beast's mane each time he tried. He also seemed determined to become friends with Severus. He knew it had to be part of Dumbledore's plan, Harry thought it was so that he could go whining to the Dark Lord about what Severus might or might not have done. Severus was still under the impression the man wasn't going to last at Hogwarts. He was miserable.
Ever since Moody informed Dumbledore that his beast wasn't a dark creature, Dumbledore had been giving them jobs that he needed to be done for the Order. Including visiting Harry's relatives and finding out if they heard anything from Harry. The Order meetings were laughable. He remembered the first one he took the beast too, and how he almost got pressed into going to the Dursley family for another visit.
Severus landed outside of Grimmauld Place on the back of his beast. Lucius had given him the riding gear and after several attempts, they figured out how it worked. "This is going to be interesting." Félin gave him a strange look as he didn't see anything. "You need to read this." Severus held a piece of parchment in front of his face and Félin watched the townhouse come into view. "It looks worse on the inside."
They entered the house in time to hear Tonks tripping over the something. "Filth, traitors, mudbloods, in my house." Was suddenly filling the hall. "Disgraceful, unnatural." Her rant was a bit different this time, Severus thought.
"Shut up!" Black yelled as he stepped onto the landing by his mother's frame.
"Stains of dishonor, filthy half-breeds, blood traitors, children of filth! A son of mine allowing freaks into my house. The disgrace." Yes, the usual rant. Severus thought. He wasn't sure how or why anyone would want to stay here and listen to that harpy.
Severus saw his beast looking at the portrait at the top of the stairs. Severus hid a smirk as he watched his beast walked up to it and roar, Mrs. Black froze, gasped and retreated out of her frame. His beast was clearly laughing as he walked back to Severus.
Everyone had come rushing out of a variety of rooms hearing the roar. "Can I keep him?" Black asked. "If only to keep my mother away." Black was looking at the empty frame, at down at the crowd at the bottom of the stairs. "How do you like that you old bat?"
The beast sat down in the hall as they listened to everyone saying things like "bigger than I thought", "Are you sure he won't hurt anyone?", "Why did you bring that here?" the last one came from Ron Weasley as the new trio of Granger, and the two younger Weasleys entered the hall. Severus was finding it hard not to cast a hex on each of them.
"Everyone take your seat, he won't hurt anyone." Minerva said from the doorway leading to the kitchen, with Moody behind her. "Think they never saw a cat before." Minerva and Filius were staunch defenders of his beast at Hogwarts.
"We told you he wasn't a dark creature. Leave him alone or better yet, go ahead and get him upset, I bet he will teach you how to defend yourselves if he doesn't kill ya first." Moody's advised. Severus was finding himself liking the grizzly old Auror. He had seen him a few times since Diagon Alley and the man was actually pleasant to him.
Severus followed the crowd into the kitchen and took his usual seat with his beast next to him. The beast actually laid his head on Severus' lap to be petted. "I need to find some way to keep lion fur off of my clothes". The beast was soon loudly purring. Severus was ignoring everyone prattling on about his beast with Moody, Kingsley, and Minerva defending them, which to Severus was a new experience. They heard the floo finally came to life and knew Dumbledore finally arrived. Severus quietly said, "he likes to make an entrance." He saw the whiskers twitch in amusement.
"Oh, I see Severus brought his new friend along." Dumbledore smiled as he sat down. "Have you named him yet?"
"Yes, Félin." Severus knew the man really wanted to find out who his mate was. He had been hinting at it for weeks. He watched Minerva smirk at the name.
"Feline in French?" Granger looked at him, clearly expecting no one else to know French.
"Yes." Severus responded. His beast gave a low roar and nudged Severus' hand. "I am not spending the entire night petting your head." The beast moved a bit so that now his body was in a better position to be petted. "No, I am petting you the entire night either." The beast gave him a face. "Can we get on with this?"
"Better than his other names, I think one was Furball, Potion Ingredient, and my favorite one was Batkitty." Minerva gave Severus saw the small smile she sent him. He knew she had enjoyed all the different names he had given his beast during the last few weeks, he aimed for five per meal and sometimes got a few more out.
"Why would anything want to be near Snivellus?" Black asked Lupin, who gave him an elbow into Black's side.
The beast gave a bit of a growl. "Sirius, behave." Molly reprimanded the child in a man's body. "Children upstairs now." After a lot of grumbling, the trio left. Severus was wondering where the rest of the Weasley family was but didn't really care to ask. He really didn't care to even attend these useless meetings, they never decided on anything and always debated on Harry Potter.
"Let's get started. Anything on locating Harry?" Dumbledore asked. Severus watched as Dumbledore looked around the group and no one answered him. "No rumors, no one saying anything?" He appeared desperate. "I believe a trip to his relatives might be in order, they might have heard something by now."
"I haven't seen anyone looking like Harry at their house. Their son was arrested, so no one but the two of them there now." Lupin kept looking at the beast, giving it strange looks, Severus wondered what was going on with the wolf and mutt.
"Is there a problem Remus?" Dumbledore asked.
"It's more of a feeling. My wolf is-" Lupin stopped talking as Black elbowed him back.
"Afraid?" Severus said, giving the man a knowing look. The man's wolf was a timid thing, Lupin liked to ignore his wolf and bury anything to do with it. It made him weak because he didn't connect to his wolf, not that he wanted a werewolf in his face but not connecting to his wolf did damage them.
"Yes." Lupin finally answered.
"So it is dangerous! Figures since it likes Snivellus." Black almost screamed, standing up. "Should have known it was evil, it made my mother shut up."
"Bipolar?" Severus asked, the beast clearly got the reference as its lips twitched.
"It's not dark or evil. I already told you that." Moody snapped. "Sit down and shut up."
"I can give you a few books on their history." Minerva said. "The legends are very interesting."
"It shouldn't be around children." Molly stated.
"We will be leaving." Severus rose from his spot, he was close to making his escape when he heard Dumbledore speak.
"Severus, come back and sit down." Dumbledore told him. "Félin has been at Hogwarts for a few weeks, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade and hasn't caused a problem."
"What are you going to do with it during the school year?" Molly finally asked. Severus could see she was going to use we must protect the innocent, naive children routine.
"He will be with Severus." Dumbledore responded.
"Albus, you can't allow that thing near children." Molly responded. "What if he bit one of them?"
"Molly, he has been fine, now Severus, I need you to go and visit the Dursley family."
"Are you forgetting who will be coming with me?" Severus was now leaning against the wall, his beast was standing next to him. His beast took up most of the free space in the room and if he opened his wings people would have to fall on the floor to escape being hit by them.
"Can't you reduce his size?" Dumbledore asked.
"I thought we already covered casting spells on him?" Severus looked at the man like his lemon drops turned his brain to mush, but again, since he realized this wasn't his year, he wasn't truly surprised by being asked to visit Petunia and her nasty family, nor was he truly surprised by the fact that Dumbledore thought his beast was going to be a little kitten with an easy spell.
"Maybe he can stay at Mrs. Figgs while Professor Snape visits the Dursley family?" Tonks suggested.
"Her cats would be bite-size snacks for him." Moody commented to Minerva, Severus almost laughed at that one.
"I am sure he can hide from view while you speak to them." Dumbledore stated.
"Albus, you know very well they won't have any information. Potter didn't return to them over the years and we all know how they treated him, do you honestly expect to get new information out of them?" Minerva asked. Severus was wondering if Poppy needed to start drugging the man's lemon drops.
"Albus we have been watching their house for years, no one even comes near them anymore. Vernon Dursley can barely hold down a job and Petunia is working as much as she can. The only reason they are still there is that you paid off their mortgage." Kingsley stated.
Severus was suddenly very interested in that information. Where did the man get the funds to pay off the Dursley mortgage? His beast looked at him and he knew there was going to be more bad news delivered to them. He understood what the beast was saying and agreed, they needed to make sure that Harry Potter didn't pay for the house and anything else.
"I can visit them. I am there for guard duty on Sunday and know that they both have Sundays off." Lupin volunteered.
"Good, good." Dumbledore moved on to the next subject. "Anyone heard any rumors concerning Tom? It's been a few years since he has been back and we haven't heard a thing regarding him or his plans. Severus still hasn't been summoned."
"What good is he then?" Black commented to Lupin.
"Sirius!" Many rebuked him at once. Severus was a bit surprised by that. It appeared him being mated to his beast did a lot to increase his credibility with this group. Severus would have normally given the putz a biting remark but was actually enjoying seeing Sirius on the receiving end of Minerva and Moody's tongue.
Severus tuned out the rest of the meeting, it was all about recruiting new members, spreading the word that the Dark Lord had returned. He knew they wouldn't get anywhere in recruiting as they certainly hadn't in the last few years. Tonks only joined because of Moody and Shacklebolt. When it was clear the meeting was breaking up as Molly rose to get tea, Severus moved away from the wall. "Severus a minute please." Dumbledore rose from his seat. "Let's talk in the parlor." Severus and the beast followed Dumbledore into the parlor and Severus felt the privacy wards settle in. "Severus, I am hoping you could speak to Lucius Malfoy."
"Regarding?" He knew the old fool was going to ask something stupid.
"There is a bill that is coming up. I want to make sure it doesn't get approved and I need to know what strategy Lucius is going to use to swing the vote."
"You know I don't talk laws or bills with Lucius, he will wonder why I am suddenly interested." In all the years Dumbledore had known Severus, you would think after the number of times he told him what Lucius never discussed politics with him, he would have learned.
"Please try, it's regarding the restrictions of dark creatures. It will remove the registry and pass a law allowing St. Mungo's and other places to treat the creatures."
"Isn't that a good thing? You have a dark creature in your own Order." No wonder so many didn't support the light if this was their idea of taking care of the magical world. While he didn't agree with the extreme end of either side, a sane Dark Lord hadn't been pushing the extreme.
"Remus is a good man, but so many of the others aren't. We need to be aware of who they are."
"Did you forget about my fifth year?" Severus calmly asked much calmer than he really was feeling. He felt a headbutt and put his hand on the beast's withers. He knew his beast wasn't happy hearing all of this. He had told his beast what the Marauders had done. He also explained how he paid them back.
"That was an unfortunate prank gone bad." Severus dropped the subject, he was never going to win it with this man being so protective of his Gryffindors.
"I will see if he will provide me something, but I am not going to guarantee anything." Severus said. "Now, I am going to head back to Hogwarts."
Severus was snapped out of his memory as he heard "Professor Snape has a new familiar. He's a Pteroleon. Do not take the fact that he is sitting by Professor Snape to mean he isn't dangerous."
The beast resented that and roared his disapproval. Severus didn't like him being referred to has his familiar either but didn't say anything as he didn't want to explain his business to a bunch of dunderheads.
Severus turned his attention to the new trio and notice they seemed to be basking in the glory of something. He noticed Neville Longbottom was being included in with the new trio, Ginny Weasley had her arm linked with his and Mr. Longbottom was clearly trying to figure out how to get away. He looked at his beast and saw the scowl on his face. So they were bragging about knowing his beast. "Félin? Are you joking?" Seamus almost yelled, confirming what Severus thought.
"Mr. Finnegan, 5 points from Gryffindor, for unseemly behavior." Minerva spoke, beating Severus to taking the points.
Filius sent him a note, he opened it and had to agree. Dumbledore was, indeed, going to make Mr. Longbottom into their Savior.
Chapter 6: Dealing
After the Order meeting, the very next day, Félin and Severus headed to Gringotts. Harry wanted to find out who paid for the Dursley's house. They knew Harry's account manager had made it impossible for Dumbledore to get control of his finances after he left Hogwarts, but Harry had never checked that deeply into his accounts, simply because of so many other things happening in his life.
They were quickly escorted into Ironclaw's office, where Harry and Severus explained what they learned. Ironclaw pulled the accounting of the Potter family and read through the withdraws fairly fast, as there were only a few pages. "The Dursley family received a quarterly allowance of fifteen hundred pounds for your upkeep, a new car every three years and the house was paid in full on fourth of November 1981."
"Can we do anything about getting the house and the funds returned?" Severus asked.
"We have proof of the abuse, so yes. Since Dumbledore was the magical guardian, whatever funds we can't get from the Dursley family, we will remove from his account. What do you wish to do with the house?" Ironclaw asked.
Harry grinned. "Can we sell it to another magical family, advertising it was the former home of Harry Potter?"
Ironclaw had a feral smirk on his face. "We can do that. We can have them out by tomorrow."
"No, not yet, the Order is going to be speaking to them, can you serve the papers while they are there?" Harry asked.
Severus grinned, he loved that idea. "It will be Remus Lupin, who will be making the visit."
"We can do that. When do you expect it to happen?"
"He said Sunday. It seems they don't work on Sundays." Severus answered. He knew Lupin would be visiting the Dursley family so that gave them a few days to get everything set up.
"I will make the arrangements. The standard fees do apply." Ironclaw informed them.
"Remove them from my vault. Also, can you add Severus to the family ones and link them to his vaults?"
"Harry, that isn't necessary." Severus was a bit surprised, he also didn't want to take the money. "I have my own money from my family and potions. I really don't need to be added."
"You're my mate, get over it." Harry gave him a look that said if Severus challenged it, he would find himself in trouble.
Severus knew that look, his beast was very stubborn, and he knew Harry would win, so he could either fight, get himself into trouble or give in gracefully. He gave in gracefully. "Link my vaults to them, and add Harry to them also. If we are going to be doing this, let's do it correctly. Now let's go over our investments. I heard about some Muggle companies."
