Dumbledore stands in the middle of his office, pacing back and forth. His entire plan, his entire life, is slipping through his fingers.
His weapon is gone.
His guard dog went rouge.
Even Fawkes managed to escape his cage sometime during the night.
He needs those things. Who is going to believe that a powerful man like himself is capable of losing such important elements of his plan. That these people defied him willingly.
No not willingly. Riddle must be behind this somehow. He brainwashed his weapon. He turned his guard against him. He ruins everything. He is always the bad guy.
Stopping his pacing just as suddenly as he started, a malicious smile spreads across his face. Quickly he makes his way out of his office and down to the empty dungeons of the castle.
"Are we ready to talk?" the senile old man ask in his usual grandfatherly tone. To anyone else it would've sounded like a father trying to get his wayward ward to admit to braking a vase. That's exactly what it would've sounded like if it wasn't spoken to the chained, bloody form of Sirius Black. His capture was a mere few hours ago, but Dumbledore hadn't wasted anytime in punishing his wayward guard dog.
"I have nothing to say," Sirius wheezes out through his broken ribs. He can't help but wonder if this is the same treatment his little cub got everytime he did something not up to the headmaster's standards. With the way he clung to the supposedly bad guys, Sirus doesn't want to know the horrors he must have gone through to end up in their arms.
It doesn't matter he thinks as Dumbledore shoots off another painful curse. As long as he doesn't go through anything like that again.
Lucius can tell that something is off about Harry. He's opened up a lot since the departure of his beloved canine companion. Lucius feels bad to admit it but it feels almost like a barrier has been taken down between them. He hadn't realized how much Paddy was separating them until he was gone.
The person Harry really connected to was Severus. Wherever Severus happened to be one could always find Harry not too far away. At first it started with the child peeking in the doorway. It was almost as if he was checking on the man. Making sure he was still there, that he hadn't left. It progressed until Harry was still in every room Severus was in. Whether he was brewing potions, reading in the library or having a conversation with Bellatrix in the parlor Harry could be seen either sitting on the floor with his own book or lounging close by.
Now Lucius wants the same closeness. Nevil has also made a lot of progress in trusting him and the family but Harry is so cute and tiny. It's much too easy to pick him up and cuddle the poor lad despite the constant changes Severus makes to his diet to increase his weight. Numerous times Lucius has come back from a day at the lake or the quidditch pitch with Nevil and Draco to find Harry bundled up in Bellatrix's arms. He's always either fast asleep or struggling to get out of the woman's hold.
Right now he isn't doing any of that.
The young lad lies almost completely lax in her arms as Lucius enters the kitchen for breakfast. He isn't still sleeping, as Bella has made it a habit to fetch the child when she comes down whether he's awake or not. He's just lying blinking up at the ceiling.
"Are you alright, dear?" Lucius questions. Harry blinks quickly, giving the impression that he was previously lost in thought before smiling brightly and nodding.
"He looked a bit flushed this morning. I'm going to ask Severus to have a look at him after breakfast." Harry makes a face before starting his usual wiggle.
"I'm fine. Want cereal."
The adults share a fond look before the others start fluttering in and the meal begins.
Harry isn't feeling well at all.
It started with a small tickle in his throat yesterday, but this morning he wakes up with a pounding headache and every bone in his body aches.
As soon as breakfast is over, Harry convinces Severus that he's just tired after he's given his daily bottle. He promises to go straight to Draco's room and rest, but instead wanders the manor. He needs a few minutes to compose himself before seeing anyone else. At the table everyone had shared concerned looks and if Harry wasn't insistent on holding his own bottle one of the adults would have surely felt the slow rising heat just underneath his skin.
He may have been a bit snippy when Lucius tried to slide him into his lap but he had specifically told everyone that he would be eating alone. He made it up to the man by allowing him to help hold the bottle but remained in his own seat. As he was gulping down the rest of his breakfast he missed another shared look of confusion.
After a short while he goes back up to where he knows Draco and Nevil are hanging out.
"You want a snack, Harry?" Draco offers
"We just had breakfast." Harry's proud that he hasn't stuttered in quite a while.
"That was nearly an hour ago, Harry. Where were you?" Nevil questions.
"Just around," he answers vaguely.
"Well we can have a snack and then go outside. It's really nice today," Draco suggests but Harry shakes his head.
"No thank you. I'm not hungry, just tired," he explains with a yawn. Not only does he know the bright sun will only worsen his headache but his stomach is rolling at the thought of eating again all of a sudden.
"Come on, Harry. You know you should be eating a lot more. Uncle Sev says-" Draco is cut off by Harry snapping at him.
"I don't care. I'm. Not. Hungry." He stalks over to what is now considered their cozy corner before rough picking up a blanket and plopping down on the mountain of pillows. His body aches and his head hurts and all he wants to do is go to sleep and wake up feeling better.
It seems he did manage to fall asleep because the next thing Harry knows is waking up in the middle of being changed. He still blushes but doesn't struggle as Lucius moves him around to clean him. Although he does groan at the achiness of his body.
"I'm almost done, little one. You should have said you were feeling poorly. We could've helped you sooner," Lucius coos but Harry only whines before trying to roll over the second the older blond is done. "Not so fast. Let's see Severus so he can help you feel better."
"No," Harry moans but only manages to fit himself over in Lucius's arms into a more cradle like hold. He quickly decides that this isn't comfortable and moves right this.
Only it doesn't work. In the span of thirty seconds Harry has flipped himself into all sorts of positions. None of which lessen the ache he feels throughout his entire body or the pounding in his head.
Harry wants to inform Lucius of his predicament. He wants to not feel this way at all. He wants a lot of things but they never seem to happen. So instead of speaking feeling he can't quiet express, Harry leans his hot forehead against Mr. Malfoy's chest and cried all the way to Severus's lab.
He doesn't quite know if the adults talked a bit but he does come back to himself when a bottle is pressed to his lips. The first sip makes his head throb but he doesn't ache as bad. As the dark haired child continues to drink he feels his whole body relax and everything goes quiet.
"Thank, Merlin," Lucius breathes a sigh of relief, "I thought he was going to make himself sick with all the crying."
"He does have a fever and most likely aches all over. The additional potions I put in his bottle should speed along the recovery but this is good for his weak immune system."
"We I think our boy has earned some extra coddling today. Maybe soon he'll be comfortable enough to tell us when he needs something."
Harry thinks Severus may have said something back to the blonde but sleep quickly washes over the boy. This time he's certain that he'll wake up feeling much better.
Physically and emotionally.