A/N: This is gonna be a fairly lengthy Author's Notes. That being said, this is the next thing that needs addressing:
If you have not read En Las Montañas, then please, stop right here. Click on the link to my page and read it. This is the continuation of that fic. Ergo, this will make absolutely no sense if you attempt to read it, and character motivations and actions will just plain stump you.
That being said if you're here because of how I ended En Las Montañas - ^.^;; - just....whoa, all of y'all calm down! I did say I was writing a second part. Guess I should have said continuation fic instead. ^.^;; My bad. No way could I leave it at that.
This is how you know I read every single review. I need to get out more. Anyhoo, thank you to: DarkQueenD, Dyane, anon, SiLvErFaTeD, Saavik13, e, HPIceAngel, Jen, Immortal Memories, Squrlie Jack, Prongs, Bookworm, Shinigami Liliz Black, Plastraa, xikum, MustIBeAMalfoy, bakachan17, famlia, Lady Shang, DaughterofDeath, Final Spell, emeraldtwinklingstar, Jazzylady, fidelio-fickles-revenge, frizzy, Janai, Tyrana, blackunicorn, Ann, TigerBlak, Cadeyrn, linny, MinaXP, CrimsonTearsOfPain, Aliexx, Felinity, ambrezwenko, lexie-girl88, Bacon Bits, Stephanie, Cliffe, Sadie Leigh, Vicious Lily, Cyberpunk2909, RhianwynCarma, Realm of darkness, twilight witch, SilverWolf7007, Iced Flame, Miss Lesley
Damn…that's a lot of people when I look at it that way. *stops to count* 50 people… wow… just… wow! Thank you all for your reviews. You gave me something I've been craving for a good long while now. Feedback. Good critical feedback! =) Made my day to come home from boring lectures and find nice long reviews filled with questions.
Anyways, addressing some of the things people asked me concerning the epilogue and some issues:
"And this better not turn into a Snarry fic." - Plastraa - A Snarry fic: Hell no! No way in bloody hell; hell itself would have to freeze over and then some before I even CONSIDERED that. I like a good Snarry fic - more like love…such as the If You Are Prepared series - but I gots to get Lucius and Harry back to shagging! Pronto! Besides, I've got a Snarry fic already; simply finishing it and working on the kinks before I post it here…writing kinks that is. Yes…writing kinks…. ¬¬
"You are cruel and horrific to Snape this entire chapter, poor guy. But his actions are very very believable, good job on keeping him in character. And finally, squee, so happy you're writing a sequel. I didn't want the story to end, and now." - Bookworm - No, I could let it rest either. And I managed to get one major thing out the way, so away I go! I'm trying hard to keep Snape in character, but considering some of the things I have planned, I'm gonna be pushing myself a bit. But I love the challenge of it. And on a completely unrelated side note, I simply couldn't resist giving Snape an eye tic….it just seemed to work far too well. Chalk it up to artistic license.
"And did they couple get out okay? And is Harry going to explain to them what happened? And wouldn't the order have questioned them?" - Saavik13 - Harry doesn't explain when happens to them yet. That's later on in the fic. In regards to if Ernesto and Valencia got out OK, and if the Order questioned them….well, you'll see ;)
"This story has so much potential for a full-length epic fic!" - xikum - I thought of writing it as one great big long fic, but realized what I would be getting into. So I opted to break it up into parts. I love reading full length epic fics, but writing them takes a lot of work. Like my other Harry Potter fic I want to finish writing it completely before I post it here. God knows I have enough background information for it. I made a bloody timeline for it! XD
Hrm, I believe that about wraps it up. Certainly doesn't need to be any longer. Here's the first chapter! Enjoy!
The wall still looked the same. It hadn't changed during the week and a half that Harry had spent most of his time staring at it, lost in quiet, rambling contemplation. He'd been doing that a lot since Snape had come to see him. It hadn't exactly been a pleasant talk. Snape was fairly bursting with rage, and Harry himself was simmering with sullen, selfish anger.
The conversation had been awkward and terse to start with and lasted for a record three minutes before Snape said something to make Harry blow up nicely. He knew he was playing along with Snape's ploy, but at the time, he just hadn't cared. The words had been hurled and they were nothing short of hurling hexes at one another when Harry decided to was time for Snape to take his leave; of which Snape did very glad with the spitting words that he never wanted to look upon Potter's spoilt bratty face again. Harry had gracefully replied he'd rather swallow Veritaserum and trounce up to Voldemort - with a heavy emphasis on Voldemort - and spill his guts out than have to deal with a hideous bitter old man like Snape.
