Author's Note: So… yeah, it took me a really long time to write this chapter. Hopefully, the next one will come more easily to me. Sorry for the long delay. Enjoy!

Chapter Sixteen

Reality Beckons


Severus groaned as he awoke, squinting his eyes and wondering what the hell he'd been thinking. "Fuck," he muttered, rubbing his face and trying desperately not to fall back to sleep.

"Wakey, wakey, Father," a voice said from the doorway. Severus turned to find his son looking far too smug for his tastes. Harry came closer and handed Severus his flask. "Have some breakfast."

Severus glared ineffectually before snatching the flask and taking a long drink. "I can't imagine what you're so happy about," he groused moodily, flopping back down on the bed.

"I brought you some potion too," Harry said by way of a reply. He held out a vial of the Sun Blocking Potion. "You can use my flask for today, but I suggest having Airy go get you one of your own while you're in class."

"Of course," Severus muttered, sitting back up and taking the potion. "You realize that the only reason you're getting away with speaking to me that way is because the sun beckons violently, yes?"

Harry chuckled. "Of course, Father," he said with amusement. "Don't forget to transfigure some blood for breakfast. We wouldn't want anyone to notice anything… unusual." He waved lightly and left, chuckling under his breath.

"Bloody teenagers," Severus muttered, swinging his legs out of bed. He stumbled toward his wardrobe, trying to shake the feeling that he should still be asleep.

"What're yeh doin?" Airy asked sleepily from the bed.

"I still have classes to teach," Severus replied, pulling out his robes.

"Retire early," Airy replied, and then she yawned expansively and turned onto her side.

Severus paused in the act of pulling on his robes, unsure if she was being serious. "Is that your wish?" he asked carefully.

"What're ya talkin' about?" Airy asked, not bothering to turn over.

"Is it your wish for me to take retirement?" Severus asked.

Airy turned to face him and looked curiously in his direction. "I was bein flip," she said, frowning a little when Severus' expression cleared a bit. "Why? Did ya think I was serious?"

Severus resisted the urge to fidget uncomfortably. "I wasn't sure," he replied. "I do… appreciate my job, if not enjoy it, but if you wanted me to—"

"Stop," Airy interrupted. When Severus fell silent she continued. "It's just creepy seein' you bein' all… nervous. I'll never tell yeh what yeh can and canna do for yer livin', Severus. Whatever yeh do, its yer choice, not mine."

Severus nodded. "Very well. I was wondering if, while I am teaching, you wouldn't mind going into London for me?"

"Whatever for?"

"I need a flask. Harry has let me borrow his for the day, but that cannot be anything other than a short term arrangement."

Airy nodded thoughtfully. "I'll go a bit later… the sun beckons."

"Tell me about it," Severus muttered before going to her and kissing her goodbye. He was so tired that it took all of his concentration just to walk straight. As a consequence, he was nearly unbearable to his students in class. His mood was not lifted at all when he had to spend two hours with Harry and Draco both smirking at him every time he lost his temper.


Harry sighed, rubbing his eyes vigorously. This was the second night in a row that he'd been unable to rest. Vampires usually didn't dream, but Harry had been getting nightmares for the last two nights. He was afraid that his nice peacefully existence was about to be interrupted. Voldemort was in a very bad mood. It appeared that he'd finally been informed of Draco's involvement with Snape's son. This thought made Harry turn his eyes toward the sleeping blond, who was flat on his back looking lovely. Harry worried for him. He worried that one day he'd get out of class to find that Draco was gone. Shaking his head, he wandered out to the common room and started his Astronomy chart, which was due on Monday.

This new feeling of dread resulted in Harry becoming more possessive of Draco than he'd been in a long while.

"Harry, I don't need a bloody baby-sitter everywhere I go," Draco groused as Harry made to follow him out of their room. "I'm going to Arithmancy, not another country."

Harry's eyes narrowed dangerously, and he was somewhat satisfied when he saw Draco gulp nervously. "I am going to walk you to class, and you are not going to argue with me," he growled.

Draco blinked a bit, looking slightly confused, but he nodded vigorously in consent.

"You will not question me about this again," Harry said, stepping closer.

Draco's eyes lowered submissively. "I'm sorry," he said meekly.

Harry nodded sharply, and then swept Draco into his arms, kissing him soundly. Draco stared at him silently for a moment before taking his hand and leading him out of the dorm.

Once they reached the classroom, Harry pulled Draco to him and kissed him again. "You will wait here, within sight of the professor and wait for me after class ends."

"Yes, Octavian," Draco muttered, his hands on Harry's shoulders. "I will wait."

Harry sighed deeply. "I love you," he whispered.

