Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter characters. They all belong to the wonderful J.K. Rowling.
Chapter 8-Harry Returns
It had been three days since Harry had contacted his family. They had been glad to hear from him but were now worried since he hadn't tried to contact them again. They were afraid that Dumbledore had somehow found out and done something to him. They had refrained from trying to contact Cale themselves for the same reason.
James and Severus were on their way to the headmaster's office to see if he had heard anymore on Harry's whereabouts. They met up with Lucius, Sirius, and Remus along the way. The two had been leaning heavily on their friends since their son's disappearance and were extremely grateful for the support that had been shown to them.
When they reached the headmaster's office, Tom appeared as if he was just leaving. He smiled at all of them and bid them enter. They all took a seat and looked at the headmaster, who was still smiling at all of them.
"I take it by the look on your face that you have some good news, Tom?" Lucius questioned.
"In a manner of speaking. I was actually just headed out to summon all of you. Now to business. I do have good news of a sort, but I also have some bad news." He paused for a moment when James and Severus shared a worried look.
"Now to the first part of my good news. Regulus has been able to locate where Dumbledore is holding Cale." At this, the other five breathed a sigh of relief, but it was short lived.
"If that is the good news Tom, then what is the bad?" James asked once again going on his guard. He wouldn't be able to bare it if his son had been hurt in some way.
"While Regulus has found where Cale is, it is rather close to Dumbledore's office and a rescue mission will be impossible while Dumbledore is in his office." At this, the men groaned. Tom held his hand up to regain their attention and silence them. "This is where the other part of my good news comes in though. Regulus has informed me that Dumbledore will be out of the Ministry all day Friday. Regulus plans to get the boy then and bring him straight back here." James and Severus hugged each other, nearly crying in relief while the other three cheered. Tom allowed this to continue for a few minutes before regaining their attention.
"I know that you are all greatly relieved at this news, but I must remind you that we don't know what condition Cale will be in when he arrives here. We do not know if Dumbledore has done anything to harm him." While this did not stop the cheering, it did sober the men slightly. Only one person in the room noticed a look pass over the headmasters face while the five men prepared to make their leave. He was the only one in the room that would be able to read the expression as well.
"Luc, are you coming?" James asked as he stopped at the door noticing Lucius wasn't with them. He was still standing by the chair he had been sitting in.
"No, I need to stay and speak to the headmaster for a moment. I'll meet you all down in my office in a few minutes." Lucius shook his head answering James' question. James gave a short nod before leaving and closing the door behind him.
"Tom, there is something else, isn't there?" The headmaster let out a long sigh and nodded his head. "What is it Tom? What didn't you want to tell James and Sev?"
"I got a letter the other day from Frank Longbottom. He makes all the potions for the Ministry. He's not sure why, but Dumbledore has been asking him to make a brainwashing potion for him. He suspects it's being used on Cale, but he's not 100 positive."
"Oh, lord. No wonder you didn't tell James and Sev. What do you think he's been trying to do?"
"Seeing as it's a brainwashing type of potion, he is most likely trying to turn Cale against his parents. We all know how the Minister feels about same sex unions. Since he somehow found out about James and Severus, he will do anything in his power to destroy them or their relationship. I am afraid that by the time we get to Cale, it will be too late and Dumbledore will have already corrupted him. Do you know of any counter-agents to the potion?"
"I don't know of any right off, but I will start researching it immediately. Did Frank tell you what the exact potion was?"
"No he didn't, but I'm sure it won't be hard to find out. I will let you know when I do. He might even be able to make a counter for it, if he hasn't already."
"Is there anything else you didn't tell them, Tom? Is there anything else I should know?" Lucius answered wearily.
"No, that was the only thing. I only ask that you do not tell James and Severus what I told you. We'll tell them later if need be, but I don't want to worry them unduly." Lucius gave one firm nod of his head and then left the headmaster's office.
Cale sighed looking up at the ceiling of his prison cell, as he had come to call it. He was arguing with himself again about his parent's situation. What he didn't realize as he started muttering to himself, as he tried to reason out the problem, was that Dumbledore had placed a listening charm on the door the last time he had been there.
"Ok, part of me thinks that dad and father are wrong, but the other part of me knows that they love each other very much. Why shouldn't they be together if they love each other? Uncle Remus and Uncle Sirius love each other and there is nothing wrong with that. Why should it be any different for my parents? This is so confusing."
Dumbledore was in his office when he heard the boy start muttering to himself. He amplified the charm a bit so that he could hear clearly what the boy was saying. An evil grin spread across his face as he heard exactly what the boy was saying. It seemed that the potion was working, at least to a point. His grin grew even broader when he heard the boy mention Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. That would be another couple that he would have to break apart and he had an idea of just how to do that.
