The Phoenix Follies

Pairings in this chapter: Draco/Harry
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not getting money. I wish. Ryliatin and the Verifel are mine. Hayaka Minokura is mine. Macabre is mine.

Chapter 24 : Went To School And I Was Very Nervous

'You're going back then…'

He sat quietly in the grass, night air fluttering through his dark locks. It was chilly, but the feeling seemed so very distant, as if it wasn't part of him. The world around him was all dark and cold and far away and nothing seemed real. Nothing was real.

'He is done with you, boy. What purpose do you have now?'

'I have to live,' he said quietly. The cold seemed to solidify around him, icy fingers trailing over his cheeks.

'I will never die as long as you live. I shall live forever in your memories, alive in your mind…'

He closed his eyes and a tear rolled down his cheek even as he leaned into the solid form around him. It's cold tunneled into him, seizing his heart and stealing his happiness. It was as if the cold wanted to become him, or at least a part of him.

'I know,' he murmured sadly. The cold was his eternal companion, forever driven there by the stupidity of an old man…

'Someday, I will rise and slay him.'

'Yes,' he replied ever so quietly and the cold changed into warmth, strong and pure. It shaped itself into the visage of a man, long limbs entangling the boy like a web.

'Someday, you shall fall and I will be the victor.'

'Someday,' agreed the boy. 'But not today.'

'No, not today.'

Emerald eyes opened to languidly stare up at the moonlit ceiling. No, not today. Slowly, he dragged himself out of bed and went to the window. The moors were beautiful in a sorrowful way. A form moved in the air. He looked up and watched the bird fly to the house, circling once before falling. The white feathers of the familiar bird were ruffled and her eyes joyful as she flew into the boy's open arms.

"Hedwig," Harry whispered in a worshiping tone, clutching the owl to him. She still butt her head against his chin, giving a hoot of happiness at being reunited. When he pulled back, he noted a letter at her leg. He carefully pulled it off and Hedwig moved to his shoulder, close enough that her feathers tickled his ear. As soon as he unrolled the scroll, blood drained from his face. Hedwig made a soft sound of worry.

'He wasn't the only one to fear.'

Narrowing his eyes, Harry smashed the piece of parchment into a ball and threw it out the window as hard as he could. The voice so often silent in the back of his mind gave a quiet chuckle.


Draco and Ron were awakened early that morning by Rylia. Sleepily, each got ready for the morning and dressed for the ride to Hogwarts. They mumbled incoherently at one another as they passed. Blonde and red hair was brushed out in their respective styles before the two boys bumbled into the kitchen. Harry was eating quietly with Hedwig at his shoulder, but no one asked him about the sudden appearance of the lovely owl. Macabre was curled up next to his arm, her belly fat from a hunt of her own. Snape met them there, already seated to the meal. Remus had already left for Hogwarts and Snape would not be long after him.

"Why get up so early when we're port keying to the station anyway?" muttered Ron darkly. Draco gave a mute nod as he worked on not falling asleep on his toast.

"Tradition," Snape replied quietly, but his tone was almost spiteful, as if he got something good out of making the boys suffer. Malicious bastard. At least, Ron thought so.

Breakfast was over almost too quickly. Rylia herded the boys out to the lawn, trunks shrunk in their pockets. Ron's trunk was with his mother, who was to meet them at the station. Rylia was about to give them their portkey when Snape stopped her.

"Harry, a moment," he asked. Harry dropped his trunk and stepped up to the man, curious. Snape glanced at the others before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a pendant. It was smaller than his palm, but not by much. In beautiful silver, a dragon coiled around an intricate sword. The dragon had emeralds for eyes and the sword was inlaid with winding gold vines. Even the chain was exquisite, a soft rope of silver that shined brightly in the sunlight.

"I want you to have this," Snape said quietly, almost nervously. Harry's eyes grew impossibly wide, sleepiness forgotten.

"I can't- it looks so-"


Harry shut his mouth and reached out to take the beautiful piece of jewelry. He was surprised at how light it felt in his hands, so familiar and warm. The emeralds glittered, as if the dragon were alive. Carefully, Harry clasped the chain about his neck and slipped the dragon inside his shirt. It felt warm against his chest, like a comforting friend.