Needless to say, he wasn't in much of a mood to be talking to anyone at the moment, much less leaving the quiet solitude of his chambers. He'd spent most of his time sleeping and picking at his food listlessly. A large portion of his time was spent curled up on the couch with a pillow and a blanket, staring a bit morosely at the wall as he allowed his mind to wander.
The one thing Harry liked about the wall was that it didn't ask questions. Not like everyone else would do the minute he showed his face. Wasn't he allowed to be selfish for at least once in his life? What was probably the one good thing to happen to him had been ripped away and he wasn't even sure if he could get it back. The plan seemed so certain and perfect back in Spain. But when Harry looked at it again, sitting in his quarters in Hogwarts, it all seemed to be flimsy, the bare hope of two people attempting the escape the roles that others had deemed for them. It could still work, but there were so many variables in his eyes that needed compensation that it was almost ludicrous.
The main glaring error of the plan that struck Harry was that Lucius would be engaging in most of the deception. Lucius didn't know the first thing about Occlumency. And Lucius was one of Voldemort's top Death eaters. Voldemort was a highly accomplish Legilmens. Lucius would simply be vulnerable and not even realize it. Needless to say, Harry had quickly realized this and carefully crafted that note to Dumbledore. Hopefully, something had been done to ensure that Lucius wasn't as vulnerable any more to Voldemort.
Harry would obviously have to engage in some form of counter measure, but he was mainly kept in the dark about what was going on in the Order and any developments that may have happened that he couldn't be sure that anything he tried would work, or possibly expose Lucius. Simply writing that one note had been risk enough.
He sighed, curling up more against the pillow. Maybe he should just go back to sleep. That always seemed to help with the miserable feeling inside. He didn't quite care if he had 'his' responsibilities to take care of at the moment. He may have been the Boy-Who-Lived, but even he needed his moments away from everyone. And if it meant shutting everyone out for awhile so he could wallow alone in uninterrupted peace, then so be it. Not to mention-
Looking up at the sound, Harry stood up from the couch and peered into the hallway, seeing Bucephalus standing in the portrait. If there was one thing Harry liked about these quarters, it was this double sided portrait. Bucephalus essentially allowed Harry to screen his visitors.
"Yes Bucephalus?" he asked, stifling a yawn. Sleeping sounded like a very good option at the moment.
"You have more visitors."
Harry sighed. "Who is it this time?"
"Dumbledore, Ron and Hermione," Bucephalus said. "I feel I should state that I am as concerned as them."
Great; now Bucephalus was getting started. "What do they want?" he asked with a heavy sigh.
"They're worried about you. You haven't come out of your quarters in almost…two weeks now."
Harry rubbed his brow. "All right, let them in. I'll be in the…room. You know the one…"
"Yeah, whatever," Harry said with a half hearted wave as he disappeared back into said room.
It was just as Harry was sitting down that he heard the sound of the portrait swinging open. He sat up a bit more, hugging the cushion as he resumed staring at the wall for a little bit longer. The couch sagged beside him and he glanced over to see Hermione giving him a kindly concerned look, Ron sitting behind her. Dumbledore sat down in the single chair on the other side of Harry, resting his elbows on the arms and pressing the tips of his fingers together with a pleasant expression on his face. Harry didn't know what he found to be smiling.
"You know," Ron said in a rather offhand manner. "That guy could try being bit nicer. I think he likes poking fun at people."
"Bucephalus made fun of Ron's freckles; said they made him look sickly." Hermione whispered as she leaned in closer.
Ron gave Hermione an accusing glare that clearly said she wasn't helping much before he craned his neck to look over her shoulder at Harry. "I was half-expecting you to be asleep again like all the other times."
"Well, I'm up now." Harry said with a slight shrug.
"Are you feeling better?" Hermione asked, peering at him. "You really didn't look all that good when we brought you here."
"Yeah, a bit better," Harry murmured. "Thanks."
"You sure?" Hermione pressed. "To be honest, you still don't look very well."
Harry didn't say anything for a moment. What was he supposed to say anyways? That he couldn't get to sleep easily because Lucius wasn't beside him? Or that he didn't have very much appetite since he'd come back here? Though Harry had a feeling it had something to do with the sudden deprivation of practically daily sex.
"Just a slightly upset stomach, nothing else." He finally replied.
Hermione opened her mouth once more, but stopped when Ron nudged her in the side gently with his elbow. Harry could see the cogs quite literally shifting and whirring in Hermione's mind.
"So," he began after clearing his throat for a moment. "You guys are all right? You made it out of the battle fine?"
