Pairings: Harry/Tom(Voldemort), Salazar/Godric, Rowena/Helga, Sirius/Remus, Gin/Ted
Warnings: This will have slash(Guys on guys, ppl.), and some other things, of course, which I cannot think of right now.(Opps...)
Summary: Sequel to Abandon!
In love with the man he's expected to kill and member of the esteemed Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter must fight in a war in which he is divided. Can he lead his world to peace?
Disclaim Her: Die, you gravy-sucking bananas!
Key: Okay, you might need these:
A/N: Here is it! The sequel to Abandon!
Let's get started, eh?
"No, I don't want him to know. It's going to be a surprise," Voldemort hissed to the dark-haired man in front of him. "Just don't let Harry find out and I won't kill you!"
That was all Fawkes had to hear before he disappeared in a column of fire.
Harry Potter knocked on the Headmaster's door, whistling. It had been a good summer so far and his best friend, Hermione Granger, was going to be coming to the manor to stay for the rest of the summer with her twins later that week. He had missed the twins desperately, since Hermione hadn't brought them to the Dark Order meetings when she'd come. Not that Harry would have let her. He trusted his people with his life, but he wasn't too sure about trusting them with the lives of his godchildren.
"Ah, Harry, my dear boy, please come in." Albus Dumbledore smiled, motioning the young man in.
Harry smiled. "Hullo, Albus," he offered as he sat in a plush red chair that had been sitting in front of the old Headmaster's desk. "What can I help you with?"
Albus sat down behind the desk with a grim look. "Harry, I need you and Ula to move to the school for the rest of the summer."
Green eyes narrowed dangerously. "This had better be good, Albus. I'm sick of you trying to drag me away from Marcus just because Severus thought he was a Death Eater for the first half of last year."
Albus sighed. "Harry, Fawkes saw Voldemort on Marcus' property. He was talking about you to someone with dark brown hair."
The younger wizard startled and his gaze flew over to the phoenix, who was watching him carefully. "Marcus wouldn't hand me over to Voldemort," he said in a cold voice.
"Harry, you don't know that for certain," Albus replied.
Tom ... Harry whispered in his mind even as he spoke again. "Albus, you don't know Marcus like I do. He wouldn't hand me over to Voldemort."
Yes, love? the Dark Lord replied in a distracted voice.
Fawkes saw you talking to one of the Death Eaters the other day, Harry replied, watching Albus warily. The Headmaster had closed his eyes and appeared to be asking some higher being for help.
Harry felt Tom's eyes widen through their mental link. Fuck. What does he want you to do?
Move in to Hogwarts for the rest of the summer.
There came a sigh from Albus. "Harry, you must think also of Miss Thorald's safety."
Tom groaned. He'd heard the Headmaster, since their link was open so far. Stay at Hogwarts. He'll badger you about it for an eternity. And if he finds out about Herm and the twins coming ...
Harry felt like crying. Instead, he slammed his fist into the arm of his chair, closing his eyes tightly. "Albus, I realize that if Voldemort is also at the manor, both Ula and I will be in danger, but, you must also realize, we have been there for a month now and we're both fine. If Voldemort felt like attacking us, he would have done it already," he growled, trying his damnedest to not lose his temper.
Harry, please don't compromise yourself just so you can have sex with me ... the Dark Lord groaned, even as Albus replied.
"Harry, in this matter, I'm afraid Voldemort may well be letting you have your sense of security." He leveled his blue eyes at the teen before him and the gaze cut through to Harry, even though he couldn't see it. "I'm ordering you to move yourself back to Hogwarts by the end of the day."
"You can't order me around," The Boy-Who-Lived hissed, green eyes snapping open.
°°You're a member of the Order and of the Hogwarts' staff, Harry,°° Fawkes replied. °°I'm afraid he can order you around.°°
Just agree, please, love, Tom begged.
Harry clenched his teeth and glared at the Headmaster. "I hate you," he spat before standing and storming from the office.
I'm sure I can still visit you if I promise to not take you out of the school, you know, Tom murmured soothingly. And you'll have Severus and Poppy to talk to, of course, in case you need another Dark Order member to argue with.
I hate being trapped! Harry cried, flinging himself down on the staircase in front of the school. I hate feeling like I have no where to go! You know that!
Yes, I'm aware of that, but Albus isn't going to give you a choice in this matter.
"Harry!" a female voice called in surprise.
Harry glanced up to find Poppy Pomfrey hurrying up to him. She was wearing her traveling cloak and her medical bag. "Hey there, Poppy."
The mediwitch stopped in front of the young wizard and reached up to brush at a trail of tears. "What's wrong?"
Harry bit his lip. "Albus saw Voldemort at the manor. He's telling me I have to stay here for the rest of the summer."
"And you're trying to decide what to tell Marcus." The mediwitch nodded sadly.
Harry nodded. Poppy was one of the two staff members who knew that Marcus Brutús, who had taught Defense Against the Dark Arts the year before, was, in reality, the Dark Lord Voldemort. She understood the sick humour of the situation. "I don't want to stay here."
Poppy set a hand on Harry's shoulder gently. "I know, but when Albus doesn't give you a choice ..." She offered him a sad little smile. "Tell Marcus Albus needs you back here in case the school is attacked or something like that. With the attacks suddenly picking up again, Albus probably will start calling the staff back from their breaks." She leaned down really close to the teen to whisper, "And it's not like Albus Dumbledore can do a damn thing when it comes to keeping you here, my Lord." She kissed his cheek. "Come see me when you get back. Scamp's kittens were born a little bit ago and I haven't really had the time to name them yet."
