Disclaimer: I own only the obvious, the rest belongs to JK Rowling.
Authors Note: Don't ask. Just… don't ask. The Blot Bunny attacked me one night, and I haven't been able to write anything else since. Thanks to my wonderful beta's Tabitha and Lexi-formerly Katy999.
WARNING: Beware of weirdness and OOC-ness. Perhaps even some fluffiness.
* * * * * Slytherin Change * * * * *
Harry grinned at Hermione and Ron. They were on the way home from school, talking about everything between heaven and hell. The three of them had been friends since pre-school and lived remotely close to each other.
Ron Weasley was from a large family with five older brothers and a younger sister. He had red hair and blue eyes, and always had a smile on his face. He was also short on his temper, and had a wicked left hook when provoked.
Hermione Granger was the bookworm in the gang. She had brown frizzy hair and kind brown eyes, and was also Ron's girlfriend. She had a sharp and logical mind and knew practically everything.
Then there was Harry. He was about Hermione's height – Ron being the tallest – and had wild black hair, unnaturally green sparkling eyes and golden skin. He also had a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead courtesy of Tom Riddle, the local bully.
Suddenly two strong arms slipped around Harry's waist and drew him against a firm chest. At the same time a male voice spoke into his ear: "Hi there, love."
Harry turned and smiled at the man. "Hi, Sirius." The Vampire grinned mischievously and started to tickle him. Harry squealed and shrieked, begged for mercy and looked pleadingly over at Hermione and Ron for help. His two friends were chuckling themselves and weren't going to help him any time soon.
In the end Sirius stopped tickling him and Harry had time to look over his future mate. Sirius Black was an inch taller than Harry himself was. Black hair framed the usual pale complexion that all Vampires had, and the blue eyes twinkled with laughter. He was a five-hundred-year-old Vampire; one of the oldest Harry had ever met.
Sirius wasn't actually his legal mate; he hadn't Claimed Harry yet, saying he waited for the young man to be ready. But everyone knew that the two of them were going to end up together, ever since Harry had bumped into Sirius in the local bookshop three years ago.
In these times there wasn't much secrecy left. Vampires, Elves, Dwarves, Wizards, Witches and other fairy folk before thought to be non-existent, were living side by side with non-magical humans.
Ever since the Dark Lord Grindelwald had tried to take over the world some hundred years ago, and had caused the parting of the continents (America had parted in two, Asia had somehow parted from the rest of Europe and Africa had also parted) and had caused the previously calm Magical Core (where all magic came from) to go ballistic, fairy folk and humans had lived together trying to rebuild their world.
The Magical Core was dangerous like it was now, and Wizards and other magic-wielding creatures were trying to tame it. The wild magic had caused dangerous animals to morph with other creatures, making them twice as dangerous as before. Now it was extremely dangerous to travel between the few towns that had survived the Parting of Continents, as the creatures roamed around waiting for someone to cross their path.
Actually, Godric's Hollow – Harry's little town – was expecting a group of Wizards and Vampires to arrive any day to help them deal with the creatures in the area. In the last couple of months, there had been more attacks than in the last ten years put together. Everyone agreed that they couldn't deal with this alone so Dumbledore – their unofficial leader – had sent word for help.
Sirius nuzzled Harry's neck, which brought him out of his thoughts. Harry chuckled and backed out of the Vampire's embrace. "Sirius, you know I cannot stay. Mum wants me to help at the hospital." His mother ran a hospital – nothing big mind you, more like an infirmary – while his father was working with communication with other towns. Harry often helped his mother, and she always told him that he would take the hospital over after her.
"I know, but that can't stop me from trying now can it?" the Vampire grinned again showing off the slightly longer-than-normal canine teeth.
"If you two are finished, could we get on with it?" Ron asked though he was smiling.
Sirius sighed and hugged Harry one last time. "As much as I hate to think about it, I have to get to Dumbledore's office; he has a… a… a job for me." The man shuddered at the thought.
Harry smiled. "Well then, you don't want to be late, so off with you." He gently pushed the immortal towards the right building. In many aspects Sirius was just a big baby, and most people wondered if he would ever grow up. "Shoo!"
"All right, all right, I'm going! Spoilsport."
The trio couldn't help but laugh at the Vampire as he carefully approached Dumbledore's office. Well aware that the three mortals were still watching him, Sirius put up a show of closing in on the building, acting as if it would attack him any second. In the end he pretended to gather his courage and entered.
"Harry, I have no idea how you can stand him." Hermione said though she was smiling, and started to walk again.
"I wonder about that sometimes too," Harry replied and chuckled.
It didn't take them long time to reach Potter's Hospital where they parted. Ron went to his brothers' joke-shop to help out and Hermione went home, while Harry entered the building. A smiling red-haired woman with green eyes to match his own greeted him at once.
"Harry!" Lily Potter hugged her son. "Finally you're here. What took you so long?"
"Met Sirius on the way," Harry put his book-bag on its usual place then went to wash his hands. "So, what's so big that you need my help in here?"
"As you know, Albus has sent for the Slytherins, and they are supposed to arrive today." Harry nodded. 'Slytherins' was a term generally used to describe mercenaries, assassins, soldiers, and generally anyone who fought to get the Magical Core into control again. "Well, I want everything to be ready as they will no doubt start hunting these creatures tomorrow. I will need your help then as well, and since it's the Thanksgiving holidays you won't have to miss any classes."
"Oh, okay." Harry began to fold and organise the towels, bandages and the clean bed-sheets. The other nurse, a witch named Poppy Pomfrey, greeted him cheerfully. She had always liked him and had looked after him at times when he had been younger. She had also been the one to introduce him to the Art of Healing and had trained him in it as it turned out that Harry had a natural gift for it.
"How was your day, Harry?" she asked.
"Very nice, Madame Pomfrey," Harry replied and took one of the boxes with medical potions from her. "And yours?"
"Harry, how many times do I have to tell you to call me Poppy? Besides myself and your mother, you are the best Healer this town has seen in years." She chuckled at his flush. "My day, on the other hand, has been busy with all this preparing for these Slytherins."
"Yeah, I can understand that." He set the box on top of the shelf. "Now, what else might I help you with?"
* * * * *
The Slytherins arrived in the early afternoon. There were twenty of them, all using the newest mark within broomsticks (Firebolt101) as transport. They put up camp on the rarely used Quidditch pitch, and everyone seemed to know what to do. One enlarged their luggage, another five put up their tents; two collected the broomsticks and charmed them with Thief Charms, while the rest went into town to get an idea of where everything was located.
Harry looked up from the bed he was making, as the door to the hospital opened and the little bell chimed. Four people entered, but before he could get a good look at them, Madame Pomfrey blocked his path putting various potions on the bedside table, and when she moved again his mother had led the four strangers into her office and the door was shut.
"Go home dear," Pomfrey said to him. "You look tired."
"I am, Dursley and Riddle chased me all over school today." Harry yawned. "You sure I'm not needed?"
"Yes, now shoo. One day you're going to exhaust yourself, either that or you're going to meet your true lifemate and won't have as much time to spend here as you already do."
"What do you mean, my 'true lifemate'? Sirius already has that position." Harry said as he picked up his book-bag.
"Just a hunch, dear, now off you go." She made shooing gestures with her hand and he left. Madame Pomfrey was scary when she was like that. He shook his head and headed towards Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, the shop Fred and George Weasley owned and where Ron worked now and then.
"Harry!" Hermione's voice called out to him and he turned. The girl herself was running towards him and was clutching a huge book tightly to her chest.
"Library again, Herm?" he asked eyeing the book.
"Shush you!" she playfully smacked his shoulder. "Harry, did you see the Slytherins' arrival? Did you? It's all over town!"
