A/N: Finally! The next chapter! It seems like it took me forever to write... mainly because I've been writing it bit by bit, going back to reread and add things in. I've certainly took the story in a different direction, the characters simply demanded it. I warn you now that I'm an angst fan, so there will be a lot of it, but I also love happy endings, so there will be one eventually. The happy ending is only enjoyable if there was unhappiness before it, so there will be some. I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: hmm... Do I own this? Wait, whats that? oh... Nope I don't, not a bit of it. I'm simply borrowing the characters and putting them into situations I find amusing. Ah, the joy of fanfictions...
Harry awoke to a feeling of warmth and love that seemed to surround him. He snuggled down deeper into the warmth, a happy smile fixed firmly upon his face. He heard a low rumbling sound and then a low chuckle. Still slightly disoriented from sleeping, Harry opened his eyes to see who could possibly be laughing at him.
Large green eyes met black ones, staring at him with a mixture of love, lust, and mirth. Realization of what had happened the previous day flowed through him, and he couldn't hold back the gasp that sprang to his lips.
Embarrassed, Harry struggled to free himself from the tangle of arms and legs that seemed to center around him. Severus, who was lying on his right, arms tight around Harry's waist simply tightened his hold, growling a bit under his breath.
"You aren't going any where Harry," Severus all but purred. "We just got you, and we're going to hold you for a very long time." Severus smirked down at Harry, already in love with his perfect mate. He had long before admitted, though only to himself, that he had feelings for the boy, and he now understood where they had come from, and just how right they truly were.
Harry gulped audibly as he felt another pair of arms tighten their hold further as well. It seemed his movement had woken his other mates. He turned his head and saw a blissfully happy Remus Lupin snuggling up not only to him but to another body that could only have been Lucius Malfoy, though it was quite hard to tell as Harry was almost completely on top of him. How that had happened he did not know, but he was willing to admit that it was quite a comfortable position.
"Morning love," Remus murmured sleepily. Harry was touched by the love he saw in the two men on either side of him, but he couldn't help but squirm to get away again.
A groan sounded from underneath him. "Harry you're going to have to stop moving unless you want to complete the bond right now." Lucius moaned at the pleasurable sensations that Harry's movement was creating. Harry abruptly stopped his squirming.
"Um…" he began, not really knowing what to say, "Morning, but would you all mind letting me go? Its kind of difficult to talk to you like this, and we really need to sort everything out."
Harry's attention was quickly grabbed by Severus, whose hand had begun stroking his cheek. "Love, I told you, we have no intention of letting you go anytime soon. So you'll just have to deal with all of us cuddling with you while we talk, now won't you?" Severus smirked down at his mate. He had never believed that he would ever admit to cuddling. And, if pressed by anyone but his mate he would never concede to having ever even said the word, much less actually done it, but for some reason Harry was different. He could say anything to Harry.
Harry's eyes were very wide, giving him a deer-caught-in-the-wand-light look. "I guess that means that you're all going to want to, um, bond with me?" Harry asked.
Three very enthusiastic men grinned back at him, nodding their agreement. Harry inwardly cursed. "now, would one of you mind telling me what bonding means? Dumbledore said I'd have a mate and all, but he didn't exactly say how to go about bonding." Harry looked sheepishly at Remus as he asked this question, believing that he'd be the most likely to answer.
To his surprise Lucius was the one to respond. "Harry, for a magical creature, bonding entails marking the mate as one's own, merging the bodies and the scents of the dominant and submissive partners. As wizards, we'll most likely formally bond, with the entire ceremony, but to satisfy the bond as mates we'll simply have to sleep together." Lucius spoke softly but firmly, and Harry felt the vibrations as he spoke. He couldn't help shivering as the voice swept over him, leaving him with a vivid picture of what their bonding would be like. A deep blush rose on Harry's cheeks.
"We don't have to do this right away do we? I, I don't know if I'm ready for that. Besides, from what Professor Dumbledore told me I'll…" Harry trailed off, not wanting to continue that thought. He was still uncomfortable with that idea.
"You'll what? Love, what's wrong?" Lupin asked worriedly, a frown crossing his face.