"Yes, Google, Amazon are ones I want to invest in." Harry responded. Harry had already spoken to the goblins about ATM cards and getting a small percent of the fees for that already.
"Weasley zero for the day." Severus was staring down at the overflowing, bubbling, slimy green mess.
"Why?" Came the pitiful reply.
"Malfoy, what is the correct color for a correctly finished Illusion Potion?" Severus didn't even turn to face the blond. Severus was thankful he only had two Gryffindors in this class, neither of whom were worth the effort.
"Sky Blue, sir." Malfoy answered.
"Correct, ten points to Slytherin." Severus watched Félin take a step back as Weasley's cauldron started gushing out whatever he created out of it. He banished the potion. "You don't have time to remake it." He knew there were less than ten minutes left in the class.
Severus continued walking around the room, he made a face at Granger as she was trying to figure out what she did wrong with her potion. She looked at the directions on the board, and then in the book. Since her potion was lime green, he knew she didn't add the correct number of snake fangs, and instead of counterclockwise on her turns she did them clockwise. He peered over her shoulder. "Are you trying to kill someone, Miss Granger? If so, then I will give you an O, otherwise, you have a zero for today."
"I don't know what I did wrong. I followed the directions exactly sir." Granger whined.
"Miss Patel, what is one mistake that Miss Granger did?" Severus asked, looking into Padma's potion, which was the correct color and consistency.
"She didn't add the correct number of snake fangs, sir." Padma grinned, along with several others, it was the only class where Granger wasn't getting top marks and it wasn't because of Severus.
"Five points to Ravenclaw. Miss Bones, what else?" Severus used a stirring rod and swished the mess around. It looked like it would remove rust from metal.
"She stirred clockwise, instead of counterclockwise, sir." Susan Bones stated. No one really liked Weasley and Granger, ever since first year and the pair had gotten worse over the years.
"Five points to Hufflepuff." Severus stated. He watched Félin, just sitting down watching the mess.
"That isn't fair, the directions are wrong." Granger whined. It was the first practical class. On Monday they had a lecture, today was their potion lesson, Friday would be their lab time, where they would work on potions they were having troubles with or their term project.
"Miss Granger did you attend Monday's class?" Severus' peered down at the girl. She irritated him, always believing books were correct and not bothering to realize books were written by people. People make mistakes, also they made printing errors, editing errors and even flat out lied.
"I did, sir."
"What did I say in that class about your lesson time in regards to potions?"
"That our potions would be more complex, not to rely on our books or even your directions as we needed to learn how to fix and correct mistakes, how potions interacted and the correct procedure for cleaning up our messes." Granger rattled off. She was still looking at her potion and missed the rest of the students looking at her, wondering when she was going to realize her own error.
"Your conclusion on today's mess?" Severus snapped.
Granger finally looked around. "The directions were wrong." She finally admitted. "That isn't fair. You can't do that, you're a professor. You made me fail."
"Miss Granger, you were warned ahead of time. Ten points from Gryffindor." Severus walked away, there were a few that were close to correct potion but only the three who answered his questions had the potion done correctly.
Harry was sitting in Severus' chair, reading, while Severus was correcting some essays. Severus knew he was mumbling about dunderheads and cauldrons. Potion was curled up on the couch, sleeping. Severus actually liked the black kitten, now that fur wasn't all over the place. The elves had found a spell to keep the fur from flying around their quarters.
"You want me to correct the first year ones?" Harry hated correcting the essays but if it got them done, it was worth it. It was also part of his apprenticeship to aid Severus in correcting the student's assignments, but Severus hadn't bothered with that aspect as of yet.
"Please, as it is, I am going to need a headache potion. I am reading Ms. Granger's and she never follows the directions I stipulate. I know she must be paying for Mr. and Mrs. Roberts yearly holiday. The owls must hate her." Mr. Roberts owned the stationary store and its branch in Hogsmeade and Severus knew with the amount of writing and parchment Granger used, the man was going to be depressed when Granger left Hogwarts.
"How many points are you going to remove this time?" Harry asked, closing his book. He knew Severus was tired but he wouldn't go to bed until all his work was done. He got out his own quill and took the first year essays off of Severus' desk.
"If I thought I could get away without having Albus dragging me into his office and giving a lecture on it, I would have tossed her out a long time ago. She won't make it through the year, however. She doesn't have the skill to make a potion without an exact recipe. Seventh years are required to be able to see mistakes in a potion and fix them, or in some cases, as you know, while the potion itself is perfect, it needs another potion to make it work."
While Severus couldn't keep her out because she did get an O on her potion OWL, she wasn't a brewer. Grange relied too much on books being accurate. "Still believes books are the only answer or Dumbledore? I was hoping by now, she would have learned that books don't always have the correct information. For someone who spends as much time in the library as she does, she clearly hasn't learned yet that you can't rely on just books."
Severus saw Harry frowned at the essay he was reading, and starting slashing it with red lines. Severus knew Harry's comments weren't as harsh as he knew he would be but there was a simple "writing" spell and Harry's writing would look like Severus, and the comments would become a bit more like something Severus would write.
"He wants an Order meeting Sunday night. When do we meet with your father?" Severus asked he pinched the bridge of his nose. "She wrote another three feet in addition to the original two feet requested, with two inches about how to crush moonstone. She compared the different methods." Severus found he was more open with Harry, even when he was Félin.
"Wasn't the assignment an essay on the level five healing potion for burns?" Harry didn't even look up, he was, however, making a lot of corrections on a first-year essay. "Bennett is your new Longbottom." He warned Severus.
"Yes. The essay was and I know. I think he might be worse, Longbottom didn't melt his cauldron on the first day of class, he just gave himself boils." Severus didn't even look up as he started writing his comments on Granger's essay.
Harry lifted his head up. "Why did she put how to crush moonstone in it?" Moonstone wasn't used in any healing potions.
"She was comparing it to snake fangs and comparing the different methods, for over three paragraphs. I am going to need a magnifying glass if her writing gets any smaller." Severus made a slash through Granger's essay, after the required two feet.
Harry looked over his shoulder. "Just do it. You know you want to and she deserves it. Otherwise, we will have to put up with it all year."
Severus grinned and put a huge T on the parchment. "That felt so great."
"Will feel better tomorrow when she sees the mark." Harry kissed Severus, and as he headed back to his seat asked, "how did Weasley get in?"
"Albus. He made me take him. I warned Albus that is he blew up more than two cauldrons I would remove him from the class permanently." Severus paused. "He ruined his potion today, while he was in the class trying to make up for yesterday's lesson, tried to blame it on someone tossing things into his cauldron."
"Where was I?" He had been in the classroom with Severus all day. Harry usually spent the time watching the students, keeping some from making a mistake if he saw it in time.
"Sleeping." Severus gave him a smirk. His beast had followed him around since the students returned, over two weeks ago. Much to the annoyance of Dumbledore. They heard the floo chime, Harry transformed into Félin, his beast form.
Severus sighed as Dumbledore appeared in the flames. "Severus, I am glad you are still up. I have to be at the Ministry tomorrow. They are voting on that creature bill and I need to be there, can you assist Minerva tomorrow?"
Dumbledore had been pushing Severus to meet with Lucius, and gave Severus his severely disappointed face and lecture each time Severus failed to get any information out of Lucius. Severus, instead, passed on a lot of information regarding Dumbledore's attempts to keep the bill from passing.
"Certainly. Anything special that needs to be completed?" Severus knew that even if he didn't ask, he would find a ton of paperwork that needed to be handled, along with the mail. Dumbledore never read his general mail. He only read what he considered important. He left all the paperwork and letters to Minerva and him. He had made sure before the students returned all the backlog of mail, invoices and orders were finished.
"I don't believe so." Translation, Minerva hadn't been after him about needing help. So tomorrow he would stop by her office and grab the work and get it done. "Ronald came to me tonight, he said someone tossed things into his cauldron, ruining his potion."
"I am sure he would like that to be the truth, however, he did it himself. He added five leaves of figs instead of three, he missed two stirring cycles and then left the flame on high, bringing his potion to a boil, instead of allowing it to simmer so how did he explain someone else ruining his potion?"
"I see. I will speak to him about following directions better." Dumbledore gave him a slight smile, ignoring Severus' question. "I will see you tomorrow night at dinner. Good night."
Félin stared at the floo and Severus realized Dumbledore left the connection opened, hoping to hear if Félin turned into someone and they would be talking. Severus grinned as his beast walked to the fireplace and roared into the flames. Suddenly the connection was gone. "Let's get this over with, I have first-year Gryffindors and Slytherins tomorrow." He hated Fridays, why Dumbledore insisted on Gryffindors and Slytherins having the two most dangerous classes together he would never understand. Poppy was the busiest after a Gryffindor/Slytherin potion or DADA class.
They were all sitting in an Order meeting. Félin was leaning against Severus with his head in his lap. Severus, by now just automatically started petting him. He hadn't really been listening to everyone whine about whatever little problem they were having. Dumbledore hadn't arrived as of yet. Molly had already waylaid him about her son's potion making. He was ignoring her, while she continued on with her rant.
"Snivellus, can you tell your pet to move." Black snarled at him. Black didn't bother to hide how much he didn't like Félin. Severus thought if the man only knew.
Félin, opened his eyes, and closed them again, clearly ignoring Black. "Mutt, leave him alone. He already got your mother to shut up. He has done more than you have in that regard."
"Sirius, leave Félin alone." Minerva stated. "Severus always sit there and Félin will not leave him. He doesn't bother anyone either so sit down, Albus will be here soon."
Severus didn't bother to hide his smirk at Minerva's defense. Minerva, Moody, and Filius had become his staunchest supporters. She never failed to put the Mutt in his place anytime they had an interaction. He leaned down a bit and said, "you deserve some catnip." He wondered briefly if Minerva knew who Harry was, the woman could keep a secret.
Félin's lips twitched. They had already discussed the Mutt and Harry hadn't been impressed by either Potter or Black's actions while they were in school together.
They all heard the floo flare to life and Dumbledore stepped out. "I do apologize for being late. I got held up. Tea?"
Molly had already been in the process of making Dumbledore a cup of tea. Severus had been watching the members since he had arrived. He realized as he watched that Dumbledore his followers well trained. Molly would always have food and tea ready for anyone. Minerva and Moody would make sure no arguments got out of hand. Tonks appeared to be trying to figure out what role she was to play, but so far seemed to fall into the Moody, Kingsley role. Kingsley and Lupin would make sure Black kept his temper under control, while the rest of them, with the exception of himself, would eagerly await Dumbledore like faithful dogs waiting for their master to return home.
"Now, any news on Harry Potter?" Dumbledore asked.
Severus wondered why he even showed up. The meetings had been the same for the last four years, even in how Dumbledore worded things. This was his usual opening and as usual, no one responded.
"Remus, my boy, any luck with his relatives?"
"You mean besides Petunia taking a cast iron frying pan to my head? No. They said if anyone else showed up looking for their freak of a nephew, they would call the police on them, have them arrested and make sure to let the authorities know it's been an ongoing problem."
"She hit you with a cast iron frying pan?" Minerva had been firmly against the Dursley family for years, and she had been pushing to get them charged with child abuse and neglect, but Dumbledore had blocked her every move. Severus could see her glare at Dumbledore. He knew she would be giving the man a long lecture later.
"Yes, and Vernon tried to hit me with a cricket bat. Almost got me too." Lupin muttered. "I was dodging the pan when he took his shot at me. When I was about to leave, a goblin showed up, he gave them foreclosure papers, it seems the funds for the house came out of Harry's account and they are taking the house as repayment."
"What? Harry paid for the house, you said you paid it off." Minerva's lips were firmly pressed together as Black continued on his tirade about Harry and his relatives. "There is no way Harry gave you permission for you to pay for that house."
"I was his magical guardian. I did it for the greater good."
"You were his illegal magical guardian, which is why everything is being returned to Harry." Lupin stated.
"What do you mean, Remus?" Moody asked.
"When the goblins showed up with the foreclosure papers, they were very talkative. They gladly informed Petunia and Vernon, that Harry's paternal grandparents could have taken Harry, but Albus kidnapped him, dropped him off on their steps, sealed James and Lily's Wills. Their Wills stated that a rather long list of people to get guardianship over Harry, but the Wills also stated that the Dursley family wasn't to get custody and neither was Albus." Lupin informed them. "James' parents were still alive, Cass didn't even die until shortly before Harry went missing. Care to explain all of that? The Will was sealed in a closed session, they were able to get it opened because Harry would be over seventeen now. They needed to determine who got control over the Potter seats, which by the way they refused to reveal who."
Severus realized Lupin had done this on purpose. He had thought the man would have gone running to Dumbledore as soon as the goblins foreclosed on the house. Félin gave him a slight nudge, his lips pulled back a bit. Severus nodded his agreement that Lupin set his up on purpose.
"Care to explain all of that Albus?" Moody asked.
"I did what was needed at the time. It was for Harry's safety."
"They beat him, they starved him, they broke bones, they degraded the boy, how is that for his own safety?" Hestia Jones stated.
Severus could see Molly doing her hand-wringing, with silent tears going down her face. She did it each time they discussed Harry. He would have been impressed if he didn't know the truth. The woman knew Dumbledore's plans.
"There is more, the house is being advertised as the house Harry Potter grew up." Lupin tossed the ad on the table. "The price is three times the market price."