"No, I was helping in the backroom again," he replied. "How was it though?"
"Amazing!" the girl, exclaimed. "They all used broomsticks! Can you believe that?! It must've cost a fortune! And when they suddenly flew over the town… you'd think that they were twenty bats hit with the Enlarging Charm! It was scary, but interesting to watch." Hermione took a deep breath. "How's your mum?"
"Busy, those Slytherins walked into the Infirmary to talk to her, probably asking what kind of services she could offer them at what price. Dad will go bananas, I tell you."
"Why though? This'll bring in some extra money to the hospital and maybe he'll be able to replace the old Muggle telephone in his office with a better one."
"He isn't fond of the thought of me and mum treating completely magical strangers. I think he'll temporarily move his office into the Infirmary to keep an eye at things." Harry sighed. He wasn't sure what he thought of the Slytherins' arrival. On one hand, they brought them news of the outside world, on the other they disturbed the peace in Godric's Hollow, and someone was bound to get hurt with a group of Slytherins around. "Hey, there's Ron." He pointed down the street to the tall redhead.
"RON!" Hermione jumped up and down waiving her arms like a windmill. Harry had to jump out of the way so that she didn't hit him.
Ron turned and made his way over to them. "Hey, I suspect you already know about the Slytherins' arrival?" they nodded. "Well, I'll tell you now to keep out of Wood's way. He's completely pissed off that they used the pitch as a campsite." Oliver Wood was the current Quidditch fanatic in town, and trained with a couple of others once a week. The brooms they had were old and had developed minds of their own – as Harry had learned the tough way when one broom threw him off. That had been his first and last time on one of those blasted good-for-nothing sticks.
"Yeah, I can just imagine him." Hermione put on a fake voice. "But they can't take the pitch! We have to practice! It's sacred!" the two boys chuckled. Yep, that sounded just like Wood.
"You'd think he was playing one of the National Quidditch Teams as much and as hard as he practices." Harry commented as they started walking towards the only café in town: Longbottoms' Laborious Lagoon, but everyone called it Longie's for short. "So, which one of you is buying this time?"
"Isn't it your turn?"
"No, I took the bill last week."
"I guess it's my turn then," Ron said. "The thing is, the twins didn't give me my pay yet, and all my money's at home so…" he looked at his girlfriend with the puppy-eye look.
"Oh, all right, I'll do it, but you'll owe me." Hermione glared at Ron, or tried to. Harry counted the seconds until they would kiss and make up. And there it happened. It was like this every time it was Ron's turn to pay at Longie's; he always managed to forget his money and one of the other two had to take the bill.
"Thanks Herm, you're the best." Ron hugged her. Harry and Hermione just rolled their eyes and the trio continued towards the café.
Longie's was a café that looked like one of those from New York or Chicago in the 1920. It even had a local band that played jazz all day long, and the interior was the same way. Some thought that the old Mrs. Longbottom had gone a bit senile and had forgotten what year it was, but there wasn't one person who really hated the café.
As the three of them entered they waived to Neville Longbottom who was standing behind the counter. He was Mrs Longbottom's grandson and always helped her out after school. Neville waived back and at once started to order two sodas, one for Harry and one for Hermione, and a Butterbeer for Ron.
"Hey Harry, Ron, Herm!" they looked towards the voice and found the rest of their classmates sitting in the usual corner mentioning for them to come over.
"Hey Dean," Harry greeted the boy with the pen. Dean was currently sketching something on a napkin and grunted as a reply. This didn't bother Harry as it was just the way Dean was. The two Patil twins, Parvati and Padma, moved over and he took a seat beside them. "Thanks."
"No problem," Parvati replied. Unlike the Weasley twins who were alike like two droplets of water, you could actually see who was who with Padma and Parvati. Parvati had short hair she always coloured in crazy colours, while Padma's was long, sleek and up in a ponytail. Padma also wore glasses, while Parvati had earrings.
"Did you see the Slytherins' arrival?" Neville asked as he came with Harry, Ron and Herm's drinks.
"Yeah; Mum thought someone was attacking, grabbed her wand and was about to curse them before she realised that they were people on broomsticks." Seamus Finnigan chuckled. "I wonder where they could buy all those broomsticks, and how much it must've cost."
"Obviously it cost more than all the town put together," Herm replied. "And you can get them at Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, that is, if you ever get that far."
"Once Wood's finished with his ranting he'll be too occupied to drool over the Slytherins' broomsticks to complain about the pitch." Ron ensured them.
"Harry, where's Sirius?" Padma asked. "I thought he wouldn't let you go anywhere without an escort."
It was a favourite pastime of theirs to tease Harry about his relationship with the Vampire, which still hadn't gone past the kissing stage. "I swear, you do that on purpose!" Harry pretended to sulk.
"Of course, now where is he?"
"Said Dumbledore had a job for him." Everyone in the café stopped talking and turned to the group of teenagers, Dean even looked up from his drawing.
"Is Dumbledore MAD?! Sirius never works!"
"You sure this isn't one of Black's schemes to trick us?"
Harry interrupted. "Yes I'm sure, we even saw him enter Dumbledore's office."
"Yeah, I know."
For another hour the group discussed the Slytherins and what kind of creatures there might be in the woods around Godric's Hollow, until it was time to go home for dinner. Just outside the café Harry bumped into a man he had never seen before. The guy was taller than Sirius and leaner. He had shoulder-long midnight black hair and black, bottomless pits for eyes, he also had the pale skin that revealed him as a Vampire. He had to be a Slytherin.
The Vampire caught Harry before he ended up on the ground.
"Thanks," Harry said as he freed himself from the strong grip. The Vampire just stared at him. "Well, um, yeah, thanks." He didn't feel comfortable with those eyes on him.
The man looked like was about to say something, when a shout from down the street claimed their attention. "HARRY!" Alicia Jordan nee Spinnet ran towards them. "You've got to come quickly! Daniel and Lee are hurt!" Daniel was her son.
"It's terrible! We were on our way home from preschool when out of the shadows… something jumped at us. Lee managed to hit it with a baseball bat he had picked up, and scared it off and I ran for help." The woman was completely in tears now and Hermione hugged her.
"Herm, keep an eye at her," Harry said as he started to run the way Alicia had come. "Ron, go get Sirius."
"And where are you going?"
"To check up on them, and while you're at it warn my mum about incoming patients."
"Got it!" Ron ran off in the other direction.
Dean caught up with him. "You sure this is a good idea?" the young man panted.
"Why shouldn't it be?"
"That creature could still be there."
"Good point, but we've still got to help." He replied.
The man Harry had bumped into was quickly conversing with his blond companion. After a short conversation, the blond nodded and ran off while the Vampire jumped high into the air, but instead of falling back down he flew over them like a great bat and soon was flying right above Harry himself.
It didn't take the group long to reach the attack site. Lee was leaning heavily against the ruined wooden fence, and the five-year-old boy was curled up at his feet. All Daniel had suffered was a couple of scratches, while Lee was seriously hurt. Padma and Parvati took Daniel and tried to cheer him up, while the boys helped Lee to lie down so that Harry could take a look at him. The Vampire landed beside them and at once went into the forest on the other side of the fence, and the rest of the Slytherins arrived at brooms seconds later.
Harry kneeled beside Lee. The man had a terrible wound in his side and his leg seemed broken, but that was about it.
"Seamus, Dean, I'll need you to keep him down," Harry told the other two boys. "This will be painful."
Both gulped, but nodded. "You think you can do it Harry?" Dean, who was holding the legs, asked.
