Disclaimer: Never was mine / Never will be mine I am making no money from this story. Everything belongs to JK Rowling and Warner Bros.
A/N1: This is the last chapter in this story. There will be a sequel titled 'The War For The Orphans' and it will pick up towards the end of the summer holidays for Harry. It will deal with the war and the downfall of Voldemort, the rescuing of the orphans and Draco. So, if all you were interested in was the ageing story and the coming together of Severus and Harry, you will feel like you have had a happy ending to this story. If you are interested in the other plot lines please check out the sequel. A lot of people asked when Tidus would be back and he will be back in the sequel, he will return to Hogwart's as a student. The first chapter should be out within a week or so it is just being fine-tuned. Thanks for listening to me ramble on; nerd-girl.
A/N2: This chapter also has an edited out scene, due to 's ratings policy. Please see my bio page for details. Also for all of you that wanted to read the unedited version but did not want to join a yahoo group, the full version is now up at Ink Stained Fingers. Detail to which are on my bio page.
Beta read by the exemplary JediCandy.
Chapter Thirty – The War For The Orphans Begins.
Harry was woken up by a gentle squeeze to his shoulder, he murmured something and snuggled in tighter to the warm body next to him. He was not ready to be awake up yet considering he had only gotten to sleep at five thirty this morning.
"Harry, its time to wake up." Harry heard Severus' voice speak through his sleepy haze.
"Soon, not yet. Too tired." He managed to say back and allowed sleep to take him once again.
"If you don't get up on your own, I will force you awake and it will certainly not be pleasant."
Harry stirred again, sat up and threw a glare at Severus. "What is so important that you felt you needed to wake me?"
"That glare would work better if your hair was not sticking up everywhere and your clothes were not so wrinkled." Harry poked his tongue out and made a disgruntled face, which Severus just smirked at. "Albus and Minerva have requested our presence in an hour and you need to eat something."
"Are you eating?"
"A little, but you need to eat to regain your strength. The potions may have subdued most of the pain but your system still needs to recover from the shock. Therefore you must eat." Harry mumbled his agreement and headed off to the bathroom.
After much grumbling and a quick breakfast, Harry and Severus were making their way to the Headmaster's office. Harry could tell that he was not in the best of moods, he was tired and grumpy as hell. He couldn't understand why this couldn't wait until tomorrow when he was fully recovered. He knew the war was important but it wasn't going anywhere, it would still be going on tomorrow. "Sev, this is stupid! Why can't this wait until tomorrow?"
"I have my suspicions but nothing concrete."
"Yes, but that is all they are. It would be best if the Headmaster was to explain it all to you."
Harry gave him a sideways glance but left it at that as they arrived at the stone gargoyle. Severus muttered the password and it jumped aside revealing the stairway. They both moved up the stairs and Severus knocked and entered the room. Harry did not miss the subconscious stiffening of Severus' back; Harry could not see the reason why because Severus blocked his view. Though Harry fully understood why Severus had had that reaction the moment Severus had stood aside allowing him entrance. Harry saw red, simple as that, and he let the anger control his actions. He rushed forward into the office and somehow magically threw the chairs that were in his way aside with a flick of his hand and threw a perfectly placed right hook directly onto Draco's nose. It sent Draco flying backwards onto his ass on the floor. He was looking up to Harry with a look of shock and a little fear. Harry saw him go for his wand. "I don't think so, Malfoy." Harry spat at him and again waved his left hand and Draco's wand went flying from his grasp to the other side of the room, Harry threw himself down on the other boy and began to throttle him. "I warned you, Malfoy, what would happen to you if you crossed my path again after school!"
From the moment Harry had charged into the room and went for Draco, Severus had been in a mild form of shock. First had been the unconscious wandless magic preformed by Harry, twice and then the actual attack had been physical and not magical. It seemed as though Harry really had been paying attention in his physical ed. classes. It also it spoke volumes about his upbringing; it was a muggle's form of attack. Severus spared a glance at Draco and winced when he saw the bloodied nose of his former student. He too had broken his nose and knew even with magic the healing was painful. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Minerva and Albus getting into action to put a stop to the fight, especially now as Harry had drawn his wand and held it to Draco's throat. It was the first time in his life that he actually had a moment of pity for the Dark Lord because he was going to lose, there was no way in hell he would be able to beat Harry. That thought brought a wicked grin to his face.
He heard Minerva gasp at his grin. Yes, he guessed it did look bad watching two former students fighting and grinning at them. She wouldn't know that he was actually thinking of the Dark Lord's defeat. He rolled his eyes when Albus joined her in looking at him strangely; he guessed it was time to put a stop to this. "POTTER!"
Both of his former students froze. "No, I warned him to stay out of my way."
"Be that as it may, Potter, you can not simply kill him because you do not like him."
"I don't plan on killing him, maybe just... impair his ability to walk again or make it impossible for him to reproduce. Put an end to the Malfoy line once and for all!"
