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/N: Like the last chapter this one has not been proof read so if spelling mistakes and bad grammar annoy you its best to bypass this chapter.

Because it has been like forever since the last chapter I just wanted to get this one out, I haven't heard from my beta in a very long time so I guess real life has taken over for her. I wish her all the best and all the luck in the world.

Thanks to all that have stuck with this one, I know I promise every time I wont take as long next time, but I will at least promise to try not to take so long. Real life is just so busy for me now. Thanks and take care all.

Chapter Twenty-One – An Unspoken Order.

If Voldemort were to be honest with himself then he would have to admit that he actually did miss intelligent conversation. When he had first started his movement it had been with followers of similar age and ilk. They stayed up late into the night over a bottle of fire whiskey debating what was wrong with their world and how to improve it, what they would change if they had the chance. But he had gone further then they had and had actually tried to instigate the kind of changes they frequently talked about. Most had stayed by his side and a few went their own way but as others had tried to oppose them most had fallen and their children had taken their places by his side. As the fight for their beliefs became more violent the need for a strong leader had arisen, and he had naturally taken that place, after all it was his revolution and he sure as hell wasn't going to give that power to anyone else!

His followers today were generally a bunch of dim witted idiots that followed orders blindly, not that he gave them much choice in the matter after all his word was law, but even taking that away from the equation there didn't seem to be much else to any of them. Lucius had shown promise in the early days but all that was gone now. He had gone mad thanks to whatever it was that bloody Potter brat had done to him. The very thought of Potter made his blood boil, why couldn't that child just die like any other child? Potter would keep for the time being, not that Voldemort had much choice there was no way he was going to be able to get near him while he was in that school. When he made his next move and Potter came out from hiding that was when he would strike. Unlike last time he wouldn't allow himself to be drawn into a long and dangerous battle, no this time he would just go for the killing curse and if it missed he would go for it again and again until the brat went down!

Where was Severus? It had been nearly half an hour since he had summoned him! Severus, now there was one that had potential, he was smart and no doubt deadly if he so wished to be, he had that fool Dumbledore in his confidence and most of the world believing that he was one of the good guys. This did have its advantages but the downside was he never was able to have Severus around when he really wanted him to be. He had been toying with the idea recently with pulling him from his spying duties at Hogwarts, after all this was an all out war now and spying on Dumbledore and his little group wasn't gaining him much ground. And being forced to wait for over half an hour now, to be attended by a follower was not right. Hogwarts was to far for Severus to travel from. Where as, Snape Manor would only take him five minutes to travel in from. But the problem with Severus as with all his followers, were that he was afraid of him, and rightly so! But that made simple conversation a little hard. Severus was better at it then most; he would bring ideas to the table if he thought they were the best for the movement. Fudge had been his idea, as had making the ministry his main priority and putting Potter on the back burner. Bring the world to its knees then slay its saviour when it had nowhere else to turn to! Brilliant! Genius even! Voldemort had all been for going straight after Potter but Severus was right, that wasting time constantly chasing a child who was so over protected was a waste of valuable time, take everything else first then take the spoils.

Voldemort was about to summon Severus again, when he felt his wards tingle with the presence of another. He was going to have to give Severus a piece of his mind first, no one made him wait nearly forty-five minutes, even if it was for something as trivial as a glass of wine and a chat! Voldemort heard the door to his inner sanctum open and he turned slowly to show Severus he was not happy at being kept waiting.

"If you expect me to get down on my knees and kiss the hem of your robe then you sorely mistaken child"

Voldemort stood in shock, and this did not happen often, stood before him in his doorway was a tall, dashing blonde man looking annoyed. Annoyed! How dare someone look at HIM annoyed, he was the Dark Lord after all! "How dare you..." But before he could even finish his very real threat the hansom stranger had silenced him with a wave of his hand in dismissal.

"Please, save your childish temper tantrum for someone who cares. You know, it really is very rude not to offer your guests a drink."

"You are no guest and you will pay dearly for your intrusion here tonight." Voldemort went for his wand and pointed it directly at the stranger's chest.

