"Carry me through these dark times with your lighted wings." ~By Me Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the other characters J. K. Rowling has the fabulous honor of claiming everything to do with Harry Potter The quote thing above is by me so don't steal it! ;p

AN: PLEASE READ! I have been editing almost all of my chapters, and kinda changing some stuff up. Mostly minor adjustments, but the one major change is that Snape was not a slave to Voldemort, but was gifted to Lucius Malfoy by Voldemort. This is important bc it led to a relationship developing between Lucius and Snape which will start to showcase in the background a bit.

The link to the artist of the picture I have as an Avatar is in my profile. I give full credit to the artist as I did not draw it!

Chapter 14: Calm Before The Storm

The clock ticked away the time; minutes turned into hours as Harry sat thinking. After Snape left Harry had been lost in thought, curled up on the window lounge again feeling lonely, and insecure. So many things were swimming around in his mind that it ached. He had made his choice though, he wanted his friends out of this mess that he had caused. Once they were free and clear then it was just down to him. He could handle the consequences of his actions even if it meant his death. Yawning he glanced up at the old Grandfather clock across the room, It was just after nine pm.

Standing Harry stretched as he made his way down the staircase, and across the library. He figured he should get some sleep while he still could. He was so absorbed in his thoughts while staring at the ground that he didn't notice the body standing in the middle of the living room until he collided into it. Startled he looked up into the face of his nightmares.

"Hello Pet, have you been enjoying yourself?" that silky smooth voice reached his ears, and Harry felt a shiver go down his spine. Shocked Harry realized that a small part of him was actually happy that Voldemort had come back. Mentally smacking himself he chalked it up to just being lonely. Not sure how he was supposed to act after not being around him for so long, Harry merely lowered his head and didn't say anything at all. Hearing a deep chuckle he looked up and saw a hand reach out to slide through his hair almost fondly before Voldemort moved away from him.

He watched as Voldemort moved to his desk in the study and dropped a huge pile of paperwork on the desk before sitting down. Uncertain Harry started to move towards him. Seeing a pillow magically appear by Voldemorts side Harry realized following him had been a good idea. He longed to just go to bed, but instead he settling down on the pillow and prepared to be bored to death.

He was not disappointed. Voldemort sat at his desk for what seemed like forever! Harry was so tired his eyes were dried and bloodshot, and kept closing on their own. Sneaking a glance up at Voldemort Harry figured he should work over a plan to prepare for what was to come, but he couldn't focus properly. He wanted to ask what he had been doing this whole time. Even though his mind was trying to put two and two together Harry couldn't keep himself awake any longer. He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the edge of the chair Voldemort was sitting in, and darkness consumed him dragging him down into a sweet slumber.

Voldemort sighed deeply as he rubbed at his eyes. Tiredly he glanced at the clock on the wall his eyes widened slightly as he realized how long he had been sitting there going over the contracts and preparations. Rubbing his hand down his face he turned to say something to the boy, but stopped short when he saw that he had fallen asleep. Here was another issue.

How was he going to deal with this? Voldemort frowned deeply at the thought, a flicker of anger appeared in his eyes but quickly disappeared. He couldn't allow these unwanted feelings to continue. A Dark Lord with feelings? He would become a laughing stock! Not only that, but he knew several people in his own ranks who would jump at the chance to over throw him. No this would just have to be stomped out, before it manifested into something more.

Voldemort reached a hand out to touch the silky black hair, but stopped short. Voldemort had wanted him, tortured him, killed to get him, made a contract to have him, but now that he was in his grasp he dared not touch him again. Red eyes burned down onto the slight young man curled up beside him, something stirred inside of him. He wanted him again. He wanted him beneath him, crying out his name again. However, to have that Voldemort would be opening himself up to that feeling again. He frowned deeply as he looked away, and leaned back in his chair.