"Potter," Severus growled. "Have you learned nothing about the wizarding world in the last seven years?"
"Mister Malfoy is here under someone's protection, if you harm him you will have to answer to his protector. If that harm is fatal, his protector has the right to challenge you to a duel to the death."
Harry narrowed his eyes at Severus. "Is it you? Are you protecting this little bastard?"
Severus sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose he could feel a headache coming on, he was tired and in no mood for this. He pointed towards Minerva and looked pointedly at Harry.
"Yes Mister Potter, now kindly remove yourself from my charge before I am forced to remove you." Minerva told him.
Severus could see Harry looked a little unsure, Severus knew he wanted to throttle Draco, but did not want to have to face Minerva. He knew Harry deeply respected her. Again he took matters into his own hands, "Potter, put down Malfoy this instant!" Harry did as he was told, but he shot a look at Severus that told him in no uncertain terms he would be explaining that remark in great detail at some point.
"Malfoy, you are lower than a snake's belly. If I had a dog with a face like yours, I'd shave his ass and make him walk backwards!" Harry snarled.
"Ahem, Potter. I meant for you to let go of Malfoy, not insult him."
"Oh, sorry, Professor."
"Fine, but I want him out of here. I will not stay to discuss anything in this room while he is here."
It was Albus' turn to join in on the chat. "He will not be staying, Harry. I asked him to be here so we could inform you that he would be staying in the castle as Mister Malfoy has asked for sanctuary. We thought it best to inform you of this in person before you found out from someone else, or by running into him near Gryffindor Tower as his quarters are next to yours."
"What! You have got to be kidding me! Seven years I have had to put up with that little shit lording it over me and bullying me; and now you want me to be a good little Gryffindor and be his neighbour?" Harry shouted while pointing at Malfoy.
"Harry!" Minerva gasped.
"Minerva, why don't you take young Draco to the infirmary. Now, Harry, you could be a good influence on him."
"First you want me to save the world and now Malfoy! No, I won't do it, I want nothing to do with him."
Harry watched as Malfoy was led out of the room with McGonagall, his attention was brought back to the Headmaster purely because of his commanding tone. "Then Harry you will just have to stay out of Mister Malfoy's way and I ask you not to attack him again. He is under the protection of one of the professors of this school."
"Why don't you tell him to stay out of my way?" Harry knew he was being disrespectable by raising his voice in an angry tone.
"I have told him the same as I am telling you, but you must learn to live together."
"Live together! You have got to be kidding me!"
"No, Harry, I am not." The twinkle was gone and the tone was deadly serious.
"Fine! But please do not expect me to befriend that git."
"Harry, he is looking for protection from Voldemort and his family. Is it not our place to help him?"
"Tell me one thing, why was he worth saving and giving sanctuary to and yet Severus was not?" Harry was losing control of his anger. "It might be your job to save him but it is not mine. Don't you think I have enough on my plate with having to save the world?" Harry turned and walked out of the office and slammed the door on his way out.
Severus stood dumb struck for a moment unable to move or speak. He knew Harry had a temper on him but he had never seen it in full force before. Yes he had been on the receiving end of a few nasty glares through Harry's school years and he had even seen Harry give a bit of lip to the Dark Lord last year when he had been captured. But, he had never seen him go off on one in front of the Headmaster; sure, he had heard off and seen the devastation of the Headmaster's office after Black had died, he had put that down to Harry wallowing in grief. One thing that he was having a little trouble getting to grips was, was that it seemed Harry was angry for him. He had never had someone defend him so passionately before, it was a curious feeling. He turned to Albus to see the old man stroking his beard deep in thought; Severus hated to interrupt but he really did want to try and track Harry down. "Albus."
"Mmmm, sorry Severus, was there something you wanted to say?"
Severus could not keep the slightly confused look from his face. The old man was really was starting to act as barmy as he liked people to believe he was. "Yes, Albus, Harry." He pointed towards the door that the young man had stormed through.
"Yes, Harry. No need to worry, Severus, he will calm down. He is just a little hot headed like his mother. He will come to his senses soon and calm down. He really does seem to care very deeply about you, Severus. You are a very lucky young man to have someone so devoted to you."
"Yes, Albus." Severus just wanted to get out of the office and go find Harry, he didn't know what the Headmaster was going on about and he hated being trapped in a room and without really knowing what was going on. "I'll go find Harry and inform him of what we were going to tell him before things got out of hand."
"Yes, you do that, Severus. It will be best coming from you. Just make sure it is somewhere secure where you are sure you are alone."
"Of course, Albus. Good-day." Severus left the office and pulled out the map Harry had made for him and whispered the activation word and smiled a little when he saw Harry had returned to his quarters. He vaguely remembered never having told Harry the password. It must be those damn guardian snakes protecting his door that had let him in. Somehow Harry had managed to charm them with the help of Salazar Slytherin and his two pet snakes, not that he really minded, he would have gladly given Harry the password if he had asked.