Harry nodded and stood, brushing at his wet cheeks. "All right. If you see Albus, let him know I went to get Ula and our stuff."
"Of course." Poppy smiled, then wandered into the school.
With a heavy sigh, Harry set off for the gate.
Ula Thorald was about as pleased as Harry to be leaving the manor. Tom and Harry spent an hour trying to coax her out of her room. When nothing worked, the lovers traded looks and hexed the door out of the way.
"I'm not leaving!" the young witch screamed from her bed before throwing a stuffed goose at the two Dark wizards from the pile on her bed.
Harry ducked out of the way but Tom, whose temper was at its end, blew the goose up. "That's enough," he growled.
Ula stared at the ashes of her goose in shock. Harry took the chance to get onto the bed next to her and draw her into a hug. The twelve year old burst into tears and clutched at Harry like he was the last thing on the planet. Harry stroked her dark auburn hair and glanced at the Dark Lord. Did you really have to blow the damn thing up? he inquired with a touch of humour.
Tom sighed and sat on the other side of the bed. "I'm sorry, Ula, but I thought I'd taught you not to throw things at me," the Dark Lord said in a faintly teasing voice.
In response, the sobbing child grabbed a baby doll by it's hair and blindly threw it at the man behind her.
Tom groaned and rubbed at his head where the doll's leg had hit him. "Do you want me to blow that up too?"
"No! I want you to go away!" Ula screamed into Harry's chest.
You calm her down. I'll go pack your things, Tom decided darkly before leaving the room in a huff.
Harry leaned back so he could look into the girl's grey eyes. "Ula, nobody wants us to leave. Even the house-elves are upset."
"Why couldn't you have just said no?" Ula cried, pounding a fist against the chest she'd just been crying against.
"I tried," Harry whispered. "But I'm a teacher in his school and a member of his Order. When Albus gives me an order, I am duty-bound to follow it. I fought him about it. Merlin knows I fought him! But he wouldn't let us stay. I'm so sorry, Ula." He brushed at her tears gently, eyes sad.
Ula stared up at the young man who had become something like a brother or a favourite uncle to her. She knew that Harry wanted to stay with all of his heart: he didn't have to say it for her to know it. She also knew that Harry would never lie to her, and it was this knowledge that made her nod and calm down. It wasn't right for her to be mad at Harry. He'd done his best. It was Dumbledore she needed to be furious at, and she swore to herself she'd make the old man regret making she and Harry leave Slytherin Manor against their will. "It's not your fault," she told the wizard.
Harry offered her a sad smile. "No, I suppose not." He sighed. "Lets get this stuff packed, hmm? The sooner we leave, the sooner we can talk the Hogwarts house-elves into putting something nasty into Albus' food for dinner tonight."
Ula giggled. "Right!"
After meeting up with Albus on the front steps, and Ula throwing a rather large piece of rotting wood at the Headmaster, Harry and Ula were shown to a two-bedroom suite which they would share for the rest of the summer. The suite was to become Harry's rooms for the school year, as well, and the teen had promised his young charge that he'd keep her stuff safe if she didn't want to leave it in her dorm room. After getting instructions from Harry, the girl wandered off to chat with the house-elves about putting a potion that Harry had handed over into the Headmaster's soup. Ula had no clue what it would do, but Harry promised it would be good payback.
Once certain everything was settled, Harry walked down to the Hospital Wing and knocked on the mediwitch's office door. "Poppy?"
Poppy smiled at her guest as she opened the door. "You look much better."
"Yes, well, it was kind of amusing to watch Albus be horrified because Ula had thrown a piece of wood at him," Harry admitted.
The mediwitch laughed and motioned Harry in. "I imagine anyone would be horrified when a second year threw a piece of wood at them. I take it she was about as pleased to leave the manor as you were."
"She just has a more stressful way of showing it," Harry agreed, throwing himself into a chair.
"And how did she show her displeasure?" Poppy inquired, making them both some tea.
"She locked herself in her room, then proceeded to throw things at us when we hexed the door open." Harry groaned. "Tom was not pleased and ended up making a nice little explosion with the help of a flying stuffed goose. In retaliation, Ula waited for him to get on the bed before throwing one of her baby dolls in his face. He left in a huff."
Poppy chuckled at handed the young wizard a cup of tea before sitting across from him. "With Tom's temper, I'm surprised he didn't blow up the baby doll, too."
"He threatened to." Harry grinned. "So Ula screamed at him to leave."
The mediwitch shook her head helplessly. "That child is lucky he cares about her. Anyone else would have gotten themselves blown up, never mind the doll!"
"I know!" Harry laughed. "You should see them playing Quidditch together! He always lets her get the Quaffle in, even if he's in the way of her shot already!"
"Oh, that must confuse the people who play with you." Poppy snorted.
"It annoys the hell out of his team, but her team always makes an effort to pass the Quaffle to her before they get to the goals." Harry shook his head. "And Tom says he hates Quidditch, too."
"Let me guess, he agreed to play as soon as he was asked?" Poppy laughed.
"Yes." Harry made a face. "What do you know that I don't?"
The mediwitch grinned. "He used to play Keeper on the Slytherin team in school."
"He lied to me, then!" Harry smacked his forehead. "Fucking bastard. I'll have to have a long talk with him."
Poppy laughed again. "Oh, he didn't play for his last two years, mind you. They finally kicked him off the team when he spent more time in the library than at practices."