"I'll try." Harry put his hands on the wound and pressed lightly. His hands were quickly coloured red and Lee groaned in pain and tried to get away. "Keep a good hold of him." Harry ordered his friends, then started the Healing process. He closed his eyes and tried to imagine himself to be Lee, then he ordered the body to Heal itself. Every human being – magical or non-magical – had a core of magic in him or her, some just had it blocked. What Harry's Healing magic did was to open a door in that wall for a time, long enough to Heal the body, then close it again.
Harry wasn't aware of the fact that Ron had returned with Sirius and Dumbledore, nor was he aware of that Sirius sat down beside him and watched him worriedly. He didn't notice that the Slytherins were back from searching the forest, nor the fact that the man he had bumped into earlier was watching Sirius with obvious hostility and jealousy. All his concentration was focused on the wound underneath his glowing fingers, and on the Healing Power running through his hands and into Lee's body.
Suddenly Lee buckled and screamed and tried to get away. Dean lost his hold on the feet and Sirius had to jump in to keep them from hitting someone. Seamus looked even more scared at this, but kept his hold on Lee's arms. Slowly Harry retreated from Lee's body and his eyes opened. Lee stopped writhing like a snake and his breathing evened out, he was asleep.
"He'll be all right," Harry said quietly and everyone except the Slytherins let go of the breath they had been keeping.
"You did it Harry!" Sirius hugged him and helped him stand.
Harry smiled tiredly and leaned into the embrace wiping his bloody hands on his jeans. "Is Daniel all right?" he asked.
"Yeah, the Patil twins have gone with him to the hospital. I also saw Hermione leading Alicia the same way, so they're both fine." Sirius squeezed him tighter, then suddenly let go and turned Harry around to face him. "Now what the hell were you thinking – or were you thinking at all – when you ran off like that?!"
"Please Siri, not now." Harry yawned. "I'm dead tired."
"If not now, then when?"
"Harry, I won't be here tomorrow."
Harry was shocked. "What? Why ever not?" he asked.
"Dumbledore's sending me out on a mission to check up on the closest town; don't worry though, I'll be back within a week."
"I guess, I just don't want you to leave."
Sirius grinned and kissed him. Harry blushed when Dean and Seamus started to wolf-whistle and catcall. When Sirius finally released him and started to lead him towards town again, Harry was sure that his face could have put fire to anything made out of paper.
Just before Sirius led him out of range of the others, Harry felt someone watching him and turned. It was the Vampire he had bumped into outside the Longie's; the black eyes bore into him, glinting in a weird way. The man's lips quirked upwards, but it looked more like a mocking smile than anything else. One of the other Slytherins tapped the Vampire's shoulder and he turned away, but not before giving Harry one last look.
Harry shrugged and decided not to think about it. Vampires were weird creatures, as was proved by Sirius.
* * * * *
The next day started off pretty normally. Harry and his family lived right above the hospital itself so that if they were needed they could be easily reached, instead of having people run across the entire town to find them.
Harry yawned as he went down into the infirmary. His mother was out shopping, his father had already gone to work and Madame Pomfrey hadn't arrived yet, so it was his duty to take all the washed towels, handkerchiefs and sheets out of the washing-machine and put them on the racks so that they could dry. It was also his job to fold and put away the already dry ones into their place and he also had to open the hospital.
He entered the washroom and started on his work. The little radio on the shelf played some old disco music, and Harry hummed along as he folded the sheets. Therefore it scared him out of his skin when there suddenly was a wild hammering on the door to the infirmary. He hurried out of the room and to the front door. Outside stood a couple of the Slytherins, and the man he had bumped into yesterday was continuously hammering on the door, the glass threatening to shatter.
Harry quickly unlocked the door and opened. "How may I help you this early?" he asked.
"I apologise if we woke you, but we've got several wounded in the camp that badly need a Healer's help." The man replied. The voice was deep and dark, like velvet. It washed over Harry and made him shiver.
Harry nodded and hurried into the room again; gathering a bag full of medical potions and bandages and other things that always stood ready, he hurried back out and locked the door. The two Slytherins waited for him right outside. One, the blond, had mounted his broomstick, while the Vampire calmly stood there.
The Vampire grabbed his arm as Harry walked past him. "What in heaven's name do you think you're doing?"
"I could ask you the same thing," the Vampire replied. "It'll take too long to walk back," he pointed out.
"How else are we supposed to get there?" Harry asked a little bit annoyed, and wished he hadn't asked the question a second later. The Vampire had easily lifted him into his arms and took off into the skies just as quickly. Harry gasped in surprise as he gazed down onto the town, and wrapped his arms around the Vampire's neck for extra protection; even if the arms holding him were stronger than Sirius', he didn't want to take any chances.
It didn't take them long before they landed in the middle of the pitch and Harry was gently put down on the ground then led to one of the tents.
Even several feet away from the place, Harry could feel the aura that accompanied sick people. The Vampire held the flap and let Harry enter first, then followed making sure the flap was closed after him.
Harry looked at the two young men lying on bunk beds. They were both either younger than him or just as old, and both had blond hair. They were pale and sweat was constantly running down their brows.
"What happened?" He asked as he sat down between the low beds.
"These are the Creevy brothers," the Vampire replied. "They document the creatures we've fought and so on for the Ministry. They were out this morning scouting close to the forest when something attacked them. I have reason to believe it was the same creature that attacked Mr. Jordan yesterday, it was in the same area."
"You went back there?" Harry asked as he put one hand on both their brows.
"That's the only way to get something done." The man shut up as Harry's hands started to glow again just like yesterday. He watched closely as the mortal concentrated and slowly the glowing light spread all over the Creevy's bodies. In all his years of mortal and immortal life he had never met someone as interesting as this young man. No one had piqued his curiosity like this one had; he had never been this drawn to someone before. He hurried forwards as the young man slumped and his hands stopped to glow, and caught him before he hit the floor.
Harry leaned onto the Vampire as he took a couple of minutes to collect himself. Healing always took much out of him, but the weird thing was that five minutes later he would be up and about as though nothing had happened.
"They were lucky," he said finally. "Another half hour and they'd be dead. Some kind of poison from the claws of the creature. As for now they will sleep for a day or so."
The Vampire was still holding him in a very un-innocent way. "What is your name?" he asked in a quiet tone. Harry shivered again before giving his name to the stranger. "That's a really nice name, it fits you," this was whispered into his ear, then – to Harry's great surprise – the Vampire nibbled at it.
Harry jumped out of the man's grasp. "What do you think you're doing?!"
The man stood up and towered four inches over him. "Quite obvious what I was doing." He replied with a smirk. As he took a step forward, Harry took two backwards. The Vampire found that amusing. "Afraid?"
"No, just wary of sex-crazed maniacs." Harry growled. "Besides, I'm already engaged."
One elegant eyebrow raised. "To whom? That childish moron that kissed you yesterday?"
"Sirius is no moron, I'd rather say that you are!" Harry hissed quietly and retreated another couple of steps as the Vampire came forwards.
"My, my, what defiance." The immortal suddenly reached out and Harry felt the cold grip lock around his wrists and drag him towards the Vampire. He fought the best he could; kicking, wriggling, writhing, clawing, and he even tried to send a bout of pain – the reverse part of Healing – to get the Vampire to let go of him, but it didn't work. In the end he found himself pressed up against the man.
"Will you let go of me?!" Harry demanded. "I don't even know your name! Stop it!"
"My name is Severus Snape."
"Well then Mr. Snape, if you'll excuse me-" Harry got his hands free, "-I have patients at the Hospital to take care off. These two will only need lots of rest in the upcoming days, rest and food. Now good day." He stormed past the taller man who didn't stop him, just watched him go with a smirk.
The other side of the tent opened and the blond man who always seemed to hang around the Vampire entered.