Severus watched Félin's lip twitch. He had to bury his own mirth at that. Maybe this was going to be his year, as he watched the Order members get into a huge debate about the Harry Potter situation until after almost thirty minutes Dumbledore said "enough. I believe we have worn out this topic. Now, Severus any news on Tom?"
"No, I did meet with Lucius, but I didn't get any information out of him regarding any bills or votes. He was rather tight-lipped about everything." Severus knew the bill that Dumbledore wanted to stop had almost been passed and soon it would be legal for magical creatures to get medical help and jobs. Severus also knew that Lupin didn't have a clue that Dumbledore wanted it rejected. "I still don't understand why you wanted to stop it, if you want the magical creatures aid, I would think you would have wanted that bill to pass." The vote had been delayed again, Dumbledore had managed to delay it because he had a few of his biggest supporters not turn up at the last voting, next session, if they didn't show up, the bill would still be voted on.
Lupin turned his gaze to Dumbledore, you could see the yellow in his eyes. Black grabbed Lupin, seeing this wasn't good, surprising Severus that the man actually could use his brains, pulled Lupin out of the room, saying "Albus you better find a way to explain why you didn't want that bill to be passed. We worked hard on getting it done."
"It was for the greater good." Dumbledore responded. "I believe we should call it a night. Severus, I would like to speak to you."
Severus slowly got up and followed Dumbledore into the sitting room. Severus could tell the man was barely controlling his temper and he had a feeling if Félin wasn't with him, he would be feeling the man's displeasure in full force. "That wasn't necessary." When Severus didn't rise to the bait, he continued "I need you to get information about Tom. He has been too quiet. The Ministry is already in doubt about his return and it's getting worse."
"You know I can't just show up there. He certainly wouldn't sit me down for tea and tell me his plans if I just sat down in his office." Granted some of that did happen. Severus had learned the truth while sitting in the Dark Lord's office, drinking tea.
"See if you can get any information out of either of Lucius, I know Draco is now marked, as well as several others. Do you think you can convert any?"
"I will speak to them." Severus replied. Yes, he would be speaking to them, warning them that Dumbledore knew they were marked. He would have to see if the Dark Lord could cover their marks up. His own mark was going to be changed soon. "If that is all, I do have work I need to get done."
"Yes, good night, Severus."
Severus headed to the front door, Félin behind him. As they were leaving, Félin's tail knocked over the troll umbrella stand, causing Mrs. Black to start screaming her head off as they left. "Nicely done."
It was the last Saturday of the month. Filius and Minerva had arranged a demonstration of Félin flying skills and the stands were filled. Félin had been flying with the Quidditch teams for over three hours, it was the four house teams against him. He beat them soundly. Now Severus was standing on the Quidditch pitch and releasing the four snitches. He could see students and his fellow staff members were all eager to see the next part of his furry mate's performance. The snitches were in the air and Severus cast a tempus for everyone to see the timer. He heard the betting begin. After the fifth time that Severus released the snitches, Severus waited for Félin to land. "I believe it's time for dinner, your best time was 5 minutes and 36 seconds. Now lift your big feet so I can put the snitches away."
Soon everyone was swarming around them, and Severus could tell that Félin didn't like the crowd of people around him. "Back off, you dunderheads, you don't swarm my beast."
Félin let out a low roar and people back away as Hagrid said, "ne'er do that, ma'e t'em mad."
"Dinner will be served in fifteen minutes. Head to your common room if you need to." Minerva stated.
Soon everyone was heading in. Filius was walking next to Severus and Félin. "A word of caution, don't do any of Harry's traditional moves. No one thought he was Harry, but we don't want to give anyone cause to wonder."
"That is why he didn't do any of steep dives and twirls. Have you spoken to your relatives?"
"Yes, they are expecting you to send them an owl." Filius responded. "They won't need much notice, as they understand the importance of the situation. They also mentioned making sure another person attended at the same time."
"I will inform that person." Severus wanted to find out what Filius' cousins wanted to tell him while he had been pinned under his beast. He felt his hand nudged as they walked. Yes, maybe his was his year after all.
Chapter 7: Goblins
Severus and his beast walked towards Gringotts. Well, tried would be a better word, as it took a few death glares from Severus before people stopped trying to talk to him and make sure his beast was recovering nicely from being abused. A few families handed Severus a bag with goodies in it for his beast, who naturally purred for everyone who did.
As they finally reached Gringotts, Severus stated, "you know we will never be able to walk down the Alley without someone trying to give us gifts now?" The abuse of his beast had spread faster than they had expected and Severus found people even sent messages asking after his beast.
He got a nod of agreement and a lip twitch. "You did it on purpose didn't you?" He could swear he was being laughed at. "You know I can always hide the catnip?"
That didn't go over well, as his beast took one of the bags out of his hands and dashed into Gringotts. "I knew I should have put those in my pockets." He mumbled as he followed his beast. He did enjoy his beast's playful side, even when he was Harry.
He found his beast sitting by Griphook, the bag still hanging from his mouth. "Professor Snape, the conference room is ready for you."
They followed Griphook to the conference room and found the Dark Lord with Jax, Silverax, and Mixal waiting for them. Severus took the bag and his seat as his beast turned into Harry. Harry sat down between Severus and his father, changing back to his human form.
"Let's get started." Jax stated. "Now, we are aware you covered your family inheritance, I am wondering if you were aware of your creature one?"
"Filius provided us with the history of Pteroleons and gave us a number of books, but I am not sure what you mean by inheritance?" Harry stated.
"I didn't see anything in the books that indicated an inheritance." Severus added.
"It wouldn't be in the books, we weren't sure if your family left anything in your vaults." Silverax replied.
"I looked but I have never found anything." Harry answered.
"Have you had an Inheritance Test since you got your form?" Mixal asked.
"No, I did one before I turned thirteen." Harry answered as he looked at his father.
"I am not aware of anything Dorea might have left. She never received her creature inheritance." The Dark Lord stated. "I am aware of mine, but I never received the form either. I believe because my bloodline needed another creature inheritance for it to emerge."
"You are correct, it's why Lord Potter's has emerged." Jax answered. "When did you become a Pteroleon?"
"Shortly before my 10th birthday. My uncle Vernon dumped my body in the river. I woke up downstream and a few days later followed my instincts back to the house." He put his hand on Severus' leg, as he could feel the fury from the man at that statement.
"Good, then the test is fine. Now, regarding your status as a Pteroleon, since you are the last one in the United Kingdom, and there are about twenty worldwide, I should state that from the two horns versus the one, with the dragon tail, indicates that you are a battle Pteroleon, which you are aware of."
"Yes, it said in the books that all Pteroleon are, I thought." Harry looked at Severus and his father, they had read the books too.
"That is what the books said." The Dark Lord reassured Harry.
"They are mostly correct. If a Pteroleon has one horn or a regular cat tail, it's a sign of them being a religious icon like you read about. The myths on Pteroleons are varied and often confusing but the most important thing is that the ones with the dragon tails and two horns are battle ones. Now, because you have a mane where others don't, it means you are a battle commander." Silverax pushed a few drawings at them, to show them the differences.
"Battle Commander?" They all asked as they looked at the drawings or in some cases etchings. Some showed battle scene, some were from Muggle churches, and some were just plain drawings of one or two of them laying around. There was one with a group clearing flying as were also playing.
"Yes, it means he is the one that will lead the others into battle, and also is the one that can talk to other creatures in battle through their minds. It works on all dark creatures especially well." Jax told them. "Some of the lighter known creatures will also respond, but they won't feel the urge as well as the darker ones."
"We can't let Dumbledore know this." Severus stated. "He would try to have you removed." He felt Harry give his leg a squeeze, he laid his hand over Harry's.
"It's one of the reasons we remained so mysterious when we were summoned." Mixal stated. "We knew he would not welcome our news."
"I know the prophecy doesn't exist anymore but is this why it came about? Because of the prophecy?" Harry asked.
"To be honest the prophecy was one we went back and rechecked after we returned. As you know, Dumbledore tried to force it to be true, when our researchers went back over it, we found it was pieces of three different prophecies. It was why it wasn't listed as an existing prophecy because he took three of them and reworded the three and created it as a new one." Griphook spoke for the first time.
"He what?" The Dark Lord asked. He was going to string that fraud with glasses up.
"Yes, he created it. We found three prophecies from over two hundred years ago to the longest one which was over thousand years old. That is the one about being equal and one not living without the other. It was a prophecy concerning Morgen and Merlin." Griphook stated. "Here is a copy of the prophecies involved."
"The one with the power, born to those who have thrice defied him will rise up to vanquish the Dark Lord." Filled 24 Dec. 1789 (Lord McAvory)
"Born as the seventh month dies, will have the power the King knows not, born as the seventh month dies, he will bring peace." Filled 9 April 1567 (King James I)
"The one marked as his equal will rise, he will have the power the Dark Lord knows not, either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the others survives." 2 May 473 (Morgen and Merlin)
"He certainly went for high-profile people." The Dark Lord stated, resisting the urge to go to Hogwarts and kill two people.
"Agreed, that is what made it easier for us to find them." Griphook agreed. "If you look, all of them have Muggle references. We think that is why he used them since two were fulfilled by Muggles. Morgen and Merlin are rather well known in the Muggle world also. I don't believe he expected anyone would look for them."
"It would make sense." Severus stated. "He always uses Merlin as an icon of the light, never realizing he was really a dark wizard." He paused. "I am wondering how he found them?"
"Because it doesn't fit with his views on Merlin, so he likes to erase that part of the man." The Dark Lord stated.
"We aren't sure how he found them, he didn't find them here, but there is the Hall of Prophecies at the Ministry, which he has access too." Mixal stated.
"So what does this have to do with me being a Pteroleon."
"We don't believe it does, we believe he kidnapped you because he knew you were from the Slytherin line, so when Lord Voldemort entered the scene, Dumbledore tried to duel you, correct?"
"Yes, numerous times, we always came to a draw or one of us retreated, usually him." The Dark Lord answered.
"We feel he likes control and what better way than being able to control the new defeater of the darkest of Dark Lords? Since Harry is a minor, he would control everything, if he set up a marriage contract, with a girl of his choosing, he could keep control using it." Jax paused. "Now, we know he doesn't know about you being a Pteroleon, but we believe he thought there was some creature blood in the Potter family."
"But it's not in the Potter family. It's the Black and Gaunt lines." The Dark Lord stated.
"Agreed, which is why when he showed up last week, again, we were able to provide a heritage test from James Potter that showed no creature lines." Mixal informed them. "He had the blood of Petunia Dursley with him, how he obtained it, I am not sure, but it also showed no creature lines."
"He was expecting my beast to show up in the Potter or Evans line." Severus smirked. He had wondered what Dumbledore had been up to. The man was clearly very interested in his beast, and so was that spy he had for a DADA Professor, the moron.
"We believe so." Jax stated.
"It would explain why he switched his mindset after Moody said I wasn't dark. We know how he feels about creatures in general." Harry remarked. "He was hoping to show that I had to be Harry Potter by using a creature lineage."
"I agree. He has been working hard to get all creatures banned from the magical world, or registered." The Dark Lord stated. "I know he has delayed that vote on the werewolf bill until he can get more supporters."
"I heard about it. He has been after me to find out information from Lucius." Severus informed him. "We just floo over to the Manor and tell Lucius why we are there and have some tea before we head back."
"Lucius informed me and is finding the man's attempts funny." The Dark Lord grinned. "I am too." He admitted.
"Is there anything else you need to tell us about Harry or Pteroleons?" Severus asked.
"One main thing, as the Battle Commander, he can summon all dark creatures to come to his aid if a war does break out. We know that isn't in any book, it's a closely guarded secret, the same with their ability to speak to other creatures no matter what language." Silverax informed them.
Harry grinned as he looked at his father then Severus. "I do believe we will be able to make use of those abilities in the future if we have a war." He looked at Jax. "Is there a way to get in contact with the other Pteroleons?"
"Yes, we have their names here and what country they are in." Silverax passed over a piece of parchment, it was folded and sealed.
"If there is a war, it has already been decided, the goblins will aid your side. We have been watching and noticing the changes over the years, the equal rights for all magical beings impressed us. We know it hasn't gone through but your side hasn't given up. You have slowly been gaining strength." Griphook told them. "Having Harry on your side is what has allowed us to make the decision formal."
"May I ask what you propose to do?" The Dark Lord asked.
"When you are ready, we will close the bank for however long is needed, we will cite the illegal usage by Dumbledore on numerous vaults for a long time as the reason. Along with his stealing Muggle-borns rightful inheritances, those from the squib lines. We will issue a massive audit notice and close the doors. We will, of course, give your people ample notice to retrieve funds, also open a floo with direct access via your floo." Griphook explained.
"That would cause everyone to become aware of Dumbledore's actions and they wouldn't be able to pin it on our side since the goblins have a Peace Treaty with the Ministry, and you aren't declaring war, it wouldn't be breaking the treaty." The Dark Lord liked this new plan.
"Exactly." The four goblins stated. "It would also give us time to present our findings to the Wizengamot without interference from Dumbledore."
"Contract?" The Dark Lord asked.
Griphook produced one and the three wizards read it and signed. "Pleasure doing business with you as always Harry, Lord Voldemort, and Professor Snape."
"It was our pleasure. Thank you all." The three replied.
They exited the conference room and the Dark Lord asked, "when will you be over to visit?"