The Boy-Who-Lived rolled his eyes. "Sounds like him." He snorted, setting down his tea. "Now, you said something about kittens?"
"Oh, yes." Poppy set her tea down as well and stood. "Scamp had her litter about six weeks ago. I was actually going to let you pick one for your birthday, if you'd like."
Harry's eyes widened, and he stood. "Sure! Where are they?"
"In my room." Poppy smiled, leading the teen back to her bedroom door. "Don't you dare make any cracks about the mess this time, Mr. Potter."
"Yes, Madame Pomfrey," Harry intoned, ducking the swat from the mediwitch.
"Imp." Poppy chuckled and led him into the room and over to where Scamp was surrounded by five small, furry bodies. Most of them had dark, speckled fur, like their mother, but one had a squashed-looking face and bright orange fur.
Harry pursed his lips and knelt near the litter of part-Kneazles. "I think I know who their father was, now."
"Oh?" Poppy frowned at the teen while she reached out and stroked her familiar.
"Crookshanks, Herm's cat," Harry replied before nodding to the mother Kneazle. "Can I pet your babies, Scamp?" he inquired politely.
Scamp watched the young wizard with dangerous glowing eyes for a long moment before letting out a low purr and relaxing. "I'd take that as a yes, then," Poppy murmured, scratching Scamp behind the ears.
Harry smiled and reached forward to stroke one of the darker kittens. "You haven't named them yet?"
"No. As I said, I was going to let you have one for your birthday, so I wasn't going to name them before that," Poppy responded. "You may pick whichever one you'd like, but I don't think Scamp will let you take it out of her sight for about another week."
"Aww ..." Harry made a sad face at the mother Kneazle. "Even if I promise to take good care of it?"
Poppy laughed as Scamp let out a low 'meow'.
"My birthday's in two days, Scamp. Are you sure I can't have one of the kittens then? I promise to bring it back every day so you can make sure I haven't done any damage," the teen mock-whined.
Scamp seemed to consider this for a long moment before meowing lightly and licking a paw.
Harry blinked a few times. "Hey, Poppy, was that a yes?"
"I believe it was," the mediwitch murmured in awe.
Poppy chuckled. "Well then, Mr. Potter, why don't you pick one?"
Harry smiled and started checking out each part-Kneazle. After looking for fifteen minutes or so, he picked up a dark grey kitten with black speckled fur and large ears. "How about we name you Smoky, eh?" he asked the animal.
"She's a girl, you know," Poppy warned.
"Suppose I'll just have to tell Crookshanks that he can't have sex with his daughter," Harry replied, eyes glittering. He nuzzled the small kitten and got a quiet purr in response. "Ooh! She's so cute!"
Poppy laughed. "I think Smoky is a fine name, Harry."
"Me too." Harry smiled, petting the kitten gently. "Thanks, Poppy."
Harry was awoken on the morning of July thirty-first by being jumped on. He cracked one green eye open and frowned at Ula. "Did you have to jump on me, you monster?"
"I asked her to, actually," an amused voice said from the doorway to the room.
Harry's head shot up and he smiled widely. "Marcus!"
"Happy birthday, love." The Dark Lord chuckled as Ula tackle-hugged the teen in the bed. "Why don't you let Harry get dressed, Ula? Then we can head down to the Great Hall."
"Okay," Ula agreed, hopping off the bed and bouncing from the room.
Harry pulled himself from his bed and stretched. "I've missed you," he murmured to the man behind him.
Tom's arms slid around Harry's waist and tugged the younger wizard back against him. "But, love, it's only been two days," he teased.
"Bastard," Harry declared before twisting his head around and capturing Tom's lips with his own. The Dark Lord slipped a hand upward to cup the side of Harry's face, kissing back desperately. When they pulled apart, Harry's eyes were glinting with mischief. "It's only been two days, you know," the teen mocked, smiling.
Tom chuckled. "So it has." He kissed Harry again quickly, then let go. "Get dressed, you imp."
"Yes, dearest bastard," the teen replied, walking over to his wardrobe and tugging the doors open. "What shall I wear?"
"Your leather pants," Tom said immediately.
Harry laughed and pulled out the pants, also grabbing his favourite black tank top, which had a hole in the back that happened to frame the tattoo of a basilisk and a phoenix on his back. "As you wish, love."
As the teen changed, the Dark Lord examined the bedroom with a critical eye. The bed was a queen and plain. It had white cotton sheets on it, which made Tom frown. He knew Harry preferred silk over cotton. "Harry, love, your bed sheets ..."
"I know." Harry grimaced. "Albus hasn't let me out of the building long enough to get myself new sheets, and you know teachers have to get their room's furnishings for themselves."
Tom nodded. "I'll have Blinky deliver a set of silk sheets to you when I get back to the manor, all right?"
Harry rolled his eyes with a smile. "I'm only agreeing because I know she'll be excited to have such work." He tossed his bed clothing at the hamper. "How long are you here for?"
"Only the day, regrettably." Tom sighed. "I have that meeting to go to tomorrow, you know."
"Oh. Right." Harry rubbed at the bridge of his nose wearily. "Sorry."
"I'm not blaming you." The Dark Lord snorted. "I know better than that. Come on, let's go make sure that monster we both love and adore hasn't destroyed anything."
Harry laughed and led the way out into the living-room. Ula was watching them cautiously from her bedroom doorway. "What have you done this time?" Harry inquired with a touch of humour.
The girl smiled nervously. "Harry, can I give you your birthday present now?"
The young wizard blinked a few times. "Sure." He nodded, settling himself on the arm of one of the chairs in the room. Tom stood behind him. "In fact, if you'll bring me that package on the table, I can open that too."