Harry was pacing in front of the fireplace, he was furious with McGonagall and especially with Dumbledore. How dare that mad old fool give Draco Malfoy sanctuary when he had refused it to Severus all those years ago! If you asked him, he thought Severus was much more worthwhile saving than some stupid snotty selfish spoilt brat! He knew after his temper had abated he would do as the Headmaster had asked, he would be civil to Malfoy but he would not ever be friends with him! He had hurt his friends far to many times over the years and he sure as hell would never trust him.
He looked up as he heard the door open and looked as apologetic as he possibly could as he watched Severus enter. "Sev, I am so sorry."
Severus gave him an amused look. "It is not I to whom you should be apologising to."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I know but I think I will just let them stew for a while. But I do owe you an apology also for acting like such a prick. I just saw Malfoy and lost it."
"I can understand that."
"Was that all Dumbledore wanted, to inform me of Malfoy?"
"No, but I can fill you in on the rest. Why don't you take a seat and I'll order some tea for us."
Severus had been hoping to have Albus tell Harry most of what was going on, he didn't fancy having Harry blow up again. That was why he poured a little calming potion into Harry's cup, he did not agree with doing this as it was a trick favoured by Albus, but he could see its merits right now. He handed Harry his cup and waited while he drank down most of it, then waited a few minutes more for the potion to take effect.
"Are you just going to look at me, not that I mind by the way, or are you going to tell me what was meant to be said this morning?" Harry asked him.
"I need you to promise me you will not get mad and jump to conclusions until you have heard the whole story."
"Okay, this sounds serious."
"Very well. I promise."
"Good. Now, last week the Dark Lord had a meeting to tell us of his new plans, you will be pleased to hear they do not concern you."
"Ecstatic." Came the sarcastic reply.
"Yes, but do not allow that little piece of information make you drop your guard."
"Nah, I won't."
"Good, because I learnt many other interesting facts during this little meeting."
"Let me start at the beginning, the Dark Lord has decided that his next bid for power lies in attacking the workers at the Ministry. He wants to either kill them and possibly replace them with his own spies." He saw Harry look at him in fear. "Don't worry, I was able somehow to persuade him to take a slightly different path."
"The details are unimportant."
"No, Severus, they are not."
"This time they are."
"Why won't you tell me?"
"Because I do not want you to think any less of me, you know what I do and some of the decisions I must make."
"I know and I promise I will not think any less of you."
Severus weighed it up in his head, he did not wish to keep secrets but then again he did not want his whole life laid bare for all to view. He decided on a slightly sweeter version of the truth. "Under pressure I worked out that there was a way that I might be able to save more lives at the cost of only one or two. As I have said, I somehow managed to persuade him that going after unknown office workers was a waste of time and that he should go after Fudge instead." There, that was a slightly better way of putting it then just openly admitting that he thought Fudge deserved to die for being a total incompetent moron.
"Fudge! You told him to go after Fudge?"
"Yes, he is well protected and stands a chance of surviving an attack, where as what chance does, say, Miss Joanne Lingley, a former student of mine that I know is an office junior in the Ministry, have against the Dark Lord if he decides to kill her, or worse place her under the Imperious Curse if he deems her to be useful to keep alive?"
"I guess you have a point."
"I do, while his mind is on Fudge the others are safe. Fudge will be warned and anyway, because we are now at war, his personal guard has increased."
"I feel that I should disapprove of what you did," Harry said with a troubled look, "and yet I cannot help but feel some satisfaction with the idea of Fudge having to come face to face with Voldemort. Does that make me a bad person?"
"No, Harry. It makes you a human one." Sev replied softly.
Harry sighed, "I do understand, I just don't know if I could make and then act on such decisions."
"You know that you can, you did in the Hogsmeade attack."
"Yeah, but nobody was dying."
"But they could have been."
"I guess. So what else happened?"
"This is where it gets interesting. After the meeting was finished I was asked to remain behind." Harry's eyes widened. "Oh, I got the full treatment, wine and even a seat."
"Merlin! What did he want? He didn't try anything did he?"
"No, he did not, thank all the Gods! Although that is what I first thought. I don't believe I have ever been so worried in my life."
"Now what we discussed, you must never mention again, only Albus myself and you shall know." He saw Harry look at him with a raised eyebrow. "But, I will tell you everything, the reasons will become apparent. That was where I learnt that Draco was residing in the castle; the Dark Lord was not at all pleased. It seems as though Draco had informed Lucius he had remained behind to spy on us all, especially you. The Dark Lord does not trust Draco, neither do I. I am unsure where his true loyalties lie. I do not want you to be around him alone and you need to watch what you say around him, he is not to be trusted."
"I won't, you have nothing to worry about there. I can't stand him, git!"
"The other thing is, for some reason, I seem to be in the Dark Lord's favour at the moment and he wants me to be his right hand man. The information I can gather from this position will be invaluable."