"Tomorrow night, unless something comes up." Harry looked at Severus, who nodded his agreement.
"Good. I will see you then. If there are any problems you know my floo is always opened." The Dark Lord reminded them.
Harry transformed into Félin and nodded his head. Severus patted him as they started to leave the bank. "Can we just head back to Hogwarts, no more stopping and letting everyone pet you?"
His beast gave a slight smirk as he nodded his agreement.
Chapter 8: Annoyances
Félin was growling, low. Severus was heading back from the Forbidden Forest, Félin had decided to play with some of Hagrid's animals, since Severus was just staying at the edge, gathering ingredients. At the growling, Severus walked around the stone wall he had been gathering mushrooms from. He saw the bratty trio was surrounding his beast. It appeared as if they were trying to get a reaction out of his beast. He glared and made his way to Hagrid's hut. He quietly knocked, opened the door, before Hagrid could speak, he put his finger up to his lips, and beckoned the man to follow him.
Hagrid gave him a confused look but followed Severus out of his hut. Severus and Hagrid could hear the growling, it was getting louder. Hagrid's face filled with fury as he saw the bratty trio had Félin cornered. "Le've him be!" Hagrid yelled, storming closer to the trio. Severus was still a bit in the shadows.
"He was growling at us." Weaslette pointed to Félin.
"He's dangerous." Granger added, with Weasel bobbing his head in agreement. Hagrid was letting out his own growl at them.
"What did you think he would do? You had him cornered." Severus stated, stepping out of the shadows, allowing the trio to see him. "Any animal you corner usually attacks, he just growled. You would be dead if he attacked."
Félin walked over to Severus, rubbed his head against Severus and sat down. "Dumbledore won't like this." Hagrid muttered. "I need to tell him, you shouldn't have done that."
"Detention." Severus stated. "Finch, for the next week, and I will also be speaking to the Headmaster about this."
Severus was doing his hall patrol, Félin was following him around. He had already found a few students out after curfew. He wondered why he hadn't seen Granger and Weasley since they were the prefects on duty tonight. Félin suddenly moved in front of him, blocking him from going towards the ROR. "What?" He quietly asked.
His beast walked slowly to the corner, peeked around the corner. Severus followed his example. He saw Granger, with the two youngest Weasleys coming towards him. He knew they should have been down in the Gryffindor area. He wondered what they were doing up here, especially since he knew the youngest was out after curfew. He looked down at his beast and saw the puzzlement on his face too. "They were using the Room of Requirement. I can explain it later. I would like to know why."
Before Severus could move, the door opened again and Dumbledore came out of the room. He wondered what they could have been using the room for. He knew people could leave the castle that way without anyone knowing. He wondered if they left the castle and were just coming back. He looked down at his beast. He knew the goblins would let them know what was going on if they tried anything with Harry's accounts. He felt a head-butt against his hand. "I agree."
Harry put down the letter he had received. He wanted to growl but refrained as he handed Severus the letter. Severus read the letter. "So he did try again."
"It appears so. I am wondering what he was thinking?" Severus answered. The letter was from Ironclaw. It informed them that Dumbledore had arrived with the bratty trio. Dumbledore wanted information on Harry and was refused. He had also tried to file a marriage contract, which was rejected. According to Ironclaw, Dumbledore was hoping the marriage contract would force Harry out of hiding.
"You know he is going to try the Ministry next."
"Yes, I believe Ironclaw already handled it. I will send a message to Lucius and the Dark Lord." Severus rose his chair and headed to his desk. He began to write the letters.
"Use an elf, I am afraid if we use an owl, he might read try to read them." Harry gave Severus a bit of a smirk. "Do you think Lucius might have anyone who can spy on them when they aren't in school? Maybe check into Granger's parents? The Weasley family finances?"
"I will mention it to him. I know Lucius does have contacts in the muggle world."
Severus read the note that was handed to him. He glanced at Weasley and Granger, who were standing over a cauldron. "Inform the Headmaster that I will be there after my last class."
Félin raised his head from his huge cat bed that took up one corner of Severus' classroom. For the past three weeks, Severus had been giving the trio a lot of detentions as he patrolled the hallways that the trio would have to take each time they left the ROR.
They learned that Dumbledore had been allowing the batty trio to leave at night to assist in searching for Harry Potter. He was having them explore the places teens would go. Lucius had a lot of evidence of their failure. Lucius had some people following Lupin, Molly and Arthur Weasley, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Tonks, and Mad-Eye. They learned they were doing a very intense search of London for Harry Potter.
After the students were dismissed, Severus, with his beast, headed to Dumbledore's office. He saw Filius heading toward him. He beckoned him to follow him. He saw his beast give Filius a curious glance. They followed Filius to one of the smaller alcoves that lead to a secret storage closet. Once they were in there, Filius cast a privacy spell. "Be careful. I caught Albus speaking to Ms. Granger, Ms. Weasley, and Mr. Weasley. They were speaking about potions and not legal ones. They were speaking about creating a Harry Potter."
"A golem?" Severus asked.
"No, more along the idea of black magic ritual using a potion, one that they need you to make, as it requires a Master's hand."
"I know the potion. It's illegal. Something that can't be brewed here, so he must want me to go to Spinner's End."
"Is there a way to stop it from working?" Filius asked.
"It's a very easy ritual and potion to make mistakes on. It is complex and if the timing is off even by a second, it will fail. I know Albus can't do it, and neither can any of the people in the Order. " Félin gave a slight wobble. "Yes, I agree." At Filius' look, "he thinks he is counting on Ms. Granger's abilities."
"If it's the one we are thinking of, I don't believe that is possible. She is too light originated for it to work, not to mention her inexperience. I can see if my relatives have heard anything."
"Please let us know. We better head up there before he comes looking for us." Filius left the alcove.
Severus didn't miss the annoyed look that crossed Dumbledore's face when he arrived with Félin. After the offer of lemon drops, Severus put his hand on his beast's head and ran his fingers through his mane. "Severus, we have been searching for Harry Potter."
"I am aware."
"We haven't had much luck. I need your assistance in a project." Dumbledore handed him a piece of parchment.
Severus read down the list of ingredients Dumbledore wanted. He arched a brow. "You do realize this list is only good for one potion and that potion is very illegal, very dangerous. The potion and the ritual are complex and very difficult to finish and actually have it work."
"Are you sure? The books didn't mention that." Dumbledore stated.
"Did you read how the ritual works, how the potion is timed?" Severus had seen the pile of books on the side table by Dumbledore's desk. "If you haven't, take a healing potion and using a timer, try adding the ingredients. After that, run through the ritual, you will see it's a lot harder than the books mention."
"I see." Dumbledore glanced at the books. "What do you suggest?"
"Find out what happened to him." Severus stated. "His relatives have never explained what happened." Dumbledore thought for a few minutes. "You know?"
"I spoke to them recently. I had Mad-Eye with me, we learned they never picked Harry up at the train station that day."
"Did they explain why? From what Lupin and the others have said in the past they didn't want Potter there. There had to be more than that." He knew there was more than that, he couldn't get Harry to speak about his past, but he was hoping that Harry would. He wasn't going to push Harry. He felt Harry nudge his leg.
"That is true." Dumbledore lowered his head a bit before he looked up again. "I fear that what happened in that house wasn't good. I was saddened to learn that Harry wasn't well treated. We can deal with that issue when we find Harry. Have you any ideas for locating Harry?"
"Do you have a sample of his blood or hair?" Severus knew the answers but had to go through the motions.
"The goblins?" Severus felt his beast's whiskers move, so he knew his beast was amused.
"They haven't been able to provide any information."
"The Ministry?" Severus could see his beast's lips twitch.
"Also no information. I have tried numerous spells, but nothing has been revealed."
"Why do you believe he is alive?"
"He has to be. As far as I know, the Potter seats are still opened, and no one has claimed any of the titles."
"I see. The titles could be held by someone underage."
"True, but I don't believe that is the case." Dumbledore pulled out a piece of parchment. "If you look at this, I have studied the family lines, and anyone who could claim the seats is of age." He handed the parchment to Severus.
Severus looked down the list and realized it wasn't a true list of heirs for Harry's titles. "Where did this come from?"
"I used James' history he provided for his end of term research in transformation." Dumbledore explained.
James didn't even know his own family history. He wasn't sure why James didn't know his family history. He stopped and without moving his head, he eyed Dumbledore through his hair. The man knew it wasn't an honest list. What was the man trying to cover up? He glanced at Félin, it was time to return to Gringotts. Ironclaw might have some information for them. "Well, I can't do anything with this information."
"I am hoping you can explore the muggle world, go places we can't get into." Dumbledore stated.
Severus glanced at Félin. "Are you forgetting someone?"
"I am sure he can stay here for the hour or two a night it will require. Most of the Order will be out during the weekend."
"Did you forget our deal?"
"Yes, the one where I said I would follow up on credible leads. Give me one and I will."
"Severus, this is very important. We need to find Harry Potter. Tom has been too quiet, and we need to know what he is planning and have a defense against anything."
"Indeed." Severus wasn't going to add more.
Dumbledore was about to continue when the floo chime went off. "I have to take this Severus. It's important, can we speak later?"
"Certainly." Severus rose and saw Mad-Eye in the floo. "I'll see you at dinner."
Harry entered their bedroom, sat down on the bed. "Was that meeting weird?"
"It was. I am not sure what he is hiding or what his goal was." Severus answered as he went to his wardrobe. He started to remove his robes. "Harry, will he learn anything from your relatives?"
"No. About a year or so ago Dumbledore started to get interested in them again Lucius arranged for their memories to be removed and replaced." Harry hadn't moved from the bed.
"I believe we need to visit your father and Ironclaw. That list he showed me, that he claims is from James, didn't match with anything I remembered from the Potter history or what would be on a Potter Inheritance Test."
"I wondered about that. What do you think he is planning?"
"I am not sure. I am hoping to learn more when I assign a detention to either of the Weasleys. I would try Granger, but she might wonder and research."
"She would." Harry answered.
"Go and get ready for bed, we will have a long day tomorrow. I believe Dumbledore will require our attention in his office again."
Harry groaned at the idea but headed to the washroom to get ready for bed.
Severus sent off a quick message to the Dark Lord and Lucius informing them of the latest development in their own coded way. Harry was now sitting down on his favorite couch, while Severus was pulling out the memory of their last meeting with Dumbledore.
"If we recreate the fake genealogy do you think it will help us?" Harry asked.
"I am hoping, Lucius knows more about the pureblood family trees, and if we can show Ironclaw, he might have an idea of what Dumbledore is planning or trying to plan."
"Severus, I have been thinking." Harry ignored the arched brow. "How would Granger's parent react if say they got a concerned letter regarding she spends in that room with Dumbledore? Mentioning how it is at night, lots of earned detentions from being caught."
Severus smirked. "I know who will be willing to do it. He would have seen the detention reports, so it won't automatically be linked to me. I believe some pictures would assist in her late night wanderings."
"I do too."
"Draco." They answered at the same time.
"I will speak to him after classes today. Now let's get this over with." Severus watched Harry pick up his quill, they entered the memory.
Harry was looking over his copy of what they saw. "This doesn't make any sense. I know for a fact that James had more of the Black blood than just his mother."
"He did." Severus looked at the tree they created. "He had your father and James' father mixed up, which we expected."
"Do you think he is trying to hide Charles Potter? He wouldn't know it was the Dark Lord and not really James' Uncle."
"He might be looking for the mysterious Charles Potter, in hopes of finding you." Severus looked at the parchment again, the tree was very incomplete. "I want Lucius to take a look at it. He would have the Black family history, and Narcissa has studied the different families that created the Wizenagamot, which the Potter family stems from."
"My Dad will have information on Charles Potter."
"I will send him a copy too." Severus made copies, and send the information off with Dobby.
A week later:
Severus and Félin were just starting their breakfast when the owls arrived with the mail. They had been arriving a bit later than their normal time as Félin needed to be seen going out each morning to the Forest. "Slightly late today." Filius commented as his paper landed in front of him.
The students were loud, as normal, and Severus put his mail into his robe pocket, as he never read it in public. He made sure his beast had extra sausage and eggs. Severus felt his beast nudge his leg. He looked at him and saw the tilt of the head towards the Lions. Severus glanced up and noticed the Granger had a letter that was clearly making her mad.
Severus watched Ronald stuffing his face, mouth opened as he chewed, while his annoying sister pulled the letter away from Granger and started to read it, clearly out loud to Ron, who suddenly stopped chewing, with his mouth left hanging open. Granger snatched the letter back, with tears in her eye, and dashed out of the Great Hall.
"Oh dear, I wonder what that was about?" Minerva glanced at Dumbledore.
"I am afraid I don't know." Dumbledore was clearly looking at his little spies. Severus saw a note landed in front of the Weasley duo and knew the duo would be up in his office as soon as possible.
Severus looked at his Snakes and saw a smirk on Draco's face. He felt the tickle of whiskers on his leg and knew his beast also saw. The Grangers must have been very upset to learn of their daughter's late-night wanderings.
Everyone was situated in the staff room, waiting, yes, you guessed it, for Dumbledore to arrive. His beast was licking up the last of the tea in the bowl that Severus laid down in front of him. Minerva had been feeding him some kippers as he drank his tea.
Filius had provided a chair specially designed for Félin. It was big enough to allow him to sit or lay down, with a little table attached that Severus could secure his bowl in. It was covered in fur resistant cloth that Severus was going to be used to recover his furniture in, the elves did a great job keeping the fur out, but between Potion Ingredients and Félin, there was still fur on the furniture.