"Who's that from?" Tom inquired as Ula grabbed the gift on the table and ran both it and her own gift over to the Boy-Who-Lived.
"Nev. His grandmother wanted to throw him a private, family party, so we both sent each other our gifts ahead of time. I got this yesterday," Harry replied, taking the package from Neville first and unwrapping it carefully. Inside were two scrolls of thick parchment with 'Longbottom' written on one and 'Potter' written on the other. "Ha! Finally!"
"What is it?" Ula asked curiously.
"Nev's and my family trees. He promised he try and find me a copy of the Potter family tree, since I couldn't find one, and I mentioned I'd also like to see his family's tree," Harry explained, wandlessly levitating the two scrolls onto his desk in the living-room to look at when he had the time. "Give that here," he ordered, holding out a hand for the other thing Ula held.
"I hope you like it," the witch mumbled, shuffling her feet and watching the ground as Harry unwrapped the small package.
Harry pulled out a photo album and shifted through it, speechless. It was filled with pictures from the time they'd spent at Slytherin Manor, and many of the pictures Harry hadn't even been aware were being taken. "Wow ..." he whispered finally.
Ula's head snapped up and she smiled at the grateful look on Harry's face. "Happy birthday, Harry," she whispered, giving the young man a hug.
Harry wrapped his arms around the girl and took a deep breath. "Thanks, hon," he murmured, kissing her cheek before letting go. "It's fabulous."
Ula grabbed the album and bounced in to Harry's room to put it away without a word.
Tom chuckled and kissed Harry gently. "Shall we go up for breakfast, then?"
"Food!" Ula agreed, bouncing back over to the two leaders of the Dark Order.
Harry stood and grabbed Ula's hand with a laugh. "All right. Food," he agreed as Tom slipped his arm around Harry's shoulders. The shorter wizard slipped his free arm around the Dark Lord's waist and rested his head on the man's shoulder as they started off towards the Great Hall.
Ula quickly freed herself from Harry's grip and ran around ahead of them, giggling. "Food!" she shouted a few times.
"How old is she again?" Tom asked dryly.
Harry chuckled. "She's twelve, Marcus."
"Sure? I could have sworn she was six," the Dark Lord replied, teal eyes glittering with amusement.
Ula zoomed around behind them and gave Tom a head-butt from behind. "I'm twelve, Marcus," she growled, grabbing Harry's hand again.
"Could have fooled me," Tom shot back teasingly.
Harry rolled his eyes. "You two are absolute nightmares," he declared as they reached the doors to the Great Hall.
As the giant doors opened, about two dozen voices broke out into song. "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear Harry, happy birthday to you!"
Harry stared in shock at his friends and family who were all standing in the middle of the Great Hall, which had been decorated in the Gryffindor House colours. "Thanks, guys," he whispered.
'Oh, get over here and get something to eat, big brother!' Ginevra Weasley-Potter laughed, smiling at her adopted brother from next to Hermione Granger. Both women held a baby and a bottle in their arms.
"Food!" Ula agreed, half dragging Harry over to where the food was lain out on a table that had been pushed back against the left wall.
Tom, having let go of his lover when he realized what Ula planned on doing, stepped up next to Severus, who was scowling and standing away from the large crowd. "Do you know how to have fun?" the Dark Lord inquired with a smile.
"No," the Potions professor replied evenly, before leaning over to whisper to his leader, "Albus and many other Order members are here. I've already warned 'Saber' and Lucius. I believe Blaise, Draco, and Theodore are all Order spies, correct?"
"Yes." Tom nodded, eyes scanning the crowd. "Moody ..."
Severus' gaze shot around to stare at the ex-Auror. "As far as I know, he hasn't been any problem."
"Strange ... You'd think he'd jump at a chance to hex so many Dark Wizards." The Dark Lord frowned at the paranoid man.
As if he knew they'd been speaking of him, or perhaps because he had caught them watching him, Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody turned and gave both dark wizards a sharp look. Severus narrowed his eyes and Tom's frown deepened as Moody walked up to them. "I find it interesting that so many of these guests are wearing the Dark Mark." Mad-Eye commented conversationally.
Both Slytherins aimed their wands at the ex-Auror cautiously. "What do you want, Moody?" Severus hissed.
"Not much." Mad-Eye smiled. "Just-"
"Alastor," Harry said dryly, seeming to appear out of nowhere at the ex-Auror's elbow. "Please tell me you're not trying to give Marcus and Severus heart attacks."
"Would I ever do such a thing?" Mad-Eye gave Harry a surprised look.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Yes." Then he glanced at the two dark wizards behind his paranoid mentor. "Consider Mad-Eye a supporter, right? Don't let him spook you."
The Dark Lord put his wand away. "You could have mentioned that before, Harry," he hissed.
"What would have been the fun in that?" Mad-Eye inquired.
Harry shook his head in amusement. "I had my reasons, love. Alastor, go bother Albus or something."
"Ah. Kicking me out of your little dark circle?"
"Away!" Harry laughed. With a wink, the older wizard wandered off to engage Albus in conversation. Harry turned back to his lover and the Potions Professor. "I am sorry, you know, but I lost a bet with him, so I couldn't tell you what he knew until he brought it up."
"Figures," Severus grumbled, finally putting his own wand away.
"What was the bet about?" Tom inquired, curious.
Harry flushed faintly, which managed to catch Severus' curiosity. "Er ... nothing important."