Snape smirked, loving this shy side to his little mate. "I believe that the headmaster informed our mate that he is the submissive in the relationship, meaning that he'll be able to carry our child. Or children, should we decide to have more." Harry's face was now roughly the color of a tomato. Snape brushed a light kiss to his temple before continuing, "There aren't too many things that we can do to keep you from becoming pregnant. We can try a contraceptive potion, but they are decidedly untrustworthy, especially when it is the mating season of one of the creatures."
Harry would have choked had he been eating or drinking, as it was he simply began spluttering. "M-mating season? Professor Dumbledore didn't say anything about that! And I've never read anything that says that Royal elves have a mating season. Granted, I haven't read much but-"
Lupin smiled, cutting Harry off gently, "That's probably because Royal Elves don't have a set mating season. They can conceive at any time. We are the ones that have the actual mating season, or mating period, really. Werewolves have a mating period once every three months, that usually lasts two days."
"Vampires," Severus continued, "have their mating season twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. It lasts a week each time."
"And veela have a day once a month that they can conceive on." Lucius finished.
Harry sat for a minute, processing this information. "But that would mean that I'd be most likely to have Lucius' child."
His three mates exchanged a wicked glance. "Harry, mating seasons are different for bonded couples of mixed bloodlines. Once we've all bonded to you, we'll share the same mating period." Lucius answered.
Harry remained confused. "But which mating season will you adopt?"
"We will be forced to follow the pattern of whomever is first to bond with you." Snape answered. "We'll let you have the final say in this, but we all feel it should be Lucius. The more opportunities to get our little elf pregnant the better. I, for one, cannot wait to see you rounded with child." Snape's voice was silky, if somewhat muffled, as his head was now nestled in Harry's neck. "I believe that would be a delicious sight," he purred.
Harry again felt the shivers run down his back. Lucius reached down and pulled Harry around so that he faced him. "I told you to stop moving so pleasantly," was the only warning that he received before Lucius was roughly claiming his mouth, running his tongue over Harry's bottom lip as if begging for entrance. Startled, Harry complied, and was surprised at how wonderful it felt. He could feel Severus and Remus pressed against him, placing kisses on his neck and back. His inner elf, which his highly confused human half had suppressed up till now, was now crowing in happiness. Harry moaned into the kiss.
Lucius continued his ministrations for several minutes before releasing Harry's lips. "In punishment for not listening to your mate, I believe that I shall demand to be the first to bond with you, my pet." Lucius too, it seemed, had mastered the act of purring. If his mates were all this seductive, Harry knew that he wasn't going to last long before bonding.
"Hmm…" Harry murmured. "And perhaps I shall bond with Severus first just to spite you all by leaving me with less chance of becoming pregnant. It sounds pretty good to me." Harry smirked, hopeful that he had finally outsmarted his mates.
Severus, instead of looking annoyed that his plans had been spoiled looked amused. "Love, if you want to be trapped in your room for an entire week twice a year by three extremely horny and possessive men than be my guest. Not that I would complain about such an outcome. But you should know that magical creatures in mating seasons really don't stop trying to procreate, especially when the mating season is only a few times a year. The more times you try, the more opportunity to become pregnant, I suppose."
Harry's face paled comically at these words. "Right," he squeaked, "Maybe it would be best to bond with Lucius first after all." Lucius smiled triumphantly. He knew that Harry would want to bond with him first when given all the facts. He, like Severus, desperately wanted to see his young mate pregnant. He supposed it was part of being a magical creature, that innate desire to further one's race and create a large family. It was a good thing that elves were very fertile, as he planned on trying to conceive repeatedly.
"Now that that's settled we should probably discuss the practicalities of this relationship." Severus said. "I for one am not planning on letting you out of my sight until we bond." Severus was answered by sharp nods from both Remus and Lucius. "Right, none of us are planning on letting you out of our sight until we have bonded. That's not to say that we have to bond right away. We won't pressure you." Severus' voice was serious, but still gentle, and Harry couldn't help but shudder at the sheer sexiness of it. "Fortunately for you, Lucius' behavior won't change during his mating period, since it occurs so often he acts normally. But Remus and I aren't quite so lucky. During our mating seasons, we are going to demand that we mate, and there isn't much that will be able to stop us now that you're finally of age. My mating season will be coming up first, in October, as Remus has just recently had his. So you do have time."