"Straight to the point aren't you, Severus?" Draco Malfoy asked. Severus snorted still looking after Harry. "And I think this is the first time someone didn't fall for your charm since you were 200 years old. What's changed? Getting old?"
"Shut up Draco. Harry's just immensely loyal to that idiot Sirius Black."
"Black?! What's that Fledgling got to do with this?"
"He's Harry's… fiancé." Severus' black eyes turned silver with anger.
"You really mean to fight for this one, don't you?" Draco asked the Vampire after studying his friend for a couple of minutes.
"Will you keep you nose out of my business?" the Vampire growled. "I thought you were trying to seduce that girl with frizzy hair, what's her name? Hermione Granger?"
"There's a problem with that," Draco mumbled darkly. "It turns out Ms Granger has a boyfriend, a certain Ronald Weasley."
"The Weasleys survived the Parting of the Continents?"
Snape growled again. "Why couldn't Black have died in that catastrophe? I never should have let him live all those years ago."
"Oh well, from now on we'll just have to do our best to woo our interests. And just for the record, Black hasn't got a chance against you; not only because you're 4000 years old, but he also owes you his life, and I think it's about time to start doing something about it."
"You are a very devious person, Draco, that is, for a mortal; and let me give you a hint on our dearest Ms. Granger. Books and knowledge, the rest I am sure you can figure out on your own."
* * * * *
Harry growled quietly. The past week had been hell, and there was one man responsible for making it like that: Severus Snape.
The Vampire had been following him ever since the incident in the Creevy's tent, and had been courting him. No matter where Harry went, the man was there. Harry could be at Longie's chatting with his friends, and suddenly he would feel the black eyes on him; or he could be hanging out with Herm and Ron in the library doing his homework, and suddenly Snape would pop up from nowhere. It was downright annoying, but there was nothing he could do about it, as Snape could go wherever he wished.
But he wasn't the only one with problems. That blond man that always was with Snape, Draco Malfoy, had taken an interest in Hermione. First time the two of them had met, Malfoy had bowed and kissed Herm's hand. Ron had been ready to hit the roof at that, and he had been in a terrible mood ever since Malfoy started to engage Hermione in conversations at least once a day.
Other Slytherins had found other people in Godric's Hollow they liked. Some wanted something to do while in town, like a continuing one-night relationship; while others looked for lifemates. Neville had ended up being picked by the last sort, a guy named Blaise Zabini or something, while the Patil twins had ended up with a one-night stand. Shortly, the whole town was turned upside-down.
Harry sighed. Life was getting so bloody complicated! Why couldn't Sirius hurry up and get here? He put the last potion on the shelf and closed the cupboard. Madame Pomfrey was busy checking up on the few Slytherins that had been fatally wounded, while his mother was doing paperwork in her office.
"You'll be up and about within two days young man," Pomfrey said to the Slytherin. "But no more creature-hunting for you for another three weeks. Understood?" the guy looked horrified at the fact that he wouldn't be able to hunt monsters, but nodded.
Harry chuckled as Madame Pomfrey came over to him. "Slytherins are weird, aren't they?"
"Yes, they are," she replied. "Who would go and hunt monsters of their own free will?" Pomfrey shook her head. "Now, who is this elegant young man that has been keeping his eyes on you?" she asked.
"I- I don't know what you're talking about."
"Of course you do, dear, and there's nothing to be ashamed of. If it hadn't been for the fact that I'm too old, I would have tried to snatch him from the first time I saw him. Now, who is he?"
"Severus Snape, and what do you mean you're too old? You don't look a day over twenty."
Pomfrey swatted at him with the towel she was holding. "Shoo with you, you little charmer."
Harry chuckled and was about to leave when his mother called him into her office.
"Yes, Mum?" he asked.
"I've good news, Harry," Lily Potter said. "Sirius is coming back later today." She watched as her son broke out into a smile, then his expression turned worried. "What is it Harry?"
"It's that Slytherin that has been following me all week; I hardly think Sirius is going to take the news well." He shuddered. Last time Sirius had thought Harry was seeing someone in secret, he had nearly killed the guy before they had managed to explain to him that it was all about a project at school.
"Oh dear." Lily said, worry etched into her face. "Well, at least they're both Vampires so they're on equal footing at that," she tried to comfort her son.
"The thing is," Harry whispered, "I don't know where my loyalties lie anymore."
Lily drew him into a hug but she couldn't help smiling when he couldn't see her. So Severus Snape had managed to worm his way into her baby's heart, no matter how much Harry protested and pretended to hate the man. She had to admit that the man would suit Harry better than Sirius would, no offence to Sirius of course. While Sirius was one of those people that were always joking, never took anything seriously and were as open as a book; Severus was the complete opposite. He was an enigma, dark and dangerous, never smiling and always deadly serious about everything. She smiled again. From now on she would let Harry deal with Snape when they visited the hospital. This whole thing was bound to get interesting.
Harry drew out of the hug. "Thanks mum."
"No problem, Harry, just remember to follow your heart in this matter, all right?"
"Sure." He looked at the clock. "Oh no, I was supposed to meet Herm and Ron at the library fifteen minutes ago."
"Yes, that's true, school starts up again tomorrow doesn't it?"
Harry nodded and put on his jacket; he grabbed his book-bag, kissed his mother on the cheek and hurried out.
The library was a five minutes walk away from the hospital, and Harry walked quickly towards the old building. Suddenly someone tripped him and he fell flat on his face, his book-bag opening and the books and pencils fell out.
"Oh damn!" he started to collect everything again.
"Language, language, Potter." Harry didn't need to look up to know who was standing in front of him, that hissing voice alone was enough to identify the owner.
Harry steeled his courage and stood up, coming face to face with a broad-shouldered young man with auburn, almost red, eyes. "Riddle." He said trying to sound polite. "Dursley." He added to the fat lump that was standing behind him. "How nice to see you again. Did you have a good holiday?"
"That depends on what you call good," Riddle replied. "I didn't get the chance to beat up any people as we were out of town visiting family, but other than that it was pretty good. How nice of you to ask about my welfare, even if we are going to beat you into a bloody pulp in a minute or two."
"Well you know, mum always did say that manners were important, no matter if the guy you were talking to was a complete prick." Dursley nodded at that for a couple of seconds before he realised that in reality Harry had insulted them.
Riddle laughed. "The well-mannered Potters!" he crowed and found it amusing for some reason or other. "Now, I'm going to give you the chance of putting your book-bag out of harm's way before we start with you, it's the least I can do after you asked how my holiday went."
"How kind of you." Harry put the bag on a nearby bench. In the next second he was pinned up against a tree trunk by Riddle, Dursley stood in the background chuckling.
"Oh, and look! There's no stupid Sirius Black here to save you this time Potter; you're all ours!"
Harry closed his eyes, awaiting the blow, but it didn't come. Instead Riddle screeched on pain and released him. Harry slid down to the ground trying to get his breath back, and then he looked up.
Snape was standing there, holding Riddle up into the air by his neck. Dursley started to attack, but a tiny shove from the Vampire and he went flying several feet backwards. Riddle was trying to free the hold Snape had on him, but it was impossible.
"Who the hell are you?" he managed to choke out.
Snape sneered. "Someone you don't want to cross." He replied, the black eyes slowly turning silver. Suddenly he let go of the young man. "Now get out of my sight, and take that overgrown walrus with you." Riddle scampered off, dragging a bewildered Dursley with him. The Vampire turned back to Harry who was standing up massaging his throat. "Are you all right?" the eyes had turned back once again.
"Yeah, I'm fine. It's been worse. Thanks for helping me out by the way." Harry picked up his book-bag. "Damn it, now I'm going to be even more late."
"Late for what?"
"I was supposed to meet Herm and Ron at the library – that's that building over there – but the entrance is on the other side, and I don't have time to go all around it."