He had just begun to write out those plans when an owl tapping on the window to his office distracted him. He got up to retrieve the letter and sat back down at his desk to read it.
I am staying with Lily while I'm here at Hogwarts. I would not be writing to you but I found out an interesting piece of news I thought you would like to know about.
Upon my arrival here at Hogwarts, I went directly to see Headmaster Riddle to ask him about the situation with the Potter boy. He told me the reason he had not contacted the ministry yet was because he was waiting to see if the boy turned up in Hogsmeade. Apparently, the boy has a younger sister staying there with Narcissa Malfoy. The headmaster said that the boy looked up to Narcissa as a kind of surrogate mother. Now, I don't know if he actually does see Mrs. Malfoy this way or not, but he does have a younger sister. I don't know if this will help you or not.
I'll see you in a few days.
'Another child? Honestly, those men have no sense of propriety. I can't believe that there is another child from that unholy union. I've really got my work cut out for me.' Dumbledore's good mood vanished with the arrival of that letter. He couldn't believe the audacity of those four men. He would have to figure out some way of getting the men imprisoned and making the children wards of the ministry to ensure that the cycle was not repeated.
He would love to make same sex unions illegal like they had done in the Muggle world. He had even tried in the past, but public opinion was against it. He would have to find some other way to get the wizarding world under his control.
Cale was once again tossing and turning. He was beginning to think he was never going to get out of his 'prison' and desperately needed to talk to someone. He pulled out his mirror and was about to activate it then stopped.
'I don't think I could talk to Dad or Father right now. I'm just so confused about what to do. Who should I talk to? I don't really want to talk to Uncle Sirius or Uncle Remus either. Draco's the only other one that has a mirror, but I don't think he would understand. Besides I'm not even sure what time it is. I really need to speak to someone though. I guess it has to be Draco.' With that thought, Cale activated his mirror.
Draco was just preparing to climb into bed for the night when he heard a whispered 'Draco' come from the mirror on his bedside table. He quickly grabbed it, hopped onto his bed and pulled the hangings closed.
"Draco, are you there?" was again whispered. Draco quickly put the mirror up to eye level so Cale could see his reflection. "Oh thank gods, I really needed someone to talk to right now."
"What's going on Cale? Why are you so upset?" Draco asked upon seeing the look on his best friends face.
"I'm just so confused Dray. The old man that kidnapped me is saying that my parents are wrong for loving each other and part of me can understand what he's talking about. I mean, look at what happened to me. If my parents had never gotten married this would have never happened to me. Then part of me knows that they really love each other and nothing should stand in the way of that. I just don't know what to do or think."
"What do you mean Cale? How could you possibly be confused about your parents? If they had never fallen in love then they never would have had you."
"Right now that doesn't seem like such a bad thing. I haven't seen the light of day in a week, I've been cooped up in this little bitty room that no human should ever be forced to stay in, and I'm beginning to think that I'm never going to get out of here. What would you think if you were in my shoes Dray?"
"I don't know Cale. But think about this. If your parents are wrong for loving each other and getting married then what about Remus and Sirius. Are they wrong as well?"
"That's part of what is confusing me so much. I have no doubts about Uncle Sirius and Uncle Remus, but I do about my own parents. I think I'm going crazy Dray. I need to get out of here and soon."
"I know Cal. I'm sure the Headmaster and your fathers are working on something. It won't be much longer and you will be back with us. Just keeping reminding yourself how much all of us love you. I miss you so much I'm even falling behind on my schoolwork. Blaise feels really guilty about all of this. He thinks it's his fault."
"Well, it is isn't it? He was the only other one that knew about my dads outside of the family. He had to of told someone."
"No, Cale, you're wrong about that. He didn't say anything to anyone, but I'll let him tell you why when you come back to us."
"Actually Draco, I would like to speak to Harry now if it's alright with you." Blaise said quietly, slipping inside of Draco's bed hangings. Draco whipped his head around to stare at Blaise. "I didn't mean to scare you. Don't worry, no one is in here but you and me. I was lying on my bed when I heard Harry's voice. I think I might be able to help Harry with his problem, if he'll let me?"
"Is that alright with you, Cale? Will you talk to Blaise?"
"I guess I can. Maybe he can help me sort out my problem."
"Thank you." Blaise said quietly, slipping onto Draco's to sit next to him so he could still hear the conversation. Draco handed the mirror to Blaise, then lay back on his bed and stared up at the ceiling.