Oh what was a Dark Lord to do? He had too many things going on at the moment to be concerned over going soft for some Pet, some concubine. No! Not a concubine, nobody else other than Voldemort himself would ever touch him again. His eyes smoldered dangerously. Then what was the boy to him? A lover? No that would only make it harder for him to destroy those feelings, no not a lover. But then what? What was a better word for lover that wasn't so...cute. Voldemort inwardly cringed, and a sneer appeared on his face as a shudder went down his spine. He slid his eyes back over the boy thinking, finally it came to him. Consort, it was detached yet implied that the Harry was his and no one else would ever touch him. Satisfied, he stood up and moved to pick him up, but stopped. He knew what he wanted, but he knew how it could not happen. Until he was able to control himself again, he would have to distance himself from the boy. Snapping his fingers he summoned an elf.

"Take him to his bed." he commanded as he stepped around his desk and moved to his bedroom as he began to undress himself. He dropped his clothes on the floor as he walked. Hearing a pop behind him, he knew that Harry had been placed on his pillows in the corner of the room. He strode into the bathroom, and made for the shower. As he stepped in he was pleased to find the water already running, and at the perfect temperature.

As the water poured down onto him, he closed his eyes and cleared his thoughts. Allowing those feelings to leave his body, and disappear down the drain with the water. He could not become soft hearted, but that did not mean he would have to swear off Harry's delectable body forever. Just long enough to where he had himself under control, for somehow that little Pet had wormed his way under his skin. A smirk appeared on his face as he placed his hands on the wall and leaned forward allowing the water to beat down on his back relieving the ache. His inky black hair, curling at the tips, fell in front of his blood red eyes. Yes, he would have the boy again soon enough.

Harry stirred awake, the soft pillows cradling his body felt amazing. He stretched lazily as he rolled around not wanting to get up. Suddenly he remembered, Voldemort had come back last night! Jumping up, he quickly scanned the room looking for the man only to find him still asleep in the bed. Confused Harry silently made his way over to the side of the bed; why had he been sleeping in the corner instead of on the bed?

Harry shook his head feeling silly that at first he was hurt, but it was a good thing Voldemort didn't want him there. Maybe things would change, and he would be able to handle his decision better. Lost in thought Harry stared down at the sleeping form of the Dark Lord. He wasn't so bad sleeping, kinda cute actually. His black hair was mussed and curled slightly, his mouth was just barely open and he slept on his stomach.

Harry smiled biting his bottom lip as he leaned forward putting a knee on the bed to try and get a closer look. Suddenly a crimson eye snapped open and immediately locked onto him. Startled Harry yelled out, and jerked back, but lost his balance and fell flat on his back on the floor. Groaning, and wincing at the sudden pain far too early in the morning, he stood up to look at Voldemort. Upon seeing the smug looking man sitting up in bed leaning against the headboard shirtless, Harry's face went red in embarrassment.

"Did you need something Pet? Did you get lonely down there?" He asked mockingly. Harry's face went even redder.

"No! I just wanted to see if you were really here that's all!" Harry said as he crossed his arms defensively and looked away. Voldemort's eyes narrowed.

"My comings and goings are none of your concern Pet. You would do well to remember your place." he hissed lowly. Harry looked back at him startled, in the past few days he had been allowed to be himself, and act normal. How could he have forgotten that things would never change between the two of them. Grimacing he tightened his crossed arms, hugging them to his chest. Biting his lip he lowered his head.

"Yes Master." he snarled out. He backed away from the bed edging towards the bathroom.

"I will go prepare your bath." he ground out still not looking at Voldemort. Hearing no acknowledgment, but feeling those eyes on him he turned around and hurried into the bathroom. He hastily prepared the center bath once more like usual. As it began filling up, and he had added the bath beads he sat down on the edge waiting. It was actually calming to his senses, the sound of rushing water was the only noise in the bathroom, and the steam enhanced the sandalwood oils making the room heady. Harry breathed deeply and leaned back on his arms closing his eyes in relaxation. His thoughts once again wondered to what his future would be. Would he forever be trapped in this contract? To be owned by the Dark Lord? Would he ever get to go back to Hogwarts and sit by the lake under the big tree, and stare at the blue sky? His emerald eyes slid open as he felt the water touch the bottom of his feet. No, he thought sadly, he would never see the castle's beauty ever again. He stood up to turn the water taps off as he heard footsteps approaching softly behind him. Uncertain Harry waited until Voldemort stopped in front of him. He seemed to be pondering the bath silently, before he finally turned to Harry.