Severus could hear Félin purring as Minerva gave him another kipper. "You know you spoil him."
"Hush, Severus, he deserves it." Minerva always seemed to have some treats for his beast and he wondered about speaking to her about Harry Potter. He knew Dumbledore wasn't above memory charming people and knew Minerva had been subjected to it a few times by the old man. Most of the staff had actually.
Dumbledore finally made an entrance. He made his way to his usual spot, thanking Aurora as she poured him a cup of tea. "I have some sad news. Ms. Granger's parents have withdrawn her from Hogwarts, she will now be attending a muggle school, and a muggle university."
The questions starting flying, except, Severus noticed, from Filius and Minerva. Filius, Pomona, and Minerva were already informed about the late night wanderings as they received copies of all detentions. Dumbledore held up his hand. "They were concerned about the number of detentions she has received regarding the late nights, and I'm not sure how, but they had copies of their daughter at a variety of clubs with the dates attached."
Severus was wondering if the man was going to admit it was his fault. He knew he would have to explain at the next Order meeting, which he bet would happen tonight. "When is she to leave?" Minerva's lips were pressed together, and she was clearly unhappy with Dumbledore.
"She is packing now. Her parents are expecting her to arrive before dinner. She is 17 which means that she is of age in the magical world, however, she isn't in the muggle world. They have informed her if she is to remain or return here, they will cut off any funding she has and report her as a runaway in the muggle world. They had already closed her account with Gringotts, submitted the paperwork for the return of their tuition for the rest of the year."
"How was she going to these clubs? She was here each night, the detentions she received showed that." Pomona asked.
"The times on the clubs were before curfew." Dumbledore didn't answer the rest of the question. "I am hoping one of you might be willing to take in Ms. Granger.
"You want one of us to take in Ms. Granger, pay for her Hogwarts education and any program she might select to go forward with?" Aurora asked. "While I agree Ms. Granger is a bright girl, we have had this problem before and you never requested this before, why now?"
Severus resisted the urge to say it's because she was a Lion and one of his pets. Oh, Merlin, he had to do it. "I believe it's because she is the only Gryffindor in the last decade that has had this situation arise. The last three were Hufflepuffs, they were three cousins, who lost the last of their relatives in a potion accident. Before that was a Ravenclaw, whose parents were station overseas and died during a fire."
"Severus." Dumbledore looked around the room.
"While I agree Ms. Granger is bright, she isn't very popular with the staff or the students." Severus continued. "Her know it all attitude as alienate the students, and no matter how often I have informed her that her yelling out answers and her hand waving doesn't help anyone else in learning, she has refused to budge on the matter. This might be what the girl needs, a lesson in reality. Not everything can be learned from books."
Severus could see the nods of agreement from everyone. The girl's attitude had gotten worse over the years, they had had countless meetings trying to get the girl to improve her attitude, but they were always stopped by Dumbledore. Severus always wondered why he wanted Granger attached to the Potter name. He looked at his beast. He stored the question to think about it later.
"We really can't allow someone as bright as Ms. Granger to leave our world." Dumbledore began. "She is the brightest witch of her generation and being a muggle-born, she will aid us in uniting the muggle and magical world."
"That won't be happening." Lucius announced from the doorway. He stepped into the room. "I'm here in regards to Ms. Granger. Her parents have asked the Ministry to ban her return to the magical world. They want her wand snapped, and they want an investigation into you, Albus. Something about spending too many late nights in a small room with Ms. Granger." You could hear a pin drop with how quiet it suddenly got. "They submitted copies of the club-hopping, the detention reports, and pictures of you and her leaving the same room a few minutes apart from each other to the Board and the Ministry. Cornelius has agreed to honor their requests, the Board tried to interfere asking her parents, if they would have allowed her to stay if she was carefully monitored, but they refused. I believe the words they used to the Board and the Ministry when presented this idea was that the staff worship the Headmaster, with the exception of a few, Severus being the one they named. When asked if Professor Snape could oversee their daughter, they would have agreed, except for the fact that Arthur Weasley mentioned Severus being a Death Eater and he wasn't sure if the Wizenagamot would allow that."
Severus wondered where the pictures of them leaving the ROR came from. He knew Harry didn't do it. He also realized why it took a week for her parents to respond, they had been very busy. "Albus?" Minerva finally recovered.
"It's not what you think." Dumbledore's face was white. "She has been assisting me."
"Assisting is what they call it now?" Lucius' voice was full of innuendo.
"She was assisting me with Ron and Ginny Weasley in trying to find Harry Potter." Dumbledore stammered. "They were trying to help me find him."
"Wait, you were going to allow Ms. Granger to take the blame for all those detentions, the club-hopping, and allow her parents to remove her from Hogwarts and not say a word about her doing it with your approval?" Minerva looked surprised, the rest of the staff looked shocked.
"You knew this and wanted one of us to take her in. Meaning you were going to sanction her running away from her parents, who are clearly concerned about their daughter and her activities, while you knew they were under the wrong impression?" Aurora asked.
"Interesting, you were allowing students to break curfew and go clubbing in a way to find Mr. Potter. I am sure the Board will be delighted to hear this information. I do expect everyone in this room to submit a written report of what occurred here." Lucius stated. "Now, Minerva perhaps you could escort me to Ms. Granger. I believe she will need your assistance with the tragic deed I am going to have to do."
"Is there any other way?" Minerva asked.
"I can only think of having her attend another magical school." Lucius answered. "They refuse to allow their daughter to return to any place Albus is in charge of."
"Come, let me speak to her parents, and maybe we can salvage this." Minerva stood up. Lucius followed Minerva.
Severus knew he would find out what was decided by Lucius and the Dark Lord this coming weekend. He stopped listening to everyone asking or lecturing Dumbledore on his errors. He quietly made his escape when Poppy started on the man.
Severus landed in Slytherin Caste with his beast, who took off running towards the Dark Lord's office. He heard a thud as he was almost to the door. "Harry, I keep telling you, no running in the house. I am beginning to think you like hitting the wall."
"I don't always hit it. Nixi polished the floor again." Harry was sitting down on the couch when Severus entered the room.
"He has been cooped up at Hogwarts for the last few days. Dumbledore has been having a lot of meetings between the staff and the Order." Severus explained as he took a seat.
"Lucius has been telling me. Dumbledore has been trying to explain the situation but no one wants to hear about Harry Potter or my return."
"We heard. The Order meetings have been chaos. It seems somewhat divided."
"It's true, Marvolo. The Order appears divided. Dumbledore was clearly upset that Arthur stopped me from getting custody of Granger. Why he thought I would want custody of the girl is beyond me. Black and Lupin are wondering why they weren't aware of the search by the Bratty Trio. Molly and Arthur were upset to learn their two youngest were out late and not at Hogwarts like they thought. Minerva and Mad-Eye are still furious with the whole situation. Turns out Mad-Eye was against the Bratty Trio doing the searching and warned Dumbledore not to do it. Kingsley and Tonks have been asked to explain why they are looking for Mr. Potter."
"Interesting." The Dark Lord replied. "I also looked at the family tree he claims James created."
"What did you find out?" Harry had been wondering about it.
"Actually Lucius and Narcissa discovered a few interesting things. You were correct about the lack of names and lines on the tree, especially the Black one. When Narcissa began to look into the family tree, it appears that Sirius was removed from the family, so Harry has to be the new Lord, when he comes of age, with Draco being next in line."
"The Order." Severus smirked. He knew how to make things even more difficult for them.
"I believe you are going to have to explain that."
"Marvolo, they meet at the Black family house. If Sirius Black was been remove from the family, that means that Harry can remove the Order and the members who live there. Dumbledore keeps a lot of files there, and if Harry does it, say at 3 AM, they will have no warning and find themselves sleeping outside."
"Won't they feel it, as I do it?" Harry asked.
"Not if you do it the way Severus is thinking of. If you stand on the property, state that you are closing the house down and want all magical begins except those who belong to House Black, the wards will remove everyone, while sleeping to an area outside of the wards."
"We arrange for the local police to find them." Severus grinned at the idea.
The Dark Lord laughed. "Harry will be able to control who enters, and you can search through the files. I don't expect to find much, as I don't think Dumbledore will leave anything that shows his plans, but we might find some interesting information."
"True. He doesn't like to share his ideas or plans."
"Now, to continue, another interesting thing Lucius noticed, as I know you did too, was the missing founder lines, and the inaccurate dates of death of James' parents."
"I had wondered about that." Severus had spent a few hours wondering what the man was covering up with that missing information.
"Lucius discovered that Harry actually owns Hogwarts. As none of the other founders' line is as direct as Harry's. I'm even below him, because of the blood adoptions."
"Why would he hide it?" Harry asked.
"Dumbledore should have given you access to Hogwarts and informed the Board and the Ministry. As you are the one who determines which way Hogwarts goes in education, scholarships, even their budget."
"Merlin, that is it. He knows that if anyone finds out he has hidden that, allowed for the abuse of Harry, and his other offense, his name wouldn't mean anything and he would lose everything he has spent years arranging." Severus was totally surprised. If Harry wanted to, he could have closed Hogwarts.
"Exactly, it would mean that his fake prophecy would be discovered. Frankly, I am surprised it hasn't."
"He hasn't told anyone what it says. He just tells them that Harry is needed for it." Severus absently answered, still thinking of ways they could oust Dumbledore.
"Severus, if we release that Harry owns Hogwarts before he turns 21, Dumbledore would use his status as Headmaster to claim control of Hogwarts, saying he would train Harry to handle wards."
"Couldn't he do it after I turned 21?" Harry asked.
"No, because at the age of 21 unless you were determined to be mentally unfit he would have to give control of Hogwarts over you." Severus answered. "Wait, the books on his desk. I need to pull a memory and review it."
"You think he is going to have my son declared mentally unfit?" The Dark Lord snarled.
"Yes, the potion is something that Granger could make. It would explain why he had only those three looking for Harry in clubs and other areas. He has most of the other Order members searching places like the underground, bus stations, and Surrey."
"Lucius is here. I believe he might be able to arrange to have a few different mind healers exam Harry and declare him sound of mind. We will have the goblins do a complete medical, magically, inheritance, and creature tests."
"Great." Harry muttered.
"I see you have been sharing good news without me." Lucius greeted everyone and took a seat. They quickly informed him of what they learned. "Ms. Granger is now in the US. Her parents transferred her there, and she will actually be entering her fifth year there. They have a core class requirement that matches our idea. I received a copy of it, and their stats for the next meeting." He placed the information on the table in front of the Dark Lord.
"So we are going to go after the man on all fronts?" Harry asked.
"I think it's time." The Dark Lord gave Severus a look. "Lucius, when can you submit those reports?"
"Anytime. The next meeting isn't until next month, but I can give copies to everyone, explain the reason how I got them."
"Good, do that. Severus, Harry, the weekend before the Board meets, evict the Order from the Black family house and ban Black from being able to enter the family vaults and properties. I will start working on the Wizengamot, as I believe it's time to take our seats. All of them."
"He will try to claim you are the Dark Lord." Lucius warned.
"I am aware, and can you imagine his face when you introduce me as Charles Potter?"
Lucius, Severus, and Harry were circling around the Dark Lord. "Dumbledore might still be able to see through the glamour, but I doubt it. We have cast every spell at you, including some darker ones." Lucius moved away a bit. "Ironclaw arranged the transfer of all the proxies. I will just need to introduce you as Lord Charlus Potter since Harry is now over seventeen, we can hide the complete list of titles under his real name."
Harry tilted his head, looking at his father. "The basics are the same, so if he has any doubts, he might review memories to check things like height, hair color, body size."
"True." Severus agreed. "However, I believe he is going to fixate on finding out how Charles Potter survived, and where has he been."
"I have that covered." The Dark Lord walked back to his desk. "Lucius was able to find a healer in Greece. Since Dorea was killed while I was away on researching old magic, which Dumbledore would have known, I had the healer with Ironclaw create a long-term illness due to a cursing breaking accident on an ancient artifact. I have been in seclusion recovering, and since my heir has been missing, I have come to discover what has happened to Harry Potter."
"We have created the medical bills, complete history, and some forged documents." Lucius took a sip of his tea. "Dumbledore will be losing the Chief Warlock position." Everyone took their seats, Harry and Severus on the couch, the Dark Lord behind his desk, while Lucius took the chair opposite the couch but close to the fireplace.
"He is going to be annoying about that." Severus sighed. "He is going to find a way to find out what seats you have and how he lost control."
"Yes, I figured he will have the answer by the end of the week, if not sooner. Tomorrow's session will only be any new introductions and procedural reviews for the heir and new Lord." The Dark Lord knew that Dumbledore had a lot of people in the Ministry, so did he. However, unlike Dumbledore, he didn't waste their talent by giving them lousy missions or leaving them in dead-end jobs.
"According to Cornelius, he is still trying to find a way to locate Harry Potter, and now his new thing has been trying to get "that beast" out of Hogwarts. What have you done?"
"Not sure. I know he has been trying to figure out who I am. He has even been trying to get the idiot duo to "make nice" to me."
"The Mutt has been talking about banning Félin from his home. I warned Dumbledore that if that happened I wouldn't attend. It didn't stop the Mutt from complaining." Severus really wanted to hex the man.
"He is an idiot." Harry's thumb started rubbing circles on the back of Severus' right hand. "I believe we can cause more division."