Draco swallowed and closed his eyes. "I love you too," he replied. He looked into Harry's eyes again before going into class. Harry wandered out to the grounds, a frown on his face as he tried to find a way to keep Draco safe while destroying Voldemort.


Draco sighed as he dropped his bag by his chair in Arithmancy. He had no idea what was going on with Harry lately, but he was extremely worried. He rather liked it when Harry got all possessive and demanding, but Harry had seemed almost desperate for Draco to do as he was asked without complaint. He wanted to know what was bothering Harry, but he'd already agreed to Harry's condition of not talking about it. How was he supposed to get around that?

"Draco?" Hermione whispered next to him, pulling him down into his seat by his arm. "What is it?"

Draco shook his head, unsure of how to express these fears to a girl who was more Harry's friend than his own. "H- Octavian has been behaving very oddly for the last few days. I just wish I knew what was bothering him."

"Have you asked him?" Hermione asked gently.

"He's forbidden me from asking," Draco replied.

"But couldn't you—" Hermione started.

"If the two of you are finished, I'd like to get back to my lesson," Professor Vector interrupted, looking a bit peeved.

Hermione blushed and returned her attention to her book. "Sorry, Professor," she muttered.

Draco didn't bother offering his own apology and simply got out his supplies. He worked in silence, doing his very best to concentrate, but Harry's fierce expression from that morning had not left his mind. He was desperate to know more about what was bothering his mate.

"Has this anything to do with Professor Snape being… you know… different?" Hermione asked after class was over and they headed toward the door.

"I don't think so," Draco replied thoughtfully. "Octavian didn't seem too bothered by it, to be honest. I think he just wants his father to be happy. This is something else."

"What is?" Harry asked, his arms crossed over his chest where he was leaning against the wall outside of the classroom.

Hermione jumped and put her hand over her heart. "Good gracious, Octavian!" she cried, sending a glare to her friend. "You frightened me!"

Harry smirked in a very sexy way that made Draco want to jump on him. "Sorry," he said, though he didn't sound like he meant it.

"Honestly," Hermione groused, pulling her bag higher on her shoulder, sticking her nose in the air and stalking away angrily.

Harry snickered.

"What's gotten into you, Octavian?" Draco asked, staring.

Harry shook his head. "Let's go to lunch, yes?" he asked, holding his hand out. Draco let Harry take his arm, and the two of them set off toward the Great Hall.

"Are you all right, Love?" Draco asked delicately, telling himself that he was not referring to Harry's sudden over protectiveness, and therefore not breaking his promise.

"I'm okay," Harry replied. "Draco?"


"If something were to happen," Harry said, sounding hesitant. "If, say, I were to disappear for a bit, you wouldn't come after me, right?"

"Like hell, I wouldn't!" Draco exclaimed, pulling his arm from Harry's grasp. "I'd be the first one out there looking!"

Harry frowned at him. "No," he fairly snapped. "You will stay here where it is safe."

"Har—You can't do that!" Draco cried.

Harry's frown deepened. "You don't think so?" he questioned.

Draco was suddenly aware that he'd just openly defied his mate. He paled.

"You will stay here and wait for me to return, should it ever come to that," Harry commanded him. "Is that clear?"

Draco nodded. "Octavian… are you… I mean… is there something I should know about?"

Harry shook his head and took Draco's hand. "No. I'm just making sure everything is in order when something does come up. Voldemort has been quiet for a very long time. I imagine that it's only a matter of time before he strikes again. We both know what that means."

"But," Draco whispered. "He thinks you're dead. Surely you can just disappear or something?"

"No, Draco, I can't do that. Regardless of what he may think, it's still my responsibility to destroy him."

"You know, I sometimes I have trouble seeing you as anything but a noble Gryffindor."

Harry smiled a little wistfully as the two boys sat down at the Slytherin table. "I do miss it sometimes," he muttered, watching the Gryffindors somewhat sadly. "Of course, if I were over there, then I wouldn't be able to spend every night with you."

Draco sniffed haughtily. "That would indeed be a tragedy," he agreed.

Harry laughed and pulled their lunch from the large paper sack he'd pulled from his robes. He served Draco's first before starting to eat himself.


"Really, Severus," Albus said placidly, gazing over the rim of his teacup at Severus. "You should have spoken to me before doing something so drastic."

"I wasn't aware that my love life was any of your concern," Severus replied coldly, folding his hands together over this crossed legs.

"The state of your being is my concern, Severus," Albus informed him. "I now have four vampires living in my school. You, I know, are aware of my feelings about this topic."