Harry nodded. It was already August, that gave him less than three months to bond with them and hopefully completely avoid that whole week long mating season. "So, when do you think Madame Pomfrey will let me get back to Gryffindor tower? I'd really like to get out of the hospital wing, its summer, no classes to miss, so its not worth it to stay here." Harry grinned at his mates at first, but the grin quickly fell at the looks they were exchanging. "What? Is she not going to let me out or something?"
"Harry," Remus began, "I don't think you're going to be able to go to the tower. You're things aren't even there."
"What? Why not? Its not as if they use it for anything over the summer. I don't know if I'd be comfortable staying somewhere else all by myself." Hogwarts had always been home to Harry, and Gryffindor Tower was the place he felt most at peace. It was somewhere he could relax, and forget about being the boy-who-lived. He didn't have to worry about anything other than homework and chess there, and spending his summer there had begun to seem very appealing.
"I believe I already gave you an answer as to why it would not be feasible for you to return to Gryffindor Harry, now or ever." Severus replied. The smirk was gone, replaced by a very serious, though loving, face. "We do not plan on letting you out of our sights, and it is not possible for any of us to stay in the towers with the students. Albus has seen fit to give us our own rooms and that is where we will be staying, all of us, including you."
"But, all of my friends-" Harry tried.
"I know that I, for one, will never allow you to share a room with other boys even if I were to let you out of my sight, which I have no intention of doing." Lucius answered sternly. He loved his elf and wanted him to be happy, but he had to learn sometime that many of the aspects of mating were nonnegotiable, especially the possessiveness. The sooner he became accustomed to that the better.
Harry pouted petulantly. His entire life had changed in four days, and three of those days he didn't even remember! His inner elf loved his mates already, but his more human side loved his friends too, and didn't want to break the routine they always had together. At this rate he'd never even see them again-
Harry didn't finish the thought as he suddenly found himself pulled into a very deep kiss by Severus, who had barely waited for Harry to gasp and open his mouth before plunging his tongue deep inside. The part of Harry that was human no longer thought about anything as the elf was to busy melting into the kiss. No one had ever kissed him with such fire and passion. He felt as if he'd be consumed in all of the heat.
The retreat from the kiss was as slow as the beginning of it had been fast. Severus pulled away little by little, leaving Harry gasping for breath. Remus and Lucius exchanged glances, silently agreeing that they'd all have to take a turn giving Harry such treatment.
"Perhaps that will make you think twice before you pout so beautifully, love." Severus whispered in Harry's ear. The sensation rolled over Harry, who once again shivered at the intensity. Yup, there was no way he was going to last very long before bonding.
"Alright, even if I can't go back to the tower, I'd still like to get out of here sometime soon." Harry held his composure by a thin thread.
"We can leave now love, but…" Remus began, trailing off, not knowing how to tell Harry the truth, or even whether he should. They had vaguely discussed how much to tell him, but hadn't been able to agree on whether or not he should know the whole truth right away.
"What is it?" Harry was nervous, Remus was always honest and very straightforward, why did it seem like he was hiding something?
"You'll end up back here in a few days." Lucius said softy. Fear flooded through Harry, something was definitely wrong. "Elves don't age like normal humans, especially Royal Elves. You see, they come into their inheritance at 16, revealing that they do in fact have Elf blood, and then a few days later they age. A Royal Elf must be strong and perfect, in the prime of life physically. Whatever magic the elves use ages them to be about 25 years in appearance. No one really knows for sure if anything happens to the elf in anything but appearance, but you will change…again." Lucius finished.
Confusion was running rampant through his mind. 25! He had just turned 16 and now he was going to be in his 20's? And still at school? And why did the transformation mean he would end up back in the hospital wing? Couldn't he just ride out whatever pain there was in his own rooms?
"But, I'll lose all those years…" Harry whispered, unconsciously making himself smaller in his mates' arms. He just wanted to hide away from the truth.
"Love," Remus said, stroking Harry's cheek. "You'll stay that way for a long time. Years upon years, decades upon decades. You won't change in appearance after that, at least not for a very, very long time. Its one of the benefits of being a magical creature. There had to be some good side to it after all, wouldn't want to be in a situation like that if there weren't any positives to cancel out the negatives."
Harry took this information in with some relief until he realized what that could mean. "But what about all of you? I don't want to lose you because I can't age!" Harry cried. Despair raged in his mind as he thought about living forever without his mates. Without any of his friends or family.
