Disclaimer: Don't own it! If I did, I would be making money. /opens wallet and moths fly out/ No money. No ownie.

Chapter 8: Stories, Plans, and Insults, Oh My!

Severus frowned at Harry as the young man told of his conversation with Dumbledore.

"You told him that he would fail without us."

"He will," said Harry vehemently. "You and I both know it, Sev. Dumbledore's powerful, I'll attest to that, but he's nothing – nothing – to what Voldemort is."

"What is he?" asked Neville. "Do you know?"

Harry shook his head slowly and Severus' frown deepened.

"I'm not sure anyone knows what he is," said dark man.

"I don't," said Harry softly. "I know there's Darkness in him but beyond that…beyond that I can't sort out anything. He's too full of the Dark. It all melds together and becomes one."

"Have you ever seen that before?" asked Blaise, looking at him.

Harry shook his head again and replied, "Never. Not in any of the places we've been. Werewolves, Elfkin, Half-Fae, vampires, and a score of others with the Dark in them. But nothing like Voldemort. I don't believe there is anything like him."

"There isn't," swore Severus. "Believe me on this. I know. I mixed half the potions that made him what he was before his fall. He's regained at least some of what he lost. Ah!" He clutched his arm suddenly and Harry leaned forward, concern in his eyes.

"He's calling," hissed Severus in a pain-laced voice. He gripped his left arm tightly and glared at Harry as the young man gently touched his wrist. "Back, I say!"

Green eyes met black in defiance and Harry reached out, laying his hand on Severus' arm just below the elbow. Dark energy flowed from underneath his fingertips and encircled the place were his palm lay. It tightened and when he moved his hand away, Severus sank back into his chair with a sigh of release.

"That was foolish," he said after a few moments to Harry. "He'll know."

"I don't give a damn," shot Harry back. "He won't take another parent from me."

Parent? Thought Blaise in surprise. Was that how Harry thought of her cousin? She looked at him and she saw worry in those gemstone eyes.

Yes. He did indeed think of her dark cousin as a parent.

"So," said Neville. "What are we going to do?"

Harry looked at Severus, who peered back from underneath lidded eyes.

"Wait," said the dark man. "Wait and see what happens. There may very well be no confrontation between Albus and Voldemort. He may come after Harry and I before he attempts to remove Hogwarts from the battlefield."

"You know he won't," said Harry. "Dumbledore's an older enemy than I am. And since the world found out I was half Sidhe, they've put all their faith in him. If Voldemort knocks him out of the ring, all of the fighting spirit will die. Though their faith in him and lack in me is kind of funny."

"Why is that?" asked Blaise.

"He's got a bit of Summer in him."

Severus laughed harshly at that and said, "Albus a partial Sidhe? Well, well… He might be able to give Voldemort a good fight after all. Then again, if he doesn't…"

"Then it'll be our turn," said Hermione.

Remus frowned and exclaimed, "But there are only five of us!"

"You forget who your talking to, professor," said Harry with a wry grin. "If I put out a Call, every Dark creature within a hundred miles would answer. And whether they liked it or not, they'd have to come."

"And we can summon the help from a few of the Sidhe and lower Fae ranks," said Severus. "I know two vampires and a few of the Blood like myself who could help."

"I'd help," said Remus. "And I know none too few werewolves who would like to see Voldemort gone."

"But," began Blaise, "to Call them like that…that'd be as bad as Voldemort, right? Forcing them to fight?"

Harry gave her a surprised look and said, "I'd never force anyone to fight. And if I could, I'd only Call the one's who would be willing to help. But I can't do that. It's impossible. So I'd Call everything."

"What about Dementors?" asked Neville.

Harry and Severus both shuddered heavily and Harry snapped, "No way in hell. I hate those beasts. Let Voldemort have them."

"I doubt they would answer a Call anyway," said Severus. "You never sensed them before they struck, which means they aren't really Dark."

"What?" said Blaise. "You two have been attacked by Dementors?"

Harry nodded and replied, "At least twenty-four times in six years. If I had the power to destroy every one of them, I would. They sucked out the soul of the first person that helped us."

"My cousin," explained Severus at everyone's confused expressions. "A brave, brave woman. She ordered us to run and stood alone to fight them off."

"Why couldn't she?" asked Hermione.

Severus gave her a stare as dark as an open well and replied dully, "She was a Squib."

"Oh."

"We barely had enough to bury her," whispered Harry, shuddering as he remembered. "Dementors do have the power to kill. They were ordered to kill us and if they found us now, they would do as such. And probably all of you, too."

Neville wrinkled his nose and grumbled, "Well, that's a reassuring thought. Thanks, Harry."

"You're welcome."

"It wasn't a compliment."

"It wasn't?"

Neville sighed while Harry grinned foolishly, emerald eyes dancing. Blaise shook her head at the both of them then turned to her cousin, asking, "So, what do we do now?"

Severus frowned in response and looked at Harry, from whose eyes all laughter had swiftly faded. The young Sidhe lifted a hand to rub at his temple and replied, "We'll just have to wait. See who moves first and against who."

"Indeed," said the partial vampire. He then smacked a clenched fist into his open palm and growled, "And if that twinkly psychotic light creature even thinks of coming after us before he goes after Voldemort, I'll give him a damn good reason to go running the other way!"

The other occupants of the room blinked then began to slowly laugh one by one beginning with Remus' low chuckle. Blaise's bell-like laughter quickly followed and caused a complete cascading effect. Severus glared at the four of them, most especially his young cousin and ward then shook his head and gave in to the laughter welling up inside.

Author's Note

Three cheers to SaphirePhoenix for calling Dumbledore a "twinkly psychotic light creature" in a review:D It gave me so much amusement I felt it should be used in a chapter. Hope you don't mind, Saphire.