Here is the next chapter like I promised!

Author: Althea

New email address ally_cat@alltel.net

Pairing: Harry/Lucius, Remus/Draco, Severus/Sirius, and Ron/Hermione (just a smidge)

Suspicious Minds

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Lucius walked over to help his longtime friend up. "What's wrong, Sev? What's happened? Harry said that Dumbledore called you to meet with him. His scar is also hurting and we know what that means."

Severus stood with Lucius' help and made his way to one of the plush chairs. He had no idea what he should tell them. "He said that Voldemort is planning to attack the school. He is certain that Lucius is in on it. He wants me to work with Harry on his Occlumency and keep my eye on Draco. He also said that Harry and Remus don't seem to be taking Sirius' death as well as he had hoped. He is close to suggesting we do something about them."

Remus looked at Sev, "Harry said that Dumbledore called you in to see him. Why wasn't I called?"

Sev looked a little worried at that. "At first, I thought it was because of the full moon. Well at least it was meant to have the appearance of being that. However, after the meeting I don't think that is the case. Something has changed. He knows something, but I don't know what. I don't think he suspects Harry yet. He seems cautious of Remus though; it could be because he's a werewolf. I don't think that is it though. There is something he is unhappy about. Now that Sirius is gone and with all that has been going on with Harry, he might feel Remus is a danger to his plans. He may be afraid you will try to latch onto Harry and use him as a substitute for what you have lost. I'm not sure. He is planning something though. It doesn't look good."

Siri frowned and looked at Remus. "This isn't good. He has always trusted you, Rem. Even if it was only because you had nowhere else to go. If he is suspicious, something is wrong. We have to be extra careful. He can't find out about all of us. Especially Harry. If he finds out Harry knows he will try to kill him. He may even succeed this time."

Tom looked at his grandson. "Harry are you ok? Does your scar still hurt?"

Harry, who had curled up in Lucius' lap once the elder blonde had taken a seat, smiled and shook his head. "For now it seems to be over. Either that or whatever spell he uses doesn't work through the Manor's wards."

Lucius hugged Harry close. "It's possible. Malfoy's have been adding to the Manor's wards since it was built. It has more magic surrounding it than Hogwarts. I am worried about what Dumbledore is planning. He wants Harry to suspect Voldemort, he doesn't trust Remus, he wants Draco watched, and Sev is our only link to what Dumbledore plans. I don't like this. I think I should get a hold of Bella."

Harry sat up, "Oh Gods! You have to explain to her I didn't know! I tried to curse her. Last year, I thought she had killed Siri and I ran after her to curse her. I didn't do a very good job but still, I don't want her to think I hate her."

Siri knelt before Harry and tried to calm him. "It's ok. She knows. She knows all about the lies and that you never knew the truth. You were supposed to think she killed me. That was the point. She has been eager to meet you. She would have come to see you, but she felt you had enough to deal with over the Holiday."

Draco, who was sitting next to Remus, looked to his father. "Will Aunt Bella be able to come soon? She has been so busy gathering info."

Tom spoke up then, "She could do with a break anyway. We will have to all meet at some time. The four of you will have to go back soon while Siri, Lucius, and I work on a plan. If you don't go back soon, Dumbledore will figure out you're missing and that will be dangerous for all of us. Please visit again soon when you feel it is safe. We need to plan. I'm going to go look through a few of my books."

Tom left the room. He was worried for the safety of his only family and friends. He had to leave it in their hands though. Some choices were not his to make. He couldn't be there all the time to make sure nothing happened to any of them. The others left in the room were unsure how to proceed. Remus and Draco were anxious to get back and become further acquainted with each other. Harry wanted to spend as much time as he could with Lucius, before returning to Hogwarts. Severus wanted to leave. He was feeling uncomfortable since he hadn't received a reply from Sirius to his letter or even any mention of it since the business had concluded. Sirius had forgotten about the letter he received and was just wishing Sev would say something about the letter he had sent.

Draco spoke first. "I am going to take Remus back. I'll be in touch. Goodbye Father...Siri. See you back at school Sev...Harry." With that Draco and Remus used the portkey to return to school.

Lucius stood and brought Harry with him. "We are going to visit before Harry must return. You two are free to spend as much time as you need in my study. Goodbye."

Lucius and Harry left to spend some time together. They had both missed the other terribly. Sirius was now even more worried. He didn't know what to do around the other man. There were so many things he wanted to say, but he wanted to know what Sev thought about what he had already said. He wasn't sure he dared ask though. The other man seemed to want to leave as soon as he could escape.

"So, how have you been?" he asked Severus.

Severus looked up surprised that he was being addressed. "What do you care, Black? I'll leave as soon as I make sure Potter gets back all right. I don't need to add his uncertain fate to my conscience. Why don't you run off and do whatever it is you usually do? Scratch fleas or chase your tail." Severus didn't look as he said this, otherwise he would have seen the hurt look flash across Sirius' face at his harsh words.