The stranger raised an eyebrow at him; it was strangely reminiscent of Severus. "Please, what are you going to do, kill me again? You do not have the skills or required tools to kill me, so why don't you sit down and pore us both a glass of wine so we can have a little chat. Oh and for your information, Tom, you don't mind if I call you Tom do you? Poison will also not do the trick."

The suave stranger coolly walked over and sat down in the seat next to his and looked at the bottle of wine expectantly. Voldemort quickly weighed up the situation, this stranger was powerful, he could feel his magic strongly in the air; also he had to have had something up his sleeve to act so nonchalantly around him. Even Dumbledore wasn't this complacent! "Just who are you? Not many would walk into my domain and insult ME, and be so obviously unprepared unless they thought they had something to offer me and even then there would be a good chance that I would kill them after I had taken what I wanted. Also tell me how did you find my home so easily it is under many a charm to turn away the casual visitor?"

The stranger gave him a smile that made even him want to turn away. It was hollow and vicious and quite cruel, if a smile could be considered such a thing. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am Nikolai Miasnikov."

Voldemort was struck dumb for a second. Severus' vampire was here in font of him in all his glory! Voldemort had waited many years to get a meeting with this creature of the dark, partly out of curiosity and partly out of the chance he may be able to persuade him to join him. With an alley like him the other vampires would follow suit in a heartbeat. Then his force of darkness would be unstoppable; even that old fool would be unable to do anything, his army would amass to thousands. Thousands of killing machines all under his control! "I am glad to see Severus has been able to persuade you to come and see me, though I must admit that I am a little disappointed not to see him tonight, after all I did summon him and he has failed to report to me. That is most unfortunate." Voldemort could see the flash of anger in the vampire's eyes at the mention of his displeasure at Severus. "But I am sure that such a transgression can be overlooked this time, wine was it?"

"I am glad that you are able to see reason in this situation. I would be most displeased if Severus were to come to harm through no fault of his own."

"No fault of his own! He has failed to report to me!" Voldemort's anger flashed but one steely look from the vampire cooled his temper. "Forgive my temper it has a mind of its own. As I am sure you can understand I like complete obedience in my followers and I can tolerate nothing less."

"Understand it, yes. Like it, no."

"Then maybe it would be wise to leave it at that before things are said that maybe shouldn't be."

"Agreed."

"Then tell me, why are you here and not my faithful Severus?"

***

Nikolai did his best to pull in his stronger, darker urges to kill the pathetic excuse of a man sitting next to him. He really had let himself go, Nikolai thought. There had been a time when, Tom Riddle had been an attractive, intelligent young man with much potential but all that had been lost in his twisted desire for power. Once many years ago Nikolai would have considered him as the type to become a consort, regardless of Tom's sexual persuasions, contrary to popular belief it was not all about sex, it was more about companionship.

But that was then and this was now, and what sat next to him was a mere shadow of the former man. A dried up husk of half man and half snake, it was not all that pleasing to the eye. Even though Nikolai prided himself on not solely been attracted to the beauty of a person, there had to be something there to attract him in the first place, a little spark of something, even if it was something unusual. Take Severus for example, that pale skin was alluringly attractive and Harry had those bright green eyes that just pulled you in and even Lucius had that stunning hair! But Tom had nothing left, red eyes, scaly skin and no real facial features either. "You can stop that right now child! It will not work."

"Can you blame me for trying?"

"No, but I thought you were more intelligent than that child. You cannot break into my mind, it is far to old and far to protected for you to be able to even consider it."

"What do you expect me to do, you enter my home uninvited, though not necessarily unwelcome, and then you sit there silent as can be. Why are you here? Have you decided to come to the winning side? Are you after a deal for when I take over this miserable world and fashion it in my own image?"

"Ha ha ha ha ha... Forgive my rudeness, but you are a tad self confidant aren't you? You have yet to win anything of significance. And aren't you still dealing with a certain young boy who will try to stop you?"

"Potter! Ha, he is nothing to me I shall destroy him when he leaves the safety of his self imposed prison."

"From what I understood he was the one that caused you more trouble than you caused him in your last meeting in Diagon Alley."

"Luck, that was all that was, he caught me off guard."