Hermione glanced at Ron. "You may as well show him now. And properly." she added a bit firmly.
"Do you always have to ruin my fun?" Ron pouted.
"What's she talking about?" Harry asked, unable to resist smiling.
And with that Ron popped his right eye out of his head and held it out in his palm. Harry watched as it rolled around slightly in his palm, the brown pupil looking around at things.
"Is that an eye like Moody's?" he asked peering at it.
"Yup." Ron said with a broad grin. "I could tell you what Snape does when he goes into his office during-"
"Ronald," Dumbledore said quietly.
"Oh, right Sir." Ron said flustering a bit as he popped his eye back in.
"Of course what Ron isn't telling you," Hermione started. "Is that he got caught by McGonagall when-"
"Me?! It was the both of us who got-" Ron started.
"How'd you lose the eye Ron?" Harry asked, quickly ending their beginning argument.
Ron glared at Hermione for a moment longer. "You know the battle, the one you disappeared in?" he said. "I got hit in the face with a Melting curse. Everything but my eye grew back."
"How come they couldn't grow your eye back?" Harry asked.
"I think I had to do the fact that it could have damaged his other eye very badly just to clean out all the dead nerves and try to repair it. And there wasn't a very good chance that the new eye would work if that happened, so-" Hermione started.
"I don't know half the stuff she's talking about," Ron muttered. "My eye works fine, and that's good enough for me."
"It has to do with optic nerves and a certain part of your brain, Ron. Muggle biology is very useful to know Ron, especially in a situation like the one you were in." Hermione said with a rather sanctimonious nod of her head. "Could you imagine what might have happened if Professor Snape hadn't told Madame Pomfrey not to use that potion? He saved your sight Ron."
"Don't remind me," Rom grumbled.
Hermione didn't say anything for a moment before she looked at Harry. "So, where exactly did you end up?"
"Spain. The countryside," Harry said, feeling the smile disappear from his face.
"Is something wrong Harry?" Ron asked, holding the eye on the palm of his hand around Hermione.
"Ron!" she turned around and smacked him lightly on his other arm.
"What?!" Ron demanded a bit defensively. "You're in the way! And I can't look through you! All I'd see is nothing! And you already yelled at me when I did that by accident!"
Hermione huffed and looked back at Harry. "Really Harry, what's the matter?"
"You can't answer the question," Harry said looking at Dumbledore. "But I was wondering,"
"Yes Harry?" Dumbledore said in a calm voice.
Harry sat there for a moment, wondering just what it was that made Dumbledore seem so…distant, and why?
"What is it Harry?" Dumbledore asked.
"The couple that was in the house…are they all right?"
"They're all right," Dumbledore said with a nod of his head. "We questioned them, but they weren't able to tell us much, so we Oblivated their minds for their own sake. All traces of your presence were removed from the house. Ah, speaking of which,"
Harry watched as Dumbledore reached into his pocket and drew something out before tapping it with his wand, making it swell to full size. It was the three books from the bookstore; the three books that Lucius had essentially picked out for him.
"Are these yours?"
Harry simply nodded his head, looking at the books.
"And the concern you had concerning Lucius Malfoy has been taken care of." Dumbledore said with a smile.
"Lucius Malfoy?" Hermione asked a bit sharply.
"I saw him in the area," Harry said a bit glibly. "And I didn't want to take any chances. You know he'd hand me over to Voldemort right away."
"Quite right. Oh Ron, we've been saying his name for two years and you whimper every time; it's getting a bit old now." Hermione said with a roll of her eyes.
Harry didn't say anything as Hermione chastised Ron for a few seconds longer. Already just sitting here and saying what they expected to hear was chafing at him. He didn't want any more questions directed at him all of a sudden.
"How did you guys find me exactly?"
That seemed to break Hermione out of her miniature lecture to Ron. "Oh, Professor Snape reported that Nott knew someone who'd seen you and apparently Lucius Malfoy as well. Nott questioned him and then killed him."
"Did the man have a name?"
"Um…Orelan Rapsodia I believe." Hermione paused "You knew him?"
"I knew him," Harry said simply. "But don't tell me the Order came charging down into Spain on a rumour."
"Well…" Ron said with a grudging tone. "We seen it in a pensieve that Snape brought. Nott put the memory in a pensieve. I'm guessing that Snape stole it from him, modified his memory and brought it here."
"And," Dumbledore said, leaning forward and pulling out the bookmark. "We used this."
Harry looked at the bookmark, suddenly wishing he'd never taken it. "Oh, really?" he managed to make himself sound curious.
"The bookmark was attuned to your magic and your magic alone," Dumbledore started.