"Yes, very dangerous. I will still have the same safety fall backs I have always had, the portkey from Albus and his support should I be arrested."
"Its not just that though, is it?" Harry said to him in a very serious tone.
"Mmmm." Was all Severus could manage.
"It must be very tempting, all that power."
"It sometimes unnerves me how well you know me."
"Don't forget, the hat wanted to place me in Slytherin for a reason. Were you tempted?"
"It was only tempting for a split second, then I thought about you and it no longer seemed desirable."
"And you always try to tell me you are not sweet." Harry gave him one of his lazy grins.
"If the offer had been made twenty years ago, then life now for me would be very different. I no doubt would be in Azkaban rotting away with very little of my mind remaining."
"Thank Merlin it is now and not then." Harry took a deep breath. "Does this mean you will have to spend more time with him?"
"I do not know, but I have told Albus if it becomes too much than I shall walk away and take you up on your offer. I can not go back to doing everything I did when I was faithful."
"Well, that is certainly good to hear. You know that when things start to pile up a little bit too much, I am here for you."
"I know, Harry, and I shall attempt not to bottle everything up and keep it from you."
"Scary isn't it?"
"The way it all seems so real now. Now that I have left school, the way Voldemort is making real plans that do not even include killing me first off. It just seems more real somehow."
Severus wrapped an arm around Harry's shoulders and pulled him in tight for a hug. "I know, unfortunately it will get worse before it gets better, but it will."
Draco was sitting in the infirmary waiting for his nose to finish healing itself. He was fuming at Potter, how dare he hit him, a Malfoy! If it didn't suit his own purposes he would hand the little shit over to the Dark Lord himself, but no, unfortunately, if he wanted the Dark Lord dead then he would have to tolerate Potter until he had fulfilled his destiny. Then if Potter survived, it was all bets off. But, of course, there was the flip side of things to plan for; unlikely as it might seem, Potter might loose. Draco did not want to fall into the Dark Lord's grasp without a good chance of surviving. That was why he had told his father he was remaining behind to spy on everyone here. Sure, he knew that meant he would have to pass some information over to his father about what was going on in the castle, but he was never exposed to anything important because for some reason Dumbledore did not fully trust him.
That didn't really bother him very much, he didn't want to be trusted he just wanted to stay alive. His father had assured him that although he was initially a little annoyed, the Dark Lord had seen merit in keeping him in the castle as an extra spy. Did this mean the Dark Lord did not trust Snape anymore? His father had mentioned that during a meeting last week Snape had been asked to remain behind with the Dark Lord but nobody knew what it was about. According to his father, people were only asked to remain behind if it was for one of two things, extra punishment or for an extra mission. His father believed that it was for extra punishment because he had been setting the seeds of discontent about Snape for a while now. Draco wasn't too sure but was prepared to defer to his fathers better knowledge on such a subject, that and because Snape had had a slight worried look on his face for the past week.
Draco knew that as soon as he was allowed to return to his rooms, he would have to write another letter to his father because it was time for his weekly update, which he had to do if he wanted to remain relatively safe from both sides. Draco sighed to himself; playing both sides off each other was becoming tedious and confusing.
Albus was sitting in his office going over some order reports when he realised he was about to be rudely disturbed by Damien Larkswood. He had been expecting this confrontation since the summer holidays had begun but that didn't mean he was looking forward to it, he hated having to interview possible new members of staff, especially for that position. Maybe the rumours were true, maybe the position was cursed!
His office door burst open and on cue Damien started screaming like a trapped banshee. "Albus! Tell me it is not true!"
"I can't do that, Damien, until you tell me what you don't want to believe." As if Albus didn't already know.
"That...that Potter brat is staying on at the castle!"
"Yes, Damien, it is true."
"Why? I have told you before and I will tell you again that boy is evil!"
"Damien, he is not evil, he is pivotal in this war and his safety cannot be guaranteed. Harry Potter will remain at Hogwarts until I feel it is safe for him to be else where."
"Then you leave me no choice, Albus, I resign my position."
"As you wish, Damien, but please think carefully about it. Nowhere is safer then Hogwarts during this dangerous time." As much as Damien annoyed Albus he did not wish to see his former pupil dead because of some misguided prejudice, Damien was not evil, just stupid. That and he wasn't a bad teacher.
"I am sorry, Albus, but I must leave. I cannot sit back and watch the fate of wizarding Briton fall into the hands of a child I do not trust."
"Very well, Damien, where will you go? Somewhere safe I hope."
"I will be leaving Briton for the New World, my brother is living over there now."
"Yes, Simon. How is he?"
"He is doing well, he has asked me to join him."
"Very well, Damien, I wish you all the luck in the world."
"Good bye, Albus," with that Damien Larkswood left his office. He released another hefty sigh, who in Merlin's name was he going to get to fill that position? He briefly thought about trying to persuade Severus to take the position, but no, that would never work. Severus, though he had a deep interest in the subject would never teach it. Too much interaction with the students, he claimed. Albus had to smile at that; it was a very Severus thing to say. Also, with his new position with Voldemort he would have very little time to create a new curriculum and teach a subject he had never taught before. No, it was best for him to remain where he could do the job blindfolded and only half a mind on it.