"I agree. They spent more time fighting among themselves. Most are getting annoyed with looking for Harry Potter when they believe there are more important issues to worry about. Since he has never told them why he wants Harry, beyond that he is the key to winning the war, all of them believe their energies should be put to better use."
"Do you think Minivera would be willing to listen?" Lucius wondered if the old tabby cat was as loyal to Dumbledore as people thought. He had been thinking of all the memories he had seen of the meetings. She didn't seem so loyal to Dumbledore.
"I have been thinking about it. I believe she knows something but hasn't put it together fully yet." Harry paused, "she spends a lot of time defending me, as Harry and as Félin. Severus, didn't you think the last few Order meetings, and staff meetings, that she was annoyed by Dumbledore?"
"I have. Filius suggested we should speak to her and Poppy, after the last meeting."
"Feel them out. If you feel they would assist us, speak to them. If they wish to actually speak to me, let me know. Minerva went to school with me, she was two years ahead of me, but I know she always was an opened minded person, and that woman can duel." The Dark Lord turned off his Charles Potter glamour. "Lucius?"
"I agree. She has stood up to Dumbledore a few times in Board meetings, which surprised a few people. Everyone has always believed she was a firm Dumbledore supporter."
"I have some reports for you to review." Lucius pulled out some reports from his endless pouch, approached the Dark Lord's desk, the two started reviewing some of the information.
Harry thought for a few minutes as everyone was reviewing their own chores. Harry nudged Severus with his elbow. When Severus faced him, he asked, quietly: "how do you feel about teaching students who support my dad some lessons in defense?"
"I have been thinking of that. I know Dumbledore has been having Weasley teaching some of the Gryffindors and a few others spells. If we did it weekly, but on random nights during the week, we could cover it. If we used the ROR or even one of the lower dungeons where the wards don't cover, we would be able to keep Dumbledore from finding out." Severus wasn't sure how Harry had known he was thinking of teaching the students some defense, but he did like the idea.
"Sounds good, mention it to Dad." Harry nudged Severus again.
"You are pushy." Severus remarked.
"You love it." Harry answered, giving Severus a quick kiss on the cheek.
Soon it was time to head back to Hogwarts. They were dreading Mondays now, especially after they got to spend the day at Slytherin Castle relaxing.
Félin was jogging back toward Severus when he heard voices. He froze, he could see Severus wondering what was going on, but he slowly moved forward. He crept closer to the voices. "I don't know about this." Félin looked at the opened window and realized the voices were coming from one of the lower level classrooms that were located below the Headmaster's office.
"We need to do it. The Headmaster needs to get rid of the beast." Molly Weasley's voice floated out the window.
"It's not going to work." Félin recognized that voice as belonging to Weaslette. "We will need at least a memory. Also, we will need to get that thing alone, it's never alone. Snape and those snakes are always around."
Félin wondered what Dumbledore was going to try now. "She's right." Weasley quietly added, as his mother automatically corrected Weaslette by saying "Professor Snape."
Félin felt Severus join him at the window.
"Why can't we just say that the beast chased us, almost biting us?" Félin was a bit surprised, that voice was also familiar and it belonged to Black. He wondered why Black was in the school. "I can say I came to drop some things off at the Albus' office, saw the three of you, we were speaking when that black beast started chasing us."
"We will need a memory, to many people love it." Weaslette stated. "Remember what happened after Snape yelled at us when we were getting our school supplies? How everyone kept telling us to leave it alone."
"True. She is correct Sirius, we're going to need to tarnish its image. The Headmaster has been trying to figure out who it is but hasn't had any luck. He thought it might have been Potter, but it wasn't. There isn't any creature blood on either side of his family."
"Of course not." Black snarled. "James and Lily would never have anything like that in their family histories. My godson would never be a creature."
"Shame we couldn't get it banned from the Order meetings, we could have used that to set the thing up." Weasley inhaled deeply in disappointment.
"Yes, but that failed, Albus was ready to do it, but he needs to keep Sniverellus at the meetings, he wants to keep his spy. I still think it's not a great loss if we ban both."
"Sirius, Severus does a dangerous job. There aren't any other spies that high up. You know he only has a few lower level ones, despite them trying to move up the ranks. Severus doesn't know about them, so he can't aid them in moving up the ranks."
Severus looked at Félin; they would be informing the Dark Lord of this. "So what are we going to do?" Weaslette asked.
"Keep trying to separate them. I still haven't found a spell that will land on it." Molly remarked.
"Not even the ones I gave you?" Black asked.
"No, they didn't do a thing."
Severus and Félin now knew who had cursed him with some very dark spells. Thank Merlin, nothing stuck but they were still a bit of an annoyance. Harry had been wearing his heir and Lord rings, combined with his creature inheritance, prevented them doing more than giving me a slight rash. "You know it might not be a person. It's Snape after all, what human in their right mind would want to be with him?" Weasley commented.
"True. He would only be able to get a creature." Black agreed. "I have to go. I told Remus I would be back for lunch."
"Does he have any ideas?" Weaslette asked.
"No, all he can say is that Moony feels afraid and wants to submit to it. However, that really isn't a surprise, Moony isn't exactly Alpha material."
Severus and Félin exchanged a quick smirk. If Remus only knew the truth the man would be running for the hills. Félin had yet to try that his new powers on Remus, he had experimented with Fenrir. The Alpha was able to help Harry understand how to control the ability to speak and control the dark creatures. Fenrir taught Harry how to feel the power of those he called, and how to get them to respond without fear.
"I will speak to the Albus once he returns from the Ministry. He might have a new idea. No one has seen me, so I can just head back up to his office. If anyone does I can say I was visiting my children."
"Owl me if you need any help."
Severus and Félin left their spot, heading back the greenhouse. They didn't want to take a chance that Black would see them if they went through the front doors.
The Dark and Lucius entered the Ministry and made their way to the Wizengamot. They saw a few people they knew and chatted a bit as they walked towards the Wizengamot. They saw Dumbledore was speaking to Madam Bones, who clearly wasn't happy with the man.
"He has been trying to get that Félin removed." Lord Parkinson explained. "I heard him tell Cornelius how dangerous he was."
"Cornelius' reaction?" Lucius wondered what Dumbledore was trying to do. Dumbledore knew that Félin wasn't a dark creature, so what was the end game?
"He dismissed him, which is why I believe he is speaking to Amelia."
"I am sure we can change his focus during the meeting today." The Dark Lord calmly remarked. He was actually wanting to send the Killing Curse at the man but knew it wouldn't be a good idea. Yes, it would solve a few problems, but also would create a martyr.
Lucius and Lord Parkinson smirked as they entered the Wizengamot chamber. The Dark Lord moved to the Potter seats and felt magic sweep over him. He couldn't wait for the man to see him sitting in the Potter seats.
Dumbledore strolled in as if he owned the Ministry, the Wizengamot and was Merlin himself. He made his way to the Chief Warlock seat, but couldn't sit in it. The chair kept moving, much to the surprise of the members of the Wizengamot. "Albus?"
"I am unsure of what is going on."
"I can provide the answer." Lucius stood up and walked to the seat. He sat down. "I am the new Chief Warlock."
"What? How? When? Who?" Dumbledore's face turned a pale white, he almost fell to the floor if not for Amelia's quick thinking and shoving a chair under the man.
"In order to answer that, allow me to introduce Lord Charlus Hadrian Potter. He has assigned his seats to the Whig Party."
The Dark Lord rose from his seat and bowed. "Thank you for the introduction. It's a pleasure to be back in Britain."
Dumbledore looked like he had seen a ghost. "The seats, they belong to Harry Potter." He finally managed to stammer out. "They belong to Harry."
"My heir has assigned his seats to me. I have taken up the Potter Lordship, and since he is only slightly over 17, he felt his seats would be better served if he assigned them to me, especially since I am Lord Potter."
"Harry Potter is your heir?" Dumbledore almost jumped up at the idea of finding out where Harry Potter was.
"No, Hadrian is." The Dark Lord watched Dumbledore trying to figure out how the seats now went to Charlus Potter. "You see my dear brother was only my proxy, and James was after that. I do, however, have one question for you, why did you place my nephew with magic-hating muggles?"
The Wizengamot was just twittering with this news. They all had been wondering where Harry Potter had disappeared to, many believed the stories about the muggles killing the boy. "He was protected there." Dumbledore managed to regain some composure. "They were his only-" Dumbledore stopped, he couldn't use that excuse any longer. "They cared about him."
"Really? So the numerous reports filed by the muggle police, school officials, and even the social services, were false? The same ones that demanded the boy be removed, but somehow, all of them don't remember it. The same people who had already filed the reports and didn't remember anything until they reviewed the reports."
"I would be very interested in seeing these reports." Amelia stated from her own seat.
"They will be delivered." The Dark Lord really hadn't expected this to happen. He had thought that Dumbledore would have remained quiet until Dumbledore had some idea of what was occurring. He wondered if the lemon drops were rotting the man's brains or if he was going senile.
Chatter broke out but Lucius quickly regained control and got through the opening. Dumbledore had remained thoughtful during the whole session.
DUMBLEDORE ALLOWED HARRY POTTER TO BE ABUSED!
by Victor Y. Isurs
In a shocking, unsettling new, we learned that the Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore was aware of the years of abuse our dear missing Boy-Who-Lived, Harry Potter, has endured. We learned the surprising facts during yesterday's Wizengamot session. The abuse charges were back up by numerous report from muggle authorities. Yes, Dumbledore left the Boy-Who-Lived with abusive muggles.
Yesterday, in an upsetting move, Lucius Malfoy became the Chief Warlock as Lord Charlus Potter made his appearance. He had been severely injured overseas and has now returned to England, as the head of the Potter Family. Albus Dumbledore appeared to be distressed by the factor that Lord Potter made his appearance. Dumbledore insisted that he had control over the Potter-Black seats. Lord Potter had originally assigned the seats to his brother, (full ancestry on page 3).
The shocking news about the abuse came when Lord Potter demanded answers to why Albus Dumbledore left Harry Potter with abusive guardians. He provided numerous reports to Madam Amelia Bones to show his words were truthful. All of us remember the numerous times we have demanded that Albus Dumbledore provided us with proof of Harry Potter's safety (see page 4, 5, 6 for the previous articles). We were all informed that Harry Potter was safe, receiving magical training, and education. However, the reports showed otherwise.
So, my readers, are we going to allow Albus Dumbledore to remain unpunished for this? Is this the reason why Harry Potter ran away from our world? Did something happen to Harry Potter? Did his relatives kill him and Albus Dumbledore protecting them?
Should we continue to allow a man who willingly allowed an abuse in charge of our children? We have heard him trying to get Félin removed. Is it because he wants to cover up abuse in our world? Does he believe out of sight out of mind? Félin has done nothing yet Dumbledore wants to have him destroyed. Why?
I will continue to work on finding answers.
Dumbledore refrained from destroying the paper. He glanced around the Great Hall. He saw that dread beast sitting and eating by Severus, while Minerva kept sending it kippers. He had to stop whatever plot Black and the Weasleys had come up with. He had hoped they would be able to get rid of the beast but if they did anything it would also reflect on him, as many knew the Weasleys were his supporters, Black included. He would meet with them after dinner. He sent a quick note to Ginny.
Dumbledore needed to be at the Ministry later today, as they would be questioning the Dursley family. He knew he couldn't save them from abuse and neglect charges, but he needed to find out any information they might have regarding Harry Potter. While it wouldn't get him control over the seats, he would be able to force the boy to remain at Hogwarts and guide him towards the light.
Félin and Severus were watching the Marauder's Map. They were standing behind the fake wall in the dungeon area. They were, originally, going to head outside for potion ingredients and fresh air, when they heard a weird noise. So they checked out the Marauder's Map and saw Weasley and Weaslette were in one of the unused classes down by the stairs to go down to the dungeons.
Severus had liberated the Marauder map from Filch's office. He had heard Black informing Weasley that Filch had the map, and how it worked. Black said that there were two maps, he knew the Weasley twins had one, which was originally Lupins, but he said his own map was in the shape of a book.
They moved a bit closer and Severus cast an eavesdropping spell. "He always goes outside at 8. Snape stays inside. So when he comes up the stairs, we start running."
"We need to have him do something first. We can't just run." Weaslette reminded her brother.
"We will. We step out in front of him, go to pet him. He always roars when we do. So we wait until he roars, and start running. We need to remember when we show the memory to start thinking of him roaring at us, not us jumping out at him."
"I don't think it will work." Weaslette warned. "Someone will ask what we were doing before that."
"That is why I said to try and pet it." Weasley snapped. "If we show we are attempting to be friendly, it will make him look dangerous. However, I believe we should do it before dinner. If we wait, we might not be able to do it tonight. Dumbledore wants to meet with us, remember?" No one spoke for a few seconds. "Snape has a class, so if the three of us sit here and wait, we should get him alone." Weasley's voice sounded proud that he came up with that idea.
Severus looked at his beast. Félin's whiskers started twitching. "I will remain hidden." They waited patiently for about thirty minutes. Severus pulled out his wand, cast an invisibility spell on himself. They continued down the hall.
The Gryffindors jumped out in front of Félin, who tilted his head at them. Weaslette held out her hand, and Weasley followed her example. Félin yawned, and let out a low growl as they moved closer towards him. They quickly took off, running and screaming. "HELP!"