"Isn't that just an excuse? Surely one as powerful as you should have been able to deal with a mere babe in arms?"

"That babe in arms that you refer to him as is fully versed in the dark arts. He is no child anymore. And neither am I for that fact so stop referring to me as that!"

"Temper, temper Tom. You are all nothing but a bunch of squabbling children to me. Even if you live to be a thousand years old you will still be nothing but a child to me for I will be over two thousand years by then." Nikolai smirked to himself as he heard Tom mumble annoyance under his breath. "Anyway to answer you questions, no I have not decided to join your side. As you are fully aware the vampires have voted to stay neutral this time around. We do not wish any more trouble from the ministries of the world. We just wish to be left alone. I was one of the elders that were instrumental in bringing about that vote; so do not even think of trying to change my mind. Also should you win this little war of yours, you would be advised to leave us alone, for if you come after us than you shall bring about a battle that will end your rein as soon as it has begun! Do I make myself clear?"

Voldemort gave him a measuring look before conceding. "Yes."

"Good because I really do not wish to get my hands dirty with whatever it is that runs through your veins."

"I thought vampires were attracted to power?"

"We are, but your power has been corrupted beyond that which is considered desirable. And lets face it Tom, since the last time I really saw you, you have let yourself go a bit, wouldn't you agree?" Nikolai said airily.

"Looks are nothing and power is everything."

"Maybe in your world Tom, but not everyone's. Don't get me wrong I am not a shallow creature, but I do have some standards."

Voldemort gave him an evil grin. "You are not exactly my type vampire, and even though it would be foolish at present to attack you it may not always be so. You should watch your manners, and remember who you are talking to."

"I somehow feel that is nothing but an empty threat Tom. You know it and so do I. Mikhail would come down on you so hard you would be praying for Potter and Dumbledore to come and rescue you. You have met Mikhail on many an occasion do you for one minute believe he is not capable?"

"He was an exceptional individual."

"That he is. Mikhail is on the council of elders with me, he is my deputy and would lead the campaign of vengeance if you were foolish enough to follow through on your empty threats."

"But would he be so ready to seek vengeance for your death if he were to discover that feelings between Severus and yourself were bordering on more then friendship? I may not know everything about vampire culture but I am aware that they're very strict on rules regarding the taking of a mate. Especially when that potential mate has already been a long term mate of another vampire."

Nikolai gave Voldemort a broad smile, "You are forgetting one thing Tom, Severus and I have crossed no boundaries on our friendship. That is not to say that I am not aware of his feelings for me and my feelings for him are ever growing and one day I think Severus will be ready to take his place at my side, as my consort. But until that day nothing will ever happen between us and before it ever does, we shall go to Mikhail and seek his permission. Which I am sure he will give, after all I believe he is still very fond of Severus and wishes him nothing but happiness."

"Convenient."

"We are an open minded people, love is rare and should be grabbed with both hands when it comes knocking."

Voldemort sneered at him when he was talking of love. "Love is for the weak!"

"No, you are wrong Tom, love is for the strong for it will bring pain and pleasure like you have never known. We are a passionate people and we enjoy the ride of love. Your inability to love will be your downfall Tom."

"Poppycock! Anyway you still have not explained where Severus is and my patience is starting to fade on this issue."

"As I am sure you have worked out, Severus will not be attending tonight nor again for a few weeks."

"What!"

"At this moment Severus is in the hospital wing of Hogwarts being treated for an unknown ailment, it really is quiet serious. Also he is suffering from severe exhaustion, and has been for some time. He needs his rest. I am here to inform you, to give him the time away from it all to recover back to full strength."

Nikolai could see Voldemort's temper was starting to rise. "You dare to tell me, to do something?"

"In a matter of fact yes," Nikolai sprang from his chair at lightning speed and came within an inch of Voldemort's face, and bared his teeth, fangs and all. "I was trying to keep this cordial but you are pushing me child! If Severus continues at this rate he will continue to fade and that will displease me greatly. In order to save him I shall have to turn him and he is not ready for that yet. Do you understand the implications of that for you?"