It also seemed as if Harry had very little interest in becoming a teacher, which Albus had hoped he would and be able to fill that position once and for all. Strangely though, Severus' influence on the boy had made him even more determined not to have anything to do with the Dark Arts or the defense of them. He had to admit, if only to himself, that he had not seen that coming. But what to do about his now vacant teaching position? Maybe he would ask Severus if he knew of anyone, after all he did have some very interesting friends. Yes, that is what he would do, he would ask Severus. He called Fawkes to him and penned a note to his favourite Potions Master,
Sorry to interrupt your day but I was wondering if it would be all right if Minerva and I pop down to your rooms for a small meeting?
I have no objection to Harry remaining for the meeting. Please send your reply back with Fawkes,
Albus gave Fawkes the letter and sent him on his way, he fire called Minerva and asked her to come along to his office, as she stepped through the fireplace Fawkes returned with a small fiery bang. He took the note and thanked his familiar. The response was typically Severus.
"Albus, whatever is the matter?"
"Nothing to worry about, Minerva, I need you at this small meeting because it is school business and I need my deputy Headmistress' input. Shall we?" Albus pointed to the fireplace and she nodded in return.
As Albus stepped through the fireplace he could not help but give a small smile at the domestic scene. Severus was sat at one end of the sofa reading some report and making occasional notes in its margins and Harry was sprawled along the sofa with his feet in Severus' lap reading a book, both looking very content. Severus started to rise, but Albus stopped him. "Do not get up on our account, this should not take long. I do not wish to take up much of your time."
"Very well, Minerva, Albus, won't you both take a seat. Can I get you something?"
"Don't worry yourself my boy, allow me." He waved his wand and a full tea set arrived. "Can I get anyone something to eat?"
"No thank you, Albus." Severus said.
"Not for me, Albus, lunch has not long finished."
"Cake, chocolate would be good, sir." Harry said to him. Albus was relieved to hear that Harry's tone was not as harsh as it could have been considering their discussion this morning. It looked as though Minerva was yet to forgive him. He waved his wand and a three-tiered chocolate cake appeared and settled gently down on the table next to the tea. "Thank you, sir."
"No problem, Harry."
"By the way, Professors, I am sorry for my behaviour this morning, though I have no excuse for it. I was very tired only having a few hours sleep the night before because of the need to take the pain potions."
"Don't worry, Harry, all is forgotten." Albus reassured him. "And Harry, call me Albus, I am no longer your teacher."
"Mister Potter, Harry, I know it was a shock but just promise me you will try and get on with Mister Malfoy. Failing that, please don't kill him, I do not fancy finding myself in a duel with you, especially now that Severus and Filius are teaching you." Minerva finished with a smile.
"Thank you, Professor, and I will."
"Minerva, Harry. Albus is right, we are no longer your teachers."
Albus smiled at the grin Harry gave them, he knew it would take Harry a while to get used to using their first names. He remembered he had to actually threaten to hex Severus if he continued to call him sir before he called him Albus. Albus cut Harry and himself a generous slice of chocolate cake and settled back in the armchair Severus always used to sit in until Harry had arrived on the scene.
"Not to long ago I was visited by Damien Larkswood and he handed in his resignation." Albus held up his hand to the questions he knew were coming, "Yes, Minerva, I know that it is eleven teachers for eleven years and Harry, no it was not your fault. Severus, I know you do not wish to teach that class. There does that answer all of your questions?" He was rewarded by three stunned nods. "Good, now as to the reason I called this little meeting. If I cannot find a replacement for that position I will be forced to accept someone from the Ministry again and after the fiasco of two years ago I guess we all know that is not an option. What I need is help in finding a replacement, that is why I have come to my two most trusted members of staff. Have either of you any suggestions?"
"Well, I guess we could always ask one of the older Weasley boys if they would be interested." Minerva said to him.
Albus could see the panic wash across Severus' face. No, Bill would not be a good choice, not with the way they had left things between them. "It's a thought, Minerva, but I feel that the position requires a more experienced hand at teaching."
"Then why ever did you employ Lockhart, Albus?"
"Now, Minerva, it is not nice to make fun of the sick." Minerva gave him a stern look. "What about you, Severus, any thoughts?"
"Albus, most of the people I know are not desirable people and would most certainly not good teachers."
"True, but I want you both to think about it, before I am forced to place an advert in the paper."
"There is someone I know, a former professor from the Sorbonne in Paris. I have known him since I was a child; he was our neighbour in Paris. Though Defence Against the Dark Arts was not his subject, he is well versed in it."
"Really, Severus, and just what was his subject?" Minerva asked.
"Sounds like a possibility, and his loyalties?" Albus was intrigued; Severus had never mentioned a French professor friend to him before.