"Why not go through that alley there?"
"It's a dead end." Harry brushed his pants off and started to walk. All he could do was hope that Herm wasn't in one of her weird moods.
"Hey, wait up!" Snape caught up with him. "Listen, I'll help you if you help me."
Harry tensed. "What do you mean?" he asked.
"This mission turned out to be a lot more difficult than we first thought." Snape began. "One thing that all we Slytherins agree upon is that there is something extra here that shouldn't be here. That creature that attacked Mr. Jordan and the Creevy's was a normal leyrie; or better said, it was a normal leyrie before powerful Dark Magic was used to change it into a monster."
"I don't see what that's got to do with it."
"I'm getting there. As you know the Ministry closely watches Dark Wizards and Witches, and the thing is that there hasn't been a Dark magic-wielder in these parts since before Grindelwald's rise to power. What I'm asking you to do is research the history of this town as far back as possible, and note if there is some houses that are said to be haunted or something like that. Do you get it?"
"Yes." Harry thought over it for a second. "All right, it can't hurt." He agreed in the end.
The Vampire smirked. "Perfect, I'll meet you every day at six at Longie's and you can report to me what you've found." He started to walk away, then stopped and turned towards Harry again. "That's right, I've my side of the bargain to uphold." And suddenly he grabbed a hold of the young man and took to the skies. Harry yelped and clung onto the broad shoulders for dear life.
They flew over the library building, which was also a bank, and landed lightly on the other side, drawing disapproving looks to themselves.
"Please, next time you decide to do that, warn me." Harry said as the Vampire let go of him.
Severus smirked even more. Harry had unconsciously told him that he wouldn't mind if there was another time. As Harry moved towards the doors of the building, he stepped up behind him and put his hands lightly on the green-eyed man's hips. Harry stopped when Snape gently started to nuzzle his neck.
When a Vampire found someone they wanted as a lifemate, they courted this person. In the end – when the Vampire felt that the courting had gone on for enough time – they would put their hands on their object of desire's hips and nuzzle their neck, to ask if they had proven themselves to be worthy and if they could Claim their intended mate yet. If the person pulled away, it meant that they weren't ready yet or that the Vampire hadn't proven him- or herself. If they stayed it meant that they accepted the Vampire and were willing to let the immortal Claim them.
Harry really had no idea what he should do. On one hand he wanted to stay and let Snape Claim him – yes, the man had managed to worm his way into Harry's heart in some way or another. But on the other hand there was Sirius. Gods, this was so confusing!
In the end Harry pulled away slowly making sure that the Vampire understood that he wasn't sure of whom to be loyal to. The strong hands let go of him, but the immortal himself stood as close to him as possible.
"You're wasting your time, Mr. Snape," Harry whispered not meeting the man's eyes. "Sirius will return today, and he doesn't share."
"That mutt doesn't deserve you," the whisper ghosted over his ear. "And call me Severus."
"You're just making it more difficult!" Harry exclaimed trying to get the other man to give up.
"I'm making it more difficult?"
"Yes, if you don't give up on me, you're bound to get hurt. Physically and/or mentally."
"I beg to differ," Severus replied seeming amused by the whole thing. "It's more of a chance for Black to get hurt than me." Seeing that Harry was about to protest, he quickly continued: "My dearest Harry, no matter what you say or do I am going to fight for you and I am going to win, you can be sure of that."
"And you can be sure of the fact that I'll fight you every step on the way." Harry quickly walked over to the great doors and opened one. Just before he disappeared inside, he turned back to Snape. "By the way, thanks for helping me out."
The Vampire laughed as Harry went into the building. This really was going to be a real challenge, but it was the prize that was sweetest. And he would win no matter the cost.
* * * * *
When he finally returned and had found Harry at Longie's, Sirius picked him up and swung him around. Harry laughed happily and blushed incredibly when the whole café clapped, wolf-whistled and catcalled.
have you been, love?" Sirius asked him. "Missed me while I was gone?"
"Of course I missed you, you great nuthead! Other than that I've been good. It's been busy at the hospital with those Slytherins around. Not one day passes when we don't have at least three terribly wounded ones needing our help."
"Did Riddle give you any trouble?" the Vampire inquired as he led Harry out of the café.
"No, not really. The guy was away visiting family, and Dursley is too cowardly to attack without Riddle there so nothing happened." Harry sighed as Sirius slipped an arm around his waist, and leaned into the other man.
"Hmm, you sure that's all?"
"What do you mean?"
"There has been some weird rumours going around," Sirius replied and tightened his hold on him. "All of them say that one of the Vampires that arrived with the Slytherins has been courting you." He started to lead the young man towards the hospital.
Harry kept his head down. "Well, that might be true."
"Who is it, Harry? Just tell me the name of this person, love, and I'll guarantee that he won't be bothering you again."
"Really Sirius, he hasn't done anything wrong, just been flirting with me from time to time, there's no need to go bananas over that."
"Harry, the name."
"Severus Snape." Sirius stopped dead in his tracks. Harry turned towards the Vampire and was about to ask what was wrong when he saw the thunderous expression on the man's face. The usually pale skin was getting a rosy hue and the blue eyes turned silver. "Um, Sirius? You all right?"
Suddenly Sirius rounded on him. "Please tell me you're kidding! Harry, please tell me you made that name up!"
"No I didn't, I wouldn't lie to you. What's the matter?"
"He wouldn't dare to ruin my life again, he wouldn't dare." Sirius grabbed him by the shoulders. "Harry, promise me to keep away from Snape; he's never good news. Promise me."
"What are you talking about Sirius?"
"I can't promise you anything until I know what in heavens name you're talking about."
Sirius sighed. "When I was a barely hour-old Fledgling, the Vampire who turned me was killed by other immortals for something or other he'd done earlier in life. The Vampires wanted to kill me too, when Snape swoops out of the sky like a great bat. After some negotiation and threats, he took me with him and I became his… student for lack of a better word."
"I don't see what the great deal is about that." Harry said.
"Harry, Severus Snape is one of the Ancients! He's 4000 years old, maybe older! Before the Parting of the Continents, he was an assassin, a mercenary and a ruthless killer. The only reason he helps along with taming the Magical Core, is because he will get something out of it. Shortly said, he's a devil among devils. The most evil Vampire throughout times."
"You can't be serious." Harry scoffed. "The most evil Vampire of all time was that assassin Shadow, or whatever they called him."
"Haven't you been listening to me? I told you he was an assassin."
Harry just stood there, his mouth hanging open. "Y-you're serious, aren't you?" he whispered.
"For once in my life I am." They had almost reached the hospital. There was a long silence between them. "Harry, I- I've got to ask you something." Harry looked up at the blue-eyed Vampire. "I… um, was… was wondering if you think you're-"
"Harry! There you are!" Snape's voice cut through the silent air like a warm knife through butter. "I've been sear-" the man stopped as soon as he saw Sirius and the slightly shocked expression on Harry's face.
Sirius growled threateningly at the approaching Vampire, and Harry really had no idea what to think anymore. If this situation had been complicated before, now it was impossible to solve. Severus walked calmly over to them, mostly keeping his eyes on Harry.
"Hello Black, how… nice to see you again." The tone was as cold as the grave.
Harry looked worriedly between the two men. They were glaring shrieking death at each other. Severus stood ramrod straight, proud and tall, while Sirius was in a position that could be used for both attacking and offensive strategies. What worried him even more was that there was no one in sight and the stars had appeared on the inky-black sky. Soon enough the moon would rise, and the two Vampires wouldn't have as much control over their powers as usual.
However, the two opponents didn't move at all, and the only sounds came from Harry's quiet breathing. Harry retreated another couple of steps to the side just in case.