***

In spite of himself Voldemort flinched when the vampire bared his fangs. It had been a very long time since someone and scared him like this. He feared Dumbledore because of his power and he feared Potter because it was unnatural for someone to have survived the killing curse, although that could be explained because of his mothers sacrifice. But that attempt on Potter had left them linked in a way that left Voldemort feeling very uncomfortable. But at the moment Potter was the least of his worries. He had a pissed off vampire in his face to worry about right now. Gathering his strength and wits about him he set out to try and gain some ground back in this meeting. "What possible implications could this have on me?" He tried to sound as calm as possible.

"For starters, he would no longer be yours to control, I do not share Tom. All that power and intelligence would be mine. And you would never be able to come after him for abandoning you because he would become one of us, which means he would be protected. You would look weak in the eyes of your followers because you could not deal out any retribution for the disloyalty."

"But what if Severus wanted to return? You are forgetting that he is one of my most faithful; he has helped me come up with some of my most diabolical plans in the last few months! He has been at my side since he was at school!"

"Because his father gave him to you to pay off his debts! Don't think I don't know that Tom. I know everything about Severus."

"That maybe so but he has proven his worth and loyalty time and time again. He will not abandon his post."

"Oh but he will Tom, the Vampires have all agreed that we are to stay neutral in the war. Any vampire that breaks that accord is dealt with internally. Believe me, it always ends in death! We do not break ranks once the elders have spoken. It would pain me greatly but it would be done."

"You would kill a man you claim to love?" Voldemort had to admit the vampire confused him he seemed full of contradictions. But he could understand in a way, with positions of power came sacrifices. Voldemort had sacrificed much to get to where he was. It came with the territory of being a leader.

"Why do you think I have left Severus alone and not turned him? His allegiance to you is simply going to get in the way. I shall bide my time, as I have infinite patience, once this squabble is over, and you win, in time when Severus is ready I shall visit you again and you shall release him from any further obligations to you, he would have served his purpose to you by then and you will not stop him leaving, hell I'm even thinking that you shall make it clear to him that he is free to leave and come to me when he feels the time is right to move on with his life. If you lose, well it will be no great loss to me, and Severus shall leave this country and come and live with me in my homes away from the influence of anyone who has had anything to do with this war. Am I understood Tom?"

Voldemort really couldn't see a way out of this, he could agree with the vampire and get to keep Severus at his side until he actually chose to leave or he could force the vampires hand and no doubt pay for it dearly. If it had just been the one vampire then he would have struck him down where he stood, but the vampires had organised themselves in recent decades and had decided that it was all for one and one for all. If he struck out at Nikolai then the rest would hunt him down and no number of secret charms would keep him protected. Anyone with the dark mark would be dead within a day, sympathisers within two days and then he would be all-alone with no protection. No his best bet was to rely on Severus' loyalty and thirst for his own power, Voldemort would just have to keep the pot sweet enough to keep Severus at his side. Then the vampire by his own admission would not force Severus to leave. "We have a deal vampire."

"Good."

Voldemort let out the breath he had been holding as the vampire backed away and sat back down in the seat next to him as if the last ten minutes of confrontation had not just happened and took a sip of the wine that had been poured for him earlier. The vampire really did confuse him; maybe under different circumstances or just in another life, he would have liked to spend time throwing ideas about with him debating things and just generally being social. But he found it hard to want to spend anytime with creatures that had just threatened his life. He was only keeping a lid on his temper because striking out would be the stupid thing to do, or at least at the moment it would be! "Is the wine to your liking vampire?"

"Yes, I do so enjoy a good red, I think it may be the colour that attracts me so."

The vampire seemed to be making no move to leave and this left Voldemort at a loss of what to do, he may miss companionship and general conversation but he was deeply out of practice and was always terrible at small talk! "So, Severus tells me you are teaching at Hogwarts for the year, it seems a strange choice considering that it seems almost to be the headquarters for the so called side of the light in this war. And yet you wish to remain uninvolved in this squabble, as you like to call it."

"Come now as an intelligent man you must be able to see the attraction? The school is a big a part of history and the chance to walk among its walls even if only for a year was too much to resist. History is my passion and what the founders of the school did was alter the history of this world by building such a place. It was almost as if they helped civilize it and help bring in the modern era."