"Thank you," Harry whispered almost reverently. And then he saw something he never thought he'd ever see. Snape smiled at him. It was soft, barely there, but he saw it before it disappeared.

"Go on then," said Snape, back to his stern self. "I don't want you missing the train and having to steal a flying car again…"

Harry laughed and nodded, flashing a brilliant grin at the man before running to the others. In a blink, Snape was gone.

"What'd he want?" asked Ron. He had tried to listen in, but they'd been too far and quiet. Harry only smiled softly at him.

"Nothing that needs talking about," he said, a hand to his chest over the dragon's warmth. Draco gave him an odd look, but said nothing.

Rylia held out her hand, showing a flat black stone that would be their portkey. Each boy touched it and felt the familiar pull of travel at their navels. Harry was surprised that he didn't feel as strange as he usually did. The dragon warmed again at his chest and he felt calmer than he'd ever been before. They appeared in the station's bathroom. It was empty, thankfully, so none saw the small, catlike woman.

"Now, you three, don't make any trouble!" Rylia said, one hand on her large hips and the other shaking a finger at the teenagers. "Get on the train and no fighting, or I'll whip you all. And don't think I won't!"

"Yes, ma'am," they chorused. The Verifel's sternness softened.

"Have a good year, boys. I'll see you at the Manor on the holidays."

Ron nodded and turned to leave with Draco following, but Harry didn't move. Rylia looked up at him, curious, and noticed an odd sheen to his eyes. She was about to ask him about it when the boy fell to his knees and wrapped his arms about the woman, hugging her tightly to him. Rylia was surprised but still returned the embrace with a soft smile. When Harry pulled away, his cheeks flushed with embarrassment.

"Sorry, I just-"

"It's okay, dear," replied Rylia quietly. She kissed his forehead and smiled. "I understand."

Harry rubbed at his eye with his palm, trying to get rid of the wet evidence of his fondness. "I'll see you at Christmas?"

"Of course," Rylia assured. She reached over and tried to smooth his hair, her own eyes shining brilliantly violet. Harry stood and left with the other boys, neither of whom said anything of the affectionate departure. Instead, the three silently made their way through the station.

Harry's mind, though not panicking, was building itself up to face the rest of the world after his quiet summer. If his past was any indication, he was sure to have stares and whispers no matter where he went. After all, he was not only the Boy-Who-Lived anymore… He was the Boy-Who-Defeated-The-Dark-Lord now. He was very vague about that day, but he knew that nickname was not earned. He hadn't been heroic and slain the evil doer. He hadn't cast the killing shot. He hadn't done much of anything but stand there and let himself be a target. Harry didn't know why the Dark Lord was dead now. All he knew was that his life was only going to get more complicated.

At the division between Platform 9 and 10, a very familiar and comforting figure stood in wait. Molly Weasley smiled gently at them, holding Ron's trunk before her. The matron of the Weasley clan waited for the boys to come before reaching out to pull Harry into a tight embrace. The boy returned it, happily. Mrs. Weasley always made him feel good. After Harry, she grabbed Ron and hugged him before moving onto Draco. The blonde boy was most surprised to find himself smashed against the squat woman. His cheeks were redder than even Ron's got when angry. When she let go, he stumbled back and straightened his robes, trying to get back his haughty look. It was hard not to laugh at the boy.

"Have a good year," Mrs. Weasley said softly, smiling with wet eyes. She ruffled her son's hair. "Ginny and Hermione are already through the barrier."

Ron stiffened and looked away. Harry frowned, worried about his friend, but said nothing. With a nod to his mother, Ron disappeared through the barrier with his bag. Mrs. Weasley stared after her son for a moment, then looked at the other boys.

"Well…I suppose I'll be going then…Have a good year."

"Thank you, Mrs. Weasley," Harry replied with a gentle smile. She glanced about before disapparating. That left Draco and Harry standing awkwardly next to each other, both sets of eyes on the barrier.

"I guess this is it."

Draco looked at him, brow raising. "You don't want to go?"

"I do." Harry sighed softly. "I don't want to face them though. The stares. The whispers."

The silver eyed boy nodded.