"Leave me." he stated simply to him. Harry's eyes widened marginally, and he stood there stunned for a moment. Voldemort's eyes narrowed slightly, and Harry took the opportunity to run out of the room. He closed the bathroom door behind him, and dashed into the Library. Now he was confused and worried. What was going on? What if Snape had been wrong, and he was not going to be offered the prospects of being a Consort? If that happened he would have to rethink everything, and he would be stuck back at square one. His friends would still be stuck in the dungeons, their lives depending on every choice he made. He would be back in the corner, and Voldemort would hold all the cards. He clenched his fists and swore as he climbed the staircase by two. With the offer of Consort on the table, he could bargain, but with how Voldemort was acting he was no longer interested in him. The idea stopped him, and a hand went to clutch his chest as his heart hammered madly. Of course. The Idea had come to him once before, but he had brushed it aside. He was dirty now. A bitter laugh escaped his lips as he slowly climbed the last few stairs, and made his way over to his lounge. There was no way Voldemort would want to touch him now. Before he had not known what had happened to Harry, and now that he did he did not want to touch him. Harry curled up on the lounge facing the wall. He clenched his eyes shut as tears threatened to spill over. His chest hurt and he didn't know why.

Harry had hid himself away in that little back corner of the library for at least an hour maybe more before soft padded footsteps were heard making their way up the staircase. Hastily he rubbed at his face, wiping away frustrated tears. He had sat in his corner with a heavy rain cloud of depression hanging over him. He continued to lay curled on his side facing the window that showed the raging storm outside. Stubbornly refusing to turn around to face Voldemort who came to a stop right behind him.

"So this is where you have been hiding little one." Voldemort stated as heat radiated off of his body warming the chill that crawled over Harry's skin. He glanced stubbornly up at Voldemort's reflection in the window narrowing his eyes at the red orbs staring back at him. Finally he forced himself to sit up and turn to face him. He didn't say anything, there was nothing to say.

"A nice little nook you made for yourself." Voldemort said as he settled down beside Harry to stare out the window. They were silent for a few moments. The air was tense between the two of them, and neither one looked at the other. Harry hugged his knees to his chest insecurely as he waited. Finally Voldemort turned to him, his red eyes scanned his form in deep thought before he spoke.

"I will be staying in most of the day today, but if you so wish you may stay up here." he said as he regarded Harry a moment longer before he stood up and swept away. Harry froze, just what was going on? He was so confused normally he would have to follow him around, and now he was giving his permission for him to do what he wanted? Something was off, a feeling of uneasiness crept into his stomach. He stared at the spot where Voldemort had disappeared.

Biting his lip Harry stood from his seat, and made his way down the spiral staircase to the bottom floor of the library. Cautiously he peered out into the living room. Upon not seeing anybody he moved out of the library, and made his way to Voldemort's study. His bare feet sinking into the lush carpet not making a sound. Peering into the study he found Voldemort sitting at his desk scribbling away at a pile of paperwork. Envelopes lay scattered around the desk some were torn open while many others lay in neat stacks waiting to be used. Voldemort must have sensed him, because at that moment he looked up from his work to stare him down. He didn't say anything, but merely stared at him before turning back to his paperwork. At first Harry began to move away, but just then a large pillow popped into existence beside his chair.