"Not to the Dark Lord, actually he has very little interest in any politics that are not over a century past."
"And you have faith in his abilities in the Defence of the Dark Arts?"
"Is he currently looking for work?"
"I believe so, I have not spoken to him in a few weeks and then he was complaining of being at a bit of a loose end and threatening to come spend the summer with me."
"Why would a professor who has worked at the Sorbonne in Paris have trouble finding work?" Minerva asked Severus in a suspicious tone. Actually Albus had to give her credit, he was so excited at the possibility of finding a professor who was not connected to the Ministry he forgot to ask this question.
"It has been a while since he last taught."
"When did he last teach?" Albus asked him intrigued.
"I'm sorry, I thought you just said 1883, surely you meant 1983?"
"No, Albus, I did not."
"But that would make him over 100 years old."
"Indeed, he is over 100 years old, far older. Couldn't tell by looking at him mind you, he looks great for his age."
"Umm, Severus, who or should I ask what exactly is your friend?" Albus asked, already having guessed the answer but wanted conformation.
Harry choked on his second slice of chocolate cake, Malfoy always put him in a bad mood that could only be mollified by sugar. He felt a little sad that Ron and Hermione were not here to share it with him. Then he had heard Severus talking about a friend of his a paid a little more attention, because Severus had not really mentioned any friends to him before, at least not in this detail. Then he had head the word 'Vampire', Severus knew a Vampire? Harry didn't know whether to be shocked or to roll his eyes because he should have known Severus would be friends with a dark creature of the night. "You know a Vampire?" The moment the words left his mouth he knew it was a stupid thing to say, because he had already been told that yes he did indeed know a Vampire. "Sorry, stupid question." He mumbled at the look Severus had given him.
"Albus, you can't seriously be considering this, can you?" McGonagall shrieked.
"Well, Minerva, it is a possibility."
"You would choose a Vampire over one of the Weasley lads?"
"I will need both Bill and Charlie where they are for the war and I will need a teacher here who I can rely on to teach the children what they need to know. That way, if this war drags on they will not fall prey to some evil Death Eater or Voldemort himself. Severus, how shall I contact your friend?"
"By owl would be best, but I make no promises. He is by profession a History professor."
"I would just like the chance to meet this friend of yours and ask him to come visit Hogwarts and have a chat."
"Fine, but if he accepts the wards will need to be modified to let him in."
"That will not be a problem, I modified them for you, I can modify them for a friend of yours. I will need to know his name though if I am to write to him."
"That is where he was born."
"Excellent. I will send him an owl and we shall wait and see. Come along, Minerva, I think we have taken up enough of Severus' and Harry's time."
Harry watched as his former Headmaster and Head of House left via the floo connection. He turned to Severus. "How come you can surprise me almost everyday?"
Severus smirked at him, "It's a gift, Harry."
Harry smiled at him and went back to his book, hoping that Severus' mysterious friend at least paid a visit to the castle, so he could try and discover more about his mysterious partner.
Voldemort had made his first Ministerial attack, two office juniors had been found dead in the house they shared just outside Diagon Alley. Severus had also brought news that three junior Ministers had been placed under the Imperius Curse and were now acting out under Voldemort's orders. They had so far not been asked to do anything too heinous, so it had been decided by the Order to leave them as they were and wait to see what Voldemort planned to do with them. It had not been a unanimous vote to leave them alone, a few wanted to go and rescue them, mainly the Gryffindors in the group. But they had been persuaded that it was actually safer for them where they were. As long as Voldemort believed them on his side, he would refrain from killing them, at least not until they had out lived their usefulness, and Severus was making sure to keep them useful so Voldemort would not have a reason to kill them.
There had been a plan put in place for them so that when Voldemort decided to get rid of them they could be whisked away to safety. While they had been unconscious, Severus had placed a small word-activation portkey underneath the skin on the right wrist of each person. He could whisper the activation word and all three would disappear to the infirmary at Hogwarts. It was a tricky procedure that Harry had come up with after reading a sci-fi book that Hermione had sent him to help keep him occupied. The thing that had scared Harry the most was the high number of children still missing and still going missing on a daily basis. Severus had only been able to account for 75% of them within Voldemort's home. It was believed the others were being kept at Malfoy Manor. That thought alone had left Harry cold and full of fear for the children.
Another thing that Harry had been told about was that Bella Lestrage had been given the 'honour' of bringing Harry to Voldemort. It looked as though Voldemort had taken Severus' suggestion of attacking the Ministry and moving Harry's death to after that had been completed seriously, because that was what he was doing. Harry didn't mind though, because he still felt as if he owed the 'lovely' Bella a severe hexing for what she had done to his Godfather, Sirius. Oh yes, he was looking forward to that showdown. Even though Severus had told him to be careful because Bella was a powerful dark witch who had gone completely insane and now had absolutely no morals or sense of right and wrong left, Harry didn't care, he just wanted revenge.