Suddenly it started. Sirius attacked and quickly tried to get out of the way but he was too slow. In a motion as fast as the speed of light, Severus had kicked him in the ribs and sent him flying several yards and right into a brick wall.
"You always made the mistake of putting your hope in a frontal attack with someone older than you." Snape said calmly.
Sirius got to his feet. "Fuck you!"
"No, I'd rather fuck Harry; besides, you aren't my type, Black."
Sirius attacked again, and Harry could only watch as Snape's hand suddenly shot out and grabbed the younger Vampire's neck. With an elegant move, Severus forced the other man to the ground. Sirius clawed at the other's face, but it didn't help. The taller man's skin was hard as marble, and only fire could hurt it. He was however, determined not to show weakness to this monster, and wasn't going down without a fight.
When Sirius made choking noises, Harry jumped to life and hurriedly tried to break up the two fighters. "Stop it, both of you!" he pulled at Snape's shoulders. "Stop it! Severus, let go of Sirius. For heaven's sake, you're both on the same side!"
Finally the sound of Harry's voice got through to Severus, and he slowly let go of Black and stood up. He watched as Harry sent a quick dose of Healing Powers through Sirius, then stood up. Then the young man walked over to him and sent a dose of Healing Powers through him as well.
"Harry, what are you doing?" Sirius exclaimed getting up. "Get away from that monster."
"You can't run my life, Sirius, no matter how much you try." Harry sighed. "Please don't make me choose between the two of you."
"What are you saying? That you like him!?!"
"As for now I'm not saying anything. Now, until you two can behave like grownups and cool down, stay away from me." Harry turned and walked into the hospital, locking the door after himself.
"This is your fault, Snape!" Sirius growled.
"How so? It was you who attacked me, not the other way around." Severus replied as calm as ever.
"Just… shut up!" the young Vampire stalked off into the night, and Severus smirked.
Slowly he circled the hospital building and checked it out. On the back of the place, three storeys above ground, there was a window and he could see Harry's shadow moving around inside the room. He watched the window until the light went out, then headed back to camp. It was now that the real fight between himself and Black started and, like he had told Harry, he was going to win.
* * * * *
The next week proved to be of great entertainment to the citizens of Godric's Hollow. Sirius and Severus really did all in their power to win Harry over. While Sirius was straight to the point and his meetings usually ended up with Harry blushing, Severus was tactful, discreet and elegantly devious.
However, that wasn't all that was going on in the little town. Hermion Granger was torn between Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy, Neville had mated with Blaise Zabini, and the Slytherins were out day and night trying to get hold of the magically created creatures that ran loose in the forest around the town.
There also was an attack a day, and the hospital was full and the cafeteria in the school had been turned into a sickbay. Harry barely had time to do his homework. It was always school in the morning, and then straight to the hospital after it was finished. At times he even got called out of class because the need for help was so great.
Harry was running around and healing people left and right. He had been called out of the first class of the day, and had spent the last couple of hours in the cafeteria. Madame Pomfrey was also there with him while his mother kept and eye at the other patients at the hospital.
Suddenly the doors opened again and in came another group of Slytherins. Madame Pomfrey quickly ordered them to one side of the room and then hurried away to get her medical bag and potions.
As the witch took care of the heavily wounded ones, Harry healed those with minor injuries like a broken arm and some scratches. He was just finishing Healing Blaise Zabini when a great shadow fell over them.
"How's the leg, Zabini?" Severus asked.
"His hands are as soothing as warm milk, sir," Zabini replied and stood up. "Wish we had a Healer like him in the group. He would be valuable." Then he walked off to help Madame Pomfrey bandage some of the wounds.
Harry turned to the Vampire and spotted the tear in the shirt and the blood colouring the pale skin beyond. "Sit down," he ordered. "I need to take a look at that wound of yours."
"This is nothing, take care of the others first."
"Madame Pomfrey's got everything under control, now sit down!" Harry used his most commanding voice which he usually saved for scared kids.
Severus was a bit annoyed at the tone of voice, but sat down and took off the ripped shirt. Harry tried not to stare at the lean but well muscled chest, and concentrated on the wound instead. There were three enormous tears after some creature's claws, luckily they weren't deep. The wounds should have healed on their own by now, so that meant that there had been poison in the claws.
Harry gently put his hands on Severus' chest, spreading his fingers so that they covered as much as possible of the wound. Severus didn't even flinch as Harry pressed lightly, but he closed his eyes when the Healing Power ran through him. They had to stop these creatures soon; the monsters were really getting annoying.
Harry took his hands away when the Healing was finished, and went to wash them in a basin with self-cleaning water. He could feel the Vampire following and true enough Severus leaned close to him while he was washing his hands.
"I need to talk to you in private." Snape whispered.
"Do you even know the meaning of the word privacy?"
"Oh all right, I'm sure you know where my room is by now? Good, drop by later tonight, but if you're up to something I'm going to scream so that the whole town will wake up and have you in chains before you can blink. Get it?"
"Sir, yes, sir." Severus said, his voice loaded with amusement.
* * * * *
When Severus knocked on the bedroom window late that night, Harry quickly let him. It had started to rain and thunder and lightning spilt the sky every few seconds, but the Vampire wasn't wet. A Rain-Protection Charm had seen to that.
"So, what do you want?" Harry asked.
"Straight to the point, Harry? That doesn't seem like your style."
"Either tell me why you're here, or leave."
Severus chuckled. "All right, I need information on the inhabitants of Godric's Hollow."
"With whom do you want to start?" Harry sat down on one of the chairs in the room while Snape took the other.
"Let's start with Riddle and his family."
"Okay, um, nothing much is known about them. They have been here for several generations. Riddle is a bully, his family's rich and live in the big white house at the end of Main Street. Never really seen his parents, I don't think anyone has. His grades are good even if he skips school all the time; that's about all I know, that's about all everyone knows. You could try asking Dursley, but I think he'd be too stupid to answer."
"Curious, now what about that other guy? The one who owns the flower shop."
"Peter Pettigrew?" Severus nodded. "He came here when I was ten, a bit of a loner. The prices are sky-high in his shop, so most people just pick what flowers they need before they go to their date or whatever they need them for. I don't know any more about him."
"I'll have to send a couple of Slytherins to check them out; where's Pettigrew's house?"
"Just above the store. You want to use the phone?"
"No thanks, telepathic abilities will suffice." The eyes of the Vampire turned distant as if he was listening to something, then they focused again. Severus turned to Harry again. "Did you have time to find out anything about this town? We didn't meet once this week except at the hospital."
"No, I've been too busy, and for some strange reason or other, the librarian won't let me into the room where the information about Godric's Hollow is stored." Harry looked at his companions thoughtful expression. "You don't think she's hiding anything in there?"
"Most likely," the Vampire replied.
Harry sighed and went over to the bookshelf standing opposite the window, and started to search through it for any book that might contain information about the town or the library. He knew he was supposed to have a book like that around here somewhere, but right now he couldn't find it; oh well, it wasn't that much of a disaster. Hermione probably knew it anyway.
Suddenly two hands settled on his hips again and Severus stepped up behind him. "Mr. Snape, what do you-"
"How many times do I have to tell you to call me Severus?" it was true. Severus had said the same thing at least a dozen times this past week.
Severus, please don't do this."
"Why not? Why won't you give in?"
"I- I…" Harry had no answer for that one. And to tell the truth he was tired of fighting. He had finally realised why he hadn't let Sirius Claim him; the man was never serious, he didn't like responsibility and he acted like a child all the time while Severus was the complete opposite. 'Dear Goddess,' Harry thought. 'I really hope this is the right choice.'