"Yes, Albus, I am," Severus agreed. "However, who I love, how I love, and what I do for that love are none of your concern. We are all on the potion, as we are all taking precautions to remain safe to the students. None of us, Harry in particular, have any desire to cause harm here."

Albus sighed heavily, taking another sip of his tea. "Of course, Severus. You are permitted to stay. However, if at any time I feel that the safety of my students is endangered, I shall have to proceed accordingly."

Severus dipped his head in understanding. "I should have believed, Albus, that you would be happy for me. After I lost Lily, I never believed that I would be happy again. Now I have a mate, a son, and, for lack of a better term, a son-in-law. They are my family. I will do whatever I must in order to protect them."

Albus nodded. "You have not forgotten, I trust, that Harry is still bound by the prophecy? You will not be able to protect him from that, when the time arises. The only way he can be free of it is to face Voldemort."

Severus sighed. He didn't like thinking about the prophecy. "Of course, Albus. But know this, I will aid him in whatever way I can. Your approval of this matter means very little to me if I can help my son to survive."

Albus smiled for the first time since Severus had entered his office. "I would expect nothing less of you, my boy," he said benignly.

"Then I am glad that I will not have to fight you for this," Severus returned. Shortly after, he was dismissed and he returned to his rooms. It hadn't escaped his notice that Albus had referred to him as 'my boy', as though nothing had changed. He wondered if, perhaps, Albus was revising his opinion of vampires. For Harry's sake, more than his own, Severus hoped he was right. A disturbance in the corridor had Severus opening his door to investigate. He found Harry standing, holding Draco tightly about the waist. It was not a loving embrace.

"You will stop arguing with me about this!" Harry demanded, pulling Draco to him more tightly.

"You cannot just run off and play the hero anymore!" Draco cried, pushing slightly on Harry's chest in an attempt to loosen the former Gryffindor's hold on him. "You're not the only one if effects anymore! What about me? Do you even care what will happen to me?"

"How dare you question my concern for you?" Harry growled. "I ask this of you because I care! How dare you suggest that I'm simply trying to play the hero? You know I have no choice!"

"Is there a problem, boys?" Severus asked, deciding to intervene before Harry hurt Draco inadvertently.

"This isn't your concern, Father," Harry replied, not turning to look at him.

"On the contrary," Severus denied. "You are my son, and this argument sounds like one that should not be taking place in the middle of a corridor where anyone might overhear." He stepped back and gestured into his rooms. Harry glared at Draco for a moment before releasing his hold. Rather than follow Draco into Severus' rooms, Harry shoved him ahead.

"Oc—" Draco started.

"You will sit down and not interrupt me again!" Harry exclaimed, pointing at the divan.

Draco sat and crossed his arms sulkily.

"The prophecy demands that I do this Draco," Harry growled, completely ignoring Severus as he sat in his armchair and crossed his legs. "I cannot, and I will not drag you along at my side simply to put you in danger! In the end, having you there would only put me in more danger!"

"I am not weak!" Draco exclaimed. "I can hold my own! You're the one whose been training me in defense!"

"I didn't say you were weak!" Harry interrupted. "But your presence would be enough! I wouldn't be able to concentrate on what I must do if I'm worried about your safety!"

Draco didn't reply. He turned his face toward the fire, and Severus saw one red-tinted tear slide down his cheek. "And what of me, Harry?" he asked after a long moment of silence. "What will become of me if something should happen to you?"

"The bond would be dissolved," Airy said from the doorway of the bedroom. Severus wondered briefly how long she had been standing there.

"Explain please," Harry forced through gritted teeth, glaring at his obstinate lover.

"If one mate should die, the bond dissolves, leaving the one remaining free to find a new mate," Airy explained simply.

"There," Harry said to Draco. "You would be fine, and probably better off without me around."

With that, Draco burst into tears. "How could you doubt my love for you?" he exclaimed. "Or my devotion? Haven't we been through enough? How can you say something like that to me?"

Harry crossed the room and pulled his mate into his arms. "I do not doubt your love or devotion. I just know that I'm not exactly healthy to be around."

"You can't leave me, Harry," Draco wept. "You just can't!"

"And I will do my very best to come home to you," Harry soothed. "But you must be prepared for the possibility that I won't come back."

"Forgive me for interrupting," Severus said, breaking his silence. "Are you planning something I should know about, Harry?"

Harry shook his head, petting Draco's hair as the blond cried into his shoulder. "No, Father. I am simply trying to prepare us for the future."

"And why this sudden interest in discussing your fate?" Severus pressed. He didn't fail to notice the way Draco went very still in Harry's arms.

Harry sighed and closed his eyes, breathing in Draco's scent deeply. "There have been dreams," he murmured.

"What of your Occlumency?" Severus questioned.