Severus was now meeting with Voldemort a lot more regularly because of his new position, usually once but occasionally twice a week. Before, he was only called to Voldemort's side when a potion was required or Voldemort wanted a full audience to rant and rave at. The strain of a double life was starting to show a little bit, but he always looked much healthier and happier after he had spent the night with Harry. Which is where he went directly to, after he had debriefed Albus about Voldemort's latest plans.
The mysterious Nikolai Miasnikov had accepted Albus Dumbledore's offer of a meeting and was due to arrive mid August. The Headmaster had even re-keyed the schools wards in anticipation of his arrival. With all the extra time on his hands, Harry had taken the opportunity to do some extra reading on Vampires and their customs, he was excited to meet one of Severus' friends from outside of Hogwarts, even if he was a little afraid. Severus had told him not to read any silly muggle novels about Vampires because they were all wrong but Harry could not put down the books Hermione had sent him, especially the ones written by Anne Rice.
Harry had managed to stay out of Draco's way for most of the time, they saw each other in the Great Hall for meals and they had occasionally seen each other in the corridors, each meeting had them both nodding curtly at each other and moving on their way. Neither wanting to speak with the other. Minerva McGonagall had worried about what Draco was going to do once school had restarted and had persuaded the Headmaster in allowing him to become her teacher's aid. He had grumbled at first because Harry had not been told to do anything but when Minerva had threatened to turn him out on his lazy aristocratic ass, he had relented and accepted her offer. She had also explained to him that Harry was not being asked to do the same because he had decided to further his education and had a war to win. Draco Malfoy was now Transfiguration Professor's aide, much to his dislike. He hated being called an aide to anything, and the position was nothing more then filing paperwork and ordering tea.
Harry was continuing with some of his private lessons, mainly Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration (minus aid from Draco), Potions and Physical Ed. It had been arranged for once a week to have Ron and Hermione to come and visit Harry under the pretence of just hanging out, while in actual fact they were holed up in a classroom with different professors learning advanced spell casting. They were vastly improving and amongst themselves believed that soon they would be ready to face down Voldemort and his followers.
Harry was in his rooms reading a book on advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts when he heard a curt knock at his door, not expecting anyone he cautiously opened the door with his wand in his hand. "Professor, I did not know you were back in the castle."
"Mister Potter, though it is none of your business, I had to see the Headmaster about next years intake and he asked me to come along and give you this." Harry looked down at the book being offered to him.
"Won't you come in, Professor?"
"I see you are learning the basics of hospitality, Potter." There was a definite smirk on his lips.
"Why, Professor Snape, that almost sounded like a compliment."
Harry stepped aside trying to keep a straight face. "Please, Professor, let me get you a cup of tea."
"Oh, very well."
Harry ushered him in and shut his door. "Was the meeting with the Headmaster enjoyable?"
"Considering I only spent the grand total of about sixty seconds with him, it was most enjoyable."
"Sixty seconds, but I thought you said you had a meeting with him about next years intake?"
"I lied, I flooed into his office bid him good-day and came and saw you."
Harry couldn't keep the grin off his face. "Ahhh, that is so sweet."
"As I keep telling you, Potter, I don't do sweet."
"I think you do, you just don't want to ruin your reputation. What are you going to do when this war is over and we no longer have to go around in secret? Your reputation will be ruined the moment they know you are with The-Boy-Who-Lived."
"Simply resolved, I will just tell the world that you are a masochist and enjoy being dominated. Or I will tell them that you placed me under the Imperious Curse and had your wicked way with me."
"Oi! You would and all wouldn't you?"
"But wouldn't it make you look weak if I was able to place you under the Imperious?"
"Maybe, but by then the whole world will know you as the Man-Who-Defeated-You-Know-Who and they will believe you to be the most powerful wizard around so they will not question me. If I use the other excuse they will just think you are kinky."
Harry had a look of mock horror on his face, which soon changed to a more suspicious calculating look. "You are a sneaky bastard, and you lie far to well. You would never do such a thing. I know you to well. So what will you do when this, we, become public?"
"I'll do what I usually do when the press and public look down upon me. I'll hold my head high, scowl at them and tell them all to go screw themselves!"
"Now that is the Severus Snape I know and love. I'm glad it doesn't worry you to much."
"Why would it? I will be the envy of over half the wizarding world with the equivalent of a trophy husband on my arm. It is the dream of every pure blood wizard, you will look fabulous on my arm at dinner parties." That sentence was finished with a wicked smile on his face.
Harry couldn't help but laugh; although Severus was only teasing him there was a strange truth in his words. With him off doing his charity work with children and Severus doing what ever he wanted to do, that is how a lot of the world would see them, especially the pure bloods. Harry laughed even harder at that thought. "Hermione would be horrified at that thought."
"Yet you seem to find it amusing."