Félin sat down. Félin remained sitting where he was, as a crowd gathered. Students were watching a crying Weaslette. Weasley faced the students. "It tried to kill us." Everyone looked back down the dungeon hall to see Félin sitting down, cleaning his paws.
"What is going on?" Minerva arrived.
"That thing tried to kill us." Weaslette was now wiping her tears. Weasley was looking around at the students.
"Perhaps, I can help?" Severus removed the invisibility spell.
"Mr. Weasley, Miss Weasley, my office. Yes, Severus, I believe it's time for a long conversation."
"That beast is dangerous." Weasley pointed to Félin, who was arching his back as a few Puffs first-years were scratching his back.
"For future reference, he likes the areas around his wings scratched." Severus informed the students as they followed Minerva to her office.
"I do believe the Headmaster is back." Filius informed everyone. "I believe a few ghosts have informed him of the situation."
Dumbledore was in a rotten mood. The Dursleys had no information for him. The Aurors had found the letter he originally wrote to the Dursley, which left him admitting to the fact he left Harry on the doorstep. Madam Bones questioned him regarding the fact in the letter he mentioned returning when Harry was eleven, and not informing the child of his heritage while informing the wizarding world differently. He was able to use "for the greater good" and without evidence, he wasn't charged. The Dursleys were.
Now, he arrived back at Hogwarts only to be informed his pets had succeeded in getting chased by the beast. Maybe now his misfortune was turning.
Minerva arrived with her lions, while Severus arrived with his beast. Fawkes flew over to it and sat on its head. He knew this would be leaked out too. "Lemon drop?" He held out his candy dish.
"No." Minerva and Severus snapped, while Weasley took one. He honestly wasn't surprised by that.
"I have already summoned the Aurors so that they can handle the beast. I have already filed the report with the Ministry and Board." He had just written out a rather quick report, to make sure he was covered for when the Aurors destroyed the beast. Dumbledore didn't like the looks on Minerva and Severus' face.
Minerva watched Severus, something was brewing and it didn't bode well for her lions. "When will they arrive?"
"We are here now." John Dawlish, Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Mad-Eye were in the doorway. "Your door was opened."
"Yes, I left it opened, as I knew you were on your way." Dumbledore stood up. "Now, if you can escort the beast away."
"I would like to know what happened." Dawlish glanced around. He had seen Félin with Severus and in Diagon Alley.
"It attacked two of my students." Dumbledore pulled out some parchment. "I will have my students write out their encounter after they are checked by Poppy."
"That is strange, as we have two conflicting reports. Which is why we are here." Kingsley explained. Dawlish and Tonks had one report about the beast being framed, while he and Mad-Eye had a report, by Dumbledore, of the beast attacking.
"I can provide the memory of what happened." Severus held up his wand.
"So can we. It's dangerous. It chased us down the hall. The only reason we didn't get bitten was that we were screaming for help, and it arrived."
"I see. To save time, we want to review the memory." Kingsley pulled out a phial for Severus to use.
"Anything to say before we watch?" Mad-Eye turned his attention to the duo.
"We just wanted to protect the students. He is dangerous." Weaslette looked at her brother. "He growls at us when we go to pet him. He is a dark creature."
"It was snapping at us, as we ran. I could hear it."
"I want their memories reviewed." Dawlish ordered as he pulled out three phials.
"Because you have cornered him, tormented him, teased him, and picked on him. You don't think we haven't heard about what you have done. Hagrid is very free in telling what he saw you do to Félin." Tonks started petting Félin.
"I will pull their memories." Mad-Eye took the phials from Dawlish. "Think about before you saw Félin, and what happened."
"Why before?" Weasley looked at his sister as she asked. He didn't like this idea. They knew they were going to get into a lot of trouble.
"To show that Félin had no cause." Kingsley didn't like the way this was going. He realized rather quickly that it was a set-up and it was a bust.
"Sit." Mad-Eye pointed to chairs. Once the duo was seated, he cast a sticking charm on them.
Ten minutes later the four Aurors and Dumbledore were kicked out of the memories. "Albus since you filed a false report, Amelia might charge you. As for you two, there is nothing legally I can charge you with. However, I wish there was." Kingsley wasn't happy with them. "I will be informing your parents, and I will see if there is an old law that might apply to get the three of you to serve some type of community service."
"They will be issuing a public apology, and serving three months detention. All privileges are suspended, your curfew will be 9." Minerva declared. "Your detention will be with Filch."
"I will go to the Ministry and retract the report. I will also speak to Amelia about this situation." Dumbledore wanted to kill them. He really didn't need this.
"The apology will need to be in the paper, as I'm sure it will get out." Kingsley warned. The other three Aurors were finishing their notes.
"If we are finished, I have a few things I need to get completed." Severus had been a bit surprised that Dumbledore had filed a complaint that fast but it would be another nail in the coffin of Dumbledore. He knew Dawlish and a few others would make sure the report got leaked out. People were also tired of Dumbledore's rants.
"We are finished." Kingsley tapped his job assignment parchment sending it back the Ministry. It just listed the complaint, the time filed, the time they arrived where the complaint was in regards to, basic information of who was involved, and how resolved.
"I appreciate your fast response. Ron, Ginny, head to the Great Hall for dinner." Dumbledore dismissed the students. No one spoke until they were gone.
They finished up the last minute details, had Severus and Minerva sign their statements. Dawlish and Tonks left after Mad-Eye ordered her to complete the full report. Once they were gone, Mad-Eye slammed the door closed. "You know what could have happened?"
"I'm aware." Dumbledore was furious. If they had destroyed the beast and afterward found out it was innocent, the three of them could have been brought up on murder charges, especially since it was known as the mate of Severus.
"Are you aware of how this is going to look in the Daily Prophet?" Kingsley inquired. "Many are still upset about this morning's paper."
"I'm aware." Dumbledore wondered when Fate turned against him. Shame he didn't remember that Fate was fickle.
"You will leave Félin alone." Minerva warned.
"He hasn't done anything and has put up with a lot from you and those two." Severus was finding it harder and harder to even be civil to Dumbledore, especially after things like this.
"I will speak to them.
Harry was brushing Potions, who was purring. "Tomorrow's paper will be interesting."
"You up for some payback?"
Severus looked up from his book. "Your idea?"
"Pages 56, 415, and 652 in Potions for Advance Potion Makers."
"Let's start brewing."
Félin sat down next to Minerva and nudged her arm. "I don't have any more kippers, how about some bacon?"
"I don't believe he will turn down bacon." Severus was thankful Harry didn't eat like Félin did. The lion was a bottomless pit.
"I believe the elves have hidden the bacon and kippers under the silver domes so that we may have some." Pomona dropped some eggs onto a plate and put close enough for Félin to eat from.
Dumbledore ignored the staff, especially after the last staff meeting.
"You did what?" Irma Pince looked up from her book in surprise.
"Albus filed a dangerous beast report on Félin after the two Weasleys' ran screaming from him." Minerva ignored the coughing from Dumbledore.
"He would never." Poppy was a bit shocked. She looked at the sleeping lion, curled up on the old beat up couch against the far wall.
"He didn't. They tried to set Félin up." Minerva wasn't happy with her two lions and she made sure they were well aware of it. "So for the next three months, they have detention."
"Good, and you, Albus, filing a false report, believing Félin would hurt anyone." Poppy waved her finger at him. "Do I need to do a mental health exam on the three of you?"
"I'm fine. However, he is a dark creature."
"Not that again." Was heard numerous times around the room, Severus, wisely, stayed quiet. He figured let them beat the idiot over the head.
"How many times do we have to explain it? Even paranoid Mad-Eye said he isn't." Minerva sighed. "If you keep it up, parents are going to demand you get a full mental health exam or your removal."
"Why did the duo do it?" Aurora had read all the legends and lore about Pteroleons and knew that Severus' beast was more powerful than Dumbledore believed. She also knew he was going to regret his actions if he didn't stop attacking Félin.
"Following their mother." Minerva rolled her eyes and everyone understood what she truly was saying. Dumbledore was having Molly and the two youngest work on getting rid of Félin.
"It's also Sceadugenga, which is a dark creature." Dumbledore wasn't about to let his views be changed.
Severus kept writing his potion notes. "Sceadugenga gave him his coloring. You heard Hagrid, Mad-Eye, and even the goblins, he isn't a dark creature." Minerva saw that Félin was awake and staring at Dumbledore. She could have sworn the lion rolled its eyes at Dumbledore's ignorance.
"Perhaps we can move the staff meeting ahead, Albus clearly doesn't want to hear what we are saying. His listening ears are turned off." Filius remarked. "We do have another issue that is rather pressing but does concern the two Weasleys. They have been bullying a few of the younger years who have tried to defend Félin when no one is around."
The meeting went from bad to worse as the Heads of Houses all reported the same problem. Dumbledore was going to have to speak to the Weasleys. He was already facing fines for the false report. "I will speak to them."
"Good, moving forward, we have the yearly audit coming up." Minerva began the real meeting.
Two days later:
"Severus, may I have an hour of your time tonight?" Minerva asked as they sat down for lunch.
"I believe I can arrange it. I don't have any detentions scheduled, I can defer any I assign to Angus. Would 7 be fine?"
"Yes, thank you."
Minerva arrived on time. She stepped into Severus' quarters. "I do believe wards will be needed."
Severus didn't ask any questions but cast the wards. He knew Minerva enough to know the woman wouldn't have asked if they were important. "Tea?" Severus returned his wand to its holster.
"Please." Minerva sat down on the couch and Potion immediately hopped up to be petted. "He is getting big."
"He eats as much as Félin does. The elves have been able to keep the animal fur away." Severus set the tea tray down on the table. He poured their tea.
"Does Harry want to join us?" Minerva looked at Félin. When Severus went to object, she put up her hand. "I have known for a while. I had hoped you would tell me when you were ready, but after Albus' latest stunt, I figured we should talk. I will take an oath, if necessary."
Félin moved to stand next to her. He smelled her, then transformed. "Professor McGonagall."
"Mr. Potter, pleasure seeing you again."
"Minerva, I'm not sure if you want to know the truth." Severus warned the woman. He knew how much she respected and followed Dumbledore.
"I believe I would like to know the truth. You see over the summer I went to Gringotts, for a medical issue that Poppy believed I would benefit from their expertise. I had spoken to her about the memory issues I was having. I had to endure a purging ritual that removed over 142 memory charms, 41 compulsions, and 99 other spells and binds because of Albus' liberal use of his wand." Severus and Harry knew their mouths were hanging open. "Poppy is also aware you are Harry. She had the same issue."
"I see." Severus finally recovered.
"Indeed. Now, we want to help you remove Albus, and I do believe Harry that your father is the key."
"I'm not going to ask how you know that." Harry knew he was surprised.
"You look like him. People forget I went to school with him. We even had a study group together. He asked me out. I agreed, but we never went on the date, as I discovered I had a memory charm and a compulsion to not speak to him again."
"Oh." Harry knew his father was going to find this interesting.
"Yes, and it makes sense that he is back and fixing things. I never did like how Albus treated him when he attended here. Now, tell me how this happened."
Harry explained everything to Minerva, his second year, the Basilisk, the abuse, the Weasleys. Minerva let out some colorful Gaelic when she learned that bit of information. "I warned him. I told him they were the worse sort of muggles."
It was almost ten when they finished speaking, Minerva was about ready to leave when they heard a knock on the Severus' door. Harry transformed. Severus glanced at the ward notice. "It's Albus."
Minerva rolled her eyes, summoned a bit of brandy, two brandy sniffers and filled them a bit. "Take a swig." She took a big gulp out of her glass.
Severus opened the door. "Albus, I wasn't expecting you to call this evening."
"I'm actually looking for Minerva when I remembered her request to speak to you." Dumbledore stepped into the room. He noticed the brandy, the glasses, and the smell of brandy on their breaths. "I wanted to make arrangements regarding the audit."
"Oh, it's all been arranged. The goblins will arrive next week, while the students sit for their exams." Minerva looked at her watch. "I do need to go, it was a pleasure to spend time with you Severus, we must do it again, soon."
"Pleasure as always, Minerva. I do agree."
"Albus, come and walk me to my quarters, I'm sure Severus needs to take Félin out before bed."
"I do, otherwise, he will wake me at some ungodly hour needing to be let out."
"That was a surprise." Harry was sitting on their bed. "Poppy, Minerva, and Filius. I wonder who else we can convert?"
"I believe all the staff is already converted." Severus pulled back the blankets. "Your father is going to be able to make some bigger changes now."
"I agree. Lucius will be able to start submitting the return of classes. Since Dumbledore isn't Chief Warlock, he can't stop the classes that way. Do you think the staff wants classes returned?"
"Yes, I remember them trying to keep them. Now enough talking about Dumbledore. Let me enjoy you as Harry."
Harry smiled. "That can be arranged."
Félin nudged Poppy with his nose. "No, no more bacon." Poppy held out a piece of an orange. "Have this."
Félin gave her a look. "Good luck on that." Severus poured himself another cup of tea. "He does like bananas. I think the slices of oranges are hard for him to eat." Félin leaned into Severus' chair. "No, you already have eaten a pound of bacon."
Félin let out a bit of a wobble, nudged Severus' hand. Severus started petting him and when Severus returned to his tea, Félin quickly grabbed some bacon and ducked under the head table. "I saw that." Severus leaned down and scolded Félin. Severus ignored the light laughter from the staff and some students.