"But you are teaching the Dark Arts are you not?"

"Defence against them, yes."

"But you are a History Professor are you not?"

"Yes."

"Then why the change in subject? Was it really just for a chance to go to the school?" Voldemort asked he was genuinely interested. Surely if the vampire wanted to spend time at the school that fool Dumbledore would have allowed it.

"For a chance to teach at the school, yes most definitely. From what I understand the chance of removing Professor Bins from the History department is most unlikely and he is one of the few who could outlast even my time on this planet. So if it was to be a change of subject to do it then a change of subject it would have to be. And the chance to work with Albus Dumbledore was also hard to resist."

"Dumbledore! Mudblood loving fool!"

"Watch what you say child, I am what you would consider a Mudblood, born to non magical parents as I was. Before you say anything be mindful that I loved both of my parents dearly and have nothing but fond memories of them and will not take kindly to you insulting them."

Again Voldemort found himself wrong footed, a Mudblood! Here in his house drinking his wine, a Mudblood! He wondered if Severus was aware of this little fact? He controlled his temper once again this evening for the sake of an easy life.

***

Nikolai was fully aware what reaction his last statement as having on Voldemort, but he was actually enjoying himself too much to stop. He knew it wouldn't take Voldemort to long to see his point of view on Severus and his need for time off, though the chances were Severus would not be so willing to obey!

"You are no doubt aware that you are one of the very few people on this planet that could get away with saying the things that you have to me tonight and still walk away from here with you life, as such as it is."

"I am aware of this fact Tom." Nikolai again couldn't resist using Voldemort's birth name.

"Though I really do wish you would not insist on calling me that or child, again!"

"Trust me it is definitely a more polite way of addressing you, than I have heard the kids at school referring to you lately."

"What!"

"Oh yes, Mister Potter has been filling them in on a few pet names for you, old annoying git, snake face, dunderhead, mouldy Voldie, one of Mister Potter's personal favourites. Looser, over confident moron, big head, egotist, pain in the arse, dickhead..."

"I get the picture. Potter will pay for that and everything else." Voldemort sneered. "There was a time that my name alone installed fear into people, I will not allow Potter to change that."

"He is a very persuasive young man."

"You sound as though you admire the little brat, surely Severus cannot approve of that?"

Nikolai was desperate to tell Voldemort just how much Severus would actually agree with him and not his former master. But he knew that apart from Severus never forgiving him for giving him away like this, he knew he would be placing Severus' life in even more danger if Voldemort were to find out about his and Harry's affair. Nikolai new he had laid enough ground work tonight to make Voldemort think there was a real chance that it was to be Severus and him spending the rest of their lives together not Severus and Harry. But that didn't mean that he couldn't admit to liking the kid. "I do like Mister Potter, Tom. He is a kind, intelligent young man with a lot of compassion in him. But alas you are right Severus does not care for my budding friendship with him. So as a result I spend very little time with Mister Potter for as you see Severus means much more to me, as does his happiness. Well I believe my time here is up, don't you?"

"All I can do is concur with you, vampire."

"I am sure that I do not need to inform you that our little chat here tonight need not go any further then these four walls?"

"You are trusting me not to mention this to Severus?" A small grin graced Voldemort's face.

"You can call it trust or you can call it what it is, an unspoken threat on your life. Severus does not like to have others interfere on his behalf. But the foolish child will end up dead if he does not rest and if that means I have to go behind his back and organise it so he gets to rest then so be it. But believe me when I tell you that love is a far bigger motivator for loyalty then fear is. He will forgive me if you tell him I came to you but he will not forgive you if you try to kill me for my impertinence towards you tonight. Choose your actions and words wisely Tom, either way Severus is only yours for a limited time. The vampires will protect him whether I am alive or not."

With this Nikolai turned and left Riddle Manor to head back to Hogwarts to get an update on Severus' condition.