"Spit it out, Potter," Severus growled, eyes shining in delight at his ability to torment the younger wizard.
Harry's eyes shot around the room desperately for a moment before landing on Rodolphus Lestrange - disguised as Saber Upwood - and brightening. "Oh, there's Saber. I needed to have a word with him!" He smiled brightly before sliding away quickly.
Severus and Tom watched the young man hurry off with matching smirks. "You'll tell me what it was, correct?" Severus inquired causally.
"Of course." Tom turned to his Death Eater. "So, what do you think it was?"
"Probably had something to do with that mystery tattoo you supposedly have," said two voices out of nowhere from behind the two dark wizards. Both men spun around quickly, wands leveled at the speakers, who turned out to be none other than the Weasley twins, Fred and George.
Tom's let his wand fall as he scowled at the two. "Where did you hear about that?"
"Gin," they chorused.
"I need to have a word with that brat."
"Before you do, could you show us?"
Severus coughed into his hand. "I think Poppy needs my help ..."
"Don't you leave me with them!" Tom cried as Severus made a quick departure in a manner that didn't look like he was running away.
"Oh, don't worry-"
"We won't do anything that will hurt."
"You know, it looks like Ula needs some help with that punch ..."
"Nice try, Marcus."
"But we all know that Hermione has been helping her with anything she needed help with."
Tom's gaze shot around the room quickly, much as Harry's had only moments earlier, finally landing on Lucius Malfoy. "Ah! Lucius! Perfect!" Then he hurried off to speak with his second.
The Twins traded looks. "Oh well-"
"Guess we'll have to wait till another time."
"Damn." Then the two wandered off to spike the punch.
Harry watched the circle surrounding him warily. He wasn't fond of being closed off from the nearest exit, especially after Fred and George had spiked the punch with something they'd created themselves that wasn't blocked by the charm bracelets most of the people at the party wore. In fact, the only party-goes not seemingly affected by the drink were Harry, Tom, Severus, Remus Lupin - one of Harry's godfathers -, Mad-Eye, Poppy, Petunia Dursely - Harry's aunt -, Herm, Gerda, Galvin, Luna Lovegood, Fred and George, and their mother. Harry just wasn't affected by any sorts of alcohol, nor, it appeared, were Luna and Remus. Severus, being a Potions maker, had taken precautious against such things, as had Poppy and Tom. Mad-Eye only drank from his own flask of alcohol, and Gerda and Galvin only drank from bottles. Fred and George had apparently handed antidotes to their mother, Herm, and Petunia, as they weren't sure of the women's reactions.
"Well? You gonna open thosh?" Seamus Finnigan slurred. He was leaning heavily on his boyfriend, Blaise Zabini, having had almost twice as much alcohol as anyone else, due to his knack for getting drunk.
Harry glanced down at the pile of presents surrounding him, much like the crowd of people surrounding him. "Er ... sure."
"Open mine fi'st!" Rubeus Hagrid called, grinning broadly from where he towered above everyone else, due to his being a half-giant. " 'S from Grawp, too."
"Right." Harry carefully picked up the large, poorly wrapped box, handling it as if it might bite. Knowing Hagrid, it might very well have, but this time, the happy half-giant had only gotten Harry a large box of Honeydukes' best chocolate that would probably last him years to eat. "Thanks, Hagrid," Harry offered to the large man, who beamed at him happily. "And tell Grawp thanks, too."
Luna blindly toed a box towards Harry, seemingly enthralled by the cloudy ceiling above them. Harry smiled at the witch and, taking the hint, opened the box. Within, he found a shiny new camera and a large bottle of the solution used to develop the film so it moved. Harry nodded to the girl, who was watching him out of the corner of her eyes. "Thank you, Luna. Good for blackmail, I assume?"
A faint smile flickered over Luna's lips before she looked down at Harry with a preoccupied look. "Whatever you'd like to use it for, of course." She blinked at the space just over Harry's left shoulder. "That punch was rather good, don't you think? Perhaps I'll go have more ..." So saying, she wandered back over to the food table, followed by many smiles. All of the Juniors knew that Luna wasn't really as dense as she pretended to be. In fact, she was brilliant and devious, though she hid it well.
"Enough of Luna, open our gift!" Nymphadora Tonks proclaimed, throwing an arm around the waist of her much taller partner, Kingsley Shacklebolt, who looked like he was actually enjoying her company for once, though that was probably due to the alcohol.
Harry cocked an eyebrow at the two Aurors, but took the book-shaped gift Tonks was shoving in his face calmly. He opened it slowly, just to aggravate the wilder of the two, then blinked up at her with a faintly surprised look. "Thank you," he managed, putting the book down with the other gifts he'd already opened.
'Well, what is it!' Gin demanded, scowling.
"Metamorphmagi of the Twentieth Century," Tom murmured, having grabbed the book to sate his own curiosity. He nodded to Tonks. "Surprisingly thoughtful."
"Hey!" Tonks exclaimed, attempting to look hurt. It didn't work too well, due to her drunken state.
"He makes a good point," Herm offered dryly, holding out another book-shaped object to the birthday-wizard. "Here, Harry."
"A book. Why am I not surprised?" Harry rolled his eyes, smiling at the annoyed look he received, then proceeded to open the gift. Contained within was the book The Student's Guide to Being A Teacher. "Okay, really not surprised." Everyone laughed while Herm gave a huff. Harry grinned. "Thanks, Herm. I'll put it with the rest of the books you've given me over the years." That earned him a firm swat to the back of his head and another, much louder, round of laughter.