"Before anything else is said, I want you tell me that you weren't the one that told the old man about my parents." Cale said coolly, staring intently at Blaise's reflection in his mirror.
"I swear to you on my dad's grave that I told no one about your parent's, Harry." Blaise responded solemnly. "There's a reason I never told or will ever tell anyone about your secret." Blaise paused for a minute.
"What would that reason be, Blaise?" Cale asked, somewhat suspiciously.
"Because I had two fathers as well. My dad before we left France. That's why my father moved back to England. He couldn't stand to stay in France without my dad."
"Oh." Cale responded quietly. He couldn't think of anything else to say. "I'm sorry I ever suspected you. Can you forgive me?" He asked after a moment of uncomfortable silence. He saw Blaise give a nod of his head and gave a small smile.
"Now as far as you being confused about wither or not your parents should be together, you said that the man that has you is the one that was saying that, right?"
"Well, yeah, but it makes a weird sort of sense to me. I don't understand it at all. It's not something that I have ever really questioned before now."
"Why did you never question it before now? Is there any particular reason you are questioning it now?" Blaise asked seriously, trying to get Cale to really think about what was going on.
"I never thought about it before because I knew my parents really loved each other."
"Do you think any of that has changed in the last week? Do you think that they have stopped loving each other?"
"No, I'm sure that would never happen, it's just I get this really funny feeling when ever I think about the two of them being together like that. I get the feeling that it's wrong and unnatural. I just don't understand it." Cale said in frustration.
"Do you feel the same about two men in general or just your parents?" Blaise asked suspiciously.
"It's just my parent's. I don't feel that way about Uncle Remus or Uncle Sirius and they are married as well. That's what is confusing me so much." Blaise and Draco shared a worried at this response. Something was definitely not right here.
"Okay, Harry, I want you to keep talking to me. I need Draco to go do something for me though, so it's going to be just you and me for a couple of minutes. Is that alright?"
"Yeah, sure, whatever. Oh, and you might as well call me by my given name, since you know the truth. It's Cale." Cale responded, still sounding very frustrated. Blaise turned to Draco for a moment.
"I need you to get your father and bring him down here. He maybe able to tell us what is going on with Cale. He might also know when someone is going to try to bring him home." Blaise told him quietly. Draco merely nodded before leaving the room.
Draco immediately headed for his father's office. He was surprised to see the other four professors there at this time of the night. He was startled out of his thoughts by his father's voice.
"Draco, what are you doing here? You should be in bed."
"Yes sir, I know that, but Blaise and I needed to speak to you about something."
"Where is Mr. Zabini?"
"He's still in the dorm. He was in the middle of something important and couldn't come down here with me."
"Can this wait until tomorrow, Draco?"
"No sir. It's very important that we talk to you tonight. Before you ask, I can't tell you what it's about right now, sir." Draco said shooting a glance at where Sev and James were sitting. Lucius caught the gesture and immediately stood.
"I'll be right back. Hopefully this won't take too long. Have a drink if you wish." Lucius said, following his son out the door and back to the Slytherin dorms. "Is this about Cale?" Lucius asked once they were far enough away from his office.
"Yes sir. He contacted me again tonight and Blaise is talking to him right now. Something is wrong with him though. I better let him explain it." Draco responded as they walked into the first year's dorm.
Lucius merely nodded. He was pretty sure he knew what was wrong with Cale but didn't want to worry his son. Besides the headmaster had asked him not to repeat what he was told. If his suspicions were correct, everyone would find out soon enough anyway.
Draco pulled back his bed hangings to see Blaise curled up at the foot of his bed, arms wrapped around his legs with a sad expression on his face. He startled some when Draco crawled onto the bed with him. He glanced up and saw Lucius standing there and quickly averted his gaze back to the bed.
As soon as Draco left, Blaise turned his attention back to the mirror in his hand. "Are you still with me, Cale?"
"Yeah. What did you have Draco go do?"
"I sent him to get someone that I thought would be better for you to talk to."
"Who?" Cale questioned suspiciously.
"What! If I had wanted to talk to an adult I could have talked to one of my fathers or my uncle's." Harry said angrily.
"The reason you didn't call them though was because of what you're confused about."
"That may be true, but I still don't want to talk to Lucius. He's best friends with my parents and he's bound to tell them what I say. I don't want them to know. I love them too much to tell them that I think they were wrong to get married."
"Cal-" Blaise started, but it was too late. The mirror had gone blank. He shook his head before curling up at the end of Draco's bed with a sigh.
"Blaise, what happened? Why aren't you talking to Cale anymore?" Draco questioned softly.