***

It had been hours since Harry had sat down at Severus' bedside. He had a million and one things running through his head, was it his fault that Sev was in this state? If he hadn't been tricked into going to the shrieking shack with Bella and Wormtail, Severus would never have needed the transfusion from Albus and he wouldn't be having this reaction right now. Also added to this fact was the extra workload Harry had put on him to make the potions for his rebirthing of Voldemort. Harry once again tried to touch Severus' hand but the same reaction as before happened, little blue sparks shot out of Sev's fingers, giving them both a mild shock. Luckily Severus was in a healing sleep so he hadn't felt it this time, Harry prayed this would not be a permanent reaction, it would be difficult to conduct a relationship if they were unable to even touch each other without getting an electric shock each time. Difficult but not impossible Harry vowed, they could make it work it would just mean a lot less touching, hell if he had to he would just have to take a vow of chastity!

Hearing the door close gently to the spare bedroom in Albus' quarters, he turned to see Nikolai walk in. "Any improvement Harry?"

"Not really, Poppy has put him in a healing sleep to try and calm his magic down. Where did you go?"

"I just went for a walk Harry, to clear my head and do a little thinking."

"And that took you nearly three hours?"

"I had a lot to think about Harry."

"Fair enough." Harry didn't buy that for a second but he knew Nikolai would tell him nothing he didn't want him to know. The vampire could be very tight lipped.

***

Nikolai didn't like to lie to Harry, especially when it was to do with Severus, but for the moment it was best that his and Voldemort's conversation was kept between just them. If Voldemort were to find out that he had blabbed then he might not be so willing to lets things lay the way Nikolai had told him they would. Also the complaining he would receive from Severus would be very headache inducing!

***

Albus was just heading out of his office when he heard his floo connection fire up. "Albus is it alright to come through?"

"Of course Kingsley, come on through." Albus stepped aside as Kingsley appeared out of his fireplace and into his office. "What can I do for you this morning, Kingsley?"

"Albus, I bring news that could be important to the order. Last night a letter arrived in the office claiming to know the next major move 'You Know Who' is about to make. Has Severus mentioned anything to you about this?"

"No, but that could have something to do with the fact that Severus is currently laid up in bed in an induced sleep. He is quite sick at the moment. Voldemort tried to summon him last night but as you can guess Severus did not attend."

"Then there is a chance that what this letter writer could give us new information?" Kingsley said almost to himself.

"Yes it seems so. Why don't you tell what the letter said and what actions you plan to take. Tea?"

Kingsley told Albus everything, including his and Ron's plan to head into muggle London later that day.

***

Ron was starting to feel a little nervous, it was already fifteen minutes over the agreed meet time and still there seemed to be no word from there mystery letter writer. "You think this is a hoax Sir?"

"I don't know Ron, but we can't take a chance on missing out on something with Albus' friend ill at the moment. We will give this person a little more time to show up."

"A wise decision, Auror Shacklebolt." A dark voice said from behind them. They both turned to see a tall figure standing behind them. Ron couldn't tell who it was, the stranger had cleverly dressed in muggle clothing, he was wearing something Hermione had told him was a hoodie, and it almost completely covered his face and Ron also had a feeling that his voice had been magically altered, it sounded too raspy to be real. "Listen up Aurors, I want immunity, however this goes down."

"That's going to depend on what you give us today."

"That's not the deal Auror, regardless, I want immunity."

"Fine, tell me what you've got."

"Good, shall we shake on it?"

"So it becomes a magically binding contract, very clever. But that means that you will have to tell me your identity."

"I don't think so for now I shall go by the name of James Bond."

Ron couldn't help himself and laughed, "I'm sorry, I just like the muggle reference."

"Glad you appreciate it, now to business. I know where Voldemort is planning his next big strike. And when I say big I mean where he plans to make his final stand against our world."

"Just answer me one thing, how are you privy to such information?"

"I keep quiet and listen, often I am forgotten to be in the room."

"How is that possible? You know who, notices almost everyone around him."

"True, but when one becomes almost a part of the furniture they are almost always forgotten about."

"And is this why you want out because your Master doesn't pay you enough attention?"

"Not at all, you wouldn't understand, though maybe your red headed friend would. Now I must be quick, I may be ignored most of the time, but I will be missed if I am gone to long."

"Fine Mister Bond, what is it you have to tell me?"

"The Dark Lord is going to storm the Ministry of Magic. He is going to take down the government and install himself in its place."