Severus smirked when Harry leaned into him, and genuinely smiled when Harry's hands uncertainly settled on top of his. His arms encircled the young man's waist and pulled him even closer to the Vampire.
Severus nuzzled his neck and Harry sighed. This wasn't so bad, he could get used to it. Indeed he could. Harry gasped as the Vampire bit his neck gently. Oh gods! What were the man's hands doing?!
Harry let himself be led towards the bed and let Severus strip him while he did the same to him. Severus lowered them gently onto the bed, and Harry moaned as his erection brushed against another one. Sev caught his lips and forced his tongue inside Harry's mouth, hereby stating that he was the dominating one and Harry gladly gave himself over to the darkness that was Severus Snape.
Later that night Lilly Potter checked in on her son. She opened the door and her mouth fell open. She stared at the two figures on the bed. Severus was curled around Harry and had his arms protectively around her son. Harry had snuggled into the other man, resting his head in the space where neck met shoulder. She could also see a red mark on her son's shoulder. That hickey branded him as Claimed, and no sane Vampire would try to court him while his mate was alive.
She smiled and quietly closed the door. She could only hope that her husband didn't walk in on them before she had explained the situation to him. James Potter was a very good friend of Sirius, and had known the Vampire all his life. He had always hoped that his child – be it girl or boy – would pick Sirius as mate. Well, he was about to be slightly disappointed, but there was nothing to do about that.
* * * * *
Harry sighed as he woke up and found himself wrapped in Severus' arms. The Vampire was gently running his hands across Harry's back in comforting patterns.
"Good morning." Severus said quietly, his voice dripping molten sex.
Harry shivered. "Good morning, Sev." The man raised an eyebrow at the nickname. "You don't like it?"
"Just try not to use it out in public." Harry chuckled at that statement, but it was cut short as the Vampire claimed his mouth. The kiss was slow, thorough and passionate, the kind of kiss you see in movies and read about in romance novels. Severus moved on to his neck and Harry moaned. The man was a Sex God. He supposed that 4000 years would give you a certain amount of experience, but still…
"Sev," he managed to say before both of them got too caught up in their activities. "We need to visit Herm as soon as possible."
"I know that she's ready everything about this town, and if we can't get help from the library we'll get help from her." Harry clutched the man's broad shoulders as Severus rolled on top of him; he could feel powerful muscles working under the marble-like skin.
"It can wait for another couple of hours." The Vampire sucked on the place where shoulder and neck met, and Harry moaned.
"Actually it can't," the green-eyed mortal replied. When Severus made a questioning noise, he set out to explain: "The only time when we can talk to Hermione – without her talking about classes, books, etc, or anyone listening to us – is right before school, which, by the way, will start in an hour. And after school I don't have the time for it as I'm going to help out with the wounded."
Severus looked like he had just been denied sex. Well, he had, but that's another case. "You owe me big time for this one." He growled to the young man pinned underneath him.
"I'm sure we can come to a mutual agreement." Harry suggested innocently and rolled out of bed as the Vampire let him go.
"Great! How do you suppose I'll get through the day with that in my head?!" Sev said and Harry couldn't help but laugh.
Instead of taking the usual way out through the front door, Severus flew them out the window and followed the directions Harry gave him to Hermione's house. They were flying over Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes when they heard shouting from within the shop, and a second later came an angry and sad Hermione followed by a furious Ron. Draco Malfoy and the Weasley twins also appeared on the stairs.
Severus slowly descended, put Harry on the ground and they walked over.
"Is it because he's a wizard and I'm not?!" Ron yelled.
"No, Ron, calm down. What he is has nothing to do with it!" Hermione replied.
"Then is it because he's richer than a pharaoh?!"
"Of course not! How can you be so dense?!"
"I realised that I don't like you in that way, it was just a schoolgirl crush. You're like a brother to me, Ron. You and Harry."
"Well, you can do without this 'brother' 'cause our friendship is over! I just hope Harry hasn't gone mad and mated with that greasy slimeball Snape."
"I wouldn't count on it, Weasley." Malfoy nodded towards Severus and Harry who were standing off to the side. The Vampire had his arm around Harry's waist and Harry was leaning his head onto Sev's shoulder.
"Have all of my friends gone crazy?!" Ron bellowed.
"Don't you think you're taking this a bit too far, Ron?" Fred – or George – Weasley asked.
"Yeah, is it really worth it to terminate a friendship that has been going on ever since you were in preschool?" the other twin asked.
"Not you too! Why couldn't these stupid Slytherins have been eaten by that freaky monster running around?!"
"Watch what you're saying, Ron." Harry warned the redhead. "Without the Slytherins the whole town probably would've been dead by now."
"It's all about the Slytherins isn't it?! First the Patil twins, then Neville and now you two?! I for one wish that the Slytherins had never come here, they're corrupting this whole town!"
"Ron! What's gotten into you?" Hermione was shocked.
"Some common sense, that's what's gotten into me." The fiery redhead turned to Harry and Severus. "What'd Sirius say about this?! You realize how crushed he is? Or doesn't he know yet?" Ron smirked when Harry looked away. "Well then, at least I know someone else in this town hasn't completely lost his mind."
"There's nothing you can do, Weasley." Severus snapped in his coldest voice. "I've already Claimed him, and nothing can undo that." He drew Harry into a protective embrace, and Hermione let Malfoy wrap his arms around her.
"And I've already asked Hermione to marry me, so there really isn't anything you can do." The blond Slytherin smirked at the thunderous expression on Ron's face. "Now why don't you just run off and stop bothering us?"
Ron glared at them but stalked off muttering about traitors and mentally disturbed ex-friends. Harry sighed and leaned even more into Severus. Herm, Malfoy and the Weasley twins came over to them.
"Congratulations to the four of you," Fred said.
"And don't worry about Ron, he's just being an ass as usual." George continued.
"Thanks you two." Hermione looked at her watch. "Oh no, Harry, we're going to be late to school!"
"Wait, Herm! We need to talk to you," Harry said. "You as well, Malfoy," he added quickly.
"Please, call me Draco."
"As you wish."
"But Harry, what about school!"
"I think this is a bit more important than school, Herm, and I think you can afford to skip it one day. You're still on top of the class no matter how you turn it." Harry pointed out.
Hermione thought over it for a minute. "All right," she agreed reluctantly in the end.
"Great! Fred, George, since this is a kind of secret mission, would you two mind covering for the four of us?"
"Of course not, Harry!"
"If we've done it before, we can do it again." Everyone looked strangely at George. "What? I've always wanted to say that."
"Riiight." Hermione turned to the two black-haired men. "So, where do you want to talk?"
"I think that the safest place would be your home." Harry replied. "Your parents are out working, and no one would think of searching for us there as it is almost unthinkable that you'd skip school if you weren't deadly sick."
Draco laughed and Hermione swatted his arm. "I'm going to get you for that one, Harry."
"If you can get past Severus." Harry pointed out and the tallest man sneered dangerously down at her, baring his long fangs. Hermione squeaked and hid behind Draco.
"Now, now, children," a new voice cut in. "Play nice." Everyone turned and saw Albus Dumbledore walking towards them. The old wizard had long silvery hair and beard and golden, half-moon spectacles. The blue eyes were twinkling madly.
"Mr Dumbledore, what are you doing here?" Hermione asked.
"I was merely searching for Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Snape, but since all of you are here, I might as well include yourself and Harry in this," came the reply.
"I think, George, brother dear, that it is time for us to get back to our shop." Fred said.
"You're absolutely right, Fred, brother dear," replied the other twin. "They don't want us here anymore!" George did an overly dramatic faint into his brother's arms and Fred had to carry him inside.
"Those two are beginning to scare me." Severus admitted.