"Shh, its ok. Since we're all magical creatures, we're all in the same boat, we've all been dealing with it for years. Surely you noticed that I haven't changed at all since you were here in your first year? Severus asked, attempting to make his voice as soothing as possible. "We aren't going anywhere, not without you." Severus placed a loving kiss on Harry's temple, which immediately calmed him down.
Inwardly Severus was grinning like a Cheshire cat. Harry really wanted to be with them, maybe even loved them already! Though at times he seemed reluctant to be with them he honestly wanted it, wanted them. The feeling of pleasure was immense and affected all three men, who suddenly couldn't hide their very happy smiles.
"Oh, and love?" Remus said quietly, "Make sure you tell us if you feel differently at all, anything could be a sign that your transformation is starting. We want to know about it right away, ok?"
Harry nodded. 'I'm not so sure about that… I don't want them to worry or anything… maybe I'll just wait till I can't anymore. I'll have to think of something.'
"Now," Lucius grinned, "Why don't we get you dressed and explore our new rooms?"
Lucius had said this very suggestively, but Harry didn't notice. "I think I can get dressed by myself." Harry said crossly. He wasn't a complete baby, and he definitely didn't need any help getting dressed. Of course, Harry didn't realize that Lucius hadn't suggested helping him dress because he honestly thought that Harry might need help, but rather because he wanted an excuse to see his lovely elf naked.
Desperate to prove that he was capable, Harry struggled out of the arms around him, and jumped off of the bed, not noticing the pout on Lucius' face, though he would have found it rather amusing to see such a normally poised man pouting. He grabbed clothes that had been laid out on a chair and ran into the bathroom, closing and locking the door behind him quickly so that no one could tell him to stop.
Severus, Remus and Lucius sat on the bed, staring at the door. They knew Harry didn't want them in there, but it was oh so tempting when they knew he was removing his clothing behind said door. Severus growled loudly before he could stop himself, and that seemed to bring the men back to themselves as they all began laughing. It was often difficult to control impulses when one was a magical creature, but Severus had been a master, which just proved that nothing could come between a magical creature and his mate, including the human (and supposedly more mature and dignified) side of said magical creature.
Despite having somewhat gotten their less-than-human sides under control, all three men continued to stare at the door until it opened a crack. Had Harry seen the predatory looks on their faces he quite possibly would have closed the door again as fast as he could. As it was, Harry could not see their faces and he began to open the door all of the way.
Instantly the three dominants were up and on their way over to Harry, who tried and failed to close the door again. Severus's vampire reflex were simply too quick, and he caught the door before it closed. Just as quickly, he pulled the door all the way open and moved Harry into his arms.
"That took much too long love, I think we'll need to help you with it next time." He said, smirking suggestively. Harry blushed at his words. He hadn't really felt content away from his mates, but he couldn't help being nervous around them as well. All this was so… strange, and extremely unexpected, and while he knew that he would eventually adapt to the new situation, it was still too new for him to feel any semblance of normalcy.
Quickly, Harry changed the subject. "Why don't we just head down to the room now. I want to spend as little time here as possible if I'm just going to come back again in a few days." 'I'd give anything to not have to come back here. And this second transformation really can't be all that bad, I've already been through one, and that has to just be the extreme one. Hmm…' Harry thought . He pondered silently for a moment and inspiration soon hit him. 'Perhaps if I don't let on I'm in pain or changing they won't notice to bring me back here. I'll just have to make my escape when the change starts and get away from them long enough to change completely. After that, there isn't going to be anything they can really do. Once they see that I'm fine they'll have no reason to put me back in the bloody hospital wing.' Harry smiled slyly, that certainly sounded like a plan to him.
It appeared that Severus was the only one who knew where their rooms were for the others simply followed him. Harry had managed to finally get all three men to let go of him, but they still watched him at all times. 'Escaping might be more difficult than I thought it would be if they keep this up,' Harry sighed.
Harry was so lost in his plans that he almost ran into Severus when he stopped in front of a rather large painting, even by Hogwarts standings. He looked up at it in awe, it was one of the few paintings in the castle that showed something related to all four of the founders. This particular painting showed the animagus forms of each of the founders. The painting was rather plain, but something about it seemed to glow, and swirl around the viewer. It truly was remarkable and Harry couldn't have opened his mouth to speak even if he had known the password.