"When?"

"The date is uncertain, there have been a few unforeseen problems?"

"Like?"

"I won't give you the names of others, but one of the Dark Lord's most loyal has been taken ill so plans have been put on hold, but once things are underway again I will try to contact you again."

"Thank you Mister Bond."

"You are welcome, now I must be returning to my duties." With that the mystery man disappeared with a pop.

"Ron, I think it may be a good idea if we go somewhere quiet and discuss what we have just been told."

"Somewhere in muggle London, Sir?"

"You know of somewhere?"

"Hermione's taken me to a few places where we won't be disturbed."

***

It had been a while since their mysterious meeting, but things were starting to make sense, to Ron at least. But it seemed to him Kingsley was still having a few problems. "Ron, why are you so sure he is a muggle? I don't understand."

"A few years ago I'd be the one confused, but having spent so much time with Hermione and Harry, I have been given a better understanding of all things muggle. Hermione likes to keep in touch with her roots, so there for we come into muggle London as often as possible, sometimes just for a few hours to catch a movie or just to come in for a drink."

"Right, with you so far."

"The first clue was that he wanted to meet in muggle London, you wouldn't suggest it if it wasn't once home for you. Somewhere that feel safe, then there was his little film reference, James Bond, which I explained to you earlier."

"Right I remember, muggle movie character."

"And the way he was dressed, it was just too convincing, he was wearing the latest fashion so he wouldn't stick out in the crowd. He was too convincing and the way he reacted to the way I laughed at his choice of name, it was a dead give away."

"Alright, you give a convincing argument Ron, but why the hell would, You Know Who, have a muggle around the place?"

"Although this is just hear say, I remember Harry telling me that Severus once told him that You Know Who had dropped his standards a little, and was allowing a few muggle borns into his little group. Though they weren't trusted to do anything important but maybe, just maybe one of them was trusted to do the housework? Who else but a house keeper is privy to information others are not?"

"It's a theory, I'll give you that Ron, but we wont be able to confirm any of this until Severus comes out of that coma and returns to his side."

"That's if Harry doesn't do something to stop it."

"What do you mean Ron?" Kingsley asked him sharply.

"Harry's been itching to remove that dark mark of his. And with Severus out of it, it would be the perfect time."

***

It had nearly been two full days since Harry had taken up his post beside Severus' bed. The good news was that the magical discharges seemed to be coming less and less now, and Albus had lifted the charmed sleep he had put on him, but Severus was yet to wake up. Harry guessed he was just catching up on much needed rest and Harry couldn't complain about that, he was forever telling Severus to take things easy for a while. But with so much hanging in the balance, he had to admit to being a little nervous, if only to himself. With Severus out of action things were being put on hold. Harry knew it was selfish to think this way but it was the only way he could think of what would allow Severus and him to be together. Together in a world without Voldemort and to create that world he needed Severus awake and well. But it would seem that would have to wait, for a while at least.

"I can hear your brain working overtime Potter, keep it down I'm trying to rest here."

"Sev!" Harry leapt out of his chair and went to throw himself at the man in bed but a bolt of magic zapped its way at his chest. "Hmmm, seems as though that part of you is yet to fully heal. The good news is it wasn't as strong as it was when you first came in here." Harry said rubbing his chest where the bolt had hit him.

"Then that is some good news." Severus replied groggily. "I'm sure there is some reason that I need to get up for, but for the life of me I am so tired I can't remember what for."

Harry did his best to look complacent, "I'm sure it will come back to you. Anyway go back to sleep and build your strength back up. You have a very needy teenager to keep up with here."

"Fair enough." Severus said falling back to sleep again.

Harry let out a sigh; technically he wasn't lying to Severus by not telling him Voldemort had called him when he had first become ill, he was forgetting to tell him certain things. And Harry knew the minute Severus remembered he would be back at his former Masters side to grovel and apologise for not turning up the other night. And Severus was going to need to be at full strength to deal with whatever it was Voldemort was going to put him through.

Next Chapter: Severus returns to Voldemort.

Thanks to all that have left reviews, they really do mean so much to me, its very kind of all to take the time. So thanks again to everyone.