"Oh, here, Harry." Remus chuckled, holding out yet another book-shaped gift.
"Do I want this?" Harry inquired dryly, taking the gift anyway.
"Brat," Remus replied fondly.
Harry grinned, then ripped it open. His grin widened as he saw what it was. "Thanks, Remy!" he called, setting the book on Animagi on the ground with the others. Remus just winked.
"Fine, like his gift," Sirius Black, Harry's other godfather grumbled, leaning on Remus heavily as he tossed a small box at Harry.
"Sirius, get off me." Remus sighed, rolling his eyes.
"Shut up, Moony. I want to see what Harry thinks."
Remus let out a helpless sigh.
Harry shook his head at his two godparents, then opened the small package. Within was a miniature motorcycle. "Um ..."
"It's a real flying motorcycle!" Sirius said, suddenly standing up, eyes brightening. "All you have to do is resize it."
"Er ... Siri, I can't drive," Harry pointed out patiently.
"No problem! I'll teach you!"
"Oh, dear Merlin," Tom groaned. "Black, if Harry receives so much as a bruise, I'll-"
"Yeah, yeah." Sirius waved his hand at the older wizard. "I'm not gonna hurt your bed mate, Brutús."
"Sirius!" Remus exclaimed.
"There are ladies present!" Harry and Poppy chorused, then cracked up. Everyone traded amused looks while Remus smacked Sirius and Tom muttered something under his breath about hot dogs for dinner.
"Oh, here," Molly Weasley held out a small bag. "It's from Arthur, Charlie, Bill, Ginny, and me."
Harry pulled out the things in the back, and smiled in delight at the large green, knitted, wool blanket with the Gryffindor crest in the centre. "Brilliant!"
"Oh, no ..." Tom moaned, hiding his face in his hands. Everyone laughed at the poor Slytherin.
"Bloody hell!" Harry's exclamation made everyone look at him again. He was blinking at a small ring.
'You gave me your family ring, I thought you deserved the Weasley family's ring. Mum and Dad agreed,' Gin offered helpfully.
Harry wordlessly put the ring on his right hand, nodding his thanks to his surrogate family. Molly, Arthur, and Bill all smiled back. Gin just hopped past the circle of gifts, gave her brother a large hug, and then hopped back out again.
"How touching," Severus offered sarcastically before handing over a box of his own.
Harry smirked. "I'll bet." Then he opened the man's gift to him. It contained a case of potions that Harry could tell were spelled to remain ever-filled. The case contained such potions as Dreamless Sleep, Calming Potion, and Veritaserum. Harry nodded up at the man. "Thanks, Sevvie."
"Why must you insist on calling me that bloody name!" Severus hissed furiously as the people around them hid smiles.
"Because it annoys you so," Harry replied honestly, picking out another gift, this time from the twins. He opened it while Severus sputtered at him, then smirked in delight. "Unless you'd prefer to be my new test subject, of course."
Severus regarded the box of what he suspected to be some very nasty pranks warily. "The name is fine, I suppose," he muttered.
"Great!" Harry put the box down, sharing winks with the two Weasleys responsible. "Next?"
"Here!" Parvati Patil held out a box to Harry, her twin sister, Padma, smiling next to her.
Harry opened the gift and found, within, a wizarding scrapbook and the materials needed to make it. "Wicked! Thanks, ladies." He winked at the two witches, earning him matching girlish giggles.
Tom smacked the back of the young man's head. "Stop flirting with the guests, you imp."
Harry blew a kiss to his lover, then turned to accept a scroll from Dean. When he opened it, he found a beautifully-done drawing by Dean of Harry watching Tom, in his Marcus guise, and Ula argue, as they'd often done. He offered the picture a fond smile, then grinned at Dean. "I'll put it up in my classroom."
Dean laughed. "Brilliant!"
"Oh, no, you won't!" Tom called, trying to get the offending art from Harry, who was keeping it from his lover's grasp with practiced ease, despite his smaller frame.
Ula picked the parchment from Harry's hand with a faint smile. She looked it over, then smirked. "Perfect! It shows Marcus' best side, too!"
"What! You little monster!"
The crowd laughed as Tom proceeded to chase Ula around the room. The laughter doubled when Harry pulled out his new camera and snapped a shot of them. "Perfect!" he called to the two, earning a bright laugh from Ula and a helpless sigh from the Dark Lord. "Now, Ula, bring that back. Love, you may pout over here," Harry ordered in a calm manner before turning back to the amused crowd. "Next?"
Fawkes flew over to Harry, a small bundle in his claws, and landed on the teen's shoulder. °°From the coot and I,°° the phoenix offered in his unique language. °°And I'd like to request a heart-to-heart with you later.°°
Harry gave the phoenix a sharp look, then, noticing Albus' confused look, nodded. "Right." He took the bundle and opened it carefully, gasping at the small vial of phoenix tears within. Anyone with brains knew how precious phoenix tears were. No matter how angry Harry was at the Headmaster and the bird he'd trusted with his life, he couldn't help feeling touched by the gift. "Thanks, Albus, Fawkes."
Albus inclined his head at the teen. "Of course, Harry, my dear boy."
"Is he drunk?" Harry quietly inquired of the bird on his shoulder.
°°Who knows?°° was the dry response before Fawkes flew back over to his master. Harry just grinned.
"Here, you monster," Mad-Eye called, tossing a bundle at Harry. The teen caught it easily, then smirked at his mentor. "Very good. You still have reflexes. Open it, then."