Fortunately for him, Severus was not having similar problems, as he simply looked up to the lion and said Butterscotch Beetle Biscuits. Upon hearing this, Harry nearly choked with laughter. Snape simply sent him a wry look and said, "I did not choose that password if you must know, the headmaster did, so if you laugh at anyone it will be at him." With that, he swept through the open portrait, Remus and Lucius pushing Harry in after him.
The rooms were amazing. They were rather tastefully decorated, with beautiful couches and chairs that looked soft enough to sink into, but still comfortable. There was a large common area, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a study/library area which appeared large enough for all four men to work in together. The men walked around their rooms, all seeing the area for the first time. Harry was in awe, he had never expected to be given such nice, spacious rooms, but then again he was living with three other men, all of whom were fully grown and one of whom was one of the wealthiest men in the wizarding world.
Harry was somewhat nervous about the fact that there were only two bedrooms. Where were they all going to sleep? "Uh, Remus?" Harry asked tentatively. "Which room am I sleeping in?"
Remus smiled and lead the way over to one of the rooms, which they had not been in yet. "We'll all be in here, Harry. As Sev said, you're not leaving our sight." Severus gave Remus a glare at the nickname, but Remus ignored it, and Harry grinned slightly. 'Sev, hmm… I like it.' He thought deviously. 'It might be fun to torture them all a little with nicknames. Sev's good, maybe I'll throw out Sevi once in a while. And Remy. That's a good one. Lucius, hmm, not too many choices for that one. Maybe Luc? Or even Luke? Maybe I should just try all of them and see which gets the best reaction…'
He followed Remus into the bedroom, still laughing to himself about using pet names for his mates, and gasped, shocked to see just how nice his rooms really were. Their bedroom was quite spacious, the main feature an extremely large bed which would definitely hold all four men. Especially as they seemed to have decided that sleeping on top of each other was more fun than sleeping next to each other.
"And this is our lovely private bathroom," Lucius said with a smirk, leading Harry over. He bent down and whispered in the elf's ear, "That tub is big enough for all of us and then some my pet," he licked the shell of Harry's ear, "and I must say we're all looking a bit… dirty… perhaps-"
"Uh, no, I'm fine thanks." Harry stuttered. He walked backwards into the bedroom, not wanting to take his eyes off of Lucius, who was currently staring at him in a rather predatory manner. He did not see either Remus or Severus, and so kept walking until the backs of his legs hit something hard. Lucius, who was only a step away from him, used that opportunity to knock Harry backwards and onto the object he had hit, which happened to be the bed.
"Well, if you don't want to try the bathroom out, we'll just have to give the bed a go." Lucius purred.
Harry moved to protest, but once again his mouth was claimed by Lucius, who seemed to be in rather a forceful mood. It was then that Harry noticed that Remus and Severus were still there, as both men had pressed up to Harry and were covering his neck with kisses. Harry moaned. 'Nope, not going to last a week' was his last thought before a delightful mouth found its way up to his earlobe, which was apparently a sensitive spot for him, as he turned into a pile of goo, unable to control his reaction to the ministrations of his mates.
The next few days passed rather quickly for Harry. He spent a lot of his time talking to his mates, learning things about them and telling them some of his life. He still hadn't really broached the subject of what happened to him at the Dursleys, though he suspected they knew something was wrong with his 'home' life. He had grown quite attached to his mates, and yet a strong sense of foreboding would often overtake him. They never left him alone, they were with him constantly, and while he didn't really want to get away from them, he missed his privacy, and he had to admit that his plan to escape right before the transformation was not going very well. They did let him shower by himself, but most often insisted the bathroom door remained open, so if he needed their help they could be there. Apparently, they had conspired to make sure at least one of them was ALWAYS there. Even if he claimed to want to go to bed early at least one, though most often all, would follow him.
To make matters worse, Harry had started to feel, well, tingles throughout his body. They weren't too strong yet, but he had a feeling that this meant that his body was changing already. 'I've got to get away, I just have to!' Harry was feeling completely desperate. Despite the fact that his desire to be alone for the transformation had stemmed from wanting to stay out of the hospital wing, he now just desperately wanted to be alone. Every part of him, including the elvin part just wanted to curl up in a ball and let nature take its course.