"Then wouldn't something have happened when I picked it up?"
"Not to the bookmark. But it caused a small magical flare to be sent back to Order headquarters on a map charmed to show when this was activated."
Small wonder then that nothing happened when Lucius touched it. Harry didn't say anything for a moment. "I see. And what were the chances that Voldemort could have found this out and capitalized on it before you were able to do anything?"
Dumbledore didn't say anything for a moment. "The chance was very small; he would have to know exactly what to look for and where since he didn't have a cued map like we did."
"A necessary risk, then?" Harry murmured a few moments later.
"Yes," Dumbledore replied. "I hope you understand we were left with very little choice in finding you before Voldemort did."
"I understand completely," Harry said managing a polite smile. "I'm just glad that everyone is safe, especially the couple…even if they don't remember me any more."
"Quite true," Dumbledore said with a nod of his head before he regarded Harry with a serious light in his blue eyes. "There's something I want to ask you Harry,"
"All right," Harry waited to hear what could possibly be said next.
"I'd worry a good deal less if you were back in the Gryffindor dorms; just so you have some company with you, rather than being here by yourself."
Harry froze for a moment, not saying anything at all. He could feel something inside him chill at that thought and balk quite violently. "I'm staying here. I don't feel up to that yet quite yet, Sir." He didn't see himself leaving these chambers anytime soon
"Of course. When you're ready." Dumbledore said with acquiescing bow of his head. "The important thing is that you're back and you're safe."
Ron and Hermione gave murmurs of assent, and then a silent moment descended on the small parlour.
Harry looked between them, stifling a yawn. "If that's all…" he said.
"We just wanted to make sure you were all right," Dumbledore said rising from his chair. "We'll leave you to rest now."
Ron and Hermione nodded in agreement as they rose too, saying they would come and visit him again tomorrow if he didn't mind. Harry was vaguely aware of his head shaking and then their steps out into the hallway. The sound of Bucephalus' portrait swinging open and thudding back shut greeted him.
"Bucephalus," He said a bit rhetorically as he stepped out into the hallway,
"Yes?" Bucephalus asked.
"You know how I just said to let Dumbledore in?"
"Yes," Bucephalus sad slowly. "What about it?"
"Never let Dumbledore in here under any circumstances. Well except if I'm on the very verge of death. And don't start splitting things, such as "Harry's sleeping like the dead' or anything like that, or I'll find a new portrait to guard my rooms. Got it?"
"Got it," Bucephalus said. "So even if you say to let him in, don't let him in?"
"Exactly. See? We get along fine," Harry said. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a nap."
Harry stopped in the parlour, scooping up the books and making his way to the bedroom, resting them on his bedside table, looking at the bright reflective spines before he got under the covers and curled up, his mind drifting back to when he'd realized he really was back at Hogwarts in England.
At first he'd just thought it was all some sort of very bad dream. And then that he'd eventually wake up and find himself asleep in the squeaky old bed, wrapped up in Lucius' arms. He'd say he'd had a really silly dream and then they'd go out and take care of what needed to be done. Lucius would curse the goats, Harry would laugh and they sneak off for one or two quick shags before heading back down for dinner at the house.
He should have known something was horribly wrong the moment Snape strode into the rooms with a barely concealed belligerent and explosive expression on his face. That was when it all came crashing down around Harry, quite hard as well too. Snape had been quite intent on being brutally honest and, unwittingly, shattering Harry's little illusion.
And Harry had been mad at Snape. Furious, was more the word. All the anger and resentment at being yanked away so abruptly he'd directed at Snape. It'd taken a full three days of brooding to realize that Snape had more than likely been following orders; orders that more than likely came from Dumbledore.
Harry hadn't been very pleased with that realization. It was much easier to hate Snape in his skulking bat-like menace. Dumbledore was the nice one who gave you candy and talked to you. Suddenly, what Lucius had told him that day three months ago seemed horridly clear. And Harry found himself very disgusted at the fact that Dumbledore had essentially ripped him away from one of the rare good things in his life just so Harry could play and fulfil the role of Dumbledore's glorified and sanctified little killer.
And the longer Harry mulled on it, he saw more and more strings that led back to Dumbledore. Not to mention that fact that everyone seemed to be falling over themselves to do something when Dumbledore asked them. Maybe that why Snape was so sour all the time; he didn't seem to like having to follow someone else's orders, let alone conflicting orders from two opposing people. Harry wouldn't be all that surprised if that was the reason. He turned over onto his side, contemplating the spines of the books. The sooner this war was over the sooner he could cut Dumbledore from his life and be better off.