"Vampires don't dream," Airy commented at the same time. Severus shot her a disgruntled look before turning back to his son.

Harry shook his head. "The Occlumency doesn't seem to be enough anymore."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Draco whispered.

"I didn't want to frighten you," Harry explained softly.

"You've been so strange," Draco cried, wrenching himself from Harry's grasp. "You've been frightening me anyway with all of this talk of leaving and the way you've been so overprotective. You should have told me!"

Severus opened his mouth to agree when he saw Airy raise her hand to forestall him. He remained silent.

Harry was staring at Draco with a dangerous glint in his eyes. "Return to our rooms and wait for me there," he growled.

Draco swallowed, but when he left he still slammed the door in anger.

"Please forgive that ugly scene," Harry apologized absently. "Good night, Father. Airy." With that he left the room, closing the door more gently than Draco had.

"Draco had a point, Airy," Severus said to his mate as she sat next to him.

"Harry is the dominant," Airy replied, placing her hand on Severus' knee and squeezing lightly. "Apart from that, he claimed Draco while under the influence of a Jealous Rage. Questioning him, or even agreeing with Draco on this matter would have enraged him. I thought yeh might want to avoid that."

Severus nodded thoughtfully. "Yes, you are correct," he said, placing his hand on top of Airy's.


Harry closed the door to the room he shared with Draco and favored his mate with an angry glare. "You would dare question my judgment in front of others?" he asked dangerously.

Draco crossed his arms stubbornly. "You should have told me," he reaffirmed stubbornly.

Harry crossed the room slowly, barely containing his rage. "You would dare," he said again. He pulled his wand and waved it at the large bed in the center of the room, separating it back into the original two. Draco looked at him with confusion. "You will sleep alone tonight," Harry said coldly, pointing at the bed on the right. "Do not speak to me again until I have calmed myself."

"Harry—" Draco started.

"You will follow my instructions!" Harry exclaimed. "Do not speak to me again this night!" He turned and stormed out of the room to try to calm down before he did something he would regret. His rational self knew that Draco had a point, but his more dominant vampire instincts were screaming at him to put Draco back in his place in whatever way necessary. He needed to cool off before he hurt Draco horribly.

He took a long walk near the lake in an effort to calm down, but it did little to cool his raging temper. When he returned to the room he shared with Draco, he found the blond kneeling on the floor in a very submissive pose, with his head lowered and his hands behind his back. Harry bristled immediately.

"You have enraged me beyond reason, and yet you continue to defy me?" he questioned angrily. He was mollified somewhat when Draco didn't respond, remembering his earlier order to not speak until Harry had calmed down. "Go to bed, Draco," Harry muttered, tossing himself on his own bed. "We will straighten this out in the morning."

Draco stood slowly and moved to the opposite bed. He lay down stiffly on his back without a word. It took Harry ages to fall asleep, and when he did, he had another vision.

In the morning, Harry felt the pressure of his lack of sleep in recent days, but he opened his eyes anyway. Draco was kneeling on the floor next to his bed, looking at him beseechingly.

Harry sighed, pulled up a corner of his blanket and allowed Draco to join him. He was feeling calmer and more rational this morning. "You're right," he said softly, petting Draco's hair. "I should have told you."

"I've been so worried about you," Draco said, tracing Harry's chest with a finger. "I could hardly rest last night with you so angry with me."

"Perhaps in the future I will talk to you about these things before it all explodes like that again," Harry mused.

"Forgive me for being so insolent last night, Harry," Draco implored softly.

"If you'll forgive me for getting so angry," Harry replied. He kissed the top of Draco's head, then used his finger under Draco's chin to tip his head up. He placed a kiss on the blonde's lips, which quickly turned heated. Draco mewled in delight as Harry climbed on top of him. "I want to be inside of you," Harry purred, nipping at Draco's neck.

"Yesss," Draco hissed, tipping his head to the side to give Harry more room. "I missed you so much last night."

Harry pulled his wand and silenced the room before tossing it aside. With that, he proceeded to trail kisses down Draco's body, pausing to nibble and suck on Draco's nipples, and again the swirl his tongue in Draco's belly button. When he reached Draco's hips, Harry knelt back and pulled Draco's legs over his shoulders. They had rough angry sex, wherein Harry worked out his frustrations with his stubborn mate. A few minutes after they'd finished, Harry began stirring again, still inside his mate's body.

"Harry, we have class," Draco said halfheartedly.

"Fuck class," Harry murmured. "Turn around."

Draco shifted onto his stomach. Harry repositioned him so that Draco was kneeling and holding the headboard before gently pushing himself back into Draco's entrance. Neither boy left the dorm that day.