"I'll be around, if you need me," he said. Harry glanced at him, green eyes questioning. "Well, I know you have Ron around but…"

"Thanks," Harry said. He smiled weakly. "Same for you."

Draco laughed. "Ah, if only the Slytherins could see us now…"

"Or the Gryffindors. I think Lavender would die of shock."

"Zabini would laugh his ass off."

"Collin would faint."

"Flint would wonder if I'd gone bonkers."

The boys grinned at one another.

"Thanks," they said at once in perfect tandem. "I feel better now."

They laughed until Draco reached out and took Harry's hand, giving it a tight squeeze. Harry's laughter slowly died and he stared down at their entwined hands.

"Are we friends now?" he asked quietly.

"I suppose," replied Draco.

They let go and stared at the barrier. Draco went through first, looking as nonchalant as any could manage while walking through a seemingly solid wall. That left Harry with Macabre curled up below his elbow. She seemed to enjoy traveling that way…Harry sighed and ran a hand through his long black hair. He was a Gryffindor. He had more courage than this. Steeling himself, Harry took one step after another before he was finally through.

A/N: Enlargen Your World

Well, Follies has run its course and now the kids are at Hogwarts. What horrible things await them there? Well, a angsty, sexy romance, of course!

The sequel will be called His Serpentine Lies, centering around Harry's adjustment to Hogwarts and life in general. There will be a lot of development between he and Snape as well as with the other students, though that's for good or bad. Lies will stick with Follies' legacy of NOT BEING A HAPPY STORY! Sorry kids. I can give happy endings, but I make you suffer a lot first.

Happy news? It's going to be much longer than Follies. I plan to make each chapter around fifteen to twenty pages long instead of Follies' usual five. That means the chapters will come out much slower, probably one every two weeks or so. However, there's a lot of story to tell and not so many song lyrics.

About the lyrics…Same rules as before. First one to guess it, gold star. If you happen to give me interesting information about that song or artist, I might give out another star. Gold stars mean artwork, your choice of Harry Potter characters in any (PG-13 and under!) situation. Now, this song is gonna be a lot harder to find. It's by a more obscure band that most of my friends haven't heard of. Still, maybe one of you will guess it!!

Acknowledgements!! (Weird being one chap after another, but…)

Dragenphly - Heh, glad you liked the story. Another D/H fan? ::sighs:: Nobody understands my love of R/H...

Silver Neo - Ah, not an adult person... You're Sesshou's person? Awww, but I LOVE Fluffy-sama!! ::sniffles at his lost love:: I might do the side story...Probably not for a loooong time, but I might...

Sydney - A girl? snorts I promise that he isn't paired with a girl as the final pairing. And yes, poor Rylia...

Uuari - Yep, Lupin and Snape are happily boffind now. Did you like the fluff of this chap too?

HaRrYrOxMuhSoX - ::laughs:: Enthusiastic, aren't you?

Sephyreth Riddle - You'll die without more? o.O And a kingdom? Oooo...Tempting...

Slythedor - I can't tell you the real pairing, no matter how much you ask!! It's my little secret. ::giggle::

Malfoy vs Potter - Damn you, MORE D/H people!! Well, at least you liked the Snape and Harry scene...

Immortal Memories - Don't worry, her affections for him don't change his relationship with Lupin. Actually, Snape doesn't realize it's there. However, it IS important for the sequal.

je suis - Rylia deserved angst! Everyone else got some so she should too! Just trying to be fair here... ::grins::

Cassi Angelica - Bah, don't worry about me. I was just ranting. Anywho, glad you liked that scene. It was fun to write.

LilRayOfSunshine - You people and your D/H....::scowl:: Yes, there will be some D/H. I don't promise anything though.

Elebereth - I likes the Snape/Remmy ship too ::laughs::

CountingCodfish - What a cool name! Here's the end and there's a sequal on the way. Can I have more kisses now?

Anyway, you're gonna have to wait a while for the first chapter of Lies to come out, since it's going to be so long. Hopefully, it's worth waiting for. We'll have to see. Thanks for your help and support in Follies. Expect the first chapter of Lies in about two weeks. I need time to finish the plot line and to actually write the first chapter.

See you next time, in…His Serpentine Lies!