Currently, Harry was sitting on a large, comfortable couch in their common area. Severus was sitting with Harry's legs across his lap, reading (most likely a Potions Journal) quietly. Remus was at a desk in the corner of the room, writing something, pausing every so often as if to consider something. Lucius was sitting in a large arm chair, reading a newspaper.
Harry had been attempting to read one of his school books, but had become lost in his thoughts. The tingling was growing stronger and stronger, and was now a touch painful. He looked around the room, eyes wide in panic. He had to get out NOW!
Breathing heavily, Harry jumped off of the couch, not noticing the immediate worry that this caused the other three men in the room. As the powerful tingles became a burning fire in his veins, Harry bolted out of the room, any plans of escaping without their notice thrown out the window.
Harry ran as fast as he could, which was quite fast given his heritage, refusing to stop. Where was he going to go? 'Need someplace safe. Need someplace alone.' Harry's less than in control human self said. Then it hit him: the room of requirement. He set off with a renewed burst of speed in that direction and didn't stop until the door of the room had closed and locked behind him.
"Bloody hell, where did he go?" Severus asked desperately. "And why did he feel the need to get away from us like that?"
The three men had not immediately rushed after Harry, instead Remus had had the presence of mind to remember that Harry had the Marauder's Map in his trunk. They'd quickly located Harry in the room of requirement, but once they had arrived there they hadn't been able to get in. It seemed that Harry hadn't wanted to be found when he had requested whatever he wanted from the room.
The three men paced outside of the room, silent, as each pondered their mate's sudden change in demeanor. Suddenly Remus gasped. "NO, his transformation! Why didn't we see it! Its been three days, it should be happening right about now. Bloody hell, he looked like he was in pain right before he ran out too. I told him to tell us when that happened!"
"We've got to get the headmaster, perhaps he can get the room to open. There's no telling what will happen to Harry if he's alone." Lucius said worriedly.
"Not to mention the fact that we didn't warn him about it. Maybe if we had he wouldn't have run off. This was probably some Gryffindor ploy to escape the hospital wing." Severus said, a dark scowl on his face. His mate was in pain and he couldn't get to him to help. Every nerve cell in his body seemed to be screaming at him to do something, anything, to help Harry.
"Lucius, get Albus here now, Remus you fetch Madame Pomfrey and tell her what's happening. Make sure she knows EVERYTHING Remus, including that Harry doesn't know anything about it except that something is going to happen. She needs to know if we want her to be able to help him. I shall stay here in case he comes to his senses and lets me in, or in case the room recognizes that he needs help."
Remus and Lucius looked at Severus carefully for a minute before hurrying away to do his bidding. Harry couldn't be left alone. He didn't know what was happening, and if they didn't hurry they could very well loose him all together.
Severus paced outside the door. 'We hid so much from him. I tried to justify it, but we should have told him, made him see why he couldn't be alone. Merlin, he could die without us if I don't do something. He could bleed to death! I've never had wings sprout from my back as my entire body aged nine years, but its got to hurt like hell. And if he was out for 3 days because of the first transformation, he'll be out so much longer after this. And if his mates aren't there to give him part of their magic and soothe the pain we could die altogether. Damnit! We should have explained that that was why there was a week between the two transformations, so that the elf affected could find its mate. He doesn't understand what's going on! I never thought I'd be saying that I wish I'd listened to the old coot, but I think he was right. If we had told Harry… maybe… no, it does no good to think about that. I just have to figure out how to help him now.'
"Damnit! Whatever magic makes up this bloody castle had better let me in to that bleeding room! He could die! Die! And then Hogwarts will have KILLED someone! All because of some STUPID room and that STUPID rule that they get what they require!" Severus screeched this at the top of his lungs, not caring if he was being rather melodramatic. He beat his fists against the door to the room, tears streaming down his face. It was one of the only times in his life that he had actually allowed himself to cry. He hadn't thought that having a mate would change him so drastically, but he almost felt as if not having a mate had made him as bitter and spiteful as he was in the first place.
Harry looked around the room that his need had created. It seemed smaller than the room usually was when he saw it, and the lights were quite a bit dimmer, giving the room an overall peaceful air. He sighed in relief, this was what he had been hoping for. He smiled at the large, comfy-looking bed in the corner and made his way over quickly, curling himself into a ball as he laid down.