He slowly moved forward before settling himself down on the pillow. He lay himself out curling on his side as he pulled the book he had nestled in his arms out, and began to read the book of fairy tales he had found. It had been stashed in the back of a shelf collecting dust when he had come across it. He realized it was a kids book, but he had never heard of the wizarding worlds version of fairy tales. Besides he had to loose himself in something, or he would go stir crazy from the strange goings on. Voldemort was acting odd. He had come after Harry like a man possessed, and now that he had him he was acting like he would rather be anywhere other than around him! Harry didn't mind in the least that he had lost interest in him, but he just didn't want to fall into the trap of 'oh wait I was just kidding it's torture time!'. He shuddered at the thought. Knowing his luck though that would be exactly what was going on. So he lay there reading his book of fairy tales. Just as he had gotten about half way through the book a knock sounded on the door. Harry immediately sat up, his book slipping from his fingers falling to the floor with a soft thud. He looked at Voldemort who was lost in his paperwork. The knock sounded again.

"That would be Severus Pet, do go let him in. It is time for your lessons." he said making Harry jump. He quickly climbed to his feet, and ran to the door. Opening it he found that it was indeed Severus looking somewhat ruffled, and Lucius was sauntering away down the hall. He stepped back letting Snape into the rooms before closing the door.

"He's in the study." was all Harry said. Snape opened his mouth then closed it before moving to the door way of the study. He dropped down to his knee, and bowed deeply.

"My Lord I have come to give Harry his lessons." he said.

"Yes, yes Severus do continue on with them in the Living quarters I am busy." Voldemort said as he waved a hand in dismissal without looking up. Snape stood before turning to Harry and grabbing his arm dragged him into the library.

"Do I need to ask what has happened this time?" he sighed heavily as he stared Harry down making him shuffle his feet. He fiddled with the sleeves of the large

"I don't know! He just came back yesterday acting all weird like he didn't want me around him at all. He just keeps dismissing me, then earlier he told me I could do whatever I wanted because he was staying in the rooms today so I wouldn't have to sit with him all day." he fumed as quietly as he could. Snape let his arm go a thoughtful look on his face .

"Well I believe I know why he is acting this way, and the only advice I have for you is to just continue to act as you are supposed to. If things are the way I think they are then this will pass in time. Just don't do anything stupid or foolish." he drawled glaring down at him.

"Are you gonna explain? Ack!" Harry hissed before voicing his displeasure at being grabbed again and shoved back into the Living area.

"No. Now Mr. Potter today we will be going over proper etiquette. Do you know how to dance?" he asked with a grimace. Harry stared at him dumbfounded.

"Why do I need to know how to dance?" he asked suspiciously as he narrowed his eyes at his Professor. Snape's eye twitched in annoyance.

"So I am to believe you do not know." he sighed in dismay as he turned away from Harry.

"Well that can wait until tomorrow. I will have to bring Lucius with me to properly teach you how to dance. Until then we shall go over proper dining etiquette and how you specifically must act in such an environment." he said as he began to circle Harry.

"Why is stuff like this necessary? Besides doesn't Lucius hate me? I am the reason why his son in sitting in the dungeons right now." Harry asked in surprise.

"You are also the reason why his son is still alive at the moment. If we can get you trained, and acting properly then his son may be returned to him. However that is a conversation for another time. Now let us begin." he said as he directed Harry around the room. Harry frowned just what was going on, what were they preparing for?

These lessons of dancing, dining, and party etiquette. Perhaps the Dark Lord was throwing some sort of ball, but who was being invited? He frowned as he moved through the motions of the lesson robotically. Also if things went well Draco was just going to be released from his prison? Just like that and no strings attached? He wasn't sure he believed it, but then again if it was true it would help him out in the long run. Now all he had to bargain for was for just two of his friends to be released. A small smile appeared on his face. Perhaps things weren't quite as dismal as he had thought them to be.

The lesson with Snape had been a long two hour session. Longer than usual, but Harry did not complain. It was better than just sitting around all day alone in silence. He was still convinced that something big was happening, and he thought it was a ball. It was the only thing that made sense.