"I'm sorry Draco, Professor. He asked me who I had sent you after and I told him. He absolutely refused to talk to you and cut the connection. He just kept saying how he didn't want his parents to know that he thought they were wrong to get married. He was afraid that anything he said to you, Professor would get back to his parents."
"I understand, Blaise, and it's not your fault. There was nothing you could have done." Lucius reassured quietly. "Can the two of you tell me what all he said though?" Draco and Blaise quickly recounted the whole conversation they had had with Cale.
"If I didn't know any better, Professor, I'd almost say that someone is trying to brainwash Cale." Blaise remarked after they had finished their story.
"Why would you say that, Blaise?" Lucius asked silkily.
"Just some of the things that he was saying. How he was confused, the fact that he thought his parents were wrong for getting married, but not Professors Lupin and Black, or if it was just two men in general. It just sounds like someone is trying to specifically turn him against his parents." Blaise replied.
"I'm afraid you may be right, Mr. Zabini. However, I don't want either you or Draco to worry. We have plans in place that should have Cale back with us by tomorrow night. Should he try to contact you again, you can let him know that. It may help him a little. Did the two of you need anything else this evening?"
"No sir." The two boys chorused.
"Then I want the both of you in bed within the next five minutes." Lucius said walking towards the door. Heard both boys answer in the affirmative and closed the door behind him, rapidly trying to e come up with a reason the boys needed to see him without having to tell James and Sev about Cale.
"So what did the boys need that was so urgent, Luc?" James asked as Lucius walked back into his office.
"They had a question about a paper that is due tomorrow in Potions. I can't believe that they waited until the last minute to do it though. They weren't too happy with me when I got finished telling them how unhappy I was with them." The other four professors laughed and Lucius was relieved to have been able to convince them that it was no more important than a potions assignment.
"Well, I don't know about the four of you, but after having to yell at a couple students, I'm ready to call it a night. I'll see you all in the morning." Lucius said trying to usher the other men out of his office. He wanted a little time alone to think about what Draco and Blaise had told him this evening. He hated to think about the fact that Cale had been brainwashed but he didn't know what else to think about what he had been told. He just hoped that it wouldn't take too long for Cale to return to normal.
Cale was just beginning to wake when his little 'prison' was flooded with light. He squinted his eyes against the brightness and tried to see who was standing in front of him.
"Who's there?" He quietly asked, hoping that it was not the old man that had kidnapped.
"Are you Harry Potter?" An unfamiliar male voice asked.
"Maybe. Why do you want to know?" Cale asked suspiciously.
"I'm here to take you back to Hogwarts and your father's. I'm a friend of Headmaster Riddle's. My name is Frank Longbottom. My son Neville is in your class at Hogwarts." Harry was finally able to focus on the man speaking to him. The man standing in the 'door' to his 'prison' was fairly thin, had brown hair with red highlights in it, and soft hazel eyes. He barely resembled his son at all.
"How do I know your telling the truth?" Cale asked suspiciously.
"I was told you had a way of contacting your father. If it would make you feel better, please do so now. He can confirm my story." Frank said, trying to reassure the young boy in front of him. Cale did just that, but instead of calling for James Potter like Frank had thought he would, he called for Severus Snape.
"Cale? Is that you? Oh, thank the gods. Has Frank gotten there yet?"
"I'm here Sev, but your son doesn't seem to trust me much. Not that I blame him of course, not after everything he's been through." Frank said when he heard Snape's voice.
"Cale, you can trust Frank. He's bringing you back to Hogwarts for us. Please go with him son. Your dad and I miss you very much."
"Alright Father, I will see you soon." Cale said, then cut the connection. "Alright, let's get the bloody hell out of here. I want to go home." Cale said before standing and allowing the man to apparate them to his office. From there they flooed directly to the headmaster's office at Hogwarts.
When James and Severus saw Cale come out of the floo, they quickly engulfed him in a hug. It took them a moment to realize that Cale was not returning the hug. He was merely standing there stiff as a board, as if it was all he could do to tolerate the hug.
When Lucius saw this, he gave the headmaster a worried look before looking back at the family reunion that was taking place in front of him. He was pulled from his thoughts when he heard James ask Cale a question.
"Cale, why won't you hug your father or me?"
A/N: Another evil cliff-hanger, but this seemed like a good place to end the chapter. Besides everyone already knows what's going on with Cale. Next chapter James and Sev find out and everyone starts to work on de-brainwashing Cale. Hopefully the next chapter won't be so long in coming. I had a break-through on this chapter and hopefully it will continue with the next one.