Severus and Félin headed to the Forbidden Forest. They were looking for potion ingredients but also meeting the Dark Lord. They were just going for to keep everyone updated, as nothing really happened in the two weeks since Dumbledore filed the false report.
Poppy and Minerva, with Filius, joined them during the week to give Harry lessons and check his assignments. Harry was more advanced the recent graduates from Hogwarts, but he wanted to learn what he could from the Masters of their fields. Severus taught him potions in his private lab, but Harry did pay attention during Severus' lectures. The Dark Lord sent books and anything else they needed via the house elves.
They were almost out of Hogwarts when Dumbledore appeared out of nowhere. Severus wondered if the man had been waiting for them long. "Albus?"
"Severus, I'm aware you are heading out to gather potion ingredients, however, I am wondering if perhaps Félin would remain here. Give the students a chance to get to know him, better."
Félin sneezed on Dumbledore's robes and headed out the door. "Albus, he kept me pinned on the ground for the night. He hasn't left my side since that day, do you really think he will let me go out to the Forbidden Forest alone?" They could see Félin was sitting on steps looking in, clearly waiting for Severus.
"Perhaps Ginny could join you?"
"No, Albus, you know how I feel about others joining me when I am searching for ingredients. You also know how I feel about her and her brother." Severus couldn't stand the two youngest Weasleys, and they were worse now that Granger was gone. He would never have imagined that Granger being in Hogwarts was better than without her to control the two Weasleys. They believed they were entitled to everything and didn't comprehend why anyone would dare to deny them anything.
"I'm just want to work on making peace between us. I thought it would be a good way for them to get to know Félin."
"Albus, I wouldn't trust them in a room with hundreds of people and Félin in the room with them." Severus didn't trust Dumbledore, never mind his minions. "Now, I do have a timetable, as you know."
"Yes, yes, Severus, I understand."
Severus knew it wasn't over. Dumbledore was now going to push the two idiots onto them. Well, he could take more points away from Gryffindor, so that was the upside. It was clear Félin was going to enjoy tormenting them. The lion liked to sneak up behind the Weasleys and roar at them, they jumped every time.
Harry was sitting on a rock, creating labels for Severus' ingredients, and sealing the packages for storage. The Dark Lord was collecting some flowers, while Severus was gathering some moss. "You know he is going to try something else. I just wish I had an idea of what he plans on doing."
"He hasn't mentioned anything in the Order meetings?"
"No, Dad, and it's a bit weird. It's like he's doing a let's pacify everyone while I regroup, and calm everyone down, though the Idiot Duo hasn't been subtle. They keep trying to pet me when I'm Félin, and Weaslette even tried to give me some catnip."
"I looked at it, it wasn't just catnip. There was something mixed in. I am breaking it down to figure out what it was." Severus put the jar of moss in front of Harry. "He wants to be seen as being Félin friendly now. I know Minerva and Poppy told me that he got a lot of howlers, a few had some surprises in them that Poppy had to take care of."
"What do you think it was meant to do?" The Dark Lord really wanted to go and kill two Gryffindors.
"Based on what I have discovered so far, it was meant to get Harry to expose who he was, there was a compulsion potion lightly sprinkled over the catnip, but there is something I am still trying to figure out. It appears to be some type of purging potion but it's missing a few ingredients to it, and would if it was a real purging potion it would nullify the compulsion potion."
The Dark Lord thought for a few minutes. "Can you send me what you discovered? I can look through the dark potion books and see what I can find."
"I was going to bring the information this weekend so that we could search. I know if I brought my books in from Spinner's End, he would have a fit."
"Shh, someone's coming." Harry transformed. He faced the direction he heard the noise.
Bane stepped into the clearing. "The idiot red-headed brats were caught in the woods. They were almost spider food. Come with me to get them."
Severus and Félin exchanged a look. "I'll see you this weekend. Good to see you again, Bane."
Bane grunted. "Take us to them." Severus bid the Dark Lord good-bye as they followed Bane. "How much damage did they do?"
"They ruined two mushroom fields, a crop of lavender and mint, and our morning dew."
"I will make sure everything gets replaced, even if it comes out of their hides." Severus was going to make sure the Centaurs got their ingredients replaced. Severus followed Bane to a small grove. Félin bounced a bit ahead to play with the little Centaurs who were waiting outside of the grove. Severus looked at the tied up Gryffindors. "What part of the Forbidden Forest did you miss?"
"We wanted to assist in collecting some potion ingredients." Weaslette spoke for the duo. Weasley had turned to his face to his sister when Severus had appeared.
"Indeed. For being in the Forbidden Forest, 50 points each from Gryffindor, for destroying the supposed potion ingredients you were collecting, 50 points each and you will be paying for the replacements of each crop you ruined. Mr. Filch will have the pleasure of your company for the next month." Severus knew he couldn't do more or Dumbledore would remove everything. This way Minerva would enforce the punishment.
"That isn't fair." Weaslette whined. "We were just trying to be friendly and helpful."
"Life isn't fair. I would have thought you learned that lesson a long time ago." Severus ignored Bane's grunt of agreement. "Release the dunderheads. I will escort them back to Hogwarts. They will be replacing everything they destroyed. So please provide either me or Hagrid with the complete list."
"We will." Maka moved forward. She was the healer of the tribe. "I would ask if I may use some lavender from your cuttings this evening?"
"Certainly." Severus was thankful that Harry had been bundling things up as they had harvested. Otherwise, all their work tonight would have been lost since he wouldn't have had time to preserve the ingredients, and if he left them to return later, who knows what would have happened to them.
Once the idiots were released, Severus pointed in the direction for them to walk. "Walk in front of me, I don't trust you not to get lost or cause trouble." Félin roared his agreement.
"No, Albus, I won't remove the detention or change the points. They shouldn't have been in the Forbidden Forest. It's announced each year, and they knew better. Now, sign the authorization for the supplies." Minerva put the parchment in front of Dumbledore.
Dumbledore had called another useless staff meeting, only to discuss the idiotic duo and their messes. None of the staff was willing to move from their positions.
Félin was sleeping in his usual spot, while Severus wasn't even pretending to pay attention to whatever Dumbledore wanted to be done now. He began to think of his latest research project. He had to figure out why the doxy wings didn't work. They should have. Maybe I need to change it to some pixie wings, and counter the effect with some mint? No, the mint would react to the snake-"Severus?"
"No." He had no idea what Dumbledore asked but he wasn't going to do it.
"It won't take much time. Severus, only a few hours."
"No." Severus felt Félin moving around and realized nap time was over. So that meant he wasted an hour sitting listening to Dumbledore.
"Severus, you're the only one who can do it. Félin will also be able to go."
Severus arched a brow but could see Minerva, Poppy, and Filius giving Dumbledore strange looks. "No. Albus, I have a potion I'm working on. The duo of dunderheads I had to deal with last night prevented me from gathering everything I needed. I will need to go out later tonight and tomorrow night, as I also need to replace all the plants they damaged."
"I approved the funds to replace the plants." Dumbledore knew he had to give up. He really didn't need any more of his staff against him.
Severus went back to his research while Félin began to bother Minerva for a biscuit.
Severus and the Dark Lord looked surprised. They had figured out what was in the catnip and it wasn't something they were expecting. The Dark Lord stared at the list of ingredients that were in the catnip. "This stuff is deadly to cats."
Severus handed the list to Harry. Harry looked down. "All of them? They are deadly to cats."
"Severus, do you have a way to prove that this was given to Harry by either of the Weasleys?" The Dark Lord wanted to go and kill them personally. If Félin had inhaled it, it would have killed his son. Based on what was listed and with the compulsion added to it, Félin would keep inhaling and eating it until he was dead.
"No. We could show they gave it to him, but no way to show they knew it was deadly. Neither have enough skill in potions or Herbology to do it." Severus was thinking of ways to make Dumbledore and the two idiots pay for this.
"He would. He would bring in their grades. Any barrister would ask questions about potions and plants to show their lack of knowledge." Harry threw the results onto the table in front of him.
"He also got out of everything I submitted to Amelia. He used how everything was in chaos when he put Harry at the Dursleys. When it came to the prophecy, he claimed that it was in a public place, so, therefore, it wasn't hidden, and that Sybill is the granddaughter of a famous seer. He had signed paperwork from James Potter giving him control over the Potter seats. There wasn't any way to show if they were forged or not." The Dark Lord and Lucius had spent hours listening to Dumbledore explain away everything including the false report regarding Félin but showing that the ghosts reported that the Weasleys were running and screaming for help. "Amelia is holding onto everything, but we can't release anything else."
"If we did, I would be endangered. He would demand I learn about Hogwarts, claiming guardianship, which would force the seats back to him." Harry glanced at Severus. "Can we save the catnip?"
"Yes, along with the results. I would suggest we have the goblins take a look at it. They can add the Gringotts seal to the results so that Dumbledore can't claim the results aren't accurate." Severus placed the sealed bottle of the catnip on the table next to the results.
"We have the evidence but can't do anything with it without endangering Harry. I will see if Lucius has any suggestions. Perhaps we need to change our focus. If we can't get rid of him by exposing his crimes right now, we can try using the ICW, the Board, and the Wizengamot to get things changed." The Dark Lord picked up different folders. "Here are the reports that Lucius was able to attain regarding Hogwarts, classes, and even our rituals."
Severus and Harry looked through them. "So he banned all these classes and rituals, knowing that all the other magical school still teach and use them?" Severus was a bit surprised. He hadn't realized how many classes or rituals that Dumbledore had removed from their world.
"Yes. Look at the difference in employment in their magical communities versus ours."
Harry flipped to the correct report. "Over 80% go to work in the muggle world or other magical communities outside of our country, but have to get additional education to attain those positions."
"Yes, but look at the second page. If you're in a Light family, especially one that supports Dumbledore or in a pureblood with a connection, you can attain jobs in our world. Bill Weasley, while he is very talented and great at his job, he got accepted into their ward breaker program because Dumbledore informed the goblins about Bill Weasley. While I believe that Bill Weasley would have been able to do it on his own, we checked his file from Hogwarts. Bill had submitted an apprenticeship application to France. Charlie Weasley, if you look there are applications to the Ministry, the Board for a variety of positions, and even Gringotts, all the applications have Dumbledore's recommendations attached, and his parents signed the applications. Percy's application to the Ministry also has Dumbledore's recommendation attached."
Harry and Severus began to read everything. Severus was surprised at who Dumbledore had forced to be Aurors. "Tonks, Kingsley, and Jones, have the letters and Dumbledore's recommendations, while Potter and Black look like they just joined. I wondered about Tonks, she wanted to be work on runes. I remember Pomona and Minerva discussing her choice in the staff room. Pomona wanted Minerva's help in finding someone who might be able to take Tonks as an apprentice."
"If we pointed it out, he would use it was war, so therefore the requirements had to be lenient." The Dark Lord was still amazed at how easily the man took over their world. No one made any attempt to keep the man out of three aspects of their government.
"He would. Even if you went further back, he would claim Grindelwald." Harry was looking down the list of people who worked at the Ministry. All of them were connected to either Dumbledore or they were purebloods. "Even in the DoM."
"Yes. He has a lot of key people in place, not to mention those who most likely feel grateful toward him. He has at least two people in each department, however, only Arthur Weasley is in a position of power, but in a department that has no power."
"I don't know if this will work, but he is on the ICW, the Ministry, the Board, and is Hogwarts' Headmaster. So how can one person do so many jobs when everyone else holds one position? Especially at his age." Harry knew his idea might not work. "Why don't we start questioning that? Question why he has so many positions? Hint at controlling our world."
"If we don't do it directly, but we can do it in the media, rumors, even using facts in the press." The Dark Lord began to form a plan.
"Have anyone in Hogwarts spread rumors." Severus knew the Hogwarts' gossip mill was very effective.
"I will get together with Lucius. Once we decide what to leak out, what rumors to use, I will let you know, so you can confirm or deny without Dumbledore knowing."
"I would suggest using Rita for some stuff, her slant on things like all his positions will work better, while other information keep to the factual reporters." Severus held out a folder. "You might want to stress the job and apprentice stats, parents won't be happy to know they are paying for a subpar education."
"Back it up with statements from former students." Harry suggested.
"I agree with both of you. I'm also sure between the four of us we can develop a well-rounded plan."
"We better head back or Dumbledore will wonder what is going on." Severus dreaded working at Hogwarts now. He had been testing some potions on Dumbledore and the Idiot Duo. He knew Poppy knew he was the one making Dumbledore and the duo visit her each day with a new ailment.
"Dumbledore been after Severus to find me. He really wants Severus to start looking for me." Harry couldn't believe Dumbledore and his guilt trips he had tried on Severus. There had been a few times as his beast form he had been tempted to bite Dumbledore.
"He knows if Severus finds you that he can become Chief Warlock again. It would be easy. He would dose Harry with loyalty and compulsion potions, he might even try to slip them to Severus, hoping Severus wouldn't notice. He knows I only have Harry's seats because I am legally Lord Potter, but I would only be able to keep the Potter ones." The Dark Lord really hated putting his son in danger.
"He would use Harry being the dominant as a way to control me instead of using potions. He knows I would be able to detect them in anything he slipped to me." Severus looked at his watch. "We only have ten minutes to get back to Hogwarts."
"Dad, we will come again on the weekend." Harry transformed into Félin.
Severus refused to sigh in resignation. He wished there was a simple solution to handle Dumbledore. "This is one time I wish you were still insane so you could just kill him."
The Dark Lord laughed as Félin snorted.