"You'll get used to it, Sev." Harry replied. Draco chuckled at the nickname but quickly stopped when Snape glared at him. "So, what did you want to talk to us about?"
"It has to do with these attacks and the fact that no one is allowed into the part of the library where the information about Godrics Hollow is stored."
"Have you found something out, Mr. Dumbledore?" Severus asked.
"Yes, you could say that," the old mage's eyes twinkled. "I would rather that we didn't talk about this in such an open space, and was wondering if you would accompany me to my office?" the other four nodded and followed Dumbledore to his office. It didn't take them long to reach it and they sat down in the four chairs in front of the desk. "May I offer you some tea or Sherbet Lemons?"
"No thanks." Harry declined and the other three did the same.
"If you don't mind me asking Mr. Dumbledore, but what did you find out?" Draco asked.
know the story of Grindelwald, I presume, and Mr. Snape might have been
directly involved in the war if I'm not completely mistaken?" they nodded.
"Well, I remember a couple of years before the Dark Lord started to gather
followers. A lot of Dark magic was being used and weird creatures attacked
"So you think that another Dark Lord might be on the rise?" Severus asked.
"Right on spot, Mr. Snape. Do you know from what town Grindelwald came?" they shook their heads, but Sev's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "He came from Godric's Hollow." Harry and Hermione gaped while the two Slytherins didn't look too surprised. "His Christian name was Joe Auklandus Riddle."
"What?!" both Harry and Hermione exclaimed.
"You can't be serious!" Harry continued. "Riddle's related to Grindelwald?!"
"Please, Harry, calm down." Dumbledore said softly. "Is it really such a great surprise?"
Harry thought over it. "No, but still…"
"So what do you suggest we do with Riddle?" Hermione asked.
"Pay him a visit at the Riddle manor."
"I sent some Slytherins there last night, wonder what happened to them." Severus said.
"When are we going to do this, Mr. Dumbledore?" Harry asked.
"Preferably now before the whole town wakes up." The four of them nodded, stood up and headed for the door. "Oh, and guys?" they turned back to Dumbledore. "Please call me Albus." Harry and Hermione smiled while the two Slytherins nodded, and the four of them left the office.
"So, how are we going to do this?" Harry asked as they headed down Main Street and towards the Riddle Manor.
"First of all we'll need the help of the rest of the Slytherins. Draco?" the Vampire turned to the young man.
"I'll get them, and we'll meet you in front of the Manor in a couple of minutes." The blond kissed Hermione before running off towards the Quidditch pitch.
"I think I have a book on the old Manor," Hermione spoke up. "I'll go find it and meet you in a couple of minutes." She hurried over the street and into her home.
Harry and Severus continued towards the huge, old-fashioned white house at the end of the street. It didn't take long before they were standing in front of the gates.
"I don't like the feel of this, Sev." Harry said quietly.
Severus wrapped his arms around him and pulled him as close as possible. "Hopefully there's nothing to worry about in there. If we're lucky we can probably walk in and out without any casualties, but I highly doubt that."
"I still don't like this."
"None of us do," Draco said as he landed with the other Slytherins following closely. "Where's Hermione?" he asked.
"Here I am!" Hermione ran up to them, a little book in her arms.
"Did you find anything?"
"Only that it is said that the house is cursed. I'm sure I had more information than this at home." She shook her head. "Are we going in?"
"One moment." Severus turned to the fifteen Slytherins. "Five of you check the cellar, five the first floor and the rest will accompany me up to the second floor. Zabini, you're leading the cellar-party and Draco you take the first floor. Ready? Lets go."
Zabini opened the gate and they entered. To Harry the house seemed even more foreboding than ever. It towered over them like a giant, the dark front doors looking like a giant mouth waiting to swallow them whole. But nothing happened when they entered the quiet house, and the Slytherins quickly parted into groups and went to search through their appointed part of the house. Harry followed Severus up the stairs leading to the second floor. Slytherins surrounded him, since he was a Healer, and a very important part of the mission. Besides, Severus didn't want to put him in unnecessary danger before he absolutely had to.
The second floor was almost the same as the first, except that most of the rooms here were bedrooms. There was no indication that there was someone living here. No pictures on the walls, no light, the curtains were almost shredded to pieces, and the whole house generally needed a makeover. The silence was deafening.
Suddenly, at the end of the corridor, they saw light from under one of the doors and heard two voices whisper.
"A- are you sure about this, Master?" the voice couldn't belong to anyone else but Peter Pettigrew.
"Yes, I am. This time I'll send the creature to kill Dumbledore, and then the old idiot won't be able to meddle into my plans anymore." The other voice sent shivers down the group's backs.
"But what about those Slytherins? They have already killed the five other creatures."
"Nothing that can't be replaced Pettigrew, now shut up!" they heard a set of footsteps moving around in the room and then the door opened.
The next couple of minutes were confusing for Harry. All he could remember later was a sudden darkness, war cries, the sounds of fighting and a couple of red, snakelike eyes. When he finally managed to put himself together, Sev was holding his shoulders and lightly shaking him, telling him to wake up.
"S- Sev, what happened?"
"A spell or something, I'm not exactly sure. You went into a sort of trance." Severus watched his mate with worried eyes. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, I think so." Harry looked around the narrow corridor. Slytherins were getting to their feet, some where helping others who were wounded while two kept a close watch over the fallen body of Riddle. It didn't look like the bully Harry had known all his life; it looked like some horrid mix between snake and human. Pettigrew was covering right inside the door, pleading with a Slytherin and telling the man over and over again that it wasn't his fault.
Harry pushed off the wall and walked over to a wounded Slytherin, then started to Heal the man. When he was done, he went on to the next. It went on like this until every single Slytherin was Healed, then Harry headed towards the fallen Riddle, but was stopped by Severus.
"Don't do it, Harry, he'll only attack us again and this time we might not be so lucky."
Harry didn't know what to do. He had always been taught to Heal everyone, no matter what side, colour or what their religion was. Not being allowed to heal someone was a new experience, a terrible one at that. He sighed in defeat and nodded. It seemed like it was terribly cold in the corridor.
"Who cast the spell?" Harry asked the Vampire to keep his mind off things.
"Riddle was about to cast a Dark spell, when you suddenly started to glow all over. And then, literally out of the blue, a lightning bolt appeared and knocked him out." Severus looked over at Riddle. "He underestimated you."
"I- I made that bolt of lightning appear?"
"But it couldn't have been me! I don't know any magic beyond Healing."
"Then maybe it was a Healer thing, the main point is that it's over."
* * * * *
A week later Godric's Hollow was more or less back to normal. The attacks had stopped when Riddle had been caught, and Riddle himself was sent off to the infamous Azkaban prison. The only new thing was that the town had gotten several new residents, and that some old people had left – among those were Sirius and Ron.
Harry did take over the hospital after his mother, and turned out to be one of the best Healers the town had ever had. His reputation spread fast and at times he would be called to other towns when their Healers couldn't handle the situation, and several young hopefuls asked if they could be his apprentices.
Severus turned out to be a Potion Master, and was blackmailed into teaching potions at the school. Draco had laughed over this until Hermione had made him teach History class as the ghost that usually had that class had retired.
The taming of the Magical Core went well, and soon the fairy-folks could control it to some extent, and make the magic do their bidding. The creatures that had been transformed by magic were starting to disappear and left only the original creatures left – the beast that had been there before the Parting of the Continents.
As for Harry's and Severus' life after their mating, well, that is another story.
* * * * *
Please tell me what you think.
I was thinking of a sequel, but I'm not sure.
Also I'm not sure when I'll be updating my other stories. The final exams are coming up in two weeks, and almost every day is spent studying. So try to bear with me, though I will try my best to update as soon as possible.