Harry rolled his eyes at the ex-Auror, then pulled the gift open. Within was a charm surrounded in dark energy. Harry pulled out the card that came with it and read it, then smirked before adding the charm to the collection on his charm bracelet. "Thanks, old fart," he offered, allowing the paper with the explanation for the charm to burn in his palm.
"Think nothing of it, squirt," Mad-Eye replied calmly.
What does it do? Tom inquired as Harry took the next offered gift.
Sees through Dark invisibility spells, potions, and the like. Also sees through glamours, Harry offered as he opened the box from Rodolphus and his younger brother, Rabastan. "Wicked!" he exclaimed, pulling out one of the throwing knives in the set. "Thanks, Saber!"
"Think nothing of it," Rodolphus replied coldly.
Harry grinned, knowing that the chilly response was merely an act, then took the package Narcissa Malfoy was offering him with a smile. Inside was a dark green summer cloak with a golden phoenix rising from ashes on the back. The teen found himself speechless for a long moment, only able to stare at the gift.
"I think he likes it," Tom murmured, taking the cloak from Harry's hands to get a better look at the detail. "This is beautiful."
Harry nodded faintly. "Thank you," he offered softly.
"Anything for our favourite Light Wizard," Narcissa replied with a bright smile.
Harry laughed with many of the others in the group, though Albus frowned at the Malfoys.
"Here." Petunia held out a small gift. Harry took it carefully and opened it. He was left speechless, yet again, as he stared at the small picture album of his mother, Petunia, and his grandparents. "I found a lot of those while I was cleaning out the attic earlier this summer--you know how much of a mess that place is--and thought you might like it," Petunia offered softly.
Surprising all but Tom and Petunia, Harry launched himself from his seat and hugged his aunt tightly, album clutched tightly in one hand. Petunia smiled and hugged her nephew back. "Thanks," Harry whispered.
"Of course," Petunia replied, kissing the teen's cheek. "Now, go finish unwrapping stuff."
"Yes, Aunt Petunia." Harry chuckled, pulling away from the woman. As he returned to his seat, he made a quick wipe at his eyes, as if brushing away tears, but when he smiled up at everyone again, his eyes were perfectly dry. "What's next, then?"
Minerva McGonagall, the Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts, levitated a large box to the teen's feet. "It goes with Poppy's gift, actually," she added, her lips twitching with a suppressed smile.
Harry blinked, then opened the box. He let out an excited sound almost immediately and started looking through the stuff. "Thanks, Minnie!" he added quickly.
Minerva shook her head, dark eyes dancing with amusement. "Of course, Harry."
"What is it?" Herm inquired, leaning forward.
"Well, Poppy gave me one of Scamp's kittens, so Minnie gave me a bunch of stuff for Smoky!" Harry said excitedly, glancing up.
Herm blinked. "I ... see ..."
Poppy laughed and procured the small dark grey kitten from her robes. "I think this is the one you're speaking of, Harry?"
Harry's eyes lit up and he hopped up to gather the kitten gently in his arms. "Hey there, Smoky. I see your mum let you go after all, eh?"
"Lemme see! Lemme see!" Ula demanded, hopping up and down before her caretaker.
Harry gave his charge a severe look. "Be very careful with her. She's not very old, and if you hurt her, I'll hex you from here to Voldemort himself. Got it?"
Ula nodded seriously, then accepted the small kitten with a delighted look. "She's so tiny."
"All the more reason to be careful with her," Tom said, coming to stand behind the girl. He smiled down at the kitten. "She's beautiful, Poppy."
"Harry?" Pansy Parkinson called carefully. Harry glanced up at his friend with a smile. "Here." She held out a small envelope. "It's from Dray, Ted, 'Bini, Seam, and myself."
Harry nodded and pulled open the envelope. "Cool!" he called, pulling out a ticket to see the final Quidditch match between America and Canada in Texas in mid-August for the top box. "You five are amazing!" He grinned at his friends.
"Oh, gee, thanks, Har," Draco Malfoy said dryly.
Pan punched Draco's arm. "Don't mind Dray. He's just miffed that we couldn't get top box seats for ourselves."
"Where will you be sitting?" Harry asked, frowning.
"Row right beneath the top box," Theodore Nott responded with a grin. "Dray's just being a baby."
"And where's my ticket?" Tom inquired, leaning around Ula to give the four Slytherins and one Gryffindor a sharp look.
"No luck, Marcus. They didn't have any seats left." Blaise sighed.
They've got it, love. Harry said quickly in his lover's mind. There's a note here that says that. They just don't want Dumbles finding out you're going too.
Tom scowled. "Americans," he muttered darkly, standing back up with a huff. Ted, Draco, Pan, Blaise, and Seam all looks rather relieved.
'Oh! One more gift!' Gin suddenly spelled out.
"I thought we were giving that to him in private!" Ted hissed to his girlfriend.
"Yeah, Gin, stick to the system," Padma grumbled.
Harry narrowed his eyes at the present Juniors. He had a bad feeling about this gift, especially if it was from all of his people in the Dark Order. "What is it?"
'I thought it would be more fun this way,' Gin declared, then held out a good-sized package to her brother. 'Open it.'
"We're so dead ..." Draco groaned, burying his face in his hands.
"I warned you," Remus offered.
"Oh, I dunno-" Fred started, eyes gleaming.
"This could be good," George agreed.
Harry gave his Juniors one last wary look, then popped the box open. He stared at the contents for a long moment, completely flabbergasted, before suddenly bursting out into laughter. "This is why you lot should never have become friends!" he gasped.
"What is it?" Ula inquired, moving forward to look into the box.