"It is, but hey, who am I to complain if I am to become a kept man." Harry again doubled into fits of giggles. "I will just have to make sure you are around next time to save my ass when I get into trouble so I can fulfill my destiny to become your trophy husband."
Severus also laughed at that. "Yes, it does seem as though I have made a second career out of saving your ass, as you so eloquently put it."
"Bet you're glad now that you saved me all those times."
"I must admit it does seem to have worked out for the best in the long run. Let's face it, it is such a great ass!"
"Are you flirting with me, Professor Snape?"
"Why bother when I already have you."
"A little sure of yourself, aren't you?"
"Abso-fucking-lutely, Mister Potter." The tone was low and seductive and made Harry shiver, he couldn't find it in himself to pull away as Severus leaned over him, forcing him to lie down onto his back on the sofa. Severus was leaning over him, his lips a mere inch away from Harry's. "Care to contradict me, Mister Potter?"
Harry could feel the wisps of Severus breath across his own lips and tried to lean up and kiss the teasing lips, but Severus was too fast and pulled away at the last moment, smirking down at Harry and he raised an eyebrow in question to him. Harry smirked back at him as he replied. "No, I do not wish to contradict you, not when you are absolutely correct, Professor Snape."
Severus grinned at him and leaned back down allowing their lips to meet. The kiss was slow and unhurried, as they explored each other's mouths. It wasn't long before the kiss turned heated and clothes were shed, leaving them both naked on the sofa.
He came too a few minutes later, clean and sprawled over Severus' chest, covered with a green and silver throw. "Where did this come from?" He inquired, tugging on the throw slightly.
"I transfigured one of your cushions."
"Nice colour scheme." Harry said as a joke.
"Thought you would appreciate it. I can change it back to its original form later."
"No, I like it, keep it as it is."
"Sentimental Gryffindor." Harry did not need to see Severus roll his eyes to know he had done it. He let out a small laugh. "Though I wouldn't change it or you for the world."
"I love you, too." Harry smiled against the chest he was using for a pillow.
Harry felt a small kiss being placed on the top of his head. "And I love you, Harry." It was said quietly but Harry still heard it and again smiled. "It will soon be supper time, should you not go down to the great hall?"
"Nah, not tonight. Tonight I want to stay here with only you and forget about everything that is going on outside this room. Forget that some nutter wants to kill me, forget that there are people dying out there and most of all forget that there is a war going on out there that both of us are so involved in that we might lose."
"That I believe I can do, your wish is my command."
"Like a fairy godmother."
"Fairy godmother? Not too sure I like the sound of that," came the sleepy, sarcastic reply.
"Okay bad choice of words, how about guardian angel?"
"Okay how about..."
"How about you shut up and give me a kiss?"
"That I can do." Harry leaned up and gave his amused lover a kiss.
Thank you so much to everyone that has reviewed my story it has meant so much to me.
Flack – Thanks, Fudge will gets his in the sequel I promise. I don't think I have made anyone squee before!...lol Thank you about what you said about Draco, I find his character intriguing and wanted him to be as close to the book as possible.
Shortshape – Thanks it is the last chapter but there is a sequel.
Athenakitty – Thank you so much for all of your reviews, you have reviewed since chapter one and it means a lot to me. The bloodshed will begin in the sequel!
Texasjeanette – Thank you, glad I managed to shock you with Sev's new position. I hope that you liked this chapter and that you enjoy the sequel when it starts.
Ruth – Thanks, Dudley acted strange because he realised it could be the last time he actually saw Harry.
Juxtaposed – Thanks, Dudley is not gay but it is a bit of a standing joke in the UK that boys that attend private school tend to swing both ways! Though that is not necessarily true :)
Sassygirl – Thanks. It has not all ended here only the ageing storyline; the rest will be explored in the sequel.
Immortal Memories – Thank you, I don't blame you. It is now up at Ink Stained Fingers – all the chapters, unedited.
Lunakatrina – Thank you, I decided against having Voldemort discover Severus to be a traitor because for the moment I need Sev where he is for the sequel and later he will be playing a major part in Draco's storyline in the sequel!
Pam Briggs – Thank you, as always, you have been such a lovely reviewer since I started this story. The sequel should be out soon and it is set about a month after this story finishes. So too much time will not pass.
????????????? – Thanks, I can't help it I always want to thanks those that have taken the time to review :)
Charmed88 – Thank you so much, don't worry yes there will be.
Xirleb70 – Thank you – I never in my wildest dreams believed I would get 800 reviews but I did and you were my 800th. Thanks for everything else you said, I am still blushing.
Sakura Snape – Thanks, don't worry sorry about the late posting! It would be a nice birthday present wouldn't it! Hope your exams went well by the way.
I wish I could thank you all individually but has given out a warning about A/N taking up to much space. But please do not think I am not grateful to all of you for taking the time to review it really does mean a lot to me. Some of you have been reviewing for a long time and I hope you enjoyed this story and I hope to see you all over at the sequel when it comes out soon. So thanks again to all of you :)
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