Sirius thought that they were beyond this, but apparently not. Maybe the other man didn't really mean what he had said. "I care for the reasons that I told you I did. I sent you a letter. If you have read it then you know why I care. If you want to leave, go right ahead. I'm sure that Lucius will make sure that he gets back. What I usually do is think about what I want to do with my life and, well I guess it doesn't matter about the rest. What did you think about my letter? I told myself I wouldn't ask, that it didn't matter. I have to know though. Please?" His voice broke on the last word.

Severus snorted not sure what sort of game Sirius was playing. "I already gave you my response. You're the one who never answered me. I actually let myself trust you. I really am a fool."

"What response you never gave me a response."

"I sent a letter yesterday. By owl." He stopped speaking as he saw the look on Siri's face.

Sirius, only now remembering the owl from earlier, pulled the letter from his pocket. "I forgot all about it. It only came today, right before Harry showed up. I didn't know it was from you. Let me read it." He opened the letter carefully dreading what he would find within it.

Dear Sirius,

I appreciate your candor with me. I hope you are in fact serious in what you have said. I am really very grateful to be receiving this letter from you just now. I had already been wondering whether what happened was a mistake or not. I have felt something for you as well. All these years, I too have done things I regret. I was so afraid to be near you in case you discovered how I felt about you and used it against me. I would never say this aloud, but since you have told me the truth I can do no less.

You already know that I too thought you were involved with Remus. I never dreamed you could feel something for me. You are not a stupid Gryffindor; perhaps a bit impulsive and stubborn, but never stupid. I never thought Remus was perfect, but I did think he was my friend. That is until that night, I thought you had discovered my feelings and were laughing at me. I lost his friendship and I thought, all chance of ever being with you.

You may not be saying it to get reciprocation, but I am reciprocating. I love you. I always have. I do in fact like you very much and would enjoy a truce with you in which we could explore a friendship. I am attracted to you, but I'm afraid I cannot agree to a friendship with benefits arrangement. You may be able to live with that, but I cannot. I'm sorry; I need more.

I want your feelings to effect me. I want to be close to you, but I want something real and not just physical. I in turn propose a relationship. One built on more then just sex. I hope that this is something that you want as well. So now I await your response. Are you really mine?

Yours, Severus

Sirius looked up with tears in his eyes. He was unsure what he should say. He decided to go with his instinct. "I have always been yours, I will always be yours. My answer is yes."

Severus walked to the man he loved and pulled him close. "Just as I am yours." He then kissed Sirius deeply, pouring all his love and insecurity into the kiss. This was a big step for both of them and they feared what would come next. The kiss seemed to last forever as they both clung to it. Severus pulled away first. He brought his hand up to cup Sirius' cheek.

"I need to know you really mean this. I know we have both said we do and have reassured one another, but I think we have both been scarred in ways we can't even see yet. I don't know what that is going to mean." Sirius smiled at him. "I don't know either. You have been through so much with the Death Eaters," he said while lifting Severus sleeve to stroke the mark on the white skin there, "I've been through so much in Azkaban." Severus tried to pull his arm away, but Sirius just held him gently but firmly in place. "Don't Sev. It doesn't bother me. It once did, when I believed you were like them, and yet I still loved you. It doesn't bother me now."

Severus spoke in barely a whisper, "How can you touch it? How can you want to touch me? I don't deserve this."

Sirius pulled him close. "I can because it isn't you. You made a mistake. Look how many I've made. You are so important to me. So you made a mistake. So what! That doesn't define who you are. Dumbledore branded you and made you think your friends were evil. He manipulated you and made you think that Tom had done it. He branded so many to get them out of the way. You didn't choose this path, he just made you think you had."

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Lucius pulled his love to him and stroked his eternally mussed hair. "I've missed you so much, Angel."

"I've missed you too. I haven't been sleeping well."

Lucius looked at him in concern. "Why haven't you been sleeping well? What's wrong is it your scar?"

Harry laughed, "No. It's you. I have missed you so much and you haven't been there. I can't sleep without you now. I just need you so much."

Lucius led Harry over to the bed and laid him down. "It won't be for long. You can come and visit for break and you can still come and visit any time you want."

"Lucius, I haven't even been gone a week and I'm a wreck. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. I just need to concentrate more."

"I have missed you just as much you know. I feel like some vital part of me is missing without you here."

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Albus sat in his office feeling pleased with himself. He had ensured that the Slytherin brat would be watched and the werewolf as well. Severus would report anything unusual because he believed that the boy was in danger of joining the Dark Lord and Remus was not to be trusted anyway. After all, he is a dark creature. The quiet room was filled with strange laughter.

"No he would never dare to fail to report anything about either of them."

He looked over at the perch in the corner of the room. Fawkes really was beautiful. Too bad he had to use that glamour to cover up his true appearance. He didn't understand why no one else could appreciate the beauty of a vulture. They were perfectly designed for their lifestyle. Perhaps one day people would recognize the way things really are in the world. For now he had plans to make, and a murder to dream of.

TBC

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Ok so like I said thanks to all who reviewed. Please review! I love you all.