Molly got to it first. "Maybe when you're older, hon," she offered, closing the box.
Tom, being taller than the dumpy red-haired witch, took the box and glanced inside. "Oh, I don't know. These could prove fun." He cocked an eyebrow at Harry while all the Juniors stared at his in open-mouthed shock. "What do you think, love?"
Harry glanced at Rodolphus. "Hey, Saber, can you teach me how to use a whip?"
Rodolphus blanched, as did most of the others who hadn't known what the package contained. "I ... er ..." The Death Eater let out a cautious cough. "Perhaps, Potter, I'm not the person you should ask for that sort of instruction."
"What sort of instruction!" Ula demanded. Sirius leaned over and whispered something into the girl's ear, making Ula scrunch up her face. "Hermione, can I stay in your room tonight?"
The room filled with laughter while Tom set the box down next to Harry. "Actually, those handcuffs could prove useful," the Dark Lord mentioned.
"You volunteering yourself to test them?" Harry inquired sweetly.
"Only if you'll be testing that cock ring, love," Tom whispered in Harry's ear.
Harry's cheeks flamed, then he smacked the man. "Bastard."
"You started it," Tom pointed out.
"You two are odd," Ula declared, getting another round of laughter.
"I thought you knew that," Ted muttered.
"Punch, anyone?" Luna's voice floated over the dying laughter, which only got them started again. Luna smiled faintly, looking like she was millions of miles away.
"So, what do you think? No Ula, all these new toys ..."
Harry gave the Dark Lord an amused look. "How about we just sleep tonight?"
Tom tightened his grasp around his lover. The two were seated before the fireplace in Harry's rooms, watching the dancing flames. "Now that's not something one hears from you every day."
Harry closed his eyes peacefully. "No, I suppose not."
Tom rested his head atop the teen's. "Tired?"
"Yeah. I guess," Harry agreed with a sigh.
"Ah. Emotionally exhausting day," Tom clarified, then dropped a gentle kiss to the top of Harry's head. "Would you like to go to bed, love?"
Harry shook his head. "Can we sleep here?"
"Of course." Tom smiled and settled them both a little more comfortably on the couch, Harry resting atop him. "Go to sleep, dear imp."
Harry smiled faintly. "Sweet dreams, bastard."
Harry eyed Fawkes warily from where he sat behind his desk in his new office. The phoenix had just suddenly appeared in a burst of flame and was making himself comfortable on the stern back of one of the chairs Harry had placed before his desk.
Fawkes spoke first. °°You're mad at me.°°
"I trusted you." Harry agreed coldly.
°°Harry, Voldemort was in that house!°°
"I was aware of that."
The phoenix gave the young wizard a sad look. °°Why?°°
"You wouldn't understand." Harry turned his attention back to the book he'd been reading before the bird had appeared.
Fawkes flew onto the desk, standing right on top of the part Harry was reading, earning him a cold look. °°Help me understand, Harry,°° the phoenix requested. °°What did Brutús offer you to get you to switch sides? What turned you into a spy for the Dark Order?°°
Harry let out a heavy sigh. "What do you think I was offered, Fawkes?"
Fawkes blinked. °°Not love, which would have come later.°° Harry nodded reluctantly. °°Revenge? Power? Neither of those seem like you.°°
"You don't know me as well as you think you do, Fawkes."
°°I'm learning that.°° The bird let out a faint sound that translated as a sigh to Harry. °°Did revenge play a part in your decision?°°
Harry frowned thoughtfully for a moment, then shook his head. "No. It was unconditional acceptance that drew me to them."
°°Them? Voldemort too?°°
Harry's lips twitched with a smile. "You could say that."
Fawkes gave Harry a strange look. °°I see now why the Hat wanted you in Slytherin.°° Harry inclined his head. °°Who is Marcus Brutús?°°
"Not who you think he is, but perhaps who you fear he is," Harry offered mysteriously, pulling out the flask he'd gotten from Mad-Eye the year before and taking a swig.
The phoenix's eyes narrowed, then widened. °°Voldemort!°°
Harry gave the bird a sharp look. "Yes. And, a thought: He spent the entirety of last year teaching here and didn't hurt a single student."
Fawkes shook his head. °°I can't see such a thing as possible, and, yet I'd know if you were lying ...°° He looked up into Harry's eyes. °°I need to think on this.°°
"Don't make my trust in you disappear." Harry warned in a cold tone that Fawkes had never expected to hear from the young wizard, and hoped he never would again. "If you tell Albus anything about this talk, I'll make sure your Burning Day comes early." Green eyes glittered dangerously. "And trust me when I say you won't be reborn from this one."
Fawkes nodded in understanding, afraid of a wizard that wasn't his familiar for the first time since his first birth, and disappeared in a flash of flames.
Harry frowned down at his book, thinking. He still trusted Fawkes; the phoenix hadn't given away the fact that they'd been staying at Slytherin Manor, after all, but this last bit worried him. If Fawkes betrayed him again to Albus, he'd have to kill the bird. There was no way around it. He would keep the secrets of his lover even if it meant his own life.
With a sigh, Harry stood and left his office to go in search of Smoky and Ula.
A/N: Yup. Kinda short. I know. XP Oh well.
No lemon this chapter 'cause I think ya'll need to earn it. XD Which means I expect LOTS of reviews. -cackles-
I'm sure you're all happy now, aren't you? -evile smirk-
So! This is up much sooner than I'd expected! -grins- I'm sure everyone's rather happy, too, eh? -laughes-
Ja ne, minna!