The pain was still present, but it felt muted now, and for some reason Harry knew that he felt that way because it was too soon. His proximity to his mates had drawn the transformation on much faster than it normally would have come, and his body wasn't ready. He didn't know how he knew that, but he decided not to question it, instead snuggling down into the bed, closing his eyes and letting sleep take him. His body was going to need all the energy it could get in the coming days.
When Professor Dumbledore, Remus, Lucius, and Madame Pomfrey arrived at the entrance to the room of requirement, Severus had managed to bring himself under some control, though it was very evident that he had been crying.
"What took you so long! He could be dead in there! Damnit Albus, do something NOW!" He yelled, his panic and desperation turning into a very strong anger. Had he noticed that Remus and Lucius seemed much calmer, he would have stopped yelling, but they were both staring quietly at the door and Severus did could not see them through his rage.
"Severus, calm down. Harry is fine, at least for now. I assure you that if he were in real danger the room would have opened. It senses the needs of its occupant, which means that Harry must genuinely need to be alone." Dumbledore answered Severus calmly and slowly, doing his best to soothe the other man's fears.
Madame Pomfrey continued, "Really Severus, I would have thought you'd have known that Royal Elves usually seclude themselves from their mates right before the transformation. The magic of the mate, while soothing and protective during the actual transformation, rushes the beginning of the transformation, making the body change much before its ready, which is very unhealthy. Had Harry stayed with you he would have been much worse off, in fact, I'd say that if he hadn't run off from you three he could be dead, especially given the fact that he has three mates on whose magic he could draw. You're very lucky he left, Severus, so don't worry yourself. He's probably sleeping, you know as well as I that he'll need the energy."
Severus could feel his control returning. Harry was ok, he'd be fine. And that blasted room really would open up when his mate needed him. He breathed a rather loud sigh of relief before turning to Lucius and Remus, both of whom had yet to take their eyes from the door, despite Snape's outburst. "I know now that he's safe, but it doesn't make me feel any better being away from him. We haven't been away from each other for this long since he woke up after his birthday, and the bloody vampire side of me is screaming for its mate."
"I know, I feel the same. But is Albus and Poppy are right, he's better off away from us for a while. And I'm willing to feel a little discomfort now to save him pain. And if our being with him would kill him, I'd stay away forever. I won't be the cause of his death." Remus answered sadly.
"We'll just have to tough it out for Harry's sake," Lucius agreed, briefly raising his head to nod at the other two men. The three men then resumed staring at the door, not really knowing what to do, or how long it would be before Harry needed them.
"Gentleman, I believe Poppy and I shall take our leave for the moment. However, should any changes occur summon us immediately. I shall monitor the room to notify me should it open, and at that time both of us will return. Nothing bad will happen to him, I promise. This is all natural, and as you said Severus, Hogwarts does not want to become a murderer." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. He seldom got to see any of Severus' emotions, and he thoroughly enjoyed seeing the phenomenon that was Severus out of control. Many people believed that the old headmaster was omniscient, and though he knew that he wasn't, he did know that Harry would be ok. Everything that he was going through was normal for a Royal Elf, and with three very protective mates to watch out for him, he was in no danger whatsoever.
The three men nodded, never taking their eyes off of the door. Dumbledore shook his head and lead the nurse down the hall way. He knew that none of the mean would be going anywhere until the room opened and allowed them access to their mate. He just hoped that Severus didn't actually bore a hole through the door with his glare as he was currently attempting to do. He knew that Severus wouldn't stop trying to though. Somewhere behind that door, his mate was alone and vulnerable, and he was going to make sure that the second that his mate needed him he was there, even if he did have to literally glare down the door.
Harry woke up in a daze. The pain was back, full force. This time, however, he felt an overwhelming desire for his mates. He screamed in agony at the emptiness he felt. He needed them! He desperately wanted to go get them, yelping as he tried to get up and off the bed to fins them. But it didn't matter. He couldn't move, he was too paralyzed by the pain.
He sat huddled on the bed, tears running down his face. 'Please, find me, please' he whimpered mentally, unable to make the words actually come out of his mouth.
He could no longer see, no longer think, the pain blossomed throughout his body, concentrating in his head and his back. He had never experienced pain like this, and yet the pain in his head held on, not letting him loose consciousness. He was stuck in a limbo of pain.
Harry squeezed his eyes shut, whimpers escaping his lips every few seconds. It wouldn't be long before he succumbed to the pain and let go of his life. He didn't want to, but there seemed no other way. He rocked from side to side, shuddering. If dying was what it took to get away from this pain, he'd do it.
(A/N: I should have ended it here, but even I'm not THAT evil… well, at least not today. You should thank my boyfriend for that, lol)
A loud scream startled the three magical creatures out of their reverie.
"Harry!" All three men called at once, rushing to the door of the room of requirement.
Severus lunged at the door, twisting the handle there desperately and pushing with all of his weight and all of the force he could muster, which was quite a bit considering that he had the preternatural strength of a vampire.
"Harry needs us now you stupid door! Open up NOW!" Lucius screeched in a highly undignified manner.
Remus growled low in his throat. He had pricked his ears, listening for the slightest sounds and could hear very faint whimpers. Harry was indeed in pain.
If the room somehow had a brain to think about whether or not they should be let in, it seemed to have decided that they were right. The door fell open with a crash, sending all three men sprawling onto the floor. Hastily they picked themselves up and searched for Harry.
A small shape was huddled in the center of the bed in the corner, it was rocking back and forth and whimpering quite pitifully. The three men wasted no time in rushing over to their mate, immediately touching him to allow their magic to enter his body. Without his mate's magic a Royal Elf would not live through this transformation, a fact that they hadn't really mentioned to Harry because it brought up other issues about the transformation that they hadn't wanted to tell him.
As their hands soothed over his skin, Harry's whimpers lessened and he relaxed into the bed, a soft sigh coming through his lips. It would be a long time before the pain was over, but, for now, Harry was able to relax.
The three men curled up around their mate protectively, nothing was going to touch him while he was so vulnerable. They stared at him, an intensity shining bright in their eyes that hadn't even been present when they were staring at the door, waiting for any further sign of discomfort. They would be ready to help their mate, no matter what it took.
Unbeknownst to the four other men in the room, Professor Dumbledore and Madame Pomfrey stood watching from the doorway, having been summoned as soon as the Room of Requirement unsealed itself.
"Perhaps it would be best for you to stay close by Poppy. As soon as his wings are out he'll need those healing potions." Dumbledore murmured.
"Of course, Albus. I just wish I could help ease the pain of the rest of the transformation. it's a pity that there are no potions strong enough. I must say though, I'm surprised at those men, not telling Harry any of what was going to happen. For heaven's sake he doesn't even know that as they ease his way through this transformation they'll send their magic into his body, binding all of them to each other. Its not something that should have been kept in the dark." She tutted impatiently.
"I agree, though I understand why they did not. Harry was rather emotional and upset at the changes in his life. Had he known everything I don't know how he would have reacted. If he had known how much he was going to change with this transformation he would have worried and obsessed over it the entire time before the next transformation. Perhaps now that he has had more time to adjust he will handle things better. I certainly hope that he will. He deserves happiness, and I know that if he looks at the situation with an open mind he will find it." Dumbledore sighed. "Come, let us prepare everything for them. Harry will need someplace to recuperate and I'd rather this room be left for emergencies. One never knows when a student will be in need of its aid. In fact, I recall that I once used this room myself-"
"But surely the hospital wing would be better. He'd be much safer." Poppy cut him off.
"No," the headmaster insisted. "Harry needs a particular environment to recover in, and a bright white, emotionally detached hospital wing is not the place for him to do it in. Come, I shall explain everything to you."
With that, Professor Dumbledore and Madame Pomfrey swept out of the room, only taking one last quick look at the four men whose lives had already begun to change irreversibly.
A/N: I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. I really enjoyed it, though it did take off in a direction that I didn't really expect. I'll definitely be posting another chapter in the near future, so don't worry! I won't leave it at a cliffhanger! The next chapter will definitely have Harry's second transformation, and all secrets will be revealed. And in the next two or so chapters we'll probably see some of Ron and Hermione's reaction :smirks: I'm looking forward to writing that scene. I love reviews, and though this sounds manipulative, reviews really do inspire me to write faster, so leave one if you want!